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1825 Unit 1» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Unorthodox Unit1/Unit 2 Six Player Game rss

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Tom
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1825
Unit 1, Unit 2
6 Players and "Flexible" Rules
January, 2013



I set up in my kitchen for a 6 player solo game of 1825 with make-believe players Mary, Pete, Barb, Will, Step, Emil.


The Players

Mary is from New York City. Pete is from Kitchener, Ontario. Barb is Californian. Will is an Australian construction worker. Emil is from Chartres, France.

The last player, Step, is from Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The Setup - Units & Expansion Kits

1) I used the 3 Regional kits plus the 7 Minors which came with various expansions.

2) Despite the combined units and the expansions, I kept the money at 5,000 pounds. (I mostly just did not want to mix the money from the two units together then separate them back into their individual boxes, but also, I have the house for sale and did not want the game cluttering up my kitchen for too long in case my realtor had a showing. The game took up my whole kitchen table). I could always add several thousand later if the game ended too soon to feel like a complete game.

3) I used the extra tiles (D1) but not the Phase 4 expansion, which I have not been able to get.

4) I added the extra trains provided by Extension Kit K2.1, inserting them into the regular train stack as suggested by the rules included but with a few adjustments of my own to adjust for the lack of a Phase 4 in this specific game.

The train mix was :
Seven 2’s
Five 3’s
Four 4’s
Three 5’s (it was recommended you remove two of the normal five if using the special trains). One each of the 3T, 3U and 2+2 trains are for sale after the first 5 train is sold.
Two 6’s - Available after all 5 trains are sold. Two each of the 4T and 4+4E trains, all of which are for sale after the first 6 train is sold.

5) Lastly, as per Dave Berry‘s Port Variant I added £10 to the value of any coast city marked as a port.


First Share Dealing Round

As per the rules, the London & Southwest Railway and Great Western floated first, with Emil and Barb as directors. They purchased all the 2 trains. These both start with two home bases when units 1 and 2 are combined with the Cornwall map (Regional 2, SW England). This gives high early dividends.

Share ownership of these companies was spread fairly evenly across all six players. Emil was director of the London Northwest but only held 3 shares. Barb had 4 in the Great Western.


The Early Game

Money accumulated slowly and over the next couple SDR’s players could frequently only afford a single share per round.

Step started up the Midland Railway after a few of these quiet rounds. It was one Share Dealing Round too early in my opinion since it did not float until he bought the 6th share in the subsequent round but it seemed to motivate the others to start up the other public companies in quick succession. One by one the players sold the privates and shares to raise funds to start up new companies.


Messing up the Rules

With the purchase of the first 4 train, I prematurely rusted all the 2‘s. It was not until the first 5 train had been purchased that I noticed in the rulebook that the 5 train was supposed to have rusted the 2’s not the 4 trains. By then it was too late to undo the error and I proceeded with my accidental variant, reflecting on the importance of reading the rules for that particular 18xx game you are playing and not assuming it parallels other 18xx games.

This accidental change to the rules left the LSW and GWR down to one 3 train each.

There was a strange operating round where the players declined to issue dividends in several companies saving up for a 4 train (I was in an 1830 mindset). It was some time before I recalled that :

a) you could own more than 60% of a company in 1825 and
b) you could dump all ten shares of a trainless corporation into the open market and
c) the 3 trains were permanent trains.

It was a wasted OR, but I calculated it affected all players equally and moved on.


Mid-game Readjustments

Within 6 operating rounds several players were directors of two companies and started moving money around as they eyed up the 3T, U3 and 2+2 special trains sitting behind the first 5 train.

Barb declined to buy the first 5 train for her South Eastern and Chatham Railway knowing the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway would need to buy it on its upcoming turn. She used all the SEC’s money to buy a 3 train from the Great Western. After the 5 train indeed went to the LB&SC, the Great Western was able to buy both the cheaper 3T and 2+2 trains using the funds from the SEC. For the remainder of the game, the GWR ran the 2+2 between Birmingham and London. (The route ran through the GWR’s Swindon base which had a #200 tile placed over it which allowed this city to be ignored if a train runs through it). In Phase Three those two stations plus the 2+2 were worth £260 each OR while the 3T also added nicely to the total revenue.

