Round 1: San Francisco
Welcome to the Amazing Race: USA. Teams of two from all parts of the globe will race through the sites and history of the United States of America in order to be crowned the champion. For the first leg of the race, competitors will explore the San Francisco Bay Area. The city of San Francisco is the 14th most populous city in the United States, but it is one of the most densely populated. The city has about 744,041 people, with the Bay area having approximately 7.2 million. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, cable cars, and Chinatown all make San Francisco a popular attraction in the states. San Francisco’s most famous event was the Gold Rush that started in 1848.
On Conquer Club, San Francisco is designed as a standard map. Most players who start with territories in the north go on to win, but anything can happen, especially with teams. But be wary of Alcatraz. It will provide a nice extra army for every bonus region held, but armies are stuck there. There really is no return from Alcatraz. At the end of this leg of the race, the lowest 3 teams by score will be eliminated.
Round 2: Puget Sound
For the second leg of the race, competitors will explore the Puget Sound Area. Puget Sound is an estuary-where salt water from the ocean mixes with fresh water that falls as precipitation or drains from the surrounding land. Made up of a series of underwater valleys and ridges, Puget Sound is deep with an average depth of 450 feet. Ocean waters reach inland some 50 miles from the Pacific Coast to provide all-weather ports for ocean-going ships at Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia. The waterway is a complex and intricate system of channels, inlets, and islands. The urban region designated the Puget Sound Region is centered on Seattle, Washington, and consists of nine counties, two urban center cities and four satellite cities making up what has been dubbed the "Pugetropolis". A unique state-run ferry system, the Washington State Ferries, connects the larger islands to the Washington mainland, as well as both sides of the sound, allowing cars and people to move about the greater Puget Sound region.
On Conquer Club, Puget Sound is designed as a classic, straightforward map. This will be my first attempt at this map, but it looks fairly simple. I notice the two large bonuses in the center with small and moderate bonuses in the corners. I would hope for a strong corner drop and work out from one of them.
Round 3: Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is a harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Pearl Harbor was originally called Wai Momi (meaning "harbor of pearl") by the Hawaiians, and it was regarded as the home of the dolphin goddess kapituce and her brother, Kahi'uka. The harbor was teeming with pearl-producing oysters until the late 1800s. Today, much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The attack on Pearl Harbor shocked the U.S.: On the morning of December 7, 1941, planes and midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy began a surprise attack on the U.S. Six Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 183 planes composed mainly of dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters. The Japanese hit American ships and military installations. A second wave of 180 Japanese planes, comprised mainly of torpedo bombers, attacked the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. The battleship "USS Arizona" was hit with an armor piercing bomb which penetrated the forward ammunition compartment, blowing the ship apart and sinking it within seconds. Overall, nine ships of the U.S. Pacific fleet were sunk and twenty-one ships were severely damaged. The U.S. forces appeared to be utterly unprepared, and the attack effectively drew the United States into World War II.
On Conquer Club, Pearl Harbor is a large map with many different bonuses. This map employs many of the XML features that were available at the time of its design such as partial continent bonuses (planes) and bombardments (AA batteries). There are many different strategies available. Many players like to start with the Miners or the Oil Storage, but watch out for the planes. Just like how the Japanese had an advantage during the battle, these planes with their partial bonuses can up a player’s reinforcements in a hurry. The AA batteries give a nice +1 bonus for each, but be sure not to bombard a neutral 1.
Round 4: Rail USA
The First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States was built across North America in the 1860s, linking the railroad network of the eastern U.S. with California on the Pacific coast. It was finished on May 10, 1869 at the famous Golden spike event at Promontory Summit, Utah. Much of the original right-of-way is still in use today and owned by the modern Union Pacific Railroad. From the middle 19th century until approximately 1920, if a person traveled from one city to another in the United States, the trip almost certainly was by rail. By 1910, close to 100% of intercity passenger trips were made by railroad.
In the 20th century automobile travel had begun to cut into the rail passenger market, but it was the development of the Interstate Highway System and of commercial aviation that dealt the most damaging blows to rail transportation. On May 1, 1971, the federally funded Amtrak took over intercity passenger rail service in the continental United States. All of Amtrak's routes were continuations of prior service. Amtrak was given the huge responsibility of rerouting passenger trains from the then seven existing train terminals in Chicago (LaSalle, Dearborn, Grand Central, Randolph, Chicago Northwestern Terminal, Central, and Union) into just one, Union Station.
At the present time, Amtrak has some presence in all but two of the 48 contiguous states. During 2006, Amtrak reported more than 24.3 million passengers, its highest total to date. An average of more than 67,000 passengers ride on up to 300 Amtrak trains per day.
On Conquer Club, Rail USA is one of the most complicated, yet straightforward maps. Designed by cairnswk, the map features many bonuses that follow the train tracks. The stations are designated with a three-letter acronym both on the map and in the XML. Chicago features a distinguishable hub where all eight rail lines can attack each other. The hub itself gives a nice +8 bonus if you can manage to hold it.
Last edited by Night Strike
on Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:26 am, edited 3 times in total.