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1846» Forums » Variants

Subject: DRAFT 2-Player 1846 Rules (by the game designer) rss

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Tom Lehmann
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This is untried and experimental, not "official". Use at your own risk. Please report your experiences in this thread. Thanks!

The reasoning behind this variant appeared in this thread.

----

DRAFT 1846 2-Player Rules

Setup

* Randomly remove one of Grand Trunk, NYC, Erie, or Penn.
* Randomly remove one of B&O, C&O, or IC.

Place a token in the removed Corporation's home city.

Place a 2nd token for each removed corporation in the indicated *hex*, GT: Toledo; NYC: Cleveland; Erie: Erie; Penn: Ft. Wayne; B&O: Cincinnati; C&O: Cincinnati; IC: Terre Haute. These tokens have no effect until the tile in that hex is upgraded to a green city tile. At that point, place the token in one of the city spaces of that tile.

* Randomly remove one Private Company from each group (A & B in the DTG version or Blue square and Orange circle groups in the GMT version), see rules.

* Use: 5 Phase I, 5 Phase II, 3 Phase III, and 4 Phase IV trains.

* Initial bank size: $7,000.

* Each player starts with $600.

* Private Distribution. Place all Private Companies in play face up between the players. Randomly select a first player and give that player the Priority Deal. The *other* player must buy any one of the Private Companies. Players then alternate, either buying a Private Co. or passing, until either:

- both players pass in succession. In this case, a pair of ORs occur before returning to this step.

- all Private Cos are bought. Begin the first stock round with the Priority Deal player.

- a single Private Co. is left unbought and a player passes. Reduce the price of this last Private Co. by $10 and offer it to the other player, who may either buy it or pass. On each subsequent pass, continue lowering its price by $10 and offering it to the other player until a player buys it. (If its price falls to $0, the player it is offered to must take it.) Then, begin the first stock round with the Priority Deal player.

Play

Play proceeds normally, except:

* Two city hexes, when their tiles are upgraded to green, gain a blocking token (see above).

* A player is limited to 70%, not 60%, shares in a given corporation.

* The certificate limit is 20. If one or more corporations close, the limit becomes 16.

* The total number of Phase IV trains in the game is now 4 (not unlimited).

* In Phase IV, a corp. may not buy another corp.'s last train if there are no trains available.

* In Phase IV, a corp. is not required to purchase a train if there are no trains available.

* The game end (assuming no bankruptcy) can be triggered either by breaking the bank or buying the last Phase IV train (or both). If the bank breaks, the game ends normally. If the last Phase IV train is bought and the bank has not broken, end the game after the *next* complete set of ORs.

Example: if the last Phase IV train is bought during OR9, then the game will either end after OR12 or, if the bank breaks during OR9 or OR10, after OR 10.
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Joe Shmoe
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thanks for the attempt at making 2 player rules. i won't have a copy till the gmt version is out, but i will give it a try.
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Jimmy Okolica
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Thanks so much for this! Can't wait to give it a shot!
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Steve Carey
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Tom, is the intent to include 2P rules in the GMT version of the game?
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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Steve Carey wrote:
Tom, is the intent to include 2P rules in the GMT version of the game?


In another thread, he commented that the time for rulebook changes has passed. GMT might choose to put it in their online living rules, but I don't think there's any way for it to be in the game when it ships.
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Tom Lehmann
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Steve Carey wrote:
Tom, is the intent to include 2P rules in the GMT version of the game?

No. I addressed this in the other thread. Here's what I said:

Quote:
I make no promises that this works or that I will ever make this variant "official" or merge it -- via GMT living rules -- into 1846 GMT. But, this at least gets us moving forward.
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Steve Carey
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Copy, could make for an interesting C3i article when you're ready.
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Paul Smith
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Thank you, Tom, for such a fascinating and interesting variant!
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Stephe Thomas
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
* Use: 5 Phase I, 5 Phase II, 3 Phase III, and 4 Phase IV trains.

There are five active corporations and seven permanent trains. Therefore, it is possible for a corporation to be without a train and, and therefore be required to buy one, and yet there to be none available. If buying a train is both compulsory and forbidden, which wins?
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Tom Lehmann
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maisnestce wrote:
There are five active corporations and seven permanent trains. Therefore, it is possible for a corporation to be without a train and, and therefore be required to buy one, and yet there to be none available. If buying a train is both compulsory and forbidden, which wins?

Good catch! Thanks. I've edited the Play section above to cover this.
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Glenn Martin
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There is a problem with the rules.

"a single Private Co. is not bought and a player passes. Reduce the price of this last Private Co. by $10 and offer it to the other player, who may either buy it or pass. On each subsequent pass, continue lowering its price by $10 and offering it to the other player until a player buys it."

If the players keep passing, its' price can drop to $0.
BUT NO LIMIT IS PLACED ON PASSING!!! If they keep passing a mere 700 more times, the player who finally accepts it will RECEIVE $7000; breaking the bank!!
There follows a stock round where the rich player can max out his stock holdings and then two OR's are played with profit earned on the second one.
The player who accepts the last company will have a significant advantage in earnings and capital gains and an even larger cash advantage.
The game is broken as written.
The author has failed to properly account for nincompoop players.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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fluffyevil wrote:
The author has failed to properly account for nincompoop players.

