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Games I've sold and purchased again

The list of games that I used to own, sold, and bought again.

Struggle of Empires – I sold it right after reading the rules. Fortunately, a few years later I thought like giving it another chance and after few more year I finally played the game and really like it. Old Wallace's input just tends to be worthwile.

The New Era + Winter – it used to be one of my favourite games. When a big box was announced, I sold it while it was worth something and believed I would buy the new thing. However, 51st State: Master Set wasn't just a reprint, as it was firstly presented, but a new game that doesn't seem that interesting. After several years I rebought the original thing and keep liking it, but I don't love it anymore. I also don't think anymore that the Winter expansion is that great as I once thought.

Terra Mystica – I've always liked it, but at the time thought that the plays with my group weren't satisfying. Again, after few years I felt like giving it another chance and it was the right decision; the game is a top tier euro for me.

Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game – I sold it after I decided it was too random. It's not the best game our there, but it's solid and has a very appealing theme, so eventually I got it back.



Less than 2 months ago I sold Cosmic Encounter since it's never clicked with my main group. However I know (from playing with another group) how hilarious this game can be and I already regret the decision. Probably I'll buy it again...

Then there is also Zombicide that by no means isn't an outstanding game, but I think it does well what it wants to do and I currently don't have any similar game in the collection anymore. Maybe I'll purchase one day one of a hundred new editions...
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Sun May 23, 2021 6:44 pm
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1848 private auction

1848 used to be my favourite 18xx game. It isn't anymore—which I was expecting since I knew from the start that it wouldn't be as deep as 1830 or 1817—but it is still among my most appreciated 18xx games.

The thing I used to really dislike was how the privates are distributed. It's a Dutch auction—meaning that the price goes down rather than up—with set minimum price. On your turn, you can grab any private at its current price or lower one of the prices. Arguably most of those privates aren't worth their minimum price, which in my plays was resulting in auctions being a tedious exercise of moving markers down. I believed that it could be a fun part of the game, a sort of a game of chicken, if only the minimum prices weren't there.

However, here's the thing: P5 is awful. It's possibly the worst private company I know, being expensive, unsellable and coming with a poor share. I, and my fellow players, found out that I'd rather take P4 at full price than risk being forced to take P5. And, if P5 is already taken, I'd take another sellable private. (So it is a game of chicken after all, isn't it?) Maybe it'll change again, but for now that's our meta and I'm happy that it still evolves after 20+ plays.

(By the way, I also start to think that sacrificing your first company in order to make the second strong is a more efficient and realistic approach that the other way around.)

From gallery of Galatolol

How the auction looked in my last playthrough


(posted on https://railsonboards.com as well)
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Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:38 pm
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Company logos

A short rant today. Many 18xx games fail to deliver when it comes to easily distinguish companies. Because of that, I even consider some of the unplayable (in their official form that is). As a preliminary, I must emphasize that I tend (and want) to call companies by their colours.



Firstly, the obvious thing: when certificates don't harmonize with logos and their presumed colours. A classic example is Mayfair's 1830:

From gallery of Galatolol


Is CPR red, black or yellow? Last time I played that version of the game I honestly had troubles with whether "black" wasn't Erie, despite me knowing the game. Since then, I've only played on P'n'P copies of 1830. Lookout's edition is slightly better in this regard, but still not good enough.



1828's graphic design is thoroughly thought through, but one thing boggles my mind: why on Earth NKP, whose logo is two different blues (so it's even more blue than just plain blue), is associated with pink? When I call a company in 1828 by colour, I go with the strip's colour, but in this case it just doesn't work. Bizarrely, I don't have the same problem with MC and MP, maybe because their logos don't incorporate two shades of the same colour (that is different than the strip)?

From gallery of Galatolol




The main reason I'm writing this is to vent my frustration from playing an official version of 1817. This game has like only red and yellow companies! That's just insane. (Okay, now as I look at photos it's more like green and yellow.) So calling companies by their colours often won't work and the same holds true for using their names or abbreviations since the historical heralds are difficult to read. I genuinely think that this additional, unnecessary cognitive load of determining which company is which in this game adds several dozens of minutes to the playtime.

