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User Rating Comment Status
Mark Tyler
United States
Orem
Utah
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10
Jun 2007*
1841 is one of my favorite 18xx games so when I read that the game designer based much of his design for 1861 off of 1841 that was a real selling point for me. I really like the 16 minor companies and how they eventually merge or convert into a public company. I didn't realise the RSR would play as big a role in buying trains as it did, but our first game was probably atypical as seven minors were trainless when the 4 train was purchased.
2007-06-13*
Owned
Robert Osvalds
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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10
Sep 2014
It's unique among the 18XX system, because there is no forced train purchase. Because of this forgiving aspect, it might be a good game for newbies.

I applaud the mechanic (Russian State Railroad) which prevents train stagnation, and times out the game ending... brilliant!
2014-09-01
Owned
Gareth Madeley
United Kingdom
Wirral
Merseyside
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9.8
Apr 2012
An interesting twist on the Minor Company idea by having them have a changing value. The Russian State Railway means that players won't go bankrupt, however it also creates a timer on the game.
2011-11-18
Owned
Pontus Nilsson
Sweden
Gothenburg
Bohuslän
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9.7
Jun 2009*
Yes, the game is ugly but the game play sure is beautiful. Only played it once so far but it was amazingly fun and challanging. The only thing I didnt like where the stock market, it wasn´t evil enough.
2009-06-23
Owned
Roberto Bueno
Spain
Gijon
Asturias
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9.5
Nov 2013
Components: not bad, the tiles are too light and the Company boards are ok
Complex: hard to get, harder than 1830 to explain
Weight: heavy
Players: 4 or 5
Length: can take a bit long, but is ok for what you expect
Personal: my favourite 18XX so far. The Stock market does not move as in 1830 but you should keep an eye on it. As Companies can take loans it is hard that you come with a Company with no future. With the minor Companies, the merge and the Russian Railroad you have many more options each turn
2015-04-01
Owned
Kristjan Lennuk
Estonia
Tallinn
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9.5
Jul 2010
Really exciting 18xx, it has less activity on the share market side, but the minor companies and merging possibilities make it a lot of fun. Shorter playtime (compared to 1856 and 1870) is a plus.
2010-08-16
Dave Burn
United Kingdom
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9.5
Sep 2013
One of the best 18xx games to play gives a good around experience and not to long either. 4+ players gives you the best game.
This takes about 5/6 hours of playing time. Can be faster if thinking time is restricted.
If you get a chance to play this do so.
2013-09-12
Owned
koen verstraete
Belgium
ruddervoorde
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9
Oct 2006*
1861 is a very good variant on the known 18XX games. It has some changes that makes the game exciting and different. The game took us about 5 and 1/2 hours which is good for this kind of games.
2006-10-21*
Owned
Geert Lagrou
Belgium
Veldegem
Unspecified
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9
Oct 2006*
This is probaly the best produced 18xx game we have seen since 1830, 1856, 1870 and 1835 . I did like this variant a lot .
2006-10-30*
Owned
Franz Heidbuechel
Germany
Stolberg
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9
Mar 2007*
Wonderful 18xx variant with less brutal rules than the original
2007-03-14*
Owned
John Elbl
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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9
May 2013
The minor company utilization is done very well. This game has a lot of playability to it and will take awhile to fully get my head around aspects of the design.
2007-08-03*
Owned
Blue Dragon
United States
Your Base
New York
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9
Aug 2007*
Liked it. It is a railroad dev game in the 18xx lineup, and it (probably over-) simplifies the stock market. You still have plenty of options on how to form corporations and the manipulation of minor companies makes for interesting strategy decisions. I would have to say this is more an engineers version of 18xx as opposed to a portfolio management game but I like it very much.
2007-08-07*
Chris Shaffer
United States
Portland
OR
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9
Jan 2008*
It's like 18EU with more going on. Highly recommended. Plays well with 3,4,5,6 players, which you can't say of every 18xx title.
2008-01-17*
Owned
Håkan König
Sweden
Linköping
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9
Nov 2007*
Got exactly what I was looking for in an 18xx game: simple stock market, interesting tile lays, many kinds of companies that evolve during the game and an endgame that is set by specific events in the game, not by money. Our first game of 5.5h didn't feel long at all except during the two last rounds before the 8-train was bought to trigger the end. It did feel like the 6 was the poisoned train this time because no-one wanted to buy it, because we didn't want to lose our 3-trains. In the end it was bought by a new company that had to get the 6 in order to reach Moscow & St. Petersburg. It felt like the best possible runs came from Ekaterinburg-Nishni Novgorod-Moscow-St.Petersburg-Poland, but that may have been just how our game played out.
2007-11-12*
Owned
Randall Nelson
United States
Gilberts
Illinois
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9
Nov 2007*
My second favorite 18xx game. Really enjoyed having SO many opening options. The game has excellent replay value. And, like so many other 18xx games, no luck involved at all. Pure strategy alone seperates winners from losers.
2007-11-24*
Owned
Brian Moore
United Kingdom
Bolton
Lancashire
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9
Mar 2009*
Played 3 player. Very good game in the 18xx series.
2009-03-20
Owned
David Siskin
United States
Playa Del Rey
California
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9
Jul 2008*
Really nice presentation and good 18xx variant.
2008-07-06*
Owned
Michael Milford
England
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
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9
Aug 2008*
An excellent 18xx game.
2014-01-14
Owned
Want To Play
Nicolai Claus Ravn
Denmark
Copenhagen
Hvidovre
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9
Jan 2014
Although the stock market is a bit weak, the merger rules are excellent, and make for many different paths you can take when playing this game.

