(Skip on first turn)
A historical event card is a 'random event' (all but one of which actually occured during the time the game represents.) Mines can be closed, trains robbed, money lost, and whatnot. Generally, the historical card is neutral (it's just plain luck if you are helped or hurt) although it tends to hurt leaders more often than it helps them.
After this point, you determine player order, based on cash on hand.
On the map are 'passes' which you must build through during summer, at a pretty high cost, and only one or two people can build through (unlike most hexes, which allow any number). These passes are the choke points of the game. During a summer turn, you can declare 0,1 or 2 passes that you might attempt to build through. Then, after everyone has declared, you can attempt a court ordered-injunction against building through certain passes. It costs $1 to try to get an injunction. Then a D6 determines the results, which range from no effect, to getting the injunction, to contempt of court and a fine. You can try to injunct anywhere you want...
After all of the injunctions, players then try to build passes. Note that just because you say you might attempt doesn't mean you are obligated to (you might be trying to sucker someone to waste money on court fees). You can only attempt one pass per turn, although you may make multiple attempts on that pass. You spend $10, roll 2D6 (modified for train gauge) and compare it to the pass difficulty on the board. If you equal or exceed the difficulty, you make it.
Building track is simple, you just add track with crayon and note the cost on the board. Costs range from 1-5 per hex, and some hexsides are impassable or require tunnels (which are quite expensive, sometimes much more than passes, but they can be built anytime without rolling). If you are the first to connect to a city, you get a flat $2 bonus, and a random 1-6 bonus sometimes (roll a D6, on a 5-6, you get D6 bonus). Building to cities helps reduce the cost of track laying, but gets you nothing other than money (and rate war opportunities).
If there are any unclaimed mines that people connect to, they take them. If 2+ players connect, they auction the mine off to the highest bidder. Next, come rate wars. Rate wars happen in reverse order. If you connect with another player at 2+ cities, you can rate war them. Each player seperately loses from 25-75% of their mining income. (Also, during winter, mining income is halved, so a rate war in winter can cost someone 87.5% of revenues). Rate wars are an incredible way to take the leader down, I continuously warred the leader in one game for 6 turns (skipping one year because I couldn't afford to not make a pass the next turn). It cost me around $5 a turn and cost him around $20. Each player can only be involved in one rate war a turn.
Finally, each player collects mining income + $5 (investors). Then the turn begins again (after adjusting the season marker). If, at the end of any turn, the historical deck is out, or one player connects from Denver to Grand Junction, the game is almost over. You flip one more mine card, closing any mines that are open on it. The player with the highest mine income is the winner.
The choice between gauges is weighted in favor of narrow gauge which uses the rules above. Standard gauge pays double building costs, subtracts one from pass die rolls, but gets double mining benefits (which count towards victory conditions). To win with standard means getting quick access to mines and then building towards mines. Standard shouldn't start at Denver, unless there are a lot of gold mines out early (which tend to be around Denver).
The map seems to be historically accurate; but the cost to playability is quite painful in cases. There are some routes that are just bad, although if you get locked out of a pass some would argue that any route is better than none, but it isn't that much better. For instance, a route on the South side of the map requires either 2 passes (one moderately high) to get to an area that can be gotten to by one relatively easy pass.
Add on note -- 8/7/94 My map fell apart. The connector pin between the four parts loosened and a sheet fell off. It wasn't difficult to put back together, but I was annoyed that it happened.
Add on note -- 11/15/94 I've been playing Dampfross a lot more in past weeks. The game take about the same amount of time as T2T, is cheaper (and imported from Europe), and has four different maps. T2T is a nice game, but the replay value fell short, for me at least.
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