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Subject: Really shorter than 1830? rss

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Pas L
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Only one play to date, but I'm not seeing how this game is supposedly so much shorter than 1830 so far. Any pointers on what to expect that might make this happen?
 
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Tim Koppang
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It seems to me that much of the play-time in your first game or two of 1846 comes from learning all the bits of chrome. After that, things should settle down.
 
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J C Lawrence
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1) First green train bought at the bottom of OR1.1, top of OR1.2 at the latest.
2) First brown train bought in OR2.1
3) First gray train bought in OR3.1, maybe OR3.2.

There are no more trains to buy. The bank will then generally break in OR5.x.

And that's in a not-very-fast game. It can go faster. Games with gray in OR2.x are notably faster and more stressful -- and usually require at least one company dump in SR1. Delightfully, they also tend to feature bankruptcies.
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Bruce Murphy
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lamaros wrote:
Only one play to date, but I'm not seeing how this game is supposedly so much shorter than 1830 so far. Any pointers on what to expect that might make this happen?


Apart from the money fountain of all the shares in the company paying in,and those shares which are bought putting more money in, and then trains? That seems to be most of it.

B>
 
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Eric Brosius
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I suppose it depends on whether 1830 includes a bankruptcy, which can make the game short, but excluding that (fairly common) situation, the things that speed 1846 up include:

-- Faster track building (2 tiles per turn)

-- Ability to float a corporation with only the President's certificate sold

-- Higher early income

-- Privates whose powers are useful

We typically finish 1846 in 5 pairs of Operating Rounds. That would be unusual in 1830, I think, absent bankruptcy.
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Pas L
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Eric Brosius wrote:
I suppose it depends on whether 1830 includes a bankruptcy, which can make the game short, but excluding that (fairly common) situation, the things that speed 1846 up include:

-- Faster track building (2 tiles per turn)

-- Ability to float a corporation with only the President's certificate sold

-- Higher early income

-- Privates whose powers are useful

We typically finish 1846 in 5 pairs of Operating Rounds. That would be unusual in 1830, I think, absent bankruptcy.


This (and all the other replies) makes sense. However bankruptcy in 1830 is fairly common.

I guess from all the reports around the game's speed I was expecting the chrome of 1846 to feel 'lighter', but it actually felt a bit slower and more dense than my first 1830 game.
 
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jim b
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Another simple difference: the 1846 bank is smaller.
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Scott Petersen
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lamaros wrote:
I guess from all the reports around the game's speed I was expecting the chrome of 1846 to feel 'lighter', but it actually felt a bit slower and more dense than my first 1830 game.

Fun fact: 1830 is the 18xx game with the least chrome. (I know, unbelievable considering its reputation!)
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Tom Lehmann
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scottredracecar wrote:
1830 is the 18xx game with the least chrome.

I disagree. 1830 has:

* Privates with special properties, including a parachute private and three Privates that interact with how companies float in various different ways.

* Two special stock market zones, each with special rules.

* Bankruptcy rules, including an alternative game ending procedure.

* A 2D stock market, involving additional tie-breaking rules.

* Diesel trains, which have special rules.

The first three items, in particular, tend to affect strategy a lot, in fairly non-obvious ways.

I suspect which 18xx feels "heavier" from a rules PoV is mostly a function of which one you encounter first and internalize and which one you're just learning and trying to wrap your head around.
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J C Lawrence
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1846 has:

- Two minors that operate significantly differently than major companies.
- Two companies that can parachute tokens.
- Reserved token locations that aren't home stations.
- Multiple privates with multiple special properties that affect a wide range of different things from track lays to revenue values to run values and so forth.
- One private that doesn't rust on the same schedule as all the rest.
- Two special stock market zones (one that allows treble jumps and one that closes the company).
- Bankruptcy rules, including how to continue the game in the event of a bankruptcy.
- Special rules to deal with closed companies.
- A first OR that runs backwards, except for the special rules of running each slot from the top down.
- Three different ways to pay dividends (full, half and hold) versus two (pay/hold).
- N/M trains and N trains both.
- Soft rusting plus a possible hard rust.
- Different rules for shares sold by the president versus shares sold by other players.
(not a complete list)

I suggest a pot looking at a kettle. Mostly I see '30 as clustering its exceptions in relatively few places (but putting rather a lot in those places) and '46 buttering them all over the game, but I'll happily agree that this is an eye of the beholder thing and likely an early imprinting behaviour.
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Pas L
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
scottredracecar wrote:
1830 is the 18xx game with the least chrome.

