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Subject: is this the best train game? rss

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Dustin Taylor
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Ive never played any train games, including Ticket to Ride. I like way heavier games now so I have no interest in playing Ticket to Ride at all. Is this pretty good but a lot more complex? Would you suggest this or Trains?
 
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Eric Brosius
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There's a huge range of train games out there, Dustin. Some of my favorite train games are from the 18xx family; these are quite a bit more demanding than Ticket to Ride, though I like Ticket to Ride. My other favorite games are from the crayon rails family, including in particular Empire Builder, India Rails and Eurorails.

But Russian Railroads is a fine worker placement game with a train setting.
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Chris Ruf
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It isn't really a "train" game like the Steam series or 18xx. It is a worker placement game that is a little bit lighter than Caylus or Agricola. I happen to think it's an excellent game. But it is just a worker placement game, and it isn't super heavy. The game only takes at most 90 mins with 4-people that have played it a couple times.
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Dave Eisen
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You walked into a minefield. The debate over "what is a train game?" goes on in some form or another around here nearly every day.

In my view, you want to get a game where you are building track to run trains on with a shared map. While Russian Railroads is a fine game, and does integrate trains thematically as you need to buy trains and build sufficient track for them to run on in order to gather various game bonuses, it does not really feel like you're doing anything with trains when playing.

You might consider one of the Crayon Rails games, where you spend money to extend your rail network and then use trains to deliver goods from one city to another to make money. I believe Eurorails is a fine choice and is still available from the usual online vendors. It's a good next step and does not have the complexity of games in the terrific 18xx series, which might be another step up in a year or so.
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mark coomey
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spunXtain wrote:
Ive never played any train games, including Ticket to Ride. I like way heavier games now so I have no interest in playing Ticket to Ride at all. Is this pretty good but a lot more complex? Would you suggest this or Trains?


Though I love RR so far, I guess if I was to pick one ultimate train game in my collection, you can't go too far wrong with Steam/age of Steam for building track and delivering goods. RR feels more abstracted in it's nature. But at the same time has an interesting spin to a 'train game'
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Dave Eisen
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wizardless wrote:
spunXtain wrote:
Ive never played any train games, including Ticket to Ride. I like way heavier games now so I have no interest in playing Ticket to Ride at all. Is this pretty good but a lot more complex? Would you suggest this or Trains?


Though I love RR so far, I guess if I was to pick one ultimate train game in my collection, you can't go too far wrong with Steam/age of Steam for building track and delivering goods. RR feels more abstracted in it's nature. But at the same time has an interesting spin to a 'train game'


I also love Age of Steam (less intererested in Steam), and personally prefer it to my earlier recommendation of Eurorails. But will stick with Eurorails recommendation because Age of Steam is:

1. At least 1.5 steps up in complexity, somewhere between the Crayon Rails series and 18xx.

2. Less thematically coherent than the Crayon Rails series is.
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Mikko Saari
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I really like train games and I find the theme in Russian Railroads interesting, but at the same time it just doesn't scratch the train game itch a bit. To me, a train game must have network building - the track building in RR doesn't count.

For heavier games, I'll second the recommendations for EuroRails and Age of Steam / Steam. For lighter games, Trains is pretty good. However, while EuroRails and Age of Steam are clearly train games and Russian Railroads is clearly a worker placement game with a train theme, Trains is kind of in between being a train game and just a deck-builder with a train theme, if you know what I mean.
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Dustin Taylor
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Thanks all! Think I'll look into EuroRails and Age of Steam for my first "train" game. Not really looking for another worker placement until I get The Manhattan Project.
 
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Samuel Hinz
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If you are at all crafty, I would also suggest putting together a print and play copy if 1889. Or attempt to find a retail copy.

Steam or railways of the world are great games too. Although I think 18xx might be the pinnicle
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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First Train to Nuremberg is another option for you.
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Nick Case
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No.
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John Bradshaw
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spunXtain wrote:
Ive never played any train games, including Ticket to Ride. I like way heavier games now so I have no interest in playing Ticket to Ride at all. Is this pretty good but a lot more complex? Would you suggest this or Trains?


Any of us could tell you what our own individual "best" train game is, but a more objective view can be had from the ratings. I checked the average rating of games with at least 500 votes, and Russian Railroads is indeed the "best" on that basis. Obviously though, it's a moot point whether this is a "train game" in the usual sense. I reckon most of us think of building networks and actually running railroads, which is not what RR is about.

