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Subject: BeyondMonopoly's House Rules for RRT rss

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David Fair
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Here are my house rules, collected for reference. Feel free to comment if you like.

Money is Open.
Tycoon cards are not dealt out at the beginning of the game. Instead, at the end of the game, players can receive one of the following bonuses:
8 points if you have the most consecutive links
7 points if you have the most money
7 points if you have issued the fewest shares
6 points if you have the most total links
6 points if you are the first player to upgrade to a level 6 engine**
5 points if you have built a western link*
5 points if your railway connects NY & Chicago*
2 points for each link out of Chicago*
The first 4 bonuses are for one player only, if players are tied, neither can claim that bonus. Only one player may claim the level 6 engine bonus. Multiple players may claim the remaining bonuses.
If at some point during the game only one Railroad Operation Card is available, draw two cards at the start of all turns from that point on.
If during setup any city has all of it's cubes the same color, and that color is the same as the color of that city, redraw cubes for that city.
At the start of the game, place a green cube (in addition to cubes already drawn randomly) on the following 5 cities: Dallas, Jackson, Little Rock, Shreveport, Tulsa. These cubes can be delivered (following normal delivery rules) to any colored city, the person delivering the cube states what color it is when they begin delivering it. As normal, they must be delivered to the first colored city of that color they reach. these cubes, once delivered are removed from the game and are not returned to the bag. (Age of Myth has Green cubes of the appropriate size)
In addition to the 3 standard starting Railroad Operations cards, add a Perfect Engineering card, then deal out cards equal to twice the number of players randomly, as normal.
 
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David Fair
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Comments: The green cubes and the Perfect Engineering card are to help the South become a viable region to start in. We learned to dislike the Tycoon cards pretty early on, and we found that having 5 red cubes in NY to start the game was a very bad idea. we prefer money open, as everything else is open.
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Dave Kudzma
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With this rule set I might actually like the game. It's a shame that it took that much modification to make the whole board playable, and balance the tycoon cards.

I think the game just needs a new map and elimination of the tycoon cards altogether.....but then again that's coming from a gigantic AoS fan, so I'm sure my opinion is controversial.

Thanks for the great House Rules David!
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Chris Boote
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New map - check!
Remove Tycoon cards - check!
More balanced carsd - check!
Have a look at the RRT Europe files soon to be available on BGG! 8-)
 
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Todd Sweet
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locusshifter wrote:
With this rule set I might actually like the game. It's a shame that it took that much modification to make the whole board playable, and balance the tycoon cards.

I think the game just needs a new map and elimination of the tycoon cards altogether.....but then again that's coming from a gigantic AoS fan, so I'm sure my opinion is controversial.

Thanks for the great House Rules David!


I think you hit the nail on the head. You are turning this game into an oversized Age of Steam. If you like Age of Steam so much, then play that game. Don't see why you need to change the rules of RRT to make it AoS????????
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David Reed
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I have to say that I like the game as it stands, in spite of the flaws that you are trying to address with these tweaks. The weaknesses are duly noted, though.

The Southwest has not had any track built in any game I have played. In fact, I have only seen the extreme Northwest come into play once (by someone who was trying to pick up the route bonus - he nearly bankrupted himself doing so, and was not even close to contending), so a similar arrangement might be useful for things up there.

Certainly the cube balance can affect things. I tried the game with a group that had mostly not played the game and we had a terrible initial draw. These rules would have helped there, too.

I have not had as bad a time with the Tycoon cards. This may be reflected by the fact that in the five or so games I have played since I got my own copy, most of the players have played like they did not even have the card. The one player who tried to actively fulfill his card was so over-extended doing so that he was way behind before we reached mid-game. On the other hand, I have seen a new player with the "links to Chicago" card get completely shut out of the city and he wondered if he stood a chance of winning the game (he came in second).

All in all, your proposals look interesting. I'll certainly want to give it a try, though, I am not sure when I am going to have a chance to get it to the table next. I'm about to hit the time of year when I have little free time (Lent/Holy Week/Easter)...
 
