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Subject: Train Game Recommendation Needed rss

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Michael Ward
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Hi, I'm thinking of getting a train game. I think it will be a choice between Age of Steam and 1856. I already own Railroad Tycoon which has me leaning more towards 1856. Any thoughts?
 
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Alex Bove
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East Lansdowne
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Burn Railroad Tycoon and buy AoS.
 
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Walt
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Also consider Empire Builder and games of its family (Eurorails, Australian Rails, India Rails, Russian Rails, British Rails, Lunar Rails, Iron Dragon). Since these games use a pickup and deliver mechanism, the most efficient network is rewarded, making these arguably the most simulationist rail games. They also have a huge number of hexes (dots), Empire Builder covering southern Canada to Mexico, coast to coast, at about 80% of RRT's hexes between cities; and they have far more cities, over 60 in Empire Builder.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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As near as I can tell, there are three major families of train games, plus some that don't fit into any category.

First, there are the crayon rails games. Mostly by Mayfair, they include, but are not limited to: Australian Rails, British Rails, China Rails, Eurorails, India Rails, Lunar Rails, Nippon Rails, North American Rails, and Russian Rails.

Second, there is the 18XX family of games, which I'm sure you've heard of.

Third, there is the various Age of Steam games, of which I include Railroad Tycoon.

The others category is quite large. These are the ones rated 6 or higher on BGG: Ticket to Ride - Märklin Edition, Ticket to Ride Europe, on the UNDERGROUND, Ticket to Ride, Union Pacific, Pampas Railroads, Stephenson's Rocket, Santa Fe, Volldampf, Santa Fe Rails, Silverton, Lancashire Railways, Railway Rivals, Metromania, Frachtexpress, Mogul, TransAmerica, Linie 1, Dampfross, Freight Train, Trans Europa, Railroad Dice 2, Vom Kap bis Kairo, Orient Express, Logistico, Rail Baron, RailRoad Dice - Germany, Railroad Dice, Express, HellRail - Third Perdition, Station Master, HellRail - 2nd Perdition.

Recommendations:

1) I haven't played any of the other games in the Age of Steam family, but they are supposed to be very unforgiving of mistakes. One of the reasons that Railroad Tycoon is doing as well as it is, is because it is somewhat forgiving of errors. I can enjoy a game of Railroad Tycoon, but there are too many other games I’d rather play.

2) I haven't played any of the 18XX games. I have a couple of them, but I just haven't gotten around to playing them. Part of the problem is that they don’t really seem to be train games to me; they seem to be more wheeling and dealing stock games.

3) I have played several of the crayon rails games and they are fun. Building the rail lines, and picking up and delivery goods; that is what I want out of a train game. North American Rails and Nippon Rails are my favorites (even if I do go crazy trying to find those Japanese cities).

4) As far as the others category:

a) I like the Ticket to Ride games, and TTR Europe is my favorite. They are lighter than the three main families of train games, plus I’ve always enjoyed Rummy-style games.

b) Santa Fe Rails is enjoyable. It is easy to build a wonderful network and forget to score connections, thus losing the game.

c) TransAmerica is one of my wife's favorite games. It plays quickly and is easy to understand. A good filler game.

d) Rail Baron is great. It is one of my favorite games to play with three or four players, even if the endgame is somewhat broken. (You can just play till one player makes the required total, then he wins)
 
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Sinister
United States
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Indiana
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I gotta go with the soul train here...
 
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David Siskin
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Age of Steam is my favorite train game. Get it no matter what you decide.

That being said, you need to think about how long you want your game to be. 18xx games are great, but take all day. If you're interested in that, I'd say 1870 or 1830 would be your first stop before 1856.

Some other games that will be less compilcated than any of the above are Canal Mania (canals rather than trains, but it's a train game) and Union Pacific. Both are playable in an evening.
 
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Nate Sandall
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Portland
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1856 is a marvelous game! I'm getting a group together to teach it at the BGG con. I can't recommend it enough!
 
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Jonathan A.
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montu wrote:
Burn Railroad Tycoon and buy AoS.


And so it begins...

All we need now is someone to ask, "What's better, ASL or ATS?"

Duck and cover!

EDIT: Sorry to jack this thread. One of my favorite past times has been to follow, as much as I can, the AoS v. RRT and ASL v. ATS debates. Can those debates be heated...
 
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Fred Minard
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Silverton
This is a good Railroad game. Not as complicated as some 18xx titles.
Take a look in the BGG marketplace.
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John Weber
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Save some money and download some of the new maps (Europe, Northeast, UK, and NY-Chicago) that have been posted here at the Geek to get the most of your RR Tycoon game.
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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I cant recommend RRT enough, its really fun, and its gone over well with my gaming group, whos never really done Railroad games before.
 
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Bren Mayhugh
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I have played a lot of crayon rail games and they are a lot of fun, but there isn't much player interaction. What I mean is since I have these three cards for my deliveries and you have those three, everyone pretty much 'does' their own thing. The only real issue is getting into the smaller cities (but that's a simple $4-8M expense (hardly anything when you are playing to $250M).

The 18xx series are also good, but really suffer from "70-80s design". Those games are from the era where large rulebooks with a bunch of minor rules and 4-5 hours to play them was the 'king of the boardgame'. If your gaming group like those, I salute you!

Finally the AOS/RRT debate. Never would I have thought that this would be such an issue in the boardgaming community. Honestly, I love trains and boardgames so naturally I want to get a copy of all the boardgames about trains that I can get, but I also have to think about my current game group and what 'they' would like. In my mind, if I brought AoS to the table and someone went bankrupt, it would never see the table again. So even though I think I would like Aos over RRT, I can see myself having to buy RRT to 'placate' my gaming community.

Good luck on your choice!
-Bren
PS. Any boardgamers who live in the Bloomington, IN area and own AoS, msg me. I'd love to go bankrupt!
 
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Clark Rodeffer
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You might Volldampf, Dampfross or Silverton.

Clark
 
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Walt
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jygro wrote:
I have played a lot of crayon rail games and they are a lot of fun, but there isn't much player interaction. What I mean is since I have these three cards for my deliveries and you have those three, everyone pretty much 'does' their own thing. The only real issue is getting into the smaller cities (but that's a simple $4-8M expense (hardly anything when you are playing to $250M).


There's more than that. In a large game, commodities can be monopolized. In one game I played, someone needed all of one so he bargained with another player to drop one (somewhat outside the rules), however he didn't bargain with me, so I went in and grabbed what he needed since I needed it, too. more usually, the first person claiming a pass can get it for half the price of a later player; this can completely destroy an opponent's plans if he's cash poor--or allow you to get ahead of him even if he can find an alternate route.
 
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Bren Mayhugh
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Tall_Walt wrote:


There's more than that. In a large game, commodities can be monopolized.


I guess that's true. Normally, we play the game around 3-4 players so the monopolization of goods doesn't really come into play.

-Bren
 
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Michael B
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I'll go along with 1856 as the recommendation. Age of Steam and Railroad Tycoon just don't stack up to the 18xx mechanics.

If you prefer a shorter game, 18FL is much better than Age of Steam.
 
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Walt
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IMO, try an 18xx game before you buy it. A friend bought one and the group, including himself, found it just hideous. Tastes differ, though.
 
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Michael Ward
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Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. Having read all of the responses, it seems that both games have their strengths and weaknesses so I'm probably going to have to pick them both up before long. Thanks for the other ideas also, the crayon games and Silverton look good.

Thanks,
Mike
 
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