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Subject: Train Building with the In Laws rss

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Paul Ingram
United States
Carson City
Nevada
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Well I had the In Laws over for a night of gaming and we had a blast playing Railroad Tycoon. We have played a lot of different games over the years and I have tried everything from light gateway games to Puerto Rico and they like most everything. We have recently been on a binge with Ticket to Ride and thought it only natural to step up to Tycoon. I explained the rules while my wife gave the kids a bath and after about 30 minutes of setup and explanation we were ready. Yes, I know that is longer than you might expect, but I have to say things more than once in explanation I don't know how many times I had to repeat that the colored goods cubes can be delivered by anyone no matter what color your trains are!! Take a deep breath and practice patience ...

As the game began, my wife immediately went for the western link strategy, building out from Chicago. My mother in law tried to control the eastern coast by going south from New York. I went north from New York and my father in law started a track from New Orleans. As the game continued to develop, we all dropped a train into the north/south east coast supply lines and my mother in law felt trapped, even though she really wasn't. My wife being the only one to stay out of the fray, continued to build up her western expansion. Somehow, the group allowed me to build all the way north to Boston for which I owned a hotel and I made some quick deliveries, including a 3 link after upgrading my train to grab an early lead that would never be relinquished.

During the mid game, my wife built the western link, but by the time she was willing to pay the $30k I had connected to Chicago and grabbed a 10 point major link bonus. When she started delivering to Chicago, I was stealing the random cubes placed with her western link and taking them east - she was not happy. My mother in law was not doing much of anything because she still felt trapped and was unwilling to take any shares - she ended the game with a total of 5 and I had 20! My father in law had a pretty good southeastern network, but he didn't upgrade his locomotive and was only doing one and two point deliveries even though he had a much greater capacity just waiting. Again, I think he was scared to spend the cash.

Because I was pillaging my wife's western link and had gained the level 4 train bonus, 10 point major link bonus, and my hotel in Boston had paid huge dividends, I had a commanding lead with only 4 empty city markers needed for game end. That's when it really got fun because we uncovered the New York to Kansas City 20 point major link bonus card. Even though I could have ended the game I announced that I was going to make the connection just for fun. I took on a little more debt, but it was worth it to complete that huge link (11 sections built that turn). Not to mention I had the Railroad Tycoon card that gave an 8 point bonus for most consecutive links! In the end it was a great time and they want to play again even though the score was pretty one sided. If you haven't played this game yet, you must - it is a blast. You might even try it with your in laws. I guess I should be nicer to the in laws next time - nah!
 
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David Etherton
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Carlsbad
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How many shares did you end the game with? Wasn't your income crippled by taking on that many shares? For that matter, you'd need a huge lead at the end of the game to avoid losing too many VP's from your shares...

-Dave
 
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Paul Ingram
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I ended the game with 20 shares. Because of some early scoring I was ahead of my shares most of the game, getting $3-$5k after paying my share penalty. I did have to pay the bank a couple of times after I rounded 50 on the score track, but by that point I was way ahead. It probably would be much riskier against experienced players to take on that much debt. I ended the game before bonuses on score space 92. I went down 20 for shares and then up 8 for railroad tycoon card, which ended me at 80. The next closest person was my father in law with 52.
 
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