Area 1851 Express is a 3-5 player card game designed by Justin Blaske of Five24 Labs, on Kickstarter now!
The year is 1851, and Aliens have just landed in the American Wild West in hopes of trading their advanced technology for the local wares of the Settlers and Natives of the land. Your job is to scrape together new and exciting gadgets to sell, to increase your reputation, and become the best Tinkerer the west has ever seen.
Area 1851 Express is played over the course of three rounds. Players begin each round with a hand of seven cards. On their turn, they will place a single card face down in front of them, and pass their hand to the next player. Each player will reveal their chosen card simultaneously and choose how they want to use them. Cards can be played as part of a gadget they are building, or kept as scrap to use later. As gadgets are completed they will be turned in and reputation points will be earned for how well made the gadget is. Once all cards have been played, a new round begins. After three rounds the game ends, and the Tinkerer with the most Rep wins!
On each of your turns, you will be building one or more gadgets by playing base cards and attaching mod cards. Each base will have between one and three attachment points for modifications. While it may take longer to build a gadget with three attached mods, the rewards will be much greater. When you have completed a gadget and sold it off, you will not only gain valuable Rep, but also possible effects from the gadget. Some effects will increase your Rep based on how well you build the gadget, while other effects will allow you to keep some of the cards played in a scrap pile to use later. Effect Tokens can also be gained to use later during the game. These tokens can be very powerful by letting you do such things as drawing cards from the deck, swapping cards from your hand, or drawing cards you sent to your scrap pile earlier in the game.
With its simultaneous card drafting, players will be continuously engaged with the game at every step. With different card and action choices providing several options for the player to choose from each round, you will be able to adapt and change your strategy as needed. The Effect Tokens allow you to have options for future rounds, and the clever use of Scrap and Thing cards assures you’ll never be stuck without options on your turn.
Area 1851 Express, is a quick, fun game that builds excitement as you build your gadgets. Whether you’ve just scraped together a Form-Adjusting Mining Pick with a Fusion Reactor, or just a Plain ‘Ole Bonnet, you’ll have a lot of fun creating gadgets and sharing them with your fellow tinkerers!
Area 1851 Express was provided free for preview from Five24 Labs
Brad Taylor has been an avid board gamer for over 20 years. Recently he has been involved in play testing board games, reviewing and editing rule books, and writing review and previews. In his spare time, he organizes a large local gaming group and is involved in board game related meetups and events.