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Subject: New Maps rss

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John Weber
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Would like to start a thread for some posts about experiences playing with the new maps made available here at BGG, in particular the Europe map (been available for several months now) and the newer ones for the NE Corridor and the UK. I have played about five games with Europe and once with NE Corridor, yet to try the UK one.

I liked the Europe map and the fact that there were multiple city clusters that could be considered really good starting locations. (This does not seem to be the case with the US Map, where the NE Corridor and to a lesser extent the Southeast are really the prime starting areas.) I liked the idea of replacing the Tycoon cards with the face-up endgame bonuses (one more than the number of players). I thought the track costs and three-hex builds were appropriate. Not sure how I felt about not drawing new cubes out of the bag for the New City action, but with so many going on the map, the bag was pretty close to empty at the start of the game. On the other hand, cities seemed to empty real quick, and as the cubes didn't get replaced, the game seemed to end prematurely in several instances. One or two games had a runaway leader, but several of the games were real close, generally much closer than most of the games with the US map. Most of the people I played with seemed to prefer the Europe map for this reason. I do think the game has a different character if the big bonuses (London-Constantinople or Berlin-Nizhny) come out early versus not at all.

NE Corridor, only one play. I liked the idea of the two different types of bonus cards and drawing one from each stack per turn -- gives you alot more to think about when bidding to go first than in the regular game. I liked the more meaningful reward (as well as the lower cost) for completing the off-board links. However, in our game, the players generally felt the game ended too abruptly for player(s) building these links to get much tangible benefit. In fact, with several fast players (I was probably the slowpoke in this group), our four-player game clocked in at around an hour and fifteen to an hour and a half -- real quick compared to other RRT games in my experience. One "cheap" strategy appeared to build alot of short links around New York, trying to include all different color cities in the route. Also, those 8 cubes in NY seemed to be scarfed up fairly quick with no replacements in sight until fairly late in the game. (Also, since everyone was hooked up to NY, the benefit of delivering from a W link was dissipated because usually you were just setting up deliveries out of NY with the two new random cubes placed there.) The game I played had a runaway leader but a couple of players were whittling him down when the game ended as people felt practically forced to empty out cities as the cubes were drying up. Still, I thought there were some interesting ideas in this one and it might be OK with a few fixes. One player (who does this with the regular US map) suggested playing until the leader hit a set score, say 50 or 80 points, scaled to number of players. Another idea (yet to be tested) is to go with a higher number of empty cities, particularly if the specific map rules state no new cubes with any New City card or action.

With both these maps as well as the original, I really like the idea of adding the "Rainbow" bonus card to the opening draw, that is 5 VP for the first player to deliver one cube of each color.

Comments, anyone?
 
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Kevin Brown
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The Europe map is the only one we've played other than the original. The games end more quickly on it. I think the combination of a greater number of colored cities, more expensive builds, and three hex building instead of four conspire to make people settle for more short deliveries. The bonus cards also tend to make people want to end the game more quickly. If I'm ahead on consecutive links or money or whatever, I'll want to end the game before someone catches me. With the Tycoon cards it's less likely that someone is pursuing the same bonus, and even if they are you won't know it for sure, so you won't be in such a rush to finish the game.
 
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John Weber
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Kevin, yeah, that was our impression that the Europe map ended more quickly as well, for the reasons you mention plus the fact that the New City action did not add new cubes to the board to reverse the impact of emptying the cities. Obviously, if players want to extend the game, they could take a City Growth card or two, but the decision to do so would cost a valuable action they might not be able to afford.

All this suggests that one might want to adjust the number of empty cities to end the game upward if the game feel is that it ends prematurely. Of course, for those who think the game may be a tad too long, ending it sooner might be desirable.
 
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Steve
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John Bohrer of Winsome games (who was involved in the original map) popped in to say a few months ago that there is a slim chance that if he gets the go ahead from the people behind the original game (perhaps at Essen), he could release the materials he already has for a different Europe map, cards, etc. Presumably it was for a planned expansion with Eagle games? Or maybe they were trying to decide which one to put in the original set.

Anyway, you might keep your eyes open for that as well in terms of new maps and take a look at that old thread in the general forum.
 
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John Bohrer
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garysax wrote:
John Bohrer of Winsome Games (who was involved in the original map) popped in to say a few months ago that there is a slim chance that if he gets the go ahead from the people behind the original game (perhaps at Essen), he could release the materials he already has for a different Europe map, cards, etc. Presumably it was for a planned expansion with Eagle games?


Yes, I created the map for Railroad Tycoon and also created a Europe map for an expansion by Eagle Games. As Glenn Drover owns the IP for RT, I need his permission to put the map, cards, etc on the web. I did not receive his explicit permission during Essen however, so my RT Europe expansion shall have to stay under wraps for the time being.

