Grand Trunk Games – new 18xx publishing house

Grand Trunk Games announced that first title(s) will be coming to Kickstarter this summer!

We have got an official info from Joshua Starr the President of GTG:

To explain a bit about why Grand Trunk Games exists and what it is setting out to do, I’d like to first explain what I thought 18xx was a few years ago. But before that, I’d like to go back even further to when I first got into board games.

I’ve been playing hobby games since 2011 with the standard Settlers of Catan gateway. Believe it or not, a good friend of mine is the (now famous) illustrator Kwanchai Moriya. He exposed me to hobby games and was who I went to for recommendations when I was hungry to start building my collection. As the years went on, my tastes refined and the games got heavier. I was playing games like Kanban, Caverna, Terra Mystica, etc and around this time I heard about 18xx.

At the time, 18xx seemed like the “ultimate gaming experience” that would require super-human intelligence to comprehend. The people who played it used spreadsheets, they played their games for 4-8 hours, they scoffed at games that had “art”, and they hugged their calculators when they went to sleep. In my mind, 18xx was way above my level and I wasn’t sure it was something I would ever be interested in trying because it was a long, dry company simulation that I would never be fit to play.

Fast forward a few more years and I am still discovering even heavier games like Splotter or Capstone Games titles. It was around this time I met up with a couple heavy gamers, Stephen Hutchins and Kenny Barrese, to play An Infamous Traffic. After the play, these two raved about how great 18xx was and that I should definitely try it. Despite playing all sorts of heavy games, at this time I still felt 18xx was this “holy grail” gaming experience that was (still) above my level.

Their excitement about 18xx piqued my interest and eventually the day comes and I try my first two 18xx games: 18CZ and 18Mex. And wait… hold on… that was what I was afraid of all this time? The games were long, but they were actually pretty darn simple. You buy some stock, buy some trains, and run your companies. Sure I’m probably not getting the nuances of the strategy, but this far better than what I expected. This whole time I was psyching myself out thinking I wasn’t fit to play 18xx when I had already been playing other games that were arguably harder to learn.

Grand Trunk Games was started because I think there are many who, like me, believe 18xx is some intangible gaming experience when in reality its reputation precedes it. 18xx has an incredible depth and room to explore all sorts of strategies, but many are too afraid to give it a go just because either they believe the games are “above their level”, too long, too expensive, or they wouldn’t want to try it without a teacher.

I’ll be using Grand Trunk Games to remove these barriers to entry so more folks can discover and enjoy 18xx. I plan to do that by making more titles available at a competitive price point, providing in-game content to make titles easier to learn, having full teach-and-playthrough tutorial videos available online, and more.

If you have any questions or just want to chat 18xx, feel free to drop me a line at:

josh [at] grandtrunkgames [dot] com

Links: GTG website

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