Railways of Europe
List Price: $34.99
Your Price: $15.00
(Worth 1,500 Funagain Points!)
from 2 customer reviews
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It is mid 19th century Europe. The railroads that first appeared in England are now appearing on the European mainland. Wealth and prestige await the player who can tap into the resources and demands of the continent. Do you build through the mountains of Southern Europe, or across the expanse of Eastern Russia? If you are fortunate enough, maybe you can sign a charter agreement with a strategically located town or even a capital. A continent awaits for the Railways of Europe.
Railways of Europe is an expansion map for Railways of the World. You will need the pieces from the basic game (track and city tiles, shares, money, empty city markers, trains and first player marker) to play Railways of Europe.
This is a terrific expansion for the Railways of the World series of train games. Already in 2008 a map for Europe had been published as an expansion for Railroad Tycoon, under the name Rails of Europe. After the initial publication of Railways of the World, the Railways of Europe expansion underwent a few further minor tweaks into its current form.
Several new rules appeared in this expansion for the first time, such as permanent major lines, more choice for Railroad Baron cards, new Railroad Operation cards, clearer hex classification and costs, and improved component quality. Most of these changes and improvements were taken over when Railroad Tycoon was reimplemented as Railways of the World, and became the new base game for the series.
The Europe map is particularly ideal for 3-4 players, although it can be played just fine with only 2 players as well. It is an excellent alternative to the Eastern U.S. map, and if you are looking for a change of pace, adding this expansion to the base game will give more variety, balance, scalability, and challenge. The layout of the cities and terrain is more symmetrical, and because the cities are more sparse and building track is more costly, it offers a tighter and tougher game that proves very rewarding and fun to play. Highly recommended!
When one designer continues to design games in the same series, it's a neat thing to watch; as the games get better and better. I'm in the camp that Railroad Tycoon took the great game Age of Steam and made it more accessible to most folks, adding in great components and more fun. Railroad Tycoon wasn't perfect, but I still wanted to see some expansions for it - especially as Age of Steam seems to be the most expansion-oriented game ever. Finally, Rails of Europe (Eagle Games, 2008 - Glenn Drover) has been released, which is technically an expansion for Railroad Tycoon but can almost be called a slight upgrade as well.
Rails of Europe does an excellent job at tightening up the board a bit (as well as the obvious fact that the map changes to Europe) and adds a few other changes that make it slightly superior to the original game. I can play either game and be satisfied, but I certainly prefer the European version. Rails over Europe is hopefully the first expansion in a line of games that takes the Railroad Tycoon system and improves and expands it.
So what's in the expansion?
Players will need the money (if you haven't replaced it with superior poker chips), trains, tiles, and other physical pieces from the original game; and everything fits fairly well into the original box, although I have no idea how future expansions will fit.
The rules are fairly simple and short, although a few things could have been made clearer. For example, the rules about major lines are under the "Strategy" section, which could easily be missed by folks who don't want to read that section. Teaching the game is simple; it's the same thing as Railroad Tycoon - most changes are minor. Regardless, the game feels like a much-polished version of the original game. While I enjoy Railroad Tycoon quite a bit (it's knocked Age of Steam rather far down my list of enjoyable games), I think I prefer this version.
If I want to play a wide, sprawling game, with six players (since the expansion only covers up to five), then the original game is what I'm looking for. However, a tighter, faster, different animal emerges with the new map (twenty-six fewer cities), and the major links and simplified rules go a far way into making this expansion practically Railroad Tycoon 1.2. Fans of the original will easily enjoy the expansion; and hopefully, it's the first in a long line of expansions to come.
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