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Subject: 18XX games - Is there a diffinitive one? rss

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Anthony Sr
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1. Is there a 18XX game that stands above them all?

[b]2.
Is there one that's best to get started with?

3. Whats your favorite one?

 
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Brad Miller
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1. Probably not

2. 1830: Railways & Robber Barons, it's just out of print and will cost you $100...
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David C
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boardgameswithscott.com has a really good rundown of the 18xx series, but right now the 1856 seems to be the easiest to find in stores.
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J C Lawrence
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There are well over 100 18xx (many are not listed on BGG). They cover a huge range of playstyles, topics, and design-approaches. There's no single best, just personal preference. The variation among 18xx titles is not that much smaller than the range of variation among, say, games published or resold by Rio Grande Games -- ie large.

The 18xx fall into two major branches, the 1829-branch which are mostly concerned with portfolio management and exact timing, and the 1830-branch which instead focus on market manipulation and other financial shenanigans. The 1829-branch mostly consists of the 1829 games and the 1825 units. The 1830-branch is more populous and has most of the rest. But of course, there are outliers, games like 18EU, 1860 and 1841 which aren't really part of either of the two main branches and isntead strike out into new territory. Which and what you prefer is a personal preference choice. Some like both.

One of the 1825 units is likely the best choice for starting into the 1829-branch of the 18xx. Pick the unit that best fits your player count (caveat: I prefer 1825 Unit 2 for two players instead of the specifically 2-player-only 1825 Unit 3). They're all good and the 1825s are excellent games that usually play in 2-3 hours.

1830 is an excellent place to get started on the 1830-branch, being both the simplest of the branch and the archetype if you think that style of game may be appealing. 1889 is another great choice as it is actually available and its rules are near identical to 1830's (only two minor changes). 1830 is a roughly 4.5 hour game with experienced players, but expect to take 8+ hours if you don't have at least one experienced 18xx player at the table. 1889 usually fits comfortably in 3 hours, but figure 5+ hours for an all-newbie game.
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Mikko Ämmälä
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neverwhere68 wrote:
1. Is there a 18XX game that stands above them all?

2. Is there one that's best to get started with?

3. Whats your favorite one?



1) Not really. Depending on player count it varies. Also sometimes you want more stock market action (1870) sometimes more browsing through history and era (1824).

2) The best paths to start with is to install dosbox to your PC and find computer version of 1830 (1830: Railroads and Robber Barons). a good teaching tool where AI is murderously good on hardest level. Another is to try free printable 18AL (which is a nice small 18xx game playable in 3h)

3) I generally have loved all 18xx I have played.

I have rated 1870, 1856 and 18VA full '10'. 1870 and 1856 are for heavy 18xx gaming (5-7h). 18VA is a smaller and usually playable in 4h (and it is better than 1856/1870 with only 3 players).

Maybe 1870 is my favourite as I happen to own it .

.mikko
 
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J C Lawrence
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neverwhere68 wrote:
3. Whats your favorite one?


1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight -- possibly also the most unusual, or at least fringe, of the 18xx I've played, and is notably not a member of either the 1829-branch or the 1830-branch. It requires patterns and challenges that share little with any other 18xx game and happens to be quite brilliant with 3 players.
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Håkan König
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1. No. A few seems to have a better reputation than others, but they generally fall into the category of 'if you like one, you'll probably like most of the others as well'.

2. If you can find them, the 1825 Unit 1 and 1825 Unit 2 are excellent starting points. And 18AL & 18GA can be found for free if you want to print yourself. I've also heard good things about 18FL and 18Scan, both of which are available for order from Deep Thought Games, but as they are printed on demand, it's a couple of months waiting time before they are delivered. (I've heard numbers between 3 and 9 mentioned during the last year)

3. 1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire It's probably a medium complexity one, with some possibilities of maneuvering but not as much as in the 1830: Railways & Robber Barons style games though far more evil than 1825 Unit 1 or 1825 Unit 2.
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Jens Hoppe
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1. Not really, I guess. As clearclaw writes, there are two main branches of 18xx games (1829 and 1830), and the 1825 games and 1830 itself are more or less the archetypes of those two branches. I also happen to like both 1825 and 1830 a lot.

2. A fast and relatively easy introduction into the 1830 branch would be the recent Steam over Holland. Mechanically very close to 1830, but faster.

