Martin, Mario and Pierre choose the Japan map from Richard Irving for our game play tonight. We had good experiences on this map with 3 players. Rules are simple and the modified loco. action adds challenge and the geography of this linear map is also very tough.
Mario started the game on the western island with a purple urbanization, Pierre started in the east and Martin was left in the center region. Mario had a strong start with a second urbanization on round 2 and he had 8$ left at the end of the round. He decided to take only 1 share in the next round but he couldn't build much and this turn followed him all game long since he couldn't close his area completely and Martin had the chance to connect the western island. Martin was very agressive and he urbanize Pierre and Mario several times but these moves were also good for him much of the time. Martin was able to force Pierre to take many shares to have first build because Martin had blocked the last way for Pierre to connect Tokyo. Pierre finally linked Tokyo to his network but he lost 1 turn and took too many shares. Game was very close at this stage and the winner wasn't known at this time. We don't see often game so close with 3 players. In turn 7 Martin and Mario betted for for first move and first build and Martin finished his nice network in a 8 shape. In this turn Martin pushed Mario to 41 income and inspired Pierre to do the same thing and pushed Martin to 41 income. Pierre was a bit worried that Mario would feel alone in this area. Pierre always care for his fellow friends, that's why they called Mr nice guy
Martin finally won the game with many shipments of 7 income as he had the most money in the last turn to win the loco. action. This was one our best game on this map. Interaction between players was great and it was exciting from turn 1 to the last turn.
Note that the 5/6 and 1/2 cities are not in their original location. This has been changed in my most recent version of the drawing.
Why did I change them in that version of the image? Because that allowed the city numbers to count uniformly from one end of the map to the other. Why did I undo that change? Because that makes the double number cities not intersect with urbanised New Cities for production. The change is minor, but after discussion with Richard Irving (designer) I believe significant enough to warrant the change.