Tariffs



Has anyone played Tariffs by Joonathan C. Dietrich (see Rulesets in 
Progress) yet? Without having played it yet, it appears to utilize a 
simple and elegant mechanic. It's an abtract rail game of the type 
where players race to complete secret routes over shared links (like 
Transamerica in that sense) but with an added element; dominoes are 
used as route links over a tight-packed board of tiles, and domino 
pip numbers establish tariff costs for all links in a route. 
Unplaced links may also be traded with other players. I plan to try 
the game over the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays. For people who 
think that Transamerica is OK but a bit too light or too random, 
Tariffs might be just right.

Jonathan, I noticed you don't use the pawns (not a criticism, just 
an observation) and I couldn't resist thinking of a possibility. How 
about giving each player an opportunity to place his pawn in the 
center of any tile in lieu of taking any other action that turn, 
once during the game (pawns never move once placed). Then, any 
routes running through the tile holding the pawn benefit the pawn 
owner (the pawn owner's score goes down by the tariff through that 
tile for each route through the tile). Theme-wise, you could say 
this symbolizes the pawn owner collecting an infrastructure lease 
payment or some such thing. Because players don't know just when 
another player will declare a route complete, there would be a trade-
off between placing the pawn safely early but probably not in a 
lucrative position, versus waiting until routes look like firming up 
but maybe not having time to get it placed at all (once a route is 
declared, it would be too late to place a pawn). 

-Mike