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Subject: Comparisons of Airlines, Union Pacific and Airlines Europe rss

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EGG Head
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Having recently have had the opportunity to play both Airlines and Airlines Europe, I thought it might be nice to compare the 3 games (The 2 Airlines game and Union Pacific). This thread is assuming you have some familiarity with UP.

Airlines- Has 9 types of stock, route cards numbered 1-14 with 5 types of routes/flight paths. The routes have numbered token spots. To place a token you must match the route pattern as well as have a numbered card equal or higher than the spot on the board. The lowest numbered token spot on a route must be the first one taken. There is no equivalent UP stock. Has sabotage rules in which you can use one stock card to place a blocking token on a route.
Actions during the game: 1)found a new airline (play stock for one airline and a route card placing a token on route) then draw a new route/flight card and a stock, 2) draw a flight card and then expand the route of an existing airline by playing a flight card and then pick up a stock card, and 3) play stock-can play as many stock as they like for one airline.
4 scoring rounds the last one after the deck is emptied out and the last stock is drawn. First and second place are scored in each stock. Players are awarded VP and the player with the most VP wins.

Union Pacific- Has 10 train company stocks plus UP stock. Has 4 route/track types, each token space on the routes is equivalent. Each player starts with 1 share in play.
Actions during the game: first draw a track card then either 1) Build track by playing a track card and placing a token on a route. They may then pick a stock including UP and may discard a stock to pick up an additional UP or 2) Invest and play as many stock of one company as desired or 1 stock each of 2 different companies and then discard a track card.
4 scoring cards are placed in the deck and the games is over after the last scoring round. First and second place are scored in each company and the UP is scored out to 5th place if necessary. Players are given dividends in money here. THe player with the most money wins.

Airlines Europe- Has 10 airline stocks plus Air Abacus /UP stock, no flight/route cards-it instead uses money to purchase spots (from 3-8) on flight paths and you must take the lowest numbered available spot on a route. Each player starts with 1 share of 2 different airlines in play and $8.
Actions during play: 1) Pay money to expand routes by 1 or 2 tokens. The airlines worth is increased by an equivalent number to the route spot taken. Some of the airlines can earn bonuses for completion of certain route connections. Then draw a stock but not Air Abacus. 2)Play stock cards down. You may play 1 stock of 2 different airlines or as many stock as wanted of one airline. You receive $2 for each stock played. 3) Take Air abacus stock by turning in 1 stock for 1 Air Abacus or 3 stock for 2 Air Abacus stock. 4) take $8.
There are 3 scoring cards placed in the deck. Multiple places I think it was first thru third in each stock are awarded and the Air Abacus stock scores 3 places the first round, 4 places the second round and 5 places the last round. After the scoring round, Players pick one stock from the display and the remaining stock are cleared and a new display is set out. Players are awarded VP here not money. The games is over after the third round and most VP wins.

So it is very interesting to see the evolution of the game over time. Each incarnation has certainly streamlined the game in different respects and it has become more polished in many ways. Airlines Europe does a nice job of eliminating any luck factor in drawing the right route cards and adds in the extra decision of when and how to get money. I'm not sure if I like the game better with the UP/AA stock or completely without it. In our Airlines game no one really had a chance to utilize the sabotage rule although it seems like it could be interesting.
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Eugene
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The replacement of path/track cards with straight currency in AE gives the added dimension of money management to the game. Being left without sufficient funds to place a route marker -- any route marker -- just so you can acquire that desperately needed face-up share is a painful thing indeed. If anything, I think the element of timing is much more pronounced in AE when compared to the earlier two titles. And speaking of timing, AE seems to play at a much swifter pace.

All in all, AE is a more streamlined experience that, in my mind, maintains a steadier level of the just-one-more-turn tension Airlines/UP is famous for.
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EGG Head
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I'm not sure AE plays that much faster. We were only playing with 3 people, none of which suffer from AP. AE feels like it might be better with more people to add a bit more competition for the airlines and routes. With only 3 players we really only focused on 3 or 4 airlines at the most. Oops! blush looks like we were supposed to remove the yellow and purple airlines from the game.
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Eugene
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They were removed, its just those were called Brown and Grey...
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EGG Head
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lol, oh ok
 
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dave baldwin
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Thanks Lorna. Airlines Europe is a must buy!
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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One note is that UP plays six while Airlines Europe appears to only play five.
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Huzonfirst
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grandslam wrote:
One note is that UP plays six while Airlines Europe appears to only play five.

And that's a point in Airlines Europe's favor, IMO. I don't think UP plays well with six at all, due to lack of control. And yet, because it can handle that number, most of my games of UP have been with 6. I applaud publishers who limit designs to realistic numbers of players.
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chris wuebbles
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we played a game of AE tonight and I don't think the game is any faster than airlines, it is just more fast paced. there isn't that whole looking at the board trying to find which path you can build on and trying to figure out what you can do. I almost always knew my move before It was my turn. I agree with the game feeling more streamlined. I like it and will get it when I can.
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