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Subject: Is 18EZ a good way to introduce kids to "real" train games? rss

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Dan Owsen
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My kids are young teen girls. They like playing games like Settlers and Guillotine. We've also played Ticket to Ride Europe and they seemed to enjoy it, but I am not super-fond of Ticket to Ride and want to play a more realistic / complex train game with them. Would 18EZ be a good step up from Ticket to Ride?
 
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Fire Lord
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mummykitty wrote:
My kids are young teen girls. They like playing games like Settlers and Guillotine. We've also played Ticket to Ride Europe and they seemed to enjoy it, but I am not super-fond of Ticket to Ride and want to play a more realistic / complex train game with them. Would 18EZ be a good step up from Ticket to Ride?


18EZ would be a huge step up, at least for Level 2 or Level 3. I guess Level 1 wouldn't be too back, but honestly there's not much of a game there.

IMO, a more reasonable step up would be Railroad Tycoon - now supeceded by the Railways of the World series. Steam and Age of Steam are also possibilities (especially the Base game of Steam).
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Alan Goodrich
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No. I think introducing teenage girls to 18xx is a sure way to kill their interest. Besides which, 18xx is a step up from TtR as the space shuttle is a step up from a stool.

I'd also second Railroad Tycoon, but that would be about as advanced as I'd get. The Empire Builder series would be good, perhaps, and then there are rail games with more "pasted on" themes, like On the Underground or Stephenson's Rocket, that might be a choice depending on the tastes of your competition (I think On the Underground would go over well, Stephenson's Rocket, more doubtful).

Edit: Besides which, I thought 18EZ was not that great as a game or an introduction to 18xx. Certainly there are other 18xx out there that are as easy to learn when presented by a good teacher, and are lots more fun to play.
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Scott Petersen
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Have you considered the crayon rails games? Start with Eurorails or Empire Builder. The mechanics of 18xx are more often about gaming the system than building a railroad.
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Dan Owsen
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scottredracecar wrote:
Have you considered the crayon rails games? Start with Eurorails or Empire Builder. The mechanics of 18xx are more often about gaming the system than building a railroad.


Oh, gaming the system sounds bad. I'm looking for a train game myself and given this comment, this may not be for me either. I want to build trains, tracks and deliver stuff within a somewhat realistic market (ie, not by just collecting different colored cards like in Ticket to Ride). I liked Silverton and the PC version of Railroad Tycoon. Sounds like 18XX may not be what I'm looking for either. Thanks guys!
 
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JR
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mummykitty wrote:
Oh, gaming the system sounds bad. I'm looking for a train game myself and given this comment, this may not be for me either. I want to build trains, tracks and deliver stuff within a somewhat realistic market (ie, not by just collecting different colored cards like in Ticket to Ride). I liked Silverton and the PC version of Railroad Tycoon. Sounds like 18XX may not be what I'm looking for either. Thanks guys!


Gaming the system sounds fantastic to me! That said, if you like the route building and corporate growth components of the game and are turned off by the shenanigans (stock manipulation, aggressive plays between players, etc) there are certainly 18xx games designed to cater more to your tastes. 1853, to name one, is a game designed to put the focus on long-term planning to develop profitable routes and dealing with harsh terrain and various other interesting twists (like different types of track and trains to choose from). However, it's almost certainly not going to be any good for kids, nor are any of the other 18xx games. 18EZ might be playable, but given that the whole idea of 18EZ is to move you toward 'big' 18xx, it might be a fruitless endeavor to that route.

Scott's suggestions are likely more to your liking. If you like to mix a little bit of share dealing stuff into the game, consider looking at something like Pampas Railroads. It has shares and auctions and route building and development but doesn't really allow for nasty play because it doesn't have a stock market and a company president can veto track builds that other players might want to do with his corporation.
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Dan Owsen
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Don't get me wrong, I love and prefer games that allow for "nasty" play. I guess I took "gaming the system" the wrong way-- I thought it meant that the system is what the game is about. For me, I like a good balance between system and theme/flavor/history (OK; fluff).

I think I'll still try something from the 18XX series, maybe this one, but probably not with my kids, with my regular gaming buddies.
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Fire Lord
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mummykitty wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I love and prefer games that allow for "nasty" play. I guess I took "gaming the system" the wrong way-- I thought it meant that the system is what the game is about. For me, I like a good balance between system and theme/flavor/history (OK; fluff).

I think I'll still try something from the 18XX series, maybe this one, but probably not with my kids, with my regular gaming buddies.


How about Chicago Express? This is a fantastic railroad game (especially if you like "nasty"). And it takes a lot less time to play than even the shortest 18xx.
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Scott Petersen
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mummykitty wrote:
For me, I like a good balance between system and theme/flavor/history (OK; fluff).

I think I'll still try something from the 18XX series, maybe this one, but probably not with my kids, with my regular gaming buddies.

You might want to go for one that actually has some railroad history associated with it...like just about any other 18xx besides 18EZ.
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