Posts Tagged 'Railways of the World'

Weekend Gaming: Father’s Day!

The gaming started Saturday night with Joe, Phil, Kevin joining us.  Phil brought along his copy of Agricola at my request.  I hadn’t played the game in quite a while, and this would be only my second time playing.  In Agicola you take the role of a farmer trying to build the best farm over the course of 14 turns.  Each turn you have a number of actions equal to the number of people in your family.  You can grow you family, but you need to build a bigger house first, plus every few turns there will be a harvest, and at that point you need to ensure that you have enough food to feed your family.  Food and points are acquired through growing wheat and vegetables for cooking, or by raising various animals.  There are a ton of things you can do each turn, along with bonuses supplied by a random hand of cards dealt at the beginning of the game.

In my game, I was dealt a hand with a few cards that gave me bonuses for planting and harvesting wheat and vegetables.  I didn’t own any livestock until the very end of the game.  I was able to easily produce enough food that way to feed my family, but the work was a bit time consuming and I wasn’t able to put enough effort into upgrading my house or really expanding my family.  I had a strong game from that, but without the big bonus from my house, I wasn’t able to get enough points for the win.  Kevin ended up focusing heavily on building his house and family and then grabbed a bunch of sheep late in the game which propelled him into the lead.  It really is an interesting game with a lot of strategic depth.  There is a nice variety to the actions so that it doesn’t get too stale.

Louis had joined us part way through Agricola, so we launched into a six player game of Acquire.  I was able to get into a large company early this time, but it grew very quickly, and I was tapped out of cash fairly early on.  Luckily, I was able to sneak in a couple of smaller mergers with Phil’s help that provided me some liquidity.  It was not enough, though, as at the end of the game there were three large companies, and I only held an interest in one of them.  I placed a close third, but Phil and Kevin were neck-and-neck for first place with Kevin eeking out the win by $400.

We finished up the night as usual with a couple games of Dominion.  In the first set, I was able to quickly setup my deck with a Chapel and a Vault.  This allowed me to pare down my deck to the bare essentials.  i then added in some Mining Villages for extra actions, and an Expand.  These allowed me to quickly more my money up to Platinum and start buying Colonies.  I was buying them up almost every turn until they ran out.  This is when I made the mistake of getting complacent.  I stared buying action cards to try and end the game quickly, rather than buy more points.  I was worried that my wife, who had started buying a lot of Provinces, would catch me.  Little did I realize that Joe had nearly as many Colonies as I did, along with a few provinces.  At the end of the game, I had an even 60 points, while he had 68.

The second set was rather annoying.  My wife and Kevin were able to get Torturers early, and were annoying the rest of us.  In retaliation, Joe and I bought into them late with some extra buys allowing us to grab a bunch at once.  At this point both of us had decent engines running with Cities and Grand Markets allowing extra actions and draws.  We were regularly playing out our entire decks forcing everyone at the to either take Curses or Discard their entire hand.  I finally decided to put the game out of its misery by emptying one of the action piles rather than buy more points.  Sadly, it tended to make things worse, because most of the people at the table had been taking Curses rather than discard because they expected to get another turn.  It was an interesting set, but with no way to really counteract the Curses or discard mechanic it just became annoying when they happened repeatedly.

On Sunday, Phil’s daughter was getting baptized so we spent part of the day over at their place.  It was a nice way to celebrate Father’s Day and we were able to get in a game of Railways of the Western US as well.  Joe was able to get a bunch of the early bonuses and also monopolize the West Coast.  I could have countered that, but I was too focused on trying to complete my Baron (San Fransisco to Demming) an the San Fran to Promontory route.  Phil was controlling the lower Midwest with a couple long routes and some well placed hotels, while my wife had the Eastern edge of the Rockies in her control.  Jaime was building in the Northwestern Rockies getting points in Salt Lake City and Butte.  I was able to complete the Golden Spike bonus for building from Omaha to San Fransisco, but it was only after taking on way too much debt and basically conceding the game to Joe.  he had been making long shipments all along the west coast, and won by a sizable margin.