From gallery of Galatolol



Joshua Starr of Grand Trunk Games writes some interesting posts about the graphic design in 1861/1867 Railways of Russia/Canada, so he clearly cares. However, I think that new logos in 1861 are significantly worse. They used to be fine:

Board Game Accessory: 1861: The Railways of the Russian Empire – Dividend Token


And now many are pretty much the same (yellow with blueish/reddish spots). A crazy decision, if you ask me. To be clear, I'm not sure if this is the final version though:

Board Game: 1861/1867 Railways of Russia/Canada



If a game has a single digit number of companies, I'm fine with historical logos as long as each company has its individual, distinct colour (that's why I prefer brown BM to light green in 1830). If there is more companies, you can't help with overlapping colours, so make sure that at least their are spread evenly. And that the abbreviations can be easily read, like in 1828, which has many fancy heralds but they are all legible. Contrarily to 1817.

From gallery of Galatolol

Good

From gallery of Galatolol

Bad



Also, if you use generic heralds that are just filled differently (like in old 1861), think about improving the readability between those who are similar, like brown and dark purple. For example add a thin, vertical white stripe to one of them.

(posted on https://railsonboards.com as well)
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Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:55 pm
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Cuba Libre and Civilization

So two years ago I stated that multiplayer historical games aren't for me. Since then I bought Cuba Libre, Andean Abyss, Here I Stand, Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648, Civilization, The Republic of Rome, Struggle of Empires (again BTW, as I used to own it), and Westphalia.

Cuba Libre

Board Game: Cuba Libre

My first COIN (unless we count Root as one ). I played it twice, it took us 3h and 2.5h. I like the game: the map feels animated, there is plenty of interaction, the action selection system is brilliant. I also find that this system helps with downtime and AP since usually 1-2 players are inactive, so they can fully concentrate on the next event whilst the rest thinks about the current turn.

However, I have some misgivings. I feel that you're basically doing the same few actions over and over. "You removed my troops? I'll place them again". "You removed my base here? I'll place it there". The very beginning is different, but once the board is filled, I find the quality of decision making stagnant. The government faction starts strong and grows weak (logical) which may be frustrating; the Syndicate is rather boring to play (but the idea behind them is interesting).

I enjoyed Cuba Libre but paradoxically it didn't make me want to try those longest COINs.

I look forward to trying Andean Abyss though. And The Coin Tribes' Revolt: Boudica's Rebellion Against Rome, a micro COIN-like game that I PnPed. Probably I'll end up liking some of the COINs, but won't be a die-hard fan.

Civilization

Board Game: Civilization

I got an Avalon Hill copy of original Civilization and finally was able to play it. I was slightly familiar with the game, having played Advanced Civilization online several years ago.
We were 4 and played a short variant. Following a suggestion found here, I removed one copy of each advancement card that normally is 4 of. The rules say that you can choose any triangle on the AST track as the endpoint. We decided to choose the first one and then see if we continue.

Board Game: Civilization

We reached the first triangle after 30 minutes, the second after 90 minutes, then decided to do 2 more turns, which took us under 3 hours in total. It was too short, since we traded "for real", with tradeable calamities, only in the last couple of rounds; I think that third triangle would be ideal. Nevertheless, we had great fun, loved easy yet impactful mechanics and proved that you don't have to reserve the whole day in order to play the game. I'll always treat it more as en experience game, so won't mind not playing it "properly". You can have a really solid session in about 4 hours.

Now I'm playing Advanced Civilization online again and I don't really think this is a significant improvement of the original, at least not to the extent of me wanting to have a copy. The game basically got bloated. The change I like the most is that, upon trading, you have to tell truth about two cards instead of one.

However, changes introduced in Western Empires (formerly Mega Civilization) do look promising to me, probably I'll end up buying it... The only thing I potentially won't fully appreciate are big individual decks of advancement cards that may result in more... explicit, gamey? feeling of developing your civilization (fortunately not "Napoleon attacking Great Wall with tanks" level). Does that feeling make any sense? I don't know. Anyway, the somehow abstracted yet highly thematic way Civilization presents the development of ancient empires is just awesome.
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Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:00 pm
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Some thoughts on 1817NA

1817NA is an 1817 variant, currently being playtested, designed by Marc Voyer (known for 1882). Its objective is to make the game shorter and more suitable for lower player counts. I've played 1817 6 times, 18USA once and 1817NA 5 times, so I'm not very experienced, but I think that a little comparison between the original and the variant may be interesting.

