Rob Mortimer
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Age of Steam – Expansion #1 Ireland/Southern England: my view.
Preamble:
The first expansion for Age of Steam was a must-buy for me. I love the original game and since I’m English, I wanted the chance to play on a map of my own country.

Components:
This expansion adds a new double sided map board and a single sheet of rules updates. One side of the board depicts southern England. This map is very open, with a fairly even distribution of cities and towns. The Western half of the board (Wales and Devon) is hilly/mountainous. The distribution of coloured cities is somewhat different to the original board, with only a single red city (London), 4 yellows and 2 purples (at the edges) and 4 blue (spread across the board).

The other side depicts Ireland. This map is again rather different. There are quite a few cities and towns dotted throughout. There is one large river, and hills/mountains are only 1-2 hex areas spread across the map. There are sea routes to various parts of Great Britain (2 yellow and 2 blue/red). The rest of the cities are purple (4), black (2) or brown (10). The latter have different rules (see gameplay).

Gameplay:
I’m assuming that the reader knows the rules of the basic game. Gameplay for Ireland and Southern England is subtly different.

Ireland
The Ireland map is designed for 3-4 players.
Brown hexes: the brown cities are depicted with a number of white cubes… this number of goods cubes placed on them iduring initial set up (2 or 3). After set up, no goods can end their movement in brown cities. No new cubes will appear in brown hexes.
Other set up: 2 cubes are placed in all other cities (including England and Scotland hexes).
Goods display: only cubes for white and black cities 1 and 2 are placed.
Urbanization: no towns can urbanized. Instead, if a player picks the urbanization option, he/she may remove 1 cube from the board just before players move goods.
Sea routes: sea routes depicted by white lines can be built at a cost of $6. Sea routes are depicted using a player’s coloured track ownership disk. Sea routes count as one link for movement, and one tile for victory points. Only one sea link can be built per turn.
Blocked sides: thick black hex sides prevent tracks from crossing.
Locomotive: this action has changed. If the player picks this option, he/she can then increase his/her locomotive twice during the turn by not moving goods.

Southern England.
This map is designed for 4-6 players. There are only minor adjustments to the rules, namely:
Set up: 2 cubes are placed in each city except for North West, which starts with 3.
Urbanization: the new red city tile is not used, so London remains the only red city.
Goods Placement: any red cubes drawn to be placed in London should either be place in North West or North East. Roll for each cube: 1-4: NW, 5-6 NE.


So What Do I Think?
I like this expansion a lot. The maps are nicely done and are interesting to play on. It is particularly nice to have one map designed for 3-4 players and one for 4-6 players, although I am a little surprised that the designers went for this slightly restrictive option for the very first expansion. The England map plays very much like an open version of the original but with London basically controlling the flow of all red cubes. The relative impact of London varies according to where each player builds routes and which cubes are drawn during the Goods Growth phase. The Ireland map is very interesting. There are lots of goods cubes available at the beginning, but if the cubes from the brown cities are exhausted too quickly, goods become scarce later on. The distribution of city colours is also highly restrictive since most of the mainland cities are purple (4) and the other 2 are black. It can be vital to connect into a sea route in order to be able to ship yellow, red and blue. This means that owning the ship routes (particularly the ones coloured red AND blue) can be a powerful means of gaining extra income: most players will happily use your line and give away the point of income if they have already moved a cube several links across their own network.

Overall, an excellent expansion to the original game, and I give it an outstanding 9 out of 10. The only irksome thing is having to build railways in England and Ireland using dollars!!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Irving
United States
Salinas
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The only irksome thing is having to build railways in England and Ireland using dollars!!



I don't think there are any montetary denominations on the charts and boards (and certainly not on the plastic chips used for coins), so feel free to call the money: "pounds", "lire", "Francs", "marks", etc. depending on what map you play on. laugh
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bohrer
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Age of Steam – Expansion 1 Ireland/Southern England: my
RobM wrote:
The only irksome thing is having to build railways in England and Ireland using dollars!!


Well, I guess that I should be happy that you don't also mind my American spelling of words like Urbanization! Glad you like the game.

John
Pittsburgh
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Mortimer
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Guys,
I don't really mind at all... it was a tongue-in-cheek comment. It just made me chuckle when I was checking through the rules and costs were always quoted in dollars, whichever part of the world the map depicted. Great game though.
Rob
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.