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Subject: 'Steam Base' variant - a kit for Age of Steam owners rss

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jim b
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July 11, 2009 (last update 8/28/09)

STEAM Base variant & guide 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.

Comments are welcome - I'll try to update the kit when necessary.


Game Equipment

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 -
http://www.mayfairgames.com/gamesupport/rules/Steam_Rules_Dr...

Steam display - new Income/VP/etc track & supply-spaces; download and print Ted Alspach's Steam display -
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/39813.

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

For a normal map setup, start with 3 cubes on each city - follow the basic setup guidelines for the Ruhr. (This is directly from Mayfair.)

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.


Play

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).

Move Goods - if you use other players' track for your delivery - you must score at least as many points from your delivery, as any other player does.


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

#3 Engineer

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...]


Other notes

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 -
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/438733


Good luck - please let me know if you see omissions, or other issues with the kit in play.

- jim

[edit - july 11 - add +1 recommendation for goods setup on AoS map]
[edit - aug 26 - removed +1 setup recommendation, given Mayfair's recommendation here; added note on move-goods restrictions vs AoS.]
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Jeff Michaud
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jimb wrote:
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 -
http://www.mayfairgames.com/gamesupport/rules/Steam_Rules_Dr...

fwiw the final official Mayfair rules can be found at

http://mayfairgames.com/mfg-shop3/rules/MFG4551-Rules-V1_0.p...

though do note that they formatted as face to face 2 per pdf page
 
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Jeff Michaud
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jimb wrote:
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) -
.....
[These are much like action-card sets provided with some Age of Steam variants - they wouldn't be difficult to do...]

fwiw, folks can use like I did and print out

AOS_Action_Cards1_v1.jpg

on card stock and then cut. I then used a sharpie to number them 1 to 7 in lower right corner. I also wrote "City Growth" on what is labeled "Production".

This set includes the action-card sets of some of the expansion maps.
 
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Gamov
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Hello.
I'm looking for exactly the opposite of that... Playing aos with the Steam game. It's hard to look it up because the similarity in their names...
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Fredrik Ulinder
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Hi!

I'm right now considering which of the two (AoS or Steam) to buy, having previously only played RRT and liked it.

I've read a lot on these forums, pros and cons, and having a hard time to decide.

Therefore I'm also curious on how to implement different aspects of the games into each other. (House rules...) I particular, by reading I tend to like the concept of AoS with the randomness (!) of cube replenishing with dices over Steam version. But this is only by reading on the forums, I don't actually know how this plays differently.

But back on track () I think that the OP has done a good initiative, but I am also like Gamov looking for the opposite possibility; applying AoS rules to the Steam game.
 
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