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The Grand Trunk Journey - Terminal 5 : Variants and Scenarios

Claude Sirois
Quebec City
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From gallery of Klode

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 equipment and locations. The game features Hand Management, Time Track, Point to Point Movement and Pick up and Deliver mechanics.

Board Game: The Grand Trunk Journey
Author : Claude Sirois / Development : Uli Blennemann and Henning Kröpke / Graphics : Harald Lieske

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, Terminal 2 : Operating your Train Terminal 3 : Delivering Goods or Terminal 4 : Improving your Company you can do it right away before to read this post!

Terminal 5
Variants and scenarios

From gallery of Klode


After a few games of The Grand Trunk Journey, you can add the Objective cards, which offer extra Victory Points to be scored during the game. There are 10 cards in the game, but only 3 are used each game.

To get an Objective card, you must play a Development card (see the Terminal 4 above) and pay 1 Day. Then, you score VPs according to the condition of the card. Some Objective cards give a specific number of VP. Others will depend of what the player has accomplished during the game at that point.

Here is the list of Objective cards :

From gallery of Klode


When playing the Grant Trunk Journey, you always start the game with the 4 same starting cities : Richmond, Burlington, White River Jct and Watertown. Those starting cities ensure a balance in the game.

Experienced players can take another challenge by playing with different Starting Cities. Instead of starting the game with 4 random cities, I proposed some "scenarios" that players can use which include four Starting Cities and the Companies they should use with those Cities to ensure a "fairly" (but not totally) balanced game.

When playing the Intermediate Level, all Companies have in their Starting Deck a card allowing them to improve their Locomotive. When playing the Expert Level, all Companies do not have such a card in their Starting deck, so they have to build a Terminal in a City giving them the card allowing this Action. However, whatever the scenario you choose, companies won't have the same number of railcars in their starting decks. Players will have to figure out the best way to play their company.

Here is the list of the different scenarios proposed (from the rulebook) :

From gallery of Klode


During the design process I mainly focused on developing the game with 4 starting cities. Finding those cities was not that easy because I wanted to ensure the position of a starting city was not disadvantageous compared to the others. So I developed an "accessibility index" which represents the average distance between each city and all the other cities as well as one for the distance with the ports. For example (see below), the Burlington index of 1,7 means that in average, other cities are located 1,7 link away. Burlington is one of the most central city. So to determine the 4 starting cities I took into consideration the overall index as well as the port index (average distance to ports). Then, Burlington, White River Jct, Richmond and Watertown were designated the 4 starting cities.

From gallery of Klode

Once I had my 4 starting cities, I tried to play a few games using random starting cities. Sometimes it was fine, sometimes not. When cities are too far away from each other, the game is very difficult to play because you must spend many days to deliver 1 good. So for the game to be fun, cities had to be close to each other. The second element concerns the cards in your starting deck. Some cards are essentiels if you want to progress in the game. So totally random cities could mean an unbalance game between companies. That's why I develop the scenarios that you can see above. With those scenarios, you can be sure all companies start the game "fairly" at the same place in terms of development. So I hope you will like them!

Next steps

That's the end of this series of articles. A Designer's Diary will follow soon on the BGG News. This diary will focus more on the process to design the game.

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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