Age of Steam: War in Iraq / New York Subway
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Alban Viard, designer of two highly-rated Age of Steam expansions -- the Moon and Mars: Global Surveyor -- is releasing a new pair of Age of Steam expansions at Spiel, and although the locations are Earthbound this time, they're probably not ones you would have expected to see.
Age of Steam: War in Iraq, which is for 3-4 players, takes place in the Iraqi desert sometime after the end of the current conflict. (Viard has wisely not included a date for this setting.) Lucrative new oil fields have just been discovered, and your goal is to ship this oil off to the U.S. and Europe. Viard says, "The U.S. Army will, of course, aid your cause..."
Age of Steam: New York Subway is for 3-6 players, with Viard saying it's probably best with 6. Although the clouds on the map might suggest otherwise, players are charged with building subway routes underneath Manhattan skyscrapers. "This map features innovative rules which drastically augment both the track building and goods shipment phases of the game," says Viard.
"In a few words," Viard explains, "cubes represent the stations, discs are the goods, and cities are skyscrapers, so discs can be tranported and are stacked to symbolize skyscrapers. Before placing stations, you have to dig the subway by placing tiles with the black side face-up (creating a kind of hole in the map...). I have also changed the way to score to create a relation between the height of the skyscrapers in the last turn and the number of stations that players have nearby."
As for the clouds, Viard says the board is one part of NYC viewed from the clouds with the names of skyscrapers printed on the map instead of cities.
The full-color maps are printed on double-sided heavy stock and packaged in a triangular tube—along with 12 green wooden cubes (for the six-player NY game) and rules in English and French—that's illustrated by cartoonist Brian Barling.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com