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Subject: Teaching newbies rss

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Mikko Saari
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I'm constantly annoyed by the lack of 18xx session reports on Geek. I suppose I should contribute one myself when I get a chance.

My mission is to get more 18xx fans in Tampere, Finland. I've got some heavier games made and coming, but we need to start from the easier ones. So, Steam over Holland. Petri and Hannu were obvious targets, as both enjoy Winsome train games and Imperial.

So, we got a Steam over Holland game going. After quick rules explanation, we started railroading. In the initial round, companies were started. Hannu had drawn the northern ferry company and started HYSM in Amsterdam and OSM across the ferry to utilize that. Petri got the southern ferry and started AR.

I had decided beforehand to start two companies. That's what I did: I put all my money in starting NCS and NRS at 80. I figured those two could quickly build a nice route between Amsterdam and one of the off-board cities.

Off we went, building track. Everything went pretty smoothly and we got to phase 3 by the end of the second OR.

On the second SR, pretty much nothing happened. No money, as even though the companies paid dividends, we got hardly anything with only our director shares.

HYSM and OSM made some nice track in the north, heading towards the northernmost off-board area. I built my track in the middle, while Petri connected to my network.

The train rush wasn't horrible. Petri got the first 4 train, leaving my NCS without train. NCS was able to buy one, though, with little problems, thanks to the ability to sell shares to the pool.

The train rush claimed one victim, though. Hannu's HYSM was left without a train when I bought one (I think it was a 5) in a surprise move. HYSM wasn't able to raise the necessary 400, Hannu couldn't sell shares (he had mostly director's certificates) and wasn't really interested, either. HYSM went bankrupt. That was nice, because it opened Amsterdam up and allowed some pretty good runs later on.

AR got two trains first in the end and was first - by one OR - to do some serious runs, 510 or so. NCS and NRS ran at about 300. NRS was able to buy a 3E on the second-to-last OR and ran once for 520. OSM ran for about 300 but in the end got to 500.

In the end, my victory was clear. My cash and holdings in NRS would've been enough to win the game. Final scores were about 3400 for me, 2200 for Hannu and 1900 for Petri.

Petri was hurt when he didn't start a second company, he was left with quite a bit of cash in the first stock round.

Why I did win? A good question. I had the best idea of what to do. I was able to turn that into a small lead in the midgame, which led to buying more shares later in the game, leading to a large victory.

I missed one rule, the one that limits selling shares from companies to the pool, but I think we mostly sold one or two at the time and when I sold three once, it didn't matter anymore.

I've played Steam over Holland twice before this and with this game included, I've now tried it with 3, 4 and 5 players. Three is the best, the five-player game is just too poor.

I like the game better now and I think it's a pretty good introduction. The stock market is pretty quiet, we had nothing to sell and not much income to buy anything. You can do interesting things with the companies as they can sell (and buy, don't forget that!) shares.

The map seems to be something of a limiting factor. In the three games I've played, the value of Amsterdam and the off-board areas has made the tracks fairly similar, lots of East-West activity between Amsterdam and Hannover. For some reason the northern board is more attractive than the southern. In our game, more aggressive tokening might've made a bit of a difference, though, but then again, money was fairly scarce anyway.

Fun game, anyhow, winning was fun and even more fun was converting two new 18xx fans. For the benefit of the society in general and so on...
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Jesse Dean
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I am trying to correct that! So far I have written 3 1856 session reports, 1 1830, and one Steam Over Holland.

I played 1846 last night and am thinking about adding that to the list...
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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If I wrote session reports still, I would totally put 'em up here. Not sure why there's such a lack of 18xx content here, great mystery of life and all that.
 
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Jesse Dean
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I suspect it is because most of the really active 18XX players are not on BGG.

Derk, you going to play any 18XX at BGG.Con?
 
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Henri Harju
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I have had an intention to write about some of the 18xx sessions (though there aren't that many of them lately), but then somehow couldn't muster the will to actually write about them.

I promise, when I actually get to play 18MEX there will be a session report of it.

And nice session, thanks for posting.
 
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J C Lawrence
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I find it hard to write about particular 18xx games. So much happens in the players heads as versus on the board or market. As quick example, we played 1889 last Monday and there was an enormous pause in the 4th SR (as there usually is in all 18xx, though sometimes it is in the 5th). This case was slightly unusual in that the game was still in Phase-3. Thus there was a significant pause as new companies were floated and as we all jockied about trying to set relative operating orders and thus control who had to suck up the 4-trains, who got 5-trains, who got the 6-trains (and when) and thus who got the first diesel and when,,,and we were still in Phase-3 with a single 3-train left in the dock. It wasn't the longest SR ever, no more than 45 minutes or so, but the dance, particularly between me and my LHO, was extensive and heavily detailed. The rest of the game pretty much played out as expected from there, everything pretty much lining up as predicted/expected from that SR.

But how do I stick that process, the highlight of the entire game as well as the highlight of my gaming week, into a session report? Well, if I bought a red share then LHO can...and OHO can and RHO can, and then I can...and that would be bad because they'll get that token and get the 5-trains, unless OHO instead does ..and then...but what if I...and then...but if I wait and force LHO to commit I can....so OHO gets a 4-train and two 5-trains and I'm forced to buy the first 6-train...but if I instead...but what does that cost me in tempo and can I still guarantee that my company runs after...etc etc etc etc etc It wasn't near the almost 2 hour pre-CGR formation SR we had in 1856 the week before (admittedly a 6-player game), but it had similar levels of intensity -- and I've no good way to unroll that into a session report. Actually I'm not sure it can be effectively unrolled except to say As expected, the fight in the 4th SR over who would get which permanent trains was intense and long.
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Fred Wojtkielewicz
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try yahoo groups 18xx
 
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