age of steam

16   21   9


Martin Sasseville, QC

2006 Champion

2nd: Pierre Puquet, QC

3rd: Craig Moffitt, NJ

4th: Charlie Kersten, OH

5th: Charlie Hickok, PA

6th: Alex Bove, PA
Event History
2004    Richard Irving    34
2005     Pierre Paquet    40
2006     Martin Sasseviile    36

Peter Staab, OH

2007 GM

AREA Boardgamegeek Laurels

I’ve been working on the railroad …

Tournament Format
Join us and build railroads networks in the early 1800’s. The steam engine has just been invented and, with its introduction, it is now possible to ship goods between cities much faster. However, it is the person who controls the track that these great beasts will need in order to operate who will make the money. You are a businessman who is building the necessary track on this undeveloped land in order to make a profit and earn the greatest income from the new means of transporting goods. The track that connects the most useful cities will earn income for the track’s owner. It is the start of the Age of Steam.

Martin Wallace’s award-winning Age of Steam (Winsome/Warfrog 2002) expands the basic system developed in Winsome Games’ original Lancashire Railways. Players lay track tiles between cities to create a railway network in order to transport goods, thereby earning income. This is a deceptively simple gamer’s game, a modern classic.

The game consists of six to ten turns depending upon the number of players. Each turn sees the players issue bonds in order to raise money, bid for the turn order for the remainder of the turn, choose the special ability they want for the round, build track, transport goods along the track, earn income, pay expenses including train maintenance, have production in the cities and then advance the game turn marker. The players receive victory points at the end of the game equal to three times player’s final income less three points per bond issued during the game plus one victory point per track segment that the player has built. The player with the most victory points wins the game.

Money management is very important in the game as money is used to bid in the turn order auction, build track and pay the expenses of the bond interest and train maintenance at the end of the turn. If a player feels that they need more money, the player can issue more bonds in their companies in order to raise additional money at the appropriate phase of the game. However, the total number of bonds issued is subtracted from their Victory Points, reducing their chance to win.

The key to the game is earning income for your railway company. This is accomplished by transporting goods over the railway links that the player has built. So the player first has to decide where they are going to build their track and then they transport goods over this track. Since the goods are randomly generated at the beginning of every game, replayability is excellent.

The tournament format will be a Multiple Entry, Single Elimination event (MESE) with two heats to qualify for the semi-final. The winner of each heat game will qualify for the semi-final. The game can accommodate up to six players, although the GM will try to set up four-player games whenever possible depending upon the number of copies of the game that are available and the number of players.

The Final and the Semi-Final games will use the ’Rust Belt’ map included in every Age of Steam game. If all players agree, players may use any of the following commercially available, officially approved expansion maps for a four player heat:

Western US (Winsome, Warfrog)
Germany (Winsome, Warfrog)
Italy (Winsome, Warfrog)
France (Winsome, Warfrog)
Switzerland (Winsome)
Ireland (Winsome, Warfrog)
England (Winsome, Warfrog)
Scandinavia (Winsome, Warfrog)
Korea (Winsome, Warfrog)
Eastern US (Steam Brothers)
South America (Steam Brothers)
South Africa (Steam Brothers)
China (Steam Brothers)
Bay Area (Alspach)
Moon (AOS Team)
Homebrew, bootleg, unlicensed expansion maps may not be used.

MESE ADVANCEMENT TIE-BREAKERS: In Multiple Entry, Single Elimination events for multi-player games, players possibly qualify for Single Elimination play in the second round by winning any of up to four preliminary Heats. Occasionally, players may advance wihout winning a heat. Players can enter one or more Heats without limit. All MESE events for multi-player games consist of three rounds; an opening Round consisting of two to four Preliminary Heats, a semifinal and a Final. The semifinal round will advance a predesignated optimum number of players to fill the second round; i.e., 25 players for a five-player game, 16 players for a four-player game, etc. but in all cases will advance no more than half of all players which participated in the Preliminaries. If insufficient players advance to warrant a semifinal round, the scheduled semifinal will instead become the Final.

MESE TIE-BREAKERS: A Preliminary Heat win will NOT in itself guarantee advancement. All MESE events will advance the optimum number of players to the next round based on the following tie-breakers without exception.
1. Win in first Heat entered
2. Most Wins
3.Win in second Heat entered
4. has brought a copy of the game if needed for next round; otherwise GM may substitute game specific tie-breaker
5. average finish in all heats entered; e.g., a 2nd and two 3rds = 2.67 and beats two 2nds and two 4ths (average: 3)
6. high dice roll

“Win and you’re in” is no longer a given although it is a strong possibility. This system of tie breakers encourages repeat play in Heats without requiring it. A single win (especially in the first Heat entered) will probably advance that winner but is not guaranteed to do so. Conversely, players who continue to play additional heats after winning a Preliminary game only enhance their chances of advancement without damaging their prospects, but a player who wins their only Preliminary game will probably advance without investing further time in Preliminary play. Meanwhile, non-winners who continue in Preliminary Heats will have additional chances to qualify in search of that elusive first win since in most events, a single win will still advance you to a semifinal round.

Age of Steam is a trademark of Winsome Games. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at the address below.

 GM      Peter Staab  [2nd Year]   NA   NA
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