Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Railroad Tycoon Thoughts

I had great fun playing 5-player RR Tycoon last night with the group. Reflecting on the game the following day, these thoughts come to mind:

1. I was supremely impressed by Michael's ability to digest the layout of the massive board, make shrewd short-term and long-term strategy decisions, and beat off even the determined opposition of Jeff and Jon to secure victory. Two thirds of the way through the game I was still figuring out how I should have played my first turn...

2. Building long, connected networks, I think, is the key to victory in this game as it is in most RR games. Securing victory point cards runs a close second. I did neither and wound up comfortably in last place.

3. The game is good enough that its fun to run your railroad even if you are getting your butt kicked all over the map.

4. Being able to take in everything going on across the massive map and rapidly spot the optimal opportunities is key. This is true for probably all board games, but the map size and amount of activity in this game makes this skill more challenging.

5. I found it interesting how, at least partially, players focused on building on the parts of the map they were standing near. Jeff was standing by the Southeast and that's where his empire was built. Jon was by the portion of the board by Chicago, and he too focused on this area for most of the game. Again, I think the map size is a factor which potentially drives suboptimal play, though these guys both did well.

6. My interest in the game was rekindled such that I sent Eagle Games an e-mail requesting a replacement for my mangled yellow block!


At 8:52 PM, July 11, 2006, Blogger Brian said...

I think I prefer AoS. In particular, three things.

1) That you could be second or last depending on who fights for first player.

2) That a route may (or may not) show up midgame that can swing 8 points.

3) Some of the tycoon cards are too similar (that didn't happen last night, I think).

Granted, I was going to lose last night no matter what, but those thinga annoy me. I still like RRT, but I prefer AoS.

And say, does anyone have the URL for the shop that is selling Great Space Race at 50% off?

At 9:18 PM, July 11, 2006, Blogger Chad said...


I believe the website has a map for those that don't know where it is. I think I got the only copy of Space Race, but they had a bunch of other stuff on sale ranging from 20% to 50% off.

At 10:48 PM, July 11, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Jon, Brian, and I played Puero Rico. Brian indicated he has played quite extensively, and after he observed one of my exceptionally bad moves he generously and spontaneously offered to take a 15 VP penalty. With his -15, Jon and Brian tied at 45, and I came in with 40. I think it was Jon's first game.

I enjoy PR, although I find the set-up to be a bit annoying.

At 10:49 PM, July 11, 2006, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Oh, regarding Central Command Games, be sure to call and check the hours. They have very irregular hours, to the point that I haven't been there for over a year even though it's much closer than DL.

At 3:34 PM, July 12, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I enjoyed RRT. I like it better than Power Grid for sure, not sure about where it stands compared with AoS for me.

The biggest thing I noticed were that (at least for me) I never hit a point where I had more than enough money to do what I wanted each turn without taking more shares. Coupled with a desire to avoid taking more shares this created tension for my decisions that late game AoS doesn't seem to have.

Also turn order seemed to be mostly unimportant throughout the game with a few notable exceptions. AoS has the big advantage that turn order is always important and you mostly control your destiny with regards to where you will end up in the pecking order.

I enjoyed the Great Space Race to some degree but by the middle of the second lap was begnining to feel tired. Nuking Jon was a plus and going out in an explosive blaze of glory was also nice. I had a (very slim) chance of actually crossing the finish line that turn but I had to run over like 6 mines to do so. The odds of me making it with 5 shields and 6 hull were not the best.

I like RoboRally better for the fighting/race genre.


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