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Subject: Few newbie questions rss

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Willow Pearson
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So I picked this up on the basis that the TTS version of 1800 was pretty fun. trying to play this solo as 3 players but there's a lot to learn and unlearn.

- I've seen pictures where a track end is cut off by an adjacent tile (i.e. the hexgrain has track on one side and non on the other) what's the legal way of this happening? Being a dick and cutting off a rival, putting a yellow down even though it's blocked because you want to upgrade next, or both?

- Several examples of play I see involve dumping a load of stock in the bank, it that just for spending a crapload on trains that round (used to the one train per OR from 1800 still...)?

- What happens when a minor (e.g Big 4) gets bought up? Do you just drop the card in the box and give the corp the token, train and cash? Can't see any mechanism for reselling them.

- I pretty much always end up with each player running one company (with some crossbuy) but they usually end up train tight (especially if they bring in a minor). Is the only way to deal with that to float a new company just to dump a train or two in?

Ruleswise it's not the hardest game I've tried, but the strategy's a nightmare.
 
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Alex Drazen
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I've seen pictures where a track end is cut off by an adjacent tile (i.e. the hexgrain has track on one side and non on the other) what's the legal way of this happening? Being a dick and cutting off a rival, putting a yellow down even though it's blocked because you want to upgrade next, or both?


Yup. However, you cannot lay track directly into a dead, off-board hex (red or grey) with no track coming out of it. This is why Wheeling and the GT home hex can never be upgraded beyond green track, and only one green track fits in each space.

A common play might be to lay a yellow track pointing at another on one round, then perform a green upgrade on the next round to connect them.

Quote:
- Several examples of play I see involve dumping a load of stock in the bank, it that just for spending a crapload on trains that round (used to the one train per OR from 1800 still...)?


Very common. If you set it up just right you can theoretically open a company at $150 for six shares, dump four shares in the market, and buy three brown trains (assuming the timing on the trains works out, and that's pretty much a big key to any 18xx... how the trains come out).

Quote:
What happens when a minor (e.g Big 4) gets bought up? Do you just drop the card in the box and give the corp the token, train and cash? Can't see any mechanism for reselling them.


Yes. Also, I do not think companies can be re-sold in 1846 once bought up by a corporation.

Quote:
I pretty much always end up with each player running one company (with some crossbuy) but they usually end up train tight (especially if they bring in a minor). Is the only way to deal with that to float a new company just to dump a train or two in?


Phased out trains do not count against the train limit. Another way to get a company some space is when a phase change is triggered. If people are playing aggressively enough, nobody will be train tight for very long in 1846!

Quote:
Ruleswise it's not the hardest game I've tried, but the strategy's a nightmare.


Definitely requires a lot of planning and predicting others' plans. There's an optimal configuration, but there's no guarantee you'll actually be able to construct it.
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Willow Pearson
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Thanks, clears a lot of it up.

This though:

alexdrazen wrote:
Phased out trains do not count against the train limit.


Phasing doesn't happen until browns though, so it's really easy to get shafted if you buy 2's and bring in a minor, other players don't really have much incentive to move up to phase 3 if they've already got phase 2 trains and you're lumped with phase 1's. Also don't see much reason for phase three other than starting it with one for tactical rusting; being permanent you're screwing yourself over by losing a phase 4 train.

Guess this part just isn't clicking for me yet.

Also just realised I don't understand the phase 4 tokens (boats and meat plant), aren't they supposed to vanish at start of phase 3? What's the point of a token without a company?
 
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Oedipussy Rex
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deathninja wrote:
So I picked this up on the basis that the TTS version of 1800 was pretty fun. trying to play this solo as 3 players but there's a lot to learn and unlearn.

- I've seen pictures where a track end is cut off by an adjacent tile (i.e. the hexgrain has track on one side and non on the other) what's the legal way of this happening? Being a dick and cutting off a rival, putting a yellow down even though it's blocked because you want to upgrade next, or both?

