3rd place again… but with a bullet!

Four of us gathered to play a variant on the new 1830 game yesterday.  (We played Scenario 1, in case any of you want to look it up.)  1830 is a great game, one of my personal “10’s”.  It was published about 25 years ago by Avalon Hill.  Since Avalon Hill closed doors over a decade ago, this game has been out of print.  And in recent years 18xx games have been getting more attention.  So Mayfair recently republished this game.  But they did more than just publish 1830 – they also expanded it with several extra tiles and an extra board, to allow some significant variations off of the original game.

I believe all four of us were experienced hands at the original 1830 – for sure three of us were.  So trying out the first variant scenario appealed to the group.  In this scenario, the expanded map is used.  In the south of the map a coalfields site is added, along with a few more cities.  In addition, all the off-board sites allow for passage through them.  (In original 1830 they can only be a terminus.)  One additional private company was added to the game, which gave access to the coalfields.  Two new public companies were also added to the game.

So while the game was going to be different, there were a lot of elements from the original game still present.  Oh sure, there were other changes, and I won’t try to list them all.  But one worth mentioning was the addition of several more trains than normal.

I managed to acquire the C&A for the minimum bid, which made me very happy.  I also got the M&H, which I was happy to milk for cash as well.  I decided to not float a company in the first Stock Round, as I saw the player to my left was planning on floating the B&O.  Since I wanted to float the PRR (I had a free share with my C&A company), I thought it would be neat to let him soak up the cheap 2’s.  Also, by investing in other players early companies, I would be able to drive their stock value down once I divested.

So I sat and watched the action until we got to the 3rd Stock Round, when I finally floated the PRR.  Even so, I was forced to buy two 2 trains, because so many were included in the scenario.  I floated the PRR at 90, and that proved to be enough for the entire game, I don’t believe I ever had to retain with them.  However, they topped out with a 5 train, which limited their income in the last portion of the game.  But their stock value was high, the second highest in the game.  Eventually I also launched the NYC, and managed to get them up to a diesel.  But it was painful having to withhold twice to allow that to come to pass.

I am not prepared to list what all the other players did.  But basically they were content to work more in the south, while I was running around the greater NY area.  Eventually the map all grew highly connected, and some HUGE diesel runs were being run by the end of the game.

Perhaps foolishly, I felt like I was doing well.  Even as the two who usually battle it out for the victory were agreeing between themselves that one of them had it won, I was thinking that I might still be in the hunt.

All of us were right.  I was close.  But I was still third.  The scores at the end of the game were:

11,800 – C

11,769 – A

11,550 – Kevin

9,135 – S

Aii, yai, yai!   So close and still the 3rd place guy!

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