Saturday October 22 - Railroad-Tycoon
As you can see from the photo the board is huge, hanging off of Richard's table. You have to stand up if you are sitting at one end so you can see what is going on at the other end! In the rules they had suggested that you not let one player gain a monopoly in the north east as there is a concentration of cities there. Consequently only Steve and Luke started there but Luke rapidly went north and west and Steve pioneered down the east coast. Richard started in the south and went west round the foot of the mountains and Jo started in the mid-west and forged a rail link all the way down to New Orleans. I went west across to Chicago and on to the western link city of Desmoines. Right at the start of the game we had a bit of a situation, the card that says 'immediately take 2 actions' is a very powerful one and both of them appeared in the 10 face up cards that started the game, so the player that went first could immediately take the first card and get 2 actions, and with the first of those actions take the other card and get another 2 actions thus getting an extra 3 actions total and of course denying the other players those cards. We hadn't realised that when we had the first auction for 1st player which Steve won. He agreed to do the auction again with the result that the price went up a lot for first player privilege. A five player game ends when 16 empty city markers are on the board, we had played 2 hours before the first marker had appeared! Taking shares to finance your empire is a big part in the game and Richard and Luke were taking shares freely, while Steve, Jo and myself were a bit more consersative. As the game progressed into the third hour Luke and Jo were pulling ahead of the rest of us. But I kept my shares well down and the others thought that my Railroad Tycoon card must be the one for least shares issued, actually it was for longest consecutive rail links, which I had no hope of achieving.
Once those empty city markers start appearing they soon mount up and finally the game ended on the dot at 4 hours. Luke had managed to achieve his RT card for an extra five points and finished a well deserved winner. The share issued were Jo 12, Steve 8, Luke 17, Richard 25 (I think!) and myself 6. I never did build the western link and I think everyone has thoughts on how they would proceed in another game.
Luke 75, Steve 65, Jo 62, Colin 51, Richard 47