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Subject: 18Scan - Good Intro to 18xx Games rss

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Tim Isakson
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Richardson
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My friend Eric is going on gaming hiatus soon (his wife is going to have their 2nd child any day now), so we've been cramming in sessions of various 18xx games of late - Eric only recently caught the bug, and I've been jonesing, so it's been a good combination.

We got together Thursday for a 2-player game of 18Scan, and I must say I'm quite impressed. I was initially skeptical of 2-player 18xx, but we had previously tried 1825 Unit 3 (Scotland), which is explicitly 2-player only and quite good, so I was willing to give 2-player 18Scan a try. I must say that I was quite pleasantly surprised - 18Scan worked quite well as a 2-player game, and all in all I'm convinced that 18Scan is an excellent introduction to 18xx games in general.

I say this because, while 18Scan integrates several interesting "McGuffins" , it does so in a manner that doesn't result in an overly complicated, confusing manner. 18Scan includes private companies that have special abilities, 3 minor companies, a merger of the minor companies into a large national railway, several different types of trains, including Express (5E) & high-speed (4D) that have unique effects, and an interesting geography.

It does all this in a package that ought to easily fit in a weeknight evening - we got going shortly after 6pm, and were wrapping up by a bit before 9pm, so I'd call it 2.5-3 hours.

I ended up winning the game - I think with ~7-800K more than Eric - and Eric still made the comment that he had a blast. That's a strong endorsement to me - my warm feelings may be influenced by having won the game (I hope not, but I'll acknowledge the possibility), but Eric's should be pretty un-biased.

If you've always wanted to try an 18xx game, but were afraid to start with one of the more complicated or longer games, 18Scan is a great place to try the system out, and see if it's too your liking in a more compact package (but that includes enough interest to be played multiple times).
 
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John Elbl
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Framingham
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How much is here for an experienced 18xx group? Is there a lot of replay value?
 
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Tim Isakson
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Richardson
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I can't DEFINITIVELY answer the replayability question, as this is my 1 and only play, but I suspect it will easily handle several playings, at least - there are enough things going on to allow for different approaches that I can definitely see trying multiple different paths to victory. I can't say it won't pale eventually, but I think it's probably more robust than a lot of the short games.

I suspect it's best with 3, but it worked quite well with 2 as well.

I'm a fairly experienced 18xx'er, and I found it quite fun (but then, I tend to like the shorter "state" games, of which this is definitely an example).
 
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Gregg Lutz
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There are certainly things to explore in 18Scan. I have played about 6 or 7 times now and I would certainly break it out if there was 3 18xx'ers around who were ready to play.

What's $40 to add an excellent 3 player 18xx to your collection? Also, after you play it a couple times it is certainly the best game I have played to teach 18xx. 18FL is supposed to better, but I have not yet played.

Come to Buckeye Game Fest and I will be happy to play 18Scan with you


 
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