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Subject: Tokens (or "Stations") rss

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Ron
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Tokens are not only a necessity for running trains, but also a weapon, where you can cut off other companies from lucrative routes.

In our games it was quite common to have gentlemen agreements like “I won’t toke here if you don’t do either”, so the token was free to go on another space where it hindered other players. Such coalitions where often accompanied by negative comments from those other players.

But a couple of years ago, we employed a rule that says: “We don’t talk about tokens, we simply place them!”. Since we did so, there are many more tokens on the board; even if you don’t need them immediately, but according to “better safe than sorry”, you are much more likely put a token down if you can’t ensure free passage through this tile by diplomacy.

However, holding one last token back always is a nice threatening gesture … even without words.

Do you use token agreements in your games? And if so, are they binding? And if not, are such agreements sometimes violated? And does that broken promise carry on to the next game?

I’m just curious meeple


EDIT: And to take care of Jason's question ...
Poll
We call them ...
Token
Station
other - please explain below
      30 answers
Poll created by PzVIE
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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We sometimes have such agreements. I have never seen one broken. We don't see 18xx as a backstabbing genre (though simple aggression is fine.) You can token someone out, dump a company on them, buy all the cheap permanents, or do whatever nasty things you want. But if you promise not to do something, we keep those promises.

On the other hand, people don't make agreements just to be nice; there has to be a benefit for them (if only saving a critical token placement cost.) One common example: In 1846: The Race for the Midwest, I'm running 2 corps and you're running 1. There's one open spot left in Chicago. I could token it right now, but that would block both my other corp and yours. No other corp could possibly token that slot. I might say to you, "I'll leave that spot open if you promise not to token it." Result is that you and I each get one extra corp running to Chicago Connections.
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Scott Petersen
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Great topic!

I don't make token agreements because I refuse to put my fate in others' hands. Some other players I play with make token agreements as well as plenty of other helpful agreements. It bothers me, but I call that playing the game on "hard mode".

I love your rule “We don’t talk about tokens, we simply place them!”.
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Paul Schorfheide
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Playing 1817 really changed my appreciation of how tokens (or the lack thereof) can impact the game. You only need to run an 8 train to 3 cities so many times before that point gets driven home.

In my games I typically don't make formal agreements but it does seem like things are a bit open at the beginning when companies with 1 or 2 tokens try to suss out where to most effectively place them. Once the tokens start going down, it turns into musical chairs and doesn't stop until the core of the map is tokened out.
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Henry Campau
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Some of us in our playing group like to make agreements or assurances. They are supposed to be mutually beneficial for all the reasons stated. But then there is that dreaded word "unless".

The game state may change from one phase to another. Other companies may open up and then start advancing to the disputed region. Sometimes one person says unless something happens. And stuff usually happens...

Best thing to do is agree to a détente, but then place your extra token in a different region as soon as you can in case you get blocked in the original area.
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Bob (he/him)
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pschorf wrote:
Playing 1817 really changed my appreciation of how tokens (or the lack thereof) can impact the game. You only need to run an 8 train to 3 cities so many times before that point gets driven home.


Well, 1817 is all about the tokens. In the few plays I had, it seems managing tokens was a huge part of that game.



---

General answer, we don't make agreements like this. But, we do try to convince...

"You know, that token sure hurts me, but you have stock in that company and you are also hurting your other company, sure you want to do that?"

Stuff like that.
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Tyler McLaughlin
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We don't allow discussion of any kind. Or fun.

Just kidding, but actually, we don't make deals of any kind. No station agreements, no tile lay talK, nothing.

If someone proposed a token deal in our group, they would likely be met with a funny look and then that location being tokneed out immediately out of suspicion.
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Jason Adultman
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Sometimes we have peaceful token agreements, and other times we do not and it becomes an all-out war. It's really mostly about whether anyone does some nasty tokening in the first hour or so. If not, then the game remains peaceful. But if yes...


Also what is everyone's preferred nomenclature? I think "token" is easier to say than "station" but thematically it makes less sense.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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It's certainly fine to play with different protocols than my group uses. "No negotiation at all" is fine. I'm not making a value judgement in my post above; I'm just reporting the facts.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Jasonbartfast wrote:
Also what is everyone's preferred nomenclature? I think "token" is easier to say than "station" but thematically it makes less sense.

We say "token." Some rule sets have multiple contradictory meanings for "station".
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Chris Laudermilk
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Can't. Resist.

"The first rule of token club is we don't talk about token club"


Sorry.
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Ron
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claudermilk wrote:
Can't. Resist.

"The first rule of token club is we don't talk about token club"


Sorry.

Yeah, I should have seen this coming meeple ... nevertheless, I LOL'd
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Tyler McLaughlin
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In response to the poll, I often call them railheads.
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J C Lawrence
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e.e.goings wrote:
Just kidding, but actually, we don't make deals of any kind. No station agreements, no tile lay talK, nothing.


That makes it hard to buy trains between different directors, or privates or shares between players -- critical things in some games.
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J C Lawrence
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Jasonbartfast wrote:
Also what is everyone's preferred nomenclature? I think "token" is easier to say than "station" but thematically it makes less sense.


"Bang" for a token location on tiles or hexes. eg The green has a single bang/is a one banger. The brown upgrade adds a bang.
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Chris Shaffer
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We don't feel a need to standardize on what people call stations or tokens. We use both terms interchangeably. Just like we use the terms town and dit interchangeably.
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Glenn Martin
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Train Nipples"
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Jason Adultman
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TheCat wrote:
We don't feel a need to standardize on what people call stations or tokens. We use both terms interchangeably. Just like we use the terms town and dit interchangeably.


I'm not calling for standardization, just wondering what people's preferences are.
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Alan Winterrowd
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We certainly will offer, and often make, offers to not token somewhere. I like the verbiage in some rules, "All agreements must be made publicly and may only be enforced through moral suasion."

I have only once had someone break an agreement in an 18xx game. It certainly colors my willingness to make an agreement with him in the future.

I generally only make such offers if it is my turn and I have the token and the cash to place it. I have also turned down such agreements. I have never felt any "if you don't agree to this then you are not nice" pressure.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Incidentally, I know that
Enrico Viglino
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calls them "dots" because I've listened to some of his session report videos.
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J C Lawrence
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Exclusively "dits" here. It has the advantage of brevity and alliteration.
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James E
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Eric Brosius wrote:
Incidentally, I know that
Enrico Viglino
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calls them "dots" because I've listened to some of his session report videos.


I thought they were doinkers.
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Glenn Martin
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MisplacedWorker wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
Incidentally, I know that
Enrico Viglino
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calls them "dots" because I've listened to some of his session report videos.


I thought they were doinkers.


Would the players be "wankers"?
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Ron
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Well, in Viennese we often call a token a "Bemmerl" ... but I guess this strange dialect is not very common in the 18xx scene ...
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Xeryus
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We usually use 'tokens', but sometimes we also refer to them as 'station'.

During most of the games we have a no agreements policy, but that is mainly because you will get betrayed at the first opportunity by the involved parties. And if that is not the case then another player may go out of his way to threaten the agreement. Often at the start of a game we remind each other that agreements are not binding, and that you probably shouldn't bother.
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