To accommodate a more active stock market we usually play with share price drops regardless of who's making the sale.

Have tried using 1860’s 1-4 "jump"-rule (Dividend Yield approach), and it works fine here as well and allows for a share price trashed company with decent earnings to recover easily.
2011-05-30
Owned
Chester
United States
Temple
Texas
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9
Oct 2009*
I really enjoy 18xx in general.

This game has fabulous production values. I like the idea of the nationalization. The minor companies opportunity to merge or grown up into publics is the biggest place for thoughtful decision-making.

There is much less in the way of stock market shenanigans here than in 1830. It feels to me more like an offspring of the 1829 line.

I'd like to play more. Its not easy to get these games on the table, but I hope to get more playings in.
2009-12-04
Owned
Michael Shaver
China
Beijing
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9
Oct 2009*
I think there is less to this game than to some other 18xx. But the decisions that are there I find really interesting. The minors are really fun and I love the ability to either grow up or to merge and I love all the jostling for the trains around the rusting of the 2's. I think the game is pretty much decided at that point. The person who has managed the conversion to majors the best and who has the most stocks will probably go on to win. The stock market isn't that exciting, there isn't really a way to negatively affect other people's fortunes and the end of the game just sort of plays it self out. There's a bit more jostling around getting a permanent train but that's about it. When you can run a company with 2 shares and the rest are in the company, all the companies were flush with cash. Luckily I like all things 18xx and track development and token placement is fun. 2010/06/06
2010-06-06
Owned
Want To Play
Will Mellor
United Kingdom
London
ENGLAND
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9
Dec 2010
Initial Rating
2010-12-05
Owned
Peter Mumford
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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9
Mar 2011
I really like this game of merging minor RRs into major RRs. And the government RR drives the game.

There are a lot of tools and levers in this game that are not apparent at first. The key is that it is possible to rush the trains by taking a lot of loans. I want more of this.
2011-04-15
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Ian Wilson
United Kingdom
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9
Dec 2011
1861 is still my favourite 18xx title, even after 10 years and well over 100 plays. There are two main reasons for this:
a) the game is different every time, and
b) I can see where I went wrong, so I can improve my game next time.

So why not give it a 10? The game does have two minor flaws:
a) sometimes the game is decided at the purchase of the first 4-train (i.e. halfway through), and
b) although route-building is important, the financial aspects of the game dominate.
2011-12-04
Owned
Rodrigo Alvarez
Spain
Gijon
Asturias
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9
Nov 2013
Even if I only played this with three players, and I don¡t recommend that, I have seen the potential for 4 or more people. I love the combination of mechanics in this 18xx title.
2014-01-11
Owned
Ville Inkiläinen
Finland
Helsinki
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9
Sep 2014
Merge minor companies to major companies. Russian State Railways will collect trainless companies. Reasonably quick, three player game in four hours.
2014-09-17
Mike Hutton
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
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8.5
Sep 2009*
Superb. Newby-friendly, nice artwork - if I say so myself! - and still with plenty of strategic possibilities. Only a slight issue with balance in the end-game stops this getting a 9.
2009-09-09
Owned
Rob Scovell
United Kingdom
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8.5
Oct 2012
This is the XX game I've played the most and is still my favourite XX.
2012-10-22
Owned
Adriaan de Goeij
Netherlands
Nijmegen
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8.5
Feb 2012
This is a great game. In the 18xx genre this is the second or third best game to pick. The reason for that is that also in the late game significant decisions have to be made and the game can yet be lost by poor late game decisions. This game focusses more or company management.
2012-02-10
Owned
André Verheij
Netherlands
Leerdam
Zuid Holland
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8
Nov 2006*
Very nice game. It took us 7 hours to finish.
2006-11-12*
Owned
Gregg Lutz
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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8
Jan 2007*
I think this is a solid game. I was not overly impressed on the first play however I think there is a fair amount of potential to explore.
2007-01-08*
Want In Trade
Kenneth Li
United States
Orem
Utah
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8
Apr 2008*
A very interesting varient of the 18xx theme, it is more of an empire building game than the other 18xx series which are more of a cut-throat game. The stock manulipation is lessen in this title than the others. Pay attention to the 4-trains came out rule, as we did screw it up in the first time and end up with most of the player's long term plan down the drain in our first playing. But I do like the design.
2008-04-11*
Scott Nicholson
United States
Fayetteville
New York
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8
Mar 2007*
My favorite longish 18xx game. I really like the build up from small to bug companies and the "timer" that keeps the game moving.
2007-03-16*
Owned
Sangbae Ko
South Korea
Anyang
Gyeonggi-do
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8
Jul 2008*
러시아 국영철도의 압박 덕분에 울며 겨자 먹기로 합병을 강요당하는 상황이 독특한 게임.

