$10.00
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
To the reader: This is no ordinary EndersGame pictorial overview. In fact, I've been working on this review for a long time. My massive pictorial review on Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization was a tribute to what I consider the quintessential civilization game for the modern gamer, and ever since then I've been on a quest for a game worthy of an equally elaborate review. Now that I've discovered the quintessential train game for the modern gamer, that quest is over - for now. Railways of the World is that game, and this is that review. Along with my review of Richard III: The Wars of the Roses (arguably the quintessential introductory block war game for the modern gamer), these are among my most comprehensive reviews, and are the result of a labour of love about the games I love. Enjoy the games, and enjoy the review! - EndersGame

Introducing Railways of the World



The Appeal

So you're looking for a train game that's a step up from Ticket to Ride, without being too hardcore or complicated. Look no further: Railways of the World is your game. Let me dispense with the formalities: this is one of the best games I've ever played, and one of my all-time favourite games. I'm not even going to pretend I'm objective - I don't have to, because Railways of the World is an amazing game. Don't make the mistake of thinking (as I first did after seeing photos of a massive board and incredible components) that this is just for middle-aged men who drive trains for a living and play with miniature railroads as a hobby, and that this game is not for you. Despite the glamorous and epic appearances, this is just another game - only way better than most. If you're beyond gateway games, then you really owe it to yourself to consider making this one of your next steps into the world of gaming!

Railways of the World is the offspring of a Martin Wallace system that reached its high point as a gamer’s game in Age of Steam in 2002, was simplified in 2005 for a wider audience as Railroad Tycoon, and as a result of some minor improvements was further refined in 2009 as Railways of the World. Most importantly, Railways of the World is more friendly and accessible than the tougher experience offered by Age of Steam. Its strength lies in the theme, which is closely connected with the pick-up-and-deliver mechanic, and the economic system that is at the heart of the game. When combined with lavishly produced pieces, colourful components, and a game that is playable by the average gamer and can be completed in 2-3 hours, the Railways of the World system has generated some serious staying power and appeal. If you find Age of Steam too tough, or Ticket to Ride too simple, as most gamers will, then Railways of the World is for you. It is truly the ultimate and the quintessential train game for the typical modern gamer! This review will help show you why, as well as teach you how to play.





The Designers

Britain’s Martin Wallace is currently one of the world’s leading game designers. Having made the transition from teacher to full-time designer, he has a passion for games, his first successful title being Lords of Creation in 1993. Since then, he has earned a solid reputation for designing complex games that blend some of the best elements of mechanics from Euro style games along with solid themes from American style games. As Wallace himself observed, “I always start with the theme. Then it is a case of finding mechanics that will fit the theme.” And elsewhere: “Theme always comes first for me.” The themes are often historical, as he notes, “A lot of my games, especially the Warfrog ones, have historical themes. My usual approach is to read a few books and then try to draw out what the important features were of the period. Then it is a case of coming up with the mechanics.” Wallace’s complex strategy games are often themed around civilizations (e.g. Struggle of Empires, and Rise of Empires), economics (e.g. Brass, and Automobile), and trains.



Glenn Drover is the designer who turned Age of Steam into Railroad Tycoon. He founded Eagle Games, which first published the game, and is also well known as the designer of Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery.

The Pedigree

2009's Railways of the World comes at the end of a long evolutionary process of train game design that began already in 1996, and for the modern gamer, it's one of the best games to turn to. We can only properly appreciate it when we place it in the context of some other designs, and trace how these train games have developed. Martin Wallace’s love affair with train games began relatively early in his design career. Wallace says it was only because John Bohrer asked him to design a railway game that he got on board designing train games in the first place. He wanted to design something “quicker and simpler than 18xx”, and the seeds of success were first sown in Ferrocarriles Pampas (which became Prairie Railroads and Pampas Railroads) and Lancashire Railways (which became Age of Steam). The core delivery mechanic evident here paved the way for the more mature designs he perfected in later games. When an interviewer observed that Wallace has designed a lot of rail games, his response was telling: “I’ve actually only designed two railway games, all the rest are developments of those two. Ferrocarriles Pampas went on to spawn Prairie and Pampas Rails, while Lancashire Railways begat Volldampf, Age of Steam and Railroad Tycoon. Steel Driver is a development of the former series, it’s a stripped down version of Prairie Rails.” So Wallace sees himself as the designer of two families or systems of train games, each of which had their own development. Railroad Tycoon can be considered the "lighter" member of the family that originated with Lancashire Railes and matured with Age of Steam. Since this series of train games hit the big time with Age of Steam, we’ll start our summary there - mainly for the benefit of those who are not that familiar with these games, and are trying to figure out the relationship between them and decide which one to buy.

Age of Steam (2002)



Created by Wallace (initially as Brummie Rails) and then developed by John Bohrer, this is the heavy-weight train game that won various awards (including the 2003 International Gamers Award for Best General Strategy Game) and at one time was in the BGG Top 10. More of a tough, brain-burning experience for serious gamers, this is arguably the Martin Wallace magnus opus. In an interview Wallace credits Bohrer’s significant contribution in helping develop this game from Lancashire Railways, and that "without John Bohrer's hard work in development I would not have a reputation for designing rail games." Wallace considers Age of Steam his “dream game”, since it is “a railway game that looks good, doesn't take forever to play, and is fun.” He statesIt would be fair to say it is my best railway game.

Railways of the World (2005)



But the train ride of success didn’t end with Age of Steam. Eagle Games' Glenn Drover simplified and streamlined the mechanics and game-play of Age of Steam, and attractive over-produced components were added, and the result was a game more appealing to less hardcore gamers and more accessible to a wider audience. In Wallace’s words: “What I attempted to do is strip AoS down to a more basic, faster moving version. The emphasis is firmly on track building. The auctions and special actions have gone, shares are easier - you get to take them out as you need them. It is designed for a wider audience than the original AoS was.” Railroad Tycoon spawned two expansion maps (Europe and England), and the attempt to appeal to a wider audience was a definite success.

Steam (2009)



While developer John Bohrer and Eagle Games produced a third edition of Age of Steam in 2008 (featuring over-produced components similar to Railroad Tycoon), Martin Wallace himself completely reworked the original Age of Steam with all new artwork and rules under the new name of Steam. Steam came with two rule-sets: “Standard” rules (offering a more intense and tight game like the classic Age of Steam), and “Basic” rules (offering a more forgiving and quicker game). The expansion Steam Barons added a stock-market system to the game.