Not long thereafter the SEC went into receivership as Barb sold all shares for a modest profit. The SEC languished unwanted for the remainder of the game, dropping a share price each OR. The GWR soared in profits and share value.

The LSW and the Midland joined the GWR in producing strong profits. Oddly, these three companies had large blocks of shares in the pool during their strongest set of OR’s. I have harped on this issue before in my session reports on 1853 and 1860 but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the 1829 branch is all about holding the shares just before they make money, not after everyone watches three OR‘s go by with huge dividends.


The Last Runs

By the late game, all publics had been floated. Mary and Step each floated three companies and moved trains and money around to their advantage. Judicious placing of tokens blocked previously successful railroads and limited their profits. This did not affect the Midland, Northwest and Great Western who, with two trains each, continued to pay the strongest dividends.

Three of the seven minors floated around this time, all three owned 100% by single investors. The London, Tilbury & Southend was started at £61 per share and increased in value by £29 per share by game end. Adding profits over those 6 Ors there was a total return of £1,254 from an initial capital investment of £610.

The Somerset and Dorset earned respectable revenues and, having the same director, Barb, was also able to upgrade the Great Western’s track for mutual benefit to both companies.

The last minor, the North Staffordshire, was hampered by neighbouring companies, sparse tile availability and established tokens. It produced poor returns relative to the superior shares available for purchase in the bank pool nor did it enhance the rail lines of any sister company.

My conclusion on the minors is that they are an interesting option if synergies exist but are not strong performers on their own

.
The Last Trains

Only one 6 train was purchased in the game. This freed up the 4T’s and the 4+4E’s for purchase. The Great Central, floated late in the game and operating near Manchester, was able to purchase the 4T train to add to its 4 train.

For once I had made an effort to see my players use what was left in the treasuries to lay as many blocking tokens as their companies could.

In the last set of operating rounds huge gains were made by the companies running two trains instead of one. Low valued companies that had declined to pay dividends in order to save for another train may have lost two spaces by withholding but gained that lost ground and more by leaping three and four spaces once their multiple trains began to churn out big payouts. As someone noted on BBG, this is what one must realize in 1825; you can afford to keep a few dividends if you are sure you will see these huge share value leaps in the last few turns. (1860 and 1853 are similar in this regard).


End of Game

The game ended quite early due to my decision to not add money to the bank and extend the game. Many of the less successful railways had not sold all their IPO and no player maxed out his or her certificate limit. (Which is why Mary never sold her £30 private.)

I do not anticipate there would have been much changed if it had gone, say, one more set of OR’s. For me, all the companies had started, all cities were upgraded and all tokens laid; there seemed little else to do but pay out dividends. If there really were 6 of us at a table, the work would have been less onerous and I might have added more money to the bank and kept playing but I do not think I lost much in fun by ending the game as I did.

I will admit that a slightly longer game would have been to Pete’s advantage since his Great Central Railway was paying huge dividends and making long stock market leaps.

The Final Tally

The girls beat the boys:

Barb £3,635
Mary £3,524
Step £3,225
Emil £2,915
Pete £2,568
Will £2,427

I am noticing a trend in my solo-multiplayer games where my female players usually win. Are women just better at 18xx?


The final gameboard


Analysis of the Players’ Play


Intuitively, those players who got the directorships of the London Northwest Railway and the Great Western Railway should have had a great advantage; they are in a good position to run into London, they start off in a combined Unit1/Unit 2 game with two start bases, they have more starting capital than any other company and more tokens to block other companies out.

Barb, with her shares in the GWR, indeed won. But Emil, with the LNW, came fourth out of six players. The big difference may have been that Barb quickly held 5 shares of the GWR, got a 3 train asap and then snagged the 2+2 and U3. These trains repaid her investment well throughout the game. Emil initially held the directorship of the LNW with only 3 shares such that he did not make a huge gain over the other players who also held multiple shares in the LNW. My glitch over the too early rusting of the 2 trains also did not help the LNW

Mary did well with heavy investment and directorships in the three northern railways of Unit 2; the Lancashire &Yorkshire, the North Eastern and the Great Northern. The difference between her companies and Barb’s was that she did not manage to get multiple trains as soon as Barb did.

