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Subject: Cleopatra's Caboose - impressions from an 18xx-player rss

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Aigar Alaveer
Estonia
Tallinn
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I like the 18xx-system, with it's route-planning, stock-trashing, revenue-calculating, bankruptcy-evading moves and mechanics. But I also like lots of other games and therefore I was quite curious when I received Cleopatra's Caboose - how's the gameplay?

What it definitely is not?

An 18xx-game. Admit it: this "18-umph-umph" written on a box is a bad joke. It keeps away the casual eurogamers ("No, those 18xx-games are terribly complex, I've heard") and disappoints those few 18-players who buy it ("Raspberries? Say what??").

What it is then?

A decent VP-collecting eurogame. I have to admit, after first game our group agreed that this game should hit the table more often. There's plenty of strategical choices to be made and paths to be followed.

What did I like?

Components are of good quality. Game mechanics is quite interesting, especially the market. Rulebook has lots of examples (couple of times they were quite useful) and there were player aids for everybody (why do publishers sometimes think that one is enough?).

What I didn't like?

Well... the trying-to-be-funny theme. But, as with most of the eurogames, you'll be able to forget the theme quite quickly and say "yellow", "green" or "red" instead of "raspberry" or "lime". Graphical design could've been better as well: yellow dots on yellow sand... not the most suitable combination I'm afraid.

What's the conclusion?

Cleopatra's Caboose is a pretty decent game of train-building with VP-hunting and should be considered just like that. In my opinion it's current ranking (3400+) is clearly underrated - CC has a good replay value, money and resource management, different actions available - what else would you want? Rulebook is available via BGG, read it through and then perhaps give it a try!
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David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
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My reaction was the same as yours when I saw the box - to write 18?? on the box really does drive away the sort of people who would love the game and disappoint those who purchase it on the assumption that it is part of the 18xx family.

How made this decision and what were they thinking?

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Gris Gris
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Oregon
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They were thinking "That's hilarious!", and it is. Honestly, the humor is what landed this game in my collection. It is fun enough, but the jokes are what makes it hit the table.
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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katsulas wrote:
"18-umph-umph" written on a box is a bad joke. It keeps away the casual eurogamers

I don't think there's much chance that a casual Eurogamer would enjoy this game, so the warning is probably a good thing.
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