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Beau B

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118 out of 130 gamers thought this was helpful

I like starting off with tipping over sacred cows – and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Dominion – but I’d rather play Trains over it any day. Is this because of my Dominion disillusionment that came from my friend winning 75% of all games he played by only buying money and vps? Perhaps. But Trains certainly doesn’t have this issue – because victory points come multiple different ways. You can play it likes it’s Dominion and just buy victory point cards – but you will lose – because your opponents will be snapping up distant locations and building stations on the map. You’ll need to get your rails on the map if you expect to win – which brings us to the second interesting thing Trains does –

Unlike Dominion’s approach that has you sitting on a runaway engine of victory point generation, Trains lets you build an engine, then bogs it down – as everything you do on the boards throws waste cards into your deck. Managing waste becomes just as important as buying cash, since it’s very easy to decrease the value of your deck beyond even it’s starting value. The game has an interesting balancing component, with you trying to get to victory point locations on the board before your opponents do, so you can get in on the cheap while also trying to keep you deck engine running at least semi efficiently. Tempo can also be important to control – since some players may not opt for the quick start and try to get a decent engine going first before hitting the board. Then it becomes a race – with the players who got the early victory point lead trying to end the game before the heavy engine can overtake them.

Overall – just a great game. Best use of deck building mechanic in a game yet.

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