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Subject: first play rss

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Played after two games of Colorado Midland with James and Scott. They both got their Essen packs this morning and we were able to play tonight. Interesting blocking game, but with three there was not a whole lot of problems with so much space, except James and Scott started fighting in the central corridor turn 1 and James started a second company turn 2. Scott cut him off and James did not start in the corridor, but just outside it. If he started in it with us, the game would have been much different and tighter. As it was, I ran away with the game, Scott was a turn behind me, and James was crippled from the get go.

The no nesting rule is interesting and makes for tough choices in going for a city to get extra income, or around it to keep your line going. This is a game where you must keep your foot on the gas and not let up. The train rush was not too brutal, except for James.

I think that in a three person game, everyone starting out in the central corridor and then expanding out from there would be a decent way to go. One person might try to cut off the others, but there are ways out of it with the no nesting rules, it should be do-able.

I would like to play this one again a couple times before I pass judgement on it.
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Caleb Wynn
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Thanks for the session report. Interested to try this one out.
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Thanks, I'm relatively new to train games (not totally, but I've not played an extensive amount of them). Both CM and RSR I played last night were fun. James must have felt time drag in RSR since he was never going to come close to winning, so if you fall behind, you will be killed off. There may be a runaway leader issue, but it was just one game and Scott was nipping my heels (however I also just did nothing for two turns but collect income, so I'm not sure what effect this had, but it likely let him catch up). Also, don't start two lines right off the start, that will kill your momentum.

These are some thoughts, we shall see how well they hold up to time and more plays.

1. Its three to four players so everyone can start out in the central corridor and have 4 money pumping cites going right off the bat (4x4 for $16 right in the first few turns), however you need to plan your way out, the no nesting rule will prevent the worst cutoffs so everyone should make it out alive, however screwage is possible here, take the exit available and be happy. In 4p, it may be really tight, I'll have to look at the map again. Still

There are two other groups of cities that are directly connected, but only have two adjacent. Ideally you want one of these alone for your second company. Like any game of screwing others, chunk off as much as possible without getting trapped. However remember that the entire point is to collect RURAL track, this is the sole victory condition, so if you can chunk out enough space to run without inhibition, stoke the boiler and don't stop until you use up all your track and win.

2. If possible try to time your second company start so that you start it up when your first company is getting to the end of its track capacity. You will earn with the first during the lull, and then buy trains for both, if you can time it with the first train upgrade, so much the better. Do not start two up right away unless you want to stall your progress.

3. The train rush is not brutal. Its not brutal. So buy a bunch of them, the turn it takes to buy them is much more precious than buying one too many trains (likely true until you have the whole game calculated), however buying one too few will make you see how precious that turn is.

4. The time for screwage is when you are steaming away with both lines. This may vary with the group and style, but the screwer and screwee in my game both paid for it by loosing to me. Now this was a three person game, so they usually don't have a great 3p competitive fighting aspect (however see Web and Starship), but it seems like trying to screw someone too early costs you a precious turn where you could otherwise be stamping on the gas being productive with trains or track making money and setting long term plans. If the situation falls into your lap being directly on your path, that's one thing, but you need to step on the gas as soon as possible and don't let up. If someone wastes a turn screwing over someone where they otherwise could have been collecting more income or steaming towards chunking off a large portion of the map (long term screwage), that's one turn less they have to catch you before you can lay enough track to win.

Well, we'll see how these thoughts from one game stand up to time.

I think clearclaw summed it up well in his wave oscillation description.

The only thing that we all felt could have been better was the red cube accounting trying to make sure all the bookkeeping was a challenge and the cubes kept getting knocked around, plus there was no rural only track, so VPs had to be recounted multiple times.

I like the game and want to play it again.
 
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J C Lawrence
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minionhunter wrote:
Also, don't start two lines right off the start, that will kill your momentum.


False. It is a great start if you also merge them quickly.

Quote:
Also, don't start two lines right off the start, that will kill your momentum.