I don't play 1817 online anymore (using rr18xx was too bothersome and I don't feel like using B18 when there is a fully automated version (rr18xx) out there ), so I'm thankful that there is an alternative. 1817NA is my way to go to play online, to introduce new players and to play with 3 players. With 5 and more I'd choose 1817. With 4? Not sure.

1817 uses a completely new map of North America. There are fewer trains of each type, 15 companies instead of 20, 4 loans per line instead of 5. 3 private companies are removed (one bridge, one mail contract and one coal mine). Starting cash and certificate limit is lowered by 1 row, so if you play at 4, it's as if it was at 3.

The game is shorter than the original, but is still longer than an average 18xx. My asynchronous plays of 1817 usually lasted for up to 3 weeks, here it's up to 2. When we played it live, it took 7 hours.

Map

From gallery of thethrax


- Klondike is an interesting revenue center whose value goes down and up. Currently it's 50-20-40 (used to be 70-10-40, but it didn't work)
- no mountain range that cuts off New York, so coal markers don't feel as significant. +10 is still nice and the one between Asia and Klondike shapes the game in that area, but that's about it. The rest rarely has such an impact
- no preprinted double city. I like Cleveland in 1817, I think it makes SR1 more interesting. I guess that, with fewer companies being started, having 2 in one city could be harmful to he game
- Denver (equivalent of Pittsburgh) seems weaker. It's in the center of B-B-B route, which is great in mid and end game, but its start isn't impressing. Running 3 2T by OR1.2 is much less likely

SR1 at 4 players

So you have $252, after the auction your IPO funds will be larger, but probably still not enough to start 3 companies. Its consequences:

- reduction of shenanigans throughout the game (but also reduction of its length)
- you can't enter SR2 with one 2-share company and one 5-share company (that's a strategy I was testing in my last plays of 1817)
- if all opponents have more privates than you, you can't try to punish them by taking loans in SR1 in order to make interest $10 by OR1.1—there are 4 loans per line, so you're short of one loan

That's why I'm not sure if I'd choose 1817NA over 1817 at this player count. If everyone knows the rules, I would be opting for 1817 (it's still not a weeknight game, so if you have enough time for 1817NA, probably you've reserved most of the day anyway). But if the rest prefers 1817NA, I would be okay with that since it's also a very good game.

From gallery of Galatolol

There's a lake!

More information: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/50723/item/6567268#item65...

(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Mon Jun 1, 2020 12:13 pm
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Belgian 18xx Convention – winter 2019

Another edition of my favourite boardgaming event: Belgian 18xx Convention. Winter ones take three days, starting on Friday evening and ending on Sunday afternoon. In terms of number of participants, the event was twice as big as the one last winter. At this rate, the next edition may have to be limited since we are approaching the capacity of the venue. This only makes the work of organisers, Luk and David, even more admirable. An impressive thing is that they made a games schedule for everyone and were actively updating it according to people's wishes.

Big thanks to David who, found us a place to kick off the convention earlier, like the last time (why play only one game on Friday if you can play two—or three—instead? ).

This time I've only played 5 games, but 3 of them are long and I wanted to try them, so the result is still satisfying. I also had an opportunity to chat with folks I know from previous editions and to finally meet in person some guys I've been playing online (on Board18). The event was great, everybody loved it and I'm already waiting for the next one will take place May 29 – June 1.

What I've played


Friday

1849


Once again I started with a 4-player game of 1849. I enjoyed it like always. We ended up with only 4 companies in play (3 were killed during the play), since opening the next one available wouldn't be beneficial at that point of game.

Number of players: 4
Game length: 2h 30min

From gallery of Galatolol


1830

1830 with Lemmi, a computer moderator that takes care of everything except the map, tracks and station (I wrote a guide on how to use it: https://www.railsonboards.com/?s=lemmi).
I think I had an edge, having a ton of money at the crucial point of the game, but I overthought things, starting new company lower than I could have (I wanted to act after the others) and finally that $100 less was hurting me until the end.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 3h 30min

From gallery of Galatolol


Saturday

18USA


My first play of this 1817 variant. I did extremely poorly, but liked the proposed changes. The map feels more open and the stock market is much bigger (with more active stock value markers), so you can focus more on the market. I had an impression that the game was a little bit less elegant though, probably due to the fiddly setup.

