On The Underground

Frequently Asked Questions

The rules have been designed to be as clear as possible, but sometimes there are still questions. I have summarised some of the most frequently asked questions, and their answers, below. If you have any questions that are not on this list, please email them to me at ontheunderground@gmail.com, and I'll attempt to answer them.

Building Track

Q.
Can you build using more than one line in your turn?
A.
Yes - the four track lengths that you build can be from any combination of your lines. However, each track length that you build must follow the track building instructions - that is, if it is not the first length of track of that line, it must extend your existing lines, and if you use it to branch track then you have to pay branch tokens.

Q.
I want to branch one of my lines. How do I do this?
A.
To branch one of your lines, you must have collected two branch tokens. You put these tokens back into the supply, and place your length of track onto the board branching the line. This length of track counts towards the four lengths of track that you can lay each turn.

Q.
Can I branch my track using branch tokens I've collected this turn.
A.
Yes - indeed the example in the rules shows a player branching using tokens that they have previously collected.

[Example 1]
Example 1

Q.
I have extended one of my lines in such a way that the next length of track I lay will connect my track back into itself (e.g. laying the track labelled 'A' in the Example 1). Do I have to pay branch tokens for this connection?
A.
No - you extended your line from one of its ends, and so you don't have to pay any branch tokens.

Q.
I have extended my track back into itself. Does extending from the point that I have looped my track into itself count as branching (e.g. laying the track labelled 'B' in the Example 1)?
A.
Yes, and you have to pay two branch tokens to do so.

Q.
What stations give me points when I enclose them in a loop?
A.
All stations do, including normal stations, express stations, national rail stations, connection stations and termini.

Q.
If it is my turn to build, but I have run out of track pieces (or there are no spaces in which I can lay the track pieces I have left), then what happens?
A.
In this situation you will be unable to build any track, and so will have to spend your turn picking up branch tokens instead.

Moving the Passenger

Q.
When moving the Passenger, does he visit all the four destination stations?
A.
No - the Passenger visits one express station and then visits one normal station. If there are only express stations, then he will visit only visit one express station; if there are only normal stations, then he will visit one normal station.

Q.
If there is more than one station that the Passenger can move to, do I choose which station the Passenger wants to move to, then choose his route following the movement rules?
A.
No - the Passenger chooses both the station and the route to minimise the amount that he walks, and the number of changes that he takes. However, he only chooses one set of stations at a time - that is, the journey to a normal station does not affect his choice of express stations.

Q.
If there are two stations that are equally 'far' in terms of walking and changing trains, and the route to one station goes through the other station, can the Passenger still visit either station?
A.
Yes - the Passenger may travel through stations that he wants to visit to reach other stations.

Q.
Is the discard pile public? If I've forgotten whether Mornington Crescent has come up can I look in the pile to check?
A.
This issue has not been specified in the rules. There are a lot of different groups with a lot of differing views on what degree of memory is appropriate in a game, and it is up to each group to come up with a decision about what is appropriate for them.

General

Q.
The rules say that I should have 20 green lengths of track and 15 blue lengths of track - but instead I have 15 green and 20 blue. Is this right?
A.
This mix-up occurs in all copies of On the Underground. Don't worry - the game plays correctly with the 15 green and 20 blue lengths. (The game also plays correctly with 20 green and 15 blue lengths - the only difference is that the player with the green and blue lines has blue as his longer track!)

Q.
The game has ended in a tie - is there a tie break condition.
A.
On the Underground does not have a tie break - if two or more players have the same score, then they are all winners. (That said, if you really want a single winner, then you could say that the player with the most branch tokens wins, or if that doesn't help, the player later in the turn order wins.)

Q.
I think that an variant of On the Underground in Paris / New York / Tokyo / Moscow would be great. Do you have plans to create this?
A.
I would love to see variants of On the Underground covering further underground systems, or indeed non-underground systems. However, publishing games involves a considerable investment, so we are waiting to see how well On the Underground does before deciding what to do next.