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Re: [18xx] 18XX counter-cultures

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  • Rick Westerman
    It will be interesting to see what people think about 1865 - Sardinia once it is published and thus more available. I played it at ChatCon and found the new
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 1, 2011
      It will be interesting to see what people think about 1865 - Sardinia once it is published and thus more available. I played it at ChatCon and found the new mechanisms to be fascinating. But I can see that some people might not like it.

      -- Rick
    • David Hecht
      All perfectly reasonable and sensible. But you ll notice that your taxonomy is almost entirely based on how the game plays *as a game*. As we ve discussed
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 1, 2011
        All perfectly reasonable and sensible.

        But you'll notice that your taxonomy is almost entirely based on how the
        game plays *as a game*. As we've discussed before, that's not the only
        basis on which to judge a game: my own criteria are quite different.

        If I were to put games into buckets, they'd look something like this:

        1. This game has some aspect that is like nails on a blackboard to me.
        Avoid at all costs. Examples: 1860 and 1817.

        2. This game is worthy but dull: either inherently or through the usage
        of repeated play. Avoid if possible, but play if needs must. Examples:
        1856 and 1870 (sadly, I also largely feel this way about 1826 and 18EU).

        3. This game is interesting but flawed. Willing to play, but only as the
        first game of the day. Example: 18US.

        4. This game is interesting and not flawed, but it lasts too darn long.
        Happy to play, but only with a bunch of players who are willing and able
        to execute crisply and by the numbers. Examples: 1844 and 18West (1880
        may also fall in this category if we don't start finding ways to play it
        in less than six hours).

        5. This game is interesting and I understand it well. Very happy to
        play. Example: 1824.

        6. This game is a developmental title and I expect to both learn from it
        and comment on it. Very happy to play.

        So you see, what is good from your perspective in a game may in fact be
        a major contributing factor to why I don't play it.