Overall it was a very nice, relaxing weekend.  Happy Gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Acquisitions

On Saturday, Joe, Ryan, Kevin, and Phil joined us for some gaming.  We started the night off with some Acquire, which I hadn’t played in quite some time.  I was able to start off decently, creating a couple companies.  I fell behind, though, when I neglected one of my companies, and focused on the wrong one of my companies.  I was able to make a decent profit holding on to the top position in two of the larger companies that merged prior to the end of the game, but I had no holding in the largest company at the end of the game.  My wife was just able to overcome my profits with her proceeds from that stock at the end.

Next up was a game of Railways of the Eastern US.  I had actually planned to play Railways of the Western US, but I had grabbed the wrong board.  So we played Eastern with the rotating city tiles from the Western US game.  We placed the rotating demands on Chicago, New York, Charleston,  Pittsburgh and New Orleans.  The biggest difference between the two games was made apparent from the first turn, when in the initial batch of cards, four Service Bounties and a Railroad Executive (allows a player to take two actions instead of one on that turn) showed up.  Joe took a significant amount of debt, but he was able to win the first turn and secured two of the Service Bounties to immediately jump to an 11 point lead.  Phil and I were able to get the other two Service Bounties, while Ryan went for the Passenger Lines bonus initially.  After a few turns, he decided to go for the Major Line from Richmond to Atlanta for the bigger points instead.  This allowed Joe to get the Passenger Lines bonus.  At this point I was working around the Chicago area, due to my Baron giving bonus points for connections into Chicago along with there being a lot of red cubes in the area.  I was able to get the Hotel Chicago early, and that provided a good number of points from everyone shipping there.  I was also able to get the New York to Kansas City major line for 20 points.  Sadly I was forced to do this a turn earlier than I wanted, giving me a bit more debt.  In the end, I wasn’t quite able to catch Joe.  I only got four points for my Baron, and had a bit more debt than he did.  It ended up being a very close game, that really highlighted the differences between the Eastern and Western games.

As an afterthought, I will say that the rotating demands really made a difference.  Chicago was a lot more useful with the ability to ship different colors there.  New Orleans was also a more viable destinations.  The other locations didn’t get as much use, due to there being more cities of different colors within a close proximity.

We followed that up with a couple games of Dominion.  The first included a Witch with no defenses, so we ended up with a lot of extra cards in our decks, and no one could really get anything going.  I ended up with negative points, and Kevin managed to sneak out a win, buying up a bunch of Estates and Duchies while no one was looking.  The second game was a bit more reasonable, but I wasn’t able to get much rolling.  I was blowing away my copper with Loans and Mines, but I wasn’t replacing them fast enough.  I was eventually able to get into a good engine, but it was too late, as Joe was able to get things rolling with Laboratories and Conspirators and bought up a bunch of Provinces.

Overall it was a fun night with some close games.  Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Go West!

Image used from Board Game Geeks

With some of the birthday money I received this year, I went and ordered a copy of the Railways of the Western U.S. expansion for Railways of the World.  If you have been a regular follower here, you’ve probably noticed that Railways of  the World has become a very frequent fixture on our game table.  So it was definitely time to add some variety with a new map.

We had six of us playing on Saturday, with Phil, Ryan, Louis, and Kevin joining my wife and I.  The game got off to a pretty quick start, with three relatively easy service bounties available.  I wasn’t willing to start the game with a ton of debt, so I was not able to cash in on any and just started to make deliveries along the West Coast while going for the Tacoma to L.A. major Line.  Ryan was making deliveries in the Montana region along with Louis, while Kevin and Phil were dedicated to the southern and eastern portions of the map.  Gina running straight through the middle with the major line from San Francisco to Promontory.  Louis ended up with the best plans and was able to make quite a few 5 point deliveries through the Midwest, which really helped his score.  I was able to get a few 7 point deliveries going using some Fuel Depots, but they were slow going, and I started them too late to really cash in on them.  I finished the game in second, just 6 points behind Louis.

