Author Topic: Thurn & Taxis: Power and Glory  (Read 2331 times)

TylerChuit

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Thurn & Taxis: Power and Glory
« on: June 17, 2012, 03:16:09 »
I've played the original a few times with Wylders, and although I did enjoy it, it wasn't until getting to play it on Yucata.de, that it has become a favorite.  

I believe that our little group has all played the base game at least once, so I won't bother going over all the rules again, but basically to refresh some memories and give context to the following, I will summarize:  1) Take one of the cards with city names on them.  2) play a card so that all your cities represented in your "postal route" are connected on the board in a single line.  3) When you have 3 or more cities connected, you can close and place buildings on your route, taking any bonus point markers, if applicable.  You can also choose one of four postal officials that allow you to take extra actions during your turn.  The game ends at the end of a full round where one person either has run out of building markers of where at least one person has upgraded to a seven route carriage.

Power and Glory adds a new board and alters the way routes can be closed and scored.  

What is new about the board?  It represents the area of Europe just to the north of the original board (there is even one city in common between the two).  The new board also features independent "free cities" that are not part of a province.  They offer 1 bonus point for the first person who builds there, but you are limited to only building in one of those cities each time you close a route.   The other differences of this board are that there is one province that is separated into halves (which people in the forums of BGG have assured are historically accurate), and the routes between the cities are more sparse in some areas creating "choke points."

To balance out the reduced connections and help you build longer routes are the horses.  At the start of the game you are given a carriage card with 2 horses on it.  Instead of upgrading this throughout the game when you close longer routes (and thereby gaining more bonus points), you add horses to the carriage that will allow you to connect longer routes.  Where do these horses come from?  You get them from cities.  As in the original game, there are three cards of each city in the deck.  The backs of each of these cards depicts 1, 2 or 3 horses.  On your turn, instead of adding a city to your route, you can play one of these cards face down in front of your carriage to represent adding horses to it.  You are limited to four cards in front of your carriage in this way, but that can help give you something to play if you are having trouble finding the cities you need.  

In order to close your route, you need to have a number of horses pulling your carriage equal to or greater than the number of cities you've connected.  This means you could conceivably close a 14 city route, but since the bonus points only cover up to an 8 city route, there isn't much point to that unless you really need to get into those nooks, or you just like forming the mark of El Zorro.   Once you close your route, all your extra horses are put out to pasture, and your carriage drops back down to a strength of 2.  Because there are no carriage upgrades, the game only ends at the end of the round where one player uses their last building.  Also because of the lack of carriage upgrades, there is no Cartwright, but the other officials are definately more important for trying to get the cities you need, and of course the Postal Carrier serves the double duty of allowing you to place a second city card or set of horses.  [edit: I just noticed in looking over this after posting that the picture below shows a painting of the cartwright in the background of the officials.  Maybe he passed away?  He could have had his job made obsolete with the advent of adding horses, but I don't think people keep paintings of former employees on their walls... do they Charles?]



These new elements add new and different strategies to the game.  I've heard people on BGG complain that the horses are stupid.  But I think this was just because in their first game they didn't understand the importance of having their number of horses keep pace with their routes, and they ended up having people close routes around them and snag their bonus points because they had to take an extra turn or two hitching horses up to their carriage.

Either way, I personally like the strategy of this expansion slightly better than the original, but not enough to deter me from wanting to play the original if offered.  I only have one slight drawback that might prevent me from purchasing this if given the opportunity... it is an expansion.  Even though the cards are different, the board is different, the bonus chips are different, they do not include the wooden building pieces.  Which is why the picture above shows people using Power Grid city markers.  

My only other issue is with the online version.  There is no marker indicating who went first, so I actualy lost one game because I thought I had another round when it turns out I had played first (very hard to keep track over multiple days in multiple games) even though I was last on the player listing.  Since then, I have started using the handy [Notes] button to keep track.  Otherwise it is a very good adaptation.  Especially since you can see a visualization of your route on the board as you're building it.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 03:45:22 by TylerChuit »
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Dragon

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Re: Thurn & Taxis: Power and Glory
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 23:54:59 »
I don't think I ever have played this game. I think It has been mentioned but never brought to the table.
"Hello IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again? ... OK, well, the button on the side. Is it glowing?... Yeah, you need to turn it on. Err, the button turns it on. Yeah, you do know how a button works, don't you? No, not on clothes." - Roy (The IT Crowd)

Wyldwing

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Re: Thurn & Taxis: Power and Glory
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 14:26:21 »
I'll bring it next time we're invited over.

It's a lot of fun!!!