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User Rating Comment Status
Paul Smith
United Kingdom
Ventnor
Isle of Wight
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10
Nov 2006*
Fantastic 2-player version of this great game, brilliantly developed to take advantage of the unique situations 2 opponents find themselves in.

NOTE: Switzerland & Netherlands as yet unplayed.
2006-11-09*
Owned
Anja Braun
Austria
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10
Mar 2009*
Edward Bosco
United States
West Virginia
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9.5
May 2006*
2 player Austria is super
2006-05-21*
Ben Stephenson
United States
Seattle
Washington
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9
Jul 2009*
This rating is based on having played Switzerland and Austria only.
2009-07-03
Owned
Richard Minson
United Kingdom
Ashford
Kent
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8.5
Nov 2008*
Owned
Knut Krummnacker
Germany
Kürten
North Rhine-Westphalia
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8
Oct 2005*
Owned
SeonGyo Lee
South Korea
Gimpo
GyungGy-Do
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8
Jan 2006*
Karl Deckard
United States
Seattle
Washington
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8
Feb 2006*
Owned
Annemette Wolff
Denmark
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8
Mar 2006*
Played Holland today with 4 players. Not so god. To much cubes, not enough train upgrades.
2006-03-21*
Owned
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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Plate of Shrimp.
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Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
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8
Nov 2007*
Switzerland: This is a very tight map for four players. The track is expensive and the crammed passages force people to spend more than they'd hope. Very tough struggle in the beginning with cutthroat folks. Quite a bit of fun. One of the few games I've played where the stocks are all on the second row within the third turn. My only real complaint is that some of the hexes have open sides despite the fact that they are technically impassible and thereby unplayable. It would have been easier if these would have just been closed off.
2007-11-07*
Owned
Alex Sorbello
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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8
Jan 2008*
very good expansion but bad components
2008-01-14*
Owned
Seamus Doyle
United States
South Carolina
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8
Oct 2008*
Robert Eichin
Germany
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8
Apr 2009*
Ron
Austria
Vienna
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ASL ... yes, this is my Desert Island Game. If I have to give up all my 3000+ games and only allowed to keep one, this would be it. This bloody game stood the test of time. Around for more than 25 years - simply the best.
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Devoted Follower of the Most Holy Church of the Evil Bob. Possessed and down the road to become chaotic, evil & naughty. All hail the Evil Bob and his Stargate.
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8
Aug 2010
Owned
Brian Robson
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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Available from www.spielmaterial.de
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Got a light, mate?
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8
Nov 2013
Switzerland map only
2010-04-19
Prev. Owned
Chajin Kim
South Korea
Jung-gu
Seoul
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8
Jan 2015
Michiel Hillenius
Netherlands
Hoogland (Amersfoort)
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7.5
Mar 2014
Switzerland: Tight expert map, lots of building difficulties because of the mountains. Good map for three, I like it.
2014-02-24
Snooze Fest
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
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7.5
Feb 2015
--- Austria ---
Changes to Base Game:
Setup
* New Cities: 1 cube each
* $15 each player, no shares (don't need shares/income/VP display)
Issue Shares
* NONE!
Auctions
* None; turn order preset
* 8 turns, first player is: 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1
Actions
* No Turn Order
Track Building
* Complete links ONLY
* ALL track costs $4
* Special 5-link town hex available (x 1)
* Mountains, dark hex edges impassable
Urbanize
* ONLY the Foreign markets
Move Goods
* 3 rounds
Goods Growth (2d6)
* Cities take cubes from both sides (light and dark)
End of Game
* 8 turns
* Usual VP, plus: Each $20 cash = 1 VP

Lots of changes from the base game: no auctions, preset turn order, plentiful cubes, very restricted track-building (restricted paths, complete links), no on-map urb, very high incomes (if you survive the first few turns!).

This map is TOUGH in the first few turns -- make sure you figure out a way to earn income quickly, or you'll never recover! -- but then income really skyrockets. In fact, I think it's too tough: if the initial cube distribution is poor, it seems as if the first player may have a huge leg up simply based on the random turn order! Building, requiring complete links and based on the map layout, is very restricted; I'd expect the map to look very similar from game to game. Also, there aren't really a lot of changes to the actions: they're all available (except Turn Order). Despite having all those other choices, though, on many turns it seems that most of them are pointless -- you only have a few real choices.

