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1837: Rail Building in the Austro-Hungarian Empire» Forums » Reviews

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Trevor Dewey
United States
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Surprised that there wasn't a review of such an old title so thought I'd add a quick one.

1837 is set in Austria-Hungry. Game borrows elements for 1835 (opening auction with minors/mining cos grouped into three or four but uses a hexagonal semi-dynamic stock market (stock can move in 6 ways based on the usual factors).

There are a _lot_ of privates in this game: both mining privates and large true minors. Most everything comes with a stock for one of the majors or nationals. But there is no getting around that the early game is long with everyone running 2-3 little companies. There are 10 majors and the 3 nationals. Generally, the person with the most national stock at the merge will win the game - they are that good and can run more trains than the major (3 v 2 in the last phases of the game). The majors range from very good (yellow) to okay.

I like this game - but as commented by others it really is too long for more than a few plays a year (if that). At six+ hours if you know the game - with the likely winner known for at least an hour+ - its just a bit too long.

However, it is interesting -- especially the early game -- so I would recommend buying it.

There is a very easy way to shorten the game. Play through the merge of all the nationals (3-4 hours) and stop. Counting only the yellow company and the nationals determine who has the most shares - declare that person the winner and go have a beer. If one or more people are tied - add up the value of their remaining shares and money and whoever has the highest value wins and the other person comes in second (or third). Barring a major screwup between the merge and the end of the game that would have been the final outcome.

As of this writing there is supposedly a shorter version of 1837 called 1824. I hope to acquire and review that shortly.

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