"L'état, c'est moi."
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1846
A game for 3-5 players by Tom Lehmann


"If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


My experience of and with 18xx is very limited. Indeed, my first experience was a game of 1830 when I was a feckless youth who didn't know a whit about stock markets, and based on my retirement portfolio I'd say the jury is still out. My second was a game of 1856 with some of my fellow GCL Gelato players via the Rails app that was aborted perforce because something went fatally awry with the log files. I am, for all intents and purposes, a n00b at the genre. I also once owned a copy of 1835 and for over two decades it sat looking pretty on my shelf, but never saw the light of the table top before I decided it was time it found a home where it could be loved and played. Or at least the latter.

These experiences have not turned me off of the genre, but in looking for 18xx games, two things are immediately apparent.

First, people who know and love 18xx really know 18xx games, and I'm going to be a little glib here and borrow a quip that appeared in the wargaming forums - that for all its genius, wonder and beauty, 18xx attracts a certain type of person. However, my decades of playing wargames has inured me to that. Nonetheless, it is worth knowing that if you enter the fray, you need to be on top of your analytical game, both for the money aspects of the stock market, and the spatial analysis game for planning, plotting, and placing your track tiles.

Second, 18xx games are generally expensive to acquire, not that this is necessarily a barrier as the many wargames that festoon my gaming shelves prove. 18xx games are similar to Splotter games in that the production runs tend to be small and the graphic design leans to the functional rather than the pretty - and I'm firmly in the functional camp, so that's not a net negative for me. Many companies have published 18xx games, and the production values are all over the map.

All of which is a long and roundabout way of getting to the point - at $69 MSRP plus the usual production values from GMT Games, 1846 is an 18xx deal.

Inside the solid 3" deep GMT box you get:
1 Mounted map board
5 sheets with 120 tiles
7 Corporate mats
63 Stock Certificates
10 Private Company Certificates
29 Train cards
5 Player cards
1 Priority Deal card
1 Pack of Play Money
1 Rule book





As you can see from the images above, the quality of the bits and the graphics are quite nice.

Now, I could go through the rules overview, and discuss 18xx strategy, but it would be complete and utter flummery on my part as I've been unable to wrangle my regular gaming opponents together to play this. Some of them have "been there, done that" with 18xx games, others don't want to deal with the learning curve.

And frankly, with the breadth, depth, and experience of some of the BGG regulars I don't feel the need to replicate their efforts with my attempts to explain this particular 18xx game. You'll learn more from Joe Huber's excellent review or Eric Brosius' recent session report than I could convey even with a play or two on my part.

What I will say though is this. I've heard nothing but praise for the GMT Games edition of 1846, and the price point for this game makes it very accessible. I am surprised that there aren't other 18xx titles in the GMT queue at the moment, although it is rumoured that more are coming.

Meanwhile, I will wait patiently for an opportunity to get this one to the table.


Thank you for reading this latest installment of Roger's Reviews. I've been an avid board gamer all my life and a wargamer for over thirty years. I have a strong preference for well designed games that allow players to focus on trying to make good decisions.

Among my favourites I include Twilight Struggle, the Combat Commander Series, the Musket & Pike Battle Series, Julius Caesar, Maria, EastFront, Here I Stand, Napoleon's Triumph, Unhappy King Charles!

You can subscribe to my reviews at this geeklist: [Roger's Reviews] The Complete Collection and I also encourage you to purchase this very stylish microbadge: mb

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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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Thanks for the review! You're right that there are some clear resemblances between wargames and 18xx games, and as one would expect, GMT did a fabulous job with this release!

If you're ever in Boston, let us know and we'll do our best to arrange an 1846 game.
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Eric Brosius wrote:
TIf you're ever in Boston, let us know and we'll do our best to arrange an 1846 game.

Definitely! I love Boston, one of my favourite US cities.
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David Gibbs
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Eric Brosius wrote:
Thanks for the review! You're right that there are some clear resemblances between wargames and 18xx games, and as one would expect, GMT did a fabulous job with this release!

If you're ever in Boston, let us know and we'll do our best to arrange an 1846 game.


Hm.... I travel to Boston on business occasionally, I could get me ass handed to me at 1846 (or other 18xx), too. :)
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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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Let me know.
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Hey Roger,

Funny you posted your review this week, we just played 1846 on Friday! It is a great entrance into 18xx with a simpler stock market and more emphasis on route building and running a profitable company.

Im a noob myself as the only titles I've played have been 1830, 1846, and 1889... but the more I play them the more I like them. Perhaps we should organize a game at the next Bottoscon?
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"L'état, c'est moi."
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Certainly, if Rob will let us!
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Great post Roger! The connection between wargames and 18xx is fitting and I think there are tight communities, something I appreciate, in both these sub genres in the larger hobby.

As an 18xx noob myself I am diving head first and, since the timing is impeccable I'll make a plug for all interested, Hattanooga - https://hattanooga.wordpress.com - is going to be an annual Canadian train game convention that highlights 18xx titles, Winsome, and Age of Steam. You are always welcome to join us out in Medicine Hat if the time suits! I am learning, as mentioned above, the community is the thing in gaming and I couldn't be happier with the people I'm meeting in the 18xx world.
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Captain Planet
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Roger,

I have always been a fan of your reviews! I would be glad to run through a game of 1846 with you one day if the reason you don't play is lack of interested opponents or opportunities. Send me a geek mail if you are interested and I can try to organize some other n00bs for a fun/ teaching game.

Rich
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Glenn Martin
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The unofficial 2-player rules that Tom Lehman developed work quite well and give a nice, tight game. Don't be afraid to try them.
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Palmer Eldritch
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fluffyevil wrote:
The unofficial 2-player rules that Tom Lehman developed work quite well and give a nice, tight game. Don't be afraid to try them.


Hey, talking about the 2 player rules, can anyone who plays 2 player a lot clarify a setup rule for me? If both the B&O and the C&O are not in play do you put a token for each of them in Cincinnati? Or just one?
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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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I think you remove one of {B&O, C&O, IC} and one of {GT, NYC, Erie, PRR} so you never remove both B&O and C&O.
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Alex Drazen
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In the living rules for the GMT edition, it says to remove either one (4p game) or two (3p game) things from each group: blue square, orange circle, green diamond.

Green diamonds are found on some of the public companies. If I recall, the GT, NYC, and IC will always be in the game in this version, while one or two of C&O, B&O, Erie, and PRR can be randomly removed from that group.


Noted below that the question was about 2p, my mistake.
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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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I think the question is about the designer's proposed 2-player variant.

See here:

DRAFT 2-Player 1846 Rules (by the game designer)
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Palmer Eldritch
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Eric Brosius wrote:
I think you remove one of {B&O, C&O, IC} and one of {GT, NYC, Erie, PRR} so you never remove both B&O and C&O.


Ah, I've obviously been confused about which are removed, and got it in my head that you remove one from the green diamond set and one from the non-diamond set. But that's not the case. Thanks, Eric.
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Tom Lehmann
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Correct; the sets of RRs in the 2P variant are different from those in the 3+ player games.
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Morten K
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I just played 1846 two days ago for the first time and absolutely loved it. A great place to start when you're an 18xx newbie.
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Asher D.
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leroy43 wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
TIf you're ever in Boston, let us know and we'll do our best to arrange an 1846 game.

Definitely! I love Boston, one of my favourite US cities.


The feeling is mutual (Vancouver is one of mine)
But that said, do come to Boston.
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Rob Bottos
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Roger, Rick Smith, myself, and Dave Lifford would be happy to sit down and play this game with you. Why not bring it out on July 8th?
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