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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Railroad Tycoon

During my last visit to my FLGS, I saw that Railroad Tycoon was available. Since I had enjoyed Age of Steam, I thought that Railroad Tycoon was a decent choice.

After I got it home, and punched the components, I was pleased to see how nice everything looked. There were a few small problems related to the massive board, though. The colours used to indicate purple and blue cities on the map are very hard to tell apart, and there is some warping, probably as a result of the printing process.

When Mike found out that I had RT, he asked if he could come over on the weekend. Since Cim, Yannick and Wanda were also free, we had a five player game.

While only Mike and I had played Age of Steam, it was very easy for the rest of the players to pick up the rules for RT. The ability to issue shares at any time means that you don't have to agonize over how many shares to issue at the start of your turn, and the cards add some interesting elements to the mix. The fact that you don't have to choose roles means that you can always use one of your three actions to upgrade your locomotive if you want, or to urbanize, which means that players aren't as constrained in your choices.

The huge map means that you likely won't get locked out, even in a five or six player game, though you might have to issue a lot of shares to build the long links between cities.

The Western Link mechanic, where two cities allow the construction of links that bring 4 red goods cubes into play, is interesting, and the shipping of these goods to Chicago causing new random cubes to appear in Chicago reminded me of Age of Steam's Paris map.

I have read many praises and pans for RT, many comparing it both positively and negatively to AOS. While many think of RT as AOS light, I do not think that this is a bad thing. RT is very approachable, and could well induce some people to try out AOS.

Mike won our game, with me coming in second, which goes to show that some experience in AOS is helpful to RT. Everyone seemed to enjoy the game, and Cim even remarked "it wasn't as complicated as I though it would be". I am sure that this will hit our (big) table again soon.


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