[Updates are now available as the 'Steam Base' variant for AoS, here - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/421471. Thanks for your understanding.]
DRAFT - July 2..6, 2009
A STEAM kit for Age of Steam owners.
The goal of this kit is simple instructions for playing casual Steam games with your Age of Steam set - the board, track pool, and player markers. There's a quick list of things to gather up, and then a rules overview.
Please limit your comments to the kit itself - not to the relative merits of Steam or Age of Steam.
This is a draft - comments are welcome, and I'll try to polish it up some more.
Steam rules - Mayfair has a draft online. Review the Base Game rules carefully, for the First Game rules only (random initial turn-order); skip the Standard Game rules -
Steam display - new Income/VP/etc track & supply-spaces; download and print Ted Alspach's Steam display -
City growth markers (18) - use pennies or dimes - small, flat markers, distinct from the other game tokens.
Action tiles (7) - instead of Age of Steam's action-selection track, you need 7 simple, numbered action-tiles for Steam - do-it-yourself instructions are below. (Aside from the new display, this is the only thing you're really missing - if friends have Steam and prefer Steam's onboard track, borrow their tiles.)
Setup your city goods as usual. (For the Rust Belt - 3 goods on Pittsburgh and Wheeling, 2 on the others.)
Also setup the 12 supply spaces (on the Steam display), as described in the Steam Rules: with 4+ player, setup 3 goods on each Goods Supply space; with 1-3 players, setup 2 goods each.
Also on the Steam display - place player-tokens on the vp, income/expense, and locomotive tracks. Then, randomly place player-tokens on the 'turn-order' track to determine initial turn-order. Each turn-order position after the first-player gets an addition $1 (2nd-player gets $1, 3rd-player gets $2, etc).
Setup your 7 action-tiles in a selection pool.
The turn phases are:
1. Select Action - select/purchase an action tile, in turn-order
2. Build Track - urbanization and city growth both occur during this phase
3. Movement - 2 rounds of movement, 1 can be used to advance locomotive
4. Income/Expenses - receive income or pay expenses (according to income track)
5. Advance Turn - proceed to Progress Turn Order and continue, or Score
Select Action - take one of the available action tiles to select an action. Note that 3 of these 'action tiles' have costs (#5 City Growth, #6 Locomotive, and #7 Urbanization): if you select the action, you must pay the cost immediately, and you must use the action. Two of these also offer a free Pass action (#5 City Growth, and #7 Urbanization), indicated by a '--' after the marked cost: if you select the Pass action, you pay nothing - but flip the action-tile over as you take it, to indicate that it represents a Pass.
Progress Turn Order - the turn-order for the next turn is determined by this turn's action selections: lower action #'s (1-7) get earlier positions for the subsequent turn. Reset the turn-order track accordingly, return the action-tiles to the selection pool, and advance the turn-marker.
Score - if your income is positive, add half that many VP's (rounded down); if your income is negative, lose twice than many VP's. Also, remove all incomplete links, and score +1 VP for each completed link. (That's how many player tokens you should have on the map now. Note, you don't earn points for incomplete links, nor for each track segment on a tile.)
Steam rules - some key highlights from Age of Steam
In the Steam rules for the Base game, take particular note of the following differences:
Action Selection - particularly action-tile selection, cost (and passing), play, and turn-order effects. This is new.
Money - using the Income/Expenses track, you issue-shares on-demand to cover expenses, and there's no separate phase for issuing stock.
Track costs - track-tiles cost $1 for each hexside with track, plus $1 for towns (so - a curve is $2, an X is $4, a town X is $5, etc). If you replace or redirect existing track, you pay the full track-cost of the new tile.
Terrain costs - rivers add $1, mountains add $2. (Terrain effect is unchanged: only the first track on a hex pays terrain costs.)
Income/Expense track - this replaces the stock (and income) track, and there is no income reduction phase. For each delivery, you decide whether to take the points as income or VP's.
City Growth, Urbanization, and Goods Supply spaces - the new Goods Supply spaces affect setup, City Growth, and Urbanization: when you supply a city via City Growth or Urbanization, select all the goods from one available Goods Supply space; also, place a City Growth marker on the city as you do this. You cannot resupply a city with a city-growth marker, so each city-hex can only be supplied once after the start of the game; also, if Goods Supply spaces run out during play, don't resupply them (the initial setup is complete).
Action Tiles - DIY
To make simple action-tiles, take small cards - spare playing cards or business cards would work - and mark 7 cards like this (numbered #1 through #7) -
#1 Turn Order
First in player-order next turn
#2 First Move
First in movement phase
Build up to 4 track tiles, instead of 3
#4 First Build
First in build phase
#5 City Growth $2 / --
Supply a city from any available Goods Supply space
Place city-growth marker on the city
#6 Locomotive $4+
Move up 1 on the Locomotive track (now)
Costs $4, plus the new level
#7 Urbanization $6 / --
Place an available new-city token on any town
Supply the new city from any available Goods Supply space
Place city-growth marker on the new city
These form your action-tile selection pool at setup.
[These are much like action-card sets provided with some Age of Steam variants - they wouldn't be difficult to do...]
Base and Standard rules - Base is Steam's native game. (Standard is much closer to Age of Steam, which you own.)
Varying # players and map scenarios - supply-spaces get 3 goods each in 4+ player games, and 2 goods each in smaller games. If you're playing a small 2-3p game on a larger 4-6p map, setup one less cube on each city; similarly, if a scenario plays too cramped or competitive, try 1 more goods-cube in each city. (In Steam, significant goods-supply tension is to be expected - but adjust the setup to your own preferences, and the scenario.) Be cautious of maps that introduce significantly variant rules / gameplay into Age of Steam - especially with the goods-supply - they may feel awkward with Steam.
Age of Steam track and towns - use your Age of Steam track-tiles and town-disks as normal. Your tiles are single-sided, so 5-player games may run out of curve/straight prematurely (unless one of the 5 brings another AoS set); if you find the tile pool is limiting the end-game, limit your map sizes accordingly.
Game image - a geek's 4-player game of Steam/Standard -
Good luck - please let me know if you see omissions, or other issues with the kit in play.
- Last edited Mon Jul 6, 2009 9:43 pm (Total Number of Edits: 29)
- Posted Fri Jul 3, 2009 12:55 am
This looks interesting Jim. I'm still waiting on my copy of Steam and I'm pretty sure I'm getting a German edition although I don't speak German.
Are there any confirmed differences of note between the draft rules that are posted and the English rules as published? I'm hoping I get an English rulebook but this would be good to know just in case. Has anyone out there compared them both closely? Thanks in advance for any info.
No reported differences, to my knowledge.
Now, it's just the rules text literally: no color, pictures, example callouts, organizational formatting, or anything. But it's fairly reliable, and if you already know Age of Steam, you should be ok with it as described. (It was reported somewhere as 100% identical - I'm not sure, but it's looks it.)
My apologies for the redirect --
The original draft has been updated substantially, and is now reposted here as a 'Steam Base' variant, for Age of Steam owners -
Please follow this link for the latest version and commentary; thanks.