Yup. Particularly, the opponent who *keeps passing* and lets the other player in this scenario win. If players aren't willing to play competitively, then many games are broken. In other news, water is wet.
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J C Lawrence
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Eric Brosius
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fluffyevil wrote:
There is a problem with the rules. [...] The author has failed to properly account for nincompoop players.

I believe a designer's responsibility with respect to nincompoop players is to make sure the game ends, which it does.

I'll also point out that 1830 has a similar feature: If one player buys the SVNRR and everyone passes from then on, the game will last about 2000 ORs and the player with the SVNRR will win.

When a game is designed with the expectation that players will try to win, that is okay as far as I'm concerned.
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David Damerell
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fluffyevil wrote:
If the players keep passing, its' price can drop to $0.
BUT NO LIMIT IS PLACED ON PASSING!!! If they keep passing a mere 700 more times, the player who finally accepts it will RECEIVE $7000; breaking the bank!!


Leaving aside the objection well-made by others, I think the interpretation that the price can become negative is not particularly justified.
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Alex Drazen
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damerell wrote:
fluffyevil wrote:
If the players keep passing, its' price can drop to $0.
BUT NO LIMIT IS PLACED ON PASSING!!! If they keep passing a mere 700 more times, the player who finally accepts it will RECEIVE $7000; breaking the bank!!


Leaving aside the objection well-made by others, I think the interpretation that the price can become negative is not particularly justified.


I'm still trying to figure out: once the price is $0, why on earth would any rational mind not take something that's literally free? In 1846, if I recall, it doesn't even change the first priority deal; turn order is predetermined.

If anything, I'd be curious if the price can even drop to zero dollars. Instinctively, I feel like $10 would be a hard floor.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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Sigh.

You know, what would really be nice, is if people could actually *test* the variant and report whether or not it works, instead of wasting everyone's time getting their panties in a twist over a corner-case that is literally never going to happen.

For the record, the GMT rules for the actual auction read:

3.22 If the deck is reduced to one Private Company, the player who draws the last Private Company reveals it and may either buy it at full price or pass it on to the next player with its price reduced by $10. This player then has the same choice: buy it at its current (reduced) price or pass it on, reducing its price by another $10. Repeat this until a player chooses to buy it. (A player must take it for free if its price is reduced to $0.)

I didn't bother stating this in full when I wrote up my variant above as I don't think it needed to be fully specified in a set of variant rules. Apparently, I've drastically underestimated the number of anal-retentive people with time to waste on this site. Sheesh!
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JR
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Tom if you've been following the yahoo list at all over the past three weeks or so, you'll see it's not a problem exclusive to this site by any means.
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Tom Lehmann
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Saying it is bad all over is often used as a lame excuse for not addressing a particular problem in a particular place. IMO, there's nothing wrong in starting small and seeing whether something can be done. Once you have a proof-of-concept, you can try to understand how to grow the solution; or, if your small attempt fails, you can try to figure out whether there are systemic reasons for the failure. But, getting some practical data is often a fine first step.

Here, I -- as the OP of this thread -- am trying to fix it in one particular place: this thread.
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David Damerell
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
You know, what would really be nice, is if people could actually *test* the variant and report whether or not it works, instead of wasting everyone's time getting their panties in a twist over a corner-case that is literally never going to happen.


Some of us don't have the game yet, and still want it even if the designer seems to want to be rude about us on the 'geek.
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Tom Lehmann
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damerell wrote:
Some of us don't have the game yet, and still want it even if the designer seems to want to be rude about us on the 'geek.

If this was the rules thread for the game itself, I would be sympathetic to this argument. But, A) it isn't; B) this isn't a problem with the current 1846 rules; and C) it's not a problem with the future version of the 1846 rules.

If you're trying to threaten me about not buying my game if I dare to criticize time-wasting behavior, then please go cancel your order with GMT. I don't want any bullies to buy my game.
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JR
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Haha, sorry Tom I wasn't intending that as a dismissal of your complaint but more of a nod of understanding, as I've been watching these threads as well as the rather ridiculous bickering going on on the yahoo group recently.

Back to the subject at hand, I'd be happy to test your variant rules if I had but a willing opponent. The occasions on which we can play 18XX here locally are few and when they occur there are always 3 or more.
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Jimmy Okolica
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I'm following most of this thread with amusement.

However, as far as testing the 2-player variant, I thought I was going to get the chance on Sunday, but unfortunately my partner wanted to play 1862. I have this in mind for the first time I get a chance.... heck if the 3-player game can be played in under 2 hours, this could be the first 1 hour 18XX!
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David Damerell
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
If you're trying to threaten me about not buying my game if I dare to criticize time-wasting behavior


That's just about the opposite of what I wrote. Maybe you could cut down on "time-wasting behaviour" by reading what people write rather than spending time writing irate replies to things they didn't write.

This might also reduce the hypocrisy when you complain about other people "getting their panties in a twist".
 
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Tom Lehmann
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damerell wrote:
Tom Lehmann wrote:
If you're trying to threaten me about not buying my game if I dare to criticize time-wasting behavior

That's just about the opposite of what I wrote.

I'm glad to hear that. That's why I wrote *IF* in my reply.

(I've had posts worded in a manner very similar to yours where a poster threatened to not buy my game if I didn't agree with them. I'm willing to lose a sale in that case.)
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