Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

18xx» Forums » General

Subject: Intro game for 18xx newbie rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Lukas Wernig
Austria
Villach
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey there,

I have been looking around for a bit and decided I want to dip my toes into 18xx games. Now what game would you, the experts, recommend for getting started/trying one out?

Thanks in advance.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Any one that interests you.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lukas Wernig
Austria
Villach
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clearclaw wrote:
Any one that interests you.


very helpful, thank you
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd suggest starting with one that other players in your area want to play. It's important to have at least 3 people if you want to learn 18xx. And if you can, try to learn from experienced 18xx players; it's not the only way, but it is a lot easier to learn that way.

I know that there are 18xx players in the area of Wien; one of them is my friend Ronnie:

Ron
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
“It's all in the mind.” ― George Harrison
badge
Devoted Follower of the Most Holy Church of the Evil Bob. Possessed and down the road to become chaotic, evil & naughty. All hail the Evil Bob and his Stargate.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


That's quite a distance from where you are, but maybe he will know whether there's anyone else who lives closer.

And, to be specific, I usually recommend 1846: The Race for the Midwest for learning. Here's my explanation of why:

1846 --- a fine introductory game in the 18XX series

It's a game that's in print and the price is very reasonable for an 18xx game. But other games will work for learning also.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
“It's all in the mind.” ― George Harrison
badge
Devoted Follower of the Most Holy Church of the Evil Bob. Possessed and down the road to become chaotic, evil & naughty. All hail the Evil Bob and his Stargate.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Feel free to contact me if you are in the vicinity meeple
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1846
-available at relatively low(er) price.
-less complex ruleset will not turn off potential opponents being taught the game.
-not as long as other games.

1830
-same as above tho' too vanilla for me.

1889
-like 1830 but smaller/shorter playtime.
-available but expensive.

18CZ
-three games in one
-the 2-3 player game is very simple with the other two games increasing in complexity.
-costly, good value for the price.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
flea4 wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Any one that interests you.


very helpful, thank you


I do think it is that simple: if you think one is interesting, go play it. The 18xx aren't Everest that needs extensive preparation just to begin to climb.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
-=::) Dante (::=-
United States
KEW GARDENS
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clearclaw wrote:
flea4 wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Any one that interests you.


very helpful, thank you


I do think it is that simple: if you think one is interesting, go play it. The 18xx aren't Everest that needs extensive preparation just to begin to climb.


Oh come on now JC. Are you seriously suggesting that 1817 is just as good an entry point for a complete newcomer as 1889 or 1846? Especially for someone whose highest rated games are things like Love Letter, King of Tokyo, and Cosmic Encounter? (nothing wrong with that at all Lukas, don't read that as a slight)

I get that with your level of immersion in the genre you may forget what it's like for someone completely new to tackle games this different and involved but contending that any 18xx is just as good a start as any other for someone who has never played anything like them borders on the obtuse.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
NuMystic wrote:
Are you seriously suggesting that 1817 is just as good an entry point for a complete newcomer as 1889 or 1846?


Having seen an interested player start with 1817 as their first 18xx and do just fine (and continue playing to this day), yes. Ditto for 18C2C. The interest is the key: interest can & will carry the player across any barrier. Without the interest, you've got nothing.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
-=::) Dante (::=-
United States
KEW GARDENS
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clearclaw wrote:
NuMystic wrote:
Are you seriously suggesting that 1817 is just as good an entry point for a complete newcomer as 1889 or 1846?


Having seen an interested player start with 1817 as their first 18xx and do just fine (and continue playing to this day), yes. Ditto for 18C2C. The interest is the key: interest can & will carry the player across any barrier. Without the interest, you've got nothing.


If the player wasn't already interested they wouldn't have been posting here asking for recommended titles! laugh
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
Thus my answer. They've got the interest: play whatever interests them.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
-=::) Dante (::=-
United States
KEW GARDENS
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clearclaw wrote:
Thus my answer. They've got the interest: play whatever interests them.


Yep, except that is quite clearly not what they OP was actually asking for. Thankfully others were happy to be more obliging.

I really should know better by now. One of these days I'll learn.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
General Norris
Spain
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
While Clearclaw might be harsh, he's right that if you really, really want to play a given game, chances are you can jump directly. That said, some games are better than others at providing a "base" or more representative 18XX experience.

First, you should tell us how many players do you have to play.

Anyways, for me the standard recommendations are (in order):


1825 (2-4 players, more if you get more than one Unit): This is the simplest of all 18XX games, being a remake of the first game in the series and hence lacking all the posterior divergencies. It's a great, subtle game, which ought to be mentioned alongisde Tresham's own Civilization.

It's great for beginners because it's very focused on the basic mechanics: Track is very tight, portfolio management is difficult and interesting and while there's not much of a train rush, no game is more focused on "How many trains should I get my company and from where"? than 1825. These are all very important skills.

It's also a short game, a single unit isn't longuer than a heavy euro is.

1830 (4-5 players, 6 players for non beginners): This is a more complex game than 1825 but it's still a Tresham design and, hence, completely devoid of unnecesary details or chrome. This is a fantastic, brutal game of stock manipulation, the kind that the 18XX series is so famous for. And it's on the highest tier when it comes to that brand of gameplay.

There's an issue: 1830 is about stock manipulation and little else. It's very much on the extreme end of 18XX when it comes to balance between the stock market and the operation rounds. The more you play it, the less the track building or the way you run a company matters. Sure, there are metapatterns and some variability but they are dwarfed by the stock manipulation. If you like "running trains" this is not the game to get.

