Freedom - The Underground Railroad

  • Freedom - The Underground Railroad is an engaging cooperative game for one to four players about a pivotal time in American history!

    Players assume the roles of important historical Abolitionist characters attempting to help slaves move from Southern States to freedom in Canada, while avoiding the slave catchers dedicated to taking away their freedom during the early 1800's through the Civil War.

    During the game, players need to work together in an effort to achieve two victory conditions. First, the players need to raise the strength of the Abolitionist movement through the acquisition of Support Tokens. Next, the players also need to help Slaves escape from the plantations in the south, moving them north to freedom in Canada while avoiding the Slave Catchers that are roaming the board. If the players are able to achieve both conditions before the end of the game, they win. Of course this is not going to be easy, but through careful planning and strategy, the group can recreate history, helping to bring down the institution of slavery.

    The game board consists of two sections. The map on the right features the paths available to both escaping slaves as well as the Slave Catchers who roam the board. The North Star Newspaper on the left, holds the resources available to the players during the game, including Abolitionist Cards that feature key historical figures and events.

    The game is played over eight rounds, covering the years of early independence up until the end of the Civil War. During the game, players must progress through three time Periods: 1800-1839,1840-1859 and 1860-1865. Each period holds resources that the players attempt to unlock during play. These resources include new Support, Conductor, and Fundraising Tokens, as well as Abolitionist Cards that restock the Abolitionist Queue.

    The players must move Slaves to freedom in Canada, which is achieved through the use of Conductor Tokens, Abolitionist Cards, and Player Roles. Only the tokens in the periods you have activated are available for purchase. Each token can only be used once and are depleted quickly! If players do not advance in a timely manner into the next period by purchasing all of the current period's Support Tokens, the Conductor Tokens run out and Slave movement along the Underground Railroad grinds to a halt.

    Additionally working against the players are Slave Catchers that constantly react to Slaves that move onto their paths. This can hamper a player's movement options and can even result in Slaves being captured and sent back to the Slave Markets! Even with the best laid out plans, a Slave Catcher can make an unexpected move once per round. This movement is determined by a dice roll.

    Based on the die roll pictured above, the Blue Slave Catcher moves 2 spaces along his path in the direction of the white arrows. If there had been Slaves on the last space he landed on, they would have been caught and sent to the Slave Markets.

    This unique Slave Catcher system creates tension in the game, since players need to move Slaves out of the southern plantations and into Canada before the Slave Markets deliver more Slaves into the Plantations at the end of each round. If there are not enough open spaces in the Plantations to accommodate the new influx of Slaves, the excess Slaves are placed into the Slaves Lost Track. If this is completely filled, then the players lose the game.

    Freedom is a challenging cooperative game that will keep you and up to three of your friends playing over and over again.

    The theme, strategy, simple mechanics, and thoughtful decisions make Freedom an incredible cooperative game.
    ~Kristen McCarty, Geek Cast Radio Network

    The theme, strategy, simple mechanics, and thoughtful decisions make Freedom an incredible cooperative game.
    ~Kristen McCarty, Geek Cast Radio Network

    ...I think Freedom - The Underground Railroad is not just a fun game, I think it's an important game. [It] can spark questions and discussion, particularly with young people, about the experience of American Slavery.
    ~Cody Carlson, The Discriminating Gamer

    If you are looking for a cooperative game that will challenge your brain power and also provide some educational insight, then look no further...
    Tony Mastrangeli, Board Game Quest

    Freedom is going to be a game that I keep.
    ~Tom Vasal, The Dice Tower

    Read more
  • Expansions + Accessories

  • Videos

  • Living Rule Book & Summary Sheet

    Rulebook (EN)

    English Language, PDF Format.

    Download Rule Book

    Summary Sheet (EN)

    English Language, PDF Format.

    Download Summary Sheet

    Spanish Language Player Aids

    Abolitionist Cards (ES)

    Spanish Language, PDF Format. Download from Board Game Geek. Translation credit Miguel Estefania, Layout credit: Nacho Mora. -Updated May 18, 2018

    Download Cards from BGG

    Summary Sheet (ES)

    Spanish Language, PDF Format. Translation credit Miguel Estefania, Layout credit: Nacho Mora. -Updated May 18, 2018

    Download Summary Sheet

    Forums

    Board Game Geek Forum

    Question and Answer Forum on Board Game Geek

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    Spielbound

    Spielbound is an organization that strives to educate through Board Games. They have added 'Freedom - The Underground Railroad' to their collection!

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    TBS Magazine

    Freedom has made TBS Magazine's list of 20 challenging games that you can learn from!

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  • Reviews

    Board Game Geek

    Cedric Chong has provided an excellent review, quickstart guide, and discussion of 'Freedom - The Underground Railroad' over on Board Game Geek!

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    Pocket Tactics

    Dave Neumann over at Pocket Tactics gives an excellent review of Freedom - The Underground Railroad!

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    Geek Cast Radio

    Kristen M with Geek Cast Radio reviews Freedom - The Underground Railroad

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    Ciekawe Gry

    Jacek "Palladinus" Szmania with Ciekawe Gry has done a great Polish language review for Freedom!

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    Awards

    • Winner Best Co-op Game - Dice Tower Awards
    • Winner Best New Designer - Dice Tower Awards
    • Winner Best Game Theming - Dice Tower Awards
    • Game of the Year - Drive-Thru Review
    • Theme of the Year - De Tafel Plakt! (The Table Sticks)
    • Board Game of the Year - The Wargamer
    • Winner Best Historical Game - Club Fantasci Board Game Awards
    • Winner Most Innovative Game - Club Fantasci Board Game Awards
    • Winner Best New Designer - Club Fantasci Board Game Awards
    • Winner Best Thematic Game - Board Game Quest Awards
    • Winner Cooperative Game - Board Game Quest Awards
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The theme, strategy, simple mechanics, and thoughtful decisions make Freedom an incredible cooperative game.

Kristen McCarty, Geek Cast Radio Network

Freedom - The Underground Railroad is a difficult, sometimes desparate, almost frantic cooperative board game about Abolishionism, about saving lives, and about the struggle to try and change a country.

Paul, Shut Up and Sit Down

...I think Freedom - The Underground Railroad is not just a fun game, I think it's an important game. [It] can spark questions and discussion, particularly with young people, about the experience of American Slavery.

Cody Carlson, The Discriminating Gamer

If you are looking for a cooperative game that will challenge your brain power and also provide some educational insight, then look no further...

Tony Mastrangeli, Board Game Quest

Freedom is going to be a game that I keep.

Tom Vasal, The Dice Tower

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