It was fun playing a new map, and definitely threw a wrench into our plans.  Two things really stood out to me.  The first was that we ha an inordinate number of cities that were filled with goods of that color (i.e. a blue city filled with blue cubes) and that couldn’t be delivered anywhere nearby.  Louis was able to get a bigger train fastest and deliver some of those, but the rest of us hadn’t planned well enough.  The other was that outside of the first turn, there were no Service Bounties available.  Nothing came up out of the Operations Cards deck, and since there is no Railways Executive card in this expansion, there wasn’t an incentive to really bid much on the turn auction.  Most auctions were won for 1-2 thousand.  Other than those oddities, the game definitely seemed more balanced than Eastern US.  There are a lot of mountains in the West, keeping track prices high, plus the bonuses available aren’t worth as many points and are typically harder to get.  This kept the scores lower and reduced the available money.  No one person was really able to jump out to an early lead and dominate.

After that, we played a couple games of Dominion.  The first was pretty weak, with no extra actions, but a lot of buys.  Kevin was able to get the most consistent deck and was able to grab a couple extra Duchies, beating me for the win.  the second game, though, was quite entertaining.  First off was the matter of deciding what Kingdom cards to use.  Since we had 6 people, we selected 4 random cards from the deck, coming up with the Counting House, City, Adventurer and Bishop.  Then each person selected on card in secret.  I selected the Loan, Phil the Thief, Kevin a Forge, Ryan the Remodel, Gina the Goons and Louis the Mountebank.  It was an interesting way of doing it, though I know a couple people had regrets once they saw what others picked.  The game started off with the Thieves selling like hotcakes.  I was able to get 4 of them, and for the first few rounds it was impossible to go a full round without someone playing a Thief.  Eventually I was able to get 5 coins into my hand and picked up a Counting House, and that was it for me.  Between the Thieves, Loans, and a couple others playing Mountebanks, I was able to get a ton of copper into my deck.  I also go lucky and would typically draw one of my Counting Houses about halfway through my deck and thus was able to gather up a bunch of copper out of my discard pile to buy Colonies.  I was able to do this at least three times.  Phil, on the other hand, was trying essentially the same thing, but he’d invariably draw his Counting House early on, and was unable to really get enough to buy the big points.  Kevin was hitting the Cities hard, and getting quite a bit of money and points that way, but I was able to get my combo off enough times to take the game by about 10 points, even with a Province and an Estate being nullified by Curse cards.

We finished up the night with a game of Monty Python Fluxx just to wind down for the evening.  It was a good night of gaming, and fun was had by all.

Happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Zombies!

Friday started off with a couple games of Dominion before everyone showed up.  Both games has a lot of Curses flying around, but strangely only one or two people were giving out the curses, so the scores did get a bit lopsided.  The second game was the worst, with Ryan getting a good combo of Laboratories and Witches to pretty consistently give out a curse each turn, while also piling up enough money for some big points.  The Joe and I were using Remodels and Forges to try and deal with the Curses, but it still ended up being pretty one sided in Ryan’s favor.  The other cards in that set were the Worker’s Village, Bureaucrat, Contraband,  Quarry, Ironworks, and Talisman.

After that, we played some Railways of the Eastern US.  Joe made a comment about halfway through the game that he could tell that people are learning the tricks, because everyone was going for bonuses.  In fact, Phil and I were the only two people that weren’t able to grab bonus points within the first few turns.  In may case it was only because I wasn’t willing to spend a ton of money to get the first turn from Ryan, and some tricky track laying by Joe.  Joe and I were fighting for the South Eastern portion, Phil, Gina and Joe had the Northeast, while Kevin and Ryan were in the center.  Eventually I was able to get something going in the Midwest, but at that point I wasn’t able to ship consistently and Joe had pulled into a decent lead with a good number of 4-5 link shipments.  Overall it was a very competitive game, and it was neat to see everyone fighting for the bonuses early without any one played jumping out to a huge lead.

