Master Fenrir Introduction
Route 66, for quite some time known as "The Main Street of America," was established in 1926. The original route ran from Chicago, Illinois southerly to to St. Louis, Missouri, and then westerly to Los Angeles, California. For quite some time, Route 66 was the most effective route from the Midwest to the West Coast. Practical purposes aside, Route 66 became something to do. College students and families would plan their road trips and family vacations on Route 66. Though portions of the original route still exist, Route 66 was slowly replaced by interstates until it was finally decertified as an American Highway in 1985.
Upon first play, it is common to despise Route 66; however, it is an acquired taste. It will take several games to learn the strategies and peculiarities of Route 66, but it becomes very enjoyable once you have acquired the experience. Success on this map is determined by two things: 1) proper settings, and 2) understanding that Route 66 is an objective-based map best played by actually working towards the objective, even though games can be won by the standard method of eliminating your opponents.
The Route 66 map has 48 total regions, though many will be starting neutral regions regardless of what game type you're playing. This map can be played in almost every way; however, how to play it
all depends on the settings you choose
, which will explained in depth throughout the guide and summarized in the Additional Notes section.
Bonuses: N/A See Collections explanation. Complexity: Easy Features Collections: Unlike continents these only require a specific amount of the designated territories to gain a bonus. Any cities collections: One additional troop will be given for every addition two cities held, starting with 8 cities, which will earn you 4 troops at the start of each turn. The terms "city" or "cities" in this guide corresponds to regions. This differs from most maps, which have you hold 12 regions to earn 4 troops at the start of each turn. Route cities collections: Holding 3 consecutive cities along Route 66 (also referred to as "the Route") will earn you an additional 1 troop to deploy at the start of each turn. Every additional adjacent city after that will earn you an additional troop, as well. Route Example 1: Holding Los Angeles, Barstow, and Kingman will ear you an additional troop at the start of each turn. Route Example 2: Holding, Los Angeles, Barstow, and Albuquerque will NOT result in additional troops, as the cities are not consecutive. Starting Neutrals: This map contains specific territories that always start with neutral armies. Route 66: Every city along the Route will begin as a neutral region with 3 neutral troops. Other neutrals: The starting troop drop will occur so that no two players will begin adjacent to each other. There will always be at least one neutral region with 3 neutral troops between any two player-occupied cities. Victory Conditions: Players can win by holding a set of specified territories instead of eliminating the other players. Acquiring and holding every city along Route 66 (indicate with the bold Orange line from Los Angeles to Chicago) for one round will result in victory. How to play Route 66
show: Two Player
Recommended settings: manual deployment, any fortifications, any spoils, fog of war on. There are four strategies that can be employed to win a two player game on Route 66. To start, you will need to build one troop stack and eventually collect all of the city regions along Route 66 in order to win by achieving this map's objective. There are three different strategies on where to build your troop stack (hereinafter referred to as your "stack"). The first strategy is to build your stack at either end of the Route and slowly work your way to the other end. Using this strategy, should you own Fresno, for example, your first turn you would assault Los Angeles to get onto the route. Eventually, you would also assault Barstow and Kingman to give yourself the additional 1 bonus troop to deploy. This strategy can also be done from the other side of the Route, say, from Pocahontas or Des Moines. Also, as you work your way along the route, should you own any adjacent regions, those troops should be reinforced to your stack as it passes by. Continuing to use the previous example, if you assault Los Angeles, Barstow, and Kingman, and you also occupy Las Vegas, you should reinforce the troops from Las Vegas to Kingman. The pace in which you work your way to the other side of the Route is up to you. Some players will choose to take one region along the Route each turn in order to earn themselves bonus troops quicker. Others will take a more cautious approach. This approach entails alternating assaulting one city region along the route and the next round just deploying troops on their stack to build and not assaulting any regions. The reason for the more cautious approach should be obvious. If your opponent is familiar with the map, they will be doing this same thing. Eventually your stack and your opponent's stack will collide, so building your stack before risking losses while assaulting neutrals does make sense. Use the approach with which you're most comfortable. Eventually, the your and your opponent's stack will collide somewhere in the middle of the route, and the player who successfully assaults and conquers the other player's stack will usually win the game. Note, though, that your approach should determine your choice of spoils. Should you prefer to assault a city each turn, you can use any spoil setting. However, if you plan on building your stack and advancing at a slower pace, you should choose no spoils or nuclear spoils. Playing with the fog of war setting on is recommended, as it hides your stack until you and your opponent discover each other. The second strategy is to start your path along the Route in the middle. For example, if you own Lubbock, assaulting Amarillo and starting to build your troop stack there, working to either side. The reason for using this strategy is to discover the location of your opponents stack quicker. If you use the first strategy and both start at either end, it will be some time before you collide. Your opponent may have several rounds of earning bonus troops for holding cities along the Route. This second strategy prevents that. By starting in the middle and working from side to side, you will