There are over a dozen versions of "RR", but all use the same rules. Each player is a railway company. He builds a network' of lines (marking them in colour on the map) trying to link the most towns by the best routes. Hills and rivers get in the way; and soon the other players do, too. In the second half of the game, players run trains from town to town. Their earnings can be used to build more track, to earn more revenue. The winner is the player with most money in the bank at the end.
A. The railway building stage
Al. Each player in turn throws the dice, and marks in the indicated length of track in a distinctive colour. All track is marked to and from the centres of hexagons, through the middle of the sides.
A2. Starting points vary in the different games. See Section D.
A3. Building costs. Normally, to build from one hexagon (hex) to the next counts "one". Hills and wide rivers increase construction costs. Crossing a river counts "3''; building into, or out of, bills costs "4". From one hill into another is "6": so is crossing a river while building into (or out of) a hill. Thus, in Fig. 1: Route A costs 6, B is 4 + 4 = 8, C is 5 (1 + 3 + 1). All these costs are ''paid'' by the die throw, and do not go onto the accounts.
A4. Payments to rivals. Except at towns, entry to any hex already used by a rival involves payment to him. It costs 1 to join or cross his line. To build alongside his track in the same hex costs 2 per half hex, as well as the 1 for joining. (While it is not logical to have no payments in towns, it does tidy up the board ). Fig. 2 shows examples of the payments for each hex..If there are 2 companies already there, you pay both of them. Some boards have town hexes bordering each other (e.g. Liverpool and Birkenhead on map B: the 3 parts of London on map K). A payment of 3 is made for building alongside a rival's track between the two adjacent town hexes.
A5. Junctions All lines entering a hex are considered to join at the centre. Thus, in fig 2, payment is made for a junction in the '5' hex as well as in the two '3's where black and white tracks first meet.
A6. Accounts. One player has a sheet of paper to keep accounts for all players. Bach starts with a capital of 20 units. Changes to this are recorded. Besides payments to rivals (rule A4), the first player to reach each town has an. income of 5 units. This does not include towns at which players start.
A7. Extending lines Each player can extend his lines, and add branches, as he likes! but his track must be continuous. No one can start building a piece of track that does not join his existing line. A throw may be used to build in two or more places. Throws cannot be 'banked"; e.g. a '2' can't be saved till next time, to go with another 2 to build into a hill.
A8. End of building stage. When each town has been reached by at least one railway, the second part of the game starts. If only one town is left, any player may declare that the building stage will end when everyone has had 2 more turns. (This prevents delaying tactics by one player).
B, The Railway operating stage.
Players now compete to carry traffic between towns. Players use their own tracks free, but pay 1 per hex to run on other players' lines. Each player needs a distinctive 'token' or 'counter'. Some games have special runs explained on the board (e.g. maps A, 0, L). Otherwise the procedure is:-
B1. Shake the die twice, to find a town's key number: e.g. 4 and 3 indicates town 43.
B2. Repeat, to find another town.
B3. Players may, if they wish, run their trains from town 1 to town 2. The run must be at least 6 hexes by the shortest route. All players taking part place their tokens at town 1. (Two players may decide to run a joint train, sharing income and costs; they then count as one - they don't get a turn each !).
B4. Each player states his route (starting with the richest player), which cannot then be changed. His route must be at least partly over his own lines. Permission to use a rivalts track is always granted; payment is always 1 per hex. (If a joint concern has to pay an odd number, the richer partner pays the extra 1). These amounts are added to or taken from the accounts before the race. Players may not pay more than 10 units to any one other player in a race, except by "exchange of running powers"; in this, two players agree to use each other's lines for part of their runs. Payments are made in full, but partly cancel, and the difference must be less than 10; e.g. A pays B 19 points, B pays A for 11 hexes; the net result is A pays B 8, so both can run
B5. Players race their counters from town 1 to town 2. Each throws the die in turn (richest throws first, etc.) and then moves the number of hexes shown-less 1 when entering hills. Thus, in Fig. 1, it takes 6 to follow route A, while B and C are both 3.
B6. The winner earns 20 units, second gets 10. Others get nothing. If only one player runs, he gets 20 automatically). Earnings may be banked, or partly or completely spent on new track. This is paid for as in rule A3, with the money taking the place of the die throws in payment. So, 10 units could pay for 10 hexes of track in open country, but less if payments are made to rivals for junctions, or if bills or rivers are concerned. Income from others (for running on, or joining. your tracks) may be spent by players who didn't get the 20 or 10 points.