3. 1830: Railways & Robber Barons, definitely.
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1. Is there a 18XX game that stands above them all?

Not really. IMHO there are a few that's "fave" among the others but not really stand above them all. These few would be 1856, 1870, 1830 and 1841 (that's my choice, others may differ)

2. Is there one that's best to get started with?

Yes. 18AL if you are willing to print-n-make would be a great choice. It teaches you the vanilla 18xx ruleset before you branch into the various 18xx maps.

Lately I've enjoyed 18TN and now considers this the best intro for 18xx (at least in my group) plus you can just buy 18TN from Deep Thought Games (but yes, you may need to wait 1 yr to get your copy )

You can read about 18TN in my sessrep here
http://boardgamecafe.net/community/blogs/boardgamecafe_net/a...

18Scan is a good intro for the 18EU series (but it has too many variations from vanilla ruleset to be a good intro for standard 18xx).

3. Whats your favorite one?

This one is easy. Has to be 1856, followed by 1830 (still can't get hold of a good copy via eBay!) and 1841v2.

In fact, as some of the posters said if you like one 18xx chances are you would like most of the other.
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Cliff
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clearclaw wrote:
There are well over 100 18xx (many are not listed on BGG).


Well, let's get crackin'! Where do you recommend finding comprehensive listings of 18xx games? I'm maybe most of a year (and only a few plays) into my 18xx intro and I'd love to play more of the different ones. I'm finally putting together 18AL/GA (free print and play), but it'll take time and is costly. : )
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Green Dan
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Not wishing to hijak this thread at all, but I was looking at getting into some fo this 18xx action. I looked at 18AL rulebook and there's a bit that says:
"Presumably whoever is reading this has played
18xx games before and is familiar with the basic
mechanics of play. If you have never played an
18xx type game before or are a newer player,
please review a rulebook from one of the
commercially available 18xx games such as
Avalon Hill’s 1830™ or Mayfair Games’
1870™."

Are there any copies of these rulebooks available without copyright restrictions? Or at least crib sheets to fill the blanks?


Lies! All Lies! I was directed to http://www.diogenes.sacramento.ca.us/18AL_18GA.html where a complete version of the rules can be found. Along with the rest of the game.
 
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Brad Miller
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There is a Geocities site out there that has an HTML version of the 1856 rules. NO illustrations, AND Geocities is being shut down soon so get it while it lasts...
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Nate Sandall
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Re: 18XX games - Is there a definitive one?
neverwhere68 wrote:
1. Is there a 18XX game that stands above them all?

2. Is there one that's best to get started with?

3. Whats your favorite one?



1. 1830 - it's the one that most of us played first and the one that really got this segment of the hobby going. If 1829 is the Dr No of the 18xx games, then 1830 is the From Russia With Love and the Goldfinger of the bunch.

2. 1830

3. 1856 edges out 1830 as my favorite. The money is tight, but you have loans. But with the loans come a second problem for you to solve. Fortunately you can ditch your company into the Canadian Government Railroad if it's too much of a liability. The game has a great buildup to that climax and has a very satisfying conclusion. With five really good starting companies the games should be interesting for everyone involved. The private companies are all reasonable and well balanced and interesting. And lately I've been aching to play.
 
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Marcus Lau
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neverwhere68 wrote:
1. Is there a 18XX game that stands above them all?

[b]2.
Is there one that's best to get started with?

3. Whats your favorite one?



Here are my answers :

1. Yes, 1841v2. But only if you are willing to invest a whole weekend (friday included) into playing it.

2. 18FL. Good beginner's game. Some tile lays are forced but it makes sense since it is a beginner's game. Another one to look out for is 1889.

3. 18MEX. Nasty train rush, high tile lay costs, and a nasty end game makes this a real roller coaster ride to the finish.
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Joe Huber

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neverwhere68 wrote:
1. Is there a 18XX game that stands above them all?


No.

Quote:
2. Is there one that's best to get started with?


Not a single one, no, but there are lots I've seen used effectively: 1830, 18EU, 1861, 1854, 18FL, and recently Steam Over Holland.

Quote:
3. Whats your favorite one?


2038
 
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Todd Pytel
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I don't have enough 18XX experience to answer your questions, but I would point out that Deep Thought Games is far, far slower than mentioned in some of the posts above. My order placed last October has moved maybe 50 slots, down to ~190 from ~240. That's in over six months. Practically speaking, these games are unobtainable for the new 18XX player, unless you're planning games two years in advance. As far as I can tell, the only 18XX's you're likely to obtain in any reasonable amount of time are the free print-and-plays, 1856 and 1870 (in stores), and 1830 (on eBay).
 
