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Subject: How close is Railways of the World to Steam? rss

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Don Brandt
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I have only one railroad game in my collection so far, Steam (TTR doesn't count). I enjoy the heck out of it. With Rails of the World recently out I was thinking about getting it. How different from Steam is it? Would it be a little redundant to own both? I have eyed up other games such as Chicago Express as well. What would be a good next railroad game to get? I enjoy games with more meat than TTR, however I don't want to get something too heavy as it won't hit the table with the players I'm around.
 
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This is basically a reprint of Railways of the World from my understanding.

Railways of the World probably has a few new things, more boards, with it, but RRT nonetheless. Granted RRT is similar to Steam, I feel Steam is a better game. RRT has more of a production value WOW, when you play.


 
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David Hoffman
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I too am eyeing Railways of the World and I am (as well) a Steam fan.

It's quite vexing.

I've read quite a bit of RoTW and RRT and how they're supposed to be simpler, more forgiving, more accessible, etc. As I'm having a rough timing getting folks to actually play Steam with me . . . this is alluring.

I've also been reading up on Chicago Express and have been quite seriously considering that, as well.

The lure of CE is that it really is a different game than both Steam (or, Age of Steam) and RoTW. I've heard some go so far as to say the railroad theme is almost incidental -- that it's the business aspect moreso which "makes" the game.

So, the question is, pick up a more accessible version of the game I already really enjoy, stick with the game I enjoy and keep pestering folks to play it, or pick up something different and see how that goes.

Like I said, it's vexing. Honestly, I'm leaning towards buying everything and hoping the pile crushes me before the credit card bills come.
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Miguel
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The two are VERY similar games.

Steam is actually simpler to explain than RotW (or RRT), plays in less time and takes up less space. On the other hand, it is more forgiving.

I own both, but I think I'll be trading Railroad Tycoon away. It's a good game, but the two are fairly redundant. I find RRT to be too long and two long to explain to want to take out with casual people, and I find Steam to be as good a game (or better) so combined with the other advantages I think I'll get it to the table more often.

Chicago Express is a good game, but you are correct that the train theme is somewhat incidental. It's a stock manipulation game that so happens to involve train companies. Strategy can be somewhat opaque, however, so if you are looking for something casual the simple rules might be misleading.
 
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Soren Vejrum
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I am in a similar position - I own Chicago Express and I want to buy either Steam or Railways Of The World but do not know which one to get.

Chicago Express is a very different game than the other two and there is definitely room for both that and one of the other two in a game collection.

I have played Steam ("basic" variant and with no desire to upgrade to the "advanced" variant) which I liked quite a lot and it has very decent production values; but Railways Of The World looks very nice (I have never played this or Railroad Tycoon).

I liked the role/turn-order selection in Steam and fear that I will miss this in Railways Of The World? Would it be possible/easy/make sense to add something like that as a variant to Railways Of The World so that I could have it all (that is, play Steam(basic) using Railways Of The World)?
 
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Sean
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I haven't played CE but agree with some of the guys here that it sounds more like a stock trading game than a pick up and deliver game which Steam and RotW are.
Steam is more streamlined than RotW and feels a bit more intense. I like the two types of game in Steam, with the Advanced just having a few small additions to the rules. Advanced Steam is more for experienced players who can plan their turn ahead of time. Basic Steam is more forgiving in that regard and is a great game. But in Steam I feel like every action has to maximised to get ahead of the other players, whereas in RotW I feel like I have more options on my turn.
There is more room for screwage in RotW since you can build track anywhere, i.e you can start a new link at any city, whereas in Steam your network has to be contiguous.
The rules are a little different, in RotW you have three turns per round in which to finish those long links. The issuing of bonds in Rotw is interesting in that you can never pay them back, and so you owe money every round and have them deducted from your score at the end. I love the clever mechanic in Steam where you takes points as either vp's or income but not both. The scores at the end of Steam seem to be closer than in RotW (at least in the games I've played so far). In steam you can see what cubes are available when deciding about urbanizing but in RotW new cubes are drawn from the bag. There are a number of differences between the two games that I feel justified in having both of them.
The Mexico map in RotW is a great introduction to the game and is playable with two people, but the game obviously shines on the massive Eastern US map, but it really needs at least four and preferably more to get the most from it. Steam is a much quicker game and has a definite time frame, RotW plays until there are a certain number of empty cities and can take much longer.
RotW will probably get new players quicker than Steam. While I prefer Steam, it can look a little abstract compared to the visual effect of the Eastern US map and all the colored trains and stand up pieces etc.
As for the role selection thing, I'm not sure how well it would work. Firstly, turn order in RotW is auctioned, so that negates some of the role selection right there. Secondly, there are a number of operations cards available to the players and these contain the variable strategies that players may seize during the course of their turn. For example building extra track may be the benefit of a certain card. You could probably make a work-around but the game isn't designed for it.
And one the the things I really enjoy about RotW is the Barons cards. You draw two of these at the start of the game and choose one and they provide your abjective for the game, netting you a bunch of points at the end if you can fulfill the requisites.

