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User Rating Comment Status
Peter Mumford
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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10
Jan 2010
Fascinating dynamically shifting relationships among players. The player with the highest income has the least chance of getting turns, and this can set up a lovely bounce-back dynamic.

The values of shares at auction starts in the low teens, and players have little starting cash. As dividends start to come in, shares prices rapidly escalate in value. They seem to peak in the $40 range, but I'm not sure I've seen the top yet [edit: I saw a share sell for $116. The guy lost the game. Maybe peak values are in the $60-$70 range]. Naturally values collapse close to the endgame.

Overall this is one of my top three Winsome games. For reference, the other two are Wabash Cannonball and the Early Railroads series (which is basically one game with three maps).
2015-02-28
Owned
Breno K.
Brazil
Brasília
Distrito Federal
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10
Oct 2011
Just really really awesome. Very clever and original and incredibly deep.

Production has some issues, with yellow and orange being too similar and not having player aids printed on the board along with the train count. Still, a fantastic game.
2011-11-29
Owned
Claudio
United States
Portland
Oregon
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10
Oct 2010
(Reviewed Fall 2010)German Railways, available at Essen this year, is a gussied up edition of Preussische Ostbahn, a small-run title from Winsome, a boutique designer of (almost) exclusively train games and devilishly interesting ones at that. Besides the nice board and bits and the more pronounceable name, nothing has changed since the 2008 release. This license continues a relationship between Winsome and Queen that began with the 2008 release of Chicago Express, a high-end production of 2007’s Wabash Cannonball, and most recently bore fruit in the form of Samarkand: Routes to Riches, a reworking of the 2008 (very limited) release of Age of Scheme.

Like Chicago Express, German Railways maintains an identical ruleset to its Winsome forebear.* Many comparisons have been made between Chicago Express and German Railways, but they are all quite superficial or merely highlight the contrasts as there are few substantive similarities. This review will not draw such contrasts and will assume no knowledge of Chicago Express - a very worthy game in its own right.

The rules for German Railways are quite simple. The goal is to have the most cash in the end. Cash is made during dividend phases in which players are paid for shares held in the eight (or nine and soon to be ten) railway companies. These dividends are triggered for all companies when any two companies connect to each other for the first time (i.e. everyone gets paid when a new unique connection is made). Players, on their turn**, can either issue a share to be auctioned or, using the company treasury, expand a company that they have a share in. This latter choice - expansion - can increase company income as the company services additional cities. The game usually ends when all companies have touched at least two other companies. Sound simple? Well, there are a few little twists to the rules that add a lot of spice to this seemingly bland recipe.

There is no stock dilution. Any share that is issued will pay whatever the company’s current income is. Without the reduced income that dilution brings, partnerships (the bread and butter of nearly all shareholding games) can be particularly fruitful.

There are only three shares of each railroad and they are only available in ‘tiers’. The first of each is auctioned before the start of the game. Only once all the first tier shares are sold does the second tier become available. And only once all the second tier shares are sold do the third tier shares become available. This tends to create an interesting arc to the game where the initial auction sets the stage, the second tier (which is almost always available after the initial auction) is strategically auctioned during the first half of the game to create relatively exclusive cross-ownership patterns and - hopefully -beneficial alliances, and the third tier throws the second tier alliances out the window, making the endgame a banquet of alliance management possibilities.

Valuations at the three tiers are also totally distinct. The first is predicated on player count and starting cash, distribution of prior purchases in the initial round, and, essentially, price/value enforcement. The second two tier values are situational, predicated on player cash, player income, the existing alliance structure, and how players would like to manipulate that structure. Besides the challenge of valuation, the issue of which share to put up for auction and when are intensely difficult and fascinating decisions.

The company that makes the connection gets a double dividend per share (while every other company will pay a regular dividend). This little gem of a mechanism can generate very powerful alliances when incentives are closely aligned or it can spawn all sorts of extortive possibilities. The connection double-dividend can just be hanging there, but why use your turn to take it when you could improve your income on another share and let your ‘partner’ connect, giving you the double payout AND the increased income from the other share? This is particularly potent if the next player in line can steal the double dividend. Your partner’s got to make the connection, because if he doesn’t ...