You are not obligated to respect the plans of others. The only rules concerning track is 1) you cannot have track lead to a red or grey location unless there is track available in that location (this is why Wheeling and Port Huron cannot be upgraded beyond green); and 2) track cannot lead to any blue section, at all. Beyond that it's fair game. It's very common for Erie not to start later in the game because the track lays and tokening make it impossible to get more than a 4-run. (Exception being restrictions on the O&I and MC minors.)

Quote:
- Several examples of play I see involve dumping a load of stock in the bank, it that just for spending a crapload on trains that round (used to the one train per OR from 1800 still...)?


Do you mean the issuing of shares from a corporation's treasury? Yes, that's usually used to by a crapload of trains. Also to get money for the other operating costs: laying track, placing tokens, and buying in minors. 1846 does not have a 1 train per OR restriction. That restriction is mainly a Mark Derrick thing.

Quote:
- What happens when a minor (e.g Big 4) gets bought up? Do you just drop the card in the box and give the corp the token, train and cash? Can't see any mechanism for reselling them.


Yep, you dump the assets into the company and the card into the box. There is no reselling. However, the person owning the minor can sell to the corp of another player. Doesn't make much sense, but it can be done.

The non-train minors sit in the owning corps' treasury, providing income even after they have performed their particular functions; e.g. O&I will still pay $15 each OR even after its track has been laid, until it goes away in Phase III.

Quote:
- I pretty much always end up with each player running one company (with some crossbuy) but they usually end up train tight (especially if they bring in a minor). Is the only way to deal with that to float a new company just to dump a train or two in?


Starting a new company is the usual method (there is no Float in 1846; the company operates on the President's share).

Quote:
Ruleswise it's not the hardest game I've tried, but the strategy's a nightmare.


You get used to it. Those who don't aren't fit for 18xx. I hear there are lovely games of Dixit or Cards Against Humanity for those people. (I would make a snide comment about Ticket to Ride, but I actually like TtR when I'm looking for quick, light fare. Plus it's my niece's favorite game, so there you are.)

EDIT: Did it really take that long to type a response?
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Oedipussy Rex
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deathninja wrote:
Also just realised I don't understand the phase 4 tokens (boats and meat plant), aren't they supposed to vanish at start of phase 3? What's the point of a token without a company?


The token is an abstract that represents some technology providing additional income. With O&I and MC you get track. When the company goes away the track sticks around. With Big 4 and MS you get a small train. The company goes away but the train sticks around. For Steamboat you get, I don't know, cranes for loading and unloading. Come Phase IV, advances make whatever the token represents obsolete.
 
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Willow Pearson
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OedipussyRex wrote:
The token is an abstract that represents some technology providing additional income. With O&I and MC you get track. When the company goes away the track sticks around. With Big 4 and MS you get a small train. The company goes away but the train sticks around. For Steamboat you get, I don't know, cranes for loading and unloading. Come Phase IV, advances make whatever the token represents obsolete.


So the second token goes on the company card to show they still get the bonus (just not the OR income)? Can the steamboat (on-map) token stll be shifted?
 
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Alexandre P.
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OedipussyRex wrote:
deathninja wrote:
So I picked this up on the basis that the TTS version of 1800 was pretty fun. trying to play this solo as 3 players but there's a lot to learn and unlearn.

- I've seen pictures where a track end is cut off by an adjacent tile (i.e. the hexgrain has track on one side and non on the other) what's the legal way of this happening? Being a dick and cutting off a rival, putting a yellow down even though it's blocked because you want to upgrade next, or both?

You are not obligated to respect the plans of others. The only rules concerning track is 1) you cannot have track lead to a red or grey location unless there is track available in that location (this is why Wheeling and Port Huron cannot be upgraded beyond green); and 2) track cannot lead to any blue section, at all. Beyond that it's fair game. It's very common for Erie not to start later in the game because the track lays and tokening make it impossible to get more than a 4-run. (Exception being restrictions on the O&I and MC minors.)


