I've been working on the railroad
Join us and build railroads networks in the early 1800's. The
steam engine has just been invented and, with its introduction,
it is now possible to ship goods between cities much faster.
However, it is the person who controls the track that these great
beasts will need in order to operate who will make the money.
You are a businessman who is building the necessary track on
this undeveloped land in order to make a profit and earn the
greatest income from the new means of transporting goods. The
track that connects the most useful cities will earn income for
the track's owner. It is the start of the Age of Steam.
Martin Wallace's award-winning Age of Steam (Winsome/Warfrog
2002) expands the basic system developed in Winsome Games' original
Lancashire Railways. Players lay track tiles between cities to
create a railway network in order to transport goods, thereby
earning income. This is a deceptively simple gamer's game, a
The game consists of six to ten turns depending upon the number
of players. Each turn sees the players issue bonds in order to
raise money, bid for the turn order for the remainder of the
turn, choose the special ability they want for the round, build
track, transport goods along the track, earn income, pay expenses
including train maintenance, have production in the cities and
then advance the game turn marker. The players receive victory
points at the end of the game equal to three times player's final
income less three points per bond issued during the game plus
one victory point per track segment that the player has built.
The player with the most victory points wins the game.
Money management is very important in the game as money is
used to bid in the turn order auction, build track and pay the
expenses of the bond interest and train maintenance at the end
of the turn. If a player feels that they need more money, the
player can issue more bonds in their companies in order to raise
additional money at the appropriate phase of the game. However,
the total number of bonds issued is subtracted from their Victory
Points, reducing their chance to win.
The key to the game is earning income for your railway company.
This is accomplished by transporting goods over the railway links
that the player has built. So the player first has to decide
where they are going to build their track and then they transport
goods over this track. Since the goods are randomly generated
at the beginning of every game, replayability is excellent.
The tournament format will be a Multiple Entry, Single Elimination
event (MESE) with two heats to qualify for the semi-final. The
winner of each heat game will qualify for the semi-final. The
game can accommodate up to six players, although the GM will
try to set up four-player games whenever possible depending upon
the number of copies of the game that are available and the number
The Final and the Semi-Final games will use the 'Rust Belt'
map included in every Age of Steam game. If all players agree,
players may use any of the following commercially available,
officially approved expansion maps for a four player heat:
Western US (Winsome, Warfrog)
Germany (Winsome, Warfrog)
Italy (Winsome, Warfrog)
France (Winsome, Warfrog)
Ireland (Winsome, Warfrog)
England (Winsome, Warfrog)
Scandinavia (Winsome, Warfrog)
Korea (Winsome, Warfrog)
Eastern US (Steam Brothers)
South America (Steam Brothers)
South Africa (Steam Brothers)
China (Steam Brothers)
Bay Area (Alspach)
Moon (AOS Team)
Homebrew, bootleg, unlicensed expansion maps may not be used.
MESE ADVANCEMENT TIE-BREAKERS: In Multiple Entry, Single Elimination
events for multi-player games, players possibly qualify for Single
Elimination play in the second round by winning any of up to
four preliminary Heats. Occasionally, players may advance wihout
winning a heat. Players can enter one or more Heats without limit.
All MESE events for multi-player games consist of three rounds;
an opening Round consisting of two to four Preliminary Heats,
a semifinal and a Final. The semifinal round will advance a predesignated
optimum number of players to fill the second round; i.e., 25
players for a five-player game, 16 players for a four-player
game, etc. but in all cases will advance no more than half of
all players which participated in the Preliminaries. If insufficient
players advance to warrant a semifinal round, the scheduled semifinal
will instead become the Final.
NEW MESE TIE-BREAKERS: A Preliminary Heat win will NOT in
itself guarantee advancement. All MESE events will advance the
optimum number of players to the next round based on the following
tie-breakers without exception.
1. Win in first Heat entered
2. Most Wins
3.Win in second Heat entered
4. has brought a copy of the game if needed for next round; otherwise
GM may substitute game specific tie-breaker
5. average finish in all heats entered; e.g., a 2nd and two 3rds
= 2.67 and beats two 2nds and two 4ths (average: 3)
6.high dice roll
"Win and you're in" is no longer
a given although it is a strong possibility. This system of tie
breakers encourages repeat play in Heats without requiring it.
A single win (especially in the first Heat entered) will probably
advance that winner but is not guaranteed to do so. Conversely,
players who continue to play additional heats after winning a
Preliminary game only enhance their chances of advancement without
damaging their prospects, but a player who wins their only Preliminary
game will probably advance without investing further time in
Preliminary play. Meanwhile, non-winners who continue in Preliminary
Heats will have additional chances to qualify in search of that
elusive first win since in most events, a single win will still
advance you to a semifinal round.
Age of Steam is a trademark of Winsome Games. If you
have any questions or comments, please contact me at the address