Get on Board

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Ah, here’s the bus! Hurry, grab a seat, and get out of the rain! Just like every trip, you’re fascinated by all the other passengers on board: tourists, professionals, students… They’re all traveling together, though they each have different destinations. This bus line is truly special, but will it be able to transport everyone safe and sound?In Get on Board: New…
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Category SKU TCS-GET_BOARD Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Value For Money

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Plays well at all player counts
  • Quick engaging gameplay with very little downtime
  • Great art and components
  • Easy to teach
  • Don’t know who has won until final scoring

Might Not Like

  • Player colour choices could be better
  • Would like to be able to play both maps with both player counts
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Description

Ah, here’s the bus! Hurry, grab a seat, and get out of the rain! Just like every trip, you're fascinated by all the other passengers on board: tourists, professionals, students... They're all traveling together, though they each have different destinations. This bus line is truly special, but will it be able to transport everyone safe and sound?

In Get on Board: New York & London, you have twelve rounds in which to build the best bus line in town. Each round reveals a new card that shows each player the route shape they must complete. Place your bus accordingly on the central board. Take the passengers where they want to go by connecting them and their destination to your bus line, avoid traffic, and gain as many victory points as possible!

What’s in the box?
• One double sided board (one London side and one New York side)
• 50 double sided player sheets
• 160 route markers

How to play:

You have 12 rounds to build the best bus line in town. Each round, reveal a new card that shows all players the route shape they must complete. Take the passengers to their destination, avoid traffic, and gain as many victory points as possible.
Each round has four phases

1. New bus ticket – The Inspector reveals the top card of the bus ticket deck and places it face up on the discard space. Each player now crosses of one of the two boxes of the matching colour at the top of their play sheet, this dictates the route they will plot in the next phase.

2. Plot route – to do this; place route markers creating the shape of the route, also following the route creation instructions. (don’t double back!) At this point you will need to;

0. Avoid traffic jams as much as possible
1. Speed up your ETA with green lights
2. No doubling back on yourself

Then you can board the bus! For each passenger or place you reach with your markers, during the plot route step this round, cross passengers off your list that correspond to the passenger markers on the board.

1. Check common objectives – check if you have completed any common objectives this round.
2. Change inspector!
To end the game, count up your points following the guidelines, the highest score wins!

Bonus!
This game tests your strategic plotting skills.

Player Count: 2-5
Time: 30 Minutes
Age: 8+

Get On Board puts you in charge of making the most efficient Bus Route in either New York (2 to 3 players) or London (4 to 5 players) in just 12 rounds. If you have played Flip & Write games in the past, you will understand the basic concept of everyone working off the same cards that are revealed but what will be new to you is everyone is working on the same central board.

This way you are competing for space and trying to reach objectives before your opponents which sets the game apart from others in this genre.

Set Up

Place the central board in the middle of the table on the correct side (New York for 2 to 3 players & London for 4 to 5 players) and give all players 32 route markers and a departure pawn of a single colour plus a player sheet and writing utensil.

Shuffle the common objective cards and place 2 on the board with the yellow side facing up, give all players 1 personal objective card, and shuffle the bus tickets and hand 2 to each player so they can choose their starting location on the board by using one of the two numbers on the tickets.

Once everyone has chosen their starting location and placed their departure pawn all the bus tickets are shuffled together to make a face-down draw pile of 12 cards. You are now ready to start making your bus route.

Let's Make A Bus Route

The starting player (indicated by the player that has the Inspector pawn) flips one ticket and everyone marks off the number shown on the top of their player sheet. This is where the game differs again from other flip and writes because every player's sheet will provide a different result for the same number.

Then in turn order, each player will place their route markers on the map starting from their departure pawn according to the size and shape indicated. This can vary from a single marker, a double straight, triple straight, double with a 90 degrees bend, or triple with two 90 degrees bends. You must always place your next marker from the end position of your previous go and you can never double back on the same road.

