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TOPIC: What TRAINS are you TRAINING?

What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 05 Dec 2016 22:32 #239902

The scope of train games in the hobby is vast, ranging from Ticket to Ride all the way to Ticket to Ride: Europe.

- Why do you like (or dislike) train games?
- Which train games are your favorite? Least favorite?
- Why would you play a train game over a game in which you can murder your opponents?
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 05 Dec 2016 22:45 #239905

My post from last month:
I also played one game of Age of Steam and one game of Rails of Europe. I haven't played either game in over 2 years. But I still love both games. For me Railroad Tycoon is still my favorite TOS rating =9, Railway of Europe or the World=8.5, Age of Steam=8 and Steam = 7.5. I like the big map, tycoon cards, service bounties and other fun aspects of RRT and Rails of Europe most of all. Age of Steam is ugly and harsh but still a great game. Steam is ok but just seems a little watered down for me.

Ticket to Ride is one of my least favorite games. I tolerate it just to make other people happy but it makes me cranking and miserable.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 05 Dec 2016 23:39 #239908

Trains are awesome. Seriously.

As a little kid who didn't want to be an engineer... at least once?

The kids across the street had an incredible model train set complete with mountains, a couple of small towns, power lines, a tunnel, bridges, forest ... the whole damned thing. I'm pretty sure that's how I got into modeling/minis in the first place. I still like them too. I ride trains here in Vancouver all the time. They rock.

As for games, well, I still play TTR... mainly the Swiss board with my wife since she likes that game and that map works well with two players and I LOVE Railways of the World but my game group is only ho hum on it so I don't get to play it that often. I have four maps for it though and I want to play it more. I also dig Chicago express but I guess that's only kind of a train game.

I've played lots more too but those are the ones that have stuck around. I guess I like RotW because there is a decent amount of strategy, there's a map (always a plus) and it's a brutal economic game at heart with a dash of luck thanks to the cards. All things that appeal to me. I could easily get rid of the others ones and just keep RotW.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 05 Dec 2016 23:43 #239909

1. What I like about train games is the challenge of building the best rail network, with 'best' being game-dependent.

b) I'd rank them Railroad Tycoon/Railways of the World, then Age of Steam/Steam, then the various Empire Builder games, then 18xx. For me, Ticket to Ride is more rummy than a train game.

iii - I played Castles of Burgundy the other day, and that's about as bloodshed-free as you can get.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 05 Dec 2016 23:59 #239910

I love train game as well. In fact, if I were to drop back out of minis gaming, I'd buy 2-3 crayon rails and call it. Probably, Euro Rails, Martian Rails, and Iron Dragon. Damn, tough because I also like Lunar and Russia.

I like playing a game where the goal is to travel maps and create routes.

Ticket to Ride I'm big on because it's my wife favorite game so we have a lot of grudge matches. We decided we didn't need a lot of maps though so sold some off.

I've never played any of the 18XX, Steam, Railways/Tycoons, etc...so not sure how into them I'd be, but TtR and Crayon Rails are just a fun laid back time at the table.

Edit: Outside of maybe two (Manoeuvre and TITAN) I would prefer to play a train board game over a board game where I was murdering opponents. Travel is more fun to me than murder.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 00:12 #239912

- Why do you like (or dislike) train games?

I like economic train games - the ones that combine elements of track building, stock holding, and shared incentives.

- Which train games are your favorite? Least favorite?

Favourites: 18XX. Least favourite: Ticket to Ride.

- Why would you play a train game over a game in which you can murder your opponents?

Because I like them to be conscious while I laugh in their face and drink their tears after bringing them financial ruin.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 00:17 #239913

I failed to mention it, but my ideal train game would be a crayon rails game set in the old west. I have no idea why this hasn't been done, this style of train game calls for it. Drip the game in sepia tones. Heck, we've got crayon-Mars, -Moon, and -Fantasy Land, but no Old West?
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 07:28 #239917

dysjunct wrote:
Why do you like (or dislike) train games?
Even though I really enjoy the theme, the main reason I like train games is that they tend to be great economic games. They have a lot of interaction, draw from a great set of mechanics (stock, auctions, maps) and tend to be very unique in their challenges, the best train games all have a small "trick" that makes them play very differently from each other.

They are also pretty unlikely to snowball, which I think is the most common flaw of the genre. I really appreciate that.

On the sillier side, I think it's enjoyable to build somethng with a purporse. Looking at the map after a game and realizing how much the world has changed is fun and it feels like you actively took part on it, instead of just putting pretty markers on a map. One of my favourite little hings in gaming is discussing a game after it's over and pointing uot where railroads got driven out of a pass or managed to untangle themselves is a lot of fun.
Which train games are your favorite? Least favorite?
I haven't played that many train games, actually, so I will just comment on the three families I have:

Steam: Steam is one of my favourite games. Not "board games", games, in general. To me it's the best, toughest brainburner I've ever played and really defines "heavy strategy" to me. What makes this game is great is very simple: Most games give you a series of options and ask "Which one is the best move?". Steam, which is much meaner, gives you a clearly better option, some that may or may not be all that and then asks you "Put a price to them". And then, it laughs a little "But remember to also put a price to your opponent's not getting them!".

Sadly, my current group doesn't like it so I guess I'll have to play online when the digital version is released on Steam. Steam on Steam, heh.

Winsome cube rails: Whenever I read about these games I'm tempted to get all of them. They are all very simple and often very quick, while being deep and rewarding. They are really streamlined. I own Chicago Express and I'm eyeing Continental Divide. That one has no auctions, you simply decide how many shares a new railroad will have and everytime someone buys a new share, it gets the money. Feels very different and very long-term fun, which I really like.