John
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Kevin Brown
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John Weber wrote:
the fact that the New City action did not add new cubes to the board to reverse the impact of emptying the cities.


We've been playing under the assumption that paying for urbanization does add cubes. Who's going to lay out $10k otherwise? Taking the New City card, however does not add cubes.
 
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Steve
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John Bohrer wrote:
garysax wrote:
John Bohrer of Winsome Games (who was involved in the original map) popped in to say a few months ago that there is a slim chance that if he gets the go ahead from the people behind the original game (perhaps at Essen), he could release the materials he already has for a different Europe map, cards, etc. Presumably it was for a planned expansion with Eagle games?


Yes, I created the map for Railroad Tycoon and also created a Europe map for an expansion by Eagle Games. As Glenn Drover owns the IP for RT, I need his permission to put the map, cards, etc on the web. I did not receive his explicit permission during Essen however, so my RT Europe expansion shall have to stay under wraps for the time being.

John
Pittsburgh


Continue with the user made expansions then!
 
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Peter Putnam
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1st thing, an advertisement for Euroquest. Check out the WBC site or GCOM (Games Club of Maryland Site) to find out information about Euroquest. Euroquest is November 9 - 12 in Timonium Maryland.

One of the Wildcard games is Railroad Tycoon and the UK, Europe, Northern Corridor and perhaps even the new Limited map will be available to try out.

2nd a Big, Big, Thank You to map / game new map designers for RRT. Excellent job with Europe and Northern Corridor. I enjoyed both games. I haven't played the UK game or the Limited game yet but they both look amazing. Keep up the good work.

3rd recommendation for anyone printing the UK game:
UK use Microsoft Paint and print at 125 - 130% to use the RRT pieces. This printed up on 5 x 5 sheets but it looks great.
 
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John Weber
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Pete is right, RRT will be one of the new games featured as part of the highly unique and popular Wild Card event at EQ IV. Pete, I and another GM, Cody Sandifer, plan on offering a demo of RRT featuring all the new maps and several recommended variants.

Check out all the information on EQ at the following website:

http://euroquest.gamesclubofmd.org/

To those of you still sitting on the fence, the deadline for the cheaper pre-Reg rate ($10 off the door price of admission) is November 1, just one week away! There is a pre-reg forme at the attached website. To see the schedule for all the events being planned, click on the "Other Info." tab and then "Schedule" on the drop down menu.

We plan on starting the RRT demo at 8 PM on Thursday, the first evening of the convention. Join us!
 
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I'm running my second playtest on the UK board at the moment, as a PBEM. One of the aims was to make the game rather harder finacially than the Europe map, while still providing multiple starting positions. I seem to have succeeded in that.

However, the poverty of the board can render areas with an unfortunate cube distribution uninhabitable until larger trains are available. We are 3 turns in and no-one has built anything north east of the line connecting Cambridge-Liverpool (there is lots of interaction!). It will be interesting to see if anyone starts expanding north for long shipments in the end game. I will post the mother-of-all session reports (since I have an exact record of every single action) when it's done (probably another month).

If anyone else is interested in running it as a PBEM, I can provide an OpenOffice Draw(*) file of the board, which makes it easy to draw cubes over the towns and tracks underneath them. I've also got an html template for each turn, including scores, cards, actions etc.

Kevin

(*) OpenOffice Draw is part of OpenOffice, which is a free download. I can also save it as MS Powerpoint, but I can't guarantee it will survive the process.
 
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Dan Mixer
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I can't seem to find the Europe map. I can get the lo rez copy, but can't find the file to actualy print it out and play.

Help a 'dumb as a bag of hammers' BGG'er out here and point to it for me.
 
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Kevin Brown
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Icedanno wrote:
I can't seem to find the Europe map. I can get the lo rez copy, but can't find the file to actualy print it out and play.

Help a 'dumb as a bag of hammers' BGG'er out here and point to it for me.


http://boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=15816
 
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Peter Putnam
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I've now played Europe, UK and Northern Corridor 1 times each. Here's my initial ratings (note: I usually re-rate things after playing a 2nd or 3rd time)

Original Map: 9.5
Northern Corridor: 9.0
Europe: 8.9
UK: 8.0

Last Friday we played the UK map with 3 players for the 1st time. Player 1 build London to Reading. Player 2 out of Birmingham. I was unfortunately 3rd with only 2 real choices. Build out of Bristol and end up with 3 players real close to each other or build out of Scotland. I made the mistake and build out of Scotland. There was quite a bit of good cubes up there but it ended up taking so long and it was so expensive to build up my network down to Hull that I ened up finishing in 3rd place. Player 2 ended up winning by building an extensive network out of Birmingham. So it seems like the central UK strategy was the best. The game took just under 90 minutes (pretty quick). Only 1 ferry was build. That was the last turn from Liverpool to the Isle of Man. That Helped player 2 rack up a few extra points.