There is an alternative endgame condition, namely that if it can be proved that the primary condition CANNOT ever be met, the game ends immediately. This gives the owners of certain geographically marginal companies added control of how many dividends may or may not pay out. As with many Winsome games where cash on hand at the end of the game is victory points, game-end timing is at the core of the game. So control of that timing - even partial control or the threat of control one of the conditions - is a valuable thing indeed.

Berlin is like a roach motel: They check in, but they don’t check out. Each company (in the base game) is allowed only one approach to Berlin. Functionally, this means that once entered, Berlin cannot be passed through. This tends to make Berlin a hub of connection. Since connections drive the primary end-game trigger, whether players drive (or have the ability to drive) companies to Berlin or not has significant consequences on game-end timing.

The board is divided into ‘city’ and ‘rural’ hexes. The former allow any number of companies to enter. The latter only allow one. This leads to very aggressive blocking patterns as players try to ensure double-dividends for their companies or deny connectivity to others - particularly in the central cluster.

Each company has a special characteristic. Some companies have certain advantages, some have certain disadvantages. This particular aspect gives the decisions a much richer texture and, ultimately, changes the shape of the game as some companies end up being ‘early’ companies, some ‘late’, some ‘income’ companies, some ‘connector’ companies.

Finally, there is the turn order. Oh for the love of God! The turn order! What a lovely and innovative mechanism. Earlier, I mentioned that the two things a player can do on their turn are put a share up for auction from the available tier or expand a company in which they have a share. But turns DO NOT go around the table. They DO NOT go in order of cash - ascending or descending. They DO NOT go in company order. So, how do they go?

The player or players with the greatest total income (i.e. the sum of the income track values of all their held shares) take one of their player cubes and put it in a cup. The player or players with second most put two cubes in a cup. The third put in three. Fourth, four. Fifth five. Then, a cube is drawn randomly from the cup and placed in the first turn order position. Then another is drawn and put into second. Then third. And so on until there are cubes equal to the number of players. All other cubes are returned to the players. Each player with a cube in the turn order track takes a turn in order. Then the whole process is repeated until one of the endgame conditions is met.

Translation: If you have the highest income in a five-player game, you will contribute one cube out of a likely 15 or so (the number can vary depending on ties in income since tied players put in the same number). Five cubes will be drawn from those 15 to determine turn order for the next round. There is a two in three chance that you do not have a turn this round. None. No turn.

Stay in first and its likely to happen again.

Alternatively, in last place, you would have an 92% chance of getting one of your five cubes pulled. Note also, that in last position, you have a good chance of having multiple cubes pulled.

This mechanism has several critical effects on gameplay. Valuation of share purchases is dependent not on the company’s current potential, but its potential once the new turn order probabilities are established. A partnership between the top two income leaders is often not that effective since turns will not be that abundant. But a partnership between the top and bottom can be a disaster as well since the income laggard may want to increase income on other lines in an effort to catch up rather than trigger double dividends which can often just put him farther behind. (That is, if the doubled dividend isn’t large enough to cover the income gap.)
This mechanism indeed adds an element of randomness to the game. And it can be devastating - I’ve seen one player pull all four of their cubes in a four-player game. But it turns the game into an absolutely amazing and imprecise exercise in risk management, incentive manipulation, and... dare I say it about a Winsome train game... fun.


*Purists will note there was a dividend rounding difference between CE and WC.
**See further on for details on WHEN you get a turn. Mwahahaha!

(Updated 8/28/09 after 3 plays.) My rating of this skyrockets from a 7 to a 9 after a couple more plays. My initial impression that self-interest was too murky to lead to meaningful control of incentives has proven to be false. The game is fragile, yes, but not so fragile that committed players can’t make it beautiful. Incentives – real or perceived – can be discerned and therefore meaningfully created. Game end control is possible, but difficult and partial. Valuation then becomes possible, but fraught with peril. The turn-order mechanism is NOT broken but beautiful. It adds a delicious layer of complexity and risk management to the purchase of shares since you are not just buying an income stream at a value predicated on your game length, but you are often hobbling your direct control over the game length by lowering your chances of getting a turn. The spatial and ‘special’ characteristics of the companies make for very interesting dynamics indeed. They seem to be at the heart of game length control. I look forward to experimenting more with their interactions. Overall, this is a game that takes over my brain for days after playing. A very good thing.

