Union Pacific

Chris Brooks has also played Union Pacific and enjoyed it. That reminded me: has anyone tried to play the game without using the board? I think you could just play the trains on the table without placing them on the board. The board is quite large and has little significance in the game — at least when we played last Sunday, everyone was always able to build whatever they wanted. There was no blocking.

Perhaps one could also get rid of the track cards, while being at it? Not having the right track card happens more often than getting blocked, but I for one didn’t suffer from it once in our game. It would be interesting to play Union Pacific using only the stock cards and the trains. It would make the game a lot smaller! I’d definitely like to hear if someone has tried the game that way.

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3 responses to “Union Pacific”

  1. I haven’t tried Union Pacific, but I have got Alan Moon’s card game Reibach and Co (Get the Goods). According to Bruno Faidutti, they are almost the same game, but Reibach and Co is better. It’s also very cheap on German eBay.

  2. Interestingly, I played recently also; see my blog (click on my name below).
    UP is rather obviously a much richer game than Reibach. It might be better to say that UP is the basic Reibach engine, but with the value of the different businesses not being fixed (3/1) but much more involved, almost another Reibach-level game in and of itself.
    And while the board in UP may not be giving the same square-inch value as Tigris & Euphrates, it is important. If you could add arbitrarily to any line, then the smaller lines would become vastly more valuable at the expense of the larger ones. Blocking isn’t the only thing going on, it isn’t even that significant. The board is there to put constraints on growth, add an element of risk (track card constraints), make the companies more varied, and to give you more trade-offs in the stock play (lines with better board position take more investment to control, but have bigger payoffs).
    Another way UP scores of Reibach is is making the game much more interactive. You are much more affected by other player’s plays, since while having others involved in your lines means you compete for ownership, it also makes them worth more. And each play helps not only yourself but other players, if only to a comparatively small degree.
    While I won’t argue UP isn’t based strongly on Reibach, it’s a much more involved and, to me anyway, interesting game. Reibach is a fine small-box card game, and UP is a fine big-box, more serious strategy game.