Railways of the World (2009)



With the Railroad Tycoon name no longer available due to licensing issues, and the game itself quickly going out of print, it was time for Eagle Games to give this popular title a face-lift under a new name. Railways of the World re-implemented Railroad Tycoon, with the benefit of some tweaks and minor improvements first seen in the two expansions, Railways of Europe and Railways of England and Wales. It almost certainly represents the medium-weight railroad game at its best, being at the end of the process of evolutionary curve of development that began already before Age of Steam.

While all of these games are essentially the same system, refined and improved over time, Age of Steam and the standard game of Steam are heavy-weight games that provide more unforgiving and complex gameplay best appreciated only by the hardcore gamers. Most modern gamers are more likely to enjoy the more forgiving gameplay of the medium-weight contender, Railways of the World. It can be considered as the new-and-improved Railroad Tycoon Mark II, and effectively renders the original Railroad Tycoon game obsolete (for a comprehensive comparison and contrast between Railroad Tycoon and Railways of the World, see my pictorial review). So if you're looking for a train game that's a step up from Ticket to Ride, and yet not as intense or challenging as Age of Steam, then Railways of the World is your game. The typical eurogamer will find much to love about Railways of the World, not least that it is more thematic than many eurogames, and comes with gorgeous over-produced components. For the average gamer, this is the definitive train game to get. Let's explain the game!

COMPONENTS

Game box

The box cover features some of the train artwork that appears in the game and its expansions.



On the reverse side is some information about the game:



It's worth taking a closer at some of the information here: "Welcome to Railways of the World, the base game in Eagle Games' expandable railroad system. Included inside this box are all of the components necessary to support and supplement the expansion games in the series, such as Railways of England and Wales and Railways of Europe. You will need most or all of the components in this box to play these expansions."

But now look at this - the base game includes two expansions: Railways of the Eastern U.S. and Railways of Mexico!



If that doesn't whet your appetite, just read the section on the box that introduces the gameplay:



Sounds good? Absolutely! So what do we need to play this? Well this is a massive box, and it weighs a ton - probably because there's a ton of stuff inside, including no less than 174 plastic miniatures! Let's pull off the cover and look! Fortunately it has some compartments inside, to help keep some of the components separate:



Lots of goodies here! Here's a first glimpse at some of them, after hauling them out of the box:



Component list

So what's inside the box? Here's a complete inventory:
● Map of Eastern U.S.
● Map of Mexico
● Score Track
● 12 Railroad Baron cards
● 42 Railroad Operation cards
● 150 Trains
● 24 Empty city markers
● 125 Goods cubes
● Engine cards
● Bond certificates
● Money
● Track tiles
● New City & Western Link tiles
● Reference cards
● Start Player card
● Drawstring bag
● 3 Rulebooks



Rule book

The rulebook is a glossy well-produced booklet:



Of the eight pages, only four pages explain the rules (with pictures), while the remaining pages include information about some of the engines, some variants, and an action reference. As is evident from how short the rule section actually is, the gameplay is not really that difficult or hard to learn. There could be more illustrations to help explain the gameplay, but it's not that difficult a game to learn. This review will also help you learn the game anyway! The rules include several important changes from the original Railroad Tycoon, which significantly improve the game - you'll find a complete overview of these changes in my comparative review between Railroad Tycoon and Railways of the World.

The rules only explain the base game, which is not complete in itself, but is designed to work along together with one of the expansions. Two of these expansions are included, Railways of the Eastern US and Railways of Mexico, and there are also separate rulebooks for each - only a page or two of additional rules describing gameplay specific to those maps.



Goods cubes and Cloth bag

The aim of the game is to advance on the income track (earning points and income), which primarily happens by transporting goods cubes between different cities. There are 125 Goods cubes altogether. Since the goods cubes are placed randomly on the board at the start of each game, Railways of the World also comes with a good quality drawstring cloth bag for storing and randomly drawing the goods.



The goods cubes come in five different colours: red, yellow, blue, purple, and black. To make the goods less abstract, we sometimes assign them as follows: black = coal, yellow = grain, purple = iron, blue = passengers-mail, red = cattle (lumber is other option that would be true to the time, because petroleum/oil was only first transported in 1865 - but see other suggestions in this thread).



You'll get points for each good you deliver to a city of the matching colour - i.e. red goods need to get delivered to a red city, yellow goods to a yellow city. The amount of points you get depends on the amount of "links" you use - if you use three of your links to transport a good, you'll get three points.

Track Tiles

There are lots of good quality hexagonal track tiles, which you will use to create sections of railroad track between cities. Here's just some of them:



There are straights, curves, and crossings, and you can take whichever ones you need depending on where you want to build your track!



The track tiles cost money to build on the map, usually $2000 per tile ($3000 on spaces with water, $4000 on spaces with mountains).

Control Locomotives

The locomotives come in six colours (red, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey), and there are 25 in each colour.



Each player will have a different colour, and you'll use these trains to mark the "links" of train tracks between cities that you have built and control. Whenever you build a new railroad link, you place a locomotive in your colour to indicate that you own and control that link. For example, here we see that the blue player has built and controls several links between cities on the Mexico map.



Note that the colour of the locomotives is completely unrelated to the colour of the goods or cities.

Engine Cards

Players start with a "level 1" engine, which lets you deliver goods cubes across a single link between cities. To deliver goods cubes further distances, you'll need to upgrade your engine. There are engine cards for levels 1 through 8, and there's enough of each for six players. They represent investing money to upgrade your locomotive with a newer and better model.



The highest level engine is a level 8, which allows a player to transport a goods cube across 8 links!



Money

To build track and upgrade your engine, you'll need money. The money comes in three denominations, bills of $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000.



At the end of every round, you'll earn some money, dependent on your current score - usually the higher your score, the more income you will generate. Money is also used for the auction at the start of each turn, to bid for the right to be starting player that turn.

Bond Certificates

Since you start the game with no money, how do you raise capital to build your track? You can take out a bond certificate. These represent bonds issued by the railroads to raise money.



So if you take out 1 bond, you'll get the cash value of the bond certificate - $5,000. Need more money? Take out another bond. Be warned, however, your bonds are deducted from the income you generate each turn (i.e. you're paying dividends to the people who are helping you fund your railway), and will also be deducted from your final score, so you'll try to avoid taking these unless you have to!

Scoreboard

You'll also use one engine to keep track of your score on the scoreboard.



The figure inside the red circle on the left is a player's score, the dollar value is that player's income at the end of each round (minus the number of bonds owned).