Original comment: The other day, I trapped a hornet between the screen and the window. I just watched his futile thrashing back and forth – window to screen, screen to window. Later, I came back and he was dead. After playing my first game of PO, I now know how he felt. Nothing I seemed to be able to do would improve my position. I’ve played plenty of non-intuitive, opaque, and –some might say- fragile games, but this one pushes the boundaries of my tolerance. Even a table full of competitive, intelligent gamers doesn’t guarantee a ‘good’ game as the dynamics are so volatile that a game can easily go to the beneficiary of another player’s mistake without anyone at the table even realizing what happened. The problem seems to lie with the fact that you need to engender situations through building, buying, bidding, or selling that create incentives for other players to improve your position. However, understanding what your own incentives are is difficult. Guessing what your opponents will think is in their best interest is considerably more so. How will this game stand up to differing player experience levels? Can the ‘best’ player win at a table full of newbies that don’t know what is good for them? I am very curious to see what happens.
2010-11-24
Owned
Anathema
United States
Ohio
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10
Dec 2011
Shares and railroad expansion like Chicago Express but random turn order based on blind draw - the higher your income, the less chance your cubes are drawn for turn order. So much fun!!
2011-12-30
Jan Janne
Finland
Espoo
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9.2
Oct 2013
Goes ahead of "sister" game Chicago Express, as this has a better flow plus several ways of developing the companies
2013-10-21
Owned
Benjamin Keightley
United States
New York
New York
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9
Sep 2008*
Reviewed.

If there's a more interesting 3p auction on the market, I haven't seen it. This isn't a game about 'alliances' or 'collusion' in the Wabash tradition. It's about exploitation and (to borrow a word) temptation. Five-player games are somewhat (though not much more) chaotic. They're also brutal: every auction is incredibly high-stakes, every wrong bet crippling.

High scores have been ballooning, along with stock prices. I wonder how much higher bidding can really go, though. Right now, they're maxing out around $55. At the point where players can spend that kind of money on a piece of stock, a bid really has two values: the dollar price, and an unspoken opportunity cost in actions. Figuring out the dollar price is almost trivial: it will make more money than you can possibly bid on it until very late in the game. How much can you afford yet remain competitive in auctions until the next dividend? In dollar terms, it's probably worth that. On the other hand, opportunity costs are real and huge in this game, and might pull share prices down.

Can you win without ever taking a turn? Probably not, but you can absolutely win without taking very many. Your cube does not need to get pulled in order for you to participate in and greatly influence the partner-shopping around which this title revolves.
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Amazing game about encouraging your opponents to run your rails for you. Play each turn as if you won't have another one for three rounds, because you might not. If your cube doesn't get pulled, you can't expand any of your railroads. So what? If your game depends on your cube getting pulled, you'll lose. Having a lot of turns is nice because you've got a lot of control, but if the other players are doing their job right, you can't help but make them rich too (see also Imperial, 1860).

Great opportunities for defensive play; one wonders if Mr. Wu's original design was in fact themed around weeds and not railroading. Age of Kudzu? Gardening through Germany?

Tip for board comprehension (useful for your first couple of games only): when a company is connected to one other railway, rotate its sold and unsold stock by 90 degrees. When it's connected to two or more, flip its shares upside down.
2008-03-31*
Owned
Hannu Sinisalo
Finland
Tampere
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9
Dec 2008*
Winsome train game. The trick is to make profit even if it is not your turn and optimizing your each and every action for a long-term success.
2010-01-17
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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9
Dec 2008*
Tentative rating after three 5 player games and two 3 player games. 3 player is probably better for teaching but the game scales surprisingly well across player counts.

There's a lot to this game, far more than meets the eye. It is most certainly neither light or fluffy. I do not understand it well enough to comment well but I am impressed with the game.

Updated: 9 plays now. There's a lot more here than I first thought, more than easily meets the eye. It is a tough fight for me as to which of Pampas Railroads and Preußische Ostbahn I prefer. It is such a very good and meaty game. Unlike Wabash the fight isn't for incentive, but the for the opportunity to affect the incentive structures. The low income players court the high income player's cash holdings and the high income players weed and herd the low income players via precise bidding and careful positioning to help them win. It is a delightful dance.
2008-07-07*
Owned
Knut Krummnacker
Germany
Kürten
North Rhine-Westphalia
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9
Oct 2008*
Considerably lighter than Wabash Cannonball. More a family game than a mathematical exercise. Interesting special railroad characteristics and turn order mechanism.
2008-08-24*
Owned
John Squires
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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9
Oct 2008*
Wabash's big, more forgiving, brother is a hoot to play. It's a game of somewhat indirect collusion and timing.