Saturday was Phil’s birthday, so he held a Zombie Survivor themed party in the afternoon/evening.  It wall started out with a photo scavenger hunt through town trying to get pictures of various zombie and non-zombie things (make-shift weapons, snowman, VW Bug, a Mall, things you’d miss after the apocalypse, etc).  My team, which consisted of Gina, Ryan, Joe, Jaime and myself, managed to win the day thanks to the fact that Joe had a bunch of the items at his house, and were we made sure to get as many people in each picture for bonus points.  Then after dinner, Phil setup a zombie adventure game in his house.  Each room was a different store in a mall, and the players needed to collect various items before they could try and escape.  All the while, the zombies would randomly attack the rooms.  So we ran around in the dark with flashlights trying to avoid the zombies and get out.  I could have saved myself early, but I ended up losing a lot of items to save Gina.  My kids loved it, and it was a lot of fun for everyone involved.

In the end, it was a very crazy weekend.  Happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Late Arrival

Sorry for the late edition of this week’s edition of Weekend Gaming.  I completely forgot about it until just now.

This last weekend we celebrated my wife’s birthday.  Joe, Jaime, Kevin and Louis all joined us on Saturday for a barbeque (I love that it’s finally getting nice enough to fire up the grill again) and some games.  My son played some Tastes Like Chicken with us before he had to go to bed.  Then we broke out the Railways of the World.

Joe got out to an early lead grabbing a Raleigh service bounty and the Atlanta to Richmond line.  The only thing keeping him in check was the large amount of debt he took to do it.  I was doing alright around Chicago, but I was running out of goods to ship.  Completing a Western Link and the major line from Minneapolis to New Orleans got me enough points to get into third.  Kevin was able to take the center of the board and had a decent number of bonuses from major lines that allowed him to overtake Joe and finish the game in the lead by one point.

Phil joined us after that game, and we all decided to play another round since it wasn’t too late.  This time the game started out with 5 of the 6 possible Service Bounties available.  Only two, though were easily achievable.  Joe won the first round and again grabbed the bounty for Raleigh.  Kevin grabbed the one for Mobile.  I was able to snag the Passenger Lines bonus and a Service Bounty to Jacksonville.  Then I spent a few turns messing around trying to get the Service Bounty to Toronto, and to keep Joe from getting it.  It never worked out, though and Kevin was actually the one to get the bonus.  Louis grabbed the Northeast, though, and never really let go.  He was able to quickly upgrade his train and was shipping for 5 to 6 points each time.  I ran out of things to ship and the only way I could grab points was to do another trip from Minneapolis to New Orleans.  In the end, though, I missed my Railroad Baron, and Louis held a solid lead, taking him from last place in the first game, to first in the second round.

That’s all for this week, Happy Gaming!

Weekend Update: St. Patty’s Day

With the St. Patrick’s Day festivities going on here in town, we had some friends pay us a visit for the weekend.  It was pretty crazy, and many games were played.

We started off Friday night with a game of Forbidden Island.  We played on the easiest difficulty, since it was only my second time playing it, and nobody else had played it.  We were easily able to grab all four treasures and get off the island before the water rose too high.  We’ll definitely bump up the difficulty next time.

That was followed by a quick game of Dominion, that was pretty unmemorable.

Saturday held the majority of the festivities in town, but we had pretty much decided to stay home.  The wives all got together at Phil’s house, so Joe came over and he, Nick, and I played through a game of Railways of the World.  I got pretty lucky with the way the bonus points were showing up, and I was able to get a couple service bounties and major lines without leaving my area on the lower east coast.  I was able to pull out to a good lead early, and held it while Nick was making his way from the upper east coast to the Midwest and Joe spent his time completely in the Midwest.  In the end, none of us had racked up a ton of debt, and I was able to hold on for a sizable win.

