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Subject: Carla doesn't play train games rss

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Eugene
Oregon
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The grand highlight of the recent Eugene Games Gala was a rousing session of P. Ostbahn. My first play some months back was a disappointing affair, a dull, plodding Cup of Suck luck fest that none of us seemed to enjoy. And that no-turns Lorna actively despised. But others keep singing its praises, so I was eager to try it again.

It was the experienced Winsome Bonkers Bunch of Chris, Ken, and Michael with me and newcomer Carla. Carla doesn't play train games. But in P. Ostbahn, you don't need to play if your cube doesn't get pulled! Ken demonstrated this by rushing out of the gates with big income after innocent Carla triggered the first dividend, allowing Ken's brown to violate Carla's helpless orange. The cad got his comeupance, though, as his income lead resulted in his cube being pulled only a few more times for the remainder of the game.

After that first dividend, it was all rollercoaster ride. The whole table was whooping and hollering the entire time, so much so that a gallery of onlookers started to gather round our table, curious to find out why we were having so much fun. Their expressions for the most part were ones of pure befuddlement, as if pondering, "How in God's name can this game be that good? They're all just fondling chips, collecting scraps of construction paper, staring at what looks like a printout of someone's Chemistry homework."

Well take my word that fun was indeed being had. The prospective leader bounced around the table as companies connected and shares were bought...bought for the most part by Carla, willing to spend far more than any of the experienced Winsome guys deemed sensible. By game end, Carla had five different colored shares. And in the end, it was Carla, newcomer Carla, who had the biggest stack of chips. Carla spits on your grave, Ken!

My opinion of this game has undergone a complete turnaround. Outrageously fun, outrageously good.
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Rob Mixemong
United States
Cedar Rapids
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Our gaming group recently played P.O. for the second time and both times were IMO excellent. I absolutely love the turn order mechanic, I can see how people might not enjoy ever taking a turn in the game. Even though I seem to be lucky enough to always have a cube drawn, I know it's possible to win with only a small amout of turns.

Carla may have overvalued some of the stocks in the game, but it could also be that the other players undervalued them. Giving her the edge on the income track and from there it's smooth sailing.

I like this game alot and can't wait to play it more.
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Chris Shaffer
United States
San Francisco
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It was outrageously fun and we simply must play again soon!
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Claudio
United States
Portland
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I've been getting ready for a ratings revision, and this might swap with Chicago Express. And I think you put your finger on why. In addition to being opaque (though a little less so than CE, IMHO) and brain-melty good, it has a lot of FUN. I think the reason why I don't care about the luck factor is that it just injects a little risk analysis. Coming from a poker background, I don't mind losing hands as long as the decisions were interesting. It makes the game a game.
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Eugene
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I thank you and the others, Chris, for showing me the light with PO. And double thanks for getting Carla excited about the world of Winsome. Because of your promotional efforts, she's eager for me to bring PO around to our Tuesday night group.

Your Poker comparison is spot on, Claudio. During the stock auction turns, it felt we were more betting than bidding. Maybe that explains the fidgety chip fondling!
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Ken Southerland
United States
Portland
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On my third game of Preussische Ostbahn I learned the hard way that if you get out in front just stay out there, don't hold back just to get turns. That was the mistake I made and passed on one or two shares I should have bought just so my income didn't go too high and I would never see a turn cube again. Don't do that.

Just enjoy the extra income while your fellow players *try* desperately with their little turn cubes to catch up with you. Just wait for the auctions, (maybe read a book?), and buy and oh yeah, collect on payday as well.

Great, great game that I just can't wait to play again and again. And since I own it that won't be hard.


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Mikko Saari
Finland
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http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
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Sounds like the game we've been playing. Great fun, indeed, a lot more fun than Wabash Cannonball (which is a fine game, no doubt about that). With right people, this one's a riot. Hard to believe when you see the game, though.
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Claudio
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Portland
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Funny that Gary mentioned chemistry homework. On my first play, a guy at the pub came up and asked if it was a periodic table of elements.

I love the decisions in this game regarding valuation. How many dividends (particularly doubles) is dependant on who owns shares and how often they'll get turns... and use those turns to do what they can for the share in question. Typically any share you buy will reduce your chances of getting turns to make the double dividends happen. So you've got to consider the post-purchase turn probabilities and what the share mix suggests with regard to how folks will use their turns. The game end conditions throw all sorts of funk into that calculus. Delicious. Just writing about it makes me want to play more.
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Peter Mumford
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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garygarison wrote:
After that first dividend, it was all rollercoaster ride.

Exactly. Preußische Ostbahn is a roller coaster ride.

Not only the suspense of who'll get turns, but the fact that share valuations start out in the single digits and low teens, as players are very short on cash, but then shoot parabolic in the mid game when players are rolling in it.

And at the height of the party, the player who pulls the plug brings it all to a halt. A player with a good sense of timing can trigger the endgame at an advantageous moment and take the game.
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