        On 3/1/2011 2:29 PM, Beard, Bruce D. wrote:
        > David,
        >
        > I have no stats to offer. But I suspect 41 and 60 would be games that people would rank either highly or lowly in a list of 100 18XX titles. I do not think many people would rank them 25th or 72nd. I think 70 or EU or 61 would be all over the spectrum but more high end.
        >
        > Generalizing, there are 4 categories most games fall into:
        >
        > 1) This game is broken. I will never play it again.
        >
        > 2) this game is OK. I will play it once a year or when other people really want to.
        >
        > 3) HONEYMOON GAME. Rich and fascinating the first 5 times you play it and then it palls and fades into a #2 (1854--Austria--was like this for me)
        >
        > 4) A classic. Demanding both strategically and tactically with multiple paths to victory. When I go to a Con, I hope to play certain titles once each (70, 61, 26, etc)
        >
        > I think 60 and 41 are unique in that some people consider them broken and other people consider them classics.
        >
        > 41: I have played 41 6-10 times and I still cannot decide whether I like it or not. I do know that some outstanding players (Ian Booth, Spencer Hamblen, Jeremy Vipperman, Mike M from Denver) like it a lot.
        >
        > 60: I have now played 60 4 times. The first two times I did not enjoy it much. The last two times I enjoyed it a great deal. Over the last month I have been playing 6 games PBEM and I find I think about the 60 game more than the other 6 put together. It will take 5 or 10 more plays before I decide whether it is a number 3 or a number 4.
        >
        > 1880: I like it. But I am in the honeymoon stage--so I cannot tell if it will be a #3 or a #4 either.
        >
        > 1817 is a sort of counter-culture game. Tim says they hardly play anything else in KC. But lots of people cannot stand it.
        >
        > I do not assert that counter-culture games are superior to mainstream classics. And if your argument is that more really top players like 1841 than 1860 then I would tentatively agree with you.
        >
        > Anyway, after 5 years or ambivalence and apathy, I am currently fascinated by 1860. I do not know how long this will last.
        >
        > -Bruce
        > ________________________________
        > From: 18xx@yahoogroups.com [18xx@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Hecht [Barzai@...]
        > Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 1:08 PM
        > To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [18xx] 18XX counter-cultures
        >
        >
        >
        > Hey, look...every designer is entitled to a game like that--one which
        > incorporates everything he ever wanted to put into a game and a bag of
        > chips. Mine is 18US: but I learned a very great deal from designing it,
        > and--having neither the heart nor the patience to tear it all down and
        > start again--I used those lessons learned to design 18West, which--IMHO
        > at least--is a much cleaner design, and one that is certainly played
        > more often.
        >
        > And while I agree with your point, I suspect that the "high status" of
        > these rather difficult games is largely due to the cachet of getting
        > through them. I mean, is it really true that only "serious 18xx players"
        > like 1860? It's certainly an argument: personally, I rarely see it being
        > played, and I hang around an awfully large sample of "serious 18xx
        > players", ranging from Bruce, to the erstwhile Holy Trinity (Anthony,
        > Dave, and Eddie), to the Kentish Mob and other "serious 18xx players" in
        > the UK such as Steve (Steve, feel free to weigh in on the relative
        > frequency with which you play 1860: I know you keep track).
        >
        > I think there is also an element of what is it you are trying to achieve
        > at the table. For me, 18xx is either a busman's holiday (when I am
        > playtesting one of my designs) or a social activity: it's never about
        > winning or competing. Others, well, YMMV. So if playing the game is
        > always going to be a headache because I am constantly being jerked
        > around by small complicated rules, well, guess what? That game ain't
        > gonna be on my "willing to play" list.
        >
        > The 18xx game system is a broad church. But it does have limits, however
        > latitudinarian they may be. And as you approach those limits, you put
        > more stress on the system and the players' expectations. After someone
        > (like me) has been playing these games for nigh on 35 years, you expect
        > certain things to go a certain way: and when they don't, it's a
        > confusion and a puzzlement. If the game doesn't structurally help you
        > remember these differences, it's bound and destined to be a hassle (for
        > me) to play.
        >
        > I also admit to a certain amount of professional deformation as a
        > designer. Whenever I encounter a new rule in a game, my first thought
        > is, I wonder what design problem or perhaps unique historical or
        > geographical circumstance the designer thought this would address? And
        > if the answer isn't obvious after a few plays--and if the rule is an
        > obstacle to my thought process--then I'm inclined to ask myself, was
        > there a better way to achieve the same result?
        >
        > So, Justin, while I agree with both you and Bruce, I suspect I am not
        > approaching the problem from your perspective.
        >
        > On 3/1/2011 11:15 AM, Justin Rebelo wrote:
        >> The drastic differences that make it so hard to get into an 1860 (or
        >> perhaps a '41, haven't played it) are probably necessary to create the
        >> very high status the game appears to have achieved with serious 18xx
        >> players. I think if Mike had reeled in much of the big changes in that
        >> game and made it 'more like the rest' for easier entry it would have
        >> made the game exactly that: more like the rest.
        >>
        >> The more 18XX games I play (nigh on 70 plays now), the more interest I
        >> have in the 1860s and 18USes and the less interest I have in more
        >> games that are "basically like X but with a different Y".
