Thoughts from the EGG head

My slightly skewed view of the boardgame world from Eugene, OR.
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From semi-random win to naptime

EGG Head
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Another great day of games with the usual suspects!

Cary had been intrigued after reading the descriptions of Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy, in particular the Italy map where delivering black cubes over someones tracks causes them to lose income! (as if the AoS isn't already hard enough).
The other differences are that taking shares is unlimited and you can take shares on demand basically. Shares are -2 each at the end game instead of -3. Players are only allowed to build one link and no matter how long the link is it must be completed. The engineer action lets you place or replace one tile for free. Urbanization lets you remove two black cubes from the board or display and replace them randomly from the bag. When you deliver goods you can either deliver a good as normal or deliver black cubes to any city and the owner of the links used loses one income per link.
Cary and Robert started in the North of Italy and I started in the south (not a good move on my part). I soon discovered my deliveries were severely hindered by Rome being a blue and red city. Robert gave Cary a nice black cube delivery and then me once causing me to have to take an extra loan as I lost out on 3 income. I soon had double the number of shares Robert had taken. He was making good use of the engineer action and getting one build for free and frequently passing in the auction. I kind of struggled along thru the mid game with nowhere to really build track as I didn't have the cash to build longitudinally through the mountain range. Cary and Robert where making all kinds of small connections in the north. I did manage to keep pace with them on the income track. Here is what it looked like on the penultimate turn
That's me (blue) with 12 shares compared to Cary's 8 (black) and Robert's 5 (purple). I figured I was well out of it. The last turn resulted in some big changes as some seemingly random swings in the income track made a big difference. Robert knocked Cary back on the income track with a 6 locomotive black cube delivery and Cary returned the favor. I made my 5 delivery route with 1 to Robert. I think there was another black cube delivery in the north and at the end of the turn it looked like this
with my random win by a large margin!

After we were done, we were waiting for everyone else to finish and pulled out New York Central. NYC has become one of my (admittedly many) favorite card games for 3. I really can't believe it hasn't been picked up by a larger publisher as it's really a pretty nifty stock game. Players get points in the end game for having the most and 2nd most shares of companies equal to the distance of played trains from each company to their destination, but you can also gain points during the game doing "passenger runs" where trains played can be picked up and turned into points by giving up shares.
Cary almost won with a pure passenger run strategy. Robert had a bit of both and I went mostly for shares. I pulled out a 1 point win.

Robert had brought Hansa Teutonica with the Hansa Teutonica: East Expansion
which I was quite interested in playing. Thad and Julie joined us. I think the new board is a neat little change up. I kind of wandered around with out focus in the game and lost badly while Thad quickly racked up 20 points and a nice network. Julie edged Robert for 2nd place by 1 point. Looking forward to trying this expansion again.

Robert pulled out Cary's Ever Green. I had avoided this game like the plague-it looked like music was involved and I don't do music (not out of dislike but rather lack of any kind of skill or talent in that particular category). Turns out it's a speed game-one of my fav types of games! Cary had made it even more tense by using a 30 second timer instead or a 45 second timer. Really interesting little game of optimizing scoring rounds. Of course it helps that I won

Finally for the end of the night Cary brought out Siesta an old release. It's a multi-player abstract. Julie joined us in this one. It has some interesting mechanics where you may place a light source, a building or a shadow. You must score a point on your turn. I'd be interested in trying it again. Cary beat me by 1 point.
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