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Subject: New player questions about PnP rss

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Ingólfur Valsson
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So I've been interested in 18xx for some time. Was really thinking about getting the reprint of 1830 ( I don't like the monotone old look of many of the games ). But it's errata and unavailability in my location has been putting me off.

I've been looking for a fun PnP project so I thought why not 18xx. But before I begin I have a few questions I would love for some experts to answer if they are able.

1) I understand that many tiles can be reused over several games and they are actually numbered for easy reference, is this correct and is it universal enough to be trusted?

2) Is there a standard size for the hexes over most of the games. So I could use my custom set of tiles for maps of bought games?

3) Is there a good list of the 18xx games that I can legally PnP, what about the games DTG are creating, is it their creation or are they just printing PnP games and selling.

4) Would you recommend 18AL as a good game for me to start with. Small and fast and similar enough to 1830 to be a good introductory game?

5) To be easier on printer colors I was thinking about marking the color of the tiles a little differently. I've seen a design where there was a base color and then the rails themselves were green, yellow, brown. I myself like black rails so the mesh well together but would like the color to be lighter and more minimal, perhaps a marker. Anyone seen anything like that or any other opinions here.

Would love some answers on all or any question and any pointers towards resources that could help me.

Thank you.
 
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Marshall Miller
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I just finished building 18AL. It's pretty darned easy to put together and I'm happy with the finished product. I'm pretty sure that the board/tiles as printed (no scaling) match the standard hex sizes across games.
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Don't plan on reusing tiles. It is a logistical nightmare. 18AL would be a good game to start with.
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I'm selling my PnP version of 18AL. I haven't listed it officially. It has a mounted board made by PnP productions as well as wooden stations. All the charters, trains and stocks are card stock. There is no cash, I just use poker chips, or you can grab $8000 out of on of the many versions of monopoly you probably have at your or your parents house. There is also a printed set of rules

Not sure what its worth, but PnP productions charges $70 bucks for a hand made copy. Make and offer.

BOb
 
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
So I've been interested in 18xx for some time. Was really thinking about getting the reprint of 1830 ( I don't like the monotone old look of many of the games ). But it's errata and unavailability in my location has been putting me off.


It shouldn't. The errors are very minor and you are still able to play the game as it is intended. You can easily fix the issues with a sharpie while we wait for the official fix bits.

BOb
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Ingólfur Valsson
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pilotbob wrote:
KronikAlkoholik wrote:
So I've been interested in 18xx for some time. Was really thinking about getting the reprint of 1830 ( I don't like the monotone old look of many of the games ). But it's errata and unavailability in my location has been putting me off.


It shouldn't. The errors are very minor and you are still able to play the game as it is intended. You can easily fix the issues with a sharpie while we wait for the official fix bits.

BOb


I thought the fix bits was still only in the , thinking about it territory.

Anyways the other problem is bigger, I can't find it to be shipped at a reasonable price to Iceland, or at all.
 
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J C Lawrence
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
1) I understand that many tiles can be reused over several games and they are actually numbered for easy reference, is this correct and is it universal enough to be trusted?


It is technically correct but actually doing so is a PITA. In short, this is not worth doing, not even a little.

Quote:
2) Is there a standard size for the hexes over most of the games.[.q]

Yes, there are two standard sizes. The main one is approximately 41.5mm flat-to-flat for the hexes, and the other is 1" flat-to-flat. This latter and smaller size is only used in a few games like 1862 and 18OE: On the Rails of the Orient Express.

[q]So I could use my custom set of tiles for maps of bought games?


Again, you do not want to do this. The hassle is staggering.

Quote:
3) Is there a good list of the 18xx games that I can legally PnP, what about the games DTG are creating, is it their creation or are they just printing PnP games and selling.


DTG's games are all commercial publications. They have made the files for 18EU available, but that's it. I'm not aware of any formal list of 18xx PNP games.

ObNote: With rare exception all the 18xx PNP games are weak-to-uninteresting games. This explicitly includes 18AL and 18GA.

Quote:
4) Would you recommend 18AL as a good game for me to start with.  Small and fast and similar enough to 1830 to be a good introductory game?


No. It is colourless, untextured and uninteresting. Don't bother.

Quote:
Anyone seen anything like that or any other opinions here.


I would stay with the standard simply because it is the de-facto standard. In using the standard tiles you'll be training your visual processing to Do The Right Things in any game and not just the ones you made.
 
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Ingólfur Valsson
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clearclaw wrote:

DTG's games are all commercial publications. They have made the files for 18EA available, but that's it. I'm not aware of any formal list of 18xx PNP games.

