A bit of a quick entry. I also got my first playthrough of the Detroit map of Dual Gauge and wanted to share my thoughts on the second map that comes with the game. Designed to be a bit more complex than the Portugal map, the Detroit map adds the mcguffin of debt tokens to the system. They felt brutal, a company can take one for $20, but that comes at a cost that is felt for the rest of the game. The debt token makes withholds hurt more and at the end of games dings the stock value of the company. It felt like it would be tough to really exploit this mechanic when approaching this map for a first play.
I also thought the company powers felt a bit more textured, though I did get stuck with the yellow company (Michigan Southern), which comes with the wonderful power of a debt token to start the game. I wound up with two companies right off the bat, and while I think with a bit more experience, I could have made this synergy work, but I wound up making a bunch of moves that were clearly non-ideal in hindsight. Because I won two shares in the initial auction in a five-player game, one player at the table started with zero shares. This sparked a lot of discussion around the table about both the two-share and zero-share positions. Specifically, the zero-share position seems tough to come back from (given that the share rounds are one buy per player). I am looking forward to seeing how these dynamics play out in future plays and how accurate our initial intuition was.
I heard there are more maps in store for Dual Gauge fans in the future, so I am excited to see the future of the system and what is to come!
BGG Game Link: Dual Gauge