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Subject: Railways of the World for 6... rss

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Mathue Faulkner
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Would you hesitate to teach this game to 6 players for our first game? Or would you recommend playing a first game with less people? I'm concerned that the game may drag on too long.

I'm considering getting Airlines Europe for a group of 6 (there is an official variant for 6 that works just fine apparently) if Railways of the World is going to be too tough.

Edit:
Question based on response here and in other threads:
Do you think playing without the Operation Cards would be a good idea to cut down the time and/or potential AP? Are there any other suggestions on making a 1st game with 6 players more enjoyable so that it doesn't feel like it's dragging?

Edit:
Update after discussion:

Okay, so we're hopefully going to be playing this weekend. I just went through the rules today, and I have a few thoughts:

We're either going to play Eastern US w/o the western link, or we're going to play the Western US w/o rotors and depots. I'm leaning towards the Western US just because we're all from out west, but does anyone have a strong opinion on one vs the other in our situation?

We're definitely going to use the auction and operation/baron cards, but we may delay the auction/operation cards for 3 rounds while starting player will rotate every other person. I may just throw them in from the beginning. We'll see. But at most 3 rounds. Do we really put out 16 operation cards at the very beginning? (2 x 6 players = 12 + 4 starting = 16) That seems like A LOT of cards. Am I reading that wrong?

Lastly, we're going to reduce the # of empty city markers. I'm not sure how many though. The instructions say 18 for 6 players. To prevent a crazy long game, I was thinking 14 but what do you think? Maybe as we get close to 14, I can propose playing to 18 if people are really getting into it. I just don't want to burn anyone out due to game length. My thought is that it's better to end early and leave them wanting more, than run long and wear everyone out. Any suggestions on the # of empty city markers to play to?
 
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Steve Norton
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Wouldn't necessarily be a problem, as long as you (and everyone else) realises that you could be there for 3 hours or more. I actually think that RotW is pretty intuitive.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Thank you. I couldn't find the rules for RotW anywhere, but somebody (in another thread) pointed me in the direction of the Railroad Tycoon rules, and then I looked into the differences between those two games. After looking at that, I definitely think I should be able to teach the game no problem because, like you said, it is pretty intuitive. I actually own Steam, but the restrictions and economic aspect makes the game a lot trickier to teach imo.

But, you think RotW would take 3+ hours with 6? Even if we pick it up pretty quickly? We play heavier games like Agricola, Le Havre, Luna, Puerto Rico, etc. so I think we'll be able to pick up on things pretty quick (after reading the rules). 2 hours would probably be closer to ideal in terms of playing time....
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Do you think playing without the Operation Cards would be a good idea to cut down the time and/or potential AP? Are there any other suggestions on making a 1st game with 6 players more enjoyable so that it doesn't feel like it's dragging?
 
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Samuel Hinz
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Do you think playing without the Operation Cards would be a good idea to cut down the time and/or potential AP? Are there any other suggestions on making a 1st game with 6 players more enjoyable so that it doesn't feel like it's dragging?



No I do not think it's a good idea. I think the cards add a good element to the game.

It potentially makes the game tighter without them too because you don't get an Nona points.

—--------------------

6 player for the first time. Easy.
But yes be ready for. a 3 hour game. Maybe longer depending on the group.
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Steve Norton
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mfaulk80 wrote:
But, you think RotW would take 3+ hours with 6? Even if we pick it up pretty quickly?


We normally play with 4 players and it usually comes in at around 2 hours. That is in a group (my family) that are all familiar with the game but, admittedly, not gamers.

Once you have stretched to 6 and allowed for new-game slowdown (even if you are hardened gamers) I can still see this taking 3 hours or more. Don't let this put you off - its a fabulous game. You'll have a great time. And don't omit anything from the game - its really not necessary.
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Samuel Hinz
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this game doesn't feel like it goes for a long time if that helps.

as long as you don't have someone who only starts thinking what to do once their turn starts (everytime), then it moves pretty quickly, and fun to participate in.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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If I had access to every RotW map, and if I played the standard rules on the maps regardless of any additions they may have, which map would be best?

I'm interested in the Western US, mostly because we live out here. I know it comes with some extras, but I gathered you don't have to play with those extras. In that case, is the map itself any trickier that it would be playing on the Easter US map?
 
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Samuel Hinz
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All the maps are different of course. But difficult playing wise there all about the same. Western U.S doest have the hotspot issue eastern does but even then I don't think it's an issue.
 
