A Slow Learner

I’ve had confirmation over this past weekend that I am relatively weak at learning new 18xx train games.  Chester had a train game party on Friday and Saturday.  I played 4 games, all of which I had never played before.  My performance in most of these games was a bit weak…

1844: Austria – This is a large game that took about 7 hours to play, including instructions.  There are a lot of special rules around tunnels and mountain mines, special decaying of the trains, and other features.

1889: Japan – This was a much shorter game.  It did not have many special rules, basically being 1830 on a different map.

1880: China – Another large game, taking about 8 hours, including teaching.  This game has so many different features from normal 1830 style games that we had to be careful to do things right.

18EU (Europe) – A medium length (4-5 hour) game which features a special early game auction of 15 minor companies.  The result of this initial auction has a huge effect on the shape of the game.

Of these 4 games, the only game I felt competitive in was the 1889 game.  And of course that one was the one at least variance to the games I am familiar with.  My lesson from this weekend is that I would prefer to start replaying some of the newer games I’ve tried.  I believe I can be competitive in 18xx games.  I have won an occassional game.  But usually I need some time on a game to grok how to play efficiently.  I believe my usual opponents are swifter learners, more apt at winning initial games on a new title.

Here is a roster of 18xx games I have played since 2001:

1824 – Once

1825 – Five times in various configurations of Units.

1829 – Played once as an 1830 variant.  I’ve never played with the Survey Parties.

1829 Mainline – Three plays with others, and several solitaire sessions.

1830 – Ten plays

1844 – Once

1846 – Five plays, all since 2009 on.

1848 – Once

1853 – Once

1856 – Once

1860 – Once

1861 – Once

1880 – Once

1889 – Once

18AL – Once

18EU – Once

18EZ – Once

18GA – Once

18NEB – Twice

2038 – Once (since 2001.  I used to play this somewhat frequently back in the 90’s.)

I am generally willing to play the game being requested.  But I will begin asking if we can revisit some of the titles above.  I think I will be a better opponent, if I can just apply some of the lessons learned on early sessions.


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