There are 8 companies which each contain 3 stock certificates & a well-balanced company "power". The companies compete on a large playing board that contains city and rural hexes containing one of 3 differently priced terrain types. Only one track can be built into a rural area, allowing for some defensive gameplay but multiple companies can build into a city.

When two companies meet for the first time everybody receives a payout (player's current income). Everybody owning stock in the company that made the connection receives additional income equal to that companies current value. A company's value increases when it connects to cities. When you buy stock it's value is not diluted.

The game also has a very cool turn-order mechanism which you can read about in the forums. It's one of the most important parts of the game and although it can be frustrating at times your goal is to figure out how to make it less frustrating.
2008-09-03*
Owned
Duarte Conceicao
Portugal
Carcavelos
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9
May 2010
Wow! Great experience! Way better than Wabash.
2009-08-27
Owned
Mikko Saari
Finland
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9
Oct 2014
Wonderful game. I like this one a lot. With all the money flowing around, this is more of a "feelgood" game than Wabash Cannonball.

A nice change of pace, really. There are plenty of opportunities for interesting tactical manoeuvres, though. Also, don't give up if you're losing - it's possible to come back from very dismal positions.

The turn order mechanism is simply brilliant, and I like how the different railroads have different capabilities.

The more I play the game, the more I enjoy it. This is one of my favourite games.

Enthusiastic.
2014-10-15
Owned
Mikko Ämmälä
Finland
Oulu
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9
Sep 2012
Ostbahn is a great game but it has one major problem, similar problem as Pampas Railroads has: There are just so many great train/stockholding/tight economy games out there (from 18xx, Age of Steam, Wabash, Steel Driver....etc) and while at first Ostbahn feels as one of the most original and fresh....eventually all the "new" is just refining from the "been there and seen that and played even more".

But again Ostbahn would be easy '9' if no above mentioned titles. '8' is no shame and if the endgame had been a little sharper (read "better"..rules variant?) then '9' could have been just a right rating for it.

Edit: upped to '9' bit later. Classic.

.mikko
2013-04-01
Owned

Eugene
Oregon
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9
Feb 2013
First game left a very poor impression. The second game, however, completely reversed this. Outrageously good, outrageously fun. Yes, the cup can fuck you over every once in a while. But that annoyance I'll endure occasionally for all the good times in other plays.

Update: Rating continues to rise. Everything about this game is pure joy -- the fight for shares, the cat-and-mouse board positioning, the shifting alliances, the organic track growth, the slippery valuations, even the turn order drama -- it's all so good.
2012-05-05
Owned
Matthew Bond
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
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9
Oct 2009*
Wabash was the starter. This is the main course. Less subtle, but more satisfying.
2010-04-27
The Honorable Mayor McCheese
United States
Windermere
Florida
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9
Apr 2010
Another solid game from Harry Wu and Winsome Games. The turn order mechanism is fantastic!
2010-04-24
Owned
Cole Wehrle
United States
Austin
Texas
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"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
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9
Apr 2010
Incredible. Superior to Chicago Express, though, it certainly takes a few games in order for players to realize what is going on under the hood. Initially I had several problems (runaway leader, too much randomness, among them), but every problem has been mitigated by player experience. Now I just need to paint some trains and draw up a new map in photoshop...

Update: Still exploring this game. I don't know if I'll ever figure out how this monster works, but its great fun to attempt to do so.
2010-11-29
Prev. Owned
Thies Kolln
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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9
Mar 2010
Probably my favorite Winsome game so far. Neither as frustratingly opaque (Riding series) nor as easily broken by poor play (Wabash, T&P et al) as some of the others that I've tried. Ostbahn offers tense, challenging decisions and some surprising (for a Winsome) elements such as the novel turn order mechanism. Based on my still limited experience, I think I like this best with 4.
2010-11-11
Owned
Kris Verbeeck
Belgium
Mol
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9
Jun 2012
Interesting traingame. I believe that while turnorder can be harsh ( i had no action in the first and third round; also the last couple of rounds i was pretty unlucky)

The person who had the highest income in round 2-5 moved four times first (that is a very small probability) He won the game.

