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The Puffing Billy

Iron Dragon

The following are "official" PBT rulings that have come up at past tournaments. In all cases, the Puffing Billy conductor is the one who makes final decisions regarding rules clarifications.

If you have a question about a rule or would like to suggest an addition to this page, email

Starting the Game

Starting money is $60 gold pieces. There are three premovement builds with a switchback start and crossing of ocean inlets is allowed.

Can you dump during your initial 3 building turns? If yes, do disasters take effect? Answer: Yes, you can dump during your initial 3 building turns. This takes the place of your building. Any disasters which are drawn do not take effect

Can you upgrade your train during your initial 3 building turns? Answer: Yes, you may upgrade your train during your initial 3 building turns.

On trains, can you go from a train with 3 load slots to 2 load slots on an upgrade? If you do, must you discard a load if you have 3? Answer: Yes, you can and you must discard a load if you have 3 loads.

Where does your train have to start? Answer: Your train may start in any city. This can be a small, medium, or major city. You do not have to have track built to the city that you start your train in (for example you could ride someone else's track at the beginning of the game.)

Winning conditions

When a player has met the game-winning conditions of $250M and the required number of cities connected, annd has three load cards (drawing any to replace any loads that were delivered that turn), the game continues until all players at the board have completed that game turn. If two or more players meet game-winning conditions on the same turn, the player with the most cash wins.

Once a player has met game-winning conditions and announced that they have done so, event cards cannot take the win away, even though they may reduce their cash below $250 and disconnect their cities.

When a game is not finished by the end of the allotted time period, a complete turn must be taken prior to the ending time. The winner is the player with the requiredcities connected and with the most cash.; if no player has the required major cities connected, the player with the most cash wins.

Whether the game ends in the allotted time period or must be called, positions after first are determined solely by cash.

Event Cards

When an event causes the drawing player to lose a turn, they lose the remainder of the present turn and the entire next turn; players continue to draw cards until they have three load cards.

When an event allows no movement in specific mileposts, it means that a player cannot move to or from the affected mileposts; half-rate movement would end with the move to the last affected milepost; full movement resumes with the first milepost outside of the affected area.

Cities are considered to be clear mileposts for purposes of disasters that affect clear mileposts.

Always round up for movement when counting out half-rate.

When an event requires the players to count distance from a specific location or geographic feature, count the first milepost from the starting place as '1'. When the starting place is a major city, use the center point as the starting place. When the starting place is a coastline, use the shortest distance to determine the effect of the event. Do not 'insert' mileposts into ocean inlets/lakes when counting mileposts for an event card.

The TGA has ruled, for purposes of PBT play, the Rainbow Bridge is a permanent affect. This ruling means that the Bridge, once brought into play, remains permanently. The Wizard's Strike, brought into play after the Rainbow Bridge has been created, may dispel this event permanently. Otherwise, the Bridge is permanent.

The Wizard Strike event card is meant to last until the end of the drawing player's next turn. Thus, it would destroy the Rainbow Bridge forever as the Rainbow Bridge only last one turn.

Disaster cards prohibiting movement prohibit both moving into and moving out of the specified terrain.


You may change foremen once per turn. You may change foremen anytime during your building phase. For example, you may build with your elf foreman change to the dwarf foreman and build some more. You may of course change before you begin building or after you have finished all of your building. The cost for changing foremen is part of the 20 GP you have to spend per turn.

The Troll foreman builds through all points in the underground for a cost of 2 GP. The Clear milepost cost 2 GP. The Underground Rock milepost cost 2 GP. If you cross a river, you still only pay 2 GP. If you enter a city, you only pay 2 GP, etc.

The Troll foreman does not have to pay the bribe to the Orc to build in the underground. However, he is not your engineer and does not drive your train, so you are still required to pay the bribe to the Orc when you travel in the underground.

The bribe that you pay to the Orc for moving in the underground does not count towards the 20 GP limit on spending per turn. However, the bribe paid to the Orc for building in the underground does count towards the 20 GP limit on spending per turn. Therefore, if you build in the underground, you may only build an addition 19 GP worth of track because 1 GP must be paid to the Orc. If you are the Orc, you may build 20 GP worth of track even if you build in the underground and do not have to pay yourself a bribe.


