2018 summary of new releases

Will 2018 go down in history as a record one? On the website http://fwtwr.com/18xx/ludography.htm we can read that a total of 11 new games from the 18xx series were released last year. Wow, are you able to play such a number of novelities?

If we check the details, this list will shrink. Two of these games are resumes (1830 and 1879), one title is a card game (18Lipiput) and some people do not want to combine it with 18xx. 1822MRS is an additional scenario for the already existing game 1822. Similarly 1822+, is such a tiny addition. 18USA, despite the fact that it is an addition to 1817, I would treat as a separate game. So there are six new 18xx left. Too many for one year? Probably yes, each of them is a demanding title, which takes 4 – 8 hours or more. Each of them also brings something new to the mechanics (probably). I would love to play and describe them, but you have to wait for my retirement ;).

[Right here begins a long series of my thoughts, you can skip them and start reading in the place marked with symbol 20xx]
Now, I have to write what other people think about these titles, ….. I started to search for information in several media: facebook, tweeter, slack and yahoo group. And I realized that the other people’s opinion could be unfair. Some of the reviews I have found are only negative, but why? Why my opinion on 18CLE is currently more negative than positive, while JC has an exceptionally good opinion about 18CLE. What does it come from? Experiences? The way of play? Number of games? Number of players? Maybe we’re still playing badly? One experienced group will be having a fast train rush, another new group will be going long on 2-trains. Then the reception of the game in both groups will be quite different. An experienced group has already overwhelmed a dozen or even several dozen 18xx games and the next title may be for people in this group, a poor copy of another 18xx. Meanwhile, for new players, each subsequent title introduces a lot of new theory to 18xx and can be inherently more interesting. Another example from our last game: 1880 China. For the first time, someone (I must admit that it was me) played on taking down opponents’ share prices. Other players were very surprised about my tactics and did not see any sense in it. The result showed that my loss was nothing compared to what income Michal did not get due to his shares falling. The second thing, practically everyone in 1880, invests only in own companies. Is this what other experienced groups do? I do not know. I know that in each and every game of the 18xx series you can play in many different ways. New players will play differently than the experienced players. So there will be different expectations of each group and evaluations of the same title will be different. This is just my theory. That’s why it’s hard for me to quote other statements for I do not know the game myself. It is good to quote pros and cons so far I have not found any, so I have a general summary.

There is no title among the list that would bring something completely new to the 18xx system, The most interesting titles seem to be 18GB and 18USA. Is this for sure? It all depends on many factors about which I wrote above. Below I am going to give general descriptions for individual titles, the most about them you can read on BGG website, but there are not many (no matter if good or bad).

Publisher: All-Aboard Games
Price: 110 USD
You can buy it here: http://www.all-aboardgames.com/
The first opinions are rather temperate.

Publisher: All-Aboard Games
Price: 200 USD
You can buy it here: http://www.all-aboardgames.com/
1822CA is a version of 1822 but only with a different map. Apparently it is more balanced than 1822, but it is also longer. Which one to choose? The author himself stated that it makes no sense to have both titles: 1822 and 1822CA. What do you think about it?

Publisher: Winsome Games
Price: (second hand only) from 120 USD
I am fascinated by the way Winsome publishes games, a very limited edition that sells in 10 minutes. Literally! We do not know much about these games despite the fact that buying them later will be imposible. 1834, which takes place in Belgium, seems to be an interesting and very fast title for 3 players. This is a bit of an exception among the games released last year. Maybe we will succeed in playing sometime in 1834 but I cannot promise.

Publisher: Marflow Games
Price: 68 EUR
You can buy it here: http://18xx-marflow-games.de/
We have it and I promise to play soon.

Publisher: Deep Thought Games, LLC, Golden Spike Games
You can buy it here: http://www.goldenspikegames.com/
Price: 156 USD
Remarks: the waiting period for the order was recently 5-6 months (as in October 2018). We have the game from few days. I am very curious about mechanics, which is a combination of 1825 and 1860. Opinions of other players seem to be positive. Read the blog, sooner or later we will write about it with a lot of photos.

Publisher: All-Aboard Games
Price: 65 USD (we need to play copy of 1817)
You can buy it here: http://www.all-aboardgames.com/
Big title which makes from 1817 a new game. It adds randomization during initial setup, modifies the train manifest and train exporting rules, and provides a completely new set of private companies.

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