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lakers4evr
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September 2010
Drawing a face up locomotive (strategy) Sat, 06 November 2010 03:16
This is for the US map.

Here's something I thought about:

There are 45 train cars, yet you start off with an even number of train cards (four). Therefore if you draw two cards per turn, you will eventually end up having possessed (at some point in the game) more train cards (46) than available train cars (45).

So it follows that at some point during the game, you should draw one face up locomotive. Because that single locomotive will be more useful than 2 random cards of different colors.

Is my conclusion correct? Would it ever make more sense to draw 46 cards of specific colors rather than drawing a locomotive, even though that means you are guaranteed to have an unplayed card at the end of the game?

Thoughts?
      
dea1
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Vainqueur Nation Cup AdR 2007

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September 2005
Re:Drawing a face up locomotive (strategy) Sat, 06 November 2010 09:34
not quite ...

game ends when there are 2 trains left - so after some player has placed 43 (or 44) cards.
Good players try to achieve that quickly, by playing long tracks (and never ever overdrawing).
If you stack your hand with 45 (or 46) cards, chances are that the game is over before you can place them all.

The magic number we're looking at is therefore 43 rather than 45. Still uneven, but different as if you have 44 you can still place them all.
You can take an open loco if you need it without hurting your tempo (at a high level speed is probably the most important factor). If you can collect what you need for your route without taking this single card, it's better - higher chances that you get longest and even if you don't the extra card played is worth from 1 to 5 extra points (5 points if you can play a 6 instead of a 5 track, 1 point if you play it on a 1 or 2 track).
      
lakers4evr
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September 2010
Re:Drawing a face up locomotive (strategy) Sun, 07 November 2010 10:11
A couple of responses.

First, I was not recommending that you hold 45 cards in your hand, just that throughout the course of the game you draw an additional 41 cards to the four you started with.

Secondly, what you say about the game ending with 2 trains is not true, if you're the one reaching 2 trains first. If you are, you get one final turn. If you reach that final turn with no cards remaining (having drawn a total of 43 cards during the game) then that final turn is wasted because you must spend it drawing cards, rather than playing your final two trains. Perhaps you might be able to risk drawing additional tickets, but the fact remains that you would have 2 unplayed trains if you only ever hold 43 cards.

[Mis à jour le: Sun, 07 November 2010 10:11]

      
Nemo_
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December 2006
Re:Drawing a face up locomotive (strategy) Sun, 07 November 2010 16:02
If I end game without using my 2 last wagon, I lose 2 points which could be possible by drawing one pair more. If I draw one face up loco, I give opponent a possibility to build one track more which could mean 15 point. That's why I rather miss my 2 point and end fast than give my opponent a chance to build a long route or even draw more tickets which could mean 4-22 extra point.
      
lakers4evr
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September 2010
Re:Drawing a face up locomotive (strategy) Thu, 11 November 2010 06:24
Okay, fine. I can accept that strategy. But then the number of cards you're targeting is 43, like AT said. So the question is still valid, is it the correct strategy to draw one faceup locomotive at some point during the game?
      
Mr Bean
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Re:Drawing a face up locomotive (strategy) Thu, 11 November 2010 18:40
nope.
correct/ideal strategy is to draw 44 and hope to able to make a 44-track, which will get you (at least a share of) longest if you were the starter.

but of course there are situations where taking an open loco can be your best strategy; that will depend on how the situation in the game evolves.
      
solinsf
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July 2004
Re:Drawing a face up locomotive (strategy) Thu, 11 November 2010 18:59
Here's the problem with drawing an open loco: when you do, you don't get to draw a second card. So, when you draw an open loco, you're substantially increasing the likelihood that you will have to take an extra turn at the end. And, if you take an extra turn, it also gives your opponent one extra turn to get points, complete tickets, and maybe get longest.

The only time I would typically draw an open loco is when it's getting late in the game, and I absolutely need that loco to complete an essential track (like if I need the 6 reds but I only have 5 reds/locos in my hand or available to use). Otherwise, I'd try to draw 44 and make a track which uses 43 or 44 of them. The cost of giving your opponent one extra turn is greater than the potential benefit of getting a few extra points from drawing a 45th train.
      
    
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