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Subject: How does RT play with just 2 players? rss

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Have faith
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How does it play with 2?
 
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Brian Sinclair
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I am also very interested in the answer to this questions!

Brian
 
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Keith Blume
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There would be very little conflict in a game with two players. I think it plays best with a minimum of 3 and really gets going with 4-6. If you prefer a more solitary game experience, 2 would certainly work, but I do not believe it captures all the feel of the game. A potential option is for each player to take two colors, but this would not work as well as a game like Conquest where alliances set in stone so two players could effectively play two colors.
 
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Scott Kelton
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We tried a 2 player game, and it was definitely a solitare like game. We rarely competed for routes, there was enough for both.

The other problem is that with reducing the number of goods in cities, it got very easy for the person ahead to empty cities and end the game. Both the fewer goods and the fact that only one opponent can not fill cities fast enough to keep up. In a multiplayer game each player can take one action to add goods to a city and still get 2 actions to progress.

Last night we played a 5 person game and it was a lot of fun, though a little slow. There was lots of competition for routes and goods. We want to try a 4 person, in our after game discussion everyone thought that might be the best number, to keep competition but also speed it up a little.
 
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Tim Myers
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There is VERY little competition. I had free reign on the east coast and my son concentrated in the midwest. The only time we interacted was when he built into New York to complete a New York to Chicago route. I was the only player to build in the south to deliver goods to Mobile.

When the game ended there were 14 empty cities. The game played fairly quickly with just the 2 of us playing and I can see how a 5 or 6 player game would drag out, especially if you have a player or 2 that take a long time. The Auction to determine who went first did not matter unless there was an Operation Card that both of us wanted first crack at. The other player was always going to go 2nd, so it was not like you could be blocked out of an important city by 3 or 4 other players that go before you.

Maybe a 2 player game could be made more competative by reducing the number of cities that are available. As it was we pretty much used the north half of the map and played east of the Mississippi River. Maybe next time we will try everything south of Louisville - Lexington - Raleigh. This eliminates the most of the cities that are 1 track section away from each other in the NE and upper midwest. There will still be some cities that are close to each other but they will not be as densely packed. Certain cards and Tycoons would have to be removed but I think we will try this setup tonight.

Another option would be to increase the number of empty cities but it would only have been another turn or 2 before we had another 4 cities emptied and we could have done that without interacting with each other.
 
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Tim Myers
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I posted 2 variants, one for 2 players and another for 3 players in the Variants Forum. We have played with both of these and they greatly increased the excitement in the game when you only have 2 or 3 players.
 
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JC C.
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We just finished a 2 player game. We had only played the game for the first time last night. Ours was very interactive in the early game and less so as the game went on...although I think I probably should have made it more interactive. I'll explain...

I got a NYC hotel early on and built in that area. The Boston-DC major route was available. My opponent wanted to block me from Boston-DC and also get some quick goods traded, so he built up around Boston. (Both the NYC hotel and the Boston-DC Major Route were available in turn 1.) I picked up the DC leg that was nearby to make it harder for him to complete Boston-DC, but he eventually ended up bashing a mountain to do it anyways.

We often had bidding for first play in the early game...by late game, it was just passing the marker back and forth.

The other thing that happened is that the KC-western Major Route came up at late game. Out of desperation, my opponent had built west. I was running big runs along the east coast and southeast. So, when that Major Route came up, it was 3-4 turns for him to complete the Major Route at a 20 point advantage. If I had spent the money (that I could have easily done at that point) to just build a quick link to KC and buy the Western Route, I probably would have had a better win, as I eventually ran out of good runs anyways. As is, I won by 1 point.

I can definitely see the 2 player being a solitaire, but having played 1.5 2-player games (we started one and bailed), I think it very much depends on what cards come up in the first round, as that can affect longer term strategy. Also, if you both get the same kind of tycoon, you end up competing.
 
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David Turner
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Inntrepid wrote:
I posted 2 variants, one for 2 players and another for 3 players in the Variants Forum. We have played with both of these and they greatly increased the excitement in the game when you only have 2 or 3 players.
\

With the variants posted it is A LOT OF FUN!


DT
 
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Christopher Hill
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Our first two player game was very competitive. We were within three points of each other through the whole game. The game saver for me was making my Tycoon bonus.
 
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Steve Wessels
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While I agree that the 2-player game is not as engaging, it's still fun to play. You can pre-empty some cities in certain regions of the board if you want to force higher conflict, although for some players it will come naturally.

I also want to point out that the game plays really well in the "basic mode", without cards. This worked well when introducing the game to other players. They just pick up the rounds game mechanic and how to lay track, issue shares and deliver goods. I usually guide the new players, if they tend not to be into heavier strategies (or just plain tired), through 2 games this way before we introduce the fun of the cards.

Anyway, my son and I had played about 5 games - just 2 player, and he remarked more than once how fantastic the game is. From my point of view I knew that 2-player was light-weight. A less experienced player will still love it.

- Steve
 
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Jesper Rugård Jensen
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I have played around 5 games with my son, and we have had great fun even though we only played two. The game is not so cut-throat, at least not the first couple of games. But the laying track and thinking about ways to get ahead has been fun.
We play with a fixed turn sequence, so first player status changes. We keep the auction at the first turn. But generally it seems that the game can be played much more aggressively than we have, and still be fun.

Playing the game with just the bare necessities is also quite good,i.e. with no cards.

Jesper Rugård
 
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