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Robert Bowsher
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I was thinking of fixing the South by doing the following:

- Adding an extra goods cube to all those single-good cities in the SW.

- Randomly urbanizing one of the cities down there in the middle of all that mess.

Or you could pull a 'western link' type trick, add one blond wood cube to each city, not to be replaced in the bag. These can be delivered to New Orleans only.
 
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Well, modifying a game isn't a reflection on whether the game is good, it's what Game Geeks do. I like David's rules just fine. Here's our's:

* RR Exec cards on the initial draw are reshuffled.

* Two Tycoon cards dealt to each player (in a 3 or 4 player game), you pick one.

* We add 2-4 extra empty city markers to the game, which tends to make the SW and the NW more viable.

In about 30 games with 3-6 players I have seen every combination win. Western Link, the New Orleans to Minneapolis connection, a Midwest circuit, a SE circuit, all of it. Play the game enough and there really isn't any situation that is not capable of providing victory to a skilled player.

If I stack RR Tycoon on the table and Age of Steam invariably the group (whatever the make-up) will select RR Tycoon over AoS. That's not to say it's a better game, it's just more accessible, more attractive and frankly, generates more smiles and friendly banter.
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David Fair
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TMJJS wrote:
You are turning this game into an oversized Age of Steam. If you like Age of Steam so much, then play that game. Don't see why you need to change the rules of RRT to make it AoS????????

I don't, and i don't feel that I did.

I like AoS, but it is a whole 'nother level deeper and more complex than RRT, even with my house rules.
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David Fair
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deacondavid wrote:
I have to say that I like the game as it stands, in spite of the flaws that you are trying to address with these tweaks. The weaknesses are duly noted, though.

The Southwest has not had any track built in any game I have played. In fact, I have only seen the extreme Northwest come into play once (by someone who was trying to pick up the route bonus - he nearly bankrupted himself doing so, and was not even close to contending), so a similar arrangement might be useful for things up there.

The only difference is that there are cards that make the NW a possibility, but in the SW, there ain't nothing.
Quote:
Certainly the cube balance can affect things. I tried the game with a group that had mostly not played the game and we had a terrible initial draw. These rules would have helped there, too.

Cube mix can really affect the game. i have seen 6 player games with the high score below 50, and I have seen 6 player games with 3 scores over 100. All in how the cubes fall out of the bag.
Quote:
I have not had as bad a time with the Tycoon cards. This may be reflected by the fact that in the five or so games I have played since I got my own copy, most of the players have played like they did not even have the card. The one player who tried to actively fulfill his card was so over-extended doing so that he was way behind before we reached mid-game. On the other hand, I have seen a new player with the "links to Chicago" card get completely shut out of the city and he wondered if he stood a chance of winning the game (he came in second).

I actually don't mind playing with the cards with the normal rules, but enough of my buddies don't that we instituted this rule.
Quote:
All in all, your proposals look interesting. I'll certainly want to give it a try, though, I am not sure when I am going to have a chance to get it to the table next. I'm about to hit the time of year when I have little free time (Lent/Holy Week/Easter)...

Do what I do: get together your buddies and start a game at 1:00am. You'll have a great time, even if you hate yourself in the morning.
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David Fair
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Booder98 wrote:
I was thinking of fixing the South by doing the following:

- Adding an extra goods cube to all those single-good cities in the SW.

- Randomly urbanizing one of the cities down there in the middle of all that mess.

Or you could pull a 'western link' type trick, add one blond wood cube to each city, not to be replaced in the bag. These can be delivered to New Orleans only.


We tried the Dallas variant (first player to build a link into Dallas got to urbanize it for free, then for every cube delivered to Dallas, two more were placed in Dallas), and found it to be too little. Our Green Cube rule sometimes still leaves the SW out, but that is becoming more rare. I would love it if there were a Major Line card for New Orleans-Dallas, or something similar.
 
