I got to run Age of Steam last Friday at The South Sound Board Game Convention. This was every players time playing Age of Steam, and after it was all done, all 4 players walked away a fan of the game.
Players choose their colors; Blue, Red, Green, and Purple. After getting the game set up and going over all the steps, we were ready to begin.
Red, Blue, and Green all started off taking two shares. Purple took three, even after being warned about taking too much too quickly. This would ultimately cause Purple to struggle behind all game long.
Red and Green stuck to the western side of the map, while Blue and Purple hung around on the east. It was not until turn 5 or 6 that the two sides were connected together.
Throughout the game, Blue was able to take advantage of a nice grouping of cities and never really had to build track long distances. Red and Green had further to go between cities; with both trying to connect cities to avoid each others track, they wound up spending a lot of money for complex tracks.
By the last round, Purple had finally gotten out of a hole he had dug himself, and was able to deliver some goods with a nice amount of links. But by then, it was too late. He was too far behind. The final scoring for income minus shares:
Blue had a strong lead, and knew he had the game in hand even before counting the track points. Track points were:
Purple was so tight on money during midgame, he was unable to build much track. Blue never needed much track; he would have had a strong win even without the last 5 tracks he laid, which were never used. Red and Green were almost even in track count.
Even though Blue had a strong win, everyone really enjoyed the game, with Red and Green even suggesting they pick up a copy for themselves. I had a great time teaching the game, and it only took 3 hours to play, which includes going over all the rules and getting the game set up. I am looking forward to breaking this out again soon.