Thumb up
3 Posts

18C2C: Manifest Destiny» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 18C2C In Singapore rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Buckland
Choa Chu Kang
flag msg tools
Six players (well, actually seven, but two were playing as a team) gathered to play this massive 18XX covering the entire continental US, plus parts of Canada, in the first of several planned sessions of the original game (as opposed to the ‘D’ Variant). We started this first session at 2.00 pm and finished at 10.30 pm, getting to the first Share Round of Phase 5.

This was indeed a noble daring, but all had played 18XX games to varying degrees before, though perhaps Melanie, who had practised with some run-throughs of 18AL, at the other end of the 18XX universe in terms of size and complexity, had the least overall experience.

Player 1 Eric Ng & Melanie Sim
Player 2 Andreas Wein
Player 3 David Buckland
Player 4 Eriko Kurnaidi
Player 5 Colin Lim
Player 6 Geoffery Khoo

The private company auction is similar to many other 18XXs, except perhaps that there are more companies involved, and there was a considerable amount of initial jockeying for position, with players putting down bids on private companies not yet up for sale, as markers for the future. However, once the first two unexciting companies had been bought, a successive series of auctions brought this phase to a swift close.

The initial distribution of private companies (in terms of list price and income) was:

Player 1 3 companies $430 $65
Player 2 2 companies $200 $30
Player 3 3 companies $160 $30
Player 4 4 companies $370 $60
Player 5 5 companies $480 $80
Player 6 1 company $ 80 $15

The real bidding tussles were over the Mohawk & Hudson (won by Player 2, who used it to cement his control of the NYC), the Southern (won by Player 1 for $250), and the B&O, also won by Player 1. Although it would be difficult to work out the effects of this allocation of the private companies on the subsequent course of the game, it is true that Player 1 had the misfortune to be involved in two out of three of the bitterest disputes, and for expensive properties, as well. Secondly, Player 6 bought very little, and thus had more to invest in the public companies than anyone else.

The first tranche of 11 companies launched (ie. at the start of Phase 2) were:

Player 1 Southern
Player 2 New York Central, New York New Haven & Hartford
Player 3 Illinois Central, Texas & Pacific
Player 4 Southern Pacific, Missouri-Kansas-Texas
Player 5 Denver & Rio Grande Western, Pennsylvania
Player 6 Norfolk & Western, Wabash

Except for Player 1, prevented by the costs of the private company auction, most of the other players opened two railroads with the intention of their being good merger partners further down the track (Phase 5, to be precise). The exception was Player 2, obviously intending to build up a strong presence in the Northeast, centred on the lucrative city of New York, and Player 5, who would probably need a linking railroad for his widely dispersed holdings (in which endeavour he was successful – see below).

Most players also concentrated on building up the maximum holding (there is no player share holding limit for a company in 18C2C), though various companies used the share redemption rules to preserve at least some income for their railroads (shares left in the IPO or redeemed pay into the company treasury). Players 1 & 3 were exceptions, not going beyond 60% (the amount necessary to float a public company) in their shareholdings, partly perhaps to benefit from the greater payments to the company as a result of significant numbers of shares left in the IPO (though this is risky).

Phase 3 kicked in part-way through the second operating round, and Phase 4 (I think) midway through the fourth. The subsequent share dealing round saw the players in general with enough capital to launch a second batch of railroad companies, as follows:

Player 1 Atlantic Coast Line, Baltimore & Ohio
Player 2 Erie Railroad
Player 3 Louisville & Nashville
Player 4 St Louis-San Francisco
Player 5 Western Pacific, Union Pacific
Player 6 Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, Boston & Maine

By this stage, then, 21 out of 32 public companies had been floated, though mergers would not of course be possible until the end of the first share dealing round of Phase 5.

Meanwhile, Player 2 continued his concentration on the Northeast, while Player 1 strengthened their position in the Southeast (and bought some shares of an un-floated Seaboard Air Line as well). Player 5 moved to bolster his position in the West and Plains, using the Union Pacific in particular to link the D&RGW and the Pennsylvania.

The areas of heaviest competition so far have been the Northeast to Chicago, and the Plains area around Omaha and Kansas City. In the former, the Wabash and Pennsylvania to the east have more or less boxed in Player 2’s Northeastern empire (while he in turn has made life difficult for Player 6’s Boston & Maine). On the other hand, Player 2 has got by more than happily so far on the basis of incestuous train routes into and out of New York, though perhaps in the longer term, and with the longer-route trains coming, this cramping may be a disadvantage.

