We just finished playing a four player game of Brass: Lancashire, which I won 130-114-104-103. This game really intrigues me. I never feel like I have enough time to finish everything I want to do. So this time I focused on building as many level 2 and 3 buildings in the canal phase, and then building my two ships in the rail phase.
I only was able to get a few buildings out in the canal phase: one port, two level 2 mills, one level 2 coal mine and one level 2 ironworks. This was a lot less than I hoped for; I only built 2 canals and was using mostly city cards to build. I spent a lot of time (including my first action) developing my stacks. I have read other people's session reports where they are able to get level 3 mills out in the canal phase, and I have no idea how this is even possible.
In order to flip my second mill at the end of the canal era I had to use my wife's port. The distant market had already been exhausted, so she wasn't able to flip her level 1 mill. I felt terrible for her, but it really was the only move. I almost didn't do it because it ruined her plans, but she convinced me that I had to.
I also took out a couple of loans right at the end of the canal phase, giving me a lot of money and letting me go first in the rail era. Jamie had left some coal on the board, so I built two rails first and then built some coal (that got flipped very quickly). After this, I focused on quickly expanding my rail network so that I was connected to Liverpool and the two ships there, and guaranteeing myself connection points at the end. The rest of the rail era was spent building up the income to build the two ships. I only took two actions in my last two turns, one of which was building a single rail for 1 point (the other was building the second shipyard).
Every time I play this game, I enjoy it more. The computations are not quite as involved as in Power Grid, which makes it flow better. The cards are not too limiting, but they restrict it enough that you have to be careful and plan based on the cards you're dealt. This gives it a nice balance between long-term strategy and tactics that I enjoy quite a bit. This play has convinced me to bump my rating up, and hopefully we'll get the chance to play it more.