San Francisco Cable Car
reworked version of Metro
List Price: $49.95
Your Price: $39.99
(Worth 3,999 Funagain Points!)
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Each player conducts their own cable car company and tries to expand their network. Victory points are awarded for each destination station connected to a player's line. Who will finally be the owner of the most successful cable car company?
Being shareholders, the players build the rail network of all the cable car companies and buy their shares. For each completed line the respective cable car company gains profit points. Profit points determine the value of the shares which the players obtain during the game.
Who will have the most valuable shares and win the game?
Excellent tile game.
Try to make your train tracks the longest while containing your opponents. Land your track onto one of the four middle squares and you get double points. The best moves are those that advance your train while ending theirs.
Lots of thought goes into this. Excellent game, fun bits.
I learned how to play Metro from someone who was already a huge fan of these gorgeous games. The sturdy board and tiles, the wooden pieces and clean graphics really lend charm to playing.
While there is certainly an element of the 'luck o' the draw' with this game, there is also a high screw-your-neighbor factor. This is what made the first game I played so engaging. Players can plan just far enough ahead to block someone else's train, or they can work to keep their own options open as each tile comes into play.
This is a fun game for non-gamer types or for devotees of great board games. It is easy to learn and has a high replay value, on the same level as any puzzle/memory type of game.
Every time we introduce this game (the Iron Horse edition, later republished as Metro) to new people, they look a bit puzzled and are sometimes overwhelmed by the visually daunting nature of the pieces. But within minutes, they've overcome the fear and they're laying track like professional railroaders.
The beauty of this game is
What is not to like?
This is a very fun game in the same vein as Streetcar but in my opinion much more fun. You try to connect your Metro stations to neutral stations by the longest routes possible. There are also stations in the middle of the board that count double for track length. There is a lot of opportunity to mess with the other players as you can lay a tile next to any placed tile whether it connects to one of your tracks or not. It is very simple and very busy.
As you play, the board fills with tiles of twisting interlocking tracks and it is very visually pleasing to look at while still being clear as to what is happening.
I was lucky enough to order my copy from Funagain so the rules are clear. "Points for completed routes are scored as soon as a continuous line is formed from a starting station that connects to another arbitrary station (regardless if it is one of your stations or an opponent's)."
All stations are scored as soon as they are complete. This means each one, so if two are finished at the same time then two are scored. Stations are scored for whoever they belong to regardless of who completed them. As far as in what order do you score the lines, well, since it does not impact the game in any way, so score them in any order you care to score them in.
This was my second Queen game and since I picked up this one I have tried a few others. I have Expedition, Laguna, Schnappchen Jagd and Silberzwerg and they are all fantastic and equally playable by the family and hard-core gamers. Well, at least I like them--my girlfriend isn't crazy about Laguna.
A fast fun foray into a simple tile placement game where you can either lengthen your train paths, thereby gaining points; or block off opponents' and lessen their points. That's about it. It feels more like playing with a jigsaw puzzle (Whats the best place for this piece?), but somehow still succeeds to please. I'd rate it in the same category as Elfenland, so if you liked it, you'll like Metro.
This is the perfect type of game for those nights when you want to do something, but just don't know what. It's as good with adults as it is with children. The game uses spatial and rational thinking skills which is great for children and some adults I know.
The game is very simple to understand as there are few rules, and the English translation does a great job for explaining those rules.
The game will last longer if there are more players, so with 4 players (my group), a game takes about 1.25 hours.
I would strongly recommend this game to anyone. It's fun, it's intelligent, it's controversial, and it's a great time.
The best part is when you have to give your opponent major points because you made a mistake... which happens a lot.
I--or my gaming group--had never actually played this game before, or any of its previous versions or similar cousins. We found the game to be very entertaining, simple in premise, and a great challenge in practice. Definitely a game where grudges can be built as you sabotage your fellow players rail paths! I would recommend Metro as a fairly light hearted easy to grasp game.
Oh, and we all loved the general presentation of the game--board and tiles.
Let's for a minute assume that you've never played Iron Horse, of which Metro is the reincarnation. Let's even say that you haven't played or heard of Linie 1 or Streetcar by Mayfair. Let's finally say you want to play a game of mazes with possiblities to thwart your opponent's plans while he does the same to you. This is the game to buy.
What's in the box? Well you get lots of wood and tiles. The tiles come in 15 various flavors (four of each type) with rail lines running about in all different directions. The board has blank places to place the tiles and get your Metro line from one station to another. There's lots of wooden train tokens for each station. You also get cards to show the various starting stations depending on the number of players (2-6). All the pieces are language neutral and there is an excellent rules translation available.
So how's the play? In a word, Great! The object is to gain points by building the longest Metro line connecting one station to another. If you connect to a station in the middle of the board, your points are doubled. The tiles can only be placed on the board in a certain direction (in the basic game). You start with one tile in your hand and have the option of either playing it, or drawing an additional tile and playing the one just drawn. This gives you to ability to see ahead one tile for planning. There is an optional game play rule that lets you have a hand of two or three tiles. Tiles can only be placed adjacent to a start station or another tiles (there are a few minor restrictions which I won't get into here). When all the tiles are placed, the game ends and the high scorer is the winner.
I've only found a few minor squibbles. The scoring track around the outside of the board is only wide enough for one player's score marker. I've alleviated this problem by allowing only one score marker to occupy a space. Hence, if you land on a score spaces with an opponent's score marker on, you move to the next space ala Torres or Ursuppe (although in Ursuppe you don't count the space with an opponent's marker). Anyway, I'm getting off track here (bad pun intended). I find the board does get a little cluttered as it more tiles get placed. I didn't find it that much of a problem to trace out a rail line despite the jumble of rails. That's just part of the game.
Finally, if you have played any of the games like Streetcar or Linie 1, you'll find the play more streamlined without the tedious final race sequence. If you've already got Iron Horse or Streetcar, it could be questionable whether you want to purchase this game, although I think it's an improvement over them.
An interesting note is that the box shows an 1898 date on the cover, but the Metro line wasn't built until 1900 (opened on 19 July that year) for the Paris Exposition.
Anyway, the game plays quick and is rather enjoyable. With six players we knocked out a game in under 45 minutes and that was with a rules explanation. It's a nice addition to your rail game collection. The product quality is excellent (like most games from Queen). It's a solid 85db on the Mulder Meter. Buy it!
You learn to play Iron Horse in about 20 seconds, then spend 5 minutes contemplating each move. Each player is trying to connect his trains, stationed along the outside of the board grid, to either another side station or the town in the center. This is done by laying tiles on a grid, with each tile having multiple entries and exits for track. You only lay tiles on the outside ring or adjacent to another tile, so the network builds as the game proceeds. You're trying to make the longest connection possible, while of course your opponents are trying to end your trip short. The multiple options for play are made reasonable by limiting the number of tiles to place and fixing their orientation on the board, although both of these restrictions can be lossened for those who want a real brain-buster. Like all 'db Spiele' games, this one is home produced with few extras, but plenty of thought and care in the making. Very fun, and works well with 2,3,4, or 5 people.
Iron Horse is kind of the flip side of Streetcar/Linie 1. Instead of trying to build efficient routes to make your train complete the route first, you try to build the longest, most twisty and complicated routes you can.
Components are relatively cheap, but the game is fun enough you probably won't care.
Each player starts with a number of embarkation points on the edge of the board (These are listed on the player cards.) Each turn, you may either play a tile you currently have in your hand (and draw a new one at the end of the turn) or draw a tile which then must play. Each tile has four sections of track, at least one section of which must connect to a station on the edge or existing track. Each final section will have at most one train on it. (Trust me!)
When a section of track winds its way back to the edge of the board or to the town in the center, the train on that track is scored (1 pt. per tile, double if the route ends in the town. Routes that recross the same tile may count it again.) The idea is to form long routes for yourself, but force your opponents into short routes. (There is a mercy rule: You cannot finish a route that crosses one tile, unless you have no other choice.)
The game takes about an hour to play and can handle up to 6 players and plays pretty well regardless of number or players (which is a plus).
Well, I was looking for a game my wife and I could play with our 5-year-old, and this certainly falls into that category.
As for strategy, there are some that work, but in the end winning may be beyond your control (which is actually a good thing when you're playing with small children and want them to have a chance to win)...the placement of tiles by other players really can't be strategized against (unlike in Carcasonne).
Another weakness is the end game....some players may have had all their routes finished, and are basically behind the other players. So what do they do? The rules don't say.
On the other hand, there is something very mathematical and pretty about the game...no route will ever go unfinished, based on the way the tiles are laid out, and two starting (or end) points can never be connected. Those facts, combined with the visual appeal, make this worth playing if you're not really high-strung about strategies and winning.
