I've created my next revision of the Wabash Cannonball map (#4). I used a couple of ideas (and images) from Mark Tyler - I used his field image and forest image and his stock grid. I lightened both images and changed his red/green grid to grayscale. I also stuck with my original scheme for showing the costs and values of the spaces. Because of the stock grid, I had to move the action grid and the industrial cities grid to the lower portion of the board, but I think that's ok. I also went with a much much higher resolution (300 dpi) in order to try and reduce some of the blurriness of the type. I also used a few other tricks to get most of the sizes that I wanted for the text (the image linked to above is not the full high-res version). Now I need to print this and give it a test play.
Speaking of... We played the other night, and I got killed. Dead last. After winning my last two games. I've been thinking about strategy and I think Mike Garrett is right about one thing - you don't want to necessarily win the second share of "your" company. You probably want the third though. you also have to go after shares of companies when other player's positions are tough because of money. The first couple of rounds, a partner in the company can mean extra chances to really run up the value of a railroad. Two players in red can nearly cut off blue - not cutting off blue can mean B&O stock owner(s) making a lot of cash. On the other hand, running a line by yourself means that no player has any interest in helping you (or not hurting you). When the third share comes out, you want it if you already have one - that or you want it to go out to another party (not your partner). There's a fine balance to be worked for between sharing the profits and using someone to help you make a load of money. I'm also not sure you can win sinking all your chips in one company. Even with an acquisition later, it still is too hard.