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Age of Steam Expansion: Reunion Island» Forums » Rules

Subject: Thoughts on instability and changes rss

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J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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Three plays in on the map so far. Early thoughts:

1) Locomotive remains too powerful. It is available a minimum of every other turn. That essentially guarantees that both players will be up to 6 Links by turn 6 and probably sooner. As 2-3 cities will be joined by track for each player per turn, Given ideal circumstances 6-Link deliveries could start as soon as turn 3. This leaves the game dictated by which player manages to secure more 6 Link deliveries in the 3-4 turn/6-8 delivery end-game.

2) The auction outside of the first turn is largely degenerate. The new Turn Order Pass rule is essentially blind bidding where the selecting player knows both the value and the (cash) resources of the bidder. When Turn Order pass isn't used the auction is merely a way of setting a minimum cost for actions: and most of the time it simply isn't that important as to who gets what action when. Track is more important and the players are rapidly far enough from each other to mostly not care about track competition.

3) The combination of having to lock away Locomotive every other turn against the tempting necessity to leave Locomotive available merely so as to leave Urbanisation also open is curiously unstable. This is perhaps the primary interesting part of the game.

4) The deny-action rules are interesting. I'm not sure they entirely work as via the values for Locomotive and Urbanisation they effectively dictate a two turn rhythm for the game which in turn feeds and supports runaway winners.

All of our games have had run-away winners, often with an income gap between the players of more than $20, for whichever player won the first turn auction. If they also managed to get Locomotive on the first turn, then they simply won by more.

I'm tempted to make the following changes:

1) Japanese-style Locomotive

2) Lose the special rules concerning the French sea routes. One can be built only after urbanisation, both may always be used

3) Reduce share value to $4 for players after they first break even or go profitable. Unprofitable players remain at $5 shares

4) Only 9 turns, not 10

I haven't tried this yet but it feels about right and works reasonably in spreadsheets. The expected result is that 6 Links will typically only be achieved around turn 7, sometimes turn 8, leaving only one or two turns of full capacity deliveries. Long deliveries will thus be less important, and securing and pacing mid-game deliveries will be commensurately more important, especially as regards the timing of double delivery runs in the mid-game. And finally, early leaders will be modestly curbed by the share price devaluation (call it lost government subsidy if you absolutely have to have a thematic reason).
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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Charlottesville
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Suddenly I want to play this map again.

Thanks.
 
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