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Subject: Battle for the Midwest rss

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Davido
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Having gotten "The Beast" in a recent math trade, the next step was to get RailRoad Tycoon to the tables (you don't think this fits on one table, do you?). The Saturday afternoon meetup was perfect and Jean and Scott responded to the meetup post expressing interest, along w/ Dave M.

As I was setting the game up, Ash and Ashfin asked to join in. One quirk was that despite being a factory shrink/sealed copy, I had 2 sets of blue trains and no green trains. Scott and Jean had an extra set of trains and kindly donated a green set to the cause. Thanks guys

Anyways, I drew the "Links from Chicago" Tycoon and with the Chicago Hotel in the initial draw pile. Other draw cards were several New Industry and New Growth cards. I decided to make a strong play for Start Player, nab the Hotel Chicago and go for the "Bluegrass Triangle" strategy while the others slugged it out in the Northeast and Eastern Seaboard. Riiiiiiiiiiigght.

Ash (a new player) obviously didn't know the script, so he built out of Chicago. WTF wow Dave M. (a wily RT vet) built the 1 hex link on the west side of the Appalachians and yup, established a midwestern presence.
Scott followed the script and started locking down the NE via the NY hub. Jean made "three's a crowd" in the Midwest as well. Ashfin (another new player) seized upon the short links in the NE and began offering competition to Scott.

So much for flying under the radar in the midwest. At least I'd get some value out of the Hotel Chicago. Meanwhile, I decided sh*tcan the Tycoon and Bluegrass Triangle strategy and base out of Charleston.

After that, for some reason, the start player went cheap and for many turns to Ashfin. Since I followed Ashfin, I was content to reap the benefits of sloppy seconds. I began building short links out of Charleston and the other SE cities and did a quick upgrade to 2 engine.

Ashfin, however, started aiming down the appalachian corridor, impacting me, but taking the pressure off of Scott. Scott was able to cash in the first 3 train bonus, while Ashfin was able to snag the Richmond-Atlanta Major line (beating me by a link). Scott also had the Boston-Washington link pre-built when it came up.

I miscalculated twice on linkages-having to spend an extra phase connecting a 5 hex link that I thought were 4 hexers. Not surprisingly, I overbid for Perfect Engineering in the mid-game when I really couldn't exploit the extra hex.

Meanwhile, Scott was roaring along full throttle and set up the Des Moines Western Link. At the same time, the Midwest was getting cleaned out big time. Scott also cashed in his Tycoon w/ the first 6 engine upgrade.

I upgraded to 5 and 6 engine capacity, and was hanging in 3rd. A cube shortage, however, found me starting to lag as Dave M. began his move. The last turns saw both RailRoad Executives come out, resulting in furious bidding (Dave M. won the first start player bid w/ 16K, Ashfin the 2nd w/ 35K). These made the difference for those two players. In particular, I was not able to cash in a 2nd red cube for a 6 delivery + the Charleston Hotel.

My endgame choices were to Urbanize Norfolk (hoping to pull red cubes for the long delivery + Charleston bonus) or linking Norfolk to Richmond (cheap, and 2 guaranteed 5 link deliveries w/ some southern black cubes). I went w/ the sure thing.

Overall, the shares were low-about 5 per each player ( I took out 5 myself). Scott was running a 7 engine at the end, with me running a 6, Ashfin, Ash, Dave M. 5, and Jean a 4 engine. Ash got his Tycoon bonus (most money). For me, not being able to cash in that 2nd red cube out of Birmingham made the difference between tied for 4th and 2nd (e.g. getting the points, but also taking the points from Ashfin).

Final scores:
Scott: 82
Ashfin: 63
Dave M. 58
David O. and Ash: 57
Jean: 42

I definitely made some key blunders and inefficiencies and will be looking to improve my Tycoon prowess at the July meetup.
 
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John Slefinger
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What do you mean by hotel chicago?
 
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Jon G
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There are about six hotel cards in the RRT Operations deck. You can use an action to select one of these, and thereafter receive one point for each cube delivered (by anyone) to that city. It depends on the cube distribution, but Chicago is often the best hotel in the game.
 
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