So the top average ratings, excluding RR on the basis that it's not a train game in the normal sense, are for 1830, Steam, Age of Steam, and Railways of the World. I don't think you'll go far wrong with any of those.
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Ron Emch
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If you like worker placement games, then I think you'll like this one, especially if you like trained themed games.

Head over to the Rahdo Runs Through video where he plays through several turns. I think it will help you decide.

Just be aware that he's doing the 2 player. I've done nothing but 4 player games, which I think is it's sweet spot. It is probably my favorite game right now, but I love WP games.

Ron
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Jason Reid
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Russian Railroads has almost nothing to do with Railroads, and even less to do with Russia.

EDIT: Still a fine game for what it is, but don't let the name fool you.
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Frank Hamrick
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if you're looking for a "Train" game, then Russian Railroads isn't that game.

If you're looking for a "Great" game - then RR is one of the best!

Train Games I recommend - Steam, Railways of the World are my favorites as I think the 18XX series a bit too heavy/fiddly, and more of an investment type game.

As to Russian Railroads - it's basically a train themed game. You are building three tracks (but not on a map) and you are developing the industry in "Russia" (though it could be anywhere). Definitely one of the better worker placement games I've played. And if you're comparing this to "Manhattan Project", then I'd definitely recommend Russian Railroads. Better than most any worker placement I own (and I own a lot of them).

Finally, for a rail game, I personally prefer Steam to Age of Steam but your experience may vary.
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Bryan Thunkd
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You could retheme this game to have nothing to do with trains and no one would claim it was a train game at all. It has none of the traditional elements of "train games" such as route building, pick-up-and-deliver, etc. The "trainess" of this game is entirely in the theme alone.

That being said it's an incredible game.
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Joe Berger
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I agree with all the comments here; but if you are interested in a thematic train game with worker placement, Snowdonia is excellent.
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Neil Christiansen
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Snowdonia is great, but to me for a game to be a classic train game you need to build a network of rails and I prefer some delivery.

I suggest Steam.
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Richard Hills
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spunXtain wrote:
Ive never played any train games, including Ticket to Ride. I like way heavier games now so I have no interest in playing Ticket to Ride at all. Is this pretty good but a lot more complex? Would you suggest this or Trains?


Trains is likewise a lightish game, best described as Dominion with a map.

My favourite so-called "train game" is Power Grid. Although the theme of Power Grid is building power lines rather than railway lines, it "feels" much more like a "train game" than Russian Railroads does.
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Mike Stevens
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Ticket to Ride is a train game even though it is very simple. It is a fun family game that people of all ages an abilities can play. Russian Railroads is a great worker placement game that has a slight train theme painted on.
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Neil Christiansen
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I don't really feel like Power Grid is a train game. Just my 2 cents.

It is a mathy auction game where you buy resources and convert them to victory. There is a network for sure, but all that it is really used for is not getting blocked for expansion.
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Todd Kauk
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chris1nd wrote:
I don't really feel like Power Grid is a train game. Just my 2 cents.

It is a mathy auction game where you buy resources and convert them to victory. There is a network for sure, but all that it is really used for is not getting blocked for expansion.


Power Grid is a "train" game as much as any of the Crayon Rails games as it evolved from Empire Builder.
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Neil Christiansen
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Fair enough.

Except for the part where in Empire Builder you pick up commodities where they are grown, mined, or manufactured and then deliver them to a place of demand.

And the part where you upgrade to buy larger, faster trains.

And the part where there are, you know, rails and trains.

None of which are done or are present in Power Grid.

Other than those sorts of issues, you are dead on.
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Jason Reid
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Whether or not Power Grid has "trains" and "rails" in the game doesn't really mean anything to me. That's the sort of chrome that's present in Russian Railroads but that ultimately is just stuff that's pasted on.

However, the fact that the only things you care about in your Power Grid network are its "size" and its "cost to increase its size" make it a pretty shallow train game at best, imo.

Empire Builder made it valuable for players to, e.g., specifically connect "Dallas" to "NYC". Power Grid shed all of that in its evolution.
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Eric Brosius
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Todd Kauk wrote:
Power Grid is a "train" game as much as any of the Crayon Rails games as it evolved from Empire Builder.

It's predecessor, Funkenschlag, actually has crayons and a crayon rail-like board.
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