So, the Age of Steam. I met with Olli and we played the other two-player map in the Bézier set of 1867 Georgia Reconstruction, South Carolina and Oklahoma Land Rush. I’ve already played 1867 Georgia (but haven’t blogged about it for some reason) with Robert back in October 2009, and it was a bit of a disappointment — the blind bidding system caused me to lose the game on the second round. Not much fun, no. If you’re playing 1867 Georgia Reconstruction, never ever lose the turn order auction on turns 1 and 2.
However, this time it was better. The South Carolina map is more merciful — there are several cities on the map, for example. It’s still an odd map, with all the production in one end (except for the new cities, which are placed in the beginning). The only action available is engineer.
It was a close match, but in the end I lost. I had little less income and one share more and my one extra point of track didn’t help. I was in the lead in the early game, but my glorious plan was blocked. During the game I had one turn where I was a dollar short of upgrading my engine and I didn’t do it. I should’ve taken that one income hit, I would’ve probably won as I would’ve been able to do some four-link moves one turn earlier.
Olli didn’t quite fancy the blind bidding for turn order, but I think it’s a neat system. Each player starts with 20 cubes and can also use all moved goods cubes for bidding. Both lose cubes, high bidder moves first and takes the engineer action. Simple and works well with two.
Don’t worry, money is still tight in the game. One thing that makes things just a bit more difficult in South Carolina is the $1 required in bribes for each goods move you make. That’s small, but very nasty. Also, the use of only three colours for goods makes for a tighter game.
We also played Odin’s Table, a new Finnish game from Mindwarrior Games. After two games I’m not very interested in playing more, even though the game is short. It’s a tad bland, and simply not very interesting.
We did play couple of rounds of Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation, which was nice after a long break (three years, almost exactly; it was a very much a 2003 game). I should do what Olli has done, that is print out the new characters for the old, smaller set. The new deluxe set is fun, the new characters are good, but the box is ridiculous.