San Francisco or Bust ...
This year we had 23 engineers set off to see who can best
manage the western trains. We added a second heat to allow more
times for players to join. Over the teo heats we played six
games and advanced the six winners plus the two best second place
finishers based on their percentage score of the winner's tally.
The preliminaries provided some interesting games. In the
first heat we had our shortest game ever played; 25 minutes.
Roger Whitney surprised everyone drawing the 4&1 card to
set up the game tfor an early end. His gamble secured second
place, only two points short of first, 43 to 45. Tom Saal took
top score in the preliminary games with a 225. Patrick was the
closest runner-up, twice missing the mark by one and three points
in his two games. Chris set a record by collecting $73 in bonus
The Final had three new faces; Tom being the only repeat
finalist. Very few trains made the distance to the west coast
(Southern Pacific and Western Pacific). Trains were often looped
back upon themselves. The Southern Lines Pacific looped through
El Paso three times. Early in the game Kansas Pacific Railways
headed south to Dallas allowing Rob to collect $12 for San Antonio.
Bill also collected cash early with an $8 move connecting Sioux
Falls and Tulsa. Turn 4 was the only other turn with large cash
payouts. Chris collected $12 connecting Phoenix and Los Angeles,
Bill added $12 for himself continuing the train to San Francisco.
Rob was able to run the Union Pacific Railway to Salt Lake City
for $12 for the last big payoff in the game. The game was close
to ending on the 7th turn, but the pocket trains arrived saving
Chris and Bill who were playing a west coast strategy by mostly
playing the 7-point city cards. Patrick was looking for an early
game concentration on eastern cities. Tom was playing for the
Northern Pacific cities. In the end, Bill's balance of going
for cash and setting up a power base in the southwest with Las
Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco carried him to victory.
Rob needed the game to end before the Western Pacific train
entered the game and he finished 11 points behind. Chris benefited
the most with the 7-point cities, making eight connections for
56 points. Bill collected the most cash with 41 while Tom and
Rob were not far behind with 38 each.
Bill Peeck 143
Rob Kircher 132
Chris Palermo 120
Patrick Mirk 109
Tom Saal 108