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Ender Wiggins
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Introducing Railways Through Time

In my book, playing a base game several hundred times makes for some pretty solid credentials to be involved in designing an expansion. Such is the resume of designer Charlie Bink, a die-hard and long-time Railways of the World enthusiast, who is the mastermind behind the newest expansion for the Railways of the World series. An avid fan of the game system, he has this to say about what makes it enjoyable: "What I like best about the Railways games is the freedom of the play experience. It’s one of those rare games that gives such a rich diverse play experience with very little luck involved. Players who are wise with their money and can think ahead are rewarded."


The expansion with the base game and the rest of the series

Now there's a myriad of successful expansions for the Railways of the World game, a highly popular train game with lavish components and satisfying economic game-play. We've already seen the successful game system brought to maps of the Eastern US, Western US, Mexico, England, and Europe. So why yet another expansion? In Charlie Bink's words: "The fantastical theme of this expansion is a lot more playful than previous installments of Railways. In this sense, its not about the history of railroads, but centered around RotW’s already great mechanics." And he's right: Railways Through Time does bring something totally new to the table by introducing a dimension to the game previously not seen before: time. Unlike most other expansions, it doesn't come with a single map, but with eight separate ones, which can be placed in different configurations, and different numbers. But the real innovation is that the maps represent different time periods, and that players can travel from one map to another using time portals.

The change is less drastic than one might expect, because there's enough of the "old" that's retained to give it a familiar feel. But what is "new" here could quickly make this become a love/hate type of expansion. Some people will love the idea of an innovation that enables travel between maps of different eras in times, while others in equal measure will cringe at the thought. If you're in the latter group, you'll obviously want to give this a miss - although don't judge too hastily, because it's not as different as you might think! Those who are interested in giving Railways of the World (aka Railroad Tycoon) a fresh coat of paint might want to give this a try - I happen to think it's got a lot to offer, and works rather well! Let's find out more.



COMPONENTS

Box

The box is the same size as the other members of the Railways of the World series, meaning that all the expansions stack well together with the base game. The front cover features artwork that reflects the concept of the time warp that allows players to cross between old and new.


Front of the box

The back of the game introduces the thematic premise behind the expansion: "It is the mid 19th century. Borrowing ideas from the earlier Time Travelers, Thomas Edison has adapted his own version of the "Tesla Chrono Coil". With the help of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Mr. Edison has outfitted several of their locomotives to travel through time and assembled his own group of misfit engineers to cash in on the profits that await. The job won't be easy, but the profits could be great. Are you ready to travel the Railways Through Time?" The accompanying pictures feature some of the components that come with the expansion, notably the eight separate maps, and some of the cards.


Back of the box

Nobody expects you to take the thematic premise behind the game too seriously - critics might see this as evidence that the series has finally lost the plot, but others will more charitably recognize that innovation in gaming requires risking of displeasure with traditionalists. For myself, I'd see it as a positive development to see designers trying new ideas - some of these ideas will crash and burn, but it's the ones that fly high that make these pioneering efforts worthwhile. For attempting to add a time travel concept to a tried and tested game, designer Charlie Bink at the very least deserves our respect. And more than that, I think he's actually pulled this off rather well - it may not please everyone, but most fans of the game will like it a lot, and it may even help over a new crew of fans!

Components

Here's a complete list of components that come with this expansion:
● eight 12" x 15" maps of different time periods
● new score track
● 40 Railroad Operation cards
● Rulebook


Everything from inside the box

Maps

The eight different maps are the highlight of this expansion. They're well-mounted, durable, and very attractive - and the quality exceeds that of the maps that come with the base game and other expansions. Yes, exceeds! Charlie Bink is not only the designer, but also the artist, and an accomplished one at that, and he's really outdone himself with magnificent artwork on the side of each map that captures something of the historical time period that each map is set in!



All eight maps

The maps are unique in that they cover eight different eras: The Stone Age, Egypt, Ancient Greece, The Medieval Era, The Napoleonic Era, The Old West, Industrial Age, and The Future. Ever wondered about the Ancient Greek railroad, or what Stone Age train tracks looked like? You can find out all about it right here! And perhaps best of all, travel to the Future, where you'll find cities named after famous science fiction writers like Asimov, Verne, Sagan, Wells, Bradbury, and Clarke.


