Canal Mania is a game about the great canal-building era of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that captures the feel of the period and gives players plenty of decision making in their attempts to complete some of the most famous British canals.
Players will engage brilliant engineers such as James Brindley and Thomas Telford in their efforts to create canals linking emerging manufacturing centers, thereby providing the waterways that supplied the goods generated by the Industrial Revolution.
The goal of this game is to have more victory points than your opponents. You gain victory points by building canals (with 0-3 victory point for each hex and 2-8 victory points for the contract) and moving goods through canals (1 for each town you visit, including the first one).
Each turn has 3 phases. In each Phase you can chose one action:
- Take a contract from parliament
- Exchange engineers
- Discard the five face up building cards
- Pick up three face up build cards
- Build tiles
- Move one good token
Any Phase Alternative:
- Draw one card from the top of the build deck
1st edition: First produced by Ragnar Bothers in 2006 as a limited run of 1000 copies. It sold out in under four months.
2nd edition: Multiple print runs, as well as a generous upgrade kit to support the people who made it so popular.
Background decorative terrain and pictures were removed.
Trigger spaces are no longer colored differently. Instead, the 2nd edition comes with a hexagonal counter showing a steam engine (not in the upgrade kit).
Llangollen and with the two hexes north and the two hexes southeast of it were removed.
Newark has been added between Nottingham and Lincoln.
Llangollen was a violet town, Newark is black and 17 other towns have changed color to balance things up.
York has been moved 1 hex to the northeast, and its canal rerouted to the hex southwest of where it was.
Llangollen Canal (value 4) is obviously gone.
Trent Navigation (value 5) between Nottingham and Goole, via Newark, is added.
The 2nd edition contract cards have a quadrant icon to help people find the cities.
5 Junction Canal cards (1 per player) are added.
All the new cards seem to be slightly thicker than in the 1st edition.
Now you have 5 reference cards instead of just 2.
The first edition plastic tugboats are replaced by narrowboats.
2-player rules added.
All 20 goods are now available to be placed on the board. Thus, the goods removal rule has been removed. If you need to place goods and they are not available, now those goods simply will not be placed.
The value of a completed contract is now added to the players score in addition to the value for the sections of the canal.
The end bonus for most prolific constructor is gone.
The end game trigger values have been increased by 10, due to the extra points available for canal building.
The alternative end condition of turning up the 5 last contracts has been removed.
A player now has the option to take his Junction contract (in a 2 player game he has 2) instead of taking a contract from parliament (but not as the extra contract he could take if he had already taken one from parliament with only 2 or 1 remaining). The Junction contract has value 2 and must include only 2 towns or cities.
The junction contracts increase the probability of forming loops, so a rule has been introduced stating that if a player has 2 possible routes between 2 towns or cities both using his canals only, he must choose the least valuable.
The tie breaker is now the most prolific constructor of canals as determined by the rules for that bonus in the 1st edition. If it is still a tie, use the 1st edition tie breaker.
The File contains Reference Cards (Turn Summary and Building Cost) and the Engineers in German language. As an addition I put icons on the Engineer-cards for easier finding across the game table. Printing in A4 is recommended.
These are the contracts the go along with the custom Erie Canal and Hudson River Valley map that I made. The majority of the contracts are based on historical canals, but there are some that had to be made up to balance the map and fill in gaps.