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Subject: Rewarding inefficiency in construction rss

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Barry Figgins
United States
Woodland
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Metro has the potential to be the next Ticket to Ride. The games are similar, not in gameplay, but in substance: they have simple choices to make, and the rules can be explained quickly, but a capable player can use skill to his or her advantage. Metro isn't quite the classic that Ticket to Ride is, but it's still a lot of fun.

Gameplay

Players start with an equal number of trains stationed at the edges of the board. Each turn, a player plays a tile, which has several train routes on it. Any train which connects to one of those routes moves to the end of the route. If this causes a train to move off the board, it scores a number of points equal to the number of tiles its route crossed over.
The gameplay is pretty similar to WizKids' Tsuro, with a few exceptions.
-You have multiple pawns.
-You're allowed to play anywhere, not just in front of your own pawn.
-You score points for length of route, not just survival.
-Each tile is marked with an arrow. You can only lay it down that way, which limits placement options.
-Paths never cross. Trains will never collide.
-You only have 1 tile in hand, rather than Tsuro's 3.
And the board is bigger than Tsuro.

What I Like

Metro is a fast, easily accessible game that anyone can pick up and play in a moment. It works well with anywhere from 2-6 players, which is a big plus for me - it's hard to find a light, quick six player game. A multiplayer game of Metro is colorful and active, and the game just feels fun.

What I Dislike

Unfortunately, it's difficult to find a winning strategy, especially in games with more than 2 players. So much of your movement and options are dictated by the tiles that your opponents lay down that it's hard to set yourself up for a high score. At most, you just have to keep your trains alive, and hope you get the chance to make a high-scoring route. Most games I've seen have had lots of 5-8 point routes, then one player scores a 29 point route or something and wins the game. It's a bit too erratic there, especially since you only hold and place one tile at a time, so you can't plan ahead based on your next tile.

Overall

Metro is worth having for those times when you need a quick multiplayer game, one that will be over quickly but doesn't feel too light. Still, I don't know if you need it. For quick multiplayer gaming, Tsuro does the tile-path thing better. For light, yet strategic gaming, Ticket to Ride is better. But Metro still has its merits. Who doesn't love a game where the most inefficient, indirect, confusing and broken train route gets the most points?
 
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Sight Reader
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beri wrote:
So much of your movement and options are dictated by the tiles that your opponents lay down that it's hard to set yourself up for a high score.

An easy fix is to require that players extend their own lines before being allowed to play elsewhere.

beri wrote:

Who doesn't love a game where the most inefficient, indirect, confusing and broken train route gets the most points?

Yes, the game is truly French.
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David Christensen
United States
Seattle
Washington
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The problem with scoring is that people want to build up their own tracks and don't think about stopping those that are ahead. Everyone is hoping someone else will stop them and then no one does. Never let someone get a line more than ten long and never, ever let them reach the center.
 
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Sight Reader
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keel wrote:
The problem with scoring is that people want to build up their own tracks and don't think about stopping those that are ahead.
Actually, we had just the opposite problem: all people wanted to do was dead end everyone else's track. It resulted in a very boring - and quite adversarial - game. We find the "extend your own track" rule doesn't stop people from killing other tracks, but at much greater risk to themselves!
 
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