1889: (3-4 players) This is a smaller 1830. It's probably much easier to get a copy of 1830 unless you want to print your own copy.

1846: This is touted as a simple, solid 18XX title and it is. It has a bit of stock manipulation and a bit of operating. It has a lot of replay value and some intrincancies, like partial capitalisation. It's also easy to find, profesionally produced and on the short side. All these things make it a good game for beginners.

You might also consider other titles, if you are really interested. I don't think it's farfetched to play, say, 1853 if it's something that grabs you.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
General_Norris wrote:
1889: (3-4 players) This is a smaller 1830. It's probably much easier to get a copy of 1830 unless you want to print your own copy.


1889 is currently available from All-Aboard Games. Lead time between order and shipping is generally small single digit days. It also supports up to 6 and down to 2 players (not just 3-4). I don't particularly recommend the 6 player game, but the 5 player game is fine.

The charm of 1889 is that it can be a stock manipulation game, or a revenue game, or a train management game, or a...long list of options. It depends on where the players collectively steer it. Most of the time with new players it is a revenue game. With more experienced or aggressive players it is more often a stock or train management game.

Quote:
1846: This is touted as a simple, solid 18XX title and it is.


I don't agree that it is simple, but details, horses and roundabouts. It is however the closest to a traditional engine-building eurogame and if a player is looking for that sort of thing...
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lukas Wernig
Austria
Villach
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
General_Norris wrote:

First, you should tell us how many players do you have to play.


Probably it will be 2-4 players most of the time.

Thank you guys for the input, I will have a closer look at the suggested games

As for my highest rated games, yes most of them are lighter games, but only because I often play with some newer players. Also a few of my favorites are TI3 and Dominant Species so I am happy to try heavier games
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ingo Griebsch
Germany
Bochum
North Rhine-Westphalia
flag msg tools
Coding Architect | Husband and father | Boardgame addict | Loves Clutch as well as Tricky
badge
Coding Architect | Husband and father | Boardgame addict | Loves Clutch as well as Tricky
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flea4 wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Any one that interests you.


very helpful, thank you

The more you know how to Play 18xx the more you know how to take JC's comments.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter de Boer
Austria
Velden
Carinthia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am living quite close to you, Lukas, in Velden, only 20km from Villach. I have several 18xx games in my collection, if you like to try one of them out, just let me know.

By the way, the mention of Cosmic Encounter and Love Letter rang a bell. I think I have met you a couple of years ago at the Spielekreis Klagenfurt, could that be?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lychenus
msg tools
1830.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Igor Kaplounenko
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
I now have full access to your systems.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
flea4 wrote:
Hey there,

I have been looking around for a bit and decided I want to dip my toes into 18xx games. Now what game would you, the experts, recommend for getting started/trying one out?

Thanks in advance.


Clearclaw is being needlessly brusque.

Sure, if you have a group of dedicated 18xx players who are willing and have all the time in the world, then you can pick any game you want. But I'm going to assume here that you're going to play with people unfamiliar with the genre, and who would have trouble committing to an overly long game. If that is the case:

* If you're interested in 18xx primarily for the stock market manipulation with route building taking a back seat, good starting choices are 1889 if you can afford it, and 1830 if you can't. 1889 is a streamlined version of 1830 with a more balanced starting auction, as the private companies have more sensible starting prices that don't induce you to underbid (here's looking at you, C&A). It is also noticeably shorter, while still retaining the stock market shenanigans. 1830 has the advantage of being the "canonical" 18xx game, and you can practice by playing the abandonware computer version (but the AI is terrible). Sadly, Mayfair cannot reprint an already existing game without adding mistakes, so be sure to consult the errata if you go for 1830.
* If you're looking for a more operational game, Poseidon (a.k.a. 1800BC) is an interesting choice. It doesn't use track tiles, making getting familiar with the track manifest and fishing for individual tiles unnecessary. Instead, it uses tokens both for "merchants" (shares) and "trading posts" (track), which adds an interesting wrinkle to the game. 18xx purists don't tend to like it that much, and I will concede that the opening of the game is rather scripted, but it serves as a fine introduction to the genre in a comparatively short amount of time. Another game to consider is Steam over Holland, which is more true to the spirit, but tends to be expensive.

Otherwise, 1846 has a good rep. I haven't tried it and I'm not sure where it stands on the market-operational spectrum, but Thomas Lehmann is probably my favorite game designer, so I expect it to be at least decent, and likely to be very good.

If you are trying to wrangle other players into trying an 18xx game and want the shortest possible distillation of the 18xx mechanics, I strongly recommend Paris Connection. It's a great game on its own, and can be viewed as a "euro" version of an 18xx game that cuts all the possible corners in order to fit into a 30 minute playing time (with highly experienced players). I was honestly getting tired of people wanting to play it all the time, so I don't bring it with me anymore. whistle
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Angelos Luthasun
Greece
Athens
Athens
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For my party the titles that works well with this order:

Poseidon
Steam over Holland or 1846: The Race for the Midwest
and then 1830: Railways & Robber Barons.

Poseidon is a 18xx\cube rail hybrid and the "theme" makes it more easy to "digest" for the new players.

Steam Over Holland (after the Poseidon) is good because is inroduce the tiles and is nice for 2 players. But as a game the 1846 is better.

And then 1830

The 1830 for me is the king,
not too heavy not too light is perfect, introduce a different stock market system. Is more stock market game than a tile placement.
The road after 1830 is open for more heavier and long titles.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.