To whit:

Still intensely tactical, highly positional, and an odd form of snowball. The product of oscillation amplitude and wavelength is everything.
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clearclaw wrote:
Still intensely tactical, highly positional, and an odd form of snowball. The product of oscillation amplitude and wavelength is everything.


This description is not clear to me, but I think it has to do with the fact that players are alternately buying trains and track and somehow trying to time it so that the first trains of a new class are bought when the player is on the train buying turn. In the game described, I was finding that it was better to buy the maximum trains/track. Any little bit that I held back on to save for the next turn was usually wasted opportunity. I'm not saying that's a general rule (perhaps hold back to go first on the next turn), but it was the way to go in our 3p game--and led to a runaway leader problem.
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scottredracecar wrote:
I'm not saying that's a general rule (perhaps hold back to go first on the next turn), but it was the way to go in our 3p game--and led to a runaway leader problem.


If it led to a runaway leader problem, it might not have been "the way to go."
 
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clearclaw wrote:
minionhunter wrote:
Also, don't start two lines right off the start, that will kill your momentum.


False. It is a great start if you also merge them quickly.


OK, cool. However I can't quite grasp how that would be an advantage. Granted I'm relatively new to train games, and I didn't merge my lines, so maybe I didn't see/missed the advantage to the merger or I'm just too new to the game style. Could you please elaborate a little more on the early merger point you make, and the time in the game when you did this.
 
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scottredracecar wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Still intensely tactical, highly positional, and an odd form of snowball. The product of oscillation amplitude and wavelength is everything.


This description is not clear to me, but I think it has to do with the fact that players are alternately buying trains and track and somehow trying to time it so that the first trains of a new class are bought when the player is on the train buying turn. In the game described, I was finding that it was better to buy the maximum trains/track. Any little bit that I held back on to save for the next turn was usually wasted opportunity. I'm not saying that's a general rule (perhaps hold back to go first on the next turn), but it was the way to go in our 3p game--and led to a runaway leader problem.


I also found that buying the max trains was very helpful, but you might be able to tweak it with more plays so there was not such excess, but it did free me up to concentrate on other aspects of the game.

I also agree that holding back seemed to be a waste. I think I was even further ahead than I thought since I held back on doing anything for two turns, but that also held the rusting off for two turns, so I don't have enough experience with that mechanism yet to be sure.
 
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minionhunter wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
minionhunter wrote:
Also, don't start two lines right off the start, that will kill your momentum.


False. It is a great start if you also merge them quickly.


OK, cool. However I can't quite grasp how that would be an advantage.


You get a minimum $2-earning cube down for only $5 instead of $10.

Quote:
Granted I'm relatively new to train games, and I didn't merge my lines, so maybe I didn't see/missed the advantage to the merger or I'm just too new to the game style. Could you please elaborate a little more on the early merger point you make, and the time in the game when you did this.


I opened two companies immediately and then merged them in the second turn. I bought the same number of trains I would otherwise, but got one cube down for half price.
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blueatheart wrote:
scottredracecar wrote:
I'm not saying that's a general rule (perhaps hold back to go first on the next turn), but it was the way to go in our 3p game--and led to a runaway leader problem.


If it led to a runaway leader problem, it might not have been "the way to go."

No, I'm saying that given no other interaction, there was no reason to stray from alternating between full build track/trains turns. Anyone who did would have lost ground in our "multiplayer solitaire" 3-player game. I presume that a 4-player game with more interaction would have more advantages for holding back cash (but I wouldn't bet much on it).
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scottredracecar wrote:
blueatheart wrote:
scottredracecar wrote:
I'm not saying that's a general rule (perhaps hold back to go first on the next turn), but it was the way to go in our 3p game--and led to a runaway leader problem.


If it led to a runaway leader problem, it might not have been "the way to go."

No, I'm saying that given no other interaction, there was no reason to stray from alternating between full build track/trains turns. Anyone who did would have lost ground in our "multiplayer solitaire" 3-player game. I presume that a 4-player game with more interaction would have more advantages for holding back cash (but I wouldn't bet much on it).