discover your opponent's stack sooner, and they will not be able to earn bonus troops for as long. The downside to this strategy is that neither will you. In this strategy, when the two stacks do collide, they will not have as large of a stack as they would using the first strategy, as it will happen earlier and you will have less time to collect troops. After the collision, whomever finds themselves fortunate enough to clear the other from the route over the coming rounds will invariably win the game. The third strategy is a bit more risky and usually only used by players that are more familiar not only with this map, but with playing with the fog of war setting. Using this strategy, you build your stack somewhere near the middle of the route, but two cities away. For example, using this strategy, you might build your on Pueblo, and doing absolutely nothing but deploying on yourself for several turns, not assaulting any regions whatsoever. The reason for building the stack two cities away from the route, on Raton for example, is that should your opponent pass by, assaulting Albuquerque and Amarillo, your stack will not be discovered. As you build your stack, you keep a careful eye on the Game Log. You watch how many regions your opponent holds and also the bonus troops he collects, using this information to determine how far your opponent is along the route. Though your opponent will collect bonus troops, he/she will have lost troops assaulting the neutral cities along the route. However, you do not know how many, hence the risk of this strategy. If your opponent has lost very few troops to the neutrals, his/her stack will eventually become larger than yours, which you have been building. You use the information of you can collect from the Game Log to determine when you should attack. You have to use your judgment and decide when the troop bonus your opponent collects will over-compensate for any troops he/she has lost assaulting neutral regions. You have to use your stack to strike your opponent before it gets to this point. The fourth and final strategy has you ignoring Route 66 for the most part. instead, you use a stack and focus on finding your opponent's regions to reduce his region count and ability to assault you in an area. This is what's known as concentrating on "zones." As you do this, your region count will hopefully reach and surpass 8 (this should not be difficult as you start with 7 regions), which will begin to earn you additional troops as you take advantage of the collections bonus system. It is likely that this strategy will enable you to grab some of the Route 66 cities if your opponent has assaulted onto the Route, possibly even enough to collect on that bonus. However, that is a result, not the aim of this strategy.
show: Standard, Terminator, Assassin
Recommended settings: automatic deployment, 6 or more players, any fortifications, escalating spoils, no fog of war. In multiplayer standard, terminator, or assassin games, the odds of you winning the game by holding the Route decreases substantially as there are more players able to break assault the Route cities. You stand a much better chance of winning the game by simply eliminating your opponents. The larger number of players and the subsequent unimportance of the Route completely changes the dynamic of the game. You will not be able to predict where your multiple opponents are or where they will choose to build their stack. Because of this, multiplayer standard, terminator, and assassin games are the few games where I would recommend no fog of war. The reason for this is twofold. Knowing where your opponents' stacks are both helps you when you choose to eliminate a player, and defend yourself against elimination. Playing these games with no spoils, flat rate, or nuclear spoils will almost always result in a very long build game. A build game is when players are too afraid to launch an all-out assault and risk making themselves vulnerable, so they do nothing but deploy on themselves and end in no spoils games, or assault one region and end in flat rate games. It is because of this and the general distaste for build games that makes me recommend escalating spoils. The fewer the players (3-5), the higher the odds of are of playing a build game. This is why I recommend playing 6-8 players and escalating spoils. Though 6-8 players seems risky at first because of the few starting regions (3 starting regions for 6 or 7 player games, and 2 regions for 8 player games), keep in mind all of the starting neutrals. Your few starting regions will be completely surrounded by neutral regions, so you are under no immediate threat of elimination. There are no dead end regions or bottleneck regions in this map. The one aspect of the Route 66 map that is similar to a more classic-style map is that there are a few regions with more reach than others. The cities of Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Joplin, Roswell, and Topeka are each adjacent to 4 other cities. These regions are all good places to build your stack(s). The best way to win a standard, terminator, or assassin game is to play it with escalating spoils. Because the Route 66 map is played exclusively with collection bonuses, a large-value escalating cash is he only way to acquire enough troops to successfully eliminate an opponent and still have enough troops to survive if you do not eliminate every player in a single move. As such, the best way to play a game is simply to determine who your best first target is (or only target in an assassin game) and build your stacks close to that player. This is very important. You assault one region each turn in order to earn yourself a spoil. You then wait for the escalating spoil rate to reach a large value of about 20 or so, or whenever you believe you will have enough troops to eliminate an opponent. If you are playing an assassin game, you only need to eliminate your target and the game is yours. If you are playing a standard or terminator game, you must also time the attack so that after you exchange your spoils for troops and successfully eliminate an opponent, taking their spoils will result in another large spoils exchange for you. This will allow you to either replenish your troops and end your turn, or give you the sufficient number of troops needed to eliminate a second opponent and taking their spoils as well and continue on until you win.
