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Subject: BGWS 046 - Video exploration of the 18XX series rss

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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » Podcasts & Blogs
BGWS 046 - Video exploration of the 18XX series
This time on Board Games with Scott, I've decided to take a look at the 18xx series of games. This episode doesn't teach you one game, rather, it helps you learn about the things that the 18xx games have in common and will help you decide if they are a game style that suits you.

You can download the episode at
http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=82
or get it through Itunes at http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcas...
or watch it right here:



It's Xtreem!
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Scott Woodard
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Scott!

Does your cat have twenty-six toes on each foot?!?! Talk about Polydactyl!!!
 
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James Bentley
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Great episode Scott...lot's of stuff going on, but you do a good job of simplifying the complex.

Question: are there any good railroad games specifically designed for solitaire play, or will some of the multiplayer games play well with only one player?

Thanks, and keep up the good work!
jrbentley
 
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Breno K.
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I remember you thumbing a post of mine that had the powerthirst video (in that topic that said that the pozy intro was over-the-top)... had you seen it before?

It's just that it would be cool to think that I had a small influence in a BGWS intro

BTW, this is one of the best ideas you've had for a BGWS. 18xx sure looks like a cool series, but it's quite intimidating to get into for someone that doesn't know anything about it.
 
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Diane Close
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Ooo, that's the ultimate Ameritrash game in your intro! I wants it!! laugh

(How can you not want [COLOR=#FF0000]flaming tulips!!![/BGCOLOR])
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Good episode Scott. This episode actually made me want to try an 18xx game again (though that may be a bad thing).
 
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Scott Nicholson
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BrenoK wrote:
I remember you thumbing a post of mine that had the powerthirst video (in that topic that said that the pozy intro was over-the-top)... had you seen it before?

It's just that it would be cool to think that I had a small influence in a BGWS intro


I had not seen it before your post, and I really appreciated the humor, so parodied the parody for my intro.

So, yes, you certainly did have an influence!

(the post in question is at
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/2145425#2145425
)
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Timo
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I don't know if a discussion about the 18xx games if wished here, if not I would appreciate a link to the proper place to ask my questions.

2 Questions:
1) Higher trains enable more operation rounds.
Do they enable it for all players
(one player bought the first 4-train -> all players do +1 operation round)
or do they enable it only for player who bought the train?
(all players do 3 -?- operating rounds and the one with the 4-train does 4 operating rounds)

2) I would like a short recommendation for which game I should set my eye on:
My background is - I don't know any of them but have seen the video explanation. I'm always interessted in new games but those 18xx games are a bit too expensive for a blind buy to me.

Those 18xx games looks a bit like Imperial (spending money into countries/companies) and Age of Steam (same minimalistical graphics / connecting cities / trains limit cities to pass through) to me.

What frightens me a bit is a playing length of 6+ hours.
I do not care about complex rules but do care a bit about nasty play (should not be too nasty) but would wish a playing length of 4 hours or less if possible.
Especially since Scott mentioned something like: "The game is good 2/3 of the time and worse later". Don't want that "worse period" to be many hours long...

So which is a good game in the 18xx universe that matches my specifications?
(Don't necessary have to be a beginner version through: for example I like the 2D Stock board from 1856 better than the 1D Version and I am confident enough to "struggle" though complex rules - in the hope they are not 20+ pages).
 
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Scott Nicholson
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Tyrfing wrote:
I don't know if a discussion about the 18xx games if wished here, if not I would appreciate a link to the proper place to ask my questions.

2 Questions:
1) Higher trains enable more operation rounds.
Do they enable it for all players
(one player bought the first 4-train -> all players do +1 operation round)
or do they enable it only for player who bought the train?
(all players do 3 -?- operating rounds and the one with the 4-train does 4 operating rounds)

Good question. They trigger the new phase for everyone. Once that next level of train is purchased, the game rules change for all.

Quote:

2) I would like a short recommendation for which game I should set my eye on:
My background is - I don't know any of them but have seen the video explanation. I'm always interessted in new games but those 18xx games are a bit too expensive for a blind buy to me.


