En route is a 2-4 player strategy racing board game set in the train network of India. In the game players play as passengers, make plans and strategies to travel to different places, catch, board and de-board different trains while also manage to gather and exchange train information, exploit resources, pull chains to stop trains, negotiate with other players, discover new destinations and visit their favorite places across the country. En route is an enriching playing and learning experience for all kinds of players from beginners to those who enjoy playing strategy train games.
The game board
The map is the abstract representation of real railway routes and stations of India, it has more than 85 major stations across the country. There are hundreds of trains running on different lines and players with the correct train information and a ticket can board the train and travel to different places. Every station has a colored hex placed on top of it, there are five categories of stations depend on the number of trains, and connecting routes. Players travel across the board and collect these hexes which different mean different things at different point during the journey. The hexes score points except black, black doesn't score any point but can be used as any other color as the players wish it to be.
The game board
Different types of stations on the board
At the start of the game, each player pick a station card from the station card deck and place it face up revealing their starting location. All players then get three station card which becomes their immediate destinations to cover. Each player gets five movement cards, which they use to move and navigate on the board every turn. The movement deck consist of two types of cards, one is train card which has over 12 types of trains with information about the train and the speed at which it runs; there are few special cards like chain pulling, flying and rolling a dice, shuffled together make a deck of more than 120 movement cards. Players get two empty luggage box each and keep it in front throughout the game which they use to collect the color hexes.
movement and station cards
Every turn, players draw two movement card from the deck and can play one. As the players travel across the board, they collect different color hexes, and store it in the luggage box.As the players reach to a destination and finishes one of their station card, they keep a marker there revealing it to the other players. Players at the same station can exchange train information and can also decide to trade hexes if they wish. Different color hexes score different points and a combination or a set of hexes has extra points which are given on the reference sheet.
As the players try to complete to get the perfect combination of hexes and reach to their destinations, at any point in the game, if any one player finishes all their destination cards and also fills both of the luggage with a complete set of any value, it triggers a game end. After the last round, all the players calculate their respective score and the player with the highest score wins the game, irrespective of the one who has ended it.
the luggage box
Images from play sessions
For details on game components and how to play, refer to the RuleBook
Research & Game Design: Swapnesh Samaiya
Project Guide: Shekhar Bhattacharjee
Illustration: Ajunesh Vishwam
Sponsor: Railway Design Centre, Ministry of Railways.
Playtest: Meenakshi, Moin bhai, Vipin Bhai, Divya, Azba, Neel, Pranshu, Monil, Sesha, Parikh, Shreya, Souvik, Nitin, Vivek, Bhargav, Sujith, Goa.
Images: Nalini Ranjan
Special Thanks: Naim Shiekh, Shradha Jain, Rohit bhai, Vipin Bhai, Soni Bhai.