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Empire Express

Logistics for beginners


Empire Builder is a series of logistics games with a railway topic - you draw demand cards and cards and start-up capital, build tracks based on your demand cards to transport loads from A to B and earn money for loads delivered, which you re-invest in new track based on new demand cards. To win the game you must have earned 250 Mio and - depending on the board - a pre-set number of Major Cities connected to your track network.

Empire Express is the beginnerís or introductory game to the Empire Builder system: You start with pre-set tracks and three pre-set demand cards and without cash. Then you build new track spending earnings from the first demand cards, can connect to track of other players and use it, if you need to, draw new demands, and deliver loads until you have earned 150 Mio.

There is now upgrading or accelerating of trains; building over rivers and mountains is cheaper. The biggest difference comes in the demand cards which only hold two orders instead of three, but now destinations and source locations for loads are marked on the cards.

These basic rules are supplemented by Extended Rules where you start with 50 Mio cash and without pre-set track or pre-set demand cards, to win you need 150 Mio and a connection to all four Major Cities. Event cards block track or cause loss of loads.

Empire Builder is a fantastic game, but takes at least one hour per player! Empire Express makes the access a lot easier and reduces the playing time very nicely! All other aspects of the original game have been transferred very cleverly and the fixed start-up avoids bad luck in drawing your first demand cards.


Players: 2-4

Age: 10+

Time: 60+

Designer: Larry Roznai

Art: Justin Gerard, Mike Atkinson

Price: ca. 28 Euro

Publisher: Mayfair Games 2012


Genre: Logistics game

Users: For families

Version: en

Rules: en

In-game text: yes



Part of the Empire Builder Series

Introductory game to the series

Pre-set starting track and demand cards

Drastically reduced time to play


Compares to:

All games in the Empire Builder series


Other editions:

Currently none


Chance (pink): 1

Tactic (turquoise): 3

Strategy (blue): 1

Creativity (dark blue): 0

Knowledge (yellow): 0

Memory (orange): 0

Communication (red): 0

Interaction (brown): 1

Dexterity (green): 0

Action (dark green): 0 †