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Russian Railroads» Forums » Rules

Subject: A few rules inquiries after first game. rss

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Enon Sci
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Hello one and all,

I recently received a copy of Russian Railroads, and had my first two player experience with it. All in all I enjoyed the game, though this isn't one I can readily judge after a single (strategically unfocused) experience.

Nevertheless, here is a grab bag of random questions we had after everything was said and done:

1) When it comes to turning your previously acquired locomotives into factories, is the discard step necessary? One can not simply select the Locomotive / Factory space and flip a previously acquired locomotive into a factory, right?

This seems right to me, but what about the Locomotive + Factory space? Could one acquire a new locomotive, kick one to the factory space and then, as the second half of the same action, build the factory they just discarded?

2) In a related sense, is it correct to assume one is prohibited from manipulating their locomotives at any time other than when they acquire a new one? In other words, you can't reorder them unless you've just activated that spot and are placing something new, yeah?

3) I was surprised that turn order never changed in our game. I was player 2, and never felt compelled to alter my placement since I held a large point margin against my partner (I knew the game, she was getting introduced as we played). In particular, the +2 VP at the end of the round, combined with my large margin, felt especially odd. Am I correct that those VPs are acquired every turn, yeah?

I get the first player benefits, but it only really matters if the other person is likely doing a similar strategy.

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That was about it. Fun game. We played with the engineers from the mini expansion (well, the one who is paid with coin for three black extensions), but left the extra "?" tokens till our second play (and will likely banish the head hunter token which lets you look through the unused engineers till the distant future).

Extra credit question regarding the set-up for the mini-expansion:

4) In a two player game do we randomly select three of these new tokens, and only three, for inclusion in play? The rules read "from the remaining tokens, choose one more than players in the game, and place the tokens besides the board..." but I wasn't sure what "remaining" meant in this context.

Thanks.
 
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Eric Amick
United States
Maryland
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For your question about the mini-expansion, the "remaining" comes from the fact that there are double-sided ? tokens included with the expansion, and those are distributed first, leaving the bonus tokens to choose from. Yes, this means you choose three of the bonus tokens at the start.
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Jorge
Switzerland
Lausanne
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Anarchosyn wrote:
1) When it comes to turning your previously acquired locomotives into factories, is the discard step necessary? One can not simply select the Locomotive / Factory space and flip a previously acquired locomotive into a factory, right?
A locomotive in your play area is a locomotive. You cannot just turn it over to make it a factory. It's a two-step process; you have to retire it first by acquiring a 5th locomotive and then take it as a factory, with another action. Note that you are not obliged to retire the smallest locomotive; you can stop wherever you want.

Anarchosyn wrote:
This seems right to me, but what about the Locomotive + Factory space? Could one acquire a new locomotive, kick one to the factory space and then, as the second half of the same action, build the factory they just discarded?
Yes. Because these are two different actions in one space, you can take a 5th locomotive, retire one of yours as a factory and then take that as a factory. A common way to pick factory #1.

Anarchosyn wrote:
2) In a related sense, is it correct to assume one is prohibited from manipulating their locomotives at any time other than when they acquire a new one? In other words, you can't reorder them unless you've just activated that spot and are placing something new, yeah?
Yes. Once a locomotive is placed on a spot, you stick with it. It can only be displaced by a higher locomotive. It's forbidden to displace, e.g., a #4 with a #2; it has to be higher.

Anarchosyn wrote:
3) I was surprised that turn order never changed in our game. I was player 2, and never felt compelled to alter my placement since I held a large point margin against my partner (I knew the game, she was getting introduced as we played). In particular, the +2 VP at the end of the round, combined with my large margin, felt especially odd. Am I correct that those VPs are acquired every turn, yeah?

I get the first player benefits, but it only really matters if the other person is likely doing a similar strategy.
Well, you are probably missing the big picture here. If you remain player #2 for the whole game, you're only getting a 12 point margin over your opponent. 12 points are needle in a haystack when the final scores are usually in the range of 300-400 VP. Except if your opponent was also playing very suboptimally, the first-player-spot is a hotly-contested place on all player counts.

Anarchosyn wrote:
4) In a two player game do we randomly select three of these new tokens, and only three, for inclusion in play? The rules read "from the remaining tokens, choose one more than players in the game, and place the tokens besides the board..." but I wasn't sure what "remaining" meant in this context.
Yes, you randomly select 3 of the 5 new "?" in a 2-player game. The others stay in the box.
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Klaus Knechtskern
Germany
Groebenzell
Unspecified
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Thanks Picon for answering that quick spared me the work...
 
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Will Yum
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Here are some of my strategy thoughts in regards to taking the spaces that change your turn order...

Being first can be a massive advantage, especially in a two or four player game. It's harder to get locked out of certain spots such as the black rail movement. You have the option of buying the engineer. And with coal, you can get a factory. And if your opponents use up all their coins, you can pick and try to lock up the coin spot and monopolize the money.

There are reasons to pick a turn order spot even if you don't want to be first. You may want to plan ahead so you CAN be first in three rounds because you want a certain engineer. You may want to delay the end of your turn to see what another player is going to do, and grabbing a turn order spot is a way to "skip" your turn.

I've never considered the point bonus for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to be a consideration when picking the turn order spots.

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