Each player builds a postal system. To do so, each player tries to build an effective network of post offices in the cities on the board, acquire valuable carriages, and collect bonus tiles. It also helps to get help from the postal officials.
When a player acquires a value 7 carriage or has placed all of their houses, the game is in its final round. When the round ends, the game ends immediately.
The player with the most victory points wins the game!
Playing the game
The starting player begins and the others follow in clockwise order.
On a player’s turn, they take the following actions in the order shown:
- The player must draw a city card (either one of the face-up six from the display, or the top card of the city deck).
- The player must play a city card from their hand to the start or the end of their route, or start a new single-card route. When adding a card to the end of a route, it must be geographically adjacent to the next city in the route. (eg. Carlsruhe may be placed next to Stuttgart, but not Sigmaringen.) A player only has one route at a time: if they are unable to extend their route using the cards in their hand, they must discard it and start a new one!
- The player may close and score their current route if the route is at least 3 cities in length. When closing a route, a player may place houses in cities along the route: they must either choose a single coloured region and put a house in every city in that region on that route, or put one house in each different region along the route. Upon closing a route, a player must reduce their hand size to 3 by discarding any cards they choose face-up on the discard stack.
Each region has a pile of bonus tokens (the green and blue regions having a combined pile for the two shades of that colour): when a player has filled the coloured region(s) with houses, they take the top token from the corresponding bonus pile.
Additionally, the player may call for the support of one official (Postal Carrier, Postmaster, Administrator, or Cartwright) during their turn, performing that official's special ability. Those abilities are:
- Postmaster: You draw an extra card
- Postal Carrier: You can add a second card to your route
- Administrator: You clear the six city cards away, replacing them with six new ones
- Cartwright: You may acquire the next highest carriage, even if your route is one or two cities fewer than required (i.e. a 5 city route gets a level 7 carriage). With 3 cities fewer, the Cartwright cannot help.
Then, the next player takes their turn.
Game end and scoring
The final round is the one in which a player places all of their houses or gets a 7 carriage. Players have an equal number of turns, so play continues until the end of that round.
Scoring: Highest carriage score, plus points on all bonus tiles, minus 1 point for each unplaced house (If tied, whoever took the 'game end' token wins. If that wasn't a tied player, it is whichever tied player played soonest after them.)