Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Monday 3rd July - Railway Rivals

Games night was monday this week, pulled forward a day so it didn't clash with the first semi-final of the World Cup. England crashed out in the quarter-final, what I expected really. Team wasn't good enough, tactics were crap. Eriksson didn't choose the right squad in the first place, then didn't play what we were good at.....4-4-2. Anyway enough of that, tonight Richard chose a blast from the past, the 1973 train racing game from David Watts, Railway Rivals. Considered a classic by many diehard fans neither Steve or myself had played, only three of us tonight by the way, Garry is off to the med somewhere.
This game is one of the first railway games, played on a hex map with the tracks drawn on with crayon. Basically first you build track until all the cities are connected, then have your trains race between two of the cities decided by drawing cards from a deck. Two races then another bit of building and so on. Obviously having the optimum route between the two points is the aim, with winners of the race getting 20,000 and second 10,000, the third place gets nada.
After Richard had gone through the rules, he had last played about 10 years ago, we decided on the map for south-east England. Over the years there have been many maps produced, a bit like AoS today. It all went smoothly, with quite a few rubbing outs and smudges on the map by the end of the first phase. Eventually we got to the races. You can use other people's tracks up to a max. of 10 hexes by paying them 1,000 per hex. We started about 7.45 and finished just before 11. We dispensed with the building phase towards the end as nobody really had anywhere else to build.
What did I think, well I admit I am not a fan of train games generally. I have played AoS a few times and it is on my list of games to play only as a last resort. I have played Railroad Tycoons once and enjoyed it. So how did Railroad Rivals fare,.......I enjoyed it to be honest, the building track phase can get a bit bogged down and the game is a bit too long for my preference but I would play it again. Definitely in preference to AoS (gasp from the AoS fans). Well that's just me.

Final Scores
Steve 233,000 Richard 213,000 Colin 204,000

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