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I was able to get this to my gaming group, and I had a couple of people who were interested in trying it out. Not really knowing how each game played, we just decided to make it easy and do the Mega Game. I chose Blue, while my opponents were Yellow and Black.
We drew our cards and we each took three tickets. All of mine were on the western side of the board, while the other two players were fighting over the eastern side of the board.
I was able to pretty much build uncontested from Calgary to Houston, which covered the three tickets that I had. Meanwile, Yellow was struggling a bit and ended up hitting the ticket pile pretty hard. She was frustrated that I had locked out Las Vegas, since she was drawing a lot of those tickets. Black was putting together a good network in the northeast.
I drew another ticket that I could complete in the north, then I took a risk and drew tickets again. I got lucky and hit a couple more tickets that I had complete.
I end up making the final play to end the game. Considering that I played all of my trains, and only one was not in a line, I had longest route locked up.
The extra cards sure makes the west more playable.
With this number of players, there may not be as much conflict, since there is plenty of space on the board.
It looks like Las Vegas can be another chokepoint that you may want to lock down if you have a ticket there.