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User Rating Comment Status
Benjamin Keightley
United States
New York
New York
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10
Sep 2008*
The Erie turns the game on its head, directly challenging the typical turn's pattern of three capitalizations followed by five expansions. It's a midgame twist that completely changes the focus of the first act and introduces a brand new type of timing concern. Scary, and absolutely sensational.
2008-05-24*
Owned
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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I'll think of something witty to put here...
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10
Aug 2010
Improves support for larger numbers of players (5 players is worth playing only if you have Erie, IMO), otherwise CE is really a 3-4 player game.

The narrow gauge expansion is helpful with less experienced players, as it encourages them to take null auctions where they might otherwise not.

The only downside is it takes slightly longer to set up and explain the rules exceptions to new players.

Bought Jan 2010
2011-02-20
Owned
Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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10
Oct 2009*
If you like Chicago Express, you must buy this one. Players with few games of Chicago Express, may find this expansion as not necessary. But the truth is that it is necessary. The new orange trains, augment the "do nothing" action which otherwise you try to avoid because it is never optimal. Now this action has a new twist that can hinder opponents. The Erie company is a gamble. In the middle of the game it introduces a huge decision. To invest in a new company that you will have complete control. It is a decision for every player. Someone will try to buy it, but everyone will try to raise the price to make the company unprofitable in the long run. Both elements that are introduced here adding a lot to the game, but to players that have played only a few time Chicago Express, probably do not mean much.
2009-10-31
Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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10
Dec 2012
A super fun addition to the basic Chicago Express game. Almost makes you wonder why it wasn't included in the original box.
2010-01-15
Owned
Garcian Smith
United States
Northridge
California
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10
Apr 2011
This is a great expansion to the base game. Assuming all players are familiar with the base game, this is a good addition. The Erie Railroad effectively removes a player from the game because all he will do is to advance it towards Chicago or Detroit. A 4 player game turn into a 3 player game. It removes a player because the player who buys Erie will want to pay a good deal on it. Erie is a 1 share railroad meaning once it is purchased, it is his all to himself. The other players then have to quickly end the game so that the Erie player does not run off with huge bags of money.

The other expansion is Narrow Gauge which sounds pretty nifty, but seems to barely have an effect in testing. Essentially, you can pick up these railroads by going to certain cities. After that, you can place them in a non-city space by doing a null action. It seems most effective early on where rails will have to fight through mountains or forests. Once the rails are in the west of the Appalachians, the blocking trains seem to have a marginal effect. Beginning players will have no idea what to do with these trains.

So overall, it's a good expansion, but it is best suited for experienced players to make the most of it.
2014-12-06
Owned
Aaron N. Tubbs
United States
Norwalk
Connecticut
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9.75
Jun 2009*
Much like the Twilight Struggle Chinese civil war variant, this is an "expansion" to the base game that tightens it up and makes the game even more intense. Worth the money for the paragraph of text and cubes; adds another dimension to the game and doesn't detract from it at all.
2009-06-18
Owned
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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9.5
Aug 2008*
Reviewed: Early Experience: Wabash Cannonball Expansion - Erie Railroad

Quite the designer tour-de-force. Amazingly subtle and pervasive. Bravo!

The Erie is nitroglycerin in a cocktail shaker. It makes the already rather delicately knife-edged game of Wabash Cannonball even more tetchy with the penalties for mis-steps ever larger and the path ever narrower and risk-fraught. Specifically, unless the players comprehend not only the base game's arithmetic and alliance system, but also how to posture against game length and how to adroitly wield game-length control against the other players then the Erie will simply walk all over them and render the game results an opaque who-goofed crapshoot. With skillful players however it becomes a delightful game of balancing on razorblades and juggling waterballoons of nitroglycerin.

12 cubes is exactly enough to get from Buffalo to both Detroit and Chicago. But can you afford to do it against the cost for incentives and alliances? Is it worth it?

Considerations and positioning around the potential operations of the Erie starts with the first auction of the first PRR share. Fear and planning for the Erie drives share bid values, share distributions and track builds. Much of the early game becomes a question of positioning for the Erie.

Development, as an action, suddenly comes to life as a valid and valuable action when the Erie forms. Rounds start ending when Expansion and Development. This resets all the normal phasing and rhythm patters in the mid- and late-game and sets quite a dance for turn-order and game-length control.

The Erie can be amazingly profitable and it should always be at least good if it is even somewhat well funded, but the opportunity cost both in cash and in sundered alliances can be even larger. The Erie at heart is a self-election to abandon the current partnerships and for that reason is a very delicate operation. I expect that many games will be won and lost on the Erie alone as players wrap their head around its particular dynamism.

Recommended only for experienced Wabash Cannonball players. The changes to the formation, operation and balance of power in alliance formations are far-reaching and subtle. It really is a doozie that puts the whole game on its ear. I can easily see spending a half-dozen plays just getting to the point where I feel I have a handle on it.

