We have been playing Age of Industry for 6-7 months and have played on multiple maps (Germany, New England, Great lakes, Russia, Belgium). We finally decided to put our own twist on it last night and did 2 v 2 team play on the Japan map.
We gave each team 5 minutes alone with the map to discuss strategy, but we did not flip over the market tokens yet or show any cards on the pay for cards counter. This adds the element of surprise and can immediately impact your 5 minute strategy session. (example: a port and ship combo we were interested in had a no demand market and we started with a lot of Factory and cotton cards). We had to shift our immediate focus elsewhere.
We still played with the Japan rules and the AOI standard rules with these variables. (the first 2 are basic rules but we made sure we emphasized them for team play)
1. You can not use your partners established locations to automatically build there. (example Green player is in Tokyo and his teammate, purple, has a cotton card to play - purple can not just use the cotton card and build in Tokyo. Purple would need a blue card or be connected by rails)
2. You can not use your partners established railroads to build anything. You must have color card or your own established rail system.
3. You can switch cards with your teammate during your turn, but it counts as 1 of your 2 moves.
4. You can share or transfer money during your turn, but it counts as 1 of your 2 moves.
5. At the end of a round when loans are being paid, a teammate can pay loan charge or pay debts off for another teammate without penalty of using 1 of your 2 moves.
6. If you have a ship that is connected to a market, you can allow or deny sale to that market. (example: green player has ship connected to cotton market he allowed his purple teammate to sell cotton to the market but denied our team from selling to that market)
7. Table talk is allowed.
We sat by our partners and whispered and pointed and discussed strategies throughout the game. If you want to talk louder you can, but we did allow table talk as once the game gets started not all initial strategies were in play anymore.
The next time we do this we might institute a time clock per move (maybe 2-3 minutes per turn) because people were trying to play for a team instead of just themselves it took a little longer to evaluate which moves to make.
We had an absolute blast playing this way and will more than likely try to run teams on various other maps.
Please let me know if anyone tries this or has any rule suggestions that would make it more fun and competitive...oh yeah and my team won by 7. Not bad for first time team play.
Awesome variation! We tried it out and it played terrific. I'd recommend others trying this. Thanks Jesse!