B7. The die is thrown 4 times again, to find two new towns. All players may rac~ placing their tokens on town 3, whether or not they were in the other race.
B8. The procedure is repeated, until the end of a race in which a player reaches the winning total of revenue in the bank. This is 200 units for 5 or more players, 225 for 4, and 250 for 3 players. Experienced players may decide, by majority vote, to set this target figure 50 points higher.
Here are optional rules which have proved successful.
Cl. Use of average die for runs. An "average die" has the six faces marked 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5 - No l's or 6's. This cuts the luck element by about 75% in races, and is preferred for adult play. Don't use it to select key numbers
C2. Tournament rules. These are generally used by adults, as the luck element is drastically reduced. They include these changes:
Rule Al : Players have the same throw, and take turns to move first. An example: first throw by Alan is 4. He moves first, followed by Brian and Cyril who also move 4. Second throw is by Brian, a 5. After he's moved, then Cyril, and finally Alan moves 5.
Rules B. 1, 2, 7 Every key number is used twice, and only twice (once on board J, or if there's only time for 18 runs). A record is kept of which key numbers have been used; later boards have a chart printed to help this.
Rule B.6 All payments are added to the accounts. Then, after every 2 runs all players may spend up to 10% of their credit on extensions-richest first. Players with under 50 points may spend up to 5.
C3. Postal Games. Postal rules are free (except for postage) from the publisher; games are played in about a dozen zines, lasting about a year. Postal rules are based on tournament rules; in the building stage. 3 turns are combined in each of 6 rounds; in the operating stage, there are 6 rounds of 6 runs each, and players can enter up to 4 runs each round.
C4. Joint builds. When using tournament rules, two players may agree to combine their throws to build a joint line from a hex that both have already reached. They can then build up to three quarters of the combined total; e.g. two 4's = 8, they can build 6 units; two 3's = 6, they can build 4. (4½ impossible!) Players can build up to 20 hexes of joint line, not more than 10 with any one other player.
C5. Leapfrog. This amends rule A7: track does not have to be continuous. Each player can make up to 8 "leaps" along other track-not more than two of the leaps along any one other player's lines: having made a junction, he can claim running powers over the next 1, 2 or 3 hexes, and then fan continue building on from there. Thus, in fig. 2, a player making a junction in one of the '3' hexes can carry on building from the other '3' hex. This is a very good variant for experienced players. It makes it easier to break regional monopolies, and is especially suitable for the hillier boards, such as the Scottish and Welsh ones. It also makes the game correspond more closely to what really happened.
D. Starting Towns
These are often printed on the maps. However, check the date of printing to see whether starting points have been updated : these rules are being printed in January, 1980, so only maps printed in the 1980's have latest inforrnation. Two or more players may start at the same town.
Maps A & O : start at any dock. C: Chicago, Milwaukee, Memphis, New Orleans. F: New York, Jersey City, Philadelphia, Baltimore. D as map E, plus Richmond. F: Glasgow or Edinburgh. G: as F, plus Dundee. H : any port. I: Belfast and Dublin. J Liverpool, Wigan, Preston, Sheffield, Leeds, Barnsley, Wakefield. K Any town on the coast from Brighton to Margate, except Newhaven. L: Either: all from Paris: or Dunkirk, Cherbourg, Nantes, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Marseille, Lille, Strasbourg. B: any listed port except Liverpool. For the other boards, details are not yet finalised; see the boards themselves.
E. Amendments and special rules
Some maps have special extra rules for sea areas. They are explained on the boards; thus on map C, you can build the Forth and Tay bridges; on J, the Mersey Tunnel and Humber ferry; on D, ferries from Cape Charles. A few printing errors are found on first edition maps (they should be corrected when we reprint!).
Map C: Minneapolis-St. Paul should be at K72, not L71. Some rivers are not clear: N. of Kansas City, E. of Seattle and San Francisco, N&E of St. Louis, S. from El Paso and W. of New Orleans and Memphis. Map L : 'h' missed off Pittsburgh. The 'H' of H66 wandered to H60. Map L: 'L19' should be L18'. Map K: town 56 is Haywards Heath. Map F : K71 should not have shading.
Queries and disputed points should be referred to the publisher. He's always ready to chat about his games; you can phone him, most evenings, at Milford Haven 2752 (STD code 06462).
New maps appear at the rate of about 4 a year. The first maps will be reprinted, with minor alterations in 1980.
Write or phone for the latest developments.
Printed and published in Dyfed, U.K. Copyright: D. G. Watts, 1973,1976, 1980.