ObNote: With rare exception all the 18xx PNP games are weak-to-uninteresting games. This explicitly includes 18AL and 18GA.


So basically I should stay clear of 18xx?

It's not strange these games have a reputation of being hard to get into. Not being commercially available and the PnP options being bad there is just no way for me to play this.
 
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
clearclaw wrote:

DTG's games are all commercial publications. They have made the files for 18EA available, but that's it. I'm not aware of any formal list of 18xx PNP games.

ObNote: With rare exception all the 18xx PNP games are weak-to-uninteresting games. This explicitly includes 18AL and 18GA.


So basically I should stay clear of 18xx?

It's not strange these games have a reputation of being hard to get into. Not being commercially available and the PnP options being bad there is just no way for me to play this.

There is this Geeklist, though it looks to be a bit out of date: 18xx available as PNP

Don't be discouraged by JC's comments. He has very specific tastes and expresses his opinions clearly. Print out 18AL and give it a try if you're looking for a introductory game.
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
ObNote: With rare exception all the 18xx PNP games are weak-to-uninteresting games. This explicitly includes 18AL and 18GA.


So basically I should stay clear of 18xx?


18AL has an average rating of 7.49 on BoardGameGeek, from 385 ratings. Several of the BGG commenters give it a 10 rating, especially for new players. I haven't played it myself, but it seems that many people like it.

18EU is a popular 18xx title as well. As JC mentioned, (he meant 18EU not 18EA), this one is available for download from Deep Thought Games.

Quote:
It's not strange these games have a reputation of being hard to get into. Not being commercially available and the PnP options being bad there is just no way for me to play this.


You only have one person's opinion that the PnP options are bad, agaisnt BGG ratings that show that other people disagree. If you can't afford 1830, I'd suggest giving 18AL a try. If you like it, or even just like the basic idea, you'd have more confidence in paying to ship 1830 to Iceland. (Would it be any cheaper if you bought it from the UK or mainland Europe?).

There are other 18xx games available commercially, but again you'd have to pay shipping costs. Double-O games from Germany/Austria tend to have good reviews, although they're a little on the long side.
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
clearclaw wrote:

DTG's games are all commercial publications. They have made the files for 18EA available, but that's it. I'm not aware of any formal list of 18xx PNP games.

ObNote: With rare exception all the 18xx PNP games are weak-to-uninteresting games. This explicitly includes 18AL and 18GA.


So basically I should stay clear of 18xx?


He mentioned 18xx PNP, not 18xx in general.
Not that you need to heed that advice.
 
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
It's not strange these games have a reputation of being hard to get into. Not being commercially available and the PnP options being bad there is just no way for me to play this.


There are a large number of 18xx games commercially available from Deep Thought Games, LLC, Double-O (ie Helmut Ohley), Wolfram Janich, D.I.C.E. (Designs In Creative Entertainment, LLC.), All Aboard (ie Scott Peterson), Lookout Games, Tresham Games, Mayfair Games, etc. The kicker is that they are comparatively expensive and frequently require extended delivery times (months to years). In addition there is an active secondary market for 18xx games here on BGG, on the 18xx mailing list, EBay etc. Again, they tend to be comparatively expensive, but they are available. If you are that price (and time) sensitive, then you are going to find getting into the 18xx rather difficult. I think that the games are worth the expense and time, but I'm also fairly insensitive to the time and money question. YMMV.

There are also of course an array of 18xx games currently in prototype form, usually headed for commercial publication. Things like 1843, 18NY, 18PA, 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties, etc. Some of these are listed on my 18xx weather forecast -- what is coming and why is it interesting? geeklist. Of course being prototypes the games are of variable quality, are frequently in heavy design/development flux, and by default tend to be aimed at more expert/experienced 18xx players.

daveberry wrote:
As JC mentioned, (he meant 18EU not 18EA), this one is available for download from Deep Thought Games.


Oops, yes. Sorry.
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If you want to make your own copy of a print-and-play game, I think 18EU is the best option. It's an enjoyable game (IMHO). I personally don't find 18AL or 18GA interesting, though obviously some people disagree.
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
2) Is there a standard size for the hexes over most of the games. So I could use my custom set of tiles for maps of bought games?


Why would you want to do that? A purchased game would come with its own tiles.
You would also run into the problem that nearly all 18xx have several major cities with special tiles for them, so a universal set would have to cover these situations

Quote:
4) Would you recommend 18AL as a good game for me to start with. Small and fast and similar enough to 1830 to be a good introductory game?


It's fine for learning the mechanics, and easier to attract new players into a 5 hour game than an 8 hour game.