All eight eras

The maps contain the usual terrain hexes, such as cities, open terrain, mountains, and water, but there is one notable newness: a time warp - which is marked as a glowing red border on the edge of some light blue hexes that feature on the edges of parts of the map. It's by connecting to a time warp that players will be able to deliver goods through time, i.e. between the different maps. Building into a time warp costs an extra $1000 above the regular track-building costs.


Detail from the beautiful Stone Age map

Each map has 5 - 10 cities, and includes two Time Lines (except the Stone Age, which only has one). Unlike Major Lines in the original game, Time Lines only score points at the end of the game, and become cumulatively more and more valuable; furthermore, subsequent Time Lines must always connect to the very first one a player claims.


The Ancient Greece & Medieval era maps

Score Track

This expansion also comes with its own score track. The track itself is shorter than the one for the base game, so income will drop back to zero at 60 points, but it seems to be balanced quite well for these maps.


The score track and game board

One of the attractive features of this score board is the additional information it includes underneath the score track, including a reference for turn actions and the amount of empty cities needed to trigger the game end, as well as spaces for keeping track of turn order, round number, and time line bonuses. This is really well done, and I wish some of these enhancements had been included in the base game!

Railroad Operations Cards

Unlike the other expansions, there are no Railroad Baron cards with long term objectives, but only a deck of 40 Railroad Operations Cards. This deck of replaces the corresponding cards from the base game, and is geared towards the new map.

Cards are as follows:
4x Starting cards (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, Passenger Lines, Time Blazer)
3x New Industry
3x City Growth
2x Government Land Grant
2x Tunnel Engineer
2x Boost
8x Hotel
8x Service Bounty
8x Time Bounty

Starting cards

These three are identical to the ones from the base game (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, Passenger Lines).



New starting card: Time Blazer

This new card rewards the first player to deliver a goods cube through time with 2 points.



New cards: Boost

The Boost card reduces the cost of an engine upgrade by $5000.



Time Bounty cards

Another new addition to this expansion is the Time Bounty card.



This rewards a player with one point for being the first to deliver a cube from another time period to that map. The goods cube must come from another time period, and can't originate from this map, travel through time elsewhere and then return. There's a Time Bounty card for each of the eight maps.



Service Bounty & Hotel cards

Just like in the base game, the Service Bounty cards give 4 point bonuses for the first player to deliver a goods cube to a particular city, while the Hotel gives its owner a 1 point income for each goods cube delivered to that city. There's one for each map, meaning that along with the Time Bounty card each map has three unique and specific cards that match it, like the ones seen here for the Egyptian era:



Cards for a particular era are only included in the deck if that particular map is in play.



Other cards

New Industry, City Growth, Government Land Grant, and Tunnel Engineer are all already familiar from the base game or previous expansions.



Rulebook

The rulebook features the box cover artwork, which also appears on the Railroad Operations cards.



Much like the other expansions, it's only a two-page affair, since the basic game-play is identical to that of the base game, with only a few exceptions. But the rule differences in this expansion are perhaps greater than most. Fortunately they are clearly explained, and accompanied with some helpful illustrations.


Looking inside the rulebook

GAME-PLAY

As already noted, the essentials of game-play are the same as the base game of Railways of the World. Railways Through Time does introduce a number of new and interesting elements, however, as well as some minor modifications to the rules which are listed below.

Setup

Rules for setup are the same as with the regular game, with the following exceptions:

Maps: The amount of maps used in any game is one more than the number of players (i.e. 3 maps for a 2 player game, 4 maps for a 3 player game, etc). As with the other maps and expansions in the series, red cities are the most rare, so be sure to include at least one map with a red city. This requirement aside, you can choose whichever ones you prefer to play with, which helps enhance variety and replayability, because mixing and matching will create a different experience each time!

Railroad Operation cards: You need to remove from the deck the cards specific to eras that you are not playing with (Time Bounties, Service Bounties, and Hotels). The four starting cards are placed face-up as usual (The Railroad Era Begins, Speed Record, Passenger Lines, and the new Time Blazer card), and the regular rules apply about having additional operation cards face-up equal to double the number of players.

