This forum is in permanent archive mode. Our new active community can be found here.

Railroad Tycoon's Big Brother: Age of Steam

edited June 2006 in Board Games
Rym, Scott:

In your Railroad Tycoon episode, you mentioned that you like heavy games; since you like RRT, you'll probably like the game that it's a lighter version of, Age of Steam.

In general, I'd say Age of Steam is a much tighter game than RRT. The map is smaller, yet it plays the same range (3-6), so there are more blocking opportunities and more competition for cubes. Speaking of cubes, there are fewer on the board at any one time, thus further increasing competition. Another feature worth mentioning is that the map starts with no black cities; they have to be added through the urbanization action.

The auction for turn order is more brutal: both first and second place pay their full bids, last place pays nothing, and everyone else pays half, rounded up. The income track is linear, rather than a bell curve, but it has "tax brackets": if your income is between 11 and 20 at the end of the turn, it is reduced by 2; if it's between 21 and 30, it's reduced by 4; and so on, to a maximum reduction of 10.

There are more differences than that, of course (goods production isn't entirely random, for example), but I won't go into more detail unless someone's interested.


  • Yeah, we've been told to play Age of Steam many times. We saw it at Millennium in Rochester, but didn't buy it. Next time if it's still there I will definitely consider buying it. Also, as for liking heavy games, that's true. But we don't like the super-heavy games. If it involves crayons, if it's one of those scary hex-based war games, if it has a million plastic pieces then it's too much for us. Caylus, Puerto Rico, T&E, those are the right amoutn of heaviness.
  • Granted, I've never played AoS, but from what I understand it's about the same "weight" as Caylus and Puerto Rico. I think some people think it's a heavier game than it actually is because the system can be so unforgiving. As I've heard it, if you play through your first game without going bankrupt that can almost be considered a win in itself. It's definitely not a crayon game.

    That reminds me, have either Rym or Scott (or anyone else) ever played Power Grid? That's another heavier eurogame that's worth checking out. Yes, it has its roots in a crayon game, but the system is much more streamlined and approachable.
Sign In or Register to comment.