        >>
        >> On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 7:49 AM, Beard, Bruce D.
        >> <bruce_d_beard@...<mailto:bruce_d_beard%40mcpsmd.org>> wrote:
        >>> David,
        >>>
        >>> I think that is a good general rule but I think some games rise above it if players percieve real value buried beneath the confusion.
        >>>
        >>> 1841:
        >>>
        >>> Sometimes I think 41 is less of a train game than a metaphor for the unification of Italy. I also think that experience in other 18XX games does not translate to 1841. Only experience in 1841 helps when playing 1841. Yet some players struggle past the long learning curve and the rules that are so different you sometimes forget them and become very good at 41. For many of these players, 1841 is their favorite game.
        >>>
        >>> 1860:
        >>>
        >>> Again, there are so many unusual rules that it is a confusing jumble when you first play But some people see real value there, are intriqued, and persevere until they figure it out. For many of these players, 1860 is their favorite game.
        >>> I think when you create a truly unconventional game you guarantee that many people will only play it once and then give up. But if it is really good, it creates a sort of 18XX counter-culture.
        >>>
        >>> -Bruce
        >>> ________________________________
        >>> From: 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com> [18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of David Hecht [Barzai@...<mailto:Barzai%40earthlink.net>]
        >>> Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 10:21 AM
        >>> To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>
        >>> Subject: Re: [18xx] Re: SoRCon 2011
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> You need to decide what's important and what can be jettisoned.
        >>>
        >>> Experience as both a player and a designer shows that once you change
        >>> more than about three major things that people are used to, the game
        >>> becomes overwhelming.
        >>>
        >>> Your 1860 and my 18US both fall into this category.
        >>>
        >>> Conversely, 1880 makes several major changes, but they keep enough of
        >>> the familiar to keep the game from overwhelming you.
        >>>
        >>> On 3/1/2011 9:00 AM, huttm wrote:
        >>>> Phil did a better job of handling the game than I did.
        >>>>
        >>>> Overall the game mostly does what I want it to, but takes too long. 10 companies + 8 minors is probably too much, so I'm looking to a streamlined version with 6 + 6.
        >>>>
        >>>> A few late rule changes probably didn't help things. Allowing more than one branch line early on slowed things down, and I may get the minors to run together before/after the majors instead of each being run before its owning major. That's more to minimise downtime rather than anything else.
        >>>>
        >>>> Other changes are in the pipeline - if I keep the operating order rules (descending order of revenue) then the two-level linear stockmarket probably needs to go, to be replaced by a simple linear one. The capitalisation may need to be a little more lenient, and operating minors may need to be simplified.
        >>>>
        >>>> All in all, not to bad considering. I've got a few more pics, but they need prettying up before posting anywhere.
        >>>>
        >>>> Mike.
        >>>>
        >>>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "Phil Davies"<destrin@...> wrote:
        >>>>> Ian,
        >>>>>
        >>>>> There is a photo here of us midgame: http://destrin.posterous.com/playtesting-18kent
        >>>>>
        >>>>> Components are still playtest form so not much to look at but perfectly functional for the game we were playing.
        >>>>>
        >>>>> I don't want to steal Mike's thunder by detailing too much about the mechanics but I did enjoy the game we played. This is far from your average 18xx with all of the rules changes. Once I'd got to grips with it I found it wasn't too difficult to get a handle on what was going on (although I did come 3rd out of 4 players so I clearly didn't grasp it sufficiently!).
        >>>>>
        >>>>> It's currently weighing in at a rather hefty 8 or so hours for 4 players who hadn't played before. I'm sure this will come down with experience and a little streamlining of the rules. Would happily play again.
        >>>>>
        >>>>> Phil
        >>>>>
        >>>>>
        >>>>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "Ian Scrivins"<iansc@> wrote:
        >>>>>> So how did 18Kent go? Did you test it? I'd love to see a photo of the components.
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>> Ian
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "huttm"<huttm@> wrote:
        >>>>>>> I intend to be there on the Saturday, although I probably don't count as sharkkind. I will have 18EA, 1825, 1860, and 18Kent+ with me.
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> In terms of sharks, I'd have to check on the day. Certainly if the Kentish mob (+ honoraries) are there I'm quite happy to point you in their direction. I have no idea who else is likely to be there apart from the Mundays, and while they're good, they're not quite as extreme as the mob. I don't even know if they have playing 18xx in mind.
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> If you're travelling up by car on the day, would you be interested in carsharing? I'm presuming you're in the Romfordish area or en route from their to Colchester.
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> Mike.
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>
        >>>> ------------------------------------
        >>>>
        >>>> This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> ------------------------------------
        >>>
        >>> This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >> ------------------------------------
        >>
        >> This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ian D Wilson
        ... In what ways do you think 18US is flawed ?   [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 2, 2011
          --- On Tue, 1/3/11, David Hecht <Barzai@...> wrote:
          >This game is interesting but flawed. Willing to play, but only as the
          >first game of the day. Example: 18US.

