Norbert Chan
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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Player order was Don/Craig (who were a team), Trevor (taking industry), Ken (taking track) and myself (taking a ruble). The engineers, in order were:
#6 (move gray track, 5 VP),
#7 (move black track, 3 VP),
#4 (X2 token, 3 VP),
#11 (move black track and move ? track),
#9 (move 2 industry),
#14 (move 2 black) and
#12 (train or factory).

My plan was to play the Trans Siberian line strategy. I think a few people like the double industry, Kiev medal strategy, but I wanted to see if I could get big points out of a pure Trans-Siberian line. Going fourth, I wasn't sure what engineer I may end up with, but any of the first four would work. I got a worker on the double black track so that was helpful. Don/Craig were pushing hard along the Kiev line to get the extra worker. Ken was pushing along Trans Siberian and Kiev line as well, while Trevor kept taking industry which made it looked like he was doing the double industry strategy. I ended up with the #4 engineer, and before I hired her, did use her once or twice, so I got enough X2 tokens on my line.

In previous games, they tended to be defensive in nature: if there was a 3 locomotive left, no one would take it, for fear of releasing the 4 train, and the ? token bonus on the St Petersburg line. But with 2 people motivated with industry, there was no such restraint here. Ken was the first one to get the ? bonus and pulled the 9 locomotive, putting it in Kiev. Ken was trying a hybrid Kiev medal and Trans SIberian line strategy. I was the third one to get the ? bonus, and chose the extra black worker, along with the bonus card for 10 pts per extra worker. This was the best card left, and I figured I could earn 20 pts anyways, not being confident that I would hit the 7 spot on Kiev for the third and last worker.

Don/Craig were gunning for an early Kiev mdeal, which they got going by round 4, I believe. This is the earliest I have seen anyone get it running so quickly. On the other hand, I was able to get my white track out on the Trans Siberia line by turn 5, aided by the 4 track push from the ? bonus on the 6 space of the St. Petersburg line. In previous times I tried to run the Trans Siberia strategy, I was missing the revaluation token (makes trains worth more value). This was because it was hard to get up to a value of 13 train on the Trans Siberia line, sometimes since I didn't pay enough attention to upgrading my locomotives. What seems to work to get that revaluation token is to get a 6 and 7 locomotive. This game, I did pay attention to making sure I could achieve 13, and it was the 8 locomotive with the 5 locomotive that got me the revaluation token.

Trevor was doing the double industry strategy with a bit of the other lines.

Since my bonus card was 10 pts per extra worker, I was slightly motivated to push up the Kiev line. I got the extra worker on the last turn (I think I was the first one to place on the double black track line, but I placed the black worker to run 3 spaces), and when I got the extra worker, the two temporary worker spot was still open, so I could have instantly used my newfound worker (from the English rules, we have been playing that you can instantly use your new worker) on that spot, but I missed it and instead placed it on an advance two gray track. Why this was important was that I ended the game 2 spaces shy of finishing the Kiev line for 10 extra points. I might have been able to have more options for scoring points if I had an extra worker. Ken snapped up the 2 temporary workers after my turn. Now to be fair, earlier in the game, Ken paid 2 workers for a locomotive, when the engineer (#12) was available, and right after his turn, I spent only 1 worker to get a locomotive. So there were mistakes made by everyone.

In the last round, Don/Craig earned 91 pts, Ken got 100, I got 123 and Trevor got 81 pts. The scoring was going to be tight. Don/Craig and Trevor had 3 engineers each, but Don/Craig had the higher ranking one for tiebreaker. But Trevor took the extra engineer scoring card to break the tie so that he got 40 pts, while Don/Craig got 20 pts for second.

Scores:
Norbert 391 (361 board, 30 for three bonus workers),
Don/Craig 389 (347 board, 20 second in engineer, 21 for three ? tokens),
Ken 363 (336 board, 27 for each black track),
Trevor 340 (300 board, 40 first in engineers).


I scored 123 pts in the last round, with the revaluation token. Everything was working well this game.


Don/Craig's board. They had a balanced approach that almost won. 30 pts for industry, with more from an industry that scores engineers, and the Kiev medal.


Ken's board: he started on industry late in the game, but he scored 100 pts on the last round.


Trevor's board with the double industry strategy. 340 pts would have won many of our previous games.

Don kindly loaned us the game while we went for dinner and the rest of us were going to try one more game. Seduced by being only 9 pts away from the magical 400 pt score, I thought I could improve by getting the extra worker earlier, rather than turn 7. The engineers in this game were #7, #5, #6, #8, #10, #9, #15. Player order was Trevor, Ken (taking industry), myself (taking rail on Trans Siberia), Craig (taking ruble). Going third, my first move was to take the double black track, and when it came around to me again, I put 2 workers to advance 3 black track. I then got two gray advances with one move, and got my brown track available. So I was off to a flying start.

But things fell apart. I wasn't scoring many points since I didn't put a locomotive till round 2 or 3. Craig was the first one to the ? bonus in St. Petersburg and took the 9 locomotive and the bonus card which gives 10 pts end of the line you have reached. Ken took the engineer for the ? bonus, while I took the extra worker. Craig was doing the Kiev medal strategy mixed with one industry. He also had 2 engineers, and his last two industry were scoring the engineers, which gave him many points.

Ken had advanced on all tracks, pushing the industry token to 30 pts and balanced throughout with some points on the Trans Siberia line. Trevor was also pushing industry to 30 pts, so there was a big rush for the locomotives, and I couldn't get enough of them.

I wasted so much time going for the third worker on Kiew that my white track didn't come on the board till turn 6. It was too late to even try to put on a revaluation token, and I only had three X2 markers on. It was a far cry from my last game. Craig rolled to victory, and could have broken 400 pts if he had taken a better bonus card, practically any other card would have given him more than 10 pts.

Scores:
Craig 392 (362 board, 20 second in engineers, 10 bonus),
Ken 349 (279 board, 40 first in engineers, 30 for black track),
Trevor 342 (322 board, +20 for industry tiles),
Norbert 290 (260 +30 three workers).


Craig's winning board: 30 pts for industry, the Kiev medal and two engineers.

Wow, back to the drawing board. On the Trans Siberai strategy, uou have to really pound it, and not get distracted. "Stay on target" has become a familiar refrain when playing this game.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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Great session report!

I can't get enough of this game. It rocketed into my top 5!
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Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Norbert Chan wrote:

so I could have instantly used my newfound worker (from the English rules, we have been playing that you can instantly use your new worker) on that spot


This has been discussed here. The conclusion was that it was a mis-translation and that the worker is immediately available (but doesn't give you an instantly another turn).
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Norbert Chan
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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junesen wrote:
Norbert Chan wrote:

so I could have instantly used my newfound worker (from the English rules, we have been playing that you can instantly use your new worker) on that spot


This has been discussed here. The conclusion was that it was a mis-translation and that the worker is immediately available (but doesn't give you an instantly another turn).


Thanks for clarifying that rule, Jeff. We're going to play the correct way going forward.
 
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