Maglev Metro Maps - 6 New Games!
by: Ted Alspach
One of the great things about expansions is that they provide a new game experience for a favorite game at a fraction of the cost - not just money spent on the expansion, but time spent learning and digesting new rules. A typical 60-90 minute game is going to take about an hour of rules reading by one of the players, and about 15-30 minutes (sometimes more) explaining those rules to players. With most expansions, both of those numbers are dramatically reduced.
In the case of the six new maps for Maglev Metro, if you’ve played Maglev Metro before, the changes are minimal, with the rules on a single sheet of paper. So your time investment is very small, but the experience is incredibly fresh. For those who have played both Berlin and Manhattan (the two maps included in the Maglev Metro base game), they know that the addition of just the Hub in Manhattan makes the game significantly different, allowing players to be more tactical while still preserving a whole bunch of strategic options for how things will play out throughout the game.
Each of the six new maps announced this year come in thematic pairs: Mechs & Monorails, London & Paris, and Moonbases & Mars, but the rules changes and additions for them are totally unique. In addition to being a different layout and thematic environment, each map also includes at least one extra new physical component that changes up gameplay.
Mech’s new Mechs are triple-size robots. You start with one that you assign to one of your action types, and you have the option to unlock another one as the game progresses. In addition to giving you 4 units for the action they are placed in, they give you a special ability for that action. For instance, placing a Mech in Pick Up allows you pick up passengers without it taking an action, while placing a Mech in Adjust allows for unlimited adjustments in a single action. Mechs also features more station locations than any other map, with the Hub from Manhattan, all 14 original stations, and 4 new Mech hubs available to be placed throughout the game.
Mechs Guide in Mechs
Monorails adds VIPs (Very Important Passengers), which can be dropped off at any station, and count as the type of passenger for that station…even if you haven’t unlocked that type yet! You’ll be drawing those VIPs from the bag when you refill…though because Monorails is in an amusement park setting, you’ll only be refilling at the front gates of the park. To make it even more thematic, your train can piggyback on any other train that moves through your current station, even when it isn’t your turn.
London’s District Extensions, which remove the need to unlock different types of passengers/stations and instead serve unlock different areas on the map itself. This single change is easy to learn and digest, but results in a wildly different way to play Maglev Metro. You can easily go the entire game without unlocking some of the districts and still have the ability to build all stations and transport all passengers. A related rules change during Setup gives each player a lilac and pink commuter (normally you only get robots), which allows you to place passengers in locations at the start of the game you wouldn’t be able to until much later in other maps.
London player board extension
Paris includes a strike schedule, because (in a similar fashion to what happens in the real Paris), metro strikes are scheduled ahead of time to let passengers know they won’t be available on certain dates. In the Maglev Metro version, however, these strikes are very localized, and happen every few turns to different stations. You can predict how these strikes will impact you, and you also have the option to ignore the strikes by taking a strikebreaker token, though it’ll cost you VPs at the end of the game for doing so.
Moonbases is focused on new half-hex moonbases, one for each player, which is the only place each player can refill to. Due to limited access to these moonbases, you’ll be able to connect to at most 2 of them, all while trying to connect to valuable stations across the surface of the moon. The Moon extensions give you an option of free reverse and brakes, which you’ll need because of how quickly you can move on the Moon. You see, the low gravity allows your Move action to take you 4 stations for a single unit (up to 16 stations if you max it out), and the central station on the moon is a double station made of two regular stations, where you can drop off two different passenger types in a single action.
Mars has a brand new extension that allows you to launch your train (and its passengers) to either Deimos or Phobos, where you’ll be able to drop off Purple and Coral commuters. The extension also provides you with the ability to move backwards on your tracks without having to use an action to reverse your train. To make things even more interesting, you can loop around Mars from one side of the board to the other with your track.
Mars player board extension
That’s a summary of what each map has to offer for Maglev Metro players! The maps are double-sided and recessed, like the original Maglev Metro gameboard, and while you can easily fit one expansion into the original box, we’ll provide a storage solution for all six of them, and a special extra bonus (see the Kickstarter page for more details) if you decide to get the entire set. We are incredibly excited to have the rest of the world start playing these and to continue exploring what Maglev Metro has to offer! Click here to go to the Maglev Metro Maps Kickstarter page, campaign launches on April 5th!