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Empire Builder (EPB) Email GM   Last updated July 11, 2022
Class B: Beginning Players Welcome You may play if you have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled demo. Be on time for the scheduled demonstration. The GM will remain for only 15 minutes if no one is present.
Schedule  GM: Bob Stribula (11th Year)
Round Day Start Time Duration Location
Demo 1/1Mo91Exhibit Hall Annex Table #2
Heat 1/3Mo114Sunburst
Heat 2/3Tu184Wintergreen
Heat 3/3We154Sunburst
2022 Tournament Format HMW-Points

The Empire Builder Series tournament offers competition in Mayfair's "Crayon Rails" games. While Empire Builder and Eurorails will be offered in each of the three Round 1 heats, players may choose to play variants if their choice is shared by at least three other players. Variants include: original Empire Builder [without Mexico], Australian Rails, British Rails, China Rails, India Rails, Irish Rails, Iron Dragon, Lunar Rails, Martian Rails, Möbius Rails, Nippon Rails, and Russian Rails. If you would like to play one of the variants, it is strongly recommended that you bring your own copy and appear early to set it up and recruit players.

All games must use the half-rate movement rule as written by Mayfair. When a train starts in or enters a half rate movement area, it moves at half rate for the remainder of the turn, beginning with the first movement step TO the affected area.

All players must choose the best "three of four cards" to start. Deal four demand cards to each player. (Event Cards are reshuffled into the deck.) The player with the single highest payment on one of his four cards may begin building track as soon as he is ready. (Tiebreaker: second highest payment.) Players must discard one of their four cards before they place their train on the map board. Use a two-round “switch-back” start. If a player pitches his demand cards during the switch-back start, he only receives three new cards. (Event Cards are reshuffled into the deck.)

To create a truly equal-turn tournament game, it is best that events and victory conditions also conform to equal turns. As the last action of a player’s turn and if he meets the victory conditions, he must declare. Play continues until all players have had an equal number of turns. After a player has declared newly drawn events are ignored. When the last player has taken his turn, the official victory condition check is performed. Verify that the declaring player(s) have a continuous network linking the required number of cities and at least 250 million in cash. If at the end of an equal-turn round one or more players meet the victory conditions, the game ends. There is no extra build or rebuild turn. (Exception: if the leading players are tied, the game continues with cash requirements increasing in increments of 50 million.) Next players should determine the finishing order per the Scoring Sheet instructions. Fill out the score sheet completely; the winner must record the game’s ending time, sign, and return the form to the GM.

The Semifinal games will feature Empire Builder with Mexico. The Final will be contested on the newest edition of Eurorails [Mayfair #4507; © 2009]. For the Final, the cost of the “Chunnel” is reduced to €12 M. (Feel free to practice with this modification during the Round 1 heats.) The Final will begin shortly after the slowest Semifinal game is complete. Note: A combined 9-hour block is scheduled to minimize the need to adjudicate these games.

If there are 50 or more total entrants, we will advance 25 players to five 5-player Semifinal games. If there are between 40 and 49 entrants (inclusive), we will advance 20 players to five 4-player Semifinals. If there are between 32 and 39 entrants (inclusive), we will advance 16 players to four 4-player Semifinals. With fewer than 32 entrants, we will advance no more than half the entrants to four or five Semifinal games of approximately equal numbers of participants. Semifinal finishing order (tiebreaker: final cash) will be used to seed Semifinalists to the Final and to determine the event’s sixth place finisher.

REMEMBER: If we have more individual Heat winners than Semifinal slots, a single Round 1 win will NOT in itself guarantee advancement. (For the previous few years, if we did not have no-shows for the Semifinal, a winner would not have advanced!) We will be using the Heats Most Wins – Points standard tiebreakers.

Non-Cash Prize Description

The Train Gamers Memorial Medal — in memory of our lost friends — will be awarded to the player with the highest cumulative cash total in three different Round 1 games (not to include Empire Builder or Eurorails).

The Möbius Rails Medal will be awarded to the player with the single highest final cash (and the required number of cities) in any Round 1 Möbius Rails game. The game’s designer is disqualified from winning this medal.

The Irish Rails Medal will be awarded to the player with the single highest final cash (and the required number of cities) in any Round 1 Irish Rails game. The game’s designer is disqualified from winning this medal.

HEATS: MOST WINS - POINTS (HMW-P):Tie-breakers are:

  1. Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
  2. Most Second Places
  3. Fewest total points behind first place in second place finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
  4. Fewest total points behind first place in all finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
  5. Fewest Heats
  6. High dice roll.