I’ve been seriously busy writing my book and this blog is one of the things that has suffered. So, here’s a bit of an overview on recent gaming so you don’t feel all lonely and deserted here.
I printed out Open Rails Origins — 18AL, which is a train game that mixes 18xx, Age of Steam and Winsome cube games together. The game is played on 18AL map. It’s a small game, for two or three players (or solitaire). Jack Neal, the designer, says it takes 60-90 minutes, but our two-player game took two hours. Shame, as 60-minute play time would’ve made it a real killer. Now I think it’s fine. I had some issues with the advanced rules and next time I try it I’ll use the easier train rules to see how that goes.
Despite my quibbles, I think Open Rails Origins is a good print’n’play title for all train game enthusiasts. A word of warning, though, apparently the rules are borderline incomprehensible without steady train game background. I found them mostly understandable. Sampo Sikiö’s alternate art is a must-have.
(For a larger version of the picture, see BoardGameGeek).
We also played some Preußische Ostbahn with the new expansion. The expansion is more of a “why not” than “must have, but the best thing was playing the game — I love it, it’s an absolute blast every time I play it. I highly recommend the game, too bad it’s once again sold out. However, a licensed edition is coming out. If they don’t mangle the game (and I doubt it), it should be sweet.
On the Winsome front, I bought the recent reprint of Lokomotive Werks. The game sounds intriguing, but what comes to the length of the game, I hope we’re closer to the 45 minutes of Dale Yu’s group than the three hours some folks report.
Wednesday we played some Power Grid — Factory Manager. The game got a very warm welcome, it was generally quite well liked. I thought it was fine. Nothing too exciting, kind of like a more complicated version of Industrial Waste. Clever is the keyword. There was some downtime — we had five newbies around the table — but nothing intolerable. I’m not buying, especially as everybody else seems to want the game, but I’ll certainly play again given a chance and nothing more interesting. Early 7 rating, but 8 is likely.
Oh, I also reached 600 rated games on Geek. 600th game was The aMAZEing Labyrinth against Nooa. So the time passes (not that he’s ready to play that one for real).