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Ender Wiggins
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So you've heard that Railroad Tycoon is a great game. You've read some reviews, you've looked at some images, and it all looks pretty good. But then you discovered that the English edition is out of print, and that only an International edition is available. So now you're wondering, is it worth getting the International edition? And what's more, you're wondering what exactly the International edition is anyway? Well this guide is for you.

Why an International Edition?

The English version of Railroad Tycoon is indeed effectively out of print. However, an "International edition" is being sold, which consists of leftover components, either in Italian, Spanish or French, along with English components. The official word from Eagle Games:

Quote:
"The Eagle Games website currently stocks the International English Edition version of Railroad Tycoon.
The International English Edition has the English language box, rules and cards. The game board, shares and engine cards are in a European language (this does not effect gameplay). A new item that has been well received by players is the 6 new player reference cards included with the game. Each card has the player turn options on one side and the track costs on the other. No more passing around the rulebook or walking around the gameboard to look at your turn options!"


What is in the International Edition?

Here's what you get inside an "International Edition" of Railroad Tycoon:

1. Language independent components: Track tiles, control locomotives, goods cubes, first player marker, empty city markers

2. English language components: Box cover, rule book, money, Railroad Tycoon cards, Railroad Operation cards, Reference cards

3. Foreign language components: Share Certificates, New City tiles, Western Link tiles, Engine cards, map



As the above image shows, the foreign language components are not significant and are no real impediment to game play. (NB: not pictured is the map)

What does the foreign language map look like?

Let's start with the map. Here's the English edition map:



The International edition map has foreign language text in four places:

1. The top of the map has the subtitle "The Boardgame in a foreign language.
Effect on gameplay: 0/10.



2. The phrase "Western Link" on the left hand side of the map is in a foreign language.
Effect on gameplay: 1/10. There's only two such Western Links in the game (at Kansas City and at Des Moines), with identical text that matches the two Western Link tiles, so once you know what this is, you'll never forget it.



3. The right hand side of the map has the word "Round" in a foreign language.
Effect on gameplay: 1/10. All that really matters are the numbers 1, 2, and 3.



4. The bottom part of the map has the turn order and building costs in a foreign language.



Effect on gameplay: 1/10. The International edition comes with English reference cards which have the turn order and building costs in English:

.


So does any of the foreign language on the map really matter? Not really!

What do the foreign language components look like?

1. The city tiles are all in a foreign language, and simply say "New City".
Effect on gameplay: 0/10. All that matters are the different colours. No problem there.



2. The Western Link tiles are in a foreign language.
Effect on gameplay: 1/10. There are only two such tiles, which are very easy to recognize and remember, and once you know what they are, you'll never forget, so this also presents no real difficulty.



3. The Share Certificates have foreign language text.
Effect on gameplay: 0/10. All that really matters are the different numbers on the share certificates.



The numbers on the English language share certificates are identical, and the small print text is really irrelevant to gameplay:



4. The Engine cards have foreign language text.
Effect on gameplay: 0/10. It's not too hard to figure out from this Engine card that "Livello" is Italian for "Level".



Really the text on these cards doesn't matter, since the only information on these cards that is important is the Level number, and the upgrade cost, both of which are pure numbers. The fact that the word "Level" and the name of the train is in a foreign language is irrelevant to gameplay.



5. The game currency is in English. This doesn't really play a factor anyway, because all that really matters are the numerical values.



What is the verdict about the International edition?

Is there anything good about the International edition?

Absolutely. On the positive side, the general consensus seems to be that the boards/maps that come with the International Edition solve two long-standing problems with Railroad Tycoon:
1. No board warping
2. No confusion between colours of blue, purple and black cities on the map.

Should the foreign language components stop me getting Railroad Tycoon?

No. The bottom line is this: The foreign language components of the International Edition present no problems whatsoever if you know numbers and colours! All the components which do have important text are in English.

Will an English edition of Railroad Tycoon be available in the future? Should I wait?

If you don't have the game yet and are thinking about buying it, what are your options?

1. You can buy the International Edition of Railroad Tycoon now. As long as a bit of foreign language on some game components doesn't bother you, this is probably a good choice. The foreign language components don't affect gameplay whatsoever, so there's no cause for concern.

