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1846: The Race for the Midwest» Forums » General

Subject: A beginner's first aha! moment rss

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Palmer Eldritch
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Being new to 18XX games I found the recent Heavy Cardboard playthrough quite instructive, and was the main reason I decided to buy the game. I'm liking it a lot.

I was particularly intrigued by what Tony did in the first Stock Round, so I thought it might be fun to let others new to 18XX see the kind of sneaky shenanigans you can get up to in these games.

First he launched the B&O and set the price at $40 per share (the minimum allowed), and so paid $80 to their treasury. Then he bought another share in it, then Edward bought one of them, then Tony bought another two, giving him a total of five B&O shares, while Edward had one. The B&O treasury now had $240 in it. Then Tony sold 3 of his B&O shares to the stock market for $40 each - recovering the $120 he spent for the 3 shares back into his personal coffers from the bank. Only he could sell B&O shares at this point because the corporation hadn't operated yet, so Edward was stuck with his share in the meantime, and the share price dropped to $30, because any time the president of a corporation sells shares the price goes down by one.

Then Tony launched the NYC, and bought a couple of shares in that corporation.

The SR ended and the B&O price was reduced again - to $20 - because there were shares still in the stock market.

The first OR commenced with the B&O first to act. They laid no track, and could run no routes because in the first OR corporations have no trains, so generate no revenue. As $0 was less than half the current value the share price dropped once again - to $10 - on the stock price chart. After corporations operate they may buy trains, and if they have none they must buy at least one, so the B&O had to buy a train. They decided to buy three yellow trains at $80 each, spending all $240 in their treasury.

All of the other corporations operated in order and at the end of the NYC's turn that corporation bought a green train for $160, and all of B&O's yellow trains for $1 apiece.

OR 2 begins and when it gets to the B&O they have no funds in their treasury, so can lay no track. They also have no trains so they collect no revenue and so their share price drops once more - this time to $0, which immediately triggers the closing of the company. This means that they are never compelled to buy a train. All of the B&O shares and tokens are removed from the game.

The upshot of all this is that Edward lost $40 by buying a share that was taken from him, and Tony paid $80 total from his personal funds in order that the NYC was able to get a discount of $237 on three yellow trains. Pretty cool. cool

And now for all you 18XX experts, would you have done anything differently in Tony's position trying the same general strategy? And what would you have done in Edward's position in response to what Tony was aiming to do?


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Tucker Taylor
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Nice! Thanks for the detailed report.

VinegarBob wrote:
And now for all you 18XX experts, would you have done anything differently in Tony's position trying the same general strategy? And what would you have done in Edward's position in response to what Tony was aiming to do?

I'm no expert, but usually if a company's started at $40 that's a sign that the owner is going to try to loot and shutter it. So, if I were Edward, I wouldn't have bought the $40 share in the first place.
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Tom Lehmann
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Alternatively, having bought the share, why doesn't Edward take the B&O from Tony (by buying a third share in it) after Tony sells 3 shares in it?

Edward can then do the same thing to Tony that Tony did to Edward in this example, except that he will have spent either $90-100 (total) to get $237 in trains for a different company or $267-297 in trains/cash (depending on whether Edward buys old shares, new shares, or a mix of them, and can arrange to have the B&O buy Private(s) with its extra cash), except that Tony will have a chance to sell out his shares (as his last President act). But, now Tony doesn't get anything for his shenanigans, while Edward benefits, potentially to an even greater degree than Tony would have.

Of course, one could ask why this doesn't risk someone then doing to Edward what Edward did to Tony. However, if Edward is willing to invest $90-100, then the next player must raise at least $80-120 (depending on whether Tony sells out his remaining shares, lowering the price) to get the RR and Edward retains the option to defend...
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Pete Goch
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Edward could have just stolen the B&O from Tony in the first stock round and done the same thing for his primary company. He should have waited to buy the B&O share in the first place, though, after Tony sold down and could no longer defend it.
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Darin Stephenson
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Edward could have just stolen the B&O from Tony in the first stock round and done the same thing for his primary company. He should have waited to buy the B&O share in the first place, though, after Tony sold down and could no longer defend it.


I don't think that quite works. If Edward buys his second B&O, intending to take it over, Tony just sells his remaining holdings for $30 each (while still president), leaving Edward as president, but, importantly, knocking the price down to $20/share in the process. At the end of SR 1, then B&O's price drops to $10 due to the market shares, and then B&O closes immediately in the first OR, not the second, before it gets to buy those 2Ts. I think that's what happens if Edward makes a move to take it over.
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Pete Goch
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KentuckyKid wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
Edward could have just stolen the B&O from Tony in the first stock round and done the same thing for his primary company. He should have waited to buy the B&O share in the first place, though, after Tony sold down and could no longer defend it.