Goods cubes: Unlike some of the other maps and expansions in the series, when playing with 2 or 3 players you don't reduce the number of starting goods placed in the cities during setup. It's great to get another form of the game that works well with this number of players,!


Complete setup for a two player game using three maps

Time Travel

You don't need to build in a particular era, but are free to start building track wherever you like, according to the normal rules. To deliver goods across time, players must first build track to one of the glowing red time warp lines, which cost an extra $1000 to build to.


Illustration of track-building costs to a time warp

When you have cities connected to time warps in different maps, you can deliver across the time warp (which counts as a single link between those cities - although each link to the time warp must be built separately) just the same as you would for a delivery in the regular game. You may even transport goods across several time periods, but goods may never enter the same time period.


Example of delivering a good across time

The Railroad Operations cards with a Time Bounty work in a similar manner to the Service Bounties, and reward players for being the first to deliver a good to a particular time period.

Time Lines

This expansion features Time Lines instead of Major Lines. The idea is somewhat similar, in that most maps have two Time Lines, which are routes between two cities on that map. To claim future Time Lines, however, you must connect them to your initial Time Line - this creates an additional incentive for building routes between maps.


Purple has claimed the Time Line of London - Newcastle

Also, you don't get bonus points immediately for your Time Lines, but only at the end of a game. The bonus points are cumulative: the first Time Line is worth 1 bonus point, the second 2 bonus points, the third, fourth and fifth 3 bonus points each, and the sixth and seventh 4 bonus points each - although it seems quite difficult to achieve anything more than 3 or 4 such time lines. In most cases, with 2, 3 or 4 Time Lines, players can get an end of game bonus of 3, 6 or 9 points.

Other changes

1. Complete turn order auction. Unlike the regular game where only the highest bidder pays his bid, the rules prescribe that bidders who pass must pay half (rounded down) of their current bid, and are assigned positions in turn order from last to first. This For-Sale type bidding system is inspired by the rules of Age of Steam, and is already commonly used by many game groups.


Turn Order chart during a game

2. Using opponents track forbidden. One big change in the rules for this expansion is that players may not use their opponents' track. Unfortunately this important rule change isn't mentioned in the rulebook, but it has been posted by the designer (see this thread). It's a sensible adjustment, since the time warps already give enough potential for making deliveries to all kinds of locations. Being able to use tracks from opponents would just make the amount of possibilities for deliveries rather ridiculous, and the decision trees could quickly become paralyzing, so it's a good rule.

3. No Tycoon cards. Another noticeable change in this expansion is that there are no Tycoon/Baron cards. This means that there are no secret objectives that might potentially determine your strategy - to some extent the end-of-game points from Time Lines replace this.


Three players connected to the time warps of the Old West

CONCLUSIONS

What do I think?

I've played three games so far, with two players and three players, and here are some of my impressions so far:

● Gorgeous maps. Not enough can be said about the beauty of the maps. The artwork on the boards is truly fantastic, and I especially love how aspects of the different time periods have been incorporated along the sides of the map - this really enhances flavour and aesthetic appeal. Just when I thought the publisher couldn't make the game look better than it is, they come out with this expansion! I really like the look of the scoretrack too, and the way other aspects of gameplay have been incorporated on it. I think this is easily the most beautiful looking expansion in the series.

● Multiple delivery options. Being able to deliver across time warps increases the possible places for delivering goods manifold - you can often find ways of going almost anywhere. This does have the potential to make the heads of analysis-paralysis prone players spin - such folks would be well advised to stick to the `regular' expansions. It also means that it's harder to see what your opponents plans might be. One advantage of the myriad of options is that Hotels become more useful, because you can use time warps to find more ways of delivering the right cubes to them.

● Less interaction. The fact that maps are somewhat independent, often means that players will concentrate their initial trackbuilding efforts on one map. The maps are quite balanced, and so this is often the most logical strategy to pursue. The downside is that the early stages of games do see players focusing on their area of concentration, and more interaction only developed later in the game. To what extent this is the case will depend on the playing style of your group, but the somewhat solitaire feel is enhanced by the fact that you can't make deliveries over the tracks built by your opponents (a sensible rule for this expansion), so for the most part you focus more on your own trackbuilding plans and will concentrate in one area and keep all your links adjacent. Of course there is interaction via the auction and competition for various objectives, but somehow the overall result is more of a multiplayer solitaire feel than some of the other expansions. This isn't a criticism, but simply a reflection of the fact that the game does have a different feel.

