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Reflections from a Swede in Norway.

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1841 and 1854

Published: Sunday 2007-05-20.

I have played some of the “official” games in the 18xx series, 1856 and 1870, with different outcome. I like the idea behind the games, and thus I liked it when Sverre, from my Sunday gaming team, bought a couple of the “home-made” games that use the same mechanism.

Last Sunday we tried out 1841. The game has the same base as the other games, of course, but all the “fan” versions have one speciality or another. In 1841 it was how the stock market worked, there were both minor and major companies, and companies could merge and, in certain cases, split into two.

I started by playing the company that had the monopoly on building in Austria, which allowed me to build in my own pace, which fit me perfectly. With some luck I managed to fit the changeovers between different trains perfectly, and when my company was split into two (something which is predetermined by the game mechanics) I got to control both parts. I also managed to merge the two companies back together into one again, which gave me a huge advantage.

[The game board at game end]
The game board at game end.

Despite that I didn’t get very good dividends on my shares at the end of the game since my companies didn’t run all too well, I managed to maximise the shares in my merged company, and had placed my money in those of the other companies that were doing well, so I managed to win in the end. If I recall correctly, that is the first 18xx game I ever win.

1841 is quite a slow game, and with six players, as we were, it took about twelve hours (with a break for dinner). A bit too long in my taste, but it did have some interesting mechanisms, which made the game more a share-juggling contest than a railway building one.

Today we tried out 1854, which in several way is the opposite of 1841. In this game it is not the shares that count as much as how good railway tracks you build. I managed to build myself the completely wrong way, even though I controlled the two companies that were building on the west side of the map, while the other three players were fighting over the east side. Unfortunately, it turned out that it was the east side that was the most lucrative.

I ended pretty well in my stock investments also this time, but since my companies didn’t pay out that much money, I lost big on capital, and ended last. Despite that I prefer 1854 to 1841, if not for that we finished in three hours less than 1841.

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  • Datum: 2007-05-21 09.42.43 CEST
  • Namn: Anders Carlsson
  • Sänt från: ********************

Nu kom jag att tänka på den gamla reklamfilmen för TågPlus: -"Jag tycker bara om tåg."

Det var värst så många 18XX-spel som utvecklats. Däremot såg jag att det ännu inte finns något 1802.

  • Datum: 2007-05-21 15.22.18 CEST
  • Namn: Peter Karlsson
  • Sänt från: *******

Ja, det finns många++ spel i serien, det är för att spelidén är populär och går att variera såpass mycket. Enda problemet, i mitt tycke, är att spelen är lite för långa, det är inte alltid så lätt att ta en heldag till ett enda spel. Det finns iofs en del spel som skall vara kortare (18EU ska tydligen vara det, Sverre hade köpt det också), så det går att råda bot på det med.

Men det är underhållande. Och det är inte i alla spel man hör kommentarer i stil med "nu var du riktigt ond--och det menar jag som en komplimang!" :-)

  • Datum: 2007-05-22 14.11.20 CEST
  • Namn: Anders Carlsson
  • Sänt från: ********************

Går inte spelen att "spara" på något bra sätt? Jag minns när jag var liten och spelade Alga-spel med brorsan att ibland gjorde vi anteckningar om hur långt vi kommit: var pjäserna stod, hur mycket pengar eller andra resurser vi hade. Sedan kunde vi packa ner spelet och återuppta i ett senare läge. Med dagens digitalkameror och annan teknik vore det busenkelt att bevara ställningen inför att man fortsätter nästa vecka, om det inte är miljoner med pjäser och markörer som ska läggas ut på spelbrädet förstås.

  • Datum: 2007-05-22 15.04.09 CEST
  • Namn: Peter Karlsson
  • Sänt från: *******

Det är ganska många markörer och småbitar som skall vara på rätt plats. Dessutom måste man komma ihåg vilken strategi det var man hade, ibland är det illa nog att fortsätta efter en matpaus :-)

  • Datum: 2007-05-23 18.17.39 CEST
  • Namn: Anders Carlsson
  • Sänt från: ********************

Aha, hjärnan sorterar bort oviktiga tankar vartefter. Själv har jag nästan aldrig spelat avancerade brädspel med någon speciell strategi, inte utöver vad reglerna säger i alla fall. Men så brukar jag inte göra speciellt bra ifrån mig.

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