I disagree. 1830 has:

* Privates with special properties, including a parachute private and three Privates that interact with how companies float in various different ways.

* Two special stock market zones, each with special rules.

* Bankruptcy rules, including an alternative game ending procedure.

* A 2D stock market, involving additional tie-breaking rules.

* Diesel trains, which have special rules.

The first three items, in particular, tend to affect strategy a lot, in fairly non-obvious ways.

I suspect which 18xx feels "heavier" from a rules PoV is mostly a function of which one you encounter first and internalize and which one you're just learning and trying to wrap your head around.


While the differences in 1830 do effect strategy in non-obvious ways I don't think this strategic depth or opacity makes the game any slower or harder to understand. It might make it harder to play well, but that's not the same thing.

1830 has some special rules for the low end of the stock market, and has 6 private companies, and bankruptcy endgame.

Everything else in 1830 is simpler than 1846, in my view.

1846 has a different train mix with its own implications an exceptions via the rust rules and x/y splits. It has more privates with a broader array of involved powers, and a more opaque private selection system via draft (less cutthroat, perhaps, but that doesn't mean it's less opaque). It has two minors that operate differently. It has company powers to parachute and reserve stations. It has more dividend payment systems, and more involved rules for calculating stock changes depending on dividend. Etc.

Maybe it will change with further plays, but I don't really see how 1846 could be considered to have less chrome than 1830.

Edit: JCed.
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Tom Lehmann
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lamaros wrote:
1830 has some special rules for the low end of the stock market, and has 6 private companies, and bankruptcy endgame. [...]

1846 has a different train mix with its own implications an exceptions via the rust rules and x/y splits.

True. However, 1830 has diesels -- which you did not list above -- and I believe that diesels make a much larger difference in play than 1846's two train types. The sort of track that you lay if your RR is going to end up with a diesel is quite different from the track you lay if it isn't.

Quote:
I don't really see how 1846 could be considered to have less chrome than 1830.

I never said it did. Please don't put words in my mouth. What I said was that I think they have much the same rules weight and that which one you encounter first has a significant effect on how you view their weights.
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Pas L
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
Quote:
I don't really see how 1846 could be considered to have less chrome than 1830.

I never said it did. Please don't put words in my mouth. What I said was that I think they have much the same rules weight and that which one you encounter first has a significant effect on how you view their weights.


I thought it was a reasonable inference given,

Tom Lehmann wrote:
scottredracecar wrote:
1830 is the 18xx game with the least chrome.

I disagree.


I'm not trying to start a fight!
 
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Tom Lehmann
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lamaros wrote:
I thought it was a reasonable inference given,
Tom Lehmann wrote:
scottredracecar wrote:
1830 is the 18xx game with the least chrome.

I disagree.

I disagreed with Scott that 1830 has "the least amount of chrome"; imo, it has about the same amount of chrome as many other 18xx games (including 1846).

I've taught both 1846 and 1830 to *non-18xx players*; players who had never played any 18xx games. The amount of explanation and head-scratching by new players was about the same, in my experience.

Explaining the concept of a *par value* takes time and effort (another item that you left off your list). It leads to questions about whether players can arbitrage stock once it has risen in value. 1846 doesn't have this.

Explaining that, in 1830, unsold company shares don't produce dividends for the RR but that Pool shares do resulted in a lot of puzzlement and furrowed brows. This wasn't intuitive and resulted in a number of questions.
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J C Lawrence
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
Explaining that, in 1830, unsold company shares don't produce dividends for the RR but that Pool shares do resulted in a lot of puzzlement and furrowed brows. This wasn't intuitive and resulted in a number of questions.


Yeah, the whole widows and orphans bit of 'xx is...doesn't digest so easily.
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Tom Lehmann
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clearclaw wrote:
1846 has: [...]

