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Age of Steam Expansion: Jamaica / Puerto Rico» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Solo Game rss

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Snooze Fest
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
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Obsessive collector that I am, I ordered all the new Alspach maps. I finally received them all, and finally managed to try the solo maps out. I played Barbados a few times -- it was pretty good, I guess. Then I tried Puerto Rico -- also good, but I especially like being able to scale the difficulty. So I played a bunch of games at the Maestro level (8!), then finally decided to try the Dios level. And here it is...

Setup

10 Black cubes! And they're spread all over, including way the heck over in the southwest corner. Spread is probably good, though (clumps of 2-black is not so good). I think having red/black in one town is better, since you can ship to earn a bit of income to pay for your expenses, and also ditch a black.

Turn 1
In all those Maestro games, I tried various track builds. Generally, it always seemed best to build into both towns adjacent to San Juan, and build westward to the cheap route through the mountains. Also, so many black cubes out I need to maximize value from the reds, so have to get links up and make long deliveries. Plus, don't want to waste a move turn upgrading my link level. So, I took 2 shares to buy the Loco action ($5), and built redundant tracks for 2-link deliveries.
(Note: delivered cubes shown on the turn track.)


Turn 2
2 more shares, so I can afford to build and pay expenses. Build a bit further south to gain access to that black cube and a 3-link delivery. Couldn't afford to buy Loco, so wasted a move turn bumping engine level. Unfortunately, I couldn't meet my expenses and lost $1 income (and $1 cash), again ending the turn broke.


Turn 3
I took 3 shares! Again, this was so I could afford to buy the Loco action. Also needed the cash to build out to the center of the mountain range and ship both of those for $3 each: end the turn with $1 in hand -- woo hoo!


Turn 4
Still a bit on the edge in cash flow, I took 2 more shares to again by Loco: links up to 5 now. Had to build south to get to those 2 juicy reds for a much-needed income infusion -- ended with $6 in hand!


Turn 5
I had to take another share so I could afford to build northwards, trying to get to the rest of the cubes. I delivered both of those cubes, earning some income AND getting rid of another black cube.


Turn 6
Now, I can use my income buffer to pay expenses a few turns while I get rid of more black cubes. With the open terrain on the west coast, my cash in hand allows me to extend track a bit further without needing any more shares.


Turn 7
Another turn to ship black -- no shares, minimal building (not much cash left - just built one little track segment!). Income reduction, however, brings me down to $15 -- need to ship some red next turn!


Turn 8
Had to take a share so I could start building track towards the last few black cubes on the board. I decided to ship a red for $5 to avoid losing income (from not paying expenses) and to get a bit of cash. An alternative would have been to take the hit now, and ship for $6 when I finally connect to that last town in the southwest. I could spend the time to figure out if that would have been better, I suppose, but ... nah. Ended the turn with $2.


Turn 9
Had to take another share so I could afford to connect to those 2 black cubes in the southeast. With 4 blacks left, I had to ship these 2 off to SJ. Only $2 left in hand.


Turn 10
Last turn! Unfortunately, there are 2 black cubes left on the board, and one of them is a 6-link delivery for me! So I took my last share and bought Loco again, then shipped both black cubes. Unfortunately, I had to spend $2 to connect to that last town, which left me unable to pay expenses. So I lost $3 to pay expenses, then another $2 to income reduction.


Final score
: (13-15)x3 + 34 = 28

Well, at least I survived! Could I have done better?

It seems pretty clear that the $5 loco action can be worthwhile. I skipped only one move; the other link upgrades were all with the loco action. I didn't get up to 6-links until the final turn, and didn't take advantage of it to earn any income -- should've figured out some way to ship reds for more money! But in a lower-level-difficulty game (with more red cubes out there) I suspect income can be substantially higher: next time I play at a lower level, I will try to skip only one (or none?) of my goods moves to bump links.

But what about the Engineer action? Cash has been so tight for me that it seems exceedingly unlikely that you'd have enough cash to both buy Engineer and actually use it! On the other hand, maybe if I'd used it I could have gotten out east? I'd thought about connecting it to my loop so I could ship those red cubes, but I just couldn't afford the build costs. I think, maybe, Engineer is more likely used in the easier games.

So what's your best score? What's typical? Anyone else playing this yet?
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Snooze Fest
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
Avatar
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Hey! All of you thumb-up-erer-people! What kind of scores are you getting for this game?
 
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