Statues at the GHR Stations (Guide)
At every Station of the Great Hellbound Railway, you, the Director, have a singular choice: You can build a statue!
For most Stations, your choice of Statue dramatically affects the options, requirements, and rewards of its "Under the Statue at _____" card. Further, each Statue has different building requirements, typically including items, Favours, Connected/Renown qualities, otherwise esoteric achievements such as Poet-Laureate, and particular GHR Board Members. Given the complexity of aggregating all the various choices into a plan based solely on the regular wiki pages—one would need to have twelve tabs open—a player guide is in order.
Note that in Unlock Requirements for Statue-specific actions, the level of the location's Commemorative Development is omitted, since obviously you have to have the statue in question to get its options. You can go to the page for each location's Under the Statue... card if you really want to find out, but this page has been created so you don't have to know that.
When rating the statues, there are several relevant factors.
- How profitable is the option? Are the item rewards useful?
- Are the relevant favours available? Are there any other ways of cashing in the favours? (in particular - how does it compare to the option at Jericho Locks?)
- Does the option require many favours? If yes, you'll need less cards to exchange your favours, and the card is more valuable.
Reward for Building All Statues
After building a statue at every station, a branch will become available on the Under the Statue at Marigold Station card which grants the Amber Vision of the Sea of Spines, a Home Comfort that grants Watchful +6, Bizarre +1, Shapeling Arts +1, and Zeefaring +1.
Reward for Building All Self Statues
There is an additional reward if all of the statues completed are statues of yourself. It will be unlocked on the Under the Statue at Marigold Station card like the Sculptress's, but after learning about the construction, it will become a storylet. Building the final statue, The Inescapable Ubiquity of your Countenance costs 7000 x Soul, 700 x Hinterland Scrip, 70 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self, and 7 x Direful Reflection. You cannot do this if you have any Stains on Your Soul.
Most Statues can be reset at the cost of 10 Fate. That isn't a ton of money, but it is still real-world money, so if you're on a budget, choose wisely before building a statue—don't just grab the first option that's available—and develop a plan for an overall build of Upper River Statues. It is a matter of preference whether you wish to build towards material in-game rewards, or towards lore available in the text associated with certain Statues, or towards whomever you or your character would honor (minmaxers, loristorians, roleplayers and egotists are equally valid in this game), but bear in mind that if your statues give you three places to spend Urchin Favours and none for, say, Church or Revolutionaries, it could have a negative effect on gameplay.
Balmoral doesn't require the spending of Fate to replace the statue. Instead, it requires a Much-Needed Gap. Failbetter Games mentioned this was significantly cheaper because the statue doesn't have a card like the other ones.
The option to Practice Sketching the Statue to (Subject) appears on every Under the Statue card, with the same basic difficulty of Persuasive 200 (Broad), plus a modifier based on Station Darkness at that Station. It also has the same reward, except that, oddly, the Station VIII version's wiki page claims it gives 103 drops of honey instead of 100. Whether this is a typo in the wiki, a bug in the game's code, an intentional change to reflect Mr Spices' regular presence at that station, or a result of code that reads a stat like Station Darkness or a player's core stats, has yet to be determined.
|Practice sketching your statue to (Subject)||Persuasive 250 - (10 × Station Darkness)||+2 CP Scandal|
|Have This Statue Removed||10 FATE||Removes (Location) Commemorative Development quality||N/A|
Your first Station! Of course you want a statue there. And it's got to be of someone on your Board. Why would you even consider anyone else?
