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Vexation» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Adding a touch of spite to TransAmerica and TransEuropa rss

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Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
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The vexation expansion for TransX adds a few more decision points to the game by giving players the opportunity to lay track only they can use. It doesn't fundamentally change the game, but it can liven it up.

Components

The components are extremely simple. In addition to the huge pool of black sticks in the base games, each player receives 3 coloured sticks in their player colour.



Gameplay

The Vexation expansion adds only a handful of rules to the basic TransX games.

Players may choose to, instead of placing a black wooden stick, place one of their coloured sticks if they have any left. Player cannot count coloured sticks except their own in their network. In effect, this means that if two networks are joined by a coloured stick, all the other players are forced to build another connection. Rails can't be replaced once placed.

There's a restriction on placing the coloured sticks to avoid someone being too easily cut off. Each intersection point on the map can only have two coloured sticks coming out from it. This helps prevent things getting too nasty.



Notes and Conclusions

Vexation adds some extra interaction around one of the biggest parts of TransEuropa/TransAmerican, which is the connection of your network to the greater network without benefiting all the other players. Careful use of the blocking sticks to grab ownership of cheap ways through mountains, for example, can force other players to waste precious turns building around.

The rules to avoid blocking don't entirely work since a couple of players can build up an impassable zig-zag blockade easily. It's still not impossible to build around, since the coloured sticks are limited.

This is a must-have expansion. I'm happy to see that it is included in most new copies of TransAmerica and TransEuropa now. If you've got a copy of either game and plan to play them more than once you should pick up a copy. I recommend it for everyone playing either game who had played it a couple of times before.

There are some downsides, the blocking can increase the range of scores thus making the overall game have fewer rounds and depend more on luck and some people simply don't like the addition of conflict to the game that this brings. At least the attacks are on everyone else, rather than against a single player.
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Stefano Castelli
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thepackrat wrote:
This is a must-have expansion. I'm happy to see that it is included in most new copies of TransAmerica and TransEuropa now. If you've got a copy of either game and plan to play them more than once you should pick up a copy. I recommend it for everyone playing either game who had played it a couple of times before.


It totally agree. Once you tried the game with the expansion you won't go back. It really adds something important to both games.
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