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1848: Australia» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Once more into the breach (3 players this time) rss

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Christopher Rao
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Q:When I say "lawyer" what pops into your head? A:Someone who designs games about penguins." - Dormammu
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Having just learned 1848 on Thursday three of us played it again at photocurio's place today (while Peter himself was whipping some friends at 18Mex in the next room!).

While I think that 1848 prolly plays best with 4 players, it was a huge blast with 3 - really a fantastic experience. I didn't take notes while playing so this is a bit from memory as last time....

AUCTION
Once again I ended up with the CAR to start the game, but this time I also got the private which pays $10 and gives you a free $40 desert tile later.

I was third in priority order and Stephen started the WA while Anupam started the SAR (I think that's the name) on the other side. Then an idea struck me - since the CAR private gets $30 per OR until CAR buys a train, and since opening the CAR will help both of these competing railroads, I'll just start another railroad and simply collect income for a couple of OR's rather than starting CAR. Since Anupam had the Tasmania port private to help his SAR, I started VR so I could use the port.

EARLY GAME

Basically, this simple move worked wonders for my game. 2 or 3 ORs later I finally opened the CAR, but the other two majors were pretty impeded by not having CAR lay track between them - and as I'd planned, VR feasted on Anupam's Tasmania party.

Eventually, I started a 3rd company, the FT, for 90. So even though none of my 3 companies were set up for massive runs, I had lots of capitalization - 700 for VR, 900 for FT, and the obligatory 1000 for CAR. Somehow I ended up with a 5 train in each company - while no other companies had any permanent trains.

This is when the wheels somehow came off my game....

After a few OR's I had a massive money advantage, mainly b/c my capital advantage meant that I could pay out more and withhold less - and once I got my 5's, I was rolling. By the time the other companies started buying permanents, I has up maybe $700-$800 over Anupam and $300-$500 over Stephen. And, because I wasn't withholding much, my stocks were also incurring value pretty well too.

I needed the game to end before the 8's and Diesels and tokens caught up to my little companies, but it didn't. I made a couple of fairly important mistakes - I never bought a Ghan for the CAR, even though it had a route built by the WA from the time Ghans were first available, and I instead took out a loan to buy a Ghan for the VR - which then could often not even use it.

But I also used loans fairly effectively. By the end of the game, I think I'd taken out 4 or 5 loans between my 3 companies. Sure it hurt my stock value, but that seemed ok because I wasn't withholding much once I had my 5s.

Another iffy move I made was to withhold three times in a row with the VR in order to buy a diesel to complement my 5+. I did it because I already had a cash advantage, I only had 50% of the VR, and Stephen had 40%, so paying out was helping him way too much. My plan was to then sell the Diesel to the CAR (where I owned 60% and the other players only 20% between them). But by the end, it was clear that there were just 3 ORs left and since VR was behind my other two companies in operating order I'd lose a whole round of operating my mammoth Diesel if I sold it to the company where I owned more stock. This error was compounded by not picking up another share of VR (to make 60%) the final stock round when it was available, before the Diesel ran.

Another huge error was that way earlier I bought a 5 train for the CAR, not a 5+ - I even think I had the extra $50 at the time. I didn't buy it because at the time, I didn't think I'd need to cross over into another territory. But later, as track developed, the 5+ would have helped me get a KKK run instead of just a KK run for the last 6 or so ORs - all for just $50 more for the plus train!

So during the last set of OR's I sat there with a 5 in CAR, when I really needed a 5+ and a Ghan. I had a 5+ in VR, which had a great little run around Adelaide, but also had a Ghan that I couldn't even use because it shared track I needed for the Diesel - and of course, I only had 50% of the stock.

In addition to these basic errors on my part, Anupam and Stephen totally saw how far ahead I was so they wisely conspired to tank my stock in both FT and VR, and Anupam placed a token near Sydney on the last set of OR's which hurt my VR somewhat.

And just like that, my lead was gone.


Final score was Stephen with $9962, me with $9850 (just $112 behind) and Anupam about $200-$300 behind me. What a barn-burner!

We ended up spending about 7 hours for the game, and the thing is, it's hard to play that long and not make a few significant errors. The important thing is that I really like 1848 more and more, and hope I continue to get a chance to play it more.

Peter and some other folks seem disappointed that the Bank of England doesn't play a bigger role in a lot of other games. This doesn't bother me at all, because I really like the flexibility that the loans give you at times, and think that the receivership mechanic is a pretty robust alternative to buying trains from your own pocket. So to those who wish that there was a more robust "receivership/BOE strategy," I say that it's just not necessary. Who knows? Maybe one of us will be able to craft some weird hybrid where you get down to 2 shares of a company, gut it with loans and sell its train to another of your companies, while also buying a bunch of BOE shares. But even if this isn't really that workable, it's still a fine alternative to buying trains from your own pocket.

