July 17th - Canal Mania 2nd Edition
This week we are back to full complement, Richard managing to finally get to a session. I think we may lose him next week though. Anyway, it was Richard's choice and he chose Canal Mania 2nd Edition. Everyone had played this version of Canal Mania except me, I had played the 1st edition so was keen to know what the differences were. Well the new board has removed a couple of hexes and added a couple of hexes, this happens mainly in the north, and quite a few of them have changed colour from the 1st edition. To reflect this there is a new set of contract cards, which now have 4 squares printed on them with a blob in the relevant square showing with part of the board they are in. There is also new junction contract cards, one per player, these are a value of 2 and must only be used to join 2 cities/towns. Obviously this helps to complete a network for yourself or screw up someone elses network. And finally the boat pieces have been changed to look a bit more like barges!
Getting to grips with the 2nd Edition
One thing we do is to get coloured cubes from another game and as the contracts are turned over mark the start and finish hexes on the board with one on the actual contract card, this gives a much clearer idea of what's going on. Garry started and of course picked the contract I was going to take, but I got Birmingham to Gloucester I think and that wasn't too bad. As it turned out no contracts for the middle section of the board came out that would have enabled me to build an efficient network. They were all north or south....sigh.
Board near the start
The number of points that trigger the end phase in a four player game is 50 and it didn't seem too long before we reached it. Richard, who had lagged a bit behind in the mid game, raced up to 2nd place, Garry and myself who had been near the front in mid game now dropped back as the final goods cubes were shipped.
Board end position
So, do I like the differences, having only played the original twice, and a while ago, it's a bit difficult to decide but I think I do. I like the little junction contracts, gives you a bit more flexibility in your plans. So, the scores were fairly evenly spread over a 14pt range.
Steve 86, Richard 78, Garry 76, Colin 72