등장하는 회사 수가 많기 때문에, 비교적 많은 인원이 해야할 것으로 보임.
2015-03-03
Owned
Nigel Buckle
United Kingdom
Thornton Heath
Croydon
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Published in 2014
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8
Feb 2008*
I think this could work as an intro to 18xx - although the length could be a problem.

Lots here I like, especially the early game with the minors. Stock market isn't as interesting as I'd like, with very little activity - and the end game is a bit of a let down, but that aside I like the Russian State Railway mechanic of accelerating the trains.

All in all a solid 8. Rather play 1830 or 18Mex - but this or 1856 would be the next choice.
2009-06-02
Owned
Bill Skulley
United States
Westminster
Colorado
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8
Jul 2008*
Four playings, variously with 3 or 4 players. Seems to sort of combine some of 1870 (the runs and endgame in particular) and 18EU (major formation and psuedo red-to-red with Ektarina-Moscow). Endgame rules are quite different. Much more train shenanigans than most 18xx games I've played, but almost completely lacking in stock manipulation (at least in the games I played). The feel of the game seems to shift suddenly and unexpectedly - one round there's no money in the game, or runs are free and easy, the next everyone is awash in cash or the runs are constricted. Tends towards the long end of the scale.
2009-09-19
Owned
Robert Farthing
United States
Auburn
Illinois
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8
Sep 2007*
The minor companies in this 18xx title open up the game with nearly endless options. Very fun. Very challenging.
2007-09-22*
Prev. Owned
Francois Petitclerc
Canada
Verdun
Quebec
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8
Apr 2012
When played cautiously, the game does not have some of the trademark pitfalls that can be nasty in some 18xx titles. Noone got near a disaster and by the end of the game we were all awash in cash. One of the friendlier games in the series and perhaps a good gateway into 18xx.
2012-04-12
Owned
Michael Garrett
United States
Omaha
Nebraska
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Purity of Essence.
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8
Apr 2015
I really like this one. I think it has the best first half of any 18xx game. That said, it lags in the middle and late game. The routes are scripted, and my interest wanes about the time someone buys a six train. This fact is mitigated by the fact that the game is pretty close to being over at that point.
2015-04-13
Walter E. Kurtz
United States
Austin
Texas
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8
Sep 2008*
More intense than 1870 & 1832 because of the threat of absorbtion of minors into the Russian Railroad. The threat begins to loom very quickly. Cool game, but tense.
2011-08-02
Owned
Michael Kagen
United States
Northbridge
MA
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8
Dec 2007*
Great 18xx game of which I've only played 2 (2038 being the other). There are 3 type of companies, privates, minors and publics. You bid on the director's shares of the privates and the minors. The majors are formed by IPO, Mergers and/or Start ups. Companies buy track and trains. Players buy shares. Companies stock goes up as they deliver and payout, go down if they don't pay out. Trains rust as new models are bought. The goal is to have the most money. Don't attempt this game without a spreadsheet or your head might explode . All in all a great game but somewhat on the longish side.
2007-12-06*
Owned
It's not OCD until you sleeve your UNO cards.
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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8
Jun 2009*
Rating based upon one play. A kinder gentler 18XX game. Unfortunately what I enjoy most about the 18XX games is that they are neither kind nor gentle. A good intro to 18xx, but there still seems to be a ton of stuff to keep track of. A beautiful game with high quality components.

The game ended up being a train race, and slowed down a lot towards the end as everyone tried to optimize their moves. (Typical 18xx). The race for the 3's is very important. If you lose that race you can be out of the game.

Plays well with 4. 5 may be a to many people for this as it can be very long with that number of people.
2015-03-08
Owned
Scott Petersen
United States
St. Louis Park
Minnesota
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8
Oct 2008*
More about track lays and moving your own companies up the stock market than investing in others. The minor company variability lends itself to repeat plays to master.
2009-11-14
Owned
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Port Macquarie
NSW
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
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8
Jun 2009*
This games feels substantially different to other games in the 18xx series that I have played. The emphasis in on the running of the railways rather than shafting others on the stock market.