Quote:
5) To be easier on printer colors I was thinking about marking the color of the tiles a little differently. I've seen a design where there was a base color and then the rails themselves were green, yellow, brown. I myself like black rails so the mesh well together but would like the color to be lighter and more minimal, perhaps a marker. Anyone seen anything like that or any other opinions here.


I don't recommend the coloured rails on a white background system because it makes it harder to see the possible upgrades.

What I did when I made my 18AL and 18GA sets was to buy some coloured card and print as black cartridge only. I then cut out millions of tiles only to realise the tracks are harder to see when on dark colours (my brown and green card were darkish shades). Also the values are harder to see. It's helpful to have a white border along the rails, which requires printing in colour. From then on I have always printed track tiles in colour which probably translates into an extra £2-3 in ink (though white card is cheaper than coloured card) and the results are better. I'm always glad of it when I'm trying to trace routes through the spaghettified parts of the map.
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
So I've been interested in 18xx for some time. Was really thinking about getting the reprint of 1830 ( I don't like the monotone old look of many of the games ). But it's errata and unavailability in my location has been putting me off.

1830 available on amazon.de for 46.23€ and 6€ shipping. You only need print rules in English.
 
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Ingólfur Valsson
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Progmode wrote:
Don't be discouraged by JC's comments. He has very specific tastes and expresses his opinions clearly. Print out 18AL and give it a try if you're looking for a introductory game.


Yeah I will probably try that. It's just one opinion.

daveberry wrote:
If you can't afford 1830, I'd suggest giving 18AL a try. If you like it, or even just like the basic idea, you'd have more confidence in paying to ship 1830 to Iceland. (Would it be any cheaper if you bought it from the UK or mainland Europe?).

There are other 18xx games available commercially, but again you'd have to pay shipping costs. Double-O games from Germany/Austria tend to have good reviews, although they're a little on the long side.


It's not that I can't afford it, I'm just not willing to pay more than I believe is fair for a game. There are plenty of other games I would rather get for half the price if it goes that far.

Problem is I have no real good sites to buy from except amazon and they don't ship this game here. I'm not really happy about buying from a site I can't understand or I might get the game in another language like german.

Romtos wrote:

He mentioned 18xx PNP, not 18xx in general.
Not that you need to heed that advice.


Yeah but any commercial games are hard to come by here in Iceland.

paulclarke339 wrote:
KronikAlkoholik wrote:
2) Is there a standard size for the hexes over most of the games. So I could use my custom set of tiles for maps of bought games?


Why would you want to do that? A purchased game would come with its own tiles.


I find many of the tiles to be plain ugly. I would rather have a visually pleasant game if able. I understand that not everyone agrees with me on this but the boring look of the old games is something I would love to be able to avoid if possible.

Legion of DOOM wrote:
1830 available on amazon.de for 46.23€ and 6€ shipping. You only need print rules in English.


Not sure about buying from a site in a language I don't really speak and the game seems to have german on the outside of the box at least. I'm not getting anyone who ships to Iceland from Amazon.co.uk where I buy usually from.
 
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
It's not that I can't afford it, I'm just not willing to pay more than I believe is fair for a game. There are plenty of other games I would rather get for half the price if it goes that far.


Baseline price for 18xx is pretty close to US$80/game. There are some lower, such as the Mayfair printing of 1830, and some higher like $200+ for the DTG printing of 1817 or $300+ for 18C2C from DICE, but most of the non-huge games from DTG and Double-O and Tresham Games etc fall in around $80ea. I recommend that you take a baseline of US$80ea and then add a typical S&H charge to Iceland atop that for your general expectations of pricing of 18xx in Iceland.

Quote:
I find many of the tiles to be plain ugly. I would rather have a visually pleasant game if able. I understand that not everyone agrees with me on this but the boring look of the old games is something I would love to be able to avoid if possible.


The current presentation model of the 18xx (and most especially the DTG presentation) is heavily optimised for information clarity. Brutalist, yes, but also unambiguously clear. The necessity of many of the information design choices, of what information really is critical and when and why, is frequently not apparent to novice players. This is not to say that you shouldn't experiment, just that your view of your experiments will greatly change with your level of play experience, and you should expect that.
 
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clearclaw wrote:


Baseline price for 18xx is pretty close to US$80/game. There are some lower, such as the Mayfair printing of 1830, and some higher like $200+ for the DTG printing of 1817 or $300+ for 18C2C from DICE, but most of the non-huge games from DTG and Double-O and Tresham Games etc fall in around $80ea. I recommend that you take a baseline of US$80ea and then add a typical S&H charge to Iceland atop that for your general expectations of pricing of 18xx in Iceland.


