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Subject: Midwest for the Win! rss

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Martin Stever
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Bainbridge Island
Washington
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We had a rare Sunday island game with special guest Scott Nicholson. Gaming pros from WizKids, Paizo, Nintendo, and Screenlife were all here. My wife put out a great buffet, and we sat down for a game of RRT. I was anxious to play, as Matt had beat me on the double tie breaker when we'd last played a few months ago.

There were three cubes that could be delivered between Wheeling and Pittsburgh, so I decided to bid big in an effort to go first. I paid $6 to go first and got the one-link route built.

Matt & Scott immediately went for the Northeast, with Matt in the northern area and Scott to the south. Ed began building out in the Southeast. Mike got Perfect Engineering and a free build card and began building in the plains and down from Toronto to Chicago.

The first couple of turns were dominated with card selections. This was our first 5-player game, and having all those cards out definitely changed the game from our usual tactics in 3 and 4 player games. All the free build cards were revealed and taken by the second turn. I didn't pull any cards and just built away.

After getting the bonus for first delivery, I kept issuing shares and pushing out builds, making few deliveries. After making only 2 deliveries, I had built to Louisville and upgraded to a 3 train. I got the bonus for doing the first 3-link delivery and it was made to Louisville, getting the service bonus off the card that was face up. This pushed me into the lead on the track, but I'd issued the most shares, 6 to everyone else's 2 or 3.

Matt & Scott had intertwined snaking routes through the Northeast. Matt urbanized Dover, which was a surprise that took away a few of Scott's potential deliveries and Matt started making many level 4 deliveries.

Ed's southeastern build was paying off, but he feared he'd been too efficient. There were several cubes delivered that could have been 1 or 2-links better if he'd just laid out his track a bit better. He did get a great break when the Major Route Atlanta to Richmond card came up. He just needed to add two links to complete the route.

Mike built down to Chicago, to Kansas City, and to Louisville. He contemplated making the Western Link, but felt there wasn't enough game turns left to make it pay off.

On the last turn the card giving a bonus round was revealed. It went for $27, a new house record.

Ultimately I issued 6 shares, which is more than I usually would, and won the game by 8 or 9 points. Matt, Scott, and Ed were in a tight group, and Mike pulled into the station last when the long route strategy didn't work out so well.

I'd say the win really turned on the lack of competition in the Midwest. I was able to build out my system to get some longer 5-link deliveries made that would not have been possible if someone were competing with me more directly for cubes.

I was happy to have gotten Matt, who'd won a couple games in a row. But I was denied my favorite whine, "That's not fair. You're a professional game designer!"
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Glenn Drover
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Plainfield
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Sounds like a good time! Next time I'll have to fly in and make it six!

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