Nickel: The Soo Line

— 2 minute read

I forgot to snag a picture of it, but I played my fifth game of The Soo Line recently. After my first play a couple of years back, I remember being very thrown off by it. It is a strange "cube rails" game, and sometimes one play is not enough to know if it is good strange or bad strange. After five plays I am more confident now it falls into the first category.

My favorite aspect of Soo Line is the fragility of player positions. All cube rail games are shared incentive games and require players to collude and/or attack at various times. This is especially true in Soo Line, as often it is nearly impossible to get anything done alone. Tag on the often-poor companies that can never afford the actions they desire, and the result is often working together to some extent. Additionally, I think the choice to pay out or withhold feels much more interesting than the 18xx games I have more familiarity with. Early on withholding might not be so bad, and it keeps the shares cheap and affordable, but do it for too long and you fall behind quickly. Again, a very strange game, but the good kind of strange.

I look forward to making this one a dime, and even a quarter someday. If my first five plays are any indication, every game of Soo Line goes a little different and I have seen so many neat things happen already. Players who thought they won the game after the auction be beat down through collusion and come from behind winners who were able to manipulate the endgame conditions to their benefit. Thankfully, I know a lot of other players that are fond of this one as well!

BGG Game Link: The Soo Line