Board Games

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otiscnj

Well-Known Member
Wondering how many people out there have the old Avalon Hill game Rail Barron? Or Mayfair games Empire Builder, Euro Rails, or Japan Rails?
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Have them all. For a while I had almost every rail game published (even one from 1889). Then in recent years they have been coming out with so many so quickly I cannot keep up. The Rail Baron game has returned to its roots and how it was before Avalon Hill. One can now purchase it brand new. It is called BoxCars see link below. Don't pay the $120-$200 for an original AH RailBaron. There are also some expansions for the game that include Canada and Mexico plus expansions for more railroads (one I designed myself).

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/24225/boxcars

There are bunches of railroad board games but there are also series.
  • The Crayon Games - Empire Builder is the first. it is followed by British Rails, Euro Rails, Nippon Rails, India Rails, Australian Rails, Lunar Rails, etc. In these games one draws their railroad to connect cargo to target destinations. We have special rules for "cashing in cards" to prevent players from just trashing cards to get an "easy" set.
  • The Tile Games - 1830, 1828, 1856, 1870, etc. and Railroad Tycoon In these games the tracks are tiles that connect cargos through stations. One tries to build routes where passing through as many stations on a given run creates points toward winning.
  • Ticket to Ride - east us, west us, Europe, etc.

some of the major ones that I own are ---
Age of Steam (couple of expansions for it)
American Rails
Oklahoma Boomers
Rail Barons
Railroad Barons
Railroad Empire (well this is not a major one)
Silverton (three versions of this plus a New Mexico expansion, and also our favorite)
Rails through the Rockies (great for a new years day marathon)
Telluride (just like Rails through the Rockies but in a different map)
TransSiberian Railroad (similar to the Ticket to Ride games)
Railway Rivals / Dampfoss - same game under different titles.
Union Pacific
Dispatcher
C&O/B&O (also an Avalon Hill bookshelf game)
Baltimore & Ohio plus expansion packs
that is all I can think off off the top of my head but I know there is at least another series where the main focus of the game is acquiring railroads through the stock market. I've got at least 4 of them, so I don't know why I can't think of any of the names.

There are now at least 4x more railroad related games that I don't own, and that is not counting the more juvenile Children's type (including one by Lionel).
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Wondering how many people out there have the old Avalon Hill game Rail Barron? Or Mayfair games Empire Builder, Euro Rails, or Japan Rails?
Cleaning the shelves this morning, I came across two copies of "New England Railways". I don't remember buying them, or even having them. Anyone ever played?
20181014_091453[1].jpg
 

otiscnj

Well-Known Member
No, I've never seen New England Railways, nor played it either.

Thanks for the breakdown regarding new and old board games!
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the breakdown regarding new and old board games!
BTW, in Silverton at the end of each round (season of the year) one has to update the commodities markets by throwing dice. I wrote a computer program to do that. Saves bunches of time. If you ever buy the game, I can round up a copy of that program and send it to you. It was written in a beta copy of the original Visual Basic, so that shows you how old it is.
 

Snowman

Well-Known Member
Wondering how many people out there have the old Avalon Hill game Rail Barron? Or Mayfair games Empire Builder, Euro Rails, or Japan Rails?
Oh man. "Rail Baron" is still my favorite, and it was for a lot of us. We played the cover off it.
I'm the guy (there is always one) who was the banker, and they all wanted to kill me every time I said "a thousand dollars to the bank."
So much a favorite that it's sitting on my desk at this moment, I kid you not.

Being a math guy, at least back then, I played the odds on each roll. Then finally decided I had an unfair advantage, so I wrote up a chart everyone could see before deciding what to buy, not buy, etc. It's still in the box, I'm sure.

----------

I had a cousin who lived with us then, who was a NBA/NFL fan, so we played a lot of those too. Power ratings, etc, and we did so much of that, that we both came up with our own teams and talent. My center was "Mobuto Mobutu," and he had a power forward named "AJ Oaks" (as in Oak Tree). LOL! Those were the days.

