• Julie

Station Master

Station Master is a fun and strategic game for the whole family! The educational benefits include addition, subtraction, and multiplication. There is a cleverly themed multiplication chart in the rulebook as well, so if your child is not multiplying yet, or you just don't want to do that level of math, you don't have to. There is also some adding and multiplying of negative numbers.

Each player chooses a set of passenger tokens. They have different numbers on them, as shown here, so you will want to set them up so that only you can see the numbers. Each player also recieves a Depot card, to be placed face-up in front of them. Finally, each player is dealt three cards. You can look at them, but don't show them to your opponents.

The game starts with a few locomotives in the station. On your turn, you can add a passanger by placing one of your passenger tokens face-down on the Locomotive card, or you can add a train car to the locomotive by placing it next to the Locomotive card. After playing a train card, you draw another card from the Station Master deck, to bring your hand back up to 3 cards.

Each locomotive can hold a certain number of passengers and pull a certain number of train cars. This is indicated by the number on the top-left corner of the locomotive card. Once it is equiped with the correct number of train cars, it leaves the station. This means that it is scored and then the cards are discarded, passenger tokens returned to their owners, and a new locomotive placed in the station.

To score a train, turn all the passenger tokens face-up so that the numbers are revealed. Each player with passengers on the train then adds up the numbers on thier passenger tokens. In this case, White's sum is 8 and Brown's sum is 2. Then, that number is multiplied by the sum of the train cars.

In this case, we are scoring a Freight Train, so the negative cards are actually positive and the positive cards are actually negative. The negative cards are only ever positive when being pulled by a Freight Train. So the total value of the train is 10 (2+3+4-5+6). That means White gains 80 points (8x10) and Brown gains 20 points (2x10).

The game ends when all the Locomotives have left the station. The player with the highest score wins. The kids in my game school really enjoyed Station Master, but it did run a bit long. You can easily play a shorter game by removing more of the Locomotive cards during setup. Want to give Station Master a try? You can purchase it here. Happy gaming!

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