          In what ways do you think 18US is "flawed"?

           

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • breno_k
          Ohley told me by e-mail that his group manages to play 1880 faster than 1844. In my 3 matches so far, this has not been the case, though if one has hundreds of
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 2, 2011
            Ohley told me by e-mail that his group manages to play 1880 faster than 1844. In my 3 matches so far, this has not been the case, though if one has hundreds of matches of 18xx (instead of dozens, like my group) and dozens of 1880 then I imagine 1880's variations are easier to manage than 1844's.

            Here's my personal taxonomy for 18xx games.

            1) Won't play, either too short, too boring, too little variability between matches, choices feel too limited: 18AL, 18GA, 1895, 18VA
            (I no longer have interest in mini-18xx games, 1846 and 1889 are quick enough and fill that gap nicely)

            2) Will play if someone really wants to, but not among my favorites: 1861, 18EU, 1824 (think the whole minor-company earlygame genre might not be my thing. Not 100% sure, though), 1825, 1870.

            3) Will accept to play, won't get too excited about it, either the game shows uninteresting variations of rules or focuses on stuff that isn't among my favorites : 18MEX, 18NEB, 1832, 18GL

            4) Will gladly accept to play: 1846, 1830, 1889, 1856

            5) Will annoy people to accept to play: 1844, 1848, 1880, 1860

            I've played 1841, 18SX and 18Rhl once and have no idea where they fit.


