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Train of Thought: Touring Snowdonia – Trains

Despite there being many many games about building railways, trains themselves are often a slightly background feature to the network of travel on the board. In Ticket to Ride, the coloured train cards are an abstracted resource required to connect 2 destinations. In Railways of the World, trains function more like a technology, representing how advanced the trains on your network are and thus how many links they can deliver goods across. In Snowdonia though, trains are more specific and unique. Rather than being representative of a network of locomotives, they are a single train your company uses to assist in the construction of the railway. This gives them room for more individual personality and so mechanically, they represent the...

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Train of Thought: touring Snowdonia – the surveyor

In many of the previous Train of Thought articles, I’ve made comparisons as to how Snowdonia and its mechanics fit into the wider canon of board games. Today’s topic however, I’m slightly more stumped to find an easy analogy for. Eurogames generally follow a formula: Take an action to get something  Take a different action to leverage the something you have into points.  The surveyor (G) action defies this formula by simply giving you points. The rate of return is lacking and generally speaking is not as exciting as laying track or making buildings. Many games of Snowdonia go by in which the surveyor remains at the start of the track until the end of the game, untouched since set...

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Train of Thought: touring Snowdonia – contract cards

Whether they're shared, private or secret, contracts in Eurogames are as old as the hills. Fulfilling specific sets of requirements for victory point pay-outs is practically a hallmark of the genre. Kanban EV's performance goals, Viticulture's wine orders and Ticket to Ride's titular destination tickets are all perfect examples of this mechanic. Snowdonia honours this tradition with its contract cards. And just like everything else in Snowdonia, they buck convention and have hidden depths. Please sign here and we can get started. What does a contract card do? How do I get one?Contract cards are obtained via the F action space. The F action allows you to choose one contract card to take from an available selection of 3. These...

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Train of Thought: Touring Snowdonia – laying track

  Although it looks very different from its network-building peers, Snowdonia is still, at its core, a game about building a railway. It may for the most part be simplified down into a single line, but there's more going on under the sleepers than initially meets the eye. Let's pull them up and have a look. How do I lay track?Track in Snowdonia is laid using the D action. However, laying track costs steel bars, so you actually have to take at least two other actions first. You need to use the A action to obtain iron ore and then the C action to convert that iron ore into steel bars. The fact that laying track is a slow multi-step...

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Train of Thought: Touring Snowdonia – cubes and the bag

  Gaining various colours of cubes is one of the most  iconic images in eurogames. Agricola, Brass, Caylus, Terraforming Mars, Terra Mystica, Lords of Waterdeep… the list of well known eurogames featuring the collecting, moving, spending and exchanging of cubes is vast. Snowdonia is part of this same tradition. On a surface level, Snowdonia’s implementation of cubes may seem simple. Look closer though, and it reveals unspoken depths that, when understood, can really give you an edge. So, let’s reach into the bag and see what secrets lay within. What are the cubes in Snowdonia and what are they for? By default, a game of Snowdonia will contain 5 types of cube:Iron ore – Used to make steel bars which in...

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