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Subject: The new fixation for TransAmerica and TransEuropa rss

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John Carlton
United States
Shawnee
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This review is based on one playing of Vexation in a three-player game. I’ve played Transamerica hundreds of times (mostly through Brettspielwelt) and have enjoyed it as a filler. Recently, however, the game has sat unplayed on my shelf for over a year as it has taken a backseat to the Ticket to Ride series.

WHAT IS IT?
Vexation is a small expansion that consists of 18 new wooden track pieces (3 in each of the 6 player colors) and rules for incorporating them into the base game. It can be played with either Transamerica or Transeuropa. I picked mine up for $5 at my Friendly Local Game Store. (Actually, the owner threw it in free with a recent game purchase.)



THE BITS
The 18 tracks are the same quality, size and shape as the ones that came in the base game. Only, instead of being painted black, they are painted in each of the six player colors.

The rules are featured on a small pamphlet, about the size of a washing instructions tag you might find on a new shirt. They feature full-color graphics and illustrations.

The entire expansion is contained in a small plastic bag. The bits can be easily stored in the original game box.



HOW IT WORKS
Each player is given three wooden tracks of their own color. These can be placed just like standard tracks. The only difference is that this particular section of track cannot be used by other players to link their routes. The result is that you can create choke points, which force other players to create workarounds if they want to link into your network.



HOW IT PLAYS
Many have dismissed Transamerica and Transeuropa as too light and too luck driven. After all, you often don’t have many choices of what to do on your turn and often it’s a matter of being patient and hoping the other players do the bulk of the “heavy lifting” for you by building the network close to your cities.

Vexation infuses a bit more strategy into the game. Players can be a little devious if they use their tracks judiciously.

Figuring out where the tracks are likely to come together is now more important than ever, as that is one of the prime locations players will want to place their tracks, in order to block others. Also, mountain ranges and rivers become key strategic points to cut off the network, forcing others to carve their own paths across.

One other effect of Vexation is that there will be a lot more track on the board. Not only do players need to workaround the choke points, but it seems to inspire people to work together a little less than they might have otherwise. With five or six players, determining whether or not you have a valid route can be vexating, indeed!



CONCLUSION
If you own Transamerica or Transeuropa, then Vexation is a recommended purchase. It adds strategy without much complication. For me, it revived a game that I had considered trading and bumped my rating of Transamerica up from a 6 to a 7.

Although I still expect Ticket to Ride will continue to be the favorite connection game in my house, Vexation is a nice change of pace and definitely worth bringing to the table from time to time.
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Rahm Blizbozin
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Never liked TransAmerica much. This may save it for me.
 
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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Stockholm
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This really is a great expansion. It adds so much evilness to the game, it definitley adds on to the game.
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Steve Oliver
United States
Alameda
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A great expansion to a great game(s) and you can't go wrong for three bucks!
 
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Manfred Keller
Germany
67734 Sulzbachtal
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Thank you to America
Thank you very much for you nice reviews of my Trans America and Trans Europa expansion. You can be happy that you can buy it in the USA. I sold this expansion in Germany to Winning Moves and you can not buy it in Germany. I don´t know why. They gave it away as a free addition with our SPIELBOX magazine in 2007. I was told that it will be in the original TA and TE boxes this year. But up to now I haven´t seen it.
Thanks again from Germany

Manfred Keller
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Winning Moves USA
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spielekeller wrote:
Thank you very much for you nice reviews of my Trans America and Trans Europa expansion. You can be happy that you can buy it in the USA. I sold this expansion in Germany to Winning Moves and you can not buy it in Germany. I don´t know why. They gave it away as a free addition with our SPIELBOX magazine in 2007. I was told that it will be in the original TA and TE boxes this year. But up to now I haven´t seen it.
Thanks again from Germany

Manfred Keller


It will be included in the Immortal Eyes version in the U.S. later this year by Winning Moves USA.
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