- 58 Trail Cards (With Start/Finish Cards)
- 32 Calamity Cards
- 26 Supply Cards
- 1 Erasable Marker
- 1 Laminated Wagon Party Roster
- 1 Die
This collaborative game simulates a trip over The Oregon Trail in 1847. You are all now part of a wagon party that is attempting to make the treacherous 2,040 mile journey From Independence, Missouri to Willamette Valley, Oregon - iF you can make it alive.
Object of the Game
To have at least one member of the wagon party survive the rigors of The Oregon Trail and reach Willamette Valley, Oregon alive. Good luck-it's rough out there on the Trail.
Everyone playing the game is working together to get from here ...
... without everyone in the group dying a gruesome 19th century death First
If at least one member of your party makes it to Oregon, everyone wins. It's harder than it sounds.
Form your wagon party by writing the names of all the members of your party on the roster, using the erasable marker.
It doesn't have to be your REAL name, but you DO have to answer to it.
Place the Start (Independence, MO) and Finish (Willamette Valley, OR) Cards on the table, approximately 3 feet apart.
Divide the cards into three decks: Supply Cards, Trail Cards, and Calamity Cards. Shuffle each deck.
Deal five Trail Cards face down to each player. Players should look at their own Trail Cards. Place the remaining Trail Cards face down in a draw pile on the table.
Do not deal out any Calamity Cards. Place all Calamity Cards face down in a separate draw pile on the table.
Deal the specified number of Supply Cards to each player:
- 6 players: 3 Supply Cards
- 5 players: 4 Supply Cards
- 2-4 players: 5 Supply Cards
Players should look at their own Supply Cards, then place them face down on the table. Players may look at their own Supply Cards at any time.
The remaining Supply Cards become the Supply Shop. The youngest player is the Shopkeeper. The Shopkeeper sorts the remaining cards by type (ex: Food, Medicine, etc). and places them face up on the table. The first player to die will take over the Shopkeeper's duties.
Supply shop example:
The Oregon Trail Card Game Features a variety of different cards.
Start & Finish
These cards represent the beginning and end of the Trail. Place the Start Card on the table, and place the Finish Card approximately 3 feet away as the endpoint.
Supply Cards are used to remedy specific Calamity Cards. Supply Cards can be played on a turn instead of a Trail Card. On his/her turn, any player may remedy a calamity by playing a Supply Card (not just the player who suffered the calamity).
Trail Cards are laid down on the table in sets of 5 as the party makes its way to Oregon. In addition to Trail Cards with no markings, there are a few other types of Trail Cards
A player playing one of these cards immediately draws a Calamity Card and follows its instructions.
Crossing a river is treacherous. Follow the instructions on the card to try to ford a river.
One player must successfully ford the river before any more Trail Cards can be played, so if a player dies, loses a Supply Card, or if nothing happens ( by rolling a 3 or a 5 on the "Lose a Supply Card" River Card), play passes to the left.
The next player does not play a new Trail Card; s/he rolls and follows the instructions on the most recent Trail Card played. This continues until one player fords the river. Play then continues to the left of the player who forded the river.
Towns and Forts
Towns and Forts can be played off of any Trail Card, and they allow the person who played it to draw extra Supply Cards or remove a Calamity Card from play.
Calamity Cards represent the hazards of the Trail. You may be bitten by a rattlesnake or overcome by disease . If you draw a Calamity Card , just follow the instructions printed on it.
The person who draws a Calamity Card is the one who follows its instructions.
The player born closest to the Willamette Valley, Oregon goes first by connecting any one Trail Card to the Start Card. Play then passes to the left.
Once the Trail has been started, players have two choices on their turns: they can either play a Trail Card that connects to the Trail or play a Supply Card.
Any Trail Card will connect to a Fort, Town, Start, or Finish Card.
Players may use either end of a Trail Card to connect to the Trail by rotating the Trail Card.
Players who have a Trail Card (including Forts or Towns) that connects to the Trail must play it unless they are playing a Supply Card on that turn.
If a Trail Card reads "Press Spacebar to Continue", the player who played it must draw a Calamity Card and then follow the directions printed on it. Only the player who drew the Calamity Card follows the instructions on the card.
ONLY Trail Cards are played on the Trail. All other cards are played in front of the players.
Some Calamity Cards affect only the player who drew them and others affect the entire wagon party. Some have immediate consequences, while others require specified supplies to remedy the calamity within a certain timeframe. Calamity Cards remain in play until they are remedied.
If the wagon breaks down or the oxen die, no one can play a Trail Card until the situation is remedied.