My perspective (not having played the game, nor read the rules, and having a very minimal understanding of game flow and patterns) is that you may have lost temporary ground in the 3-player "multiplayer solitaire," only to rise again in the later game. In other words: are you winning "multi solitaire?" If not, shake the box, do something different, see if it puts you ahead, learn from those mistakes to shake the box in a better manner next time, etc.

This is how I learn games, at least (although "shake the box" is a new terminology for me, local to the Bay Area I guess).
 
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Sure, in theory, but I am contending that shaking things up in this game is difficult if there is no on-map interaction.
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scottredracecar wrote:
Sure, in theory, but I am contending that shaking things up in this game is difficult if there is no on-map interaction.


I've yet to see a Winsome where there is no on-map interaction. This may well be a first, yet I am doubtful.
 
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Players earn more money connecting to cities other players have already connected to. Players working by themselves do not get this bonus. More money means more trains and more cubes placed. A solitary player should lose every game they play.
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clearclaw wrote:
Players earn more money connecting to cities other players have already connected to. Players working by themselves do not get this bonus. More money means more trains and more cubes placed. A solitary player should lose every game they play.

Yes, I agree, I am certainly not saying that there is no map interaction. However, it turns out to be less than most Winsome games. It is difficult to hit the same cities as other players due to:

1. The interconnection rule (often causes a trade off between hitting the city and advancing track).
2. The mountain passes
3. One cube per rural hex.

Yes, the center of the map has a cluster of cities so there is great incentive to interact (especially in the early game when track/trains are very restricted, but then each must build spokes which are one hex paths. These considerations are amplified in a 3p game where there are that many less cubes on the board.
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scottredracecar wrote:
However, it turns out to be less than most Winsome games. It is difficult to hit the same cities as other players due to:

1. The interconnection rule (often causes a trade off between hitting the city and advancing track).
2. The mountain passes
3. One cube per rural hex.


In our 3P game we all started in or by Tokyo. Everybody connected to each other's cities on a regular basis. Mike headed west, Aliza headed east, I went both ways and north. The player in last place had the fewest shared city connections.

Quote:
Yes, the center of the map has a cluster of cities so there is great incentive to interact (especially in the early game when track/trains are very restricted, but then each must build spokes which are one hex paths.


And they are strongly advantaged to do so in manners that others can connect to, if not directly via a mountain pass, indirectly coming from the other coast.
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clearclaw wrote:
I opened two companies immediately and then merged them in the second turn. I bought the same number of trains I would otherwise, but got one cube down for half price.

How did you manage to do this? Unless we played wrong tonight, on your turn you can do one of the following:

1. Start a Railroad
2. Buy Trains
3. Build Track

Start two railroads, buy trains to run, and build track in two turns? That's at minimum four turns the way we played. Did we read it wrong?
 
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You are quite correct. It took a few turns.
 
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blueatheart wrote:
scottredracecar wrote:
Sure, in theory, but I am contending that shaking things up in this game is difficult if there is no on-map interaction.


I've yet to see a Winsome where there is no on-map interaction. This may well be a first, yet I am doubtful.

After my first play, I'd say it has a tad more interaction than Locomotive Werks, but then again, LW has no map. In fact, the train rush and snowballing made RSR feel closer to LW than to GM&O.
 
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garygarison wrote:
After my first play, I'd say it has a tad more interaction than Locomotive Werks, but then again, LW has no map. In fact, the train rush and snowballing made RSR feel closer to LW than to GM&O.


I've found LW and GM&O to have similar play patterns, particularly the finish-line spurt, and players positioning for it. My understanding is that RSR has similar oscillation patterns.
 
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Hmm...now that you put it that way, I can see the comparison to GM&O.
 
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minionhunter wrote:


The only thing that we all felt could have been better was the red cube accounting trying to make sure all the bookkeeping was a challenge and the cubes kept getting knocked around, plus there was no rural only track, so VPs had to be recounted multiple times.

I like the game and want to play it again.


It is pretty damn fiddly.
For counting, each player puts his/her remaining cubes in the bag. Then pull all the rural track cubes off the board sorting by color, & count. Leave the city cubes on the board of course!
 
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