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18DO: Dortmund - description of the prototype

Galatolol 1
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Kraków / Paris
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Note: the game is still under development and will likely change. The version I played was 4.20



During the last Belgian 18xx Convention, I had an opportunity to play an upcoming Marflow title, 18DO: Dortmund. The game incorporates a parallel industry (beer).

There are two types of companies: classic railway corporations and breweries (private and public). The game is divided 6 sets of Stock Round + 2/3 Operating Rounds. Or rather 4/6 Operating Rounds, since they come in pairs: first railroads, then breweries.

There are two one-dimensional stock markets, one for public breweries, another for railroads. If I remember correctly, only president's selling causes the price to fall. The game clearly isn't about stock shenanigans.

Breweries have their own beer market, equipment (on back of the train cards), and investors which are sort of unique special powers. We didn't use them a lot, but I imagine that normally they matter. Public breweries may have different share compositions

Game begins with simple bid for private breweries. Their minimal price and starting equipment vary. Later on, those breweries will be exchanged against president certificates of public beer companies.


Round track, bank pool, stock market. 0-30 track are used for the initial auction

Beer operating round


Private brewery, equipment, investors

Breweries produce beer. 2-level equipment generates two units of 2-level beer.
In order (determined by the equipment if private or the stock value if public), the beer is sold to the market. Blue cubes represent demand of certain level (that can be fulfilled be any beer whose level is not lower). There are two section of customers: regulars and new ones. The former are served first and pay more. The later, once supplied, become regulars.

Instead of being sold to the market, the beer can be loaded onto the appropriate trains. Those trains will make more money if they run through Dortmund. That export action is profitable for the brewery as well—it pays more than any customer.

Breweries then can buy new equipment and investors. Upon phase changes, lowest-level customers are removed (making same-value equipment useless).

Private breweries must pay 50/50, their president can help them buy stuff with personal cash.

The order in those rounds was very important, because quickly the supply exceeded the demand.


Beer market. Regular customers on the left, newcomers on the right

Railroad operating round


Classic OR except that on most city/town hexes a coal/steel marker may be placed. This increases the value of the stop and is mandatory if one wants to upgrade the tile. Those markers can be upgraded as well. Both their placement and upgrade cost $30, removes the cheapest available train (but doesn't trigger a phase change) and creates new regular and/or future customers.


S – steel, K – coal

Intersections of the two industries

- cards are double-sided (equipment/train)
- breweries may load beer onto trains
- railroads may add customers upon placing/upgrading coal/steel markers

My impressions

First, the game felt one SR-OR set too long (in fact we didn't play the last one). The game is operational which isn't to my taste. I didn't have an impression that the map mattered, but it might have been caused by the novelty of beer operating rounds; we were naturally more interested in them. Said operating rounds were quite clever and really smooth which is nice. Another thing I liked was the train rush accelerated by placing/upgrading coal/steel markers.

Overall I felt like I was playing a eurogame.



(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Wed Jul 3, 2019 8:55 pm
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Belgian 18xx Convention – summer 2019

Galatolol 1
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Two days ago I came back from the Belgian 18xx Convention. Just like the last time, I want to write some words about the event and games I've played. The report will be enhanced with some poor quality photos.



The convention was longer than the previous one (4 days instead of 3) and had more participants—in total 59 from 11 countries(!), if I recall correctly. I find this kind of size ideal: there are plenty of other maniacs yet the atmosphere is familiar.

Organization wast top-notch, everything was provided, nothing stood in the way of playing whole day. This time the selection of local beers was bigger which was a good choice, judging from the number of empty beer crates at the end of the event.


It's a pity that they're not in standard colours

30 different games were played (many several times):

1817, 1822, 1822MX, 1826, 1828, 1830, 1840: Vienna, 1841, 1844, 1846, 1847: Pfalz, 1848: Australia, 1849, 1854, 1857, 1880: China, 1889, 1893: Cologne;
18BL, 18Chesapeake, 18CZ, 18DO, 18Ireland, 18Mex, 18Neb, 18OE, 18Rhl, 18Scan, 18VA, Steam over Holland

Once again the game played the most was 1849. Not surprising, given its short length and attractiveness for both newcomers and seasoned players.


What I've played


Friday


1849

There were 4 of us that wanted to optimize their time, which means play a warm-up game (the convention can't begin earlier than at 7PM because it takes place in a school). Thanks to Luk and David for making it possible for us to kick off the weekend this way.

Two players were fairly new to the 18xx genre so it was a good opportunity for them to get to know what nasty things it offers.

