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User Rating Comment Status
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
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10
Apr 2010
More Steam. Maps are good, plus stock game. What's not to like?
2010-04-04
Owned
Aleksi Siirtola
Finland
Raisio
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10
Jan 2010*
Combines Steam and Imperial, since I like both of those this fits me perfect. Playing time is 2-3 hrs so faster than 18xx- series games. Need to played more to say if this is 18xx lite. It feels bigger than that.

This is even good practise for Steam and AoS, makes you better analyzier of the delivering opportunities.
2010-01-31
Owned
Want To Play
Gustav Andersson
United Kingdom
London
Unspecified
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10
Jul 2014
Just as good as the original game, and very different.
2014-07-27
Joe Czapski
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
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10
May 2010
I really enjoy this. I think I'll be discovering nuances to the share buying and selling strategies for many plays to come.
2010-05-10
Owned
Grzegorz Majewski
Poland
Katowice
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10
Jun 2010
My favorite of heavy brain challanges.
2015-07-29
Owned
Aaron Hitson
United States
Junction City
Oregon
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10
Oct 2011
Martin Wallace is awesome. He is my favorite game designer thus far. I think this game is the first Wallace I played, and it's still a favorite.
2012-08-17
Owned
Liam
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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10
Apr 2015
The added stock mechanic takes makes this game absolutely brilliant. Tense and engaging to the very end. In my experience the games are always tight.

Love it!
2015-04-01
Owned
Michiel Hillenius
Netherlands
Hoogland (Amersfoort)
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9.75
Jun 2013
Update: upgraded after recent play. With three this is a fantastic game. Work out how your companies can aid each other, that's the key. A brainburner but in a great way.

Brilliant again, quite a brainburner, especially when you are CEO of several companies at the same time. I love the unique mechanism of the share price adjustment. The relative performance is what counts, not the absolute performance. It is all about the potential that players see for a company or not. You are forced to pay close attention to the scoring potential of companies that you are not (yet) investing in. I love it!
the weak part of the game system is of course the turn order. You just have to be lucky with that.
2013-06-23
Owned
Selwin Selwin
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9.5
Aug 2010
2-6 players
2010-07-20
Owned
Marcus E.-L.
Germany
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9.25
Oct 2010
What a great game! Definitely expands Steam in an exciting direction. Hint: Perfect 2 player game!
2010-12-16
Owned
Joseph Cannon
England
Burgess Hill
West Sussex
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9
Nov 2009*
Based on refined and improved (aka "basic") Steam game of the Northern England map for 5 players. A difficult cube distribution made this a real grafters' game, always scrammbling about for cubes to ship. It was certainly hard work having only 2 cubes per city but enjoyable, as ever. Having got the wooden trains (which I'd really looked forward to) I perversely prefer the wooden disks - much cleaner when looking at the board.
2009-11-19
Owned
Michael Lessard
Canada
Breakeyville
Quebec
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9
Jul 2013
Awesome !!! Near perfection, it brings Steam to another level !
2009-12-05
Owned
Mike Mayer
United States
Arcadia
California
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9
Sep 2009*
Played prototype. Very enjoyable stock market addition. Think I like it even better than the base game. Comment vs. 18xx? I'm not at all a 18xx fan. I find those games to be slow and a chore to play, but I found Barons to be dynamic and fun.
2009-09-21
Jean-Michel Petit
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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9
Feb 2014
First, let me say that this game is not for those who despise calculation. It's full of it. So much so that it's an even more calculating game than Age of Steam was.

For me, that's a gigantic plus since I love those kind of games. I love the tension that is inherent in the difficult choices yet to come. That kind of game talk to me. Steam Baron is that kind of game.

I suspect that it can be played quite fast with regular gamers that do not take too much time balancing the in and out of each of their decisions.

What is very fun is that even though it's not yet your turn to play, you must stay focus on the game because what is being played can influence you. Moreover, what is being played can become part of your own strategy. If you see a company that has some more potential but nobody else sees it, you are in for a quick buck fast and easy.

Overall, I am quite please with this "expansion" which is a game in and of itself.

