Game Profile: Coal Baron

Essen, on the verge of the 20th century!

Classification Strategy Game
Mechanics Worker Placement, Pick Up & Deliver, Set Collection
Publication R&R Games, 2013
Ages 10+
Time 60 – 75
Players 2-4
Description
Underground mining has
never been this much fun. 
Coal Baron is a worker placement game with straight forward
mechanics and depth of play to match the depth of the mines.  Each player manages their own mine by playing
workers on the main board.  At first it
looks like you have plenty of workers. 
By mid round you realize you don’t have enough.  Workers are used to claim tunnel tiles to expand
the mine and add more coal, get money, obtain new contracts, deliver goods, or
move coal from the mine to the surface.
Coal Baron is all about balancing the many variables in the
game.  Your mine is 4 levels deep with
each level down costing more money, but delivering more points.  Both the money track and the movement /action
track have multiple spaces for workers. 
Money ranges from $6 dollars down to $3. 
Actions range from 10 down to 4 in increments of 2.  Here the design is brilliant.  The 1st player can get $6 with 1
worker.  The next player has a choice to
play 1 worker on the next space for $5 or 2 workers to play on the $6
space.  By the 2nd half of the
round players may have to decide between playing 3 workers for $6, 2 workers
for $5, or 1 worker for $3.  All the
worker spaces of the board work have the same principle; be 1st with
1 worker, 2nd with 2 workers, or 3rd with 3 workers,
etc.  Workers can be used up quickly and
money always seems to be in short supply.
Contract cards and
tunnel tiles come on to the board randomly. 
There can be as many as 4 contract cards and 8 tunnel tiles available to
choose from if you have enough workers and money.  Additionally, there are 4 different delivery
vehicles which are specified by the contract cards.
The player with the most
points wins after 3 scoring rounds and some final scoring.  Each round adds another dimension to
scoring.  Round 1 scoring is based on how
much coal of each type is delivered. Round 2 repeats scoring as in Round 1 and
adds scoring based on number of deliveries by vehicle.  Round 3 scoring repeats scoring as in Rounds
1 & 2 and adds points for number of empty areas in the mine by coal
type.  Final scoring yields points for
money & excess coal not delivered. 
It also deducts points for unfulfilled contracts and for an unbalanced
mine.  A balanced mine will have an equal
number of tiles on its lit side as on its unlit side.
Coal Baron is a game you immediately want to play
again.  There are many ways to chase
maximum points and you will mess with your opponent’s plans.  It must be a rule in worker placement games
that the player to your right always takes the spot you need exactly when you
need it.
We have an open copy of Coal Baron  available in our Store Demo Library for you come in and try out.

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Come and visit us at 30 NW 2nd Street in Historic Downtown Gresham. We have a full range of family games, strategy games, Euro-style games, war games, card games, dice games and more. Also for the puzzle enthusiasts we carry quality puzzles from Ravensburger, White Mountain, and Cobble Hill.

We proudly serve Gresham and the greater Portland and Vancouver area.

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