Last night my group of close friends plus wives played a great game. The beginning began with both myself and my best friend having chosen long North/South Routes spanning pretty much the entire board. His wife chose a long North/South route up the East coast. My wife (her first try at the game) chose some small routes in the west. Lastly our 5th wheel (also a 1st timer) chose a mess or routes in the middle of the board.
During the initial parts of the game myself and my friend simply built trains running north south along pretty much the same route forming a wall separating East and West Germany.... hmmmmmmmm.
His wife didn't build for FOREVER slowly amassing a HUGE hand of cards. I placed my first passenger at the northern boarder and slowly accumulated passenger cards as well. His wife began building towards Berlin and so began closing the gap. We were all pretty well together in the 30-40pt. range with my best friend out in front at about 60.
That's when I stuck my sword firmly into the heart of all the players by running my passenger the entire north south route and then up the east to Berlin for a 43 pt. Passenger ride.
I then attempted to hang on for the rest of the game blocking and running another passenger.
Unfortunately I took one 11 pt. route card near the end that got blocked and became my undoing.
My best friend had been slowly amassing more and more route cards and as we tallied up the end result... he had finished 8 routes and thus got the extra ten point giving him 176 points to my..... (drum roll)..... 175.
The wives both posted respectable finishes in the low 100s and our fifth wheel described his game as a gradual realization that finishing routes was tougher than it seemed and thus finished 7 and had 5 unfinished.