1830 with Lemmi’s moderator (1/3) – Basics and privates auction
I had a chance to play with Lemmi’s moderator for the first time at Belgian 18xx Convention. Even though at first it felt awkward, it really did speed up the play and eventually everyone at the table was happy with the program. Michał from Olkusz requested that we try it as well, so I had to learn the thing and it wasn’t the easiest task–although having seen an expert using it helped me.
I decided to write a guide about how to use Lemmi while it’s still fresh in my memory (“guide” might be not the best term since I’m newbie and it’s possible that many things can be done better than in my examples). The resources are somehow limited, I found only a BGG thread and a laconic README file.
The guide will be divided in 3 parts: Basics and privates auction, Stock Round and Operating Round.
When playing with Lemmi, only board, track tiles and station tokens are indispensable. However, I find it much easier when share price markers are used as well—it’s not easy to visualize their position. You may keep private companies cards as well in order to not forget that you have one.
That’s what you have before you
Firstly, you need to download the program. And now it gets awkward because the download link that I used doesn’t seem to work anymore. Gladly I still had it on my computer. I guess it’s fine if I send it when someone asks…
Lemmi is a DOS program, so we need to emulate the environment. DOSBox is a perfect tool to do so. Once you have DOSBox sunning, navigate to the directory in which you have Lemmi’s files. (On my GNU/Linux machine I just launch DOSBox directly there)
Now, enter “18xx -senglish”. -senglish option switches language to English (or rather English-German mixture). Lemmi is running.
Escape to quit Lemmi. Ctrl-F10 to lock/unlock mouse. Find out how to make DSBox run in fullscreen mode (it will depend on the host machine).
Using arrows and Enter to accept, choose “1830, USA-Ost”. You will be asked to enter player names.
To add a player: Enter, name, Enter, Enter.
To delete a player: Escape.
Once you’re done, press F2 (player order gets randomized), then F1 to start the game. You will be asked to name a log file—just hit Enter.
The initial auction is ready to begin.
Despite its look, Lemmi uses mouse as a primary input device. What’s important, the three buttons are used (the middle one being scroll wheel). When you see something like this:
buy ← pass → bid
It means: left click to buy, middle click to pass and right click to bid.
So if a player wants to buy, left click on the first available private. If they want to bid, right click on a given private and choose how much they bid. Middle click to pass.
In my example (video above):
PlayerC bids $225 on 6
PlayerA bids $75 on 3
PlayerB bids $230 on 6
PlayerC buys 1
PlayerB bids $115 on 4
PlayerC buys 2
PlayerA buys 5
PlayerB outbids PlayerC and buys 6 for $300 (auction between players is performed “normally” and only the result is entered)
Now PlayerB has to set par price for B&O.
Numbers in yellow indicate what can they can afford with their cash–in this case it’s between 3 shares par price = 100 and 5 shares if par price = 76, 71, or 67.
PlayerB chooses $90
What is what
One line per player. From left, their:
name – if precedded by », they have (currently) priority deal
percentage – what you have when you total percentages of all your certificates (in case of 1 president’s certificate and 2 normal certificates it would be 20% + 2*10% = 40%)
PRR – how many certificates of PRR they have. If precedded by », they are president. Same for the other companies
Bank — how much money in the bank
Minimum – the lowest Bank’s content in the game (doesn’t matter)
Every company has its own column. There is number of lines that corresponds to number of players—those are players’ holdings. Then, we have:
current share price
how many shares in the IPO
how many shares in the bank pool
what trains it owns – for example 233 means one 2-train and two 3-trains
for how much did the company run recently
what privates it has
who is president – in fullscreen, whole name would be visible
At the bottom, we have trains (available and future ones) along with their prices.
On the left hand, there is a little Kurs column that might be handy if we’re not sure about markers position on the stock market. 90/2 means “90 in the second row”.
How to undo
If you make a mistake, you can undo it. Press “-” as many times as needed and accept with Ctrl-Enter. Escape to cancel.
How to see current scores
Strange thing, there are no current scores in the main window—even though there is place on the right hand. In order to see them, you need to click on Tables, then Score. In the window that appears, keep clicking until all players’ scores are visible.
JCL commented: Actually the main interface to Lemmi’s moderator is the keyboard. The mouse works but the keyboard is much much faster. Also Lemmi’s has a stock market view which shows exactly where the price markers are for each company.
I’m not surprised that everything can be done with the keyboard and that this is faster once you’re used to. However, the README file states: The mouse is the most importand input device. The programm don’t work without a mouse. You must click an value too change it. (exact quote) That’s why I decided to write that mouse is the primary input device (another thing, I don’t know most of the shortcuts).
Indeed there is a stock market view but I don’t find it comfortable to read—and you must switch views to see it.