Daniel Szukalow
Canada
Langley
British Columbia
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Had my first game on the Ireland map the other day with 3 other players. One person was new to the game the other 3 (myself included) played the eastern USA map a few times. We were certain to explain to Nathan (the newbie) to be careful about covering ones expenses so as to not go bankrupt. We found this map to be brutal - perhaps it was the cube distribution - all the blue and red cubes ended up on the west coast and all the yellow cubes were in the north. Not only was the cube distribution brutal but it didn't help that a few players decided to make life even more painful for others by selecting urbanization (which in this game is actually deurbanization - meaning the player who selects this action can remove a goods cube from the board before any cubes are moved). We didn't find the locomotive action particularly helpful in the beginning of the game and subsequently it was only selected twice for the entire game. Halfway through the game I realized that I needed to concentrate on my own rail network having spent too much effort and brain power on helping everyone else. At this point it was too late. This was a brutal game.

The scores were :
Mitchell (my 11 year old son) 7,
Nathan (who received a measure of assistance throughout the game) 3,
me -10,
Simeon -25 (who took too many shares early in the game - which buried him).
 
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J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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casterman wrote:
Not only was the cube distribution brutal but it didn't help that a few players decided to make life even more painful for others by selecting urbanization (which in this game is actually deurbanization - meaning the player who selects this action can remove a goods cube from the board before any cubes are moved).


You should generally expect to see deurbanisation chosen every turn of the game. It is a valuable action, and often the most valuable in the game (competing with Engineer).

Quote:
We didn't find the locomotive action particularly helpful in the beginning of the game and subsequently it was only selected twice for the entire game.


Locomotive is actually usually of negative value in AoS:Ireland. The rare exception is when you have nothing else to do. Do the spreadsheet: you come out better bumping every turn than you do bumping twice without a delivery.

Quote:
This was a brutal game.


Yeah Ireland is not a friendly map. That said, I recommend the map specifically for three players instead of four, due to the fact that with four the ability of players to hinder others exceeds their ability to help themselves. In addition with four players there's a strong tendency for the fourth player to effectively end up arbitrarily choosing which other player is going to share last place with him, leaving the other two to fight for the win.

Other good tight maps for fourt players include the Germany map from Age of Steam Expansion #2: Western United States and Germany, the Pennsylvania map from Age of Steam Expansion: 1830's Pennsylvania / Northern California, the very good Age of Steam: The Moon and my own London map from Age of Steam Expansion: Sun / London (close to my favourite 4 player map).
 
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Daniel Szukalow
Canada
Langley
British Columbia
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clearclaw wrote:
That said, I recommend the map specifically for three players instead of four, due to the fact that with four the ability of players to hinder others exceeds their ability to help themselves.


Couldn't agree more. The game was still very enjoyable. Just wish I could find a group of AoS uhm, er, groupies to play this great game with more often.
 
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Martin Sasseville
Canada
St-Redempteur
Quebec
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Our group have saved the locomotive action by replacing it by the locomotive action of the Richard Irving's Japan map. This allows the player who selected the action to deliver 1 more than his engine capacity.
For us, it saves the Ireland map because only 2 actions were valuable before that.
It also permits to deliver goods from north to south (yellow) and more interaction with 4 players

Ciao
 
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