● Reduced impact of Time Lines. Unlike the Major Lines in the original game, the Time Lines only score points at the game end, so they don't usually help you advance your income mid game. The amount of points they earn tends to be fairly minimal, so they don't determine strategies quite to the same extent that Major Lines do in other forms of the game. It's true that the more you have the more valuable they are, because they all have to be connected, it is not really viable strategy to get more than 3 or 4. As a result they don't quite have the same impact on the game as Major Lines do. Overall the result is that the long-term objectives like Major Lines and Baron cards are not as strong in this expansion - your longer term strategies will be driven more by the boards and cubes in play rather than these other factors.

● New Time Bounty objectives. The Time Traveler starting card that grants 2 points to the first player to deliver goods across a time warp is a nice and natural addition. The other Time Bounties that are specific to each map are only worth 1 point, and by the time they appear often a player already has a network established to get these points by an immediate delivery. I wonder if these would be more useful if they were simply added to the starting cards each game, perhaps with an increased value of 2 points each. But as it is they do add a bit of spice to the auctions when they come up.

● No secret long-term objectives. The absence of Railroad Barons with bonus points is a deliberate design choice, since the designer is of the conviction that they are an unnecessary extra element (even in the base game) in a game that already has so many strategic choices. This is largely a matter of personal taste - personally I miss them, because not only can these drive your strategy in different directions depending on which cards you draw, but they also add an element of surprise for the end game. Its true that the Time Lines do offer points for the end of the game, but they don't determine your strategic choices in the same way that Railroad Barons do. Adding them wouldn't have introduced any real complexity than was in the original game, and perhaps someone will come up with some at some point, or you could just add the generic ones from the base game if you really wanted to.

● Easier money. There are quite a number of possibilities for building short routes for making some initial deliveries, and by building up a small network and being able to deliver over time warps just increases the amount of options for getting cubes to the right coloured cities. In all the games we've played so far we've been able to manage with just two or three bonds each. Money might get somewhat tighter in games with more players, but for the most part track-building costs seem quite reasonable.

● Improved turn order auction. Most people who are serious players of the Railways of the World system will appreciate the need for some kind of complete turn auction to determine player order besides just the starting player, especially in games with more players. The turn order employed here is evidently in common usage in the designer's own group, and seems to be a good system. But it really should have been listed as an optional or recommended rule, since there's no reason why it's more necessary with this expansion than with any other. Granted, given that money is not that tight, it does work quite well here because it doesn't impose too many additional financial constraints. As a system for determining turn order it's a good one, and worth carrying over to some of the other expansions and the base game as an optional rule set. I do like the way that this has been incorporated on the score board as well.

● Fully customizable and scalable. One of the real strengths of this expansion is how customizable it is. Choose the maps you want. Play with the number of players you want. Not only will this make each game different, but it also scales beautifully. This naturally built in replayability and scalability is terrific! Particularly having being very playable with 2 players will make this an attractive product for people looking for an alternative map in addition to the Mexico expansion - plus you can try a variety of setups.


A map setup for three players

Recommendation

End of a 2 player game

Is Railways Through Time for you? When I asked the designer what the goal of this expansion was and how it compared with other expansions, his answer was: "It became clear early on that the Railways Through Time expansion was not meant for a beginner RofW player. If you are a hardcore fan of the RofW series and have played the maps you already own a hundred times, I think you will enjoy the variety this expansion provides." Personally I think this expansion is even more accessible than that, and you don't need to be anywhere near a hardcore player to enjoy it. Certainly if you're new to the game and just want to play on a slightly different map, given that the base game already comes with maps ideal for 2-3 players (Mexico) and 4-6 players (Eastern US), you might want to start by considering the maps that are especially geared to the 3 or 4 player experience (Europe or England). But even if you've only played a dozen times or so and want a different experience than the base game, and a way to play the Railways of the World system but with a different feel, the Railways Through Time expansion will offer that for you.

