Spiel 2013 Preview: Russian Railroads

Posted by James (admin) on 18th October 2013

Russian Railroads boxDuring Russian Railroads, players compete to construct the best railroads in Russia.  Whilst there is no map to build across like many railway games, Russian Railroads is a meaty, worker-placement eurogame.

Each round, players take turns allocating their workers (cool-looking meeple with Russian hats) to various actions on the main game board.   For example, a player can lay track along their 3 different rail routes which advances the relevant matching colour marker along any route(s).  There are 5 colours of track marker in the game (each route requiring a different mixture of track marker colours) but these colour markers are not allowed to pass one another or occupy the same space, so this means you’ll need to consider the order in which you advance the track markers too.

Players can also use workers to build and upgrade locomotives that are placed on the rail routes.  At the end of each round, players score the track spaces their locomotives can reach, plus there are some other bonuses when locomotives reach certain spaces too.  Players usually have to take the lowest numbered locomotive available so the timing of building these is important.

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Review: The Palaces of Carrara

Posted by James (admin) on 13th June 2013

The Palaces of Carrara - GameThe Palaces of Carrara first caught my attention because it’s a Eurogame by veterans Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (Tikal, Tikal II, Asara).  Also, the Palaces of Carrara has been nominated for the 2013 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel.

Players buy coloured marble which they use to build buildings in the 6 cities.  The player with the most victory points (VPs) at the end of the game is the winner.  This may sound very ordinary, but there are several clever game mechanics that combine really well and deliver a tight and tense game.

On their turn, a player can either buy marble, build a building, or score.

Buying Marble
On the board is a rotating disc (split into 6 segments).  Around the disc are 6 sets of prices for the different marble colours – white is most expensive, then yellow, then red, and so on.  When buying marble, the player turns the wheel one section clockwise and draws marble blocks from the bag to bring the total on the wheel up to 11 (placing new blocks in the most expensive segment).  The player can then buy any number of marble blocks but only from one single segment of the wheel.  The costs are marked next to each segment and these get cheaper (even free) as blocks progress around the wheel. Read the rest of this entry »

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