            --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com, David Hecht <Barzai@...> wrote:
            >
            > All perfectly reasonable and sensible.
            >
            > But you'll notice that your taxonomy is almost entirely based on how the
            > game plays *as a game*. As we've discussed before, that's not the only
            > basis on which to judge a game: my own criteria are quite different.
            >
            > If I were to put games into buckets, they'd look something like this:
            >
            > 1. This game has some aspect that is like nails on a blackboard to me.
            > Avoid at all costs. Examples: 1860 and 1817.
            >
            > 2. This game is worthy but dull: either inherently or through the usage
            > of repeated play. Avoid if possible, but play if needs must. Examples:
            > 1856 and 1870 (sadly, I also largely feel this way about 1826 and 18EU).
            >
            > 3. This game is interesting but flawed. Willing to play, but only as the
            > first game of the day. Example: 18US.
            >
            > 4. This game is interesting and not flawed, but it lasts too darn long.
            > Happy to play, but only with a bunch of players who are willing and able
            > to execute crisply and by the numbers. Examples: 1844 and 18West (1880
            > may also fall in this category if we don't start finding ways to play it
            > in less than six hours).
            >
            > 5. This game is interesting and I understand it well. Very happy to
            > play. Example: 1824.
            >
            > 6. This game is a developmental title and I expect to both learn from it
            > and comment on it. Very happy to play.
            >
            > So you see, what is good from your perspective in a game may in fact be
            > a major contributing factor to why I don't play it.
            >
            > On 3/1/2011 2:29 PM, Beard, Bruce D. wrote:
            > > David,
            > >
            > > I have no stats to offer. But I suspect 41 and 60 would be games that people would rank either highly or lowly in a list of 100 18XX titles. I do not think many people would rank them 25th or 72nd. I think 70 or EU or 61 would be all over the spectrum but more high end.
            > >
            > > Generalizing, there are 4 categories most games fall into:
            > >
            > > 1) This game is broken. I will never play it again.
            > >
            > > 2) this game is OK. I will play it once a year or when other people really want to.
            > >
            > > 3) HONEYMOON GAME. Rich and fascinating the first 5 times you play it and then it palls and fades into a #2 (1854--Austria--was like this for me)
            > >
            > > 4) A classic. Demanding both strategically and tactically with multiple paths to victory. When I go to a Con, I hope to play certain titles once each (70, 61, 26, etc)
            > >
            > > I think 60 and 41 are unique in that some people consider them broken and other people consider them classics.
            > >
            > > 41: I have played 41 6-10 times and I still cannot decide whether I like it or not. I do know that some outstanding players (Ian Booth, Spencer Hamblen, Jeremy Vipperman, Mike M from Denver) like it a lot.
            > >
            > > 60: I have now played 60 4 times. The first two times I did not enjoy it much. The last two times I enjoyed it a great deal. Over the last month I have been playing 6 games PBEM and I find I think about the 60 game more than the other 6 put together. It will take 5 or 10 more plays before I decide whether it is a number 3 or a number 4.
            > >
            > > 1880: I like it. But I am in the honeymoon stage--so I cannot tell if it will be a #3 or a #4 either.
            > >
            > > 1817 is a sort of counter-culture game. Tim says they hardly play anything else in KC. But lots of people cannot stand it.
            > >
            > > I do not assert that counter-culture games are superior to mainstream classics. And if your argument is that more really top players like 1841 than 1860 then I would tentatively agree with you.
            > >
            > > Anyway, after 5 years or ambivalence and apathy, I am currently fascinated by 1860. I do not know how long this will last.
            > >
            > > -Bruce
            > > ________________________________
            > > From: 18xx@yahoogroups.com [18xx@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Hecht [Barzai@...]
            > > Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 1:08 PM
            > > To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: Re: [18xx] 18XX counter-cultures
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Hey, look...every designer is entitled to a game like that--one which
            > > incorporates everything he ever wanted to put into a game and a bag of
            > > chips. Mine is 18US: but I learned a very great deal from designing it,
            > > and--having neither the heart nor the patience to tear it all down and
            > > start again--I used those lessons learned to design 18West, which--IMHO
            > > at least--is a much cleaner design, and one that is certainly played
            > > more often.
            > >
            > > And while I agree with your point, I suspect that the "high status" of
            > > these rather difficult games is largely due to the cachet of getting
            > > through them. I mean, is it really true that only "serious 18xx players"
            > > like 1860? It's certainly an argument: personally, I rarely see it being
            > > played, and I hang around an awfully large sample of "serious 18xx
            > > players", ranging from Bruce, to the erstwhile Holy Trinity (Anthony,
            > > Dave, and Eddie), to the Kentish Mob and other "serious 18xx players" in
            > > the UK such as Steve (Steve, feel free to weigh in on the relative
            > > frequency with which you play 1860: I know you keep track).
            > >
            > > I think there is also an element of what is it you are trying to achieve
            > > at the table. For me, 18xx is either a busman's holiday (when I am
            > > playtesting one of my designs) or a social activity: it's never about
            > > winning or competing. Others, well, YMMV. So if playing the game is
            > > always going to be a headache because I am constantly being jerked
            > > around by small complicated rules, well, guess what? That game ain't
            > > gonna be on my "willing to play" list.
            > >
            > > The 18xx game system is a broad church. But it does have limits, however
            > > latitudinarian they may be. And as you approach those limits, you put
            > > more stress on the system and the players' expectations. After someone
            > > (like me) has been playing these games for nigh on 35 years, you expect
            > > certain things to go a certain way: and when they don't, it's a
            > > confusion and a puzzlement. If the game doesn't structurally help you
            > > remember these differences, it's bound and destined to be a hassle (for
            > > me) to play.
            > >
            > > I also admit to a certain amount of professional deformation as a
            > > designer. Whenever I encounter a new rule in a game, my first thought
            > > is, I wonder what design problem or perhaps unique historical or
            > > geographical circumstance the designer thought this would address? And
            > > if the answer isn't obvious after a few plays--and if the rule is an
            > > obstacle to my thought process--then I'm inclined to ask myself, was
            > > there a better way to achieve the same result?
            > >
