Ender Wiggins
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Introducing Railways of the Western U.S.

When Railways of the World first appeared in 2005 (subsequently reimplemented as Railways of the World in 2009), it offered gamers the opportunity to build a network of trains using gorgeous overproduced components on a sprawling map of the Eastern US. Many who have played and enjoyed the game have dreamed about railway adventures on a map of the Western US, and possibly even a grand game combining both maps. With the appearance of the Railways of the Western U.S. for this series, that dream is quickly becoming a reality.



There are already some fantastic expansions for the base game, including Railways of Europe and Railways of England and Wales. A further expansion (Railways Through Time) is looming on the horizon which will enable gamers to play in different dimensions. Meanwhile this splendid map of the western US is a welcome addition to this great family - it not only gives new options and challenges for budding railroad engineers, but also introduces some new elements of game play not seen before in the series, like fuel depots and city rotors. Let's find out more!




COMPONENTS

Box

This expansion comes in a box that's the same size as the other expansions in the series, so they stack well together and look impressive on your gaming shelf.



The box cover features part of Currier and Ives' 1871 work "The Route to California," which pictures a steam engine in the Sierra Nevada.



The reverse side of the box features some of the components, and a brief synopsis of the game: "It is 1863 and the construction of the first transcontinental rail system has begun. This mechanized transportation network will take years to complete, but it will render obsolete the wagon trains of old, and revolutionize the economy of the West. Will you have the courage to build over the Rockies or through the Sierra Nevada? Will it be your railroad company hammering the ceremonial Golden Spike at Promontory Point? If you have the skill to successfully connect the East and West you will join the pantheon of railroad visionaries of history."



Components

Here's a complete list of components:
● 30" x 36" map of the Western US
● 49 cards (Railroad Operation cards, 12 Railroad Baron cards, and Reference cards)
● 18 City Rotors
● 24 Fuel Depots
● Rulebook



Map

The real attraction is the magnificent map, which is the same size as the map from the other expansions (30 inches by 36 inches in size).



It has a matte finish which matches the reprint of the base game and the newer expansion maps, and also features the new city and map colours corresponding to the ones in this reprint (for details, see my pictorial guide to the reprint here.)



Unlike the England and Europe maps, the major lines are not marked on the board - but we're already used to that from the Eastern US map.

Railroad Baron cards



There are 12 Railroad Baron cards which replace the ones from the base game. Some cards have objectives that are the same as the ones from the original game, but there are some small changes - particularly interesting is a new objective that rewards a player for having the most bonds!



There are also new Barons that are specific to the US map:



The card quality is similar to that of the other expansions, and isn't the higher quality linen finish of the cards in the reprint of the base Railways of the World game. One very minor nitpick is that the colours of the images of the railroad barons don't match exactly - some (Leland Standford and Mark Hopkins) have a more yellowy colour. This is only noticeable when comparing them together, and has no effect on gameplay, but it seemed to be an oversight not to have consistent colours.

Railroad Operations Cards

The deck of 38 Railroad Operation cards replaces the cards from the base game, and is geared towards the map of US. Cards are as follows:
4x Starting cards (The Railroad Era Begins, Passenger Lines, New Train, Golden Spike)
6x Service Bounty
6x Hotel
4x New Industry
4x Government Land Grant
4x City Growth
4x Tunnel Engineer
2x Perfect Engineering
2x Coal-fueled Engines
1x Boomtown
1x Sutter's Mill

Starting cards. These will mostly be familiar to players of the base game, although "New Train" (4 points for being the first to upgrade to a level 4 train) replaces Speed Record (3 points for being the first to make a 3-link delivery). New Train first appeared in the original Railroad Tycoon, but because it was too similar to Speed Record (the same player usually earned both) it was superseded by Passenger Lines. In the Western US game New Train is a fair substitute for Speed Record, since it encourages spreading out and making deliveries over longer distances. Do also note that Passenger Lines in the Western US expansion is easier to claim than in the base game and nearly all other expansions, because it now only requires delivery of 3 different coloured goods instead of four (see discussion here).



New card: Golden Spike. A new starting card added to the above is Golden Spike, which gives a reward of 6 points. It's not easy to achieve because it requires a player to connect Omaha and Promontory (which also happens to be a Major Line), and also connect this to San Francisco. So the Golden Spike isn't going to give early game advantages like the other starting cards - in fact, many games are likely to see this unclaimed.



New cards: Coal-fueled Engines, Sutter's Mill, Boomtown. These are several new cards introduced by this expansion. It's a minor detail, but the font on these three new cards (as well as on Golden Spike and Tunnel Engineer, both of which were also not in the base game) don't quite match the fonts of the other cards. Here's what these new cards do:
Coal-fueled Engines reduce the cost of an engine upgrade by half in a future action.
Sutter's Mill adds 3 new random goods to Sacramento.
Boomtown is the same as New Industry, with the restriction that new goods cubes are not added.



Service Bounties & Hotels. The Service Bounty cards give bonuses for the first player to deliver goods to the cities of Billings, Bismarck, Fort Worth, Spokane, Tucson, and Reno. Hotels work the same as in the base game, give their owners income for deliveries to their cities: Denver, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Topeka, and Tucson.



Other cards. City Growth, New Industry, Government Land Grant, Tunnel Engineer, and Perfect Engineering are all already familiar from the base game or previous expansions.


The Railway Executive that comes with the base game is not part of this expansion - many consider it to be overpowered, so it's not likely to be missed.

City Rotors

Now for the components that add new elements to the gameplay! There are 18 City Rotors - 3 in each colour, including the un-urbanized grey. Six of these are to be placed on cities of matching colour - recommended rotor cities are San Francisco, Tacoma, Denver, Butte, Salt Lake city, and Oklahoma City. But if you're wondering why there's 18 included, that's because you can place them on other starting cities if you wish, and also use them on other expansion maps.



The city rotors have a colour wheel which can be rotated to show a second colour for that city in addition to the base colour. This means that this city has a demand for cubes of two different colours. Each time a delivery is made, however, the rotor must be rotated clockwise to the next colour, to reflect a demand for another colour. So the city rotors give more flexibility for deliveries, by reflecting changing demands - although if located in the middle of a lengthy series of links they also come with a risk that cubes of a particular colour must be delivered there rather than passing through for a more distant and lucrative delivery! Early reports and feedback from those who've played several times suggest that the City Rotors work well and add fun and strategy,



Fuel Depots

There are 24 Fuel Depot markers, four in each of the six different player colours.



Building a Fuel Depot. When building track, you can pay an extra $5,000 to place two Fuel Depot tokens on any city that you have a link to, and which does not yet have any Fuel Depot markers.

Using a Fuel Depot: They can be used for deliveries in two different ways, both of which require you to remove one Fuel Depot marker from the city in question:
1. You can deliver a cube through a city of the matching colour without being forced to stop and deliver the cube there.
2. You can deliver a cube over a greater distance by performing it in two installments as two consecutive actions and stopping at the Fuel Depot midway the delivery. So for example if you had a level 3 train, as one action you might move a cube three links to a city with your Fuel Depot marker, and then as your next action you might move that cube a further three links, to complete a six link delivery.



Reference cards

There are 6 reference cards to replace the ones that come with the base game - these nicely summarize the actions available on each turn, including building of fuel depots:



The reverse side features the six Major Lines which are permanently available to all the players:



Rulebook

The rulebook features the same artwork as the box cover.



It consists of only two pages, because the basic game-play from Railways of the World is unchanged. There's an overview of the components, as well as an explanation of the set-up, and some of the new actions and cards in the game. If you're familiar with Railways of the World, you'll have very few if any questions about understanding the small changes and additions, and get right into enjoying the game.



GAME-PLAY

Because this is an expansion for Railways of the World, the basic gameplay is mostly unchanged from the base game, with a few minor exceptions.

1. Different distribution & proximity of cities. The distribution of cities on the US map differs somewhat from the Railways of Eastern US map.
3x Red, 5x Blue, 5x Purple, 6x Black, 5x Yellow, 25x Gray = 49 total for Railways of the Western US
3x Red, 5x Blue, 4x Purple, 4x Black, 7x Yellow, 29x Gray = 52 total for Railways of the Eastern US
Expansion maps like Europe had only 31 cities, so the Western US map has a similar feel in that regard to the Eastern US map. The urbanized cities are also distributed across the map fairly evenly, and although a coastal route looks particularly attractive, there's no area on the map as concentrated and lucrative as the famous north-east corridor on the Eastern US map. Given the size and distribution, there's not going to be that much interaction with less than four players, so you'll need at least four players to get best use out of the map.

