Empire Builder

Mayfair Games, 1984, 2-6 players, ages 12 and up. In Empire Builder, players start out with short rail routes (contained within the continental United States) and expand upon them by finding buyers for cargo carried on a randomly launched train (determined by randomly draw cards). This game is terminally stupid insofar as it has absolutely nothing to do with the way real railroads work. Basically, they'd have us believe that railroads randomly speculate on commodoties and then drive them around on their existing rail network (using their one train) in hopes of finding a buyer (and once a buyer is found, the money is then used to either buy more commodoties or expand upon their rail routes). The game comes with crayons that players are supposed to use to mark out their rail routes - a giant pain in the butt (we quickly moved to a system of dry-erase markers). Ultimately, Empire Builder isn't horrible in terms of game play, but I just have a big problem with the blatant unreality of it all. Back to eBay it goes!

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