Cheers Martin Wallace, you did it again!
2009-12-09
Owned
Károly Dudás
Hungary
Szigetszentmiklós
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9
Dec 2009*
Kinézet: MW és a kiadója helyében nem lennék büszke magamra: sikerült teljesen másképp méretezniük az összecsukását a térképnek, így még csak véletlenül sem kompatibilis az alapjáték és a kiegészítő doboza, és tartalma pakolás szempontjából.

Tartalmilag:
1. Alapeset: új térképnek használni a Steamhez: érdekessé teszi, hisz apró különbségek ebből is -összekötött nagyvárosok, domb és hegység megkülönböztetés, és hát mivel más térkép, más a táj elrendezés is: új tervek, új stratégia. Ugyanakkor pont ezért kicsit más a megfelelő szimbólumok elhelyezkedése -Mozdony szint, sorrend, pontozó sáv, új áruk-. De ezek nem zavaróak, jól megoldott. Szóval tökéletes kiegészítő (nem beszélve a mozdony figurákról :-))
2. Az új szabály. Nos ez a lényegi változás. A kiegészítősége alapján az lenne gondolható, h valamit módosít a szabályon, de a játék ugyanaz marad többnyire. Nos nem. A játék és a játékélmény legalább 50%-nyit változik, gyakorlatilag új, önálló játékként is felfogható. (Hasonlatként: kb annyira változik, mint ahogy az elfengold megváltoztatta az elfenlandet)
Ugyanis a részvények váltják az eddigi mindenki építi a saját vonalát, azaz az adott társaság főrészvényese építheti az adott társaság útvonalát, gyakorlatilag ő cselekszik, és ha valakinek több részvénye lesz: elveszi az irányítást. Így akár az is előfordulhat h a játékos(ok) nem csinál semmit, "csak" ha lehetőség van részvényt vásárol és ennyiből áll a játéka, akár a játék folyamán végig -ez nem hátrány a játék végső kimenetele szempontjából, csak kicsit kevésbé érdekes talán a játék a játékos szempontjából. És még ami igen nagy változás: áruszállításra csak a saját építésű vonalak használhatóak! (Saját építésű = az adott vonat társaságé).
És persze a társaság és részvényesnek megfelelően a pénz is változott: van a játékos pénze és van a társaság pénze, e kettő nem keveredik, párhuzamosan működik egymás mellett.
És bár a vasút építés és a sín lehelyezési szabályok nem változtak, e második esetben ez ha nem is a kevésbé lényeges része a dolognak, de más a súlya. Valahol a Steambe oltott Chicago expressz benyomását kelti a játék ezen verziója, a Steam szintjén.
Azaz az én szubjektív véleményem: a játék nagyon jó, van olyan jó, mint a Steam, de a játék maga -a kieg szabály esetén- teljesen más. Akár 2 az 1-bennek is felfogható -ha nem kéne hozzá az alapjátékból 1-2 dolog.
Igazából a 8 és a 9 között mozog, de megelőlegezem neki a 9-t.
2009-11-26
Owned
Brian Sinclair
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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9
May 2010
Great addition to Steam. I like the pickup and delivery along with the route creation. Now I get to add a stock element to the game.
2010-05-15
Robert Crawford
United States
Chester
New Hampshire
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9
Dec 2009*
Played the stock market version of this. Absolutely fantastic! I liked trying to predict the future growth/collapse of each railroad company.
2009-12-20
Owned
Mark Holmes
United Kingdom
Shipley
West Yorkshire
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9
Nov 2009*
A wonderful expansion to a brilliant game. Stocks and Shares addition to 'Steam'. Players now bid for shares in companies with the majority shareholder acting as CEO. Based on the performance of that rail company in a turn a dividend is paid to shareholders, the company takes profit annd the share price is adjusted. Players then have the chance to sell shares. The winner is the player with the most money. A very simple and elegant simulation. The game becomes all about spotting which companies have the potential to ship the most goods and therefore which share price will rise and which will fall. Absolutely fantastic!
2009-11-06
Owned
Doug Cooley
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Me rocking out with my band, which you can hear at www.raindriver.com
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9
Feb 2010
Rating for maps and bits only. The stock variant may be the first Wallace game I truly disliked.
2010-02-10
Owned
Dean Thomas
Australia
Bannockburn
Queensland
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'The Double' 2010/11 Champions 2011/12 'The Double' 2013/14
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9
Feb 2012
Firstly, I must say I'm disapointed that they changed the size of the components so that they don't fit in the original box. But that might just be me.