In the Plains, it looks as if Player 5’s empire (the D&RGW and Union Pacific) have out-manoeuvred Player 4’s lines (the Missouri-Kansas-Texas and the St Louis-San Francisco), though the latter has a likely link to the mighty Southern Pacific to compensate.

In any event, following the launch of this second wave of companies, Phase 5 kicked in towards the start of the second operating round which followed (the sixth in all). We finished the first session at the end of the sixth operating round, just before commencing the subsequent share dealing round (at the end of which, some mergers are looking likely).

At this point, Player 6 is in the lead by a reasonable (though not commanding) margin from Player 2. The others are in a pack some way behind, led by Player 5.The game’s designer has written some very helpful strategy notes, but I jotted down the following which seemed to me the features of this game which perhaps differentiate it from other members of the 18XX family (apart, of course, from sheer size).

- Firstly, the plethora of available railroads. One key effect of this, at least so far, has been to make the fresh injection of capital into a player’s holdings relatively easy – launch a new railroad, and equip it with the latest trains using the share capital, and then these can be transferred to the player’s older but potentially more lucrative lines. With most 18XXs, where there are far fewer companies, although selling trains from one line to another is an SOP, here the capital crunch seen in many 18XXs has been absent – or at least, so far – as new railroad purchases with fresh capital have come to the rescue. Perhaps as the trains become more expensive, and presumably the supply of new lines eventually dries up, there may be limits to the ability to avoid the railway funding problem through floating new lines (this tactic is, of course, not unknown in other 18XXs, but the much more limited number of lines tends to limit the number of occasions when the tactic can be successfully used). As a corollary of this, withholding dividends was virtually unknown, and half dividends were paid only once.

- One other effect of having 32 public companies has been to make train manipulation (selling between companies with the same owner) much easier. This is because there are just so many more operating companies, and problems over bumping up against train limits per company are therefore that much easier to avoid. This also has a knock-on effect on minority holdings.

- The number of companies also played a role, together with other rules, in keeping minority shareholdings low. In many 18XXs, limited other productive uses for cash drives players to invest in companies controlled by others. Minority shareholdings were by no means unknown in our game, but several things tell against them. Firstly, there is no percentage limit on a player’s shares in any one company. This tends to encourage concentrated holdings, helped by the advantages of full ownership (no possible share sales by other players to drive down the share price). In this context, 18C2C does not seem to prevent a player buying a share, and then selling it later in the share round to drive down the price (this tactic was not much used – we were all too busy with other things, perhaps, and in addition many of the lines were under 100% friendly control). Secondly, there are the considerable risks attached to ownership of shares in a line controlled by another player. The ease of train manipulation mentioned above makes it easier for the owner to leave significant minority shareholders with their least attractive line, as the better trains are switched to lines which do not benefit competitors. In addition, the merger rules can add to the already high risks. If you own two shares in one railroad of another player (the maximum reached in our game to date, I think), buying a third share once mergers are in the offing risks having the odd share merged out existence. Only if you can be sure of buying a second share in the same railroad would you be protected, and this is not always possible (especially in a six-player game).

- Finally, in terms of the effects of the number of railroads, it is much easier than in many 18XXs to set up what might be termed productive railroad tandems, where two (or more) railroads work together in terms of track laying and upgrading to achieve a goal which will essentially benefit only (or mostly) one. Player 5 getting the better of Player 4 (at least, so it would appear to date) in the central Plains was because of the timing of the former’s companies operating rounds working together to achieve the desired result for
Player 5.

- There was also what might be termed “information overload”. 18XX is a demanding system, with the players constantly having to juggle numerous priorities and different developments. These can be difficult to keep an eye on in a more standard-sized 18XX, but in the case of 18C2C there were quite a few instances where, if I was not involved directly, I tended not to pay too much attention (and I am sure I was not alone). For example, I missed Player 2’s successful efforts to dominate the lucrative routes into New York, because I had no direct involvement in this area.

- Related to this point, it was perhaps less surprising than it might have been that quite a number of the special powers conferred by the private companies were not realised by their owners, in terms of token placement especially. Although some players did make good use of these – Player 4 and the Southern Pacific’s remunerative gold mines near Phoenix spring to mind – other opportunities were lost.

