Really puzzled, I had to phone him to work out what was going on. He was back at his house! I was outside the wrong door. I quickly set off once again to his place. Lucky I was due to arrive early, and I got there with plenty of gaming time still in hand. Joe told me that he was slightly spooked: apparently my message that I was at his door when I clearly wasn’t, plus some weird echo on my phone when I spoke to him made him suspect I’d fallen into a parallel universe.
But anyway, that’s two whole paragraphs and I haven’t mentioned any games yet. Joe had got out Steam, as a sort of Railways of the World alternative. It’s smaller, shorter, less random and more confrontational. We made a decision on behalf of Sam, who was on his way, that we should play this, and started to set up.
Sam turned up with his two boys in tow. The plan was to sit them down with a film while Sam was in the kitchen, playing games. But Little Joe had fallen out of the car onto his arm and wouldn’t settle down. Sam was concerned enough to take him off to A&E just to make sure it wasn’t anything serious.
So they set off, leaving Joe and I to play a two-player game of Steam. Thanks to my recent experience on RotW, I got into the swing of things quite quickly. Joe spent big and spent most of the game in the negative half of the income track. I was prudent and sensible, and stayed out of the red as much as possible.
The main difference between this and RotW is the ability to move a cube as long as you have at least one piece of track along the route. This means it’s much easier to take a cube that was about to score big points for your opponent, and send it off down a much less profitable route. Which is what we both did. I even went to the trouble of building a length of track solely for the purpose of stealing a cube that would’ve got him 6 points.
I won by a handful of points, 58 to 55 I think. It would’ve been closer, or even a win to Joe if he hadn’t built a new city and track leading to it, and then not used it. It was a fun game, and due to its similarities to RotW, it needs very little rule explanation. If it was combative with two-players, I can imagine it being worse with four. Maybe, like, twice as worse!
By now Sam and the boys had returned, after Little Joe stopped crying before they’d even got to the counter at A&E. The two boys settled down to watch a film, and the three of us chose a few bracing rounds of High Society.
I wish I’d made more notes, but in truth each game was much the same. Joe spent big on high cards, but then came last each time due to having least money. Sam seemed to go for multipliers. At one point he had two “x2” cards and a Four. We realised that if he got the Seven currently on offer, he’d have 44 points! Obviously, this was stopped. I went for middling cards, and on two occasions I had enough in reserve that I was able to get high cards near the end for cheap, while Sam and Joe held on to what little cash they had left. I ran out a winner three times, making it a day of victories for me! I did say it would be leaderboard, but that’s when I thought I’d be able to remember the results because I wasn’t drinking. Turns out I can’t. Still, it deserves a blog post, don’t you think? Especially with the hospital dash and parallel universes.