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2038: Tycoons of the Asteroid Belt» Forums » Reviews

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Brian Bankler
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San Antonio
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Imagine my surprise while perusing the geek that 2038 has no reviews!

2038 is part of the "18xx" family of train games. The goal is to make the most money via owning shares of corporations. There are two types of turns -- stock rounds, where players buy and sell stock, and operating rounds. During an operating round each company runs, with all decisions made by the player owning the most shares (the president).

You can read a general review of all 18xx games by me, which summarizes numerous games. If you just want to see what I wrote about 2038:

Quote:

2038 is basically an 18xx game in space. However, 2038 is significantly different from the other games in that the map changes from game to game. Players explore the asteroid belt, building the map as they go. This makes 2038 the first game of the series to have a luck factor, which some people may like and some people may not. The biggest failing of the game, in my opinions, is that the order in which the companies start up is, while not fixed, significantly controlled and that the minor companies; which I feel may have unbalanced 1835, are also here and are also a very dominant factor in the game. I'm not yet convinced that control of more minor companies is the only path to victory, but it is certainly a viable path.


I wrote that in 1995. It's been a long time since then, how do I feel about 2038? Well, I like the 18xx series, but it's long. That being said, a few years ago I went through a phase where I played 1830, 1856, 1870 (the three most easily available games, IMO), as well as some of the kit games (1876, 1899, 1841). I never got around to playing 2038.

I personally don't care for the luck. The other issue is that 2038 takes about 1-2 hours longer than most of the "mainstream" 18xx games. This is mainly due to the novel delivery system, which I've never really gotten used to.

I actually wouldn't mind playing this again, possibly using a variant starting packet (these don't seem to be posted on the geek).

If you like heavy economic games, then it's worth checking out the series. I'd start with 1830, 1856 or 1870 first. If you want a bit of luck (to mix it up), then 2038 is a good choice. If you don't like heavy economic games, you'll want to avoid this (and the series).
 
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Håkan König
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Bankler wrote:
I actually wouldn't mind playing this again, possibly using a variant starting packet (these don't seem to be posted on the geek).
If these variants speed up the game, then feel free to post them (or a link to them) somewhere on the geek. I've not been able to play it myself due to the long playing time, but I have it and I want to try it, and anything that brings the playing time down a notch or two would be appreciated.
 
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Brad Miller
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No, those variants would not really "speed the game"
 
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Colin Kameoka
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The speed of 2038 really depends on the players. When I played with people familiar with 2038 the game usually finished in 4 hours. Since "claimed" rocks are going to be a priority for your cargo and since there are no "railheads" in space it should be very easy to be working your turn out in advance. The slow games happen when people wait til their turn to figure out and calculate their run when often much of what they do can be done in advance.
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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The variant is up:

2038: Tycoons of the Asteroid Belt Expansion Set
 
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