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Subject: What I learned in my first RRT session rss

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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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My wonderful mother got me RRT for Christmas this year and I have been eagerly awaiting its innaugural play. Luckily for me, my game group was more than up for the challenge. I studied the rules to make sure I had it right and brought player aids to help everyone out.

The first thing we noticed was how big the board is. This should come as no shock because everyone talks about it, but that thing is huge! If Brian's table wasn't so big we would have had a problem.

We then punched all the tiles and locomotive cards and distributed the colored locomotives. I was yellow, Vern was purple, Bianca was red, Laszlo was black, and Brian was blue.

As the game started, we violated one key rule and let Vern run around uncontested in the Northeast. He had a pretty healthy railroad set up by the end of the game, but he failed to expand westward and was thus limited to the cubes in the Northeast. Bianca started in the Michigan area and expanded around that area. She lagged behind for quite a while by getting too far in debt. Brian and I started of competing for a bunch of red cubes that could be delivered to Charleston. Laszlo worked small tracks into the Northeast.

Halfway through the game, I was leading but had the most outstanding shares by far. I was able to get the bonus cards for 3-link delivery and #4 locomotive, but it cost me a lot. Bianca was in a similar situation because of her starting location. Vern was making small deliveries in the Northeast while Laszlo began a seperate track just south of Bianca. Brian worked on his trak in the Carolina and also made some small advances in the Northeast.

As the game progressed, my lead dwindled and was ultimately surpassed. I got stuck with no goods cubes to deliver. A few misplays basically cost me a turn, but I was in no situation to spend more money on Urbanization. Laszlo's midwest track was starting to pay dividends as he upgraded his locomotive to 4 and began making longer deliveries. Combined with his low number of shares, Laszlo was making money hand over fist and was able to win the start-player auction several times. Brian was in a slightly better position than me because he had access to some goods and was able to deliver them at the cost of building through the mountains. Vern continued to make steady deliveries and advanced his locomotive to 6, earning the Pullman bonus of 6 points. He never really capitalized on the ability to make a long delivery though.

In the end, Laszlo won with 47 to Vern's 40. The difference was Laszlo's Tycoon card which gave him 7 bonus points for the least outstanding shares. He and Vern both had 7 shares all game long, but Vern took an 8th to upgrade his locomotive and giving Laszlo the bonus.

All in all, this was a great game. Bianca and I finished with 22 and 24 points respectively because we had too many shares. Brian was in the low 30s.

I thoroughly loved this and can't wait to play again. After 1 play, I can't say I know exactly what the strategy should be, but I learned a couple things:

1. The board is big. Really big. You need a big table.
2. Going first is really sweet, but its going to cost you. This is especially important in the early and late game phases.
3. Being in the Northeast early is important, but you need to know when its time to leave and start elsewhere.
4. Don't be afraid to give your opponents points if you get more at the same time.
5. Shares are dangerous. Start slow. I took a big one early and it cost me dearly.
6. This game takes a long time to play. There's a lot to analyze.
7. As big as the board is, all the other stuff takes up a lot of room too. You're going to need some serious space to play this game.
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Noel Mitchell
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Steve, the board is impressively big, isn't it! I really enjoy looking over the large board with all the possibilities for where you can take your actions. It's a very enjoyable game and there is also a lot of strategy involved. In particular the early turns are quite important as grabbing some of the bonuses can help your income dramatically and hence reduce the need for share issue. Enjoy.
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Davido
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Once you know your options and objectives, the play time should actually come down into the 2 to 2.5 hour range. But yes, take the time to savor, this grand, immersive gaming experience.
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Play Games - Interact - Have Fun!
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RRT is one of my top 10 games and for good reason - it's really a fantastic game.

There is always a multitude of options to consider on your turn, but seldom does the game bog down in analysis paralysis. I love the many paths to victory and that the game has both strategic and tatical elements to it and prospect of "shenanigans" is also high (screwage!).

You'll find that as you play more and more, the game time will get down to a resonable 2-3 hours tops. We have gone as far as to add in more empty city markers to extend the game a bit as you'll start seeing that the game ends just when your empire is hitting it's stride and you'd really like to see a few more turns to play it all out.

Once you have played it a bunch and know it inside and out, give my two Event Decks a try to add some variety to the gameplay.

It's a game that I always want to play and always will - that's why it's a 10 in my book.
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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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I see how this one could become a 10 for me. I really enjoyed every aspect of it. The massive board is beautiful as it gets completed. There's tension and choices throughout the entire game. Its really quite good and to me feels like Power Grid with more fun.
 
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Kevin Brown
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I'd guess your scores will go up a bit as you play more. It's generally better to save your cubes for longer deliveries when you can rather than take them out for 1 or 2 points. The cubes are the #1 limiting factor in the game, to be successful you have to maximize the value of each one as much as you can.
 
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John W
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RRT could never be a 10 in my perception, since there are many known weaknesses/flaws/improvements that could be made to the game.

The Southern part of the map is a glaring flaw, IMO, making the top rating for the game around 9ish. Again, IMO.
 
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Jon G
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I actually think the southeast and south-central are quite playable, and have won games starting in both. They don't readily support two players, but that represents the economic reality of 19th century America. IMHO, a more uniform map would result in a less-interesting, more symmetric game. The southwest and great lakes are pretty wasteful of board space, but we put the bank and cards there, respectively.

Out of curiosity, what improvements/changes would you make that can't be house-ruled easily? (the only house-rule we play is one RR Exec max in opening draw, and none if newbies are playing)
 
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Wes Nott
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dr.mrow wrote:
. IMHO, a more uniform map would result in a less-interesting, more symmetric game. The southwest and great lakes are pretty wasteful of board space, but we put the bank and cards there, respectively.


I could't agree more. If the board was symmetrical the game would be dull. The asymmetry makes the game a struggle, thatcombined with random good cube placement ensures interesting, varied play.

And I thought I was the only one using the southwest and northwest of the map to hold cards!

I don't think i've ever built in the Southwest, on the Southern part of the bottom board I don't think i've ever built much west of New Orleans.

RRT is my favorite game, rated it as a 9.

I'd give it a 10 but i don't "always want to play it no matter what" sometimes I just don't feel like running a railroad.
 
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