Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Railways of the World» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The Minnesota Kid: A Railroad Tycoon Session Report, 12/5/05 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Matchen
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Our story starts in the Age of Steam, when men were real men, women were real women, and goods moved across this great land of ours on the backs of a horse made of iron. The flow of commerce needed great men, wealthy men, indeed, unscrupulous men, to make it work--it needed...Railroad Tycoons!

(cue stirring music, preferably the theme from "The Magnificent Seven")

Back then, America was only half the size it was now, ending suddenly just west of Kansas City. In those days, Chicago was located where South Bend, Indiana, is today, and Minneapolis was due west of Milwaukee. Since Milwaukee was in Deerfield, Illinois, this put Minneapolis somewhere around the Quad Cities. Also, there was no Vermont or New Hampshire, and nobody lived in Michigan north of Detroit. Yes, it was a strange time.

Arrayed around the country were the men of iron, the robber barons, the great tycoons. Indeed, one could almost imagine them sitting around a table, covered in felt, like so:

Mike____________________Ted/Jason
|.....................................|
|.....................................|
Tom ---Dave---Dave M.---Nate


Many of these tycoons were lawyers, for the railroad game requires the talents of the truly diabolical. The rest were rounded out by a teacher, a graduate student, and one non-train-type engineer. By a bizarre coincidence, all the tycoons but Dave were from the Chicago (technically, Milwaukee) area. Dave hailed from the non-existent town of Los Angeles (located in the great empty space beyond Kansas City), and so was glad to be in a city that was actually there, albeit in South Bend.

So, anyway.

L.A. Dave first decided to build his great railroad between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Tom, a/k/a, the Minnesota Kid, challenged his control of the mid-Atlantic states immediately. Mike linked Pittsburgh and Wheeling, while the Torgerson & Raynovich R.R. Co. set up shop in Louisville, linking Lexington. Nate conncected Chicago to Milwaukee, while Dave "Railsplitter" Matchen challenged the great T&R combine by linking Louisville and Cincinnati. Thus were the battle lines drawn.

Tom & L.A. Dave spent much of the 1830's battling over the mid-Atlantic states, shipping many goods between Richmond and Philly, and building up a good income. Sadly, poor Dover has remained unconnected to this day, and was eventually abandoned by its population, a forlorn red cube the sole monument to Man's folly.

Meanwhile, Matchen's Louisville & Cincinnati faced off for control of the Midwest against T&R and the Chicago/South Bend concerns. Nate connected Chicago and St. Louis early, while Matchen expanded to Columbus, while at the same time buying a hotel in New York. Mike, meanwhile, hired a Perfect Engineer early, giving him a quick leg up on track building and also obtained a hotel in Atlanta. It was on, as they said in the old days, "like Donkey Kong."

Tom completed a special delivery to Mobile, building a separate line from New Orleans for the purpose. Tom then shifted his operations to the South, where Mike fought him for dominance and shipped goods like mad to Atlanta. T&R opened up shop in Boston, wrapping up New England, and, given Boston's map position, possibly Newfoundland as well. The Matchen Plaza Hotel on Flatbush Avenue continued to rake in the income for his railroad from his archrival's shipments to New York. Tom also built the first level 4 engine in 1850, the "Mobile Special." Mike, meanwhile, completed the first delivery over three links.

Then came the legendary link across the Appalachians--yes, a work of blood, toil, tears, sweat, and plenty of stock issuance, and Nate led the vanguard. Many men died that fateful year of 1852 to complete the great Cleveland-to-Philadelphia link, and, by the end of it, the Cleveland & P. R.R. Co. had issued some 18 shares of stock to cover the cost.

Matchen completed a vital delivery to Toronto, tying up the links to the city to block the T&R's effort to reach the city from Buffalo and linking Detroit just in time. Nate, meanwhile, issued more stock to complete the Great Western Link from Des Moines.

The T&R split shortly thereafter, with Jason taking over Nate's holdings due to a sudden uprising by the board of directors. Nate, however, had deftly negotiated a massive golden parachute and bought a palatial estate in south Florida, where Miami would one day sit. Matchen, meanwhile, had assured a steady flow of income by urbanizing Columbus and controlling a contiguous line from Louisville to Toronto and branching out to Indianapolis. Later, he would link Louisville to St. Louis, thereby starting the great Bud-for-bourbon trade that worked out so very, very well for St. Louis, and spawning the annual "Matchen Effigy Burning" that continues to this very day in downtown Louisville.

