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Board Game: 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties
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Subject: Error filled solitaire game (and some Qs) rss

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Brian Bankler
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I setup 1862 solitaire (rather than mix up my certificates I made simple paste-ups using old CCG cards and Avery labels) and played. I took detailed notes, some of which I will include below. I now see I got some rules wrong (after looking over the notes and the rules) and have a few questions, but I'll include them at the end.

In fact, this is a comedy of errors. Except not a comedy. A tragedy. Yes, that.

The out companies were L&E, ESR, WVR and Y&N. Train order was L-F-X-L-F-X. The player order was 1-2-3.

SR 1

I'm not going to type out the tableau, but I took my mulligan getting rid of one column that had three out shares. Another column only had three L&H and and two N&E (on top), which may be bad shuffling but it was a new game so I'll take it. I closed FDR (no big deal, since ESR being closed cuts it off) to release another E&H and so I opened L&H (Local) @ 68 and N&E (Freight) @ 100, both chartered.

(I don't see any reason to open a non-chartered company, but maybe someone can point one out).

I ended SR 1 with 3 L&H, 3 N&E and $96 and did the floating token buys.

OR 1.1

I'm not going to go into the track laying in detail, but both companies started driving to each other and bought a single A train (almost certainly a mistake, but I had a plan. A bad one, as it turns out) and then all the A's were discarded by the Yorkshireman.

SR 2
Being broke, I did nothing.

OR 2.1
N&E forgoes a tile play to token london, pays $12/share. This pays me $36.
L&H pays $6/share (+$30 in local subsidies to the company). This pays me $18.
Both companies bought a B train, and the Yorkshireman discards one. (3 left)

Both stocks are back in starting position (down one, up one).

SR 3

At this point, I think that I have $54 dollars only, and have forgotten my $96 left over from SR1. So my notes reflect $54 cash. (Pro Tip -- If you must make mistakes on your money, make them in your favor! Even Monopoly got this right!). There weren't any shares I could get to easily (without closing down the board) and even if I had the right money, $150 isn't enough to float a company, so I did nothing.

OR 3.1
N&E Ran for $18/share and paid out. (Stock to 110).
L&H upgraded Bury St. Edmund, made $15/share (+$60 local) and double jumped to 82.

Since neither company bought a train, the Yorkshireman removes one extra and the last 3 B's.

OR 3.2
N&E upgrades Sudbury, runs for $19/share, pays out (Stock to 122). I reached for the first C, then realized that would hurt L&H, so I didn't
L&H runs for $16/share (+$60), pays out (Stock to 94) and buys the 1st C. The remaining three Cs go to Yorkshire.

OR 4

I dumped the N@E at $122 (price drops to $105), since its gone to have a train problem and buy another L&H from the tableau @ $90 (another rules mistake .... since L@H was chartered, I should have paid PAR of $54). I then opened the NGC (Express) @100 with three shares. This left me with 234 (actually more) that I didn't see anything to do with. (I should -- of course, have saved N@E or closed a few companies in the tableau to open another).

I'm not going to go into ORs 4.1 and 4.2, because here I made the mother of all rules errors. Since I bought a D train in OR 4.1, I thought the LNER formed after 4.2 (so the game ends in 5.3, with no new companies in SR 5). But in fact if I'm reading the rules correctly it forms after the first set of 3 ORs, so I should have been able to open companies in SR 5, upgrade track (and token) in ORs 5.x, and had another full set of ORs. That (along with accounting errors and sheer bad play) explains why I ended up with a touch under $2,000.

Questions:

1) If a dead (already closed) share is in the tableau, you can put it into the bank with no effect. Therefore, to make things easier to visualize, you can remove them as soon as they are dead. This is totally equivalent, right?

2) I'm right about the extra set of ORs?

3) From my reading of the rules you can never buy shares in the bank pool, but the company can redeem and you can buy one.

4) Why would you open a non-chartered company? If I'm reading it right:
a) You still need 3 shares to open.
b) You only get %50 cap
c) If you buy later you pay the stock price instead of IPO.

I guess if you are going to buy, sell a share and withold for a few ORs, the remaining shares will be cheaper.
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Mike Hutton
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Re: Error filed solitaire game (and some Qs)
1. Yes. But I don't bother 'cos fishing around with stuff in the tableau just makes it easy for you to mess things up.
2. Yes.
3. Correct.
4. If you can achieve some appreciation in the share price after it has started, it is a way of financing your company more efficiently. Try it!
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Patrick Barnable
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Re: Error filed solitaire game (and some Qs)
Thanks for doing the write-up! It makes me feel better about my own error-filled attempts at the solitaire game (I've played it twice, and managed to end up with about $2400 both times). I only realized after the second game that I should be using the "long-game" amount of trains. I'm not sure if that would make the train rush much less brutal, but it should ease it somewhat. I've also done the same thing, completely forgetting about par price later on in the game, and purchasing shares of chartered companies for market price. The tableau, combined with the sheer complexity of the game (single or multiplayer) means there's a whole lot to keep track of (and therefore miss/get wrong). I've also completely forgotten about warranties....

Since Mike answered all your questions, I don't have much to add besides my own commiserations.

I've been wondering the strategy behind chartered vs. non-chartered too. I get that starting non-chartered companies allows you to add more capital to the company later on that you would get doing chartered, but in the single-player game I so far haven't been able to a) keep the game going long enough to make use of this, and b) actually afford stocks later on in the game, or even find them in the tableau.

Both games, I managed to start 4 companies, and decided to merge them down to 2 companies at points. I did this to take advantage of the particular order of company types (I wanted to have Freight-Local and Freight-Express combos going). Looking back, it may have been more money-efficient to just stick with running individual companies. Considering that mergers hike share prices (IPO and market) I may have been seriously hurting myself there.

Do you remember how many companies you wound up closing in total? As you mentioned, it definitely seems worth it to juggle the tableau and close a few to get one good one. I think I've wound up ending up with about 10 companies closed in both games I played. There's definitely a balance of efficiencies involved - it seems better to close a bunch later on once track is already laid, but closing too much hurts the ability to upgrade routes. I thought I managed it better in the second game and had better routes, but the train rush/not making enough money still destroyed me.
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Brian Bankler
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barney86 wrote:
I only realized after the second game that I should be using the "long-game" amount of trains.
Mother ... of Dragons. I saw "Standard" and not "Standard Long."

I had set up another game with copious notes and was well about to start SR 5.0 when I realized that this time I forgot to remove trains by the Yorkshireman once or twice. I think I'll take less notes next time...

But this time I only had to close one blocking company to open 5 (over four SRs, I did close two companies after their tiles were played). A rather simple tableau. I'm actually surprised how often the tableau is playable. Given that you only have 54 out of 140 certs and need to have 3 to open a company...
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Patrick Barnable
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I did the same thing! Saw "standard" and stopped reading, when one more word would have made all the difference.

I definitely forgot to remove trains by the Yorkshiremen in my first game; that's so easy to overlook, if you're balancing multiple companies as well as different amounts already from the player-count tiles.

And definitely, the tableau adds an immense amount of variability. I wonder, if players much more experienced than myself could just look at a tableau and decide that the game should just be restarted. Sort of like the Civ games; maybe the starting position is just so disadvantageous, or vice versa.
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Randy Brown
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I've only tried the solo once, but I had a few thoughts that are informed by extensive multiplayer play.

1) Focus on building the endgame routes from the beginning. This is especially true for solo play, since dead tiles severely impact port or off-board area access. You need to consider home tiles carefully when pitching companies.

2) Pitch companies ruthlessly to manipulate the tableau. You won't need very many companies in the end, so the key is getting the shares you need to show up at the top of the columns. However...

3) Token the home tiles of valuable cities, and then pitch those companies. This saves the tile for posterity. Valuable cities are those required to achieve #1 (especially tiles that can guarantee access to ports and off board locations).

4) Dump exhausted companies to start high-value second run companies. This goes double if you can move to a better home location.

As far as starting non-chartered companies, I think that is very dependent on the tableau. If you can start a company that has more shares in the tableau blocked by companies you can't afford to close (until you can get those tokens down!), it might behoove you to bring it up as non-chartered. It's early slow growth will be compensated by its high ceiling. If there won't be any blocked shares left, then you're probably better off with a chartered company (until second run companies form).

DK
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Ken Kuhn
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I'm just going to just jump in here and say that I too missed the all-important "long" clarification. Honestly, it feels like a bit of oversight because everything else is very explicitly noted that make something as important as the game clock implicit in a line could have been remedied. I didn't notice until I had come here to see what others were doing to make their score higher because I was feeling like an idiot for not being able to get much above half of the "apprentice's" score.

Now feeling a bit better. Using the normal game train roster I managed to score ~$4500 and ~$5100.

All in all, very cool solo puzzle and excited to try again.
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Jimmy Hensel
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I've tried the solitaire game three times and have lost miserably each time. I also made errors in following the rules, but generally in my favor. Having also played opponents, I think the solitaire game provides some good practice.

