More Collecting, More Playing

I seem to enjoy always having something “new” slated to come to me.  Here is a view of the more recent stuff:

Freight Train – An older Alan Moon design.  I played it once a while back, and it didn’t really work as a 2p game.  I perhaps foolishly let it go.  When a first edition White Wind copy was offered to me, I decided to try it again.

Wind River – I probably shouldn’t have gotten this one.  But it looks worth a try.  Seems a bit straightforward, so I’ll be curious to see if it offers something more than I am gleaning from the rules.  I have enjoyed Hansa Teutonica so much, I was interested in trying the preceeding game from that publisher.

Panzergruppe Guderian – I finally snagged a copy of the Avalon Hill edition.  Unfortunately, I am unsure when I might have an opponent for this.  Fortunately it is regarded as a very good solitaire game.

On the playing front…

Hansa Teutonica continues to please.  It is shaping up to be my most played game this year.

Moongha Invaders has amused me.  Two plays so far and I want to play at least a couple more times.  Each time we have played I have discovered we made a mistake.  I want to get in a game where we use all the rules correctly.  While at a different scale, this game fills a hole that was left when I disposed of my old “The Creature that Ate New York” game.

Confucius – Just one play.  I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t a solid hit.  The gift-giving and obligations thereby associated was great.  The kingmaking, low scores and lack of end-game bonus points was not as great.

1829 Mainline – I got in a 4p game of this recently.  I tweaked the rules a bit.  When we played before, I was disturbed by how few stock rounds we got in an evenings worth of gaming.  So I re-inserted a progression where we did just 1 operating round so long as no “3” train had been purchased.  We moved to 2 operating rounds when the first “3” train was purchased, and we moved to 3 ORs when a “4E” train was purchased.

This did allow us to get in more Stock Rounds.  But it had some consequences.  It elevated the importance of the private companies (probably a good thing), it reduced the need to fully invest in the opening stock round (just different), and it generally made the 2nd and 3rd stock rounds anemic, as we had not yet built much of a revenue stream (slightly bad).

1829 Mainline is turning out to NOT be the faster playing 18xx game I thought it was intended to be.  Each time I have played it multi-player, we have agreed to play a time-limit game.  This works, but is also somewhat frustrating.  We never get to the big engines, and so we feel like we didn’t really play the game.

I have also played Mainline as a solitaire game frequently.  In the solitaire game there is an unexpected wrinkle.  You build a “Patience” style card formation, where you move cards around to like columns and then can buy a single column of shares.  This is innovative and fun, giving a variable situation to navigate each time you play.  But once again, I never seem to get to the large trains before breaking the reduced bank.

So recently I tried an experiment.  I set up a mock 3p game and gave myself the full bank 20,000 pounds sterling.  Whew!  That is a BIG bank.  It took 2 evenings of solitaire gaming, but I saw many of the late game engines come out, and I saw how a corporation could leap forward after securing a solid route and train base.  Unfortunately this aspect of the game takes considerable time to reveal itself.

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