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Next Station London: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Next Station London: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Objective of Next Station London

The objective of Next Station London is to optimize your four subway lines to score more points than the other players.

Setup for Next Station London

  • Each player takes one Map of London sheet. You will also choose one of the color pencils to use for the first round.
    • If there are only three players, place one of the pencils between two of the players.
    • If there are only two players, place one pencil to the left of each player.
  • Decide whether you are going to use the Shared Objective and/or Pencil Power cards. It is not recommended that you use either until you are familiar with the game.
  • The last player to have used the subway/Underground, is the controller in the first round.

Playing Next Station London

You will play four rounds in Next Station London. In each round all of the players will be drawing one of their four Underground lines. Each round consists of four different phases.

  1. Identify your departure station.
  2. Build your Underground line.
  3. Score points for your Underground line.
  4. Preparation for the next round.

Identify Your Departure Station

In each round you will use one of the four colored pencils included with the game. Each round you will use a different color.

The color of your pencil for the current round determines your departure station. Look for the station matching the color of your colored pencil.

Departure Station in Next Station London
This player is drawing their purple line this round. They will start their line at the purple Departure station.

Build Your Underground Line

You will take between five to ten turns in this phase dependent on what Station cards you draw.

The current controller for the round shuffles the eleven Station cards together. They will place the cards face down on the table to form the draw pile.

To begin each turn the current controller will flip over the top card from the Station card deck. You should flip over the card so all other revealed cards are still visible. The flipped over card will show a symbol. This symbol shows the players what stations they can connect their current Underground line to next. All of the players will have the opportunity to extend their Underground line based on the card that was drawn. For more on how to draw a new section to your Underground line, check out the Construction Rules section below.

After everyone has had the opportunity to draw a line, the players will look at the revealed cards. Some of the cards will have a pink and yellow background. These cards are called Underground cards. Once the players reveal five Underground cards, this phase will end. The players have completed the route for the current line.

End of Round in Next Station London
The fifth Underground card has been drawn. After drawing a line for this last card, players will finish their current line.

If not, the controller will flip over another card. You will follow the same process as the previous card.

Construction Rules

You must follow a number of rules when drawing a line.

You can choose not to draw a new section based on the newest card. If it is not possible to add a new section or you don’t want to, you can ignore the card that was just revealed.

Each Station card gives you the opportunity to add another section to your current line. For your first section of each Underground line, you must start from the departure station and connect it to another station that matches the symbol on the card.

First Card in Next Station London
For the first Station card a square symbol is revealed. The players will have to connect their Departure Station to a square station.
Drawing A Line in Next Station London
This player has decided to draw a line from their Departure station to the square station directly below it.

After you have added your first section to an Underground line, all future sections can be added to either end of the Underground line. The chosen end of the Underground line must connect to a station matching the symbol on the latest card. There is one exception to this, the Railroad Switch (see below).

Second Card in Next Station London
For the second Station card a triangle card was drawn. For their next line the player will have to connect to a triangle station.
Drawing a Line in Next Station London
The player decided to connect the top station to the northwest triangle station.

When drawing a section, you must follow the dotted lines printed on the map. You may not connect two stations that are not connected with a dotted line.

Each section you add must connect two stations. You may not create a section that passes through another station or through another line that you have already drawn (neither your current color or a previous color).

Drawing Line Restriction in Next Station London
The player is unable to draw a line from the square station to the triangle station that the pencil is pointing to. They can’t draw a line to this station because it would pass through another station. They could first draw a line to the circle station, and then draw a line from the circle station to the triangle station.
Drawing Restrictions in Next Station London
This player would like to draw a line from the Central Station (station with ?) to the square station that the pencil is pointing to. This wouldn’t be allowed though because it would pass through a line that they have already drawn.

A line of one color can connect with the departure station for another color.

You cannot draw two sections for an Underground line that enter the same station.

You may not draw two sections that use the same route between two stations.

Drawing Line Restriction
This player would like to draw a line from the Central Station (station with ?) to the square station that the pencil is pointing towards. They couldn’t draw this line though as there is already a purple line on the connection between these two stations.

Special Stations

While most of the stations in Next Station London are basic stations, that all act the same except for their different symbols, there are a couple unique stations.

Central Station in Next Station London
The station in the middle of the picture which has the ? symbol, is the Central Station.

Central Station

The Central Station is located in the middle of the map. This station has a ? symbol in the middle of it. This station is wild. You may connect an Underground line to this station with any of the Station card symbols.

Tourist Spot in Next Station London

Tourist Sites

Tourist sites have compass points surrounding an inner circle. You will connect to these sites in the same way as a normal station. Tourist sites will score you extra points at the end of the game though. The Central Station is considered a Tourist site.

Joker Card in Next Station London

Joker Card

When the Joker Station card is revealed, all of the players can choose which of the symbols to use for drawing a section this turn. Basically you can connect your current Underground line to any nearby station as long as you follow all of the other construction rules.

Railroad Switch

There is an unique Station card in the deck called the Railroad Switch. If it is the first or second card in the phase, you will ignore its effect.

