Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Monday, May 01, 2006

Railroad Tycoon - The best train game ever?

Things have been really busy this last week as I've been constantly working or studying for my upcoming State License Exam for Real Estate Appraisers. I plan to take the test in May and have been cramming every spare minute I have and so games (and this Blog) have taken a backseat.

I have continued to game on Friday nights with my regular gaming group, the CVW (Central Valley Wargamers) - I'm not going to stop gaming completely! Lately there has been a lot of Martin Wallace's Railroad Tycoon (RRT) hitting the table and I figure it's about time to talk about it.

First of all, this game is GREAT. Really. I have yet to play a game where everyone wasn't having fun regardless of how many points they had or whether they even had a chance to win. People like to play this. Visually, RRT is a beautiful game to look at. The board slowly builds up over time as routes and locomotives are placed, empty city markers begin to appear while the good's cubes slowly disappear one by one. It's like you are building a model railroad in a lot of ways and that is appealing on many levels.

The game itself is both highly strategic and tactical yet you never feel overwhelmed or intimidated from the many options each turn presents to you. There are many different roads to victory and I have found myself trying a strategy I saw somoeone else use in a prior game to see how well it will work for me. I've seen people win many different ways - some expectedly and others completely by surprise. Some people will jump into an early lead, attempting to pull way out in front and then they'l try and end the game quickly by emptying cities wherever they can. Others try and capitalize on the Major Lines and service bounties whenever possible, and still others try and deliver as many cubes as possible from all over. Whatever your pleasure, RRT delivers.

The game components themselves are top notch. The box is very heavy and is crammed with tons of plastic miniatures, wooden cubes, cards, trains (and more!) making the hefty price tag seem well worth it. I have had NO problems with board warpage and only a few problems with the Blue/Purple city confusion. I have since printed out the replacement stickers but it still can be confusing in low light.

Everyone I've introduced the game to has enjoyed it and I expect it to be heavily played for years to come. The game is easy to teach and just begs for expansions... hopefully Eagle Games will come up with some great ideas to keep the replayability high on RRT for a long, long time.

If you haven't tried it, find someone who has a copy and beg them to play! Go to a convention and sit in on a game or just break down and buy it for yourself! You won't be disappointed.