            > > So, Justin, while I agree with both you and Bruce, I suspect I am not
            > > approaching the problem from your perspective.
            > >
            > > On 3/1/2011 11:15 AM, Justin Rebelo wrote:
            > >> The drastic differences that make it so hard to get into an 1860 (or
            > >> perhaps a '41, haven't played it) are probably necessary to create the
            > >> very high status the game appears to have achieved with serious 18xx
            > >> players. I think if Mike had reeled in much of the big changes in that
            > >> game and made it 'more like the rest' for easier entry it would have
            > >> made the game exactly that: more like the rest.
            > >>
            > >> The more 18XX games I play (nigh on 70 plays now), the more interest I
            > >> have in the 1860s and 18USes and the less interest I have in more
            > >> games that are "basically like X but with a different Y".
            > >>
            > >> On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 7:49 AM, Beard, Bruce D.
            > >> <bruce_d_beard@...<mailto:bruce_d_beard%40mcpsmd.org>> wrote:
            > >>> David,
            > >>>
            > >>> I think that is a good general rule but I think some games rise above it if players percieve real value buried beneath the confusion.
            > >>>
            > >>> 1841:
            > >>>
            > >>> Sometimes I think 41 is less of a train game than a metaphor for the unification of Italy. I also think that experience in other 18XX games does not translate to 1841. Only experience in 1841 helps when playing 1841. Yet some players struggle past the long learning curve and the rules that are so different you sometimes forget them and become very good at 41. For many of these players, 1841 is their favorite game.
            > >>>
            > >>> 1860:
            > >>>
            > >>> Again, there are so many unusual rules that it is a confusing jumble when you first play But some people see real value there, are intriqued, and persevere until they figure it out. For many of these players, 1860 is their favorite game.
            > >>> I think when you create a truly unconventional game you guarantee that many people will only play it once and then give up. But if it is really good, it creates a sort of 18XX counter-culture.
            > >>>
            > >>> -Bruce
            > >>> ________________________________
            > >>> From: 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com> [18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of David Hecht [Barzai@...<mailto:Barzai%40earthlink.net>]
            > >>> Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 10:21 AM
            > >>> To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>
            > >>> Subject: Re: [18xx] Re: SoRCon 2011
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>> You need to decide what's important and what can be jettisoned.
            > >>>
            > >>> Experience as both a player and a designer shows that once you change
            > >>> more than about three major things that people are used to, the game
            > >>> becomes overwhelming.
            > >>>
            > >>> Your 1860 and my 18US both fall into this category.
            > >>>
            > >>> Conversely, 1880 makes several major changes, but they keep enough of
            > >>> the familiar to keep the game from overwhelming you.
            > >>>
            > >>> On 3/1/2011 9:00 AM, huttm wrote:
            > >>>> Phil did a better job of handling the game than I did.
            > >>>>
            > >>>> Overall the game mostly does what I want it to, but takes too long. 10 companies + 8 minors is probably too much, so I'm looking to a streamlined version with 6 + 6.
            > >>>>
            > >>>> A few late rule changes probably didn't help things. Allowing more than one branch line early on slowed things down, and I may get the minors to run together before/after the majors instead of each being run before its owning major. That's more to minimise downtime rather than anything else.
            > >>>>
            > >>>> Other changes are in the pipeline - if I keep the operating order rules (descending order of revenue) then the two-level linear stockmarket probably needs to go, to be replaced by a simple linear one. The capitalisation may need to be a little more lenient, and operating minors may need to be simplified.
            > >>>>
            > >>>> All in all, not to bad considering. I've got a few more pics, but they need prettying up before posting anywhere.
            > >>>>
            > >>>> Mike.
            > >>>>
            > >>>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "Phil Davies"<destrin@> wrote:
            > >>>>> Ian,
            > >>>>>
            > >>>>> There is a photo here of us midgame: http://destrin.posterous.com/playtesting-18kent
            > >>>>>
            > >>>>> Components are still playtest form so not much to look at but perfectly functional for the game we were playing.
            > >>>>>
            > >>>>> I don't want to steal Mike's thunder by detailing too much about the mechanics but I did enjoy the game we played. This is far from your average 18xx with all of the rules changes. Once I'd got to grips with it I found it wasn't too difficult to get a handle on what was going on (although I did come 3rd out of 4 players so I clearly didn't grasp it sufficiently!).
            > >>>>>
            > >>>>> It's currently weighing in at a rather hefty 8 or so hours for 4 players who hadn't played before. I'm sure this will come down with experience and a little streamlining of the rules. Would happily play again.
            > >>>>>
            > >>>>> Phil
            > >>>>>
            > >>>>>
            > >>>>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "Ian Scrivins"<iansc@> wrote:
            > >>>>>> So how did 18Kent go? Did you test it? I'd love to see a photo of the components.
            > >>>>>>
            > >>>>>> Ian
            > >>>>>>
            > >>>>>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "huttm"<huttm@> wrote:
            > >>>>>>> I intend to be there on the Saturday, although I probably don't count as sharkkind. I will have 18EA, 1825, 1860, and 18Kent+ with me.
            > >>>>>>>
            > >>>>>>> In terms of sharks, I'd have to check on the day. Certainly if the Kentish mob (+ honoraries) are there I'm quite happy to point you in their direction. I have no idea who else is likely to be there apart from the Mundays, and while they're good, they're not quite as extreme as the mob. I don't even know if they have playing 18xx in mind.
            > >>>>>>>
            > >>>>>>> If you're travelling up by car on the day, would you be interested in carsharing? I'm presuming you're in the Romfordish area or en route from their to Colchester.
            > >>>>>>>
            > >>>>>>> Mike.
            > >>>>>>>
            > >>>>
            > >>>> ------------------------------------
            > >>>>
            > >>>> This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >>>>
            > >>>>
            > >>>>
            > >>>>
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>> ------------------------------------
            > >>>
            > >>> This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >>>
            > >> ------------------------------------
            > >>
            > >> This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------
            > >
            > > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • J C Lawrence
            If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse -- Henry Ford If we just want more games that are mostly familiar variations
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 2, 2011
              "If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a
              better horse" -- Henry Ford