Still have a box lying around with AH favorites: Regatta, Outdoor Survival, 1776, Luftwaffe, Submarine....
 
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madsphi

New Member
  • The Tile Games - 1830, 1828, 1856, 1870, etc. and Railroad Tycoon In these games the tracks are tiles that connect cargos through stations. One tries to build routes where passing through as many stations on a given run creates points toward winning.
Railroad Tycoon is a classic. Love that game 👍
 

boatwrench

Active Member
Wore out two Rail Baron games, third one on the shelf. Now we play ticket to ride US and also Rails & Sails. The nice thing about Ticket to ride I can play my children and grandkids on-line even though we are states apart.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Wore out two Rail Baron games, third one on the shelf.
I have three copies. BUT FYI. Don't pay the ridiculous $70-$200 for a used copy on ebay. They have re-produced the game under its original title "Box Cars", and a new copy can be had for $39-$50.

The only difference that I can find is one change in the destination table. One of the region settings (odd - 10 I believe) has been changed from Northeast to Southeast. Makes a trip to Boston or Portland ME. more unlikely and a trip to Miami or Norfolk more likely. Anyone who has played the game will know what that means for strategy.

Edit - OH I guess I already said this in an earlier post. oops.
 
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Snowman

Well-Known Member
I have three copies. BUT FYI. Don't pay the ridiculous $70-$200 for a used copy on ebay. They have re-produced the game under its original title "Box Cars", and a new copy can be had for $39-$50.

The only difference that I can find is one change in the destination table. One of the region settings (odd - 10 I believe) has been changed from Northeast to Southeast. Makes a trip to Boston or Portland ME. more unlikely and a trip to Miami or Norfolk more likely. Anyone who has played the game will know what that means for strategy.

Edit - OH I guess I already said this in an earlier post. oops.
As Johnny Carson would have said (re: "Box Cars")..."I did not know that...".

As far as the destination table goes, I could detail the original if anyone needs it, and probably the odds (back then) too. Provided I could make sense of the two pages of yellow graph paper I wrote it down on. At least I left those sheets in the box, which IS held together with a combination of masking tape and packing tape. Didn't quite play the cover off it, but we sure tried. :D
 

Snowman

Well-Known Member
Wore out two Rail Baron games, third one on the shelf. Now we play ticket to ride US and also Rails & Sails. The nice thing about Ticket to ride I can play my children and grandkids on-line even though we are states apart.
Avalon Hill did detail some ideas for ways to play by (snail) mail I remember. One example: to resolve a roll of the dice, a stock was chosen off the Dow Jones, and whatever fraction the stock closed at on a given day became the "roll." So 53 1/4 was a four*, etc.

[*maybe.... memory is vague, and I never had need for it myself]

IIRC, there was a daily list, so if GE closed at 12 1/8 it was nixed out, and the next stock on the list--and the next--was tried until one came with a number corresponding to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
As far as the destination table goes,
My daughter won the state science fair in math for calculating the probability of going to each city. Then combine that with the cities served by each railroad and it gave one the probability of having a destination on a given railroad. She called it playing by the numbers. If one always choose the railroad to buy to be the one from the remaining set with the greatest probability of a "hit", one would probably win.

She needed at least two more refinements for it to be a true help. There needed to be a factor for overlapping towns. That is, if one already had a railroad serving St. Louis getting another railroad that serviced St. Louis really did not increase the probability of having a destination on ones own railroad. Then She needed to include the probability of the "come from" location (so the probabilty of pulling a trip between the two cities) and then consider if the railroad to be purchased would help to complete a trip between the two locations on ones home road(s). Higher probability of a trip between New York and San Francisco, than the very low probability of a trip between Portland ME and Pocatello.

Then to make it into an AI that could actually play the game, one would need to include statistics for various strategies. You probably are already way a head of me here. What railroad should I buy that gives me the most 100% cities? That is if someone hits that city they would HAVE TO take my railroad to get there. Then for another strategy what railroad should I buy that gives me the most different cities? That way I have less chance of having to ride someone else's rail. etc.
 




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