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Subject: 18XX play by email game clearinghouse rss

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Peter Mumford
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18XX is now conveniently playable with the cross platform java app Rails, and the cloud folder-sharing app Dropbox (also cross platform). All players need both applications.

Rails supports the following games in "fully playable" mode: 1830, 1851, 1856, 18AL, 18KAAS and 18EU. 1835 and 1870 are "partly playable" (whatever that means). Rails is hardly perfect: it will let you make occasional illegal moves, and it will not calculate income on operating runs. But I'd agree it is fully playable, at least with 18AL (the only game I've played with it).

So, what the geek now needs is a way for players to find games and/or players. I suggest that someone who wants to start a game comment on this thread. Say what game you will start, and how many players you want. You can say if you are a newbie or an old hand at 18XX, if you play fast or slow, etc. Players who want to join up, thumb the comment. Obviously, if the comment wants two players and has two thumbs, don't thumb it – that game is full.

Then I suggest when games are full, and started, the commentator should delete the comment. When starting a game, communications should be off-forum, by geekmail and/or email.

Starting a game is simple:
1. Get all email addresses of the players.

2. Make a folder with the name of your game in your dropbox (i.e. 1830_steelers or some such moniker).

3. Share your folder with the other players. Dropbox makes this easy.

4. Launch rails and enter your players' names by random order. Save the game to the shared folder and append the next player's name to the filename. Send the next player an email informing him or her of his turn, and not what action you took. That player will then load this file into Rails, move, and save as a new file to the same folder, with the next players name attached.
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Brad
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I'm ready to go--I already use Dropbox and I have toured Rails. Sounds like fun!
 
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Breno K.
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I'm sure I can learn how to use dropbox. And rails is pretty intuitive...
 
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Hello,

I had already written in the 18AL forum, but there were not enough players. So i would like to try it here again.

A game of 18AL for beginners. 4 other players needed, but i reserve the right to start the game earlier if there is not much interest.
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Brian Barnes
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Looking for a game of 1856. I've played a couple times now, I'm no expert. I would like to try 1830, which I have never played.
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Fire Lord
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BloodyGhost wrote:
Looking for a game of 1856. I've played a couple times now, I'm no expert. I would like to try 1830, which I have never played.


Beware: I'm not sure 1856 on Rails is out of beta.
 
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Chris Fawcett
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It is not yet ready for "prime time."
 
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Chris Fawcett
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wesaq wrote:
A game of 18AL for beginners. 4 other players needed,


18AL is really best as a 3- or 4-player game, and is not recommended for 5 players, per the game's designer. It is listed as a 3-5 player game, but is really only a 2-4 player game.
 
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Brian Barnes
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I thought 1856 was fully playable, it seems to work or am I missing something?
 
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Fire Lord
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BloodyGhost wrote:
I thought 1856 was fully playable, it seems to work or am I missing something?


Well, it says "Fully Supported" on the start menu, but there was a large number of bug reports on 1856 filed when Rails 1.1 came out. I'm not sure how many have yet to be fixed. There is a chance you can play 1856 on Rails without running into any problems. But there is a definite non-zero chance you will hit a bug. On the third hand, the Rails development team would love more people trying it out and helping them perfect it.

You can join the Rails development mailing list at: https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/rails-devel
 
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Chris Fawcett
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Well, Brian, I'd be up for giving it a go.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Some of the players from my 18xx group are running an 1856 PBeM using Rails. I've been hearing a lot of complaints that sum to the developers saying, Yeah, I know it says "fully supported", but we haven't gotten around to supporting that rule yet. I don't know what the extent or impact of those rule shortfalls are, but given the players in question, I don't doubt that they are adversely affecting their game.
 
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Brian Barnes
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I'll give it a whirl, Matt from our AL wants in, need at least one more I would think. Anyone?
 
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I would like to join, if you don't mind a person without much experience and in another timezone.whistle
 
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Brian Barnes
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I sent a pm.
 
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Fire Lord
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jrebelo wrote:
photocurio wrote:
Hey, I want to start another 18AL. Who's in? thumb this and I'll geekmail you. I like four players, so I'll need three thumbs to start.


Rails? If so, I'd be in.

Oh also, 4p? Seems AL is pretty much an ideal 3P, no?


Justin, it's much more cut-throat 4-player. It also seems to move a bit faster (due to having 4 companies going out of the gate).
 
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Breno K.
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18AL/18GA with 4 requires a bit of experience, but is considerably less flat.

Anyway, I've found that PBEM 18xx is quite fun.
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Brad
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I'm looking to start a 4p 1830 and I need 2 more players. Please thumb this item to indicate you are interested. Thanks!

Edit: Bump. We just need one more player--anyone?
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JR
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DarkoBeta wrote:
I'm looking to start a 4p 1830 and I need 2 more players. Please thumb this item to indicate you are interested. Thanks!

Edit: Bump. We just need one more player--anyone?


Heads up to anyone starting a rails 1830 game. Be warned beforehand that the current version doesn't allow you to trade in 5 permanent trains for D train purchases. We just wrapped up a game where a player had retained to do this and then was unable to do so. The first D train was purchased with a 4T trade-in, but after this, no one was able to trade.

Just good to know up front so no one get screwed up by it.
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JR
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photocurio wrote:
3 way 18AL? I need two thumbs.


If you're still interested in attempting 18AL as a 2p, it's pretty easy to do it in rails and I'd be willing to try it it with you. It just requires opening the .jar (which is a zip file basically) and modifying a single file to add an entry for 2 players so that it knows what start cash and cert limit to use.

But I'm into another 3p (or even 4p) as well.
 
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J C Lawrence
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jrebelo wrote:
Heads up to anyone starting a rails 1830 game. Be warned beforehand that the current version doesn't allow you to trade in 5 permanent trains for D train purchases. We just wrapped up a game where a player had retained to do this and then was unable to do so. The first D train was purchased with a 4T trade-in, but after this, no one was able to trade.


One of the more entertaining games of 1830 here had a player upgrading a 5-train to a diesel, then upgrading two 6-trains to diesels as well. In the process they moved from dead last to second place as almost the entire stock market bounced against the corner and all portfolio differentiation (nearly) vanished.
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jim b
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jrebelo wrote:
If you're still interested in attempting 18AL as a 2p, it's pretty easy to do it in rails and I'd be willing to try it it with you. It just requires opening the .jar (which is a zip file basically) and modifying a single file to add an entry for 2 players so that it knows what start cash and cert limit to use.

Rails will support 2-player games out-of-the-box, but only for those titles that include 2-player in their rules, as shipped. So, for example- 1830 will play 2-player, while 18AL will not (without Justin's chgs).

Peter- if you consider a 4p 18AL game, I'd like to join. But, 3p 18al is too flat, for me- everyone gets 2 companies.
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J C Lawrence
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jimb wrote:
Peter- if you consider a 4p 18AL game, I'd like to join. But, 3p 18al is too flat, for me- everyone gets 2 companies.


I hear an echo.
 
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jim b
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clearclaw wrote:
I hear an echo.

Interestingly, Mark Derrick is on record as favoring the 3-player, balanced game with 18AL.

But, imho- it's better, with more.
 
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JR
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I'm interested to try a 4P, but without having yet tried it, has anyone seen a player control a single company to a victory? It seems to me like the game would be a race to get a second corp and once the second round of corps have started it would become a game between the two players who control two corporations. The share advantage of the presidents certs would be greater with the larger player count...
 
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