Tell me about it. I paid 96 Euro shipped for 1844... about $130 iirc.. but well worth it I thought, and I've only played the game once.. but will be playing again next Saturday.

Also, most of the games hold their value. So, if you don't like it, you can always sell it for probably what you bought it for, except some of the commodity Mayfair games.

BOb
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I started playing 18xx with 18AL, and thought it was fascinating and challenging at the time. In total I played it 7 times on the table, and more than twice as many games by email. Now it does feel a little stale, but I'd happily play it again with newbies.

I like 18GA more than 18AL — its slightly more complex in multiple ways. 18Mex is yet another step up in a game by the same designer (but its not PnP).

I enjoy 18EU a lot also. All these games are well worth printing up if you want to dip your toe into 18XX.

[edit] As for printing, I go to an office print shop and have it all done on 'glossy card stock' also known here in the USA as Kromekote. That works for me. Be prepared to spend an evening with scissors, paper cutter, etc. A half inch (1cm?) circle punch is nice for cutting the tokens.
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KronikAlkoholik wrote:
I'm not getting anyone who ships to Iceland from Amazon.co.uk where I buy usually from.


I recommend either Heron Games (http://www.fwtwr.com/store/list.asp?xCat=18xx) or Northumbria Games (http://www.northumbriagames.co.uk/products2.php?menu1=20&men...). Both are based in the UK and will ship internationally.
 
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clearclaw wrote:
Baseline price for 18xx is pretty close to US$80/game. There are some lower, such as the Mayfair printing of 1830, and some higher like $200+ for the DTG printing of 1817 or $300+ for 18C2C from DICE, but most of the non-huge games from DTG and Double-O and Tresham Games etc fall in around $80ea. I recommend that you take a baseline of US$80ea and then add a typical S&H charge to Iceland atop that for your general expectations of pricing of 18xx in Iceland.


And multiply it by 1.3 as well, bloody import tax. But this is for a used game that I don't like the look of. I guess I should look towards new 1830 as they have a better look and better price. Now just to find someone who ships it. or get the flgs to respond to my emails.

clearclaw wrote:
The current presentation model of the 18xx (and most especially the DTG presentation) is heavily optimised for information clarity. Brutalist, yes, but also unambiguously clear. The necessity of many of the information design choices, of what information really is critical and when and why, is frequently not apparent to novice players. This is not to say that you shouldn't experiment, just that your view of your experiments will greatly change with your level of play experience, and you should expect that.


I can see that. but I've seen clear and good tiles that look much better than the old ones. It doesn't take a lot of change to make it better.

Compare:



and



Both clear and obvious but one looks so much better just because of a little gradient effect.

daveberry wrote:

I recommend either Heron Games (http://www.fwtwr.com/store/list.asp?xCat=18xx) or Northumbria Games (http://www.northumbriagames.co.uk/products2.php?menu1=20&men...). Both are based in the UK and will ship internationally.


Will check them out. Why can't the world be simple and you would have one place for all your board game needs.

Thank you guys for all your suggestions
 
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The gradient effect stuff has been done to death many times over, but in summary, it gets in the way of what's needed in the game by trying to make each individual tile look slightly prettier. A local optimisation in other words.

B>
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I discovered 18XX through PnP 18AL, and I consider it an excellent introduction for 3 reasons:

1) The 18XX game is hard to understand at first, and the 18AL rules are explicit and includes explanations on differences between other versions of 18XX.

2) The length of the game is acceptable for learning (our first two games took about 6+ hours, while the other games were about half that duration). As Paul Clarke said, it will be easier to attract players, and it may also be easier to get them to play a second game... For example if someone made an irrecoverable mistake early and agonized for the whole game.

3) PnP can be inexpensive. I've made mine for 35$ and a week-end worth of work. To reduce costs I concatenated all the files in one .pdf, to save a file opening cost, and then printed them at once on adhesive paper at a local printshop. I bought one large cardboard sheet for the tracks (to be sure that they all have the same thickness), but used cardboard from the recycling bin for all other parts (shares, map, etc.).
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Ingólfur, if you get around to it, I'd like to see pics of the game you make, and read a session report.
 
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I learned 18xx with a PBEM learning game of 18AL run by
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and I am very grateful to him. I had wanted to play an 18xx game since I saw Scott Nicolson's video on it, but that was my first play. Since that game finished I have played an 18xx game at least once a month. Even played my new copy of 1830 at our weekly game night.

It is my favorite series of games.

BOb
 
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