18Mex – Viva la Mexico!

Foreword:

This years January in Poland is really awful. Temperatures about 0oCelcius degrees, no snow, barerly everyday little rain. Everything around us looks grey. I hate weather like this. I don’t like winter either, but winter (with snow) would be much more interesting than this. Why do I talk about weather? Because the latest 18xx game which I learned was 18Mex – which took place in Mexico. I’ve never been there but guess that weather is better than in Poland.

But, go back to the game. 18Mex is not the biggest one, but map look good, and after play I can tell you, that barerly every place (hex) was usefull. I like that in 18xx games, that you can use the whole map to build tracks. As Marcin said in his post, we have some concerns about colors, but it’s not so important in my opinion. We heard that in 18Mex there is a train rush, and sometimes you buy trains only for rusting them in next OR. It didn’t happen to us, but I think that variety of trains (and their affordable prices) is really nice and everytime you can plan something good. Of course it’s not so funny when somebody buy trains which you wanted to buy. But you can still easily change your plans, and maybe find better solution.

The rules are not so heavy (there’s not so many exeptions) and have several twists which I really like. For example major companies could build up to 2 yellow tiles, there are 2 private companies (they called them minor) which have their own trains (like independance railroads from 1846), there are no diesels but 4D trains, which run 4 big cities with double income. It so nice idea because there are not so many countings at the end of the game (terrible thing when running diesels in other 18xx games). I also like idea with national railroad and opportunity to merge only one company into it. Of course my opinion is based after one play, but I think that national in 18Mex is not as overpowered as SBB from 1844 could be. Moreover till the end of the game we build tracks on the map, trying to find better connections. That means for me, that game is interesting for the whole time of play. But what happened in my first play?

Who was playing?

3 players: Me (Michał / Elemele), Michał from Olkusz and Marcin (Magole)
3 most experienced players in our area 😉

How do we started?

Bidding of private companies was strange, and finally I ended with 2 minor companies A and C. It meant that east side of the map was mine 🙂 Moreover I also bought last private which gave me president’s certificate for National Railways of Mexico (NRM). Third minor company was bought by Michał from Olkusz.

I still had enough money to run major company, and of course I started Texas-Mexican (TM), because of my 2 minor companies. Marcin opened Pacific Railroad, and Michał from Olkusz Chihuahua. Their companies operated on west so I wasn’t worried that somebody will block my tracks. That was perfect situation for me, since my companies operated close to each other. In the same time Marcin was fighting with Michał from Olkusz by blocking each other routes. Then phase 3.5 occured and we had to close minor companies. Due this and next SR, I had 45% of NRM same as Michał from Olkusz. From the beggining Marcin invested in my and Michał’s companies, he took dividends, and then he sold barerly all shares from our companies and started (in few SR’s) two companies – Mexican Central and Southern Pacific. Then I ran United Railways (UR), because I’ve alrady had 10% of its shares due to closing one of my minor companies. But, when train 5 was close enough I realised, that I would have problem to buy trains for my all 3 companies (TM, UR and NRM) and I would also loose control on NRM. (Since we had both 45% of shares with Michał from Olkusz, I was NRM president and I couldn’t merge my company into NRM). So, I decided to sell my 5% of NRM. I lost presidency, but that was I’ve planned. I still had 40% but trains for NRM wasn’t my problem anymore. Michał from Olkusz bought this 5% share. He controlled 50% of NRM shares, I had 40% and I also was first in the next SR. Before next SR occured Marcin bought train “5” to one of his companies. Nobody wanted to merge his companies into NRM and that’s why Michał from Olkusz merge Mexican Railway from initial offering. 10% of NRM shares went to initial offering, and as you might remember I was first in next SR. And yes, I bought this 10% of NRM. Because Michał from Olkusz did well with his Chihuahua, I knew that winning that game would be immpossible, but situation where I had same amount of shares as Michał was good for me. I could focused on my 2 companies, and with help from my private money, I bought them both permament trains. The same does Michał, but Marcin had a problem since he controlled 3 companies at the same time. He did many train trades between companies until he had enough money to bought train for each of them. Until the end of the game we were building new tracks and upgraded towns to ran our trains more efficiency. The best dividend was payed by my Texas-Mexican which had 2 trains 4D. They was making 840$ income in one OR!

Some crucial moments:

  • bidding private companies and first SR, where Michał and Marcin gave me opportunity to be alone at the east coast
  • Marcin lost too many dividends when he trade trains between his companies. Running 3 companies wasn’t so good
  • Chihuahua was controlled (60%) by Michał from Olkusz, and me both with Marcin had 20% each. So Michał was better for 4 shares from eac hof us. With final price 180$ that was too much.
  • Marcin didn’t realized that my Texas-Mexican will pay such big dividend and he had only one share

Pros:

  • nice map, where every space is usefull
  • very nice private companies (with 3 minor companies), many synergies between minors and majors
  • great trains where you can easily count their routes
  • well ballanced companies
  • easy rules with nice twists
  • National Railroad which seems to be not overpowered
  • nice stock market (but would be better with brown areas and with opportunity to close somebodie’s company)

Cons:

  • some graphics doesn’t look so good (especialy blue colour)

Conclusion:

18Mex is a great game, only a step behind 1836jr. But who knows, maybe after few plays it will go higher on my list 🙂

Time of play:

ca. 4,5 hours

Results:

Michał from Olkusz Me (Michał / Elemele) Marcin (Magole)
Cash 4680 4808 4088
Cash in shares 2580 2325 2545
SUM 7260 7133 6633

My BGG rating: 9.5

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