2. New Railroad Operation cards . Most of the cards are similar to those of the base game, although cards specific to certain cities (e.g. Service Bounty, Hotel) reflect the new geography of the Western US. The removal of Railroad Executive is probably a good move, and retaining both Government Land Grant and Tunnel Engineer is sensible in view of the potentially high costs of building across the expanses of the west. I won't miss the City Charter and Capital Charter that were in the Europe expansion either. Of the new cards, the Coal-fueled Engines seems to be a particularly solid addition. I'm not sure yet about the merits of Boomtown (which is weaker than the existing New Industry) or Sutter's Mill, but part of the fun of an expansion like this is playing the game and discovering the relative value of different cards as a result of trying different strategies.

3. No Western (or Eastern) link ... yet!. There's not an equivalent "Eastern Link" matching the "Western Link" from the base game, but few people will miss having that option. The potential of laying both the Western and Eastern US maps alongside each other for a game on a grand scale, however, will make some people salivate! Extra components (e.g. more cubes) will be necessary to play a game of this size, and official rules for this have not yet been released (though several fans have already tried coming up with variants in order to try home-brew coast-to-coast games!) , so it might be some time yet before we see this realized. But it's good to know that an official transcontinental expansion is in development, and having a Western map is the first step along the road to that goal!

4. New Rotor Cities. As mentioned earlier, it can only be a good thing that they can also be used on other maps, so they offer a lot of possibilities for varied play. People who enjoy them will have fun trying them on other maps, while those who dislike them can simply opt to play without them. Both the rotor cities and fuel depots are minor tweaks that don't make or break the game, but they can be fun for experienced players to experiment with, to help keep the game fresh.

5. New Fuel Depots. These are perhaps the least interesting addition in the expansion. Even though they do offer new possibilities to deliver cubes over longer distances without needing to upgrade your train, they do come at the cost of using extra actions and the purchase price of the fuel depot markers. Still, it's nice to have a new option that you can explore both on this and other maps.



CONCLUSIONS

What do I think?

Most of my impressions are already noted in my comments on the components and gameplay, and I'd like to get this new map to the table a few more times before coming to any final conclusions. But based on my initial impressions so far, this expansion map offers a similar kind of gameplay experience as the Eastern US map, and because of the size of the map, is going to be best enjoyed with 4 or more players. In contrast the Mexico map is especially suitable for 2-3 players, and the Europe and England maps for 3-4 players. There are some new goals to enjoy and new Railroad Operations cards to explore, but for the most part what we see here is something we've seen before. That's not a bad thing, because fans of Railways of the World love the possibilities offered by a new map, and this is no exception!

The real attractions of this map are:

1. An alternative map for more variety. Especially when playing with a full complement of players, the Eastern US map was the only real choice (aside from fan-made expansion maps). Fans of the game will appreciate having a second map to play on, including the fact that it seems to be somewhat more balanced and less assymetrical than the Eastern US map with its decisive north-east corridor. New major lines, new barons - it all adds up to a new and fresh experience!

2. The new city rotors and fuel depots. Early indications suggest that the fuel depots don't see a lot of play, but certainly the city rotors which offer the opportunity for cities to accept cubes of two different colours adds some extra spice. The fact that they can be used on other maps as well is a real bonus, and kudos to the publishers for including a generous supply of different rotors - much more than what's required by the rules for this particular map.

3. The possibility of transcontinental play. Surely now that we have two maps for the US, it's just a matter of time before an official form of transcontinental play is released. I'm not sure how keen I am myself for a game on such a grand scale (I find the regular game just perfect length), but it's clear that there's enough fans out there just itching to give this a try. Some fan-designed rulesets have already been posted (see the links here), should you be inclined to try this form of the game already now - and maybe even throw in the Mexico map for good measure if you're super ambitious!



Time will tell how good this map proves to be, both in terms of geography and in terms of the new optional elements (city rotors and fuel depots), but for now I think serious fans of the game will be immensely pleased to see an expansion like this come out, especially in light of the future potential and variety it offers.



Recommendation

Is Railways of the Western U.S. for you? If you can't get enough of Railways of the World, and are looking for the fresh experience of a new map, especially with 4-6 players, this expansion is for you. There's also the extra challenge of city rotors and fuel depots to discover - components that you can also bring to other maps, should you like the new possibilities they offer. I'm only too pleased to have another map to play one of my favourite games on!



