Steam Engines, Shareholders, Land Grabs, Pickup and Delivery, and Managing the ever changing landscape. This is the heart of Age of Steam. A beautiful game that is heavy in both box and game play.
When I have my friends play this game, I remind everyone to name their Rail Co. Mine is the Black Plague Rails.
Every player has these Engines to use to mark the rails they own on the board. These Red Trains represent the stake of the Vamping Blood Co. a blood thirsty rail that is just trying to get meat to the world.
The board before the game begins, cubes representing goods are placed through out the cities on the map. These cubes are needing rails to transport them to their same colored city. You also earn extra money by going through extra cities.
Just a huge pile of tracks for players to buy, and the only way we can buy them is if we have money.
Here is the board that everyone uses to pick up money through selling shares, but for every share you will owe the share holders 1 dollar. As the game plays out you will be grabbing more shares to help pay other shares and also to be able to buy more track. How high will you go to be able to win, also these shares are worth negative victory points.
The bottom of this board represents the players potential actions, and also bonus actions that they can take. The above cubes are used to replace (randomly) the goods into the cities on the map.
A cool mechanic of the game is these New Cities that can be added to the game through Urbanization. These cities also gain their own goods through the random production dice.
This game has an amazing premise: the race for the land and the goody cubes. I love that you are in-debt to the Share holders, it creates this incredible in game persona that you answer to. There is always this fine line between the crazy how much money should I get out of the game through selling shares and the extent of what I can actually accomplish in a turn.
Even though there is no real supplies being railed across the Northern USA, I have always felt that I was accomplishing something. Something Great comes through when I claw and fight to grab that tiny space of land between two cities, just to cut off someone else.
Yep its really that good. This game has some analysis paralysis, but a few turns in players begin to realize the importance of things link the Links action (ability to take goods farther to make more money).
One of my favorite things to do is Urbanize the towns to cities, it gives me a lot of control over where new goods will be placed on the board.
As always play more games,