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Subject: Beginner Rules for a Beginner rss

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Karl Gallagher
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Saginaw
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My ten year old daughter is interested in games. We decided to try her out on Railroad Tycoon. I gave her a few practice turns in advance and then my wife Laura joined us for a real game.

To keep things simple we used the suggested beginner rules with no Tycoon or Railroad Operations cards. I actually like the feel of the game this way. Scores are lower but there's a more chess-like feel of getting to focus on the cubes and lines instead of worrying whether you'll get the card you need to score the major line you're building.

We let Maggie focus on New England as her handicap. I started making one-hex connections in the Ohio Valley and Laura set up a network in the south-east. Maggie took an early lead as the two of us racked up debt. Laura pushed ahead and expanded north to overlap Maggie's network. Meanwhile I started knitting together my cities into a big network that let me make four-point deliveries.



The game lasted just long enough to let me make a flurry of deliveries as time ran out and grab the win. It was low scoring without the card bonuses but still made for a fun game. I'd be tempted to use the beginner rules with grownups sometimes.
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S H
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Merrillville
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I do the same when I teach to new players, esp if they're "non-gamers".
Besides, if they're new to the game, they won't know the difference, only you will, right?

I own the Event deck, too,, which also gets ruled out in "Training Games".

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Chris Hillery
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I've always thought that leaving out Operations cards actually makes the game harder, not easier. Ok, rules-wise clearly it's easier, as you have fewer choices. But without the bonuses from start-up and bounties and Major Lines and so on, you'll have lower scores which means lower incomes, especially in the first 2-3 turns where money is already the tightest. It makes money-management somewhat more challenging, which could be frustrating to a newcomer.
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Joe Mucchiello
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Edison
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Ceej wrote:
I've always thought that leaving out Operations cards actually makes the game harder, not easier.

Absolutely, especially if you don't allow passing. In the normal game, you sometimes take a card because you don't want to do something that will increase your debt load. But with no cards, being allowed to pass is needed if you are trying to make the game easier.

The other value of the cards is to direct play. A baron card might make the decision to play in one area rather than another easier to make.
 
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Karl Gallagher
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Ceej wrote:
I've always thought that leaving out Operations cards actually makes the game harder, not easier.


Some, yes. But the scores are relative so if everyone's scoring low it's still a fair game.

Part of what made it work well is that we had only three players which left plenty of useful single-city links for us to make deliveries on until we built up on some income. With six players the last one to go might have been stuck.
 
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