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J C Lawrence
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huber wrote:
Not a single one, no, but there are lots I've seen used effectively: 1830, 18EU, 1861, 1854, 18FL, and recently Steam Over Holland.


We used 18C2C (Coast to Coast) as an 18xx teaching game for an 18xx newbie once, followed the next day by 1837, 1861, and 1824 and I forget what else. Said chap is still playing 18xx to this day. Scary. Neat.
 
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As important as choosing the right game is choosing the right opponents. If at all possible, get into a friendly game with at least a couple of experienced players.

As for which game to start with, I'm pretty inexperienced myself, but I believe Steam Over Holland is still available direct from the publisher. It has comparatively simple rules.

I've only played a few 18xx games so far, but I've probably had the most fun with 2038, which is only sort of an 18xx game. But I never could have played it without a VERY experienced player at the table to make sure we got the rules right.
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Nate Sandall
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dakarp wrote:
As important as choosing the right game is choosing the right opponents. If at all possible, get into a friendly game with at least a couple of experienced players.

As for which game to start with, I'm pretty inexperienced myself, but I believe Steam Over Holland is still available direct from the publisher. It has comparatively simple rules.

I've only played a few 18xx games so far, but I've probably had the most fun with 2038, which is only sort of an 18xx game. But I never could have played it without a VERY experienced player at the table to make sure we got the rules right.


Yeah 2038 with you and (VERY experienced) Joe Huber at BGG con '07 was great fun!
 
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If you can, I'd start with one of the main branches ... not that it's 'better' per se, but they are closest to the "center" of the rules ... in that many of the games in that branch have 1-2 big differences. So you know the core. Whereas if you learn 1856, then add 1870, the rules are a bit more distant.

1856 and 1870 are at least the easiest to find (in the US) and both perfectly reasonable games. 2038 is also easy to trade for, but I think its a real outlier in 18xx.
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Ben Foy
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1. No, like most rail games, different maps and rules breathe life and replayability into the systems. See AoS, Powergrid, TtR, CrayonRails ...

2. No idea.

3. 18EU is my current fav followed by 1856. I keep finding new facits of those games to explore. I've written sessions for both games. My most recent game of 1856 saw us building the Toronto- Barrie beltway. Boy was that lucrative!
 
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Michael Leuchtenburg
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hakko504 wrote:
I've also heard good things about 18FL and 18Scan, both of which are available for order from Deep Thought Games, but as they are printed on demand, it's a couple of months waiting time before they are delivered. (I've heard numbers between 3 and 9 mentioned during the last year)


In the past 3 weeks, 14 games have been shipped out from DTG. The current top of the queue is somewhere around 350, so that means 75 weeks to get games if you order them today, or about a year and 5 months. You don't pay for them until your order comes up, so if you want them, order them, but don't expect to be playing them *soon*.

Trading is probably the cheapest way to go, followed closely by print & play. I wouldn't start with 2038 - it's very different from the other games. There are several print & play games available, such as 18AL, 18GA, and the prototype of 18EZ.

Or you can drop $150 for a copy of 1830.

My current fav is 1856, but I've only played 1856, 1850, and 1870. 18MEX and 18EU should be on their way soon, giving me a taste of a couple of other designers.

EDIT: Oh, I just remembered, 1860 is being reprinted. So hop on that when it's available - it may go quick. 1861 may also be reprinted, or the couple hundred copies stuck at the printer may be liberated, with either resulting in some additional copies available for purchase.
 
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Greendan wrote:
Not wishing to hijak this thread at all, but I was looking at getting into some fo this 18xx action. I looked at 18AL rulebook and there's a bit that says:
"Presumably whoever is reading this has played
18xx games before and is familiar with the basic
mechanics of play. If you have never played an
18xx type game before or are a newer player,
please review a rulebook from one of the
commercially available 18xx games such as
Avalon Hill’s 1830™ or Mayfair Games’
1870™."

That's not the current 18AL rulebook. The current one is totally stand alone.
 
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neverwhere68 wrote:
1. Is there a 18XX game that stands above them all?

2. Is there one that's best to get started with?

3. Whats your favorite one?

Answer to all three: 1830.
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