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Subject: Cross-over building? rss

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Tom Dickson
United States
National City
California
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We've played two games so far, both with either 5 or six players. Each time the two players in competition for first have "cross-built" on each other in stage 2, leaving the other players outside.

For example, on the US map I started in the Minnesota area, but when it came time to build up there were not many options available to me, and they were all very high cost. The players in New York and environs built on top of each other at much lower costs.

How do you prevent this, especially if you're the last player to build your starting cities? It seems that the players who get the on the two clumps of "free connection cities" will have a huge advantage in stage two.

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, as it is our first time playing.
 
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Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
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There is a real cost to being late in the turn order for building once Stage 2 begins. Managing this while still maintaining sufficient income to grow and compete is a core skill in the game and something you will improve at.
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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Yes. Ideally you will be the "dim bulb" (e.g., first to build) in the first turn after Stage 2 begins. Obviously, not everyone can be dim bulb at this point, but it's a valuable spot since you get first crack at all those newly-available cities.

To achieve this, be careful about building new cities. Don't add a new city without thinking about where it will put you in the turn order for the upcoming turn. In addition, the power plants you buy affect turn order when number of cities is tied. For this reason, the #25 coal plant can be better than the #26 oil plant, even though in many ways they are similar.
 
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Tom Dickson
United States
National City
California
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Perhaps my mistake is always building to the cheapest city - in state 2 maybe I should build into the 15 cost cities even if the connection is more expensive, especially if I'm on an edge and no one can reach my remaining "cheap" cities easily.
 
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Harald Torvatn
Norway
Trondheim
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Remember you can start building close to them. It is better to start near them and build away fromn them, than to start far from them and build towards them (and have them build towards you.)

Note that the players bulding last first round have complete information about the others starting positions, and can place themselves between the first players and what remains of large open space.
 
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Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Start by buying the 03 or 04 plant so you get to decide where to start. Don't be the one who triggers Step 2, because you will go last in the first Step 2 building round. Of course not everyone can do that, but this is why we bid up the 03 and 04 plant. Friedemann says 04 is worth at least €8. On the Benelux map we regularly pay €11 for Plant 03, even though it's a cheap map.

Deciding when to trigger Step 2 is a real problem. It's a game of chicken, sometimes the "Step 2 stall" lasts a long time. There are a lot of things to balance in this game.
 
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