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

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Josh Martin
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Great review, as usual. I'm a big fan of this series of games, and enjoy the Western map like all of the others. My only beef with this map is that a big Western-Eastern ruleset was actually originally said to be a part of this Western map expansion, but somehow never materialized.
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Mark Swenholt
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4Corners wrote:
Great review, as usual. I'm a big fan of this series of games, and enjoy the Western map like all of the others. My only beef with this map is that a big Western-Eastern ruleset was actually originally said to be a part of this Western map expansion, but somehow never materialized.


Another set of draft rules for combined Eastern/Western US and a session report for those rules from BGGCon 2010 can be found at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/589139/railways-of-the-e...
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Rick Holzgrafe
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4Corners wrote:
My only beef with this map is that a big Western-Eastern ruleset was actually originally said to be a part of this Western map expansion, but somehow never materialized.


A combined Western-Eastern game requires extra pieces: more track tiles, goods cubes, and other things. Since not everyone will want to take the time to play such a game (no matter what rules you use, the combined game is much longer than a single-board game), the publisher didn't want to raise the price of the Western U.S. expansion by including all those bits.

There's no schedule for it yet, but another expansion is planned that will include rules and extra pieces for the combined "transcontinental" game. And as others have said, there are a couple of rulesets under development by fans, which can be played by raiding extra pieces from a second copy of RotW or RRT.
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Doug Click
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So glad to see this review to go along with the rest of your Railways of the World reviews. Can't wait to get this expansion and get it on the table... I would like to buy the reprint of the main game first.

Still, another great review, thanks.
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Andrew Prizzi
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Nice detailed review.

I know this series isn't the pinnacle of historical simulation (nor inteneded to be), but it's interesting...

I'm reading up on the building of the transcontinental railroad right now. Looking at the map in this expansion it would be immediately obvious to build a southern route from Texas to San Diego or Los Angeles- two rivers and NO mountains to cross. Far easier then climbing the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. Of course in real life the route chosen was chosen for good reasons. Perhaps some rules for desert spaces would have been in order.

The "Golden Spike" card appears to try and steer things back on a historical course, but does so in a completely goofy way. There wasn't anything all that special about Promontory, Utah. The goal was to build a transcontintenal railroad. It seems especially silly to give bonus points to someone for connecting Omaha/Promontory/San Francisco if one or more transcontinental routes are already in place.

Do the event cards in the game reflect Indian raids at all?
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Rick Holzgrafe
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prizziap wrote:
Looking at the map in this expansion it would be immediately obvious to build a southern route from Texas to San Diego or Los Angeles- two rivers and NO mountains to cross. Far easier then climbing the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. Of course in real life the route chosen was chosen for good reasons. Perhaps some rules for desert spaces would have been in order.

The "Golden Spike" card appears to try and steer things back on a historical course, but does so in a completely goofy way. There wasn't anything all that special about Promontory, Utah. The goal was to build a transcontintenal railroad. It seems especially silly to give bonus points to someone for connecting Omaha/Promontory/San Francisco if one or more transcontinental routes are already in place.


In designing this expansion, I found more than once that I had to sacrifice historical accuracy in order to deliver a compelling game experience. The historical routes naturally did not intersect much, as their builders did not want competition if they could avoid it. But a competition-free game is not very interesting. Instead of encouraging the historical routes, I designed the Major Lines to draw players together at a few points, mainly in the central Rockies. This greatly improved the game experience.

Promontory is there as a nod to history. Whatever the reasons, that is the spot where the first transcontinental line was created. There was never actually a town there (today I believe there's just a historical marker in the middle of an empty plain; even the railroad doesn't go through there any more), and I had to invent the "town of Promontory" in order to allow links to terminate there under the rules of the game.

The Golden Spike card is not only a nod to history, but an additional incentive for competition in the center of the board. There are Major Lines connecting Promontory to the west coast and eastern border of the board, but the Golden Spike card means that players who didn't win one of those Major Lines still have an incentive to build and compete along those routes.

Quote:
Do the event cards in the game reflect Indian raids at all?


No. I considered it, but along with many other fascinating bits of western railroad history, it didn't seem to fit well into the structure of a RotW game. I could have done it, but I couldn't fit everything in, and that was one of the many ideas I let go.
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Samuel Hinz
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I really want this map, but I rarely play 5-6 players. i'm sure i've only played the eastern us map twice.

i'm really looking forward to the through time expansion though, because of its high variety in player numbers.


