Trambahn takes place in Munich at the end of the 19th century. The tram was a great success in the city and new routes were quickly built. Meanwhile, science did not stand still and better and better trams came onto the market. The players are the head of a tram company and try to outdo each other by investing in beautiful routes and modern trams.
The game consists of a huge stack of cards in four colours with values from 1 to 10. The cards can be used in different ways. For example, they can be used as money to buy new trams. But you can also use them to build routes or as a passenger to cause counts.
Every turn you start with 6 cards in your hands. You always have to discard 1 or 2 cards as a passenger. As soon as the fourth passenger of a colour has been placed, the route is immediately scored in the corresponding colour. These routes are built during your turn by placing cards from your hand in rows. The rows must be built in ascending order. The higher cards are worth more points than the lower ones. By the way, you may make several rows of the same colour, as long as each row is consecutive. The last thing you can do is discard cards as money. With this money you can buy a new tram that you need to start a new row. The trams that come into play are getting better, but unfortunately also more expensive. At the end of a turn you refill your hand to 6 cards.
By the way, it pays to make long rows, if a row is 8 cards long, then an extra rating of this row immediately follows. For this reason, it is wise to invest in a row that starts with low numbers, even if they are worth only a few points per card.
If a regular score is triggered, you add up the points of your road maps and multiply them by the value of your tram (or by 2, 3 or 4 depending on how good the tram is). After 10 ratings the game ends and whoever has collected the most points wins the game.
Sooo… is Trambahn a good game?
I think Trambahn is a very good two-person game. I like to hoard and so I had a tendency to keep cards for rows that I would build later. However, this didn’t make any progress because you always fill up your hand to 6 cards. So if you keep a lot of cards, you get less new cards and it takes longer for you to get the cards you want. You would also like to use cards to build rows, but rows are only scored when four cards have been discarded as passengers. At a certain point you should start using cards as a passenger and not invest in rows anymore. And as if it is not difficult enough to decide if your cards are used as a route map for rows or as a passenger for the scoring, you also have to make sure that you deposit enough cards as money to buy new trams, otherwise you cannot start new rows. So you have to find the balance between the different possibilities and that is not easy, but it does make the game fun.