|Statue / Building Requirements||Option||Cost||Reward||Value ( )|
|Board Member: Sinning Jenny||Call in favours from Urchins||4 x Favours: Urchins||23.00 |
|Board Member: Feducci||Call in favours from Tomb Colonists||2 x Favours: Tomb-Colonies||13.40|
|Board Member: Jovial Contrarian||Call in favours from Revolutionaries||4 x Favours: Revolutionaries||
|Board Member: Virginia||Call in favours from Hell||2 x Favours: Hell|
|Board Member: Tentacled Entrepreneur||Call in favours from Rubbery Men||2 x Favours: Rubbery Men||15.00 |
||Call in favours from Bohemians||4 x Favours: Bohemians||2 x Ivory Humerus||30.00 |
- Assuming 3 E from bundle
- Assuming a value of 10p per warm amber
- through the Bone Market
When comparing the statues it's pretty clear that statues requiring 2 favours provide around 15 items, while statues requiring 4 favours provide around 25 worth of items. It's worth noting that exchanging 4 favours in one go would save an action, compared to exchanging 2 favours twice.
- Sinning Jenny
This statue is OK. The bundle would have a value of around 2.5-3 based on Bundle of Oddities (Guide), so you get slightly less value for your favours than with most statues and urchin favours also have other ways to be cashed in. If you like fancy cloth or bundles of oddities and have more Urchin favours than you know what to do with, or just really like Sinning Jenny and optimization be d__ned, this could be the statue for you.
The statue is OK minus. Magnificent diamonds are usually pretty hard to get, and the value is okay. The biggest issue with this statue is gaining enough favours with Tomb-colonies, given that these are some of the hardest to get. If you like shiny things, or if you're trying to acquire a Zub, this could be decent. By this point in the game, though, you probably already have a ship.
- The Jovial Contrarian
Profitable, and much more efficient than trading in Favours in the Flit, by a factor of approximately 3 (counting by Favours), with no Suspicion gain. Proscribed Material is hard to get via repeatable actions, and revolutionary favours are common enough. It provides no Advancing the Liberation of Night:, but that may be a good thing. Definitely a solid choice.
Like Feducci, this is mostly a source of loot to sell for Echoes, although the brandy is nice. With the second reward being an alternate success, this should provide more Echoes than Feducci, on average, and give a pretty high value. The Muscaria Brandy would be a great way to counter the relative difficulty of acquiring Souls compared to other Tier 1 items if it were the sole Success, but it's only 50% likely, and combined with it being on an opportunity card, you can't count on it. It should be noted that favours with Hell are easier to come by than favours with tomb-colonies, so this may be a good choice for some.
- The Tentacled Entrepreneur
This statue gives decent value for 2 favours. You will most probably need both the warm amber and trembling amber for skeletons, and if not you can sell the Trembling Amber easily and exchange the warm amber for more trembling ones. Bonus points for a resource that can be a bit hard to come by, but the big question here is: how many favours with rubbery men do you actually get? Another point is that once you reach Jericho Locks you can cash in 4 favours at a time for bone market bones instead. Still, this statue gives you another option.
- Yourself, the Poet-Laureate
Yes, you! Why hasn't it got a Board Member requirement? Well, in case you forgot, you're on the d__n board! You're the Director, in case you'd forgotten. If ignoring the long grind to be a poet-laureate in the first place, this statue still has several flaws. First off, Ivory Humeri aren't that useful anymore. Yes, they add a lot of value to a skeleton, but you need a skeleton to sell them in the first place, and only primates need arms. These are also the types of skeletons that can't have its value boosted by zoological fads, and might also increase implausibility. In addition, bohemian favours aren't that common, and you might be spending them for Tribute instead for more profit. Alternatively they can be cashed in at Jericho Locks for more useful bones instead. This statue gets a lot of points for being cool, but it's not very useful.
The Jovial contrarian is probably the best statue, with Sinning Jenny, Virginia and the Tentacled Entrepreneur as runner-ups, depending on favour accessibility mostly.
When you reach Jericho Locks, you start unlocking permanent options for calling in favours with all factions, Bohemian, rubbery and zailors being available from the get-go, making statues with these factions less competetive. All of Jericho Locks' options use Favours: The Church. These become ridiculously easy to get as soon as you open the Magistracy station, so if you haven't done that already, do that before you build a Statue here. You will also need Renown: The Church 25 and its associated item to take advantage of that option, so do that. (Though, by the time you can build a Railway, that shouldn't be a problem for a diligent player.) The biggest issue with these statues is that you might want to spend your church favours on tribute instead for more profit.
