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1846: The Race for the Midwest» Forums » Variants

Subject: 1846 for 2 players rss

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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Someone asked me the other week whether I'd be willing to play 1846: The Race for the Midwest with just 2 players if we couldn't get a 3rd. Fortunately, we had a 3rd, so the issue didn't come up.

If I did have only 2 players for 18XX, I don't think 1846: The Race for the Midwest is the game I'd pick. I'd look at something like 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight instead. But, just for the sake of argument, what would you do if you did want to try playing 1846: The Race for the Midwest with 2?

Some things seem easy to figure out. You'd each have $400 to start (no issue there.) You'd play with 4 yellow trains, 3 green trains and just 2 brown trains. You'd leave out all three of the optional major railroad corporations (I'm not completely happy having a number of majors that's evenly divisible by the number of players, though.)

But I don't think it would make sense to include only the black-dotted privates. The C&WI would be of little value in a 2-player game, at least if you played with only 4 majors, since every railroad could make it to Chicago Connections with no blocking possible. Perhaps you'd put a face-down token in the C&WI spot, leaving only 3 routes through to Chicago Connections, just to create some competition. You might then add one random other private from the orange-dotted and blue-dotted privates.

This would still leave the players with some significant outlays to pay for privates. The MS, Big 4 and Mail Contract cost a total of $320, and with one more private, you'd be paying close to half your cash for privates (of course, one private might go for less.)

Also, how much money would you put into the bank? Would you follow that pattern and use $5500? Or maybe $5200 or $5000?

Or would it be better to have five majors, and if so, what adjustments would you make so that would work?
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JR
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Victoria
British Columbia
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I doubt there are many (any) as well-suited as yourself to answer these queries, Eric, but I'm interested in the subject since I'm probably presented with as many opportunities to play 18xx with 2 as anything else. As it is, I stick to 1860 or a '25 unit, though having just received a beautiful PNP 1800 kit, I am going to be digging into that for the next couple 2p games.

Following a stereotype I've seen elsewhere, I'd probably suggest trying a 70% holding limitation per company. I think allowing a player to corner a larger majority of a company is something that seems to work well in the 2p games that I've played.
 
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Lance Harrop
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Manassas
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Play 18EA.
 
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Thanks for necro-ing this thread, Lance!

It prompted me to post this link, to a 2-player variant proposed by the designer:

DRAFT 2-Player 1846 Rules (by the game designer)
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