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Subject: Age of Steam recommendations rss

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Marshall Miller
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Ok, so I'm curious. I played AoS for the first time last night and loved it. I'd like to get a copy, but it seems to be OOP. But, some places seem to imply that its gonna be available in late Dec. Does anyone know the real answer? (stupid out of print games I could have gotten a long time ago but silly me had to tried before I buyed.....)

Also, what are the best 2player or 2+ player maps?
 
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Chris Trimmer
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The best "expansion" is Railroad Tycoon.
 
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Mark Crane
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AoS vs. RRT=tired
Canal Mania vs. AoS=Wired

Mease19 wrote:
Ok, so I'm curious. I played AoS for the first time last night and loved it. I'd like to get a copy, but it seems to be OOP. But, some places seem to imply that its gonna be available in late Dec. Does anyone know the real answer? (stupid out of print games I could have gotten a long time ago but silly me had to tried before I buyed.....)

Also, what are the best 2player or 2+ player maps?


AoS is only on Ebay at this point. I'd sell you mine but I don't want to wait a year for the third edition. You could play RRT for a year and then get AoS when it is rereleased, I suppose.

Scotland is a free two player map, as is one of the Lunar maps. Scotland gets high marks from the Steam Brothers. The game will be reprinted but because of some internecine copyright squabbles I'm guessing it will take most of a year. I think the Railroad Tycoon/AoS debate is fun in small doses, but I've seen about five of these in the last month so let's just give it a rest and say that they're both good at different things.

There is a geeklist out there with about 15 free maps. Several free ones were just posted, again, over at the AoS section. I'm hoping to get my boys hooked on the AoS Jr. rules, as I have nobody else to play it with right now, unless I can lure my wife into Scotland...

Free maps:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/18055

The latest long argument about AoS vs. RRT:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/138941

summary: RRT is a fun tight game with six players and costs a lot. AoS has a mountain of expansions and is meaner and more fun for fewer players. The end.
 
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Simon W.
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To Mark's summary:

"Amen."
 
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Mike K
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Quote:
AoS is only on Ebay at this point. I'd sell you mine but I don't want to wait a year for the third edition. You could play RRT for a year and then get AoS when it is rereleased, I suppose.


I saw a copy for $60 the other day, yet I had to pass because (a) I'm near-broke, and (b) most of the people I game with already own it. That said, it still hurt.
 
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Mease19 wrote:
Also, what are the best 2player or 2+ player maps?

See http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/5009
 
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Michael Webb
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In fairness, and I do appreciate the link, my Geeklist doesn't have much information on the 2 player maps, nor do any of the other AoS Geeklists.

So far there are only 2 "official" (as in, released in hard copy) 2 player maps, Reunion Island and Austria. The former was limited to 180 copies, the latter was limited to 80. So not very many people even own them, and hardly anyone seems to be playing them.

Speaking from personal experience, I doubt my list is going to have a lot of information on the 2 player maps anytime soon because I rarely have only 2 players who want to play AoS. I have played 2 man on the Rust Belt board with the modified 2 player variant, but I never found it that spectacular. I do want to play the official boards, and I own RU, so I will probably get around to them eventually, but who knows how long it will take?

Of the various fan released maps, many of them seem to be 2 player ones. Scotland is the first of these, and is, to date, the only one actually approved by John Bohrer, which generally means that he feels it is well-balanced/playtested. I don't think John downloads and plays most of the stuff that is uploaded though, so take that as you will.

I must stress: AoS is NOT going to be in shops in December. The current print run (2nd edition) is sold out. There is no word yet on when the 3rd print run will happen. Even if the 3rd print run was on the presses right now, which it most certainly isn't, the game would still not reach North America before next year. The 2nd run alone took over 6 months to show up here because of logistical difficulties!
 
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Alex Bove
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I don't think AoS is a very good 2-player game. The tension in AoS comes from the scarcity of powerful roles to choose: if you are 3rd or later in turn order you're not getting Loco or Urban, so you have to make due with what you get. But the beauty of AoS's design is that the 4th or 5th player can take something like First Build/Move, which only becomes powerful when you know you'll be building/moving 4th or 5th without it.

In 2-player AoS, each player can have Loco or Urban each turn. Yes, it's worth outbidding your opponent in order to not let her take Loco *every* round, but the auction will simply lack the drama of multi-player AoS. And how often would you choose First Build or First Move, since you'll be building/moving 2nd in the worst case scenario?

As for good 3-player maps, I'd recommend Richard Irving's Japan. I've heard folks recommend Ireland, but I played a 3-player Ireland last weekend and was whelmed. Scandanavia is a bit large but could also work w/ 3. My Puerto Rico map is pretty good with 3 but absolutely cruel (which is a good thing) with 4.
 
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Pierre Paquet
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Hi Alex
We had the same toughts as you about 2 players game for AoS but since we played the AoS Austria we changed our mind. The simple rules written by John Bohrer for this 2 players map changed our point of view. It's not the same excitment as a 3-8 players game but it's really fun. We tried these new rules for other 2 players scenarios (Scotland , Umbria) and it was very fun:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/129100
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/136271
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/130229

These games were almost like chess play and it was very tough as most AoS players like them.

Pierre



 
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Alex Bove
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Sounds interesting, Pierre. I only wish I had a copy of that expansion (or the rules, which John Bohrer is apparently keeping under tight wraps). By the way, are you still planning a tournament up in Canada this year?
 
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Pierre Paquet
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Actually this is my Steambrother, Martin S. who had the idea of the Age of Steam tournament and he organized the first and second edition with his wife Nathalie. Since both tournaments were big sucesses, I suppose he will have no other choices than to plan a third edition. There is still ample space for more names on the magnificient trophy.
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Michael Webb
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montu wrote:
Sounds interesting, Pierre. I only wish I had a copy of that expansion (or the rules, which John Bohrer is apparently keeping under tight wraps). By the way, are you still planning a tournament up in Canada this year?


Alex,

The rule that Pierre is referring to is simply alternating player order instead of having an auction for it.
 
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Nairb Attobas
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If I knew AoS was that hard to find, I would have scooped up the copy I saw in the store a whiles back. Maybe I should check to see if it's still there... surprise
 
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Michael Webb
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As I mention anytime people bring it up:

When the 1st edition AoS went OOP, sealed copies of the game immediately were going for 100$ on ebay, right before Christmas. I don't know if the game will go that high again, but the secondary market for board games is completely out of control right now, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see AoS balloon up into that range again, particularly if the 3rd print run is delayed for an appreciable amount of time.
 
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