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1830: Railways & Robber Barons» Forums » General

Subject: How complex really? rss

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Greg Lorrimer
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Civilization has a weighting of 3.7 but the rules are sufficiently simple that some have had their 7 and 8 year olds play it.

How does 1830 compare in that respect?

Do you think I could get kids playing this game (ignoring the potential for sulking)?
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Brian
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In my opinion, the game is not terribly mechanically complex. However, decisions contribute to victory or defeat in fairly opaque ways until a necessary amount of experience has been had; this is where the weight of the game seems to lie. There are many decisions, all of them are important, and the answers are generally nonobvious.

ETA: My opinion is, perhaps, underinformed. I've played only a few 18XX game instances.
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Santi Velasco
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Rules-wise, I don't think 1830 is particularly difficult to learn, turns are very procedural: first buy and sell stock, then build railroads, then operate them and make a profit, and finally buy trains (can't really remember if that was the actual order). So, learning how it plays is not much harder than learning to play any middleweight-hard euro, say Puerto Rico or Caylus.
Of course, knowing how to play is one thing, and knowing what you are doing are entirely different matters. I have played this game several times now and I still don't get why I always lose
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Jim Knight
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The decision making can be a bit complex. Also 1830 can be cut-throat. This doesn't seem the correct game to introduce children to 18xx. Sulking will ensue, especially if there is a lot of down time between moves and there can be a lot.

My youngster won't play any 18xx as he finds it boring as it doesn't move quick enough for him. The downside of video games.

On the other hand he will play Ticket To Ride as that's quick and more often than not he beats me.

Only you will know how your kids will take to it. I feel that, unless they are older teenagers, then you might be flogging a dead horse and may put them off forever.
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Santi Velasco
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jimnite wrote:
The decision making can be a bit complex. Also 1830 can be cut-throat. This doesn't seem the correct game to introduce children to 18xx. Sulking will ensue, especially if there is a lot of down time between moves and there can be a lot.

My youngster won't play any 18xx as he finds it boring as it doesn't move quick enough for him. The downside of video games.

On the other hand he will play Ticket To Ride as that's quick and more often than not he beats me.

Only you will know how your kids will take to it. I feel that, unless they are older teenagers, then you might be flogging a dead horse and may put them off forever.


Okay, I missed the kids part. Yeah, they probably won't know what the heck they're doing, as this is what typically happens with most adults also

Also, I believe they might be puzzled by the fact you own shares and not railroad companies, and how they change ownership. Maybe you would be better off introducing them to Steam or even Railways of the Word. This last one I understant is much more straightforward.
 
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J C Lawrence
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1830's complexity is not in its rules.
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jim b
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I agree with the above that 1830 is not really a good family game. Even older kids and spouses are a challenge - while not necessarily complex, it's more of a gamers' game. But if you really want to try 18xx with family, 1825 or a similar title would be a better choice than 1830.

Railways of the World (and RRT/etc) is more likely to appeal, but it's probably a stretch too.
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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I think it would take the right kind of child to be interested in this kind of game. 8 seems too young to me. I think a 12 year old that is interested in math might get into it.

The rules can take awhile to get through, but once you start playing, most of them make sense. If I was to introduce it to someone young, I don't think I would do ALL the rules at once, rather do some "mini games" of each part.
 
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Dave Eisen
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8 seems tough to me. I taught 1846: The Race for the Midwest to an extremely experienced 9-year-old and it went OK, not great. It was a lot for him to take in and more importantly, the game ran long for him. Can't speak for your children, but he manages complexity pretty well but doesn't have the attention span to play a 6 hour long game.

That said, he said he really liked it and I look forward to playing it with him and his father again.
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Dan Zimmerman
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We played 1846 with a 15 year old daughter of the game owner and she won. He is a good dad and has introduced his kids to good games early on. (She was later going to a friends house to play Puerto Rico).

I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old. Obviously I am not introducing the 6 year old to 1830 yet. He is rather bright for his age and really loves trains. I mean, he is obsessed. In order to play this game in my dining room I will have to clear out all the train sets.

The game says a 14 year old could play. I think if the kid is smart enough that it is possible to bring that down to 11 or 12. The biggest gauge would be if you believe the child could (eventually) grasp the concepts of when to purchase the private company and when to dump a corporation on someone else.

If they can handle those aspects, and understand why building route A is more profitable than building route B, then you may have a chance at bringing a kid on early.

There are probably a lot of games out there that do teach that kind of decision making. So start teaching those first and see how it goes.
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Lucas Smith
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Apart from the complexity: Keep in mind that the game will take about 8 hours. That alone might be a bit of a problem if playing with children.

However, as always, you cannot generalise: there might be some children enjoying 18xx.

A game like Chicago Express or similar might be an easier starting point.

(btw: Define children!)
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John Bradshaw
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itsastickup wrote:
Civilization has a weighting of 3.7 but the rules are sufficiently simple that some have had their 7 and 8 year olds play it.

How does 1830 compare in that respect?


I used to play 1830 with the same 7 and 8 year olds!

It's a slightly more complex less simple game than Civ, but still, the rules are relatively straightforward and players of standard Euro games would have no problem getting to grips with the game. When we played in the family setting mentioned above, we didn't resort to the aggressive tactics available in 1830 - the children just used to pick a favourite line and build it as far as possible. The point is that they were able to understand the mechanics easily enough but didn't get into the deep strategy. They enjoyed the game a lot.

The easiest intro game I've seen to the 18xx series is Steam over Holland. The game has a fixed number of turns and can be played to completion in an evening - not always true of 1830. However, I'd have no qualms about starting people off with 1830. I introduced my group to it recently (around the same time I introduced them to Civ) and everyone loved it and it has been replayed a couple of times since.
 
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I like board games more than most people.
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lj4adotcomdan wrote:
I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old. Obviously I am not introducing the 6 year old to 1830 yet.


What about the 2 year old?
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Angelos Luthasun
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I believe Chicago Express is a good starting point for a child.
Is much easier, the components is more attractive and the game takes 2 hours max.

I believe is very helpful to understand the way of thinking for this kind of games.
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Russell InGA
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One thing to consider is that whether you are playing nice or playing mean at some point there is going to be a scramble for permanent trains.

Intended or not, someone may have to buy a Diesel out of pocket! This could be very upsetting.
 
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Dan Zimmerman
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kjamma4 wrote:
lj4adotcomdan wrote:
I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old. Obviously I am not introducing the 6 year old to 1830 yet.


What about the 2 year old?


Oh, he has beaten me twice already. Clever lil man.

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