Is it a better game than the original? That's not entirely a fair question, because it doesn't set out to do that. But I do think that it does achieve what it sets out to do, namely, to create a slightly different and fun experience, while retaining most of the things we love about the base game. As such, if you're a fan of the series and looking to try something that's offers a small twist on the original game, this expansion is a good choice. It retains enough of the original to be familiar and enjoyable, and adds enough new elements to provide a rewarding and different experience. With terrific components, and a fully scalable system that's fun to play, I think designer Charlie Bink has done the Railways of the World system proud. Bravo!



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mb The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

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Andy Andersen
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As always, excellent job.
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Brian Brokaw
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Great overview Ender. I agree with all of your conclusions and am happy that you picked up on the items that I feel strongest about:

Reduced impact of major / time lines
Missing Barons
Nice Turn Order Track
More delivery options / less emphasis on one massive network

The guy who ALWAYS beats me in this game is typically first to build a link through time and our games have always tended to be very competitive for cubes... even though we play Charlie's unwritten rule of not using anyone else's links.
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Andre Viana
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Excelent. Congrats.
 
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Blake Rule
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Great review, as usual.

As a big fan of the ROTW series, I have mostly negative feelings about this expansion. While the game play sounds very fun, the theme doesn't appeal to me at all. It's just a little too cheezy for me. I was expecting it to go from the beginning of trains in the early 19th century to the future (via a few time periods in between). To start in the Stone Age and hit on lots of time periods when trains didn't exist just hasn't quite sunk in for me yet. I need to give it a little time I guess. Perhaps if the ratings on BGG come out to be phenomenal I will overlook the strange theme and buy it.

I do think that the new cards look awesome, the boards look great, and in general it looks like a very fun game to play. I just don't know that it would hit the table as much as the Western U.S. or Europe do, because of the theme. It does sound like a fun theme, but I fear that if I suggested to people that my wife and I play games with that we play it one night, they will look at me funny for buying such a nerdy-themed game. Am I the only person who feels this way on this one?

My suggestion for the designers would be to next do a Railways of Africa map. I would definitely buy that one. I would also suggest that it involve having to bribe governments (ex: pay $10k) in order to build track in certain countries.
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Joshua Gardner
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Gabriel Knight. Check it out at GOG.Com
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Great review. For me, the scalability makes this game worth the price alone.
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Jeff Pratt
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Just admit it already, Small World is not a fantasy wargame...it's a Mancala variant!
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blake33 wrote:

As a big fan of the ROTW series, I have mostly negative feelings about this expansion. While the game play sounds very fun, the theme doesn't appeal to me at all. It's just a little too cheezy for me. I was expecting it to go from the beginning of trains in the early 19th century to the future (via a few time periods in between). To start in the Stone Age and hit on lots of time periods when trains didn't exist just hasn't quite sunk in for me yet. I need to give it a little time I guess. Perhaps if the ratings on BGG come out to be phenomenal I will overlook the strange theme and buy it.

My suggestion for the designers would be to next do a Railways of Africa map. I would definitely buy that one. I would also suggest that it involve having to bribe governments (ex: pay $10k) in order to build track in certain countries.


I'm glad you finally got around to this one, Ender. I have been waiting to see exactly how the "time" element was going to work within the RotW system. I was hoping that this expansion would take more chances with the base game and send it in a new direction. When it was first announced, I envisioned a board game version of Chrononauts with the players trying to build links to specific places and events. As it stands, we are still just shipping the same old blue (or is that purple? whistle) cubes from one city to another.

Tracking specific goods and demands might seem overly complex at first glance, but another rail game Empire Builder does just that and it is smooth and simple. I like most of the new wrinkles that the designer and eagle games added to the system with this expansion (and they do bend the game a fair bit), I just think that they didn't go far enough.

I'm pretty sure that what Blake is saying is that at some point, just releasing a new map isn't going to be good enough. If each map doesn't offer a fresh approach to gameplay and setting specific rules, the expandability of the game is going to fizzle out. Only the hardcore fans are going to buy expansions anyway, so it's silly to be afraid that they aren't going to take the time to figure out how to play with new rules and conditions.

Great job Ender and thanks for the review!
 