Everything is the same and yet different.
2008-05-21*
Owned
Costas
Canada
London
Ontario
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9
Jul 2009*
This expansion makes a great game better. The Erie is very delicate though. Bid with caution!

The player to get the Erie in a 3-player game will regularly clean house. Lately, we're only playing it with 4 or more.
2009-12-30
Owned
Scott Petersen
United States
St. Louis Park
Minnesota
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9
Dec 2008*
Tightens up the first part of the game as players position for the Erie which tends to be a great moneymaker.
2009-11-14
Owned
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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9
Nov 2008*
I really think this expansion enhances the base game beautifully and will play with this one expansion every time hence. It brings a lot more to think about into the game and will change strategies.
2008-09-04*
Owned
Hannu Sinisalo
Finland
Tampere
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9
Nov 2008*
Bravo! An expansion that makes decisions ever tougher. Brilliant variant.
2008-11-13*
Costas
Canada
London
Ontario
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9
Jul 2009*
Adds some additional screwage to taking null actions. Very cool!
2009-07-30
Owned
The Honorable Mayor McCheese
United States
Windermere
Florida
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9
Aug 2010
Waiting for the Queen version, hurry up already!
2009-07-22
Prev. Owned
The Honorable Mayor McCheese
United States
Windermere
Florida
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9
Oct 2009*
Reserved a Winsome Essen set this year so I eagerly await this. 9-16, it has arrived, can't wait to play it!
2009-09-16
Prev. Owned
Michael Klein
Germany
Schoenaich
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9
Nov 2009*
Add some nice twists and even more strategic depth to the game without adding much complexity in the rules.
2009-11-19
Owned
The Honorable Mayor McCheese
United States
Windermere
Florida
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9
Oct 2009*
I can't wait for this to come out, hope it makes a great game better! Edit: Have played with both expansions and the Erie adds an interesting twist to the game. In the one game we used the Narrow Gauge, everyone was to hesitant to use them.
2009-12-10
Owned
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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9
Nov 2013
A very enjoyable and easy piece to add to the base game which really makes the null action even more valuable in many cases as you can really block RRs from building track as desired through mountains and forests!
2009-11-28
Owned
Costas
Canada
London
Ontario
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9
Jul 2009*
Two high-quality Chicago Express expansions in one box:

Erie Railroad - adds an additional railroad that only has one share and can be very powerful. This completely changes the game.

Narrow Gauge - a new and innovative way to block your opponents railroads by essentially burning actions. Nasty!

Play them separate or together. Better for higher player counts (I don't prefer them with 3).
2010-11-20
Owned
:D.a.n:C.a.s.e.y:
United States
Michigan
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9
Apr 2011
Two mini-expansions in one vastly over-priced box. The Erie seems like "just another company" but it adds a major wrinkle to the game which is a quite a delight. I can see including it as almost essential in future plays. The Narrow Gauge adds a blocking/construction company and tends to extend the game, which can be used strategically. I don't always need to use the NG, but it's nice to have from time to time.
2011-05-30
Owned
Canada
Gatineau
Quebec
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9
Oct 2012
2 expansions that can be used together with the base Chicago Express - the Erie adds a single share railroad company that starts mid-game and can run back in reverse to New York. The narrow gauge adds a slow-the-leader mechanism as clever placement can short change companies from reaching their goals. I like the options these expansions provide - I see myself playing with these regularly. They also appear to make the 5 player game much more strategic & playable (a player isn't as easily left out after the beginning share auctions) and make the 2 & 6 player games a little more palatable.
2010-01-19
Owned
David Ells
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
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Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
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9
Jan 2010*
Given as a Secret Santa 2013 gift.
2014-08-23
Prev. Owned
Jody Ludwick
United States
Indiana
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9
Sep 2010
2 in 1 expansions for CE to be played separately or together... or not at all. Narrow Gauge - block your opponents railroads, very nasty and effective. Erie Railroad Company - a single share additional railroad from Buffalo to New York/Chicago. Both expansion add variety with the possibility to abruptly change the tempo and ultimately the outcome in this game. So much more to consider here. An outstanding expansion to it's outstanding base game.
2010-03-23
Ari
United States
San Francisco
California
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La vie est un jeu
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Panem et Circenses
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9
Aug 2010
Excellent expansions. Must for 6 player.
2010-11-19
Prev. Owned
Preordered
:D.a.n:C.a.s.e.y:
United States
Michigan
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9
Jul 2011
Essential, and I would probably always use this with 4+ players. With three, it can be dangerously powerful, so proceed with care.
2011-07-16
Jose Rodriguez
Spain
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9
Aug 2011
Love it! (Coffee cup)
2012-01-05
Owned

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