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Railways Through Time» Forums » General

Subject: Too many warp hexes? rss

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Joe Mucchiello
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I finally played RthruT and find it just okay. There is a lack of tightness that I don't think is solved by removing a board. Because the source of that lack of tightness is the warp hexes. There are too damned many of them. It's impossible to block someone because they can just come in from any of 5 other sides. Since the boards are about 10 x 10 hexes in size (or smaller!) and nearly the whole parameter of some boards are hex tiles, every city is nearly within 4 hexes of 3 or 4 warp hexes (and that means 6-8 warp surfaces). Even Ancient Greece and The Old West could have fewer warp hexes. It should be the rare city that can easily warp in and out of a board without linking to another city on that board.

Not sure this can be helped outside of Magic Marker on some of the hexes. Reducing the length of the build action to 3 hexes per turn would have the opposite effect, discouraging track on the boards.

One thought I had was to have time travel cost one engine point. So a 1 engine can't travel through time. And a 4 engine can only reach 4 cities if all the cities are on the same board. Otherwise it can only reach 3 cities. (It also makes the starting Time Bounty card impossible to receive on the first turn (build city to warp x2, engine upgrade, deliver is 4 actions) making the second turn auction potentially more interesting. Simultaneously, the person with the 2 train is not necessarily set up for the Speed Record op card.
 
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William Simonitis
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Well, since I was there, you know how I feel about it.

I have to wonder if the cost for building warps is just too low. You would think that time travel technology would cost more than the amount it takes to build one hex-worth of track. Of course, if it is too expensive, then nobody will do it. $1, however, seems just too cheap to me.
 
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sean brown

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Are you guys remembering that you can not warp in and out of a board?
Meaning you can NOT build from Azimov to the void, and from the void to Mcfly and consider the line complete. Also, you can not loop in and out of time on the same map, like taking a cube from Azimov to the void, then out from the void to Mcfly.
 
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kevin long
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Completely disagree - money is still tight so beating some one to the best connection to a cities warp is still a great strategy to make them spend more money or go else where. There aren't that many cities where there are multiple equal cost connections to the warps. In those cases the competition is greater and that is great to.

I think if you reduced the warps then you reduce the interaction. This expansion ramps up the mingling of tracks.
 
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William Simonitis
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onekccs wrote:
Are you guys remembering that you can not warp in and out of a board?
Meaning you can NOT build from Azimov to the void, and from the void to Mcfly and consider the line complete. Also, you can not loop in and out of time on the same map, like taking a cube from Azimov to the void, then out from the void to Mcfly.

Yes, we know.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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treece keenes wrote:
Completely disagree - money is still tight so beating some one to the best connection to a cities warp is still a great strategy to make them spend more money or go else where.

Money is not tight in RthruT. It isn't as loose as Western US or basic Eng&Wales. But is no USEast and is not even close to Europe.

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There aren't that many cities where there are multiple equal cost connections to the warps. In those cases the competition is greater and that is great to.

Most cities have two or three equal cost connections.

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I think if you reduced the warps then you reduce the interaction. This expansion ramps up the mingling of tracks.

That can only happen if people forget the prime directive of RotW: Go where the cubes are.
 
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kevin long
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Am i safe in saying the colored cities are more important and more of those have one optimal connection to warp?

What i learned is any city is worth more if it connects to the other side of the map and out another warp.

For a fact i found more interaction in this expansion. Ex. by cutting across possible opponent paths to discourage if they did link to a city i am after.

The tightness i see is that no city is safe. Someone can swoop in after a city like your saying and there is a constant race element judging what is the most important city to get to etc.

Anyway i think there is blocking of a more subtler way and the interaction is increased because of the mobility. The fun factor is up because i am looking at more oppurtunities to pounce. I know some people like to play this game in a solitaire mode and go off in their own corner of a normal train map and get very little interaction with opponents. One of these kind of players i played with didn't like the interaction increase in this expansion.

When i look at a city like "Aubusson" on the Napoleonic map do i see 2 equal optimal connections or do i see 1? I only see one
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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treece keenes wrote:
When i look at a city like "Aubusson" on the Napoleonic map do i see 2 equal optimal connections or do i see 1? I only see one

Who cares about Aubusson? It's gray. Paris on the same board has a dozen two hex builds. +/-1 dollar is meaningless. Money is so loose in RTTime that you can't worry about a dollar or two here and there.