This scoring and income mechanism is key to the game. The basic concept of Railways of the World is to deliver goods, which will increase your score and your income level. So a score of 0 earns you $0 at the end of each turn, a score of 1 earns you $3,000 at the end of each turn, and so on. Subtracted from your income is $1,000 per bond that you've accrued. There are short term objectives (such as some of the Railroad Operations cards) and long term objectives (such as the Major Lines and Railroad Barons) that will earn you bonus points to increase your score and income, but the majority of points will be earned by delivering goods. So the basic idea of the game is this: you'll need to take out bonds to get you the money you need to build a network of track in order to deliver goods, and then you'll use the benefits from delivering goods to increase your score and your income.

New City Tiles

Some cities on the map have no colour, but are gray. These can be urbanized by placing a "New City" tile on it, representing the growth of industry in a small city, and creating a new demand for goods. The city changes from gray to this new colour (chosen by the player doing the urbanizing), and now goods of that colour can be delivered to that city. New cities can be yellow, blue, purple, or black (i.e. the only red cities on the board will be the ones that are there at the start of the game!)



Empty City Markers

The end of the game is triggered when a certain number of cities are 'emptied' of their goods cubes. To keep track of the empty cities, you place an empty city marker on a city that has no cubes left in it. These empty city markers are somewhat superfluous, and over-produced - but it's touches like this that make the game looks so wonderful in play! There are four types of empty city markers (water towers, coal towers, railroad crossing signs, and roundhouses).



There are six of each.



You can use any that you wish - the different types have no significance for the game, but just increase the aesthetic value and visual appeal of the game. Aside from the roundhouses (which are almost too large for placement in cities), these are all fantastic, and really add to the aesthetic appeal of Railways of the World!

Start Player card

Every turn consists of three rounds of player actions, where each player performs one action, starting with the start player. A card is used to keep track of the start player for each turn.



The start player is determined by an auction at the beginning of every turn, followed by the three rounds of actions.

Reference cards

Last but not least, there are reference cards for each player, listing the five possible actions a player can perform, as well as the cost of building track.



Mexico expansion

Railways of the World requires an expansion map, and comes with two of them: Mexico (suitable for 2-4 players), and Eastern U.S. (suitable for 3-6 players).

Rules

The Railways of Mexico game that is included has a separate rule sheet, which you see here.



The basic rules are all in the Railways of the World rulebook, and the Railways of Mexico map only requires a few minor modifications and additions.

Map

Then there's the lovely Railways of Mexico map:



It's good quality, with a fine matte finish. It has 20 cities, 10 of which are gray (un-urbanized), and 10 other cities, two in each of the five colours (red, yellow, blue, purple, black). The detail and colours are beautiful.



Also note that the board has a reference called "Major Lines". Players that build a series of links that connect the two cities of one of the Major Lines will get the bonus points listed.



I've posted a separate review that covers all aspects of the Railways of Mexico game here: So you're wondering about Railways of Mexico: Hopping aboard Railroad Tycoon's Mexican train
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/522307



Eastern U.S. expansion

Rules

The Eastern U.S. game also has its own rulebook, which consists only of a double-sided sheet with a few extra rules in addition to those from the Railways of the World rulebook.



Map

But the star attraction here is the massive map, picturing the Eastern US during the first 50 years of the railroad era (1830-1880).



It's big and it's beautiful! Notice how the map is divided into hexes, which contain either a city (coloured), open terrain (green), or mountains (brown with dots). Some hexes contain water, and building on these spaces will be more costly.



During gameplay tracks will be placed on adjacent hexes to connect cities, and thus allow delivering of goods between those cities. In this case the Major Lines aren't printed on the board, but are on a separate reference card.



As with the Mexico map, it looks magnificent when in play with track, locomotives, goods cubes, and some empty city markers!



Railroad Baron cards

At the start of the game, each player gets to choose one of two Railroad Baron cards.



These are secret long term objectives, and will give bonus points if a player meets the objective at the game end, for example 7 points for being the player with the fewest bond certificates, or 8 points for being the player with the longest railroad.



There are twelve different Railroad Barons in total.



These help enhance replayability, because you'll get different Railroad Barons each game, and often they will determine part of your long-term strategy.

Railroad Operations cards

The Eastern US game has 37 Railroad Operations cards.



A selection of these Railroad Operations cards will be available to players as the game progresses, and many of them reduce costs or make certain actions easier, or give short-term goals for extra points.

Starting cards

The three starting cards (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, and New Train, which are all marked with a gold "S") always begin the game face-up:



Service Bounty

Service Bounty cards give a 4 point bonus for the first player to deliver a goods cube to a certain city:



Hotels

Hotel cards give a 1 point bonus for each goods cube delivered to a certain city:



Other cards

Other cards offer bonuses like enabling players to build further on a turn or build track for free (Perfect Engineering and Government Land Grant), urbanize a city for free or add goods cubes to a city (New Industry and City Growth), or gain an extra action (Railroad Executive).



Major Lines

The Major Line cards correspond to the major lines on the reference card, and players can optionally choose to play with these in the Railroad Operation deck instead of having them permanently available to all players from the start of the game.



Western Link tiles

In the Eastern US game, players can build a rail network west of the left map edge, representing access to the wealth of the American West. The special "Western Link" tile is placed in either Kansas City or Des Moines if a player successfully performs this action (at a cost of $30,000):



Overall the components are fantastic. There were some gripes and issues with some of the components in earlier incarnations of this game, but with Railways of the World these have virtually all but been eliminated, and we're left with a game that looks and feels great. The visual appeal shouldn't be under-estimated - seeing the board come to life as track is built and claimed with locomotives, and as cities are urbanized and empty city markers placed, is both captivating, thematic, and extremely satisfying to look at! By the end of the game, your table will look like a miniature railroad - even though you've been playing a game! This is immensely rewarding, and even if you lose the game, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment at having built up your own network of miniature rails! You'll certainly need a lot of space, but the overproduced components are one of the highlights of this game.

GAME-PLAY

Set-up

Goods cubes: At the start of the game, draw goods cubes randomly from the bag, and place them on the cities, according to the number printed on each city (1 less cube per city for 2-3 player games, with a minimum of 1 per city). This randomizes the set-up for each game, creating a different challenge each time, since goods cubes can only be delivered to cities that match their colour.

Locomotives and engine card: Each player gets all the control locomotives of their colour (place one for each player on the score-board as well), and a level "1" engine card.

Other components: The other components that will be needed for the game are placed besides the gameboard: track tiles, empty city markers, bonds certificates, money, new city tiles, engine cards, etc. Use one of the empty-city markers to keep track of the rounds on the board. Each player should also get a reference card.

