So today's game is Station Master from Mayfair games. This is a game from 2004 and was first introduced to me when I was in Amsterdam and I daringly traveled to Rotterdam by myself and met up with a very nice gaming group via boardgamegeek. I say daringly because it was my first time in Holland and I have met these very nice people via an online site. Usually in movies these are recipes for horror or crime related movies. I will talk more about meeting local gaming groups in different countries in a future blogpost.
So what is Station Master? It is a card game that is quick to play, easy to teach with just enough tactical decisions to make it a light-medium game and quite a fun filler. There will be a number of locomotives on display on the table. Each of these locomotives will have a number which indicates the number of train carriage cards that can be lined up with it as well as the number of passenger chits in total that can be placed on it.
During each player's turn, they can choose to place a passenger chit on a locomotive of their choice (as long as the locomotive still have space) or play a card (and draw again after they do so). When a locomotive has its full set of train carriages or is complete due to action cards, the locomotive is scored using the passenger chits on it. Calculate the score for each player based on the total of their passenger chits on the locomotive multiplied by the total sum of the train carriages of that locomotive. A new locomotive (if available) is drawn to replace the completed locomotive and the game continues. The game will end when all locomotives have been completed and the player with the highest score wins the game.
Now different groups of players will experience this game differently. For example, my regular friday group are quite blood thirsty and the game became very interesting in trying to cajole others to join your locomotive or setting up traps so as to purposely cause a locomotive to get negative points to bring down another player's score. Other groups will try to be a bit more cooperative while playing the game and never really jeopardizing a locomotive too much. Overall, I feel that this is quite a light and easy game to teach and a good filler at the start of a gaming session.
Final Impression: Good!
Oh now to keep track of the scoring, I have an app that i use from iTunes called Scorepad. When i got it, it was free so I am not sure about now. It allows me to add 6 players and keep track of their scores easily. Lucky since Station Master requires a lot of score tracking as you can see.