- Assuming a value of 10p per warm amber
- Assumed value through the Bone Market
- Dean of Xenotheology
It's hard to get an Echo value on the Warm Amber, since you can't sell it at the Bazaar, but based on how the Zailor at the Bone Market pays you, 1 Amber = 10p. 180 amber would be 18.00 by this metric. 18 worth of items isn't bad for 2 favours. A good option if you like warm amber, but not very special.
With a Bazaar worth of only 10 Echoes, Southwark's 4 examples of Muscular Christianity seem a bit lackluster. That is, until you consider how hard and expensive it is to get Strong-Backed Labour from other sources, how many uses there are for it (Archaeology, anyone?), and how cheap Church Favours are in the Upper River. Of all the easily repeatable sources for Strong-Backed Labour, this one is the second lowest cost (4/£4.20 or 1/£1.05, per the Shuttered Palace Favour exchange rate) and the most action efficient (especially compared to the other free source). The biggest issue with this option is that you're only able to exchange 1 favour at a time. That means you have more favours to use on other things, however.
If you're not going on a ton of Archaeological digs, this is a very solid option. St Fiacre's Relics (he was a leggy fellow) offer good value in a skeleton, and they are legs so you might get an additional 10-15% from Zoological fads, and by selling to the sculptress it provides rumours as well. This statue is very good, and has the bonus of exchanging many favours, meaning you get the benefit without always hanging out in Jericho. These are also handy for making an exhibition for the Burrow Church. Probably the best source of saint legs, alongside Bohemian favours.
- Yourself (Scholar of the Correspondence)
SotC is notoriously hard to grind, tending to be very expensive and causing a lot of Nightmares and Wounds—almost on par with Seeking. Relatively few players try to cap it out (other than Seekers), or raise it at all beyond the minimum required for A Name in Seven Secret Alphabets, or maybe the level 10 cap found when composing Somewhat challenging music at The Empress' Court. If you've managed to get SotC 21, I don't have the heart to tell you not to take this option. Capping SotC is something to be proud of, d__n it.
The best part of this statue is that you only spend one favour per card. However, the other statues would probably be more rewarding for you, considering that the Expertise of the Second City is virtually useless for a fully upgraded lab, and the Whispered Hint can be gained from other sources.
Fiacre's is best for power palaeontologists, Southwark is great for ruin maniacs and tiger-fanciers, and the Correspondence one is a trophy for madmen (especially ones short on Thorned Ribcages and desperately in need of alarming quantities of Enigmas). The Dean's statue could be nice if you need a lot of Warm Amber, but otherwise Fiacre's or Southwark are the best statues here.
The Magistracy of the Evenlode
The Magistracy's main concerns are matters of the law, and the Statue rewards reflect this. One even has an option to gain Favours: Constables, instead of spending them, so you can save all your favours for buying Special Dispensations for your Revolutionary friends. Or you can cash in your constable favours in Jericho Locks instead.
|Statue and building requirements||Option||Cost/Challenge||Reward||Value ( )|
|Board Member: the Gracious Widow||Call in favours with the Gracious Widow||4 x Favours: Urchins||20.00 |
||Receive an offering from the Clay Highwayman||2 x Favours: Criminals||12.50 |
||Set a Watch beside the Statue of Yourself||Dangerous 200||1 x Favours: Constables||4.20 |
- Gracious Widow
This statue is pretty much identical to the statue of Sinning Jenny in Ealing Gardens. It has a decent reward, but nothing special. The bundle should have an average value around 2.5-3 based on Bundle of Oddities (Guide). This option exchanges 4 favours, so it's efficient with actions. This statue is likely available from the start, making this a fair option.
