Tag Archives: 18xx

1826

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18xx set in France and Belgium. Nationalized railways, loans, and low initial capitalization
make it sound a lot like ’56, but there are significant differences. For one, the stock market
is less volatile – growth is based upon an earnings requirement. Train efficacy is (at first) based
upon distance rather than cities serviced. There are TWO nationalization options. Electric and
High Speed trains (which don’t worry about the distance factor).

(from deep thought)

1826 is a railroad operations and share trading board game in the 18xx series, set in France and Belgium. It was first published by Chris Lawson in 2000 and then by Deep Thought Games in 2004. As David Hecht’s first design, it is the most conventional, and the only one to use “traditional” green and brown plain track upgrade tiles. 1826 started out as “1830 on a different map”, but rapidly evolved into a game of capital and technology management: the game’s key decisions revolve around when to “grow” a company, and which trains to buy to optimize a company’s final position.
1826 has twelve companies, but only ten can be in play at once: the other two are formed through the merger of distressed companies (as with the CGR in 1856). Most companies start out as “five-share companies”: they effectively pay double dividends per share, but are limited to fewer trains than “ten-share companies”. Each five-share company has a destination (as in 1856) and–once reached–the key decision is when to “grow” the company to ten shares. Growing the company increases its train limit and gives access to more company capital, but effectively halves the dividends per share.

1826’s geography is dominated by two salient features: Paris, which is centrally located and the base station for six of the ten (non-merger) companies, but which never becomes a “through” station; and a substantial asymmetry between the rich north and the poor south. This requires companies to carefully plan what sort of trains to use: at the start of the game, all trains are “hex” trains (counting hexes and scoring all along their path) rather than standard “city” trains (which only count up to a maximum number of cities and towns). However, there are three types of permanent trains: one “hex” and two “city”, one of which has a smaller train number but doubles the value of the cities between which it travels. “Hex” trains are ideal for the densely-populated north while “city” trains are best suited in the less densely-populated south.

1826 is a game of moderate complexity (comparable to 1830 and 1856), and can be played in 4-6 hours by 2-6 experienced players.

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1860

1860

 

 
18xx game set on the Isle of Wight. Is exceptional in being designed for low number
of players (2-4), as well as an innovative financial system (highlighting corporate bankruptcy,
receivership, and insolvency rules) which allow players to avoid the risks of corporate
directorships usually in place in 18xx games. It also has a unique (?) end game situation
simulating the nationalization of the rails, in which rails with good profits are able to
last longer (and produce more value) than those without. Single track stock market
and two separate money sets (one for companies in addition to the normal).

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1853 (Video Review)

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This is the Indian sub-continent (British Imperial India) member of the 18xx family of games. It is billed as A game for engineers who’ve had enough of the financiers! It involves five-foot-six and meter gauges, hills, mountains and the Himalayas, contract bids and government mails. The technical challenges of building a railroad network in difficult country stand on a par with the financial market manipulation which usually dominates the 18xx games.

 

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Railroad Barons (Video Review)

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Railroad Barons belongs to the family of 18xx games, but raised to the meta-level. Individual companies are no longer the focus, but large holding companies which add more and more new railways to their portfolios. At this abstract level there is no need for the game board and route tiles used in traditional 18xx games.

The two players buy and sell stock in holding companies, and the holding companies they control buy railways to generate revenue. Corner the market in the best companies, and exploit the weaker companies, to edge out your opponent and gain any possible relative advantage.

Like other 18xx games, there are no random elements, merely a battle of wits between two ambitious financiers. Assets that are profitable in the early game rapidly become obsolete, so you must always plan ahead for future growth and investment. Growth or Bust!

This game is purely about the money, as there is no map or track tiles!

Cards and tokens are used to represent:

5 Holdings (with a Director’s share of 40% plus one share each of 30%, 20%, and 10%)
Railroad companies (with a fixed income) which become obsolete as more modern Railroads come into play.
5 private Investor cards (similar to the 18xx Private companies)

~ Look Out Games

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