I really suggest you ask on BGG to find a local game group and see if someone already has it. Even the basic 18xx game is an undertaking to play the first time.

Those 18xx games looks a bit like Imperial (spending money into countries/companies) and Age of Steam (same minimalistical graphics / connecting cities / trains limit cities to pass through) to me.

Imperial took their idea from the 18xx series, so it's probably the closest. Age of Steam has everyone working on their own train, so it's not as close in feel.

18FL and 18Scan are both in the 4 hours and under range, but neither are cheap.

There have been a few shorter ones made last Essen, but both were in small print runs and not available.

It's a pity, as the market is open for an 18xx game that is in the 2-3 hour range that is mass-produced.
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Scott Nicholson
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Ogma wrote:
Scott!

Does your cat have twenty-six toes on each foot?!?! Talk about Polydactyl!!!


It's

Xtreem Cat Pawage!

The scary part is that he uses them like opposable thumbs to pick things up.

I made a video of a trick I taught him.. and one he taught me.. and put it on YouTube:


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heath fowler
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Interesting and informative as always with Awesum Gravy!!!!!! Best intro yet.
 
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Dale Maxfield
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If you can find a copy, I recommend Merchant of Venus as a solitaire train game. It more resembles crayon rails than 18xx though.

You can also pick up the incredibly accurate 1830 computer game from http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/357/1830+Railroads+%2526+R.... Since the game is no longer supported there is no charge for it.
 
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Dale Maxfield
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Really nice video, Scott. I've become hooked on 18xx for being the best 0% luck 100% strategy board game I've seen. It is, well um, teh pwnage as your intro suggests. And without the fire and stuff (unless you count the realized version of Tom Wham's Iron Dragon.)

You mention that the third "act" of the game doesn't appeal to you. This is a very common complaint among people new to the series. Having brought several people into the hobby I have struggled with this myself and have a few suggestions for you and for others:

1) Even seasoned 18xx players don't know what the third act will look like in a new game until it hits. As you get more comfortable with a game, you'll realize how to manipulate your early moves to better maximize your permanent train.

2) Calculating routes for a 5, 6, 8, 10 or 12 train (like in 1870) take most players a really long time. For this reason, I think 1870 is a game likely to turn off players new to the series. This is not because new players can't count runs by this point in the game, but the dynamic that tends to occur is this: All the other players stop helping/explaining to the new player while they calculate their routes. People start to get frustrated by how long the game is starting to take, or get hung up on a station that cuts their route in half.

3) 1830, 18AL, 18FL and Steam Over Holland are excellent games for first-timers. Unfortunately, none of these are likely to be available in your local game store, so you may have a hard time finding a game outside of a convention. There is an 18xx Yahoo group that will help you find a game, but if you only have one of the Mayfair games (1856, 1870 or 1835) my suggestion is to play a half game to get people used to the game. Let everyone decide on it and, time permitting, plan to play the half game first and then immediately start over for a new game. For 1870, end the game when the first company makes its destination run. For 1856, ending on the first permanent train usually works. I haven't found a great way to split 1835, but likely when the yellow company forms is a good time

4) New players often get stuck in huge games. These are more confusing and let them experience less of the game. 1835 supports 7 players, but one player always ends up as an investor for the entire game. It's like having the third act from round one, and most people who do this are unlikely to play 1835 and possibly the series again. A 3 player game is optimal for new players, 4 is probably the maximum.

Hopefully that helps people get through getting used to how to set up for the third act and makes the game more enjoyable. Again, this is the most common complaint from 18xx er, um n00bs.

-Dale
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Bill Shirley
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HELP!!!!!!!!!!
I got my copy from the feed.
Am I the only one whose video crapped out at 2:04?!!!!!!!!!!!!

Same problem on my ipod and in itunes.

Unfortunately, itunes doesn't provide for a reload of one download. I can un-sub and re-sub. I guess I'll try to manually download and see how that goes.
 
