18CZ, 1844 & 1836jr – short report

In last few weeks I had opportunity to play 3 different 18xx games, and while I was so exited at the beggining, and even at the end, I didn’t won any of them 🙂
But it was a good lesson, that you have to count with every player every time. Don’t feel like a winner if there will be still few ORs. Because, your feelings could be wrong, and instead of few ORs, there could be many of them. And since, I never played any of our 18xx games more than 5 times (maybe 1889 I played exactly 5 times) treat that article still as a “neverending first impresion” 😉

1844

I’ve played 1844 before only one time, and after 8 hours, we were still not close to finish. You can read about it in one of my first posts. This time we tried to start at 8PM, but Marcin who was taking our new player from his home made mistake. He was wating for Kuba on the right street, but in another city 😉
So, finally we started at 9PM, and finished at 5AM… It’s about 9 hours full of 18XX, and even I felt like crap at the end, I really liked that game. I know that sometimes I’m playing too long, but managing few companies is not so easy.
So what do I think about 1844?

Pros:

  • Beautifull artworks
  • 3 types of companies and few privates with nice abilities
  • Trains sold abroad
  • Mountain railways
  • Tunnels
  • Pre-SBB companies merging to SBB

Cons:

  • Time of play
  • Rules are not clarify enough (ex. do I get the rest of money to historical company when I started it before phase 6, didn’t reach destination hex, and phase 6 occurs?)

18CZ

I had opportunity to play 18CZ only one time, and only in 2 players game with Marcin. In less than 3 hours we played 2 times variant on Moravia board. First play we finished after about 30 minutes when Marcin dump on me his 2 companies with bad trains and without money. There was no chance to keep on this and I think that stop that play was only one good choice. But I guess you want to know how Marcin had 2 companies, and I had 0? First, let’s look at the rules for that variant. There is “If no player bids for any private railway company, the game is over. Player #1 wins.”. To be honest, at first I was laughing about that rule, because I never found such rule in other 18xx games. I should be aware of privates, but I don’t mind about that. Marcin realised (I guess that he was analyzed rules many times and had adavantage over me 😉 that the best method to win that game is to not buy any of the privates. So, I overbid first private, and Marcin don’t want to buy other privates so I bought them. My plan was to buy some shares from Marcin’s companies, and then sell them when they will grow on stock. But Marcin was faster than me 😦 He dump both companies to me, because he was first in SR. After that I had 2 companies with trains wich should be replaced soon, and I didn’t have money for that in companies, and even in my own treasure. So we stopped, and we played once again. Marcin still don’t want to buy any of the privates, and I decided to buy only two of them. Marcin started kk and by, and I started pr. Pr is nice in my opinion, because you can reach fast Frydek/Frydland hex and make a good income.
But, again, I made ONE mistake and I knew that I lost 😦
It was in SR. I already had enough shares to be president of the pr, but I wanted more of it’s shares. I thought that Marcin won’t run 3rd company, and I could establish sx in my next turn… But he did it. He started third company and using their abilities to help each others he build and upgrade tiles for all his companies. And when my pr at last reach their tracks that was too late.
So what do I think about 18CZ? (about 2 players variant on Moravia map of course)

Pros:

  • Time of play – full 2 players game on Moravia map took us about 70 minutes, and this is great thing
  • Small map, so you can play even on small table

Cons:
– One mistake and you will lost for sure (I don’t feel anything like this in 2 players game of 1836jr or 1846)
– Ugly (ok Marcin, ascetic ;)) artworks (but good material quality)
– Something doesn’t work with privates in this variant

1836jr

To be honest, this is one of the best (if not best) 18xx game I have ever played. And yes, I know that there are so many 18xx titles to find out but that game is nothing but joy. This time we played 3 players game: me, Marcin and Michał from Olkusz. As I mentioned at the beggining of this article, you couldn’t feel like the winner till the end. I ended at 3rd postion and that was shock for me 😉 In the middle of the game I felt that I control my companies good enough to win. I managed to buy them permament trains, and since I had 60% of their share I could pay out good dividends and share price growned. So why I finally lost? There are few reasons I guess. First, I felt that having permament trains is good enough, and there will be no time to buy diesel. I think that I should take that risk, and invest for diesels. Second, my companies payed out good dividends and their stock price were good, but in case of that I couldn’t had more shares because of share limit. Both Marcin and Michał from Olkusz did (don’t know that was intenionally or not) that most of their companies are in yellow area of stock market, and they didn’t count to share limit. So at the end, even their companies are not high on stock market, they have so many shares that they beat me.

Pros:

  • Elegant artwork
  • Reasonable time of play
  • Easy rules, but still many opportunities
  • Tiles lying till the end of the game, and it still change a lot on the map
  • Many opportunities to block other players

Cons:

  • No option to close somebodies company 😉
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