Two first available companies were Palermo (that must pay a lot for stations) and Catania (that no one wants at the beginning). This led to passive stock round, when everyone wanted to avoid Catania. Finally it got opened by one of the novices. The company didn't last long and then I offered the unlucky owner the Palermo firm with 3 6H-trains that were about to rust, making him bankrupt (he returned to the game with a loan).

I think I was going straight to the victory, but then started doing bizarre things... Suffices to say that I ended up after the player who had gone bankrupt.

Both closed companies got open again later on. This game often offers amazingly crazy scenarios.

Number of players: 4
Game length: 3h 15min



18DO: Dortmund

Prototype of upcoming Marflow's game. I'll write a separate text about it.

Number of players: 4
Game length: 3h 30min (called 1SR and 6OR early)




Saturday


1817

I took all of the mines privates, wanting to own the east side of the map, but it wasn't so easy to execute.

Other players seemed kind of shy with short selling, which only made me do it more intensely which isn't the best idea. Whilst I was able to get away with two first companies I had shorted (one of which I bought soon after for $10), in later rounds I was paying $700 per round of negative dividends (while making over $1000).


Coal baron mode on


Loans time

I came up third. The player who wasn't involved in any short operation won.
Definitely the most impressive financial game I know.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 7h 30min



18NEB

Next was 18Neb, game I had played once before. It's a good introductory title but nothing more.

Number of players: 3
Game length: 2h 50min



1848: Australia

Last one was 1848: Australia. What a crazy game that was! Two companies went into receivership very quickly and soon got joined by another one. We hit the brown phase in less than an hour.

There was a reason for so many dead companies: one of players decided to go full Bank of England and we thought nothing could stop him (no company could match the Bank's revenue of £490). In the end, he was £11 behind the winner (due to the poor stock appreciation of the Bank).

I love this game, its smoothness, elegance of Bank of England, fast pace, and different approaches a player can take. Some could say that the network is always the same, but I rarely care about track building anyway.

Number of players: 3
Game length: 2h 15min


It wasn't even half of the game

Sunday

1854

I wasn't motivated for that one even though I enjoyed my only play of 1844. The small board is not so burdensome if you operate it simultaneously with the big one.

The game was actually better than I had anticipated. Probably I helped get things moving by buying as many trains as possible and then dumping my company.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 4h 40min



1828

The hottest 18xx games of last months. Technically my second play, but on the previous one we had completely misunderstood one of the crucial rules.

The design is quite clean, yet I still have problem to wrap my head around it. The main feature are systems that work as assets–losing mergers.

I went bankrupt just after we had hit the purple trains (so the game would finish at the end of the next set of OR anyway). In theory I could save myself by juggling my only permanent train between my two companies, which raised the old question of what is fair play. Fortunately the winner was known anyhow (which is another end game condition).

I'm definitely looking forward to explore that one more. Others found the game confusing.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 4h 20min



1824: Austria-Hungary

I had a chance to try a game whose second edition was recently funded on Kickstarter. 1824 offers several types of minor companies that later on are transformed into shares of majors. Apart from classic trains, there are also good trains that must begin their runs in mines and can collect revenue from N cities and any number of dots. Trains may be traded-in which resulted in surprisingly fast train rush.

The game begins with draft of privates and minors. I enjoyed the operating rounds that followed, but I must admit that they felt scripted. There is a risk that that draft is the most meaningful part of the game.

Another potential problem is the size of the bank which just felt way too big. Enough to say that we had still about 10 000 left when all companies were already floated and owned permanent trains. We didn't bother with continuing after that point.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 2h 35min (called 1-2h early)



Monday

18Ireland

I wanted to try the strategy consisting of opening two companies on the first stock round. In 5-player game (with starting capital of £200) this meant that I couldn't get any private and needed to buy both minors for £100 each. Luckily the fifth and sixth companies (they come up in order) were situated not far from each other, so I just waited until everybody had their own firm and then directly opened my two. Then I realised that one of them, DDR, is blocked in the yellow phase so I couldn't build my connection fast enough and had to merge with others.

There were two truly hostile mergers (prepared by issuing shares, so they vote "yes") which I don't actually see happen often.

Called once every company had a permanent train and the winner was clearly known.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 4h (called ~1h early)



Two best games were those of 1817 and 1848: Australia. The Belgian 18xx Convention is, without a doubt, my favourite boardgaming event. Next edition will take place November 29 – December 1.








