April 11, 2006

Mayfair's Extreme Makeover

by Susan Rozmiarek

Yowsa, what a difference! Mayfair Games has totally redesigned their website and it looks very slick and well-organized. The old one was pretty awful and looked slapped together. Good job!

Even more interesting though, was a tidbit posted by Guido Teuber in a BoardgameGeek discussion that hinted at possible online gaming in the future. I would love to see play-by-web (as opposed to real time) versions of some of the games in their stable. Wow, I can think of all kinds of possibilities – Dos Rios, Mesopotamia, Domaine, Amazonas, Elasund, Entdecker and all those lovely, lovely train games.

Okay, time for a little pity party. Why, oh why did I have to discover the Empire Builder series so late? Weren’t these once all the rage in the gaming world? It’s not fair; I wasn’t even a gamer back then and I feel like I’ve missed my chance. I know that “train gamers” exist but not in my circles. When I suggest playing one at our game days all I hear from my euro-snoot (term coined by DW Tripp here) friends are:

“I am so over train games now”
“They take too long”
“I don’t like the random events”
“They are too ugly and fiddly”

Okay, there have been a few people willing to indulge me once in a blue moon, but one is moving away and any others are always lured away by the shiny new eurogames that constantly show up at our house and steal the thunder on game days. Fortunately, Brian Bankler reminded me of this computer version of Eurorails on his blog. I finally got it downloaded and installed and it has been sucking what little free time I have during the day. Lordy, am I ever addicted now! I’m just itching to try out some of the other games in the series like Russian Rails, preferably against real opponents and not just “the red bot.” Play-by-web versions would at least be a step in the right direction. Help me out Mayfair!

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at April 11, 2006 4:30 PM


I love train games too... be they Empire Builder series or 18xx... so anytime we're in the same place I'm happy to play with you.

Posted by: anye on April 11, 2006 6:55 PM

I do really want to try one of those 18xx games. Hey, maybe Gulf Games if we manage to make it? Some guys from our group recently tried 1870 with the short rules and it flopped big time. They even used the dreaded word, "broken." I wonder if they got a rule or two wrong.

Posted by: Susan on April 12, 2006 10:07 AM

>Some guys from our group recently tried 1870
>with the short rules and it flopped big time.
>They even used the dreaded word, "broken." I
>wonder if they got a rule or two wrong.

1870's definitely not broken, though it may not be to everyone's taste, and I can't speak to the short game specifically.

I'll be happy to play either an 18xx or a crayon game in Louisville, if you're interested. Alternatively, I'll be in San Antonio in late June; I might even manage to get an evening free then if you guys are available.


Posted by: Joe Huber on April 26, 2006 1:35 PM

Joe, I'd love to play either type of train game in Louisville. Maybe China Rails will be out by then to try. The length of 18xx games is what frightens me the most, so you'd be the perfect player to learn from. :-) Hopefully, Anye will be there too.

Let us know when you are San Antonio and we'll see what we can work out! Unfortunately, we are about 2.5 hours from the north side.

Posted by: Susan on April 27, 2006 2:25 PM

There's now software that stays true to the game, and has maps for USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Great Britain and more. EB Player supports online play too.


Posted by: Steve on November 9, 2006 12:53 PM
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