From gallery of Galatolol


Number of players: 6
Game length: 8h

18MM

Since I heard that in this one you have 6 types of 2-trains, I really wanted to give it a try, I always appreciate crazy ideas. The game is a mix of 1817 and 1862 with a random map. Unfortunately, the game isn't exactly suited for my taste since I prefer cash-poor ones and this is the opposite: you can produce a ton of money without any risk. That's right, there are no liabilities (like trains or loans), if you don't feel like owning the company anymore, you just sell all its shares. This results in quite a push forward race.
Even if overall this isn't something I'm looking for in 18xx games, I want to play 18MM again, mainly thanks to the random map, uneven company starting positions (that are bid on) and because I feel that it may actually be a good exercise of how to maximising your score when you don't have to worry about anything.

Board Game: 18MM


Number of players: 4
Game length: 4h

1841: Railways in Northern Italy

Finally I had a change to play this famous game where companies can buy shares of other companies (or even start them). Our game was surely full of errors and suboptimal play, but I loved it. 1841 offers a whole new system of financial shenanigans, I mean you can have a suitcase company that has a suitcase company that has a suitcase company I got a company (and its subsidiary) stolen from me by a company (which was a result of my inattention but was hilarious).
We were in the last phase, but couldn't finish in time, so we skipped the last set of ORs.

From gallery of Galatolol


From gallery of Galatolol


Number of players: 5
Game length: 6h (called one set of ORs early)

Games that were played during the convention: 1817, 1822, 1822CA, 1822MX, 1830, 1836jr, 1841, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1867, 1868, 1883, 1889, 1893 Cologne, 18Africa, 18Ardennes, 18BL, 18CZ, 18Ireland, 18MM, 18OE, 18Scan, 18USA, 18VA, 2038, Rolling Stock
18DO, 18OL, 1993 (prototypes)

From gallery of Galatolol


From gallery of Galatolol

Marflow's table with upcoming 18DO

From gallery of Galatolol

Three tables of 1883 during simultaneous teaching

From gallery of Galatolol

Like always, there was a (monster) game of 18OE

From gallery of Galatolol

2038

From gallery of Galatolol

18OL (prototype)

From gallery of Galatolol

1993 (prototype)

From gallery of Galatolol

1857
From gallery of Galatolol

1822

From gallery of Galatolol

1822CA

From gallery of Galatolol

1822MX

From gallery of Galatolol

1817

Board Game: 18VA

18VA

(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Wed Dec 4, 2019 4:35 pm
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Some gabbing about RPGs

I wanted to write this post in August, but I couldn't get myself to do it...

In the first decade of 21st century role-playing games were still a huge deal in Poland, much more popular than board games. Two most popular systems were Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Neuroshima. Ignacy Trzewiczek was the Polish guru of the former and his for years completely unprofitable publishing house, Portal Games, was the publisher of the latter. Neuroshima was the first true success of the firm, allowed it to survive and to slowly abandon RPGs in favour of, as it turned out, much more profitable board games.

So I used to be into RPGs, since it was the default activity of guys being into fantasy. It never was a true passion, I wasn't playing a lot (a couple of dozens of sessions over 10 years or so). However, I loved reading source books, scenarios, creating NPCs etc.

From gallery of Galatolol

My RPG shelf. On right Warhammer 2nd edition, then Neuroshima, and some random books

After I had fully discovered modern board games, I still happened to play a session of Neuroshima, but at every time I felt I'd rather play a board game. The logical conclusion was to abandon RPGs all along.

(One exception being brilliant InSpectres, a game that doesn't need much preparation and can be played in any setting)

When I established a (board) gaming group with friends, one of them wanted to try some RPGs and I refused. That was 7 years ago.

Now back to May of 2019. I talked with the same friend, and he raised the subject again, because he read some Cyberpunk source books and saw a bunch of kids playing (apparently the hobby is slightly less dead than I thought). Funnily enough, one day earlier I bought a Dog Eat Dog PDF, just to read out of curiosity how the theme is implemented. This time I agreed to play something the upcoming Summer.

