We first featured Mac Gerdts' Transatlantic (PD-Verlag) on Board's Eye View back in 2018. As we commented in that review, Mac Gerdts is best known for his various rondel games in addition to his modern classic Concordia (PD-Verlag). Transatlantic was themed around steamships from the mid-19th century to the early part of the 20th century but it adopted the card-driven core mechanics of Concordia. By contrast, Crossing Oceans reworks the theme of Transatlantic but has a rondel at its core in place of the cards.
The Board's Eye View team rather liked Transatlantic but it didn't otherwise attract a lot of love. It inevitably invited comparisons with Concordia and most players seemed to prefer the classical game. There were complaints too that some of the rules were overly fiddly. With its rondel used to select actions, Crossing Oceans feels more streamlined than Transatlantic: the rondel offers more flexibility and control than the cards; you can always move up to three spaces around the rondel but you can pay to move further, with the only limitation being that you can't take the same action on consecutive turns. Crossing Oceans looks better too. Tho' the world map on the playing board is essentially just decorative, it reinforces the theme and, with it, players' immersion much more strongly than the functional but abstract board/mat of the earlier game. The game offers two versions of the world map: an outline map on one side and a much more detailed version on the other. In gameplay terms they are identical but it's nice to have the choice.
Tho' the mechanics have changed, Crossing Oceans is still very recognisably a reinvention of Transatlantic. If you have the earlier game, PD-Verlag have published an upgrade kit that contains all you need to turn Transatlantic into Crossing Oceans (essentially, it's Crossing Oceans without the wooden pieces and banknotes that you'll already have in your copy of Transatlantic). Now you have two ways of Crossing Oceans.
#CrossingOceans #Transatlantic #PDVerlag #MacGerdts #rondel #economicgame