Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Play: Rails of New England....

HHHHHAAAATTTTTEEEDDDD IIIIITTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my god, worst rulebook ever (yes, this may actually beat the Black Friday ruleset, which has also been produced by Rio Grande Games) - an FAQ and errata later and we were still trying to figure it out.

Oh my god, worst board design ever - small unreadable print, stupid miniscule little symbols everywhere, and names of around 60 towns that NOBODY knows but need to be cross-referenced heavily with the tiny writing on almost every card that comes into play.

We were finished our 4th round of 16 by the end of hour 2 and had to abort the rest of the game.  Are you kidding?  And the game really isn't that complicated once the horrid rules fog starts to lift.  In fact, it seems like the strategies are actually rather obvious.  The random elements, like the events (which took me almost 30 minutes to figure out how to play, I might add) are entirely random and seemed to punish me only, and the economic conditions had really very little bearing on anything other than income.  What an overwrought mess - with a kernel of a good idea somewhere in there but nothing more.

It's unlikely I'll play this one ever again, although some of the geeks from games night are gonna give it another try this weekend.  Give me the blunt elegance of Power Grid anyday over this poorly designed and horribly produced mess.

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