Meanwhile, Player 3 made his usual mistakes of playing with some long-term plan in mind which proved to be far less efficacious than planning to maximise revenue in the short term, and letting the longer term look after itself. Thus, Player 3 took the Illinois Central as a starting railroad because its Destination City is Chicago, and he anticipated great benefits from the effects of the doubled value of the Destination token. However, half the game has elapsed, and the Illinois Central has not yet managed to run a train to Chicago from its starting point in Jackson, MS. On the other hand, it has suffered badly through its poor position and lack of access to the wealthier cities. Meanwhile, the high share price of the Illinois Central, set to give itself an advantage in terms of longer-term train-buying over less well-funded rivals has also not worked out at all as planned. As in many 18XXs, the best source of fresh funds for a cash-strapped railway is the help of a friendly-owned new railroad. The latter is launched, buys a brand-new train with its new capital, and then sells it to its “sister” rail companies – which thus avoid a cash crunch. As noted above, with it multitude of possible lines, this is particularly easy in 18C2C.

Positions at the end of the session were as follows (noting that we missed a Destination Run for the Southern):

Player 1
Cash 864
6 x SOU 600
6 x ACL 456
6 x B&O 408
4 x SAL 288
Total 2616

Player 2
Cash 1142
8 x NYC 1120
8 x NYN 720
6 x ERI 432
2 x ILC 240
1 x SLSF 100
Total 3714

Player 3
Cash 864
6 x ILC 720
6 x T&P 492
6 x L&N 456
2 x SOU 200
1 x NYC 140
1 x NYN 90
1 x ERI 72
Total 3014

Player 4
Cash 761
9 x MKT 1080
7 x SP 574
7 x SLSF 700
Total 3015

Player 5
Cash 1017
9 x PEN 810
5 x DRG 410
6 x WP 456
6 x UP 456
1 x ERI 72
1 x ATSF 68
Total 3291

Player 6
Cash 1065
9 x N&W 1080
9 x WAB 990
6 x ATSF 408
6 x B&M 408
Total 3951

In sum, I enjoyed the scale of the game, and I think the 18XX system proves its robustness once again, ported in this case to a massive simulation. There are plenty of unique challenges which would make it a worthy addition to the 18XX roster, but it adds a certain visceral pleasure in building such lengthy railway lines, as your growing empire snakes across the hitherto virgin continent.

Getting under way (about to start the private company auction). From left to right Players 2, 4, 1 (with Eric missing), 3, 5, & 6.

The end of Session 1, at the completion of the 6th Operating Round. Phase 5, allowing brown tiles, began during this round.

Session II began a week later at 1.45 pm, and ended at 10.15 pm, with a break for dinner.

The players were as before, although Eric could stay throughout this time. We only managed to complete two share dealing rounds, and the intervening three operating rounds, but they were packed with incident.

The frenetic pace of events continued unabated. One reason why this session took so long to cover three operating rounds and two share rounds was because for the first time we merged railroads, and then launched Amtrak and Conrail. Of the 20 public companies which had operated just prior to the first of our two share rounds in this session, 11 no longer existed by the start of its successor.

The first share dealing round saw a third tranche of new public companies being launched:

Player 1 Seaboard Air Line
Player 2 Canadian Pacific, Chicago & Northwestern
Player 3 Chicago Milwaukee St Paul & Pacific
Player 4 Chicago Rock Island & Pacific
Player 5 Missouri Pacific
Player 6 Northern Pacific

In addition, at the end of the round, the following mergers took place (an asterisk indicates the senior company, used to refer to the merged whole):

Player 2 Erie* and New York New Haven & Hampshire
Player 4 Southern Pacific and Missouri-Kansas-Texas*
Player 5 Pennsylvania* and Denver & Rio Grande Western
Player 6 Norfolk & Western and Wabash*

Although players lose approximately 25% of the share value of the merged companies on formation (somewhat less, given that the price for the combined company is rounded in favour of the players), this did not seem to have very much appreciable effect, while the greater flexibility in terms of train holdings and manipulation, and the benefits of being able to use the doubled tile points, seemed to more than offset the downsides.

One of the newly merged companies did not manage to flourish, however, as Phase 6 stared during the 7th Operating Round (or OR, which immediately followed the Share Round with which we opened the session). This caught short Player 4 in particular (as he had mostly 3’ trains at the time, rusted by the new ‘6’s), and his Missouri-Kansas-Texas was subsumed into Amtrak, as was Player 6’s unlamented Boston & Maine. Whether this was a particularly bad result for either, and especially for Player 4, will remain to be seen, but it had not done any great harm to Player 4 by the end of the session, at which point Player 4 controlled 70% of Amtrak.