Some of the discussion in this thread on removing companies from the game has me confused.

I read the rules as saying whenever I discarded a certificate from the top of a column in the tableau to the bank pool I had to choose a company (other than those from whom I bought shares) at random to remove from the game. (Draw the token from the cup)

Bankler wrote:
... Questions:

1) If a dead (already closed) share is in the tableau, you can put it into the bank with no effect. Therefore, to make things easier to visualize, you can remove them as soon as they are dead. This is totally equivalent, right? ...
Mike Hutton wrote:
... 1. Yes. But I don't bother 'cos fishing around with stuff in the tableau just makes it easy for you to mess things up....
discoking7 wrote:
... You need to consider home tiles carefully when pitching companies.

2) Pitch companies ruthlessly to manipulate the tableau. You won't need very many companies in the end, so the key is getting the shares you need to show up at the top of the columns. However...
This discussion gives me the impression that I can remove certificates from the tops of columns in the tableau to the bank pool of companies which have been removed from the game without having to remove another company. Is this correct?

For some odd reason the I&B token has managed to be one of the first four tokens removed from the cup, and hence the game, in each of my solo plays. It may not like me (and I might not like it either). It seems that a certificate of it or another company out of the game covers a certificate that I think would be very beneficial to me, and the only way to that beneficial certificate is to remove the certificate from the tableau to the bank pool. I get reluctant to do that early because I might end up removing the EUR, ESR or another company that would then cause their home hex to be blocked which would then cripple my efforts.

I guess I need to play a few more times. In my last play I started with the L&E (local), L&H (express) and the EUR (local). Then around SR3 or SR4 started the FDR (freight). It seemed to take forever to be sure tiles were laid and tokened to be sure I had good routes so I could manipulate the tableau with removing companies. Then the train rush hit, the LNER formed, and I had a lot of yellow city tiles.

I think my problem was scattered development. There wasn't a lot of tile lays good for several of my companies. So, I'll try grouping my companies more tightly.
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Jefferson Krogh
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pawnpusher wrote:
This discussion gives me the impression that I can remove certificates from the tops of columns in the tableau to the bank pool of companies which have been removed from the game without having to remove another company. Is this correct?
When you remove a certificate from the top of the column, you have to close that company. If it is already closed, you can't close it again, but you don't need to close a different company to make up for it. So you just remove the cert.

Quote:
For some odd reason the I&B token has managed to be one of the first four tokens removed from the cup, and hence the game, in each of my solo plays. It may not like me (and I might not like it either). It seems that a certificate of it or another company out of the game covers a certificate that I think would be very beneficial to me, and the only way to that beneficial certificate is to remove the certificate from the tableau to the bank pool. I get reluctant to do that early because I might end up removing the EUR, ESR or another company that would then cause their home hex to be blocked which would then cripple my efforts.
Your paragraph is a bit unclear, but if I&B is already closed, and an I&B cert is covering the OMG cert you really want, then hooray! Remove the I&B and then OMG is ready for you to buy. That's it.
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Jimmy Hensel
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Wow!

I went back to re-read and quote the rule as it appears on the rule sheet in my copy. What do you know? I read that rule wrong! Well I guess I made it harder on myself than I should have.

Thanks.
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Commiserations! In a similar boat myself, I've just finished my first game as a learning/solo, but it went on for 6 or 7 sets, and I have a score over 16,000. Trying to work out what I did wrong... plenty I'm sure.

I did catch that it was the long game with all trains used, but I'm for sure not exporting trains fast enough - chiefly I'm confused over how often the player order cards export X trains - it states 'after each operating round' - does this mean for example in a full three-round set in Brown Phase (eg OR5.1, OR5.2, OR5.3) that you'd export X trains one time, or three times? i.e. is it counting each set or each round in a set? I played the former.

I also missed the rule about The Yorkshireman taking a train if no trains are bought. This might have removed one maybe two extra trains the way I played it.

Otherwise I had a great time! Route calculation a bit fiendish (must get very complicated if you are running three trains at the end game, two was bad enough for me!)
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Jimmy Hensel
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I played again, and did much better by properly understanding the rule about removing a certificate from the tableau. It's still very challenging though.

As far as exporting trains each operating round, I understand the rules to mean each round rather than set of rounds. This sets up quite the train rush as 6 trains are removed over a group of three operating rounds. This is fairly similar to having 2 or 3 opponents buying trains.
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Joseph Leone
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Board Game informant is doing a live play of 1862 solo tomorrow at 11:30 EST, 4:30 PM UTC


1862 Solo - Full Teach Play-through with Board Game Informant
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