Train games are nothing new in the board gaming world. From heavy hitters like Age of Steam to more casual ones like Ticket to Ride, gamers love affair with the rails system is well established. Our newest Kickstarter of the Week, Yardmaster, seeks to take the train theme and drop it into an interesting and accessible card game. Crash Games (Council of Verona, Paradise Fallen) has taken this 2014 Ion Award Winner and giving it a great design that’s something I’m looking forward to trying out. Yardmaster is a set collection and hand management game where players are competing to build railcars of different goods and values. For how exactly the game is played, we look to the kickstarter page:
Players start with three cargo cards in hand, and three railcar cards are laid out on the table. Each player has one exchange token in one of the four colors, and whoever is to the right of the start player has a Yardmaster token. On a turn, a player takes two actions, repeating an action if desired; whoever holds the Yardmaster token takes a third action on her turn, then passes this token to the right. Players can:
- Draw a cargo card from the deck or (in most cases) from the top of the discard pile.
- Buy a railcar by discarding 1-4 cargo cards of the same color as the railcar, with the number determined by that railcar’s value.
- Swap your exchange token for another one; you can discard two cargo cards matching the color of your token to represent one cargo card of the proper color when buying a railcar.
Eight cargo cards provide bonus actions during play, such as drawing extra cargo cards or paying less cargo to purchase a railcar. The player to reach 16-18 points first wins.
I like that the game seems easy to learn and accessible a non-gamer audience, which should help it get to the table more often. There are a number of game reviews already on the campaign page, so you cannot only get a better overview of how to play but also hear some independent thoughts on people who have actually played the game. I wish more Kickstarter campaigns did this. If you’d like to become a backer, a $15 pledge will get you a copy of the game and all stretch rewards. Yardmaster is scheduled to be in backers hands in October of 2014 and you have until Wednesday, May 28th become a backer. So head over today can check it out.