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Subject: Choosing Tycoon Cards: a Slick Method rss

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Bob Wilson
United States
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Choosing a Tycoon Card from
an Initial Hand of Three

(with a "No Whiners" Option)

In our group, we've found that sometimes, players are very unhappy with the Railroad Tycoon card that gets dealt to them. Another solution was proposed in an earlier thread (, and we used that one for a while, but think our new idea offers even greater flexibility.

How do players go about Choosing a Tycoon Card?

Simply put: Players, acting in pairs of two, choose one Railroad Tycoon card from a hand of three, discarding the other two back into the Railroad Tycoon deck. There is also a "No Whiners" option that can be used (if someone is still unhappy with their choice of cards).


1) Shuffle the Railroad Tycoon cards.
2) Determine who starts the choosing (see below for some methods we have come-up with).
3) Going clockwise around the board, the FIRST and SECOND players to choose are each dealt three cards, face down from the already shuffled deck. The first two players each choose one Tycoon card from their hand. The cards not chosen are re-shuffled into the deck BEFORE cards are dealt to the next pair of players.
4) The next one or two players, the THIRD and FOURTH players are dealt three cards, choose one each, and the cards not chosen are re-shuffled into the deck immediately.
5) The last one or two players, the FIFTH and SIXTH players are dealt three cards, choose one each. All remaing cards are discarded, face-down, into the Tycoon card deck.

The process ends here if you are not using the "No Whiners" Option. If you are, then:

After each player is dealt their hand of three cards, if they really hate all three cards, they can discard all three of them into the Tycoon deck immediately, and then wait, cardless, for step number six:

6) Going clockwise, starting with the first player to have excercised the "No Whiners" Option, each cardless player is dealt one card, and only one card, from the shuffled Tycoon deck. They must accept this final card as their Railroad Tycoon identity.

How do we decide who goes first?

We came-up with several methods to determine who becomes the first player to choose Railroad Tycoon cards:

(more sophisticated)
* Shuffle a number of stock certificates, face-down, equal to the number of players - include one "5" denomination, one "10", and make the rest "1's". Deal them out, one-to-a-player. The player who draws the "5" chooses Tycoon cards first, the player who draws the "10" begins the first regular Auction Phase on turn one (rather than the youngest player). This method has the added benefit of randomizing starting conditions, which is good if your group plays together often.
-- or --
* Do one Auction Phase for the priveledge of choosing first (youngest player begins this auction)

* Youngest player goes first
-- or --
* Oldest player goes first
-- or --
* Player imediately clockwise (to the left) of the yougest player

Adding player choice for picking Railroad Tycoons seems to cut-down on the number of gripes, and lets players test-out pet strategies. Hope it works for you too.
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