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Subject: Overview of the game (please tell me what you think) rss

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Hi! I'm writing down the rules right now. Last time, some players asked for a more ... narrative introduction to the game, before the actual robot-like paragraphs are lined up. So here is a draft. I wonder, is it perhaps too silly? Or ok? Any suggestions are welcome! Also, if you find any embarrassing grammar mistakes, then don't spare my feelings.


2-6 players

Components:
Game board
6 x 27 train track tiles
4 x 40 wooden cubes
6 player pieces
Money

Overview
In Trans-Siberian, you aim at becoming the richest Siberian trade-and-train boss by, of course, tactical trading and strategic railroad building. In each turn you get a resource cube, which represents production from some factory you're controlling, or some government grant, I don't know, but it's yours and you can use it as you see fit. You can trade it for more cubes if you have gotten a cube that is in demand in the city where you are (Moscow), or you can chill for a turn or two to see what more cubes you’ll get before you start trading.
Eventually, you might find that trading opportunities are so much greater elsewhere. For just two cubes per hex, you can start building a railroad towards one of those elsewheres, such as the nearest one (unless you have a very devious long-term strategy and place your first tiles in the Gobi desert). Blue cubes (produced in Moscow) let’s you build in what is today’s Russia; yellow cubes let’s you build in what is today’s Kazakhstan etc. Please keep in mind that while it’s nice to be the first to build in order to get the sweetest spots on the map, it can also be smart to take it cool and keep trading for a while, as a successful trade can double your capital.

As soon as two cities are connected, it will be possible to travel between them, even if the connection consists of tiles belonging to several different players. Traveling by railroad is cheap, you only pay one money per tile travelled, and you get 10 such money for each cube you give to the bank, so don’t worry, travel to your heart’s content and make yourself a small fortune.

Eventually you might find that the lack of precious red cubes is hampering economic growth in the west and all players start throwing greedy eyes on the riches of the East, which are lying around in big tempting piles in Beijing as well as in the harbor of Vladivostok. Building all the way there is sooo expensive however (you’re after all looking at building the longest railroad of all times, spanning seven time zones) so the first time you go you might use “alternative transports”. Exactly what these are I don’t know; it could be that you’re pulling huge sledges with reindeers and dogs, circumventing all of Asia through the Suez Canal, or mixing regular horse carriages with river and lake boats. What I do know that while it’s affordable in the beginning, it’s not sustainable in the long run as costs of such transport rises the more you use it. In the long run, only railroad is sustainable, just like in real life.

When the connection between Moscow (or Aktau) and the Far East is finally built, trade accelerates. The players who control most, or the most strategic parts, of the Trans-Siberian railroad reap the most profits from all the traveling. Keep in mind though, that as impressive as the railroad is, it's just a tool, a means to an end, which is getting rich from trading.

Once no more free resource cubes are left to be drawn, (after 12-32 turns, depending on number of players) the game is over. You get VP for each railroad track piece you built, VP for each cube you have left, and VP for money. It’s all very symmetrical, so there’s no need for any last-turn transformations between these three point earners. There’s unlikely to be a tie, but if there is a tie, the tied players get to argue about whether it’s best to start the game, or best to finish etc, and if they can agree on who was most disadvantaged from start, then that player wins. If they can’t agree, then it’s very important that they still stay friends somehow. I can’t give any advice here, sorry, but do what some friendly person would have done.

The winner gets a lifetime free pass on the Trans-Siberian railway, including the branches through Manchuria and Mongolia to Beijing. Lifetime visas included of course, as well as food vouchers worth 20 inflation-secured € a day that can be used in the restaurant car and on the stations (but only in person). Disclaimer: you have to arrange this yourself somehow, you don’t get any of this from me.
Okay, that was the longish overview. Here comes the rules in a more brutally logical form:
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Stephen Smith
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I don't mind a little silliness in rules, particularly in the introduction. Fragor even includes such things throughout. I enjoyed it (and am even more keen to pick up a copy). Good luck.
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Jon Day
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That's enough information to wet my appetite, but picture of the board and a price would also be good information
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Rich P
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Looks good to me. I appreciate a light-hearted intro to a set of rules from time to time. Since you asked for comments, here is my nit-picking analysis:

Mondainai wrote:
You can trade it for more cubes if you have gotten a cube that is in demand in the city where you are (Moscow), or you can chill for a turn or two to see what more cubes you’ll get before you start trading.


