Other Wise

Twitter Week: 2009-08-29

Variants for 1830

Note: David Reed’s Geocities page, frequently linked and quoted below, will be disappearing as Yahoo! shuts down Geocities. Thus, those links will break, and also in part, my rush in getting this page and the related files assembled.

Reading Railroad by Alan Moon

David Reed writes:

Take a Ride on the Reading by Alan Moon, published originally in The General volume 23, number 6 (and due to be republished in the Train Gamer’s Gazette volume 2, number 4), added the Reading Railroad to the game and suggested several other changes to the rules of play.

I’ve assembled a PDF of the rules for the Reading Railroad Variant. Source files for the new track tiles and shares may be found here and here.

Coalfields by Alan Moon

David Reed writes:

The Coalfields by Alan Moon, published orginally in Games International number 6 (and recently republished in the Train Gamer’s Gazette volume 2, number 2), added the Norfolk and Western Railroad; an extra portion of the board; two “7” trains; off-board connections that can be the center of a run, instead of the end; and suggested several other changes to the rules of play. including rules for combining The Coalfields with Take a Ride on the Reading.

I’ve found two supporting archives, fortunately non-contradictory: one and two. The former has the advantage of providing both the new rules and colour images for the new map sections, tiles and shares.

Update: Please note that the colour PDF I’ve assembled above for the Coalfields expansion prints the map extensions slightly too small. It doesn’t accurately match the 1830 map. The resulting map sections, while undersized are certainly playable albeit also ungainly and clumsy. Oddly the track tiles that go onto the board are however just fine. The track tiles placed by players appear to be small by a similar fraction to the map extensions.

I have not yet determined why this is true, or what the correct scaling factor is. I estimate by rough eye that it is not far under 10%.

Perre Marquette Railroad by Federico Vellani

David Reed writes:

The Pere Marquette by Federico Vellani, published in the Train Gamer’s Gazette volume 3, number 1, adds a new western railroad.

I’ve stashed a PDF of a photocopy of the original magazine article documenting the new company and related rules changes.

Bonds/Corporate Debt by John Puddifoot

David Reed writes:

The 1830 Debt Variant by John Puddifoot, published originally in the Train Gamer’s Gazette volume 1, number 3, added the ability for companies to go into debt (similar to, but not exactly like the debt rules in 1856).

I’ve assembled a PDF of the rules for the Bonds/Corporate Debt Variant.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge by Carl Burger

David Reed writes:

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge by Carl Burger has not been published anywhere yet, to my knowledge. It adds on to the Coalfields variant. A bridge between hexes J14 and I17 is the only added terrain. K15 (The N&W base) is now has room for two tokens, and its value changes based on phase from $30 to $50 to $60. Two tiles are also added: one each of tile 145 (from 1870) and 220 (from 1835).

I’ve been unable to find any further details.

“Simple” by John David Galt

David Reed writes:

The “Simple” 1830 variant by John David Galt adds the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, & Pacific (CMSt.P&P – The “Milwaukee Road”) starting with 3 tokens in hex D2 (Flint MI) and the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) starting with 3 tokens in hex H4 (Dayton OH). Both companies have standard 1830 share set-ups (President: 20% and 8 x 10%). The third “6” train should be used, but no other trains should be added. These should only be used with 5 or 6 players. The variant also adds a couple of gray tiles, which will be available when the first six train is sold. The first is a tile identical to the Toronto tile in 1856 for New York City; the second is a “B” tile (two hole city with five exits, worth 70). Only one of each of these tiles is added.

In an email exchange with John David Galt about this variant, he commented:

What’s up on that long-dead site is all there is. The variant was nothing more than a one-liner response to someone on the 18xx mailing list who wanted an 1830 variant with more companies.

I’ve been unable to find any further details except for Keieth Thomasson’s mention listed below under the Nickel Plate variant.

Nickel Plate by Wolfram Janich

Mentioned in several places, including in Kieth Thomasson’s issue 138 of For Whom The Die Rolls, December 2006. Quoting from that magazine:

The 1830 Variant Box No.1 is just enough information to intrigue but not enough to give any idea what this actually contains. This is published by Wolfram Janich and contains the Wabash Cannonball Variant by Harry Wu, the ‘Simple’ Variant by John David Galt. The rules to these are in German and English. There are also two alternative maps by Wolfram.

