Tramways : Trains, Passengers, and Happiness in the 20's
TRAMWAYS is a game for 2–5 players, lasting about 30 minutes per player. It is set in the same world as Small City, also published by Alban Viard in 2015. Fans of this universe will recognize the city theme and challenging yet intellectually rewarding mechanisms.
TRAMWAYS is a pure pick-up-and-deliver game — OK, with a twist of card management, but no randomness — in which players are trying to build their networks into a full-blown transit map.
The goal of the game is to have the most Happiness points at the end of the game.
You earn Happiness points by moving passengers, building new railways, and constructing new buildings. You take on the role of investors in the early 1920s who are trying to develop the most efficient rail network. You collect tickets (cards) throughout the game and use symbols on them to take actions.
The more efficiently you use your cards, the more you can do with them, but the more you must increase your stress level, as well. Stress is tracked on your personal board, and counts as negative Happiness points at the end of the game.
Tramways has one foot squarely in the train game tradition: you need money, so you can build rail links, upgrade your network, and transport things (passengers, in this case).
The other foot stands in the deckbuilding tradition: You build your own personal deck by purchasing cards to add to your personal discard pile, and occasionally directly into your hand. Cards are then shuffled to form your new deck when you’ve exhausted the current one. And although managing your hand and deck certainly must not be neglected, this is mainly a connection game: How can you benefit more than your opponents by transporting passengers?
During the setup phase of the game the players are creating the Small City map, so no two games of TRAMWAYS will ever be the same, given the variety in buildings, available parcels, mountains, lakes, and more.
Tramways also incorporates an original auction system to get the best tickets/cards. Some cards have a negative effect that you can not avoid when you play the card. So it is important to have as few of them as possible in your deck, lest they crowd your deck and make future hands less useful. Finally, the hand limit is small, so you can’t afford much trouble creeping into your deck.
The Auction has a double impact. In a traditional, route-building train game, position on the map is crucial, but being first to transport cargo/passengers is also important, because once they are delivered, they are no longer available to be transported. So building first is important, and moving first is important, but you have to choose which action you will do first!
The Auctions have several unique twists as well: Each time you bid, you must pay immediately. You may not bid the same amount that someone else has bid before, but you do not have to outbid anyone to stay in the bidding. If it is your turn to bid, but you already have the highest bid, you immediately win the auction. Payments can be made with money, cards, or both. This introduces the dilemma of using cards to pay for a bid or saving them to use for an action later — especially because you need these cards this turn for your three actions, all of which require a card, and you might want to use multiple cards for a single action!
In Tramways, there are only 3 different types of actions:
Last but not least, an aspect of the game that makes this it particularly original is that you have the option to play fewer cards to take your actions, by using more symbols on the same card. The catch is that by doing so you increase your stress level, which in turn reduces your Happiness, and Happiness is all that matters in the end.
For more details on the components and the rules of Tramways, download the rulebook here (low-resolution version).
The English Rules :
The French Rules :
The German Rules (first draft):
The game has been fully designed, developed, balanced, and extensively playtested. It is complete — which is why there are no stretch goals at the moment.
The little company known as AVStudioGames that I am running could not possibly produce dozens of Stretch Goals, which would be mostly useless, and such things often introduce delivery delays. I prefer focusing my time and energy on creating new games for you, helping this project to progress, from creating the graphics, to delivery at your doorstep. We feel that most stretch goals complicate fulfillment unnecessarily, and exponentially introduce problems for both you and us, and we do not like problems. =:)
I have always sought to offer my games with the best components I can, at the best price I can.
That's why, depending on the total amount reached at the end of the campaign, I could upgrade the components. When you produce more copies, each copy costs less to produce, so back as high as you can!
Here the actual player board with the normal stress track and 2 Rail workers.
Another difficult Stress track is possible to print with less spots with different numbers including my favorite 17...with less Rail workers...
and the new hard stress track for avid core gamers =:)
The white meeple has finally reached the Red Leisure on the South of the Small City map, a nice home to be happy for the rest of his life...
Thank you so much !
NSF (in the Netherlands) will produce the game. It is a very famous game manufacturing company that respects all the standards and really cares about the quality of the game components.
During this campaign, YOU have a ONE-TIME OPPORTUNITY to engrave your name in marble (so to speak) by putting your name on a Parcel space on the Small City map depicted on the modular boards!
You can lay claim to one of the 25 available Parcel spaces by simply pledging at the Venture Capitalist level. Your name with "Road, Avenue, Drive, or Place... "will be automatically added by Sampo at the campaign ends. Then the files will be sent to the manufacturer.
Note: Any requests for SPECIFIC Parcels will be entertained on a first pledged, first served basis, so don't delay!
Currently, we have no plans to put TRAMWAYS into the traditional distribution channels, so if you are interested in this game, and you like the concept, please pledge now. That is the best — and perhaps only — way to get this game.
I am a mathematics teacher for a high class level and I have been designing games for over 10 years. Tramways is my 5th game:
2012: Card City, a card game; http://avstudiogames.com/en/card-city/16-card-city.html
2013: Town Center, a 3D city-building game, published by LudiCreations; http://ludicreations.com/product/town-center-4th-edition/
2014: CliniC, a heavy, 3D hospital-building game; http://avstudiogames.com/en/clinic/12-clinic.html
2015: Small City, a modern classic in the genre of city-building. http://avstudiogames.com/en/small-city/8-small-city.html
I am back in 2016 with my first pick-up-and-deliver game, a special sort of triumph because I have designed more than 30 expansions for my favorite game, Age of Steam, since 2005.
I am used to worrying about everything in the game design process, from the first prototype to shipping the games to my fans. I delegate the playtesting phase, rules corrections, and few other things to different teams in France, the United States, and the rest of Europe, but everything else is entirely me — except for the exceptional graphics, of course. Tramways was initially designed in 2011, but it took several years more to refine it and present this smooth-running, polished version on Kickstarter to you today.
You can visit my website at http://avstudiogames.com/en/
I am working with the very talented architect, Sampo Sikiö. Sampo excels at distilling all of my complex ideas into a perfect iconography, with the right symbols at just the right places. Please visit his website as well; he did beautiful work for the game Eclipse:
Paul Laane, a Finnish illustrator, has worked on this project to create the visually stunning Art Deco universe. Since Tramways is a game set 100 years before Small City, this style was a fun option to explore. Aqua Design creates professional visual designs:
The fulfillment of previously created games (Clinic, Small City) was handled internally, but was a time-consuming activity that distracted me from designing more great games. Therefore for this campaign, AVStudioGames has signed fulfillment agreements with 2 companies, one in the US and one in France. Rewards to the US will be shipped from within the US, and rewards to France, Europe, and the rest of the world will be shipped from France.
I managed to minimize the shipping costs, and I'm pleased to announce that shipping is as follows::
- $10 if you live in the US
- $15 if you live elsewhere so spread the good news!
Risks and challenges
AVStudioGames has already put a substantial amount of money into the initial illustration and graphic design.
We now need your help to traverse the final route: Producing the game. We have established many contacts in the game manufacturing industry since 2012, which ensures good quality for all the components.
The final files are not yet ready, but all we need is your support to finalize the project.
- (30 days)