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Jeff Behan
United States
Bettendorf
Iowa
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10
Jan 2013
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Francois Petitclerc
Canada
Verdun
Quebec
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10
Mar 2013
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Physics Squirrel
United States
Washington
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10
Dec 2013
1817 is the greatest game that I've played that uses the 18xx game system. It rewards good financial decisions as it is generally very strong to buy as many of a new type of train as you can afford and run a route for. What makes this game brilliant is all of the different ways to financially manage the game. The depth of the financial manipulation is much greater than any other game in the 18xx genre, 1830 included. You can always raise the funds to do what you want, but doing so may kill you, either from loan interest or from paying dividends on shorted shares. Unlike other 18xx games, managing the actual value of a stock is a key strategic component, rather than a simple decision of pushing it as high as possible or 'into the brown' as in some games. Having a high-valued company makes it easier to reinvest in a company while simultaneously making you the target of short sales which others could use to raise the money to either rust your trains or drive up interest to the point where your company doesn't look so healthy anymore. Having a low valued company makes it harder to take loans without falling into acquisition, but makes it easier to threaten to fold the company if too many shares are bought. You ideally want the company's stock value to reflect the strength of the company (until the financially secure end-game in reached, when everyone wants as high a value as possible). A high-valued weak company will be shorted to death, profiting your opponents on the way down, whereas a low-valued strong company will immediately have its shares bought up for prices that don't justify the loss of the company owned shares (of course, depending on the president's other ventures, these shareholders may have to worry about him moving his assets elsewhere and letting their shares liquidate for almost no value). Whether to start a new 2 share company or a new 5 share company, whether to strengthen one company or another, to try to leverage money by putting it into your hand or to withhold either to pay off loans or to buy trains, or just to snub your shareholders, whether to merge a failing company with a healthy one or to let it fail either to consolidate it with another company or to just let it die and go to the highest bidder. Each of these decisions contribute to the astonishing depth of the financial aspects of the game.

1817 plays surprisingly well at a variety of player counts. After probably 60-80 plays, I would say that the game plays well at 3, 4, 5, and 6 players. My personal preference is currently 4-player followed by 5, 6, and 3 in roughly that order. I would not recommend this game with more than 6 players, the only reason being that I believe the game to drag with more players and 7 is about where it would start getting too painful for me to not prefer simply splitting into a 3-p and a 4-p game (Assuming of course that you have access to two copies of 1817. Otherwise have at your 7-p).

There is one game variation that is worth mentioning. The official rules play with a maximum of 5 shorts per company (5- or 10-share), with the option to play with 10 shorts available in 10-share companies as a rules variant. I'm convinced that the 10-short version is always the right way to play. It has some subtle and some not so subtle impact on how players need to treat 10-share companies, and I've found that certain strategies are more abusable in the 5-short version that are made more even in the 10-short version. It does however also mean that growing up to a 10-share company requires slightly more care and caution.
2015-01-13
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Ludwig Seitz
Sweden
Lund
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9
Sep 2013
This is at least a 7, I'm being careful putting a higher rating, since I felt the board was being congested by numerous station way to fast, which made the game drag. I'll update after more plays.

Update: I really like the fresh ideas this game brings to my 18xx table, the variable interest loans, the acquisition rules, the infinite 2 trains and the 2+ trains. The stock market movement rules. Only the short-selling has not been used very much, yet ...

Update: Definitely not a drag if played right. However shorting doesn't seem viable if the players are cautious and have several companies.
2015-03-23
Owned
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Chris Shaffer
United States
Portland
OR
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9
Mar 2011
This is quickly becoming my favorite 18xx game. I really like the short sale mechanic.

A big, long, complicated 18xx for people who like financial shenanigans. Plan on 8 hours to play, minimum.
2013-01-30
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Justus Kelloniemi
Finland
Vaasa
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9
Mar 2015
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Rachel Poulos
United States
Worcester
Massachusetts
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8
May 2014
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Roberto Chavez
United States
California
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6
May 2013
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Stephen Shaw
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Adrian Larson
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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Michael Leuchtenburg
United States
Cambridge
Massachusetts
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Steve Sartain
United States
Auburn
California
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Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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andrew larcher
United States
kissimmee
Florida
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Richard S
United States
Rensselaer
New York
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Occu Pant
United States
Clive
Iowa
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B Orr
United States
Southlake
Texas
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I hunger!!!
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Galactus wants to know if you have been Naughty or Nice
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Failing Upwards Since '93!
United States
Bridgeton
Missouri
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While sleeping, watch!
United States
Unspecified
Minnesota
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The production of Hoffman lenses is incumbent upon all true scientists
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The tallest mountains, the darkest forests, the deepest deserts, the oldest books, there you will find the stone.
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This game looks like a bear to print out compared to other 18xx pnp or playtest pnp, just so much stuff. However 18C2C takes the cake on insanity to print out a game for yourself, and is unfortunately usually available only on CD.
2011-09-16
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United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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I'll think of something witty to put here...
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Nick Case
England
Epsom
Surrey
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designer
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Need to print up and assemble
2011-11-27
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Michael
Canada
Kitchener
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Ryan Frans
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Everett
Washington
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United States
Norwalk
Connecticut
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Windermere
Florida
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Paulo Soledade
Portugal
Leiria
Leiria
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Mode: Nippon
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the postdog
Germany
Bonn
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nom?
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David Kuznick
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Arlington
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Burnaby
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Ben Vincent
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Ridgefield
Washington
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Gabriel Schweitzer
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Americana
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Tony Bosca
United States
Royal Oak
Michigan
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James Wahl
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Chicago
Illinois
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Alex Pekar
Australia
Redfern
NSW
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Mark Tyler
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Orem
Utah
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Adam Badura
Poland
Wrocław
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Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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--Oct2013-- Haven't ordered it. I might break down when my DTG order comes through; or I'll wait until the next one hits the front of the queue. Haven't decided yet.
2013-10-08
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Tom Weber
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
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JR
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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"I fear threatening JC with a thumb boycott would be as effective as threatening Br'er Rabbit with the briar patch." (E. Brosius)
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Rodrigo Alvarez
Spain
Gijon
Asturias
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Gabriel Stern
United States
Pasadena
California
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Myk Deans
United States
Beaverton
Oregon
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Peter Augerot
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Jason Finley
United States
Covington
Kentucky
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WHO-DEY!
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2013 AFC North Champs!!!
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Alex Radcliffe BoardGameCo
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
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Costas
Canada
London
Ontario
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Franz Schubert
Germany
Dresden
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Tucker Taylor
Canada
New Westminster
British Columbia
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Please wait.
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A woman needs a man like a fish needs a saxophone.
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Jevon Heath
United States
Berkeley
California
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Go on 'head get down with it.
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Take it to the chorus!
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John Crowe
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West Hollywood
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