— The Wabash Cannonball variant

This introduces a new company, the Wabash Railroad, which starts in hex H2. The map is extended to the west, moving Chicago a couple of hexes west in the process. There is an overlay for hex D20, which makes the hex north east of the NYC base a value 20 station in a grey hex. There is one additional train of type ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘4’ and ‘5’, and eight ‘7’ trains, which cost $830 and replace the Diesels. You cannot trade in a train for a ‘7’ as you could for a Diesel. There are also a few extra tiles – one extra 57, one extra 15, and two brown tiles that are the same as a 15 tile and valued at 40. These brown tiles are not numbered, but the design has been used in a number of games and is identical to tiles 448 (1854/1889) and 776 (1860).

— The ‘Simple’ variant

This variant introduces two new companies. The CMStP&P starts in D2, while the L&N starts in H4. The optional third ‘6’ train should be used, but no other trains added. There are two new tiles – both grey – which come out when the first ‘6’ is bought. One is an upgrade to New York, as used in 1856, and one upgrade for the Baltimore/Boston tiles. This variant is recommended for 5 or 6 players only. I presume it is called the ‘Simple’ variant because the changes are simple, not because it makes the game simpler :-)

— Alternative Maps

These maps are based on random maps produced by the 1830 computer program. The maps produced by the program can be very unbalanced, so Wolfram used those as a starting point and then reworked them to get a better balance. I have a number on order from Wolfram, but don’t know quite when to expect them. Half of those are already reserved. If you’re interested I’ll be selling them for £20 plus post and packing, which is about the same price if you buy directly from Wolfram. It’s quite light, so post and packing should be£4 at the most for the UK. Let me know if you want a copy.

I’ve been unable to locate any further details on Wolfram Janich’s Nickel Plate variant.

Wabash by Harry Wu

Described briefly above by Kieth Thomasson, and pictured below by Knurt on BoardgameGeek:

I’ve been unable to find any further details, especially regarding the rules.

Westpark by Warter Sorger

I’ve assembled a PDF of the rules for the Westpark Variant.

Twitter Week: 2009-08-22

  • Played 1844. Wow. My gray matter is pleading for a cease fire; something about the Geneva Convention & my abusing prisoners of war. #18xx #
  • 6P 1830 5.hours Diesels ran 8 times! Daniel $7548 Aliza $7780 Ron $4661 Jeff $6093 Tim $7613 Me $6842 #18xx http://twitpic.com/ec1ca #
  • RT @timoreilly: Everyone who is trashing Obama’s healthcare plan should…answer the following multiple choice question: http://bit.ly/KUpwm #

Twitter Week: 2009-08-15

Twitter Week: 2009-08-08

On drowning in games

I wrote this as while back in reference to Wabash Cannonball, but it seems a generally true paean to both the types of games I like and the way I like to approach them:

First you lose a lot,

Then you win a game…and don’t know why,

Then you lose a lot more and think you should have won,

This happens for Oh, a dozen or so games,

Then you win one and think another player threw you the game unintentionally,

Then you lose and think you threw the game to another player!

Then you do that some more, say another dozen-odd games,

Then you win a game but clearly see it was because of another player’s error,

Then you lose a game because of your error,

Then you lose again because of an error you could have exploited but didn’t,

And that goes on for a dozen or so games,

Then you win, know why you won and feel great,

And you lose, know why you lost and feel great,

And that goes on for a while,

Until you lose and don’t understand why,

And win and don’t understand why,

And you suspect that you threw the game to another player,

Or another player threw the game to you or someone else,

But you’re not sure,

And this goes on for a while, perhaps a dozen games or so,

And then you realise you’re exactly back where you started,

With exactly the same uncertainties and confusions you had in those very early games,

Not really knowing what you’re doing,

Still feeling your way in the dark,

You just know a lot more about the questions now,

But you still have the same uncertainties and questions,

And you keep on struggling with them,

And you win some,

And lose some,

And hope to learn from both.

Twitter Week: 2009-08-01