At this point, Major Line requests were coming up. One had been pending for a while from Chicago to New York, but this proved impossible. Another one requested a line from Atlanta to Richmond, which Dave labored mightily to complete. A third, tantalizing request, asked for New Orleans to Minneapolis, because the Minnesotans were running low on vital stocks of beads and booze. A Special Delivery to Duluth appeared, and thus was Tom's Master Plan set in motion--he would link New Orleans to Duluth and deliver Duluth's goods from Birmingham! As he had already connected New Orleans-Mobile-Montgomery-Birmingham-Memphis, this could be pulled off.

Tom quickly began to build his line from Memphis to St. Louis, having acquired Perfect Engineering in the meantime. Matchen, realizing something was up, blocked Tom off from St. Louis by linking with Kansas City. Ted built a spur line from Kansas City to Tulsa, threatening to pull the Special Delivery out from under Tom.

Dave completed his Atlanta-Richmond line, and Mike busily shipped more goods to Atlanta. Alas, Matchen's efforts were all for naught, as Tom expended his considerable income to link Memphis directly with Des Moines. After that, he linked to Minneapolis to complete his major line. A short line to Duluth later, and his 4-train was sufficient to ship his goods from Birmingham, thus completing his plan and catapulting him to a commanding lead over his bitter, bitter rivals. Thus was the legend of the Minnesota Kid born!

The last turn was a flurry of activity. Everyone shipped except Matchen, who, strangely enough, linked Chattanooga to Knoxville, shipped, and then linked Jackson to Memphis. What was he doing?

As it turned out Matchen was trying to catch up to Tom, or at least finish in a solid second, for Matchen was none other than J.P. Morgan himself in disguise, a revelation which rocked the business world in 1885. Having completed 12 links by the end of the game, Matchen had the largest railroad by one link, thereby assuring his place in second. Alas, even though Matchen had issued a very conservative 4 shares of stock throughout the game, and Tom had issued 6, it was not enough to close the gap, and Tom became undisputed master of the rails by a good 7 points. Matchen had also inadvertently foiled Dave's secret plot to issue the fewest shares of stock in the game--both tycoons had issued four apiece.

L.A. Dave, Mike and Ted took 3rd, 4th and 5th place, respectively, while the incredibly in-debt Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Louis line, which was run by the other railroads after Jason retired to raise turducken in South Bend, wound up in negative numbers. The attenuated investigation which followed resulted in indictments which were never served because of two things--(1) the SEC wouldn't exist for another 50 years, and (2) nobody could find Miami on the map.

THE END

Cast of Characters

The Minnesota Kid..................Tom (NLN)
Lou Ferrigno.......................Ted Torgerson
Fisk...............................Jason Raynovich
Cornelius Vanderbilt...............Nate Scheidler
Harry Hamlin.......................David Lincicum
"The Owner"........................Mike Roth
U-Bootkapitanleutnant Günther Prien...Jürgen Prochnow

and Featuring
David Matchen as J.P. Morgan

(c) 2005, Handmade Session Reports, Inc.

Any similarity to individuals, living, dead, or undead, is strictly coincidental, except for everyone named above. This session report is covered by the laws of the Berne Convention, the Geneva Convention, the BGG Convention, and the Mothers of Convention. If you copy this without the express written permission of the author, we will come down on you like a ton of bricks. Don't try it, buster.
 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Matchen
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I poke a good deal of fun at the geography in this report, but I realize it's probably necessary from a gameplay standpoint. I actually enjoyed the game quite a lot, and would like to thank Mike for lugging the massive box over to Ted's for our enjoyment. This is one I wouldn't mind a repeat performance of.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Allen
Australia
Ngunnawal, Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
David Matchen wrote:
Indeed, one could almost imagine them sitting around a table, covered in felt


They much be rich tycoons indeed to be covered in felt!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Matchen
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GeminiWeb wrote:
David Matchen wrote:
Indeed, one could almost imagine them sitting around a table, covered in felt


They much be rich tycoons indeed to be covered in felt!


Hey! I'll have you know dangling participles are perfectly acceptable literary frippery, by gum!

EDIT: I just realized that my opening sounds like the beginning of "The Iron Chef." Today's Iron Chef ingredient: Bratwurst!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Matchen
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
By the way, I forgot to mention that Ted, Nate and I couldn't resist arranging our little trains in formation prior to the start of the game. Since mine were off Long Island, they looked disturbingly like a U-Boat flotilla.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.