After a long but enjoyable day demoing games in Seattle for Tabletop Day, I made the trek back down to Olympia, WA to finish out the day at my local game store, Olympic Cards and Comics. Once there, we got into a fantastic game of Age of Steam. 4 players, with only one person having played before. We played with the base game map. After spending a fair amount of time going over the rules, we jumped into the game. Everyone took an extra share during the first round.
Player 1 started in the upper left area of the board. Player 2 started in the far right side of the board. Player 3 was in the upper right area of the board, and player 4 was in the lower right area of the board.
Player 1 appeared to have a strong lead for most of the game. He was able to slowly build of his network of tracks, and for most of the game was able to deliver two cubes each round. He stuck to his area of the board for most of the game.
Player 2 was able to deliver a few '1 link' cubes during the first round, but due to an unfortunate drawing of cubes, he was stuck for the first half of the game. He did not raise his link level until the 4th round, which might have been his undoing.
Player 3 was able to create some nice links early on, but was not getting new cubes in his connected cities, which slowed him down.
Player 4 really had a nice start, getting up to three links by the third round, and having plenty of goods to deliver in her network of tracks.
During the final rounds, it seemed that Player 1 would take the win, but Player 4 made a critical move, delivering a cube that scored player 1 two income and her one, but had Player 1 had a chance to deliver it on his turn, he would have gained 4 income instead of two. This became the difference in the game.
When the scores were totaled up, Player 1 finished with 49, Player 2 had 38, Player 3 had 42, and Player 4 finished with 52. Player 4's ability to see what Player 1 was going to do and stopping it was an amazing move, which all the other players 'ohhh'ed and 'ahh'ed over.
Age of Steam is a game that I enjoy more and more with each play. I can not wait to get it to the table again.