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Subject: In a low scoring game, the 9 locomotive on Kiev prevails rss

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Norbert Chan
Canada
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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The engineers in the game were #7 (1 black track and 3 VP), #2 (industry and 3 VP), #6 (1 gray track and 5 VP), #14 (2 black track), #10 (industry and 1 black track), #8 (duplicate a worker space), #13 (1 gray and 1 brown track).

From my view, these engineers seem to favour industry, with the #2 and #10. On the other hand, the engineers good for Trans Siberia were really the #14 and #13, which was showing up last. The #7 and #6 give VPs, but don’t really help you advance any further along in track.

Player order was Don, Ken (track on Vlad), Craig (industry) and myself (ruble). I didn’t go in with any plan. Ken was talking up a Trans Siberian strategy, even though he also expressed that the engineers weren’t that good. Don took the engineer, Craig took the #1 turn order spot, Ken took the #2 order spot and I took 2 rubles. Then everyone in front of me advanced industry. The last couple of games, I have been experimenting with trying to be where the opponents are not, and it looked like everyone was planning industry, so I decided to go with Trans Siberian. I took 2 blacks rails on the Vlad line and started to focus on the top line: Ken took the #6 worker to get the 5 VPs, then when I placed 1 worker to advance two gray rails, he realized the #6 engineer was really more of a short term gain for long term pain sort of deal.

I got my extra worker on turn 2. Ken was trying Trans Siberian strategy (he went in the game with the idea he was going to do it no matter what) and got his extra worker on the Kiev line on turn 3. Craig was rushing along the industry track, and it would appear he would get to the ? bonus first. But with a 3 rail left, Don placed 3 workers on the space to get 1 factory and 1 engine to get the first 4 engine and the first ?. He took the 9 locomotive, and was off to the races.

I used the ? to take a revaluation token, since I was the third one into the ? bonus. (Ken had taken the #1 engineer for the Trans Siberian strategy) In restrospect, given how this game turned out, I’m thinking perhaps the 1 doubler/black track/industry + 1 more might have worked, or even the extra worker may have worked, since I would at least get a bonus card.

Don got his Kiev medal on turn 5. Don would later discard his #1 engine and pick it up to get 21 VPs (he had the #7 and #14 engineer). Craig would be the only one to get his industry to the end; even though everyone else had looked like they would go industry, everyone else backed off and looked for points on the Vlad line. This had the effect of slowing me down – I did get the flesh tracks on turn 4 and white track up to space 3 on turn 5, which is decent. But towards the end, I was jammed, and everyone else was competing for rails (Ken would get his white track on turn 6).

Ken and Craig felt they were having a terrible game and jokingly asked no photos be taken or their names used.

I could only get one more ? token (I held out hope that I might get an 8 engine to go with my 5 on Vlad to get another ? bonus) and I took the 4 move rail one. Since I ended the game with only four X2 tokens (in an ideal setup you would have six of the X2 tokens), I’m thinking perhaps the three x2 tokens might have been a better decision.

So Don was coasting in the lead, and I knew the 20 pts I was behind I could not make up. I “only” scored 112 pts on round 7: my white track was on space 6 with four x2 tokens for 100 pts. If I had two more X2 tokens the white track alone would have given me 120 pts. Those 20 pts might have pushed me over for the win, but that’s a big if.

Scores:
Don 380 (354 + 26 for locomotives),
Norbert 361,
Greg (not his real name) 360 (320 + 40 first in engineers with the extra engineer bonus card),
Kenneth (not his real name) 301 (261 + 20 second in engineers + 20 extra worker bonus card).

What worked against me was I thought I would be alone in the Trans Siberian strategy; normally I try to compete for engineers like everyone else, but I had 0 engineers this game. I also learned that you need the X2 markers to really make it hum, and I only had four of them. The industry strategy seemed to be the way to go, but only Craig did it to the end, and when he lost the race for the first ? card, his game sort of diminished from that.

Don also made the well known observation that the 9 locomotive on Kiev always gives you a good game. You can always get solid points out of the Kiev line.
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bestia immonda
Italy
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9 Loc OP confirmed!!
Nerf nao!!!!
 
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Jeff W
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We played last Saturday and I thought it would be interesting to play with the same engineers from this game. However, I didn't take any notes, so everything is from my fuzzy memory.

Scores

395 Jeff (Kiev/Factory, 2nd place Eng, #9 locomotive)
373 Eugene (TransSiberian, 1st place Eng)
346 Scott (Kiev/Factory, Black Worker)
333 Llad (TransSiberian, #1 engineer)


Scott and I have perhaps played around 10 games. Llad has a few plays under his belt, and it was Eugene's second game.

I was dismayed at being first player. The first player "advantage" (and thus not getting a starting benefit) was that he has the first shot at the engineer. I really don't like the #7 engineer because he only give you +3 points when you use him over the board, but you have to give up an important early action to hire him. However, I was hesitant to give up the first player "advantage" and having engineers do give you options.

In an interesting twist, the two TransSiberian players ended up with the engineers that give you industry movements. I think this had an effect of diluting all scores. Dabbling in industry lowered the potential scores of the TransSiberian, however it took away the industry movements of the Kiev/Industry players.

There was a rush to Locomotives in this game. So much so that I got the first "?" on the St. Pete line way before I was even close on industry. In fact, the industry "?" was the last one I did. I chose the 9 locomotive and put it on the Kiev line. After choosing the 9 locomotive, Scott pushed the buying of locomotives/industry. To this end, he was able to get an 8 locomotive before the end of the game. But this also allowed the TransSiberian players to get their 3rd "?".

So it turned out that Norbert's title was apt for our game too. But perhaps for a different reason.
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Norbert Chan
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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Thanks Jeff, for trying a game with the same engineers. I was expecting someone would have at least tried a double industry strategy, but so far with 8 players, no one has tried. Interesting that a couple players got to the third ? but couldn't quite crack 400 pts.
 
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