Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

1846: The Race for the Midwest» Forums » General

Subject: Is the mailbox worse than i thought? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
kalvin connor
United States
rochester
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The rules clearly states that the mailbox stays in phase 4. Am I crazy to think that it makes this private way over powered?

Let's say you buy it for 60. In or1 a company can buy it for 1 buck, so it costs the company 1, you 60. Now the next time it runs, it's most likely getting at least 20, probably more like 40. Thus since you needed 50% and no one helped you most likely, your looking at making an extra 20 or2. Rather 2 bucks per share, so 10 bucks an or till the 3s are bought. Then you bump up to 3/30. At this point you probably have 6 shares if your running good. By the fourth set of Ors, you made back your money and just making stupid money ontop of that original investment. Not to mention the company made back its investment of 1 buck or2.

The lack of par value and increasing or's takes a lot away from 18xx games IMO.

Perhaps I'm only complaining because I ended up building track with the co by myself, but never had priority and someone else opened up NYC and then I took the rr. Going into phase 4. I forgot to sell off my stocks to buy sooner

Extra edit:
I made a mistake in saying 60 instead of 80. Either way, the math almost works out the exact same
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Mail Contract is, as you say, very powerful late in the game. The problem is that it drains a lot of liquidity at the start of the game and pays no income, so it's useless until it's bought by a corporation.

Since you are likely to be somewhat short of cash in SR 1 if you buy it, the corporation you launch (and you definitely want to launch one if you have the Mail Contract) will probably be a bit less well capitalized than those of others, making it a challenge for it to afford to pay you $80 for it. As you say, you can buy it in for as little as $1, but in that case, you contributed $79 of your own money to the corporation. This will encourage other players to buy up shares in that corporation (with their greater resources and income) and perhaps you'll have a great corporation that others own almost as much of as you do.

For what it's worth, in my group, which has played 1846: The Race for the Midwest hundreds of times, the Mail Contract is more likely than any other private to be the one private left untaken, so that the price starts dropping. Just last week I got it for $60 and still didn't come close to winning.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
msg tools
Eric Brosius wrote:
For what it's worth, in my group, which has played 1846: The Race for the Midwest hundreds of times, the Mail Contract is more likely than any other private to be the one private left untaken, so that the price starts dropping.


Also FWIW, I think we're undervaluing the mail contract; however, since it's likely to happen, I always hope to scoop it up on the third round. (Well, except when I happen to be in the right seat, and $70 [or even $60] is the right price, when I'll try to get it on the fourth round.)

I've had first round choices where I thought the mail contract was the best option, even if I haven't chosen it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Damerell
msg tools
sircaradoc wrote:
Let's say you buy it for 60.

Well, to start with, then you got it at 3/4 list price, so one would hope you'll see a good return on it - and if it is overpowered, one has to wonder why no-one else wanted it at $80 and one other player didn't want it at $70.
At full price it's both the most expensive Private except for the Independent Railroads _and_ the only one that provides you with no Private Income. That's a lot of cash you don't have available to spend on railway shares. Conversely, someone who buys one of the $40/$15 tile-laying privates - at full price - makes 3/4 of their outlay back in the first pair of ORs without doing anything.
Quote:
In or1 a company can buy it for 1 buck, so it costs the company 1, you 60.

This is rarely desirable unless the company is short of cash. Sell it in for $80 - you can get the cash back in the company in the next SDR by buying treasury share(s) with it, and getting yourself more equity. You're going to come out very low on shares if you both buy an expensive Private and sell it into a company for nothing compared to a player who can turn their full starting money on shares, and as Eric writes, you're effectively putting free money from your pocket up for grabs by anyone else who buys into the company.

The mail contract lasts into Phase IV because it's expensive and starts slow (with no Private Income and a utility proportional to train length).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
sircaradoc wrote:
The lack of [par] value and increasing [number of ORs] takes a lot away from 18xx games.

I disagree. I find the par value games often lead to boring non-decisions. You par your first company low and the second one high. Yawn.

I think incremental capitalization combined with corps being able to issue shares allows for a greater variety of initial stock values and % of Presidential investment (20-60%). Corps being able to issue shares means that corps have access to capital so that cross-investment (buying a share in another player's company) doesn't tend to give that player a big advantage, which makes for more interesting stock rounds.

2 ORs per stock round means that cross-investment is possible from the beginning. In par value games with 1 OR a round, people never buy stocks in other RRs at the start of the game (except as part of a deal to float a corporation). Why? Because the RRs stock price is guaranteed to go down before the next stock round (no train to run its routes) and there will be no dividend.