Image used from Board Game Geek

We then played a game of Puerto Rico.  I hadn’t played in quite a while, and I had never played with only three people, so it was a different experience.  I was trying to make use of my usual trading/building strategy, but Joe was able to get a much more balanced game going.  At the end, I was able to pull back into the game, but I was still a point short of Joe.

After dinner, we traded Joe away to get the wives back.  The four of us started the evening battling the evil forces in Castle Ravenloft.   We took on the Dracolich with a team consisting of a Cleric (me), a Rogue (Laura), a Warrior (my wife) and a Wizard (Nick).  It looked pretty hairy early on, when I hit a streak of bad luck on encounters and was forced to use a healing surge.  We did find the Dracolich, though, and after a few turns of struggling to get things under control, we managed to get a rhythm going and took him down.  It was a pretty epic fight.

After that, we played another game of Puerto Rico.  This time I took on the strategy of shipping tons of stuff.  I was able to produce a bunch of corn, and I had no competition for boats.  I was easily able to rack up a bunch of points early and take the win.

We finished out the night with a couple games of Dominion.  The first game had a bunch of cards for extra buys and special victory cards.  I ended up going with Mints and Harems and getting quite a few points that way.  My wife was pulling in cash pretty easily too, but my Harems were just too much in the end.  The second game had a ton of extra actions, but card draw was limited to a Witch.  I was able to get a little going, but never a smooth progression.  I ended the game with 18 points, while my wife had 25.  Nick hadn’t been able to get anything rolling and was stuck with only 3 points.

Overall, it was a great weekend full of games, both new and old.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: All Aboard!

This weekend was pretty packed full of gaming.  It started out Friday night with a couple games of Dominion.  The sets weren’t anything terribly exciting, though.  The first was definitely the worst as there wasn’t really any synergy between the cards.  I couldn’t get things going and lost badly.  The second game was a bit more interesting, with a Throne Room and a Laboratory for extra actions and a Mint for money.  My wife and I both grabbed those up, and in the end I managed to win with 102 points to her 92.

Railways of the World

Image used from Board Game Geeks

On Saturday night, Joe, Ryan, Phil, Kevin, Jaime, my wife and I all got together and played a game of Railways of the World (we played the Railways of Eastern US map).  I started the game by taking way too much debt to get the first turn and the Railway Executive card (it gives 2 actions on the round instead of just one, which can have a big impact on the first turn).  I was able to make a quick connection to get the first delivery to Duluth and some extra points, but it was downhill from there.  I was trying to get the train with the most consecutive links, I stayed in the Midwest.   Because of that I was paying way too much for my links and taking too much debt.  Ryan was doing a good job of staying in the lead making a lot of shipments on the East coast.  That all turned, though, when I decided to go nuts and build a Western Link into Des Moines.  At that point I shipped a ton of stuff into Chicago and this allowed Kevin to make a lot of points with his Hotel and with shipments out of Chicago.  In the end I lost a bunch of points from my $150,000 debt, and Kevin was able to take the game.

We don’t normally play games on Sunday, but Joe wanted to play another round of Railways.  So he, Ryan and Kevin came over for another match.  This time I decided to take as little debt as possible (I didn’t have the bonus card, though).  My first turn was a little rough because I couldn’t decide how I wanted to proceed, but I ended up grabbing a couple Government Land Grants (for free track) and started building along the southern East Coast.  I was able to monopolize that area and there were a bunch of cubes I could deliver once I got my train upgraded.  My wife had taken the northern routes through Canada and was shipping quite a bit.  Kevin and Ryan were battling it out in the middle of the board, and Joe was trying to connect Chicago to New York and took a ton of debt in the process.  In the end I was able to complete my bonus goal (most upgraded train) and had a few big shipments to put me over the top.  Combined with my lack of debt, I was able to edge out my wife for the close win.  Joe managed to take last, overshadowing my Saturday performance with a whopping $250,000 in debt.

Happy Gaming!



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