I'll update when I've played the game.
2010-01-09
Owned
Want To Play
Greg H.
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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...is a set of steak knives. Third place is you're fired.
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9
Jan 2013
Love the train pieces. For a true rating though, I need to play the map at least, or preferably the economic stock version.

Update: OK, got a chance to play the stock variant, and the result is a solid 9 rating. Regarding stock games, I've never played an 18XX game, but I really enjoy Imperial 2030 and Chicago Express. This game is similarly enjoyable.

It strikes me that a good stock/investment game needs to make sure there's fluidity in ownership. What's the fun of a stock game if you can't take over someone else's company? Steam Barons seems to allow this by letting players sell back shares and by requiring a company to issue shares to gain the money needed to build track. Sure you can have your company build an extra expensive route, but you just exposed it to having other people buy in.

As an expansion, this is probably the best "bang for the buck" in my collection. The wooden train pieces, two new maps for basic Steam with 5-6 players, and an entirely new stock variant... dang. Three of us agreed that, if we weren't told the stock game was "tacked onto" the base game, we wouldn't know the difference. That's probably the best compliment for the variant.

Update after 2nd play: Wow. I enjoyed this possibly even more than the first play. This is really not an expansion; it's a new game, and a highly engaging one at that. With Steam the base game and this expansion, I can tote around in one box the base game, a stock game, four maps, and the ability to play 3 to 6 players. It offers a "robust" bundle of gaming opportunities. The tradeoff is that you have to be willing to cut off sections of the stock board to fit it in the box, but I took the axe to it with no regrets.
2011-04-29
Owned
Christopher Dodge
United States
Highland
Utah
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9
Feb 2011
This is a totally different game than Steam. I really like the stocks idea. Mechanics seems to work very well. However the rules were not clear to me in a couple of areas. But I got it all straightened out by reading a few posts here.
2011-02-20
Owned
Jarosław Czaja
Poland
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9
Jun 2010
Really good stock market game. Quite different than normal Steam. Of course you build tracks and send goods but you are an investor, so you main goal is to earn money. So buy cheap, earn on dividens and sell at the peak of the price.
2010-07-02
Owned
Erik Leppo
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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9
Dec 2010
Production quality is good HOWEVER the box is of different dimensions than the base game. Cannot add rules or stock chart into the base game box. WHY?!

Game play allows for a full map of 6 companies no matter the number of players (2-6). No roles. Stock market adds a new dimension to the game.
2010-12-28
Owned
Brian Bennett
United States
West Bloomfield
Michigan
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9
Mar 2012
What a great expansion to Steam (one of my favorite games). The expansion adds a stock market aspect to the game, allowing it to be played two players and giving it more of an 18XX feel with out the 8 hour commitment.
2012-03-26
Owned
Matti Viertamo
Finland
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9
Dec 2011
Steam is more better with this expansion.
2011-08-30
Frank Domick
Germany
Duesseldorf
NRW
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9
Dec 2012
[2012-12-01 Rating: 8.5 -> 9]
It's just that much fun.

[2012-05-20 Rating: n.a. -> 8.5]
I'm becoming more and more of a train game fan lately. It's not that I'm a huge train fan per se, it's more the ability of this game genre to give a whole lot of different mechanics a nice and thematic framework to work in. Steam Barons is no exception. When you play it, you get auctions, commodity speculation, route building and pick up and deliver in one package. The best of it, none of this mechanics feels superfluous in the thematic context which Steam Baron provides.

Apart from the great thematic context of the game, nearly everything else in Steam Barons just works for me. Since players are forced to put shares on the market in order to increase the network of the companies they have invested in, they never can be too sure if they'll be the "owner" of said company after the next round. Since it is also possible to sell the shares you own, the whole auction phase gets a nice dynamic and everybody has to pay attention to the networks of all companies all the time. If you don't, you might miss out on an a great scoring possibility the other players have not seen yet. If love this puzzle aspect of the game. It's all about spotting opportunities.

