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Subject: First play and overview rss

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David Arlington
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This is another one of my long awaited Print N Play games that I had wanted to get to for a long time. Not as eagerly as Everything vs Everything or Cine-vilzation but since moving to Alabama from Memphis, I lost my 18xx group and I was dying for a trains fix. (I still need to try to solo 1846...)

But although Bindle Rails has you (minimally) manipulating the Stock Market and building routes to cities with payoff bonuses for completing certain routes, it's not really all that "trainy".

You own one of four public Railroads, competing against 3 competitors (who don't actually offer that much competition other than being able to potentially buy you out if your stock falls too low). You have six turns to score 50 points. If you do, you win. Anything else is a loss.

I'd heard it was a tough solo game straight up out of the "box" (printer, I guess!), so I played the Beginner scenario that is supplied. The beginner scenario gives you one of the easier railroads to run, the New York Central. It doesn't need any Engines or Bridges until the end (so it's not really affected by Washout or Maintainance Events) but its routes are kind of expensive. You also can ignore several of the worst Events in this scenario and start with two Technologies right off the bat. (Technologies offer game advantages like avoiding Events, being able to buy Private Railroalds, hold more cards, etc.)

Each turn you get a hand of 7 cards (to start), and the cards have multiple uses. You can spend them to build Routes, to build Technologies, and to manipulate Stock prices and buy companies. But if you use them for one thing, they are unavailable for anything else. So every turn is a balancing act of how to best use your cards to advance your game. There are also multiple ways to accumulate Victory points, including builds certain routes or technologies or having a certain stock price or completing Goals. In the regular game, any Goals you choose that you don't meet, are scored negatively. In the Beginner game you ignore the negative penalty.

The 7 cards you get also dictate what the other companies do, building route-wise. What the other companies do only really affects you if you wanted to try to buy them out or if you had a goal that was for being first to connect to a given city.

After the 7 cards are played, then you draw at least five Events. These can be good or bad things, but more bad than good are in there.

This is my layout at game end:



I met all my Goals (to the right) so I didn't have to worry about the negative penalty even if it was in effect. The NYC made it to Chicago, and pegged its Stock Value at the top of the chart, so along with my goals and buying two Private railroads, I actually won very easily with 67 points versus the goal of 50.

The most helpful thing in the Beginner game for me was being able to start with two Technologies out of the gate and being able to ignore the Inefficiency Event was huge. I also got a couple of lucky draws of Events where my stock price went up and an Invention gave me a key Technology to help me meet my Goals.

I am going to try the slightly harder Beginner scenario next before moving on to the regular game to see how I do. There are also like 3 to 5 expansions available to give more game play.
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Mo
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Thanks for the write up, David. I've had this printed up for a while but still haven't even read the rules yet.

Also, you should check out Jack's game, Rail Baron Rivals. It might be a good one for you as you've been playing these "bigger" PnP games lately.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Keep in mind that theres two versions of the game. The later version toned down the rival companies as they were potentially pretty mean. And one or two other factors. Id say its notably easier to win in the later version.

YMMV of course and since theres a random factor one session can be brutal and the next a cakewalk. Or through poor choices what would have been a win is turned into a loss.
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David Arlington
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mo7189 wrote:
Also, you should check out Jack's game, Rail Baron Rivals. It might be a good one for you as you've been playing these "bigger" PnP games lately.


I've looked at Rail Baron Rivals before. It looks very cool actually. But what puts me off Rail Baron Rivals is the whole custom dice thing. I don't like PnPs that use custom dice as those are not easy to make. (I don't even know how to go about it.) I don't mind for Deep Space D-6 because all of the dice have the same custom faces, so you can make an easy chart. But Rail Baron Rivals, every custom die is different. No thanks!

Dave
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David Arlington
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Omega2064 wrote:
Keep in mind that theres two versions of the game. The later version toned down the rival companies as they were potentially pretty mean. And one or two other factors. Id say its notably easier to win in the later version.

YMMV of course and since theres a random factor one session can be brutal and the next a cakewalk. Or through poor choices what would have been a win is turned into a loss.


Like I mentioned, I think if I had not been able to skip Inefficiency Events, or not started with any Technology, it would have been a totally different game. But I can see it's been toned down a bit.

I was kinda hoping it was my newfound engine building skills *cough* *cough* picked up from playing Terraforming Mars and Race For the Galaxy. We'll see how game 2 goes...

Dave
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John "Omega" Williams
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You'll probably find that there are some tech routes that can prove really usefull in one session while a slightly, or even radically different path helps in another.
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Mo
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DocSavage2001 wrote:
mo7189 wrote:
Also, you should check out Jack's game, Rail Baron Rivals. It might be a good one for you as you've been playing these "bigger" PnP games lately.


I've looked at Rail Baron Rivals before. It looks very cool actually. But what puts me off Rail Baron Rivals is the whole custom dice thing. I don't like PnPs that use custom dice as those are not easy to make. (I don't even know how to go about it.) I don't mind for Deep Space D-6 because all of the dice have the same custom faces, so you can make an easy chart. But Rail Baron Rivals, every custom die is different. No thanks!

Dave


I didn't make custom dice to play. I just used the die symbols on the components page as a "die chart." Assign a standard d6 of a different color to each row. Count across the number of pips to determine which face is showing. Very simple.

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