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Iron Road
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Store:  Family Games, Sale
Edition:  Iron Road / TransAmerica
Series:  TransAmerica/TransEuropa
Theme:  Train
Genre:  Rail & Network
Format:  Board Games

Iron Road

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 10-30 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Franz-Benno Delonge

Manufacturer(s): Winsome Games

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Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 1.5 in 2 reviews

by Steve
Low quality components detract from simple but pricey game.
May 29, 2002

I usually enjoy a good train game. Based on the Counter review, Iron Road sounded like it might be a fun little game to play while waiting for the rest of the group to show up for larger games or just to kill a little time. When I received the game, I was disappointed by the quality of the components when compared to the price of the game. If you don't like simple components, I would not recommend this game to you. The city cards are printed on unlamented, thin card stock and the train tracks appear to have been hand assembled by gluing a laser printed page to card stock. The game board itself is at least laminated to protect it. The rules cover about one page and take about five minutes to understand. To my first reading it seemed that the game would appeal more to those in the 8 12 age category than to teens or adults. To be honest I was not very happy with the game or the game components.

I've seen the game played twice since then. The learning curve is very low, with everyone picking the game up very quickly. The decision-making is limited though. One of the players that enjoy a more complex game did not seem too satisfied. Also, there is no way to interfere with any other players plans. Basically, to prevent someone else from winning you will need to win first, and that's usually accomplished not by building your own separate track but by connecting to other existing tracks on the board. Once everyone discovered this most rounds only went a few turns before most of the players were connected together. The game then became a race to see who could finish first.

Everyone did seem to enjoy the game as they played. Even when one player scored an overwhelming lead on the first turn of one game, there was some doubt over his ability to actually win the game that kept everyone playing. When most rounds were scored nearly everyone had connected to about the same number of cities, which made most scores fairly even.

I felt a little better about my purchase after these games. The overall opinion of all seemed to be that the premise of the game was ok but the components kind of distract a little from the game. I was very pleased to see that although the game mechanics are quite simple, choosing a strategy that actually increases your chance to win is a bit complex. I have since learned of Trans America from the same game designer but a different manufacturer, which uses a nearly identical game mechanism on a hex board rather than a square board and includes better quality components for the same price as Iron Road. If you're seeking a simple game that is easy to learn, plays quickly, and can withstand multiple plays, then that might be a better game for you. As for Iron Road, I'd like to give it three stars but due to the quality of the components and price, I'm forced to drop it to two stars.

Beware! Components are Cheap!
May 12, 2002

I understand that this is the same game as TransAmerica. Buy that instead, save yourself $3 and get a real game with real components! This version is just a laminated color-copy board with plain cardstock cards. The components really are on the same level as a Cheapass Game, but the price is definitely NOT Cheapass!

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