I knew we had to choose a one-shot game that doesn't require to learn about lore. I made a research, again was buying many books (but this time in PDF), and Fiasco looked the most promising.

I heard about the game before, but wasn't interested since I'm not into movies and rarely watch them. This time, seeing that Fiasco was recommended by virtually everyone, I decided to look into it. This video bought me and I knew I had to try it.

Over the summer I manged to play Fiasco 3 times, with different friends, most of whom hadn't played an RPG before, and we had a blast.

This is truly a role-playing game. It is set in the real world (at least most of the playsets), so getting into character is easy. The game is just hilarious. It is GM-less, so the players have to collectively assure the coherence of the story, which isn't an easy task without revealing too much of what we want to do next... Once we know how to do it better, there should be some plot twists and more of unclear intentions.

I doubt that this experience made me or others want to try a classic, campaign-oriented system, but we're certainly will often get back to Fiasco.
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Sun Nov 3, 2019 12:52 am
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18DO: Dortmund - description of the prototype

Note: the game is still under development and will likely change. The version I played was 4.20

Board Game: 18DO: Dortmund


During the last Belgian 18xx Convention, I had an opportunity to play an upcoming Marflow title, 18DO: Dortmund. The game incorporates a parallel industry (beer).

There are two types of companies: classic railway corporations and breweries (private and public). The game is divided 6 sets of Stock Round + 2/3 Operating Rounds. Or rather 4/6 Operating Rounds, since they come in pairs: first railroads, then breweries.

There are two one-dimensional stock markets, one for public breweries, another for railroads. If I remember correctly, only president's selling causes the price to fall. The game clearly isn't about stock shenanigans.

Breweries have their own beer market, equipment (on back of the train cards), and investors which are sort of unique special powers. We didn't use them a lot, but I imagine that normally they matter. Public breweries may have different share compositions

Game begins with simple bid for private breweries. Their minimal price and starting equipment vary. Later on, those breweries will be exchanged against president certificates of public beer companies.

Board Game: 18DO: Dortmund

Round track, bank pool, stock market. 0-30 track are used for the initial auction

Beer operating round

Board Game: 18DO: Dortmund

Private brewery, equipment, investors

Breweries produce beer. 2-level equipment generates two units of 2-level beer.
In order (determined by the equipment if private or the stock value if public), the beer is sold to the market. Blue cubes represent demand of certain level (that can be fulfilled be any beer whose level is not lower). There are two section of customers: regulars and new ones. The former are served first and pay more. The later, once supplied, become regulars.

Instead of being sold to the market, the beer can be loaded onto the appropriate trains. Those trains will make more money if they run through Dortmund. That export action is profitable for the brewery as well—it pays more than any customer.

Breweries then can buy new equipment and investors. Upon phase changes, lowest-level customers are removed (making same-value equipment useless).

Private breweries must pay 50/50, their president can help them buy stuff with personal cash.

The order in those rounds was very important, because quickly the supply exceeded the demand.

Board Game: 18DO: Dortmund

Beer market. Regular customers on the left, newcomers on the right

Railroad operating round


Classic OR except that on most city/town hexes a coal/steel marker may be placed. This increases the value of the stop and is mandatory if one wants to upgrade the tile. Those markers can be upgraded as well. Both their placement and upgrade cost $30, removes the cheapest available train (but doesn't trigger a phase change) and creates new regular and/or future customers.

Board Game: 18DO: Dortmund

S – steel, K – coal

Intersections of the two industries

- cards are double-sided (equipment/train)
- breweries may load beer onto trains
- railroads may add customers upon placing/upgrading coal/steel markers

My impressions

First, the game felt one SR-OR set too long (in fact we didn't play the last one). The game is operational which isn't to my taste. I didn't have an impression that the map mattered, but it might have been caused by the novelty of beer operating rounds; we were naturally more interested in them. Said operating rounds were quite clever and really smooth which is nice. Another thing I liked was the train rush accelerated by placing/upgrading coal/steel markers.

Overall I felt like I was playing a eurogame.

