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1846» Forums » General

Subject: Is 1846 for me? rss

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Jonathan Star
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I love games with stocks/markets: Chicago Express, Planet Steam, Offworld Trading Company. I love the feeling of manipulating a market, investing into companies, buying low selling high, getting more dividends payout than my opponents. How much of this do I get from 1846?

I've wanted to try an 18xx game - I hear this is a good one for beginners, I just don't know how much there is to do with stocks in it other than I think we draft for them instead of auction?

If this 18xx isn't for me, can you recommend one that is?
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Mister P
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The stock markets in the 18xx games are deeper and more interesting than Chicago Express which would be considered a very watered down version of an 18xx. I've played some 1830 and it is deep. Sounds like you're ready to make the leap and 1846 is said to be a great starting point as it is faster than many other variants.
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Ben Foy
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1846 doesn't have much stock market activity for an 18xx. As you get money you invest in good stock, you might sell underperforming stock to buy better stock. Most other 18xx games have much more stock market shenanigans. That said, 1846 is a great starter 18xx game and is a good 18xx game in general.
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Jonathan Star
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BFoy wrote:
1846 doesn't have much stock market activity for an 18xx. As you get money you invest in good stock, you might sell underperforming stock to buy better stock. Most other 18xx games have much more stock market shenanigans. That said, 1846 is a great starter 18xx game and is a good 18xx game in general.


Can you give me an example of what you can do with stock in other 18xx games or how they are more in depth?
 
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u1timo wrote:
I love games with stocks/markets: Chicago Express, Planet Steam, Offworld Trading Company. I love the feeling of manipulating a market, investing into companies, buying low selling high, getting more dividends payout than my opponents. How much of this do I get from 1846?

I've wanted to try an 18xx game - I hear this is a good one for beginners, I just don't know how much there is to do with stocks in it other than I think we draft for them instead of auction?

If this 18xx isn't for me, can you recommend one that is?


Stocks generally aren't auctioned in 18xx, private companies are. Privates usually provide set income and perhaps a special ability but more importantly create asymmetrical starting positions for the players. In 1846 the privates are drafted. Stocks are purchased from the market.

I haven't played 1846 yet but it sounds like you might like 1830 more. It is a game with more reputation for financial shenanigans than 1846. Or, buy them both and decide for yourself.
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Mister P
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Another thing to keep in mind is opponents. 1830 has two player rules out of the box while 1846 is 3+. If you aren't going to find more opponents for these deep and time consuming games you may want to factor that into your decision.

In 18xx games, selling stock reduces its value. If a company keeps the money in its kitty for trains, private companies or track building, that reduces the value of the stock. Giving out dividends increases the stock value, as does having all of a companies stock owned. Also the value of the stock changes the rules about how much stock can be held, bought etc.

There really is a lot going on in 18xx games.

An additional element of 18xx games is that you can 'dump' a company with no trains on another stockholder who will have to fork out for trains themselves. This can be crippling and nasty if its done right.
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Ben Foy
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u1timo wrote:
BFoy wrote:
1846 doesn't have much stock market activity for an 18xx. As you get money you invest in good stock, you might sell underperforming stock to buy better stock. Most other 18xx games have much more stock market shenanigans. That said, 1846 is a great starter 18xx game and is a good 18xx game in general.


Can you give me an example of what you can do with stock in other 18xx games or how they are more in depth?


In 1830, a player might buy a bunch of 2Ts and a 3T. Then that player buys in his privates for double face value leaving very little money in the company. During the stock round that player sells 4 shares of that company (keeping only the president share) and starts another company or 2 with the profits made from this maneuver.

In 1830, someone buys all the trains from a company and dumps the train-less company on a overly trusting investor.

These tactics aren't very effective in 1846.
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Jonathan Star
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Wow..mean. I love it haha

Sadly I worry about time and complexity of 1830 with my gaming group.

What sort of shenanigans does 1846 allow?
 
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Juhan Voolaid
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Chicago Express is actually not 18xx light, but completely different game. CE is more auction game and less stock game.

18xx is the stock game, where you can buy and SELL stocks - which results in stock manipulation. In 1830 you can do crazy things like dump companies (letting them go bankrupt to your advantage). To me this part is the complex level and not newbie friendly. 1830 also takes massive time, like any other 18xx.

1846 is of course a worthy game, especially for beginners. I am looking forward to it. So you cannot go wrong with it. You must have at least one game of this fantastic genre of board games.

But what I would truly recommend, especially if you are coming from CE - Baltimore & Ohio! Very good stepping stone into the 18xx. Hope you can find it. It is few hours shorter than 1830, which is a big plus for me. Hopefully 1846 can be managed also in such a short time (ehm, that is 4-5 h :P).
 
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Tom Lehmann
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It depends on what you're looking for in an 18xx stock market:

* Some 18xx games emphasize "shenanigans" in the stock market, where players can trash the value of each other's stocks by buying and dumping them. 1846 mostly doesn't have this. 1830 emphasizes this.

