Two more games that will focus on the train theme are soon to arrive in retail as Rio Grande Games gears up to introduce Balkan Railways and Wabash Cannonball on the shelves of your local hobby stores. If you love the theme, then the name of the designer should not surprise you. John Bohrer has a bit of a cult status if you are really into trains, choo-choo!
Behold, Balkan Railways Re-Release in 2023
Balkan Railways was originally released by Winsome Games in 2021 and it will ask players to collaborate on the development of cross-border railway networks in specific regions of Bosnia, Kosovo, Bulgaria (god we need this), Serbia, and Croatia. Set in the days of old, the developments of the railways will be overseen by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.
Players will have a genuine railway-building experience, and costly too, which is why you will have to make sure that your pockets are deep and that you use your funds to develop the networks smartly. Of course, no matter how vast your wealth is, you are bound to run out of cash, where service loans come in.
The region’s specific geography will make for a challenging endeavor, as the Balkans are punctuated by steep mountains, remote areas, and other engineering challenges. But worry not, because building the railways in the region would mean a huge windfall in the future if successful. Balkan Railroads is set for 3-5 players and plays between 45-90 minutes.
Acquire Stock, Auction the Duds, and Fill Your Pockets
If this isn’t enough trains for you, then you wait until you see Wabash Cannonball which will send you even farther back in time, in the 1830s and to another continent altogether.
The scene is set in the United States with some of its most important railways being forged. This time around, players will invest in railroad stocks to secure majority shares and reap the fattest piece of the pie as the companies develop their networks in places such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. As a true game about trains, you would need 3-6 players to get this one on the way, and 30-60 minutes to complete.
Players will have to play as clever executives who want to advance the railway work but also make sure that they get maximum return on their investment. Meanwhile, you can auction a share, expand the rail system confident in your place within the company’s future, or develop one of the game board’s hexes. Whichever you prefer (and we will be getting both), players can expect excellent games about trains this year.