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Subject: Railroad Revolution Review rss

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Evan
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Jamie, Steve and Chris,

I really love Railroad Revolution. It's a top-10 game for me, but admittedly, my gaming history pales in comparison to the three of you. I think your critiques of the game are valid and I understand why the game didn't reach that upper echelon for you. But given some of your critiques, I think you should know a couple things.

First, regarding the dominance of the Western Union track. It's a legitimate critique and has been raised a number of times. Here is the quote from the designers that you were looking for...

Capo Oro wrote:
During the development of the game, our aim was to create a game that was easier to grasp than Zhanguo, mainly after we received some feedback about ZhanGuo being a bit too complex for the first games. The Telegraph strategy was intended to be an easier approach for first-time players to compete with more experienced players. It is possible to have high scores without maximizing the Western Union, but this is harder to do and requires a more strategic use of the meeples and of the trains.

Saying that, we are aware that a number of people feel the Telegraph strategy is a bit too good, and recently saw someone proposed a variant to make it more difficult by increasing the costs of the Western Union Performance track at 500-500-1000.

We actually had that same version during the development of the game, but a number of our testers felt it was too difficult. And because we wanted this part of the game to be an easier strategy, we reduced the costs gradually during testing.

If you feel that the Telegraph strategy is too easy, we suggest you apply that variant. It actually just makes the game more challenging but it doesn’t change the main structure and the spirit of the game. So it is approved by the authors

Actually, during the development, we started to test a more complex version of the whole performance system, but we felt it not fitting with the aim of having an easy to grasp game as it requires more calculations. So, we thought to develop it as an expansion and we are actually working on it – and other expansions ideas as well, so stay tuned

Stefania & Marco


There you have it. Play the Western Union track with costs of $500-$500-$1000 and it solves most of the game's balance issues.

Furthermore, another official variant is that when you fulfill a milestone, when you reach for a new milestone tile, instead of taking the top three and picking the one you want, now you officially can look through the entire stack to insure you get a tile that synergizes with your current strategy. These two things balance the game much better and while it will never be as replayable as some other games, I love the intertwining mechanisms and this is a game I can see hitting my table 3-5x per year on a going forward basis.

Thanks for the honest, if disappointing, review.
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Secret Cabal Jamie
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Thanks Evan! I'm really happy you posted that quote from the designer. After we played it a few times, I was so worried that I was doing something wrong. I looked in the book like 3 times trying to figure out if I was just screwing up the rules becasue it seems to weird that that strategy is so easy. I guess it makes sense to have an easy mode in game... but I dunno, I feel like it should be explained in there or at least say here are two version of the game you can play.

I did like it and had fun while playing it every time, but it just didn't hit like the other What's Your Game's games have. I've loved all of the ones I've played so far and am excited to try the others. People saying that Zhanguo is "too complicated" make me REALLY want to try it. I like complexity.

Anyway. Thanks for the post!
 
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Evan
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ZhanGuo is like Concordia. The rules aren't complicated but the decision set is very deep. WOW, do those choices have meaning. It's a great game.

Also, the 1.3 rule set downloadable here DOES describe these two variants, but admittedly they are in small print and don't jump off the page. They are on page 11 and page 12 at the bottom, respectively.
 
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Secret Cabal Jamie
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GoingTopShelf wrote:
ZhanGuo is like Concordia. The rules aren't complicated but the decision set is very deep. WOW, do those choices have meaning. It's a great game.

Also, the 1.3 rule set downloadable here DOES describe these two variants, but admittedly they are in small print and don't jump off the page. They are on page 11 and page 12 at the bottom, respectively.


Ahhh, cool, I'll snag that. Steve got the 1.3 rules but I dont think read them cover to cover. Thanks!
 
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