And when upgrading you need to keep previous routes.
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Alex Drazen
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deathninja wrote:
Thanks, clears a lot of it up.

This though:

alexdrazen wrote:
Phased out trains do not count against the train limit.


Phasing doesn't happen until browns though, so it's really easy to get shafted if you buy 2's and bring in a minor, other players don't really have much incentive to move up to phase 3 if they've already got phase 2 trains and you're lumped with phase 1's. Also don't see much reason for phase three other than starting it with one for tactical rusting; being permanent you're screwing yourself over by losing a phase 4 train.

Guess this part just isn't clicking for me yet.

Also just realised I don't understand the phase 4 tokens (boats and meat plant), aren't they supposed to vanish at start of phase 3? What's the point of a token without a company?


The other players should have an ENORMOUS incentive to get Phase 3 trains: it phases out the 2T's, making the opponents' companies have to withhold or half-cap as all of their trains become obsolete. If they buy aggressively enough to get out GREY trains, it nukes the 2T's entirely before they run again, and that will basically destroy anyone who still had any 2T's in their company/companies.

It's a 4 train limit before brown trains (including the green/second phase) and a 3 train limit in brown (only 2 in grey). And phased-out trains don't count against this limit.

Usually as the owner of a minor RR, I will only buy two 2T's to my public company, and then my third 2T will be from the minor, and I'll try to snag a green in OR1.2, or rarely in OR2.1 -- no sense overstuffing yourself with nothing but 2T's you might not even be able to use, especially on some RR's. But if someone lets me sit on three 2T's and a green train for a long time, I'm generally going to win that game, unless they are sitting on two 2T's and two green trains, in which case someone else has space for a train and should be gobbling up trains like Tic-Tacs, because they're falling way behind.

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Tom Lehmann
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deathninja wrote:
So the second token goes on the company card to show they still get the bonus (just not the OR income [or other properties of the Private Companies])? Can the steamboat (on-map) token still be shifted?

No. See 6.93.
 
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Eric Brosius
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deathninja wrote:
they usually end up train tight

One or two corporations may wind up train tight, but they shouldn't all find themselves in that situation.

# Players 3p 4p 5p
# Corps 5 6 7
Ph I & II trains 11 13 15
Trains/player 3.7 3.3 3.0
Trains/corp 2.2 2.2 2.1


Now, the train limit in Phases I and II is 4. Especially in a 3p game, you might be train tight, but not everyone can be, assuming you each have one corporation. (I omit the case in which there are fewer corporations than players; this doesn't usually last very long even if it occurs.) If you are train tight, your corporation has more trains that those run by at least one other player, so all else being equal, you should be happy with the situation and the player with fewer trains will be unhappy.

If you are train tight, but are still making less money than your opponent(s), you are using the capital you put into your corporation less efficiently, and maybe then you need to force a change but you are train tight. In this situation, perhaps you need to launch a second corporation to buy trains. A second corporation often is not a winning move in 1846: The Race for the Midwest like it is in some other games, but it is a way to get yourself out of a corner like this.
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Eric Brosius
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deathninja wrote:
What happens when a minor (e.g Big 4) gets bought up? Do you just drop the card in the box and give the corp the token, train and cash? Can't see any mechanism for reselling them.

A corporation cannot sell a private company in 1846: The Race for the Midwest. It's typical in 18xx games that corporations cannot sell private companies (in games where corporations can own private companies.)
 
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Oedipussy Rex
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Xahendir wrote:
OedipussyRex wrote:
deathninja wrote:
So I picked this up on the basis that the TTS version of 1800 was pretty fun. trying to play this solo as 3 players but there's a lot to learn and unlearn.

- I've seen pictures where a track end is cut off by an adjacent tile (i.e. the hexgrain has track on one side and non on the other) what's the legal way of this happening? Being a dick and cutting off a rival, putting a yellow down even though it's blocked because you want to upgrade next, or both?

