The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

One further (disturbing) B&O thought

Since there is no private company auction, the opening will be more static and kabuki-like. I worry that opening the Penn will always be the strongest play (since it has good cities and early coal). This could balanced by having secret bids for the right to go first.

Written by taogaming

November 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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8 Responses

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  1. See this thread. It addresses your concern:

    Tim Harrison

    November 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    • No, it doesn’t. Eric’s comment supports my statement, but basically says “Well, yes, but you are missing the big picture.”

      I don’t think coal is supremely important, but there is usually a time when you are cash strapped. Having a good non-money move is an advantage. (Also the ability to make sure your net increased) I wouldn’t go coal-crazy, but a railroad that inevitably crosses coal (Penn, C&O) has an advantage over one that doesn’t. (This advantage may be negated by other factors, like geography). Since the game is a race for various sub goals (as others have pointed out) being able to make progress during your lull/recovery is a big deal.

      Similarly I don’t think having 22 cubes instead of 8 is a deal breaker, but if two railroads started in the same city, I think we’d both prefer the 22 cube one. Coal balances out (somewhat) the better geography on NYC/Boston in the early game.

      I can easily believe I’m overvaluing it … but that thread did nothing to convince me I’m wrong.


      November 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm

  2. After 5 plays (with 3, 4, & 5 players), I have yet to see the person who opened the Penn in round one win the game.

    David Fair

    November 14, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    • I may be wrong about which RR is best; but I stand by my concern that one RR (or perhaps 2) will be found to be best, and that the lack of an opening auction is a flaw.


      November 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm

  3. The thought I had was that if the Penn just went for coal and ignored the PA cities, no other railroad can move into them, right? So that slows the game. Also the Penn can just sit at one L1 train as it slowly takes all the coal, slowing the game and locking the board down by preventing the western railroads from appearing. Then the other players have to suck up brutal capital costs to churn the bad trains.

    I guess it’s balanced with more players since there is less opportunity to stall.

    Fred Bush

    November 16, 2010 at 1:19 am

    • Well, if the Penn stalls like that I don’t think their income will grow, which means no stock appreciation. Meanwhile B&M/NY&NH/NYRR are all happy enough going into New England/NYC.

      I think the issue was that I shoved the Penn back in turn order, which let him get the 2 RR, which meant he expanded quickly into Harrisburg & Pgh, then grabbed the coal, then exploded. He’d have had a worse time if he only was at Tech Level 1 on his first play.


      November 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm

  4. The coal increases income…

    Fred Bush

    November 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm

  5. Keep in mind that crisscrossing New England with level 1 and level 2 locos ties up a lot of your capital in buying those engines and doesn’t give you much income; you will stall out unless you can recapitalize. NYC has a brutal cost of entry, which soaks up yet more capital, and has a very limited number of lines getting access. At low tech levels coal seems dominant. You lose tempo but if no one else has anything good to do with their bonus tempo that seems fine.

    Fred Bush

    November 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm

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