Penny: Erie Railroad

— 2 minute read

I am always excited to try a Winsome game I have not had a chance to play before. A few nights ago, that new-to-me game was Erie Railroad. For those unaware, unlike many Winsome games, there are no cubes and no map here. It is basically one long series of auctions, with some payouts mixed in. I was warned ahead of time this one can be a bit wild, and let’s just say it met that expectation.

The whole thing started with the auction of a card with a B&O share on it that matched the secret B&O share I had in my hand. So I bid a bit high on that one and won it. Soon after I even was able to make it three B&O shares. And then things just started to turn, and just went downhill from there. There was a window of time where everyone’s money was dwindling, and I was just begging for a B&O share to win and call dividends on. The problem was the timing worked out just perfectly for another player who was able to make a small cash lead and use it to just make it bigger and bigger for the rest of the game. All the while, I never made another $1 or won another auction.

If this game were longer than it was (~30 minutes or so), I think I would have walked away with vastly different feelings towards it. But instead, it runs with a more filler-length period, and I think the weight and chaos of it feel fine relative to that. A lot of the game comes down to reacting to order the cards come out of the deck, so if things go poorly, then you really can just get stuck. But there are also some crazy and great moments that come out of that randomness. It is not a game I feel like I need to play all the time, but I am looking forward to more plays of it, especially as a nightcap to a train game evening.

BGG Game Link: Erie Railroad