After supper tonight, Danaya and I sat down to play a game of Martian Rails. It is a game in the crayon rails series, but is set on the planet Mars. This post is more for Ben’s family who owns a wide variety of such games. Crayon rails games are games where you build your rail network by drawing on the map with your particular color of crayon (mine is usually orange), and then pickup and deliver loads round the map. Track costs money (especially on Mars), so you typically start with a small layout and then grow it as the money is earned.
In tonight’s game, we were about a third of the way through when your track covered about half the map, and money earned was spent just as quickly on track and train upgrades. Danaya had sixty million in hand, but I had just lined up my next three runs based in the cards in hand, had built the necessary track extensions, and was out of money. I had a load of tourists on board headed for Syrtis Major and had just stopped at Pax Grove for a load of UN peacekeepers (to run down south to Isher for a big payout). Here were my three load cards, track built, and about 120 million in income awaiting.
Then it happened. Danaya delivered a load and in drawing her replacement card, she drew 3 event cards. The first card, Earthlings, Go Home lost me my load of tourists. I counted it out and figured that it had set me back about 3 and a half turns; both Danaya and I had already upgraded to the 16 milepost locomotives already.
Then Danaya read the second card, Green Mars North, which flooded a bunch of the northern canals wiping out 4 of my bridges in the process. The bridges cost 2 million each to rebuild, but I was living in the edge and had spent my money on the tracks that I needed (some of which was for a number of turns down the road).
So there I was, broke and stuck on a section of track that only connected three cities, having no tourists, and no money for bridge repairs. After a good laugh, I conceded the game. Danaya won with 60 million in cash having connected to only three of the major cities, and having already circumnavigated the planet with her track.