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Benjami Pitarch
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Very good video again. I just want more of them more often.

By the way, I´m willing to introduce myself to train games. Maybe one day you could make a video of the more friendly railroad tycon.

Again, thank you for all that video reviews that I enjoy so much. I have bougth not less than 5 games because of you.
 
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John Earles
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FYI: The 1825 line can actually be ordered through Mayfair.

Go to their Train Games section and scroll down... after you pass 1870 and 1856, you'll hit 1835, 1825 and 1829 - Mainline. If you select 1825 you'll be able to drill into the individual Units and Expansions.

Stock may be limited, but I just ordered and received copy of 1825 - Unit 3. A bit pricey, with shiiping added, but probably worth it if you are looking for this series.
 
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bshirley wrote:
I got my copy from the feed.
Am I the only one whose video crapped out at 2:04?!!!!!!!!!!!!

Same problem on my ipod and in itunes.

Unfortunately, itunes doesn't provide for a reload of one download. I can un-sub and re-sub. I guess I'll try to manually download and see how that goes.


    Mine is crapping out at 29:21. Jams hard -- nasty noise, screen jitters. Moving past it doesn't help clear the problem.

iTunes 7, XP Pro.

             Sag.
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jrbentley wrote:

Question: are there any good railroad games specifically designed for solitaire play, or will some of the multiplayer games play well with only one player?


There are a few AoS solo maps.
 
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Ben Vincent
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jrbentley wrote:
Question: are there any good railroad games specifically designed for solitaire play, or will some of the multiplayer games play well with only one player?
jrbentley


Silverton has a couple of solo scenarios.
 
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Guy Riessen
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Silverton is quite good solo actually!

18FL will play in about 3 hours (after a couple game's worth of experience) and 1889 played for us in 4.5 hours on the second time through. This is with 3 players. You can crank out a 2-player game of 18FL in under 3. Haven't played 1889 with 2, and have only played it twice with 3, but I suspect it will go under 3 hours as well.

And no they're not cheap because they're hand-produced, but their quality IMO is far above Mayfair's, with fantastic player-aids right on the maps, nice tracking systems, and great laminating. The boards are slightly more fragile being made of laminated foam-core, but they are much prettier to look at. I've found all 3 of the Deep Thought Games I've purchased to be an excellent value for the money!
 
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Great episode Scott!

This features my second favorite episode intro. I laughed out loud, not in an LOL kind of just texting that I was laughing out loud, but in a way that actually involved loud humor-type noises coming out of my mouth.

The opening for the Blue Moon City episode is still my all-time favorite.
 
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Nice episode, Scott. I've been a great fan of this series ever since I stumbled across it. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing... I've also been curious about the 18xx series for some time.

I noticed during the episode that you have a copy of Silverton. I, infact own that game and I HATE it. My family and I tried to play it once years ago. I think we made it through two turns before we reached the con census conclusion that it was simply too complicated to be fun. Granted we aren't really big board-gamers. I'd like to know what you think. What do you think of Silverton?
 
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Scott Nicholson
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Sir Reginald Lee IV wrote:
I'd like to know what you think. What do you think of Silverton?


It is complex for people who aren't serious board gamers. I didn't think it was a bad game. I remember feeling it was fiddly, though.
 
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Tyrfing wrote:
I don't know if a discussion about the 18xx games if wished here, if not I would appreciate a link to the proper place to ask my questions.

2 Questions:
1) Higher trains enable more operation rounds.
Do they enable it for all players
(one player bought the first 4-train -> all players do +1 operation round)
or do they enable it only for player who bought the train?
(all players do 3 -?- operating rounds and the one with the 4-train does 4 operating rounds)

2) I would like a short recommendation for which game I should set my eye on:
My background is - I don't know any of them but have seen the video explanation. I'm always interessted in new games but those 18xx games are a bit too expensive for a blind buy to me.

Those 18xx games looks a bit like Imperial (spending money into countries/companies) and Age of Steam (same minimalistical graphics / connecting cities / trains limit cities to pass through) to me.

