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Eastside Games with Friends Message Board › Exchanging! Clarification of rules for acquiring Union Pacific Shares

Exchanging! Clarification of rules for acquiring Union Pacific Shares

Beachwood, OH
Post #: 49
Last night (12 Nov 2013) we ran afoul of an ambiguous rule playing Union Pacific. (And since everyone was hopped up on goofballs, things got a little loud--but no more so than we were the rest of the evening.) The question is: After you place a train, it is permissible to take a share of Union Pacific directly and then exchange a regular share from your hand for a second share of Union Pacific? This nets the player two shares of Union Pacific in a single turn, one by exchange.

The original rules are unclear on this point, but don't say you can't do that. I wish to make the argument that we should only allow acquisition of one Union Pacific share per turn, because in a game with five or six players there would be a big advantage to the players going first or near first; and even with the devalued Union Pacific payouts ($0-5-10-15M for top shareholder), the stock has a large effect on the outcome, as we saw last night.

Also, there is some precedent for making this rule. First, I know there is an officially published variation on the English rules that states that you can only acquire Union Pacific by trading for other shares, which prevents anyone from gaining more than one share in a turn (and exchanging one share of Union Pacific for another share of the same is permitted).

Second, please see this clarification recommended by Alan R. Moon, the game's designer:

"Players may not draw a UP stock card. They must always draw one of the four face up Stock cards or the top card from the deck. The only way to acquire a UP stock card is to trade one stock card in your hand for one UP stock card."

There is a possible variation: Players may do one of three things after placing a train: (1) take one regular share, face up or off the top; (2) take a share of Union Pacific directly, without exchanging; or (3) take a regular share, and then exchange any share from their hand (including Union Pacific) for a Union Pacific. However, it seems to me that option (3) is always strategically superior to option (2), so this rule is really the same as Moon's.

A second variation is to make exchanging for Union Pacific a turn in itself, as in Airlines Europe. However, to me that blurs the distinction between the two games a bit too much.
user 35774302
Broadview Heights, OH
Post #: 68
Well, as it is recommended by Alan Moon, I don't object to the new variation. But it is a variation, even though it's highly recommended.

Be advised, however, that there are a zillion variations out there right now. There's playing strictly by the book, which people still do in this group... there's a bunch of variations based on where to place the dividends (I actually like Paul's variant where the they just get placed wherever you feel like it and the last dividend happens when the deck runs out)... there's a variation on how UP gets paid... I probably could keep going.

I'm personally going to stick with the 2 UPs allowed rule with the lower dividends... but you all can play it however you want and I'll play along. :)

It sorta makes Airlines Europe better in that there's really one way to play the game... unless there's variations to that game that I don't know about...
Jennifer H.
Group Organizer
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 220
I personally like the variant in which the last 6 stock cards sit at the bottom of the deck, never being used, never knowing what they are. This plus the blind stock card exchange for a UP card makes it nearly impossible for anyone to count cards.

I think what got people all riled up about the 2 fer was that half of the group wasn't even aware of this variant which left half of the group at a disadvantage. Plus, since it was utilized so late, not every one else could've made use of it.
Beachwood, OH
Post #: 50
I agree with Jenn: If we all knew that was a possibility right off, I wouldn't have minded nearly as much. I guess as long as we make it clear beforehand what's allowed, I'm not adamant one way or the other. However, I like my dividends nice and spaced apart. My rule book suggests placing six shares between the dividend piles, instead of two like I've been doing.

I do know of one variation on Airlines Europe, which makes the game considerably less fun. And that is to play with awful paper money instead of POKER CHIPS!
Jennifer H.
Group Organizer
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 221
*Gregorius laughter!* aaaaaaah-greeeed :-P
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