Printed out the components for this game on plain paper just to see what 18XX was about. Have set it up and started a few games. It looks interesting, but I want to find some time to make a nicer print and look into it more when I have more time.
I got this game mainly because I liked the election theme (introduced with Die Macher) and wanted a more accessible election themed game. It seems to be more luck based than I would like, but I need a few more plays to see what strategies can be developed.
I see the reason Agricola is so well regarded, especially after grasping the idea that this is a game of maximizing efficiency. I love the aspect of increasing complexity by starting out a beginner player with the family game then progressing to the cards at the various levels. It also seems to be a different experience with each additional player. I anticipated the solo version, but so far, have been a little disappointed that it is more of a puzzle to see how you can preselect the cards and get the most points.
I missed out on this one as I was not staying on top of board game news when this came out. When I did regain interest in the series, it had already become rare and too expensive. I would still love to obtain and/or play this version given the opportunity. But, I am looking forward to the new Pacific and Europe versions that are coming out that can be combined. Hopefully these versions will surpass the Anniversary edition.
Does not scale well across number of players. Two player should only be for learning the game. So far, I have only had opportunities to play with two players, which we play as four logical players (each physical player plays two logical players) -- much more fun that way.
This is definitely one of my current favorites. I love the way the game ramps up. I also like to look at the game as building a machine and seeing how well it produces victory points for you. I am still refining my strategies, but I have yet to tire of playing this game.