Ep. 77 Rail Baron Board Game Review (Avalon Hill 1977)



A review on how to play the board game Rail Baron, formally known as Boxcars. This explains the rules from 1977. The updated rules have a few minor modifications. Check them out here

21st century rules

Rail Baron is one of the earlier train games – boardgames with a railroad theme.

Players move trains along historical USA railroad lines and collect delivery payoffs. They compete to purchase the railroads in order to assemble a network that gives access to important map destinations while simultaneously trying to prevent their opponents from doing so.

From the Box (Avalon Hill Bookshelf Game)
Only in America!

You are living in the heyday of the locomotive. You are Jay Gould. And you have just added another railroad to your vast railroad empire. Flushed with success, you now retire to the sartorial splendor of your very own Pullman Palace Car. The dream ends. You awaken to reality with the thought… “just another fantasy.” Ahh, but for the grace of Avalon Hill, you dream continues.

Here, in Rail Baron, you become a latter day Gould, or a Cornelius Vanderbilt, or any of those menacingly infamous moguls whose wizardry and acumen established the criteria for which business success was to be judged in decades to come.

Rail Baron is played on a large board of the United States RR network. in fact, it comes in three separate boards. Laid end to end, it spell out America and portrays the 28 major rail lines and major cities they connected during the halcyon days of railroading.

You start with $20,000 – and a train. You make money on trips from city to city. Pretty soon you’ve got enough money to build up your empire (you can buy the B&O and C&O for just $44,000). More holdings bring more money your way (track rental) from your opponents.

With many new nuances of strategy, it becomes a game where fortunes see-saw until the last rail baron is bankrupt – or has accumulated the $200,000 needed to win.

All of this may take 3 to 4 hours. But it’s great fun for 3 to 6 people, ages 10 & up.

Contents: United States Mapboard, rules folder, Payoff chart, 28 Rail Line Title cards, 6 Express Train cards, 6 Superchief cards, 6 sets of tokens and matching colored chips, 2 white and 1 colored dice, pack of play money. Subscribe to keep up with all the latest reviews and game hunts! #boardgame #ads #ads

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7 thoughts on “Ep. 77 Rail Baron Board Game Review (Avalon Hill 1977)

  1. The best of this game is to convince other players to use your railroad, that is to pay you money instead pay to others. For example, there are only two railroads that reach New York. If you are an owner of either PA or NYC, you try to talk to the person who is going to New York to use your railroad. Control other people's mind is the best part of the game.

  2. Glad u put this up, you made it look really boring at first tho, almost turned this game off, glad we stuck it out together haha

  3. How many other Avalon Hill games do you have? I had two cousins that were brothers and really into their WWII games and would literally spend days playing a single game. Too intense for me.

  4. interesting. 'relatively simple' for an avalon hill game. yeah thats a good find. looks like you'll keep it.

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