I was lucky enough to play my first Martin Wallace game last night - a 5 player game of Steam. Unfortunately I was tired and couldn't really grasp the intricacies of the game from a quick runthrough of the rules; I decided to not worry about it, play at random and get a feel for the game.
Of course I got trounced: I was way too slow to develop my locomotive, failed to utilise towns to maximise my number of route links, and missed the fact that goods cannot move through a city of their colour on their way to another one. At least I was only a few points behind the players in 3rd and 4th places (though a long way behind the leaders of the pack).
I really liked the look of Steam (which felt like a kind of cross between Power Grid and Caylus) though, and would happily play it again. To save me from future embarrassment though, what are some simple strategies I could adopt to give me a fighting chance of a good finish next time? I've probably suggested some to myself in the list of mistakes I think I made in my first game, but I'm sure people who really know the game can give me some better pointers. Any takers?