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David Fair
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DWTripp wrote:
Well, modifying a game isn't a reflection on whether the game is good, it's what Game Geeks do. I like David's rules just fine. Here's our's:

* RR Exec cards on the initial draw are reshuffled.

Thanks for the reminder, DW. We do this only if two show up.
Quote:

* Two Tycoon cards dealt to each player (in a 3 or 4 player game), you pick one.

* We add 2-4 extra empty city markers to the game, which tends to make the SW and the NW more viable.

Do you find that this makes the game much longer? Usually, I hate to see the game end anyway (because I am having a great time), so I may suggest this.
Quote:

In about 30 games with 3-6 players I have seen every combination win. Western Link, the New Orleans to Minneapolis connection, a Midwest circuit, a SE circuit, all of it. Play the game enough and there really isn't any situation that is not capable of providing victory to a skilled player.

If I stack RR Tycoon on the table and Age of Steam invariably the group (whatever the make-up) will select RR Tycoon over AoS. That's not to say it's a better game, it's just more accessible, more attractive and frankly, generates more smiles and friendly banter.

I echo both of your last paragraphs wholeheartedly. The cube mix can make almost any area the place to be.

I may even, despite my like of the game, have to trade AoS and the expansions. I cannot see myself choosing to play it over RRT. Add in that two of my best gaming buddies both had horrible experiences with AoS, and haven't been willing to try it again, and it just never seems to hit the table.
 
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David Fair
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In light of the following question and response from Keith Blume, I realized i have another House Rule:

Quote:
If you are on 98 income and do a 5 run do you go to 3 (103) and earn $5? Seems kinda wrong. Plus theres a 100+ $9 space on the board.

Keith Blume Responds:
Quote:
Yes your income does wrap. A lot of house rules play this differently, but the official answer is that you receive the income on the track.


Therefore:
If you advance on the victory track past 100 points, your income is $9 from that point forward.

Also,

Replace from the deck any 2-action cards that come up in the initial deal. Reshuffle the 2-action cards into the deck.
 
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Jeff DeBoer
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More great ideas for this game. I'm going to try the SW idea with the green cubes tomorrow and let you all know how it goes. We do many of his suggestions already and they do work.

 
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David Fair
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The player who built in the south last night ended up in a tie for 2nd place, two points behind the winner (he was 3rd, due to the tiebreaker). the toughest part for him was his number of issued shares: 27! Had he been able to make it work with a bit lower share total, he would have won (mostly because we had 2 players fighting in the NE, one of those was also fighting in the SE with me, and 2 fighting in the midwest -- he was able to develop the south pretty much unhindered).
 
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David Turner
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You have some great ideas here! I will try the green cubes and Tycoon changes. We have been adding cubes to Dallas and Tulsa and not playing with Tycoon cards.


Railroad Tycoon is a great game that can become better with tweaks to individuals tastes. Making changes like this will add variety and breaths new life into it.
 
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We added the green cubes and did the same color same city swap at setup. No tycoon cards. Noone went to the South as there are few colored cities to deliver the green goods to and 10K for urbanization is steep. We will have to try adding cubes to Dallas and Tulsa next...how many do you suggest? I liked it much better without the tycoon cards at all. We will try with all available as suggested here in the first post next time and I think I like that idea.

 
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Brian M
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Sounds like some interesting ideas.
So far we've been fine playing RRT as is, but one idea we've discussed (but never tried) is to deal out the Tycoon cards as normal, but at the end of the game have every player score based on the Tycoon cards in play.

For example, if Lisa gets the "build a western link" card, ANY player who has built a western link gets +5 points.
If I got the "most total links" Tycoon, whoever has the most total links gets the 6 point bonus, even if its not me.

This would mean you would have four bonus conditions in play, but only have knowledge of one; this would add an element of trying to figure out what bonus conditions other players were trying to acheive, and might put everyone on more equal terms as far as bonuses. In theory.
One could also just deal out the tycoon cards face up so everyone knows what bonuses are available that game.
 
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