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Steve Norton
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We ignore the Western Link when playing Eastern US. It seemed an unnecessary complication for our first game and I've still not felt the need to introduce it.
 
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Adrian Sperling
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I might suggest using fewer empty cities for the first go around, shortening the game a bit. With that many people, there are bound to be some that get it right away, while others get a handle on it later. As a result, the chances are you'll end up with 2 or 3 players in a race for the win, and the rest just tagging along for the ride and not having as much fun. If you shorten up the first game, those players that didn't get it at first won't end up having to wait as long for the game to end.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Gonjeshk wrote:
I might suggest using fewer empty cities for the first go around, shortening the game a bit. With that many people, there are bound to be some that get it right away, while others get a handle on it later. As a result, the chances are you'll end up with 2 or 3 players in a race for the win, and the rest just tagging along for the ride and not having as much fun. If you shorten up the first game, those players that didn't get it at first won't end up having to wait as long for the game to end.

Thanks for the suggestion. Would it help to increase the income maybe one extra time for the first handful of rounds? Kind of giving everyone an extra boost to start?

I ordered the game, as well as the Western US, just this morning. Even if I end up liking Steam more, RotW is a much easier step, and would help prep players for Steam. I don't think Steam is ridiculously hard, but RotW seems much more approachable...
 
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Adrian Sperling
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Gonjeshk wrote:
I might suggest using fewer empty cities for the first go around, shortening the game a bit. With that many people, there are bound to be some that get it right away, while others get a handle on it later. As a result, the chances are you'll end up with 2 or 3 players in a race for the win, and the rest just tagging along for the ride and not having as much fun. If you shorten up the first game, those players that didn't get it at first won't end up having to wait as long for the game to end.

Thanks for the suggestion. Would it help to increase the income maybe one extra time for the first handful of rounds? Kind of giving everyone an extra boost to start?

I ordered the game, as well as the Western US, just this morning. Even if I end up liking Steam more, RotW is a much easier step, and would help prep players for Steam. I don't think Steam is ridiculously hard, but RotW seems much more approachable...


I wouldn't mess with the income - I find the struggle to become profitable one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. After that it's a race to spend your money in the most efficient way possible to score the most points.
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Mathue Faulkner
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One last question for quickening gameplay.

This is what I'm thinking about doing. Please tell me if I'm crazy:

1 - Ignore the Western Link for our first game.

2 - No Operation Cards and No auction for the 1st 6 turns. Instead, 1st player will rotate until everyone has had a chance. Both the auction and Operation Cards will be introduced on turn 7.

3 - Minimum bid of 3k (or 5k?) for the auction in order to shorten the auction time


Horrible ideas??
 
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Louis Brenton
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If playing Eastern US, feel free to ignore Western Link first game. If playing Western US, just don't use the multi-colored spinners on any cities the first game.

If you're not going to auction for first player for a bit, I agree that you shouldn't use ops cards for that amount of time. Much of the motivation to fight over first place in the early game is very much related to the cards.

I wouldn't do it 6 turns though. I'd think 2-3 would be enough for everyone to get the feel. 3 player actions per turn will give them 6-9 moves to make. (I understand that 6 turns would give everyone a chance to be first player, I just don't think it's necessary).

A true beauty of the Railways games is the ease of game-shortening. Just take the "# of empty cities" requirement and subtract a couple from it. You can have a high degree of control over how long the game will run.

First turn auction is usually a pretty quick thing anyway, without boosting the costs. Not every player is going to want to go first every turn anyway. It will be very situational.

If your crew are experienced at playing heavier games, they won't have any problems, even if you threw them into the deep end of the pool right away.

Post later, and update us on how it went!

 
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Steve Norton
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Horrible ideas??


Honestly? Yes. There really is no need to modify the game. The auction only takes a matter of seconds.
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Jeremy Gates
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With experienced players the auction and the ops cards don't add much time to the game. However for first timers they add considerable complexity that can make understanding the game harder.
For our first game we played no ops cards, no barons, no auction with rotating first player. That helped a lot.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Okay, so we're hopefully going to be playing this weekend. I just went through the rules today, and I have a few thoughts:

We're either going to play Eastern US w/o the western link, or we're going to play the Western US w/o rotors and depots. I'm leaning towards the Western US just because we're all from out west, but does anyone have a strong opinion on one vs the other in our situation?

