All aboard! From steam locomotives to an inner-city metro, trains have been in use since 1804. It is incredible how a few thousand tons of train can defy gravity and reach up to 200 miles per hour. Now, board games don’t weigh 5,000 tons or have a whistle as loud as 150 decibels; but they are still very fun. And if we mix these two things together, we get train games, debatably the best type of board game. In order to satisfy all of your train game needs, here is a handy list of the top five train-themed board games.
5. Trans America
Coming in at fifth place is Trans America. Each player gets a set of five cities they must connect in order to win the game. In a turn, a player places one or two rails to further their line. Whoever has the best strategy usually wins the game; you can leech off of others’ railways to connect yours faster. But be sure not to help connect others’ railways or you can help someone else win. This game is super cool and very aesthetically pleasing. The game is played on a topographical map and the colors really pop out. It is really pretty and fun to play with a good group of friends.
4. Russian Railroads
Fourth place goes to Russian Railroads. The goal of the game is to build the longest and most complex railroad. Players mitigate their workers to different tasks which range on level of complexity. You can build simple railway tracks to working in factories to improve your technology. This is a very fun game because there are so many components that you can utilize to win the game. This is a longer game that can take up to two hours to play. The layout of the board is actually really simple to understand which is really helpful when strategizing your resources.
3. Colt Express
Colt Express gets a spicy third place. This game is not like anything I have ever seen before. The players play as robbers all stealing from this train at the same time. The aim of the game is to steal more than anyone else and become the richest bandit in the Wild West. Not only is there a unique theme to it, but the game itself looks awesome. You play on a 3-D train where the players can move from one car to another, run on the roof of the train, punch and shoot the other bandits, and rob the passengers. This is a quick and easy game that is super fun to play.
Nerd Herd sells this game so come and give it a try!
2. Steam: Rails to Riches
In second place, Steam: Rails to Riches. This game is awesome; it is basically the train version of Catan. It is fairly complex and is a longer game. You build railroads and find the most efficient way to deliver goods for the most profit. You can upgrade towns, improve your train, and choose the deliveries that are most profitable to you. The more profit you get, the more victory points you have. Not only is the game play super fun, the graphics are incredible! The board is two-sided with two different maps. The terrain and trains’ colors really pop out and give it an exciting look. There are also a lot of expansions so you can play in different countries, not just the two maps on the board.
1. Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is my all-time favorite board game. And clearly, has to be number one on the list. The aim of the game is to connect as many cities as you can with your trains. Players collect and play matching train cards to claim and connect railways to their designated cities. This game is super simple and easy to learn. It’s so much fun, but not only for the base game. There are so many expansions to the game; you can build railroads in any county of the world. The first game in the “Ticket to Ride” series is Ticket to Ride; it is set in the United States. But then there are games in Europe, Germany, Nordic countries, South Canada, the Earth, the Great Lakes, Switzerland, Asia, India, Africa, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom & Pennsylvania, and France & Old West. These are all playable games separate of each other. There are 15 different games of Ticket to Ride. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to play all 15 of them, but I have played the expansions. The expansions are insane! Of course, there are “normal” expansions like 1910 USA, 1912 Europe, 1902 Germany, and the orient express. But there are also mystery trains, dice expansions and an alien and dinosaur expansion. You can have Alvin (the alien) and Dexter (the dinosaur) in a game about trains. That is so cool! And that is why Ticket to Ride is my favorite game.
Nerd Herd sells some different copies of the Ticket to Ride series so I definitely recommend coming in and checking them out! https://nerdherdgettysburg.com/collections/train-board-games