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1846: The Race for the Midwest» Forums » General

Subject: Independent RR Obvious Buys? rss

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Chris Laudermilk
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Splitting this discussion off from the 2p draft rules thread.

It seemed to be in my first play that snatching up Michigan Southern was an fairly obvious insta-buy play. It's got a decent start & you can almost immediately start raking in profits to help fund your portfolio. Even Big 4 seemed like an ok deal if MS was not available.

In the 2p rules context, all privates are out for sale, so you don't have the uncertainty of the draft--the non-priority player gets first pick of privates and MS & Big4 are both available.

In my play I jumped at MS and leveraged that to a strong position in the north of the map to an eventual win. I seemed to have a lot more cash coming into each SR, thus more options. Then sold MS off to my company & took advantage of the 2T and teleport token after about the second or third SR.

Thoughts?
 
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Mike Anastasia
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Well, lets think about it. I assume you buy in the companies during OR 1.2 in order to maximize share buying power in SR2, but sometimes you will be delayed in doing so. These numbers are of course not exact, particularly the run values of the independant RRs.

MS:
Initial cost 140 Balance: (140)
OR1 operates and pays 30/30 Balance (110)
OR2 operates and pays 35/35 Balance (75)
Bought out by corp for Max 60 Balance (15)

Now, you did just give your corp a token and a train and 65 bucks to recoup the cost it paid you, so that's good, but your own account is out 15 bucks. You can get the MS to run for more with the help of a friendly corp or other privates, but I'm trying to look in a vacuum. You've tied up more than 1/4 of your starting capital for round one to make or lose a few bucks net and help out your corp.

Big4:
Initial cost 100 Balance (100)
OR1 operates and pays 20/20 (80)
OR2 operates and pays 25/25 (55)
Bought out by corp for Max 40 Balance (15)
This looks awfully similar, but 1) you only tied up 1/4 of your starting capital 2) you got a token in a worse place and 3) it takes much more work to get the Big4 to run any better than this.

An alternative:

Tunnel Blasting:
Initial cost 60 Balance (60)
OR1 pays 20 (40)
OR2 pays 20 (20)
Bought out by company for Max 60 Balance +40!
Now we're talking. We turned 60 bucks into 100 at the cost of hurting our corp's treasury a bit. And in the mean time we had more to play with for other privates or shares in SR1! That profit can be spent on shares to easily make up for the 60 the corp spent OR can be used to buy shares of something else. Either way it makes our portfolio stronger (but leaves our company weaker than the two companies that got bonus tokens and free 2-trains).

There be options!
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Jimmy Okolica
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MyNameIsFourteen wrote:
Either way it makes our portfolio stronger (but leaves our company weaker than the two companies that got bonus tokens and free 2-trains).

There be options!


Great summation. I'll be using that in the future!
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Chris Laudermilk
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OK, I see your point.

In the game I played, I was allowed to grab the Steamboat company as well, and naturally designated it to Toledo, so it was running at 40/40 for about 4 ORs for a total of +60 to my account after selling off. Not too bad I'd think, though maybe not the fastest or most efficient use. I did make sure MS had a nice chunk of cash so when my corp bought it that funded moving to a 4 train.

Big 4 did seem a losing proposition from the get-go and didn't have any help.

There is a lot to think about here & the randomly-removed privates certainly shakes things up. Thanks for the insights.
 
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Jason Begy
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One thing I would add in favor of the minors is that they give you extra track lays each OR, which can be very valuable when it comes to securing an East-West route.

Ownership of the GT coupled with the Michigan S minor is particularly powerful for this reason: it allows the GT to score E/W runs with a 3/5 much sooner than any other corp.

If you can't prevent someone from getting that combination you should definitely invest in the GT.
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Jimmy Okolica
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claudermilk wrote:
OK, I see your point.

In the game I played, I was allowed to grab the Steamboat company as well, and naturally designated it to Toledo, so it was running at 40/40 for about 4 ORs for a total of +60 to my account after selling off.


Note: as I just learned, minors can't buy privates. So, I'm not sure if the MS is able to take advantage of the steamboat.
 
