I had never heard of Trambahn before I had entered Six Feet Under Games in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The owner of the store had recommended it when I said that I like 2-Player specific board games and was there to pick up a copy of Agricola: All Creates Big and Small. I’m glad it was recommended to me as it was easy to learn and had a lot of replay value.
Trambahn is a card game where you try to control both the supply and demand of certain color railways (blue, green, orange, yellow). The cards in your hand can either be played as passenger cards (demand), station cards (supply), or as money that can be used to buy the actual railways (supply). Railways start out cheap at 5.000 Deutschmarks a piece, or at least that’s what I’m going to call the currency, and then they progress to 10.000 and 15.000 a piece. The more expensive the railway, the higher the multiplier for the scoring round.
Scoring happens as soon as a player places the 4th passenger card of 1 particular color. So if your opponent places down the 4th Blue passenger card, if you don’t have any blue railways going at the moment, you’ll get 0 points. The first time my wife and I played, this happened 5 times for me. I didn’t have any yellow or green stations going, so for 5 out of 10 rounds, I got 0 points. However, since I invested heavily in blue and red railways, when I was able to score those, I got a ton of points each time and actually ended up winning the game by a thin margin.
Surprisingly, even with a deck of cards over 2x the size of a normal deck of playing cards, we ended up running out of them 3 times. When this happens, each player has to give up half their money and reshuffle the discard pile. It sure hurts to give up half you cash supply when you’ve been saving up for a nice $15.000 train, so time your cash hoarding accordingly.
Overall, we’ll be playing this game a lot. I don’t think it will be a 4 times a week kind of game, but it will definitely be at least 1-2 times a week. Check it out if you like 2-player card game.