L & K Punzet
Australia
Panania
NSW
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I bought 1870 second hand recently. My group had played 1846 several times. What would you say this game offers to justify the longer play time and learning the rule differences?
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J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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From my ratings comment:

1870 has a few remarkable traits.

First is that all 10 companies are equally viable in SR1. Not just conceivably viable, but equally viable, each with multiple viable and significantly different strategic directions. That's not an easy thing to accomplish in an 18xx game and I remain amazed at how slickly it was done.

Second is price protection. Whooo boy! Price protection is a Jedi's sword. In the hands of a skilled player it is a thing of beauty and precision. In the hands of a slightly green player (and it doesn't take much greenness at all), price protection throws games, creates and destroys player positions and then cancels the previously thrown games and awards them to someone else. All in a trice and while machine-gunning random players and handing piles of money to others. It is beautifully opaque, indirect, skill-rewarding, graceful and brilliant...when used by a Jedi. Otherwise it mostly scatters slices of fingers, and random limbs about the place while the players stare uncomprehending and see nothing or wonder blankly at the scattering of mortal holes that now grace their positions.

Third...and this is a bit curious, is the train roster. There are essentially two ways to win 1870: Early money and a quickly packed and optimised portfolio; or: Run 12Ts for massive income in the end-game. They both work and work well (though the second pretty much disappears as a viable path with even slightly green players) and making that balance work as a design property is remarkable.

Fourth is the design's flexibility and resilience. 1870 is not a fast developing game, a violent game, or a quick game. It tends to start up, get rolling and to then trundle along at a fairly healthy clip while presenting the players with bounteous unclear options. And if something goes wrong or struggles or fumbles, there are a lot of ways to respond and adapt and reposition and bring the fight back to your assaulters -- if you can just see clearly enough. And then the same is true for them. And so on. The result is that the game becomes one of muscular pushing and pulling and shoving and adapting, giving a bit, gaining a bit, advantages claimed here but losses taken there...but then...and playing aikido both in the operations and the stock market (both must be in concert) with all the grace notes delivered by price protection. There's a fundamental charm and reward to that, especially for a group that plays 1870 often -- and I know of groups that have pretty much been playing 1870 every week of every year since it was published over 30 years ago, and they're still having a great time.


Mostly I recommend putting it aside -- you won't have the skills to appreciate it for a few more scores of games -- and getting a copy of 1830 and playing that a few dozen times before moving forward.
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Michael Theiss
United States
College Station
Texas
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1870 hand down the best 18XX to teach and play. We play this one more than any other. After over 200 plays still look forward to playing it.
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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Do you have a really long time to play?

What Clearclaw said. You won't appreciate the differences, but you will notice the increased game length...
 
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lyn chenry
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1870 is quite different from the main 1830 branch.

or simply speaking 1846 is, on top of 1870, too far away from the 1830 main branch. having such a huge step i wont surprise if it results in a fail.
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Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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paperemail wrote:
1870 hand down the best 18XX to teach and play. We play this one more than any other. After over 200 plays still look forward to playing it.


It's also the favorite 18xx in my group and my most played 18xx with 40 games. We always play with computer support to handle the cash management so we are able to finish a game in 4 hours now. But without experience and without computer support, expect 7-8 hours per game.

It's a solid title with enough variation to hold up. But it's a completely different beast than 1846 which offers a much quicker return on investment.
 
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