About this project
Rules for the extra characters can be found here.
Iberian Rails is a share-holding train game for 2 to 5 players. Each round, each player selects a character using an original character-row mechanism, and then the railway companies take turns expanding their networks and selling shares. Use the characters to your advantage, make shrewd investments, and manage your railway companies for a quick cash-out or for long term profit. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins!
In Iberian Rails, players employ characters to help run their companies. Each round, players select their characters using an original character-row mechanism. Starting from the front of the character row, characters selected in the previous round are returned one at a time, and the player returning said character immediately selects a new character from those available in the character row. But beware, not all of the characters are available for selection. Some characters are taken by players picking before you, while players picking after you have yet to return their characters from the previous round.
Then, use your character to help your company, or not.
At the end of the game, double dividend is paid out for all the shares, and the investor with the most money wins.
Each of the six railway companies has different strengths and weaknesses. Some start close to many cities. Some start next to tourist cities. Invest in a company with fewer shares and get return on one’s investment faster. However, companies with more shares generally grow for longer.
Timing is everything! If a company prematurely triggers a dividend payout before exhausting its coffer to maximize city connections, then said company and its shareholders get paid less but sooner. This compromises the long term growth of the company, but may assist an investor in having enough cash in hand to invest in another company.
Additionally, each copy of the Venture Capitalist Pledge and each of the three copies of the Banker Pledge will include all the following unlocked stretch goals for free.
Go here to vote for the characters you want on the KS Edition game box!
All stretch goals unlocked. This project is completely stretched!
Man vs Meeple
Not necessarily a review, but a note by the designer himself on the design approach for Iberian Rails:
A one-round playthrough by the design team:
This project is US, Canada, UK, EU, Australia, and China friendly. This means that backers in the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, Australia, and China do not pay customs fees, brokerage charge, etc. EU backers do not have to worry about VAT. Taiwan backers can contact us for pickup options.
Guaranteed! If backers in the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, Australia, and China have any additional charges for receiving their reward package, we will reimburse you for those costs.
We also subsidize the shipping. The part you pay is shown in the following table.
Firstly, backers get bonus content through unlocked stretch goals, some of which are KS Exclusive!
Secondly, we need your help to make this game a reality. A successful Kickstarter campaign allows us to bring Iberian Rails to light and share it with as many gamers as possible.
Thirdly, a successful campaign would be a great kickstarter for Monsoon Publishing to continue making good quality games. We have ambitious projects planned for the future, and we need your help to get our ball rolling.
Lastly, backers will be getting a thoroughly tested game in Iberian Rails. The development lasted a little over four years involving dozens of playtesters and hundreds of testing sessions. Every aspect of the game (the map, characters, payout table, hotels, payout after auction versus before auction, occupation fee, etc.) has been tested and modified many times to efficiently create a streamlined/optimal/emergent gameplay.
Risks and challenges
This is our first project, so we have reached out to experienced partners in manufacturing and fulfillment and are working hard with them to mitigate as much risk as possible. We will make sure to communicate all issues related to the project from the first day of the campaign to the day the game reaches your doorstep.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We get this one a lot during development, especially from experienced gamers. Here are the reasons. Have you ever found yourself wanting to put money into a company in a shareholding game? By putting in $20 into a company, the end-game value of your share/s may be worth an extra $100 or more each.
To make it even better/worse, a share might sell for $10 in a closed auction, but $25 in an open auction. The first reason is other players don't want to pay their competitors money. The second reason is that, due to the limited number of shares and how dividend payout works in Iberian Rails, a closed auction devalues the company, so people are investing in a share with less potential. So basically, an open auction in place of a closed auction may be equivalent to your paying $10 into your company so that another player pays another $15 into the company. This extra $25 from both of you may increase your share values by well over $100 by the end of the game.
Moreover, the concern about making money in a closed auction is also why you would consider not doing it, yet. Hold an open auction first, build up the company and make it valuable, and THEN hold a closed auction. You'll get a lot more money from the closed auction if you sell a valuable company.
So for example, you can get $10 early, $30 midgame, or run the company constructively until the end of the game. Therein lies the problem. $10 early is worth nothing if it just sits there until the end of the game. However, if you can invest that $10 in something else, then it's worth a lot. So a player has to decide at every point in the game if there is an opportunity for taking money out now, or better to keep building up values in shares he already owns.
We've tested and adjusted many parameters (e.g. the rates in the Payout Table), to make sure that the open and closed auctions are balanced, so that the better option depends on the situation and how you use it.
The Taiwan Map is smaller in size, is designed for 2-4 players (instead of 2-5), has fewer companies (5 instead of 6), and plays quicker. Moreover, it offers a different spatial relationship, which in turn affects the strategies/effectiveness of the different characters.
The Spanish map is more "circular," whereas the Taiwan map is more "linear." Consequently, the interaction between the companies play out differently, and the effectiveness/strategy of the characters are also different.
The Taiwan map models the situation of Taiwan in an abstract way. Taiwan is heavily developed on the west coast along a north-to-south line, with mountain regions in the middle. So we placed a line of cities along the west coast. While we don't have "terrains" in our map, we modeled the effect of mountainous terrain by making the middle of Taiwan empty hexes.
On the Taiwan Map, the Construction Mech is particularly useful for trasversing the mountainous terrain, whereas the Ghost becomes mainly useful on the west coast.
Yes! Including train meeples, KS exclusive box art, KS exclusive characters, and expansion characters for free.
The funding goal roughly covers the manufacturing cost, and that is all we need to go ahead with printing the game. The sunken costs (artwork, development, marketing, etc.) have all been paid for and are not accounted for in our funding goal.
Iberian Rails is heavier than Chicago Express, Russian Railroads, and American Rails. Less heavy than Imperial. It's deeper than its simple rules would suggest.
Short answer, yes.
Here is the long answer. We've tested the game extensively at all player counts, and we listed it at 2 players because it works. But the game is different at two players, in similar ways that Chicago Express and Imperial are different at two players. Games of this sort become a money-pinching, squeezing, manipulative Chess match at two. If you are into that type of thing, Iberian Rails is fine actually, but Imperial with the Europe map is even better (Imperial 2030 is better with more players imo). It's not that Iberian Rails is bad with two, but its unique features shine EVEN MORE in the multiplayer setting.
At two, Iberian Rails works fine, but many other games also work fine and you could play one or another. At 3-5, Iberian Rails is "irreplaceable" (for what it does with its unique features). In that sense, IR is not a must buy if you only play with two. It's like buying a stock in Iberian Rails, it's definitely worth the value, but you'll have to consider the opportunity cost as well.
The map has been slightly abstracted in favor of playability. The cities are placed to efficiently create an emergent gameplay.
We currently have translators working on the FRENCH, SPANISH, ITALIAN, DUTCH, and CHINESE rulebooks. These will be made available for download online.
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