Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

BGTG 119 - Euro Train Games (with Dave Arnott)

Train games mean something special, at least to train gamers. Usually they involve the 18XX system and hours of deep gameplay. Oddly, though, sometimes it means a very light game such as Express. Within hobby gaming, the term predates the German style of boardgames typified by Settlers and the like. Are there games that include some of what "makes" a train game, but also includes the design/gameplay & production advancements of euro games? I think so, and I discussed the topic with my buddy Dave Arnott. We cover the little bit of 18XX I understand (for context), then dive into titles such as Chicago Express, TransAmerica, Paris Connection, Union Pacific, and Railroad Barons.



Anonymous Cornelius Vanderbilt said...

"Train game" does not mean 18XX around here. Maybe the term is local to your groups?

You left out Silverton? Even though it's a long game, I bet Mark would love it, just for its thematic aspects.

Dave might enjoy Greentown, an 18XX-style game, but without the stock market.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Eric Brosius said...

Thanks for the show. I love train games of all sorts---crayon rails, 18XX, Ticket to Ride, Rails of New England, TransAmerica, Silverton, Age of Steam, Power Grid or Funkenschlag (since you counted it as a train game!) Lokomotive Werks, Merchant of Venus, Starship Merchants---you name it!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Eric Brosius said...

Mark, if you ever want to try an 18XX game, I will try to put a game of 1846 together. We play it quickly (we finished a 3-player game in 70 minutes last night, including set-up and packing it back up in the box, though that's admittedly unusually quick.) Here's a link to an explanation of why I think it's a great game to use to learn the 18XX system:

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! Mark's back! What a great subject to tackle after a long hiatus.

Excellent insights as always. My favorite train game by the way is Chicago Express; although I did recently acquire Splotter Spellen's 1999 game Bus and can't wait to give it a go.

Thanks for making my week.

John Rogers

9:55 PM  
Blogger collywobbles said...

He's back! Hi Mark, recently played American Rails for the first time and it was excellent and was finished in a reasonable time even with 5 players.

It had a really good turn order mechanic. 3 turns per round, each turn you place your marker on one of 6 actions which are detailed in a column, so the board has 3 columns of actions. The subsequent turn order is top down, you move your marker from the previous column to the current column. Weaker actions are at the top of the column.

So each turn you know if you choose a juicy action you will be going last the turn after etc so a lot of thought goes into the action selection. Really nice.

Russell (collywobbles)

12:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home