If at any time you go across the same road as another player's marker (or the black roads on the New York map) you must cross off a traffic jam indicator on your player sheet which provides a negative score at the end of the game. Green lights on the map provide a free extra marker placement if you end your go on them. You can never go across the same junction you have used previously and if you ever do the rule book says you automatically lose the game.

The player sheet provides a cheat option of allowing you to modify the shape of your current route (but not the length) but this comes with more negative points at the end of the game. There are 4 different types of passengers you can collect during your travels all of which score in slightly different ways. The simplest is the orange lady who just provides a score for each lady collected.

Others require you to drop them off at certain locations and they also have a limit as to how many you can carry before dropping them off. Other scoring options are the special locations on the board marked with a star and the common objectives (such as collecting 5 orange ladies).

At the end of the round, you check to see if any players achieved either of the common objectives. If so, you flip the common objective card that was achieved to the blue side which provides fewer points.

Finally, you pass the Inspector pawn to the next player who becomes the starting player for the next round. They flip the next ticket and play continues. Once all 12 cards have been played scores are calculated and the winner is the player with the highest score.

So, Is It Any Good?

Get On Board is a very good game. It is quick, plays really well at all player counts, is very easy to teach, has great components and there is just enough player interaction without being too confrontational. I was worried about the player markers when I opened the box as I thought they were too small and might easily be moved by accident if someone knocks on the table, but this was not the case.

I would have preferred some slightly different player colours. The yellow, blue and purple are fine and stand out on the map but the dark green and burgundy are dull in comparison and can be confused for each other in poor light. The maps are well laid out and all of the symbols are easy to read.

Only one complaint would be the fact you can only play on the side of the board for the number of players you have. This means that without some more players you may never be able to map your best route for London.

How to Play Get on Board is sort of what would happen if a traditional tabletop game and a flip and fill game got married and had beautiful board game babies. You've got the physical attributes of one and the smarts and speed of the other - this kid is basically the complete package!

That's my opinion anyway. Someone super talented has written a full review for you here, so I am going to take a few moments to guide you through the rules and show you how to play it.

Set Up Is Super Simple

  1. Set out the board - choosing whether to play New York (2-3 players) or London (4-5 players)
  2. Shuffle the 5 personal objective cards for the relevant side of the board and deal one to each player.
  3. Shuffle the bus tickets (1-6 for a 2-3 player and 1-12 for 4-5 players) and deal two face down to each player.
  4. Randomly select 2 of the 6 common scoring objectives and place them with the yellow side facing up on the allocated spaces on the board.
  5. Give each player a coloured set of 32 route markers, a traffic light departure token, a sheet and place the first player token nearby.
  6. When everybody has selected one of their bus tickets to determine their departure point, they place their Departure token on that numbered traffic light intersection space. Then all 12 tickets (whichever side of the board you are playing) get shuffled and stacked on the corresponding space on the board.
  7. Find some pencils!

All Aboard!

Each turn is also super simple to operate:

  1. First player (the Inspector) flips over a bus ticket showing a number 1-12.
  2. Everybody locates the same number on the top of their player sheet and uses the shape (some have a choice of two, but most are just one) to place route markers ("plot") onto the board. These essentially represent the number of turns your route can take this round.

Note 1: you must start at your Departure token and you cannot double back during the game on any routes you have already used. You can share routes with other players (although you'll be penalised in traffic - more on that later!), but never go back on yourself!

Note 2: Your personal objective is a three point route around the board. In order to gain the 10 point end-game bonus, you will need to pass through all three letters without breaking any plotting rules during the 12 rounds!

  1. Everyone then checks to see if they have achieved either common objective - the first player scores 10 points and flips the card over to its blue side so that everybody else who achieves it after them gets 6 points.
  2. Repeat this 12 times and the game is over!

But it could never be that simple! And nor would you want it to be! For the fun and the crunch in this game is all about the bus journey rather than its destination!

Scoring

You see, as you plot your route around the City, your bus will collect passengers and visit buildings. These must each be crossed off on your sheet starting from the top/top left most space in the relevant bus sections, working down/along as you go. Grannies, tourists, businessmen, schools, sights… They are all worth points. But some will only score if you visit them in a specific order.

