Game Details

Name Airlines Europe (2011)
Complexity 2.4436
BGG Rank 458
Player Count 2 - 5
Mechanism(s) Card Drafting, Investment, Network and Route Building, Set Collection, Stock Holding

Before Ticket to Ride, before Santa Fe Rails, before Union Pacific – yet after Acquire – there was Airlines, one of the earliest published games from designer Alan R. Moon and publisher ABACUSSPIELE.

More than two decades after the publication of that game, Moon and ABACUSSPIELE present Airlines Europe, the design of which Moon began in 2007. According to the publisher, "He wanted to preserve the feel of the original game and its successor, Union Pacific, while confronting the player with even more exciting choices." The result of that redesign process is Airlines Europe, featuring a reduced playing time, a new point structure, a European setting, and 112 tiny detailed airplanes.

At its heart, Airlines Europe is a stock game, with players earning points for the stock they hold in particular airline companies when one of the randomly determined scorings takes place. On a player's turn, that player either expands an airline and claims a stock, plays stock onto the board and receives dividend, invests in a special airline called Air ABACUS or gets a certain amount of money from the bank. A player scores only for stock in play, but the value of an airline is determined by the value of the route licenses that airline owns – thus, you're torn in terms of what to play when.

Some changes compared to Airlines:

map of Europe

no flight cards

special Air ABACUS airline similar to the Union Pacific

share track system

separate victory point and money systems

airplane miniatures

no sabotage

up to 5 players

reduced playtime

Some changes compared to Union Pacific:

airplane theme

map of Europe

no track cards

Air ABACUS is acquired by trading in other shares

share track system

separate victory point and money systems

up to 5 players

reduced playtime

Re-implements:

Airlines

Union Pacific

Promo Expansions:

Airlines Europe: Flight Ban (adding the option to block routes)

Airlines Europe: New Bonus Connections (adding bonus connections for the black and the brown airline)

Airlines Europe: The Presidents (adds tie breaker for stock payouts)

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Lists with this game

Organization Year Ranker Rank List
The Boardgame Mechanics 2019 Joel 6 Top 100 (2018)
The Dice Tower 2018 Tom Vassell 69 Top 100 Games All Time (2018)
The Boardgame Mechanics 2019 Joel 9 2019 Boardgame Mechanics Top 100
The Dice Tower 2021 Tom Vassell 75 2021 Top 100