Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Russian Industry, Robinson Traits, and Life

I thought I would just do a short write up on my Friday night session of Russian Railroads, Robinson Crusoe, and That's Life! ( with a bit of advertising )

I must say, it's been a long while since I last played Russian Railroads. Which is surprising to me since it doesn't even take that long to play! Haha. Well, I decided to go with the double industry strategy this time round. So that's how my whole game went really. A one track mind focus on the industry and a little bit of Kiev on the side when the opportunity presented itself.

Early on in the game - Round 1

I seldom play the industry as I find that it's a really simpleton strategy. No juggling of tracks, just spamming the purple as and when possible. Seeing I wanted both purples at the end 2 spots, I had to make sure I could progress outside of the spaces available on the main board. So I positioned myself for the 1 purple and 3 points engineer, I also made sure to grab the factories that aided with the purple marker movement. 

The start of my double industry plans

Being the experienced one, I think that was just too much for my friends to try to overcome. They have both played the game only once before, this was their second time. But I think we took too long a break since the last play so they may have gotten rusty. 
I finished with 390, the other two had 285 and 235. 

Slightly pass the halfway mark

They both played the Vladivostok route though, so I think they kinda ended up impeding each other's progress in the game. My score was aided by most engineers, and the (supposedly broken) engineer scoring factory. I only had 1 of that factory, but managed to score it twice throughout the game. The double industry was kinda simple and by the end of the game I had more workers than I knew what to do with them. So that was kinda disappointing. Overall, a very fun game which I think my friends really got into, just that I think they could do some improvements on their strategy. :P

Final board at end of game - 390 points

Up next was Robinson Crusoe, which I have also not played for the longest time! Something is wrong with me, not playing all these favorites of mine. My friends were tired so we tried the second easiest scenario in the game - Help Save Jenny ( I think it is called ). 
I've played this solo once before and lost in the last round. This time with my friends and our trusty dog, we successfully rescued Jenny and escaped the island! Woot! A cause for celebration. 

Starting invention cards

It was going easy at first but when we finished we realized we were so close to defeat - Jenny was on her last health point, so was my friend the bull explorer. Looking through the last 2 event cards, had any of them come up instead of the card we drew on the winning round, we could have easily died. So that turned out to be close. 

Exploring we go. We managed to obtain a ton of discovery cards

For those who are wondering, what in the world is a bull explorer? Well, this time we decided to use the trait cards set 1. So our combination was bull explorer, drunk cook, and pessimist carpenter. The trait cards added much more flavor to the game I must say, but I think its abilities and disadvantages were kinda strange perhaps? Some of the negatives like not being able to reroll using your determination tokens could be useless to a character that doesn't have that like say the soldier. Or the drunk where you can't do the same action twice, with more people you just need to split up and be the supporting role or something. So in essence, you gain an advantage without that big a consequence. 
Does it make the game easier? I have a feeling it does. But I liked the flavor it added, my friends were really into their new roles. Haha

My pessimist carpenter. In good shape. Not bad for a pessimist.

However, there is no FAQ for the cards, which made us confused when my friend chose the bull. The bull starts with one palisade. But we don't have any shelter at the start of the game! So how does that work! We shouldn't be allowed to have palisades without shelter, but now we have 1. We took it that the bull was like a bodyguard, so we didn't have a palisade, just a big bulky friend to protect us from whatever it is palisades protect us from. Haha. I'm not sure if I will use the trait cards often, but it was nice to give it a try for once. Now I just need to get Eric to sell me his trait card set 2. Haha. :P

Early moves of the game

One of the last games for the night was That's Life. Eric most kindly helped to purchase a copy for me while he was in the UK. I was eager to try it out and I'm glad to say that it was indeed quite a fun time. Simple mechanics but it balances player interaction, blocking, and set collection into a nice little package. There is always conversation around the table about what the active player might be going to do. Should he stay behind and wait it out to grab a nice tile? Or move forward to block a tile from the other player? I think it would be getting to the table more often from now, especially since it plays up to 6. :) 

I'm Orange, trying to bide my time to snag some goodies

I might want to add the variant whereby the last token gets the highest negative tile still left, so that stops players from staying too far back. Add a bit of variety in the gameplay. 
I am wondering what happens if I randomly deal all the tiles instead of the fixed negatives in 2 batches, positive in 1 and lucky tiles in 1 batch. That would make setup faster but not sure how it would affect the game. Will lucky rolls then be more impactful on the outcome of the game? Not sure as of yet. 
But I liked this, so that was great. A nice addition to my collection!

I won with 26 points ! Some of the red tiles were thrown into my stash while I was taking the pic. Jealous much!

Now for the shameless advertising. 
We played a game of love letter to end the night, and I'm just going to show images of my avengers retheme version.
If you want to grab a copy, bid for it at Eric's auction on BGG!
This may be the only chance to grab a copy! Well I do have 1 more spare, haha, but I may keep that in case my copy gets worn out. So, this may be your only chance! :P

The copy on auction does not come with the steak tokens!!
Those are what I use to keep score. I mean, all the superheroes look like the steak loving kind. Haha. Well, maybe except black widow, but what the heck. 



  1. Well pened....... hmmmm guess it's has been quite a time I last table Russian railroad too.

    1. Hi lex

      What have you been playing instead then?

  2. Well ...... hmmm ..... I always keep track of my last play game on an excel ....... I always try to rotate game play among my games ....... Sometimes I really think why are there so much nice games but so little time ....... wahahahhaha