Russian Railroads: German Railroads Gameplay Talkthrough
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Russian Railroads: German Railroads Gameplay Talkthrough

August 14, 2019

hey everybody today Rado talks through German railroads which is the first big expansion to Russian railroads which was already an excellent game and oh my gosh this expansion pushes this game to an 11 this game goes absolutely crazy and now today I am NOT gonna be actually running you through a session of German railroads of the expansion because I’ve already done a run-through of Russian railroads and you can go check that out there’s a link to it in the show notes or you can you’ll hit the I button top right corner to see what the base game is about today I’m just gonna show you what this new expansion adds and changes about the base game and I figured best way to do that to demonstrate the differences was to show you the end result of a game Jen and I just played using two of the three modules that comes with German railroads now the third module I’m not really going to talk about much is this deck of cards that gives you a solo version of the game where you can play against the character this guy named oleg who has a dog which is very awesome and I have tomato this is probably pretty cool I’d love to try this sometime but I haven’t really looked into it yet at all let me be somewhere down the road we’ll give that a go as well cuz man this game is so great and I can only imagine how wonderful it is solo but let’s talk about what changes in the regular game now there are two more modules there is the German railroads themselves which means players play with a different player board than normal if I pull out a regular player board let me see if I can grab one here nope come on you think I would have had one before I started right oh and I just made a big mess there so here’s a regular player board from Russian railroads where there are the three Russian rail lines that you play every single time and if you take a look at what it looks like now there are still three lines these German lines short one a short one in a long one but you’ll notice right off the bat the long one branches once you get here and you have to move on to space nine you have to go either this route or this route and right off the bat that can change the overall feel of your game quite a bit because this South line is shorter and can get you to stuff a bit more quickly but the North line actually it was at one two three four five steps verses one two three four five six seven steps so it’s a little bit longer but if you want to be able to get the super high scoring white rails you’ve got to come up via the North line so it’s a are you gonna go for a really hard long-term super points off of these or you’re gonna go for a midterm and you can see in this game I went on ahead and I went to South line and I actually made it to the end score my ten points got another question mark bonus which allowed me to you know this is from the standard game change the in scoring of my three best types let’s see what else is interesting well there’s one more significantly new and different thing about this board not only do you make a key choice when you’re moving along this main Munich line you also make choices on the other lines as well because you can’t win when the game starts the plans for these lines have not been finalized who knows there’s this big empty space where it doesn’t tell you once you go from Hanover to Bremen what kind of bonuses can you get there yeah I’m you know some for this Dresden line I didn’t even bother in this particular game but if I had been moving up and hey I’d get to the point where I couldn’t you know give myself one of these bonuses and and you know here’s the the badge the badge gets put into that spot once I hit this space I would come up here and I would choose one of these plans I would put it in like this one which lets me move forward on industrial and that gives me another industrialization this one that gives me increases my point income every one by five and it lets me get an extra train this one which lets me get one of these new bonus tiles these become new income tiles where every round if I you know say I had grabbed this one you know when I was moving up and I put it in and now as you can see I also need to get trained so once I got a good train that reached that far let’s say I’d put this like a little late train up here then boom this would allow me to get an income tile and there are several of them this would be an every round you get income you get one industrialization one forward motion on any tile one buck two movements on two different tiles etc etc you can see in the game Janna I just played she ended up getting three of them she was making a buck every turn I’m moving every turn and towards the end of the game a double movement every turn which was a huge deal for her those free actions she got because as you can see Jen let’s look at her board for a but now she didn’t get as far along the main line as I did she only got this far but she also went south basically so she could unlock her white tiles she would had to gone to to unlock her white rails over there but Jen she upgraded all three she got this one which gave her access to her first income tile which I believe Eric all correctly was the dollar then she got this one which got her second one which was this wildcard one and then she made it up here and got unlocked this third one which was this if she used at the end of the game to push her brown tile up quite a bit so and ultimately Jen did end up winning the game by it by was it 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 points Jen won by eight with these three upgrades all this free income she was getting plus let’s see the other big thing that gets added so you got this German board which is awesome because it gives you so much more flexibility you can literally program your long-term goals you could be thinking okay I’m gonna be moving on this Dresden line because I really want to grab this thing that’s gonna give me an extra worker and then two bucks at the end of it as opposed to 10 points so there’s lots of interesting options there and you know it’ll make your game play out differently every time but the other the third module is coal coal these it’s a new resource that exists alongside money and basically the way that works is every round there are a couple of coal frowned erease that are available and if you get these these be a nice exercise to see Jen still has one at the end the game she still has one cold fron day left over Jen anytime she wants it doesn’t have to take it’s a free action she can do the same way these are free actions during her turn this is a free action where she can spend two coal resources in this case to move forward one on black one on any of her choice and make a buck so Jen got this foundry fairly early in the game and then as long as she kept the coal rolling in she was able to keep running this and get these these bonus actions for free and they’re very powerful where does Jen get the coal well on the main board there’s this new space that gets added you can see it just covers up the little watch there you can come over here with a single guy to get a coal or you can come here with a dollar to get a coal and a foundry so coal gets kind of drip fed in you’re only for the most part you can get in a two-player game this is one space once one of the action is done the other one can’t be done with more players you