How To Play: Trains

In 'How To Play Trains', mastering deck building, route expansion, and station placement are key. The game includes over 500 cards, tokens, and a board for strategic play. Rules cover setup to winning strategies, emphasizing the need to adapt and experiment. Enjoyment and mastery go hand-in-hand in this engaging board game.

Hey there, fellow board game enthusiasts! Have you ever found yourself lost on the tracks when playing ‘How To Play Trains’? Well, buckle up because I’ve got the ultimate guide for you. We’ll start with a simple outline of the game rules, so you’re not left scratching your head. But we won’t stop there! I’ll also share the top strategies for claiming victory. So, are you ready to become a railroad tycoon?


What’s in the box

  • 500+ cards
  • 1 game board
  • 100 wooden rail tokens
  • 100 wooden station tokens
  • 14 wooden player tokens (in 4 colors)
  • 1 rule book

How To Play Trains: Rules Summary


  1. Choose a game board and place it in the center.

  2. Each player picks a color and takes the corresponding rail and station tokens.

  3. Shuffle the cards and deal a starting deck to each player.

  4. Place the rest of the cards in a draw pile and reveal the first five to form the market.


  1. Players take turns drawing cards, buying new ones, and playing cards to lay tracks or build stations.

  2. You can only perform actions as permitted by your cards.

  3. Use cards to gain money, which in turn lets you buy more powerful cards.

  4. End your turn by discarding your hand and drawing new cards.


  1. The game ends when a number of the pile runs out or any player lays all their track/station tokens.

  2. Count points from the cards in your deck, tracks laid, and stations built.

  3. The player with the most points wins the game.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Certain cards trigger special actions or benefits when played or bought.

  2. Players must manage waste cards that may clog their deck.

  3. Strategic station placement can block others or secure routes.

Now that you understand the basics, remember that ‘How To Play Trains’ involves both strategy and luck. Gather your friends, dive into the game, and may the best rail baron win!

Best Trains Strategies

Mastering Deck Building for Victory

Starting Strong

To win, kick off with a lean deck. Focus on cards that boost your early game. This means grabbing those that let you draw more or buy better cards quickly. A good start sets you up for the whole game.

Middle Game Mastery

As play progresses, balance your deck. Mix cards that let you expand faster with ones that clean up your hand. This way, you keep your engine smooth and efficient.

Late Game Strategy

Near the end, prioritize points over growth. Look for cards that offer the most bang for your buck. It’s tempting to keep expanding, but the focus should shift to scoring big.

  1. Start lean with efficient cards.
  2. Middle game: balance growth and cleanup.
  3. Late game: shift focus to scoring.

Mastering the Rails: Winning with Route Expansion Strategy

When you’re playing a board game like ‘How To Play Trains’, expanding your routes smartly is key to victory. Let’s break down the tactics.

Identify Key Locations Early

First off, spot the most valuable locations on the map quickly. These are your golden tickets.

Balance your Expansion

Don’t just rush far. Spread out but keep your network tight. This way, you block others and keep your options open.

Use Stations Wisely

Stations can be game changers. Place them in strategic spots to maximize your reach and disrupt your opponents.

The Secret to Winning: Mastering Station Placement Tactics

Getting ahead in ‘How To Play Trains’ isn’t just about laying tracks willy-nilly. Nah, the real magic happens when you nail those station placements. Here’s the lowdown:

1. Strategic Positioning

  1. Pick spots where you’ll block opponents or snag essential connections.

2. Timing is Everything

  1. Wait for the right moment to place your stations. Too early, and you might waste ’em. Too late, and the prime spots could be gone.

3. Quality Over Quantity

  1. It ain’t about how many stations you got, but where they are. Focus on key locations that give you the most bang for your buck.

Remember these tips, and you’ll be steamrolling your way to victory in no time!

## Mastering the Rails: Your Ticket to Victory
In wrapping up this journey through tracks and tactics, remember, the key to dominating in ‘How To Play Trains’ isn’t just in how you build your deck or lay your tracks, but in how you adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the game. My friends and I have had our fair share of laughs and groans around the table, trying out different strategies, some leading to spectacular wins and others…well, let’s just say we learned a lot. Whether you’re dropping stations in the heart of your opponent’s territory or sneaking your way to a surprise win with a well-timed set of routes, the thrill of Trains comes down to the choices you make and the fun you have making them. Keep experimenting, keep strategizing, and most importantly, keep having a blast on the rails!

Want to know what we think of Trains? Read our detailed review of Trains here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.