After all the praise, there are also some negative things I could say about Steam Barons. For one, it's not a game for people who despise calculation. Steam Barons is full of it. Second, the random turn order mechanic can mess up your plans. Since you have to sell your shares before you know the turn order of the next round, you might get screwed by the turn order draw if a company you are competing with for some important resources can access them first. So sometimes it's a bit of a gamble whether to sell a share or not. But this is just another aspect of the shares evaluation.
2015-04-24
Owned
Ronald Carlson
United States
Austin
Washington, California, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii, etc. :-)
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9
Nov 2013
G055
2013-11-05
Owned
Want In Trade
Want To Buy
Want To Play
Tuomas Teuho
Finland
Tampere
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9
Nov 2014
Steam Barons is a very good expansion for the core game. The stock market has really brought a great twist to our Steam games. Highly recommended!
2014-11-06
Michael Longdin
England
Crawley
West Sussex
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8.5
Jan 2010
Now this is sufficiently different to AoS to warrant it's own entry and comments. Although it’s not quite as deep as AoS, in some ways it provokes a lot more analysis because you have to assess the potential of all 6 companies each turn rather than just concentrate on your own railway with just the occasional specific thoughts to what the other players are doing. The one reservation I have (which is probably stopping me giving it a 9 rating right now) is regarding the totally random way turn order for companies is established each turn. I'll carry on with the rules as written at the moment but at some point may consider introducing a house rule to deal with it
2010-01-19
Owned
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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8.5
Apr 2011
Think 18XX-lite. This is an excellent meaty stock manipulation game with a foundation that start with a few of the basic mechanisms (track building and moving goods) from Steam and creates a game experience best described as falling in the 18XX realm. This one is still a bit long though.
2010-05-17
Owned
Carlos Couto
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
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8.5
Oct 2010
Owned
Cornelius Rosenkrantz
Switzerland
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8.5
Apr 2010
Steam Barons adds to Age of Steam what was missing before: the fun factor. Now the game is much more dynamic and less repetitive. The stock market takes part of the focus away from the logistic optimization and most of the money-counting burden, owning more than one company may lead to very creative actions and the game becomes much less "scripted" than in pure AoS.

I own a redesigned version to play with my copy of AoS 3rd, since AoS has enough trains to use for the shares and enough tokens to keep the stocks market.
2009-11-25
Owned
John Dextraze
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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8.5
Sep 2012
Owned
2009-12-13
Owned
Peter Augerot
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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8.3
Apr 2014
I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy this, as I've been spoiled by other stock market games, and I worship the base system. I was wrong it's tits.
2013-01-17
Owned
悅 王
Taiwan
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8.25
Feb 2014
Must play more times to enjoy this game
2013-12-29
Owned
Want To Play
Mike Landers
United States
Mountain View
California
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8.2
Jun 2010
Just got this and need to play more. I like the wooden trains it provides and the bigger map which accomodates 6 players. Time will tell.
2010-05-17
Owned
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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8
Mar 2011
Expansion exclusively for Steam by Mayfair.

Played the North England side--loved the mountains and map layout.

Can't wait for 2nd expansion by Mayfair due this year.
2011-03-31
Owned
Joakim Björklund
Finland
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Overtext?! We don't need no stinking overtext! Oh wait...
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Overtext?! We don't need no stinking overtext! Oh wait...
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8
Mar 2010
18.3.2010: One play behind me, a two-player game. So it's a bit hard to have an honest opinion about this. But I think it worked well as a two-player game, perhaps better than two-player Age of Steam (although I do enjoy that a lot). Interesting rules that turns Steam (or why not Age of Steam as well) into a lighter 18xx-game. I liked the stock market mechanisms a lot. Wouldn't mind playing with more players next time.
2010-03-18
Richard Young
Canada
Victoria
BC
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Old Ways Are Best!
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Check Six!
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8
Jan 2010
Rumours swirl around this latest train offering from Martin Wallace. My hasn't he been a busy boy of late! If this is an analog to the recently released "Railways of England and Wales," then I am very interested. RoE&W (advanced version) was delivered somewhat underdone and I sincerely hope that it won't be true again here. I believe the Steam series is where the evolution of his train games has been heading for and where the serious design and development effort is truly warranted. So nothing half-baked here please!
*****
In my hands now but as yet unplayed. First, just a small rant about the form factors. Why couldn't the maps have been the same size so they would fit in the base Steam box? Why introduce a whole new set of colours (and not very satisfying ones at that - natural wood?!?), when all they needed to do was give us choo-choos the same colour already used in Steam (plus, say, black)? On the company certificates, couldn't they have come up with something a little more thematic than the "Natural Wood Railroad Company," or the "Brown Railroad Company?" None of these are deal-breakers but gosh!