In the end i had a whopping 91 income but couldn't cash in on it.

edit : wrote some info on second play. This has now become a game of opportunism and next time I'll approach i like that.
2012-06-08
Owned
David Dolzan
Slovenia
Komenda
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9
Feb 2012
One of the three recent train/stock games, and one with perhaps the most inovative approach. It's a fascinating game with some counter intuitive play that takes a couple of games to get used to.
2012-02-12
Owned
James Torr
United States
Torrance
California
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9
Aug 2012
I love the Chicago Express/American Rails/Paris Connection family of games. This one adds special powers and a turn order mechanic that can be frustrating. Cool.
2015-01-16
Owned
Steve Kearon
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Wales
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9
Nov 2011
Enjoyed first play a lot. Interesting to try and maximise your income from other player's actions, while choosing the few actions you actually have with great care.

Why Queen Games didn't include player aids or something printed on the board or shares to remind us of each railway's special feature is completely beyond me.
2011-11-06
David Einstein
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
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9
Dec 2011
Wonderful game, kind of an inverted sibling of Chicago Express. Two plays so far (in a single evening).
2011-12-07
Owned
Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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9
Jan 2012
This game has very simple rules, but more complex than Chicago Express. Timing of things is very important and the innovative way to determine player order does not allow this and it has you always at the edge of your seat. It is a risk management game with an evil ending condition that will disappoint many players, but the true fans of rail/stock games will enjoy this hidden gem!
2012-01-20
Luke McCarthy
United States
Randolph
New Jersey
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9
Feb 2012
Love the crazy turn mechanic - introduces an element of chaos that might leave this game somewhat lacking otherwise. Some people may find it frustrating, and yes to an extent you can't control this game entirely, but neither can anyone else and it's all about making the best of the situation. This game looks to be a mainstay for a long time
2012-02-08
Prev. Owned
Bojan Ramadanovic
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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9
Apr 2012
Interesting and relatively quick rail+stock game. Not as deep as 18XX but pulls very strong punch for its length.
2013-06-24
Owned
Isaac Marx
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
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9
Apr 2015
I'm glad I held onto German Railways for the 2 year (!) gap between my first and second plays. Whereas my first outing was an exercise in confusion, during my second go things definitely started falling into place (playing with three the second time probably helped. I would venture to say it is best to learn the game with three - the dynamics are not as subtle and it is much easier to understand what the important factors of the game are with only two opponents. It is also easier to recover from a blunder).

Though it has superficial similarities to Chicago Express, German Railways is a very very different beast. Whereas in Chicago Express the fundamental player dynamics can be grasped fairly quickly (setting aside actually forming a winning strategy) and remain more or less static from play to play, German Railways introduces several wrinkles that keep things unpredictable. Most obviously, the variable turn mechanism means you must try to manipulate the game state to benefit you even if you don't get turns (probably the most difficult to reduce to practice). The other, and much more under-appreciated, X factor in German Railways is the special dividend paid by a connecting railroad. Not only do you have to try to factor this into your bidding, but the timing of triggering a connection is perhaps one of the most important factors in the game (in fact, I think it's safe to say that the game is won or lost in these dividends). Additionally, the lack of share dilution and mad rush of late dividends leads to boatloads of cash, meaning that mid- and late game auctions are more difficult to evaluate than Chicago Express's razor-thin auction margins. The interplay of turn order, dividend triggering, auctions, and changing share distribution lead to such a constant state of flux that half the fun is just trying to keep up with the game, which is a feeling I don't really get from Chicago Express.

To borrow the oft-used cliche, if Chicago Express is a knife fight in a phone booth, then German Railways is a club fight in a mudslide. The weapons are bigger and more powerful, but the ground is constantly shifting under your feet; sometimes you're forced to take a big swing in the hopes you'll hit your opponent, but it's just as likely you'll end up face down in the mud.

(If it sounds like I'm down on CE, I'm not. It's in my all-time top 5. I just use it as an obvious point of comparison, and right now I'm more interested in exploring GR's subtleties)

UPDATE #2: This game just keeps getting better every time I play. Love it.
2015-04-02
Owned
Tom Shields
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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9
Jan 2013
A Winsome shared incentive lab, but this time with more focus on asymmetry in train special movement rules, a hilarious & playful turn order set up that adds an unpredictable tactical twist to every turn, and a pleasurable focus on map positioning and route making shenanigans without the irritation of placing puzzle-like tile tracks. Shares aren't diluted and, despite the higher rules overhead, it's less opaque than Chicago Express or Container.

