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Steam Lords
Steam Lords
by (Self-Published), (Web published) (2011)
Player Count

Player Ages

Playing Time
30 minutes
  • Card Game
  • Economic
  • City Building
  • Territory Building
  • Print & Play
  • Designers
  • Todd Sanders
  • Mechanisms
  • Pick-up and Deliver
  • Worker Placement
  • Artists
  • Todd Sanders
  • Family
  • Forgenext
  • Player Count: Two Player Only Games
  • Rating: 6.77/10 from 11 users


    Steam Lords is a game of resource management for 2 ruthless players. To win you must use your resources wisely to construct 12 victory points worth of buildings along the Shale River which runs through the different quarters of the City of Iron.

    Needed to play: the deck of 34 cards and 35 markers per player in 2 colors.

    Setup: Place the 4 Quarter Cards comprising the map of the Shale River between players.

    The 4 quarters of the city each have 6 buildings on them that can be constructed by players. Each building is worth 1 victory point towards the goal of 12. Further, each building allows players to use the special power of that quarter of the city to place more workers, distribute resources or purchase cards in the game.

    Next each player takes a set of the 5 Industry Cards: Foundry, Trade Guild, Civil Service, Builders and Shipwrights and places them below their side of the river.

    Industry Cards are used to construct the buildings along the river by placing resources on the 5 icons on each card. Once enough resources have been accrued, players may construct one of the buildings, though each industry type only constructs one or two particular types of building based on which Quarter Cards the industries are adjacent to.

    Next each player takes a set of the 4 Resource Cards: Brick Kiln, Textile Mill, Lumbermill and Smelter. Players shuffle these cards and randomly lay them out below the Industry Cards. Place the Contract Card within reach of both players. Then lay out the 11 Upgrade Cards face up within reach of both players.

    Lastly, players each take 4 of their 30 eurocube markers and place them on four icons on any of their Industry Cards. Players may only place a marker on one each of the four resource types. Each card shows icons for a different resource type used in the game to construct the buildings and purchase upgrade cards.

    Play: Steam Lords is divided into rounds of four phases. Players take turns during phases 1, 3 and 4, and play simultaneously during phase 2. Players will alternate going first between rounds, with Player One going first in the first round, Player Two going first in the 2nd round, etc... Once all 4 phases have been completed, a new round begins.

    Phase 1: Contract
    Players take turns placing 5 workers (eurocube markers) on the Contract Card claiming either resources or distribution rights.
    Phase 2: Distribute
    Players simultaneously distribute resources, moving markers from the Resource Cards to the Industry Cards.
    During this phase, each player may ‘deliver’ any resources for a total of 5 card units in distance. To calculate distance, count the number of cards up and over to the left or right you wish to move a resource.
    Phase 3: Build
    Players take turns constructing buildings on the Quarter Cards if they have all 5 resources needed on their Industry Cards.
    If a player has all 5 icons marked on an Industry Card, they may remove those markers and construct any of the unclaimed buildings on a Quarter Card. Once all 6 buildings have been constructed no more can be claimed. Each building built on a Quarter Card is worth 1VP.
    Phase 4: Upgrade
    Players take turns buying Upgrade Cards one at a time, and may only buy Upgrade Cards if they have built buildings in Coalside during phase 3. For each building built in Coalside, a player may buy 1 Upgrade Card during this phase. To purchase an Upgrade Card, a player must pay the number of resources shown at the bottom of each Upgrade Card. They may then take the card and place it in front of them.

    Four of the Upgrade Cards allow players to store additional resources on the Resource Cards. After purchasing one of the four cards replace the existing Resource Card with the new one. Each of these cards is worth 2VP. Seven of the Upgrade Cards let you construct building with fewer resources, gain distribution units or place more workers in phase 1. The cards list their respective upgrades.

    An expanded set of 12 additional cards has also been included for a longer game.

    Artscow direct order -

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