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Subject: A question about trains rusting rss

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Edward Uhler
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We're fairly new to 18XX's (last 2 months or so), but we've played 5 different ones thus far and are totally hooked.

With that said, one thing that we find queer about the mechanics of every single one that we have played is the rusting of trains immediately. For instance, once the first "4" train is bought, "2" trains rust immediately, regardless of when this occurs. This seems strange (unless we're missing some strategy of manipulating stocks so that you ensure you run your company first, before they rust) and we would think that it makes more logical sense for them to rust at the end of the current OR (operating round).

Are we missing something or is this a decent idea?

Thoughts?
 
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Johannes cum Grano Salis
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Some games have a "delayed obsolescence" thing where a train does run until the end of the OR, so you're not alone in thinking that. I think 18GA is one of those games. One of Mark Derrick's games, at the very least. But yes, sometimes you do want to position yourself so that you get a final run with a soon-to-be killed train, or you want to deny someone a run in an OR by rusting their train before it can run.
 
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Phil Davies
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Juggling for turn position to ensure you are the one buying the train that hurts everyone else is a sensible and valid thing to do in many 18xx games. Some variants have a concept of 'wounding' trains where the train in question (usually the 2's) gets precisely one more run before it explodes. It's mostly considered a feature of the lighter 18xx games and it does help people from getting caught in a situation they didn't plan for.

Planning for bad situations is half of the fun, though. Rusting them at the end of the rounds is almost as arbitrary as immediately, and probably worse than wounding, since some companies will get one more run and others won't.
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Jimmy Okolica
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There are some 18XX (1846 is the first one that comes to mind) where trains are obsoleted and get to run one last time before going away.

That said, the train rush is a central part of the game. Managing it (and more importantly making it work for you) is one of the keys to success. Trying to figure out when a company needs to hold in order to have enough to buy another train is critical. During the last OR before a SR, check the money that players have. Will they have enough to start new companies? How much cash do existing companies have? Is there enough for the 2Ts to rust? What about the 2Ts and the 3Ts (yep, they can both rust in a single set of ORs)?

Letting trains obsolete first is kinder and gentler and helps people that aren't paying close enough attention, but as you play more 18XX (and particularly as you play the same 18XX more times), you'll get much better at predicting when trains are getting ready to rust.
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Martin Mathes
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The first 18XX games with a delayed train rusting were the Reading and Coalfields variants by Alan R. Moon for 1830.

It reduces the bancruptcy rate somehow.

Ciao

Martin
 
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Edward Uhler
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Let me make sure that I'm asking my question clearly here...

I know that you have to ensure that your company isn't left without a train due to lack of foresight and timing of when the trains rust.


I'll try to ask it by using an example:

All the 3T have been bought and we're in a stock round. Multiple companies have 2T and 3T's, including my own. I sell off competitors stock shares so that I deflate their stock value and allow my company to operate first. My company will have enough money to buy a 4T once it runs, and by doing so, I allow my company to run 2 trains. However, by buying that train before my competitors run their trains, I cripple them by them only being able to run 1 train, the 3T's, since the 2T's rusted the moment I bought the first 4T.

In the above example, is that the INTENDED reason for rule or coincidence of design? It's quite possible that there is a layer of strategy here that we have, up to now, overlooked, hence the original question (ie. make it more fair so that everyone gets to run their 2T's and not just me, since I bought the 4T at the very beginning of the OR).


I hope that is clear...
 
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Jason Adultman
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Thematically train rusting is weird, mechanically it is brilliant and crucial.
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J C Lawrence
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eapeas wrote:
In the above example, is that the INTENDED reason for rule or coincidence of design?


It is intentional, necessary and a primary foundation of the game.

What perceived problem are you trying to solve?
 
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Edward Uhler
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clearclaw wrote:
eapeas wrote:
In the above example, is that the INTENDED reason for rule or coincidence of design?


It is intentional, necessary and a primary foundation of the game.

What perceived problem are you trying to solve?

Re: the bolded above. Are you talking about the immediate rusting of trains, or the big picture that they eventually rust? I'm talking about the IMMEDIATE rusting of trains, in the middle of an OR, or whenever the moment the X level of train is bought.


Well, it's not necessarily a 'problem', it just arose the other night when we got together to play Steam over Holland. Normally, we don't play "beginner" 18XX's like this, but one of our guys just got it and wanted to run thru a quick game.

What happened was that I was able to get my company to be the only one that got an extra run of 2 trains, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Needless to say, I ran away with the game by over $1k. Now, these are experienced 18XX players and we got to discussing whether this was a flaw, happenstance, or intentional and have we been missing this aspect of stock manipulation in order to "screw over" the other companies from being able to run an equal amount. I mean, we've had it happen in every other game, but not to this extent, so it just got us talking about it and wondering. That's all.

And, as it seems, it's very intentional and another layer of strat. that we've somewhat overlooked previously. Yet another reason to love these games
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Ron
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Jasonbartfast wrote:
Thematically train rusting is weird, mechanically it is brilliant and crucial.

It may be brilliant and is sure crucial, but it's in no way fair. meeple

The last train of a type does usually not run as often as the first train of a type.

