Josh P.
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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My fiancée and I are really into train games lately. We’ve enjoyed Chicago Express, Stephenson's Rocket, and Union Pacific. Unfortunately, many train games don’t play well with two, so we usually only get the train games out on the weekends when we have company over. I’ve been trying to get her to play Martin Wallace’s Steam (Mayfair 2009) for some time now, but because it requires at least three, I just haven’t found a god opportunity to play it. This is why I was pretty excited when my 1867 Georgia Reconstruction map arrived.

The map is an expansion to both Age of Steam and Steam that is designed exclusively for two players. Pictured on the map is a representation of post-Civil War Georgia in the midst of rebuilding its infrastructure. You play the part of a wealthy industrialist who must win government contracts through bribes. The map uses most of the same rules as Steam with a few minor changes, but provides one very interesting change to picking turn order: sealed bidding. Turn order in this expansion is determined by using sealed bids as bribes for government officials. Each player starts the game with 20 cubes to be used for bids. Whether you win or lose, the cubes you bid are lost each time and the pool of cubes can run low very quickly. Goods that you deliver during the game can be added to your bidding pool, so it is possible to replenish your supply and win an important bid in the late rounds of the game. The game rules say that if both players run out of cubes, they should roll dice to determine turn order. I didn’t like this element of luck being interjected into the game, but if you budget your cubes carefully then it will rarely happen. Overall, the bidding is a very neat addition to the game that fits thematically with the historical period of the map.

The map easily fits over the existing map on the Steam board, but doesn’t cover it completely. Printed on a heavyweight paper, this map is not the mounted loveliness of the double-sided map included in Steam, but is still quite functional. And while a taste in artwork is entirely subjective, this map was quite obviously made with function over beauty in mind. The map looks very flat, with boring colors and none of the topographical feel of the original Steam maps. I found myself disappointed with the quality of the map, but people who are used to other third-party Age of Steam/Steam maps, independently-produced 18XX games, and Winsome train games will likely have no issues with the quality of this map.

1867 Georgia Reconstruction is a tight map that reminds me of the cramped feelings of Small World. The closeness creates more interaction than I’ve seen in most three-player games of Steam. It’s a short game with plenty of tough decisions. It’s great for a quick train game and acts as a great introduction of the rules of Steam for a new player.

Originally created for Boardgamenews.com: http://www.boardgamenews.com/index.php/boardgamenews/comment...
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Maaike Fest
Netherlands
Nijmegen
Gelderland
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joshp wrote:
I’ve been trying to get her to play Martin Wallace’s Steam (Mayfair 2009) for some time now, but because it requires at least three, I just haven’t found a god opportunity to play it.


For 2 players, I just use the US side of the map, with 1 less cube on each city, and only 2 cubes per urbanisation space .
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Josh P.
United States
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Well, my copy of Railways of the World will be here tomorrow, so I will be trying out the Mexico map as my next two-player train experience.
 
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Gertrude McFuzz

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You say the game is short. What is your estimate of the time it takes to play?
 
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Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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I didn't know what to do with my UberBadge, so I left it as a GeekBadge.
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We played in under 45 minutes, and that was with a fair few "pauses for thought" by my opponent.
 
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Gertrude McFuzz

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My husband and I have been wanting a 2-player rail game that doesn't take forever for some time. I thought such a beast didn't exist, but your review was the deciding factor for me. This is what we'll be getting. Thanks.
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Josh P.
United States
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This map takes about 30-45 minutes to play.
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Jeremy Fridy
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Kent
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For a fun light 2 player train game, check the print and play game Cleveland Interurban.
 
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