18OE–monster game


1880: China


18Scan


18CZ


1826

(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:56 pm
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Just don't make yourself unmergeable [18Ireland]

Galatolol 1
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Kraków / Paris
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Recently I've played 18Ireland for the fifth time.

All four first minors were located near each other in the center. I immediately thought that it was cool because it would enable mergers. Then I started one of those companies and instantly put a tile so it denied access to my city to other companies. I told myself that it would hurt them more than myself–how mistaken I was. Long story short, I was unable to merge and eventually went bankrupt. Yet the main lesson of 18Ireland after my very first play was to always start companies that can easily connect to others...

Game was won by a player who decided to not buy any private. We were 5 players, so initial capital was of £200—just enough to open two minors. When everyone had started their own, he was indeed able to get two of them (not greatly placed, but not far from each other) for a minimum price. Later on, he got third one, located between two others, and merged them all into one company. This wasn't a game-winning move, that came later on when everybody was too passive and let him comfortably open another major company.

By then I and another player were already dying, but it took a few more turns until we wen bankrupt.

And here's a problem: groups I play with very rarely want to call the game when it is clearly determined. If it is just a question of several ORs, I don't mind it, but here we still had over 2 hours of (unexciting) playing before us. That's why I like that the rules of 1828 state explicitly that the game is over once the winner is known.

On the other hand, those bankruptcies were somehow amusing and made the game more remarkable than if we had called it early...

By the way, I have an impression that the last 2-train is poisonous (like the last 4-train in 1830). Finally I purchased it because I wasn't winning, but it only worsened my situation.

I'm still not sure what to think about the game. I thought that it didn't offer anything once all mergers were done, but two last plays had some interesting stuff going on after that, so I need few more plays to settle on this one.

Game length: 6h 20



(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Fri May 3, 2019 4:03 pm
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New supply of boxes

Galatolol 1
Poland
Kraków / Paris
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I found perfect boxes for my print and play games. The ones available in a store with board games supplies were a little bit too big – I just wanted straight A4-format ones, ideal for components-light games, mainly 18xx.

Having tested first bunch, I ordered some more in case they are not available in the future

Normally those boxes are used to store photographs, by the way.

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Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:45 pm
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Road to Enlightenment with 2nd edition ruleset

Galatolol 1
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Kraków / Paris
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Road to Enlightenment is a game I own only because it was significantly discounted and I liked images of it. Having seen the ratings on BGG and even after reading the rules, I was prepared for a flop, but it actually turned out quite well. I knew from the beginning that you shouldn't play full 15 turns but only 9 (and it worked great, it didn't feel artificially shortened; all that was supposed to happen, happened).

The board shows the 17th century Europe (players act as England, France, Holy Roman Empire, Poland, Russia, Spain and Sweden).
But what's the most important is that there are historical figures. With stats.



Another thing I love about Road... is that Military is equally important as Art, Science and Religion. While you shouldn't be defenseless, you can focus on cultural census and fight only few times.

The big part of the game is deckbuilding. Players acquire prominent figures (3 of them are favourites and are always available) which help them through their stats and special actions. Medals work differently, so there is less racing on Science/Art track, but there is still an incentive to move on the tracks before others (new positions are locked for the turn, so you can't be kicked back).

In December I wanted to play Road... after a long break. I hadn't rules on me, so I downloaded them from BGG and realised that they were something different—they were 2nd edition rules I knew nothing about! (Mentioned 2nd edition, as well as an expansion, never came to life.) Those new rules incorporate 9-turns variant and streamline the gameplay while keeping what was interesting. The tedious combat system is finally gone.



The game needs at least 5 players to shine. In our last play we were 4 and there were only 2 combats between players. We liked the changes and look forward playing it again.
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Tue Jan 8, 2019 1:56 pm
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Summary of 2018

Galatolol 1
Poland
Kraków / Paris
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Last year was quite intense in terms of boardgaming. I visibly switched towards niche games (it doesn't mean that I won't play a "normal" game anymore; I just have zero interest in almost all new mainstream titles).

I've always had an urge to write about board games, but not in a normal way–having to play one title over and over in order to write an honest review didn't seem appealing. Luckily I realised that there are blogs on BGG—a perfect platform for my random texts. Later on, Magole suggested that I could post 18xx-related posts on www.railsonboards.com as well.

I want to avoid doing summaries of months or–god forbid–TOPs, but a review of a year is fair.

2018


The best game

18xx – there isn't (yet) a single title that I adore (the closest being 1848 Australia) but I've become obsessed with the genre. I went to a convention abroad, my regular group in Poland is in another city, I'm constantly making P'n'P copies. I even put together some prototypes but they were garbage.

