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Subject: Components listing absent from rules rss

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Adam Tucker
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Having received my copy of Rails of New England from the excellent people at Boards & Bits, and having now played my first game with
Robert Hill
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, a bunch of issues arose due to the rules, starting with the components.

The components "section" of the rules (on the front page) shows images of the map board, and the faces (but not backs) of some of the cards [for clarity I will mention what the backs of the cards look like in my copy even though the rules are not helpful for this at all]:
The Action Cards and the Business cards
___These cards are the bulk of the cards in the game and have the generic train image which all cards use for their back (but other types of cards will [usually]) have text - these have no text on the back). Note: although these cards are split into Starting cards and A, B, and C decks, all these different types of cards can end up in a player's hand towards the end of the game and a random card in a player's hand can be targeted, so keeping the same backing is warranted. Additional Note: The 'A' Action cards are separated from the 'A' Business cards during set-up and eventually shuffled back together during set-up - this can be handled differently, but this method is probably best to discourage "cheating".
State Subsidy Cards
___These cards inexplicably have no text on their back, and thus have the same back as the Action and Business cards. I can see no in game reason for this, and only seems to make finding/sorting them out more difficult.
Event Cards
___These cards say "Events" on their back, including the Required Events, which are always in the first few events
Mail Contract Cards
___These cards say "Mail Contracts" on their backs
Economic Condition Cards
___These cards say "Economic Conditions" on their backs, including the start cards, which are always used for the first few turns of the game (and it does not appear as though these cards are used again in the game). The different Economic Condition Types (Depression, Normal, Prosperity) do not have different backs, despite the fact that the cards are separated by type and shuffled in different decks, and you need to draw from the proper pile.

The rules state:
"The game includes a map and more than two hundred cards representing:
· Actions
· Businesses
· Economic Conditions
· Events
· State Subsidies
· Mail Contracts"

WTF?
That's a blurb for a box back or game web page, not a Components listing in the rules

For the record my game came with
7 New Hampshire 'S' Business cards
7 Connecticut 'S' Business cards
7 Vermont 'S' Business cards
1 Middlebury Vermont 'S' Business card which has been noted in the corrections as supposed to be an 'A' business (this matters for set-up but is only likely to cause much confusion if the Vermont player receives this card as part of their random starting 3 card 'A' deck draw - Vermont is used in all but 2-player games)
7 Maine 'S' Business cards
7 Rhode Island 'S' Business cards
8 'A' Action cards
42 'A' Business cards
10 'B' Action cards
49 'B' Business cards
6 'C' Action cards
47 'C' Business cards
1 Start 1 Economic Condition card
1 Start 2 Economic Condition card
3 Start 3 Economic Condition cards (1 each 'D', 'N', 'P')
5 Depression Economic Condition cards
7 Normal Economic Condition cards
5 Prosperity Economic Condition cards
4 Required Event cards ('1', '2', '3', & '5')
16 Event cards
6 Mail Contract cards (Note: the Maine Mail Contract states: "Use with 4 and 5 players only")
4 State Subsidy cards (Note: the Grand Tote Railroad State Subsidy is only used with 4 or 5 players, but the card does not indicate this)

The rules also state:
"The game also includes play money, a ten-sided die, a turn marker and a 'start player' marker"
The rules do not mention or show what the turn marker or the 'start player' marker should look like. There are a number of other components; the game mentions player mats and that players use colored cubes as depots, but none of the other components included are ever mentioned.
The rules do not state if the game is component limited (this mattered for the game we played).
The rules state that players should mark total income on their player mats, but do not say what component (or external marker) players should use to mark their income. If this is supposed to be the colored cubes (and components are limited to the amount provided with the game), this would have affected our game. Additionally, the rules do not say what to do when a player's total income exceeds the track (which only goes to 99) on the player mats (which I did).
The rules state that "players keep track of their interest (and hence the number of $20 loans) on the Company Display." I assume by "Company Display", they are referring to the player mats. Again the rules do not state what to use to track this, if colored cubes, see above for issues.