Here's an example of a two player setup on the Mexico map:



Railroad Barons: Most of the expansions use Railroad Baron cards and Railroad Operations cards (these will be coming to the Mexico expansion soon enough, and fan-made cards have already appeared!). Each player gets one of two Railroad Baron cards, from which they choose and keep one, which they keep as their secret long-term objective.

Railroad Operations cards: The three starting Railroad Operations cards are placed face up beside the gameboard, as well as some more random Railroad Operations cards (twice the number of players). A new Railroad Operations card will be added face-up to these at the start of each turn. Here's some cards at the start of a three player game (3 starting cards, plus 2x3=6 other cards)



There are a lot of components on the table at this point! But setup isn't really all that difficult - for the most part you're just putting everything on the table so that you can access it when you need it - populating the cities with random goods cubes, laying out the initial Railroad Operations cards, and giving each player their locomotives and engine card is really all there is to set-up aside from that. Here's a three player setup on the Eastern US map:



All Aboard? Let's get this training rolling!

Flow of Play for a Turn

Each turn consists of three phases:
1. Auction to determine starting player
2. Player actions (3 rounds)
3. Income and dividends

Turns continue until a certain number of empty city markers are placed, at which point one more full turn is played. Let's explain the different phases of each turn, especially the most important phase: player actions.

Phase 1: Starting Player Auction

Beginning with the starting player, an auction is held for the right to be starting player that turn. Bidding goes clockwise around the table, and continues until everyone passes. The winning bid pays the amount of his bid to the bank (taking out Bonds to do so, if necessary), and gets the First Player card - he will begin all three rounds this turn.

The value of being starting player can change from turn to turn - usually players will want to be the starting player if there's a Railroad Operations card that they really want to have the first chance of getting, either by taking it or by meeting its requirements for bonus points (e.g. a Service Bounty), and thus getting ahead on the income track.

Phase 2: Player Actions (3 rounds)

The player actions are the main part of the game. This reference from the rule-book shows the actions available on a turn, which include building track, delivering goods cubes, upgrading your engine, urbanizing, or taking a Railroad Operations card:



Build Track

You can build up to four adjacent railroad track tiles (you can use any tiles that you wish), in an attempt to link two cities. Track costs $2,000 per hex ($3,000 if the hex contains water, $4,000 if it is a mountain hex with a white dot). You place one of your locomotives on the track you've built, to indicate that you control this section of track. In the example below, you could build a link between Nuevo Laredo and San Antonio, which would require three sections of track in a straight line at a total cost of $8,000 (two of the hexes contain water, costing $3,000 instead of $2,000). You'd have to take out bonds if you didn't have enough money to do this.



If you can't complete a link one round because the distance is more than four tiles, you can leave it unfinished and conclude the link on the next round, as long as you complete the link before the end of the third and last round of a turn. You'll also be keeping an eye out for creating a series of your links that will join two more distant cities, in order to claim the extra points from a Major Line! In most cases, you'll be looking to create links that will let you deliver goods cubes of a certain colour to a city of a matching colour.

Deliver Goods Cube

You can deliver a goods cube from one city to another city, and this is the main way to get points in the game. To do this, you must move the good to a city that is the same color as the cube being delivered, e.g. a black cube can only be delivered to a black city. You also must have an engine of a level at least as high as the number of links you plan to use, so for example if you wish to transport a black cube three links, you need at least a level 3 engine. Note: you can't lengthen the delivery route by making cubes pass through the same city twice or travel along the same link twice; a cube also can't pass through a city of its matching colour, but must be delivered there. You earn points on the income track for the amount of links you use to deliver a cube. In the picture below, you could deliver a black goods cube across one link for one point, or across three links for three points.

]

Obviously the further you deliver goods and the more links you use, the more points you get - so usually you'll try to upgrade your engine and build up a network of track that will allow you to do multi-link deliveries! You can even use a link owned by another player (as long is it's not the first link used for a delivery), but then that player will get the point for that link of the delivery instead of you.

If you move the last goods cube out of a city, you place an empty city marker in that city. In the example below, three cities are already empty, and the last cube has just been moved from the blue city, which would now get an empty city marker placed on it.



Upgrade Engine

Your engine level dictates how many links you can use for delivering a cube, and since you start with a level 1 engine, you can initially only deliver a cube across one link. To upgrade your engine and make further deliveries (which will earn more points), you pay the cost of the newer model, and replace your older model with the new engine card. You can only upgrade one level at a time. In the example below, the red player wants to deliver a black cube across three links, but he only has a level 2 engine - so as his action he pays $10,000 to get a level 3 engine. As his next action, he could then deliver the cube three links to get three points.



Upgrading your train becomes more and more expensive as you get to the higher level engines!

Take Railroad Operations Card

As one of your actions you can take one of the face-up Railroad Operations cards - many of which will give you bonus points or make things cheaper to build. Cards with a Red "X" must be used immediately and then discarded. Cards with a "hand of cards" icon can be kept until needed for a one-time use later in the game. Cards with a purple diamond icon give a permanent benefit that can be used once per turn. Note that the Railroad Operations cards with a green circle icon can't be selected, but give an immediate benefit when a player achieves the goal printed on those cards. The cards circled in red in the picture below would be available to be selected by a player as one of his actions.



Urbanize

This action enables you to change a gray city into a coloured one, and thus deliver cubes of that colour here. But it's expensive - $10,000! After paying the cost, you put a "New City" tile of your choice on any gray city, and also add two random goods cubes to that city. In the example below, the grey player wants to have a city to deliver the yellow goods cubes in Savannah and Charleston, so he urbanizes Columbia as a yellow New City at a cost of $10,000, and adds two random cubes there.



Note that there is a cheaper way to do this - the "New Industry" Railroads Operations card lets you do the same thing for free! If this card comes up and players want to Urbanize, you can be sure there will be some competition during the auction for first player - you'll be ahead even if the auction costs you more than $5,000!

Build Western Link (Eastern U.S. expansion map only)

This action only applies when playing on the map of the Eastern U.S., and represents building a rail network west of the map. If you have previously completed a link either to Kansas City or Des Moines, you can pay $30,000 and place a "Western Link" tile (with one of your locomotives on it) in the hex west of that city, which gets 4 red cubes added to it.



Once the Western link is built, future deliveries from the Western Link city to Chicago cause 2 new random cubes to be placed on Chicago. The Western link is a difficult strategy, and often goes unused. See some discussion about possible strategies here and here.