Step sold his LNW and GWR shares to start the Midland one share dealing round too early and it sat unfloated for a critical operating round. I think this was the only error he made, otherwise the Midland remained strong throughout the game by running a pair of 3 trains into London and Birmingham right into the late game before buying a 6 train for the last two rounds. Had he waited one more round to start the Midland he may have won.

Will invested heavily in the Great Eastern Railway then operated it poorly. Like Jane, he had played a waiting game hoping to get the 2+2 after the first 5 was purchased. Since the GWR scooped the 2+2 he belatedly bought the last 5, then was unable to run it to the maximum number of stations. Additionally, his holdings in other stocks was not strong. His 5th place finish is not puzzling.

Pete played most of the game as a minor investor, finally floating the LSW in the mid-to-late game and not doing well with it. Since there were shares of the GWR in the pool he might have done better to stay out of the directorship and buy those shares instead. As usual, the temptation to be a director, and the fear that you cannot win without doing so, proved too much for him. Late in the game he started a successful Great Central Railway, running it into Manchester and Liverpool for good dividends. Had the game had the extra bank funds, he would have caught up to one or two players, but I doubt he would have won.


Analysis of my Rules Alterations

I never played an 18xx game I did not like. Even with my unorthodox set of rules, this was enjoyable.

It was certainly not a stellar example of how to play 1825 in view of my missing some of the rules and thinking like an 1830 player for the first part of the game.

I like the Unit 1/Unit 2 combined game. It is a minor irritant at the end of the game to re-separate the game components into two boxes plus all the expansions bags. Has anyone permanently combined everything into one box?

Despite increasing the values of the ports by £10 I still saw little development towards them (except in places where they would have been developed anyway, such as Harwich and Dover). I would like to try other variants if anyone has a recommendation.

There was some track lay on the regional expansion boards, but not much. With the exception of the GWR which benefited greatly with its second base in Exeter and a lucrative run to Plymouth the regionals were not used to a great extent. I will always use the expansion boards because they add to the flavour of the game by making the map of Southern Great Britain look like Britain.

The minor’s which come with the regionals seemed to not add much to my game but I suspect I have not figured out what to do with them yet.

Rusting the 2 trains too early did not prove too disruptive to the game. There is some discussion on the BGG forum as to whether the LNW and GWR are too powerful when they have two bases to start from. Rusting the 2’s as early as I did had the effect to lessen the value of these two companies. Maybe that’s good.

The extra train types added some flavour. The timing of train purchases got interesting as the first 5 came up for sale; Most company treasuries could not afford the 5 but hoped to buy the cheaper trains freed up after it was bought. Putting in these trains made the game a little easier but they replaced the 5’s and 6’s which never were purchased. Their cheap costs may have produced too forgiving a game. If I used the special trains again, I may remove two more 5 trains from the train mix to get the 6 (and even 7) trains into the game.

In parallel to this, It might have been interesting to have the 3’s rusted by the 7 by extending the game into Phase 4. I would have done this had I owned this expansion.

The game ended a bit too soon, I admit, but I would not say the game was terminated in mid-game. If we were six actual players I would add 2,000 to 4,000 pounds and considered it a complete game.

I found it annoying that the Privates never rusted. Sure you could sell them for 30 pounds less than their face value, but with the Swansea and Mumbles only worth that much, there was no reason to sell it. I kept giving Mary 5 quid every OR for the entire game.


Finally

Comments on rule infractions, variants, bad decisions, my opinions, etc, are all welcome below.

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Mikko Saari
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TomAquin wrote:
Sure you could sell them for 30 pounds less than their face value, but with the Swansea and Mumbles only worth that much, there was no reason to sell it.


There certainly is a very good reason to sell it: it counts against your certificate limit.
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Jim Knight
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Did Dave Berry's Port Variant feature in the game?

I take it the SECR came out quickly. It makes a big difference to how well the first two companies (i.e. The LNWR & GWR) run mid-game if they can get another permanent train into the company. They're usually hampered by having bought 3 2trains and 1 3train which constrains them at their limit. Barb clearly helped her GWR by buying a cheap permanent train from the SECR at some point.

It's that problem I have every time I play. I'm still working to solve it.

