France is another Aos map we don't as often as we would like. Rules are simple but we had a tough time in our last games on this map. Each build phase is very important as there isn't much space and some of these hexes requires the engineer in order to build there. France is also one of the few map that is excellent for 3 players. Tonight, Martin, Mario and Pierre would fight in France.
Martin started the game with a high bet 4 for the loco action since there was many interesting places to build to get 2 shippings of 2 income. Pierre choose the first build action to connect Paris and Nantes so martin went south to Lyon, Mario builded in the east. In the next turn Martin again had the loco action for 2$ only as he still had 2 nice shippings of 3. At the end of this round he had a big lead over Pierre and Mario. Martin had 10 income, Pierre 5 income and mario had 2 income. Martin had a nice start but he was beginning to feel some pressure as he was in danger of being caught in the southern part of the map and he was far from the important Paris. Then a battle began between Mario and Martin when Martin tried to connect Paris from the east but Mario blocked him the southern way toward Lyon. They would fight some rounds like this and Martin then decided to try to connect the main part of his network by passing through Nantes instead. He finally succeded in connecting both parts of network but ressources were very scarce and Pierre was ble to slip in fron of Martin in the end. Pierre was able to extend his network northwest of Paris so he could ship big in the end.
This game was very tough as usual even if it looks easy at first. I don't think we strenghtened our friendship links tonight but after our next game I'm sure everybody will have forgotten some of the moves we saw in this game. There is no room for error and the first build action was used several times even if was a three players game. The loco. and urbanization action weren't always took in the first place. Don't take anything for granted on this map.