From gallery of Galatolol


(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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Wed Jul 3, 2019 8:55 pm
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Belgian 18xx Convention – summer 2019

Two days ago I came back from the Belgian 18xx Convention. Just like the last time, I want to write some words about the event and games I've played. The report will be enhanced with some poor quality photos.

From gallery of Galatolol


The convention was longer than the previous one (4 days instead of 3) and had more participants—in total 59 from 11 countries(!), if I recall correctly. I find this kind of size ideal: there are plenty of other maniacs yet the atmosphere is familiar.

Organization wast top-notch, everything was provided, nothing stood in the way of playing whole day. This time the selection of local beers was bigger which was a good choice, judging from the number of empty beer crates at the end of the event.

From gallery of Galatolol

It's a pity that they're not in standard colours

30 different games were played (many several times):

1817, 1822, 1822MX, 1826, 1828, 1830, 1840: Vienna, 1841, 1844, 1846, 1847: Pfalz, 1848: Australia, 1849, 1854, 1857, 1880: China, 1889, 1893: Cologne;
18BL, 18Chesapeake, 18CZ, 18DO, 18Ireland, 18Mex, 18Neb, 18OE, 18Rhl, 18Scan, 18VA, Steam over Holland

Once again the game played the most was 1849. Not surprising, given its short length and attractiveness for both newcomers and seasoned players.


What I've played


Friday


1849

There were 4 of us that wanted to optimize their time, which means play a warm-up game (the convention can't begin earlier than at 7PM because it takes place in a school). Thanks to Luk and David for making it possible for us to kick off the weekend this way.

Two players were fairly new to the 18xx genre so it was a good opportunity for them to get to know what nasty things it offers.

Two first available companies were Palermo (that must pay a lot for stations) and Catania (that no one wants at the beginning). This led to passive stock round, when everyone wanted to avoid Catania. Finally it got opened by one of the novices. The company didn't last long and then I offered the unlucky owner the Palermo firm with 3 6H-trains that were about to rust, making him bankrupt (he returned to the game with a loan).

I think I was going straight to the victory, but then started doing bizarre things... Suffices to say that I ended up after the player who had gone bankrupt.

Both closed companies got open again later on. This game often offers amazingly crazy scenarios.

Number of players: 4
Game length: 3h 15min

From gallery of Galatolol


18DO: Dortmund

Prototype of upcoming Marflow's game. I'll write a separate text about it.

Number of players: 4
Game length: 3h 30min (called 1SR and 6OR early)

From gallery of Galatolol



Saturday


1817

I took all of the mines privates, wanting to own the east side of the map, but it wasn't so easy to execute.

Other players seemed kind of shy with short selling, which only made me do it more intensely which isn't the best idea. Whilst I was able to get away with two first companies I had shorted (one of which I bought soon after for $10), in later rounds I was paying $700 per round of negative dividends (while making over $1000).

From gallery of Galatolol

Coal baron mode on

From gallery of Galatolol

Loans time

I came up third. The player who wasn't involved in any short operation won.
Definitely the most impressive financial game I know.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 7h 30min

From gallery of Galatolol


18NEB

Next was 18Neb, game I had played once before. It's a good introductory title but nothing more.

Number of players: 3
Game length: 2h 50min

From gallery of Galatolol


1848: Australia

Last one was 1848: Australia. What a crazy game that was! Two companies went into receivership very quickly and soon got joined by another one. We hit the brown phase in less than an hour.

There was a reason for so many dead companies: one of players decided to go full Bank of England and we thought nothing could stop him (no company could match the Bank's revenue of £490). In the end, he was £11 behind the winner (due to the poor stock appreciation of the Bank).

I love this game, its smoothness, elegance of Bank of England, fast pace, and different approaches a player can take. Some could say that the network is always the same, but I rarely care about track building anyway.

Number of players: 3
Game length: 2h 15min

From gallery of Galatolol

It wasn't even half of the game

Sunday

1854

I wasn't motivated for that one even though I enjoyed my only play of 1844. The small board is not so burdensome if you operate it simultaneously with the big one.

The game was actually better than I had anticipated. Probably I helped get things moving by buying as many trains as possible and then dumping my company.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 4h 40min

From gallery of Galatolol


1828

The hottest 18xx games of last months. Technically my second play, but on the previous one we had completely misunderstood one of the crucial rules.