can see it’s lit a little bit more somebody can get coal somebody get coal in a foundry and then you can also use double coal and you know it works either way now you can use that double if you have two coal you can use it in one of your own boundaries which Jen used quite a bit and in part because Jen got this engineer that let her get to coal every round this is what killed me when I on the round when I let Jen get this engineer she was well I didn’t quite see my fate cuz it was still a pretty close game there as you can see but oops I knocked around my two exes oopsie doops right but yo Jen was actually bringing in coal so she was able to use this foundry pretty much every round and that gave her a lot of flexibility now there’s more to these foundries than just this power where you can convert coal into all kinds of things convert coal into two movements and an industry into a wild card and a what do you call it a 2x multiplier tile there’s a lot everything’s these founders can do but the other things the foundries can do is actually you’ve used your foundry you have a choice you can either just leave it alone so you can use it again in a future turn or you can flip it over here to basically convert your foundry into an upgrade this is an upgrade that you could apply to any train turning this level 7 train to a level 8 train so it has a further a farther reach for this level 6 into a level 7 so again you would have a further reach not only can you upgrade trains you can also upgrade factories as you can see Jen did this upgrade to the factory meant she was able to use this Factory twice when she got there instead of once so those were a really big deal to up a bit choosing whether you’re gonna upgrade trains which you can see Jen didn’t really do but I Jen upgrade our factories I upgraded two of my trains with these foundry tiles which allowed me to well this was the important one Oh where’s my other train oh we actually I’d already started to put the game away and I wrote should film this maybe way I did have a I think I have our call quickly yeah what did I have I had another 8 train here so I had 8 9 10 11 12 which let me reach all the way to the end of the really long line because of these upgrades now you get one of these upgrades by using your foundry and then afterwards turning it into an upgrade and then your foundry is lost or you can spend too coal down here to just grab and upgrade directly and skip the whole foundry step so this coal thing is really really cool it adds oh look basically that’s a whole new resource to the game it gives you a lot more flexibility about how you’re going to expand because it doesn’t have to be about chasing the best trains you could just upgrade your existing trains to get that extra little step you need to hit whatever target you want so the coal is awesome the interesting thing one of these things is about when you add coal to the game the game gets shorter you are supposed to in a two-player game knock out one full round if I were to flip the board over for three and four you knockout rounds five and six so the game actually gets shorter because you can do so much more in in less time with these with these foundries if you are collecting enough coal now of course the expansion also adds a bunch of new engineers like the coal generating one that Jen got I say I got a couple over here I got this one this is a really interesting lady died and I used her quite a bit every time you use her you get to draw from this deck of bonuses over here and get to every round so I’m one round I might get money and the only advancement on another round I might get below an industry and a coal you never know so this one’s actually a really interesting character that you know she adds this a little bit of gambling oh I really hope I get I need a coal so bad will I get a coal I draw and you see what you get every time you activate her there’s a whole bunch of new engineers that come with the game in addition to the new board and also there are some additional startup cards you know how at the beginning of game everybody has to choose what card are you gonna take with with certain bonuses there are now additional bonuses that leverage the coal and leverage various things so this German railroad expansion adds a ton to the game and in all honesty I cannot imagine ever playing Russian railroads again without the German railroads expansion just because it you know the board itself it is so wonderful feeling and lovely to have the additional planning of deciding how are you going to program you’re born what bonuses you’re gonna target for yourself if you can grab them before they’re gone and then Jen I gotta say Jen loved the cold love being able to do all these extra bonus actions every turn both through leveraging Cole but also through these bonus income tiles which she really enjoyed also um you know I mean in some regards they’re no they’re you know getting you know this income thing of a free buck every turn is nice but instead in this particular game I just went for more workers I ended up taking a upgrade that allowed me to get a worker really quick and I got this worker very early in the game instead of having to wait all the way over here to get a worker with a with the silver I was able to get a worker pretty quickly where is Jen she got these instant things that paid off for her and well clearly again it paid off she narrowly squeaked out a win and if I have any complaints about German railroads the only thing that bugs me about it is that as part of set up you are just supposed to put out all 18 line upgrades every game they’re always available and it’s it’s very caverna like it’s very much just a hey although all your options are available every single time play game and if you’ve seen me do other run throughs you might know that I’m really not a big fan of that kind of just throw everything in the kitchen sink in I like to have more variable setup as opposed to the game being the same every time you start now of course as I said in Russian railroads the the flop of architects they’ve become available every time you play that creates enough variability from game to game that I was satisfied with the base game but now that you’ve got this where you’re always gonna have these same 18 upgrades every time I have to make that doesn’t sit with very very well so I think in the future as kind of our own little variant I’m gonna set up so that every time you play instead of all 18 upgrades available we will just randomly have nine upgrades available to choose from so every single time we play a game we’re gonna have a different layout a different set of options of what we can actually pursue as opposed to oh well all my favorite tiles ever I’ll just always grab the same tiles every single time I play because everything’s available and you know that’ll create a little bit more variability I mean it might create a shortage of you know these kinds of tiles if the tiles that offer them gonna aren’t available it might create a shortage on work replacement spaces I think that will create even more interest and excitement for us that every time we play Russian railroads with the German railroads expansion it’ll be new and fresh and different with unique scenarios and situations to resolve to our best benefit but anyway folks that’s it that is German railroads and if you have any questions comments concerns as always let me know but otherwise hope you have a very very nice day happy New Year and all that talk to you later so long a buh-bye


