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Subject: Airlines Europe vs Chicago Express? rss

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Nathan Berndt
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I have been eagerly awaiting Airlines Europe for a while, since I was a big fan of Union Pacific back in the day. I recently started reading about Chicago Express, though, and they have many similarities in terms of travel theme, stock trading, # of players, game length, etc. My initial reaction is that UP/AE's big draw is the push-your-luck mechanic of not knowing when the dividend cards are coming up - where Chicago Express seems to be more strategic and less luck-based since the players control when the dividends happen. Any other thoughts comparing the two?

Thanks.

- Nathan
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Geeky McGeekface
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AE and CE do appear to have a large number of similarities, Nathan. But to me, the two games have a very different feel. I think that would be true even if the push-your-luck element didn't exist in AE. One reason is the different way that stocks are acquired; by drafting in AE and through auctions in CE. A bigger difference may be that you usually have a good idea that your majority share in an airline will be challenged in AE, since you can see what shares the players are taking on their turns. In CE, you might guess that a particular player will try to dilute your holdings, but there really isn't any advance notice.

CE seems like the nastier game, with more scope for cutthroat tactics. And while AE has the higher luck factor, CE feels more chaotic to me, because of the unpredictability of the player actions. Despite all their similarities, they feel like very different games to me.
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David C
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...and if you don't know Airlines Europe, how does CE compare to Union Pacific or the first Airlines, in feel?
 
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Eugene
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AE (and Airlines and UP) is not even remotely like CE/Wabash. The first are foremost set collecting majorities games of hand and risk management. The boardplay is actually not even necessary, as evidenced by the "UP, the Card Game" Gloria Picktoria. Losing in these games is somewhat vexing, but in an enjoyable way.

CE/Wabash is an auction-driven game of player incentive manipulation and endgame timing. It has no random effects, and the boardplay is integral to the evaluation of most every decision every step of the way. Losing in this game is frustrating, and leaves one with the doleful feeling of being violated by your fellow players.

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David C
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garygarison wrote:
Losing is this game is frustrating, and leaves one with the doleful feeling of being violated by your fellow players.


I don't know if that makes me want to play it less, or more....
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Eugene
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Well, when you win, you feel sort of yucky inside too. Games like Wabash resemble Milgram experiments on the capacity for economic depravity in all of us.
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Geeky McGeekface
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garygarison wrote:
AE (and Airlines and UP) is not even remotely like CE/Wabash. The first are foremost set collecting majorities games of hand and risk management. The boardplay is actually not even necessary, as evidenced by the "UP, the Card Game" Gloria Picktoria.

Gary, in the one game of AE I played a couple of years ago, I seem to recall that the board play was more important than it is in Airlines or UP. Still, the boardplay in CE is probably more cutthroat.
 
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Eugene
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It's certainly important in the sense that placing a route marker on the board is the only way one can acquire shares. And acquiring shares is what the whole game is about. Still, the Airlines/UP/AE system is much like Ticket to Ride, in that the core game has been embellished with a route-building sub-game.
 
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EGG Head
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garygarison wrote:
Well, when you win, you feel sort of yucky inside too. Games like Wabash resemble Milgram experiments on the capacity for economic depravity in all of us.


And you win waaay too often devil
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Geeky McGeekface
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Well, in many games of UP, there isn't much contention for board position and the track types don't matter much either. So it starts to resemble a "draw stock and play it" game like Get the Goods. I think the board play in AE will be more significant.
 
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EGG Head
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Larry Levy wrote:
Well, in many games of UP, there isn't much contention for board position and the track types don't matter much either. So it starts to resemble a "draw stock and play it" game like Get the Goods. I think the board play in AE will be more significant.


I found the board play very minor, or at least in our 3 player game. There is some incentive to get the bonus routes but not really much incentive to block especially if you have 2nd place or vying for first in that airlines' stock. Not having enough money can potentially slow you down though.
 
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Eugene
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Yes, I'm eager to try AE with four or even five to see if route blocking becomes more of a concern.
 
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Eugene
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lorna wrote:
And you win waaay too often devil

And I die a little more inside each time...
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Geeky McGeekface
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Yeah, my game in Columbus was with 5.
 
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Matthias Wagner
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To be honest I don't think that the board play in AE is as important as in CE. But that is also why it plays fast enough and I think there are a lot of very interesting situations on the board with 3 players, too.
 
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Eugene
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It's come to me that a more accurate comparison to AE is Alhambra. Both are majorities games, both have a money management component, and both have a bit of luck of the draw. Alhambra lacks parasitic play, though, which is one of AE's charms.
 
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Eugene
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Finally tried this with four. An order of magnitude better than the 3p game. Lots of agonizing, lots of fun.
 
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Flawed Hero
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Like the OP, My first thought upon reading the BGG description of AE here was, "this sounds like a rethemed Chicago Express." Thanks to you Gary and Larry, I now understand that AE and CE both have different approaches to the stock trading aspect, but in the end it sounds like both games still arrive at the same destination (pun half intended). I'm not sure if I need another trade-stock-to-increase-the-value-of-your-companies game if I already have a few of them (CE, Cable Car and Acquire). In fact, I could probably combine my Jet Set board and pieces with my Chicago Express stocks and money to make my own

The game does sound interesting though and it'll be going on my watch list.
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Caleb Wynn
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This is another one I will have to check out at a convention before I purchase. Looks interesting though.
 
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