As for putting away components I've still not sorted out my 18US stuff from the game we played last October/November! whistle
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Tom
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Thank you for taking the time for your comments above. It is much appreciated.

jimnite wrote:
Did Dave Berry's Port Variant feature in the game?

I found the added ten pounds did not generally prove incentive enough to run track out to the ports. In the photo of the final board layout, track was laid out to the port in NW Wales (Holyhead?) early in the game by the LNWR but it was never used and in hindsight should never have been laid.

I like the use of the Port Variants to encourage more coverage on the map. Berry's site mentions another variant where the values increase with the phases. I would like to try this variant next time.

jimnite wrote:
I take it the SECR came out quickly. It makes a big difference to how well the first two companies (i.e. The LNWR & GWR) run mid-game if they can get another permanent train into the company. They're usually hampered by having bought 3 2trains and 1 3train which constrains them at their limit. Barb clearly helped her GWR by buying a cheap permanent train from the SECR at some point.

I would say the SECR did come out quickly, based on my limited number of plays. The train buying folded out in reverse of what you surmise above regarding the GWR's permanent train. The SECR bought a 3 train(IIRC) from the GWR for all its cash which was then used by the GWR to buy more trains. Then Barb dumped the SECR.

 
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msaari wrote:
TomAquin wrote:
Sure you could sell them for 30 pounds less than their face value, but with the Swansea and Mumbles only worth that much, there was no reason to sell it.


There certainly is a very good reason to sell it: it counts against your certificate limit.

Definitely. In Mary's case, she never maxed her certificates and therefore never sold her private. Since her situation is not typical of most 18xx games as they near completion, your point is well taken,
 
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TomAquin wrote:
jimnite wrote:
Did Dave Berry's Port Variant feature in the game?

I found the added ten pounds did not generally prove incentive enough to run track out to the ports. In the photo of the final board layout, track was laid out to the port in NW Wales (Holyhead?) early in the game by the LNWR but it was never used and in hindsight should never have been laid.

I like the use of the Port Variants to encourage more coverage on the map. Berry's site mentions another variant where the values increase with the phases. I would like to try this variant next time.


The rule I normally use is this:

"If a company places a token in a port, then on subsequent turns (but not the turn of placement) it receives two benefits. First, each train that it runs to that city gains an extra £10 income. This includes those cities, such as Dover and Barrow, which are given fixed values on the map.

Second, the company receives a £20 bonus in company credits at the very end of its turn, immediately after purchasing any trains. This amount remains in the company and is not distributed as dividends. It is received regardless of whether a train actually ran to the port."

My site does note that this rule "is partially successful in encouraging companies to build towards the more distant parts of the board, but the attraction of the smaller ports on the regional kits is not sufficient on its own." In actual play I'm not actually too bothered by whether these areas are used - 18xx games typically reward being in the thick of things rather than building into the wild - but if you want some other possibilities for encouraging route building on the more remote parts of the map you could consider the following:

- My house rule that allows yellow tiles to be laid in adjacent hexes in phases 3 & 4

- Mike Hutton's single-track variant

- Mike Hutton's extra minor companies (with or without the accompanying single-track rules).

- Changing my port variant to increase the company credits received from the more remote ports such as Holyhead.

If you do try any of these, I'd be interested to hear whether they work for you.
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Dave,

Thank you for your input. It will be interesting to try your suggestions. I will posts my experiences on this thread.

Though I will be some time before I manage the time for my next 1825 game I look forward to implementing these rules.
 
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Follow-up Session
Ports by Lou Jerkich



Introduction

Further to the posting by Dave Berry above, I set up a four player game to test to the effects of his suggested Port Variant. My understanding is Lou Jerkich developed this variant which goes like this;

1) if a company places a token on a harbour (marked by a white place name) it receives £20 each OR, plus £10 for each train that runs through that port. This money goes into the treasury, rather than dividends.
2) in Phase 3, it is permissible to lay two yellow tiles on adjacent hexes. (this is forbidden by the standard rules of 1825)

Andy, Barb, Clem and Pete were my fictitious players.

I used the Unit 1 board, augmented by the three regionals and the five minor companies. Just for fun, I added the 3T and U3 trains (making them available after the first 5 train is bought) and the 4+4E, 2+2 and 4T trains (available after the last 5 train is bought).

The total cash in the game was kept at £5,000.