1830 has:
- par value that can differ from the stock value
- a capitalization threshold
- full capitalization
- a 2D stock market, with rules for "ledges"
- changing #s of ORs with certain game phases
- a minor that includes a Presidency
- a minor that changes a capitalization threshold
- a minor that parachutes
- a minor that enables a share redemption, with its own special rules for doing so
- a minor that grants extra tile lays
- a stock market zone that changes what counts towards certificate limits
- a stock market zone that changes the stock buying rules
- an alternative game ending condition
- a special type of train that runs routes differently
- ability to upgrade certain trains to diesels
- the concept of multiple cities in a hex that can be used by a single route

etc. Also not a complete list.

Quote:
Mostly I see '30 as clustering its exceptions in relatively few places

I disagree. Look at the list above; the 1830 special rules can affect how many ORs per stock round there are, track lays, token placement, routes, train purchases, what price stock is purchased at, how many certificates can be purchased, acquiring a stock share without purchasing it, what stocks count towards the certificate limit, how many shares need to be purchased to capitalize a railroad, how sales affect stock prices, and how the game can end.

I agree that there are some parts of 1830 which can't be modified by special rules (dividend pay/withhold doesn't have any special rules that change how it works), but those are pretty few and far between.

Quote:
I'll happily agree that this is an eye of the beholder thing and likely an early imprinting behaviour.

That's what I'm suggesting.
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Scott Petersen
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I honestly don't know how this affects things (because I've not played it, but I've played practically all the other 18xx games), but I count the items that are also in 1829 to not be chrome for some reason. My impression is that some of those 1829 concepts were lopped off from the 18xx trunk, scarcely to return again, but what remains are the core 18xx rules.

18EU was the first 18xx game I played so I'm not sure about the imprinting. I found partial capitalization games to be hard to play at first. I found it very refreshing to finally get around to playing 1830 and discovering how simple the rules are (parking the private company rules to the side because those were going to take some playing around with to understand!).

It was similarly refreshing to find how much strategic space opens up when companies are allowed to issue shares in the first operating turn of the game in 1846 and it's a shame that hasn't been put into use more.
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J C Lawrence
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The other question is in moving horizontally from whatever title to another 18xx. The delta between '46 and other games and between '30 and other games...ehh, another one that's tough to objectively argue and of course it matters hugely what that second title is. I've found the gap from '46 to the titles I'm most likely to play larger than from '30, but personal enthusiasm and selection bias on the destination is a clear factor.

That said and while I've not taught across this gap, I suspect that the gap from '46 to '17 is rather smaller than from '30, if only because both '46 and '17 tend towards internal symmetry (if you can do something in one direction, you can also do it in the other direction) and '30 just, yeah, well, isn't symmetric.
 
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Pas L
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If we start breaking out the exceptions in to individual lines I'm not sure 1846 is going to be shorter, Tom.

None of this is a criticism of the game, per se, just an observation about the differences in different 18xxs.
 
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Eric Brosius
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clearclaw wrote:
[...] I suspect that the gap from '46 to '17 is rather smaller than from '30, if only because both '46 and '17 tend towards internal symmetry (if you can do something in one direction, you can also do it in the other direction) and '30 just, yeah, well, isn't symmetric.

In fact, I wrote up a guide called

1817 for 1846 players

because the similarities were substantial enough to make it seem like a good idea.
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Tom Lehmann wrote:


I've taught both 1846 and 1830 to *non-18xx players*; players who had never played any 18xx games. The amount of explanation and head-scratching by new players was about the same, in my experience.


I've done the same and what I've seen is the head scratching isn't so much from the number of rules (i.e., chrome); it's from trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. The people I've taught these games to are coming from a complex-euro background and 18XX requires a completely different way of looking at things. The relative difference between 1846 and 1830 is nothing compared to the difference between 18XX and a complex euro. off-topic, but it reminds me of playing Wabash Cannonball with euro players for the first time and trying to explain it's not about who's running the best railroad.