The introduction of Minor Companies also makes a substantial change to the feel of the game.

As with all 18xx games, the big downside is the amount of time it takes to play the game.
2008-02-03*
Owned
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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8
Feb 2009*
Played several times now with four and with five and I'm quite impressed. This 18xx feels like a combination of 1870 and 2038 and then simplified and streamlined into a package that plays in a lot less time than either of those great games. Lots of minor companies at the start means everyone has things to do. The private companies aren't overly powerful or unbalancing and players more than likely will not be hosed in the opening auction. The ability to skip stations is pretty powerful as nobody likes 10 stops, and pretty much every company can hit Moscow eventually. But whether you combine minor companies via a merger or launch them as a major on their own or just say to heck with it and let the Russian national have em will keep you on the edge of your seat for most of the game. The fact that you cannot go bankrupt and that you will get some compensation if you end up losing a company means this game is fine for 18xx beginners even with all the merger possibilities because, honestly, all the minors are worth buying even if you end up losing them because you will make money. Overall, I think we'll be playing and exploring this title a lot more, and my rating could go up. Ordered mine from Heron games when I found out they got the remaining stock 5/11/2010
2010-05-16
Owned
Want To Play
Mark Beyak
United States
Santa Rosa
California
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Combat Commander gets your blood flowing.
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8
May 2008*
This is an incredible gaming experience. For fans of 18xx this is a must play!

Update: I have to slightly down grade this for the tame stock market. When the director of a company sells stock the price moves down. Not so for another player selling! We played it wrong in the past and might continue to play it with the more aggressive variant, otherwise it's too tame.
2008-05-11*
Owned
Andrew Schoonmaker
United States
Long Beach
California
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8
Jun 2008*
I don't know whether it's simply the complexity of train-juggling for three or four companies that one has to do in the early stages of this one, or the doubt about what to do with my minor companies, but I find 1861 to be far more baffling than some other titles in the genre. It's still fun to play, but I have yet to get to phase 4 and not have the sense that I'm already getting crushed.

Update (Apr 08): A couple more plays and some discussion with other players has straightened a few things out, and this has made games more enjoyable. I think I'm even starting to get the hang of things. If anything, now I'm worried that this means that the game isn't as deep as some of the others; we'll see how I feel after another half-dozen plays.

Update (Aug 08): Browsing other user comments ... I must agree that the stock market is largely dead. I don't think it could be easily removed due to the major company formation rules, but don't expect the roller-coaster ride that many of the other 18xx provide here. As far as I can tell, this is principally a game about finance, company operation, and route planning, in that order. I'd say that there's a side of portfolio management, but in general there isn't a lot of floating stock in the games that I've played... perhaps portfolio management for garnish (update Oct 09: there is an interplay between portfolio management and finance, in that sometimes you can't buy the shares you'd otherwise buy because you need to buy up to 50% or so of your own company).

As far as I can tell, the gameplay is pretty much done once the first six gets bought. There's a little bit of wriggling around as to who can actually use the eight and who can use 2+2s and 5+5Es, and I cannot say that it's not important, but the bulk of the game happens early.

Update (Oct 09): It's also worth mentioning that there are significant timing elements to the game, although how much control one has over them is questionable. A recent game saw me with an R-O with 2x 2T that I assumed wasn't going to get to run in OR 3-1 due to the imminent arrival of the 4T. Instead, the prospective buyer waited to be able to keep a company other than M-B, and the 4T didn't show up until I bought it in OR 4-1. For that and other reasons, I went on to win handily; I have little doubt that if the R-O had folded I was going to be bringing up the rear for the rest of the game.

(old material): I cannot fathom a game of this where no minors go into the RSR. I can imagine that it happens, for the same reason that there are games of 1856 where the CGR doesn't form. Consider, however: due to the government buyout rules, it seems incorrect to think of minors going to the government as a punishment for mismanagement. In many cases it can be a reward for judiciously trimming away deadwood.
2009-10-27
César
Spain
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8
Dec 2011
Un juego y un sistema absolutamente maravillosos si uno está dispuesto a jugar durante unas 8 horas, y quiere darle bien al coco.
2008-08-28*
Prev. Owned
Markus Wawra
Austria
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8
Dec 2008*
nice 18xx in russia, with minor companies that can convert or merge to majors, which is simply great. bit lenghty though, due to endless building opportunities.
2009-09-25
Owned
Bart Joris
Belgium
Gent
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8
Jan 2009*
first 18xx game I played, my favourite so far
2009-05-14

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