1761 assembly

I’ve been working on building a prototype set lately.  Ian Wilson, author of 1861: Russian Railways, has released files to his game under design, 1761: From Canal to Rail.  I am intrigued by the idea of exploring the transportation networks that canals and stage coaches provided, and how they got disrupted once rail arrived.

In case you are interested you can search for 1761 in Google Groups, and you can find it.  He posted the files for download.  So you can build your own set if you like!

I had my usual follies in trying to print out a map.  But I eventually learned that selecting “no scaling” and “tiling” would allow me to print the entire map and to get it at the right scale for regular 18xx tiles to fit properly.  I’m planning on borrowing my tokens for 1825 or 1829 Mainline, which means I can omit producing them, also I intend to borrow all the yellow track from other 18xx games.  But even so, I have been giving my new printer a workout.  (It is still feisty, but I seem to be able to get my work out of it.)

1761 has a variety of different types of companies.  There are stagecoach lines, which will immediately close once a railway connection between the two cities listed is created.  There are canal companies, which actively lay track (representing canals) at the start of the game, and build networks – operating much like a railway company in other 18xx games.  But after enough boats are sold the “Railway Age” begins, and then the game changes.  The tiles are removed from the board, and all of the canal companies are converted into annuities.  Now the players begin a more normal 18xx game.

I’m still absorbing what this early 17xx game may mean for the following 18xx game.  It’s an interesting idea.  I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of removing the canals off the board.  It seems like a missed opportunity.  Having different tiles for the canals might have been interesting.  They then could have posed as variable obstacles for the early railways that wanted to overbuild upon them.

But, that is not what is written, and I am sufficiently interested to try it as written.  The open question is whether anyone else will  be as intrigued?


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