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Subject: 2 plays in, just checking some things and some comments. rss

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Paul Grogan
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I've made this post to hopefully help others who are just getting the game with a few tricky things I came across during learning.

Before I start, let me say that I think the game is good. Huge replayability because of the varied setup, a good length and very important decisions, with a high level of player interaction, albeit not direct. Well, until someone builds track right in your way completely messing up your plans!

I am also very keen to play more and teach other people. But some people think I might be being too picky here, and thats fine. My day job is a professional rulebook editor, so I have to be more picky than most. I also read a lot of rulebooks and have to learn and teach a lot of games

Void cards
I'll start with this one as I believe its the most confusing thing in the game and makes it hard to teach other people. You see, some cards have a consequence when you play and discard them. This is shown by an icon in the bottom right. And the rules state that whenever you play this card, or even discard it, you suffer the consequence.
However, the void cards are special. There is an icon on them, that looks exactly like a consequence icon, and its in the same place as the consequence icon. But... it kinda is and it isnt.
This icon is actually just a reminder that when you initially take the card, you have to discard another card. As a one-off effect. And yes, the rules on page 4 do say that this is a one-time consequence, but I know a number of people who were confused by this point.
There is also an example on page 10 which is wrong. It shows a player discarding a void card and suffering the consequence of it, which adds to the confusion. So, on page 10, remove the text that says "This card's consequence increases his Stress by 1".
As for what to do with the icons on the void cards, I'm thinking of colouring them in, just so that when the players I am teaching the game to look at it, they see it is yellow and go "why is it yellow", and I say "thats because it is a one-time only effect". Otherwise, players may get confused between this and a normal consequence icon (especially when there is this icon AND a real consequence icon).

Moving Passengers
For anyone who has played Age of Steam, this is probable really easy to grasp, but for us, it was tricky. The rules have lots of examples in them, which is great - but it was still a bit confusing.
The big example on page 9 clearly shows that a passenger moves from one place to another along multiple links owned by different players. And, you can see from this example, that a passenger can effectively pass from one side of a parcel / building to another, even though there is no rail on that space.
i.e. The passenger moves along the brown link A, it then passes over parcel C2, carries on its journey along orange link B on the other side.
ok, cool.

But what if lets say that orange link was not there, and instead, there was a Leisure building. Could the passenger be delivered there? No.
So, the passenger goes along Link A, but it can only pass over the parcel C2 if there is a link on the other side for him to go to, otherwise he must stop.

So, it was just a bit confusing for us that in one case, the passenger does effectively move from one side of parcel C2 to the other, but cannot do so if there is a building on the other side.

Initial confusion aside, we now get this and its easier to understand for our second game, but I'm adding it here just in case anyone else got stuck. The "General notes" on page 12 explain this a bit better.

Rail Workers
The rules on page 6 say that you can never play a card to get a rail worker during the action phase. Yep, thats clear. However, it then goes onto say "This means you need to have all of your required Rail Workers before starting this phase!"
Is this true? I dont think so.
In the action phase, one action you can do is to deliver a passenger to an Industrial building. And the reward for doing that is... you get a rail worker.
So, I'm assuming you can use that rail worker to build track during that phase.
And yeah, this might be obvious to some, but when the rules specifically state you must have all rail workers before starting the phase without any mention of an exception, I wasnt sure.

Commercial deliveries
The iconography on the player aid for delivering to a commercial building is a bit confusing and caught some players out.
It should be Get one Stress and THEN either take $5 or a card.
The way the icons are look like it is Take $5 OR take a card and 1 stress.

Refill Hand
The rules are clear here, but this caught us out. At the end of round 5, do not refill your hand normally. Follow the rules on page 10.

Development cards
Slightly confusing here. The rules on page 2 say "Whenever you deliver a passenger, pick from the ones on display". So, we all went into the game thinking thats what you did. However, I dont think this is quite right.
What I think it should say is "Whenever you deliver a passenger to a Commercial building, pick from the ones on display".

Unable to pay costs
If you use lots of other peoples tracks before your own and cant pay any of the costs, you only take 1 stress. Not one stress for each link you cannot use.

Beside?
This was one of the other confusing terms in the rulebook, and I'm not really sure why it was in there.
When it says "beside", I think it means "on a completely different space", like - on the next space along, just going in the same direction. The word "beside" however, makes most people think of actually beside the existing track - next to - in the same space. This is not the case.



I hope this is helpful to someone. I might add to it with other things we find as I continue to play.

And like I said - very much enjoying the game!
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Jim Parkin
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Good observations, Paul. I was coming to many of these conclusions myself, but you have articulated them in a helpful way. Agreed that there is a wonderful, fun, deep, and quick game here, but there is a small bit of obfuscation in the rules.

Another note--
The rule book is not clear for the development card setup for building deliveries in a two player or solitaire game. RAW suggest that no cards and related tiles are put out except for two industrial buildings. However, it was clarified in an image I posted that one of each building card and tiles is still set up, but an additional industrial card and tile is added, too.
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Paul Grogan
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Annowme wrote:
The rule book is not clear for the development card setup for building deliveries in a two player or solitaire game. RAW suggest that no cards and related tiles are put out except for two industrial buildings. However, it was clarified in an image I posted that one of each building card and tiles is still set up, but an additional industrial card and tile is added, too.

Ahhh. I interpreted that correctly then But yeah, the rules do just say use 2 Industrial tiles and cards, so taken literally, this means just them and nothing else. But yeah, it should say "use 1 extra Industrial tile and card (2 in total)"
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Brian
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We had a first play last night. I read the rules a few times first and read all the threads in the rules forum before attempting to teach. In the end, it was quite smooth and I think we got it right.

In the end, the thing in the rulebook that I found the most madness-inducing is an example image that shows track clearly built into another player's parcel. The image is simply wrong, and shows several illegal play elements. I eventually realized most of my pre-play questions came from discordance of this image with the rules.
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Paul Grogan
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NotJeff wrote:
In the end, the thing in the rulebook that I found the most madness-inducing is an example image that shows track clearly built into another player's parcel. The image is simply wrong, and shows several illegal play elements. I eventually realized most of my pre-play questions came from discordance of this image with the rules.

Ah yes, I think I found that too and queried it in one place. Can you remind me where it is and I'll add it to the list above.
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Brian
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PaulGrogan wrote:

Ah yes, I think I found that too and queried it in one place. Can you remind me where it is and I'll add it to the list above.


The image is on the left column of page 9 of the rules, and is discussed here.
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mfl134
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and there are some cases not even addressed in the rules:

Re: Extending A Completed Link Through My Parcel
Re: Extending A Completed Link Through My Parcel

Still waiting on answers for these.
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Eric Kaun
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Paul, I think you just need to edit all rulebooks. Can I get someone to second this motion?
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Paul Luxton
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ekaun wrote:
Paul, I think you just need to edit all rulebooks. Can I get someone to second this motion?
Your motion seems to be collecting thumbs but no second as yet. I can't second it because that'd be like asking for Paul to have less time available for playing.
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