It is clear that the stock market system is very different indeed from that used in RoE&W. My problem is, having played so many 18XX games, I hit an intuitive disconnect when I examine the details of either of these things. Being able to sell shares (finally) is more sensible than in RoE&W, but it doesn't feel right that doing so has no impact on the share value. I know, it's only a game, but when you include a mechanism clearly intended to represent something we sort of understand, like a stock market, then it ought to work in a reasonably similar manner. This is clearly its own thing and whether it'll hang together only time and play will tell. Another thing, doing away with the train levels (here again as in RoE&W) when playing the stock market version just seems odd as it is such an important feature in these games, and I'm not sure why it was deemed necessary.

So, I'm sounding somewhat skeptical about these attempts to broaden the economics of the series. However, it is nice to get two new maps (which may end up being the best thing about these expansions), even if you don't end up playing the "advanced" versions.

But, all this is preliminary to actually playing. Rating tentative. Stay tuned...
2011-09-25
Owned
Steve Berger
United Kingdom
Sevenoaks
Kent
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8
Apr 2013
An interesting alternative to Steam, different enough in it's own right to be worthy of being a seperate game. What is interesting is how a Company with good long term prospects can be made bankrupt by the short term businesses. Very enjoyable, although it is a shame it doesn't all fit in the one box.
2011-11-29
Owned
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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I didn't know what to do with my UberBadge, so I left it as a GeekBadge.
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Planning...
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8
Dec 2010
Two new maps for Steam and a new way to play. The shares game is good and gives me a reason to own Steam (even though I prefer Age of Steam and would always choose to play that instead of base Steam).
2010-06-27
Owned
Bill J
United States
Batavia
Ohio
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8
Dec 2009*
Tentative rating after one play on each map. This is a game for those who like calculations. Investing, building, and selling are all part of the equation. But players also have to contend with a random player turn. I find this part of the game interesting, since it adds a layer of complexity. Players have to deal with the possibility of 'optimal' and 'suboptimal' player turns. Rather than decry this wanton display of 'randomness', I celebrate it precisely because it forces me as a player to make a startling different kind of calculation rather than the old cube count and building count formulas. It was not rated as high as steam because it has two features that do not thrill me in games: auctions and fiddliness.
2009-12-22
Owned
David Dolzan
Slovenia
Komenda
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8
Jun 2010
I don't like the stock game, I'm owning this solely for the new board and the ability to play more players.
2010-06-24
Owned
Malcolm
United Kingdom
Preston
Lancashire
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8
Dec 2014
Stock market game is very good. Early days but maybe better than base game.
2014-12-31
Owned
Bruno Rainville
Canada
Gatineau
Quebec
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8
Oct 2013
An innovative variant to Steam. It feels similar because of tracks building and goods delivery but the game's objectives are totally different. No complaint.
2013-03-12
Owned
Michel Bédard
Canada
Québec
Québec
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8
Dec 2009*
Played once
2010-03-03
David Siskin
United States
Playa Del Rey
California
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8
Dec 2010
England Map = nice balance for larger groups. Make sure you decide what happens when urbanize a town adjacent to a city. The rules don't quite explain how those two would link.
2010-02-09
Owned
Jack Neal
United States
Liverpool
New York
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8
Dec 2009*
I had the chance to try this out on my own and it seems to be a pretty good game! Neat way to parlay out track building and dispensing of some of the turn action stuff from Steam. US map tended to drag a little and I'm anxious to try the other side although I did like the thematic building from 2/3/4/5/6 for the number of tiles per round.
2009-12-27
Owned
Johan Jaurin
Sweden
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8
Jan 2010
A real step-up for the original. The new rule-set makes this a completely different game.
2010-01-30
Owned

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