Age of Steam: Atlantis / Trisland
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Designer Ted Alspach has announced details of the third of three expansions for Steam / Age of Steam that he'll release as a combined Essen 2010 Map Pack, as detailed in this news item. (For descriptions of the first two expansions, head to the Bézier Games publisher page here on BGN and scroll down for the game announcements.)
The two new maps in Atlantis / Trisland (presumably pronounced "try-land") are both set on islands, with Trisland specifically being a symmetrical map designed for exactly three players. Says Alspach, "Very few rule tweaks are included with the map, making this a perfect 'classic' Steam / Age of Steam playing experience for three players. The rule changes that are present are specifically designed to address the shortcomings of Steam / Age of Steam when played with three players."
As for Atlantis, players once again return to the mythical island of yore, but rather than basking in a tropical paradise, they will be suffering to create a working railroad system in a hostile environment. Says Alspach, "[Y]ou’ll need to figure out how the giant city of Atlantia in the center of the island can reach the towns and cities along the coast. It’s expensive, production is very limited, and the competition is brutal. Atlantis was originally designed five years ago, but was deemed too harsh and unforgiving for even the bravest players... It was shelved and only recently picked up again and tweaked to make it slightly more friendly, with an emphasis on slightly. Bankruptcy or utter hopelessness is almost always just around the corner when playing this map. Atlantis is for 3-6 players who are comfortable seeing their opponents weep uncontrollably."
So many of Alspach's game descriptions promise weeping that I wonder whether he should take to therapy, should he find a couch long enough to hold him...
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com