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Subject: Yardmaster a fun and quick game review. rss

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Jeff Briggs
United States
Farmington
Utah
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This is my first review of a game so please keep that in mind when reading. This was a demo copy of Yardmaster I received from Patrick from Crash Games.

The Components:

The Package Received:


Removed from the Bag:


The 4 Engines:


The 4 different colors of "Railcars" ranging from 1-4 in value:


The 4 different colors of "Cargo" & 4 different "Bonus Cargo" cards:


The quick rundown of "Yardmaster"

You are attaching railcars to your engine to increase your total points. First you get to chose any 2 of the 3 actions, 3 if you are the current "Yardmaster". First is "Draw a Cargo Card" that are used to purchase the "Railcars" or maybe 1 of the 4 "Bonus Cards". Second is to buy a "Railcar" to add to your "Engine" or "Sorting Yard". Third is to "Swap Exchange Tokens".

Each player starts with 3 random cargo cards, and engine, and an exchange token. The player the takes any 2 actions (3 if they are the current Yardmaster). If the player draws cards they will be added to current hand. If a bonus card is drawn the player may play at any time during their turn as a free action. If the player has enough cargo in the same color and the number of cargo called out on the card they can buy a railcar. When buying a railcar to attach it to the engine it must match 1 of 2 things, color or number on the previous railcar attached to the engine (If any attached, if none there is no requirement). Also when buying a railcard if the player has 2 of a color matching the players "Exchange Token" it can be used as 1 cargo of the needed color. If the player wants to swap exchange tokens they will select a different color that another player has and swap.

This is a 2-4 player game that takes 20-30 min. with only 2-3 players there are a couple different changes. First is the exchange tokens are randomly given to each player and the extras are placed below the pile of railcars. The "Yardmaster" token if swapped on the non-active side when received and then turned over at the end of the players turn and it becomes active on the players next turn. After the active yardmaster turn the token will switch to the next player on the inactive side. The last change is the points required to win are different. 20 for a 2 player game, 18 for a 3 player game, and 16 for the 4 player game.

My Impressions
First the components. I have play tested a few prototype games before and this take the cake in quality. Patrick and the crew at Crash Games I believe take pride in ensuring that the people play testing or reviewing his games get a near perfect quality product. When I got the package the only thing it was missing to be selling at your FLGS, in my opinion, was a box and a UPC. Here is a close up shot were you can see the quality of the cards Patrick used on this Demo Copy:

I also saw the quality of the copy of his previous game released on Kickstarter Pay Dirt. And If this is the quality and effort his team puts into demo copies, I am very excited to see the final retail products.

The game play. This was a very fun and quick game. From my plays you must chose one of two strategies when playing. First is to go for the quick lower point cargo cards and jump out int he lead quickly, or second is to try and gather more cargo and go for the larger point valued railcars. While also adjusting when need from what you opposites are doing. It only took maybe 5 min to explain the instructions and a couple examples to bring everyone into the game quickly and fully immersed in the task of trying to win. This is a game that bring me back to some similarities of playing UNO and Rack-O as a kid with matching the colors or the numbers of each previous railcar attached to the engine.

So, if you are looking for something for you and your gaming group or family to play that is quick and fun, or in between those longer games. This is one you shouldn't pass up. It is going to be launching on Kickstarter on the 29th of April 2014 and I will be one of backer joining the project just to see how the Crash Games team can bring even more fun into the game.
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Blazing Apostle
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Excellent review, and a game which I will be hopefully purchasing soon.
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Patrick Nickell
United States
Bothell
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Hopefully you mean "shouldn't pass up" versus "should pass up" since you seemed to like it.
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Jeff Briggs
United States
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(Edits & Walks away in shame )
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