Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of Lunar Rails:
Lunar Rails in Summary
The Lunar Rails board game is the newest addition to the crayon-rail series of train games started by Empire Builder. We love the new theme and art work. Like Iron Dragon, this board game takes a great game mechanic and injects some flavour and adventure into it. And it introduces just enough innovation to keep you interested without changing the game too much.
Lunar Rails Gameplay
The Lunar Rails board game conforms to the Empire Builder system of crayon train games, so players familiar with them will feel at home. For first-time players of crayon games, Rainy Day Games usually recommends the original Empire Builder itself. For that reason, this section will mention some of the areas where the Lunar Rails train game differs from the others in the series.
First, the Lunar Rails board itself is unique. Showing oth the light and dark sides of the moon, the board is two circles with connection points around the edges showing the conection points between the two. The terrain is obviously differant, with craters and ravines dominating the surface, with no water or national boundaries to limit your building. Lunar Rails is a study in freedom of movement.
The lunar economy and enviroment are very different, and these are reflected in the types of commodities and events which can take place. The commodiies are furutistic as you would expect such as robots. There are no special cargos like you met in India Rails. And the events you encounter are peculularly lunar, for example meteor strikes and solar flares which will destroy your track or force you to take shelter in a city.
Who should buy Lunar Rails?
The Lunar Rails train game is a good addition to the closet of any train gamer. Anyone interested in train games or moon-theme games will enjoy this. BUT, for your first crayon game we recommend something a little closer to home. Unless you're very familar with Lunar geography, the game mechanic plus the place names and locations make for a steeper learning curve.
Lunar Rails makes a perfect 2nd or 3rd crayon for most gamers. For a start, we recommend Empire Builder or Eurorails. You'll be more familiar with the terrain and locations so you can concentrate on the game. Then, move on to Lunar Rails fo an out-of-this-world challenge.
The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of Lunar Rails:
Dawn on the moon. The brilliant blue Earth rises above the crater's edge. Amid the lunar dust in the cold emptiness that is the lunar atmosphere, you can feel the strength and power of the train rushing by, but you can not hear it... One can't help but wonder at the willfulness of the human race, shaping the universe one rock at a time. From dome to dome, installation to mine to city, all the settlements on the moon must be connected by rail. There are no roads for cars, no atmosphere for airplanes. The only economical solution is rail. High speed, high capacity, reliable, efficient.
Are you up to the challenge? Can you drive the rail lines from Sinus Iridum to Mare Nectarus? Or from the Ice Mines at Scott to the Far Side metropolis in Mare Ingenii? Will your route bring you fortune and success, or will your competitors drive the development on the Moon? Will you invest in better trains: faster? Stronger? Or perhaps both?
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