The board was the best looking map of the 3 I've put together. But after only 1 play I feel there may not be the balance of opportunities because of how the colored cities are spread out so much on the board. I still gave it a very good score of an 8. I think it may play better with 4 players with 3 players competing in the central area of the board.
 
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Ralph H. Anderson
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Thanks for the link to the Europe Map - but could you provide an explanation on how to print it out? What program to use and how to set it up. For some reason this just isn't working for me.

Thanks!
 
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KingPut wrote:

The board was the best looking map of the 3 I've put together. But after only 1 play I feel there may not be the balance of opportunities because of how the colored cities are spread out so much on the board. I still gave it a very good score of an 8. I think it may play better with 4 players with 3 players competing in the central area of the board.


Thanks, that's very helpful. My feeling is that I wouldn't start in Scotland in a game with less than 5 players, and only then if the cubes were favourable. It may need additional incentives though. On the other hand in our first game (5 players), 2 people started in Scotland (which was too many), and a third built London-Edinburgh for the route bonus.

I'm waiting to see a few more games before I make major changes though. The US board has to be learned: you need to find out how much competition the NE will support in order to balance the play. This was something I was trying to emulate, without being as dense and linear as the US NE.

If anyone wants the graphics in order to try their own layout, send me a message.

Kevin
 
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Peter Putnam
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I was reviewing the cards used in the UK game. Unfortunately for me the Perth or Carlisle Delivery Bonus card never came up in our 1st UK game that would have helped a player in Scotland.

But I have two or three possible changes I'm thinking could balance the UK game. There are 4 land grant cards in the deck. 2 of them can be 1/2 price mountain / hill cards or all of them could be half price build cards.

Also, I'd add a 1 minor completed route in Scotland or the Northern part of the board.

I like the ferry rule but I'd make it slightly more profitable by adding an Free Industrialization card in the deck for ferry linked cities only. I can see players bidding up turn order to get that card.

I'll play the game 1 more time with the original set up cards before making any modifications. Kevin, let us know if you come up with any changes or suggestions.


 
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OK, just finished playing the 6 player Britain map (the UK was Britain + Ireland after the 1800 Act of Union), so here is an overview of how it went and some feedback and constructive criticisms:

There were some good cards on offer, so I won the first auction with a bid of 5000, issued 3 shares and snapped up railroad executive and built to Harwich from the nearest grey one, scoring a total of 5 points for first delivery to Harwich. I also picked up a land grant card and built to the next grey city in (Cambridge/Northampton?). From there I gradually headed towards Oxford and up to Leicester and a few other cities in the area. I failed my mission (London to Penzance via Bristol), mostly because Bob took most of that route himself. I finished with 5 shares and middling score.

Dave started up in Scotland, and managed to do his mission (connect up the scottish cities), but found it hard due to hills and long distances. Eventually extended down to N. England. He scored fairly well and issued about 10 shares.

Bob built rather haphazardly close to me/London, then Liverpool/Manchester, and didn't deliver any cubes on turn one which put him into a debt spiral to last the game. He then started to build from Bristol towards penzance without bothering to deliver too many cubes or upgrade his engine, but picking up the London-Penzance long route bonus (+10) and completing his mission. He finished with a respectable score, until we deducted his 22 shares.

James built at first in the midlands (1 link), but then west out of London, and south to Portsmouth and east to Brighton, then over towards Bristol /South Wales. He issued about 10 shares and did ok.

John did very well- he started in the NW midlands (Birmingham/Liverpool/Manchester area), extending south to Bristol/South Wales eventually. He managed to pick up the +3 and +4 bonus start cards early on, issued a lot of shares (15), but still won the game convincingly, completing his mission of most money.

Peter built in NE England and did quite well at the start, owing to a nice cube distribution, but ran short on cubes later on. He finished with only 4 shares, but not too many points, from memory.

No one bought a ferry.

********************************

Something we found was the board seemed short on cubes compared to America. Quite a few times some of us were struggling to find something to do on the 3rd action, because you'd built and delivered and didn't have quite enough money to build or upgrade again, and all the decent cards were taken. I was tempted to urbanise just to get the cubes, but £10K was too expensive on this map, and the extra colour city wouldn't have enabled me to deliver anything. Perhaps the cost should be reduced to £5K?

Another feature of the map is that there are very few places where there are short (1 or 2 hex) links , in particular where both cities are coloured. This meant more track building, and much more shares. In america you can easily play the whole game and issue only 1 share- that would be next to impossible in Britain. I don't have a problem with a financially tighter game- in some ways it is a good thing.

