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Subject: Another variant increasing board play rss

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PJ B
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I wanted to ensure that there was always a level of board play in the game, not just buying the yellow building VP cards so I came up with the following variant.

You have a certain building capacity. This is the number of yellow VP cards you can have in your deck. You increase your building capacity by expanding into cities. The size of the city indicates your increased building capacity - for example, a city that can have 2 stations built upon it increases your capacity by 2.

or to put it a little more succintly (but more obtuse):-
You can only have as many yellow building VP cards in your deck as the sum of the maximum number of stations that could be built in your train network.

I recommend tracking your remaining capacity as you play. I use a unique token for each player and place it on the score track. As my capacity increases I move it forward, and as I buy a VP card I move it backward. You could use dice, token pile, pen and paper or whatever you prefer.

I like this variant because it has no further impact on other strategies.
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Neil Tracey

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That sounds really good, will have to try it out this weekend. Great idea
 
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PJ B
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NeilDT wrote:
That sounds really good, will have to try it out this weekend. Great idea

Thanks, let me know how it goes if you try it out thumbsup
 
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Jérôme
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BoardBaron wrote:
I wanted to ensure that there was always a level of board play in the game, not just buying the yellow building VP cards so I came up with the following variant.


Just use the Route bonus cards. No need for fuzzy rules with extra administration.
 
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PJ B
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Tsaar wrote:
Just use the Route bonus cards. No need for fuzzy rules with extra administration.

You should of course play as you prefer, but these rules are clear and not fuzzy, and admin is trivial
 
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Jérôme
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BoardBaron wrote:
Tsaar wrote:
Just use the Route bonus cards. No need for fuzzy rules with extra administration.

You should of course play as you prefer, but these rules are clear and not fuzzy, and admin is trivial


Admin is crucial because you have to keep count of the yellow cards in your deck, information that shouldn’t be public anyway.

Then again, Trains is a great game and if anyone discover ways to make it even better for them, who am I to stand in the way.
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PJ B
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Tsaar wrote:
Trains is a great game

Agreed, I actually think the building strategy often gets overstated, but thought I'd kill those concerns altogether. I would encourage everyone to try the game. It's become a little overlooked I think
 
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Darin Bolyard
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BoardBaron wrote:
Tsaar wrote:
Trains is a great game

Agreed...It's become a little overlooked I think

Agreed.

I agree also that the building strategy is too overstated. But your suggested variant sounds legit.
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Jooice ZP
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Yeah this is similar to something brought up here before.

Sounds good.

If you want much expansion, why not have each city only allow 1 additional yellow card.

You will already have a big fight over the orange cities, what would be interesting is that players will want to get the little grey spots with only 1 station.
 
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Brian M
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Your variant sounds just fine with low impact on the game...but...do you usually have people not going into/building up cities? We generally don't start getting VP cards until late in the game - they don't seem as efficient as building up cities or getting the point scoring hexes, and they jam up your deck.
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PJ B
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StormKnight wrote:
Your variant sounds just fine with low impact on the game...but...do you usually have people not going into/building up cities? We generally don't start getting VP cards until late in the game - they don't seem as efficient as building up cities or getting the point scoring hexes, and they jam up your deck.


I've seen the strategy have mixed results at best, it's quite dependent upon the randomisers. I've tried it myself out of curiosity and was competitive, although I didn't win. I could see how a very good dominion player (which I am not) would do well, especially without the action or buy limits of that game. I like lots of multiplayer solitaire games, but don't think that's where the interesting decisions lie within Trains and found that strategy boring and wouldn't try it again. The big advantage to ignoring the board is that you avoid all the interference the others are engaged in. You just play a purely economic engine and look to identify the tipping point to start buying skyscrapers and the like.

I want to emphasise that I don't think the game is flawed playing the rules as written, but this variant may help some groups
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J. Goard
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When you talk about only going yellow, do you mean ignoring your starting Lay Rails cards, even if you have, say, 5 money and the chance to lay for 2 plus buy an Express? I can almost guarantee that buying a Tower in that situation early on is going to be a losing strategy (just as an early Duchy would be bad in Dominion) -- so are you suggesting buying the Express for economy and skipping the Lay + Waste?
 
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PJ B
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gojaejin wrote:
When you talk about only going yellow, do you mean ignoring your starting Lay Rails cards, even if you have, say, 5 money and the chance to lay for 2 plus buy an Express?

Yes exactly, although in this example if you got five money and the express was the best economy card available you wouldn't pursue this strategy. You would hope to be going for something like wagon factory.
 
