1860: Kicked my butt

On Saturday four of us played 1860: Railroading on the Isle of Wight.  It was a first play for all four of us.  We gathered at 9:00 a.m. and I knew I needed to depart around 2:00 p.m.  As it turned out I was present for all of the decisions, but missed the endgame conclusion, as I had to get to work.

I have not yet heard the final tallies, but I am sure I was a distant last.  Nevertheless, I loved the game.  I am not sure I can easily characterize this game.  The train rush was present – but Presidents are not on the hook for a replacement engine with their own money.  Instead they get to watch their company be declared Insolvent, and also watch their stock value go plummeting down.

The map is tight, and cruel.  I watched one player basically win the game on the first move of the game.  The Director of the C&N made a bad play, and the IOW director stole the central city market by slapping down a token.  The IOW went on to dominate the early game, while the C&N struggled to ever get much of a reach.  I will certainly watch for this in the future.  Later in the game, I made a Hail Mary pass by starting the S&C -the last company available.  I watched in horror as players sealed of the southern edge of the existing rail network.  I did find one route of some value, but it was clear that I was screwed.

But all this positional stuff was in a rookie game.  So I tell myself that I now know better and will play better now that I have a clue…  Oh and I learned that IWNJ , while centrally located, has a sucky home position.  It is a very low valued station, even when fully promoted.  And 1860 REQUIRES you to always play from your home base on at least one route.  And since the train rush is noticeable, this means the IWNJ is likely to only run from that home token a fair bit of the game.

My initial reaction is that 1860 shows promise.  I look forward to having another go, and hope I might do better.


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