Phase 3: Income and Dividends

After three rounds (i.e. all players have had three actions), it's time to collect your income! You get the amount of income (in dollars) on the space that your locomotive is on the income track. But you must also pay "bond dividends" - a cost of $1,000 for each bond you have issued! Obviously you don't want to have too many bonds! In this example, the red player earns $11,000 at the end of a turn.



After income and dividends have been paid, you turn a new Railroad Operations card face-up, and start the next turn with another auction for first player.

Game End & Scoring

Triggering the end

The end of the game is triggered when a certain number of empty city markers have been placed. The number depends on the expansion map being used, and the amount of players. With the Eastern US map, it is 10/12/14/16/18 empty city markers for games with 2/3/4/5/6 players respectively. With the Mexico map, it is 7/8/9 empty city markers for games with 2/3/4 players respectively. In the example from a Railways of Mexico two-player game pictured below, the game has ended, as a result of 7 empty city markers being placed.



But now here's the interesting part: the game does not end immediately when the last empty city marker is placed. Instead, that turn is completed, and one final turn is played. This makes timing the end of the game very important! You need to keep in mind that the game won't end immediately, but that everyone will get at least three more actions on their final turn, plus however actions remain on the turn when the last empty city marker is placed. This is a great tactical mechanic that keeps things interesting and tense, and requires skilful play to prepare for.

Scoring

Once the final turn is completed, you calculate final scores. Your score is the place your locomotive is on the scoreboard, with the following changes:
● your score increases: add to your score if you have completed the long term objective listed on your Railroad Baron card
● your score decreases: subtract from your score the amount of bond certificates you have



EXPLORING FURTHER

Official Expansions

A Mexico map and a Eastern U.S. map come with the base Railways of the World game, but that's just the start! Take the same gameplay but just add a different map, and you have a whole new range of experiences and fun!



Two expansions are already available - Europe and England - and there's word of more to come!



Let's just take a quick look at what's offered by the two expansions already available separately.

Railways of Europe



Railways of Europe works particularly well with 2-4 players, and is an excellent alternative to the Eastern U.S. map. It's a more symmetrical board, and is a tighter and tougher game because the cities are more sparse and building track is more costly.



For all the details, see my pictorial review here: My favourite train game goes to Europe and gets a fantastic upgrade!
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/518153

Railways of England & Wales



Railways of England and Wales offers another alternative map which is also great for less players, but the gameplay isn't quite as unforgiving as Railways of Europe, because cities are located closer together. Every different map has its own feel and offers its own challenges!



For all the details, see my pictorial review here: The Basic Expansion for Railways of the World: a fine addition for a time-tested train game
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/445920

The bonus of this expansion is that it also comes with extra components for an "Advanced" game by Martin Wallace that introduces a share system, similar to the 18xx series. This takes the game in a very different direction, because you longer have your own colour, but buy shares in companies that other players also control, and you may even have an interest in several different companies at the same time. This adds several new points of interest to the Railways of the World base game, such as paying dividends, variable share prices, and the potential for mergers, which all add new layers of complexity.



For more details on this, see my pictorial review here: The Advanced Share System: a Martin Wallace design for a brand-new train game
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/445920

Official Expansions: a comparison

Distribution of cities

The distribution of cities in the different expansions differs considerably.

Railways of the Eastern U.S.
3x Red, 5x Blue, 4x Purple, 4x Black, 7x Yellow, 29x Gray = 52 total

Railways of England
3x Red, 3x Blue, 5x Purple, 6x Black, 9x Yellow, 18x Gray = 44 total

Railways of Europe
2x Red, 4x Blue, 4x Purple, 3x Black, 4x Yellow, 14x Gray = 31 total

Railways of Mexico
2x Red, 2x Blue, 2x Purple, 2x Black, 2x Yellow, 10x Gray = 20 total

It is noteworthy that red is almost always the least frequent city. And because grey cities can't be industrialized as a red New City, this makes the few existing red cities critical for delivering red cubes and planning your network of track. The distribution of colours in the Europe and Mexico maps is fairly even, but the Eastern U.S. and England maps have a higher percentage of certain coloured cities - this gives these maps more of an asymmetrical feel, since cities of certain colours could prove more profitable and important than others.



Comparing the Railroad Operation cards

Here’s how the Railroad Operation cards in the different expansions compare (not including the Major Lines):

Railways of the Eastern U.S.: 31 cards
3x Starting cards (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, Passenger Lines)
6x Service Bounty
6x Hotel
4x New Industry
4x City Growth
4x Government Land Grant
2x Perfect Engineering
2x Railroad Executive

Railways of Europe: 29 cards
3x Starting cards (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, Passenger Lines)
5x Service Bounty
6x Hotel
4x New Industry
3x City Growth
3x Tunnel Engineer
3x City Charter
2x Capital Charter

Railways of England: 27 cards
3x Starting cards (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, Passenger Lines)
5x Service Bounty
6x Hotel
4x New Industry
3x City Growth
2x Government Land Grant
2x Tunnel Engineer
2x Railroad Inspector

Railways of Mexico: 25 cards
3x Starting cards (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, Passenger Lines)
4x Service Bounty
4x Hotel
4x New Industry
3x City Growth
3x Tunnel Engineers
2x Civil Engineers
2x Railroad Executive
(Note: this is the ArtsCow deck, which has 13 extra cards (3x Trading Depot, 3x Engine Upgrade, 2x Government Land Grant, 2x Operations Growth, 3x Express) so that you can customize the Railroad Operations deck. An official deck for Railways of Mexico will appear in the next reprint, and also will be made available separately.)

I have mixed feelings about the City Charter cards used in Railways of Europe, but the Railroad Inspector (one-time use to prevent another player delivering a good) in Railways of England is an interesting addition. The Tunnel Engineers are especially useful for the maps that have significant mountains. Government Land Grant would have been useful on the Europe map, given some of the great distances and high track building costs on that map.



Forthcoming Expansions

Two new forthcoming expansions have just been announced for the Railways of the World series.

1. Railways of the Western U.S. is an expansion that is set to be released in the first quarter of 2011. Designed by Rick Holzgrafe, it even opens up possibilities for being played alongside the Eastern US map in an epic coast-to-coast game!

2. Railways Through Time is an expansion scheduled to be released at Essen 2010, in October this year. It adds a new dimension to the game: time. The rules of this new expansion follow the basic gameplay and pick-up and deliver mechanism of the Railways of the World series but introduce the idea of time travel between different eras. Sounds very cool, and Railways of the World fans probably can't wait to get their hands on this!