- Clay Highwayman
The bundle is similar to the Gracious Widow, and while it provides 7.5 less echoes, it only uses 2 favours. It's a far better Favours: Diamonds ratio than Beating the minister. The biggest concern with this statue is that favours with criminals are already pretty amazing. A favour can be spent to gain 4 Scintillack without any statues, for tribute at better EPA, exchanged for a lot of different things back in London, or used to buy a crate in the Khanate. You will probably have so many other things to spend favours on and Magnificent diamonds aren't really that special anymore at this point.
- Yourself, Defender of Public Safety
While lower echo value, this option is notable for generating Favours instead of spending them. The proximity to the Magistracy can be convenient, since it takes 7 Favours: Constables to get a Special Dispensation, and there are few, if any other sources in the Upper River. However, it's pretty easy to get those Favours back in London. This can be combined with calling in favours in Jericho in which case it gives 27.5 E in Cave-Aged Code of Honour/ Legal Document and a Sworn Statement. Note that Defender of the Public Safety is a grind, and by the time you've unlocked this statue you'll probably not spend much time in the Evenlode anymore. Based on this, this still isn't a great statue here.
The widow is the best statue here, because you have better uses of your criminal favours, and by the time you're a defender, you're not likely to be spending much time in the Evenlode anymore.
The statue at Balmoral does not add a card to the deck and its only purpose is to gather the Amber Vision of the Sea of Spines that requires statues built at all stations. There are three choices for statues: The Empress's Consort, which requires no special features; the Captivating Princess, which requires her acquaintance; and the statue to your Cover Identity, which is a statue of yourself and counts towards The Inescapable Ubiquity of your Countenance, and requires a cover identity. Reaching Balmoral means you can cash in both Criminal and Great Game favours in Jericho.
None of the statue choices in Station VIII materially affect player rewards; only the descriptions are affected. All Statues of the Masters used to require a high degree of Connected: The Masters of the Bazaar, but that has since been eliminated except for the one of yourself with the Masters. Note that whatever statue you pick, the Correspondent profession gets an extra option at this station. Reaching Station VIII allows you to call in favours with Society in Jericho.
|Options||Cost/Challenge||Success||Value ( )|
|Read the graffiti on the Statue to (subject)|| Watchful (125 + 25 × Station VIII: Darkness)
|5-7 x Unusual Love Story||2.50 - 3.50|
|Write something to sear the eyes of fools and lift up the great powers||1 x Storm-Threnody||3.00|
There is no particular gameplay advantage to any of these choices, just roleplay and lore. Some do require Ambition completion, high levels of Connected: Masters, or Meals Served. Of those, Meals Served is the easiest quality. The rest just cost Scrip, proportional to how much else you've built at Station VIII.
|Statue and Building Requirements||Options||Cost/Unlock||Success||Rare Success||Failure||Echo Value|
|St Augustine||Dinner with a Curate||1 x Favours: Society||N/A||N/A||-0.20|
|St Hildegard||Supply Honey for a Theological Salon||1 x Favours: Revolutionaries||N/A||N/A||-0.20|
|An Evening of Palaeontological Discussion||N/A||N/A||2.50|
|Trade Favours for Bones|
|Meditate on Death ||AtGotG 50||1 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self|
|Make an addendum to the Church in the Wild's Theology FATE||1 x Verse of Counter-Creed||N/A||2.50 |
- St Hildegard and St Augustine
These statues are completely worthless. There's not much good to say about them.
- Memento Mori
This statue doesn't require any input, and provides several resources which are often hard to get. Unfortunately it doesn't have a good value, which makes it less interesting. Situational, but doesn't require you to keep an exhibition skeleton.
This statue could be okay if you need a lot of verses of counter-creed, but requires uncommon items and has low value. As such it's situational at best and often bad.
- The statue to the Custom-Made Saint
This is unambiguously the best choice for paleontologists, offering the chance to get a flourishing ribcage in roughly 3 actions with some planning, plus the occasional Prismatic Frame. The only issue is that you need to permanently have a skeleton ready. This statue can also be a decent source of Connected: Benthic for other uses.
