OBJECTIVE OF AGE OF STEAM: The objective of Age of Steam is to be the player with the most Victory Points when the game comes to an end.  

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 6 Players 

MATERIALS: 1 Game Board, 1 Black Cloth Bag, 6 dice, 1 Turn Track Marker, 10 Ten Dollar Bills, 50 Five Dollar Bills, 40 One Dollar Bills, 6 Sets of Player Disks, 6 Sets of Track Ownership Locomotives, 96 Goods Cubes, 8 Hexagonal New City Tiles, 136 Hexagonal Track Tiles, 8 Town Disks, 1 Income Track Display, 1 Goods/Actions Display, and Instructions 

TYPE OF GAME: Bidding Board Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 13 and Up 


In Age of Steam, each player will act as a pioneer of one of the largest railroads in the wild plains! The action is centered around Chicago, Pittsburg, and Cincinnati, the largest industrial powerhouses in the growing nation. Competition is brutal and cut-throat as players compete to be the best in the game. No two games are the same, so whoever wins this time may come in last in the next! 


To begin setup, place the gameboard in the center of the playing area. Beside the board, the following items are placed: 8 Town Disks, Dedicated Town Track Tiles, New City Tiles, Money, the Income Track Display, and the Goods/Actions Display. The Turn Track marker is then placed inside the start circle of the Track. All of the cubes are placed into the bag, and one cube is drawn for each space there is on the Goods display.  

Once all of the spaces are filled, three cubes should be placed in Wheeling. For the other cities on the board, two random cubes re drawn and placed. Each player will then choose a color to represent them throughout the course of the game, and they will collect 5 wooden disks and 20 Track Ownership Locomotives, all of matching colors. One disk will be placed on the Engine Track in the first link space.  

Each player will then roll three dice, and the highest rolling player will place their disk in the first space of the Order Track. The other players will follow suit, with the next highest player placing their disk in the second space of the Order Track. Then everyone will place a disk on the two shares box of the Issues Shares Track, receiving ten dollars.  

Once the game is setup, it is ready to begin! 


During the game, the players will complete a variety of actions during their turn, and once they have completed all of them, the next player will then take their turn, rotating clockwise around the group. To begin their turn, the players will earn money from their railroad and their shares. The players will bid for order turn, deciding play order for the turn. All players must eventually drop out of bidding in order to determine who goes first.  

On the display, there are seven actions listed. The players will select which action they wish to complete, but no player may complete the same action. Once the players have chosen actions, they will begin to build the track. This is completed by placing the track tiles onto the map, with each tile requiring something different in order for the player to place it. Track is built in player order. Players must follow the rules of the track in order to place the tiles.  

The players will then complete two rounds of moving Goods, ensuring that they complete them in player order. They have to be moved along a completed stretch of Railroad Links in order for them to count. This allows the players to increase their income for their track. After they have moved all of the goods that they wish, the players will collect income, in player order.  

Finally, to complete their turns, the players will pay expenses, reduce their income, and advance the turn marker. The game will continue in this manner until all of the turns have been played.  


The game comes to an end when the final turn is played. The number of turns in a game depends on the number of players participating in the game. This number can be found on the Turn Track, which is shown on the Income Track. At the end of this turn, the players will tally their Victory Points.  

The player with the most Victory Points, wins the game! 

Ellie Phillips
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