Railway Rivals game 10 – Turn 12
It was a tight finish, with a 3-way tie for the last race, leaving CoWS and TXR with a single point between them and SNS close behind them. JAB closed up as well - aided by an unexpected NMR by ARB - though JAB failed to enter Race 52, a giveaway for him.
|52||3S||Lubbock||9C||Santa Fe||No-one entered the race|
Jacobahn (JAB) – Mark Cowper (Black)
Points: 239 +53 = 292
Andrew’s Railway Business (ARB) – Andrew Burgess (Blue)
Points: 188 +0 = 188
Carriages or Wagon Systems (CoWS) – Paul Evans (Red)
Points: 314 +38 = 352
Texas Rock Crusher Railway (TXR) – Jonathan Palfrey (Green)
Points: 295 +56 = 351
Stars N Stripes (SNS) – Gerald Udowiczenko (Brown)
Points: 292 +39 = 331
Click on the link for a PDF map: Medstead and Four Marks map, turns 10-12 (2 Mb)
Jacobahn - Mark Cowper, 4th
Firstly, thanks to Mike for breathing life into the Texas map after years languishing in a Farnborough loft. It was an interesting map with everyone starting so close together. I decided that Jacobahn would go West and South toward Mexico rather the join the bun fight North and East. This was an OK strategy for the building turns but turned out to be disastrous during the races, as shown by Jacobahn and ARB who followed me westwards, going to finish 4th and 5th. Just not enough races to enter. Sadly, the writing was on the wall for the Westward Ho Railways the moments HATS gave up; it would have been a lot closer if they were in there competing for track and entering the races with the other 3 railways. C'est la Vie. I have no idea which of CoWs, SNS or TXR would have won, though I would like it to be SNS as they were the most open and proactive of the 3 to sharing races.
Carriages or Wagon Systems - Paul Evans, 1st (just!)
My initial plan was to network the north-east corner of the map. However, when I saw the first turn's results, it was clear HAT and SNS had had the same idea - and there wasn't room for three of us. The problem was where else to go. JAB and ARB had both gone west, so anything in that direction would always be behind them, and TXR was networking the south. So I did a bit of both, filling in some of the gaps. I followed my usual strategy of connecting the major groups of cities on the map - in this case, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades. The final result was a U-shaped line, just missing any direct connection between the Clubs and Spades areas.
I was surprised how well the first round of races went - I particularly enjoyed winning the exchange of running rights with TXR (Jonathan). However, Jonathan had caught me up by the time we were through the first half of the races. After that it's been nip and tuck, with SNS making a late challenge. The last lot of races didn't look particularly good for any one of us, so I'm on tenterhooks to see who's won. Regardless, it's been a good game: thanks to all the players and especially to Mike for GMing. I'm in for the next one!
Texas Rock Crusher Railway - Jonathan Palfrey, 2nd
Given that Paul is already ahead, I think he'll probably win the game, but there are some close races this time, and with a bit of luck I could perhaps win. It looks like being a bad turn for Gerald, so I don't think he has a chance; Andrew should do well this time, but too late!
Stars N Stripes – Gerald Udowiczenko, 3rd
In hindsight, I think starting from Houston would have been better, as Fort Worth/Dallas was just so congested. However saying that Jonathan (Green - TXR) hasn't seem to have greatly benefited from starting there, so maybe I'm wrong. In general I think our network was OK. It could have been better if we'd managed to get a little further West and connected to more "Clubs", but in general I'm happy with it.
As to what went wrong, I think we just didn't get lucky with the routes, especially "clubs". I was hoping to have had some club routes that only I connected to, but that wasn't the case and others were also able to connect to them. I also don't seem to have much luck with having the shortest routes. On a number of occasions, my route was a good 3-4 longer, and in Railways Rivals that is difficult to overcome.
Last turned helped a lot (almost 100 points) and has given us a slim chance of coming second, but to be honest, I can't see anyone catching Mark (Black - JAB).
I think everyone had good routes and it was a shame that yellow dropped out.
Once again a very enjoyable game. Thanks to all the players and especially Mike for ruining it (and putting up with us/me forgetting the deadline and being late).
GM - Mike Dommett
It is an interesting map. Mark mentioned he had some in his loft, and I'm very grateful for his handing them over to me. There appeared to be two choices: fight among the eastern cities or try and corner some of the western cities. The initial divide of 4 and 2 seemed sensible until HAT suddenly dropped out without explanation. TXR's southern corners were invaded, first by SNS's roundabout track and then by others. CoWS had the mix of Western and Eastern tracks. I wasn't sure who would win, and the result was closer than I'd expected.
Thanks to the players for taking part, and we'll try the American maps again; but the next game will go to Wales.