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Subject: Letting the track come to me. rss

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Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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Traffic was light enough for me that I was able to arrive pretty early. I even beat Alice there, which hardly ever happens. As we fished about for a game to play, Heather suggested that she'd be able to join us if we agreed to play Transamerica. Well, that was an easy choice. Transamerica, it was.

In the first round everyone started in the western half of the US, except for Jim, who started in the east, near Buffalo. Jim connected his cities quickly, and began pushing west while everyone else covered the west with track. He got all the way to the Mississippi and everyone in the west still hadn't come east far enough to link. Eventually, though, they did link, it wasn't long before Dave connected his last two cities to end the round quickly, causing much wailing. He did get some help from the other players to link into Oklahoma City and to Jacksonville. The next closest were both Heather and Alice, at three moves away, while Jim was four moves away.

Round two was a mirror image, with Jim in Salt Lake City, while everyone else were in Kansas City (Alice), New Orleans (Heather) and Atlanta (Dave). This time Jim started east, but when he again saw little cooperation, he decided to head south to LA. Once we all connected Heather jumped on his track and extended to San Diego. That help allowed her to finish the round. Jim, alas, has another rough time of it, and moved five spaces on the score sheet. But this time he wasn't the only one, as Alice was just as far away from her cities.

We moved up the finish line per the rules, but it ended up going just one space forward. The third round was a little more balanced, with Dave and Jim out west, Alice in Oklahoma City, and Heather near Memphis. She built up the back of the Appalachians and then across to Washington. Alice, meanwhile, built east and connected to Heather, and then started pushing west. Out west, Dave was having a grand time connecting his cities: first Salt Lake City, then Helena, and finally Portland. Yes, he did get a pretty nice card draw. It kind of frustrated Jim, because kept waiting for Dave to start building east, and it just never happened. So Jim started heading south toward the LA area. It finally was Dave who connected everyone together, but by then the round was nearly over. Dave built to New Orleans (from Memphis) and then Winston (from Heather's route to Washington) and ended the round. It was another rough ride for the others, and when we tallied the final scores, Dave scored a big win, at 12 (one from the starting house). The others came in with Heather at 5, Alice at 3, and Jim, who ended up off the track.

Wow, this game really fell into place for me. The game is all about getting someone else to help you, though I'm not sure just how active you can be in doing that. But I certainly got a lot of help, particularly in that third round. Heather's cities of Memphis and Washington really meshed with my Winston and New Orleans, so that by the time we connected, I was just about there. I've certainly been on the other side of that equation, so it was nice to be the beneficiary this time.
 
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