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Jooice ZP
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gojaejin wrote:
When you talk about only going yellow, do you mean ignoring your starting Lay Rails cards, even if you have, say, 5 money and the chance to lay for 2 plus buy an Express? I can almost guarantee that buying a Tower in that situation early on is going to be a losing strategy (just as an early Duchy would be bad in Dominion) -- so are you suggesting buying the Express for economy and skipping the Lay + Waste?


It is a viable strategy to place your starting rail right next to a cluster of high point locations, and then just buy blue cards for awhile, then buy yellow cards (hopefully with a way to mitigate waste) and towards the end of the game access the big point locations right next to you.

For me that isn't as fun as really playing the board. I play with a different variant that in my experience really incentives expansion on the board, and no one really goes just big money.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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Are there route cards for the original? I thought they were just for the expansions, and I have the Okazu base game. This could work for us unless there are route cards for the original map.
 
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Amanda Zimmer
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grandslam wrote:
Are there route cards for the original? I thought they were just for the expansions, and I have the Okazu base game. This could work for us unless there are route cards for the original map.

I think Trains: Rising Sun came with route cards for previous maps up to that point, including the original.
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Jérôme
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iamzimmer wrote:
grandslam wrote:
Are there route cards for the original? I thought they were just for the expansions, and I have the Okazu base game. This could work for us unless there are route cards for the original map.

I think Trains: Rising Sun came with route cards for previous maps up to that point, including the original.


Yep. And the cards for The Map Pack and GenCon boards are included in Trains: Coastal Tides.

The good news is that on the AEG website you can download the cards to print. It doesn’t matter that they will be different cards than the rest of your game, because they are next to the board.

In my opinion Trains is incomplete without the Route Bonus Cards, because without them it’s possible to win without bothering about the board at all, and with them it’s nearly impossible to follow such strategy.
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Ruben de Kemp
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Tsaar wrote:


The good news is that on the AEG website you can download the cards to print. It doesn’t matter that they will be different cards than the rest of your game, because they are next to the board.

In my opinion Trains is incomplete without the Route Bonus Cards, because without them it’s possible to win without bothering about the board at all, and with them it’s nearly impossible to follow such strategy.


I don't think they're there anymore On their site now I see only the downloads for the promo maps, but nothing for route cards...and I know they used to be there because I downloaded them way back in the day.
 
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Jérôme
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rdekemp wrote:
Tsaar wrote:


The good news is that on the AEG website you can download the cards to print. It doesn’t matter that they will be different cards than the rest of your game, because they are next to the board.

In my opinion Trains is incomplete without the Route Bonus Cards, because without them it’s possible to win without bothering about the board at all, and with them it’s nearly impossible to follow such strategy.


I don't think they're there anymore On their site now I see only the downloads for the promo maps, but nothing for route cards...and I know they used to be there because I downloaded them way back in the day.


That’s bad!
I think I still have the pdf’s. If you geekmail your email address I’ll send them. It’s probably not allowed to upload the files here.
 
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Ruben de Kemp
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Tsaar wrote:

That’s bad!
I think I still have the pdf’s. If you geekmail your email address I’ll send them. It’s probably not allowed to upload the files here.


That's very kind of you to offer...I do believe I still have my PDFs somewhere around as well. In any event I printed them out and glued them to cardstock already, so at least I'm set there
 
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Ruben de Kemp
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I caved in and ordered the Coastal Tides expansion...which has all the promo cards for the Map Pack 2, plus Gen Con 2014 and 2015 maps (as far as I know, the Gen Con 2013 map never had route bonus cards). (EDIT: Yes they did..included in Rising Sun )

So I guess it's moot now :O
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Robert Konigsberg
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jooice wrote:

It is a viable strategy to place your starting rail right next to a cluster of high point locations, and then just buy blue cards for awhile, then buy yellow cards (hopefully with a way to mitigate waste) and towards the end of the game access the big point locations right next to you.


By "viable" do you mean that you've seen it done? It does seem like a way to break the game.
 
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Robert Konigsberg
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Tsaar wrote:
Just use the Route bonus cards. No need for fuzzy rules with extra administration.


I see what you're saying, but in a four-player game, I don't see the route cards as enough of a deterrent. If you want to span the board, maybe you'll get three cards? It's a very interesting problem. My friend is starting to play where she front-loads purchases. If she figures out to just purchase buildings and ignore the rest, I think we're in trouble.
 
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