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Subject: Differences between Steam and Age of Steam rss

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Joshua Horst
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I played Steam: Rails to Riches for the first time last night, and I loved it!

I am curious about the differences between it and Age of Steam. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.

Would it be better to pick up a copy of AoS or Steam is basically what I am trying to figure out.
 
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Einmal ist keinmal
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this thread discusses the differences.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/379333
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jim b
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Did you play the 'Base' game, or 'Standard'? (If you don't know, you probably played Base.)

Age of Steam is most similar to the Standard game in Steam.

Many Steam players prefer Base. Base has a fixed cost for action selection, in both turn-order effects, and purchase price (Urbanization, Locomotive, etc). Also, in Base you can issue shares when you need money.

In Standard - there's an auction for turn-order every turn (and so, action-selection); there's an isolated 'buy capital' phase to issue stock, so you have to plan and manage your use of money extra carefully; and, you pay upkeep on your locomotive every turn (relatively minor compared to the other 2).

Steam's rules describe Standard as a longer, more complex game than Base.

If you like Base, you won't find its equivalent in Age of Steam - just like Standard, it's a longer, more complex game.

If you like the more complex Standard game - especially regular auctions, and tight accounting management - and a longer game is fine, then both games are quite similar (Age of Steam and Standard). There's advocates for either, and a significant legacy for Age of Steam. (The biggest difference in play, then, is how goods-cubes are supplied.)

Steam does have your game-displays on-board, which is nice (game tracks, goods cubes, turn-order, etc).

edit - wording for clarity
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Joshua Horst
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Thanks for the input guys. Which one do you all prefer? After reading the differences, I am leaning towards Steam at the moment.

And we played the Base Game our first game (it was everyones first game. I read the rules while the other guys finished up their previous game).

I would like to try Standard Ruleset next game though.
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jim b
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JoshtheGamer wrote:
Thanks for the input guys. Which one do you all prefer?

To be honest, if I tell you they'll shoot me. (I posted a light review here - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/418660.) It's a religious topic around here, and draws trolls like flies. (I almost thought we'd have to sneak you out the back gate...)

Quote:
I would like to try Standard Ruleset next game though.

Sure - just don't think of it as 'basic' and 'normal', though - Base is the new game, and not a basic game. Standard is more ... standard (ie, more like AoS).
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J C Lawrence
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JoshtheGamer wrote:
Which one do you all prefer?


The general divide is that fans of more tactical and accessible games prefer Steam, and fans of harder, more demanding, less forgiving, and more strategic and thus less tactical games prefer Age of Steam. It is a question of horses for courses. I prefer Age of Steam as it matches my general preferences in games better.
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jim b
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JoshtheGamer wrote:
Thanks for the input guys. Which one do you all prefer? After reading the differences, I am leaning towards Steam at the moment.

And we played the Base Game our first game (it was everyones first game. I read the rules while the other guys finished up their previous game).

I would like to try Standard Ruleset next game though.

Josh, I mentioned Steam's onboard displays - I'll show you what I mean.

This is a picture of Steam in play -

Steam (full game on-board)

Note that all the supplies and game tracks are on the board (goods cubes, vp's, income, turn-order, etc).

In Age of Steam, all that is separate from the map/board, on 2 offboard displays. These are the 'Goods/Action Display Card' and the 'Income Track Display Card'. Basically, they're paper.

Those look like this, below - first, Age of Steam's Goods/Action Display Card is in the foreground here -

Age of Steam - Goods/Action Display Card

And, here's a better look at Age of Steam's Income Track Display Card -

Age of Steam - Income Track Display Card

I really like having all that stuff on-board, instead - like in Steam, at top. It looks better, and it makes the game much easier to manage.

edit - typo, zoom images
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Mark Brown
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Having played Steam last night for the first time I have to say I much preferred the base game, reduced the analysis paralysis, made for a much more fluid game. Taking the auction mechanism out helped as well, which can also add to the analysis paralyis and changed the value of some of the actions also.
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Joshua Horst
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Thanks for all the great comments and pictures! thumbsup

I am going to do some more research for sure!
 
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