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Tips & Strategies (11)

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8
I play yellow
USA
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Smash Up: Pirate Faction Fan
61 of 62 gamers found this helpful
“Get the Event Deck!”

The Event Deck adds some thematic elements to the game.
You can also customize the deck for your group’s tastes. Stack it in favor of beneficial events for a game with alot of newcomers, or stack with bad events to keep a table of veterans off-balance!

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9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel
29 of 29 gamers found this helpful
“Two Rails for the Price of One Build”

When surveying the board for cubes to deliver, choose the cities along the easiest path for Major Lines to build your rails first. You will be able to deliver a goods cube to increase your income and at the same time work on completing the Major Line too. The cube delivery will hide from the other players the fact that you are working to complete a Major Line. Build a rail here, deliver a cube, build a rail there, deliver another cube and then complete the Major Line on your unsuspecting opponents and hear them groan as you rack up the VPs!

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8
I play yellow
USA
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Smash Up: Pirate Faction Fan
61 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“Variant Auction is better on all maps!”

A popular Auction variant that we tried (& liked) has become our standard procedure on all the maps.

Everyone bids as normal for Turn Order. The 1st person to “pass” goes to the Lowest Available/Remaining spot in Turn Order. This process continues until all Turn Order slots are filled. The players who place 1st & 2nd have to pay their last bid price to bank.

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7
Canada
Novice Advisor
The Gold Heart
Pick a Favorite LGS
61 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“The Railways began on the Eastern Seaboard for a Reason”

Do not ignore the Eastern Corridor of cities that stretch from Boston in the north down to Richmond and Norfolk. These cities are very close to each other which translates into cheap railway links. If a player is allowed to have a monopoly in this region they will have a significant advantage.

However, if everybody else goes there, the advantage of going there yourself is significantly decreased as competition rapidly erodes the return on investment. So, if all the players are fighting each other there, perhaps look elsewhere such as the Louisville-Chicago area. But as always, keep a close eye on the cards available in choosing where to go. If necessary, build in an place that isn’t connected to your existing track; you don’t have to have all your tracks (links) connected to each other.

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8
I play yellow
USA
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Smash Up: Pirate Faction Fan
61 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“Water water everywhere and not a bridge to cross”

There has been alot of debate on how “water hex” can/should be interpreted (if you haven’t played yet, it’s more expensive to build track in a “water hex”)

I like the Simple River Rule: you only pay the higher cost if your track construction would require a bridge, literally CROSSING a river (blue lines on the map). This rule ignores the “partial water” coastal hexes plus allows track to be built cheaper along/parallelling a river’s course.

Some argue that building along a coast or along a riverbed WOULD be more hazardous/costly due to weaker soil conditions (sand, silt, etc) and fluctuating water edge position (depending on season, floods, etc). Almost everyone I play with have no problem with that idea, we just prefer the simpler, No Arguments method.

YMMV.

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8
I play yellow
USA
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Smash Up: Pirate Faction Fan
61 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“Teaching Railways”

When teaching this great game to new players, consider:

* With “Gamers” (just new to RotW/RRT) – Play w/o Event Deck, the randomness can detract from the planning & puzzle-sense they need to learn first. Also, just deal one (or none) Barons. (Eliminates “choice”, which can frustrate players who don’t yet know the relative difficulty of each Baron. (I point out to them that the Baron Card is not critical, sometimes it’s worth it to abandon the Baron’s Objective, you may get more points in other ways, anyway!)

* Non-Gamers – Don’t use Event Deck (as above). Don’t use Baron Cards.

Some believe the Operations Deck is too confusing to new players, too, but I think it’s too integral a part of the full game to omit. YMMV.

The game should still win them over and they’ll be eager to play again. Then you can ease those elements back in!

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5
US Marines Service
I'm Completely Obsessed
61 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“The Power Of the Cards”

Paying attention to the Railroad Operation Cards in determining witch area of the map to start building your links, whether to go first, or other options like upgrading your engine, can give you a big advantage in the early part of the game. Don’t be afraid to take out bonds early on to secure victory points this way. For example, a player can often issue two or three bonds to earn four victory points. This gives him not only a positive of one or two victory points, but also an extra bit of money at the end of each turn, something that really helps to out distance your opponents in the beginning.

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8
I play yellow
USA
Check Out My Favorites
Smash Up: Pirate Faction Fan
66 of 72 gamers found this helpful
“Markers for the cluttered board”

We use a few “markers” to help avoid missiing some things:

* Neutral/wood cubes on a city where a Hotel card has been revealed. When a Player takes the card, we replace with their color (Monopoly hotels!)

* When a Service Bounty card appears, we put a d6 on that city with the top value = the Bonus Points. Remove when claimed.

* We also have a cool little Hot Wheels Locomotive that gets passed around as the 1st Player Token. We require the new recipient to belt out an appropriate “Choo-Choo” or equivalent when they receive it.

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9
USA
I play blue
El Dorado
Guardian Angel
6 of 6 gamers found this helpful
“Control Your Debt”

Debt is inevitable in this game since players start with no money. However, that doesn’t mean you should go hog wild taking bonds either. Remember, for each bond you have at the end of the game you lose 1 VP. There aren’t many ways to score VPs in this game so losing VPs hurts! The number of bonds a player should have depends on the map used but generally a player should not incur more than 5 bonds ($25,000) during the game to have a realistic chance of winning. Also, it’s good practice to get in a habit of taking as few bonds as possible in case you get the ‘Jay Gould’ Railroad Baron objective, which awards 7 VPs if you have the fewest bonds!

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7
USA
I play red
The Bronze Heart
61 of 75 gamers found this helpful
“Event Deck”

Adding the event deck to your game will really improve the game. I higly recomend it to all players

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3
Z-Man Games fan
60 of 81 gamers found this helpful
“Age of Steam ”

You can purchase the AoS map expansion of this game.

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