The Rules for One Day in London

This description of the game applies to the implementation at Boardspace. .

The game is for 2-4 players. 

The Goal::  the goal of the game is to construct a 10 stop trip you could make in the London underground.   (example).

Equipment:: A pack of cards representing the stations in the underground system.   A reference map of the London underground rail system.  Racks to hold 10 cards for each player.

Setup:: Each player draws 10 cards, one at a time, and places each card in one of the 10 spaces in his rack.  Once placed, the card cannot be moved or rearranged during the setup.  Try to place the cards so the fewest changes are likely to be needed to be needed to change them to a complete itinerary.  (example) After all players have placed their cards, 3 discard piles are dealt one card each, face up.  The remainder of the cards are placed face down as a draw pile.

The Play: Each turn:
  1. The current player draws one card from the top of either one of the discard piles or the draw pile.
  2. The card can optionally (and usually will) be exchanged for one card in the player's rack.
  3. The exchanged card is placed on any of the three discard piles, unless one pile is empty, in which case the discard must be placed on the empty space.
Game End:  Play continues clockwise until some player has a valid 10 station continuous journey.
small map

Continuous Journey:
  • Any two stations on the same line are connected. 
  • You can travel as far as you like on any line, as long as you do not backtrack over the same line. Think of this as a sensible journey rule.  You would not normally ever get off a train, cross to the other side, and go back the way you came.
  • You can change lines at any station, including changing lines to another moving in the same direction on the same track.
  • You may use a line or a station more than once, including backtracking, if you've used another line in between.  
  • You may not use the same station twice in a row.  In this game, you don't get to stop for coffee.

smaller map
Click for a giant size map

map legend

A Starting Position

losing rack
Above is a typical beginning  position after the cards have been placed:   Two Piccadilly stations are connected at the left, and two District stations are connected at the right.  In the middle a run of three stations exists from Goodge Street to Great Portland Street with a change of trains at King's Cross.  This is a pretty bad position.

A Winning Position

winning rack

Above is a typical 10 stop trip:
  • Start at Blackfriars, take the district line through Tower Hill to Aldgate. 
  • Change to the Metropolitan line and travel to Baker street. 
  • Change to the Bakerloo line and travel to Elephant and Castle. 
  • Change to the Northern line and travel all the way to Waterloo. 
  • Change to the Bakerloo line and travel back to Edgeware road.

Features of the Cards:  There is one card per intersection for stations which are on multiple lines.  Overall there are 72 cards for 62 stations.

The colors associated with the lines are the customary colors from the London system.

The numbers before and after the line names are the number of stations before and after the current station on the line.

sloane square
Sloane Square is a stop only on the district line.  There are 8 stations before it, and 11 stations after it.  There is only one copy of this card.
kings cross
Kings Cross/St Pancras station is on 5 lines, but the Metropolitan and Hammersmith lines run concurrently.  There are 3 copies of this card.  This is the first stop on the Victoria line, and the last stop on the Piccadilly line.
Embankment station is on 3 lines.  There are 2copies of this card.

FAQ and Reality Check

 The stations and lines accurately represent zone 1 of the London underground, with one major and one minor exception.   The major exception is that there is no Circle line in the game.  All the stations on the circle line except one are also on at least one other line, so the connectivity of the system is unchanged, except for the minor exception that stations Aldgate and  Aldgate East have been combined.  In reality they are a short distance apart.

More generally, the absence of the rest of the system "everything except zone 1" means you can't use this game to plan actual trips, or expect what's permitted in the game to match what you would do in reality.  The reality is, if you're standing on the platform and a train arrives traveling in your intended direction, you usually just get on it.  You can always get off at the next stop and be closer to your destination.  A "better" train that might be following can always be taken from your new position, if it arrives.

Also note that the lines don't actually end at the points they end in the game - they continue on into zone 2.  The stops and stations in the game reflect what you would have to do to remain in zone 1 (and avoid paying an additional fare).
  • Why can't I go "the short way" from Waterloo to Elephant on the Northern Line?  The east and west branches of the Northern line meet in Kensington, which is in zone 2.  So to go that way, you would have to both change trains (from a southbound to a northbound) and pay a fare.

  • Original concept and primary implementation by Dave Dyer
  • Design assistance, native Londoner perspective, and especially all the local what to do lists for the stops by Leonie Fedel
  • Inspiration from the actual London Tube, and the "Ten Days in " series from Out of Box games.
  • Google maps and various London underground web sites.

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