2. You can buy the new edition of Railroad Tycoon later. However, you should be aware of two considerations:
a) the way that the game is being released is changing. In the future, the main components of Railroad Tycoon will be sold under the name "Rails of the World" and will come only with a paper map of Mexico, whereas the Eastern US map (currently part of the International Edition of Railroad Tycoon) will be a stand alone item (just like Railways of Europe). More details here:
Railways of the World
N/A
b) we don't know how long it will be before the new version of the game will become available, although it is scheduled for the last quarter of 2008.

Here's the official word about the new edition:
Quote:
Keith Blume at FRED Distribution says that the company’s supply of Glenn Drover’s Railroad Tycoon is nearly sold out, but rather than renew the RRT license and print more, FRED will divide the components into two stand-alone items: Rails of the World and Rails of the Eastern U.S.
Rails of the World is the new base game for the system and will include the engine placards, railroad tiles, train tokens, money, bonds, and other items that will be needed in almost all Rails of... games. The gameboard depicting the eastern half of the United States, now broken out into a standalone item, will be replaced by a paper map of Mexico.


Edit: Corrected the error that implied there was only one Western Link on the map, when in fact there are two (thanks to John Lyons Beck for pointing out this blooper).

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596
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Sean P
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I agree that the mish mash of language on the components does not affect gameplay. But, it can be a little irritating, since most of the items could be language independent anyway. The stocks and money could be in Latin (or Klingon), since as you noted, the only meaningful info is the numbers. Same with the level of the engine cards, the new city tokens and the Western link. They could have just used pictures and saved themselves a little money by having a single printing of the components, then just print the manuals out in the different languages.
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Michael J
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I have the international edition, and I think it's great. I don't even notice the other languages. Other people I have played with have been suprised when at the end of the game I point it out! That shows how little effect on game play the language has.

With that said, I agree that the blue/purple color problem has been solved (at least on my board), BUT my board still warps pretty baddly.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Kaleljorson7 wrote:
I agree that the mish mash of language on the components does not affect gameplay. But, it can be a little irritating, since most of the items could be language independent anyway. The stocks and money could be in Latin (or Klingon), since as you noted, the only meaningful info is the numbers. Same with the level of the engine cards, the new city tokens and the Western link. They could have just used pictures and saved themselves a little money by having a single printing of the components, then just print the manuals out in the different languages.


Dude, if they came in Klingon, I'd buy this just for that.
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Bob Hansen
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I unloaded mine in a math trade. Part of it was the language thing. Another part was that it was way too big and I thought Age of Steam filled that niche just fine for less table space.
 
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Jeff Kunkel
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Add me to those who don't think the international edition in any way detracts from the fun of the game. It was a mild curiosity when I first got the game, and is completely irrelevant when actually playing. Seriously, none of us notice it at all when the game is in progress. And the blue/purple cities are DEFINITELY easier to tell apart than in the English version. For that reason alone I actually prefer the international edition.

And my board doesn't warp at all.
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Giacomo Mangiarano
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The only big mistakes they made in International but Italian Version is that they translated "Round" as "Cerchio" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Round means "turn of game" not the geometrical figure!!!!
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J Kosec
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Similarly, I am pleased with my copy of the international edition. The colors are close, but not difficult to tell apart. As far as foreign language components go, I played the game recently with three gamers and three non-gamers, and they didn't think to comment on the language on the board until I pointed it out. Then we simply enjoyed the double entendres that come along with every advance of the "Ronda" marker. I have noticed no board warping.

If you're on the fence about the International Edition, the advice of this review is sound; if you can live with a couple foreign language components that don't affect gameplay, get this while you can.
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Jacob
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This is great info. Thanks so much for putting this together!!!
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Kris Verbeeck
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I have a german version that has german operation cards, no english reference cards and so on.

so beware there are two different editions.

Language specific editions/ English ,German, ...

International editions :as explained here
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Brandon Pennington
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The board warping bugged me really bad on the international edition I had. I didn't really care for the game too much though so it wasn't a big deal and I traded it away. I would like to re-visit the game though to see if I might like it better now that I have been gaming for a while now.

