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1846: The Race for the Midwest» Forums » General

Subject: 5 player game question rss

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Brad T
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Ok, I am a complete newbie to 18XX, and have only one 1846 game under my belt. It was a 3 player game (we were all newbs). But we LOVE it.

So now we have a 5 player game this upcoming weekend and this is my question (well 1st of many).

What are the 4-5 companies (accounting for maybe an investor in SR1?) that tend to get started in the first SR? And what is typically left for later?

Thanks
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Chris Smith
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It depends on the private company distribution and how SR1 unfolds.

I might start a different company than intended depending on what the other player choose both for public companies and their par values.
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Jason Bloody Purchase
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In my experience it depends a lot on how the private company draft shakes-out.
 
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Michael Wheeler
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The Grand Trunk, Illinois Central, the NYC, and the B&O tend to be the companies that open first in the games I've played.

Of note for the Erie, if a player starts that company in the first SR, they should be aware of whether it is operating before or after the NYC as the NYC can block them in until green tiles become available (typically by OR2).

The PRR can be opened by someone if they get the O&I and want to make a dash for Chicago. I've seen it opened in the first SR less often than the ones listed above.

The C&O is started last in every game that I've seen it in. It usually isn't started until routes have been built that it can easily access.
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Eric Brosius
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It depends to some extent on the combinations of private companies that people have drafted. Here are a few thoughts on each of the corporations:

GT: Has excellent access to the key early Windsor - Chicago Connections E/W route. However, it suffers from a critical shortage of stations unless you have one or more of the station-granting privates (MS, C&WI, or to a lesser extent Big 4.) This is aggravated by the fact that the home station in Port Huron isn't well situated for later in the game. You'd like stations in Detroit, Chicago, and Toledo, and if you count, you'll see the problem. It often finds itself running a 5-train route like Windsor - Detroit - Port Huron - Chicago - Connections late in the game, because the stock is bought out early and it's too far to go to save up for a second permanent train and find a route for it.

NYC: Can make excellent early money, and the Erie home station is good both early and late. Has to decide how many 2-trains to buy (if available); it can run them to great effect (Erie-Cleveland and back, and Buffalo-Erie and back will generate $28/share once Erie and Cleveland are green.) However, this can accelerate the train rush, phasing out the very 2-trains you were counting on, and cause the stock to be bought out. You also need to decide which kind of yellow Z-tile to put into Cleveland; do you want to huddle up for early money, or start moving toward Toledo and the west?

Erie: Pretty much inferior to NYC in every way. It gets a cheap station in Erie, but that renders the home station in Salamanca mostly useless, and costs $40 for a city the NYC gets for free. I only launch this if the NYC is already launched. You do have to watch for NYC blocking, but on the flip side, you can block it. This usually isn't much of a problem because once Phase II starts (mostly in OR 1.1 in our games) you can upgrade.

PRR: I mostly launch this if I want fast access to Chicago, since it has the Fort Wayne teleport. This is particularly attractive if you have Meat Packing; I've seen people score Chicago with Meat up to 3 times in Phase II. It need not worry so much about being blocked in by the NYC or Erie, since it always has the teleport. It also has an extra station, which can be useful for offense and/or defense.

B&O: It's hemmed in by terrain, and the teleport to Cincinnati is expensive, but it has one huge advantage: its home station in Wheeling gets $40 extra if you have Steamboat. You can run a pair of 2-trains for $19/share laying only the green X in Wheeling. Alternatively, if you have the Big 4, you can buy it in early, build to Cincinnati, and get the station there for only $40 since you're not teleporting.

C&O: We virtually never start this in Stock Round 1. It might be useful if you have the Big 4, since you could get a 3/5-train route to Chicago, but in many of those cases the B&O would work just as well (and Pittsburgh is better than Charleston.)

IC: This is attractive to the player who has spent a lot on privates, since it comes with extra capital. The station in Cairo is almost useless, but even so the IC can be attractive. Its problem is finding an E connection. It pairs very nicely with the MS, and pretty well with the C&WI. The O&I is also helpful to the IC in its quest for an E connection. Don't feel you have to start it at a high initial price to maximize the extra capital. I've seen people start it at (say) $70/share and do very well.
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