Chris Leder, creator of Railroads, had this to say about his game:
As long as I can remember, I have loved trains. And for nearly that whole time, I have also loved games. So when I began to develop my own games, trains became one of my favorite themes, and a subject I wanted to marry to a great game design.
I have tried my hand at railroad games that exist in the marketplace, but many of them are either too simplistic or way, way too complex and time-consuming. Sure, there are winners out there, both for casual gamers and for strategy gamers, but I wanted to create a game that put railroads front and center while streamlining gameplay enough where a game would only take 15 minutes.
So what did this micro train game have to include? Well, obviously, it had to have trains — big, thundering engines and cargo freight cars, all lumbering down the tracks. Also, I wanted to include a delivery mechanism, since that’s what railroads are all about. Finally, I wanted an aspect of luck in the game. What does that have to do with trains? Well, as history has shown, the success of the great railroads was due to the shrewdness of the pioneers of railroading, as well as a certain degree of luck — where to build, when to make it happen, that sort of thing.
So the mechanic in this game of delivering to a station without really knowing its core need, stems from the idea that in railroading, success is sometimes as much about being lucky as it is about being skillful!
As the game progresses, the luck gives way to a bit more strategy and deduction, since you can look around the table, see what needs have been fulfilled, and plan your train accordingly. In that way, the luck is mitgated somewhat, and the various railroad barons can plan a route to victory.
I hope that when people try out Railroads, they find a game that makes them think fondly of those great iron horses that defined nations, and that they look forward to playing again, whether or not luck was on their side the last time they played!
Railroads is part of the Village in a Box Kickstarter. Support Chris and back Railroads.