FAQ for Steam™
I received a bunch of extra wood pieces in my game, including black cubes. What are they for?
The first press run of Steam has a wood collation error that was caught before the games left the factory. To fix this, the missing pieces were added to the existing wood, providing players with ten sets of player pieces and two colors of “New City” goods (black and gray). For Steam, use only the gray cubes (corresponding to the gray New Cities); the black goods are currently not used.
Am I limited by the track and track ownership markers that I have?
The intent of the designer is that track and ownership markers are not limiting elements to the game; in practice, you may run out of ownership tokens and/or track. You are limited to the track tiles in your set, but expansions and other releases may include additional track; these can be added freely to any game of Steam using the original rules. Alternate markers may be used (additional player pieces, other markers) to denote ownership of track as needed.
May you bid $0 in the Base game starting player auction?
Are there special rules for the pale purple-bordered waterways (for example, between Maastricht and Venlo on the Ruhr map)?
Purple-bordered waterways are canals. As noted on page 9, these are identical to rivers.
If I build a 4-track town tile at the end of my turn, do I own all of the track spurs from the town?
Yes. Until the end of your next turn, all tracks out of the town (excluding that which may already belong to another player who had previously connected to the town) are yours. No other player may build from or to it (but they may replace the town tile with a New City tile, making all non-extended track spurs neutral).
May I “block” an opponent’s track by building across the front edge of their track, or building out of a city in such a way as to force my opponent to redirect their track?
Yes, subject to the restrictions on page 7 (cannot extend opponents’ track, cannot run into the side of the board).
I must extend incomplete links that I own on the next turn in order to keep them. If I have more than one incomplete link, may I extend them all, even if they do not become complete on the next turn?
Yes. As long as each link is extended by at least one track piece each turn, you do not lose ownership of any of your incomplete links.
On page 11, there is an example of a piece of complex track being built onto an empty hex. If I build a piece of complex track directly, do both track elements need to be legal, or just one?
Both pieces of track must be legal (as the placement on page 11 is). You cannot “float” track that does not connect back to a city, even if the other piece of track on the tile does.
If there is an unowned incomplete link on the board, may I redirect the last tile?
You may, but it will require two tiles to be played: one to redirect the track, then another to extend the track in order to claim ownership of the incomplete link. Exception: if your redirection causes the link to be completed, you DO claim the link without having to place a second tile (page 10).
If there is a town tile at the end of track that I own, can I simply rotate the town tile as a redirection to change the outgoing track from the town?
No. Once a town tile has been placed, all tracks that exist must continue to exist in the same configuration. You may only add additional track by replacing the town tile with another town tile incorporating all old tracks, and the new track you wish to add.
Is a link just from a city (colored hex) to another city?
A completed link is track that has either a town or a city at each end (page 6). Track between two towns is a link; track going from a city to a town is a link.
Are page 7's “You are not allowed to build track that extends another player’s track” and page 9's “You will own any pieces of track leading from the town unless already connected" contradictory?
No. Page 7 is talking about track building in general. Page 9 is referring to town hexes, and is specifically referring to replacing a town hex where one or more players may ALREADY have links. You are required to maintain their tracks when replacing the town tile, but any new track spurs you build are yours. You are not “extending” their track; you are maintaining track they already own.
If I build a town tile with two spurs as incomplete links, I own those links until the end of my next track-building turn. If another player Urbanizes the town, do I lose ownership of those links?
Yes. The new city has effectively subsumed the track that you built. (If you had extended any of those spurs beyond the town hex, you would still own those incomplete links.)
May I have more than one link to a city or town?
Yes, but you may never loop track so that it enters the same city it leaves. Completed links must have a different town/city at each end.
Does the Turn Order action offer any benefit during the current turn?
Usually, no. This action means that you will choose action tiles first during the NEXT turn. However, this tile is also the best tile for the second tiebreaker at the end of the game (page 13).
Do I have to pay cash for a loco upgrade during the Move Goods phase?
No. This upgrade is free (with the loss of one of your two goods deliveries this turn).
If I upgrade my locomotive during the first of my two Move Goods actions, may I still deliver two cubes with my second action?
No. Each action allows you to deliver one cube. You give up one of your deliveries to upgrade.
May I choose the Urbanization action if there are no more New City tiles?
No. You may choose Urbanization if there are no cubes in the Goods Display, but New City tiles remain.
If I build a New City tile, do I own all sides of the city (as if I had built a 6-sided track)?
No. A New City tile creates six unowned sides (unless another player already had track connecting into the original town). Any player may build to, or build out from, this city on any open side.
Is the Goods Display ever refilled?
No. If the cubes run out before the end of the game, the City Growth action becomes useless (Pass Option), and the Urbanization action would only allow you to place a New City tile (for $6).
An unowned incomplete link stops just outside a town. If I place a New City tile on that town, so that the link is now completed, do I own it?
Yes. You have “extended” the track to a city, so the track is yours. If another player owned the incomplete link, the link is completed for them.
Does a New City have to connect to my track when I place it?
No. You may replace any town on the board with a New City tile, whether you (or any player) has track to it or not.
When you Urbanize, is the New City tile chosen randomly?
No. You may choose from any of the remaining tiles.
Do the Urbanize and City Growth actions in Standard Steam have Pass Options?
Yes. You may choose, during your build track phase, not to take those actions. (In Base Steam, you must declare immediately when you obtain the action tile whether you are exercising the Pass Option.)
A red cube is in a red city. May I move that cube along track to deliver it back to the city it came from?
No. You must deliver a cube to a different city than its origin.
May I pass through a town twice while delivering a cube?
May I pass through a city of the same color as the cube to deliver it to a different city with the same color?
No. You must deliver the cube to the first city you reach that matches the cube’s color.
If there are two ways that I can deliver a cube, must I use the shorter route?
No. You should usually use the longest route possible (subject to the delivery rules about looping and returning to cities/towns, and your locomotive level). The shorter route, however, may mean that you don't pay another person for using their tracks, for example, so you may choose any valid route available to you.
When moving a cube, do you count links or hexes for scoring?
You count links (treating all track hexes between towns/cities as a single unit, per the completed link rules on page 6). The number of hexes travels has no effect on the number of points you earn; only the number of completed links you travel over.
May I pay cash to improve my Income Track level?
No. You may only use delivery points to improve your Income level.
Is your Income Track level limited to +10?
Yes. If your Income is at +8, and you make a 4-point delivery, you may increase your Income to +10, but any additional points would be lost.
In a three-player game, where one player has been eliminated, what is the cost on auctions for the remaining players?
The winning player pays full price. The losing player pays half (rounded up).
If there are only two players remaining in an auction, and one player uses their Turn Order action to pass without dropping out, does the other player need to overbid himself to stay in?
No. That player’s bid remains the highest on the table, and the Turn Order action is wasted. The Turn Order action is only useful with 3 or more players remaining in the auction!
In Base Steam, there are two tiebreakers: Income Track position, then action tile choice (lower value wins). What are the tiebreakers in Standard Steam, as actions do not have values?
The second tiebreaker in Standard Steam is turn order (the player in first position would win over the player in second position if they were tied at the end of the game for points and Income level).