Reaching Moulin allows you to call in favours with the Tomb-colonies and Urchins in Jericho.
|Statue||Building Requirements||Options||Cost||Success||Value ( )|
|Yourself, a Legendary Zee-Captain||Share a drink with a Zailor||4 x Favours: The Docks|
|Share a tale of your travels||1 x Favour|
|Yourself, London's Ambassador to the Khanate||Make contact with an agent||2 x Favours: The Great Game||15.00|
|Yourself, Moulin's preeminent Archaeologist||Various, see Under the Statue at Moulin|
Mechanically speaking, all of these statues have a niche.
The Dockers option makes it possible to both spend and gain favours with the docks. Favours with the docks are some of the most valuable favours, and there's not a lot of sources for them, so the option to gain docks favours is decent. Instead of spending them on this statue, you can also spend them on esteem of the guild, in Jericho, expeditions or tribute, making them sources of many different items. On the other hand, docks favours have so many places to cash them out that you're not very likely to want to spend them on this. This is a solid choice, but is slightly less unique than it used to be.
The Great Game option seems a bit weak compared to Dockers option, especially considering that these favours too are hard to get. With the addition to calling in favours at Jericho, this is even less useful. The statue is valuable, although a bit situational. Could be worth it if you get a lot of favours with the Great Game and don't want to travel to Jericho.
The Clio or Archaeologist statues have the strength that they allow you to get many different favours, which can be spent on the other statues in your railway, on tribute, or in Jericho. You can keep a monograph going for the sake of gaining specific favours and thereby use it as a favour source. Both bohemian and church favours can be spent on tribute. In addition, Bohemians and the Church have great options in Jericho. favours can be used with the Ealing Gardens statue, and both church and hell can have multiple statues. This makes this statue very good. It may not be as satisfying to get favours as getting a big reward, though. It's also locked to the kind of monograph you are doing, which makes it slightly less convenient.
The docks and the Archaeologist statues are definitely the best options here. The Archaeologist option is more flexible of the two, but either is great.
Upon reaching the Hurlers you can now call in favours with revolutionaries in Jericho.
Many of the statues here give similar values, but require different favour types. From the top:
- Liberation of Night
This statue provides good value for selling, but if you need a lot of Night on the Town for whatever reason, this should be the best statue. Unfortunately, you are probably done with most of the uses for these already at this stage of the game. You can still Bring the celebration home for Making Waves or Swap tales with the locals for Esteem of the Guild, but quite possibly you'll end up selling most of them. This is still a good value for your favours, however, so if you don't already have a revolutionary statue, this is a good choice. Of course, not everybody wants a statue dedicated to the Liberation of Night...
This is a very interesting choice, because it doesn't require favours, and it's one of few non-parabola sources of Sighting of a Parabolan Landmark. It has a low value, but as it doesn't require any favours, this is still a good choice. Once again, not everyone will be comfortable with making a statue dedicated to the Fingerkings.
Good value. The only issue with this statue is whether you have enough favours with Church, because you will probably have at least one statue dedicated to them already, and it's competing with favours for tribute and favours in Jericho. The Collated research could be useful to Compile notes on the Correspondence, which may be something you'll want to do now.
Again, good value. This statue literally gives you poop, which is something that you need for the railway and other things, but can also be sold for scrip. Seeing as scrip can be exchanged for echoes with a profit, this statue provides some of the highest EPA for the Hurlers. You'll need a source for hell favours, however.
- Your Overgoat
Similar value to the other statues. Gives Aeolian Scream for Hell favours. Intuitively, this sounds good, but collated research is probably more useful at this point. But it's not a bad option.
- Your Übergoat
Congratulations on getting an übergoat! This statue is basically the same as the Anchoress, except you need favours with hell instead of favours with the church. On the plus side, it will not be competing with favours for tribute!
