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Subject: Fifth try's a charm - My first TransAmerica win rss

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T. Rosen
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Fifth try's a charm - My first TransAmerica win

It was late at night on January 2nd, or more accurately the early morning of January 3rd, and I signed on to BSW for a few games for going to sleep. After warming up with quick games of Lost Cities and Ingenious, the server went down to reset, what fun. So I took a break to read more of A Game of Thrones, which I started a few days ago, and came back after a bit. I tried to start a game of YINSH, but to no avail, so I hopped into a game of TransAmerica that already had 5 people signed up. I'd already played 4 times, and never done very well, but my luck (or skill?) would soon change.

This was a 6-player game of TransAmerica, so the board was pretty crowded, and it was more important than ever to take advantage of other people's tracks, and only lay necessary tracks that would be useful to you alone, or so I thought. I still can't wrap my head around what I should be doing in this game, but it's relatively fun and quick. Although I don't think I'll be buying it any time soon, too many other great games out there, and I generally prefer the heavier eurogames (e.g., Princes of Florence, Amun-Re, Tigris & Euphrates).

ROUND 1 - All Aboard

My Cities: Chicago, Winston, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento

I started in Chicago. I used to start with my marker between cities, but have recently tried starting directly in a city, I'm still not sure which is better. Anyway, I first headed down for Winston, and then over for Memphis. Then I jumped over to Sacramento, and back to Oklahoma City. Somehow I managed to finish first, which was the first time ever, even though this was my fifth time playing the game. Other players were respectively 2, 4, 1, 2, and 1 short.
Scores: 11, 9, 12, 11, 12, and 13 (me). I was in the lead, after one round was in the books (servers?), but not by much.

ROUND 2 - Things Heat Up

My Cities: Sacramento, Santa Fe, Bismarck, El Paso, Washington

I started in El Paso, and headed up for Santa Fe, then split for both Sacramento and Bismarck. Soon West met East, and I was able to link up to Washington. Pink finished first, who was the player in last place with only 9, but not for long. I was fortuntely on 2 tracks short, and maintained my slim lead.
Scores: 10, 9, 10, 7, 7, 11 (me). I was hopefuly, but not too optimistic at this point.

ROUND 3 - The End is Near

My Cities: San Diego, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Helena, Jacksonville

I started in San Diego, and headed over for Phoenix first. Then I went for Helena, and down towards Jacksonville. Pink finished first again, and again I was only 2 short, which put me tied for first with Pink at 9. He smelled comeback, but I smelled victory.
Scores: 7, 9, 7, 2, 2, 9 (me).

ROUND 4 - The Final Battle

My Cities: Portland, Helena, St. Louis, Dallas, Winston

I started in Helena, and headed South to link up with the others. I started by hopping into St. Louis, then into Winston. Finally I headed towards both Dallas and Portland. I managed to connect all my cities first again, which gave me first place, and the victory. Others were 8, 2, 4, 3, and 2 short.
The final scores were: 0, 7, 3, 0, 0, and 9 (me!!)

After four games of dismal showings in TransAmerica, the fifth try proved to be the charm, and I emerged victorious at 4:45am on the morning of January 3rd, 2006. I may not have ever gotten in that game of YINSH, but the server restart may have been a blessing in disguise, which not only led me back to Catelyn and Eddard Stark, but also to sweet railroad triumph.

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