For the record, these are the other components that came with my game:
Two bags of wooden bits:
The larger bag contained:
28 cubes in the colors: red, green, blue and black
29 yellow cubes

The smaller bag contained:
7 red cubes
7 green cubes
7 yellow cubes (though with a much worse, less thorough paint job than the cubes in the larger bag)
8 blue cubes
10 white cubes
2 roughly train shaped pieces - 1 white, 1 black
(We used the black train shaped piece as the turn marker, and the white train shaped piece as a "start player" marker. Is this correct? Who knows?)
(If I painted 1 of the white cubes green, 1 of the white cubes red, and the other 8 white cubes black, I would have 36 cubes of each color (except of course white). If that's how many I'm supposed to have of each color, that is exceedingly lame. Depending on what cubes are supposed to be used to mark, if cubes are not counter limited, this would not be enough cubes for each color.)

5 Rectangular Loan tokens (it would make sense to use these to track loans except: they are slightly bigger than the spots to track loans on the player mats and if you put these markers on the spot that states how many loans you have, it covers up the amount you have to pay for interest - it's not too difficult to work around these issues, but this is one more thing that rules should probably cover)
15 Triangular "Bonus +3" tokens (we guessed that these are for marking hotels in combination with some of the Special Routes based on the text on a couple of the special Routes, but are there really enough hotels in the game to warrant this many tokens?)
Currency:
25 $100
12 $50
13 $20
12 $10
12 $5
25 $1
(Advice: Use Poker Chips - it was misery counting this out, I can't imagine playing with this stuff)
54 "Connected" tokens (We placed these tokens on played business cards when the player who had played the business card had a depot on the city with the business and a depot on at least 1 of the 3 Market Cities. This seemed like the obvious use of these tokens, despite the fact that the rules do not instruct you to mark which businesses are connected or even mention these tokens at all. There are slightly more tokens than needed for this purpose (50 is sufficient - but 4 extra doesn't hurt), but I highly recommend using them in this way.)
1 White 10-Sided Die with black numbering
12 red circular tokens with a design including an eagle on them
12 green circular tokens with a design including an eagle on them
12 grayish circular tokens with a design including an eagle on them
(We used these tokens for various things: marking income, marking Market Cities connected to on the player mats, marking Businesses temporarily not connected or closed due to events, but these tokens are not mentioned at all in the rules.)


Any help in determining the following would be appreciated:
What the proper numbers of any components are?
If I have all the components? (and if not, what am I missing?)
What all the tokens are supposed to be used for?
What you are supposed to use mark income tracks, loan tracks, Special Routes, Mail Contract tracks or anything else?
Is the game counter limited?

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tuckerotl wrote:
The components "section" of the rules (on the front page) shows images of the map board, and the faces (but not backs) of some of the cards [for clarity I will mention what the backs of the cards look like in my copy even though the rules are not helpful for this at all]:


The rules were completed before final card back art was completed. Game designers often do not have control over these things.

tuckerotl wrote:
Additional Note: The 'A' Action cards are separated from the 'A' Business cards during set-up and eventually shuffled back together during set-up - this can be handled differently, but this method is probably best to discourage "cheating".


When players receive three random businesses, we want them to receive three businesses and not some combination of business and action cards.

tuckerotl wrote:

State Subsidy Cards
___These cards inexplicably have no text on their back, and thus have the same back as the Action and Business cards. I can see no in game reason for this, and only seems to make finding/sorting them out more difficult.


There are only four of them. I stack them with my mail contracts in the box.



tuckerotl wrote:
The different Economic Condition Types (Depression, Normal, Prosperity) do not have different backs, despite the fact that the cards are separated by type and shuffled in different decks, and you need to draw from the proper pile.


True, I must agree. We use an extra income marker of each type to indicate which stack is which, and the identity of a future economic condition if playing face down.

tuckerotl wrote:

The rules also state:
"The game also includes play money, a ten-sided die, a turn marker and a 'start player' marker"
The rules do not mention or show what the turn marker or the 'start player' marker should look like. There are a number of other components; the game mentions player mats and that players use colored cubes as depots, but none of the other components included are ever mentioned.


