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Railroads are Red and Railroads are Blue, I think you should be playing Railroad Ink Too

I feel like my rambles alternate a bit. I'll have a few good weeks, a few bad weeks, I guess it mostly depends on what I've been playing. This week is another good week. I played quite a few new games recently, but for me the stand out currently is Railroad Ink. I haven't played that many roll and writes but I do have a few under my belt. The first one I played was Roll Through the Ages back when I first started gaming. A fun game but wasn't a keeper. More recently I've tried Castles of Burgundy Dice Game, and while the original will remain one of my favorite games, the dice game kind of just felt like I was scratching an itch that only its big brother would be able to take care of. And then I also played a friends copy of Welcome To..., a solid city builder that while thoroughly enjoyable, I haven't felt the need to acquire a copy for myself.

Then I played Railroad Ink. I have no idea why i love this one so much more, but I do. I tried it last week and my wife and I have 5 games under our belts, one of them playing on our laps while on a trip with the kids. Maybe it's the attachment you get to the little network you're drawing, I don't know...but for whatever reason this one works where other similar games have just been "fun". 

The game is pretty simple, you roll 4 dice (plus maybe expansions), draw whatever is on those dice with a few minor restrictions, and then repeat for 7 rounds. Along the way you can add 3 special tracks that will give you some more flexibility and control. At the end of the game you score points for the number of exits connected to your networks, the longest road, longest railroad, tiles in the center, and finally losing points for open edges. Plus expansion scoring if you play with it. All in all a game takes 15-30 minutes, and scales well from 1 to 6 pretty decently due to the simultaneous turns. And it's fun. Just fun. Now sure, maybe eventually the game will become almost solveable with predictable placements to optimize your end game...but until I get that far it's just fun and accessible. Teaches in 5 minutes, playable in under 30, works well for up to 6 (or up to 12 if you get both the red and blue versions) and has a decent price point. The one thing I didn't like, something I realized after watching a video from one of my favorite reviewers, No Pun Included, is that on the last turn, you either get what you planned for or you don't. So you have to either not rely on the last minute, or possibly risk getting outscored by someone who got lucky....but hey, I'm here to have fun. And fun it delivers.

Whether for the gamer you know, a non gamer, yourself, a spouse or even your kids. I highly recommend Railroad Ink. 


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