This is Pedro Lima’s story in the competition due to our 2nd anniversary.
“Hey, do want to play 1846?” These were the words of the invitation. The game (Deep Thought’s version) was already setup. I looked and said “huh… I kinda heard about them. They seem a little heavy and long”. “About 5 hours”, my friend replied. “Ok, let’s find out. I’m in!”
It was on the 13th of February, 2018. My 29th birthday. “20…18”. “29”. “1829”. It was fate, it had to be that year and that birthday. It was a nice gift to learn the system!
It was the typical count of 5 players. The rules explanation went for about 45 minutes. As I was listening, I was kind of… surprised. The game didn’t seem very complicated, but I had no idea where to begin in regards of amounting wealth. It took a few turns before I could get a grasp. And still, at the end of the 5 hours game (we called it, because it would take a little too long to finish), I was still awestruck and left wandering “what the hell just happened?” It was not good and it was not bad. It was just something… new. I had never seen that kind of game before.
After the game, I went to learn it on my own with the recently uploaded Eric Brosius’ (a player that has over 200 games of 1846 under his belt) tutorial videos. The explanation made me “grok” it a little better but finally I went to the rule book and, while I was reading it, I was thinking of possibilities.
The second game took a while to happen but we could finally unite 4 players again in November, 2018. 1846 again. In fact, the same copy. With 4 players (1 beginner) this time we could finish the game! My first 18xx full game. I can tell you… after reading the rule book by myself, the game “logic” was much more understandable the second time. But it was not enough to win. The 2 other experienced players were 1st and 2nd place, I was in 3rd and the new player was the 4th.
In the “end of the game discussion”, we talked a little bit about the match but, more importantly, we talked about other titles and 18xx games. The experienced players told me that in 1830, for example, it’s not always 2 Operating Rounds. It starts with 1 and ends with 3. And the stock market is not linear, but bi-dimensional. These things made me wonder about these other types of 18xx and I went to look.
Soon after, I stumbled upon 1889: an 1830 clone in smaller map, 1 less company and regarded as being a great introduction to the system. Since 1846 was my only experience, I immediately was interested. Since I like the “do it yourself” mentality, I came across Carthaginian’s redesign and Print and Played my own copy of 1889. My first (and only) 18xx physical copy! Recently I finished my first game of it (online. My PnP is still unplayed!) and my world was shaken again. The different pace and “mode of play” (e.g. dumping your opponent’s companies) are really different from Race for the Midwest.
As I write this text, I have 2 (complete) games of 1846 (1st game was incomplete) and 1 game of 1889 (with the 2nd one scheduled for next Saturday. I know this is not much, but I’m not in a hurry. Also, I read so much about 18xx that I almost feel like I’ve played more than this.
Nowadays I enjoy reading about the different 18xx games on RailsOnBoards and like to plan the ones that I want to get to know and play in the future. Still have to play the classic! 1830. For now, that’s my adventure on 18xx. Thanks for reading.