Fan-made Expansions

Many high quality maps for the Railways of the World series have been made by fans (including all the information you need to print out the boards). You can head to wonderful Australia, courtesy of Jason Spears.



Alternatively, Douglas Donin will help you play with trains in Brazil & South America.



And there's much more! You'll find information about other custom fan maps like California, India and even Middle Earth in the Railroad Tycoon forums, files, and image galleries.

Strategy

If it's strategy you're after, don't miss the excellent Strategy for Beginners guide by Rick Holzgrafe, which can be downloaded from the BGG files here. It's a ten page document brimming with good advice, although much of it is specific to the Eastern U.S. map.

The Railways of the World rulebook also includes some basic strategic hints. An overview of some key points:
Watch your debt. You'll need some bonds at the start of the game to get going, but it's usually better to progress slowly within your means rather than take out too many bonds for long deliveries early in the game.
Strike early. Try to be the first player to get to all-important cities or win critical Railways Operations cards.
Prioritize which goods to deliver. Goods that only you are in a position to deliver can wait, whereas it's important to deliver first any “at risk” goods that your opponents could also deliver.
Win important auctions early. Early in the game it can be worthwhile paying considerable amounts to be the first player, especially if it means you'll get bonus points from a key route, delivery, or card. If the player on your right goes first, sometimes there's an almost equal reward in going second.
Plan your first routes carefully. Try to build your first links in an area where there are goods that match nearby cities, ideally in places that will allow you to do one-link and two-link deliveries with the first few links that you build.
Watch the Northeast when playing on the Eastern US. The densely populated corridor on the north-east has cities packed closely together, and can be lucrative if one player is allowed to dominate here without any competition.



Popular Variants

Age of Steam style auctions

Many players favour an Age of Steam style auction for turn order. "In Railroad Tycoon, the turn order auction has only the winner paying money and going first, with the other players following in clockwise order. In AoS style bidding, players bid for turn order as in the official rules but the resulting turn order is the reverse of the order in which players drop out of the bidding (last man standing goes first). Players who do not bid anything go after all those who do, retaining their turn order relative to each other. Players who do not bid, and also the first player to drop out after bidding, pay nothing. The last and second-to-last players pay their full bids. Everybody in between pays half their bid, rounded up." This is a For Sale style bidding system; alternatively you can have all players going free except the top two bidders, since in RRT the difference between going 2rd vs 5th is usually not that important. The rulebook also makes mention of this variant. For more discussion, see here and here.

Two player variants

The Mexico, Europe, and England maps are great for two player games, but you can also play with two players on the US map. Two player games seem to work okay on the US map, and although there's less interaction as you both build up your own empire, it can still be fun. A couple of solutions have been suggested to help create more interaction in a two player game on the Eastern US map.

1. Middle board variant. The 2 player variant using only the middle board segment (which provides 2 of each color city) has proven quite popular. For details and discussion, see here.



2. The Mandatory North-East Corridor. Designer Glenn Drover has suggested a variant for two players where neither player may build west of the mountains until one reaches 60 points, to help solve the problem of imbalance in the north-east. See his post here.

Other variants

Other popular variants (including Scott Di Bartolo's Event Decks) are listed here and here.

Card Game

Scheduled to come out this summer is Railways of the World: The Card Game.



According to the publisher, this adapts the game so that players build railroad routes, upgrade engines, and deliver goods using track cards and city cards. It also comes with two sets of rules: a family version, and a more advanced version for people already familiar with the Railways of the World series. If appearances are anything to go by, this looks very interesting!



Other resources

I've made a player aid (primarily for the Eastern US map) that you can download here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/56171/reference
NB: currently only the earlier version of this document is available, which doesn't yet include the player aid - the revised version has been uploaded a few days ago and is awaiting admin approval.



If you're looking for more tutorials about how to play the game, then don't miss these helpful video reviews:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY9RC0IIVig (BoardToDeathTV)
http://vimeo.com/3968252 (Basement Boardgamer)

There's also an amazing PDF tutorial file created by Antonio Russo, that you'll find here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/41031/tutorial
It's lengthy, but is another excellent way to learn the game. Note that it is based on the original game of Railroad Tycoon, but it's a great resource when you combine it with my concise reference for the rule modifications implemented by Railways of the World.

For a short overview of the rules, Ava Jarvis' player aid for Railroad Tycoon is also very useful:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/16277/playeraid
Again just bear in mind that a couple of small things have changed in RotW, as noted in my reference sheet.

And if you're fortunate like me, your wife might even make a custom bag for your goods cubes!



CONCLUSIONS

What do I think?

I admit that I'm biased about this game. Why? Well I love it! But that's what you want isn't it - a subjective review? You want to hear me gush, enthuse, and wax poetic about games I enjoy and why I enjoy them! So let me gush, and I'll let you drool! What is it about Railways of the World that makes it so successful and likable? Here are some things to love about this game:
I love the theme. You're building track. You're delivering goods. You're using trains. Martin Wallace has managed to inject thematic elements that surpass what we see in many euros. Unlike many other euros, the theme is not pasted on, but the game is built around the theme. And it's a good one!
I love the components. They're over-the-top. How can you not like the colourful trains, expansive maps and track tiles, and ridiculously over-produced empty city markers! Yes, the map can require a healthy amount of table space - but it sure looks awesome when in play! By game end, it's as if you have your own functioning miniature model railroad!
I love the game-play. It's a really good game! It's fundamentally economic driven, but there's room for players to develop different strategies, given that there are both long-term and short-term goals that give incentives for earning points. The value of these incentives changes, but the auction for starting player helps the players decide how much they are worth at any point of the game.
I love the rules. It's really not a complicated game. Looks can be deceiving - but despite appearances and size, Railways of the World is not intimidating to learn. Even my 12 year old can play without difficulty and really enjoys the game - and yet it offers a good strategic challenge for me. The rules really aren't too difficult, and it's quite easy to get into the game after a few rounds, even for a new player, since the mechanics are quite straight forward, while still offering different strategies to explore each game.
I love the depth. It's not too deep and unforgiving like Age of Steam, which is more of a brain-burner. Some people prefer this more demanding style of play - I don't. Railways of the World gets the mix just right - it's not as casual or light as Ticket to Right, but not as tough or brutal as big brother Age of Steam (see Andrew Rae's great article for a good comparison with Age of Steam). The ultimate winner is more often than not determined by strategic play, but it's still somewhat forgiving, and there are just enough random elements to make it interesting and give some margin for error or catching up, since it's not a system that enables calculation of infallible and optimal efficiency. For the typical gamer, it's a perfect cocktail of strategy and fun! I can even seeing some non-gamers being drawn in by it!
I love the interaction. There's constant interaction (e.g. bidding for starting player, competition for routes and goals), but for the most part it's not fiercely confrontational, but more a matter of indirectly competing for certain cubes or links. There can be frustrating moments when another player beats you to delivering a cube or accomplishing a goal before you, but there's no nastiness of the sort where you can destroy railroads of other players, although there are some limited opportunities to play mean and try to cut off another player's railroad. The kind of interaction that Railways of the World offers is just what most gamers are looking for.
I love the building. As you play the game, you get a definite feeling that you're building something. Even if you lose by the game end, you've got the satisfaction of admiring a network of tracks and links you've built up. It's like a civilization building game, except that you're just building your own little empire of railroad track, and win or lose, you can sit back after a game with a certain measure of accomplishment.
I love the length. Most times you can finish a game in 2-3 hours. That makes it perfect for a relaxing evening! And yet within that time-frame, there's a real feeling of playing something epic and expansive.
I love the fun. I know I'm not alone when I say that playing this game is pure, unadulterated fun. For the typical gamer, there's so much here that just makes it gaming nirvana. It's immersive, challenging, and although Age of Steam might technically be a more tense and pure game, it's also more work (which some people will like) - Railways of the World is less cut-throat and just more plain old-fashioned fun.
I love the expansions. The whole system is so expandable and flexible, and there's lots of different maps you can play with. Two are included in the base game, others can be purchased separately. Most gamers will love this variety, because it gives the opportunity to enjoy the same game in a different setting.
I love the improvements. The publishers are constantly improving the game. It's a dynamic game, and the small changes from the original Railroad Tycoon (2005) are virtually all improvements. We haven't seen the last of the ongoing improvements yet, since several more expansions are in the works, some taking the game in entirely new directions. My only real complaint is that the Mexico board really could benefit from a deck of cards (the fan-made one from ArtsCow is a good solution in the mean time), but word from the publisher is that the next reprint of RotW will have further improvements including a Mexico deck. So the game is still improving in new and wonderful ways!
I love the replayability. The random cube distribution at the start of each game makes every game different. Plus you get different long term goals, depending on which Railroad Baron cards you get, and which Railroad Operations appear and when. There's a small element of luck, but the primary role of randomness helps increase the replay value, and makes every game you play a different challenge. I'm not sick of playing this game by a long shot yet!

Overall, Railways of the World really hits my sweet spot. Don't be put off by the lavish production or the size and weight of the box. This is a game for average gamers - more so than Age of Steam, and more so than gateway games like Ticket to Ride. It really is the typical gamer's ultimate train game!



What do others think?

Railways of the World is still quite new, so to get a more reliable indication of what people think, we should start by looking at the ratings and comments for Railroad Tycoon, which is essentially the same game. It has 12 straight pages of "10" ratings! Some of the comments from enthusiastic fans:

"Best game out in the last 5 years. New non-boardgammers love playing this game. Very beautiful HUGE HUGE HUGE board. This is the most popular "couples" game I own." - John Hines
"...one of the best I've ever played ... without a doubt a game in which "die hard" strategic gamers and casual social gamers can enjoy at the same levels ... a game for people who love heavy strategy and for those who just want a fun, social time. It's as near to a perfect design that any company can get." - Tom Vasel
"I never expected to like any train games very much. This game has such a polished feel combined with beautiful art and over the top components I can give it nothing but a 10." - Andrew Cooper
"I seem to like this game more and more...It's fun to build up a railroad network, upgrade your trains and plan on routing the goods to their destination." - Marco
"Beautiful game. Much more forgiving than Age of Steam." - Charles A. Davis
"You got to love the artwork. Very easy to learn, quite difficult to master. When playing with good opponents this ca be a very competiive game. There are many different strategies to try, and I like the balance of auction, tile placement and economics." - Jonas Mann
"Simply amazing game. Best adaptation of the train theme and very fun to play." - Kon Wacht
"I really love this game. The rules are simple, yet the game has a very deep level of strategy to it. Besides, who doesn't love building train layouts?" - Darin Shaw
"Truly sublime. An immense board, seemingly limitless opportunities, cutthroat competition, creditors knocking, beautiful colors, tiny trains and water towers. And all in 2 action-packed hours. Easily my favorite game." - Casey Vise
"Probably the best boardgame I own." - Antti Vesanen
"This is the best railroad game put out so far on several counts - the components, the right amount of complexity / playability balance, and best big game for a group of diversely experienced players ... Tycoon the best value for a gathering of friends / family / gamers so far." - Forest Cole
"If you want just one train game, this is the one. I love the epic feel to this game. The board is huge and so is the fun." - James Davis
"The game that got me into boardgaming. I love the feeling of building massive rail networks on the huge board, making tough decisions of taking shares vs. growing organically, and the uncertainty in when the game ends." - Jon Getty
"An absolutely fantastic game. Has all the elements of a great one in my mind: fierce competition for lucrative lines, a good debt simulator, nice cold hard cash, and a HUGE board. A very easy game to learn and everyone I have played this with enjoys it." - Jordan




Recommendation

Is Railways of the World for you? In most cases games are a matter of taste, but the delectable taste offered by the Railways of the World is so delightful that few can resist it! This really is a game that will please a wide variety of gamers. Components, theme, gameplay, replayability - it has it all. It deserves to be as well received as the #27 ranked Railroad Tycoon and more, because the small changes make it even better than that modern classic. If you've moved past the gateways into the world of boardgames, then find a way to get your hands on this quintessential train game, because Railways of the World deserves your very highest consideration!

mb Another pictorial review by EndersGame



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
mb The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

Subscribe to this list to be notified when new reviews are posted.
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lance
United States
Moorhead
Minnesota
flag msg tools
The coolest best thing I have ever done in my life is being a father
badge
The Dread Pirate Caleb!! (age 2)
mbmbmbmbmb
I could have picked this up for $35 at a convention in February.

Still kicking myself...
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jordan Stewart
Canada
Saint John
New Brunswick
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Cadillac of board game reviews.
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Olson
Australia
Darlington
WA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I really enjoyed the first 3 segments; 'the appeal', 'the designer', 'the pedigree' - a great summation of the history of the game.

However, 'the components' was very very very ... snore ... long. By the end of it, the tone and feel of those first three segments was lost for me. I had run out of desire to find out if the rest of the review had similar pockets of insight.

I know you love these long reviews, but personally, I'd like to see them in chapters or parts; such as, the unboxing walkthrough would be a part.