Occasionally, there may be questions regarding whether proposed track would cross a river, lake or ocean inlet; when such occurs, the rules should be checked first as they may clarify the build; if they do not, lay a straight-edge along the proposed build between the center point of each dot -- if the river, lake or ocean is visible, a bridge must be built.

Track once built does not guarantee that right-of-way exists; thus, if an event causes a player to erase track, that route may be rebuilt by another player who has track in that area. If a player's only route into a city is erased, that player is no longer connected to that city.

No player may build track that would block other players from connecting to all major cities.

Players may not build track solely to disrupt another player's track building. This is often called zippering and it is expressly forbidden during tournament play. The PBC is the final arbiter of any final builds.

Track need not be contiguous. The rule is that a player must build from their own track or from any major city; track from different major cities need not connect.

Building two track segments out of a major city counts as building two major city mileposts for the two milepost limit per turn.

Players should verbally count the accumulating costs as they build track with their crayons.


Players should cound out loud as they move their pawns from dot to dot.

Always round up when having to move at half-rate, i.e., a freight train (movement) may move five mileposts.

When crossing a ferry and commencing the turn of required half-rate movement, start counting '1' at the ferry milepost across the water from where the player started. Movement on ferries not drawn by the moving player is considered to be movement on another player's railline even if the moving player only moves on the ferry.

Please remember that a player may not voluntarily turn around on a track until they reach a city.

Turning in cards in lieu of drawing in the first turn is allowed during tournament play.

The Mercy Rule or "borrowing" is not allowed during tournament play.

Once the tax card has been turned up, all money is public knowledge. Until that time, all money is private.

After the initial deal of load cards, all disasters are shuffled back into the deck before the start of play.


On card #20, there is demand for Iron but the card has a Fur symbol on it. On card #57 there is demand for Iron but the card has a Steel symbol on it. Which is correct? Answer: Always use the demand and not the symbol whenever there is a discrepancy between the two. Therefore iron is the correct demand for both of the above cards.

Piggnytz should be a small city. Only two people are allowed to build into it.

There is a milepost near Caldeen that is the color of jungle but is otherwise a normal dot. Should this be treated as a plain dot or as a jungle milepost? Answer: This should be treated as a clear milepost and not as a jungle.

Should the rule on sand storms have said that trains on sand mileposts are returned to the last city or port that they passed through? Answer: Yes, you should return to the last city or port that you have passed through.

Ships Ports

The rulebook states that the cost to board a ship is between 1 and 5 GP. The ships that I have only cost between 1 and 3. Am I missing any ships? Answer: Boarding cost for Ships are between 1 and 3 GP not 1 and 5 GP as listed in the rulebook. Therefore, you are not missing any ships.

Can you build from a port? Answer: You may not build from a port that you have not already built into. For example, you may not build from the port near Piggnytz unless you have already built into this port. You cannot start building from this port.

Could you please give a better explanation of how you obtain a ship. Answer: When you get to a port, you draw a ship. If you like the ship, you end your movement and board the ship. It will sail out on your next turn. If you do not like the ship, you have the option of continuing your movement. It is possible to stop at more than one port in a single turn. Once you turn a ship down at a port however, you cannot go back and claim it if you continue your movement. You may also not attempt to board (draw) more than one ship at same port in the same turn.


Can you build out of more than just the major city that you started the game in? Why is there a cost to build into a major city if you can build out of the city?
Answer: When you are building your track, you must build from a major city or from your track that already exists. This means that you can build out of a major city without having built into it. There is a cost for building into a major city only because you may only build out of 2 major city mileposts per turn and it is possible that you might want to build into a major city once you have used your 2 builds out of major city mileposts. However, this is a very rare occurrence and does not happen
very often.

Please explain leaving available entrances to the underground so that all players have access to the major city located there. Answer: All players must have access to build to all of the major cities. Since there are only a total of 4 entrances to the underground, each allowing only two players to build into them, there are only eight builds into the underground. Therefore, you may not be able to build to all of the underground entrances because you need to leave a route in for the other players (whether they end up using it or not.) For example, in a six player game, one person may only build 3 of the 4 entrances and may not build all four because all five other players must have access to the underground.

Does an Alpine count as mountain for the dwarf foreman or not? Answer: An Alpine does not count as a mountain for the dwarf foreman. The dwarf foreman must still pay 5 GP to build through an Alpine.


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