It's turtles all the way down.
“Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.”
With a long afternoon to game ahead of us, I conned rickkeuler and Verkisto into playing AoS on my new copy of the 4th expansion. We debated playing Italy, but I was a little concerned that it would be too rough, so we settled on France.
On the first turn, Verkisto and I both took two shares and rickkeuler opted to take none. In fact, rickkeuler did not take his first share until the 4th turn.
The goods cubes had a fairly even distribution, but the number of goods in Paris and the promise of many more in the future lured us all to build there. I can't remember the role details of every turn, but I do recall that on the first turn Verkisto won the auction and took Build First to snag an easy double move out of Paris, leaving rickkeuler and I to choose Urbanization.
Verkisto started his network with a nice two link to the west of Paris, I went for the southeast, and rickkeuler decided to build to the east. Over the next few turns, Verkisto and I extended our networks, but rickkeuler decided that the east of Paris wasn't promising enough and he built some links in the south western corner.
Over the first half of the game, Verkisto and I issues one to two shares per turn, while Verkisto kept his shares to a minimum. I think Verkisto and I were too liberal with issuing shares, but that rickkeuler was a little too conservative.
Verkisto and I also kept pushing our engine link up and fighting over the Engineer action in order to build through the mountains as we ran out of easy build options. Verkisto's network extended south and south west from Paris while mine extended down the eastern side with some small loops so I could skip cities if necessary. rickkeuler continued to build up his two seperate networks in the north east and the south west. With three players, the board didn't get very crowded.
Toward the end game Verkisto and I had upped our Engine Link to 6, and rickkeuler moved his up to 3. I actually could have left my link at 5 because I never found a 6 move, but I had many, many 5 moves because I had pretty much isolated the south east side part of the board, which had a number of goods available. Verkisto was using his 6 Engine Link to move goods that gave 1 to rickkeuler and 5 to himself, as those were his best remaining options. rickkeuler was finding some 2 and 3 link moves, and he finally increased his link to 4 in order to do some moves that would give him 3 and Verkisto 1.
By the time we had become profitable enough to not have an interest in issuing shares, Verkisto had issued 8, I had issued 6, and rickkeuler had issued 3. Once we were turning a profit, the money started rolling in and main roles of interest were Engineer and... Engineer. I decided to build north out of Paris and connect most of the towns on the north western coast for the link points, because I had few other interesting options.
Malachi: (37-6)*3+31 = 124
Verkisto: (38-8)*3+22 = 112
rickkeuler: (26-3)*3+19 = 88