Thursday session: Set, Age of Steam

Set box

For some reason I hadn’t played Set before. After all, as a pattern recognition game it’s right up my alley. I had tried it in some Helcon or other, but there was a mess and nobody knew how to play and it just fizzled. Now I had better luck, as Olli introduced us to the game.

I love it. The concept is pure and simple. There are cards with four attributes: shape, colour, fill and number. So, there might be three red filled ovals, or one blue empty rectangle, for example. Three cards form a set, if each of their attributes is either same or different. In other words, if exactly two cards share an attribute, the cards don’t make a set.

I got a slow start and lost some points for wrong calls. In the end I got the hang of it and finished with the biggest number of sets, I think, but lost to Olli because I had too many minus points. I love the game, though it’s certainly one of those tricky games that just don’t work with most people. It’s good enough that I just drew my own copy. Trifty me.

Box front: Age of Steam

The main game of the evening was Age of Steam. We used Ted Alspach’s Europe map. It’s a pretty cool map, mounted and all, with only few rule changes. That was necessary, as my opponents were all newbies. In Europe, there are some sea routes, express links and new production method. Express links cost double to build, but produce double income. Each player can create one. Regular production is gone, but when someone takes the production action, they get to choose which cubes enter the board.

Simple changes, but I like them. The express links were particularly nice. I must’ve made about 10-15 income from mine, as I built it on the second round and used it a lot. The winner was clear on that second round, by the way — while the other players were still starting their game, I did two four-link five-income runs. Bye bye guys!

Well, all newbies and so on. Petri had a slow start, Hannu relied too much on getting urbanization but didn’t get it until about four turns later… Raimo played the best game out of the three newbies, but suffered a bit from competing directly with me in the Central Europe. It’s not a big deal to win against three newbies, but I think I did play well: I made a nice circular track in Central Europe and then made extension branches to get me to new markets when the cubes ran out in my old cities.

It was a good map, interesting and still easy enough for newbies.

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