So much depends on enjoying the turn order mechanic, randomized by pulling chits from a bag similar and with the high possibility you'll have rounds without a turn and some with multiple turns, all based on a probability structure favoring the player with the less money. But even without a turn to manipulate a train, you can participate in the auctions.

So, for example, I had three rounds in a row without a turn in my first game, but my share distribution kept me in the pack and when I got two turns in a row I was able to end the game with a double ding-dong, a quadruple payout, while my shares protected me from recourse in the final move of the game. So you can hit some outlier notes with the cube draw from the bag, reviving a dead player and burdening a strong one with fortune, but in the long it makes the game subversive, tactically twisted, and rather fun.

In short, holy crap, the Winsome lightbulb went on. The learning is exquisite, and the learning is NOT of rulesets and resource or VP conversion chains, but huge, wonderful why questions.

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*A ding dong is when you join two RR lines for the first time, initiating a table wide payout but a double payout for the player who made the play.
2014-06-21
Want To Play
First Name Last Name
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9
Jun 2015
Excellent streamlined investment-style game. The most challenging and rewarding investment game experience for the time required to play.
2015-07-12
Pedro
Portugal
Lisbon
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8.5
Oct 2011
Nice first play. Rating will probably go up.
2011-10-18
Owned
Paul Franklin
United States
Fargo
North Dakota
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8.5
Feb 2010
I think this is a better implementation than Chicago Express. The economics don't appear to be completely balanced, but it works out. The game itself has a quick pace with a short mid-game. The start moves nicely, and the endgame escalates quickly. I would recommend this to mid-complexity gamers and train gamers.
2010-02-05
Prev. Owned
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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8.5
Jul 2014
Similar to Chicago Express, but the companies all have special powers and are scattered around the map. There are a lot more dividends and special dividends, so scores go much higher. It's more about building a posture that does not depend on *you* getting actions. Like Chicago Express, you want to build partnerships (share ownership structures) such that you can benefit from other players actions, and ideally make actions that help you and no-one else. Better with more players but 3 is still pretty good.
2014-12-26
Owned
Will Mellor
United Kingdom
London
ENGLAND
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8.5
Feb 2011
8.5 = 1st impression
2011-02-22
Owned
Martin Boisselle
Canada
Boucherville
Quebec
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Within the realm of color, the shadows often assume responsibility for the awkward shine of yellow.
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8.5
Sep 2012
On connection: all companies pay their dividends!
2012-04-29
Prev. Owned
Brian Sinclair
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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8.5
Jul 2012
Played a 4 player game, my first, with 3 that had played before. A lot going on here with the variability of the turn order. I ended up winning with some very lucky turn orders as I was in the lead. My first stock purchase was for black as a long term company. Then I bought into yellow early for capital/cash. I was able to diversify quite well with a total monopoly of black in the late end of the game. Several turns in the second half of the game I was able to let other player in companies give me money while I was able to concentrate on black. The game was very close up to the end, but at the very end of the game black was able to merge 3 times at the end of the game and I pulled away from the other 3 players. My total was about $740 and I won by well over $200.

Overall a very fun game that is a step up in difficulty from Chicago Express.
2012-07-05
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Sheamus Parkes
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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8.5
Jul 2013
CatchUp13:

Takes cube railways to the extreme without really adding more rules. And I love the random turn draw!

GenCon13:

I still love the random draw. The board play was not as much of a surprise the second time, but it still had plenty of wiggle room.
2013-08-16
Owned
Jean-Michel Petit
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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8.5
Jan 2014
This is a great twist on a relatively simple train game. Some say that the pick-up at the start of each turn is too chaotic. But, as in Imperial, even if you don't play in a turn, you could be really well in a victory position.

2012-10-01
Owned
Costas
Canada
London
Ontario
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8
Nov 2010
Can you set yourself up to win with the most money yet not take many actions throughout the game?