You are a very patient man.thumbsup
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil Thron
United States
Caldwell
New Jersey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A great review. One of the best I've read. It is a rare thing for me to actually want to run out and buy a game before I have even finished reading a review, but that's exactly what I felt while reading this incredibly comprehensive and lovingly detailed treatise.

Thank you for your time and passion. I'm already planning my strategy on how to get my wife and daughter to try this one out now.

Cheers,
Phil
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Gregg
United States
Toney
Alabama
flag msg tools
FINISH HIM!
badge
Go Tigers!
mbmbmbmbmb
Hah, what timing! I ordered Railways of the World yesterday after a solid week of deliberation on whether or not it was for me. I won't know until after we play it, but I'm more confident it was a good pick up, and perhaps a "gamer's gateway" to more hardcore train gaming! Nice review!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Stingel
Australia
Cairns
Queensland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been on the fence for months trying to decide whether to purchase Steam, Age of Steam or Railways of the World. Your review has finally pushed me off said fence and I've just ordered RotW. Thanks :D
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Konwacht
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Man, you are crazy.

How long did it take you to finish this review?

Well done, well done!

And yes, Railways of the World is a great game, a worthy successor to my beloved Railroad Tycoon.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David C
United States
Aurora
Colorado
flag msg tools
mb
UndeadViking wrote:
I could have picked this up for $35 at a convention in February.

Still kicking myself...


Did you miss the ebay auction too?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Roger's Reviews: check out my reviews page, right here on BGG!
badge
Caution: May contain wargame like substance
mb
Konwacht wrote:
Man, you are crazy.

How long did it take you to finish this review?


I know how long it takes me to do a review, and the fact that he probably got just north of 4 for this one is a shameful indictment of the entire sham that is bag.
2 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean McQ
United States
Mechanicsburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
I don't want happiness by halves, nor is half of sorrow what I want. Yet there's a pillow I would share, where gently pressed against a cheek like a helpless star, a falling star, a ring glimmers on the finger of a hand.
mbmbmbmbmb
Ender, awesome review as always. My hat's off to you sir.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Maciek U
United States
Cromwell
Connecticut
flag msg tools
What a review!!!!! Somebody build a temple for this man!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Click
United States
Blountville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Nothing to see here
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Another great review. I thank you for the links to fan created items, like other maps and references. Really a though review.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Mehlhoff
United States
Rosemount
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bippi wrote:
UndeadViking wrote:
I could have picked this up for $35 at a convention in February.

Still kicking myself...


Did you miss the ebay auction too?


Don't even start... no one may speak of James' auctions...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan C
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Might as well just close down the reviews forum for a game after Ender does a review I always say.

The Ender pictorial reviews are major threats to my wallet. Put another one on the wishlist...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Burgess
Canada
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
So I take it you like the game?

I copied this into Word in order to print it out and read on the (heh) train home. 55 pages, over 10,000 words.

This is epid.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Hinchliffe
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Sold. Completely and utterly sold. This sounds like everything I am looking for in a game. Thank you for the excellent review. I picked up the box at the game store on Monday, felt the weight, saw the price tag, and thought "This is going to intimidate the hell out of my group" and put it down.

I'll be going back and reversing that decision now. I can't imagine they won't flip over this.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Czerwinski
United States
Sanford
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Wow, I hadn't heard of you or your reviews before today, but I'm certainly impressed. I had no interest in train games before reading this and now my interest is piqued. Fantastic and in-depth review, I can't believe you did that much work on it. Thank you.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stuart Roberts

Chatswood
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for such a comprehensive review. It clearly is a labour of love and I'm appreciative for the information.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a copy of this game, that much is certain.

Cheers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C. Rexford
United States
Bremerton
Washington
flag msg tools
Thufferin Thuccotash!! It'th Cold out Here!
mbmbmbmbmb
As fantastic and delightful as this game sounds, I am simply in complete awe of this review.
Outstanding.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Devin Schwartz
United States
Sturgis
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
An absolutely stellar review! By far the most helpful I have ever stumbled upon. Many thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Young
Canada
Victoria
BC
flag msg tools
Old Ways Are Best!
badge
Check Six!
mbmbmbmbmb
Now, that is a review. Great job Ender!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Salim Khoury
United States
Houston
TX
flag msg tools
Give Grace, Always.
badge
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
mbmbmbmbmb
Another great review Ender, thanks!

Would you be able to take a minute and explain why you prefer RotW over Steam's Basic Game Rules? Strictly from a game-play/rules perspective (Clearly you prefer the production quality of RotW, and for good reason)

I'm asking because I own Steam plus a couple of Steam: Map Expansions, & Steam Barons, yet, after reading this review I'm compelled to buy RotW IF there is good reason. To me good reasons in this case would be more about rules/game-play as compared to the Steam Basic Rules (as I know the Standard game is more complex etc.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Salimo wrote:
Would you be able to take a minute and explain why you prefer RotW over Steam's Basic Game Rules? Strictly from a game-play/rules perspective (Clearly you prefer the production quality of RotW, and for good reason)

Given how similar the games are from the perspective of rules, for me the components are one of the decisive considerations, and obviously RotW wins hands down there; the many expansion maps it now has are also a welcome bonus (see this geeklist for an overview of all the expansions currently available).

I've not played Steam personally, and I've had to rely on what I've read from others comparing the game-play of the two games, so I'm afraid I'm probably not the best person to answer your question. There have been other threads that discuss this though, so maybe check those out (e.g. here, here, here, here, and here).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Salim Khoury
United States
Houston
TX
flag msg tools
Give Grace, Always.
badge
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
mbmbmbmbmb
EndersGame wrote:
Salimo wrote:
Would you be able to take a minute and explain why you prefer RotW over Steam's Basic Game Rules? Strictly from a game-play/rules perspective (Clearly you prefer the production quality of RotW, and for good reason)

Given how similar the games are from the perspective of rules, for me the components are one of the decisive considerations, and obviously RotW wins hands down there; the many expansion maps it now has are also a welcome bonus (see this geeklist for an overview of all the expansions currently available).

I've not played Steam personally, and I've had to rely on what I've read from others comparing the game-play of the two games, so I'm afraid I'm probably not the best person to answer your question. There have been other threads that discuss this though, so maybe check those out (e.g. here, here, here, here, and here).


Understood, I was wondering about your specific opinion, but alas, you haven't played it...thanks!

Also, thanks for researching all the links. I'd read most of them already, but somehow the threads tend to end up really broad and get carried away. Again, I was mostly seeking your opinion, as you seem to be one of the wizards of RotW!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.