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Trains and Trains: Rising Sun Review

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18 May 2015 00:00 #202618 by Matt Thrower

The deckbuilding mechanic of Dominion was the most revolutionary thing in the last decade of tabletop gaming. Many other games have build on that creativity. Yet after all that time and all those titles, deckbuilding still feels like a mechanic struggling to find its place in the world.

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18 May 2015 13:55 #202619 by RobertB
It looked great to my gaming group at first. Dominion with a board, it's like peanut butter and chocolate! But I've won the past three games of Trains that I've played by ignoring the track and building skyscrapers*. Maybe my group and I need to play a few more games to find the counter. It sounds like Rising Sun fixes that as well.

*yes, we know that buildings generate Waste as well. :)

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18 May 2015 14:42 #202621 by Matt Thrower

RobertB wrote: Maybe my group and I need to play a few more games to find the counter. It sounds like Rising Sun fixes that as well.


Yeah, I understand this was a criticism of the original game. You certainly can't get away with that in Rising Sun, and if you just use the route bonuses from that expansion in the original (perhaps they can be downloaded/begged from somewhere) it ought to fix the problem.

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18 May 2015 14:51 #202622 by stoic
Nice review. The waste mechanic and spatial play in Trains were interesting and revolutionary to be sure. However, Trains soon outstayed its welcome in my home after only a few plays. I wanted to like it, but, it was universally declared boring, no matter the variety of cards available and new deck-builder mechanic innovations. I actually prefer this waste type deck-builder mechanic in Mage Knight the Board Game where it shows up in wound cards, clogging up the efficiency of your deck. But, in Mage Knight, I can kill things. I guess in my house we just didn't like trains or building stations or laying track while dealing with construction waste or what have you. Trains needed a better way to screw with your fellow players--like, e.g., a train wreck, natural disaster, or Godzilla cards. It didn't satisfy my Ameritrash thirst for blood. I thought it was a revolutionary snooze fest. ZZzzzzzzzz I traded it for City of Remnants.

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18 May 2015 15:15 #202627 by Matt Thrower

stoic wrote: It didn't satisfy my Ameritrash thirst for blood. I thought it was a revolutionary snooze fest. ZZzzzzzzzz I traded it for City of Remnants.


No, it's not an Ameritrash game by any stretch of the imagination. I just love it because it brings some interaction and sociability to a genre I thought was pretty much dead, and I'm enjoying the result. I tend not to consider Mage Knight because for me, it's glacial pace and complexity pretty much render it a solitaire game only.
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18 May 2015 15:27 - 18 May 2015 15:28 #202631 by stoic

MattDP wrote:

stoic wrote: It didn't satisfy my Ameritrash thirst for blood. I thought it was a revolutionary snooze fest. ZZzzzzzzzz I traded it for City of Remnants.


No, it's not an Ameritrash game by any stretch of the imagination. I just love it because it brings some interaction and sociability to a genre I thought was pretty much dead, and I'm enjoying the result. I tend not to consider Mage Knight because for me, it's glacial pace and complexity pretty much render it a solitaire game only.


I never felt social interaction was ever found in Dominion so you're absolutely right on about Trains adding to a genre that was thought to be dead. I wonder what would have happened though if the innovations found in Trains had been released as an expansion for Dominion rather than as the stand-alone-game that is Trains? Would it feel as revolutionary or would it be placed in the variant or expansion category as a neat feature used to add more plays to Dominion for its fans?
Last edit: 18 May 2015 15:28 by stoic.

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18 May 2015 20:26 #202645 by Sevej
Most mechanics do get better when you add, you know, a MAP to it...

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22 May 2015 10:47 #202826 by wkover
I've decided that I don't like deck-building games where all cards are available for purchase all the time. It's too easy for people who know the game/combos to crush everyone else.

Also, Trains is mostly about getting rid of waste, and that's just boring.

I vastly prefer systems where only a handful of cards are available for purchase and players are forced to make do with their minimal options. That includes Legendary, the DC and LOTR deck-building games, etc.

I'm glad that I tried Trains twice, but I'll never buy it and don't need to play again.

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