Railroad Switch Card Revealed
The fourth card revealed was the Railroad Switch card (bottom left card). You will flip over the next card to see what stations you can connect to next.

When this card is flipped over, the next Station card is immediately flipped over as well.

Railroad Switch Example in Next Station London
As the card revealed after the Railroad Switch was a circle card, you will draw a line to a circle station.

You can use this card in two different ways.

First you can use it like a normal Station card and add a section to either end of your Underground line. You will connect to a station with the symbol from the second card you revealed.

The other option for the card is to create an additional branch for your Underground line. When this card is revealed you can choose to draw a new section from any of the stations in your current Underground line (the station does not need to be at either end). To draw the section you must follow all of the other rules regarding construction.

Railroad Switch Drawing A Line
Since a Railroad Switch card was drawn, the player can choose to draw a line from the purple Departure station to the circle station that the pencil is pointing to.

Score Points For Your Underground Line

After each player has completed their line from the current round, they will score that individual line. They will score points depending on the stations that the line moved through.

Final Underground Line
As the round has ended, this player won’t be able to add anymore sections to their line. Pictured is their complete purple line.

Number of Districts

The first thing to determine when scoring your Underground Line is how many different districts the line moved through. There are thirteen different districts on the map. Each district is separated by yellow lines. You will count how many different sections that the Underground line passed through. You will write the number down in the corresponding section of the scoring area.

Scoring the Number of Districts in Next Station London
The purple line connected to five different districts. They will write down five in the corresponding section of the scoring area.

Most Visited District

Next you will analyze each district individually. Find the district where the current Underground line has connected to the most stations. Count up the number of stations that were connected to the line in that district. Write this number in the corresponding scoring area.

Scoring the Most Visited District in Next Station London
In their purple line this player connected to three stations in the same district. They will write down three in the corresponding section on the score sheet.

Crossing the River

Check how many times your Underground line crosses the Thames (the river on the map). You will score two points each time your Underground line crosses the river. Count up the number of times it crosses the river and multiply the number by two. Write the total in the corresponding scoring section.

Scoring Crossing the River in Next Station London
For their purple line this player crossed the Thames two times. They will score two points for each time for a total of four points.

Tourist Sites

Look at the various Tourist Sites around the map. Tourist sites are noted by the compass lines around the edges of the station. Count up how many of these stations your current Underground line went through. You will cross off one of the numbered circles at the bottom of your sheet for each Tourist Site you visited. During the game you can only cross off a total of ten circles from this section of the sheet. If you visit more Tourist Sites, you will not cross off more circles.

Scoring Tourist Sites in Next Station London
This player connected to two Tourist Spots with their purple line. They will cross off two of the circles at the bottom of the scoring area.

Final Round Score

After all of the individual scoring, you will tally the total points earned from the current Underground line. You will start by multiplying the number of districts the line passed through by the number of stations in the most visited district. Basically multiply the first number you calculated by the second number you calculated. To this total you will add the number of points you earned from crossing the Thames/river. You will write your total at the bottom of the current column.

Final Scoring for Line in Next Station London
The player will then determine their final score from the purple line. They will multiply the five different districts by the one district that had three connected stations. The four points from crossing the Thames twice will be added to the total. They will score a total of 19 points from the purple line.

Preparation for the Next Round

After you have completed scoring the last line you created, the current round is almost over. You need to complete some cleanup before you start the next round. If the last round was the fourth round, the game will end.

You will pass your pencil to the player on your left. You will receive your next pencil from the player on your right. If there are only two or three players, place your pencil between you and the player to your left. You will take an unused pencil from your right before taking a pencil from another player. Basically you will be passing the pencils around the table so everyone gets to use each pencil for one round during the game.

For the next round each player will play with the pencil that they just picked up. You will be creating a new line with this color.

The player to the left of the controller from the previous round, becomes the controller for the next round.

End of Next Station London

Next Station London ends after the fourth round. Each player will have created four different Underground lines with the four different colored pencils.

Complete Underground Network
At the end of the game, this is the player’s complete Underground network.

You will then tally up your final score for the game. You will score points as follows:

First total the points you earned from each of your four Underground lines. You will write the total in the far right pink square on your score sheet.

Next look at the tourist site score track. Throughout the game you will be crossing off these spaces as you connect to various tourist areas. Find the lowest number (leftmost) that you haven’t crossed off yet. Write this number in the black circle above the tourist score track.

Final Scoring
As the game has ended, the player will start tallying their final score for the game. They will score 88 points from the four lines they created. As for the Tourist Sites, the lowest number not crossed off is 17. They will score 17 points from the Tourist Sites they visited.

Interchange Stations

Now you will determine how many interchange stations you created. When two or more different colored lines connect to the same station, you have created an interchange.

Interchange Station in Next Station London
The triangle station has become an Interchange station as two different colored lines have entered it.

