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1846: The Race for the Midwest» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Beginner game with 2-player rules rss

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Jeff Bockelman
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
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I played the 1846 with my brother Kevin using the designer's proposed two-player rules from this thread:

DRAFT 2-Player Rules

I had only played the game solo a few times to get a hang of the rules; it was Kevin's first game.

Removed Privates: Lake Shore Line and Steamboat Company
Removed Corporations: Illinois Central and New York Central

Private Company Draft:
After selecting a couple privates each, Kevin and I both passed and we ran a pair of Operating Rounds. He had the Mich So. and I had Big 4, so I used these rounds as a way to teach him about laying/upgrading track and running trains.

We ended up with the following privates:
Me: Big 4, Meat Packing, Tunnel Blasting, C&WI
Kevin: Mich So, Ohio-Indiana, Mich Cent, Mail Contract

Kevin started Grand Trunk at 90 and I started B&O at 100 in SR1. In the opening ORs, I used Big 4 to connect to Cincy, then had B&O buy Big 4, so B&O could get the cheaper price on the Cincy token. By the end of the OR2, B&O had track from Chicago to Cincy to Louisville. GT picked up Mich So and Mich Cent and had track from Chicago to Detroit to Holland.

We realized that we were going to need to start some more corps in order to buy enough trains to advance the phase. In SR2 I started C&O at 70 and Kevin started PRR at 100.

In the next ORs, PRR teleported to Fort Wayne, mostly because we live in Fort Wayne. PRR bought a 2 train from GT in order to avoid issuing stock. C&O hooked into Cincy with the track that B&O laid. PRR's runs weren't big money makers; C&O, GT, and B&O all had good runs.

In the next SR, I invested more in B&O and C&O. Since PRR wasn't making much money, Kevin invested in GT instead.

When the game entered Phase III, PRR was in a tough spot. I had sort of prepared Kevin for the train rust, but PRR was in bad shape since he had only bought 3 shares of it and spent a good chunk of change teleporting to FW. PRR ended up buying a green train from GT.

Phase IV came up pretty quickly after III, and PRR was again without a train after the phase out. PRR bought a brown train off of GT for a discounted price.

In the last SR, I bought up some PRR and took over the presidency. It was still at a low price, and I knew that it would pay out good dividends since it had a permanent train and good track to run on.

We stopped one whole game turn before the end due to darkness. We sold out of gray trains, but didn't quite break the bank in our last OR, but the writing was on the wall so we called it. The game lasted a little over four hours, which wasn't too bad since one player had no experience going in.

Final stock prices and holdings (Jeff/Kevin):
GT $345 (3/7)
B&O $295 (1/7)
C&O $250 (3/7)
PRR $212 (3/4)

Total Assets:
Jeff $7570
Kevin $5505

The failure of PRR to start up with strong runs immediately doomed Kevin in this one. I had two strong corps paying dividends, and Kevin had one. Therefore I had more money to buy more stock, and it kind of snowballed from there.

Overall it was a pretty fun learning game. We did almost no blocking; there were definitely some opportunities that we missed. I'm sure that will be more of a focus in future games, since we both have a good grasp of the rules and game flow now.

As far as how the 2 player rules went, I think our lack of aggressive blocking kind of neutered the auto-blocks that occur due to the removed corporations. In my solo games, I mostly ran only one company per player until later in the game. The 2 player rules kind of force you into running multiple companies in order to comply with the train limits and still buy enough trains to advance phases. That helps get the map filled out with track so that things can get a little crowded.

We played with the GMT version and used poker chips. I might try out the spreadsheet next time. It seems simple enough, and I've used a hand written table during the last ORs as shown in the rules.

I'm really digging this game so far.

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Chris Laudermilk
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Orange County
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joefunk wrote:
We stopped one whole game turn before the end due to darkness. We sold out of gray trains, but didn't quite break the bank in our last OR, but the writing was on the wall so we called it. The game lasted a little over four hours, which wasn't too bad since one player had no experience going in.

According to Tom's 2p rules you actually DID finish the game.

2 player rules wrote:
• The game end (assuming no bankruptcy) can be triggered either by breaking the bank or buying the last Phase IV train (or both). If the bank breaks, the game ends normally. If the last Phase IV train is bought and the bank has not broken, end the game after the next complete set of ORs.


I agree, this is a really fun game. I can't wait to get it out again.
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Jeff Bockelman
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I think we would have had to run through another SR and two more ORs. Here's the example given in the 2 player rules thread:

Quote:
Example: if the last Phase IV train is bought during OR9, then the game will either end after OR12 or, if the bank breaks during OR9 or OR10, after OR 10.


I don't remember the exact round, but it was probably OR9 when we sold out of trains, so we should have played until we completed OR12.
 
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