Android: Netrunner – I played it around 20 times when it came out (mostly on OCTGN). However I kept thinking about the game and when its end was announced, I decided to grab it. When I showed it to my friend, he also felt in love, so I have a committed netrunning partner (in 3-months span we've played over 70 times live). We have a neat system allowing to play seriously with one set of expansions. More here.

Honourable mention

John Company — sadly only 4 plays with more than 2 players. I feel that the game still has a lot to explore.

The best game published in 2018

This is a tough one because I usually have 1-2 years of delay when it comes to new games. The "award" goes to Root, sadly I've played it only twice. The system has an enormous potential (suffice to see Root's Variants forum) and Cole Wehrle is probably my favourite designer.

The return

Napoleon's Triumph. My favourite wargame hit my table again after 4 years. I wrote several blog posts about this title, so check it out.

The disappointment


1895 Namibia. Disappointment because I had waited 4 years to finally get it to the table and the game turned out bland at best. It is fairly simple and quick, but the decision space is very narrow are and overall the game isn't interesting.

The best event

Belgian 18xx Convention

The worst game


Vikingar: The Conquest of Worlds — randomness personified. "Innovative" combat system that is just plainly stupid since having combat bonuses makes hitting even harder (at least in my case). Quickly everyone wished the game was over. But it's not so easy: when someone—finally—completes their objective, they need to travel to the edge of the board and then draw one card per turn until they find gates to Valhalla.

The best boardgaming medium

Hands down So Very Wrong About Games. They don't ramble: it's a board game podcast about... board games; they clearly justify their opinions (by the way those are two obvious qualities any "content creator" should have, yet we praise them for that–it speaks for itself). The chemistry between both guys is real. (And they have good voices and they often make good jokes.) I listen to everything they publish–even though they rarely talk about games that interest me!

2019 hype

wild:
1817 – I read the rules and can't wait to play it; it should be excellent.

published in 2019:
Pax Pamir (Second Edition) – I like Pax series and I love Cole Wehrle's designs.

Other

I proposed a 5x5 Heavy Games Challenge 2019.

I'm mostly done with kickstarter, right now there are two games coming to me that I'm not at all excited about anymore.

Legacy is another miss, I don't like how games that share this concept dominate meetings.
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Fri Jan 4, 2019 11:01 pm
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5x5 Heavy Games Challenge 2019

Galatolol 1
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Kraków / Paris
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I participated once in 10x10 challenge but I realised that the only way to accomplish it (for me) was playing solo/online/little games. I instantly thought that a 5x5 challenge, but only with serious games played in "normal" way, would be much more interesting for me.

So I decided to create such a challenge: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/249923/5x5-heavy-games-ch...
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Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:07 pm
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1867 - first impressions

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I had a chance to play 1867, a game set in Canada that offers minor and major companies, mergers and transformations.

In Stock Round, players may start minor companies (they don't have shares and always pay 50/50). To do so, they first choose where the home station will be (it's not fixed), then put the company on auction whose winner becomes the president. This idea is neat, it offers more than one layer of planning.

Every Stock Round is followed by a set of two Operating Rounds and two Merger Rounds. In Merger Round, minors can be merged together (up to 10 of them, I wonder if it ever happened; in our game we saw only one merger of 3 and several of 2). Minor can also be transformed into normal public company (major). There is 15 minors and 8 majors, so make sure that you merge/transform you minors (if you wish to) soon enough. I didn't — I always tend to get rid of minors too late because I feel that the payout is good and then I'm chased by the train rush. But in this game the consequences are not very harsh, you even get a compensate when your company closes due to lack of train.

You are also paid when the privates close. And as I sad before, you can't go bankrupt – a company in need of train takes a number of loans or closes if it's not enough. In Stock Round, the price goes down only if it is the president who sells shares. The game feels too gentle for my taste.

Other thing I didn't like was virtual lack of Stock Rounds that were basically replaced by Merger Rounds (only late in the game we started to buy single shares in others' companies). For me it was the most solitaire-feeling 18xx game I've played. The privates aren't inspired: one blocks a hex and others increase the value of one city.

There is a national company in the game. It only places stations and buys trains (game clock; the game ends soon after first 8-train is bought), so it's not burdensome to manage.

Even if I wasn't impressed, I feel that the game might be suitable to present the idea of minor companies, mergers and company transforming in friendly environment.