I don't think that quite works. If Edward buys his second B&O, intending to take it over, Tony just sells his remaining holdings for $30 each (while still president), leaving Edward as president, but, importantly, knocking the price down to $20/share in the process. At the end of SR 1, then B&O's price drops to $10 due to the market shares, and then B&O closes immediately in the first OR, not the second, before it gets to buy those 2Ts. I think that's what happens if Edward makes a move to take it over.


Edward could buy the shares out of the pool to prevent it from going down again. Of course he'd probably have to sell shares of his primary company to do that...but maybe not when they're $20 a pop.
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Tom Lehmann
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KentuckyKid wrote:
If Edward buys his second B&O, intending to take it over, Tony just sells his remaining holdings for $30 each (while still president), leaving Edward as president, but, importantly, knocking the price down to $20/share in the process. At the end of SR 1, then B&O's price drops to $10 due to the market shares, and then B&O closes immediately in the first OR, not the second, before it gets to buy those 2Ts.

Correct, but don't get too fixated on the trains.

Depending on the Private COs Edward has (such as MC, O&I, Tunnel, etc.), Edward can still extract cash from the B&O into his personal cash before it closes by buying those Privates in *before* the B&O closes (after making money from those Privates in OR1). It's probably not a huge profit, but if you're investing only $60-70 to cash them out, it still makes money in a lot of cases.

And, don't forget, the B&O has other properties. It can use its cash to teleport to Cincinnati and lay tiles there, which may be useful for a Big 4 owner...

Alternatively, Edward can try to buy out all the shares in the Stock Market at $20 a pop (so its price doesn't fall and its assets can be transferred to another RR via train purchases). Anyone with $20 spare cash CAN'T defeat this by tossing another share in, since only Presidents can sell shares before a RR has operated.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Tom's reply gets to the crux of Edward's problem. Remember, he got stuck with more privates than he wanted, so he was at far less working cash going into SR1 than he planned. To the point that he didn't even start a corporation for a couple of rounds. It seemed he was in damage-control mode and figuring out how to get out from under the extra privates buys; I do recall several comments on how cash-poor he was because of this. IIRC Tony looted & closed the B&O before Edward was really looking at getting a corporation going.

Being an 18XX noob, I didn't see Tony's plot with the B&O coming either. When he pulled it off my reaction was surprise ...cool! It was definitely an aha moment watching that.
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Michael Wasserman
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Shouldn't everyone buy into Tony's NYC? This gives them nearly as much benefit short term from the shenanigans as Tony gets while long term hobbling the NYC by denying it stock appreciation and treasury income.
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Tom Lehmann
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claudermilk wrote:
[Edward] got stuck with more privates than he wanted, so he was at far less working cash going into SR1 than he planned.

So, in fact, taking over Tony's B&O just to extract cash for his Privates would have worked to fix his position. Fascinating!
 
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Tom Lehmann
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mfwesq wrote:
Shouldn't everyone buy into Tony's NYC? This gives them nearly as much benefit short term from the shenanigans as Tony gets while long term hobbling the NYC by denying it stock appreciation and treasury income.

Totally agree. First time 1846 players often don't cross-invest early, though.
 
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Eric Brosius
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Also, by the way, Amanda should have half-paid to create the money to buy back all the shares in the Stock Market into Treasury. This would have built a lot of capital for the IC.
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Darin Stephenson
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Tom Lehmann wrote:

Correct, but don't get too fixated on the trains.

Depending on the Private COs Edward has (such as MC, O&I, Tunnel, etc.), Edward can still extract cash from the B&O into his personal cash before it closes by buying those Privates in *before* the B&O closes (after making money from those Privates in OR1). It's probably not a huge profit, but if you're investing only $60-70 to cash them out, it still makes money in a lot of cases.

And, don't forget, the B&O has other properties. It can use its cash to teleport to Cincinnati and lay tiles there, which may be useful for a Big 4 owner...

Alternatively, Edward can try to buy out all the shares in the Stock Market at $20 a pop (so its price doesn't fall and its assets can be transferred to another RR via train purchases). Anyone with $20 spare cash CAN'T defeat this by tossing another share in, since only Presidents can sell shares before a RR has operated.


Ah, great points. I hadn't thought about the usefulness beyond the train purchases.
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Edward Uhler
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This is pretty fascinating to read. I am enjoying reading the armchair quarterbacking and I mean that in the best way possible. Very cool.


In hindsight, I see what I should/could have done, but on the live-streams, strategy is considerably harder when I'm trying to manage running the stream. Strategy definitely suffers, but awesome to see the discussion. Great stuff, y'all!
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