Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Station Master Board Game. This is a light but strategic commodity speculation game where you will need to make investment decisions with your passengers and try to sway outcomes with your cards. Though you can play with fewer players, it really shines at higher player counts. Station Master is for 2 – 6 players at ages 8+. The rules for how to play Station Master have a couple twists and turns but are rarely easy and should have you up in running in no time.
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HOW TO PLAY STATION MASTER – WHAT IS IT?
Good morning! It’s been a busy day down at the railway station! As Station Master, you must ensure everything runs smoothly. You’ll be adding railcars to iconic locomotives, boarding passengers on waiting trains and derailing others with action cards. Make sure the trains depart on time and earn the most efficiency points to win.
Each turn, you will manage tasks at the Station by either adding a Passenger pawn to a train or playing a card from your hand. When trains are completed, they will leave the Station. Players score Efficiency Points by multiplying a train’s value by the number of passangers on it. The player with the highest Efficiency Score after the last train leaves the Station wins the game.
HOW TO PLAY STATION MASTER – STEP BY STEP
Time Needed: Approximately 30 – 50 minutes.
This is a step by step guide for how to play Station Master the train-themed commodity speculation board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.
1. SETUP | Put Out Cards
To kick off how to play Station Master setup, you need to put out the cards. There are 3 different types of cards (1) Station Master, (2) Locomotive and (3) Depot. Separate these into their types, shuffle and form face-down stacks in the center of the board.
2. SETUP | Put Out Initial Locomotives
To start flip up Locomotive cards equal to the number of players and put them in a column in the center of the board. This area is called the Station and cards from hands will be played to the end of these trains and passenger tokens will go on them.
3. SETUP | Deal Out Station Master Cards
Give each player 3x Station Master cards to form their opening hand. These should be kept secret and will be replenished as gameplay moves forward.
4. SETUP | Give Out Player Passenger Tokens
Each player chooses a color and takes their set of passenger tokens. Each set is a different symbol but they all have the same quantity and point values.
5. SETUP | Give Out Depot Cards
Each player gets dealt a Depot card. This can be used once per game instead of a card from your hand. The remaining Depot cards can go back in the box for this game.
6. SETUP | Determine First Player
The final step of how to play Station Master setup before getting into gameplay is to determine the starting player. The book says whoever traveled last, but feel free to use your randomizer of choice.
7. GAMEPLAY | Action Option 1 | Assign A Passenger To A Train
As one of your action choices for the turn you may add one of your passenger tokens to any available train. The number shown in the top corner of any locomotive is the max number of passengers it can hold. Keep the number on it a secret, this is for you to decide how to strategically chose. You will multiple it by the train value when the train departs.
8. GAMEPLAY | Action Option 2 | Play A Station Master Card
There are two types of Station Master Cards, Railcars and Actions. These do different things and are pretty well described but basically railcars get added to existing locomotives and action cards are played once, do something and go away. You want to put railcards on trains to build high points on locomotives that have your passengers and low points for trains more full with your opponents.
9. GAMEPLAY | Depot Cards or Special Train Circumstances
There are a few special things to note. First, there are depot cards, which is a wild card that each player gets and can use once instead of another Station Master Card. Next, there are specialty train car Station Master cards that can come up, “executive” and “freight”. These correspond to the locomotive card. If it shares that type, you get the bonus, if you do not you get the penalty.
10. GAMEPLAY | Score Completed Trains
The number in the top corner of a locomotive relates to the number of passengers it can hold but it also correlates to how many train cars can be attached to the train. When it is full, it immediately departs and is scored. To score a train you multiple the total points of all the train cars (the total of all their values) and the point value shown on the passenger tokens. Everyone records their points with pen or pencil but there is also an official app that can help.
11. GAME ENDS | All Trains Leave Station
Whenever a train is full, it leaves the station and is scored. After this happens, flip a new locomotive card to put in its place. When All the locomotive cards have been used and all trains have left the station, the game ends.
12. WINNING | High Score Wins
Whoever has the highest score the moment the final train leave the station is the winner. In the case of a tie, the player with the largest scoring single train wins. As you can see, there is not much to learning how to play Station Master.
HOW TO PLAY STATION MASTER – KEY INFORMATION
2 PLAYER SPECIAL RULES
For how to play Station Master for 2 players, you need to make two changes. When laying out initial locomotive cards, put out three instead of two (to match player count). Also, remove the “Rush Hour” card from the Station Master deck. This is a much quicker and less complex version of the game but is still a good experience.
- 13x Locomotive Cards
- 93x Station Master Cards
- 6x Depot Cards
- 36x Passenger Pawns (6 each of 6 colors)
- 1x Rulebook
HOW TO PLAY STATION MASTER – IN CLOSING
We hope you can now say that know how to play Station Master. This elegantly train-themed speculation game has you work a few different train lines to provide the most value to your passengers while hopefully knocking your competitors down a peg or two. There are not many decisions to make but the ones you do choose are important and can each dramatically shift the game. There are a few different steps but with so few options you need to focus on, mastering how to play Station Master is a snap.