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Subject: Double Combo: Henry Farnam and Hotel Chicago! rss

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Dede Kurnia Kardiman
Indonesia
Batam
Kepulauan Riau
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Play Date: Wed, Oct 25th, 2006, 14.15-17.15 hours
(Report submitted on Oct 26th, 2006)

Gamers: (clockwise)
- Vero (purple, 1st player)
- Aldo (yellow)
- Dede (me, black)
- Nita (red)

Aldo brought his new Railroad Tycoon (RRT) Boardgame that he just bought in Singapore the day before. Like the Civilization Boardgame that I have (also made by Eagle Games), the board is HUGE ... the train plastic pieces are very nice, but I like the single big black train more since it’s made of wood. No problem with the money, very big printed money, green for 1K, blue 5K, and yellow 10K. The only issue is with the Operation Card as we didn’t know yet the details of each card, and there’s no card list. The printed words on the cards are too small for it can be seen by all players.

Vero, Aldo, and me had played Age of Steam (AoS) before, thus could quickly adapt to RRT. Anyway, it took about 20 minutes for Aldo to explain this game to us, especially to Nita, who had never played AoS. Finished with the explanation, we started the game to get a feeling on this game ... until turn 3, and then we re-started the game. From our 3 turns experience, we already knew quite well how to play the game, and now came up with our strategy ...

As for myself, I need to remember that in RRT all actions need money. To upgrade machine and do urbanization, you need to pay cash .. a lot of cash .. not like in Aos, which are done by only selecting the appropriate action (no need to pay). Also in RRT, your income is not linier. Later on when your point is up to about 45 and more, your income will start decreasing. Thus, money could be an issue in the middle & end game, especially if you had issued many shares.

I concentrated my railroad in Chicago as my Railroad Tycoon Card was Henry Farnam, which would give me 2 points for each of my link connected to Chicago at the end of the game. Later on I got this Hotel card which gave me additional 1 point for each good delivered to Chicago, whoever the player delivered the good. How lucky I was!! So I upgraded my engine and kept delivering red cubes to Chicago .. (^_^)

At the end, I delivered a blue cube which made the city became the 14th Empty City, and thus ended the game. I won this pre-learning game by a significant 73 points, Vero in 2nd with 49 points, Nita 42 points, and Aldo 30 points.

Me, Vero, and Nita only issued 1 share since the start of the game, and Aldo with 2 shares ... from this result, we didn’t think that share issuance come in play in RRT, while in AoS share issuance is still part of a player action, even in the middle game.

As for me, I could say that RRT is an easier version of AoS, but still can give a fun 2-3 hours playing time. From this first time play, I give RRT a score of 8/10, and looking forward for the next game. Actually, everybody is anxious to play another game... and off course .. be the winner... thumbs-up! (^_^)d

 
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Jon G
United States
Goleta
California
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One thing you'll want to experiment with in future games is issuing shares a little faster, in order to upgrade your engines quickly and make longer deliveries. We usually have the first 4-train in play by the seventh action (i.e. action 1 of turn 3), and most players have 4-6 trains going by turn 6 (action 18).

To do this, we'll usually take 3-8 shares in the first half of the game, trying to make as few short deliveries as possible. This pays off later in the game when those same cubes are shipped elsewhere for more points.
 
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Dede Kurnia Kardiman
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Hmm .. I might try it on our next RRT session ... however, just a tought, if you issue 8 shares, with your income let's say the max $25K, then you only have cash of $17K, which only enough either to build a 4 tracks link across a river for $9K, or to upgrade your engine to level 5/6 for $15K. Not enough for both. This means you'll have limited choice of actions during the middle till end of the game due to limited cash on hand...

Just an update, last Saturday we had another RRT session, same players. All except Aldo issued 1 share only ... and Aldo did not issue any share at all. Final score: Me 90 +$47K, Aldo 73 +$65K, Vero 71 +$66K, and Nita 67 +$95K. After the game, we all still believed only as much as 1 share is needed ...

I'll update again after I try it ...
 
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Kevin Brown
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Macon
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dr.mrow wrote:
We usually have the first 4-train in play by the seventh action (i.e. action 1 of turn 3)


We almost always have it earlier than that.

Taking only one share seems nice, but it's slow starting. An aggressive player will pull ahead of you and never look back.
 
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Jon G
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Actually, I'm normally the cheap player in our group, and shoot for 3-5 shares by mid-game. You're right that taking 8+ shares cuts into your cash flow, and often means taking extra shares in the endgame to upgrade to 6-8 trains, but consider that this is a nice problem to have (since you'll be shipping for 6-8 points per action), whereas extra money is worthless at the end of the game. But your final scores are only 10-20 points behind what we usually see issuing more shares

The biggest arguments for taking more shares are that it lets you increase your points/action quickly (you only lose 1 point/share, which is very little if it got you 3-5 extra points); it can get you *more* money by pushing you up the income track faster at the beginning (especially when upgrading or chasing bounties); and having more money lets you expand into higher-cost areas first.
 
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