Those ruskies and their railroads...
Russian Railroads was designed by Helmut Ohley and Leonhard Orgler, and produced by Hans im Gluck in German and Z-Man in English. It has a theme of building railroads and industry in Russia. Game length is about one and a half hours. During each of the seven turns (or six in a 3-player game), players will place their workers to build and upgrade railroad tracks toward Vladivostok, St. Petersburg and/or Kiev. Each track will score points each turn based on how far one has advanced on the track and how much the track has been upgraded. Although the first type of track (black) scores no points, it has to be built before it can be upgraded to grey track, which scores one point per space, and eventually up to the white tracks which can score seven points per space per turn.
Each track also has a special way of scoring bonus points. On the Vladivostok line, doublers can be placed to increase the points scored on individual spaces, while advancing to the fourth space on the St. Petersburg line can give a very nice bonus. Besides the three rail lines, players can also advance on an industry track that gives points and factory bonuses.
Finally, there are engineers. One is available to be hired each turn, and provides an extra space for your workers. Hiring the most engineers during the game scores 40 points at game end, with the second-most scoring 20 points.
On the first couple of turns only a few points will be scored - by the last turn players will be earning 60 to 120 points, and total scores usually range from 275 to 425 points. Agonizing decisions must be made each turn, as players decide what they must get done first in a turn, and what might have to wait until next turn. There is no randomness in the game beside the initial face-up setup of the engineers and removing two of the ten end-of- game bonus cards.
All-in-all, a delightful game that you'll want to play again and again. I do.
Advancement to the semifinal will be by Most Wins, followed by best percentage of their total score. Advancement of runners-up to the semifinal, after all winners advance, will be based on their percentage of the WINNING score at their table. Advancement to the final will be by the semifinal winners only. Tie scores within a single game will be broken by the end-of- game turn order, i.e. last in turn order at the end of the game wins ties.