Ultimate Railroads
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Ultimate Railroads

RRP: £119.99
Now £98.15(SAVE 18%)
RRP £119.99
Expected Restock Date 30/06/2024
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In Ultimate Railroads, players compete in an exciting race to build the largest and most advanced railway network. In order to do so, the players appoint their workers to various important tasks. The development of simple tracks will quickly bring the players to important places, while the modernization of their railway network will improve the efficiency of their machinery. Newer l…
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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • A tight worker placement game
  • The feel good factor of high scoring rounds
  • All “Railroads” content in one place

Might Not Like

  • A little mechanical
  • A lot of content to sort and organise
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Description

In Ultimate Railroads, players compete in an exciting race to build the largest and most advanced railway network. In order to do so, the players appoint their workers to various important tasks.

The development of simple tracks will quickly bring the players to important places, while the modernization of their railway network will improve the efficiency of their machinery. Newer locomotives cover greater distances and factories churn out improved technology. Engineers, when used effectively, can be the extra boost that an empire needs to race past the competition.

There are many paths to victory: Who will ride into the future full steam ahead and who will be run off the rails? Whose empire will overcome the challenges ahead and emerge victorious?

Ultimate Railroads includes the Russian Railroads base game and all expansions for the game — German Railroads and American Railroads, as well as the smaller promo items New Engineers, Juri Dreigleisky, and Manufactory Train — along with two new items: Asian Railroads and a solo variant.

Ultimate Railroads combines all the goodies of Russian Railroads, all the expansions of German Railroads and American Railroads, promo items and new content for Asian Railroads and a solo variant. It is really the ultimate version of all the Railroads that you could ever want packaged in a big box with a neat storage system.

Ultimate Railroads is a one to four worker placement game from designer Helmut Ohley and Leonhard Orgler and published by Hans im Glück. In Ultimate Railroads, you will be racing to build the largest and most advanced railway network. Your workers will be used to carry out various tasks such as lay track, recruit engineers, improve your technologies and move locomotives to reach even further distances and score big points.

The game will last a total of seven rounds. At the end of each round a scoring phase will take place as well as some end of round clean up.

On a player’s turn they must either resolve an action or pass. To resolve an action a player must place the required number of works on an unoccupied space and then perform the corresponding action.

The main game board is divided into six areas that all follow a common theme. The areas are track extension, locomotives and factories, industrialisation, auxiliary actions, engineers and turn order.

The Track Extension, as the name suggests, allows you to extend a particular coloured track a number of spaces on one of your three routes. Certain tracks have to be laid before other tracks can be laid/upgraded. As you lay more and more tracks you will gain various bonuses, unlocks and abilities.

In the Locomotives section you can upgrade your trains to allow your trains to move further along the routes. This is important for the end of turn scoring as you only gain points based on how far your train can travel. Certain spaces on the routes require a specific type of track (obtained from the track extension actions) and your locomotive to be able to reach that space. Locomotives are double sided and throughout the game will be flipped and turned into factories.

The Factories section of the board is all about adding factories to your player board to allow you to progress along the industrialisation track. The factories will give you bonuses and abilities when you pass over the corresponding space and are required to progress further along the track.

The Industrialisation area allow you to advance on the industrialisation track. This track gains you points and bonuses from any factories you may have built on previous turns.

Auxiliary actions allow you to gain coins, multiplier tokens and temporary workers. Whilst the Turn Order area lets you gain first/second in turn order.

The Engineer area of the board offers one engineer per round to be hired. This gives the player their own worker placement spot to perform various actions. Depending on player count a certain number of engineers will be available as additional action spaces, but will not be available for purchase until the following round.

Players will continue to use workers and perform actions until all players have passed and the round ends.

There are a few bonus actions and mechanisms not covered above but hopefully that gives you a good idea of the game.

German Railroads

German railroads brings in new player boards which have branching train tracks, route extensions, as well as a few tweaks to the gameplay and track laying requirements.

American Railroads

American Railroads gives the players new player boards, new tokens, boulder obstacles, new locomotives and new factories. It also brings in dividends and the stocks board. The industry track is comprised of two routes to take and (as with the German Railroads) offers new mechanisms, new bonuses, tokens and tiles to expand your Railroads gaming experiences.

Asian Railroads

As with the German and American Railroads, Asian Railroads gives you new player boards, but also removes the industry track but replaces it with the industry board. The industry board is common to all players. There are maintenance cards, route upgrades and construction site tokens.

Other Modules

And if that was not enough there is the Coal Module, the Manufactory Train Module, Special Ideas Module and all of which can be used with the Russian, German or Asian Railroads.

Suffice to say this is the Ultimate Big Box version of all things Railroads – hence Ultimate Railroads.

Final Thoughts

For fear of this review going on too long I will concentrate my final thoughts mainly on the Russian Railroads. The core gameplay is similar across the expansions with the addition of a few mechanisms, tokens and changes.

The main mechanism is worker placement. Players will be placing workers on certain spots to perform the corresponding actions. Money can be used as a substitute for workers, but for the most part the worker placement mechanism is nothing revolutionary. Russian Railroads itself was released in 2013. However, Russian Railroads is a game not to be dismissed lightly, especially if you are fan of worker placement games.

Tight On The Track

Despite the mechanism not being anything to write home about the tightness of the game is. This is such an unbelievably tight game where every turn you have multiple things that you want to do and the chances are your fellow opponent will want to do those same actions. Deciding where to place and when is crucial and getting your priorities right is a must. The competition for spaces is very tight and with a double sided board scales well for all player counts.

There is only one engineer available for higher and you can see which engineers are going to be available a few rounds before. Planning ahead and making sure you are first in turn order and have enough money to hire an engineer that you may want is a big part of the game. The engineers give you additional action spaces that only you can use. In a game that is right on placement, especially early on, having options available to you can be a big boon.

Choo Choo

The game gives you a lot of balls to juggle and it is a game where you can’t keep them all in the air at the same time. You want to advance your track (this gives you access to new track to score more points), upgrade your locomotives (this gives you points at the end of the round), advance your industry track (more points at the end of round), build factories (allows you to advance your industry track) and gain engineers. A big share of points comes from advancing your initial track to give you access to better track which scores more points when built. But the track is only scored if your locomotive can reach it. So you will need to upgrade your locomotives.

I really enjoy the puzzle of working out which actions to take, what to advance and upgrade to maximise points. It is a very satisfying puzzle but with varied solutions available to solve it.

Combos Galore

An aspect of Russian Railroads that I really enjoy is the sense of progression. During the first few turns you will be scoring a few paltry points here and there. Towards the end of the game you will be drowning in points (well not quite but you get the idea). Russian Railroads really gives you that very satisfying feeling of progression. From the points you score at the end of the round to the upgrading of your track and locomotives. It makes for a wonderful game and a fantastic experience when you are moving that wooden mark a bunch of spaces around the score track.

That concludes our thoughts on Ultimate Railroads. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Ultimate Railroads today click here!

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • A tight worker placement game
  • The feel good factor of high scoring rounds
  • All Railroads content in one place

Might not like

  • A little mechanical
  • A lot of content to sort and organise