Why do I love 1848? I like the initial auctions and the different privates, which offer some interesting twists - especially Tasmania, because it works well with a couple of different publics. I love the necessity of aggressive, brutal tokening on such a small map. I also like the way Ghans work, and the fact that it's really difficult to make long runs across the North.

I find that I tend to really appreciate the replayability of games where the same companies do not always dominate, and there are significant changes in the way track gets played during the game. 1848 does this quite well compared to say 18Mex, which seems a bit more deterministic as to what companies will do what.

I can't wait to play 1848 again! (Maybe this week...)

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Peter Mumford
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If it end up as just 1830 on a tighter map, then I'm disappointed with it.

I think the way to play the loans is to take a loan and also pay out. Then you only drop back one column. You do this if you have a majority in BOE shares of course.
 
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Christopher Rao
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Q:When I say "lawyer" what pops into your head? A:Someone who designs games about penguins." - Dormammu
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photocurio wrote:
If it end up as just 1830 on a tighter map, then I'm disappointed with it.

I think the way to play the loans is to take a loan and also pay out. Then you only drop back one column. You do this if you have a majority in BOE shares of course.
That's exactly how I played it. That way, you're getting cash in pocket, plus a "free" hundred dollars for your company (up to $400 total) at a cost of 2 spaces on the stock chart.

The value of 2 spots on the chart is highly variable, of course. Seems like it's usually between $10-$20. So if we average it at $15/share loss, and you have 6 shares, you're in effect losing about $90 in end game equity for about $100 in your company when you need it. Given the incredible flexibility this affords you, it seems like a very good deal - IF you don't end up getting hosed because the loan moves you off a ledge and onto a cliff and IF the change in the company's operating order doesn't hose you (say, by rusting a train that you would have otherwise been able to run).

In general, I still think it's a very good tool - unique among XX games I have played. I think that people expect the Bank of England to be a big part of the game because of all the rules about it, and all the bits. I still don't think the BoE needs to be that important for the game to be great.

I was the only person to take several loans in our game, and I think it was part of why I was doing so well. I think that part of the answer if for players to more liberally take loans in the right situation. Even if you lose $20 a share end value, it's likely still worth it. For example, if one loan is the difference in getting a Ghan when the 5's come out, that loan should end up paying you $10-$14/share for the rest of the game - maybe 9-12 OR's. So you're giving up maybe $30 x 6 shares = $180 and getting something like $90 to $148 along the way. IF you need the cash to buy more stock, then this is a great solution because the stock you buy will in turn pay out more to make up the difference.

OTOH, now that I think of it, if you DON'T need the cash, then it seems like a shakier proposition - because you probably lose more share value than you gain with the Ghan....

I'm still trying to work out the numbers for taking 5 loans to tank a company on purpose and move the assets into another company.... Not sure if it'll work.
 
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J C Lawrence
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It can most certainly work.
 
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Anupam Garg
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topherr wrote:

Maybe one of us will be able to craft some weird hybrid where you get down to 2 shares of a company, gut it with loans and sell its train to another of your companies



Isnt that what I did in our first game and won because of it...
 
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Anupam Garg
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photocurio wrote:


I think the way to play the loans is to take a loan and also pay out. Then you only drop back one column. You do this if you have a majority in BOE shares of course.


I am still not fully convinced with the value of $100.... Basically you are just putting $100 in the firm for a -ve move on the share price... which is likely $20-$30 for the end game. So unless you really need the money at that time or you really need the cash for the next SR or you are not planning to get another loan, taking a loan seems negative as compared to withholding.

I think part of the reason Chris lost his huge lead was because he gutted the share price of one of his firms (by taking loans instead of withholding even when he didnt really really needed the cash), resulting in us being able to tank it even further...
 
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Christopher Rao
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Q:When I say "lawyer" what pops into your head? A:Someone who designs games about penguins." - Dormammu
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iitk001 wrote:
topherr wrote:

Maybe one of us will be able to craft some weird hybrid where you get down to 2 shares of a company, gut it with loans and sell its train to another of your companies



Isnt that what I did in our first game and won because of it...
Yes, it's what you did. It wasn't clear to me whether you won because of this or despite this. But sure, you're probably right
 
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Anupam Garg
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cmon... for just $140, I was able to run my company with just withholding once till the end, and with that company paying out well compared to other firms... All this was possible because of the trains moves and the tanking of the firm...
 
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