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Game of the year, 2003
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Age of Steam
Well, it's been a while since we last played this. Long enough that we needed a rules recap before we got cracking. There's a cottage industry producing expansion maps, and we've bought a few of them. We play so infrequently that we may aswell not have bothered though. As usual, we just stuck with the basic map.
Steve had played this just a few days ago with a different group, and his recent practice showed. That and the fact that the rest of us decided to build on top of each other and leave him alone for the first half of the game.
The rest of us were bumbling along without much of a plan, as evidenced by spectacular moves such as running out of cash to pay loan interest and having to move back on the income track. And upgrading the locomotive to two links without bothering to build any adjacent links. Oops. So don't expect to pick up any hot tips for professional play from this report. But eventually we managed to get our game together and even started to run at a profit.
It was clearly Steve's game for the taking if we continued to leave him to it so eventually we plonked some tracks down in "his" area and started messing with his plans. And stealing his cubes. This ended up being a successful invasion. We were surprised to find out how successful in the final reckoning, when we realised that he'd been kicked down to third place.
I say this about many games but we really should play this one more often. As it is we approach each game almost as beginners. I always forget how useful the urbanisation option is until I see somebody doing something clever with it. Usually, just after I've paid more than them in the auction phase to do something far less clever or useful. It's a shame there isn't a computerised version we could practice with. Well, perhaps not. We'd never be able to compete with Tel again if that ever happened.
Scores : Paul 62, Tel 57, Steve 52, Andy 36
Ratings: Paul 9, Tel 9, Steve 9, Andy 7