My Top9 18xx games which I’ve played in 2018 for the very first time.
Below is a brief info about each title, which I prepared for boardgames fans in Poland, hopefully we gain new 18xx players in such way.
18Mex – Railways in Mexico. The unchallenged king of 2018. Each company is strong enough to win. Very fast gameplay (depending on the players, you can quickly end with bankruptcy, breaking the bank or reaching the maximum stock price) and interesting, small rules, such as: a national company that can save one but only one poor company; post contracts, mini-local companies.
1854 (in a box along with 1844) – 1854 are railways in today’s Austria. Several types of companies, tunnels, an additional small board for local companies, which later combine with each other, the opportunity to buy Orient Express, stock exchange in which the stock price can move in 6 directions, postal contracts, the ability to split shares. Many options, great gameplay.
1880 – railways in China. You can find new elements such as foreign investors; communism, which causes temporary freezing of stock exchange operations, the ability to decide on the size of some towns on the board (they will be small villages or cities that have a chance to grow over time), concessions for the construction of tracks, the ability to decide on the size of one share of our company, an unusual mechanism of the order of companies during the game.
1857 – railways in Argentina. The keyword in this game is “bankruptcy”. Few trains available, the train rush ofted stopped the long-term plans. You need to have eyes around your head and not count on stable development.
1856 – railways in Canada are a stable development of many companies that have little influence to each other at the beginning of the game. But this is only an illusory thought, because you have to plan for the future. Interesting facts: the possibility of loans, the possibility of closing the company (if its value drastically decreases), the possible creation of a national railway company that is able to absorb indebted companies, various capitalization opportunities (target cities at the beginning), in the final stages there is possibility of either remove tiny towns or extending them to big cities.
1848 – Here we have the railway development in Australia, specifically on its south-east coast. Out of interesting elements – the possibility of closing the company (for a certain penalty), the Bank of England providing loans and the opportunity to buy its shares, a map divided into several “regions” which entails certain difficulties.
1822 – this game is a colossus due to the fact that the map covers almost the entire territory of Great Britain. The most important novelties here are the random appearance of private companies, which by auction can be bought and not only at the beginning of the game (as in most 18xx games), but practically the entire game comes new companies. The map is huge, but the most profitable (no surprise) is London, and if our companies do not get to the stations in this city or its surroundings it can be hard.
18Ardennes – the map includes such countries as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and France. What is interesting in this game are various bonuses available on the board (mines, ports, forts), the possibility of merging companies into larger ones, the ability to control 100% of the company’s shares, large trains possible to buy only by large railway companies.
1860 – This is one of the most unusual 18xx game, taking place on the Isle of Wight. Generally in “eighteens”, bankruptcy is one of the possible endings of the game when the president is not able to help his company. In 1860 president can sell all shares to the market, moreover in many cases it pays to do so. Such a “stray” company goes into receivership and the old president no longer has to worry that he could not afford for a new train. From other interesting mechanisms, we have the opportunity to close the company and reopen it, a possibility to fast increase stock price (how much the stock price increases depends on the size of the paid dividend), the ability to hold up to 100% of shares in the company or the possibility of passing through one blocked city.