I wonder when a designer considers that and we get trains that run "n" times (e.g. with a counter on the train card).
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J C Lawrence
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eapeas wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
It is intentional, necessary and a primary foundation of the game.


Are you talking about the immediate rusting of trains...?


Yes.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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PzVIE wrote:

The last train of a type does usually not run as often as the first train of a type.

That's not too bad... it's when the last train of a type doesn't run at all! Then, that's really mean devil

PzVIE wrote:
I wonder when a designer considers that and we get trains that run "n" times (e.g. with a counter on the train card).


Interesting thought. Basically that trains require maintenance or overhaul after a certain period of time. hmmm...
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Edward Uhler
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clearclaw wrote:
eapeas wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
It is intentional, necessary and a primary foundation of the game.


Are you talking about the immediate rusting of trains...?


Yes.


Got my answer then. Thanks for this. It's definitely thought provoking
 
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J C Lawrence
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
PzVIE wrote:

The last train of a type does usually not run as often as the first train of a type.

That's not too bad... it's when the last train of a type doesn't run at all! Then, that's really mean :devil:


I prefer the cases in which an entire rank of trains rust before they ever get to run -- as happened to the 5Ts in my last play of 1841. (6Ts are the first permanent trains in 1841)

PzVIE wrote:
I wonder when a designer considers that and we get trains that run "n" times (e.g. with a counter on the train card).


I fiddled with the idea for several months year or two ago but finally discarded it as too fiddly. That study however did lead to my current notion for 1839's sliding game-end condition: The game ends at the end of the second set of operating rounds during which at least one company owned a brown, red, gray, or black train in both sets of operating rounds. (Like 1843, the trains are coloured and not numbered) It is possible for the ($1,200 cheap) brown trains to be permanent (and to run 0-5 times before they rust or the game is over), or the ($2,000) black trains might be the only permanent trains (guaranteed to run at least 4 and maybe 7 times) -- yep, there are four ranks of might-be/might-not-be permanent trains.

eapeas wrote:
Got my answer then. Thanks for this. It's definitely thought provoking :)


I suspect your group are not fast train buyers then. Ever bought 3x2T and the first 3T?
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Jimmy Okolica
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clearclaw wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:
PzVIE wrote:

The last train of a type does usually not run as often as the first train of a type.

That's not too bad... it's when the last train of a type doesn't run at all! Then, that's really mean devil


I prefer the cases in which an entire rank of trains rust before they ever get to run -- as happened to the 5Ts in my last play of 1841. (6Ts are the first permanent trains in 1841)


Nice! I picked 1841 up at CRGC and have yet to find anyone to play with. I need to try to get people to commit to a Saturday game of this since it's rumored to be a particularly long game.
 
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J C Lawrence
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It can also happen in good old 1830 -- we've seen the 2Ts rust before any of them ever runs more than once.
 
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Edward Uhler
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clearclaw wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:
PzVIE wrote:

The last train of a type does usually not run as often as the first train of a type.

That's not too bad... it's when the last train of a type doesn't run at all! Then, that's really mean devil


I prefer the cases in which an entire rank of trains rust before they ever get to run -- as happened to the 5Ts in my last play of 1841. (6Ts are the first permanent trains in 1841)

PzVIE wrote:
I wonder when a designer considers that and we get trains that run "n" times (e.g. with a counter on the train card).


I fiddled with the idea for several months year or two ago but finally discarded it as too fiddly. That study however did lead to my current notion for 1839's sliding game-end condition: The game ends at the end of the second set of operating rounds during which at least one company owned a brown, red, gray, or black train in both sets of operating rounds. (Like 1843, the trains are coloured and not numbered) It is possible for the ($1,200 cheap) brown trains to be permanent (and to run 0-5 times before they rust or the game is over), or the ($2,000) black trains might be the only permanent trains (guaranteed to run at least 4 and maybe 7 times) -- yep, there are four ranks of might-be/might-not-be permanent trains.

eapeas wrote:
Got my answer then. Thanks for this. It's definitely thought provoking


I suspect your group are not fast train buyers then. Ever bought 3x2T and the first 3T?


Can't say that I or anyone, has. I must admit that this thread, plus perusing others has really opened my eyes to how...cutthroat these games can be...at least when played by the better players. I also have realized that I have much to learn, but that I'm already on my way thanks to the many great discussions I've read in the last few hours. Thanks all! thumbsup
 
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J C Lawrence
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eapeas wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Ever bought 3x2T and the first 3T?


Can't say that I or anyone, has.


Assuming no other glaringly huge mistakes in a game with timid train buyers, the aggressive train buyer will win every game by a landslide. The track, the tokens, the map, the stock market...all that is very nice, but the trains are the game.
 
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Edward Uhler
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All my compatriots are BGG'ers, so I hope they miss this thread...gonna try that next game. Heh
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Stephen Yu
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Ledges are important and hitting the ledge first can be a key part of not wrecking your game when the train rush hits. This is most pronounced in 1830 for the jockeying to see which company gets to buy 5 trains and/or upgrade a 4 to a diesel before "many bad things" happen.

 
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