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The Soo Line» Forums » General

Subject: Totally new to train games rss

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Jeremy Jones
United States
West Virginia
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I know this question may be too early to ask about the design, but would this game be good for a beginner who has never played a train game before? I’m somewhat intrigued by what little I know of the category, and I’m wondering if this game would be a nice stepping stone.

I have not been disappointed with any of the Hollandspiele titles I’ve purchased, so I am positive the game should be another hit. I just don’t want to bite off more than I can chew when possibly attempting to learn this system.

Thanks ahead of time!

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Tom Russell
United States
Dearborn
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That's a really interesting question.

I don't think you'll have much trouble coming to grips with the ruleset. It's only four pages, and one of those is the cover.

The game might serve as a good stepping stone to non-18xx train games, in that it has features common to those games. You invest in companies, you build track, you pay dividends or withhold. It explores the same player dynamics, and bad play can result in an irrecoverable position - all stuff that people come to train games for.

Alternatively, it might not serve as a good introduction because in most of these games - particularly games where decisions for a railroad are made by the majority shareholder - there are at least as many railroads as maximum players, giving each player a chance to run a company if they are so interested. That's not the case here: there are three companies, and up to five players, so when playing with four and five (and given the tight funds in the early game, even when playing with three) it's quite possible that you might go the whole game without ever running a railroad. You might still win in this case, provided you invest well during the game, and particular provided you bid well on private companies in the auction round that begins the game - but you have less decisions in that case, and more of them are front-loaded.

That could very well turn off a number of gamers, including experienced train gamers - that's one reason why I didn't pitch this one to Winsome.

So, I'm not sure if I can say this is a good intro to the genre or not - it's certainly a very idiosyncratic and unusual approach, and some of the things that set it apart might put someone off.

You might want to seek out a copy of Chicago Express - it's selling for around thirty bucks on Amazon (which thirty dollars fewer than what I paid for my copy!), and not only is it a great introduction to train gaming, but in many ways it's one of the best ones there is.
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Steve Carey
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Since I prefer not to deal with Winsome (for a variety of reasons], I’m just happy that Hollandspiele is doing a train game!
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Jeremy Jones
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Very appreciative for the response. I will check out the other game you recommended to test the waters perhaps.

Update: I found a new, but dented copy of Chicago Express for under $7 on eBay. I figured that’s cheap enough to see if I’m a fan of the genre. Thanks for the advice.
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Marina SC
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tomrussell wrote:

So, I'm not sure if I can say this is a good intro to the genre or not - it's certainly a very idiosyncratic and unusual approach, and some of the things that set it apart might put someone off.

Tom's patented "spending more time warning people about his games instead of selling them" laugh

I don't think I'll ever be a train gamer, but if in some crazy future I want to try one I'll surely come to look at Hollandspiele's first
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