They are similar games. If you have Steam then can you afford the $75 for RotW? RotW has both Europe and E+W expansions, Steam has Steam Barons on limited availability, but possible access to some of the Age of Steam maps. I prefer Steam, I think it's a more clever game than RotW and is well suited to the 3-4 player range. RotW caters for the 2 player games with Mexico and possibly Europe, and caters to the 6 player monster that is Eastern US. I think RotW has more replayability with its current expansions and future ones, because with the whole Steam\AoS debacle who knows where that's going to end up.
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Maaike Fest
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Heliconia wrote:
There is more room for screwage in RotW since you can build track anywhere, i.e you can start a new link at any city, whereas in Steam your network has to be contiguous.


This is incorrect, track doesn't have to be contiguous in Steam either.

Also, in Steam you can place your 3 track tiles anywhere you like, for instance you can build a link using 1 tile, and a link using 2 tiles, while in RRT you may only build 1 link per turn.
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Sean
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maaikefest wrote:
Heliconia wrote:
There is more room for screwage in RotW since you can build track anywhere, i.e you can start a new link at any city, whereas in Steam your network has to be contiguous.


This is incorrect, track doesn't have to be contiguous in Steam either.


Of course you're right.
 
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Hank Arkin
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RotW allows for TWO players and Steam does not. While there may be official maps for two players, there are currently no official two player maps released.

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Gordon Adams
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Oxybeles wrote:
RotW allows for TWO players and Steam does not. While there may be official maps for two players, there are currently no official two player maps released.



I heard that RotW can be played with 2 players but my main problem is that I mainly play solo and I think I am right in saying there is an auction in the game.

The weekend gamers are not interested in railroad games so it leaves me with no option at all !

If it were not for the auction. I would buy it straight away.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I love trains (and boats and planes tra la la la....sorry getting carried away with the song !)

Thanks in advance.
 
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Bill J
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elfrododumbo wrote:

I heard that RotW can be played with 2 players but my main problem is that I mainly play solo and I think I am right in saying there is an auction in the game.

The weekend gamers are not interested in railroad games so it leaves me with no option at all !

If it were not for the auction. I would buy it straight away.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I love trains (and boats and planes tra la la la....sorry getting carried away with the song !)

Thanks in advance.


Basically, at the end of every turn, the turn order for the new turn goes up for auction. The winning bid goes first and play proceeds clockwise from that player around the table. When I play it with a group (and solo as well), I dispense with the auction totally and just let play proceed around the table clockwise.
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Miguel
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Steam has a couple of expansion maps by Bezier games that are designed for solo play (actually, both have a single player map on one side and a two player on the other - Barbados/ St. Lucia and Jamaica/Puerto Rico). I have played and enjoyed both the solo maps . They are listed as Age of Steam expansions, but rules have been posted at the publisher's website which makes them compatible with Steam.

As far as expandability goes, Railways of the World/ Railroad Tycoon can't touch Steam/Age of Steam. Type in Steam and see how long the list of expansions is!

 
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John Oliver
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Both of the games are very similar. Steam is a much more challenging game from an economics standpoint, in Railways of the World (rotw) bidding for first turn while still important doesn't make or break your position. Ive seen players go bankrupt in the first two turns of steam, while a group of people that never played Railroad Tycoon (rrt) or rotw were able to keep up with the only player that had played rrt without going belly up and being knocked out of the game. Furthermore, though rotw is still competitive, it maintains a more casual atmosphere. I have found games of steam to be much more stressful to play because of the importance of the bidding component, starting position, competition for space, etc. I believe that rotw is a more accessible game than steam, but still a railroad game at heart. I believe that people that have developed an aversion to steam will be willing to give rotw a shot so long as they are not completely worn out from railroad games in general. I highly recommend this addition to your collection.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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I like Railways because of the additional maps that are available, Mexico, Europe, and England/Wales. While I know there are maps made for Steam they don't come mounted with nice components, and I'm spoiled
 
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Wilhelm Fitzpatrick
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Having a lot of RRT/RoW, and a little Steam (but never AoS), I find myself still favoring RRT. I RRT is easier to teach than Steam, I enjoy the physicality of the components, and I also think RRT supports a wider range of strategies than Steam, due to stuff like the hotels, service bonuses, major lines, etc. Steam is probably a deeper game, but for me, RRT is just more enjoyable. Especially now with the variety of maps available.
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