Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Chicago Express» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Brief thoughts on a game with a short half-life. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Benjamin Keightley
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
A couple of players, both here and offline, have had the impulse to make tracks to record player income over the course of the game. This is something I understand, and I've come close to doing it myself. Generally, I appreciate anything that helps players get a clear picture of the game-state, and look for titles that encourage this kind of attitude. If I wanted to play games of chance, I'd play games of chance. I don't, so tell me how much money everyone is making this turn and show me a graph of their assets so that I can make a meaningful decision.

However, the more I play Wabash Cannonball, the more I realize there's a good deal of enjoyment to be had in learning how to make the game invisible. Each game, the details come into sharper focus and I feel I have a greater understanding of what's going on decision by decision and bid by bid. Unlike most games, working through this haziness isn't frustrating. Rather, each new insight is a delight. How to extract value from a bid (the auctions got a lot more interesting once I asked: Why isn't this a once-around auction?) or where the tipping point is when you need to start running a railroad destructively--these are small discoveries that are based as much in group-think as the numerical reality of the game-state. In a larger game (18xx comes right to mind, but many business games will do), naked display of these numbers is useful, because it equips players to make well-informed choices among a vast network of possibilities. However, in a game like this one, the network is much smaller.

In another thread on this game's page, John ruled that the appropriate action if nobody bids on the first share of the PA is to put the game back in the box and play something else. That's not bad advice, and it's an extreme version of where I see this game headed dozens of plays down the line. Learning to speak Wabash Cannonball's very peculiar language has been a real treat, and it's one to enjoy slowly. Unlike an 18xx, each of your actions has humanly trackable ripple effects on the game. Zeroing in on exactly how the game behaves is where I see the majority of its value. Once players are fluent in its language, it is only a matter of time before the game loses its magic.

Until then, what a treat. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun trying to get to the center of a game.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BusinessIsGood
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmb
Coca Lite wrote:
Unlike an 18xx, each of your actions has humanly trackable ripple effects on the game.


That is one of the most fascinating aspects of this game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
vvrood wrote:
Coca Lite wrote:
Unlike an 18xx, each of your actions has humanly trackable ripple effects on the game.


That is one of the most fascinating aspects of this game.


Conversely I find the post-effects in 18XX far easier to track than the post-effects in Wabash Cannonball. It is for this reason I find Wabash Cannonball soo fascinating and remarkably difficult to consistently play well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.