Tourists

For example, tourists want to go and see the sights. So, you want to have tourists on your bus before you go travelling past a monument. If you visit a monument without having collected any tourists first, you'll have missed an opportunity to score before that particular bus parks up! Doh!

The actual points value per parked bus is shown on your sheet - you look down the column corresponding to your last tourist collected and add that total to the box on the furthest right space e.g., if you collect two tourists and then pass a monument, you'll score 5 points. Once your bus has scored, it is parked and no more tourists can be added to it. Remember to cross off any unused tourist spots along that line as a reminder.

Businessmen

Same with businessmen. Your bus might be on a bustling commuting route, but if you don't have any businessmen on board by the time you pass an office block, your bus will park up and score you zero points. Eesh!

I should mention here that the more businessmen you can deliver to offices, the better. And this is because every time you score a parked bus full of businessmen, you get bonus passengers that you can then cross off - look out for the additional symbols on the bottom of each businessman bus section. Cascading bonuses on board the bus? Yes please!

Grannies

Grannies are easy - they simply score you points whenever they get collected so you just cross off the next one down the line. Bless them!

Schools

And schools are simple maths. You can pass through pupils and schools in any order, crossing them off as you go. But their final score is calculated by multiplying the number of pupils by the number of schools visited. Oh and the last row can only be crossed off using the businessman bonus passengers so keep an eye out for homeward bound workers!

Sightseeing Spots

There are also special Sightseeing Spots (4 indicated by stars) that score bonus points if you pass through one. To calculate how much they are worth, you total up how many of the matching passengers you have already collected (e.g., turquoise Times Square relates to turquoise tourists) and write that number in the starred space on your sheet.

Traffic Jams

Now, so far so nicey! Everything in this game is trying to give you an opportunity to score points (if you rumble along the roads in a smart way, that is!). Even the interchanges are going for the green. If your route stops at a traffic light, you get to place a bonus marker in any direction!

But here comes the congestion crunch! If you need or want to share a route with another player, that is going to cause some traffic on the road. And when this happens, you have to mark off a space on the bottom section of your sheet for each marker placed along a shared route. And as you'll see, these traffic penalties start totting up negative points.

Same with the dark grey printed routes on the New York side of the board - parts of that City always suffer from backed up buses. As such, if you need or choose to use this route on your way, you'll be crossing off traffic jam boxes and collecting negative points for the privilege! Oh, traffic is tense and tight on board today!

Detours

As I mentioned earlier, you cannot double back on yourself during the game. If you hit the same intersection twice, that's it! Game over for you (although your network pieces remain on the board)!

But, if the bus route looks like it is going to send you down that dangerous path, you can sacrifice points to increase/decrease turns by crossing off a space in the turning zone. Beware, however, you only have 5 chances to do this, and the cost creeps up quickly!

End Game Scoring

At the end of the game, add up each of the bus sections including the negative ones (no cheating!). Award yourself 10 points if you have achieved your personal objective. You'll also get half points (rounded down) for any bus that was partially filled and unparked at the end game.

And with the tourists, if they went to more than one type of Sightseeing Spot, you'll get the highest star point value added to your total. Whoever has the most points is the winning inspector!

Final thoughts I know a very clever fellow blogger has the honour of reviewing Get on Board. But I will say I think this is a blooming BRILLIANT game! With only 12 rounds and a finite number of buses available for each passenger type, you aren't going to want to miss out on anything!

But of course, you will because there isn't enough time to do everything! And strategies will have to change as the board space changes. This is dynamic driving of the most fun, crunchy sort! Easy rules, a tight board, and so many combo possibilities, each of which is a tense, tricky trade off.

And the artwork is right up my road! I am definitely getting on board with this game and I hope this guide helps your first play - enjoy every moment!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Plays well at all player counts
  • Quick engaging gameplay with very little downtime
  • Great art and components
  • Easy to teach
  • Dont know who has won until final scoring

Might not like

  • Player colour choices could be better
  • Would like to be able to play both maps with both player counts