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[SR] GSG, 9/30: Age of Steam, Breaking Away

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  • W. Eric Martin
    This week s episode: Eric and the Hulk have a long conversation. There we were, all set to dig into a six player Age of Steam when Brian showed up and blew
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 1, 2003
      This week's episode: "Eric and the Hulk have a long conversation."

      There we were, all set to dig into a six player Age of Steam when Brian
      showed up and blew the whole thing apart. James, who had agreed to AoS
      reluctantly, took the opportunity to bail, and Phil joined him. The
      three of them played Palmyra, Trias, and Knizia's Samurai; perhaps one
      of them will post details. That left four of us for the rail marathon
      and we ended with the following scores:

      Age of Steam

      Matt 79
      Mark 75
      Bill 59
      Eric 21

      I got a collective spanking from the other players, but perhaps that was
      to be expected in my first attempt at AoS and what's actually my first
      train game ever. (If you don't count Vom Kop Bis Kairo, that is, which
      we shouldn't.)

      I built a little track here, and a little track there, and soon I was
      drowning in the scoring trough left behind by the other players. By the
      time I realized that I should be building a network (and boosting my
      engine score) so that I could travel farther and rack up more income, I
      was shut out of places to build.

      Okay, maybe not shut out, but I fell into a state of paralysis as I
      tried to contemplate possibilities and had to shoo the other players out
      for dinner. "He puzzled and puzzled until his puzzler was sore." All
      that puzzling, and still no Christmas for the Whos down in Whoville.
      For the most part, I watched for the final three or four turns, as Bill
      tried to punish Mark at the expense of his own income and as Matt turned
      goods around left and right for massive income bursts.

      It's odd that a player can move any goods since that means I could have
      spoiled the whole game by favoring one player rather than merely
      treading water, but what would I (or any basement dweller) have to gain
      other than hurt feelings and anger from such a move? I'll try to do
      better next time, and there will definitely be a next time because now I
      have some idea of what to do. Aiming for third place....

      Breaking Away

      Bill 68
      Eric 53
      Matt 25
      Mark 9

      Bill says he's owned this game for five years, yet this was his first
      time playing. Geez, how many games can a guy own? (I'm currently
      testing the limits through massive purchases online.)

      Despite the cheesy components, Breaking Away turned out to be extremely
      enjoyable and (to this non-racer) an accurate representation of cycle
      racing. Each player has a team of four cyclists, each of which has a
      certain number of points allocated to three or four columns on a score
      sheet. All cyclists line up at the starting line, then players take
      turns choosing one of the values for each of their cyclists.

      For example, a cyclist might have figures of 12, 6, 7, which adds to 25
      points total. On the first turn, I move it 7 spaces; then I carry the
      remaining figures (12 & 6) to the next line. In place of the 7 goes a
      figure determined by the cyclist's position in the race: 3, plus the
      total number of bikers in spaces ahead of it until there's an empty
      space. If there's one biker immediately ahead and then an empty space
      ahead of that one, the replacement figure is 4; if there are three
      cyclists, then one ahead of that, then two ahead of that, then an empty
      space, then the replacement value is 9.

      Players score points when one of their cyclists is among the first eight
      across the sprint line during the two laps or the finish line at game
      end. The player with the most points wins.

      I think it took a couple of movements before any of us had a clue what
      we were doing. Matt and Mark lost riders before the first lap ended
      because all of their values were 3, which was too small for them to
      catch up with the pack and gain higher replacement values. They each
      lost other riders later in the game, and in the end, all four of Bill's
      riders, three of mine, and one of Matt's finished.

      The rules encourage pack movement and jostling; you want to stay at the
      back of the pack because you ring up high replacement values, but once
      you have nothing but replacement values, you must zoom ahead and score
      small values. Breaking Away seems simple, but there's a lot to
      consider, both from the initial values and from constant choices
      throughout the race. Good stuff -- bring it again next week Bill, and
      we'll have another go at it.

      Breaking Away is from Fiendish Games, and from looking at the Web site
      (http://www.fbgames.co.uk/games/ba/baway.htm), apparently the company
      owner makes them all by hand. You could recreate everything yourself
      for just a couple of dollars, or you could reward this guy for
      persevering with his efforts.

      Eric-4

      P.S. So, where we setting up shop next week?


      --
      W. Eric Martin - TwoWriters.net
      * Fight intrusive advertising! - http://www.BadAds.org *
    • Mark Edwards
      ... And I would ve won too, but for the father throwing himself under the bus for the son! ... What the?!?! You recorded these scores?!? ... Bill s got
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 1, 2003
        At 06:11 PM 10/1/2003 -0400, W. Eric Martin wrote:

        >Age of Steam
        >
        >Matt 79
        >Mark 75
        >Bill 59
        >Eric 21

        And I would've won too, but for the father throwing himself under the
        bus for the son!

        >Breaking Away
        >
        >Bill 68
        >Eric 53
        >Matt 25
        >Mark 9

        What the?!?! You recorded these scores?!?

        >Bill says he's owned this game for five years, yet this was his first
        >time playing. Geez, how many games can a guy own? (I'm currently
        >testing the limits through massive purchases online.)

        Bill's got serious mental problems (see above).

        >Despite the cheesy components, Breaking Away turned out to be extremely
        >enjoyable and (to this non-racer) an accurate representation of cycle
        >racing. Each player has a team of four cyclists, each of which has a
        >certain number of points allocated to three or four columns on a score
        >sheet. All cyclists line up at the starting line, then players take
        >turns choosing one of the values for each of their cyclists. <snip>

        I thoroughly enjoyed it as well, despite the 9 point showing. The
        movement/replenishment mechanic is innovative and it seemed to jibe well
        with the cycling theme.

        >Breaking Away is from Fiendish Games, and from looking at the Web site
        >(http://www.fbgames.co.uk/games/ba/baway.htm), apparently the company
        >owner makes them all by hand. You could recreate everything yourself
        >for just a couple of dollars, or you could reward this guy for
        >persevering with his efforts.

        I've already emailed them to see if they have any copies remaining for
        sale. I'll let you know what I find out.

        In the meantime I think the game would translate well using the
        Umreifenbreite (sp?) board and pieces. Of course you'd need to tweak the
        rules a bit. Then again we can just create our own Breaking Away board,
        all we need is a working knowledge of those things known as "arcs".

        >P.S. So, where we setting up shop next week?

        Good question. I'll see if there are any volunteers to host.

        Thanks for the report Eric!

        Mark


        If you like board games and live in Eastern MA or the surrounding areas
        check out Unity Games -- www.unitygames.org

        I'll handle this ... the only danger in space is if we land on the terrible
        Planet of the Apes ... wait a minute. Statue of Liberty ... THAT WAS OUR
        PLANET! YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL! -
        Homer Simpson
      • Mark J. Edwards
        ... Just an update to this. They do indeed have copies still available and one of them is on the way to me. Mark Just look at him. Square. The shape of
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 2, 2003
          At 06:22 PM 10/1/2003 -0400, Mark Edwards wrote:
          > >Breaking Away is from Fiendish Games, and from looking at the Web site
          > >(http://www.fbgames.co.uk/games/ba/baway.htm), apparently the company
          > >owner makes them all by hand. You could recreate everything yourself
          > >for just a couple of dollars, or you could reward this guy for
          > >persevering with his efforts.
          >
          > I've already emailed them to see if they have any copies remaining for
          >sale. I'll let you know what I find out.

          Just an update to this. They do indeed have copies still available and
          one of them is on the way to me.

          Mark


          "Just look at him. Square. The shape of *EVIL*" - Plankton
        • Bill Romaniecki
          ... under the bus for the son! My goal was to finish ahead of Mark. Always much better than winning. ... Mark! Cheer Up! Its okay that you are not another
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 3, 2003
            --- In Unity_Games@yahoogroups.com, Mark Edwards <danger-mouse@c...>
            wrote:

            > And I would've won too, but for the father throwing himself
            under the bus for the son!

            My goal was to finish ahead of Mark. Always much better than
            winning.

            > >Breaking Away
            > >
            > >Bill 68
            > >Eric 53
            > >Matt 25
            > >Mark 9
            >
            > What the?!?! You recorded these scores?!?

            Mark! Cheer Up! Its okay that you are not another Lance Armstrong!!!
            >
            > >Bill says he's owned this game for five years, yet this was his
            first time playing. Geez, how many games can a guy own?
            >

            I gave away about 25 games recently and it does not seem to have
            made a dent in the collection.
            >
            > Bill's got serious mental problems (see above).

            They were cured by the shock I got from your invisible fence. Woof!
            Woof! Can we order out from Petco next time?

            > Then again we can just create our own Breaking Away board,
            > all we need is a working knowledge of those things known as "arcs".
            >
            One thing we didn't do right was the sprint points. A rider has to
            cross the line to get them.

            Nobody noticed but all the same numbered riders had the same color
            sticker on their wheel. It would be nice to blow the board up a bit
            and make set of riders by scanning and modifing the Demarrage
            cyclists.

            >Good stuff -- bring it again next week Bill, and
            we'll have another go at it.
            >

            Alas, I will be unavailable for the next two weeks. Leaving next
            Tuesday fo a deep canyon in Utah to avoid hearing the collective
            wails and sobs of Red Sox dreamers. Unfortunately Kim etal are self
            distructing ahead of schedule so I may get to hear them anyway.

            Bill

            Mark Saturday October 27, 2018 on your calendar - 100th Anniversary
            Party of last Red Sox World Series Win. Special Guests: Bernie
            Carbo & Mighty Joe Young, Bill Lee(and his Don Zimmer Rookie Card),
            Carl Everret (noted archeologist). Hear Dan Douquette sing "Stand By
            Your Man" to Jimmy Willams. Mo Vaughn and the girls from the Foxy
            Lady will reenact the Nuns Day debacle. Special guest appearnce by
            Ted Williams' Head.
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