Designer Update: For the Joy of being alive and Steaming. Part 2.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
As the Kickstarter campaign for Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set moves closer to its grand finale, we take a short breather to give you a conclusion to Tony Boydell's designer update, learn another bit of Welsh, and tell you of an awesome contest you can get into - and share with those who are still oblivious to the glory of Snowdonia.
Let's start with learning something that many of you may find extremely useful:
It's not a question we have an answer to, but it's one at least some of you probably really want to ask. And speaking of the designer, here's a coclusion to his story of Snowdonia and its long list of expansions - both old and new!
For the Joy of being alive and Steaming. Part 2 of 2.
Despite relatively low numbers in the production runs, the first expansions for Snowdonia were, by no means, instant sell-outs; however, the rhythm of us releasing new expansions every year – along with my fun blog promos – kept the interest of existing fans and began to garner the attention of new players too!
Getting a friend to design a scenario – and needing to pay him royalties (!) – meant we would need to up the cost AND the quantity for 2014’s The Necropolis Railway & Neuhauser Bockerlbahn.
The Neuhauser was developed and tested independently of me (but with my Blessing) by Sebastian Bleasdale (Keyflower, Prosperity) and pals in Windsor and London; it came to my attention at the UK Games Expo in 2014 – when we were launching Ivor the Engine – and the full run-thru game was sparkling and fresh! Since then, I have been bothering other Designers at every opportunity to chip in their ideas – the fruits of which you have been seeing in this Deluxe Edition Kickstarter campaign…
Hisashi Hayashi, for goodness sake! Matt Dunstan – wow! As with all the other scenarios, Neuhauser comes with a fascinating (and eminently-exploitable) story: a storm felled hundreds of thousands of trees and, rather than watch that much valuable resource rot, local industry building a cantilevered transport system to transport it for use: railways are not just about getting the Vicar to the Cathedral on time or cabbages to the city, after all!
The Necropolis Railway is my own dark sense of humour coming to the fore; in a game that involves digging and building with stone, it seemed hilarious – and utterly within the system – to move your dead surveyor to his pre-prepared grave-and-headstone! The real route only has a small number of stations, so that’s why the build Event is seriously-neutered and the emphasis is shifted on to track-building and bonuses. The original release had two hundred sets of (unpainted) resin coffins as an extra detail – it was originally going to be just fifty, but the pre-order demand was so frantic that the guy I sourced them from made a special ’20 at a time’ mould! The Necrop is possibly my personal favourite because the first Surveyor to be buried triggers a two more turns only ‘end of game’ condition ie. this somber procession of corpses is a race game!
Essen 2015 had us sharing a stand with Martin Wallace’s Treefrog and - due to an issue with the publication of Guilds of London - forced to find an alternative to help cover the show costs! Fortunately, there was Matt Dunstan’s Trans-Australian Railway just tampin’ for a release and an archived Geekmail folder attests to the desire for a Daffodil Line reprint.
Trans-Oz is the first scenario that seriously messes with the weather: drought, floods and feeding your parched workers enough water to get across the desert without dying! The addition of a quirky set-collection element – the three different gauges of track – also contributes to the more complex nature of this scenario. It’s tough but a lot of fun!
Matt never seems to sleep and it was but a few months later that he was pitching his China/Tibet idea: the building of the highest altitude (modern) railway and the need for oxygen to keep your workers working at a reasonable (as opposed to impaired) rate. You will discover this intriguing scenario next year, of course, along with Hisashi Hayashi’s (Trains, Minerva, Yokohama) Mount Hakone scenario: hot springs, electrified railways and wood in addition to the usual digging, building and track-laying shenanigans!
My own Bluebell Railway, Wye Valley Tourer and Malta Railway scenarios have been/are being regularly discussed/analysed/developed/spoiled in my BGG blog (Every Man Needs A Shed) but, in summary, the former loves building and has a Cricket Match mechanism; the Wye Valley has postcards and beer drinking; while the latter – still fresh from my head – mixes up several of the Deluxe Edition’s custom –eeples (water, dynamite, flowers) and adds ‘Bus Events’ for a quirky, sun-baked expansion.
Would that it were to finish there, eh? The world is bursting with railway history that will lend itself to the Snowdonia treatment; just some of them currently residing in InDesign folders and/or sleeved with old Magic cards include: The Varsity Line (Oxford to Cambridge), The Trans-Siberian Railway (a BIG one, that!) and The Orient Express (with murder).
So: stow your baggage in the racks provided, sit back and please enjoy the glorious gaming journey that awaits you!
Finally, as we've promised in the beginning, here's something you an take part in yourselves, or share it with some friends: a great opportunity to get a copy of Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set. Just click here (or on the picture abive), and enter! You have to be swift, however, as there are only a dozen or so hours left!
We hope you have a great day - and see you in a few hours! After all, we have a Train Design contest to deal close today, and Mr. Boydell is already working on the list of winners!