Friday, August 12, 2011

Event Report: Train-y Day at Rainy Day!

by Randy

Hello, everyone! The Growing Up Gamers crew is excited to bring you our first event report! Randy & Angie went to Rainy Day Games in Aloha, Oregon (near Portland) for the release of the Railways of the World Card Game expansion on July 31st.

Railways of the World: The Card Game ExpansionLet's start by talking about Rainy Day Games. If you are a gamer and you live in Oregon, you need to check this place out if you somehow have not already. I am being very serious here. Their staff is friendly, and every one is a gamer who knows their stuff and can make great recommendations. It is always well-stocked and clean, too. Angie and I have gotten to a point where it is starting to get hard to find game stores that have more games than we do, but we never lack for something new to check out when we go there. So when they invited us to attend this event, we immediately slapped it on the calendar and made a plan.

Steve Ellis and Randy
We recently discussed the Railways of the World Card Game in this post; if you have read that, you'll know that we love the game. I'm not going to rehash everything about that, but I do want to emphasize that it is a very strategic and fun game that delivers the experience of a train game in cardgame form. It was designed by Steve Ellis and James Eastham, who also designed the expansions for the standard version  of Railways of the World (which we were inspired to pick up... possibly a review of this soon!). They were on hand to get things started and let us know what the expansion did for the game.

The primary new things the expansion adds are tunnels, switches, grey cities and railway barons. Tunnels allow you to create a link from one city on the board to any other with the same color link. The switches allow you to make a link with cards to two different colors, useful for laying down high-cost cities or making a high-point link. Grey cities are cities that do not allow goods to be delivered to them, allowing for longer deliveries. The rail barons all give an endgame goal that can get you extra points. Another optional extra introduced in the expansion is an alternate draw method, which makes things less random. Instead of one draw pile that combines links, there are three draw piles and face up daw options. Links in one pile (three face up, draw up to two), cities in another (two face up, may draw only one) and locomotives in the last (may only draw one). The draw method makes the planning of your turns and links a little more strategic, and players can map out their routes more carefully.

Railways Of The World: The Card GameThis expansion really raises the stakes for the Railways of the World Card Game. Players familiar with the game can expect higher scores, and possibly bigger point spreads at the end. I like all the additions, but my favorite are the rail barons. I like having a  goal to work toward and be able to cash in for points at the end. If you have played Race for the Galaxy, these kind of work like the six point developments in that game. We played with the method where each player is dealt two barons and gets to choose one to kepp, which we really enjoyed, but there is another way to play in which several barons are face up on the table and as an action a player may select one to take. This looks like another great way to use the baron cards, and we'll definately be trying this next time.The tunnels are great, too. Each player may make only one, but this can be a great setup for a long end-of-game delivery. Like I said, expect higher point games! This expansion has a whole variety of fun new things to add to the base game, and you can totally mix and match them as you like for a customized play experience and to mix up your game. We really enjoy what the expansion has to offer, and if you like the game you will definately want to pick this up!

From left: Joan, Jason, Randy and Angie
 The great thing about gaming events is getting to play with new people. We were introduced to Jason and Joan, who had each already played the game and who had come to try out the expansions, as well. We had a great time playing with them, and they both gave a us a run for our money. We played the with the base set, the expansion and the optional draw method. Everybody made great use of their tunnels, and loads of goods were delivered. The actual scores I don't remember, but Angie took first place and I took third. A relatively narrow point spread told us that it was anybody's game up to the very end, and we all felt like we had been pretty evenly matched. I'd like to add that on top of being great opponents, they both had heard of our blog! We were pretty stoked to have people recognize us and tell us they liked our blog.

Randy's in trouble! Angie caught him checking out Cleopatra's Caboose!
 We had a great time. If you find yourself in the Portland/Beaverton area, and you have the opportunity to pop by Rainy Day Games, please do; you won't be sorry. I have never seen a store with the selection they do. And also, as soon as I can transcribe it (I type glacially slow) we will be posting an interview with the designers of this game (our first interview!). Stay tuned!


  1. Thanks for coming up to hang out with us. It was blast hanging out with Angie & Randy! - Steve Ellis

  2. Great meeting you guys! -James Eastham

  3. Wow! Comments from both designers! It was great hanging out with you guys; Angie and I had a great time! And thank you for dropping by, too, Winfield!