Between 2 cities, a telegraph tale.
Publisher: Super Meeple
Designer: Marcel-André Casasola Merkle
Artist: J. Dubost and F. Weiss
Game Type: Route Building
Game Type: Resource Management
Game Type: Tile Placement
Initial Year of Release: 2018
Age Range: 10+
Expected Playtime: 45-60 Minutes
Number of Players: 2-4
Theme and What is it?
In the 19th Century, the first transcontinental telegraph was built. Each player will be competing to become the first to complete the telegraph between 2 cities. Utilizing resources and locations will be essential to becoming the first to complete this project. The first player who completes the telegraph connection to 2 cities or builds all 30 buildings wins the game.
On their turn, players will take turns either drawing buildings to place on their player board to build or constructing buildings from their player board. Players will have 4 stacks of buildings shuffled up and face down on the right side of their player board. If they draw buildings, they can draw from 0 to 2 buildings. For every draw action they do not take, they can draw a resource card.
Players may instead construct buildings onto spaces on the board by paying the required resources. They may construct 0-3 buildings with gaining resources for every construction action they do not take. Constructing buildings on certain spots provides discounts for that building. The player who can efficiently utilize their resources, effectively completing a telegraph route or building all 30 buildings first will be the victor!
Play through of this game was relatively quick with a few decisions throughout the game that will determine the flow of the game. A relatively fast-paced race to be the first to complete your route or complete the buildings. I liked the resource management aspect of this game along with the modular board and the ability to add onto the existing board. It’s kind of like having to piece a puzzle together to get where you’re going.
Game Build Quality
U.S. Telegraph is a recreation of a game called Attika. A lot of the framework was in place for the base concepts of the game. They did add a delightful theme on to it which is early 19th Century to the game. The player boards fit the theme using telegraph company names. The building pieces are sturdy circle tiles that fit perfectly on your player board and on the game board spots. The game board tiles are all the same shape and fit very well with each other. The punch-out cities stick out and are easy to differentiate. Card stock is quality and will hold up for a significant usage.
Dubost and Weiss did an excellent job with the artistic direction! The iconography is very easy to decipher whether it be on the game board, building tiles, or resource icons. The player board looks like you are connecting cities through an open desert. The 3-dimensional city stands are a neat added touch that gives an additional aesthetic. The color choices for the players were well selected for maximum visibility.
U.S. Telegraph was an enjoyable race to build your route the fastest! Each turn is a quick decision between drawing and building. When to use resources to build new sections of your settlement and when to build a new settlement are just a few of the decisions. Solid route building fun!
Age Range & Weight
The age range is 10+ on the box for which is very suitable for the game and the style of game. With how well everything is labelled and how easy the system is to pick up, I think this is a very fitting age range. Time frame is pretty accurate as well. 45-60 minutes should be your standard 2 or 3 player game. A 4 player game may take a little longer but play styles may have a major effect on this.
Marcel-Andre created a delightful lightweight route building game! It is a constant race of excitement trying to beat your opponents to another city while trying to build routes that block their path. Having to manage your hand of resources while attempting to efficiently maneuver your route takes some good strategy to balance those decisions. Overall, an excellent entry into the route making, tile placement field of board games!
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