$10.00
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Upon suggestion of a review of this game in a thread, I decided that I probably should write a session report and not a review. I had after all only played my first game of this over the weekend. But, I went to the game to see if I had anything new to add. Well, there aren’t any reviews there. So, here’s a review. But, please take it with a grain of salt, as it’s written with only one play in.

I’m a big fan of Nuclear War, so it was only a matter of time before I picked up the Nuclear War Bonus Pack #2, India/Pakistan War Variant. (Of course that meant picking up India Rails too).

It comes with 10 ‘load cards’, an orange crayon, a sheet of population and a page of rules. This is important to note. The game clearly states on the page of rules that there are 10 cards, but if you read the description on the Flying Buffalo site, it states 15. The sheet of population is also tossed in for replacements to your existing game and is not actually used with this supplement. It’s seems like an attempt to ‘add value’ to the $5 cost. The cards appear to be blank card stock for the game. The crayon was just a normal crayola crayon.

The ‘load cards’ are mixed into the deck with the normal load cards. 7 of them have a radiation symbol and 3 have a dragon on them. When a radiation symbol is drawn, the player draws one Nuke War card. When a dragon is drawn, the player draws five cards and gets to keep one.

This dragon becomes important. It ‘seems’ that with the limited number of symbols and dragons, that the likelihood on one player drawing a warhead and a delivery system that can carry it (in nuclear war you generally need two cards in order to make a nuclear attack) is fairly small without drawing the dragon. The area of explosion increases based on the size of the warhead. That area is unusable for the rest of the game. (There are a few additional rules, but this is the basic point). In this initial game, only one person would have been able to complete a weapon system. However, there is an optional rule that makes all attacks automatically deviate one dot. Being our first game we decided to play that rule. Because of the auto deviate, the player decided to opt for propaganda.

Propaganda is used to increase the value of any load. Propaganda runs between 2,000,000 and 25,000,000 people, which converts to dollars for this game. The most common are 2 and 5.

Nuclear War uses Secrets and Top Secrets as events. Those events translate into India Rails as gained or lost money. That comes directly out of the cash on hand of the player affected. (In this variant, loans are used and a player must take a loan in order to pay their debt.) We therefore felt it appropriate to allow loans throughout the game. Borrowing is rarely used it crayon games I’ve played in the past, but seemed that once it was allowed for the purpose of this supplement, that it should be allowed. Another Nuke War card is drawn to replace the Secret or Top Secret.

The rules lack specifics on Special cards. Special cards in Nuclear War allow certain actions to be cancelled or other things to occur. The only ones mentioned in the rules are anti-missiles. They work the same but with disregard to target. As with Nuclear War, the player that uses an ABM becomes the next player.

Because most specials, however, do not seem to ‘fit’ into the mechanics of this game. We did play that if a special was drawn that was inappropriate for this game, it was discarded and another card redrawn. My set of Nuke War includes all four sets and all the booster cards. It was fairly obvious that things like an atomic cannon or submarine would have mechanics that wouldn’t work well for the game. So, we also decided ahead of time to redraw delivery systems other then bombers and missiles.

As state before, there wasn’t any nuclear launches. That was somewhat of a let down. We didn’t get to use the orange crayon, so I’m not sure how well it erases. We used the auto scatter in order to mitigate the effects of Nuclear Weapons. On further reflect, it probably should be played without scatter. The frequency of Nuclear War cards seemed to be low enough, that I few Nukes Flying should not disrupt the game to much. And the game is about Nuclear War, so there should be more. I do think that this must be why the site says 15 cards, while the current version only has 10. There must have been an effort to reduce the number of Nuke War cards (that’s of course only guessing).

The Secrets and Top Secrets did make up for the lack of Nukes. They are the flavor of any Nuclear War game, and with these still in use in India Rails, the players were able to still get the feel of the Nuclear War game.

Propaganda of course became the goal of the cards. With the chance to increase value, they were the way to go. This in my opinion should help to speed the game up by making it easier to make money. In the end it was still a close game, with three people ending within approximately $30,000,000 (out of a goal of $250,000,000). Only one of those three having used a lot (two or three cards) of propaganda, it would seem that it was not in itself a way to win the game. Good rail building and load management is still required to win the game and a person can still win the game without resorting to Propaganda cards.

The backs of the India Rails cards seem to be identical to all the Mayfair Crayon Rail games. So, the link the India Rails seems to be for flavor, I’d say that they should be usable with any of there games. (Please check pictures before you decide).

The game seems to have been written purely with the first set in mind. I’d think that the base set should be the only set used with this supplement.

All in all I’d say that this supplement adds to the overall India Rails game, while not over powering it. It allows the focus to still be on building rails and delivering loads. I would say that it is about nuclear war, so the scattering might not be needed. I do not plan on playing with it next time, but will the time after that. And I hope to have a next time with this game very soon.

$5 seems like a lot for 10 cards and a crayon, but on the other hand it’s just $5 and it does add fun to the game.


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