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kevin long
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Great review! This game needs more attention. One question. Are the bonus time lines cumulative? I don't get that from the rule book. But assuming what you say does add competition for those routes.
 
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Brian Brokaw
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treece keenes wrote:
Great review! This game needs more attention. One question. Are the bonus time lines cumulative? I don't get that from the rule book. But assuming what you say does add competition for those routes.

Well, I think Ender was assuming cumulative based on increments of 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4 which begets the total values of 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 20 as printed on the board.

I've never personally had more than 9 points I don't think. It is just too many build actions for too few additional points. Only when the links add nicely to your network should you build these major lines. In 1 action I can make a 5 pt delivery typically at the end of the game... why would I spend 3 actions building a link that gets me 3 total points? (Unless I ran out of cubes and those are juicy cubes in the first place.)
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Henry Allen
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blake33 wrote:
Great review, as usual.

As a big fan of the ROTW series, I have mostly negative feelings about this expansion. While the game play sounds very fun, the theme doesn't appeal to me at all. It's just a little too cheezy for me. I was expecting it to go from the beginning of trains in the early 19th century to the future (via a few time periods in between). To start in the Stone Age and hit on lots of time periods when trains didn't exist just hasn't quite sunk in for me yet. I need to give it a little time I guess.


It didn't "start" in the Stone Age...

Quote:
"It is the mid 19th century. Borrowing ideas from the earlier Time Travelers, Thomas Edison has adapted his own version of the "Tesla Chrono Coil".


It started in the 19th century. Of course, once the timelines were open we HAD to build rails back to the stone age. People must have their sabre tooth tiger pelt rugs and authentic first edition wheels you know!

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Blake Rule
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KlydeFrog wrote:
blake33 wrote:
Great review, as usual.

As a big fan of the ROTW series, I have mostly negative feelings about this expansion. While the game play sounds very fun, the theme doesn't appeal to me at all. It's just a little too cheezy for me. I was expecting it to go from the beginning of trains in the early 19th century to the future (via a few time periods in between). To start in the Stone Age and hit on lots of time periods when trains didn't exist just hasn't quite sunk in for me yet. I need to give it a little time I guess.


It didn't "start" in the Stone Age...

Quote:
"It is the mid 19th century. Borrowing ideas from the earlier Time Travelers, Thomas Edison has adapted his own version of the "Tesla Chrono Coil".


It started in the 19th century. Of course, once the timelines were open we HAD to build rails back to the stone age. People must have their sabre tooth tiger pelt rugs and authentic first edition wheels you know!



Cool. I didn't catch the fact that you start in the early 19th century in the review. Thanks for the clarification. That makes more sense to me.
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Samuel Hinz
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Great review as always Ender.

I disagree on a few points, but largely this is a great expansion.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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This expansion also comes with its own score track. The track itself is shorter than the one for the base game, so income will drop back to zero at 60 points, but it seems to be balanced quite well for these maps.

Seriously? Income remains at 10 for any score over 59. That's how works for every other board. Does the rulebook say to go back to zero?
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Brian Brokaw
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I think that's an error in Ender's review. I did not read that income drops to 0 in the rulebook and we always play that income stays constant (at the 59VP / 99VP level) when you exceed the score track. I haven't exceeded the score track in Railways Through Time yet though.

Ender has it officially correct. We use a "house rule" to keep income at the 59 / 99 level.
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Ender Wiggins
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jmucchiello wrote:
Quote:
This expansion also comes with its own score track. The track itself is shorter than the one for the base game, so income will drop back to zero at 60 points, but it seems to be balanced quite well for these maps.

Seriously? Income remains at 10 for any score over 59. That's how works for every other board. Does the rulebook say to go back to zero?
brokasaphasia wrote:
I think that's an error in Ender's review. I did not read that income drops to 0 in the rulebook and we always play that income stays constant (at the 59VP / 99VP level) when you exceed the score track. I haven't exceeded the score track in Railways Through Time yet though.

Thanks for the responses - it is entirely possible that we are playing this wrong, and I would be glad to be corrected if that's the case!

My above-quoted sentence wasn't quite as clear as it could have been, so firstly let me clarify: what I meant is that when you go from 59 to 60, you loop back to the beginning of the score-track and get the income listed there, which for 60 would be $0, 61 would be $3, 62 would be $4, etc (as seen in the image on the right).