This was decided after the rules were finalized.

tuckerotl wrote:

The rules do not state if the game is component limited (this mattered for the game we played).


It is not.

tuckerotl wrote:
The rules state that players should mark total income on their player mats, but do not say what component (or external marker) players should use to mark their income. If this is supposed to be the colored cubes (and components are limited to the amount provided with the game), this would have affected our game.


It's the little colored discs. There are two for each player for each economic condition.

tuckerotl wrote:

Additionally, the rules do not say what to do when a player's total income exceeds the track (which only goes to 99) on the player mats (which I did).


My original playtest markers had "+100" on them.

tuckerotl wrote:
The rules state that "players keep track of their interest (and hence the number of $20 loans) on the Company Display." I assume by "Company Display", they are referring to the player mats. Again the rules do not state what to use to track this, if colored cubes, see above for issues.


There's a marker that says "Loan", one for each player. Yes, it's slightly larger than the track, but I would have thought that was a fairly obvious use of the marker.

tuckerotl wrote:
For the record, these are the other components that came with my game:
Two bags of wooden bits:
The larger bag contained:
28 cubes in the colors: red, green, blue and black
29 yellow cubes

The smaller bag contained:
7 red cubes
7 green cubes
7 yellow cubes (though with a much worse, less thorough paint job than the cubes in the larger bag)
8 blue cubes
10 white cubes
2 roughly train shaped pieces - 1 white, 1 black
(We used the black train shaped piece as the turn marker, and the white train shaped piece as a "start player" marker. Is this correct? Who knows?)


It probably doesn't matter. We usually use the black one for 'first player', as it's easier to spot.

tuckerotl wrote:

15 Triangular "Bonus +3" tokens (we guessed that these are for marking hotels in combination with some of the Special Routes based on the text on a couple of the special Routes, but are there really enough hotels in the game to warrant this many tokens?)


There are certainly enough Lumber and Paper businesses to warrant it, for the player with the Grand Tote.

tuckerotl wrote:
54 "Connected" tokens (We placed these tokens on played business cards when the player who had played the business card had a depot on the city with the business and a depot on at least 1 of the 3 Market Cities. This seemed like the obvious use of these tokens,


That's why they're there.

tuckerotl wrote:
Is the game counter limited?


No. If you use "Connected" markers and the colored discs, you should have 35 cubes of each color to mark depots on the board, as well as Mail Contracts and Special Routes. That should be plenty.

The white cubes are there to mark the locations of cities where new businesses drawn from the deck are located. This is especially helpful for players who are not intimately familiar with New England geography (which, needless to say, we are). There are 10 cubes (use 4 with 2 players, 6 with 3, 8 with 4, 10 with 5), and we found that it was helpful to place a cube on each location for newly-drawn business, then pass the stack from player to player, removing a cube when a player took a business into hand or put it into play. Obviously, if any Action cards are drawn, no cube is placed.

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hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:
Additional Note: The 'A' Action cards are separated from the 'A' Business cards during set-up and eventually shuffled back together during set-up - this can be handled differently, but this method is probably best to discourage "cheating".


When players receive three random businesses, we want them to receive three businesses and not some combination of business and action cards.

I understand the intent of the rule, I just mention there is another way to handle it: namely keep the Businesses and Actions shuffled together, when dealing 3 of these 'A' cards out to players, have players turn in any Actions and deal replacement cards to those players that do so. This is really not that different from the way you handle floods for the initial random event in the 4th spot in the queue (difference being open vs. hidden information). The reason I had "cheating" in quotes is that a new player keeping the Action cards when dealt out in this manner might keep Actions not because of mischief, but ignorance; also I'm not really sure that keeping an Action from the set-up draw would actually be an advantage.

hotc wrote:
State Subsidy Cards
tuckerotl wrote:
___These cards inexplicably have no text on their back, and thus have the same back as the Action and Business cards. I can see no in game reason for this, and only seems to make finding/sorting them out more difficult.


There are only four of them. I stack them with my mail contracts in the box.