It's an interesting change of pace and it certainly works, but I have enjoyed the other (newer) 2-player maps more.
6.5/10
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--- Switzerland ---
1 play, 3er

The main changes here are:
- expensive builds (every tile is $4)
- lots of impassable hex sides
- a town and some tiles with pre-built tracks that are out of the game until turn 5 begins
- tracks worth 2VP each at end of game
- Zurich gets one random good every turn
- 3 rainbow cities (accept everything) are in the distant corners of the country
- must issue a minimum of 2 shares; if none issued, may buy back ONE for $8

I like this map, although the track builds are extremely constrained. it doesn't seem as if there would be a lot of variation in builds from game to game -- only in timing, depending on which cubes came out when. Three players was pretty tight; this must be REALLY tough with four -- probably end up sharing deliveries a lot more in that case.

I do wish I'd done a better job printing this (I think my image is 2-3% shrunk, so the hexes don't quite fit), and they'd done a better job marking off impassable terrain! Turns out this is a problem with Eagle, not me: 3rd edition track tiles are a WEE bit too large!

And I'm not sure how important the buy-back rules will be; we weren't in position to buy anything back until quite late in the game, and I'm not sure it made all that much of a difference? Maybe it did, though, since you could run out of space for tracks by the end and it's one way to eke out a few more VP with your cash.
7.5/10
2014-10-15
Jim Carvin
United States
Hamburg
Pennsylvania
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7.1
Dec 2014
Austria is an awesome 2-player map!
2008-10-26*
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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7
Feb 2007*
Very unique twist in that the mapboard consists of one huge city that we just claim a "hub" to develop a network of rails. There are a few spots that actually require rails. Only 5 stock can be issued all game and its only worth $3 per share. Might require at least 6 or 7 on the Netherlands board to keep things honest.
2007-02-26*
John Squires
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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7
Nov 2007*
Switzerland: it's a very tight, expensive map. Perhaps too tight for my taste. Guess that's what you get when you build train tracks in the Alps. Played with 4 and think it may be a better 3-player game. This was my first AoS experience where I maxed out my bonds (a strange map to have the bond buyback mechanic on; although perhaps understandable from a thematic perspective).
2007-11-19*
Jesse Kolberg
United States
Allegan
Michigan
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7
Feb 2008*
Przemyslaw Gumulka
Poland
Warsaw
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7
Dec 2009*
Switzerland

People/Played/Rating
3/1/7
2009-02-09*
Icke Berliner
Germany
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7
Jun 2009*
Gilberto von Allmen
Switzerland
Locarno
Ticino (Italian-speaking side of the country)
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7
May 2010
Owned
(Jimi) Miguel Fuertes
Spain
León
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6.6408
Nov 2011
Preordered
Mike Bazynski
Poland
warsaw
mazowieckie
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6.5
Feb 2009*
Switzerland - very very tight, but might be not that replayable with so many track routes fixed. can't imagine playing this with 4...

(people/times played/rating)
Switzerland: 3/1/6
2007-02-21*
Bruce Miller
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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6
Feb 2007*
The Neatherlands: Lots of goods, very little sharing of income, Demand switching is interesting, but can be somewhat cluttering to the board.
2007-02-26*
Ville Inkiläinen
Finland
Helsinki
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6
Aug 2011
Played The Netherlands.
2014-04-26
Youn-seong Choi
South Korea
Uiwang
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5
Feb 2011
Jae-Young Hwang
South Korea
Unspecified
Unspecified
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5
Dec 2006*
Switzerland : 5
2006-12-21*
Michael Webb
United States
Western Mitten
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5
Oct 2010
Austria
A solid 2 player experience, and I feel that it works well. The map is small and restrictive, and the economy on this one is very different than normal Age of Steam. It also plays quickly (1hr or less).

Strange rules are present here, no shares are available, so you have to break a profit by shipping early and often. Players can ship 3 goods per round, which is great, but you definitely have to plan ahead for it, otherwise you simply will not have enough fuel to throw in the fire.

It does do some significant gutting of the game (i.e.: no auction, no shares), but I think the 2 player game, by its nature, is going to have a tough time replicating the auction stress of AoS, so I think to some extent that has to be expected. A tough shares scheme, without an auction, is also tough to pull off.

The biggest potential future problem I see with this map is sameyness because there are a few races that are dictated by the board construction (the exits out of Wien, the race to the west, &c.) and I can see how repeated play could make those stale. That said, this is a nice map, and serves as a decent 2 player AoS option.

The Netherlands

This is an innovative map, and I admire the effort to actually put together an expansion that works with 7 players. The Netherlands features a lot of different rules including very restrictive share issuing, a whole bunch of different special roles, and, perhaps most interestingly, a variable city colour set-up which is accomplished by having a special sub-map adjacent to the board which has goods cubes randomly drawn onto it at the beginning of the game, whatever colour the cube is ends up being the colour of the city, though there is also a role which allows one player to switch two cities. Also, rather importantly, the goods growth is completely changed in this, as cities reload to the number shown via random draw at the end of each round, which means there are always a tonne of goods on the map at the start of each round.

