Great Heartland Hauling Company

Personal Ranking: #44 (2016 Ranking)

Time to Play (in my experience): 30 minutes

Age Level: Probably 8 or so could handle this one.

Difficulty Level: 1 (less than 5 minutes to teach, less than an hour to play)

Type of Game: Pick-up and Deliver. In this type of game you are picking up some sort of items from one spot on the play area to another spot.

Game Setting: Modern America highway routes.

Brief overview of how to play: The object of the game is to have the most money at game end. To do this, you must transport various goods (pigs, cows, corn, and beans) across the country and try to sell them at the most profitable rate. On your turn, after moving your truck 1,2,or 3 spaces, you either discard cards to pick up goods and put them on your truck, discard cards to sell goods from your truck, or discard cards to draw new cards.

How many players does it play?: 2-4

Ideal number?: 3 or 4, probably.

Why do I love/recommend this game?:

1) Very basic, but interesting “pick-up and deliver” game. It’s kind of a “bare-bones” pick-up and deliver game, but it does it very well. You really want to be very efficient in how you move your truck across the board.

2) Different set up each time. The board is made up of cards which are shuffled and then randomly set up in the grid. This means that the best routes will be different every game. In a two or three player game, you don’t play with all the cards, so there are less of some commodities in the game.

 

 

The cards form the random set-up each game.

3) Interesting movement aspect. You have to move your truck on your turn. You either move by playing a card (or cards) from your hand, or by spending money (points) to move. You also can’t land on a space where another truck is. You can pass through, but you can’t stop at the same stop. This makes for some interesting decisions.

4) Interesting hand management aspect. Since you need a pig card both to pick up a pig and drop off a pig, it might not be in your best interest to pick up 3 pigs just because you have 3 pig cards. Then again, maybe it is…

 

This hand has all the commodities, but no fuel cards.

5) Built in “mini-expansions”. I love it when games come with bonus material that you can try out once you get the basic game down and want an extra challenge. In this case the cards are double sided and the other side includes toll roads, weigh stations, and construction zones which might mean that you’ll need to alter your routes. There are also alternate card layouts and an additional deck of cards for a “truck stop expansion.” 

Is there anything offensive in this game? Anything at all?: Not that I can see.

Final word: A game about trucking goods across the county might not sound like much, but this little game packs a wallop of fun in a short amount of time.  For a basic pick-up and deliver game, I can’t think of a better recommendation than The Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Amazon.com price at the time of this posting: $16.91

 

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