20th Century Limited
20th Century Limited condenses the history the American railroad into a 60 minute game. Players take on the roles of the great railway robber barons as they set up small railroads, turn them into larger rail lines and then sell them off and start all over again. The spread of the North American rail system can happen on your game table in about an hour as the network develops in a fashion similar to the historical model.
The game possesses the simple route-building mechanics that were recently used in the trans Europa System. The placement of pieces is very easy to understand and can be learned by anyone and taught to anyone. This simple feature is livened up by the Rail Line cards that dictate the placement of rail segments to recreate the various historical railways of America. The second piece of the puzzle are the Demand cards that serve as a pseudo pick-up-and-deliver system. Players are able to choose what path suits them in the game. You can go for the fulfillment of demands or you can try to build the great rail lines that shaped America. Everything from the Santa Fe to Boston & Maine and many other memorable lines are represented, including the games namesake, the New York Central Railroad.
Even the famous individual train routes are included in the game as bonus cards. Being able to create the Kansas City to Florida Special is worth a lot of points but at the expense of time as there is little other reason to link up Kansas city and Miami. Perhaps you have decided to become a Tycoon and concentrate on getting a bonus for creating large routes. Or maybe you will value your independence and not sell many of your railroads at all.
The game is simple to learn and simple to play but does possess some very interesting choices and allows for multiple paths to victory.
1 Map of the United States
5 Sets of Train links (48 each)
60 Rail Line Cards
36 Bonus Cards
120 Demand Cards
5 Player Aid Cards
5 Entry Waiver Tokens