Empire Builder Pronto
Strategy Train Game Features
EBP Game Basics

ebEB7 Screen Shot

  • Empire Builder® computer version for 1 to 6 players
  • Supports all common crayon rail game rules, terrain and events
  • Play on a wide variety of game maps
  • Play vs. AI (bots), others at your computer, live online vs. others elsewhere, and by email too
  • Fast: humans can complete a match in under 20 minutes, expert humans under 10 minutes
  • Fast: AI can complete a match in less than 1 second
  • Adjustable AI skill level means bots can both gently teach beginners yet challenge game experts
  • Hall of Fame logs the top scoring matches
  • Board Game Assistant - city and load finder: click and they blink on map, great for beginners; customize to show your contracts
  • Native Windows app that runs on most any computing device made since 2010
  • EBP also runs under Linux via Wine, or on a Mac via Parallels or Vmware Fusion
  • iPad/iOS and Android devices via Windows Access
  • Designed by a top-ranked Empire Builder player and tournament champion
  • Quality expected by elite strategy game players
Social gaming
  • Also play online and via home network at your option for fresh, live competition beyond the AI bots
  • Just connect with a friend via the Internet and play (no dependence on a third-party server)
  • Play locally via your home network (router) too, privacy!
  • Up to 6 players can participate in the same match
  • Up to 70 spectators can observe the match
  • Watch in real time as remote opponents build track
  • Send messages to one or all players
  • Auto-reconnect and resume in case connection drops
  • Hall-of-Fame remembers the top victories
  • Requires no "virtual currency" purchase to facilitate play
Play by email
  • Enjoy the game vs. anyone with a copy of EBP and email service (screen shot)
  • No need for everyone to be online simultaneously: EBP emails the match to the next player
  • Automates the Pbem process for up to 6 players per match
  • Event review shows a player all events since their last turn
  • Scrollable banter box records comments from each participant
  • Automove moves train for a player, reducing number of emails
  • Nudge feature gently reminds a slow player to take his turn
  • Remail feature recovers in case an email is lost
  • Notify feature tells you who most recently took a turn
  • Self-test checks email sending, your choice of automatic or manual send mode
  • NEW! Optional manual email send mode works with all known email systems
  • Allows you to participate in multiple Pbem matches concurrently
  • Technical details in PDF
  • Full color game maps (geographic areas) and load icons
  • Run full-screen or in a window
  • Thumbnail mini-map with draggable viewport
  • Scrollable game history automatically logs all match activity
  • Contracts of all players are shown in a scrollable area, and optional separate window
  • Watch Special Demands and Open Contracts in same area as your contracts
  • Shows cash (when public) and on-board loads of all players
  • A train trails behind each engine to show the direction of each player's most recent movement
  • Color "thermometer" indicates the number of "cards remaining in the deck"
  • Active events highlighted on the game map
User Interface
  • Offers a standard pull-down menu user interface for familiarity and ease of use
  • Touch-interface supports tablets/pads running Windows: no keyboard, mouse, or stylus needed
  • Zoom and scroll/drag main game map area
  • Drag to allocate window space to map, contracts, and history as you prefer
  • Mouse over cities to see what they supply, or loads to see where supplied
  • Right click on city to find other cities that supply same loads
  • Drag and drop your contracts into the display order you prefer
  • Move your train or build track with a simple point-and-click or touch
  • "Automove" moves your train to a distant location you designate
  • Loads window lets you drag and drop loads for pickup and delivery, or use keyboard
For Beginners
  • Skill level of your AI bot opponents can be set low to ease your learning
  • Easiest: choose one opponent, and set its style to IA Newby, who plays like a novice
  • To find a city, mouse over it on contracts to blink city on the map
  • To find load suppliers, mouse over a contract's demanded load to blink those cities
  • EBP shows cost or distance as you build track and move your train
  • Information feature estimates your track build cost to any distant milepost you right-click upon
  • "Build to" suggests a good track build route to the milepost you right-click upon
  • "Suggest Plan" asks the AI to calculate a good load pickup/delivery plan for you
  • Click on one of your contract demands to raise a load pick up reminder flag