The design is quite clean, yet I still have problem to wrap my head around it. The main feature are systems that work as assets–losing mergers.

I went bankrupt just after we had hit the purple trains (so the game would finish at the end of the next set of OR anyway). In theory I could save myself by juggling my only permanent train between my two companies, which raised the old question of what is fair play. Fortunately the winner was known anyhow (which is another end game condition).

I'm definitely looking forward to explore that one more. Others found the game confusing.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 4h 20min

From gallery of Galatolol


1824: Austria-Hungary

I had a chance to try a game whose second edition was recently funded on Kickstarter. 1824 offers several types of minor companies that later on are transformed into shares of majors. Apart from classic trains, there are also good trains that must begin their runs in mines and can collect revenue from N cities and any number of dots. Trains may be traded-in which resulted in surprisingly fast train rush.

The game begins with draft of privates and minors. I enjoyed the operating rounds that followed, but I must admit that they felt scripted. There is a risk that that draft is the most meaningful part of the game.

Another potential problem is the size of the bank which just felt way too big. Enough to say that we had still about 10 000 left when all companies were already floated and owned permanent trains. We didn't bother with continuing after that point.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 2h 35min (called 1-2h early)

From gallery of Galatolol


Monday

18Ireland

I wanted to try the strategy consisting of opening two companies on the first stock round. In 5-player game (with starting capital of £200) this meant that I couldn't get any private and needed to buy both minors for £100 each. Luckily the fifth and sixth companies (they come up in order) were situated not far from each other, so I just waited until everybody had their own firm and then directly opened my two. Then I realised that one of them, DDR, is blocked in the yellow phase so I couldn't build my connection fast enough and had to merge with others.

There were two truly hostile mergers (prepared by issuing shares, so they vote "yes") which I don't actually see happen often.

Called once every company had a permanent train and the winner was clearly known.

Number of players: 5
Game length: 4h (called ~1h early)

From gallery of Galatolol


Two best games were those of 1817 and 1848: Australia. The Belgian 18xx Convention is, without a doubt, my favourite boardgaming event. Next edition will take place November 29 – December 1.

From gallery of Galatolol


From gallery of Galatolol


From gallery of Galatolol


From gallery of Galatolol

18OE–monster game

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1880: China

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18Scan

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18CZ

From gallery of Galatolol

1826

(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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18 Comments
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:56 pm
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Just don't make yourself unmergeable [18Ireland]

Recently I've played 18Ireland for the fifth time.

All four first minors were located near each other in the center. I immediately thought that it was cool because it would enable mergers. Then I started one of those companies and instantly put a tile so it denied access to my city to other companies. I told myself that it would hurt them more than myself–how mistaken I was. Long story short, I was unable to merge and eventually went bankrupt. Yet the main lesson of 18Ireland after my very first play was to always start companies that can easily connect to others...

Game was won by a player who decided to not buy any private. We were 5 players, so initial capital was of £200—just enough to open two minors. When everyone had started their own, he was indeed able to get two of them (not greatly placed, but not far from each other) for a minimum price. Later on, he got third one, located between two others, and merged them all into one company. This wasn't a game-winning move, that came later on when everybody was too passive and let him comfortably open another major company.

By then I and another player were already dying, but it took a few more turns until we wen bankrupt.

And here's a problem: groups I play with very rarely want to call the game when it is clearly determined. If it is just a question of several ORs, I don't mind it, but here we still had over 2 hours of (unexciting) playing before us. That's why I like that the rules of 1828 state explicitly that the game is over once the winner is known.

On the other hand, those bankruptcies were somehow amusing and made the game more remarkable than if we had called it early...

By the way, I have an impression that the last 2-train is poisonous (like the last 4-train in 1830). Finally I purchased it because I wasn't winning, but it only worsened my situation.

I'm still not sure what to think about the game. I thought that it didn't offer anything once all mergers were done, but two last plays had some interesting stuff going on after that, so I need few more plays to settle on this one.

Game length: 6h 20

From gallery of Galatolol


(posted on www.railsonboards.com as well)
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2 Comments
Fri May 3, 2019 4:03 pm
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