The Great Western Heads to Southampton

In the early Stock Rounds the LNWR and the GWR were floated. The LNWR under Andy built track in the standard direction toward London.

On the other hand, Barb’s GWR decided to try to reach Southampton in order to cash in on the added money its port status would provide. In effect Barb decided to temporarily forego the high revenue from London in order to see a steady cash flow of port fees into the GWR’s treasury. Since the GWR’s shares were fairly evenly spread amongst the four players the loss in dividends was not a disaster for Barb while she hoped to remain in control of a company with a rich treasury; useful when she floated a second company.

Seeing this development, Andy and Pete dropped their GWR shares; Pete started the LSW while Clem remained a “small-time investor” with no directorship.

The GWR was able to run two trains out of Southampton for £40 per OR. 5 OR’s would pump enough cash into the treasury to purchase a permanent train without withholding dividends.


All Major Corporations Floated and More Ports Tokened

By the 4th SDR, all six major companies had floated.

-Barb floated the SEC. It was too far away from her GWR to provide mutual support.
-Clem finally ceased to be a small-time invester by gaining the Directorship of the GER.
-Pete started the LBSC which complemented his LSW, located in the same geographical area.

The GER and SEC are typically weak investments in my 1825 games. I was interested in the effect of the ports variant on this. In this session these companies each spent £40 to place tokens on Harwich and Dover, respectively. These companies would typically run to these ports, atypically I would never have spent money to token them (at least not so early in their track development. The GER might place a station on Harwich if it later gets a second train and wanted to run into London twice).

Pete’s LSW/LBSC combination had a slight chance to reach the port of Southampton if they could upgrade the Portstmouth/Gosport hex and then the Southampton hex. This was not a sure thing and even if achieved only one of them could place a token on Southampton and even then only in the late stages of the game. I saw little reason for Pete to try too hard to get to Southampton. Dover was also a possibility, but offered equally few benefits.


The LBSC and the LSW trying to reach Southampton. Note the SEC is about to be blocked from London, as discussed below.


Meanwhile, the GWR continued to be strong. Partly with the help of the £40 per OR that the Port of Southampton was providing, it bought the last 4 train.

The LNW up in Birmingham was train locked with three 2 trains and a 3 train and had a bit of a bottleneck into London. It withheld some dividends to save up for a 5 train. Even when Andy paid dividends, it produced lower revenue than the GWR.

In the next few OR’s Pete used the LSW and the LBSC’s track lays to cut the SEC off from London and confine it to Ashford and Dover. Seeing the SEC blocked from any improvement, Barb sold its 3 train to the GWR (like sending coals to Newcastle).

In the next Stock Round the SEC’s ten shares were dumped into the pool. It would never again have a director.


Minor Railways Are Floated

Clem started the Cambrian Railway minor company in North Wales. Six shares were needed to pay for its embedded 3U train.

Barb started the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway minor with the sale of the first four shares financing its embedded 2+2 train thus opening up the possibility of further sales of shares financing future train purchases.

Andy started a third minor, the Midland & Great Northern Railway, up in Norfolk. It took all ten shares to pay for its embedded 4T train. In the next Stock Round he bought the Somerset & Dorset minor. A little more wisely it was priced to ensure proceeds from the sale of the first four shares would pay for its 5 train. Similar to the LT&S, purchase of more shares of the S&D might afford a chance to buy a second train and sell it cheap to a friendly corporation.


The Special Trains are Purchased

The GWR started Phase 3 when it purchased the first 5 train, adding to the 3 and the 4 it owned. While it continued to pay out dividends and collect port fees by running multiple trains into Southampton, the GWR climbed the stock market chart rapidly.

With Phase 3 begun, the 2 trains of the LNW and the SEC rusted. Companies were now able to lay yellow track on adjacent hexes (as per this variant). This helped the minors to quickly develop some halfway decent routes, low paying though they still were.

The other companies starting buying up the cheaper 3U’s and 3T’s now available:

-The Cambrian had been managed by Clem such that it was able to buy a 3T.
-Clem’s GER bought a 3U with its own withholdings and then bought the Cambrian’s 3T for £10.
-Andy’s LNW had withheld enough cash to purchase a 3U and a 3T to run to London twice and Birmingham once.

