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Subject: Official Rules Changes rss

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Tim Harrison
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The following will likely be official rule changes that will appear in future editions of American Rails:

a) In the SETTING UP section, add the following sentence after the second paragraph (which ends with "Do the same for each of the other five companies."):

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If there are three players, randomly choose one company and remove it from the game. Place all of its shares and cubes back in the box.
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b) Change the starting cash section to read $50 for 3 players (instead of $65).

c) Change the EXPAND 2 OR TAKE $2 section to read:

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TAKE $2 or EXPAND 2

The player takes $2 from the bank and adds it to his personal holdings, or takes $2 from each other player and returns it to the bank.

Alternatively, in a four or five player game, the player may take an Expand 2 action instead (see Expand).
--------

(The Expand 2 option is now only available in 4 or 5 player games.)

ABOUT THE CHANGES

In the 3-player game, having 5 companies instead of 6 will make it so the companies cannot be evenly divided among the players. In addition, removing the Expand 2 action will force the players to take other actions besides Expand, since there will no longer be 3 Expand actions.

In addition, did you notice the new option for Take $2? Now, instead of taking $2 for yourself, you can instead make all the other players pay $2 to the bank. This makes the Take $2 option more powerful, as it could put players below the $10 minimum amount needed to purchase a share (particularly early in the game). And since the Take $2 action comes before the Auction action, it could be particularly nasty to someone who took the Auction action with the intent of buying a share for himself.

Please let me know what you think about the rule changes. I look forward to your feedback!

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Garcian Smith
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Awesome. I'll try to give it a go when I'm able to game.
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Garcian Smith
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Just had a game where I used the new "attack $2" rules. The game I played was a 3 player game.

$65 -> $50
I think this makes the game a lot tighter and more important where you place your bids as you have less money. It should make investing more important.

"Opponents Lose $2"
I think this is a pretty cool tactical move that allows players to be more interactive with each other. Nobody used this except for me. I had 3 out of 5 shares at the start, so it should have been used against me, but it never was. I used it a few times as a stalling move to see what my opponents were going to do.

6 Companies -> 5 Companies
I think this is a good change too. It adds interesting variability to each 3 player game, makes players have to share companies and make the game shorter. In our game, we lost the American and the game ended when all shares were gone. So our game definitely was shorter.

I guess I don't really have anything negative to say about these changes, but I guess I haven't played enough to notice that the game needed these changes.

I do have a question though, do the players have the option of draining $2 off of opponents in a 4-5 player game as well? So in a 4-5 player game, if a player chooses EXPAND or TAKE $2, he can effectively choose from 3 things (get $2, drain $2 from everyone or expand 2 cubes?
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Tim Harrison
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Revelade wrote:
I do have a question though, do the players have the option of draining $2 off of opponents in a 4-5 player game as well? So in a 4-5 player game, if a player chooses EXPAND or TAKE $2, he can effectively choose from 3 things (get $2, drain $2 from everyone or expand 2 cubes?


Yes.
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Ien C.
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GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
And since the Take $2 action comes before the Auction action, it could be particularly nasty to someone who took the Auction action with the intent of buying a share for himself.

Tim, a quick clarification on this point. The nastiness would be to use the Take $2 to drain $2 from others in anticipation that someone else is planning to auction a share, right? As opposed to if someone actually "took" the Auction action and later you chose the Take $2 action, because by then it would be too late to affect the cash available in the auction.

Basically, I want to do a sanity check that in fact you execute your action as soon as you chose it, and thus you can't be affected in that action by later actions even if those actions are higher on the action track.
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Tim Harrison
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ghopper21 wrote:
GamesOnTheBrain wrote:
And since the Take $2 action comes before the Auction action, it could be particularly nasty to someone who took the Auction action with the intent of buying a share for himself.

Tim, a quick clarification on this point. The nastiness would be to use the Take $2 to drain $2 from others in anticipation that someone else is planning to auction a share, right? As opposed to if someone actually "took" the Auction action and later you chose the Take $2 action, because by then it would be too late to affect the cash available in the auction.

Basically, I want to do a sanity check that in fact you execute your action as soon as you chose it, and thus you can't be affected in that action by later actions even if those actions are higher on the action track.


Yes, it would be in anticipation of someone else choosing the the Auction action.

After re-reading what I said, I can see that I was not clear at all. Sorry.
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A few thoughts after a single game with the new rules:

* Removing a company

On the one hand, I don't doubt that it's good to break up the 2-2-2 initial share symmetry. (What actually happened in our game was that the player with one less share went on to have less shares throughout the game and end up last. I think that was his own fault, though; he should have auctioned off more shares and diluted the stock of the winning player so that I could win instead.) On the other hand, having one less company means the average distance between companies on the map is bigger and it will take longer for most of them to start interacting. It almost feels like there should be a restricted 3-player map to make up for this. (Or a seventh company expansion.)

* Less starting cash

This is only for the better as far as I can see. Auctions are more interesting when they're about player liquidity and not just counting up expected payouts.

* Removing Expand 2

This is good.

* Reverse Take 2

I think you should consider having Take 2 do just one thing, rather than having a choice between two things that are in most cases symmetrical. The advantage of the "plus 2" action is that it's simple and intuitive. The advantage of the "minus 2" action is as I see it not so much the player's "stop someone from auctioning a share" as it is the game's "delay the stage where everyone can bid up to a share's expected payout by bleeding some money from the players". So if you don't think people will balk at the slightly increased fiddliness of the "minus 2" mechanism, I wouldn't mind that being the Take 2 action in its entirety.
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Tim Harrison
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Kaffedrake wrote:
A few thoughts after a single game with the new rules:

* Removing a company

On the one hand, I don't doubt that it's good to break up the 2-2-2 initial share symmetry. (What actually happened in our game was that the player with one less share went on to have less shares throughout the game and end up last. I think that was his own fault, though; he should have auctioned off more shares and diluted the stock of the winning player so that I could win instead.) On the other hand, having one less company means the average distance between companies on the map is bigger and it will take longer for most of them to start interacting. It almost feels like there should be a restricted 3-player map to make up for this. (Or a seventh company expansion.)


I'm willing to trade less early game collision of companies for asymmetric share counts, and I'd prefer not to use a restricted map.

Kaffedrake wrote:

* Reverse Take 2

I think you should consider having Take 2 do just one thing, rather than having a choice between two things that are in most cases symmetrical. The advantage of the "plus 2" action is that it's simple and intuitive. The advantage of the "minus 2" action is as I see it not so much the player's "stop someone from auctioning a share" as it is the game's "delay the stage where everyone can bid up to a share's expected payout by bleeding some money from the players". So if you don't think people will balk at the slightly increased fiddliness of the "minus 2" mechanism, I wouldn't mind that being the Take 2 action in its entirety.


You may be right about the increased fiddliness.

What I like about it is the potential for increased pressure on liquidity. Especially in a 5-player game, for example, the "Minus $2" action could theoretically be taken up to 24 times in one game, so a player could theoretically have $48 taken from him during the game. That should make auctions far more interesting as liquidity becomes an issue throughout the game instead of just the beginning of the game.

I also think this gives players a better chance to win a game (especially a 5-player game) without ever taking the expand action.
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Are these the expected rules for the new Quined Master Print release?
 
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Tim Harrison
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ravinck wrote:
Are these the expected rules for the new Quined Master Print release?


Yes.
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Is it possible to use "all other players lose 2$" also if a player has 0 or 1? I think so, if he has 0 he don't lose anything, if he has 1 he lose only 1, but I'd like a confirmation :)
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