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× A place for boardgame traitors.

Question About Crayon Rails Games

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24 Jan 2010 15:05 #53710 by Mr. White
I've never played a 'train game' proper and know next to nothing about the genre. Been thinking about picking one up. I hear a lot about crayon rails games, and think I have an understanding of what's involved. Of the Crayon Rails games, it seems like Iron Dragon would go over the best with my group, but Lunar Rails and possibly Martian Rails might as well. I'm wondering if the latter two are better as they're more recent designs.

Can anyone vouch for these three games? What about non crayon rail train games?

Thanks!

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24 Jan 2010 17:12 #53713 by Merkles
I'm curious about this too--esp Martian Rails (I picked it up on Amazon for like 12 bucks during some of their crazy sales this Christmas). Still trying to figure out whether worth opening or trading.

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25 Jan 2010 03:09 #53733 by jeb
Look around the site for the last time we chatted up crayon rail games--there's a really good freeware PC game out there that I linked to. Maybe it was a blog entry? Whatever. Fire that game up with the Europe tracks and you'll be able to play and get the feel of everything.

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25 Jan 2010 03:37 #53735 by dave
Lunar Rails, Martian Rails, and Iron Dragon are both the best and worst of the series. Best in that they add more "stuff" to the game which makes it slightly more interesting to some. Worst in that the lack the main feature of crayon rails that makes it worth playing: learning Earth geography. Also, by not being bound to Earth geography, it makes it harder to learn where things are and it makes the game harder than it ought to. The games can be long and frustrating, but if you are with good company, it's a pleasant journey. It's one of the only games that my wife will still play.

The one thing I'll always say about Crayon Rails is to make the first game in the series one based in a geography that you are very familiar with (e.g., US (Empire Builder) for most of us). The game is enough of a brain-drain that there's no need to add in that headache as well when all of the games are basically the same.

If you want a general overview of train games... there's gotta be a few TOS geeklists with that info.

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25 Jan 2010 13:01 #53782 by jeb
Harder to find than I remember! It's on archive.org now. The freeware Eurorails PC game .

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25 Jan 2010 13:14 #53785 by TheDukester
Jack Hooligan wrote:

... it seems like Iron Dragon would go over the best with my group ...

This is the one I've got my eye on, too. I give it a slight edge over the others because of my fondness for Tom Wham's art and design sense.

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25 Jan 2010 16:51 #53826 by mikoyan
fortressat.com/index.php?option=com_mybl...ames.html&Itemid=240

Rather than repeating all above.

Iron Dragon is probably my favorite out of the bunch because the ships add a nice wrinkle to the game.

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25 Jan 2010 19:42 #53854 by Mr. White
After doing some more research, I think I'm going to go with Martian Rails first, then get Iron Dragon further down the line.

Speaking of Iron Dragon, has anyone played with the extended rules Tom Wham has on his site? Sounds like combat rules, hiring mercenaries to ride along, etc. Could be fun.

mikoyan,
I would like some clarity on marking the board. I know they come with waxy crayons, but I've read folks using plexi, cellophane, dry-erase, wet-erase, etc. Have you found any preferred method?

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26 Jan 2010 01:07 #53870 by mikoyan
We tried dry erase but I didn't get the greatest kind and they bled and left some marks on the board (it did clean up eventually). I'd probably try it again with better brands. Some of the newer games cheaped out on the crayons, so you might want to find a better set of crayons.

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20 Sep 2010 13:35 #74550 by jeb
Thread necro!

Looking for a recommendation.

I refer people to this excellent blog post about crayon rail games that mikoyan posted last year. He's played a bunch, but not the whole gamut, and some others were mentioned in the comments.

Here's my experience so far: I liked EURORAILS, as the map was very tolerant of the two schools of crayon rail thought: tight money vs. rail swarm. I did not like IRON DRAGON because the fantasy element was dumb. I did not like AUSTRALIAN RAILS because the map has a big fucking hole in the middle of it.

I don't think I'd object to a little dressing on the EMPIRE BUILDER experience, but don't make a fucking dwarf. Should I just stick with what I know--EURORAILS (haven't owned it in 15 years), or have their been other games in the meantime that can do all that and more?

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20 Sep 2010 14:32 #74565 by Uethym
jeb wrote:

Here's my experience so far: I liked EURORAILS, as the map was very tolerant of the two schools of crayon rail thought: tight money vs. rail swarm. I did not like IRON DRAGON because the fantasy element was dumb. I did not like AUSTRALIAN RAILS because the map has a big fucking hole in the middle of it.


My tastes fit this exactly, so you might like my group's favorite, Nippon Rails. We always found it the most fiercely competitive of the crayon rail games, because of the choke points when island-hopping.

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20 Sep 2010 14:40 #74567 by Mr. White
I've only played two, Iron Dragon and Martian Rails, and enjoyed them both. I do prefer Martian Rails over ID though. The theme is pretty neat and I like the wrap around feature of the map. This was a surprise hit with my group.

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