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Russian Railroads

Russian Railroads is a strategic worker placement game where players compete to build the most efficient and profitable railway system in Russia, using a variety of actions and upgrades to score victory points.

7.74 / 10
BGG Rating
published year
2 - 4
player count
2 - 4
Recommended player count
120 mins
play time

How Complex is Russian Railroads?

3.41 / 5

Russian Railroads has a moderate complexity, with a variety of actions and upgrades to manage, but the gameplay is intuitive and easy to learn with experience.

How much Luck is involved in the gameplay of Russian Railroads?

1.5 / 5

Luck has a minimal impact on gameplay as players have control over their actions and can plan ahead, but there is some luck involved in the order of available actions and the draw of bonus tiles.

How much Player Interaction does Russian Railroads offer?

2 / 5

Russian Railroads has limited player interaction as players are focused on building their own railways and there are few opportunities for direct competition or interference with other players' plans.

How much Replayability does Russian Railroads offer?

4 / 5

Russian Railroads offers high replayability due to the variety of strategies and paths to victory, as well as the randomized bonus tiles and different player boards for each player count.

Why you should play Russian Railroads

Strategic gameplay

Russian Railroads is a highly strategic game that requires players to plan their moves carefully in order to maximize their points and outmaneuver their opponents.

Engaging mechanics

The game features a variety of engaging mechanics, including worker placement, resource management, and engine building, that keep players engaged and challenged throughout the game.

High replayability

With multiple paths to victory and a randomized setup, Russian Railroads offers high replayability, ensuring that no two games are ever the same.

Beautiful artwork

The game features stunning artwork that immerses players in the world of Russian railroads, making it a visually appealing game to play.

Challenging gameplay

Russian Railroads is a challenging game that requires players to think critically and strategically in order to succeed, making it a great choice for gamers who enjoy a good challenge.

Multiple player counts

The game can be played with 2-4 players, making it a versatile game that can be enjoyed by a variety of group sizes.

Awards and recognition

Russian Railroads has won multiple awards, including the 2014 Golden Geek Award for Best Strategy Board Game, making it a highly regarded game in the board gaming community.

Why you should avoid Russian Railroads


Russian Railroads can be a complex game to learn and play, which may be overwhelming for new or casual gamers.

Lengthy gameplay

The game can take up to 2-3 hours to play, which may not be suitable for players who prefer shorter games.

Limited player interaction

While the game does involve some player interaction, it may not be enough for players who prefer games with a high level of player interaction.

Lack of theme immersion

While the artwork is beautiful, some players may find that the theme of building Russian railroads is not fully integrated into the gameplay.


Russian Railroads is a relatively expensive game compared to other board games, which may be a deterrent for some players.

Where to find the Rules of Russian Railroads

You can find the community-driven rules summary, player aid, etc., in the Russian Railroads files section on the BoardGameGeek website. You need an account on BGG to download files.

Beginner Strategies for Russian Railroads

These strategies are for players who have either not played or played one or two games of Russian Railroads.

Focus on building your engine

In Russian Railroads, your engine is your key to success. It determines how many actions you can take each turn, so it's important to build it up as quickly as possible. Try to prioritize actions that will give you more workers, locomotives, and technologies.

Balance your tracks

You'll need to build tracks to connect your factories and cities, but it's important to balance the types of tracks you build. Make sure you have enough straight tracks to connect your factories, but also build some curved tracks to connect your cities and score points.

Pay attention to the scoring tiles

Each game of Russian Railroads has different scoring tiles that can give you bonus points for certain actions. Make sure you're aware of these tiles and try to focus on actions that will help you score points from them.

Don't neglect the endgame

The endgame in Russian Railroads can be very important, as there are several scoring opportunities that only come into play at the end of the game. Make sure you're setting yourself up to score points from these opportunities, such as the Trans-Siberian Railroad or the Industrialization track.

Keep an eye on your opponents

Finally, it's important to pay attention to what your opponents are doing. Try to block them from taking actions that would benefit them, and keep an eye on their engine and track-building progress. If you can anticipate their moves, you'll be better prepared to counter them and come out ahead.

Advanced Strategies for Russian Railroads

Focus on the endgame

As you become more familiar with the game, you'll start to see how important the endgame scoring opportunities can be. Try to plan ahead and set yourself up to score points from these opportunities, such as the Trans-Siberian Railroad or the Industrialization track.

Take advantage of the technologies

The technologies in Russian Railroads can be very powerful, so make sure you're taking advantage of them. Try to prioritize technologies that will give you more workers, locomotives, or points, depending on your strategy.

Be flexible with your strategy

While it's important to have a plan in Russian Railroads, it's also important to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. If you see an opportunity to score points in a different way than you originally planned, don't be afraid to switch things up.

Watch your opponents' progress

As you become more experienced with the game, you'll start to get a sense of how quickly your opponents are building their engines and tracks. Use this information to your advantage by blocking them from taking actions that would benefit them, or by prioritizing actions that will give you an edge.

Don't neglect the factories

While it's important to build tracks and score points, don't forget about the factories. They can be a great source of income and workers, which will help you build your engine and take more actions each turn. Try to build factories that complement your overall strategy, whether that's focusing on locomotives, technologies, or endgame scoring opportunities.


Worker Placement
Turn Order: Claim Action
Tech Trees / Tech Tracks
End Game Bonuses


Industry / Manufacturing