age of steam [Updated April 2008]

AOS      
   
     20
  11    15    9

   Host A   Marietta     Limerock

Martin Sasseville, QC

2006-07 Champion

2nd: Pierre Puquet, QC

3rd: Mario Veillette, QC

4th: Richard Irving, CA

5th: Marc Imbeault, QC

6th: Cody Sandifer, MD
Event History
2004    Richard Irving    34
2005     Pierre Paquet    40
2006     Martin Sasseviile    36
2007     Martin Sasseviile    40

GM: Peter Staab

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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 is changing slightly this year with the new formats allowed at the WBC. The tournament is officially changing to a "Heats:Winners Only" format. This means to qualify for the semi-final a player will have to win a game in one of the two heats with no second-place finishers advancing. However, I will advance four players to the Final from the semi-final games, so it is possible that I may have to take one or two second place finishers from the semi-finals depending upon the number of games played in 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 players and copies of the game that are available.

Heats: Winners Only (HWO) - Only the winners from each heat advance to Round 2-no alterates advance. EVERY winner of a game advances. There is no limit on the number of winners that can be accommodated. Anyone who comes in second may not advance, even if the person who finished first in that game has won a previous heat or chooses not to advance to the Final.

Another slight change in the format will be in choosing maps for the individual rounds. In the two heats, the GM is going to have a choice of seven or eight maps allowable and players can pick which map(s) they would like to play. If enough players choose one or more of the alternate maps, then those players will play using that map. Any other players not playing on an alternate map will play on the "Rust Belt" map that is included with the Age of Steam game. For the semi-final, the GM will provide a choice of four or five maps with the map receiving the highest vote total being the map that will be used for all of the semi-final games. The Final will use the "Rust Belt" map unless all four players agree to use the alternate map that the GM has selected.

The only maps that will be considered will be commercially available, officially approved expansion maps for Age of Steam including, but not limited to:
Western US (Winsome, Warfrog)
Germany (Winsome, Warfrog)
Italy (Winsome, Warfrog)
France (Winsome, Warfrog)
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)

Homebrew, bootleg, unlicensed expansion maps may not be used. If you have a map that you would strongly like the GM to consider including in the choices for one of the heats or the semi-final, please contact me via email.

If you have any questions or comments about the tournament, please contact me at the below email address.

 GM      Peter Staab  [3rd Year]   700 Bayridge Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15226-2112  
    pestaab@comcast.net   NA

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