Most board gamers are OCD enough that this shouldn't matter, I guess it more comes into play when "helpful" non-gamers or lighter gamers attempt to help you clean up a game. It is I admit a minor quibble, and probably not worth the extra work for differentiation.

hotc wrote:
The rules were completed before final card back art was completed. Game designers often do not have control over these things.
This was decided after the rules were finalized.

This seems to be a common practice/excuse for board game production - but you can see how this leads to a great many headaches for players.

hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:
The rules state that players should mark total income on their player mats, but do not say what component (or external marker) players should use to mark their income. If this is supposed to be the colored cubes (and components are limited to the amount provided with the game), this would have affected our game.


It's the little colored discs. There are two for each player for each economic condition.

Then what do you use to mark business that are closed, or temporarily no longer connected?

hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:
The rules state that "players keep track of their interest (and hence the number of $20 loans) on the Company Display." I assume by "Company Display", they are referring to the player mats. Again the rules do not state what to use to track this, if colored cubes, see above for issues.


There's a marker that says "Loan", one for each player. Yes, it's slightly larger than the track, but I would have thought that was a fairly obvious use of the marker.

How do you recommend to use the "Loan" marker since:
tuckerotl wrote:
if you put these markers on the spot that states how many loans you have, it covers up the amount you have to pay for interest


hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:

15 Triangular "Bonus +3" tokens (we guessed that these are for marking hotels in combination with some of the Special Routes based on the text on a couple of the special Routes, but are there really enough hotels in the game to warrant this many tokens?)


There are certainly enough Lumber and Paper businesses to warrant it, for the player with the Grand Tote.

Fair enough. Playing two player, I hadn't really noticed this.


hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:
Is the game counter limited?


No. If you use "Connected" markers and the colored discs, you should have 35 cubes of each color to mark depots on the board, as well as Mail Contracts and Special Routes. That should be plenty.

The white cubes are there to mark the locations of cities where new businesses drawn from the deck are located. This is especially helpful for players who are not intimately familiar with New England geography (which, needless to say, we are). There are 10 cubes (use 4 with 2 players, 6 with 3, 8 with 4, 10 with 5), and we found that it was helpful to place a cube on each location for newly-drawn business, then pass the stack from player to player, removing a cube when a player took a business into hand or put it into play. Obviously, if any Action cards are drawn, no cube is placed.

So my game is deficient, since I have 36 yellow, 36 blue, 35 red, 35 green, and only 28 black.

Note: for our game I played Black (which I frequently do if it is available) and used 8 of the white cubes to complement my lack of pieces. I still had to pull cubes from other cities to place them in new spots at least 4 times. I realize that this game is likely an anomaly, and the lack of cubes was likely a combination of factors: 2-player game; only 1 or 2 turns of Depression; at least 7 turns (likely more) of Prosperity, including the entirety of Period C.


 
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hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:
The rules state that players should mark total income on their player mats, but do not say what component (or external marker) players should use to mark their income. If this is supposed to be the colored cubes (and components are limited to the amount provided with the game), this would have affected our game.


It's the little colored discs. There are two for each player for each economic condition.

Don't these cover up the numbers and make it a bit difficult to see what your income is?
Wouldn't having three sets of them on there exacerbate the problem?

 
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tuckerotl wrote:
hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:
The rules state that players should mark total income on their player mats, but do not say what component (or external marker) players should use to mark their income. If this is supposed to be the colored cubes (and components are limited to the amount provided with the game), this would have affected our game.


It's the little colored discs. There are two for each player for each economic condition.

Don't these cover up the numbers and make it a bit difficult to see what your income is?
Wouldn't having three sets of them on there exacerbate the problem?



You can tell a marker is on "7", for instance, by noting that it's on the space between "6" and "8". :-)

No, our experience has been that it works just fine.
 
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tuckerotl wrote:

I understand the intent of the rule, I just mention there is another way to handle it: namely keep the Businesses and Actions shuffled together, when dealing 3 of these 'A' cards out to players, have players turn in any Actions and deal replacement cards to those players that do so.


