Monday, October 02, 2006

Garry's Games Day - 30th September (pt 1)

Originally uploaded by coljen.
All the Billygamers including Jo gathered round Garry's for a day of gaming. On the table first was Railroad Tycoon, a game that Richard brought back for me from last year's Essen. I had played it once before, Richard and Jo I think had played once, Steve 3 times and Garry not at all. The board was all set up when Steve and I arrived, Richard and Jo had misread the time and arrived at 10 instead of 10.30. Anyway after a run through the rules, obviously for Garry and I think we all needed a refresher, we started around 11.15. For those that have played this game before you will know there are some optimum places to start on the map. Northeast around New York there are plentiful opportunities depending on cube distribution, the Bluegrass triangle of Lexington, Louiseville and Cincinatti and Charleston and the Southeast are all nice. Obviously cube distribution will dictate to a certain extent, but the auction for first player was hotly contested, I won it for 5K, and chose the card that lets you build open rail links for free. Garry(green) started just north of the bluegrass triangle, Richard(red) in the BT, Jo(yellow) wasted no time in building out of New York to Philly and Baltimore and Steve(purple) built from Baltimore to Washington. I (black) built from Washington to Richmond next turn effectively boxing Steve in. Jo started building down the east coast not leaving me much room so looked at Mobile and saw a nice line of black cubes on Jackson, Memphis and St. Loius. With a 4pt bounty for 1st delivery to Mobile that's where I built next. Steve moved his attention to the BT and muscled in on Richard's area. As the game progressed Jo had tied up the East coast, Richard and Steve where vying for the area in the centre and Garry, was beavering away around the Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Wheeling area.
I did manage to get the 10pt bonus for the New Orleans to Minneapolis link, but was falling behind. Garry, Jo and Richard were pulling away with Steve and myself chugging along behind. Garry reached a 6 level train and revealed his RT card to claim 6pts. Richard had the Chicago hotel and was gaining points from that, he had pretty well tied up Chicago! The game end trigger was 16 empty city markers, Steve urbanised one to try to extend the game further but in the end we had 16 and had to try get as many points as possible in the last round. As I said Garry had attained his RT card, Richard had the 2pt per link into Chicago card (6pts), Jo had built the Wester Link, which he didn't do, Steve had largest railroad (most links) for 6pts, and I had most money which I was nowhere near. The shares issued told a story too, I had 8, Garry had 13, Richard 6, Jo 3 and Steve 13. The scores were very close in the end with 2 tiebreakers to separate Jo and Richard needed. So the game lasted a very enjoyable 3 hours and 20 minutes and these were the final scores.

Final Score
Jo 65 (11 links, 38,000), Richard 65 (11 links, 9,000), Garry 51, Steve 46, Colin 45

After a short break for some very nice lunch courtesy of Garry, Canal Mania , the new Ragnor Bro. game was lined up. See part 2 when I get round to it. There will be a page of pics with a link in part 2 as well. See you all then. :)


At 1:06 PM, Blogger Richard Minson said...

I have to say I was really happy to get to play Railroad Tycoon again as it is almost a year since I last played it (ie Just after Essen last year). What I remember from my previous play was that I utilised my Age of Steam tactics and increased my train size as quickly as possible - unfortunately this meant that I issued a vaste number of shares early in the game which meant both that I didn't get much mid game income (and therefore had to issue more shares to build track!!) and that I was pegged back from my final score because of the number of shares I issued at the game end. This time I was determined to run a tight financial ship and quickly get my self to the stage where my track building and train expansion became self financing form my generated income.

I was there fore keen in my first turn to create cheap single length link between two cities that allow the delivery of one or two goods cubes. I was also keen to do this near Chicago as I had the bonus card that gave me 2 points for each link into Chicago. Anyway I linked Louisville & Cincinnati a quickly delivered a cube (Gaining the bonus point for being the first to do so). After the first turn I was quite happy as it looked like I was going to be left alone in my area of the board - unfortunately Steve had been squeezed by Colin & Jo in the North East of the board and decided the best thing he could do was come and join me by linking Lexington and Cincinnati (Garry had also linked into Cincinnati from Wheeling - something I had expected but not quite so soon!!). Dang it I thought I was to be left alone to develop an efficient and profitable network that would be of benefit for generations to come ...

Cube distribution meant that both Steve and my self needed to expand towards Chicago to make sure we had possible deliveries - which we eventually did. With train upgrades we were both delivering for 2 or 3 points (Though my acquisition of the Chicago Hotel mean I pulled out a slight gap on him). With both Steve any I running pretty much identical networks we were quickly exhausting the cubes available for delivery.

Elsewhere where on the board Jo had along the whole east coast pretty unmolested (Though as he admitted at the game end he probably hadn't increased his train size early enough so could never really deliver the longer distance cubes), Colin had started expanding up from Mobile towards the western end of my network (I could see he was going to encroach on my possible end game deliveries - but there wasn't much I could really do about it as I was still entangled with competing with Steve) and Garry was concentrating on connecting up all the cities just to the east of the Great Lakes.

With the end game arriving I had managed to get three links out of Chicago - whilst Steve had probably been more successful in expanding down towards Chattanooga and beyond. With 16 cities exhausted there were very few cubes that I could deliver - in the final turn so I built the Western link just to make sure I could deliver 2 red cubes to Chicago (With the possibility that the first cube might generate a much more profitable cube for the final delivery - it didn't do I had to deliver a second red cube for 3 point).

I was convinced going into the final turn that Jo was going to do a couple of large deliveries and overtake me. However I hadn't really examined his predicament close enough and partly because he did not have a large enough train he wasn't able to deliver some cubes he should have been able to. So after the final end game point adjustments we both ended up with the same score!!

After some searching through the rule book, we found the tie break criteria - we were both tied for number of links - but Jo had beaten me on money.

I have to say I really enjoyed the game, and that I was more satisfied with my play this time as I managed, as per my original objective, to run a tighter financial ship - I only issued 6 shares - unfortunately Jo ran an even tighter one and only issued 3 shares!!

However I do think that Railroad Tycoon is very much an event game - by which I mean playing it as a social event amongst a group of friends is half the point - just enjoy the social interaction and see how things develop!!


Post a Comment

<< Home