Another benefit of merged corporations was demonstrated in OR 8, when the merged Erie reached one of its two destinations (for the NYNH&H), and produced the record dividend to date of $101 per share (we assumed all of the merged companies trains could potentially benefit from the destination run – and that this was presumably the origin of the designer’s advice to undertake your destination run, if possible, either early or late – however, we were making a mistake here, as we realised in our final session, since only the trains on the relevant shell benefit from the Destination Run, not all of a merged corporation’s trains).

In OR 9, there was more trauma as Conrail formed. This time, the attrition in terms of companies was considerably greater than with Amtrak, as no less than 6 public companies were left with no trains when the ‘4’s rusted with the advent of the ‘8’s: Baltimore & Ohio (Player 1), Southern (Player 1), Atlantic Coast Line (Player 1), Union Pacific (Player 5), Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe (Player 5), Northern Pacific (Player 6). Obviously, Player 1 was best placed to control Conrail owing 65% by the end of the following share round.

Again, it is not obvious that Player 1 would have been better off with the individual railroads, rather than controlling Conrail. Not only does it share with Amtrak a virtually inexhaustible supply of station tokens, but the number of railroads involved whose station markers Conrail has taken over gives Conrail a very wide reach – important given that routes are getting longer and longer.

Meanwhile, the mergers and even more the formation of Conrail forced Player 3 (7 shares) and Player 2 (3 shares) to reduce their holding to the new 22-certificate limit. This was, as the designer pointed out, very painful, and it was only when Player 2 pushed the Chicago & North Western into the Yellow Zone (no share certificate limits) that enabled Player 3 to seize this company from him (Player 2 could not buy, having earlier sold a CNW share).

Once more, the advice available from the designer and others on boardgamegeek was borne out by events, though it is only when one can see how matters unfold for oneself that the true meaning of the points made is understood. The money “hosepipe” they mention began to operate with a vengeance, and the $48,000 bank may exhaust quicker than we all expect.

The 6th Share Round (and the end of the session) saw a much more restrained pace of new company launches, with Player 6 deciding to float the GMO, much to the chagrin of Player 1, who had been eyeing it for themselves. Instead, Player 1 decided to launch the St Louis & Southwestern (the Cotton Belt Route). Mergers were actually commoner, details as follows:

Player 5 Missouri Pacific* and Western Pacific
Player 4 Illinois Central* and Texas & Pacific
Player 4 Chicago Milwaukee St Paul & Pacific* and Louisville and Nashville
Player 2 New York Central* and Canadian Pacific

These formations brought the certificate limit to 18 per player.

Meanwhile, the end of session positions were:

Player 1
Cash 490
13 x CON 1170
10 x SAL 720
6 x SLSW 600
Total 2980

Player 2
Cash 4368
8 x NYC 1800
9 x ERI 1620
3 x CNW 192
Total 7980

Player 3
Cash 1309
8 x ILC 1640
5 x CMSP 550
7 x CNW 448
Total 3947

Player 4
Cash 608
14 x AMT 2520
10 x CRI 760
7 x SLSF 700
Total 4588

Player 5
Cash 1803
8 x MP 1280
7 x PEN 1575
2 x AMT 360
Total 5018

Player 6
Cash 2138
9 x WAB 2700
9 x GMO 900
7 x CON 630
2 x AMT 360
Total 6728

The relative positions of the players are as at the end of the first session (except that Player 2 has overtaken Player 6) but the gap between each player has widened.

End of the 6th Share Round (& 9th Operating Round). The game is in Phase 8, which started in the middle of the last Operating Round.

End of the 6th Share Round (& 9th Operating Round): the congestion in the Midwest. Chicago is mid-left.

Session III started at 1.45 pm, and ended about five hours later.

We went through three more operating rounds, and finished at the very end of the 12th round, when the bank ran out of cash, and the game therefore ended.Phase 10 (ie. the introduction of ‘10’ trains occurred during the early stages of the 11th Operating Round. More significant might have been the beginning of Phase 12, towards the end of the last Operating Round, since this rusted the ‘5’ trains. Players 2, 3, and 5 were due to be particularly hit by this – Player 2, for example, would have had to buy two of the new trains, at some cost in personal cash (though the railroads involved would have made a contribution towards the cost). However, all of the affected railroads had already run before the new Phase started, so the effect on the result was minimal.