What frightens me a bit is a playing length of 6+ hours.
I do not care about complex rules but do care a bit about nasty play (should not be too nasty) but would wish a playing length of 4 hours or less if possible.
Especially since Scott mentioned something like: "The game is good 2/3 of the time and worse later". Don't want that "worse period" to be many hours long...

So which is a good game in the 18xx universe that matches my specifications?
(Don't necessary have to be a beginner version through: for example I like the 2D Stock board from 1856 better than the 1D Version and I am confident enough to "struggle" though complex rules - in the hope they are not 20+ pages).


Ok here's the answers to your questions :

1)The short answer : Yes (18FL, 18GL, 18GA), once any corporation buys a train, for example, the 4-train, several things will happen.

a) The 2-train rusts (are removed from play without compensation unless rules said otherwise. A good example would be 18GL, where when the 2-train rusts, your corporation is given a compensation of half the value of the 2-train or in 18AL, when the first 7-train is bought (rusts 4-trains), the 4-trains will be obselete (one more operating round before it retires). So, this depends on which 18xx are you playing. Different 18xx has slightly different rules variations.

b) New tiles become available. Usually this happens when the first 3-train is bought (Green tiles becomes available as upgrade to yellow), first 5-train (brown tiles as upgrade to Green) and D/4D/8-trains, where grey tiles become available. This is also game dependant.

c) Additional operating round for all players. If any corporation buys the 3-train/5-train/D-train, then there will be an additional operating round. Depending on the game, there is usually 3-4 operating rounds, but at the start of the game, there is only 1 stock round and 1 operating round. Rule of thumb, when new tiles become available, usually there will be an additional operating round made available for the remainder of the game.

d) Merger companies become available for purchase. This happens in 18MEX, where the Mexican National Railway (MDeR) shares in phase 3 (green tiles, 3-train) will be available for purchase in the next stock round.

e) Number of trains purchased. Most games (especially the baby 18xx) will limit the number of trains that can be bought per corporation per operating round to 1. But once the 4-train is bought, any corporation may buy any number of trains as long as it is still within the limits. This is where most newbies go bust as they are unable to cope with the fierce train rush.

f) Train limit increases/decreases. Each phase there is a certain number of train a corporation can have, so buying the first train of that kind will either increase or decrease your train cap limits.

2) You should try out the baby 18xx's first. John Galt's or Mark Derrick's games are suitable for beginners and shouldn't take more than a few hours. Here are some recommendations :

a) 1889 - A fantastic 2-player game. Small terrain heavy map with 1830 rules. Play with the beginner rules first (the game is provided with advance and beginner rules). Plays from 2-5 people. Playing time 3 hours. (This was my first 18xx game played)

b) 18FL - A game for beginners. Simple bidding rules for private companies, one dimensional market (no vicious trading), forced tile lays (not very many tile laying options), and a limit cap on train purchases (1 per turn). This should be your first foray into 18xx. Plays 2-4 players. Playing time 2- 2 1/2 hours.[/i]

c) [i]18GA - Another good starting point. But with interesting private companies, and a limit cap on trains (only 1 per turn) which softens up the FTP (Forced Train Purchases). Has 3 Dimensional stock market and almost all the corporations are good as starting corporations (except for SAL Corp. Not recommended until late game). Plays 3-5 players. Playing time 3-4 hours.


d) 18AL - A slightly more advance game. Quite simple nonetheless. Play with the beginner rules. Same as 18GA except the privates are even more interesting. Don't let anyone dominate the choke point (middle of the map). The one who controls the choke point controls the game. Plays 3-5 players. Playing time 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Hope this helps.
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Benjami Pitarch
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I have a problem here. I discovered this series in this video and I´m now reading one of the "learn to play" games and I´m falling in love with it. I would try 18GA or 18AL, but I´m from spain and here the only ones that seems avaliable are 1861, 1856 and 1870. I supose they are not the best choice to start, but if you would have to pick one of them being a newbe, wich one would you pick?
 
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