The rules for this expansion make no special provisions about this, but this is how we've always understood the rules for the base game to work. Could you point me to the place in the rulebook where it states that when you have completed an entire "lap" of the scoreboard, your income remains static at the last amount?

We've exceeded 60 points at least a couple of times with the Railways Through Time expansion already, so it can happen from time to time. I don't expect you'll need large amounts of income at this point of the game anyway, but there could be occasions where it would matter. At any rate, I'd like to get the rules about income amounts after lapping the scoreboard right regardless - for all forms of the game, so I welcome some confirmation of the correct way to play!
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Brian Brokaw
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Oh, now that I search for it I see that Keith Blume officially responded the way you represent it Ender:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/819695#819695

I guess my group has been using a "house rule" for this. But I'll note there is a LOT of discussion about this particular rule in the RRT forums and like "table order for turn order" this rule seems to be house ruled quite frequently.
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Joe Mucchiello
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Where is the rule that says you wrap back to zero? Europe, the scoreboard that comes with RotW, Eng&W all those maps have a + sign next to the last score point indicating (on Europe for example) that for 80+ points you get $10 each round (or whatever point score is listed). Keith was responding to the rules in Railroad Tycoon. RthruTime is an expansion for Railways of the World where the + sign definitely exists. It is unfortunate that they left the + sign of the Time score track.

Check it out here: 99+ = $9
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George
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The Railroad Tycoon rules do make it pretty clear:
The income track is used to keep track of the players points, and the income that the player receives at the end of each turn. (Note: If a player earns more than 100 points, move the player’s token back to the beginning of the track and add 100 to their final score. If this occurs, the player’s income will be reduced, but will begin to rise again.)


My "Rails of Europe" does have the "+" but no mention of a rule change in the book. Unfortunately, Railways rulebooks aren't online so I can't check to see if they say something different.

Edit: Actually I just checked my actual RRT board and it has 100+ on it too! As seen here:

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Ender Wiggins
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Strange and stranger. The Railroad Tycoon rulebook indeed makes it explicitly clear that your income is supposed to wrap around (despite the income track also stated 99+), as is evident from the last sentence shown below:



But now here's the odd thing: this section doesn't appear anywhere in the rulebooks of Railways of the World. None of it! In fact, the income track isn't even listed under the components in the rulebook! I suspect this might be an oversight that happened when the single rulebook of Railroad Tycoon was divided into the two rulebooks of Railways of the World (one for the base system, the other for the expansion map).

At this point we're risking derailing this thread from the original review and from Railways of Time - I'd respectfully request that any further discussion of this incoming-wrapping question occur in the Railways of the World forum. There is an existing thread on the subject, which you'll find here:

Over 99 points?

I've posted a response in that thread, and I will contact the publisher to see if I can get some kind of official word on this point - stay tuned in that thread for a follow-up.

Edit: I've received confirmation from the publisher that the income in Railways of the World and its expansions is intended to wrap along with your score, just as in the Railroad Tycoon rules, and does not stay constant at the amount listed at the end of the score track. See my post in the above mentioned thread for details.
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Karl von Laudermann
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EndersGame wrote:
1. Complete turn order auction. Unlike the regular game where only the highest bidder pays his bid, the rules prescribe that bidders who pass must pay half (rounded down) of their current bid, and are assigned positions in turn order from last to first. This For-Sale type bidding system is inspired by the rules of Age of Steam, and is already commonly used by many game groups.

This bidding system is also presented as a variant in the RotW base game instructions. I personally always use it when playing with more than three players.
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Warren Adams
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Another spanking review Ender - but can we tell the difference between blue and purple cities this time?
 
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Ender Wiggins
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tallboy wrote:
Another spanking review Ender - but can we tell the difference between blue and purple cities this time?

Good news Warren: yes! The city colours nicely match the city colours of the reprint edition of Railways of the World that came out at the end of 2010, which gets the colours right (finally!) by making the blue and purple very distinct, as well as ensuring that they match the cube colours.

Here's an example from the Stone Age map, which has a purple city (Hogar) and a blue city (Jurth) in close proximity, so you can compare the colours for yourself.

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