show: Team Games
Recommended settings: manual deployment, any fortifications, no spoils, fog of war on. Team games are played very similarly to two-player games. The best way to play a team game is for one player on each team to act as the stack while the other teammates do nothing besides act as support and deploy on the stack. It is because only one player will be assaulting any regions that team games are recommended to be played with no spoils. Inexperienced players may think of this as a cheap tactic, but do not be deterred. It is the best way to play team games on Route 66. Achieving the objective of holding all city regions along Route 66 will be the goal of a team game. If you choose to play the game without the fog of war setting, the Route and strategy will be ignored. Instead, each team will analyze the drop and determine the opposing teammate whose regions are closest to one of their players. The stack will be built there and the game will be entirely about eliminating opponents, completely devaluing the purpose and uniqueness of the map. Playing team games on Route 66 in this fashion is a well-known way for experienced players to take advantage of new players who are unfamiliar with the map. Playing Route 66 with the fog of war setting on prevents this and allows each team to play using one of the three strategies described above in the Two Player section. The only exceptions however, are 3 or 4-team doubles games. Because in these games you have multiple "sides", it will be too difficult for any one team to acquire and hold the Route for a full round. Because of this, the best way to play it is to win by eliminating the other teams, so the game would be best played with escalating spoils and no fog of war, and the gameplay would be very similar to a 6-8 multiplayer game.
show: Manual Deployment
The Route 66 map is also unique in that it is one of the few maps where manual deployment is a logical setting choice for the majority of games.
A common criticism of manual deployment is that it usually results in a stack battle in the first round of the game. However, on Route 66 an eventual stack battle is a given. Please note, though, that "eventual" is the key word. The stack battle will not occur on Route 66 until later rounds. Also, the best objective-based strategies on Route 66 are to utilize one starting region and grow from there, the majority of the time completely ignoring all other regions. Because of this, in games where the objective come into play, anywhere from 1-6 regions will be completely ignored. As such, you have anywhere from 2-12 troops buried behind neutral regions that will almost never come into play. Choosing manual deployment allows you not to waste these troops and immediately use them for your stack. As your stack will start larger when playing with manual deployment, this will make the game quicker and more enjoyable.
show: Additional Notes
Settings Summary 2 players: manual deployment, any reinforcements, any spoils, fog of war on 3 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 4 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 5 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 6 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 7 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 8 player standard, terminator, assassin: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 2-team doubles: manual deployment, any reinforcements, any spoils, fog of war on 3-team doubles: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war 4-team doubles: automatic deployment, any reinforcements, escalating spoils, no fog of war triples: manual deployment, any reinforcements, no spoils, fog of war on quadruples: manual deployment, any reinforcements, no spoils, fog of war on Starting regions by player: 2 players: 7 regions 3 players: 7 regions 4 players: 5 regions 5 players: 4 regions 6 players: 3 regions 7 players: 3 regions 8 players: 2 regions Geographically similar maps: Fractured America, Rail USA, USA, USA map pack, USApocalypse Gameplay-similar maps: Imperium Romanum, Das Schloß, Monsters, Treasures Of Galapagos Related Links