One of my favorite games for when Jeff and I have friends over for games is Transamerica. It’s easy to explain, rounds go quickly, and if you’re behind one round you can bound ahead the next.
At the beginning of the game each player is given 5 cities they have to connect with their tracks. you can start your tracks anywhere on the board, but common plan is to start near one of your cities.
When it’s your turn you can lay 2 tracks down, or 1 track if crossing a river or mountain.
Pretty simple, right?
Well yes and no. The rules are that simple, but there is a lot of strategy behind where you start and how you build.
Once your tracks are linked in to other people’s tracks they can build on your tracks. That can help you or hurt you. Usually it helps you, but you have to beware because it can help your opponents more. Your tracks might be right next to their city.
On the random to strategy side of things; the draw of the cities is random, but it’s what you do after that which is key.
As a side note, we used this game as part of our study of the transcontinental railroad. If you’ve ever looked at our train system, this really explains much about it. They’re crazy. Why do I need to go all the way up to Chicago if I want to ride a train to Denver? CRAZY! Transamerica explains all that, because the owner of the railroad piggy-backed on someone else’s tracks to save on expenses.