We have both editions of 18Mex in our group, I decided to make a small comparison of how much the game has changed compared to the first release, in which most of the elements were handmade. Are the changes good or the old edition was better? See yourself.
The first edition was handmade, all elements were printed and laminated, thanks to which they are practically indestructible. The current new release is a mass printing game prepared by Panda Games. The game has acquired new, more vivid colors, it is more commercial and none of the euro players should have any objections to this release, but what about the durability of individual elements?
I think that even after 100 games you will not see any signs of wear, we will see what the individual elements look:
- tracks: like cards, in the first version they were laminated too and they are relatively thin, now they are cardboard and this has its advantages and disadvantages. Cardboard, thick elements are easier to put next to each other, one track does not overlap another, and this is a plus. Laminated ones, on the other hand, were easier to replace, and they could also be lifted with a vacuum suction pen. I think there is a draw.
- gameboard: here is also a big change, now it is a beautifully made cardboard, which compared to the old edition is victorious in this duel. Therefore, because in the old edition the board was printed on plain paper, which was glued to the board. Thus, the board was the weakest part of the game and it is very easy to damage. The second thing is the color of the board, in the new edition the blue color has been subdued a bit and is not so noticeable. New edition wins.
- markers and tokens: also the new edition wins, colorful pieces of wood and good quality stickers cannot match the previous edition. New edition wins.
- box: the beautiful new box beats the previous edition. Apart from the fact that it looks fantastic on a shelf, it is thicker and more resistant to damage. In the first edition it was a white box covered with plain paper that was easy to draw. New edition wins.
Summary: personally if I could only buy a new board for my old edition, I would have the best edition ever, but I did not have such an opportunity, so I do not despair. I think the first edition has a unique character that is inherent in 18xx games. Anyway, long time ago I decided that I would not be forcibly modernize my collection, hand-made games by their authors and small companies have their charm that distinguishes 18xx from other titles on the market.
and below full gallery: