Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Board Game Top 100 (2024) Part 31 (36-35)

#36 Village Rails

In Village Rails players are completing train routes through the countryside carrying goods to small villages. This is all done with cards. Cards are drafted to create the routes. Other cards represent the contracts that you can fulfill to carry goods. These will be based on symbols on the route cards. Finding the right combination of cards is key and makes for an interesting puzzle of finding the right pieces and putting them into the correct configuration in order to score points.

Placement rules require you to begin routes at the top or left edge of the board and then work your way down and right. Cards must always be placed adjacent to these edges or other cards. This complicates the puzzle slightly and makes a bit of planning essential.

After the 16th card is placed into the 4x4 grid for every player, the game ends. Routes are scored for length and contracts are tallied and the player whose train has served their little rural community the best is the winner.

#35 Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

In Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition players are corporations working together to transform the planet Mars, making it habitable for life from Earth. While these corporations might be working together, this is not a cooperative game. Each corporation wants to be seen as having contributed the most to this endeavor, gaining additional prestige and of course the best, most lucrative contracts in the new world.

The game uses an action system where one player chooses an action, then all other players also perform the same action simultaneously. The player who chose the action gains a bonus. Actions include collecting cards to add to their hand, playing cards from their hand into a tableau by paying the cards cost in resources, gaining resources, or affecting elements of the planet like its temperature or oxygen level.

The game ends when the oxygen and temperature of Mars has been changed to the correct values for Earth born life. Players have received points for their contributions to changing the planet, and every tableau includes cards that grant additional points. All points are tallied and the corporation (player) with the most points is the winner.

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