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Railways of the World» Forums » Variants

Subject: Tycoon cards and Railroad cards... rss

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Seth Jaffee
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2 things my group did which makes the game much better are as follows:

1st, deal out 2 Tycoon cards face down, and allow players to choose the one they want. There are not enough Tycoon cards to go around this way for a 6 player game, but it works for 5 or fewer. I wish there were at least 12 Tycoon cards so this could be done in 6 player. This allows players to play a strategy they want to without being completely restricted by their Tycoon card. For the record, the card that awards just 5 points for connecting New York to Chicago r whatever it is - that Tycoon card is terrible. The reward is way too small for the effort needed, and there's a Major Line which calls for the same thing... and if another player gets that, then it's unlikely the player with thet Tycoon card will be able to.

2nd, we feel like turning up 10 or 12 Railroad cards at the beginning of the game, and only 1 more after each turn, is too boring. There may be an interesting auction at the beginning of the game, but after a turn or two there's nothing. Sometimes a really good card comes up, and a couple people are bidding on it, but then it's gone and the same cards are left up there. Our variant is to deal out fewer cards at the start and then draw 2 new ones per turn. This keeps the cards and the auctions interesting.

- Seth
 
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David Etherton
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(Do you re-deal if somebody gets two of the same tycoon card?)

I think the cards need to scale with the number of players somehow. There are always too many in 2p games, and they never last more than a turn with 5p or 6p.

It seems like for a 5p or 6p game (and maybe 4p) three gold + one card per player as an initial draw, then two cards per turn might work nicely? (Which is probably what you're already doing)

-Dave
 
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Marshall P.
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Wichita
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1st, I've learned that sometimes just flat out ignoring your Tycoon card is the way to go. One time I had the card that awards the fewest shares issued and I slavishly played to fullfill that requirement. The result was that I was so hamstrung that I finished well off the lead even though I got my Tycoon bonus. In many of the large games I've played it's not uncommon for nobody to fullfill their Tycoon card, they get harder and harder to fullfill the more players are in the game. With 2 players you can usually do it if you want to.

2nd, I understand where you're coming from with this tweak but I fear your change would expose one of the true weaknesses in the game system. The once around auction followed by clockwise play really only works if there is just one good card up for grabs. If there are two then the player to the left of the auction winner has been handed a huge windfall at no cost. The first round suffers from this but it's not so bad because the board is completely empty and players who don't win the auction but still get a good card may lose out on premium starting locations. After the first round though it seems like it could be really unbalanced to have more than one card come out. Imagine if a Railroad Executive and a Urbanization come out. Whoever sits to the left of the guy who wins the auction and takes the RE card gets a free $10,000 essentailly.
 
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Peter Evett
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Marshall's response was also my immediate thought -- the game suffers badly if there is more than one good 1st action because the 2nd player does too well. The game already is heavily affected by luck, 2-cards per turn would increase that greatly. You could do so if you auctioned 1st and 2nd player, but that would get fiddly trying to then figure out remaining turn order. -- PAE

In fact, now that I'm thinking, you could auction all player positions during the first turn, when so many cards and decisions are available. That might limit the 2nd player problem if some are concerned - but it would add time to the game.
 
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Tim Myers
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I like the idea of dealing 2 Tycoon cards to each player and then choosing which one you want. If you play with 6 players you could deal 5 players 2 Tycoon cards each and let them choose, then deal the 6th player 3 tycoon cards that were not choosen and let him pick (at least 6th player would get a choice).

I agree with Marshall that sometimes it is better to ignore your Tycoon card and play for points. In the last 2 games I played, my Tycoon got points for the most money. I had the most money but I was so conservative that I was way behind in points.

I also think that drawing more then 1 Operation card will benefit the 2nd player. He would get to reap the rewards for doing nothing. The couple of times that I played with 5 or 6 players the auctions were tense when there was a good card and several people wanted it.
 
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