              If we just want more games that are mostly familiar variations on the
              games we already have and play, then I suggest that we continue
              polishing our horse brasses, err, train fenders, and shoveling the shit.
              If we want to stretch and grow (and suffer the failures and torn
              ligaments as well as the successes) and take the chance of exercising
              the principle of creative destruction[1] that 18xx games are built upon,
              then pushing the boundaries of comfort and expectation and exploring the
              ludicrous seems in order.

              -- JCL

              [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_destruction

              On 03/01/2011 07:49 AM, Beard, Bruce D. wrote:
              > David,
              >
              > I think that is a good general rule but I think some games rise above it if players percieve real value buried beneath the confusion.
              >
              > 1841:
              >
              > Sometimes I think 41 is less of a train game than a metaphor for the unification of Italy. I also think that experience in other 18XX games does not translate to 1841. Only experience in 1841 helps when playing 1841. Yet some players struggle past the long learning curve and the rules that are so different you sometimes forget them and become very good at 41. For many of these players, 1841 is their favorite game.
              >
              > 1860:
              >
              > Again, there are so many unusual rules that it is a confusing jumble when you first play But some people see real value there, are intriqued, and persevere until they figure it out. For many of these players, 1860 is their favorite game.
              > I think when you create a truly unconventional game you guarantee that many people will only play it once and then give up. But if it is really good, it creates a sort of 18XX counter-culture.
              >
              > -Bruce
              > ________________________________
              > From: 18xx@yahoogroups.com [18xx@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Hecht [Barzai@...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 10:21 AM
              > To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [18xx] Re: SoRCon 2011
              >
              >
              >
              > You need to decide what's important and what can be jettisoned.
              >
              > Experience as both a player and a designer shows that once you change
              > more than about three major things that people are used to, the game
              > becomes overwhelming.
              >
              > Your 1860 and my 18US both fall into this category.
              >
              > Conversely, 1880 makes several major changes, but they keep enough of
              > the familiar to keep the game from overwhelming you.
              >
              > On 3/1/2011 9:00 AM, huttm wrote:
              >> Phil did a better job of handling the game than I did.
              >>
              >> Overall the game mostly does what I want it to, but takes too long. 10 companies + 8 minors is probably too much, so I'm looking to a streamlined version with 6 + 6.
              >>
              >> A few late rule changes probably didn't help things. Allowing more than one branch line early on slowed things down, and I may get the minors to run together before/after the majors instead of each being run before its owning major. That's more to minimise downtime rather than anything else.
              >>
              >> Other changes are in the pipeline - if I keep the operating order rules (descending order of revenue) then the two-level linear stockmarket probably needs to go, to be replaced by a simple linear one. The capitalisation may need to be a little more lenient, and operating minors may need to be simplified.
              >>
              >> All in all, not to bad considering. I've got a few more pics, but they need prettying up before posting anywhere.
              >>
              >> Mike.
              >>
              >> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "Phil Davies"<destrin@...> wrote:
              >>> Ian,
              >>>
              >>> There is a photo here of us midgame: http://destrin.posterous.com/playtesting-18kent
              >>>
              >>> Components are still playtest form so not much to look at but perfectly functional for the game we were playing.
              >>>
              >>> I don't want to steal Mike's thunder by detailing too much about the mechanics but I did enjoy the game we played. This is far from your average 18xx with all of the rules changes. Once I'd got to grips with it I found it wasn't too difficult to get a handle on what was going on (although I did come 3rd out of 4 players so I clearly didn't grasp it sufficiently!).
              >>>
              >>> It's currently weighing in at a rather hefty 8 or so hours for 4 players who hadn't played before. I'm sure this will come down with experience and a little streamlining of the rules. Would happily play again.
              >>>
              >>> Phil
              >>>
              >>>
              >>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "Ian Scrivins"<iansc@> wrote:
              >>>>
              >>>> So how did 18Kent go? Did you test it? I'd love to see a photo of the components.
              >>>>
              >>>> Ian
              >>>>
              >>>> --- In 18xx@yahoogroups.com<mailto:18xx%40yahoogroups.com>, "huttm"<huttm@> wrote:
              >>>>> I intend to be there on the Saturday, although I probably don't count as sharkkind. I will have 18EA, 1825, 1860, and 18Kent+ with me.
              >>>>>
              >>>>> In terms of sharks, I'd have to check on the day. Certainly if the Kentish mob (+ honoraries) are there I'm quite happy to point you in their direction. I have no idea who else is likely to be there apart from the Mundays, and while they're good, they're not quite as extreme as the mob. I don't even know if they have playing 18xx in mind.
              >>>>>
              >>>>> If you're travelling up by car on the day, would you be interested in carsharing? I'm presuming you're in the Romfordish area or en route from their to Colchester.
              >>>>>
              >>>>> Mike.
              >>>>>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >> ------------------------------------
              >>
              >> This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
            • J C Lawrence
              ... Ahh, the train gamer s litany: Well, that was dumb!/I shouldn t have done that!/Oh crap! Retrospective is such poor sorrow. -- JCL
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 2, 2011
                On 03/01/2011 08:58 AM, Steve Thomas wrote:

