The day after my recent not very good attempt at "A River Runs Through It", I attempted the same scenario again. I decided this time to build a good road system and ignore the raft factory so I could build a second mine. In addition I wanted to irrigate the deserts so I'd have room for a mint and a coal burner. Let's just say the plan was better than my ability to deliver it.
The plan to build a good road network required lots of rock, so I needed to build a clay pit and a stone factory. The stone factory wasn't built until Turn 7 because it clashed with donkey mating season. However the road system arrived quickly when the numerous donkeys got to the overproducing stone factory and took control.
I sacrificed my geese for a research (gold mines, as usual) managed to build two of those. With gold being produced, I needed to irrigate the two desert spaces so I could do something useful with it. However, with the expenses associated with building the wonder quickly, I couldn't irrigate until round 18. That didn't give me time to build the mint and the coal burner and use both, so I ended the game with 8 gold, no coins, and 5 wonder rows for a score of 130 points.
Since I played this game there has been a report on BGG from MarcoGreen of a score of 440 using rafts. As he also had a stock market I guess he built an oil rig for the fuel (which I guess is easy if you have rafts), and must have researched gold mines AND multiple shafts, so he had to have bred geese. Wow, that's a lot of stuff achieved in such a small space. With rafts moving 3 and carrying 3 it *sounds* like you can achieve a lot, but I never found it so easy.
Obviously I'm way off the pace. Maybe I should flog the donkeys harder. Here's my time line:
Turn 1: build woodcutter and saw mill
Turn 3: build clay pit
... built a lot of roads and bridges in here...
Turn 7: build stone factory
Turn 10: build paper mill
Turn 11: research, build gold mine
Turn 12: build gold mine
Turn 13: 2 bricks in Wonder
Turn 18: irrigation
Turn 19: build mint and coal burner