Interview with Leonhard “Lonny” Orgler

Leonhard “Lonny” Orgler is a game designer from Austria who has several games in his portfolio, including issued in 2017 18CZ, but also very popular titles like 1880 or 1854. However, his most popular game is Russian Railroads, which, at the initial design stage, was also supposed to be 18xx 😉

How did it happen that you started playing games from the 18xx series?
I played the first game when I was 18 years old. It was 1835. That was 30 years ago. First, this game was bought by a friend and then I bought it by myself.

How often do you play 18xx?
Every two weeks, I have my own group and we meet every second Friday.

How fast is your group? How long does it take you to play?
This is not a fast group, one game usually took us about 3-4 hours.

Do you use an application or spreadsheet to track results?
No, we only use a blank sheet of paper to track results and poker chips to speed up the game.

What is your favorite title when you do not have enough time to play?
I think it will be 1830, or some variants of it.

And when you can choose any title?
I love new games, so it would be any new title. But others are good, too: 1822 or 18OE. And 1880.

What was your longest game?
It will be two titles 18OE and 18C2C. These games lasted about 10 hours.
I used to play with another group which uses computer support. There a game of 1835 lasts only one hour and 30 minutes.

What title would you recommend for a new player who wants to meet 18xx?
I would suggest 1830, which explains the basics well. At the same time, it is very diverse and brutal, it’s easy to go bankrupt. If someone prefers a less violent game
then I would suggest 1835.

How long does it take you to test the new game?
It depends on the game and your own experience. I needed 2 and a half years to develop 18CZ. But there were only 13 playtests.

How many games do you currently have as prototypes?
Two main projects, the first of them is a card game with 18xx mechanisms, it is called 18Lilliput. It will be a simpler title, play time will be one to two hours.
The next game which title I have not yet specified is the title with the map of Vienna. Streetcars operate on it as a transport.
Then I have a couple of ideas but nothing specific.

What is the most difficult element for you to design in board games?
Haha, the hardest thing is that now I have to send 500 games, pack them, take them to the post office and send them.

What are the plans for next year?
I plan to publish 18Lipiput next year. Beside that, I’m thinking about resuming 1824. But 1824 will take some more time.

Thanks for the interview.

Essen, November 29, 2017


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