That certainly works.

tuckerotl wrote:
I'm not really sure that keeping an Action from the set-up draw would actually be an advantage.


If it's a Railroad Consolidation card, it certainly is an advantage. The others, not so much.

tuckerotl wrote:

Most board gamers are OCD enough that this shouldn't matter, I guess it more comes into play when "helpful" non-gamers or lighter gamers attempt to help you clean up a game. It is I admit a minor quibble, and probably not worth the extra work for differentiation.


A valid point.

tuckerotl wrote:

Then what do you use to mark business that are closed, or temporarily no longer connected?


For the businesses closed in the A/B and B/C transition, we usually just tuck them under the player mat face down. Connectedness no longer matters then, though be careful to note a retired, connected Hotel business that would receive the $5 endgame bonus.

tuckerotl wrote:

Fair enough. Playing two player, I hadn't really noticed this.


Certainly not, since Maine is out of play in two-player.



tuckerotl wrote:
So my game is deficient, since I have 36 yellow, 36 blue, 35 red, 35 green, and only 28 black.


Sure looks that way. I can't speak to component deviation. There should be 35 of each of the five colors. If you send me a geekmail, I will explain exactly why there are two bags in the box, but I'd prefer not to discuss it in this forum.
 
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Adam Tucker
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hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:

Then what do you use to mark business that are closed, or temporarily no longer connected?


For the businesses closed in the A/B and B/C transition, we usually just tuck them under the player mat face down. Connectedness no longer matters then, though be careful to note a retired, connected Hotel business that would receive the $5 endgame bonus.

I was more referring to temporary closings, such as from Events or Actions.

hotc wrote:
tuckerotl wrote:

Fair enough. Playing two player, I hadn't really noticed this.


Certainly not, since Maine is out of play in two-player.

Just to clarify for others that read the thread, only the Grand Tote Special and the Maine Mail Contract are out of play in 2 (and 3) player games. Players can still have businesses and depots in Maine Cities.

Additional note: the rulebook repeatedly refers to the Maine Mail Contract as the Main Mail Contract.
 
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tuckerotl wrote:
Just to clarify for others that read the thread, only the Grand Tote Special and the Maine Mail Contract are out of play in 2 (and 3) player games. Players can still have businesses and depots in Maine Cities.


Yes, and you can build the Montreal-Portland Special Route with fewer than 4 players.
 
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tuckerotl wrote:

For the record my game came with
7 New Hampshire 'S' Business cards
7 Connecticut 'S' Business cards
7 Vermont 'S' Business cards
1 Middlebury Vermont 'S' Business card which has been noted in the corrections as supposed to be an 'A' business (this matters for set-up but is only likely to cause much confusion if the Vermont player receives this card as part of their random starting 3 card 'A' deck draw - Vermont is used in all but 2-player games)
7 Maine 'S' Business cards
7 Rhode Island 'S' Business cards
8 'A' Action cards
42 'A' Business cards
10 'B' Action cards
49 'B' Business cards
6 'C' Action cards
47 'C' Business cards
1 Start 1 Economic Condition card
1 Start 2 Economic Condition card
3 Start 3 Economic Condition cards (1 each 'D', 'N', 'P')
5 Depression Economic Condition cards
7 Normal Economic Condition cards
5 Prosperity Economic Condition cards
4 Required Event cards ('1', '2', '3', & '5')
16 Event cards
6 Mail Contract cards (Note: the Maine Mail Contract states: "Use with 4 and 5 players only")
4 State Subsidy cards (Note: the Grand Tote Railroad State Subsidy is only used with 4 or 5 players, but the card does not indicate this)


Many thanks to Adam for putting this list up. I just bought the game, I was trying to figure out if I was missing something, and without this list the task would have been very hard...

For the record, is this list definitive?

I am asking because I just finished to sort out the cards, and I have only:
41 'A' Business cards
48 'B' Business cards
46 'C' Business cards

Is there any place where I can find the list of every single card? So I can try to find what's missing...

Thanks in advance for any help!
 
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