*edit* Oh, and a for the review!! Great work!
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J.K. Bentley
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Is there any way to tell what edition you have simply from the outside of the box? I have a shrink-wrapped copy and was wondering if there's a way to tell if it's an international edition or English edition without opening it.
 
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John Lyons Beck
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EndersGame wrote:

2. The phrase "Western Link" on the left hand side of the map is in a foreign language.
Effect on gameplay: 1/10. There's only one Western Link in the game, and once you know what it is, you'll never forget it.


There are _two_ Western Links, Des Moines & Kansas City on the board I play on. Are you saying there is only _one_ Western Link in the International Edition? I would think that would rate a change higher than 1/10....


BTW, this is a great game.
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Randall Bart
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Kent wrote:
Is there any way to tell what edition you have simply from the outside of the box? I have a shrink-wrapped copy and was wondering if there's a way to tell if it's an international edition or English edition without opening it.

If you find a copy of RRT in a store, in shrink, it is better than 90% probability international.
 
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Brian White
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Barticus88 wrote:
Kent wrote:
Is there any way to tell what edition you have simply from the outside of the box? I have a shrink-wrapped copy and was wondering if there's a way to tell if it's an international edition or English edition without opening it.

If you find a copy of RRT in a store, in shrink, it is better than 90% probability international.


And the one I bought had a big gold sticker on the front identifying it as the International Edition. Mine happened to be in French, which was lucky for me as I speak French anyway. The language issue annoyed my friends for the first few seconds the first time we played it, but I kind of like it. It's nice that at least each box has a consistent language--it they had just thrown in random bits from various different languages, I would find it more annoying.
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Brian Brokaw
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Brave Sir Robin wrote:
Are you saying there is only _one_ Western Link in the International Edition?

No, I think he wasn't clear on that point. The International edition does in fact have 2 seperate western links, just like the english maps.

Very helpful review! Excellent job.
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| Don Pion |
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Also international version, french that is. Doesn't bug me that much, only the board has french text.

Eagle Games has some weird decission makers up there cool
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Leonardo Martino
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loool!
I SEE NO PROBLEMS READING FOREIGN LANGUAGE ON THE COMPONENTS...
AH OPS... I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT I AM ITALIAN... LOOLLL!!!
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Chris Buhl
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InfoCynic wrote:
Kaleljorson7 wrote:
I agree that the mish mash of language on the components does not affect gameplay. But, it can be a little irritating, since most of the items could be language independent anyway. The stocks and money could be in Latin (or Klingon), since as you noted, the only meaningful info is the numbers. Same with the level of the engine cards, the new city tokens and the Western link. They could have just used pictures and saved themselves a little money by having a single printing of the components, then just print the manuals out in the different languages.


Dude, if they came in Klingon, I'd buy this just for that.


Flippin' a right!
 
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Chris Buhl
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THANK YOU! I just got a Ding & Dent of this from Thoughthammer, and had no idea why part of it was in Italian! Now I know, and I'm very pleased to own the game, regardless of language!
 
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Kyle Meighan
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I'm convinced. I just ordered a copy. It will be here on Tuesday. Thanks for the review.

-One Wolf
 
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Bernt Burrichter
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KrisVerbeeck wrote:
I have a german version that has german operation cards, no english reference cards and so on.


I'm planning on buying the German version. Does it have the map warping and color confusion problems?
 
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Michael Pavelich
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This review convinced me to take the plunge and buy this game. Thanks!

I got a Spanish board. The colors are still a little hard to distinguish if the light is not strong enough.

Great game, though. (Although the Western Link option looks like an afterthought. Totally useless action).
 
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Chris Buhl
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Wapahala wrote:

(Although the Western Link option looks like an afterthought. Totally useless action).


I think if you play the game a few times, you might think differently about the Western Link. First, there is a bonus card for building the link, so if you have that card, it's important. More important, if you control the routes into and out of Chicago, you get a lot of free, generally mid-late game deliveries. And if you have a long connection from Chicago to an eastern red city, all those new red cubes can boost your score quickly.

Chris
 
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Kevin Peters Unrau
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Wapahala wrote:
(Although the Western Link option looks like an afterthought. Totally useless action).


Building the Western Link allowed a player in our last 6-Player game to score 26 points and take a convincing win. Without it he was looking at fourth or fifth place at best.
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