It’s been a long a hard road for Rail Raiders Infinite, Ninja Division’s sci-fi train heist game. There have been a few woes, and that’s putting it mildly, with delivering the game to Kickstarter backers. I think even now there’s a fair group of backers who still haven’t received the game. That’s a whole different story and has no effect on this review.
In Rail Raiders Infinite players take control of raiders hopping onto an interstellar train, fighting Lawbots, and trying to snag the most loot before the train reaches the station. There’s showdowns, equipable loot, and the ability to throw people off the train.
Rail Raiders Infinite starts with the train being assembled depending on how many players are playing the game. The train will always have a Locomotive and Caboose, both places face up, but the number of cars placed, face down, in between will vary. The High Noon deck, the deck that determines the length of the game, is also variable depending on the number of players in the game. Both the Loot Deck and Long Arm of the Law Decks are shuffled alongside the constructed High Noon Deck and placed alongside the train. The Loot Tokens and Double Dollar tokens are kept within easy reach. Players then take Raider, its corresponding card, and 5 dice.
All players start off the train and need to take the first round trying to hop on the train. They can’t get into the Caboose at no risk, but it takes their entire turn. Players can also pick a car and try to roll to start their turn on that card. There’s a whole system for calculating the risk and rolling to be able to hop on. If a player fails their turn immediately ends. Once all players have boarded, or attempted to board, the train the game begins in earnest.
Each player’s turn consists of the following actions:
- Draw a High Noon Card and resolve
- Take Actions – Players take 3 actions. A single action may only be taken a max of 2 times.
- Move: Move to an adjacent car.
- Search: Look at a Loot Token, draw the number of Loot Cards listed on the token, and keep 1 Loot. A search action cannot be taken if Lawbots are present in the car. Other Raiders on the same card can oppose the search through quick combat.
- Showdown: Attack Lawbots or other Raiders.
- Pass: Exactly like it sounds.
A few things to note. When a player moves to a face-down train car it’s flipped over, and actions listed on the card are resolved, the number of Loot Tokens listed on the car is added to it, and a number of Long Arm of the Law cards are drawn and resolved. Showdowns can take place between Raiders and a group of Lawbots, each victory removing a Lawbot and earning the Raider some Double Dollars. Showdowns can also take place between other Raiders with the loser being knocked to a different card and dropping some Double Dollars for the winner to claim.
The dice in the game have 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace on each side. Die rolls are resolved by rolling the dice and making the best poker hand possible with the results. A High Die is the lowest rank roll, while a Pair is a bit better. Flushes are some of the best. There is no standard rerolling, but certain pieces of equipment will allow a reroll or additional die to be rolled.
Rail Raiders Infinite ends at the end of the round where the last High Noon card is drawn. Players add up their Double Dollars and the player with the most wins.
As with any other Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures game Rail Raiders Infinite has some pretty amazing miniatures. The chibi sculpts look amazing and are pretty much the best things about the game. The train tiles are a nice, thick cardboard and the cards are pretty standard fare. The dice are wonderfully engraved with card faces ranging from 9 – Ace.
The two biggest issues with the components are the Double Dollar tokens which seem to be irregularly printed, and how empty the box really is. The insert holds all the components perfectly, but I feel like everything could have been condensed down to a smaller box after seeing how much empty space is left under it.
Rail Raiders Infinite is a fairly light, luck-filled game that relies more on the beauty of its miniatures than an in-depth mechanics. The card-dice are a nice touch and the simple resolution of actions keep the game moving along at a good pace. The fact that most rolls can’t be rerolled unless you have a certain piece of equipment can get rather frustrating at times, especially when you need combat to go your way. Also, there’s plenty of Loot that doesn’t provide you with any Double Dollars, making combat a much more lucrative path to victory.
Overall Rail Raiders a fun game, especially with younger players. Just don’t go into it expecting to be anything more than a light dice chucker with amazing minis. My kids actually really like the game, so it’s earned a space on our shelf through them. While I may not share their enthusiasm for the game I’m certainly not adverse to playing when they ask.
I also want to collect all the extra minis for the game. I’m a sucker for Ninja Division chibis.
A copy of Rail Raiders Infinite was provided free for review by Ninja Division
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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