Report from Lonny Orgler’s 18xx games day!

Lonny Orgler’s day in Olkusz!

At the beginning we were planning to play all our games where Lonny is an author – 1880, 1854 and 18CZ but finally we ended with 1880 and 1854. But to be honest, I don’t think we want to play three so heavy (and long) 18xx game in one day. We spended 12 hours, and it’s only time of playing, without preparing games, read shortcut of the rules etc.


We started with 1880, and it was our first play ever in this title. We spended 1 hour with rules, because there are many new mechanics which were not familiar to us. But after all rules works, and gave us fun.
All private companies are nice, and you can try different strategies. Also map is well ballanced, and you can start barerly every company and play well. Since I had private which gives you +20 to Taiwan I wanted to “conquest” southeast side of the map. I’ve planed to run HKR but Mateusz was first, and he started this company. So I decided to run SCR. Mateusz as I said started HKR, but he also started BGR. Marcin located his interests near Beijing with JGG, and Michał from Olkusz wanted to conquest north with BZU. At the beginning all things went well for me, because I did good income, but from the middle of the game I realised that other player’s companies are better than mine. And share limit is so small so I couldn’t invest in their companies. Stock round were flat, everybody were investing in their own companies, nobody wants to dump company on another players (and if somebody wanted to do so, there was no chance because nobody had more that 10% of your company). So it was 6 hours of playing like railroads engineer, about planning best routes for your company, paying out dividens and waiting for the end. To be honest, after 4 hours of playing my first great attitude collapsed a little bit, and it was not as great as it was at the beginning. There are few nice rules in this game which makes it’s special, but I prefere more aggresive playing.


– Great map with many good places
– You could decide to put 2 small cities, or put 2 big cities on some hexes
– Historical things (Taiwan, communism, foreighn investors)
– Balanced companies
– Nice and usefull private companies
– Great idea with building permits


– Too tight certificates limit
– “flat” stock rounds
– Bonus from position on the stock market is too powerfull
– You can’t set order of your companies to dump one of them on another player (buy/sell trains between them)
– Trains 10 are not worth to buy them
– TransSib bonus seems to be too powerfull

Some crucial moments:

– Michał from Olkusz blocked the north of the map, and gained fast bonus from TransSib

Final conclusion:

There are so many cons that I listed but finally it’s really nice game. There are so many new mechanics that you should try, so I suggest to play this game at least few times. I have mixed feelings because at the beginnig I knew that I did well. I also prepared my companies to be around Beijing and Shanghai, but from the middle of the game I realised that it’s not enough and I still don’t know, where I did a mistake.

Time of play:

ca. 6 hours


Marcin – 9035 , Michał from Olkusz – 7765 , Mateusz – 6961 , Me (Elemele) – 6295

My BGG rating: 9.0


Next game was 1854, which I played for the third time. First time it was great, but we played with bad rules (we didn’t upgrade 2-dot-cities to one big green tile). Second was good, but a little bit boring at the end, because there were so many upgrades and we had to count our routes again and again. This third play was really nice. The final result was close, besides of Marcin’s result. Guess why he didn’t earn well? In my opinion, because he hadn’t any local company (which operate on minimap). That companies will give you much money when they will go to the main map. You can easily did about 200 income on only one share certificate! Because Marcin didn’t want to buy any local company our first rounds were crazy, because our locals operated, we got money and Marcin was waiting. I was prepared to buy last local, but Mateusz was faster, and that’s why he finally had 3 of them! I had 2, and Michał from Olkusz had 1. First stock round was also crazy because Marcin who had already 20% of VB shares opened… NT! Then I (who had already 20% of SD) opened… VB! Yes, VB not SD 🙂 Michał from Olkusz was also crazy because he opened two companies in Vien: KE and FJ. Only Mateusz played like normal player 😉 and opened SB. I had plan to made enough money from my VB and open SD, but Marin was faster, and he opened “my” company! That’s why I didn’t use bonus from my another private company which will give +10 marker on Graz. But before that, Michał did crazy things around Vien, since he wanted to visit this city 2 times with a single train (in early stage Vien had separate stations). He build 3 tunnels around Vien and that’s why it was hard to connect to this city at the end of the game. He was also only player who was able to run Orient Express, and after he blocked my VB in the middle of the map, he could made a big income – his KE did more that 600, and he also controlled 100% of it’s shares! Thankfully bank broke faster than he expected and I was able to win. But to be honest, three more OR’s and he would win that game.

Some crucial moments:

– Michał builded 3 tunnels around Vien
– Michał blocked our companies in the middle of the map, and only he was able to run Orient Express
– I bought Marcin’s company (VB), and he bought mine (SD)
– Marcin didn’t buy any local company

Time of play:

ca. 6 hours


Me (Elemele) – 6447, Mateusz – 6401, Michał from Olkusz – 6121, Marcin – 4964

My BGG rating: still solid 9.3

2 thoughts on “Report from Lonny Orgler’s 18xx games day!”

  1. 1880 is probably my favourite 18xx game. i really like the way all the design elements fit together.

    I’m wondering how many companies you started and how many shares you put into the directors’ certificates. The tight certificate limit encourages players to start companies with 30% or 40% in the one certificate, which is an interesting strategic decision.

    I agree that the 10 trains have limited value. They’re expensive and they don’t get to run many times. In practice, their role in the game seems to be a penalty for players who didn’t manage to buy the cheaper trains in time.

    I’m surprised that you found the trans-siberian bonus to be too powerful. In the games I’ve played (which admittedly isn’t that many), the northern part of the map generates relatively less income than the central and southern parts. The bonus compensates for that to an extent but I’d still rather have routes further south.

    1. Thanks Dave for your reply!
      You wrote about crucial thing which I didn’t mention – you can run company in 3 different ways, when you decide to take 40, 30 or 20% of presidents certificate. Using this mechnic you can “fight” against certificates limit. But I was in situation, when I was able only to run my first company with 20% of presidents certificate.

      Another thing – I mentioned TransSib because Marcin was able to gain it’s bonus too quickly, and with his two companies. So he was making much bigger income than we in the early stage.

      But, it was our first time with 1880, so many plays are before us to understand this game fully 🙂

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