We're definitely going to use the auction and operation/baron cards, but we may delay the auction/operation cards for 3 rounds while starting player will rotate every other person. I may just throw them in from the beginning. We'll see. But at most 3 rounds. Do we really put out 16 operation cards at the very beginning? (2 x 6 players = 12 + 4 starting = 16) That seems like A LOT of cards. Am I reading that wrong?

Lastly, we're going to reduce the # of empty city markers. I'm not sure how many though. The instructions say 18 for 6 players. To prevent a crazy long game, I was thinking 14 but what do you think? Maybe as we get close to 14, I can propose playing to 18 if people are really getting into it. I just don't want to burn anyone out due to game length. My thought is that it's better to end early and leave them wanting more, than run long and wear everyone out. Any suggestions on the # of empty city markers to play to?

 
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Rob ZoBell
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If I remember correctly, some of those cards (the three or four specified to always be put out) can be fulfilled within the first three rounds of turns and provide reasonable goals for people as they start out. I'd start with the cards--we did successfully. We fumbled through it just fine when all six of us had never played the game before.
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Steve Duff
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Yeah, you absolutely want cards out from game start, it gives players something to aim for, and a nice bump on the income track to get some money coming in, getting out of the debt crisis.

Cutting down to 14 empty should be fine. Really, you can do anything you want there, could even go lower.

Haven't played Western, but I'd tend to Eastern, as that's the "normal" map.
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Bob Melkus
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How was your game? Have you played it? Weekend has passed.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Ugh. Two people bailed at the very very last minute. Then we decided to play something that really only plays well with 4 since we don't get the opportunity often (plus we were waking up at 6 am for a hike so we wanted something quick). We ended up playing Lords of Vegas.

My fiancé and I almost played a two-player game last night, but we ran out of time. I'm hoping to get in 1-2 plays of it before the weekend (2 player only). And then, I'm visiting family the next two weekends which always means potential game playing. I may not have a 6-player game to report, but I'll definitely have at least a few...

Regardless, I'm glad that we had that 6-player game night planned even if it fell through. I have Steam so I never intended on picking up RotW. But after looking into 6-player games, I decided to that it would be a great addition to my collection. I think it's going to be easier to get to the table than Steam with the groups I play with (assuming I have a table big enough!)...
 
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Bob Melkus
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Both Eastern and Western U.S. maps are designed for at least 4 players. You can play them with 3 or even 2, but you will be disappointed. Those maps are so big that there is hardly any interaction with 3 players and almost none with 2. If you find another 2 players you will love the game, for sure.

By the way, to answer your initial question. Whenever I teach new people to play RotW I play a very short game with no cards, no baron cards and no western link, using only 5-7 empty city markers. This way everybody learns the mechanics of the game (bidding, deliveries, engine upgrades,etc.) This usually takes about an hour (with all explaining) and than I say: "OK, now you know the basic, let's play the real game." Then I introduce the cards and the barons and we play to 14 empty cities (in a 4 player game). I save western link for another day as great majority of our games never sees the WL being built (even with highly experienced players).
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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bobmelkus wrote:
Both Eastern and Western U.S. maps are designed for at least 4 players. You can play them with 3 or even 2, but you will be disappointed. Those maps are so big that there is hardly any interaction with 3 players and almost none with 2. If you find another 2 players you will love the game, for sure.

By the way, to answer your initial question. Whenever I teach new people to play RotW I play a very short game with no cards, no baron cards and no western link, using only 5-7 empty city markers. This way everybody learns the mechanics of the game (bidding, deliveries, engine upgrades,etc.) This usually takes about an hour (with all explaining) and than I say: "OK, now you know the basic, let's play the real game." Then I introduce the cards and the barons and we play to 14 empty cities (in a 4 player game). I save western link for another day as great majority of our games never sees the WL being built (even with highly experienced players).

Yeah, I'll be playing the Mexico map with two. I was really looking forward to a larger game, but I'll settle with a couple 2-player games to start. Hopefully, I can get in a larger game when I visit family the next couple weekends, but we'll see....

I'm also looking at the Europe map to kind of even out my options in terms of optimal map per # of players, but it seems somewhat rash considering I haven't played it yet. I'm not one to shy away from purchasing a game however...
 
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Agent J
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So, with two, there's no interaction? Basically, whoever builds first, wins... because they take New England? Hmm.
 
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