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Subject: EXPRESS LINE gaming session rss

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Chester Hendrix
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EXPRESS LINE was designed as a mutli-player game. In fact, the more people that play, the more fun the game becomes. It is NOT a very good 2-player game, but will work with three. The most it is designed for is 10 – and that is a complete hoot! Back in the late 80’s I got invited to a number of conventions [mostly RUNEQUEST Cons] where I showcased the original version of this game – PANTHEONS [of which I sold 250 copies in a very crude dtp version]. The basic / original version of the game is being upgraded and others have been developed. The game has an interesting ‘crescendo effect’ in that towards the end of the game, nearly all the players get to the verge of winning at the same time. It is an unusual byproduct of the system, not one I am familiar with in any other game. I once had a fellow explain it to me – he claimed it was all in the math contained in the game system. I believe him. ;-)

It helps if you have an image in your mind of 10 game junkies at a Convention playing a game where everybody starts to win at the same time after early turns where everything seems to grind slowly until all the players are up to speed on the flow of the game. The next thing you know, everybody is screaming and hollering and partying to the max! I’ve described this scene a number of times to my wife [who wasn’t there 30+ years ago], who I am convinced never quite believed it until this past Saturday… when we had a blast with 7 players [4 of whom had never seen the game before]. Now she believes me!

The flow of the game moves like this – on your turn you roll the dice first. If you roll two icons that are your Primary icon color, later in your turn you can go after your opponents and take points from them. The more Agents you have, the more times you can do this. There are also four special cards in the deck that are ‘one-time Agents’. If you DON”T roll two Primary colors on your initial roll, you pass the dice and draw your cards, do your scorekeeping and then keep watch on the other players until the dice come back to you…. VERY CLOSE watch!

In this particular game, a newbie [player #4] won the game, but only just barely. I kept the scoresheets to present them here. As you will see, ANY player COULD have won on the very next turn. What the scoresheets DON’T reveal is that this was going on for two turns previously. Stats are as follows [Player # / number of points short of winning]:

#1 Green / -2 Dumper
#2 Purple / -3 Dumper
#3 Purple / -3 Boxcar
#4 Green / WON
#5 Blue / -3 Dumper
#6 Orange / -3 Dumper, -2 Boxcar
#7 Red / -5 Dumper

 
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Chester Hendrix
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EXPRESS LINE video gaming session
Well, we had an interesting time yesterday. We borrowed a digital camcorder and used our own as well to record an EXPRESS LINE game from start to finish. [am I the only person who thinks it's weird that digital camcorders still use video tape?]

I was a little surprised that the session only lasted 75 minutes with 4 players - I always remember it taking longer, but then I always tend to think of it with 10 players at a Convention....

I hope to have it up on U-Tube soon so you can watch the play-by-play. There will be two camera views - my hand held occasionally pointing out special play opportunities and a stationary cam that was focused on the tabletop that recorded the entire event [except for a 5 minute time-out to replace tapes]. I have no idea how this stuff works, so I'll just have to wait for my friend to get it posted up on U-Tube so I can reference it here for your enjoyment. As soon as that happens, I'll let you all know.

Don't miss the interesting sidebars - if they don't get edited out. The daughter interrupting to come in the house, then letting us know she's leaving, etc...
 
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