I have played both sides of this map. The 1830's Pennsylvania map seems well designed. The coal bonuses are very tempting but it's tough to lay track over the mountains. The cities in the East make the track laid in that region very tight.
The Northern California map has several twists including a mega city in San Jose, the bridge from Oakland to Sanfrancisco and changing demand from Sacramento based on shipping into the coastal port. A map with some added spice but not radically different from standard AOS.
This refers to the South America map only: One of the tamer Age of Steam expansion maps that I've played on. The major innovation here is the handling of the hub city Buenos Aires. It is the only blue city on the board (and there can be no urbanized blue city either). It also receives an extra cube each turn. The catch is that any delivery involving it requires a payment be made to "El Presidente" who is either the bank or an opponent (who selects it as his role for the turn). The geography keeps things interesting with the Andes on the West Coast and the broad plains to the center and east.
Portugal only: Interesting map -- I spent much of the game in the North with one opponent so the special cube generation at Lisboa was not a big part of my experience. A lot of mountains and the board was very crowded by the end of our 4 player game. Not much in terms of new rules here but a decent map.
Should be a tight, tough map but my one three player game had room or everyone to turn a profit relatively early and no shares were taken after round four or five. Would like to play a more tense gem of this with more players
Very interesting expansion that offers three very different new games (assuming you have access to an extra copy of the board). The rules disallowing parallel routes and using others' track to move goods make the goods moving phase more easily to predict and significantly reduce the cutthroat nature of the game. The requirement of interstate delivery (if you don't choose the "Smuggle" option) makes for an interesting dynamic in the Central New England version. So far, I have only played Central New England (both maps at once with special rules).
I have only played the Washington D.C. expansion. Washington D.C. is one of those Age of Steam expansions that makes some rather radical changes to the game -- including a "ring-road" highway system that allows for virtual transfer of goods between routes and some unusual build costs. I played this with four players and found it to be a fun, tense map.
Played the Pittsburgh map only. This was a very tight map for three players with straight track build costs. This essentially forces the construction of odd loopy segments that crowd opponents out of key squares or force them to use complex track. The goods come out in bunches because there is not a light/dark side on the track. Weird but interesting three player map.
The Moon adds several new twists to the gameplay of Age of Steam. The Light Side / Dark Side flipping, building track off the edges to access the "spherical" surface, and using gravitational pull to commandeer a section of others' tracks all add up to a fresh new take on the game. While not a map that I would play to the exclusion of others, it is a nice variant to have in the mix.
Adds three interesting elements to the base game -- Pegasus, Cylon leaders and New Caprica. I like Pegasus and the Cylon leaders quite a bit; the humans have not yet lasted long enough for me to explore New Caprica yet. I also like the new character choices. Solid expansion.
Although I think that the 5-6 player expansion changes the game a bit by allowing players to build on other peoples' turns, the flavor of the original is retained. The extra tiles integrate neatly into the set-up and alleviate the cramped space nicely.
I give this game the same rating as the base game because the BGG rating is a measure of how much I would like to play it and my desire to play is equally as high as the original. For those looking to buy this game, you should consider how often you're likely to play it. If you play infrequently and are not a completist, CC:E has enough scenarios and variety on its own for quite a lot of play. If you need more scenarios and really want to explore British, Italian and French troops in new scenarios and on new maps, this is for you.
Interesting new set of cards -- similiar to the council house but it costs less and has the penalty of allowing another player to force you to discard the best card of the bunch that you flip. This was not selected much in my limited experience with it on the table.
Another quality expansion to a franchise that is becoming a bit unwieldy for those like me who like to play with all the options. The coin tokens offer a different take on the typical Dominion gameplay.
I know that this is the sort of expansion that adds a fifth player and several elements that may or may not be used in a given game. We played with the extra ship tiles and blue aliens but not the fifth player and the harder event deck. I have not played the base game enough to need to explore the expansion material but it seemed well done.
I think this is a very strong expansion for the base game. I've only used the port rules so far and the six player map/pieces. I have found the rules to be an excellent solution to the naval problems of the original and I enjoyed my single experienc with a conflict-filled 6 player game. I am excited about the new house cards, fortifications and siege engines. The one time orders look intriguing but I am afraid they will lead to more AP. I am not interested in either of the two printed variant rule sets.
A much improved product over the first expansion set as this actually includes two different potentials and offers more rings for Zertz. I have only played using the Zertz and Dvonn potentials in Ultimate Gipf and they are my favorites of the five potentials. They actually improved the game of Gipf as they made it significantly less dry without adding unnecessary complexity.
This is the classic example of an expansion which adds more but changes little. There are extra characters, locations, scenarios, zombies etc. and a few tweaked rules but there is little here that's going to change the game experience. This would make sense as a purchase for those who've played the hell out of the original and are looking for "more of the same" for variety. .
This is an excellent expansion to the base game that allows one to play Eastern Front battles using Russian troops. The new rules for minefields, blitz wars and the special rules for Russian command programming add some additional depth to the system.
This is the best of the expansions so far in my opinion. I like how the Japanese rules make the gameplay more filled with decisions. Do you attack the one figure unit that you hope to kill or do you try to crack the four unit infantry and limit its close assault bonus? I like the night rules as well.
I like Powergrid quite a bit and I find that the alternate boards add some replayability to the system. I appreciate how a few small rules changes can encourage one to explore different strategies without losing the feel of the original game. Benelux was interesting with its fast paced replacement of power plants.
I primarily enjoy the different Power Grid maps for the same reason I like the different Age of Steam maps - the alternate rules keep the game fresh after many plays. I have played the China side of this expansion and felt that the "planned economy" of the power plant market was an interesting and kind of cool change.
An expansion in the style of Age of Steam additional maps. I don't play Power Grid as frequently as AoS so I have less need of additional maps with extra rules but I appreciate the variety and the subtle changes. I have only played the France portion -- I enjoyed the differences that the additional uranium and the large capital city added.
Quebec is a very tight map and the clusters around Montreal and Quebec City make building choices interesting. The ecological plants rules seemed to provide an interesting, though fairly minor, effect as well.
Early play with this expansion has seen very little in terms of actual use of the takeover powers. The cards needed have come slowly enough that it has not played a major strategic role for us so far. A little interaction between players is not a bad thing though so hopefully we'll see some more takeovers in the future.
Nice expansion map for the Railroad Tycoon series. The mountainous terrain makes some longer routes very challenging but there are also some noteworthy rewards for those who choose to make the investment. I did not use the special rules regarding fuel depots in my game.
A very entertaining minimalist expansion. Very few materials are used efficiently in such a way that the base game is freshened and altered without completely changing its nature. I rate this slightly higher than the base game because I prefer playing the Transamerica game with the expansion, but I still play the traditional version as well.