Collectors Edition - Serial No. 860JB
Fabulous wealth is buried in the remote gold mines of western Colorado. Large scale mining (and its profits) can not begin until these inaccessible regions are made accessible. Investors are betting their money that you can get a viable railroad built in this harsh terrain. As the President of this pioneering railroad you will have to take risks, applying the latest innovative high technology to overcome the obstacles ahead. No one really knows what it will take to get these monumental engineering feats successfully accomplished.
Tracks to the Telluride is a train game that combines some of the best qualities of Silverton and Eurorails. The Map is a hex grid that you draw on, with maybe 20-30 hexes on a side. The rules are only a page (front and back) so I'll summarize them. Players pick order cards (ala 1830) and decide, in order, which of four start cities (on the N.E side of the map, which is at the bottom of the board, a little quirk) they'll choose. Up to 2 players can start at the same city. Then, in reverse order, they choose the guage for their track, narrow or standard. For now, I'll assume everyone chooses narrow, standard basically changes some of the numbers for the players who use it. (Increases costs and income). Then, the turn order is:
1. Update Season (Summer to Winter and vice versa)
(Skip on first turn)
2. Draw a Mine Card (Skip on first turn)
3. Draw a Historical Event Card (Skip on first turn)
4. Determine Player Order
5. Declare Pass Attempts (Summer Turns Only)
6. Attempt Injunctions (Summer Turns Only)
7. Pass Attempts (Summer Turns Only)
8. Build Track
9. Acquire Mining Contracts
10. Declare Rate Wars
11. Collect Income
At the beginning of the game, there are 17 Open mines. Mines are either coal, varied, silver and gold, and each have a certain income (gold mines tend to be the best, but some aren't). When a mine card is drawn, 3 mines "Toggle" (if open, they close, if closed, they open). Note that mines close whether they are owned or not, and newly opened mines are unowned, even if one or more people connect to them.
A historical event card is a 'random event' (all but one of which actually occured during the time the game represents.) Mines can be closed, trains robbed, money lost, and whatnot. Generally, the historical card is neutral (it's just plain luck if you are helped or hurt) although it tends to hurt leaders more often than it helps them.
After this point, you determine player order, based on cash on hand.
On the map are 'passes' which you must build through during summer, at a pretty high cost, and only one or two people can build through (unlike most hexes, which allow any number). These passes are the choke points of the game. During a summer turn, you can declare 0,1 or 2 passes that you might attempt to build through. Then, after everyone has declared, you can attempt a court ordered-injunction against building through certain passes. It costs $1 to try to get an injunction. Then a D6 determines the results, which range from no effect, to getting the injunction, to contempt of court and a fine. You can try to injunct anywhere you want...
After all of the injunctions, players then try to build passes. Note that just because you say you might attempt doesn't mean you are obligated to (you might be trying to sucker someone to waste money on court fees). You can only attempt one pass per turn, although you may make multiple attempts on that pass. You spend $10, roll 2D6 (modified for train gauge) and compare it to the pass difficulty on the board. If you equal or exceed the difficulty, you make it.
Building track is simple, you just add track with crayon and note the cost on the board. Costs range from 1-5 per hex, and some hexsides are impassable or require tunnels (which are quite expensive, sometimes much more than passes, but they can be built anytime without rolling). If you are the first to connect to a city, you get a flat $2 bonus, and a random 1-6 bonus sometimes (roll a D6, on a 5-6, you get D6 bonus). Building to cities helps reduce the cost of track laying, but gets you nothing other than money (and rate war opportunities).
If there are any unclaimed mines that people connect to, they take them. If 2+ players connect, they auction the mine off to the highest bidder. Next, come rate wars. Rate wars happen in reverse order. If you connect with another player at 2+ cities, you can rate war them. Each player seperately loses from 25-75% of their mining income. (Also, during winter, mining income is halved, so a rate war in winter can cost someone 87.5% of revenues). Rate wars are an incredible way to take the leader down, I continuously warred the leader in one game for 6 turns (skipping one year because I couldn't afford to not make a pass the next turn). It cost me around $5 a turn and cost him around $20. Each player can only be involved in one rate war a turn.
Finally, each player collects mining income + $5 (investors). Then the turn begins again (after adjusting the season marker). If, at the end of any turn, the historical deck is out, or one player connects from Denver to Grand Junction, the game is almost over. You flip one more mine card, closing any mines that are open on it. The player with the highest mine income is the winner.
# 17 in. x 17 in. collapsible rigid game board
# 30 historical event cards
# 35 mine event cards
# 12 gold mine contracts
# 13 silver mine contracts
# 13 coal mine contracts
# 8 varied mine contracts
# 2 sets of rules
# 1 season marker
# 6 treasury cards
# 6 railroad order cards
# 1 rate war & season income chart
# 72 money chips
# 6 crayons
# 2 dice