But, with 2 ORs a round, the RR can buy trains in OR1 and run them in OR2, pay out, and possibly get a double-jump. If so, they made money for the investor, both dividends and stock price appreciation. Having 2 ORs from the start make for more interesting stocks rounds.

In the later game, RRs can possibly withhold in 1 OR to buy trains and pay out in the other OR or -- if they have managed their stock well and paid half-dividends once or twice along the way -- simply issue shares to buy their permanent trains and pay out full, possibly triple-jumping, in both ORs. Buying shares in the latter RRs is a lot more lucrative than the former.

If, instead, there were 3 ORs per SR, correctly figuring out which RR can afford to pay out and buying shares in it would be far less important; the difference between paying out three times and paying out twice is much smaller than the difference, in 2 ORs, between paying out twice and paying out just once. Again, I'm trying to make the investment side of the game more interesting.

Now, maybe you don't care about stock investing in 18xx games. You might prefer games that are all about exploiting leverage or merging RRs together. If so, there are plenty of other 18xx games that concentrate on those aspects. Go play them.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
kalvin connor
United States
rochester
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tom Lehmann wrote:

Now, maybe you don't care about stock investing in 18xx games. You might prefer games that are all about exploiting leverage or merging RRs together. If so, there are plenty of other 18xx games that concentrate on those aspects. Go play them.


Kind of going to get OT here... but oh well

Thanks for the corrections, my phone auto corrected me a bunch of times.

Anyways, I like to other share values because I tend to enjoy tanking a stock into the orange or yellow and not pay out until I have to. Since these shares do not hold anything against you, you are able to purchase another rail line easily. Also, in 1830 you can pay double the investment of privates, which I tend to buy expensive privates. Since ive been withholding, I can easily afford double the private values. This furthers my ability to buy other stock in companies when I can almost be positive that 1 share I can still find at par value, even if it opens high.

So, my main point is it allows for the purchase of other RR for cheaper.

However, the theme works for me since the shares go into the treasury and the company has the shares. But in so far as my investing knowledge goes, I though company's issue a certain number of stock as a specific price and then go to the secondary market.

Of course, I would enjoy a deeper investing game where you could slit the company and double the shares and half the value of the shares at certain points when the RR need a more influx of cash. with bonds as another option that companies can recall.

Perhaps I just did not see an opportunity to use the share feature of this game that allows you to buy and sell from the company. I found stock came out of companies too quickly to even try to use the feature. Did I miss something on this ruling?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
sircaradoc wrote:
I found stock came out of companies too quickly to even try to use the feature.

It sounds like you are trying to play this game like it is 1830. It isn't.

Trying starting a RR at just 20-30% shares, don't buy your own shares early on (unless someone tries to take the Presidency from you), and investing in other RRs. Things will play out quite differently.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
kalvin connor
United States
rochester
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
But it wont open unless its at 50% right?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Slaughter
United States
Alpharetta
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
sircaradoc wrote:
But it wont open unless its at 50% right?


In 1846, companies float immedately

This is not 1830. READ the rulebook, it's different!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
sircaradoc wrote:
But it wont open unless its at 50% right?

Incorrect. A RR is opened by buying its President's certificate. See GMT rules 5.34.

Given that you played without double and triple stock price jumps (as you asked about via by mail) and without realizing that corporations don't need 50% shares bought to operate, having one of your group carefully re-read the rules might be in order.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roel van der Hoorn
Netherlands
Enschede
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played 1846 only twice so far (but with experienced 18xx players). Both times the Mail Contract ended up in the Illinois Central, which (in both cases) acquired the first green (3/5) train in OR1.1, making the Mail Contract a really great private.

But maybe that's just the other players not playing well enough.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
It mostly depends on how early it starts having a significant effect on dividends and whether that lasts long enough and can in turn be reflected into better holdings for the director. If the trains move at a good clip there's often just not enough time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
kalvin connor
United States
rochester
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Man, I messed up then. I could have sworn that I read like 5 times that it needed 50% to float. That actually changes a lot to how I'd play the game... time to convince people to play again tomorrow.

To be fair, I was reading the rules quickly and I've played 18xx before. However, it's always been with more experienced players so I had someone to ask questions to. It was the first time I was on my own and maybe made too many assumptions based on 89, 30, and ny
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kalvin, I just wrote a session report that demonstrates how the Mail Contract is 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.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.