You are not obligated to respect the plans of others. The only rules concerning track is 1) you cannot have track lead to a red or grey location unless there is track available in that location (this is why Wheeling and Port Huron cannot be upgraded beyond green); and 2) track cannot lead to any blue section, at all. Beyond that it's fair game. It's very common for Erie not to start later in the game because the track lays and tokening make it impossible to get more than a 4-run. (Exception being restrictions on the O&I and MC minors.)


And when upgrading you need to keep previous routes.


Yes. My comment was poorly worded in that I didn't make it clear that I was referring to laying yellow, even though the same rules apply to the upgrades. My parenthetical about Wheeling and Port Huron didn't help the matter.

And speaking of upgrading, the company making the upgrade must also be able to access some part of the new track, unless the tile being upgraded is a city, in that case the company just needs to be able to reach the city.

(And as a bonus, extended, non-sequitur parenthetical, upgrade rules are part of why I call silver tiles silver, not grey. You aren't allowed to have track lead to grey that doesn't have track. This means you cannot build Centralia from the Southeast or Northwest. So let's say Indianapolis has been upgraded to silver. It's still possible to build track or do an upgrade have track that leads to the blank side of Indianapolis. If the tile were grey instead of silver, then you have to start getting into pedantic BS that no, it's the "off-board" greys that you can't build to, this is "on-board" and yeah, Centralia is "on-board" also, but it's a preprinted tile, and just accept that there are different types of grey and this is the good one and that is the bad one. Calling the color after brown silver saves all kinds of problems.)

(I miss russet. If there's ever an 18Idaho will it make a comeback?)
 
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Willow Pearson
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So launching a new corp is a(n expensive) way out if you've painted yourself into a corner, thought as much.

My learning game got to the point where corp A had 2*2, a 4 plus MS, corp B had the same but with B4, and C had a 2 and 2*4, so was the only one free to buy rolling stock.

While doing so would wipe out most of the competition's trains, it meant they could upgrade later as a result, and would end up closer to the better permanents while C would be stuck with one of their 2 allowed being the worst.

Though the mosr I think about it I might be obsessing over maximisation too much (as in 2*7/8 being the goal), probably could run most unblocked end-game routes with a mix of permanants.

Tom Lehmann wrote:
No. See 6.93.


Now I'm even more confused on this point.

I get that entering P3 means that *all* private companies bar the Mail (if bought) die in the current OR, even if other corps haven't ran yet.

That means no income, and any MC/O&I hexes are fair game if still empty, along with the C&WI spot.

I don't get how meat or boats work at all other than the basic income until P3 starts.

*EDIT*: Hang on, unless the markers stay in their last spot used and the "second token" is like a pseudo-company card as a reminder you still get the benefit of the token?
 
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Eric Brosius
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deathninja wrote:
I don't get how meat or boats work at all other than the basic income until P3 starts.

In games with experienced players, it's typical that all or almost all of the private companies are bought by corporations in the first set of Operating Rounds (e.g., before the second Stock Round.) There are two reasons for this:

(1) You want to start using their special powers. (Note that the Steamboat Company's special power can be used without buying it in.)

(2) You want to get cash from the purchasing corporation into your own hands so you can use it to buy stock in SR 2.

So when you're discussing the situation of private companies going away with the start of Phase III (excepting a Mail Contract that has been bought in,) it feels like an edge case to me.

That having been said, when a corporation buys Meat Packing from a player (almost always the player who is the President of the buying-in corporation,) it places one Meat Packing token on Chicago or St. Louis to represent a Meat Packing plant and the other token on the charter of that corporation to denote that the corporation has the ability to use the Meat Packing bonus. This token makes the marked location worth $30 more (for every train that corporation runs to that city.) So, for example, if placed in St. Louis, then St. Louis is worth $80 rather than $50 in Phases I and II for that corporation. This is significant. The Steamboat works the same way, except that you can assign the token even before the private company is bought in to any corporation or independent railroad. At the start of every OR, the Steamboat token on the board may be moved to a new anchor spot (a key feature of steamboats is their mobility, except for some used for casinos.) However, the Meat Packing token may not be moved once placed (it's hard to move a plant.)