During the session, we did make at least one rules mistake (of which we were aware – there could have been others, of course, which we missed). This was (as mentioned above) to allow merged companies to run all their trains during a destination run, not just those on the shell involved. The effect was naturally to inflate the income generated, but we only realised the error after a number of payouts had been made, and at that stage decided to allow all subsequent destination runs to benefit from running all the merged company’s trains. Player 5 had two such runs, and Players 2 & 3 one each.

The third session might also be termed the rise of Player 5, who was able to turn the Missouri Pacific in particular into a cash cow – this line produced the record revenue of $164 in one round, exploiting its central position (including a lucrative destination run to Dallas): the MP’s earlier victory in what might be termed “The Battle Of The Plains” stood it in very good stead at this stage of the game, as it was able to collect from the rich cities n the central US, while running long routes out to the periphery – increasingly necessary, given the length of the runs with the late-game trains.

Player 2, whose main strength was in the northeast, lost out relatively speaking, although by the end of the 12th Operating Round, both his New York Central and Erie merged corporations had broken out of their starting regions, and reached the central US via a route north of the Great Lakes (south being too congested). However, the effect was only relative – in absolute terms, Player 2 continued to extend his lead.

Player 6, whose main asset was the merged Wabash (and Norfolk & Western), suffered less from the congestion in the northeast (though this did worsen somewhat during this final session), but was labouring under the disadvantage that he owned only this merged corporation, plus the inconsequential GMO. Thus, although the Wabash did well, with the second highest income in an Operating Round ($151), and the highest share price ($400), this was not enough to stop Player 6 from inexorably slipping down the pecking order, being overtaken in this session by Player 5.

The end of the game came as something of a surprise, being earlier than expected. We had been using a spreadsheet to track the payouts to the players (though not the companies) during the intervals between share rounds, and when paying out after the 12th Operating Round, just preparatory to the next Stock Round (which would have been the 7th), we found that we had run out of cash, even if only just.

Not surprisingly, the players differed as to who had gained or lost from this rather unexpected end. With only one more operating round likely after the Stock Round, perhaps it would not have had too much impact on the respective positions of the Players, though it may have altered the margins between them.

- Player 1 had built Conrail into a likely powerhouse, with more tokens obviously than any other company, and four modern trains. Conrail retained its last dividend to get to this position, so probably Player 1 was the biggest loser from the early finish. Player 1 would
nevertheless have had to unload six shares at the start of the stock round (having 23.5, compared to the allowable limit of 18), with of course an adverse effect on share values, and probably a somewhat lower income as a result, nor did Player 1 have any potential dividend runs left.

- Player 2, on the other hand, was a major gainer. With only two trains out of a minimum of four required, and the two he did have only ‘6’s, Player 2’s income was likely to take a significant knock in a putative final operating round, and some private cash would have been required to help finance compulsory train purchases. Nor did Player 2 have any likely dividend runs during the final round. On the other hand, Player 2 was just below the share limit (17 certificates).

- Player 3’s position was mixed. He had three trains (two ‘8’s and one ‘6’) compared to Player 2, so his income may have held up better. He would have also needed to buy two trains, but the companies involved would have been able to pay the great majority of the purchase costs. Player 3 would have been one of the biggest beneficiaries from the final share round, having only 13 certificates at its start. He also had one likely dividend run in the final round for his best-equipped line. Perhaps Player 3 can also be counted as a significant loser from the early finish.

- Player 4 would have suffered from the need to reduce his stock holdings more than any other player: by six certificates, or a quarter of his holdings. He had one possible dividend run for an un-merged corporation (the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific), but this did not look feasible to me with only one operating round left. Player 4 must therefore likely be counted a gainer from the early finish.

- Player 5 was not badly placed. With only 16 certificates, he could snap up a few of the possible bargains from the coming forced share sales. He had no dividend runs left, but on the other hand enough trains to avoid compulsory purchase (I think – I am not quite absolutely certain on this point). On balance, probably a loser from the timing of the game-end.

- Player 6 would also have had to dispose of shares, though if his plan to drive the GMO into the Yellow Zone would have succeeded, he would then have been able to re-purchase other stocks, and since the GMO was not perhaps likely to be a good moneyspinner, this might have benefited his revenue overall, though of course also his remaining GMO shareholdings would have lost considerable value. Overall, however, another operating round may well have had the same adverse effect on Player 6’s position as the previous three operating rounds – his income per round being now lower than that of most of the other players.

