Saturday, February 20, 2016

Train Heist... easy rules and engaging game play

My friend Jeff and I continued our evening from playing Zombicide: Black Plague with another Kickstarter, Train Heist by Tower Guard Games.

I love the Old West, and all my friends know that I love Westerns, especially Spaghetti Westerns, so I am always open to boardgames with the Western theme.

Train Heist seems to be a hard to find game that Jeff somehow got his hands on.

I'll be honest.. at first, the kiddie Euro style meeples turned me off. I happen to have a preference for Ameritrash not Euros, but I am always open to play Euros.

I can't say this is a pure Euro, but I can't say it's Ameritrash either..

Still, there were some neat aspects. There must be magnets inside the board that allows you to put train speed and victory points arrows on the board without any clips or such.

The kiddie looking meeples neatly mount up on the getaway horse, which is a nice touch..

And there are train car meeples that go around the board..

Your bandito, pistolero, thug, hooligan...whatever you want to call him.. gets close to these train car meeples in order to jump on the train..the location of where you jump off or on is linked to a train diagram on top of the board where the dastardly sherrif could be waiting for them.

You rob passengers on the train and then jump off the train to get back to one of the 3 towns to rack up victory points..If you and your fellow players reach the goal in VPs, you win the game.

You are dealt poker-ish cards that you need to match with who you're robbing.

For instance, to rob this..uh.. lady... you needed cards with the bag symbol.

That is the only thing I didn't like; the poker-like cards. Bag symbol, key hole symbol, etc.. It would have been easier to use standard playing cards, which would still maintain the Old West theme as poker is a Western staple.

What makes this game interesting was the ease of rules, but there were so many things to keep track up... types of cards needed to rob someone, a sherrif who randomly moves between train cars, speeding up train, Apaches, train tracks being switched unexpectedly, hiding on the roof of the train cars or not (it's bad if the train is about to go under a tunnel), etc.

If you don't head back to town before the train reaches it, the hangman token moves up one. After a certain threshold, you lose the game if the hangman points rack up.

Plus, there are "wanted cards" that you try and strive for, because if achieved, they give you a game advantage. For instance, for running across all 4 train cards, you can move the hangman token back one.

Thus, there are so many moving parts in a good way, that it makes this game enjoyable.

An example robbery:

My bandit (blue) jumping on train car 4..

 On true car 4..

Head to the roof as the Sherrif is right beside me..

Red switch turned on, the train moving away

Event cards are activated whenever the train goes over the star symbol..

 Sherrif moves twice to the right..

 and speeds up..

Jeff on another instance jumping on the horse to catch up to the train after the rail tracks were switched..

and jumps on car 2

 I jump down to go a'robbing while the sherrif is way back..

I make a get-away on my horse after the robbery..

 and head to town..

Anyways, we played this game for 1 hour and lost. We aimed for a medium goal victory, but we couldn't even do the easy one. We suspect we weren't cooperative and coordinated enough with each other that caused our loss.

We will try this game again as there is more to meets the eye. Thumbs up!

1 comment:

  1. Kids want the game now after seeing your post!