I got in an eagerly anticipated first play of Airlines Europe tonight. As the game was being set up, I became even more eager to play. I can see several other game mechanics within this gem including the scoring cards (Alhambra,) route development (Ticket to Ride,) and the stock options (Acquire.) While researching Sackson’s biography, a friend of Sackson’s shared with me that Alan Moon is a fan Sackson’s designs. However I have yet to verify that as I have not yet had the opportunity to interview Mr. Moon. I even enjoyed the open money and stock management as Sackson intended how Acquire should be played. Overall, my favorite component was the
tension that existed within my decision matrix. Should I choose A, B, C, or D? Then without warning the game ended. This is where the game parts from Alhambra and Acquire. You are out of luck if you’ve held too many stocks to long. Many games allow the round to be completed as the end game triggers, but in Airlines it just ends. I’m not sure how I feel about the end game. In
Alhambra, Acquire, and Ticket to Ride, I can anticipate and prepare for the end game as opposed to Agricola or El Grande that have a set amount of turns.
Sid Sackson has an unpublished design call Airline. He first writes about it on 1 10 64 “I played
Airline, it lasted 3 ½ hours, but it held interests. “ After countless hours of play testing, he notes on 7 22 65 that he thought “Airline is my best game.” He demonstrated it to Parker Brothers, Hallmark Cards, 3 M, Phil Orbanes, and eventually received a contact for $2500 to publish it. However, it was never published, and his notes suggest that it eventually evolved into “Holiday.” One additional note, Sackson would appreciate is the world board. The first 3M Acquire in ’63 and the ’95 Avalon Hill had world boards. The 63 is very hard to come by. Overall, I had an enjoyable game night. Merry Christmas to all.