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Subject: 18xx Phylogenetic tree rss

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Mark Watson
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Has anyone tried to map out the 18xx phylogenetic tree? We often talk of 1829/1830 games, but obviously the heredity is much more complex than just those two branches. Given the cross-polination of mechanics, the actual diagram would probably not be a traditional tree structure, but it struck me as an interesting way to spend a few hours with a diagramming tool...
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JR
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Anyone who tried to do such a task probably quit when they found that there will be endless disagreement among players about which games fit in which part of the tree, etc.
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J C Lawrence
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Indeed. I used to think of them as being strongly familial along branches. Now I see mere variations on a theme from 1829 to 1817. A bit more of this, a little less of that. Still just numbers moving.
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Dave Berry
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I once toyed with the idea of drawing the links in the style of the London underground map, with each "line" representing a major design choice. Intersections would represent games that share different themes. I never took this very far.

What might be easier would be to identify certain clusters, e.g. a set of 1830-like games (1830, 1889, 18GA, 18AL, 18Mex?) and a set of small incremental capitalisation games (1846, 18Neb, Steam Over Holland, 1858). There might perhaps be a set of games in which minor companies merge to form incrementally funded major companies (1861, 18EU, 1812, 18Ardennes), although there are some noticeable differences between the games in this set.

Some games clearly stand alone - 1860, 2038, 1817, 1880, 1862. Others fall somewhere inbetween, not necessarily close enough to others to be part of a set but sharing some of that set's characteristics.
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