Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tuesday 7th December - Age of Steam - Korea

Originally uploaded by coljen.
Most of our group really enjoy Age of Steam, in fact I think a lot of gamers enjoy it as well, so I am in the minority. I can’t seem to connect with this game, I have tried playing various boards and I never seem to muster up much enthusiasm. Anyway, this week we endeavour to trek across the mountains of Korea, and boy, are there a lot of mountains. The Korean map was published by Warfrog at Essen I think, its a double sided board with Scandinavia on the other side. I’ll assume most people are familiar with the rules for AoS so the relevant bits are, all cities are non-coloured and blocks can only be moved to a city that has a block of that colour on it, and mountain hexes cost 3.

I’m sure other members of the group can comment on the strategy for this game better than I so hopefully there will be some input from people that actually know what they are doing. With the introduction of the grey city rule, it opened up a whole new strategy for stuffing peoples routes and consequently I found the tendency for analysis paralysis was the greater. Maybe it was because I don’t warm to the game that I found the downtime considerable. So block distribution was critical with the production job and urbanisation taking on greater significance. The game took nearly 165 minutes which I think is a tad too long. So who took the honours?

Final Scores
Steve 72, Neil 67, Richard 62, Colin 36, Garry 26

Rating (0-10)
Colin 5


At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like AoS but I never seem to do very well, maybe because I've never played on the same board twice, well that's my excuse.

I looked over the empty board and saw all the mountains, thought that money was going to be tighter than normal and due to grey cites thought that long routes would be impossible to complete. So I made 2 decisions: Don't waste to much money on the auctions and concentrate on lots of small routes instead of long ones.

Totaly wrong.

Once I realised that turn order was important I couldn't afford the bidding and spent most of the game near the back, then by the time it was my go all my plans had been scuppered. And I watched as everyone else was shifting blocks for 4 or even 5 points when I was struggling for 2.

Well at least I didn't run out of money and I managed to build 20 bits of track.

Next time...


At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've played once in Korea and ran away with it by corralling the cities in the southeast. No one contested me for these cities for the first couple of turns, and by the time they did, it was too late.

I understand Garry's comments about turn order bidding. The same people kept getting shut out in our game (four players), and consequently their engines had a link capacity of 3 or 4 at game's end, while mine had a 6 and I used it well.

Production treated me very kindly, which helped immensely, but it also had a way of biting people in the ass since one cube popping up in the middle of a route could turn a potential 6 move into 3 or less. Frustrating, but I can't wait to play again....

W. Eric Martin

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Richard Minson said...

What I like about all the different Age of Steam maps is that they all have difference rules variations that give them a different spin, basically you can't just re-use existing srategies without out giving thought to the consequences.

On the Korea map delivering cubes to cities with cubes of the same colour means that a route is not certain to exist round after round, basically the map context changes according to what is delivered and what production happens.

As has been noted the bottom right of the map offers the ability to get some sort of control over your destiny - and it was my initial objective to go there - unfortunately Neil got there first so I chose not to complete with him ( Might it have been better if I had ? ). Instead I concentated in building track down the centre of the board with a few to improving my train as quickly as possible and then deliver some long distance cubes. I knew there would be a risk with this in that cubes could block the route or could be removed by players from either end - but it was the choice I made - and though I delivered a few 5 and a few 4 point cubes I was never able to so consistently.

Next time I'll try and keep away from other players early in the game, plus create a circular route ( as Neil did at the end ) so that I have options of deliver cubes another way if I am blocked.

Not a bad game however, and I would defintely play it again given the choice.


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