I played Rail Raider’s Infinite in my local game store and I saw the parallels to Colt Express.
And when I read the rules, it seemed simple a we played it and made the same comparison to Colt Express. Effectively it’s the same rules with minor modifications and everyone agreed it was inferior apart from the miniatures… and I can boil it down to the rules and today I will look at one… what you get when you hit .
The winner of the fight against other raiders pushes other players out and steals a $$ from each player if they have less than the losing players and each bot give 1-3 $$. That sounds the same as Colt Express as in theory dropping a treasure to pick up is technically similar.
However look closer; there is a steady escalation with Colt Express, first people pick up bags, then they pick up Diamonds and then they pick up the Case. This steady escalation changes the target very quickly. Whoever holds the Briefcase has $1,000 dollars to lose and a target on their back and everyone has $1,000 to gain, creating a cat and mouse situation.
At the same time shooting people in colt express can give an additional $1,000 bonus which is more fun than just gaining 1$.
Every action in a good game will change things in such a way that it will change up your strategy. The common strategy in Rail Raiders is build strength, shoot enemies, then shoot allies.
In Colt, you can Steal from opponents, steal from the train and shoot for the $1,000 gun bonus. All three are valid strategies at any time and the presence of other players makes it impossible to play optimally unless your psychic.