Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set
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Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set

RRP: £99.99
Now £81.99(SAVE 18%)
RRP £99.99
Expected Restock Date 31/07/2024
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Snowdonia is a competitive or solitaire worker placement game, lovingly crafted around the idea of building railways in Wales, and – with multiple other scenarios – around the world. Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set contains the Snowdonia base game as well as all previously released promo cards and scenarios, along with five new scenarios: The Bluebell Railway, The Qinghai-Tibet Rai…
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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • Clever flexible design
  • Quality of pieces
  • Wealth of thematic material
  • It’s got more trains than letters in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Might Not Like

  • Bottlenecks in Action Areas
  • Set-up time
  • Too many rule changes can be confusing
  • Some component or card confusion
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Description

Snowdonia is a competitive or solitaire worker placement game, lovingly crafted around the idea of building railways in Wales, and – with multiple other scenarios – around the world.

Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set contains the Snowdonia base game as well as all previously released promo cards and scenarios, along with five new scenarios: The Bluebell Railway, The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, The Mount Hakone Electric Railway, The Wye Valley Tourer, and The Malta Railway. This set also includes an automa (Botdell), designed by Dávid Turczi, along with a number of designer trains which are new to the Deluxe Master Set.

Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set contains:-

Snowdonia base game

Plus 17 Scenarios :-

  1. Bayerische Zugspitzbahn
  2. Blaenau Ffestiniog
  3. Bluebell Line
  4. Britannia Bridge
  5. Channel Tunnel
  6. Daffodil Line
  7. Jungfraubahn
  8. Malta Railway
  9. Mount Hakone
  10. Mount Washington
  11. Necropolis Railway
  12. Neuhauser Bockerlbahn
  13. Once and Future Train
  14. Qinghai-Tibet
  15. Siege of Petersburg
  16. Trans-Australian Railway
  17. Wye Valley Tourer

Also 19 Mini-Expansions including :- Goats, Seasons, Sheds, Wagons, The Summit, The North Pole and Unpredictable Weather

Plus over 100 Engine Cards including :-

Princess Margaret Rose
Not-Bought-at-Auction Loco
NO11 Prototype Engine
Breakdown Crane
Utility Loco
Santa’s Sleigh
Krampus
Camouflaged Loco

NO18 Great Old One
Coal Train
Downbound Train
Sen’s Train
Scarecrow
The Falkland Island Express
Birthday Train
Terraforming Engine

Thomas the One King Engine
NO 25 Unreliable Engine
The Curious Trunk
Son of God
The Guvnor’s Engine
The Love Train
Conveyor Belt

Snowdonia home of the mighty Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa, highest mountain in Wales and Queen of the Snowdonia National Park. In 1894 some enthusiastic investors decided, improbably, to build a railway to its summit. Completed in two years at a cost in today’s money of £7.252M this has proved a shrewd investment as it is still carrying 130,000 passengers a year at £35 a round trip over 125 yrs later.

In Snowdonia by Tony Boydell you get to replicate this feat but not necessarily the financial rewards. This provides the solid core of a railway building system that is expanded in this “all-in” box to cover another 17 scenarios featuring railways over the UK and throughout the World both real and imaginary. There’s also a Solo Mode and a further 19 Mini-Expansions covering everything from Goats to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!

Snowdonia – Snowed Under

If you ever wondered what 350+ wooden playing pieces looked like check this out! From my previous reviews you may know I’m a component junkie and I hit the jackpot this time! These wee wooden wonders give you water, oxygen, trees, dynamite, daffodils, Generals, coffins, a Yeti and a herd of goats almost as cute as the Yaks I covered last time. Added to this are 13 full decks of up to 50 cards covering the different stations, trains and bonus cards that give each of the scenarios their unique flavour. There are also over 100 Engine cards, apart from the ones specific to each of the scenarios, though these can cover such eclectic subjects as Jumbo the elephant, Hot Air balloon, Broomstick and Mrs Larkin’s washing machine!

Snowd-on With The Show

So there’s a huge amount of width what about the quality? Well, fortunately, like No.2 Enid or No.5 Moel Siabod pulling steadily up through the North Welsh mist Snowdonia rises high above with it’s game mechanics interlocking like the pinion teeth on the rail rack below. When Tony Boydell’s design was published in 2012 it provided a very solid engine (pun intended) for all the further scenarios and trains from Wales, the UK and the wider world.

Snowdonia essentially is a worker placement game. Players compete to make the biggest contribution to the construction of the railway from Llanberis at the bottom to Yr Wyddfa at the very top. Additionally there are Bonus tasks in the form of Contract Cards that are obtained from the Site Office and you can buy a train from the Engine Shed that will grant a degree of asymmetry to your player abilities.

