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Re: [18xx] 18US Playtest Report

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  • Maisnestce@aol.com
    ... There are quite a few 18xx games out there which include the whole of the western US. Most of them include the east as well. Some don t work well or at
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 1, 2005
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      Michael Tsuk wrote:

      > I wish here to retract my statement, made
      > after a play of 1869 The Golden Spike, that I thought the
      > transcontinental railroad ungameable in the 18xx system.

      There are quite a few 18xx games out there which include the whole of the
      western US. Most of them include the east as well. Some don't work well or at
      all. Alan Moon produced 1869 many years ago. I've never played it, and most
      of those I've spoken to who have played it weren't impressed. On the other
      hand, some liked it, so mileage clearly varies. Bill Dixon also made 1869,
      describing the result as playable but dull. 1869: The Golden Spike (Barnhorst and
      Marquardt) has some interesting ideas in it, but it's thoroughly broken.
      Federico Vellani made 1827, a huge game which didn't work, and 1827Jr, which
      almost did.

      More recently, Helmut Ohley produced 1862, which ignores most of history and
      is either playable but dull or playable and moderately interesting, depending
      on who you ask. (I'm more in the latter camp.) There's little attempt made
      to follow history, a feature which has obvious merits and problems.

      Chris Lawson and I have been working on 1848 for what seems like an eternity.
      It's a big game, covering the western US only. In my opinion it works well.
      At conventions people demand to play it, so clearly I'm not alone.

      18C2C covers the whole of the US. Like 1862, it's playable but dull or
      playable and moderately interesting, according to taste. It's certainly very
      large. There's no significant attempt to recreate history, though.

      Steve Thomas maisnestce@a...


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Phil Willows
      ... Damn! Colin Barnhorst developed a fantastic version of Golden Spike while he lived in the Philadelphia area many (25+?) years ago. I contributed to maybe
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 2, 2005
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        --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com, Maisnestce@a... wrote:
        > Michael Tsuk wrote:
        >
        > 1869: The Golden Spike (Barnhorst and Marquardt) has some
        > interesting ideas in it, but it's thoroughly broken.

        Damn! Colin Barnhorst developed a fantastic version of Golden Spike
        while he lived in the Philadelphia area many (25+?) years ago. I
        contributed to maybe 5% of the development, but Colin was the real
        brains behind the design. We were really proud of the effort we put
        into the graphics.

        Colin and I presented the game to our 18xx group, that met pretty
        regularly, and the response was extremely positive. So, what went
        wrong?

        Maybe if Colin reads this he will contact me and let me have a look
        at it with fresh eyes.

        -Phil
      • David G.D. Hecht
        ... From: Phil Willows To: Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 9:48 AM Subject: [18xx] Re: 18US Playtest Report
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 2, 2005
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Phil Willows" <phil_willows@...>
          To: <18xx@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 9:48 AM
          Subject: [18xx] Re: 18US Playtest Report


          > --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com, Maisnestce@a... wrote:
          >> Michael Tsuk wrote:
          >>
          >> 1869: The Golden Spike (Barnhorst and Marquardt) has some
          >> interesting ideas in it, but it's thoroughly broken.
          >
          > Damn! Colin Barnhorst developed a fantastic version of Golden Spike
          > while he lived in the Philadelphia area many (25+?) years ago. I
          > contributed to maybe 5% of the development, but Colin was the real
          > brains behind the design. We were really proud of the effort we put
          > into the graphics.
          >
          > Colin and I presented the game to our 18xx group, that met pretty
          > regularly, and the response was extremely positive. So, what went
          > wrong?
          >
          > Maybe if Colin reads this he will contact me and let me have a look
          > at it with fresh eyes.
          >

          Bear in mind that something that is fantastic by the standards of 25 years
          ago may seem less so with the passage of time and the inexorable advances in
          the state of the art.

          I think it's safe to say that--had 1869TGS appeared in, say, 1990--it might
          have gotten a better reception.

