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Age of Steam Expansion #1: England & Ireland» Forums » Reviews

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Nigel Buckle
United Kingdom
Thornton Heath
Croydon
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Omega Centauri Published in 2014
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The Ireland map has been reviewed already, so this review is just for the England map. The map is double-sided, similar (high) quality as the original map, you also get a rules sheet but most of the rules apply to the Ireland map.

This map covers Southern England is for 4-6 players. Unlike the other expansion maps there are virtually no rule changes. Only wrinkle is London is the only red city and the red 'A' new city is removed from the game, meaning the only city you can deliver red cubes to is London.

Of course this raises the problem of red cubes on London - this is fixed by a rule that relocates them to either the NorthWest or NorthEast city.

The map is quite open, lots of places to build with just a few rivers and most of Wales covered in hills. The yellow and purple cities are in the corners/edges of the map with the blue cities in the centre. As with other Age of Steam maps the strategy and track builds will depend on the placement of the cubes, but the position of London being the only red city means that unless you have a distinct lack of red cubes there is going to be track leading to London.

The location of the purple/yellow cities means that the purple and yellow new city tiles are quite valuable in terms of urbanisation - depending on inital cube distribution.

With 4 players the game is quite open with each player having room/opportunity to build/move goods (again depending on cube distribution) but the map gets tighter with 5 and quite a squeeze with 6.

With 4 I'd say this map is quite good for beginners, with 5 it's a good game and with 6 it can be challenging.

I think I prefer this map to the original provided with the game with 5 or 6 players, mainly because there isn't the choke-point in the centre of the map that the basic/original map has. With 4 I think I prefer the original map.

Of course being British I like playing on my 'turf' so England (and Ireland) have special appeal.

All in all, if you like Age of Steam then you should consider getting this expansion if you can find it, with 4-6 you can play England, with 3-4 flip it over and play Ireland.
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