Note: there are two entries on BGG since the first one is marked as an expansion (which I find misleading because it's an expansion only from components' point of view).

Game length: 5h 15min



(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:53 pm
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Belgian 18xx Convention – winter 2018

Galatolol 1
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Kraków / Paris
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Last weekend I went to Belgium for an 18xx convention in Mechelen (charming city near Brussels). It lasted for 3 days, starting on Friday evening. The event was perfectly organised: any necessary practical informations were provided, game sessions were planned in advance (but the planning was flexible), we could buy food and snacks on place. Luk, David and the rest of organisers were outstanding.


The place



Typical Belgian buffet






In case they don’t want their faces to be posted online


For me the best thing about the convention was just the fact of being in a room with 25 other like-minded people that were all playing 18xx games (and everyone was super nice).


I would say that the most popular game of the convention (in terms of number of plays) were 1849 (4 or 5 plays), 18Lilliput and 18Zoo (prototype).

1822, 1889, 1830, 1840 (prototype) and North American Railways were played twice.

18OE, 1895 Namibia, 1880: China, 18MEX, Steam over Holland, 18Ireland, 18CZ, 1846 (and maybe I forgot something) were played once.

What I’ve played

Friday

1830

We played using a computer moderator – nothing but track tiles and private companies was used on the table (later on we added markers to the stock market). At the beginning it was hard to visualise what were the player/company possessions and possibilities, but once we grasped it, everything became clear. And it really does speed up the game – we finished 5-player game, without bankruptcy and with fairly novice players, in little 3 hours and 20 minutes (2 hours less than it would take normally).
On the side note: we played with the newest edition of the game.


This is what you have before you when playing with moderator


Moderator itself



Game length: 3h 20min

Saturday

1822

One of my favourite games in the genre. We were five, all but me new to the game, so I thought I had a fair chance of winning. I was wrong and ended having less money at the end than the winning player had cash. I bought too many concessions (every time I saw a “London”, I put a cube there) and I didn’t acquire my only minor when I had a chance to, which resulted in train rush kicking me in the teeth.



Game length: 7h

1895 Namibia

3-player-only game. Supposed to be a quick one, which is true (only 5 or so brown tiles, only 5 companies). The problem is the game isn’t particularly interesting as an engineering one The choices seem to be simplistic (you either go right and get less money quicker or go left and get more money later), without additional layers. And there are obligations that basically force you to build in a certain direction… On the other hand this title is very easy to explain and I see a potential of a brutal train rush. We called it a game once the winner was known (normally it would take 30-60 minutes more). By the way, I made my copy of the game 4 years ago and it was the first time I managed to play it.
As a note: the second edition of the game is currently developed by Marflow Games. The current version is available as a free print and play on www.ohley.de


I made custom trains with information about what makes them obsolete

Game length: 1h 40min (incomplete)

1849

I’m not a big fan of this one, feeling that the game is too limiting. But with 3 players that keep buying trains it is much better (and it goes really smooth). When I opened a Palermo company, I had a big chance of winning if I only issued some shares to buy a second train on the next operating round. I didn’t and this lack of aggressivity costed me victory.



Game length: 2h 20min

18Lilliput

This is supposed to be an entry point to the 18xx world or a game that gives some of its feelings. Personally I didn’t enjoy it. Stock is inexistent, many of the actions are just “take 5/10 money”, route building is boring. And while the game is easy to explain and short, I’m not sure if someone who isn’t into economic games would enjoy it because of involved math (what is 6 times 7.5?).



Game length: 1h 10min

Sunday

18Ireland

The game is all about the mergers. Honestly I can’t say much after one (unfinished) play. I’d like to play it with 3 to get to know the mechanics well, even if the game is best at higher number of players. We played with 5 and what was going on was quite confusing to me. But I see a potential in this one.
Tramways are a nice gimmick, however the board doesn’t feel particularly important. Unfortunately we didn’t complete the game because some of use had to leave early. Or maybe fortunately since my performance was utterly pathetic…



Game length: 4h 15min (incomplete)

We finished the convention with two plays of North American Railways which is a fine filler.

Some other games



18OE – 8 hours in the game, when they just realised that they were playing wrong. They finished 6 hours later.



1840 – the prototype of a new game by Lonny Orgler about tramways in Vienna



18Zoo – the prototype presented by Paolo and Carlo. This is an easy and short 18xx game with companies like Tigers or Penguins

---

Next edition is supposed to take place 7-9 of June 2019 and I’m already looking forward to it.