  • Mouse over cash box to blink any player's train on map and thumbnail
  • Shows relative value of each load type to help you choose a good extra one to carry
For Experts
configurable options
  • Toughest: choose five AI bot opponents, all set to Hill style and Max skill
  • EBP's Max skill level AI plays as well as human tournament finalists
  • For a given load type, blink demand cities that have yet to be drawn from contract deck
  • Turn off Events to reduce luck and emphasize skill
  • Play in lightning fashion, with just a few seconds to complete your turn per round
  • Play with a set of generated, randomized contracts, or ones you create
  • Randomly scramble city locations
  • EBP's tireless AI opponents can help you up your game to win tournaments
  • For the ultimate challenge, permit AI bots to deal themselves better contracts
  • Modify or create maps with the EBPEdit map editor
(enable or disable
at your option)
  • Backtracking - trains can turn around after loss of a turn
  • Blitz mode - everyone plays simultaneously yielding an intensely fast match
  • Borrowing (Mercy) - players may receive cash loans to build or rent track
  • Circus - the Circus load remains in the city at which it was delivered
  • Crossgrading - Fast/Heavy Freight trains can be exchanged at a lower cost
  • NEW! Deal in deck order - contracts are given out in numeric order (i.e. without shuffling)
  • Discard 1 contract - each player can pitch 1 contract per round
  • Engines: standard - override a map's custom locomotives and instead use the standard ones
  • NEW! Equal events - ignore events after a player meets victory conditions
  • Equal-turns victory - each player gets the same number of turns
  • Events - events can be enabled or disabled as you wish, even individually
  • Extra-contracts start - each player starts with up to 6 demand contracts
  • Extra load - each train can carry one more load than usual
  • Fast trains - trains move at 1/3rd greater speed
  • Honeymoon 2-player - reduces load quantity and city access, plus locks deliveries
  • Light trains - trains carrying fewer loads can move faster (+1 to +3 per turn)
  • Manual card entry - choose the "cards" each player is dealt
  • No discarding - disallow pitching of contracts
  • Open contracts - discarded contracts become available to all
  • Pilgrims - Pilgrims can be transported for payment even without a demand contract
  • Rebuild chance - each player gets an exclusive opportunity to rebuild their track destroyed by an event
  • Restarting - allows players to restart if they get into a bad situation
  • Slow freight - players start with a slow speed (usually speed 6) train
  • Sudden death - play until contract supply is exhausted
  • Switchback start - turn order reverses during initial build rounds
  • Ultra freight - players can upgrade to an extra fast (usually speed 16) train
  • Verify connectability - EBP will disallow a build that will block an opponent from connecting all big cities
  • Warehousing - one load can be stored at each city
  • Warehousing (private) - warehouse in medium-sized cities is controlled exclusively by first player to build there
  • Xspot novice - disallows load stealing on maps with Xspot load generation
  • Choose an avatar image to display
  • Choose AI play style and skill level
  • Modify demand contracts or randomize them
  • Employ 1 to 6 demands per random contract
  • Import contracts from the Crayon Rails Deck Generator
  • NEW! Reprice delivery payoffs on existing contracts
  • Change money settings for starting cash, winning cash, terrain build cost, track rental fee, etc.
  • Change play settings such as number of major cities to connect, ferry operation, warehousing duration, and more
  • Choose which contracts are assigned Circus demands
  • Randomize city locations: it's like playing on a whole new map
  • Over 16 million different such randomized layouts possible for each game map
  • Reports of city, load and terrain data
  • Contracts and events already seen during match, and those still pending
  • Most frequently used travel corridors
  • Total load deliveries by load type
  • Load deliveries by city
  • Graphs of history of player cash and net worth during match
  • Player statistics: track spending, payoffs collected, average payoff, use fees paid, use fees collected, number of deliveries, number of speculative deliveries, event hits, total distance moved, payoff/distance, turn time spent, and more
  • Most reports can be printed, or copied to the clipboard
  • Print the Map display with players' track to document your match (sample 6m PDF)
  • Choose the text font and size you prefer
  • Select the map colors you prefer for terrain, rivers, desert, etc.
