I visited board game club today for a while. I had to leave early, but I did have time for a round of New England Railways. We got five players and this time, since I was carrying Age of Steam as well, we replaced the cardboard chits with actual wooden cubes. It was much better.
This time the results were slightly different than in our last session. Tero won with $65, Olli had $19, I had $9, Outi had $4 in the red and Robert was $14 in the negative. So, no debt death spirals, but no really good results either. Even Tero had some debt left and he was the only one to pay any debt at all.
The shortness of the game — just half of the three-player game — is obviously one reason. We also had a nasty case of plenty of blue cubes in the main network and no access to blue cities. An earlier link to the blue cities on the edge of the board would’ve increased the incomes, I believe.
My own game was bad… I got a bad start and took many, many turns to get any income (I didn’t buy a link on the first turn, then bought two useless unconnected links, way to go!). I was tight on the loans, so in the end that didn’t hurt too much, but it was somewhat boring.
It was fun, or at least fun enough, but I don’t think I’m playing the game again with five players any time soon. Someone might enjoy this — or even play with six players, but I prefer the three-player game with more turns and more time to enjoy your network. Four-player game might be the best, I’ll have to try and see. But five’s too much for me, that I know.