Iron Dragon

Some years ago (that would be 1992) Darwin Bromley approached Rose Estes to do a pair of Fantasy books to go with a Fantasy railroad game he was working on. Somehow, I landed the game project, and then, it turned out that Rose didn't have time to write the book and the part her co-author contributed was unusable... So I found myself in the pleasant position of writing most of a fantasy novel and designing a companion game to go with it (It did, however, have only her name on the cover.)

Rose had written the first several chapters, so I took the story from there. And on the game front, Darwin & Peter had already done the "system" so I had strict rules I had to follow. My innovations included the the world itself, new terrain types, foremen, ships, the underground, and, a Tom Wham regular feature: geographically alphabetical names (something not possible in the real world.)

The first book came out and hit the market, but sadly, Mayfair took too long finishing the game and the dual marketing at the book stores was a flop. Consequently Baen cancelled the second book (upon which I had been working). I do still have a 30 page outline of Book Two.

Iron Dragon is my favorite of the Empire Builder series and I still play it quite a lot. And, if you like it on paper, you'll love it on your computer. Eden Studios has done an excellent job of translating the game. Go to their website and download the free demo, and then buy the game... it's really true to the board game, and can be played in a fraction of the time (computer opponants make up their mind very quickly). Now if only they would come out with a network version I could play with a group of friends... (hint! hint!).

Eden's Rail Empires Home:

Mayfair's Iron Dragon (the boardgame): page.

With Mayfair's blessing, I have done an expansion to the Iron Dragon board game:
Extensions adds new locomotives to the game, more & faster ships, and if you want, combat and mercenaries (the very things Darwin took out of the original to keep it a family game). You can get it from me (see my Stuff page) or from Mayfair. Someday it may be included in the next print run of Iron Dragon.
To all Extensions sold prior to July 11, 2005
In the rules section Medals of Honor
The group playing with me at the Origins Whamathon found a naughty typo. The next to last paragraph says you may spend two medals to discard any one "load". That is supposed to say: you may discard any one demand card.

Here are the last three paragraphs of that section as they should read!

During the game, you may spend one or more MEDALS to extend the move of your train or ship by an equal number of spaces on the map (useful when you are just short of your destination.). You may spend all MEDALS you hold in this way.

Also during the game, you may, before your move, spend 2 MEDALS to discard any one demand card that you dislike and replace it with a new one (acting upon any events drawn.) You may only do this action once per turn.

Spent MEDALS are returned to the bank.

To all Extensions sold prior to 2007
The Prismatic Dragons, among the New Engines

Should have a speed of 24, not 22 as printed.

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This page updated February 27, 2007