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Railways of the World» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Railways Into My Heart rss

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Nick Cochran
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
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I've played a lot of Martin Wallace's games. Brass was one of my favorites, however I rarely win. I've played Age of Steam, which I thought was very brutal for a first time player. The economy is very tough and getting in the hole early means that you likely won't make your way out of it.

Railways of the World feels like Age of Steam light to me. I know it was Railroad Tycoon, but they have lost the naming license. I haven't played RT, so I can't say for sure. But as the rules were explained, I thought, "This is Age of Steam, but not nearly as difficult."

We sat down with 6 people to play on the US map. 2 people hadn't played before, but one had played Age of Steam. Took about 20 minutes to go over the rules. Everyone seemed to have an idea as to how the game would play out.

The first bid for turn order went over $20. He had to take 5 bonds to start the game. We were all pretty shocked. But he was able to get 2 of the first delivery achievements and moved up the income track quickly. I took the New York hotel card and enjoyed people making deliveries and I reaped some of the benefits.

The game moved rather quickly. I realized a bit too late that I didn't expand my tracks early enough. I had a small loop making 1 point deliveries. By the time I expanded and updated my engine, It was almost too late. BTW, I had the Rail Baron to get the most pieces of track, definitely not getting that one.

The guy to my right made a huge mistake early. He got into a bond trap and had to take out a bond to pay for his bonds. He tried to build out of New Orleans early, but couldn't sustain it. We had some nice laughs at his expense.

We had a blast. We spent most of our time encouraging people to spend money and bid high for turn order. Chants of "Jerry! Jerry!" could be heard down the hall.

Going first can be a major advantage. Some cities will have three people in them and shipping that lone good can be important to your final score. As well, getting to build the straight route instead of going through the mountains will save you some serious cash. But I think the more important part of going first is getting a chance at the cards that are available. Some allow you to build track for free, or take 2 actions instead of one. Also, claiming some of the achievement like cards first can be a big score booster. And having the person to your right left go first is awesome, but being last can be devastating. Late game, going first isn't so important.

In the end, the red player had quietly one. He expanded his rails and upgraded his engine in a timely manner. He sat back and watched people fighting for Chicago and New York while he dominated the east coast. He sailed mid game from the back of the pack to just behind the leader. In the last round, he jumped 7 points ahead of the leader and cruised to victory. He completed his Baron's objective and won handily.

The red player went second on the first turn, and grabbed the other service bounty, which gave him a nice 5 point jump on the first turn without having to pay $20,000 for it like the green player did. So the red player was making the most money on almost every turn, which really helped. (Thanks Tim for the correction)

I learned a lot that game as to my strategy for the next time. I thought the game was fantastic.

I expect nothing less from Martin Wallace. However, I felt that this game was much more approachable than some of his other games. I would be hesitant to teach Brass or Age of Steam to someone who hasn't played anything other than Risk, Catan and Carcassonne. They would likely get pummeled their first time and may not want to play again.

Luckily, Railways of the World is a great first step in rail games. From here someone could easily learn Age of Steam and other rail games (at the time of the post, I can't come up with other names). A great game for US history buffs or rail fanatics.
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Jason Weed
United States
Memphis
Tennessee
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I've only played the predecessor, Railroad tycoon, is it worth getting the world?
 
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Brian Thomas
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Herndon
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weed131 wrote:
I've only played the predecessor, Railroad tycoon, is it worth getting the world?

There is an entire (very well done) review devoted to this question. You can find it here.
 
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