  • Use icons or text for on-map display of loads supplied by city
  • View contracts of all players in a separate window (great on widescreen or dual monitors)
  • Show/hide map background and/or event display
  • Choose map zooming direction of mouse wheel
  • Toggle off unnecessary animation
  • Sound effects on/off, including an audible "my-turn" notification
  • Text-to-speech reads game contents aloud
  • Many display personalization features: helpful to users with limited vision
  • screen shot with dark bgnd and large text
  • screen shot showing zoom into map
  • Supports: Windows mouse settings, keyboard remapping, third-party input devices, macros, difficulty settings, save points, assists, speed settings, color-blind options, training levels, and more per AbleGamers.com
Web Enabled
(use at your option)
  • Save games to and open from online (cloud) storage via FTP
  • Play live online vs others
  • Play by email vs others
  • Employ online images as avatars
  • Download saved games directly from web site links
  • Browse this web site to view what's new
  • Automated download and install of game updates
  • Internet connection not required for other features, i.e. you can play offline too
Map Editor
  • Modify or create maps with the EBPEdit map editor
  • Mileposts: normal, hidden, mountain, alpine, jungle, forest, city, desert, swamp, water, tunnel and xspot
  • Draw: rivers, ferries, ocean coastline, volcanoes, borders, and barriers
  • Contracts: edit individually, as a group, or text import from other sources
  • Events: Derailment, Earthquake, Fog, Meteor Strike, Rainy Season, Revolution, Shortage, Snow, Special Demands, Storms, Strikes, Tax, and more
  • Print map, across multiple pages if desired (photo of assembled 6-panel print after lamination)
  • Print payoff chart, loads chart, contract and event cards
Modern Tech
  • Cloud storage (optional): pause match on one device, easily resume it on another
  • Fully tablet-compatible: fingertip touch control of all game elements
  • Ultra-high resolution display support, including 8K UHD 7680 x 4320
  • Quantum randomness (optional): truly random, non-deterministic contract draws
  • Supports multi-monitor systems, remembering across sessions your preferred window locations
  • Play live online with your friends, plus the hottest thing in e-gaming: spectators (optional)
  • Groups can play via your home network, without dependence on a third-party game server
  • Play on your smartphone (requires Windows 10, remote desktop, or emulator for iOS and Android)
  • Concurrent use of multi-core processors for high performance
  • Free updates installed automatically
Old-School Quality
  • Pull-down menu operation, no intuition/guesswork needed
  • Usability: Form follows function
  • In-game context-sensitive help
  • Evolutionary upgrades, no jarring changes that require mass relearning
  • Designed for the long haul: timeless graphics that age better than the trend of the moment
  • Sustainable: upgrades upwardly compatible with content of prior versions
  • Tech support from USA-based staff
  • Prompt repair of any repeatable problem in current version
What EBP Is Not
  • Not sluggish: from EBP start to game play takes less than 5 seconds on most devices
  • Not bloatware: compact, efficient design makes things easy on you and your device
  • Not scamware: no in-game purchases needed to facilitate game play
  • Not an FPS (first-person-shooter) game, This Game Is Not A Toy
  • No awkward, clueless, help-devoid user interface
  • No subscription needed to continue play
  • No advertisements to interrupt play
  • No credit card needed for free 30-day trial
  • For your privacy, none of the user tracking, such as Flurry, often hidden in iOS and Android apps
  • Registration costs about the same as one board game, yet EBP does so much more
  • 100% of EBP sales income, less expenses, is donated to railroad history and educational charities
  • Thousands of users have played millions of matches
  • Customers tell us EBP (and RBP) are the only modern games that run well even on their old laptop
  • Game Replay plays back a match as if a movie so you can watch it unfold turn-by-turn
  • Compute the "best trip" for any set of contracts
  • Set up AI-only match, played repeatedly to gather statistics and analyze maps and strategies
  • Fast AI stat collection: can run over 20 million game turns per day (benchmark: 3.2 GHz quad-core computer runinng 4-player AI max-skill matches on EUR map using map's default rules)
  • View impact areas of any/all Events
  • Compresses saved game files to minimize their storage space
  • Authorized by Mayfair Games

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Empire Builder is a registered trademark of Mayfair Games, used here under license. EB Pronto, EBPEdit and the alternate maps are not products of Mayfair Games. EB Pronto and This Game Is Not A Toy are trademarks of Intersystem Concepts, Inc.