Oh, the anguish... we were gaming last night at Cyberkev's place and he suggested Union Pacific. It's an Alan Moon train game. I have been lukewarm on train games since the Great 1830 Trauma of '87 (or so). I have been lukewarm on Alan Moon train games since I played Ticket to Ride. So I wasn't particularly keen on Union Pacific, but I trust Cyberkev and Pushing Tin Phil to choose decent games, and agreed to play.
I can hear you screaming "back up! back up! What was that about Ticket to Ride?! You didn't like it?" No, I didn't like it, much, it's the train thing. But also, it's nowhere near intense enough for me - I like brain burners. I would play Ticket to Ride, but with gamers I would prefer something like Tikal or E&T or Through the Desert. Having seen recent SdJ winners, I think TtR is a deserving member of that sequence, but those are not my sorts of games. Niagara was MUCH worse.
Anyway, then I discovered that Union Pacific was ALSO a stock game. Oh dear... the 1830 thing was coming back to haunt me, not to mention my incompetence at majority control games... Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Unless I suddenly found out it was also a stripping game - I was NOT gonna go there.
As it turned out, the game was kinda like Ticket to Ride crossed with Acquire, and it was alright. Cyberkev and I got into a pissing war over the Union Pacific shares, which he won, as he always does with pissing wars (must remember to exploit that if I can). Strangely and stupidly, neither of us remembered to play them in time for the first UP scoring, and Trevor and Phil got big points they didn't work hard enough for. Other than that, I did particularly well in the third scoring with first or second place in the top 3 or 4 companies. I don't quite know how I managed that - I had decided that playing shares was a very worthwhile exercise, and nobody was able or willing to go with me. I also had the only share in one of the smaller companies, and made good money there.
Anyway, I managed to win the game. I seemed to have good shareholdings most of the time, although why they were better than other people's I don't know. It was pretty tight, something like 117, 109, 104, 96. Overall, I would say it is a decent game, I just wish it wasn't about trains. If only Alan Moon would come up with a game on some different theme, say elves or something, I would think he was great!