1868 – First impressions

Foreword:

During Essen 2017 Marcin bought previously ordered set from Winsome Games. One of the games inside is 1868 which took place in Uruguay. I don’t want to talk about quality of the graphics, materials but… Ok, not now ­čśë I want to talk about game itself, and to be honest this game is strange. Why? Because this game is for 3-5 players and there are only 5 companies! Moreover, 4 of them start in Montevideo. Next important thing is that you are allowed to do 2 actions with tracks. And it doesn’t matter what you want – you can build twice, upgrade twice or mix that actions. Typically it should give you opportunity to build nice connections through the map.
But in 1868 I had feeling that you have to upgrade track not because it’s important for you, but because you need just this specific tile. And that’s why in our game map was in chaos. Next strange thing is that all companies have same amount of stations with the same price. I understand that it’s because 4 companies start from the same city. And that’s the main aspect of the game, and thing that I hate the most. In my opinion players order is crucial in this game.
There is one best route on the map for the beginning – to the east of Montevideo to Rocha. The first player who reach this destination have easy way to win imho. That’s because there is (in Rocha) only one spot for station, it’s close to Montevideo, and close to Treinta y Tres. Ports on the south are useless and there are I don’t see any chance to use them, because there are always better places to run trains. In oposition red off-board areas are one of the best on map (only Montevideo is better). But take a look how we played, and then read my conclusion.

Who was playing?

4 players: Me (Elemele), Marcin (Magole), Jacek and Maciek

How do we started?

During auction I bought 2 most expensive privates and Marcin bought North Western of Uruguay which give owner oportunity to teleport one station token. This two things were most important in our auction round, and later you will find out why. So, after paying more than 200$ I can’t ran railroad company. But Marcin opened Montevideo (M), Jacek Central (C) and Maciek Norte (N). Marcin laid tracks to the east, and was able to put station market in Rocha. Both Jacek and Maciek wanted to control middle of the map, so they laid tracks heading the north and they put station markers almost on every city. I couldn’t do anything, because I had no money, so in second SR I’ve decided to invest my money to M (which was controlled by Marcin).

And that was good idea, because I bought 40% of it’s shares, 60% were under Marcin control. Since all shares were sold stock price raised after SR. Moreover Marcin’s Montevideo payed out dividends few times, so I cumulate enough money to start my own company. But because Marcin was before me in SR then he opened Noroeste, which starts in the north of the map. So my only option was to run Oeste, and I tried to do something near Montevideo. Since I had private company Fray Bentos which gave you +20$ on D1 it wasn’t bad idea. My company was first in OR so I bought train 4, and that was all I did.

My plan was to sell my privates to Oeste in the next OR because I was too greedy, and I wanted to get money from privates at the beginning of the next OR instead of selling them in first OR. But, Marcin who controlled two companies doesn’t want to keep money in his company and he bought two trains… Not only last train “4”, but he also bought train “5”. And that was disaster for me, because privates were out of play after that situation, and I didn’t get my money back ­čśÉ It really hurst me, because my plan was to get back my private money from company (by selling this privates) and invest in other players companies.

What happened next was most ridiculous situation in the game I’ve ever been part of. Since we were at phase “5” (and all trains “5” are gone) train limit was 2. And all comapnies were at their train limit… except one – my Oeste. And next few OR looked the same. We upgraded tracks not because we want it, but because we want to get back simply tracks, then my company didn’t pay dividend. Why I didn’t paid dividend? Because I wanted to accumulate as much money as I needed for train “6” and Diesel. Since I’ve already had train “4”, then I was able to buy Diesel with discount.

When this moment occurs Jacek, Maciek and even Marcin were pushed to buy Diesel trains. But they were well prepered. Moreover, Marcin decided, that he doesn’t want to help Noroeste with buying train, and that’s why in the next SR he dumped this company on me. I wasn’t happy, even since my Oeste had 2 trains. But I put my poker-face on, and bought another Noroeste shares. There were no chance to dump this company on somebody else… But my poker-face looked so realistic, and Jacek decided to bought his second Noroeste share… That’s what I was waiting for. I had no doubts and I’ve sold all Noroeste shares, and now Jacek was it’s president.

But it wasn’t the end of this SR. We were shocked, but Maciek (who had so much private money) decided to rescue Noroeste… So we had another president’s change in this SR. One company, one SR and 4 presidents! That was crazy. But to be honest – after game I was analyzing how I played, and I think that I would do better result with keeping Noroeste with myself. I wouldn’t won that, but so sure I will get more money. And who won? Of course Marcin. I said “of course” because when he controlled Rocha and then he ran second company it was sure that he will win.

Some crucial moments:

  • Marcin bought train “5” when only his private company (as I remembered) was sold to company
  • Starting order, which allows Marcin to take route to Rocha
  • Marcin dumped company on me, then I dumped it on Jacek, and he dumped it on Maciek

Conclusion:

It wasn’t nice playing to be honest. We played with 4 players, and there are too litte companies. I don’t even want to know how it will be with 5 playes. Maybe with 3 will be better, but still there are not so many companies, certificate limit is too sharp. But what I dislike the most was that we did tracks upgrades not because it could be usefull for our companies, but only because we wanted this specific tile to build our own route. That’s why so many connections were ridiculous. Oh, and second thing I dislike the most is this feeling that you can’t do anything to win just because of players order.

Pros:

  • You can build/modernize 2 track
  • Quite fast
  • Stock market with 3 areas

Cons:

  • Chaos on the map
  • 4 companies start in the same city
  • Only 5 companies
  • Too much cash in companies (and they can buy next trains too fast)
  • (Quality of the components – ok, that’s Winsome style, but I don’t like it)
  • Ports are useless and off-board areas are overpowered
  • You can lost game in the auction phase
  • Players order can easily decide who will win

Time of play:

ca. 3h 19min

Results:

Marcin Jacek Michał Maciek
Cash 3681 2379 1880 1214
NO 155 155 155 620
M 600 100 100 200
N 180 180 540
O 164 246 410
C 71 426 142 71
SUM 4851 3486 2687 2645

My BGG rating: 5.5

2 thoughts on “1868 – First impressions”

  1. I was not the first one in the first stock round. But my company had a bigger par price ­čśë

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