Back in 2017, a game called Whistle Stop was released. It was a train-based pick-up-and-deliver game with a modular board. A sequel is coming out now, though it is more of a thematic sequel than mechanical. It’s called
Whistle Mountain is a new game from Scott Caputo, designer of the original Whistle Stop, and Luke Laurie. It is being published by Bézier Games. The idea is that you’re taking the massive profits you earned in the first game and investing them in air technology – specifically blimps, dreadnoughts, and hot air balloons.
The game board is made up of four pieces, and when assembled, there are a number of slots around the perimeter. You’ll start with a random three each of the small, medium, and large machines face up on the edge of the board. On the other side, random awards are placed on each level of a tower, and three random upgrades are turned face up. Each player gets a player board and three airships of their color, as well as one coal, one iron, one gold, and one water (players that are later in turn order get an extra water and/or whistle). Seven of your workers go in the area of the board known as the barracks, one on each level. The other two of your workers go in the whirlpool at the bottom of the board. In reverse turn order, each player drafts a starting ability. Finally, in turn order, each player takes two scaffolds (which are polyomino pieces) and places one on the grid, aligned with the bottom.
On your turn, you may either Collect or Forge, and take 1-2 bonus actions.
COLLECT: Take one of your airships and put it on the game board. This can be on the grid, the machine, or a dock. If you place it on a grid or a machine, you’ll get the resources from the surrounding spaces, as well as activate any adjacent machines. Docks are the little notches all around the board. This will give you an action to do immediately. These include gaining machines, gaining cards, getting an upgrade, gain scaffolds, or rescue a worker from the whirlpool.
FORGE: Taking this action allows you to take all of your airships back. Then, you get to do up to four Forge actions – three may be builds, and one may be to move or rescue. To build, place a scaffold or machine on the grid. To move, take one of your workers and place it on a scaffold. To rescue, take a worker from the whirlpool and place it on a scaffold.
Bonus actions you can take include playing a card or redeeming an award you’ve taken into your storage.
The game is over one round after all workers have been taken out of the barracks. You score based on workers on the tower, VPs on upgrades, machines, awards, scaffolds (2:1), cards (2:1), and remaining resources (4:1). You also lose 5 points for each worker still in the whirlpool. The player with the high score wins.
I have not yet gotten a chance to play Whistle Stop, but as far as I can tell, the two games are linked in name only. They may be set in the same world, but building machines up is very different from building train routes across the country. It seems very interesting in the variety of things you can do. Bézier Games do tend to pack a lot in their games, and this looks like it follows that trend. The airships look pretty cool, and the game overall seems very solid. I look forward to trying it out someday.
That’s all for today – stay safe out there, and thanks for reading!