Since several major companies had withheld dividends to buy and hold the maximum number of trains the clever manoeuvrings of the players was wasted; though their minor companies were able to purchase second trains the major companies had no room for them. Thus the game approached the final stages with an embarrassing number of trains sitting in the inventories of the minors, unused and unusable. Perhaps 1825 is not the straightforward exercise that detractors of the 1829 branch claim it is.


Running the Bank out of Cash

-The GWR, LBSC, LNW and GER were now in excellent shape with three trains each and running multiple routes into London. The ports had not taken away the importance of London in this game.
-The LSW was a weak performer with only a 3 train.
-The SEC remained in receivership.

The LBSC indeed reached Southampton where it placed a token and ran two trains out of the port; both running to London. As added bonus, its last token was placed in Portsmouth to disrupt the GWR’s second route into London.

The minor railways were producing low revenues (though I think my players are beginning to suspect the real purpose of the minors is to help the major companies with track laying and buying trains to sell to the majors.)

The game ran out of funds in a few more operating rounds. As in my previous 1825 game above, I could have/should have added at least £2,000 but I was satisfied to end the game at this point. If I had added more money the game would have ended in 2 more OR’s anyway, with the GWR reaching the top space on the stock chart.

The Taff Vale minor never floated. The rest of the 5 trains, the 4+4E’s, the 4T’s and the 2+2’s went unpurchased.


Final Tally

As usual in my 18xx solo games, the lady won. Andy and Pete tied for second.

£6,924 Barb
£5,566 Andy
£5,566 Pete
£4,971 Clem


Game Analysis

Barb won because she had the GWR. Had she been able to buy more than five shares it would have been much more of a lead. Andy and Pete built the LSW and the LBSC into strong competitors but not strong enough to catch Barb. Clem was late in getting a directorship. When he did, his GER was slow in building. It was only in the late game it began to produce high income and achieve big leaps in share value.

Only one 5 train was purchased. The special trains allowed companies to buy cheap trains which ended the game much quicker by increasing revenues paid per OR.

There seems to be an art to using the minors and I have not yet come close to using them effectively. My players finally began to set share prices for the minor companies’ IPO at levels such that the minor companies could finance trains for the major railways but they then ineptly train-locking their major companies before the minors could sell them their extra trains.

I enjoyed the relaxation of the tile laying rule to allow yellow tiles to be laid on adjacent hexes in Phase 3. The late starting railways and minors were thereby able to develop rapidly enough to make a decent return on investments and keep the game fun and interesting. (Any rule that keeps the last stages of an 18xx game from becoming a dull run-trains-and-pay-dividends exercise has my full support.)


Analysis with Respect to the Ports

The GWR is still too strong. This variant made it even more so. Barb sent the GWR’s tracks to Southampton where it collected port revenues by running as many as three trains into the port for most of the game. The 5 trains were slow in coming out and rusting the 2 trains, which meant even more money to the GWR. Some of the other major companies placed tokens in ports and collected some company credits for their treasury, but it was later in the game and there was only minor benefit to them doing so.

I remembered this time not to rust the 2 trains when the 4’s came out. Having the 2 trains operate until the first 5 train was bought helped the GWR in collecting even more port fees.

There was no affect on the minors by the Port Variant and vice versa since the minors cannot use ports.

The special trains were cheap and allowed companies to buy extra trains to add more runs into the ports and get more port fees. This mostly benefited the GWR in the early game; other companies were able to make such multiple runs only late in the game when it would take several OR‘s to accumulate enough port fees to buy the expensive mid-game trains.

The ports still did not draw track out to the edges of the map. The important part of the game remains in and around London. The only Ports built on in this game would have had track laid to them anyway.


Conclusion

1) The Ports Variant seems to be a pleasant (occasional) variation to the standard game, but it adds too little for me to use it regularly.

2) I think the ports make the GWR too powerful; something that already occurs with the addition of its second station in Exeter.

3) When playing a Ports Variant again, I will probably use this variant.

4) I would still like to find a way to get the whole map used, not because I find 1825 lacking, only because I own all three Regionals.