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Mike Anastasia
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claudermilk wrote:
Big 4 did seem a losing proposition from the get-go and didn't have any help.
I love to rag on the Big4, but it is situationally valuable. If B&O teleports to Cincinnati or the C&O blasts in that direction, it can run for better money by running Indianapolis to Cincinnati during OR 1.2 onward. Alternatively, if I'm likely to open the Grand Trunk I'll take any extra tokens I can get.
 
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Mike Anastasia
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
claudermilk wrote:
OK, I see your point.

In the game I played, I was allowed to grab the Steamboat company as well, and naturally designated it to Toledo, so it was running at 40/40 for about 4 ORs for a total of +60 to my account after selling off.


Note: as I just learned, minors can't buy privates. So, I'm not sure if the MS is able to take advantage of the steamboat.
MS can use the steamboat while it is still owned by a player. See 3.1 and the bottom of the first column page 12.
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Gary Franczyk
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MyNameIsFourteen wrote:
claudermilk wrote:
Big 4 did seem a losing proposition from the get-go and didn't have any help.
I love to rag on the Big4, but it is situationally valuable. If B&O teleports to Cincinnati or the C&O blasts in that direction, it can run for better money by running Indianapolis to Cincinnati during OR 1.2 onward. Alternatively, if I'm likely to open the Grand Trunk I'll take any extra tokens I can get.


I thought I was "forced" to buy Big4 in the game I just played and was thinking it was a loser, but found that by combining it with the tunnel blaster, B&O, and running to Chicago, I was able to run east-west for the bonus and a decent dividend for much of the latter half of the game.
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Eric Brosius
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If my opponent takes MS first, I would probably take Steamboat to prevent the Toledo cheese and to give myself a big liquidity edge.

Note that the big benefit of the MS is that it builds a strong corporation. But what if you take the MS and I buy shares of your corporation that bought in the MS? Then I get a lot of the benefit of your initial "sacrifice" (as Mike describes) without having to make the sacrifice myself.
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Eric Brosius
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Jasonbartfast wrote:
Ownership of the GT coupled with the Michigan S minor is particularly powerful for this reason: it allows the GT to score E/W runs with a 3/5 much sooner than any other corp.

But what if I get C&WI? I pay $60 and you pay $140 for the MS. I buy the C&WI in during OR 1.1 and build east. I get the E/W run quickly as well. And I didn't have to take as big of a liquidity hit. (I do come up one 2T short, but if I floated the IC and bought the C&WI with it, the extra capital from the bank because the IC is a Land Grant corporation makes up for it.

(I'm not dissing any of the comments made above in this thread; I'm just showing alternative ways to think about this issue.)
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Eric Brosius
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Chris, I just wrote a session report that demonstrates how the independant railroads are at least not always overpowered:

Operations? I have people who handle that for me!

You might find that this gives you more to think about with 1846: The Race for the Midwest.
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Chris Laudermilk
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I just read that post. Great food for thought. Yes, I've come to understand my initial premise on this thread was flawed. I've since won a game (cut short, but the writing was on the wall) after being shut out of both independent RRs.
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Alex Drazen
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I think of the Michigan Southern as an instant buy if I have priority deal, because I can open the Grand Trunk, and they work in conjunction for a quick cash boost. I used to like it in the fifth seat for the teleport token when buying it in, but some groups like to take the pass cards first to reduce starting capital, making it possibly dangerous to do so.

Personally, I think the Steamboat (if you open B&O, maybe if you run the MS) and CW&I are the "obvious" buys in 1846. Steamboat turns the B&O's home hex into a $70 space in OR1.2; CW&I is instant Chicago access. Steamboat + Tunnel Blaster + B&O would probably be my dream combination.

I don't think the Big 4 is bad at all. A free extra token is always nice, and if you willing to sacrifice the "standard" upgrade for the piddly $10 run upgrade of the Big 4 in OR1.2, you can make the IC have a slightly more difficult time of things, and snag a spot in Chicago in the process. My usual Big 4 play is to build the two cities pointed away from the IC, and force them to upgrade to green for access; meanwhile, they can't actually reach Chicago, whereas I can do it faster via the teleport. Then sometimes I even take their $0 spots, because why should I let a RR with bonus government funds get something else for free?
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