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Subject: Session Report rss

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Dave Wilson
United States
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Our first choice was a shorter game, hoping that more would show up and we could then jump right into something bigger. The game? 10 Days in the USA.

We started with just Jim and Dave, since Heather had to keep an eye on little James. In this first game, Dave focused on the eastern half of the country. He had planes to get elsewhere if he needed to, but the connections kept coming in: a car here, Tennessee, West Virginia, another car. So when he got his last tile to end the game, it was all east of the Mississippi: Indiana, car, Kentucky, car, West Virginia, car, Tenessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama. OK, yes, he did manage to collect lots of cars.

Game 2 looked a little different. Jim kept drawing tiles that focused on New England, while Dave was out in the Great Plains. Jim was the one to get lots of transportation this time, with two cars and two planes (one to get into New England and one to get out). Dave had managed to create two separate lines, and only needed to connect them, specifically needing a tile to connect Oklahoma and Kansas. This could have been Colorado, Missouri, or a car. But Jim finished up his trip by taking Dave's discard of Iowa: Nevada, blue plane, Massachusetts, car, Rhode Island, car, New York, yellow plane, Illinois, Iowa.

In game 3 Jim had some definite struggles with his rack. He tried to rearrange by discarding and hoping to redraw on his turn, but the process ended up having him discard lots of transportation. Specifically, during the game he discarded two cars and a yellow plane. Dave truly appreciated the generosity, taking all three, and with the yellow plane completing his trip: Florida, green plane, Texas, car, Missouri, Iowa, car, South Dakota, yellow plane, Maine.

James was happily eating dinner at this point, so Heather joined us for the fourth and final game. Alas, right off the bat she started complaining that she had drawn zero transportation tiles. It was going to be an uphill climb. This game took longer than the two player games, and it was initially apparent that no one wanted to be in New England, as lots of those states were discarded. No one was flying too much, as Alaska came and went, as well. Dave had worked his rack to this point: he had a sequence ending with "red plane, California", right next to a "North Carolina, orange plane" sequence. He was only looking for Virginia (the red state next to NC) or Arizona (the orange state next to CA) to finish his trip. So when Heather discarded a car, Dave didn't draw it. In retrospect, perhaps he should have, because he was down to waiting on one of only two tiles. But he didn't, and when he drew a car of his own shortly thereafter, he still didn't keep it, discarding it to Jim. Jim, of course, pounced on it, and used it to finish his trip. Since it was our last game, I made the mistake of cleaning up before recording the trip sequence, so we'll just never know what it was. But we do know that both Virginia and Arizona were comfortably resting in either Jim's or Heather's rack, so Dave had no chance of winning that game without replanning his trip.

This is a great choice for openers when you have two or three and you want something quick while waiting for others. To me, the key is working to your connections by leaving yourself the most open opportunities possible. I mean, if you're just waiting for one tile, you'll likely be waiting a long, long time. But if you can give yourself 3 or 4 opportunities, especially if a car could work (since there are multiples of those), you have a better shot. Flexibility is most important.
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