"Gotten" is OK if you're going for American English but I think the sentence reads fine without the word: "You can trade it for more cubes if you have a cube that is in demand in the city where you are..."

Also, I'd suggest replacing the word "more" with "other": "...to see what other cubes you'll get before you start trading."

Quote:
Blue cubes (produced in Moscow) let’s you build in what is today’s Russia; yellow cubes let’s you build in what is today’s Kazakhstan etc.


Both "let's" should be "let": "Blue cubes (produced in Moscow) let you build in what is today's Russia"; yellow cubes let you build in what is today's Kazakhstan etc."

Quote:
it can also be smart to take it cool and keep trading for a while, as a successful trade can double your capital.


Suggest replacing with either "keep cool" or "take it easy".

Quote:
Traveling by railroad is cheap...


U.S. spelling of "traveling". I'd write "travelling" but that's up to you.

Quote:
...and all players start throwing greedy eyes on the riches of the East...


Something like "casting greedy eyes towards the riches of the East" might read better.

Quote:
(you’re after all looking at building the longest railroad of all times, spanning seven time zones)


Better not to abbreviate "you are" here. Also "times" can just be "time". Instead: "You are, after all, looking at building the longest railroad of all time..."

Quote:
so the first time you go you might use alternative transports.


I think "alternative transports" sounds odd here. Instead, you could write "so the first time you go, you might use an alternative method of transport" or just replace "alternative transport" with "alternative transportation".

Quote:
What I do know that while it’s affordable in the beginning,


"What I do know is that while it's affordable in the beginning."

Quote:
it’s not sustainable in the long run as costs of such transport rises the more you use it.


"it's not sustainable in the long run as the costs of such transport rise the more you use it."

Quote:
In the long run, only railroad is sustainable, just like in real life.


"In the long run, only the railroad is sustainable..." or "In the long run only railroads are sustainable..."

Quote:
The players who control most, or the most strategic parts, of the Trans-Siberian railroad reap the most profits from all the traveling.


American spelling of "traveling". British spelling is "travelling".

Quote:
and if they can agree on who was most disadvantaged from start, then that player wins.


"If they can agree on who was most disadvantaged from the start, then that player wins."

Quote:
I can’t give any advice here, sorry, but do what some friendly person would have done.


"I can't give any advice here, sorry, but do what any friendly person would do."

I'm looking forward to finding out more about this game. I took a trip on the Trans-Siberian last year and it was a very memorable experience.
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woodnoggin wrote:
I'm looking forward to finding out more about this game. I took a trip on the Trans-Siberian last year and it was a very memorable experience.
Thanks a lot! Very valuable input. (I'm a proofreader myself as part of my normal job.) I've taken the Trans-Siberian 5 times myself; it's my favorite time-space on Earth Did you do Vladivostok or Beijing?
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Rich P
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Beijing, so part of it was on the Trans-Mongolian line. It was fun watching the bogey change between Mongolia and China (different gauge track) from inside the train, although the part where they locked the doors to the toilets for the five hours it took to complete the change was less good. laugh
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woodnoggin wrote:
Beijing, so part of it was on the Trans-Mongolian line. It was fun watching the bogey change between Mongolia and China (different gauge track) from inside the train, although the part where they locked the doors to the toilets for the five hours it took to complete the change was less good. laugh
Yeah, I know gulp I use to stop eating and drinking like six hours before that. And then, the first station in China with prices far below and selection far above all of Siberia - what a party!

One time, my sister had a bad case of the runs and was about to explode so I told the nicer of the two train attendances "qingwen qingwen wo de meimei you yige emergency" and he let her do it somewhere where he had to clean up manually afterwards. We were so ashamed and grateful that we took him out in Beijing to this huge club he liked. My sister: "let's fill him up until he shits himself"
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