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1844/1854» Forums » Reviews

Subject: (1854) Initial Thoughts and Differences to Other 18XX Titles rss

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Adam Brocker
United States
Gilbert
AZ
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This is my initial thoughts about 1854 after one incomplete play. My goal is to call out the core aspects that differentiates 1854 from other 18XX titles.

One key difference for 1854 is that shares never pay into the company. The only way that operating revenue will be put in the company treasury is to withhold dividends completely. As such, there are other mechanics to offset that lack of recurring company revenue. Mail contracts can be purchased by companies for 100 or 200 to add a steady income. These contracts will pay into the treasury of the purchasing company at the start of every OR.
Share splits are another way to get funds into the company. Initially companies only have 4 share certificates (40,20,20,20). If the stock price reaches a certain point, then the shares split and stocks are worth half of what they were. The new shares will add additional funds into the company treasury when they are purchased by players.

A second distinct mechanic is the addition of Tunnels. Tunnels allow companies to expand over a second hex on their turn. They also allow the company to bypass towns and work around track that can't be upgraded. The downside is tunnels are fairly expensive and they can limit upgrade or even tile placement options. Tunnels may not be placed on any hex containing a city.
The map and tile upgrade chart seem designed to facilitate the use of tunnels. Single towns can never be upgraded once a tile is placed and there are very few cities on the map at the start of the game. This can make parsing the structure of routes a little difficult when you first examine the map. Double towns can be upgraded into cities during phase 3.

The third main difference is that there are 2 new types of companies in the game (not counting majors or private companies). The first new type is called local railroads and are auctioned with the private companies. They operate on a separate map and run a different types of trains (1+, 2+, 3+). The focus of these companies are to build up local routes consisting of many towns, as any number can be included in a run. They are also allowed to purchase regular trains, but cannot operate them.
The local railroads merge into the second type of railroad called Lokalbahn AGs (Major Local Railways). These do operate on the main board, but they only may only purchase and operate obsolete trains.

There are other facets to the game that differentiate it, but I feel that the 3 above encapsulate the major differences in the game. Feel free to list any other differences that you found interesting here as well. Thanks
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How long did your first play take?
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Ben Foy
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Ellicott City
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The game seemed to be a bigger and more complicated version of 1870.
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Adam Brocker
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Gilbert
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BFoy wrote:
The game seemed to be a bigger and more complicated version of 1870.


I've only played 1870 once and it's been a long time, so I can't say for certain, but I don't think the two titles have a lot of similarities other than they are both 18xx games.

1854 does have a lot more chrome than 1870, but I don't think it's a longer game than 1870. It appears to be shorter based on the estimated length.
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Adam Brocker
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Gilbert
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alfonzo54 wrote:
How long did your first play take?


I don't think my play times are a good estimate, so I'll refrain from listing it here. My games typically run longer than most players. For an example, my games of 1846 will typically run for 6 hours. I need to push the trains more...

I also should have been clear that we didn't finish our game. We ran till the 6s broke, so I didn't get to experience the use of the OE trains and too much of the expansion of the Major Local Railways.
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