Optional Rules to Try Next Time

1) Increase the values of the ports in Holyhead, Fishguard and Falmouth (as speculated by Dave in a posting above).
2) Move the GWR’s second base to Falmouth.
3) Eliminate the GWRs’ second base altogether.
4) Provide Destination Bonuses for reaching ports similar to 1860 or 1856. The value of the farther ports would be assigned higher bonuses.
5) Convert the Cambrian and the Taft & Vale to major companies.
6) Let the 4 trains rust the 2’s in order to hobble the GWR’s high mid-game profits.


Disclaimer

The author makes no guarantee that playing as he did above will allow you to not finish in last place. The reader accepts all responsibility for unwise decisions made during gameplay. Any resemblance between decisions made in the foregoing game and decisions made by an intelligent 18xx gamer are purely co-incidental.
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Dave Berry
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TomAquin wrote:


If a company places a token on a harbour (marked by a white place name) it receives £20 each OR, plus £10 for each train that runs through that port. This money goes into the treasury, rather than dividends.

Hi Tom,

It looks to me that like you misunderstood what I intended by my rule. The £10/train is added to the normal income, to be distributed as dividends or withheld as company credits along with the company's other income. Only the flat rate £20 bonus is automatically paid in as company credits.

Quote:
The GWR was able to run two trains out of Southampton for £40 per OR. 5 OR’s would pump enough cash into the treasury to purchase a permanent train without withholding dividends.

Running to Southampton should give the GWR £20/OR and also make Southampton itself worth £10 more than normal for the GWR's trains. Over 5 OR's, the £20 will give the GWR £100 - enough for a token or a significant contribution to a train, but not enough to buy a train outright.

Quote:
The GER and SEC are typically weak investments in my 1825 games... Pete’s LSW/LBSC combination had a slight chance to reach the port of Southampton if they could upgrade the Portsmouth/Gosport hex and then the Southampton hex.

All these companies need to focus on running multiple trains to London, if possible.

Quote:
The LNW up in Birmingham was train locked with three 2 trains and a 3 train and had a bit of a bottleneck into London. It withheld some dividends to save up for a 5 train. Even when Barb paid dividends, it produced lower revenue than the GWR.

Who owned the LNWR by this stage? Andy started it; did everyone sell all their shares at some point?

Quote:
Since several major companies had withheld dividends to buy and hold the maximum number of trains the clever manoeuvrings of the players was wasted; though their minor companies were able to purchase second trains the major companies had no room for them. Thus the game approached the final stages with an embarrassing number of trains sitting in the inventories of the minors, unused and unusable.

The rules for the additional trains do point out that this will happen if these trains are used without the Phase Four kit.

Quote:
The GWR, LBSC, LNW and GER were now in excellent shape with three trains each and running multiple routes into London. The ports had not taken away the importance of London in this game.

The port variant isn't intended to take away the importance of London, just to add a small incentive to using tokens in a different way and of building to ports.

Quote:
The minor railways were producing low revenues (though I think my players are beginning to suspect the real purpose of the minors is to help the major companies with track laying and buying trains to sell to the majors.)

Minor companies can be used in various ways. That is one of them. It's important to note that each pair of shares in a minor company only takes up one certificate slot, which can be important at the end of the game.

Quote:
If I had added more money the game would have ended in 2 more OR’s anyway, with the GWR reaching the top space on the stock chart.

I find that unusual but that might be just the way I play. Certainly the £40/OR you were paying from the port would have helped.

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The Taff Vale minor never floated.

The Taff Vale can be very strong, especially if you have the grey tiles from Phase Four. With only the brown tiles, it is more limited in the number of routes that it can run.
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Tom
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Dave,

Thank you for clarifying the Port Scenario Rules. That would make the GWR less powerful.

I also agree that running multiple trains into London is key and does not change with the ports. The GER can do this but, in my experience, it takes off slowly before it starts making those profitable runs.

re: Who owned the LNW?

Andy always did. I mixed the names up in my posting (thank you for catching that). I have now edited the posting to the correct names.

re: Trains not selling out until Phase 4.

An interesting point that the special trains would work best with the Phase 4 expansion. I wish I could get hold of that Phase 4 Expansion. I believe it is the only 1825 kit that I do not have.

Mind, I was not feeling the trains not selling took away from the fun; just reporting on the results.

It's always good to hear your comments,
Cheers, Tom
 
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