By the way, Craig and Dave from The Train Rush podcast were there as well, and they recorded a short episode on place: link



(previously posted on www.railsonboards.com)
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Mon Dec 3, 2018 9:40 pm
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Ur: 1830 BC, 1857, 1848: Australia

Galatolol 1
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Magole, Tolis and I gathered recently in Sosnowiec (southern Poland) to play some 18xx games.

Ur: 1830 BC

Thats a Splotter Spellen's take on 18xx. It is, of course, very different from the other games in the genre. The translation between 1800' railroads reality and ancient Mesopotamia kingdoms is ingenious.

In SR, you buy a piece of land. There are four types of them, each present on the stock market. Player owning the most land in a kingdom is its king. So the kingdoms (companies) don't have share prices! Of course, you can sell land as well.

In OR, each kingdom digs irrigation canals using diggers. After that, it purchases equivalent of trains and must immediately decide whether to use it as waterworks (pumps or reservoirs) or diggers. And owning at least one group of diggers is mandatory — just as trains in 18xx. An interesting thing is that you can place canals and waterworks no matter where. Even if they are on the territory of another kingdom, it doesn't matter — the important thing is what kingdom irrigates the land, not where.

After OR, there is a rainy season. Water flows down the rivers and is distributed via the canals. Owners of used waterworks (kingdoms) and irrigated land (players) get money. Kings either distribute the harvest or keep it. Stock price of irrigated land increases. Once no water flows off the board, the Southern People get mad and invade — the game ends.

The cashflow is tricky. Not only you have to save money for diggers, but also for waterworks. I realised several times that I had thought that a company was safe because it had just enough money for diggers, whilst waterworks were also essential.

I think I made a mistake emerging Akkad kingdom on turn 3 instead of turn 1. I wanted to get more income from First Akkadians (independent nation — private — that closes once Akkad buys diggers) because they were quite expensive. It was clearly a mistake — mere land ownership isn't enough to make money, you have to control a kingdom.

I feared that the game would be somehow disappointing, fortunately I really enjoyed the first play. I'm looking forward to playing it more. And it worked fine with 3 players. I wish more 18xx games changed the paradigm of the genre like this one does.

The potential problem of the game is that it's hard to see who is winning and how a sale of lands will affect the score. I fear that if you want to play fully, a spreadsheet is a must.



1857

I played it once before and had great great time thanks to the brutal train rush and fast pace. But it was with 6 players. This time, with 3, it dragged for too long and wasn't interesting because we knew how easy it is to bankrupt in this game, so we played safe.

An average player wants to open a company in the first Stock Round. Given that the train distribution is always the same, the train rush has to accelerate with more players. And since this is the only appeal of the game to me, I don't want to play it anymore at lower player counts.

1848: Australia

So far this is my favourite 18xx game. Every play, even if starts similarly, ends differently. And there is highly interesting Bank of England.

The privates distribution (you either buy one of the privates or lower one's price) is awkward: if you want one, there is no point in lowering its price because you risk someone picking it before you; if you don't, the minimum price is still too high.

Now, Bank of England (BoE) is how "the big company that absorbs others" should be done. Its shares are available all the time (unless all held by players), it doesn't have president, and – especially – there is no labourous route calculating (no "let's find the optimal routes for those four 8-trains"). You simply add values of controlled stations to the fixed income and that's it.

Last time I won and this time I played with the same strategy in mind. I went for the Tasmania private and one of nearby companies because this grants good revenue in the early game. Additionally I was buying BoE shares every time I had some spare money. In total I bough 7 of them, all at the start price of £70. The problem was that no one wanted to take loans (they make BoE shares more valuable). That's why I deliberately started doing so, basically ruining my company (its income was still decent though). I didn't close it out of fear of smaller certificates limit (every time a company is taken over by BoE, the limit is lowered by 2 or by 3 if you were its president). In the late game I sold BoE shares because their value wasn't going up as fast as public companies' (meanwhile I started two new companies; one of them was later take over by Tolis). But it was too late. Magole won comfortably thanks to high price of his two companies (he sacrificed the third one to make them stronger).

This playthrough was longer that my previous ones (there were under 3 hours), but it was fine. And by the way, we played wrong. We forgot about K bonuses and that the small dots don't count towards the train range. This explains why the bank is so big given the small board (10 000 pounds). And apparently, with 3-4 players, the penalty for a president of a closed company is 2, not 1 — I wonder if it makes the strategy of deliberate company closing unplayable.

(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Wed Nov 7, 2018 4:48 pm
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