I know the scale is different, but thematically that felt back to front- Britain should have high population density and more competition for space and connections than America IMO.

The ferries felt a bit like western links- it's borderline if it's worth investing the money- especailly the one to the Isle of Man- who'd pay £15K to get 1 good in a grey city? Also there seems to be some ambiguity over ports- for example Portsmouth exists and has industry because it is a port, hence it has 3 goods and a colour due to imports and exports. Dover on the other hand is equally a port, but here the cubes are located outside of Britain and you have to bring them in yourself, when really it should be treated like Portsmouth. (Also it should have been Southampton instead of Pompeyangry). In America, New York has a lot of cubes because it is a major port and has a lot of stuff coming through it. You could do away with ferries and just give ports more goods, or consolidate it as a feature of the map but bee more evn handed about its application.

Another thing I didn't like was something that I didn't like about the AoS England map, which was that London isn't that great. If anything, London should have been like the NE in USA, with railways coming out radially. I appreciate that the long route cards and missions try to fix this, but some of the missions (e.g. London to Scotland- dave only made it down to Northumbria) are extremely hard.

A way to solve this more "naturally" might be to have London surrounded by a ring of grey cities, surrounded by a wider ring of coloured cities of a few similar colours, so you don't send stuff around the rings, you send it inwards to London (or out from) and make more money because ther are more towns on the way. The SE did seem quite empty.

Printing issues: Suffice to say Red/Purple is the new Purple/Blue! I'll have to did out my paints.

It would be good to have a part of the board that had space for Round 1/2/3, as we had to keep remembering what round it was.

Other than that thanks to the person who spent many hours creating it.

Paul
 
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More great feedback - thanks!

I like the ring of grey cities idea. By not putting other coloured cities close to London, you impose a certain amount of pain in being there, but promise longer term rewards.

I'm red-green colourblind (and a rare form: protonope), so the purple is probably skewed for my benefit. I think #80ff00 might be better. It also varies with the printer though.

I think some of the other features need more playing: The Stranraer-Belfast ferry has been used in a previous game to good effect. The Douglas ferry exists solely for the Douglas-Birmingham route card, otherwise, I agree, it's not worth building. I built London-Edinburgh almost from scratch late in our first game, when I had amassed a good income. It took me 3 turns, a couple of shares at the end, and earned 15 points, which was about what the other players made while I was doing it.

Scores are certainly lower than the other maps - I'm wondering if the income track needs to peak earlier.

By the way, if you post a modified map, can you use a different name? I get the impression most people like richer games, wheras I really like having a stuggle to stay afloat, so I may well develop in a different direction to you.
 
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Peter Putnam
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Dido Paul comments. I just colored in my pink red cities with a purple marker. But actually the color problem wasn't as bad as the blue/black problem on the original map.

From playing the computer version of RRT, I know the US map was richer in resources (cubes) than the UK map and I think that's a good thing. It makes playing on the UK map a very different experience than the Eastern US map. And I love the whole Ferry thing. I just think building the ferry has to have more value. Maybe making it a color city? Maybe increasing the # of cubes at the other side of the ferry? Maybe decreasing the cost? I hate having cool features in game thats not being beneficial in winning the game. Personally, I like the idea of increasing each ferry sites by 1 cube. Isle of Man will now be 2 cubes. That may actually be worth it in a game where cubes are hard to come by. Again thanks for posting the game Kevin and keep up the great work!
 
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OK, from all the comments here (thanks folks!), from the pbem I'm currently running, and from some historical maps I've been looking at, I think the UK board needs the following changes:

Graphical:
- Add phase markers for phase 1,2,3
- Change the purple cities to colour [BGCOLOR=#a000c0]#a000c0[/COLOR]

Cities:
Add the following 6 1-cube grey cities. 3 in Scotland/NE, and 3 around London
- Stirling (between Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow)
- Berwick on the coast between Edinburgh and Newcastle)
- Darlington (just inland from Middlesborogh
- Hertford (N of London)
- Guilford (SW of London)
- Maidstone (SE of London)

Historical:
- Change Middlesborogh to Stockton (but leave it where it is)

Rules:
- Ferries add a 2VP bonus to shipments instead of 1VP.
- You can use New Industry, City growth, and Urbanise on the far end of a ferry link (make explicit)
- You may not build a ferry without linking to its port first.

Hopefully the changes will enrich the alternative starting positions without devolving the game into a series of solo games played in parallel. I've got one more playtest this weekend, and if there are no more issues thrown up or comments here, I'll post a new version.

Kevin
 
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Paul Elliott
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Hi John,

Do you still plan to seek permission from Glenn or is this a dead-end now?

Thanks.
Paul
 
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