Tony Newton won the Paul van Bloem award for the most net value in his three top games and carried that mojo with him into the Final against John Henry and a trio of Marks (McCandless, Kennel & McBride).
Newton started the purchases with the NYH&H, followed by McCandless with the PA, Kennel with the NYC, McBride with the B&O and Henry with the C&O. Kennel had the first bad luck, picking Portland, ME, as a destination. The opportunistic Newton immediately purchased the B&M and so Kennel was the first to ride hostile track. Henry then rolled Norfolk so Kennel bought the N&W to get his money back. Henry pursued a Western strategy, buying the WP and DRG&W. McBride opted for the Southeast with the SAL. Newton purchased a Superchief on the theory if you don't have a Northeastern line, throw a Hail Mary and go fast.
McCandless started the run on the big lines with the AT&SF. Newton followed with the SP and Henry with the UP. The best McBride could counter with was the CMSTP&P. He then promptly started a run of six hostiles in a row! Newton was also in a run of four straight hostiles and Henry, despite being strong in the West, managed to hit a hostile every time he went there. So by the time all the purchasing was done, McCandless was in the strongest position with 140K in properties and a Superchief, while all the others had less than 104K.
McBride was the first to falter, failing to arrive in his destination by one pip and being forced to sell. He put the B&O up for sale. McCandless let it go to Newton for 25K – probably too little, but since he then rolled Portland, ME, it was maybe for the best. Newton was down to 10K, but his luck then turned in a big way – the next three destinations were Portland, ME and Boston, netting him 60K! Suddenly, he was the leader! Henry kept rolling one pip short of his need, finally putting the IC up for auction, which McCandless bought at 23K, leaving Newton regretting not bidding higher. Both disclosed in the same turn. Seven of Kennel’s last 11 destinations were hostile, but he was raking in some long runs and payments from others and finally disclosed. McBride sold to the bank two more properties and was down to 9K cash and the SAL at the end. His 11 hostiles “won” him the Most Hostiles Award. It came down to a race between McCandless with the money but a long hostile run prospect from Portland, OR to his home in Las Vegas, and Newton who was three pips away from his home in Birmingham but short on money. Newton rolled Tucumcari and went there, no bounce. McCandless declared, rolling a 6 of the 15 he needed. Newton considered chasing him down but gambled on running himself, though he needed 14 on three dice -- and made it! If he had failed, McCandless would have won as the next player to roll (of course he rolled it to fulfill his “what if” anguish).
The lines held by winners in 23 games:
10 • ATSF, NYH&H
9 • CMSTP&P, L&N
8 • B&O, SAL, UP, ACL, T&P, B&M
7 • PA, NYC, MP 7, SLSF 7
6 • SP 6, DRG&W 6, N&W 6, C&NW 6, GN 6, SOU 6, WP 6
5 • C&O, GM&O, CB&Q
4 • RF&P, NP
3 • CRI&P
2 • IC
|Barrington Beavis, Donna Balkan and Gordon Deane
||The five finalists