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His Eyes Opened!

Mississippi Queen 1.0 - Solution

It's nearing the end of the game with two players contending for the win. Red will be moving first (it's further ahead than Green). The question is who's going to win the race? If played correctly there's a guaranteed win for one of the players. Your challenge is to discover which and what moves that Captain needs to make. (You may use the letters for notation when sending in your solution. If you need to specify a facing use the numbers as per the key.)

Solution:

Red can assure himself of the victory by increasing his speed to 5 and then moving to space "A" (facing direction "2"). As this is the furthest point along the river it ensures that Red will move first in the next round which is the key to victory. Further, it is impossible for Green to disrupt this as he cannot bump Red from this square (it would require a speed of 7 to do so). No matter what Green does Red can subsequently win the game by spending 3 coal to go to speed 1 and then spending his last 2 coal for two extra rotations. This lets him rotate to direction 5 and then move to space "B" for the win. (Note that he could also move to space "C" if Green has not moved there.)

Bonus Puzzle 1.1: In the event that the "winning" Captain doesn't make the correct move, what should the other Captain do?

Again, the key is moving such that you get the first move on the subsequent turn. Assuming Red does not move to "A" then Green can win by moving to "C". This will ensure that he moves before Red as he will either be further along the river or (if Red is at "B") in possession of a greater speed. Note that Green may need to bump Red somewhere along his path to "C". In this situation Green would wind up at "C" (facing 6) with a speed of 6 and 4 coal. His subsequent move would be to go to speed 1 and move to "A" for the win. (It should also be noted that Red may be bumped to either "G", "O" or "T" without disrupting Green's plans.)

Honourable mention goes to Nick Sauer who added the absolutely correct extra step of having the Green captain "climb on the table and do a goat dance after showing the Red captain how he could have won instead."

Congratulations to Jason Lowe whose name was drawn from the correct respondents to win a pewter paddle wheeler courtesy Jay Tummelson at Rio Grande Games!

- Greg Aleknevicus

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