* Some 18xx games emphasize financial manipulations via mergers, where the stock market provides a way to capitalize and recombine your own corporations, where each player is mostly doing this independent of the other players. 1846 doesn't have this. Quite a few titles do, in varying degrees, such as 1817, 1841, and 18EA.

* Some 18xx game emphasize stock investments, where careful investing (buying *and* selling) in other player's corporations is often the key to victory. 1846 has this more than most 18xx titles.

Why? Because in many other 18xx games, buying shares in other player's corporations helps to capitalize their corporations too much, so players avoid cross investments. In 1846, since corporations can issue shares to capitalize, investing in another company mostly just means that the corporation then issues fewer shares. This frees up players to cross invest in most cases. I've won many 1846 games not because I built the best railroad, but because I invested more wisely than other players.

Most 18xx games have cross investment in the late mid-game and end game -- once companies are funded and (mostly) safe, players do buy up shares in the best companies. 1846 is somewhat unique in that early game investments can pay off so well and be such a large factor in winning.

Some 18xx games de-emphasize the stock market. In these games, the emphasis is on track building, train buying, and board position. The stock market in these games is mostly just for capitalization and "keeping score", via stock appreciation, of how well the railroads operate and how often they pay dividends.

A few other 18xx games do feature stock investing, such as 1829, the first 18xx game. In it, some players will often not have an opportunity to start and run a corporation and are, therefore, forced to play investor.

In most modern 18xx games, players -- except at very high player counts -- are able to start their own corporations immediately, which leads to little early cross investment. 1846 bucks this trend by both allowing player to start corporations at just 20% shares and, due to its stock issuing rules, by not discouraging early cross investments.

(Of course, whether players actually engage in value cross investing -- as opposed to reflexively just buying up shares in their own companies -- is up to them.)
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Joe
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How does 1889 compare to 1846 as a beginner's game? As it's more closely related to 1830, does it have more stock market shenanigans?

Apologies for hijacking this thread, but thought it might be helpful for OP too.
 
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Mike Anastasia
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branstonoriginal wrote:
How does 1889 compare to 1846 as a beginner's game? As it's more closely related to 1830, does it have more stock market shenanigans?

Apologies for hijacking this thread, but thought it might be helpful for OP too.
Mike's short answer: Both are excellent beginner's games. Here are some pros/cons of each as I see it.
*1889 is slightly easier to teach/learn than 1846 just because 1846 has a few more special cases and special company powers.
*1889 rules and strategy knowledge is slightly more transferable to other 18xx titles (especially 1830 which has almost the same rules but a different map and starting configuration)
*1846 is a bit more like games you may be used to in that everyone starts with some money and over time gets more and more, the question is primarily who can get the most the fastest. In 1889 a few mistakes can quickly lead to bankruptcy and the immediate end of the game.
*1889 starts with an auction and it can be easy for novice players to get themselves into a bad starting position for the actual game. 1846 starts with a draft and it is difficult to get into a truly bad starting position for the actual game.

Bottom line, if I'm introducing eurogamers to 18xx, especially if I think they're likely to only ever play one 18xx title, I teach 1846 first. If I'm introducing particularly cutthroat folks to 18xx, or folks who I think really want a representative experience of 18xx as a whole family, I teach 1889 first.
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Eric Brosius
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Jonathan, I wrote up this review to explain why I think 1846 is a good introduction to 18xx games:

1846 --- a fine introductory game in the 18XX series

I (not surprisingly) agree with what Tom has written above. I want to amplify a little bit on the topic of what the stock market means for this game. As mentioned, there's not a lot that players who are not the President of a corporation can do to affect the stock price (you can collectively buy all the shares, which will drive the price up, or make sure there are shares in the Stock Market, which will drive the price down, but these aren't huge considerations.) The President, on the other hand, has a lot of control over the stock price, depending on whether he or she pays out dividends or withholds them, and how (if he or she owns multiple corporations) he or she sells trains between them.

The key thing the Stock Market forces you to do in 1846 is decide where to put your own personal capital. It's often the case that buying stock in the corporation of which you are President is not the best thing to do. Since you only need to buy two shares to float a corporation, it much easier to find the money to invest in someone else's corporation, if it makes sense to do so. As Tom mentions, these investment decisions are critical and non-obvious.
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Brett Johnson
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1846 is currently my favorite 18xx and I have played a lot of them.

One reason not listed above, is it is not an unstable game with a tendency to blow up early.

Some people may like that style of game, personally I hate it. It often leads to mean spirited play, lots of arguments, and micro-managing every aspect of your (and your opponents) game.

While you can certainly make mistakes and get hurt by other people's play, I have never seen an 1846 game "blow up." Even an early (cordial) ending is rare.

It also plays very quickly once you know the game. Most 18xx games are 4-6 hour(or more) marathons. 1846 is a 2-3 hour game.
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