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Tag Archives: Railways of England and Wales

Over the last couple of months we’ve played lots of games. Ben is still running us through a Savage Worlds 50 Fathoms game, but we’ve also played a lot of board games. Here’s the “catch-up” version of what we’ve been up to.

Firefly: The Game
We enjoyed this game, although don’t believe the playing time on the box. It says two hours, but it took us three evening of about three hours each to finish the game. Granted, it was out first game and I do have to play with Mike, Ben, and Owen who all fret over making a mistake and thus can take a long time working out their optimum move.

Firefly: Out to the Black
This is a Firefly cooperative card game. We played it a couple time because we lost the first game. We don’t like to lose cooperative games. While we liked the game, we didn’t think it was great. More of a ho-hum Firefly card game. We may play it again…and maybe not.

Great Heartland Hauling Co.
This is a card game that includes wooden trucks and cubes. You basically try to make the most money buying, hauling, and selling goods. We like this game. It is fun, doesn’t take too long to play, and has a good amount of strategy involved. We’ll worth the price.

Railways of England and Wales
This is one of our favorites in the “Railways” series of games. It’s also near and dear to the heart of Ben and Owen who both hail from England. Strangely I like it because I somehow know England’s geography better than the US. This is because I’ve learned all of my geography from games.

Rolling Freight
This is another cube moving train game like the “Railways” games, but plays completely different. In the “Railways” game, the initial distribution of the cubes plays hugely into how the game will go and what cities will be popular. In Rolling Freight, I think which board you use plays a much bigger part in your strategy. We used a different board this time. It wasn’t until it was too late that I realized my strategy from the other board was completely wrong for this board. Oh well.

I’m now all caught up. But you didn’t mention… Shut up.

Below are some pictures from our games.

Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Railways of England and Wales

Railways of England and Wales

Rolling Freight 1

Rolling Freight 1

Rolling Freight 2

Rolling Freight 2


We played Railways of England and Wales last week while Evil Mike was in Texas. We meet at Mike Byrd’s house and had a great time.

On the first turn of the game, three delivery bounty cards were available. That meant that three players could get an extra four points right at the start of the game. It also meant that one player would be left out in the cold. Alone. At the back of the pack. Destined to come in last place. The bidding for who would go first would determine that loser.

I am that loser. Ben, Owen, and Mike all got their bounties with all the cash flow that goes with it. Me, I got nothing. On my first turn I also missed the obvious place to build track to set myself up for the bonus for delivering four different colored cubes. Owen didn’t miss it though and claimed that bonus a little later. The entire game I missed opportunities or had them taken from me one action before I could get to them. Enough about me, let’s talk about Mike. Mike was on fire during this game. (As I mentioned above, this Mike is not Evil Mike. Evil Mike is away on business. This is Mike the Younger. He rocks at these train games.) Mike took the lead and never looked back. (He certainly couldn’t see me. I was that far behind.)

Mike ended up winning. Yeah Mike.

The game only lasted and hour and a half, so we played another. This time things went differently. On the first turn, I got the only delivery bounty. On the next turn, I also got the next delivery bounty. Cash was rolling in like water. I was the Donald Trump of railroading! Still those pesky other players kept close behind my lead.

At the end of the game, I lost by one point to Ben. I couldn’t claim my rail baron bonus and he could. Life is unfair sometimes. Even to the Donald Trump of railroading.

Chaos Steve

(It’s time for me to play catch-up and write about a couple of games that have come and gone.)

Railways of England and Wales

A couple weeks ago Ben, Owen, Mike B. and I played Railways of England and Wales. This is an expansion of, sorts, to Railway Tycoon. I say “of sorts” because you use a completely different board—one of England and Wales. As many of you may know, Owen and Ben are both from England, so the board was very familiar to them. For us U.S. folks, I think they should provide an extra map of the board. Once the game gets going and there are tracks all over the place, a lot of the city names are covered up. This causes us (me) to repeatedly ask where the city of Flumbuckets is or ask if Splurgleville is close to London or not.

Our game was unusual is a couple of respects. One, Owen sold shares like they were how you win the game. (They are not.) He may have broken some previous share record having 15 shares by the end of the game. I think the closest person to him had 5 shares. Still, in true Owen fashion, he did not come in last. The second distinction was that Mike B. did so poorly. This was Mike’s first game using this map, but Mike usually rises above any disadvantages like this and does very well. I think we can all blame Ben.

Ben seemed to have a plan from the very beginning. He set up his delivery machine around Flumbuckets, Splurgleville, & London. Even late in the game, when deliveries may become scarce, he was still making 5 and 6 city deliveries. Ben eventually went on to win with 76 points. I came in second with 63 points. I blame my second place showing on the other players, who simply refused to help me win. Owen came in one tiny point behind me (amazing) with 62 points. And poor Mike B. was last with 58 points.

It should be noted that we played this game because Evil Mike was missing. He likes these delivery-type train games, but normally doesn’t do well in them. We wanted to spare him the embarrassing last place finish, instead bestowing it on Mike B.


The following week we played Lancaster. It could be said that some people buy games based upon the number of bits inside and the weight of the game box. I’m not pointing any fingers, but that’s how Ben decided to purchase this one. It turns out that his approach appears to be a perfectly good system to base game buying upon.

What is Lancaster? Stealing the text from BoardGameGeek, who probably stole it from the game box: in 1413, the new king of England, Henry V of Lancaster, has ambitious plans: The unification of England and the conquest of the French crown! Each player takes the role of an ambitious aristocratic family. Who will be the best supporter of this young king, and the most powerful Lord of his time?

So that’s it then? We’re to become powerful lords. We do this by careful placing our knights (and their cannon-fodder squires) in various locations on the board. When knight placement is completed, the most powerful knight “wins” that section of the board and gains some advantage for their lord. This advantage might be gold, more soon-to-be-dead squires, more knights, or maybe an improvement to the lord’s castle back home. Some of these advantages score victory points immediately while others score them at the end of the game. There is also a parliament phase of the game where the lords can enact laws.

It all seems so simple. Unfortunately, just like the previous game I talked about, I blame my poor showing on the other players. There are things you can focus on to score points at the end of the game. You most likely can’t focus on all of them, and splitting your focus could end of in disaster. (See Steve’s finish for verification.) For most of the game our point scoring was pretty equal. But good planning throughout the game can cause big points at the end of the game. (See Steve’s finish for verification.)

Mike won with 51 points. This really surprised him. It probably surprised Ben too, who thought he would win. Ben came in second with 47 points. Owen was third with 41 points, and me (Steve) was last with 38 points. (Darn those other players!) We all enjoyed the game and look forward to our next time playing it.

Chaos Steve