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Rails of New England» Forums » Strategy

Subject: What does Maine do? rss

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Chuck Parrott
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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So for those of you who have played a few times, what does Maine do early in the game? It seems that they start at a bit of a disadvantage in access to a market city. IIRC, Boston is the closest and is in the high $40's to reach it, so you can't get there on the first build. Maine does start with a couple of businesses that earn more than other starters, but does this really give them the necessary income edge to not fall behind? Do you just automatically plan on a turn 1 loan if the event triggers? What if the event doesn't trigger right away? Or do you start working on the Grand Tote and then work your way to a market slowly?

It just seems the other states can reach a market early, enhance their business incomes and reinvest before Maine can get rolling good.
 
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Kris Moulton
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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I played Maine for the first time the other day as I've had most of my games with 3 players, and it seems that the Grand tote is the way to go from the beginning. There are quite a few Lumber and Pa[per businesses to be had in the game and At least you're working your way toward Boston. I lost because I didn't do anything else right but the Grand Tote seemed necessary and is not that hard to get within the first 3 or 4 turns.
 
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Chuck Parrott
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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That's kind of what I thought, but Grand Tote also needs a market so it still languishes while you slowly extend out. I may have to try Maine out in my next play just to see what can be done.
 
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Dave Heberer
United States
Lake Stevens
WA
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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If you play Maine, you're probably taking a couple of loans to hook up the grand tote and the market city (Boston if I remember right). While it may seem really painful to take loans, you can get a good advantage against the competition with paper and lumber businesses. And if the economy goes south, it's even better for you as the lumber bonus doesn't scale on economy.
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John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Seems to me the that strategy for Maine in this game is relatively straightforward. Get as many businesses in play as early as possible, gradually build your way down the coast to Boston. Try to connect the two cities required for the Grand Tote, and, if possible, build businesses in those cities. Then, once connected to Boston, take the Grand Tote and you should be ahead of the other States income-wise.

As the new businesses come up, take any Paper or Lumber businesses as those will bring extra income once connected. Try to avoid taking out any loans more than necessary, gradually building to Boston after first opening 6-8 businesses in Phase A.

Now, the only wrinkle on this is that there are quite a few events (forest fires, floods and the Nor'easter) that have an adverse impact on Maine. If you see one of these come up, and you have a choice of where to build, try to avoid building in the areas affected by the event until after the event occurs.

Maine is one of my favorite states to play because of the Grand Tote, but your plans can go amiss if hit by too many of those adverse events (Nor'easter is a killer) early in the game. Also, if the strategy starts working too well and the other players glom onto it, they will take your Paper/Lumber businesses or play nasty event cards on you, so beware.
 
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Longtime Gamer
United States
Bellows Falls
Vermont
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In the 9 games I played, the Maine player won 3 of them. Yes, there are possible major disasters that affect Maine (and ruined one player's chance for a win), but it has been our experience that Maine should grab a loan as early as possible and build to Boston, then build every lumber/paper s/he can -- but build at least 2 seafood businesses as they pay out very well especially during depressions. And, yes, the Grand Tote card is an absolute must.
 
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