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I know some people like to play this game in a solitaire mode and go off in their own corner of a normal train map and get very little interaction with opponents.

We don't let this happen. Ever. Unless you are hiding in Spain on the Europe map, you can't build alone in out play group. Someone will mess with you.

I don't think our play styles (I mean between your group, Kevin, and mine) are compatible. We always player 4-6 players and we play on the unforgiving maps: Europe and Australia. (Although lately, of course, we been giving USWest and Time more play because they are new.)

You also mentioned somewhere (I think it was you) that you don't like the operations cards. The cards provide the reason for interaction. We don't just throw up our hands and say "Well, Bill is in Spain so he can just have the Service Bounty for Lisbon if it comes up." No, if it turns up and Bill has no ability to deliver a purple cube immediately and a purple cube is in Gijon (presumably not in Bill's network). Someone will attempt to outbid him for first action and they will build the Gijon to Lisbon link to take the bounty. (So much for my saying we let people hide in Spain, right?)

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The tightness i see is that no city is safe. Someone can swoop in after a city like your saying and there is a constant race element judging what is the most important city to get to etc.

In my experience a map is tight when you can get blocked out of places. New York City, Chicago and Charleston, on the USEast maps are easy to get blocked out of and getting yourself locked out of the red cities can be disastrous depending on cube distribution.

I actually think the key RTTime is have lots of short links across several boards so that you can jump from city to city in whatever order puts the cube you are delivering farthest from its source up to the size of your engine. Each turn you alternate build city to warp, city to warp, engine upgrade and deliver, deliver, deliver. Sometimes you expand on the same board if the cubes do not match your other city on the map. Then you can upgrade deliver, deliver. As long as you are playing with enough players, this should not be hard and after turn 4 you should have plenty of money for the builds and upgrades.
 
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William Simonitis
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jmucchiello wrote:

You also mentioned somewhere (I think it was you) that you don't like the operations cards. The cards provide the reason for interaction. We don't just throw up our hands and say "Well, Bill is in Spain so he can just have the Service Bounty for Lisbon if it comes up." No, if it turns up and Bill has no ability to deliver a purple cube immediately and a purple cube is in Gijon (presumably not in Bill's network). Someone will attempt to outbid him for first action and they will build the Gijon to Lisbon link to take the bounty. (So much for my saying we let people hide in Spain, right?)

To clarify, stay out of my area!

Seriously, certain in-game concepts will drive such a build:

First, two baron cards will clearly influence my desire to build such a link. If I have the "links in Spain" baron card (whatever it's called), that build is worth 7 points to me (4+1+2). If I have the "connected to the most cities" baron card, this build will add two more cities to my total, which could be the difference for the bonus 5 points (above and beyond the 5 for delivering the cube to Lisbon.

Second, if the player who is in Spain has an easy method for acquiring a purple cube, especially one which will turn into a 3+ link delivery (before the 4 point bounty is added on), I will consider making the build. This is less of a motivator than the first, but if it is combined with the first, I will almost always make the build and claim the bounty.

Third, if the player who is in Spain is horribly behind in points or I have much more important things to tend to in my own network, which is often the case, I might threaten the build, but rarely actually take it. If the player in Spain is winning and I have nothing better to do, which is rare, I will build and claim the bounty.

Otherwise, I generally agree with Joe's comments above. We're still experimenting with RtT so I reserve the right to change my opinion at a later date.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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You left out 3a: If I have something important to do elsewhere and still don't want the Spain player to get the bounty, I'll attempt to convince someone else to bid high to scoop the bounty.
 
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William Simonitis
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jmucchiello wrote:
You left out 3a: If I have something important to do elsewhere and still don't want the Spain player to get the bounty, I'll attempt to convince someone else to bid high to scoop the bounty.

As we both know, if you're left alone, you are more likely to win.

Encouraging two other players to build in each other's business is always good table talk. ninja
 
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kevin long
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This expansion plays differently - that is clear. Yay for different and not just the same. I am glad new releases are not just coming down to a difference in "tightness". Snore.
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