Cannes and Kansas Pacific

Cannes box

I wouldn’t have chosen Cannes for four players, but it turned out that way and I’m surprised to report the game worked out just fine. It took us about an hour to play, with three newbies and my one-game experience.

As seems to be the case, the game was over when the movies started to come out. I made a couple of films, then one more. Another player made films on two rounds, while the other two made movies on just one round. Well, Tapani did make whopping five science fiction moves at the same turn, netting €15 million each, which made him the winner by a wide margin.

It was a fun game and while I do prefer the game with fewer players, the four-player game seems playable. It’ll be interesting to see how Cannes turns out with experienced players — I hope I’ll get there one day.

Kansas Pacific cover

Kansas Pacific is from the 2009 Winsome Essen set. It’s taken me this long to get it on the table! About time! It’s one of the Historic Railways games, that means shares and cube tracks.

The basic idea is expansion to the West through Kansas. Railroads advance, gain income and pay dividends. Building track is more expensive the more you build on one turn. The number of cubes is limited and reaching the western edge takes careful use of cubes. After the companies cross the Land Grant line (it’s about 3/4 deep on the map), they can buy extra cubes. If company reaches the other side of the board, it can Go West, removing itself from active play for a hefty $20 income bonus.

Basic Winsome cube rails, that is. One of the new catches is the Wall Street. After each company has operated once, a share from the best-paying company (highest dividend per share) is auctioned. If you try to keep your company undiluted (railroads can issue shares on their turns to gain more capital), eventually Wall Street will force you to issue a share. A nice mechanism.

It was an interesting game. Petri played a strong game and won, deserving the victory. Tuomo played, well, in an interesting way, investing too much in companies he was already in. It just feels inefficient. I lost by a wide margin, because I didn’t invest enough and eventually when I bought a share, it was in a fairly hopeless company. I also paid a lot to get MKT to Go West!, failing to notice that it caused the game to finish immediately (I was counting on at least one round more).

Petri commented that these Winsome games feel very much the same. That’s true. I don’t know — Kansas Pacific might suffer from being the weaker sibling of Preußische Ostbahn and Gulf, Mobile & Ohio. However, I expect I’ll play it at least couple of times more, to see how it works out with more experience.

I’m still very much interested in 2010 Winsome Essen set (especially as it seems I can pick it up myself), but I do hope there’s something else than two more Historic Railways games.

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