  • Reply Chris Poulsen January 17, 2016 at 9:01 am

    So Russian Railroads is ranked 8.3625. Does German Railroads increase your ranking? If so, how much? Does it make an 8 game become a 9 game or basically keep the ranking the same just add a little more enjoyment overall. Thanks for the runthrough as always!

  • Reply Pedro Murilo Souza de Quadros January 18, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I'm new at the hobbie, and I have some games, but the only one that is really "hard" is Agricola, and I really enjoy this game. I wanna upgrade my level and found Russian Railroads interesting. On the other way, I read about Caylus and loved that game too. Which one can I get more replay factor? RR without this expansion is good enough in this factor if compared to Caylus? Thanks for the video!

  • Reply clinton livingstone January 18, 2016 at 10:21 am

    so can u still play german railroads with the old board…eg the coal and foundry….could u change russian board with track tiles…do they fit…..just thinking it would add variety to map board….

  • Reply chickenbone445 January 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Have you played the Istanbul expansion? I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

  • Reply Julian Nimmo January 20, 2016 at 3:05 am

    I do agree with your house rule variant; makes it not as Caverna as you say. I will dub it the 'Rahdo variant' haha.

  • Reply Christian Amey January 20, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    While watching your Russian Railroads Runthrough again, I see you "like" to injure your right thumb frequently.

  • Reply Ozzy February 11, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Hey buddy. Are you planning on doing the expansion for The Golden Ages?

  • Reply MONO LÚDICO October 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    I agree with you about the setup, moreover, I think the same could be done with the end-game bonus cards (8 out of 10 seems too much, I'll try selecting just 2 or 3 more than the number of players at the beginning of the game).

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