Preußische Ostbahn / German Railways is a very fun, cube rails game with no share dilution but a very novel turn order mechanism: draw players' cubes from a cup equal to number of players; the lower your income, the more chances you have of getting to take actions that round. Dividends only pay out when 2 railroads meet for the first time (a la Age of Scheme: Routes to Riches).
2010-11-20
Owned
John Brodin
United States
Plymouth
Massachusetts
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8
Nov 2008*
Very interesting. I think the German Family game thing is a joke because this is a very opaque game with multiple things to consider. I can see why people would hate the turn order mechanism but I like it. It is really the heart of the game though and careful planning and bidding will generally win out in the end. 3 or 4 seem better than 5 which was much more chaotic and less fun to me.
2008-06-11*
Owned
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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8
Nov 2008*
I really like the turn order mechanism in this game as something different - there is a fairly high element of chance in this that could frustrate those who prefer little to no luck. The different powers of the 8 railroads also add in a bit of flavor to the game. Ideally, you want to put yourself in a position to connect railroads in which you have majority of stock with another railroad which leads to a double dividend payout for that railroad while every other RR pays out the regular dividend. As well, the focus of this game is really about developing mutual interest with 1-2 other players in a few companies and letting them do the work for you while you focus on a different company. You can go far even without many turns. Messing with the turn order mechanism would make this game far less appealing and dynamic in my book.
2008-09-04*
Owned
:D.a.n:C.a.s.e.y:
United States
Michigan
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8
Apr 2015
Enjoyed this economic share-holding game quite a bit. There is a turn-order mechanism in this game which amounts to a raffle. It's quite hilarious, and I'm sure it infuriates some gamers to no end. You can with with fewer turns than other players. It's all about partnerships and riding on coattails. Would enjoy playing this some more.
2015-04-01
Want In Trade
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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publisher
Plate of Shrimp.
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Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
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8
Nov 2008*
This is a great, heavy version of Wabash. There are enough significantly different elements about the game to justify owning both versions. I feel that this game is quite a bit deeper, whether this is just an illusion or not, I'm not sure, but I buy into it.

The turn order mechanic will drive people batty. It is very likely that one player will lose the game based solely on not getting their cubes drawn. Of course, good planning will require you to not have to actually take any turns at the end.

My big concern with the game is that it is really difficult to catch up at the end. I'll have to play it some more to see if this is the case.

Were this not a Winsome game I would buy this in a heartbeat. Now I have to wait around to see if a used copy shows up.
2008-10-06*
Owned
Pen sa tor
Spain
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8
Dec 2011
Difficult to master. Nice game.
2011-12-07
Owned
Wystan Benbow
United States
Stoneham
Massachusetts
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Blazars are a special type of active galaxy that indirectly pay for my boardgame habit
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Life is good!
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8
Aug 2010
I like this game a lot, but the turn order thing can be really, really irritating.
2010-09-05
Owned
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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8
Feb 2014
Wonderful game. The abilities of each train did make the game a little less dry. I can't wait to play this one more often.
2009-08-12
Owned
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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8
Feb 2014
Still like this one a lot though I'm not in groups where it can be played as much as I would like. I'm not as good at it as I would like to be. I hope there is an app for it soon.
2013-01-08
Jeff
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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8
Dec 2008*
A really slick game here. I wasn't expecting much, but this was probably one of my favorites from BGG.con.

Expansions owned: Berlin-Stettiner
2014-04-04
Owned
Joakim Björklund
Finland
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Overtext?! We don't need no stinking overtext! Oh wait...
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Overtext?! We don't need no stinking overtext! Oh wait...
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8
Oct 2009*
29.11.2008: I really liked the turn order mechanism in this one. I managed to win my first game, even though I had no clue how to play well. Would certainly like to play this one again.
2009-10-28
Sampo Sikiö
Finland
Espoo
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designer
it's no secret that the stars are falling from the sky / it's no secret that our world is in darkness tonight / they say the sun is sometimes eclipsed by a moon / you know i don't see you when she walks in the room
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Shapers of Dorado
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8
Jan 2009*
A very interesting economy game with some clever twists. Looks very Spartan, but this can be fixed with homemade improvements.
2009-04-14
Owned
Vital Lacerda
Portugal
Oeiras
Portugal
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2010 - Vinhos, 2012 - CO2, 2014 - kanban. Hopefuly: 2015 - The Gallerist, 201? - Lisboa, 201? - Escape plan
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8
Nov 2010


2012-07-28
Owned

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