To score the interchanges you will first count up how many lines connect to it. Interchange stations score points as follows:

  • Interchange station with two connected Underground lines: 2 points per station
  • Interchange station with three connected Underground lines: 5 points per station
  • Interchange station with four connected Underground lines: 9 points per station

You will combine the points you scored from each type of interchange to get your total points from interchanges.

Interchange Scoring in Next Station London
This player created a few Interchange stations in their Underground network. They created three Interchange stations that feature two different lines/colors. These stations will score the player six points (3 x 2). The player also created one Interchange station that had three connected lines. This Interchange station will score the player five points. The player will score a total of eleven points from their Interchange stations.

Determining Your Final Score and the Winner

To determine your final score you will add together the three subtotals you figure out above. The player that scores the most points wins the game.

Final Score in Next Station London
The player adds up all of the points they scored from the different sources. This player scored a total of 116 points in the game.

If there is a tie, the tied player that scored the most points from one single Underground line wins the game. If there is still a tie, the tied players share the victory.

Next Station London Advanced Modules

After you have played the game a couple times, you can choose to add the advanced modules to Next Station London. These modules add additional complexity to the game, but also add additional challenge. You can choose to either add the Shared Objective cards, the Pencil Power cards, or both.

Next Station London Shared Objective Cards

At the beginning of the game shuffle the five Shared Objective cards. Randomly choose two of the cards and place them face up in the middle of the table. These are the cards you will use in the game. You will return the other Shared Objective cards to the box.

Shared Objective Cards Used in Game
For this game the players will use these two Shared Objective cards. Players will try to complete the corresponding objectives in order to score bonus points.

The Shared Objective cards apply to the entire game. You can use all four of your Underground lines to help complete them. For each Shared Objective card you complete, you will score an additional ten points at the end of the game. When you complete a Shared Objective, place a check mark in one of the corresponding boxes on the score sheet.

Shared Objective Card Scoring in Next Station London
This player was able to complete one of Shared Objective cards. They will score ten points for completing it.

Here is how you complete each shared objective card.

Shared Objective Card in Next Station London

For this objective card you are trying to create Interchange Stations (a station that two or more Underground lines connect to). To complete the objective you need to create at least eight different Interchange Stations.

Shared Objective Card in Next Station London

Try to connect your Underground network to all thirteen districts in the city. If all of the districts are connected to at least one of the Underground Lines, you have completed the objective.

Shared Objective Card in Next Station London

If you can create an Underground network that connects to all five Tourist Sites, you have completed the objective.

Shared Objective Card in Next Station London

Create an Underground network where each of the nine stations in the center city district has at least one line connected to it.

Shared Objective Card in Next Station London

Develop an Underground network that crosses the Thames at least six times.

Next Station London Pencil Powers

At the beginning of the game, shuffle the four Pencil Power cards. Randomly assign one power to each of the four pencil colors. Turn the cards over so you can see the power for each color. The cards will move with the corresponding colored pencil for the entire game. If there are less than four players, you will still assign cards to the pencils that no one uses in the first round.

You can use the Pencil Power assigned to your current color once. You do not have to use the power if you don’t want to. If you use the card, flip it face down to show that it has been used in the current round.

The ability that each Pencil Power card provides is as follows:

Pencil Power Card in Next Station London

You can draw two sections to stations with the current symbol. If the current symbol is the joker, you must connect to another station with the same symbol as the first station you connected to.

Pencil Power Card in Next Station London

Instead of using the current symbol, you can treat it as a Joker. This allows you to connect to a station with any symbol.

Pencil Power Card in Next Station London

This card allows you to treat the most recent Station card as if it was combined with a Railroad Switch card. Thus you can branch your Underground line off at any station instead of having to create a section at one of the two ends of your line.

Pencil Power Card in Next Station London

At any point during the round you can circle one of the stations that you connected to your current line. This station will count as two stations when determining which district had the most connected stations.

Next Station London Solo Mode

The Next Station London solo game is played mostly the same as the main game. You will choose the order in which you want to play the four colors.

You can choose to use the Shared Objective, Pencil Power, or both modules. These two modules are used the same as in the normal game. For each of these modules you use though, you will subtract ten points from your final score.

The objective of the single player game is to maximize your score. You will play the game in the same way as the normal game as you create your Underground lines.

At the end of the game you will compare your score to the following chart to see how well you did.

  • Less than 90 points
  • 90-105 points
  • 106-120 points
  • 121-135 points
  • 136-150 points
  • 151+ points
Components for Next Station London

Year: 2022 | Publisher: Blue Orange Games | Designer: Matthew Dunstan | Artist: Maxime Morin

Genres: City Building, Family, Flip and Write, Network and Route Building

Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 1-4 | Length of Game: 20-30 minutes

Difficulty: Light-Moderate | Strategy: Moderate | Luck: Light

Components: pad of map sheets, 4 colored pencils (purple, blue, pink, green), 11 Station cards (6 Street cards/blue background, 5 Underground cards/pink background), 5 Shared Objective cards, 4 Pencil Power cards, instructions

Where to Purchase: Amazon, Blue Orange Games Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.


Next Station London Board Game Review - Geeky Hobbies

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