Isle of Trains rules

The Isle of Trains game gets players to take on Train operator roles, working to build the best train by earning points from building, loading, and delivering goods.

If you have ever dreamed of driving a train, carrying precious cargo and making deliveries, then you will enjoy the Isle of Trains board and card game.

Isle of Trains is a family and strategy type of game in which players build their trains and compete with their opponents in doing so.

The card and board game is suitable for families, and it can be played by people that are 13 years old and older and is best played with two players or four players at the most. At the end of the game, you want to be the player with the best train.

Object of the game

The Isle of Trains game is all about players taking on their roles as train operators that need to build their train and deliver cargo to varying destinations. Your goal is to build the best train. Cards are used for different moves.

A card can be built as a train car or a building supporting your train line, it can be used as a currency to pay for various things such as building new train cars and buildings or as a cargo that can be loaded on train cars. Cargo can be loaded on an opponent’s train to get benefits and actions.

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Isle of Trains rules

Once everything has been set-up in the game, it begins in a clockwise direction with the first player, and each player getting two Actions on their turn.

Actions can be a player picking up the top card from the “Draw” pile, building one card from their hand into their playing area by paying for the value of the card in cards to the Discard pile, loading one card from their hand to another player’s train car that has some space for the cargo revealed on the right side of the card or delivering cargo cards from their train to the discard pile to gain contract cards, and picking up new cards.

Players are allowed to use their two Actions for the same action twofold, or with two Actions. Players cannot, however, perform an Action that is not allowed, such as to deliver if you have no cargo loaded for delivery.

Once actions are fulfilled, players have to lose cards until they reach their hand size limit, which is five cards.

The gameplay will then move in a clockwise direction. At some point, cards run out, and when this happens, shuffle the Discard pile and create a new draw deck pile.

When Draw and Discard cards are done, players will pick up “Phantom cards” that are used on their turn to build action or as a removed card when loading goods of any type. If the whole deck is done at the end of a player’s turn, the game ends.

Setting up the game

To prepare the game for the game, each player starts at Level one Engine (placed face-up on the table). Players must have five cards in their hand.

Six Contract Delivery Cards are placed in the middle of the table with the Primary side facing up to create the Isle of Trains. The rest of the cards are the draw pile and the player that starts the game will be the one that was most recently on a train.

Building, loading, and delivering

Game moves What they mean
  • Ensure you have enough engine power to pull train cars after building a new car
  • Cars can be upgraded by the same type of car
  • You pay the balance between the Cost to Build values of two cards and discard the one replaced
  • A build action is used to eliminate train cars from a player’s train
  • Trains can have multiple Caboose
  • Players only need one building in their play area
  • Buildings cannot be advanced, only replaced
  • A card from the player’s hand is placed behind the train car that can carry the same type of cargo
  • Wild cards can be loaded as any kind of cargo
  • Cargo cannot be loaded if a car is too full
  • Loading on an opponent’s car earns you benefits like drawing two cards and adding a build
  • Cards loaded based on bonuses need to be loaded on that player’s train, not the opponent’s
  • Goods delivered do not need to be limited
  • Goods are delivered to complete a contract or can be switched into two draw cards for every delivered good
  • Players have the right to one primary contract with some cargo
  • To get a primary contract, players must be able to complete the whole contract with the cargo on their train
  • Only one of two secondary contracts can be completed
  • Players cannot claim other contracts until one of the secondary contracts on their primary contract is fulfilled

Scoring at the end of the game

All players must add up their various points; having the most makes you the winner. When every player has completed their turn, they add or gain points in the following ways:

Scoring How points are accumulated
Train cars Each train car built earns value points
Completed deliveries Total all completed deliveries on Delivery Contract cards in your location
Buildings Buildings gain you variable points. For instance, a Customs House with two points per box delivered
Loaded cargo Each cargo on your train is one point