The Grand Trunk Journey is a pick up and deliver train game where players are operators of their own railway, trying to be as efficient as possible delivering goods to cities and ports using their cards consisting of rail equipments and locations. The game features Hand Management, Time Track, Point to Point Movement and Pick up and Deliver mechanics.
You want to know more about The Grand Trunk Journey that will be published by Spielworxx in March 2020?
Just stop a few minutes at the next 5 Terminals where I will present the main features of the game.
If you haven't visited Terminal 1 : The Storyline and Terminal 2 : Operating your Train, you can do it right away before to read this post!
Now that you know how to move your train, let's talk about picking up and delivering goods!
REGULAR DELIVERIES (Unloading good in a city/port with a demand):
The Cities demand certain goods for their local industry. Thus, the main job for The Grand Trunk Railway is to transport these goods through the country to fulfill these basic demands.
Each CITY demands 1 type of goods and provides 1 or 2, as indicated on its corresponding City Goods Token. For example (on the right), if you are in Burlington, you can unload coal (black cube) and load iron (blue) and/or wood (green). City Goods Tokens are distributed randomly among cities so the distribution is different each game.
Each PORT only demands Steel (white cube) and provides 1 type of good (Coal, Iron or Wood). See a Port token above, just under "Station 3 : Delivering Goods".
To be as efficient as possible, what you want to do is to deliver a good in a city and have in hand the necessary railcar that you need to load the good that you want.
Goods you load in your train are taken from the stock;
Goods you deliver are placed in front of you for the following rewards:
Cubes delivered to cities and ports are worth VP :
3 VP for each set of Coal-Iron-Wood
3 VP for each Steel
In addition, when delivering...
Iron : It is transformed in Steel, so you must add 2 steel cubes in the city you delivered the iron (see the space reserved to steel above). That's the only way you can get Steel so you can deliver it to a port.
Wood : You move your Wood marker one step up on the Wood track located on the board (see below). It will increase the number of VP you will get for each Improvement card you will have purchased at the end of the game. So if your marker reaches 4 VP on the track and you have acquired 3 cards, you will score 12 VP at the end of the game.
SPECIAL DELIVERIES (or Just in Time deliveries)
Some of the cities may have an urgent demand for a type of good to finish a project. If The Grand Trunk Railway manages to deliver these Goods on time, they can cash in huge profits in return.
In modern terms, we would call them "Just in Time" deliveries.
The Special Delivery Contract tokens feature a City demanding a certain type of good by a certain time on the Time track. To fulfill that special delivery, you must be able to unload the demanded Good in the right City, at the right time, so when your marker on the Time track is placed on one of the spaces across the Special Delivery Contract token. Only one player can do a special delivery.
In the example below, if you deliver 1 Iron cube in Québec between Day 12 and 14, you get 4 VP.
The Time Track and the Special Delivery were the last significant components added to the game (in March '18). Thematically it works very well in adding a third dimension (the Time) for deliveries to the usual "Location" and "Type of good" dimensions.
Sometimes I just wonder how come I didn't think about that before!! It makes so much sense in the context of a train company picking up and delivering goods, to deliver on time. What is even more surprising is that only 4 (yes, only 4!) ranked games in the whole BGG database (as of today) propose a combination of Pick up and Deliver and Time Track mechanics!
I like a lot the Time Track mechanic because it is relevant in the context of a train company which tries to be as efficient as possible. I think it is a great addition, allowing :
Another path to victory
Player who are behind to comeback in the game (catch up mechanic)
More tension (will I be the first to do that great delivery that will be worth 3, 4, 5 or 7 VP?)
Another layer of decision (should I change my plan to try to do that great delivery or not?)
I always thought that the game had the potential to be published. I think the Special Delivery is what was missing!
I don't remember what I put in my cereals in the mornings in March 2018 but I did significant (and positive) changes to the game:
Diesel as a resource to move trains was removed and replaced by the Time Track
Money used to improve the company was removed, replaced by a cost in days and a requirement in terms of delivered goods to increase the efficiency of the Locomotive (see above)
Removed player boards used to track money and diesel, not necessary anymore (so less components, good for the publisher)
Turn Sequence was restructured and simplified
Just in Time Deliveries (Special deliveries) were added
At the next Terminal I will talk about Special Actions and Company Improvements!
To preorder the game...
In Europe : https://www.spielworxx.de/produkte-shop/
In US : https://boardgamegeekstore.com/collections/frontpage/product...
The Rulebook is available in the file section of the game page or at : https://www.spielworxx.de/downloads-regeln/
Thanks for reading!
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