SteamRollers is a roll and write game – a game where each round you roll dice and use the results of those dice roll to draw something on a personal player sheet in order to score points. These games have become hugely popular recently, with a roll and write game even nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres.
SteamRollers looks like it is a more involved game than most roll and writes, with a slightly longer playing time and a much deeper game than some of the simple early roll and writes like Qwixx or Noch Mal!. SteamRollers tries to condense the train game genre into something much more accessible – having some similarities to games like Steam or Age of Steam.
I’ve been wanting to try a big train game for a long time, because I typically love the route building and pick-up and deliver mechanics, but the heavy games are a bit intimidating, so it seems like SteamRollers is a perfect game for me!
In SteamRollers, each player will have a personal sheet which represents the central board. Dice are rolled each round and the number dice are drafted. With a number you can either lay a train route in the corresponding zone, with the route direction determined by the black dice roll, or you can stoke your train, increasing its ability to make deliveries, take a special ability, or make a delivery to the location with the number on the dice you drafted. Every option gives you points, but you are in a race with your opponents to deliver the cubes on the board.
The game comes with additional modules, such as bonuses for delivering certain colour cubes and variable starting powers, which should also make it accessible and interesting to more players.
I’m really interested to see how the game works in more detail. The route building reminds me a little bit of Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama, where you’re doing something more than just filling in a grid, giving it a more spatial aspect with forward planning.
Pick up and deliver is also one of my favourite mechanisms in games, so adding another lighter game to our collection with those mechanisms will be great.
SteamRollers - Coming Soon
SteamRollers was Kickstarted last year, but now that the craze for roll and write games is at its peak, I expect that it will be a big hit once it’s available in the UK towards the Autumn of 2018.
If you enjoy games like Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama, or, like me, if you’ve been looking to dip your toe into the intimidating world of train games, then I think it’ll be well worth checking out SteamRollers.