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Subject: Steam vs Railways of the World (or other 6 player games) rss

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Mathue Faulkner
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This is a slightly different recommendation. I already own Steam, and I even just got the new expansion for it.

I basically have three questions:
1) If you were introducing a game with a group of 6, which would you recommend?

2) Is there enough of a difference to purchase both?

3) Reading below, what would you recommend?


My impressions of the games is that Steam is slightly heavier. To be honest, Steam hasn't come to the table much but I'm looking to change that. (Games that don't play 2-player are hard for me to bring out. I like to play it once with my significant other to learn the rules before I introduce it to the group....which is why I'm very excited about the expansion).

In a few weeks, we have a game night set up with 6. We don't generally have 6 players so this is likely a one time thing (as of late, our usual # is 5). I don't mind using it as an excuse to buy a game though.

Everyone that will be there plays games at least as heavy as Puerto Rico, and 4/6 regularly play games such as Agricola, Le Havre, Macao, Luna, and Yggdrasil.

I have a number of lighter games that we could play (Saboteur, the Resistance, 7 Wonders, TtR, TransEuropa, Bohnanza, For Sale, Diamant, Category 5), but ideally we'd like something a bit meatier. I have Steam, but I'm slightly concerned that it may play REALLY slow with essentially 5 other new players. I want to provide a good gaming experience.

Since RotW appears to be lighter, I thought that it may be a better option. I've also looked at Airlines Europe, but I think that's lighter than I want to go. I know Imperial and PowerGrid are supposed to play well enough with 6, but I have the same concerns with those games that I do with Steam (not that our group can't handle it, but that a learning game for 6 may drag too much and suck out the fun). I just think it would be better to introduce any of those 3 games to a group of 4 first, but maybe I'm wrong. Or, of course, I could just play the lighter games that I already have. (a friend also has Pillars w/expansion which plays 6)


Edits: Added details
 
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Greg S
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Re: Steam vs Railways of the World
1. Railways of the World

2. Yes

3. Railways of the World

Why? Personal preference. Mainly, RotW looks and feels like a real train game to me. Steam, for my taste, is too much of an abstract route building game. Plus, in my opinion, money is way too tight in Steam / Age of Steam. I hate that.

I'd much rather play a real train game than an abstract route-building game.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Re: Steam vs Railways of the World
Qualm wrote:
1. Railways of the World

2. Yes

3. Railways of the World

Why? Personal preference. Mainly, RotW looks and feels like a real train game to me. Steam, for my taste, is too much of an abstract route building game. Plus, in my opinion, money is way too tight in Steam / Age of Steam. I hate that.

I'd much rather play a real train game than an abstract route-building game.

Strong case for RotW....but is there really room in a collection for both?
 
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Robert Washington

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Based on your description of your group's gaming habits, I'd go with RAILWAYS - really, any group that plays 7 WONDERS could handle Basic STEAM, but the Operations cards in RAILWAYS make things less punishing and more fun overall. BUT to be honest, imho if you can handle 7 WONDERS, you could handle Power Grid as well.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Outkast wrote:
Based on your description of your group's gaming habits, I'd go with RAILWAYS - really, any group that plays 7 WONDERS could handle Basic STEAM, but the Operations cards in RAILWAYS make things less punishing and more fun overall.


The listed games aren't our gaming habits, but rather the games we have available to play at 6 players. Most of the group haven't even played 7 Wonders since we prefer heavier games than that.

We usually have a group of 4-5 that play games such as Agricola, Macao, Le Havre, Egizia, Luna, Yggdrasil, Notre Dame, etc. We prefer somewhat meatier games, but I'm concerned that 6 people learning a game like Steam will drag and kill the night.

So, I'm ideally looking for as heavy a game as we can find that will play well considering there are 6 of us learning a game. Technically, 2 of us have played Steam but it's been awhile.

I can imagine that 6 player Steam would play fine assuming everyone has a few games under their belt. I'm concerned that it'll turn into a 4 hour game with a lot of AP and too much down time.
 
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Robert Washington

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Ohh, okay - I'd still go with my original suggestion - as I say the Operations cards and Baron cards basically create a randomized set of simple, short-term goals with solid payoffs

("Plus 1 on the Income Track for the 1st player to ship anything"
"Plus 4 in the Income Track for the 1st player to ship across 3 links"
"1 Free Build Action for the player who claims this card - may be held and redeemed at any time", etc.)
, making progression easier and faster overall and lowering the AP-inducing pressure to plan longterm. It's still pretty intense, but not as agoninzing or AP-heavy.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Okay, I'm convinced that it's the better fit for the night.....but I'm still curious if it's worth owning both? They seem very similar, and I enjoy Steam. I don't want to eliminate one from the rotation due to the presence of the other...
 
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General Norris
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There's no point in owning both. Really, while they have differences, they will feel quite redundant and Railways is not a cheap game.

Since your group oscillates between 4 and 5, Steam is the better game. Sure, it may not have a lot of options of six players but it will be better most of the time. You won't play Railways with your normal group so most of the time, it's expensive filler.

I don't find Steam hard to teach at all, you won't run into problems if you can teach them any other game. The basic variant is not only very easy to grasp but doesn't punish mistakes as much as the advanced one.

From my knowledge of Railways, it's not going to be much easier to teach so it's not goig to fix anything.

Being able to take money when you need it instead of only at the beginning of the turn also reduces the need to plan ahead a lot, making it less prone to AP or newbies getting lost.


If you are concerned with people not getting it, try to play a couple of 2 player games with one of the players before the date so he can help you.


mfaulk80 wrote:
To be honest, Steam hasn't come to the table much but I'm looking to change that. (Games that don't play 2-player are hard for me to bring out. I like to play it once with my significant other to learn the rules before I introduce it to the group....which is why I'm very excited about the expansion).

There are several Steam or Steam compatible 2 player maps ready for you to print, check them out.

Iowa (In the Steam files section)
Age of Steam Scotland (Works perfectly in Steam, don't worry)
Sicily & Malta
St. Lucia
Isle of Wight (Haven't tried)

There are also variants to play in the original maps, just look around

 
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