Now, we played this with 5, which is the minimum scale, and I really don't recommend it for that number. Track was reasonably congested early, but the goods were not, at all, and they remained lax throughout the game. Because of the way the cities load back up each round, I think the only real competition for goods could possibly occur at the 7 scale, a number of people which I am not likely to have for AoS anytime soon. Another aside too, the city colour chart thing works, but I was very glad that we had a set of coloured cylinders from Elfenland on hand to put onto the cities to mark their colour on the actual map instead of having to rely on the chart, because it was bad enough with that set-up, mainly because of how congested all of the player markers and goods cubes get.

Overall, I wouldn't mind playing it again, but I would probably only suggest it with at least 6 and preferably 7 players because of the growth mechanic, and I definitely recommend having cylinders or something to physically mark the city colours on the map proper.


Switzerland

It took me a long time to get around to playing this map. With all of the crazy expansions that have been coming out lately it was hard to get my group to play this more vanilla sounding offering. The only real changes here are the ability to buy back shares, and rainbow cities. There are some other, subtle things going on that actually drive play though, primarily the ridiculously high track costs and restrictive placement.

In Switzerland, track costs start out high, and they continue to drive a need for shares throughout the game. On the plus side, the track is worth significantly more at the end of the game. Like some of Bohrer's other maps, the black line scheme creates the need to be VERY careful with route placement, as it is easy to screw yourself. It also creates an interesting tendency to need First Build, which is usually not all that useful in a 3 player game.

I liked playing this map, though I do think that replay will be an issue because of those black lines. They manage to keep the races tight and the decisions tough, but the networks seem like they will have to develop along very similar lines each time, so this is probably something that is best played very sporadically, to help keep it fresh. Not a bad map at all, but not amazing either. A 6.


The current rating reflects the average of Austria's 6, Switzerland's 6, and The Netherlands' 5.
2007-12-26*
Prev. Owned
Juho Snellman
Switzerland
Zurich
Zurich
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5
Mar 2009*
Not too happy about Switzerland. It has the normal problems of a 3 player AoS game with the default action set, the track building is way too scripted due to the massive constraints, the debt buyback is a gimmick that doesn't matter. While I like tight maps, I can't imagine playing this with 4, again due to the horribly railroaded track building, which would be an even bigger problem with more players.

2009-03-27
Joshua Miller
United States
Holland
Michigan
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4
Mar 2007*
Provisional rating for Netherlands with five players. The bottomless supply of goods cubes makes it too easy to ship your maximum locomotive distance each turn. I also thought there were too many good roles to choose from. Finally, the "build one link regardless of length" rule is a bad idea, encouraging a player with extra cash to build a comical snaking loop-de-loop in the north for extra points. Perhaps track should not count toward victory in this version? The board may play better with the full seven players, but I don't think it deserves a second chance with so many better maps available. Rating = 4.

The Switzerland map doesn't look like it would play very well, but I'd certainly be willing to try it.

I'm more optimistic about the two-player Austria map. Fortunately, Austria is scheduled to be reprinted in a nicer and more widely available edition from the Steam Brothers, in a set accompanying three of their own maps.
2007-03-05*
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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Austria: A reasonable 2 player map. Suffers from predictability.
2007-07-20*
Hermann Huth
Germany
Stuttgart
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Alan How
United Kingdom
Bromley
Kent
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Do you know about Counter magazine? Geekmail me for more details
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Wolfgang Friebe
Germany
Münster
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Ludovic GIMET
France
SAINT JUST D'AVRAY
France
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Shyam Kumar
United States
Cypress
Texas
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Frank da man
Thailand
Chumpohn
Chumpohn
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N/A
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Karl Rainer
Canada
Nanaimo
BC
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Want In Trade
Stig Mandal
Norway
Oslo
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Patrick OBrien
United States
Portland
Oregon
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N/A
Owned
Chris Johnson
United States
Azusa
California
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One of Alabama 3's finest songs, especially the versions on the single this image is from...
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Sweet Pretty M*th*rf*ck*ng Country Acid House Music - All night long!
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have Spielbox edition of Netherlands; Steam Brothers' Austria, and self-made Switzerland.
2011-01-12
Owned
Scott Mellon
United States
Erie
PA
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W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
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Owned
Bryon Petrie
United States
Kaukauna
Wisconsin
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For Trade
Steve Zamborsky
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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"Ah, Denny, I've hardly seen you this episode."
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Allan Frouvne Knudsen
Denmark
DK-2900 Hellerup
Hellerup
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frouvne
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Want In Trade

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