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18C2C: Manifest Destiny» Forums » Rules

Subject: Mergers -- what constitutes a connection? rss

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Chris Nasipak
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We had a discussion about this during our recent first attempt at a play-through of this little epic.

The rules for mergers state that there has to be either a direct track-to-track connection between the two companies (ie, you could run a 1830 D-train from a station of one to a station of the other), or they have a "railhead" in opposite sides of one of the double cities (New York, San Fran, Chicago).

Does this mean that they just have to both be able to reach that city?
Or do they need to have a token from each company in there?
We ended up deciding on the latter, this time, but we'd like to have that cleared up.
 
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J C Lawrence
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The companies must either be able to see each other's tokens, or they must have tokens in the same hex.
 
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Chris Nasipak
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Thanks for clarifying that. This was how we ended up playing it... but we never did actually finish that game. Started setup at 10am, gave in and started cleanup at 12:30... four players and probably not playing nearly as aggressively as the game expects.
 
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J C Lawrence
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We also played many incomplete games. My strong impression is that the game really has three lengths: ~20 hours for modestly experienced 18xx players, ~16 hours for players that have thought a fair bit about the game and how to play it well (and probably have 3-5 plays under their belt), and ~10 hours for skilled players who know what they are doing and set about doing it.
 
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Mark Frazier
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I think you'll find that the company-to-train ratio is almost exactly the same as 1870. The same phenomenon can occur in that game as well, although it's more common in 18C2C with inexperienced players (inexperienced with 18C2C, that is).

And yes, either trace an 1830 D Train from one company's station to the other company's station, or they both have to have a token in the same hex (like north/south new york, or east/west Chicago, etc.).
 
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Chris Nasipak
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One thing we felt was that we were not playing agressively enough. In a 4-player game we each opened two public companies in the first stock round, and then passed a couple of SRs doing very little (one player's companies saw a lot of investment from other players which helped him out a lot... he wins most of our games). We started opening up more companies as the game went on, until we were averaging a total of three to four per SR between the four players. Still, by the time we called it, the 6T had barely hit and we still had 8 companies outside of Amtrak/Conrail unopened....
 
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J C Lawrence
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There are three basic rules of thumb in 18C2C: 1) Buy trains at every possible opportunity and keep your conpanies full of trains -- if your company has only one train, then it had better get a second one immediately or it is not worth crap and probably should be sold down/dumped. 2) Merge, merge, merge. 3) Continuously plan for the falling paper limit from the first OR onward. You should understand from the first SR onward what your end-game portfolio is going to look like, and work towards that.
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Mark Frazier
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Trains are king. So are merger corps. Nobody did your friend a favor by buying out his stock, as those shares in the IPO pay into his treasury.

Getting as many corps open as you can, and merging them as fast as you can, will win the game (ESPECIALLY if nobody else was doing this aggressively).

I'd recommend reading the strategy articles in the strategy forum.

-Mark
 
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Bill Peeck
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I am comming into this discussion very late. I was in the game with Chris that started the link. I was the guy who had the CBQ and NYC connected at Chicago except that I could not put a station there for either company. I eventually got a direct connection there for both. But I was way behind. I had 6 companies the lead guy had 8 and had thousands of dollars, he could open 3-4 companies a turn an I could do like 2. I managed to murge my 6 companies into 3, and that drove the stock limit down so he was going to have to sell something, but when we assessed the situation right after that I was like $3000 bucks behind the guy in 3rd and no idea where I was compared to Chris (2nd) and Grant (the leader).

It did not seem that the Designer's recommendations were valid? althought I would hate to say that one partial playing. I tried to limit starting companies to 2 2 trains, but we only opened I think 7 companies in the first round so the 2's ran for a long time. Grant loaded up on them, I think when they disappears he lost 8-10 of them and I lost 4. And everyone started all there companies at $100 cause they had the bucks. The recommendation was par low.

I got the following privates, Tunnel, Bridge, Engineers, Western Pacific, and the B&O. Thought I did a good job and started the CBQ and NYC. Let the B&O sit. sold all 5 privates into my companies for half value so as not to rape them. THe other players did double value.

 
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Mark Frazier
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Bill,

You point out that Grant loaded up on 2 trains, and due to only 7 companies opening in the first SR, the 2 trains ran for a while.

Note that in the worst case scenario, a 2 train will pay for itself after it runs twice. And that's worst case. As soon as cities can upgrade to green, the worst-case is a $60 payout (30-30) with a 2 train, which pays back 75% of the cost of the 2 train.

And Grant loaded up on them. And nobody else bought more than 2 (which, I'll admit, was my recommendation, but that's also assuming that 10-11 companies will open in the first SR, not 7).

So, Grant had more 2 trains than anyone, and they ran for a while. Obviously, Grant should outstrip the lot of you in earnings.

Your first mistake was parring fewer railroads, "just because you had the cash". In a 5 player game, you MUST open 2 railroads in the first SR if you want to compete.

I might add, that if the CB&Q and the NYC were your first 2 railroads, that was a critical mistake as well. You should be opening railroads in pairs near enough to each other to be able to merge at the earliest opportunity (which should NEVER be more than 1 SR after they both open, once the 4 trains are in play).

Let's take 1870 as an analogy - if 3 out of the 10 RRs open in SR1, the 2 trains can very well sell out in the first OR. This is not uncommon in 1870. If only 2 of the 10 RRs open in SR1, the 2 trains will run for quite some time (dictated by how fast the next 1 or 2 companies open). Until the 4th RR opens, the 2 trains are safe (12 train slots across 3 companies, with 13 trains - seven 2s and six 3s).

In 18C2C, there are EXACTLY three times the number of trains, and ALMOST exactly three times the number of companies. The math above scales.

-Mark
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