- Your Heptagoat
Wow! Just wow! Building this statue is an achievement. Unfortunately the reward is terrible. 15.5 for 7 favours is really bad. Primordial shrieks aren't the easiest resource to get, but at this rate it's more efficient to get the goat-demons and buy shrieks from the bazaar. But then you wouldn't have a statue dedicated to your heptagoat...
- Yourself (Steward)
This statue relies on Memories of Discordance and roughly equals 2.5 EPA if you obtain them through Track your Carnivorous Aurochs in Parabola. Assuming you have Glasswork 10, can obtain a Glass Gazette with one action, and have Nightmares 5 to force a confrontation, each Memory can be obtained in 6 turns. This statue is therefore not worth grinding unless a more efficient method of obtaining Memories is found. That said, with The Long-Dead Priests of the Red Bird, Memories could plausibly be obtained as part of a Helicon grind.
Most of these statues are the same value. The goat demons might have a slight edge over the others in value, and the Anchoress, LoN and Übergoat statues might provide more useful resources. For this statue, it might be a good idea to first decide which favours to use, and then choose the statue. The fingerking statue might have one of the most useful resources, and doesn't rely on favours, potentially making that the best allround statue.
Reaching Marigold means you can now call in Hell favours in Jericho as well.
|Statue||Building Requirements||Options||Cost||Reward||Value ( )|
||Sell surplus Railway Steel to the Moloch Line||1 x Railway Steel|
|Call in favours with the Tracklayer's Union||4 x Favours: Revolutionaries||25.00|
|Marigold Devils||None||Sell surplus Railway Steel to the Moloch Line||1 x Railway Steel|
|Admire the statue||4 x Favours: Society||2 x Magnificent Diamond||25.00|
|Yourself, a Respectable Industrialist||Twilit Smuggler 21||Sell surplus Railway Steel to the Moloch Line||1 x Railway Steel|
|Sit by your statue||4 x Favours: Criminals||25.00|
The option to sell Railway Steel has no unlock condition other than having no more than 6 Favours: Hell and at least 1 Railway Steel to sell. This means that you can use this option regardless of what type of statue you build, so you don't need to include this option into your decision-making process.
All the Union-related statues are mechanically identical other than the building requirements, so making a decision between the four mostly comes down to whether you can meet the building requirements and your own aesthetic/character preferences.
All of the statues advance the Liberation of Night, which may not be what your character wants. Additionally, it's worth checking what other statues you have already built by now. Revolutionary statues can also be built in both the Hurlers and Ealing Gardens, and if you have built one there, this statue will be less useful. Vital Intelligence doesn't have a lot of sources, so this could be useful. On the other hand, you could get more valuable resources in Jericho.
- Marigold Devils
Considering that society favours are among the most ubiquitous, this sounds like a good choice. Note however that your favours could be spent for tribute instead at a higher profit. There are no other statues which work with society favours. Magnificent Diamonds aren't the most exciting at this point in the game, but they are normally hard to acquire and good value. If it wasn't for tribute, this would be the best statue here.
- Respectable Industrialist
Reaching Twilit Smuggler 21 requires a lot of rare resources, but is doable. A Cave-Aged Code of Honor is exchanged 1:1 for Legal Document, while Unlawful Devices are used in Monographs, and may be sold at the Rat-Market, depending on the week. Unlawful Devices can be also be sold for Hinterland Scrip, and Criminal Favours are fairly easy to get. It is worth noting that Criminal Favours can profitably be cashed in elsewhere, and you may already have a statue at the Evenlode. Legal Documents don't currently have vital endgame uses, but having Unlawful Devices around for rat purchases could be a nice plus.
All the statues here have good competitors for favours elsewhere.
While the statue options at each station are compared pretty thoroughly against each other in their sections, here's where we get into strategies across all the upper river stations. For example, most people wouldn't want two statues competing for the same type of Favours.
Statues by favour type
This table is meant as a help to avoid having the same faction have multiple statues, as well as show whether there are good ways to cash these in in London and if the favours are readily available in the Hinterlands.
- This option is bad