Mid-Operating Round 11. From left to right Players 2, 3, 4, & 5. Player 4 is demonstrating the laser pointer which came in very useful in indicating routes for other players to check.

Also mid-OR 11. From left to right: Players 5, 6, & both parts of Player 1. Player 6 does seem concerned about something.

Turning to more general impressions, the game slowed with each successive round, as the map became more complex, and the trains runs longer (and also therefore more complex also). This did worry me originally, and I had suggested the “D” Variant, because I felt it might make revenue calculations a lot quicker in the final stages of the game.

This may well be true, but in the event, it did not seem as if the players found the longeurs between their turns particularly tedious. Perhaps the main reason for this was that forward planning was also becoming increasingly necessary, precisely because of the growing complexity. The multiple tile points allowed to the railroads (3 for a normal company, 6 for a merged corporation; an upgrade costs two points, an yellow tile one) also served to emphasise the need for this kind of preparation for each line’s turn – even more so if the player was able to get their lines to operate in tandem, cooperating with one another. The planning required seemed to make the time fly for all involved, and there were no complaints about the time spent.

I am not sure that in this first outing with 18C2C we maximised the potential for tactical plays. There was some competition for token spaces, but this was more defensive than aggressive. Nor were there many instances of laying “tragic track”, although the multiple tile points available to each company make this a less attractive option, perhaps. One tactic which I do feel we did not use enough was creating dividend runs earlier than the owners might have wanted. This could not be done in every case, but there were instances where forcing an early dividend run (especially on the lines of those players in the lead) could have been effected at very little cost to those laying the necessary track. Allowing a player to time a dividend run to suit their convenience is I think in retrospect something that the other players should strive to avoid, if possible. On the other hand, with so much else to worry about, it perhaps not surprising that most players concentrated on improving their own position, rather than hobbling the competitors – even if this did mean that the respective positions of the players remained remarkably constant.

One other minor observation: by this late stage of the game, good positions in the middle of the board were beginning to pay considerable dividends – quite literally, of course. They also helped facilitate Transcontinental runs. However, at least based on this particular game, it was the Northeast which was in overall terms the most lucrative part of North America in which to run a railroad.

Was it worth the time and effort? In all, 18C2C took us just over 20 hours of game-play to finish. We had a complete spectrum in terms of 18XX experience, from those whose were pretty new to 18XX, to those who have played a host of 18XXs on multiple occasions. Everyone seemed to enjoy the game, and all would be willing to play again – though the fainter hearts did request several months to recover first.

The final positions were:

Player 1
Cash 3766
13 x CON 1560
10 x SAL 720
6 x SLSW 660
Total 6706

Player 2
Cash 10498
8 x NYC 2400
9 x ERI 2475
3 x CNW 165
Total 15538

Player 3
Cash 6561
8 x ILC 2200
5 x CMSP 1375
7 x CNW 385
Total 10521

Player 4
Cash 4121
14 x AMT 3500
10 x CRI 900
7 x SLSF 840
Total 9361

Player 5
Cash 8427
8 x MP 2200
7 x PEN 2100
2 x AMT 500
Total 13227

Player 6
Cash 6125
9 x WAB 3600
9 x GMO 684
7 x CON 840
2 x AMT 750
Total 11999

The end of the game at the end of Operating Round 12, viewed from the east.

A different view (from the northwest) of the end of the game (Operating Round 12).

 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Buckland
United States
flag msg tools
Excellent session report! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Truly epic in scale.
 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Frazier
United States
flag msg tools
Wow, great session report! Thanks for taking the time to write all of that up!

Some thoughts for your next session:

1) Illinois Central does, indeed, need some northern help. Some players I know like to open it in tandem with the Louiseville & Nashville, to give it some reach towards Chicago right away. Having the gulf port private really helps, too, to offset the reduced value of the cities in that region in the early to mid game.

2) Don't be afraid to use personal cash to buy trains in the late game - if you own 100% of the stock, it's even better than holding. At the rate the trains produce revenue, they'll almost always pay for themselves (and more!) within 2 operating rounds.

3) The "D" Variant, does indeed make run-counting easier in the late game, and speeds play accordingly.

4) Be aware that Amtrak and Conrail may not necessarily get all 20 of their tokens. It sounds like Conrail would have received almost, if not all, of the 20 tokens, but Amtrak would have had approximately 8-10. I'm not sure from reading above if you had done that correctly - you may have.

Have a blast playing again, and thanks for letting me see others playing my game!

 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.