A couple of old friends (Jacob and Duncan) joined us 'regulars' (Tyler, John, and I) for a game of Railroad Tycoon at Game night last night. The rules were explained and the game took off. Jake and Dunc are not slow learners, so the game went along at a good clip. I was all set to take the Speed Record card for the first 3-link delivery (as I usually do), and I double and triple checked that noone could stop me, but on the last round of the first turn John built a track which I guess I didn't notice. Thinking I had it locked, I didn't bother to outbid Tyler for first player, and he delivered a cube using Johns new track, jacking me out of my bonus! Furthermore, Jacob - who'd upgraded his train for the last 2 rounds in order to steal Duncan's Service Bounty to Deluth, stole "my" New Train bonus in the process! What a devastating second game turn for me!
I played mostly in the Southeast, and without any competition. Aside from that second turn my play was acceptable, except one turn where, with a Service Bounty to Raleigh in play, I used a City Growth on Charleston - which was at the end of my track network - rather than Atlanta - which was in the middle... before even building track to Raleigh. I noticed my error immediately, but I had already said Charleston, so I didn't try and change my play. Anyway, both cubes happened to be Yellow, and Tyler immediately capitalized on my blunder (being to my left) and built track to Raleigh for the bounty. On the up side, it cost him 2 actions and 10k to get that bonus.
Finally, in the very last turn I was adding up everyone's cash plus income to see if I needed to take any stock in order to have the most cash and get my Tycoon card bonus... but I stopped counting part way
through and just took a share. In retrospect I don't think I needed to. Anyway, after totalling scores, Jacob and I were tied for first place. I found out later that the tiebreaker is most total links. I don't know if a Western Link counts (I guess it should), but either way I had more links, so hurray for me.
Jacob did very impressively for his first game. He went for a Western Link to Chicago line right off the bat, and he had a Hotel in Chicago, so his red deliveries were worth 4 points apiece. He did take a
lot of stock though, and ended up with 15 shares (to my 8). Tyler had the Fewest Shares tycoon, and he and I were tied at 7 shares for most of the game. When it seemed clear I wasn't going to take any more, Tyler
decided to forget about his Tycoon goal and took some shares to upgrade his train to level 6 and make some 6 point deliveries. I could have chosen the 'first to level 6' Tycoon, but chose the Most Money goal
instead (we use the 'choose from two Tycoon cards' variant I have posted in sevresl places).
The game was close overall, with Duncan making a lot of 4 point deliveries, and also delivering all the Yellw cubes that spawned in Chicago as a result of the Western Link. John did the best he's done, though he ended up with 10 shares and got screwed out of his
Tycoon goal. John did manage to shaft Tyler out of the New York-Chicago major line as well as the New York to Kansas City major line which would have been easy to complete given the former. I have news for Tyler
though - I think you have to actually own the Western Link as well, and that was Jake's.
I can't wait to play that game some more!
Another Variant for Tycoon cards: I just though tof this, but I think it my have been mentioned before - but with respect to Railroad cards... what if the Tycoon cards were all 'available' to everyone, and whoever met the conditions got the bonus? So every game, the player with the fewest shares gets 7 points, the player with the most money gets 7 points (this might be problematic with turn order - the last player can almost always get this one if they want), any player that connects New York with Chicago gets that bonus, etc..?