San Francisco Bay Area 18xx -- November 2011
Eric Flood
United States
San Francisco
California
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(Header is stolen verbatim from JC)

The San Francisco Bay Area 18xx group is nominally a sub-chapter of SB-Boardgamers. We meet every Monday at SB-Boardgamers and play 18xx! We normally have enough 18xx players on those evenings for two 18xx games to be played. The primary purpose of the group is to teach the 18xx to new players, and thus evangelise and expand the hobby, so there's often a teaching game (usually 1889), as well as another game for the (wanna-be-)sharks. The group has a broad mix of skill and experience levels from raw beginners to reasonably experienced.

The purpose of this list, and subsequent lists each month, is to track the games we play and to afford a central venue for discussion of the games we have played and want to play. A master geeklist tracks each of the monthly geeklists: San Francisco Bay Area 18xx

For the sake of completeness, we'll also be including the other 18xx game playing that many of the same people get in during the month in these geeklists. As such it will include 18xx gaming we may play at Silicon Valley Boardgamers, Boardgame Addicts of the Peninsula (BAP), the SF Bay Area/Los Altos Games Day, Endgame Oakland, and random other gaming events. That I know of, across the larger group, we're generally getting around a dozen or more 18xx games played each month!

Other 18xx gamers in the Bay Area are absolutely encouraged to join the discussions and to list the games they play!
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1. Board Game: 18West [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:7925]
Eric Flood
United States
San Francisco
California
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4 players: John Hart, Aliza Panitz, Mike Calhoon, Eric Flood



Played with the "updated rules" - I prefer them greatly.

I bid rather high on the NoPac, got both the Rock Island and the Milwaukee Road to accompany (70+15,50+5,50, respectively). Withheld NoPac thrice, bounced the 50 share price (helpful in the stock round).

In SR2, I decided to swap my NoPac for an ATSF, but lost priority in doing so. I only gained ~$30 for it, but lost out on priority in the crucial SR3. As a result, the DRG became my second company (should've been GN or SP), and opened late. I now had two late-operating companies - this hurt me multiple times due to rusting events.

Even despite the rusting events, I was earning far more income than the other players. After SR3, I bought a 4D from DRG company money and another out of pocket and exchanged a revenue run for a (mildly better) revenue run in the NoPac. This lost me ~$300 in revenue, and another ~$500 in a later forced 6T purchase which did not make its cost back. I went from an easy first to last. I (re)learned the lesson: do not move big huge permanent trains (I learned this lesson in the exact same way once several months ago, but was extremely exhausted last night, and apparently needed a reminder).

Scores were close, Aliza and I were ~$7900 (she had ~$20 more than I), John and Mike were ~8200 (less than $100 differential between them, as I recall), Mike for the win.
 
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2. Board Game: 1842: Schleswig Holstein [Average Rating:6.87 Unranked]
Tim Skirvin
United States
Naperville
Illinois
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3-player game - myself, Scott, and JC - playing v2.2. We only played until the 4 trains were about to hit, which still took us ~4 hours.

While I've only played one game of 1835, I could definitely tell the similarities here (set order of companies, extreme importance of tempo and knowing what's coming). It was... interesting. The rules needed lots of clarifications.

As far as we can tell, the game would have ended almost immediately upon the purchase of the first 5 train (because one of us would have made a run to hit the last off-board, which is an end condition).
 
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3. Board Game: 18MEX [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:2792]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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3-player: Aliza Panitz, Scott Strobele, J C Lawrence.
 
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4. Board Game: Rolling Stock [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:3528]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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4-player: Aliza Panitz, Mike Calhoon, Eric Flood, J C Lawrence. Eric and Mike had not played Rolling Stock before. Aliza and JC had played 18Card (the previous version of the game) several times. We played the short game, up to and through the blues.



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5. Board Game: Rolling Stock [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:3528]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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We played another 4-player short game today (BAP). John Hart, Eric Flood, Richard ForgetHisSurname, me. It was Richard's first play. John had not played since that time with you at my house.

I followed what has become an almost rote pattern for me in short games: get two companies, par a corporation close to $20, steadily laundry more companies while also ensuring that my stock price stays high ($20+, preferably $24+ -- lets me safely control it with a single share), breaking cycle and sitting on an unlaundered company only if washing it won't give me enough money to buy the next one or when my corporation is about to stall and fall in stock price, never dividend unless utterly critical to get me $1-$2 to keep the cycle going, only ever issue a share when I am guaranteed to buy a good company and launder it in that round for enough to buy another private in the next round, and try to get at least two blues (I issued 5 shares in the whole game and never floated another company). My corporation ended the game with a $55 stock-price, the highest in the game (next was Eric's second in the $20s).

Alas, in the 3rd(?) round John bought a second share of his corporation (when it was due to rise again) in what I thought clearly wasn't a great move but seemed an Okay and possibly cleverly good move ($free money). Alas, lots of dividends and money flowed and the next rank of companies were all bought and more and John was off the curve and unable to buy anything for a very long time. Ouch. Again, Rolling Stock was an easy game to lose.

Richard had never played Rolling Stock before but has played some 18xx. He played a fine game, strikingly similar to my first game if you recall that, similarly running out of steam as the final greens hit and the blues started in earnest. He also stole Eric's corporation at a time when Eric didn't need it any more and Richard could make huge use of his subsidiary companies. Unfortunately he didn't get everything sorted before John stole Eric's now-much-better corporation from him (wrong turn order at the wrong time). Richard's comment at the end of the game, paraphrased, was, "That was really interesting. I'm going to have to think about it. A lot.'

Eric, in his second play, got his laundry cycle running well and so forth, but got off tempo and off-size on a few dividends and pauses sitting on unwashed privates, and that made for painful hiccoughs. He was constantly issuing shares (IIRC he got 8 out before losing the corporation) and paying respectable dividends, which resulted in a mid-to-low-teens stock price for most of the game, and that in turn reduced the capital he could raise, so he had to issue more shares just to keep going, etc etc in the money gyre. As a result I nearly stole his corporation at two points (and should have threatened and made him defend the second time for some $free money).

The foreigners finally bought their first company in the greens. I forget which, but the face value was ~$32. It was the only company they ever got.

We ended slightly early with one blue left unbought (I could have easily gotten it for my third blue), and thus the final upkeep card flipped a bit early. Final scores were circa JCL: $180, Eric: $150, Richard: $80, John: $70. Play time was ~3.5 hours (I think).

Rules question: If a player passes in the stock round, may they act again later in the same stock round? The rules suggest not but the player aid suggests yes.

ObAside: My strong impression is that a share-heavy strategy is only viable in the long game. It simply takes too long for the short game.
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6. Board Game: Rolling Stock [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:3528]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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3-player: Daniel Barnes, Eric Flood, J C Lawrence

We played the full game. Scores: Daniel $389, JCL $220, Eric $208. Playtime was 5.5 hours.

While the outcome of the game was clear within the first 20 minutes (I overbid by $1 in the first round, Eric by $2 in the second), we played through in order to explore some of the collusive aspects of the game. Unfortunately, Eric and I did not collude well.

 
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7. Board Game: 18MEX [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:2792]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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3-player: Aliza Panitz, John Hart, Mike Calhoon.

Aliza wins again!
 
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