Unfocused Rambling

I played London last week with two friends.  It was sort of odd.  I can hardly believe it is a Martin Wallace game.  Usually his games covey the theme through mechanisms.  In London the theme is very present, but it comes from the cards (and the nice illustrations), and only somewhat from the effects those cards have.  I cannot say London is a light game, but it didn’t have that usual Martin Wallace feel.  Based on my single play, I’m willing to play again, but not burning to do so.

In other news, I have been reviewing an old Uwe Rosenberg game, Bean Trader.  Jay brought it by years ago, and for some reason it popped into my head that I would like to try it again.  In a Math Trade a while back, I got a copy.  In fact, I goofed, and ended up with 2 copies.  I am going to teach it to Rick Monday night, and give him a copy if he has any interest.

My recollection is that Bean Trader fell flat the first time we played it.  But we didn’t really know what we were doing until the game was mostly over.  I am hopeful this game might do better on this second chance.  I am going to strongly encourage everyone to use the rule that allows you to invite someone to the city you are in.  This will increase the interaction, and also help people avoid hastening the game’s end due to rapid cycling of the travel cards.

On the 18xx front, I’ve been thinking about the innovative rules in 1860 regarding how different tiers of companies enter the game.  Initially 2 companies are available.  But the next two companies become available after 1 of 2 cases occurs:

  1. One of the first 2 companies sells out completely
  2. One of the first 2 companies operates.

It’s this second case, that I especially like.  We’ve played 1825 a few times, and one of the complaints about it is the processional aspect of which companies can open.  In 1825 the 1st rule is the only way to gain access to the next tier of companies.  I’d like to try porting this additional case from 1860 over to 1825.

Of course, I don’t really know when I might get a chance.  The local market is flooded with lots of new 18xx games.  I have a whole shelf myself.  My current pecking order is probably: 1860 then 1825, then 1861, then 1830.  But I would likely accept any 18xx game I could get into.  I have a vague hope of getting in an 1860 this next weekend at a game con I will be attending.

The last time I played 1825, we played a variant – with alternate track upgrades and variant Private Company rules.  I was not satisfied with this, and have rejiggered my set back to basic rules.  I like the basic game 1825 is.  I now store it as a complete, yet modular, game.  I am of the firm opinion that Units 1 and 2 were never meant to be played separately.  I think it is a much better game combined with 2 units.  The processional aspect of Unit 1 is greatly reduced.

I also reset my 1829 games back to square.  I had borrowed several components from them for 1825.  I just got the most recent expansion for 1825, which provided the tiles I wanted, which had been on loan from 1829.  So the Francis Tresham wing of my 18xx collection is now fully sorted.  I hope we can play on some part of this collection again.

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2 Responses to “Unfocused Rambling”

  1. Rob Says:

    I actually like Bean Trader. It is my perfect combination of a little bit of planning with large dollops of fun if played with people who can play briskly and enjoy the experience with the other players in addition to the game. I’ll play it.

  2. thegamebistro Says:

    Hey Rob! You will have a chance, as I am brining it to a game convention near you soon. Also, I will not be gaming on Monday after all. Between it being Valentine’s, my upcoming departure, and a friend in the hospital, I will be skipping Monday night games this week. See you!

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