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Joe Mucchiello
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Any review of this set that doesn't complain about the minuscule font size used on the Major Lines card, is incomplete.
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Stew Woods
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jmucchiello wrote:
Any review of this set that doesn't complain about the minuscule font size used on the Major Lines card, is incomplete.


Goddamn! I LOVE the Internet!
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Warren Adams
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EndersGame wrote:
The potential of laying both the Western and Eastern US maps alongside each other for a game on a grand scale, however, will make some people salivate!
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William Simonitis
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prizziap wrote:

I'm reading up on the building of the transcontinental railroad right now. Looking at the map in this expansion it would be immediately obvious to build a southern route from Texas to San Diego or Los Angeles- two rivers and NO mountains to cross. Far easier then climbing the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. Of course in real life the route chosen was chosen for good reasons. Perhaps some rules for desert spaces would have been in order.


Groupthink follows:

We've played this map about 15 times now, and I can assure you that the SW is not even as close to being as good as you might think. There is really no reason to penalize someone starting in the SW by adding extra costs for building there.

First, there are far too few cubes in that area to make the game start feasible. Perhaps with the Tucson service bounty and/or hotel it could be viable. Regardless, you're still paying a minimum of $8 to build from city to city there (apart from Phoenix-Tucson), so is it really that much different than building from Eugene to Yreka or Idaho Falls to Butte?

Second, if you start in the SW, you will likely find yourself competing with the one-or-two players starting in the San Francisco area as well as the one-or-two players starting in the Denver area (as both are likely much more desirable than the SW). The only difference is that they will have siphoned off the good cubes before you get there (especially in the Denver area since blue cubes can easily end up in Cheyenne or Oklahoma City instead of Tucson).

Third, we have discovered that a high bond game works frighteningly well with this map, perhaps moreso than with other maps. A few weeks ago, a winning player had 29 bonds with second place having 22 or 23. Taking an extra bond to build a network that has more cubes in it is probably preferable to starting in the SW. Taking bonds to build through mountains isn't quite as painful as you might think if it gives you a strong start. (See #1)

Fourth, getting from the SW into San Diego requires you go through Las Vegas (unless you want the 5-tile build straight over). Las Vegas is a sad little town on this map. Spending $9 to get from Phoenix to Las Vegas and then another $8 to get to San Diego seems just as painful as paying to build across a few mountains. Taking two actions to build that Phoenix-San Diego link at the start of the game just seems like a near-criminal waste of time. It might not look like a wasteland, but it is as close as one gets on this map.

Fifth, the only major line that comes into the SW is to the northeast (Cheyenne). Odds are that one of the players who started in Denver is thinking about coming down into the southwest to complete the major line. If you're fiddling around building west, you could find yourself on the receiving end of an invasion from Denver.

We have seen players start in the SW (almost always to get the Tucson service bounty) and they have always gone northeast towards Cheyenne (typically east then north, but going through the mountains was tried once, iirc). Perhaps that's just our group's bias/groupthink, and maybe I've bought into it as well, but I just don't see how the SW is even a little bit better than all the other options available at the start of a game.

So far, it seems like we typically have starts in these areas:
Eugene-Tacoma
San Francisco-Reno
Promontory-Salt Lake City
Cheyenne-Pueblo
A fifth player will typically start in one of the ones listed below or double up into the same area as above.
A sixth player will double up in a different area.

These are situational: One sometimes comes up at the start of a given game
Bismarck/Billings for the service bounty
Amarillo-Fort Worth for the service bounty
Topeka for the hotel with a lot of purple cubes nearby

Starting in the SW seems like choosing to start in the SW or Saint Louis in the Eastern US map; sure, it's possible, but why would you voluntarily choose to do it when there are typically so many other better options at the start of the game?

When we teach the game, the general rule of thumb is to "build where the cubes are." (Yes, there are exceptions.) The SW of the western map just doesn't have the cubes to justify starting there all that often. Sometimes when the cubes are just right, it might be worth it.
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Andrew Prizzi
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Thanks for the detailed replies, both from the designer and others.

William- I realize that going along the Southern US border may not make the most sense in the game based on cities and cubes. I simply commenting that it would be the easiest way to connect the Eastern and Western US. Since the game doesn't reward building a cross continental connection, except for a very specific path Omaha-Promontory-San Fran, that removes any motivation for simply building Texas-California just to cross the continent.

