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Subject: Incorrect/Inconsistent Marking on Train Tiles rss

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Chris Fawcett
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From other games in the 18XX series, the "N+" or "N+n" notation is used on the train tiles to indicate when a town isn't counted when tracing the length of a train's run for determining revenue (the town's revenue is added to the total for the train, but the town doesn't count against the total number of stops the train can make). The 18AL train cards are "missing" this notation, but per Rule 4.3.2(i) the towns are indeed not counted.

Having played a few 18XX with these differences noted on the train cards, not seeing the "+" led me to assume the towns are counted. Perhaps this can be chalked up to not reading the rules with a fine-toothed comb, but it's not uncommon to scan the rules differences before playing a new 18XX game, then jump right in. This omission caused me to play my first 3-4 games of 18AL quite incorrectly in this regard.

My recommendation is that players mark the train tiles with a "+" after the train number after printing (and hopefully to have Cory update his excellent graphical rendition of the game to reflect this convention).
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Er, no? 1841, 1848, 1898, 18EU, 18AL, 18GA, 18Mex, 18West, 1853 and 1854 all have this behaviour in general.

Full list of the variants at:
http://www.fwtwr.com/18xx/rules_difference_list/7_6.htm

The notation you mention is only useful in games where you have some trains which count towns towards their limit and others which don't. 18AL doesn't do this, so it would be confusing to modify the trains.

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Peter Mumford
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thepackrat wrote:
The notation you mention is only useful in games where you have some trains which count towns towards their limit and others which don't.

what games have such trains?

Yesterday I played 1889 and was surprised at how different it is from 18AL. The differences were due to two key rule changes:
1. In 1889 towns do count as train stops, in 18AL they don't.
2. The diesels in 1889 take unlimited runs. In 18AL the ultimate train is a 4D, which doubles revenue from 4 cities and/or red areas. This is far less powerful than 1889's diesels (which also double revenue from red areas). In our game the diesels ran clear around the perimeter of Shikoku. They made something like 12 stops. I had not anticipated this!
 
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J C Lawrence
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yankeeap wrote:
From other games in the 18XX series, the "N+" or "N+n" notation is used on the train tiles to indicate when a town isn't counted when tracing the length of a train's run for determining revenue (the town's revenue is added to the total for the train, but the town doesn't count against the total number of stops the train can make).


Not quite true. The N+M notation rather indicates that the train may count up to N major stations and M towns. Depending on the limitation this may variously enforced, for instance allowing M towns to be taken out of more, or nor more than M towns with any excess being taken from the N station limit, or eevn of having only the N stations could toward dividends and the M towns paid toward treasury. There are many variations, but the key is that both values apply simultaneously, with just the exact method of their application varying.

[/q]The 18AL train cards are "missing" this notation, but per Rule 4.3.2(i) the towns are indeed not counted.[/q]

18AL's 4D trains, which it shares with 18Mex (same designer), are faint parallels to Hecht's 5E trains in 1826 etc etc. In many (most?) o Mark Derrick's designs, towns are not counted towards train limits, but do count towards dividends.

Quote:
My recommendation is that players mark the train tiles with a "+" after the train number after printing (and hopefully to have Cory update his excellent graphical rendition of the game to reflect this convention).


Umm, no. Mark's use of a 4D notation is quite consistent. The N+M notation is used when towns and stations are both counted and limited/managed separately. None of the trains in 18AL or 18Mex etc count or limit towns at all, only stations, thus the non-+ formation is correct as towns are not limited.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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photocurio wrote:
thepackrat wrote:
The notation you mention is only useful in games where you have some trains which count towns towards their limit and others which don't.

what games have such trains?

The differences list I pointed at highlights this (and many other fascinating things). An example would be 1825, but several games have express or other special types of trains that interact with minor stops interestingly. Further, the 2+2 designation in 1825 would be a 2D in other parlance rather than the 2 major/2 minor designation the OP would expect it to mean.

I think there's less consistency than the OP realises.

Quote:

Yesterday I played 1889 and was surprised at how different it is from 18AL. The differences were due to two key rule changes:
1. In 1889 towns do count as train stops, in 18AL they don't.
2. The diesels in 1889 take unlimited runs. In 18AL the ultimate train is a 4D, which doubles revenue from 4 cities and/or red areas. This is far less powerful than 1889's diesels (which also double revenue from red areas). In our game the diesels ran clear around the perimeter of Shikoku. They made something like 12 stops. I had not anticipated this!


Cue all the long arguments over whether Diesels are game-breaking over in the 18xx forums. Yes, there are big differences between certain 18xx games because of relatively minor rule changes. I think this is one of the strengths of the system.

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J C Lawrence
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photocurio wrote:
1. In 1889 towns do count as train stops, in 18AL they don't.


Most 18xx count towns against train runs.

Quote:
2. The diesels in 1889 take unlimited runs.


This is also the default definition of diesels, inhereited from 1830.

Quote:
In 18AL the ultimate train is a 4D, which doubles revenue from 4 cities and/or red areas. This is far less powerful than 1889's diesels (which also double revenue from red areas).


4Ds are considerably cheaper than diesels, which rather more than makes up their slightly lower income potential. (1830's diesels cost $1,100) 4Ds also have the benefit of (almost) always being good, where I've seen diesels be unable to run for more than $12/share in more than one game of both 1889 and 1830.

Also, 1889's diesels don't double revenue from offboards. Rather, the offboards have special higher income values when hit by diesels, not two times higher, but yes, higher. eg Imabari goes from $60 to $100.

Quote:
In our game the diesels ran clear around the perimeter of Shikoku. They made something like 12 stops. I had not anticipated this!


Then you should token more aggressively! Building for (or against) the diesels is a basic skill in 1889.
 
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Chris Shaffer
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clearclaw wrote:
Most 18xx count towns against train runs.


For values of "most" that equal "slightly more than half."
 
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Chris Fawcett
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It's good to hear (sort of) that the situation exists across the board, to a degree. My initial 18xx experiences (admittedly still not that extensive) were with the Bill Dixon subset of games, and in these the towns are indeed counted against the train value. In fact, in 1870 & 1856 (and probably others) players are able to upgrade a yellow town tile to a corresponding green tile without the town. I think there is also an option (perhaps in yet another 18xx title, too) to upgrade them to full cities.

My takeaway from all this is to make sure I review each game's rules at face value, rather than consider them a derivative of another 18xx title. Unfortunately, the 18AL rules were written with the assumption that players knew the 1830 rules. There's been a rewrite of sorts, but 18xx rules as a class are still notoriously weak, both for learning the game and for referencing during play.

But it's a massive hoot to play, regardless...laugh
 
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