New games from Marflow

It looks like we could expand our collection by a few new 18xx games next year. On the Marflow Games website:, you can read that they will release two games by Kickstarter in the 2020 year: 18NR (Namibian Railways) and 18DO – Dortmund.

The plans are very ambitious and I keep my fingers crossed for them.

Meanwhile, 1876 Trinidad will be released this year. This is the second version of this microscopic title, its first print did not get high marks, but maybe the new version will works better? The game will be available at Spiel in Essen this year.

The fourth new title from Marflow is 18BS Baltic Sea. The author is Edwin Eckert, the same as you already know from 1893 Cologne. The tests will start soon.

Below is the description taken from the Marflow Games page.

18NR – Namibian Railways – Kickstarter in 2020
The game is set in the south-west of Africa in Namibia. The game starts at the time when this area has been a German colony, hence the German names of the railway corporation of the game. 1895 Namibia has been developed especially for three players. The game starts with the auction of the obligations for the railway corporations and the two private mines will be auctioned based on player’s decisions. The obligation provides the owner the priority right to purchase the director share of the corresponding railway corporation. In addition the owner receives a one certificate for free. However the owner will not receive any dividend for this certificate until the railway corporation has been linked to a certain destination. The two private mining companies will be converted into mining corporations. They need to buy mining equipment which is on the back of the train cards. So both railway and mining corporations compete for the same train cards. While 1895 Namibia was especially designed for 3 players, 18NR-Namibia will be suited for 4 players as well as an additinal railway corporation has been implemented. There will be also a variant for 2 players.

The game’s focus is on the players’ decisions about the bid for what obligation, the setting of the starting value when floating a corporation and the timing of buying another train. There are 9 types of trains in the game of which only 3 are permanent!

18DO – Dortmund – Kickstarter in 2020
Initially planned as an 18Ruhr extension it has become a new game of its own. The map has been reduced by 40% and shows now Dortmund and its surroundings only. As Dortmund is also wel-lknown for its brewery industry this has been added to the game which has the subtitle “Heat, Sweat & Beer”. All players start with a private brewery (minor company). The coal mines and steel millss have been limited to a passive role only. The new feature is the beer market for which the brewery produce and deliver. The basic demand of the beer market will be increased during the course of the game each time the location of a coal mine or a steel mill has been linked to the railway net by a railway corporation. The link to the railway network reflects the potential for the coal mines or a steel mills to grow and employ more workforce. The latter inevitably leads to an increaseof Dortmunds inhabitants and consequently to higher demand for beer. The equipment for the breweries is on the backside of the train cards (now called Capex Cards). In order to acquire the latest most competitive equipment a private brewery may be forced to be converted into a brewery corporation in order to generate additional treasury. During the brown phase the railway companies will transport beer to the off-board destinations which will increase the breweries’ income over proportionally. Therefore players always have to have the late phase of the game in focus.

1876 Trinidad – Version 2.0 – available October 2019 at SPIEL in Essen

Marflow games received the permission of the author to republish this classic 18xx. The game will be based on the version published by Chris Lawson and will also contain the additional fourth railway corporation once published in the Railgamer magazine.The design will be that of Chris Lawson with some minor changes.

18BS – Baltic Sea – Playtesting to start in 2020

This game is based on an idea for the author of 1893 Cologne, Edwin Eckert. The map shows the Baltic Sea with all adjacent countries. There is one railway corporation per country. which represents the national railway company. The preceding railway companies are represented as private companies with special functions. One of unique feature of 18BS are the railway ferries which can transport trains via the Baltic Sea. As in real history these ferries will be owned by the railway corporations.The other unique feature is the two different gauges , one for the eastern part of the map (the Russian wide gauge) and one for the western part (the European standard gauge). The gauge for each railway corporation is determined. Therefore they can only operate either on the eastern or the western part of the map. This limitation will cease at a certain phase when gauge change devices can be acquired.

Due to the experience with playtesting for 18NR and 18DO it has been decided to start the playtesting for 18BS after the kickstarter launch for these games.

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