Metro is a game with many strengths, but also a few weaknesses. The play is fast and elegant, offering numerous but manageable options on each turn. The construction of the game is sturdy and the artwork is stunning. (The tiles themselves are of similar material as in 'Streetcar', but larger, and you don't have to worry about picking them back up off the board later on, which is where 'Streetcar' can get messy.) On the flip side, it can be difficult to make out some routes once the board starts getting full (although that could, I guess, be considered part of the strategic challenge); and it's possible for a player to have all their stations scored well before the game ends, in which case they still place tiles but unless they're far ahead, this seems an empty exercise.
I feel that Metro works better the fewer players you have, because the more stations you begin with, the less upsetting it is to have stations abruptly cut off with 2-point routes (which can be done fairly easily). If you only have a handful of stations to begin with, you could find yourself almost hopelessly out of the running after only a few rounds if most of them are abruptly completed by other players.
I do like that every tile can potentially go anywhere on the board, which gives it a different flavour than most other tile-laying games. There are no branches in the tracks, though, so every station will always lead to just one other spot. It's tempting to think of each numbered pair around the board as one 'station', but as illustrated on the back of the box, a given player only 'owns' the half of each pair that their station piece actually occupies. So despite appearances, you can't have situations where one player's station connects to more than one end point.
The rules specify that new tiles must attach to the edge or to existing tiles; also, that a directional arrow on the tile be lined up with arrows on the board. This helps reduce the choices per turn to a reasonable amount, although players are always free to attempt a game where tiles can be put anywhere, in any orientation, if they want to really flirt with madness.
The rules also suggest rotating station pieces when they are scored, but I found it much less confusing to just remove the pieces altogether: it was then much clearer to see how many remaining unfinished routes everyone had, and also to spot completed routes that had been overlooked and not scored (which is fine, since it makes no difference in the end what order points are tabulated in).
The troubles with the game are minor ones (although early elimination, if it happens, is an exception), and Metro does provide an entertaining and engaging challenge. The few flaws may keep it from being an 'essential' game, but it's still a handsome and interesting addition to a collection.
This is a well presented and manufactured game. It's (apparently) easy to understand, set up and get going. Play is quick and a game can easily be completed in thirty minutes. The objective is to score points by laying longer tracks between your stations than other players between theirs. You build your own tracks while attempting to confound your opponents by playing either the one tile you have (replace it from the deck) or keeping that tile and playing whichever is next in the deck. Having so few options introduces a fair amount of luck into play, so it's probably better when played swiftly rather than concentrating too hard (good tactical play, but no real chance to develope a strategy). But...
It's probably a better game than I know as the English translation of the rules (and as far as I can tell, utilising Babel Fish, the German rules as well) aren't explicit enough. There are common situations in play that are not explicitly explained in the rules that may be interpreted many ways (which station scores when two simultaneously connect? Do both of them? Which line scores if several are completed at once? What if none of them belong to the player laying the tile, do any or all score? You can complete two lines to a station simultaneously, which scores? Both? Does the player choose one and only one of many possible lines to score when a tile is layed?) and these need clarification.
Great game. Easy to learn. Lay tracks to connect stations or lay tracks to side-track your opponent. The fatal flaw is that there are so many tracks to follow, the board becomes an Escher-like maze making it impossible to figure out what tracks go where, thus taking all the fun out of the game. Game rates a 10. Board rates a 0. Rate the game at a 5 of 10.
This is certainly not a bad game, perhaps I am suffering from "been there done that". This game is not cutthroat enough for my tastes. It is too hard to plan a strategy. I spent too much time waiting for a specific piece, and then it was too late. I am generally not a fan of games that depend on the luck of the draw. If you like these tile laying 'pipe' games this is OK. (For a better made game, get Ta Yü!)
Could the greatest subway stations in any nation boast such a tangled web of rails as the one in this not-to-scale model of the 1900 Paris Metro? Start with your color tokens occupying prescribed stations along the perimeter of the board. You start with a rail tile, and on your turn may either play your tile and draw a new one, or pick a new tile and play it. When one of your stations connects to another, you score a point for each section in the route--so make it as long as possible. Score double if you connect to a station in the center of the board. Plenty of opportunity exists for nastily abbreviating your opponents' routes, thus stopping them cold in their tracks.