A second play of 18NEB

Chester and Alex came over today for a game of 18NEB, an 18xx game set in Nebraska.  As I have written before, 18xx games currently command the top spot in my gaming preferences these days.  But these games tend to be long, too long for a typical weeknight game session.  So I look forward to these occasional weekend sessions.

Chester and I had played 18NEB earlier this year with a visitor from out-of-state.  While I had won that game, I did not kid myself.  I had no strong recollection of being especially creative in that victory.  Indeed, Chester told me today he felt he had screwed the other player late in the game, which handed me that victory.

One nice feature of 18NEB is that is a compact 18xx game.  Generally speaking I seem to have some of the bigger and longer titles in the series.  We had holiday celebrations to conduct later in the day, so a shorter game of 18NEB fit our needs nicely.

Another feature of 18NEB is the brutal use of tokens.  I was the first to do this, but certainly not the last.  In this game small villages upgrade into single slot green cities.  I was operating the Misouri Pacific, which was stuffed away in a corner of the board.  To break out, I jumped on a small town stop of the Union Pacific’s route, upgrading it to green, and placing a token to ensure I had some additional liberties.  But this also meant I bisected the UP’s route, which I am sure did not please Alex.

The game has room for stock shenanigans, although we saw little of that.  The incremental capitalization of the railroads means everyone can easily launch a company.  I chose to launch 2 right from the start.  (I’m not sure that was the best decision, though.)  Despite the 2D stock market, I still found myself feeling this was much more of a route-planning game.  I like that aspect of the game.  With the more 1825-like tile upgrades for small towns, I feel there is a lot of room for creativity in the board-play.

I look forward to playing this nice title again!

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