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Subject: Railroad Tycoon.. East Coast always wins? rss

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Dan Mixer
United States
Brooksville
Florida
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We have played 6 games of Railroad Tycoon now.. all 5 and 6 player games. Whoever build in the east coast, wins, it is that simple. The last game, one of our regulars was tired of me wining and played only to keep me FROM winning. He built next to me, siphoned off cargo, Urbanized to break up my long link deliveries... and I still ran away with it.

Has anyone come up with any house rules about this? We love the game, but it has become appearent that the only way to win is to build in the east coast, which takes some of the fun out of the game.

One thing we thought was to double or even triple the cost of rail in the NE corner of the map. Any other ideas? Thanks!
 
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M M
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Montara
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I've played 4 games. With 2, 3, 5, and 6 players. 3 of the 4 games one of the Northeast crook, I mean, developers won. But, in a 5 player game I was able to win starting off in the Ohio valley, and eventually building out to the Western Link (waste of my time) and down to Atlanta. I believe that in order to stop the Northeast from winning, somebody needs to compete there, and the Northest players need to get pinned in by the Charleston area and the Ohio valley developers.
It can be done.
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Marshall P.
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Wichita
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I haven't found this to be the case at all. I've won in the Midwest several times and seen the South east win.

My last 6 player game I built from Pittsburgh to Toronto to Chicago and won.
 
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Ray
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We don't have that problem in our group. Of my last 6 games played or observed (all 5 or 6 player also) 2 wins have been NE, 2 have been SE, and 2 have been Chicago area.

When you get 3 players fighting over the NE and shipping up all the cubes early (shipping for 1 or 2 links) it dries up pretty quick. Someone left to build a large private mesh of routes elsewhere will ship several long (5+ length) deliveries in the late game and win. I find it quite hard to build a large mesh in the NE due to the narrow linear nature of the area (Constrained by coast and mountains on each side) that leaves some cubes that can only ship small distances (because they can't get around the city of their color).
 
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Chris Trimmer
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Mountains aren't enough of a constraint for me. They're too fun to build over. devil

The NE will generally win if it is uncontested. But it usually is in our games. So the wins come from a great variety of positions.
 
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David Fair
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If a single player builds in the NE, they have a likely path to victory. In my experience in 25+ games, more than one player builds in the NE (in our games it is usually 3 players), and both of them can do well, sometimes winning. The most common place I see the winner build, however, is in the SE (Atlanta-Savannah being key).

The real thing I see more often than not is the winner getting more than his fair share of Major Line/Service Bounty cards. If you allow one player to get both the first 3-link delivery and the first to upgrade to a 4 train, he just gained 8-10 points and will be hard to catch for the rest of the game.

Another note, I have never seen anyone win the game without at least a 5 engine, and a 6-7 is is more common than a 5. It is hard to compete with someone who is making 18-24 points in a round for 3 deliveries when you are making 9 for 3 deliveries.
 
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Jeff Dworak
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Based on the replies in this thread, I'm thinking the problem is the number of players. I've only played this game with 3 players, and one of the players has never tried to compete in the NE with the other two. He won only once. The competition between the NE players becomes the auction - whoever gets to go first will always stay a turn ahead of everyone else (he'll get to deliver first, he'll get to upgrade first, etc.). Every game so far has played the same, and already it's getting tiresome.

I think with even 4 players (but I'm only guessing), you're naturally going to have more competition everywhere, including the NE, and so the problem doesn't exist.

I still like the game and want to keep playing it, if only to see if the NE first player can be beaten.

I'd love to play with more than 3, but I rarely get that chance. Time to get some more gaming buddies!
 
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John Rodriguez
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Carrollton
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I wouldn't play with less than 5.
 
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Rick Holzgrafe
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Some BGGeeks have proposed their own three-player variants -- here's one: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102003

I haven't tried any of them. The game plays well with four, but is undoubtedly better with more.
 
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Mike Bazynski
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Servotron wrote:
Based on the replies in this thread, I'm thinking the problem is the number of players. I've only played this game with 3 players, and one of the players has never tried to compete in the NE with the other two. He won only once. The competition between the NE players becomes the auction - whoever gets to go first will always stay a turn ahead of everyone else (he'll get to deliver first, he'll get to upgrade first, etc.). Every game so far has played the same, and already it's getting tiresome.


that sounds as if you didn't have an auction before every round...

i've played a couple 6 player games, and won each with all my links to and around louisville (pardon spelling), and each time there was someone else in that city also... i am starting to think atlanta area is best though as it's quite unreasonable to compete there once one player started linking that area...
 
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Isley
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Wait, you have an auction every "round"? Sounds like another rule we got majorly wrong. I thought it was every turn.

(in case anyone was curious, the other rule we missed was that a major link had to be connected by the same player. Yeah, that was a big one.)
 
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William Shields
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Personally I think this probably has something to do with how you're playing. For example, what income level is the winner getting?

Its also probably worth mentioning a rule that we missed the first game or two: when the number of empty cities is hit, the game goes for that set of rounds PLUS another set. Many might consider this obvious and the rules certainly say it explicitly yet we only noticed it on the second play I think.

Number of players matters here too. With 5-6, the East coast (the Northeast specifically) has a real problem: goods starvation. Particularly when there are 2 people there (which there should be).

Personally my favourite area is from Chicago to Charleston through Lexington-Louisville and Atlanta. The reason is that its hard for a second person to go that way and it achieves an important and sometimes neglected goal of warehousing goods. Lack of forward planning has killed many a person off in both RRT and AoS. Either they don't plan for what their 5-6+ runs will be or they simply run out of goods.

Our group has tended to find the opposite. The Northeast is simply so attractive (for its short links) that its a poison pill. Being left alone (or at least partially left alone) with longer links always trumps having no cities to yourself, in my experience.

That eing said, the southwest is still worhtless on your own.
 
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