While I like 18XX games, I think they are kind of a mixed bag in that they have a massive tendence to become shelf toads. They aren't very complex rules-wise, but they are long and require repeated play for their benefits to shine. 1830, for example, will take forever with a table of newbies because there's no fixed end-game and the initial auction is a dated, messy mechanic that punishes first plays.

So, I think that if you get into 18XX you should try to get one that you know can get played. I own 1825, which is euro-like in lenght and has no initial auction, if my group were less hostile to new games, I think I could get it fairly often to the table. On the other hand, my handmade copy of 1843, a nastier Clearclaw-designed variant of 1830 won't see the table. Ever.

To be honest, I would love to play 1853. I like building, it seems fun, shame it's niche even within the 18XX community.
Why would you play a train game over a game in which you can murder your opponents?
I have played hundreds of games and I think over 90% of them were about violence and murder. I'm pretty tired of violence, both as theme and mechanic. It doesn't help that games and nerd media as a whole have a fetishistic approach to violence, "ludicrous gibs" would not be considered a bonus in any other medium.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 08:42 #239922

I'm really glad to hear railroad tuck is one of the best. I was worried I was missing out on better rail games. I find it fun but the map is too big. Haven't tried Age of Steam yet...
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 10:40 #239931

dysjunct wrote:
- Why do you like (or dislike) train games?
There is huge diversity among what could be called a "train" game. The best ones, to me, operate in multiple dimensions: strong economic theme, long-term planning vs. short-term tactics, the thrill of building something, a race for either land or resources or both, the ability to make "choo-choo" noises while playing.
- Which train games are your favorite? Least favorite?
I kinda hated Ticket to Ride when it first came out. As was said above, it seemed like a boring Rummy variant. I've since come to enjoy it more, but I still really only find it tolerable.

I love Railways of the World. As discussed in the other thread, I've thought about moving up to Steam or Age of Steam, but I doubt the differences are enough to make it worth it.
- Why would you play a train game over a game in which you can murder your opponents?
Sadly, I rarely get to play opponent-murdering games. Since that option is pretty much off the table, I might as well play a train game that I enjoy.
- What's the most recent (new to you) train game you've played and enjoyed?
I picked up Last Spike last year and really like it. It's really more of an Acquire clone than a train game, but it works really well. It's much faster and more random than Acquire (a game I rate a 10), but there's a spot for that kind of game as well. It's definitely worth checking out.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 10:49 #239934

I absolutely love train games, but with my recent paring down of my collection I cleaned out a lot of redundancies. I just do not currently have a group interested in them and I do not feel like making the effort to build one though it would probably be easily done.

Age of Steam is my favorite in it's family and have no interest in ever playing RotW or Steam again. RotW because it is too large and too loose and Steam because too much of the edge was removed.

I am a big fan of 18xx, but I recently sold off everything but 1830 as it was unlikely to get played in the near future and they are easily converted to cash.

I used to buy all the Winsome stuff (up through 2013 or so), but the group that supported that all moved out of town. I have also sold off quite a bit of this over the past year. I much prefer Winsome's clean, no-frills productions to the later released versions. It is much easier to parse the game state.

I loathe Ticket to Ride and would actively avoid playing it at a game day. If I was at a relatively non-gamer gamer's home for a social occasion, I would play without comment as I do not want to ruin others fun in that type of situation.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 11:17 #239937

I really liked Hell Rails with Mr. DaveRoswell. That was a lot cooler than I thought it would be.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 11:39 #239941

I like the games all right, because I dig some economic stuff with a strong spatial component and opportunities for really sticking it to people. but I've almost never liked the people that flock to these games at semi-public meetups. They're usually grumpy old men. I'm sure if you've got a group of guys that you like and know, and they happen to play 18xx, it would be enjoyable. I don't have that circle.

So even though I might secretly adore 18xx, I'd rather spend an hour playing TtR with my usual friends than spend relationship capital to go play a rail game for 10 hours with people even quieter than me.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 13:52 #239948

I like train games because they have trains, I also like them because I like building stuff (just) more than I like blowing stuff (I come from an engineering background so that ain't a surprise) up plus (as most others have noted) they tend to have an economic component which creates tension and adds another layer for people to interact (get mad) with each other.

My favourite rail game is Silverton because as well as the track building (that uses a surveyor mechanic that allows you to compete for a certain piece of track) and the usual train upgrades it also has snow ploughs for winter but then the economic part brings in mining (and some passenger routes) where you have to buy mine claims and produce ore/coal/lumber there and then transport to a city to sell on a dynamic commodities market (where prices fluctuate on supply and demand, so you try and crash the price before your opponents can sell). But what caps it all off is if you download the spreadsheet someone has created and bang your laptop on the table you get the live market screen for the game (plus it saves you a lot of dice rolling at the end of every round).
I also like Age of Steam and Steam, although agree with comment about the edge being taken out in the latter, and also enjoyed Railroad Tycoon but small houses and tables in the UK means it doesn't get seen.
I did enjoy the 1825 game I played but that was probably at my limits and i understand that is one of the easier ones so they're probably not for me.

Ticket to Ride is not a train game.
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What TRAINS are you TRAINING? 06 Dec 2016 14:14 #239949

I've played Railroad Tycoon/ Railways of the World, as well as Age of Steam. I liked the first okay, but the latter left a bad taste in my mouth, probably because of the company.
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