On a slightly different topic, I don't know if it's a function of chrome, but I find that 1846 has more decision space. 1830, for me, is basically stripped down 18XX. Games play out mostly the same. Sure, some games one or more players will have a yellow strategy; other games no one will. Some games there'll be a bankruptcy; other games there won't be. But, after 50+ plays of 1846, I'm still finding myself saying, "hunh; I haven't seen that before." After 25 plays of 1830, I don't find myself saying that. For me, after 15ish plays, 1830 became very little about exploring the game and almost exclusively about playing the players. With 1846, I find there's still elements of both. Part of the reason is that when playing 1846 with less than 5 players (almost all my plays), there's variety in 46 that's missing from 1830. Not sure if another factor is "chrome" or not.
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Pete Goch
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Sheesh, it depends upon what you mean by "chrome". To me chrome refers to rules that are present in a game more for some attempt at creating an air of verisimilitude, historical or otherwise, than they are to complement the game as a game.

Neither 1830 nor 1846 has much, if any, chrome. All the rules add meaningful changes to what might be seen as the core structure of an 18xx game system.
 
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Will Beckley
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Sheesh, it depends upon what you mean by "chrome".

It certainly does. In Tim's initial post, I initially read "chrome" as "deviations from 1830 norms," a reading which renders moot the entire fascinating conversation that has followed.
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J C Lawrence
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
But, after 50+ plays of 1846, I'm still finding myself saying, "hunh; I haven't seen that before."


I've had this argument with Eric. Suffice to say that I tend to look at '46 and see the snowball playing out in the same snowbally ways every time. And Eric points at something FOO company did with timing or track or tempo and says, Look, that's different! And I go, Yeah, this number here now has a parabolic curve like so and it tops our here, just like the parabolic curve in every prior game plus or minus a little wiggle...and yeah, the curve with the largest area under the line wins. What he (and I assume you) see as differences it seems I look at as minorly different implementation details of the same basic structure. And then I grumble.

At the end of the day it is all the same question for all the 'xx: A fixed base + income rate for time: which sums to more? The more I look at it the more stylistic differences and implementation details really just seem noise. Yeah, yeah, right, got it. We have some weapons, the weapons have some special bits like this and that...and we we use them to beat the crap out of each other. Player with the most stuff at the end wins.

But then, betraying my preferences, I call out the differences I value: Not what happens on the board or in the market, but what each player was able to enforce and dictate and connive in terms of fact and belief for the other players and how that negotiation of attempted dogmas played out. What do you believe about the game, what do I believe about the game, what do the other players believe about the game, and which of us is able to make our beliefs become fact even in the eyes of the other players?

Because in my eye, games are fundamentally about how the conflict of personal religions play out. And the different games aren't so much different sets of mechanisms but rather different systems that allow for different expressions of religions, different types of religions, different methods of persuasion and deception, different sets of possible dogmas, and different ways for personal beliefs to go to war against one another in their heady mixes of fact-as-fiction-as-will-be-fact-maybe.

But then I look at the game as the stage and the player as the actual opponent. Which is your playing the players:

Quote:
For me, after 15ish plays, 1830 became very little about exploring the game and almost exclusively about playing the players.


And thus this seems a specific advantage for '30 to me. Bloody brilliant. Excellent. Wonderful. Nothing better.

A few weekends back I hung out with some chaps in Seattle that (they said) played 1830 some ~300 times over a fairly short period (I don't know but would guess a couple years). They got together a few times every week...and played 1830 and pretty much nothing else. 1830 this week, yesterday, this weekend, last week, the week before that, and next week etc. There were quite a few comments about how even after 300 games they were still learning. And of course now they've been doing the exact same thing with 1817. Same game, same players, every week, hundreds of games played and a solidly unanimous claim that yeah, they're still consistently learning in every single game.

And of course Eric says much the same about 1846 and I don't doubt that's true for him. But I'm not so sure he's measuring the same things.
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Pas L
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I think I tend to view things more similarly to JC in this case (games are a stage/tool through which you converse/compete with other people - and a clearer stage/tool allows you to plumb deeper or more carefully articulated conversations), and value some of the stuff in 1830 more.

But also, only one play of 1846; much remains to be seen.
 
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