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Subject: first impressions? rss

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Scott Roberts
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Southlake
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What kind of first impression does this game make? IN some other string I have heard it said that people don't get the strategy for several games and some people walk away thinking it is not fun. Is the typical first impression that the game is not fun? I might have a hard time keeping my gaming group interested if that is the case.
 
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Charles Simon
United States
Ashley
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Personally, I was blown away by the elegant mechanics in my first game. While I "got" the game right off the bat (it really is a very simple game), I did not necessarily pick up the best strategy in my first couple plays. When my wife played it with me (our first two games were two-player games), she was ambivalent towards it. Though she won both games, she is not really a math person, so that was a turn off to her.

Introducing it to my gaming group, the hardcore gamer who joined us for his first game (mine and my wife's third), loved the game and immediately suggested playing it again.

Playing with four players we brought in the newer gamer in our group, who also really seemed to enjoy and understand it. Being the newer gamer, he tends to be hesitant on giving his opinion (despite our prompting) and will just play whatever we suggest (he feels he does not have the variety experience as the rest of us). However, judging by his actions in the game, he both enjoyed and "got" it.

The game itself is very easy to understand how to play, but the curve is how to play most efficiently. I'm sure big math geeks intent on calculating everything would slow down and make it rather dull. Once a player grasps the relationship of how much to pay for a stock and how much it can be watered down by other player purchases, the game really shines, though I still really enjoyed it before that really clicked.

Because there is no randomness, losing is completely the "fault" of the player. Some players might take this a little harder before they understand the strategy, but I am enamored with the game and, other than my wife who was neutral on it, the other three of us each loved the game after the first impression.

Hope that helps.
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United States
Tucson
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After playing it once I thought it was one of the funnest games I've ever played. But the game is purely about player interaction. Everything you do directly helps or hurts all the other players in the game. If you are familiar with other stock market games you'll pick up this vibe right away.

The people who fail to get it seem to be playing it as a non-confrontational "I'll build 'my' company and you build 'yours'" kind of game.
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Jonas Nelson
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My first impression, i.e. just by opening the box, was the high quality of all the components. It's the kind of game that you want to have in your collection just because it looks good and feels good.

After playing it, I was impressed by the short playing time, and that it still felt very much like a "full" game.

It is also the kind of game that makes you look back and analyse the session and think: "What if I had done that instead..." and then you realise that "Hey, it only took 1 hour, let's try it again!". And you do, and this time you experience something new, which makes you want to try another tactic next time, and so on.
It is a game which contains a LOT of strategy and fun in a short playing time.

Sure, there are times when you feel very much behind the other players - which could be boring - but it is usually a result of your own poor judgement ("Aaahhhrrrg! I should've done a null-capitalize!!!"), and that's a learning experience in itself. And you tell yourself "Lesson learned. Next time will be different, you guys just wait..."

I really recommend this game! However,it's important to point out that the game is NOT about running a train company and lay tracks. If you enter the game with that assumption, you will be disappointed.
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Scott Roberts
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Southlake
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jonnel wrote:
It is a game which contains a LOT of strategy and fun in a short playing time.

Yeah, this is what sounds good about the game to me. This is a rare combination (significant strategy and short play time). I would be willing to give it time, but not sure about my game group.
 
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Ed James
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Huntingdon
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Each time I've introduced Chicago Express to new players (gamers and non-gamers), they have most often asked for a repeat play immediately after the first game. The theme makes the rules very easy to teach and learn and, with one game under their belts, new players _begin_ seeing opportunities to make money on the Chicago Express.
 
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J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
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rayito2702 wrote:
The people who fail to get it seem to be playing it as a non-confrontational "I'll build 'my' company and you build 'yours'" kind of game.


This is central. When rules teaching I make sure to stress two aspects:

1) Two players working together can make more money for both of them than any player working for himself.

2) Much of the game is about setting up those emergent alliances in your favour and breaking other's too-successful alliances.

In short, you win Chicago Express by getting other players to help you win and to help each other lose.
 
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Pasta Batman
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My first impressions were:
1. Rules are simple.
2. It is very interactive.
3. The best strategy is subtle and counter-intuitive.
4. Short length and beautiful components make it easy to lure new players.
5. I suck at it.

In other words, it's my ideal game.

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Bill J
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Batavia
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An excellent game. Other posts have stressed how this is not about building the best rail, but making the most money.

The role of being a 'minority owner' is absolutely crucial to understanding the interactive nature of the game. A minor owner can ride coattails of a good railroad for cash. But, on the other hand, if the majority owner is becoming too powerful, the minority owner can build some useless rails into some nice mountainous regions and set the company back a pretty penny. Plenty of room for thought, planning and careful judgment.

My tentative rating is a 9, but with a few more plays with a variety of people, I can easily see this one hitting 10.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Campbell
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This may help: Chicago Express / Wabash Cannonball set pieces (joseki)
 
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Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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I've played a few times now at our local club. A good indicator of the amount of "fun" (very subjective in our group) is if a game is requested to be played again. So far, no one has asked for a repeat play and interest has been lacking. Many in our group are also prone ot AP... and my last two games dragged on endlessly.

I personally find the game a little dry and repetitive and for railway track laying money games, I'd rather be playing Santa Fe Rails or Union Pacific.
 
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Pasta Batman
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I see you are very seasoned gamer - I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on what this game is lacking, and what those two Alan Moon games have over it.
Jim_P wrote:
I personally find the game a little dry and repetitive and for railway track laying money games, ...

It occurred to me that your group may be in the mode of each player trying to control a single company, or is playing too 'nice'. But I see Acquire is your #1 game, so maybe not.
 
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