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Subject: So what is up with the colored tracks? rss

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Maciek U
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Cromwell
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So I'm reading the instructions and it says there that there are 2 stages of track laying. Ok.... but which one are you supposed to lay down? And how?

1) Can you pick any color track for any city?
2) Once a track of one color, say red, is down, can you add a track of different color to it?
3) What's the point of all this anyway? Say the connection is only 3 tracks long, you lay down 2 of one color and then someone else finishes it. Wouldn't they be at an advantage here?

I guess I don't understand this whole track laying and coloring of tracks mechanism... maybe it's too simple?? Or I'm too thick in the skull...

Can anyone explain this to me? Thanks in advance.
 
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Scott Russell
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Don't give up, this is a great game!

The track color corresponds to the railroad. Each railroad (five major and four minor) has a specific start city.

Each railroad can start by placing a track in any open railbed. After that each track laid for that color (by any player) must add to the end of the continuous chain of tracks. When the track reaches a city, the next segment can go in any open direction. If someone plays a split card, then a new railhead is formed and there will be more than one end that can be built upon. Railroads cannot take both open segments between the same pair of cities.

A turn consists of everyone selecting and simultaneously showing a card. Then each player gets to play a track segment for any railroad in turn order. Then each player gets to play a second track segment, again in turn order. The first player marker passes to the player to the left of the current first player. Repeat until the game is over.

There are a few cards that change the track laying rules. If a player has played a double card, he can lay two track each time it's his turn to lay a segment. The triple and quadruple also change that player's options.

The player laying the first track segment to any town received a bonus of 2.

Specific answers
Quote:
1) Can you pick any color track for any city?


Any color can go into any city, but if the color is shown there, the player gets a bonus of 4. So if a player lays the first yellow segment into Denver, for example, he receives four extra points.


Quote:
2) Once a track of one color, say red, is down, can you add a track of different color to it?


Track can only be extended by the same color. As mentioned above, the colors represent the different railroads.

Quote:
3) What's the point of all this anyway? Say the connection is only 3 tracks long, you lay down 2 of one color and then someone else finishes it. Wouldn't they be at an advantage here?


A lot of the game is maneuvering so that you can collect the city bonusses. However, because at the end, you score for your cities based on the number of different colors reaching it, it's often more important to choose the direction a track goes rather than collect the city bonus.



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Maciek U
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Thanks Scott!!

That makes a whole lotta sense now. I needed a simple explanation like yours. I do have couple follow up questions though.

Quote:
The track color corresponds to the railroad. Each railroad (five major and four minor) has a specific start city.


So if I'm starting out of Kansas City I can't start out with the red tracks?

Specific answers

Quote:
Quote:
1) Can you pick any color track for any city?


Any color can go into any city, but if the color is shown there, the player gets a bonus of 4. So if a player lays the first yellow segment into Denver, for example, he receives four extra points.


So it's the person laying the last connecting track piece that gets the bonus? Meaning, on a 3 track length, I build 2 tracks, you build the final 1, you get the bonus and I don't? Seems like I wouldn't want to build too fast, wouldn't it?


Thanks for the answers! thumbsup
 
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Kevin Wood
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greengow wrote:


Quote:
Quote:
1) Can you pick any color track for any city?


Any color can go into any city, but if the color is shown there, the player gets a bonus of 4. So if a player lays the first yellow segment into Denver, for example, he receives four extra points.


So it's the person laying the last connecting track piece that gets the bonus? Meaning, on a 3 track length, I build 2 tracks, you build the final 1, you get the bonus and I don't? Seems like I wouldn't want to build too fast, wouldn't it?


Thanks for the answers! thumbsup


Exactly. The hard part is setting yourself up for these bonuses, while not setting up other players. However, sometimes you want people to build into those cities because you have bonus cards for them.

The only part not covered in this discussion is the minor lines. Those lines cannot be placed until the cards for those lines have been revealed.
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Glenn Pruitt
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This game requires a couple of paradigm shifts away from the typical thought patterns. The first shift is a player does not own a single color. Most games we each pick a color to play, this game is different. The colors represent a railroad company, not a player. The second shift then comes when you realize that players do not own railroad companies. It's kind of natural to think, I'm building the Union Pacific and your building the Great Northern, and when another player re-routes your Union Pacific to Wichita it just feels like you've been cheated. But that is the essence of the game - each player is trying to influence the railroad companies to go where they want them to go.

Once you get those two concepts it is a really fun game.
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Maciek U
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Those are good points Glenn. I think I'm getting the hang of the game just by reading everyone's replies here. Thanks!
 
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Gary Pressler
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OMG! Overtext! How long have I been sleeping?! OVERTEXT! Also, I'm a DESIGNER now?! Sweet! OVERTEXXXXXXT!
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The follow-up to Glenn's comment, and how I describe the game to players is this: The player's are investing in the cities, not the railroads. the players influence where the railroads go to suit their own needs.

The $2 first-connection bonus is the city rewarding you for connecting them to the rail network. City cards represent where the players build train stations. Thus, you want to entice as many railroads as possible to use your stations. The historical bonuses are perks from the railroad companies if you help them build to the cities that they want to connect to.

I highly suggest starting out with the simpler, more elegant original Santa Fe rules. (See the Files section.) That will cut out the unnecessary options so that you can focus on the core of this wonderful game.
 
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Maciek U
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We just played our first game yesterday and I have to say, the game is great!! Thanks for all the pointes guys. I really enjoy the game. And so does my girl and since she loves train games, this one has become her yet ANOTHER favorite!!

 
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