Last Sunday’s board game club was an excellent opportunity to get some Age of Steam action. I had heard a tip that Winsome’s cow expansion Age of Steam: Texas, Oklahoma & New Mexico is good, so that’s what we tried. I enjoyed it.
The expansion has cattle. In the first round, 32 cattle cubes are spread around the map. On the northern and eastern edges of the map, there are cattle demand cities that accept cattle cubes. If you build track across a hex where a cattle cube resides, the cube is put on the track and you can move it as any other good.
The game also has two special actions related to cattle. Ranching allows you to place up to two cattle cubes on the board, while Cattle Drive lets you move a cattle cube step or two from open land to your tracks so you can ship it to the slaughterhouse.
There’s an abundance of cubes (all cattle demand cities start with four cubes), so Production has very little value. It’s an easy, relaxed map and works well with new players. We had five players and there was enough room for all of us, a nice amount of competition really. Our game took two hours, which was pretty good for the amount of newbies around the board. At least it was faster than the game of Pillars of the Earth on the next table…