Roades & Boats + &ceterea

Kim & I enjoy Roads & Boats as a 2-player game quite a bit, so I picked up a copy of their most recent expansion, &cetera, which contains a new terrain type (polder), a new way to score VPs (art), a couple assorted new buildings (Power Plants, Business Schools, Bomb Factories) and two new ways to transport goods (planes and trains, from the previously published expansion with the same name).

We played the 2-player scenario with a lot of polder, plus the Power Plant and MBA optional rules. I really liked the effect of the polder (which alternates between being land and sea as the game goes on), which made things very challenging to play out properly – your transporters get stranded as whole sections of the board switch between being land- and sea-accessible. The power plants seemed like a nice touch, although fairly powerful and repeated play may make building one clearly a no-brainer, although the managers didn’t seem to add much. I think both of these buildings may be a lot more interesting when you play with more players – two players could cooperate to build one between them, as great advantage to both, while if you’re just building one for yourself the advantages are less clear-cut.

While pricey, it does seem like the expansion kit is a good buy (although if given the choice I wouldn’t have paid extra for the bits for 5 and 6 players, since I would never actually play with that many people). The rules are clearly best used one or two at a time – just using polders and power plants made things dramatically more complex, so throwing in the kitchen sink would make this a brain-burner of the first order. Anyway, I enjoyed our game, and hopefully

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