Snowdonia is played in a number of rounds until the last piece of track is laid. Each round will see players assign their labourers – at least 2 and maybe a third granted by having a locomotive and hauled out of the pub! – to any of 8 different Action Areas. These actions are then resolved, the Contract Cards and the Stock Yard are re-stocked and the weather is checked.

The Board (it’s two-sided, a light side and a dark side, but they both function the same) is laid out with the current scenario’s stations on it separated by a specified number of randomised track sections. The stations and Tracks will have rubble in the from of brown cubes placed on them. Construction consists of first clearing this rubble then either building a piece of track with a steel bar or parts of a station with stone and steel. Completing either of these tasks enables you to place one of your ownership tokens and claim VPs at the end of the game. These ownership tokens will also contribute to completing Bonus Tasks on the Contractor Cards which will add hugely to your overall score.

Snowdonia sees seven tasks your workers can be assigned to in the Action Areas. These are:

  • Stock Yard – take up to 3 resource cubes: Iron Ore, Stone or Coal
  • Excavation – clear the number of rubble cubes shown on the Work-rate track
  • Works – convert Iron Ore into Steel Bars and rubble into Stone
  • Lay Track – guess what? Lay Track to the level of the Track work rate
  • Build – Build up a station or Acquire a Train
  • Site office – Select one of the Contract cards to take for future use
  • Move the Surveyor – to the next Station to get higher VPs at game end

There is an interesting turn order mechanic in play here as though the workers are placed from the first player clockwise their actions are resolved in numerical sequence within each area from A through to G. So you may place an early worker in a key location, some of the areas in low player-count games have only 1 worker space, but know that other players will take their actions first. You also have another worker, or two, so you can play them as a team using one to clear a site and another to build on it. There’s a further twist that if you take the last available space in the Stock Yard action area you get to be the first player on the next game round.

There are two other effects on game play: Weather and Events. The weather is controlled by symbols on the backs of the Contract Cards and will enhance or reduce the rate of Excavation and Track Laying. There’s more chance of Rain and Fog than Sunshine which given my experience of growing up on the Northern edge of Snowdonia is very realistic! You can see up to 2 turns ahead on the Weather Track so can plan accordingly.

Secondly when the Stock yard is replenished at the end of the Round with random resource cubes drawn from the bag you may get 1 of the 5 Event cubes. These trigger events ranging from clearing rubble, laying track and completing stations to allowing train purchase and paying maintenance on same.

Snowd-on And On

So that is the basic scenario with all the actual Stations,Trains and Weather of Snowdon itself but then there are all the additional scenarios. There are 17 of these detailed in a 76 page A4 booklet followed by 19 Mini-Expansions which can be added to many of the Scenarios and finally a Solo mode. So I’m currently playing Bayerische Zugspitzbahn in the snow-covered Alps with added Goats!

Each Scenario is presented in the same format clearly laying out the Scenario Specific Components. These will be the new Stations, there may be different tracks – canals, tunnels etc., new Trains, Contract Cards and changes to the Action Areas. Then they highlight the areas of rule changes for the scenario and detail them. These combinations of new components and rules significantly change the nature of the game whilst also giving a strong thematic flavour of the depiction.

Snowdonia Deluxe master Set also comes with a 20-page A4 booklet detailing the 115 cards that are in the Train category, not all are engines but all are there to give different powers to individual players making each game unique.

If all this is not enough you get 7 blank Train cards, 6 blank Stations and 8 blank Contract cards to design your own favourite.

These scenarios are works of art and represent 10 years of product development not only by Tony but also a dedicated following of fellow developers and fans, I’m not going to pretend that I’ve played them all but I can see the love and attention to detail that’s gone into all of them. The downside to all this is that you are never going to play all of them and constant new cards with their rule changes can be confusing but who’s not going to enjoy reading and selecting: Ivor the Engine, Santa’s Sleigh, Terry Pratchett’s Luggage (not called that for copyright reasons!) and there’s even a Terraforming Mars based one.

Peak Perfection

If you like cleverly crafted worker placement games, lovely well made wooden components and have got a feel for the theme of the golden age of railway building then I thoroughly recommend this game. It’s not cheap but you get a massive box of goodness for your money.

Toot! Toot!

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • Clever flexible design
  • Quality of pieces
  • Wealth of thematic material
  • Its got more trains than letters in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Might not like

  • Bottlenecks in Action Areas
  • Set-up time
  • Too many rule changes can be confusing
  • Some component or card confusion