Gameday First Play – Yardmaster Express

Posted on by Jesta

A drafting filler game.

Caboose optional.

In Yardmaster Express, two to five players compete to have the highest valued train after a set number of rounds. The game starts with the first player drafting a Rail-car card from his hand, attaching it to his train, then passing the rest of his hand to the player to his left. This draft continues until all players have added one Rail-car to their train for each round of the game. The trick is, while each new Rail-car must match the resource type or value of the one previously played, players always have the option to play any card face down as a Wild Rail-car; the Wild Rail-cars don’t have much value, but they can be used to save a player in a bind or to thwart your opponents by “hiding” a card they need.

That says it all really.

Draw a card.

Play a card at the end of your train matching either cargo type (colour) or value (number). You can play any card face down for a wildcard.

Pass the hand to the player on your left.

Repeat until you have played a certain number of cards depending on the number of players.

Yardmaster Express Train

At the end of the round you score points equal to the value of your train (29 in my pic above) plus a point for each car in your longest run of the same type of cargo. (3 points for the run of 3 yellow ‘Oil’ cars)

Most points wins with ties being broken by the player further from the start player.

The game is made by the same people as Council of Verona and that had the Poison expansion which made the game 100 times better, this game has the Caboose expansion.

Yardmaster Express Caboose Card

This is a big stack of cards that adds one extra rule to scoring at the end of the round. You score bonus points if you meet the goal. There are a lot of them and they are varied in the type of scoring bonus.

This, along with ‘hate drafting’ to take cards away from your opponents adds a lot to the game and give you something to think about each round without making it overly heavy.

A quick, light and fun game.

Sadly, I got this in my hands 3 months after I could have bought a copy in Essen. Another negative mark to Kickstarter.

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