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Russian Railroads» Forums » General

Subject: No bonus for advantage in the number of Engineers in 2p games? rss

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Krzysztof
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I'm just wondering whether some more experienced players tried to play 2p game without 40 pts bonus for the higher number of hired Engineers? There seems to be a lot of voices concerning scripted beginning of each game (hire Eng/take 1st player, etc.) and the attempt to "fix" it in the GR expansion by setting the odd number of game rounds.

I expect that getting rid of this bonus or replacing it with a plain +3/4/5 pts for each hired Engineer at the end of the game scoring (eg. 5/1 split with 5pts/Eng gives still 20pts bonus for hiring more Engineers) would lead to increased contesting of other valuable actions and shift the game flow towards a more aware choice of Engineers, higher optimization of chosen actions, and higher interest in a schadenfreude approach to the game.

Any thoughts on that?
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Jorge
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norkbes wrote:
I'm just wondering whether some more experienced players tried to play 2p game without 40 pts bonus for the higher number of hired Engineers? There seems to be a lot of voices concerning scripted beginning of each game (hire Eng/take 1st player, etc.) and the attempt to "fix" it in the GR expansion by setting the odd number of game rounds.

I expect that getting rid of this bonus or replacing it with a plain +3/4/5 pts for each hired Engineer at the end of the game scoring (eg. 5/1 split with 5pts/Eng gives still 20pts bonus for hiring more Engineers) would lead to increased contesting of other valuable actions and shift the game flow towards a more aware choice of Engineers, higher optimization of chosen actions, and higher interest in a schadenfreude approach to the game.

Any thoughts on that?
Although I do not know the details, I assume that similar variants should have already been tried out during playtesting.

* The 40 VP bonus is actually only a 20 VP one.
* Actions-to-VP-wise, one engineer is enough to secure 20 VP in a 2-player game, whereas the other player may use 4-5 actions for 40 VP.
* Blindly hiring engineers means passing up on using early actions to set your engine up.
* Most A-engineers are really weak anyway, especially the ones included with the base game. Only engineers #2 (industry + 3 VP) and #3 (black + gray track) are actually useful. The others, I usually end up passing up on them. Nevertheless, Russian Railroads: German Railroads and Russian Railroads: Mini-Expansion provide new A-engineers, better on average than the base-game ones.
* Ultimately, Russian Railroads: German Railroads does fix the problem with the scripted openings, but this is NOT due to cutting one round, but due to the coal module. Like Engineers, some Foundries can be extremely powerful and it can be a solid move to take a foundry as a first player instead of an engineer. A foundry may let you unlock your "?" bonus even in the very first round.
* Finally, consider that usually winning scores are in the range of 300-450 VP, so a 20 VP advantage is not that important. A good engine, especially with boilermen from the expansion, can definitely beat a 4/1 engineer split.
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Krzysztof
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ok, thanks for your comments. So in the GR expansion we simply have more options/strategies to choose from/follow at the beginning and those 20pts extra from advantage in the number of Engineers doesn't really matter. Still, with only the base game there's not so many possibilities to avoid scripted moves at the beginning of a round, which is a pity. I hope the developers will add some fresh ideas in the upcoming American Railroads.
 
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Henry Dove
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Taking the engineer, gold, then people is the scripted move. Most of the better players do not follow that script. Particularly taking the engineer. There are many better moves and in 2 player some things you wont be able to do if you don't get there first. In fact in 2 player I just make sure I get one engineer along the way. Otherwise they are a waste of time and gold that I will spend getting points.
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Lawrence Myers
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The extra meeples are not available in the 2 player game.

About ignoring Engineers, I made that mistake last 2 player game. Its not that the engineers nor the end points are great, but the factory that lets you score the sum of the engineer's value (I think is #3) can devastate the one that is engineer-less.
 
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