Players who lose a Supply Card during play, but do not have their own Supply Card to discard, must choose another player's Supply Card to discard without looking at the face of the card and without discussing it with the other players.
If a player chooses to play a Supply Card, his/her turn is then over. No additional cards are drawn and play passes to the left.
Players DO NOT have to play a Supply Card to remedy a calamity. Actually, there may be many times when it is a better strategy to let a player die than remedy the calamity - hey, the Trail is harsh!
Players can only play one Supply Card on their turn unless there are only two players left in the game. In that instance, players can play up to two Supply Cards on a single turn.
When a calamity is remedied, the Calamity Card is removed from play, the used Supply Card is put back into the Supply Shop, and play continues.
If a player does not have an appropriate Trail Card or Supply Card to play, s/he must draw from the Trail Card draw pile and his/her turn is then over.
If there are no more Trail Cards in the draw pile, take the bottom four cards of each stack on the Trail and shuffle them to form a new draw pile (leave the top layer of the Trail intact).
Stacking Up Trail Cards
The Trail is constructed of sets of five cards. When the fifth Trail Card is connected, the cards must be stacked.
Pick up the first Trail Card played in that set of five and pace the other cards underneath it.
Exception: For the first set of five cards only, the player who played the fifth card can choose that card or the first card played to go on top of the stack.
The next Trail Card played must connect to the Trail Card on top of the previous set.
Repeat this after every fifth Trail Card is played.
Trading Supply Cards
No Trail Card or Supply Card you can play? Then you have to DRAW, Pardner.
At any time, players may trade in two Supply Cards in exchange for one Supply Card of their choice from the Supply Shop.
One player may trade in two cards, or two players may each contribute one card. If two players contribute, they must then agree on who gets to keep the Supply Card they receive.
Dying on the Trail
When players die, they select up to two of their Supply Cards and "will" them to other players. Any remaining Supply Cards go to the Supply Shop.
Dead players' Trail Cards are placed on the bottom of the Trail Card pile.
The first player to die takes over as the Shopkeeper.
When a player dies, the Shopkeeper erases his/her name from the wagon party roster, then flips it over and writes that player's name, and a short epitaph, on one of the tombstones. The epitaph is then read aloud for others to mourn the loss of that player.
End of the Game
The game ends when at least one player reaches the Willamette Valley by completing the tenth set of five cards, reaching the Finish card. If this happens, everyone wins.
More likely, the game ends when the last player dies.
Rounds & Calamities
Some Calamity Cards cause instant death; others give players either one or two rounds to remedy the calamity. A round starts with the player to the left of the player who played the Calamity Card. A round ends with the player who played the Calamity Card. So, players always have the chance to save themselves.
Some Calamity Cards don't have to be remedied right away , but players won't have the opportunity to remedy them when the second card of the same type is drawn.
For example, if there is an Inadequate Grass Card face up, the oxen die as soon as a second Inadequate Grass Card is drawn. As you'll see, Inadequate Grass is particularly perilous-the only way to remove it is with a Town Card.
Tatiana, Greg, Kelly, and Julie are playing The Oregon Trail Card Game. Each player is dealt five Trail Cards. Because there are four players, each player is dealt five Supply Cards.
Tatiana was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, so she goes first. She connects a Trail Card to the Start Card. Tatiana's Trail Card says "Press Spacebar To Continue. Draw A Calamity Card Now".
Tatiana draws a Calamity Card, places it face up on the table, and reads it aloud. For this example, Tatiana drew an Extreme Cold Calamity Card.
"Extreme Cold. The temperature is below freezing. Bundle up and beat the cold with 1 Clothing Card. One round of play without a Clothing Card and you have DIED of extreme cold".
Play passes to Greg, who is sitting to Tatiana's left. Greg says, "I have a Clothes Card I can spare for you". He hands his Clothes Card to the Shopkeeper, who places it on top of the other Clothes Cards in the Supply Shop. Tatiana removes the Extreme Cold Card and discards it. Greg's turn is over, and play passes to the left.
If Greg did not have a Clothes Card (or if he had one and chose not to play it-sorry, Tatiana!), then he either plays a Trail Card or draws a new Trail Card (if he doesn't have a Trail Card he can play). Play passes to the left.
On Tatiana's next turn, if the Extreme Cold Card has not been remedied she can play a Clothes Card to save herself. If she doesn't have a Clothes Card, she can trade for one from the Shop (see, Trading Supply Cards, to the left).
If she still doesn't have a Clothes Card, she freezes to death. Either way, this ends the round. Play passes to the left.