          Though it *is*--alas!--very unbalanced: in the version as published, if you
          don't buy into the UP/CP as soon as they form, you're giving away the game.
          While this may be historically accurate, it does detract from the strategic
          possibilities.
        • Phil Willows
          ... Spike ... real ... put ... went ... look ... 25 years ... advances in ... it might ... published, if you ... the game. ... strategic ... In the late 1970 s
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 2, 2005
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            --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com, "David G.D. Hecht" <Barzai@e...> wrote:
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "Phil Willows" <phil_willows@y...>
            > To: <18xx@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 9:48 AM
            > Subject: [18xx] Re: 18US Playtest Report
            >
            >
            > > --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com, Maisnestce@a... wrote:
            > >> Michael Tsuk wrote:
            > >>
            > >> 1869: The Golden Spike (Barnhorst and Marquardt) has some
            > >> interesting ideas in it, but it's thoroughly broken.
            > >
            > > Damn! Colin Barnhorst developed a fantastic version of Golden
            Spike
            > > while he lived in the Philadelphia area many (25+?) years ago. I
            > > contributed to maybe 5% of the development, but Colin was the
            real
            > > brains behind the design. We were really proud of the effort we
            put
            > > into the graphics.
            > >
            > > Colin and I presented the game to our 18xx group, that met pretty
            > > regularly, and the response was extremely positive. So, what
            went
            > > wrong?
            > >
            > > Maybe if Colin reads this he will contact me and let me have a
            look
            > > at it with fresh eyes.
            > >
            >
            > Bear in mind that something that is fantastic by the standards of
            25 years
            > ago may seem less so with the passage of time and the inexorable
            advances in
            > the state of the art.
            >
            > I think it's safe to say that--had 1869TGS appeared in, say, 1990--
            it might
            > have gotten a better reception.
            >
            > Though it *is*--alas!--very unbalanced: in the version as
            published, if you
            > don't buy into the UP/CP as soon as they form, you're giving away
            the game.
            > While this may be historically accurate, it does detract from the
            strategic
            > possibilities.

            In the late 1970's the only standard was the original game by
            Frances Tresham. We had designed and playtested versions that
            highlighted the north eastern U.S. and the south eastern U.S.

            We then turned our attention toward Golden Spike and the U.S.A. as a
            nation. Colin did all the research and the general design of the
            Golden Spike game while I worked on the mechanics of a game that
            would cover 4 cafeteria tables.

            What I really remember is all the work that went into the graphics.
            What saved us some time was a form that I created from a sheet of
            acetate to create all the hexes. We got most of the materials from
            a store in Moorestown, NJ, that sold the overlays that became the
            oceans, the Exacto knives for cutting the coastlines, the pens the
            gave us "blacker-than-black" lines, the small white dots for the
            city values, and the large white dots for the pre-existing large
            cities. After we came up with a gameboard that satisfied us, Colin
            took the maps to work and laminiated them.

            The U.S.A. map came from a map of the United States in a book that
            listed all the railroads in the 48 states in 1927. Private lines,
            such as the Camden & Amboy, were left in the game to maintain its
            presence as a PITA rail line that prevented a direct line between
            Philadelphia and NYC. The hexes were created by using a sheet
            already drawn with small hexes. Then using a Xerox machine, we
            transferred the image to a sheet of acetate. We then used it as an
            overlay on the map using blue alignment marks that would not show up
            in the output page. The final step was blowing up the images using
            a photo offset machine. Imagine the looks on everyone's faces when
            they arrived to play this monster. We had 48 railroads, 20 private
            railroads, 6 packet lines. Toronto, Montreal and Mexico City were
            off-board terminals.

            Sadly, we played until sun up and we hadn't even started the Western
            Expansion phase. Everything was recorded and put away, never to be
            seen again.

            Getting back to Golden Spike, the only thing that seemed bizarre was
            the sale of stock in the Credit Mobilier. This resulted in railroad
            lines, controlled by the CM's big share holders, being run over
            every river in site and through every mountain that still exisited
            even if it made no finanacial sense what so ever. I have not seen
            Golden Spike since Colin left Philadelphia. So, whatever it was
            that busted the game, was done after Colin left.

            -Phil
          • Maisnestce@aol.com
            ... When 1869: The Golden Spike was released, the map extended from the Mississippi to the west coast. It had about 10 major corporations in it and, while
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 3, 2005
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              Phil Willows wrote:

              > So, whatever it was
              > that busted the game, was done after Colin left.

              When 1869: The Golden Spike was released, the map extended from the
              Mississippi to the west coast. It had about 10 major corporations in it and, while
              big, it wasn't a monster. It would appear that there's little in common between
              the released version and the one you remember.

              Steve Thomas maisnestce@a...


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