When Phase III begins, the Meat Packing and Steamboat companies go away, and no longer generate private company income. However, their tokens (on the map and on the charters) do not go away (unless the private companies were never bought in.) They stay until the start of Phase IV.
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Alex Drazen
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Though the mosr I think about it I might be obsessing over maximisation too much (as in 2*7/8 being the goal), probably could run most unblocked end-game routes with a mix of permanants.


One brown train plus one grey train and two routes is usually about all you're going to get. Someone's going to be throwing down tokens eventually. A second grey might not get much past a 6T, and all of the short E/W Chicago routes (ending in the Great Lakes) only require a 5T or 4/6T.

A well constructed route from St. Louis to the far E can also only be 5 or 6 cities in many cases. I've done fine with two browns, though the ideal is probably one brown and one grey. It costs $300 (6T vs 5T) to $450 (7/8T vs. 4/6T) less, so while you won't quite max out the revenues, it makes keeping "safe" routes easier and it's a much more efficient use of company cash (they'll usually want some money left for track and upgrades!)
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Eric Brosius
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Sometimes a company gets two 7/8-trains with good routes (most commonly NYC IMO) but it's pretty rare.
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deathninja wrote:
While doing so would wipe out most of the competition's trains, it meant they could upgrade later as a result, and would end up closer to the better permanents while C would be stuck with one of their 2 allowed being the worst.


The larger permanent trains aren't necessarily better. Yes, they can hit more stations but they are also more expensive. The amount of times where getting two of the cheaper brown trains is better than getting a brown and a grey train is not insignificant. Doubly so if you can get two brown trains instead of a single grey train because of treasury limits.
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Willow Pearson
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Eric Brosius wrote:
When Phase III begins, the Meat Packing and Steamboat companies go away, and no longer generate private company income. However, their tokens (on the map and on the charters) do not go away (unless the private companies were never bought in.) They stay until the start of Phase IV.


So...

In P3 the MPP and SBC tokens are still on the map (SBC where it was last left before P3), the cards are gone, but the owning corps have the second token for the resepective company.

MPP owner still gets 30 a pop for runs to the plant, SBC owner still gets bonus for runs to that port, but it can't move anymore.

In P4 they go entirely.

Close?
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deathninja wrote:
Close?

You got it.
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Willow Pearson
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Thanks all, sitting down again with a ledger (seriously, screw paper money), the rule book and a bottle of red and it's starting to come together now, surprised how quickly you can hit P2 if anyone goes aggressive, prompting the others to keep up.

Ended up with another "painted into a corner" scenario as the IC blew all that taxpayer money on 2*2, a 4 and ate the Big4, with 2*4 still in the pool (3P game). That said they're set to link all the way to Chicago in turn 2, so either the others will have to nab the 4's to keep up or IC will get ahead enough to set up a shell corp to dump the old stock in (for lack of a proper term, I'm a statistician, not an accountant).
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David Damerell
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deathninja wrote:
Phasing doesn't happen until browns though, so it's really easy to get shafted if you buy 2's and bring in a minor, other players don't really have much incentive to move up to phase 3 if they've already got phase 2 trains and you're lumped with phase 1's.


One other player has no incentive - the player who is doing best out of the status quo. The other players have every reason to disrupt it.

Quote:
Also don't see much reason for phase three other than starting it with one for tactical rusting; being permanent you're screwing yourself over by losing a phase 4 train.


Aside from other replies, the game isn't about opening one company and turning it into a Platonic ideal company in the end with two diseasels. If you're first to have phase 3 trains and make a bundle of money, you're the person with the cash to open (or even take away from someone) a second company - and now you have two slots for those phase 4 trains.
 
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