Of course, like I said, the game isn't a "simulation" and doesn't pretend to be. I'm not really complaining about the game. To be honest I wish more desingers went with playability over detail/rules in many cases. I do think a bonus could have been done to reward building a transcontinental link that would have been more historical without any more complexity, but oh well that's what house rules are for
 
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Andrew Prizzi
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Mainly I was just musing out loud, since I came across this thread while I'm in the middle of a great book on the Transcontinental line. Building the connection anywhere would have brought enourmous wealth to the first ones to do it. It's amazing to think of it taking 6 months or more, great expense, and great danger to get from East of the Mississippi to California before the railroad was built.
 
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Jason Weed
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I know I need to get this one. Good review, thanks.
 
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Jeff Wells
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Great review Ender! I've ordered ROTW because of your pictorial review, and was really looking forward to seeing your take on this. Guess I'll have to get this one now.
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Another brilliant review.
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Liz Burton
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Great review as always! It's been on my wishlist for awhile, but I finally ordered it today after reading this.
 
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Bill Bross
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rholzgrafe wrote:
4Corners wrote:
My only beef with this map is that a big Western-Eastern ruleset was actually originally said to be a part of this Western map expansion, but somehow never materialized.


A combined Western-Eastern game requires extra pieces: more track tiles, goods cubes, and other things. Since not everyone will want to take the time to play such a game (no matter what rules you use, the combined game is much longer than a single-board game), the publisher didn't want to raise the price of the Western U.S. expansion by including all those bits.

There's no schedule for it yet, but another expansion is planned that will include rules and extra pieces for the combined "transcontinental" game. And as others have said, there are a couple of rulesets under development by fans, which can be played by raiding extra pieces from a second copy of RotW or RRT.


That's great news, will this expansion include the map as well, or just have the rules and extra bits? I've been holding off buying this because I want it specifically for the transcontinental game, and I don't want to buy this version and then have an expanded version come out.

Great review as always Ender!
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Rick Holzgrafe
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slugggy wrote:
rholzgrafe wrote:
There's no schedule for it yet, but another expansion is planned that will include rules and extra pieces for the combined "transcontinental" game. And as others have said, there are a couple of rulesets under development by fans, which can be played by raiding extra pieces from a second copy of RotW or RRT.


That's great news, will this expansion include the map as well, or just have the rules and extra bits? I've been holding off buying this because I want it specifically for the transcontinental game, and I don't want to buy this version and then have an expanded version come out.


I can't make promises, because I don't know and the decisions about the expansion are not up to me. (I can't even promise the expansion will appear, although I think it will.) But my belief is that you will need the Western U.S. expansion in order to play the double-board transcontinental game.
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Bill Bross
United States
Michigan
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rholzgrafe wrote:
slugggy wrote:
rholzgrafe wrote:
There's no schedule for it yet, but another expansion is planned that will include rules and extra pieces for the combined "transcontinental" game. And as others have said, there are a couple of rulesets under development by fans, which can be played by raiding extra pieces from a second copy of RotW or RRT.


That's great news, will this expansion include the map as well, or just have the rules and extra bits? I've been holding off buying this because I want it specifically for the transcontinental game, and I don't want to buy this version and then have an expanded version come out.


I can't make promises, because I don't know and the decisions about the expansion are not up to me. (I can't even promise the expansion will appear, although I think it will.) But my belief is that you will need the Western U.S. expansion in order to play the double-board transcontinental game.


Heh, I was hoping for some news that wouldn't cause me to run out and get this right now

Thanks for the info, I can't wait to play this one!
 
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francie berger
United States
ellington
Connecticut
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Rick wrote: Promontory is there as a nod to history. Whatever the reasons, that is the spot where the first transcontinental line was created. There was never actually a town there (today I believe there's just a historical marker in the middle of an empty plain; even the railroad doesn't go through there any more), and I had to invent the "town of Promontory" in order to allow links to terminate there under the rules of the game.

Actually the National Park Service runs the wonderful Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Point, Utah, where they run a reenactment of the driving of the joining of the rails once a year, as well as run 2 reproduction locomotives all summer long. If you are a train fan and haven't visited, its a must-see. http://www.nps.gov/gosp/index.htm


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Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
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Outstanding review. I own the base and 3 expansions so I may as well pick this up.
 
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