The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Canal Mania

I finally got to play Canal Mania during the epic “Dominion and friends” game session that Monday’s have turned into. (With my full blessing. I think that either of the two major expansions are enough to raise my interest significantly, so I’ve adjusted my ratings accordingly. And I tried out the variant mentioned by Frunk, and it seems reasonable. Given the game speed, I’m not horribly offended by the inequalities, but I’ll keep suggesting it). Thankfully “And Friends” included Rodentia Beubonica (making it’s first appearance in almost a month) and this new (to me) title.

Seeing as how roughly 33% of my readership have already written a review [1, 2, 3] I’ll skip ahead — it’s an interesting take on the Age of Steam track-building/good-delivery minus the financial aspect. (I’ve seen several people compare it to Stephenson’s Rocket, which I don’t personally see).

Although, as the reviews were written a few years ago, I wonder if Canal Mania is still getting played … I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s some vaguely fragile quality to the game, like knowing the contracts and deck breakdown would reduce the apparent complexity of the game to some simple hueristics. That’s probably true of the entire Age of Steam type game, but there the good distribution varies things from game to game.

Still, that’s a vague feeling more than a criticism. Hopefully I’ll get to play again.

Written by taogaming

July 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Reviews

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. What’s the Dominion Variant that Frunk recommended?

    Lou W

    July 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

  2. When playing multiple games, rotate out the set of cards that were:
    picked the least
    picked the most
    one set of the player in last’s choice

    We also usually play with equal turns and phantom Provinces if the Province deck ends the game.

    This wasn’t originally my idea, I discovered it on some thread on BGG.


    July 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm

  3. I can’t speak for anyone else – but I’m still playing, and enjoying, Canal Mania – and still far moreso than any other Age-of-Steam-esque game. The variable appearance of contracts breaks any possible heuristic, I believe…

    Joe Huber

    July 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

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