                > Hence, you can get on to the interesting part of any game, which is
                > the struggle to identify ahead of time the difference between a good move
                > and a bad one.

                Ahh, the train gamer's litany: "Well, that was dumb!/I shouldn't have
                done that!/Oh crap!" Retrospective is such poor sorrow.

                -- JCL
              • David Hecht
                Too many unique rules. Basically, just as you re getting used to the rules, there s a phase change and now it s all different. The game has the feel of a
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 2, 2011
                  Too many unique rules. Basically, just as you're getting used to the
                  rules, there's a phase change and now it's all different.

                  The game has the feel of a German car: it's overengineered. As I wrote
                  in the original post from which you are quoting, consider 18US in
                  comparison to 18West, which is basically 18US, lessons-learned version

                  On 3/2/2011 3:25 PM, Ian D Wilson wrote:
                  > --- On Tue, 1/3/11, David Hecht<Barzai@...> wrote:
                  >> This game is interesting but flawed. Willing to play, but only as the
                  >> first game of the day. Example: 18US.
                  > In what ways do you think 18US is "flawed"?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Beard, Bruce D.
                  I think I have played US 3 or 4 times without David and once with him. We always got some of the rules wrong without David at the table. -Bruce
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 2, 2011
                    I think I have played US 3 or 4 times without David and once with him. We always got some of the rules wrong without David at the table.

                    -Bruce
                    ________________________________
                    From: 18xx@yahoogroups.com [18xx@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Hecht [Barzai@...]
                    Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 7:06 PM
                    To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [18xx] Re: 18US (was 18XX counter-cultures)



                    Too many unique rules. Basically, just as you're getting used to the
                    rules, there's a phase change and now it's all different.

                    The game has the feel of a German car: it's overengineered. As I wrote
                    in the original post from which you are quoting, consider 18US in
                    comparison to 18West, which is basically 18US, lessons-learned version

                    On 3/2/2011 3:25 PM, Ian D Wilson wrote:
                    > --- On Tue, 1/3/11, David Hecht<Barzai@...<mailto:Barzai%40earthlink.net>> wrote:
                    >> This game is interesting but flawed. Willing to play, but only as the
                    >> first game of the day. Example: 18US.
                    > In what ways do you think 18US is "flawed"?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Daniel Victor
                    ________________________________ From: Beard, Bruce D. To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, 3 March
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 3, 2011
                      ________________________________
                      From: "Beard, Bruce D." <bruce_d_beard@...>
                      To: "18xx@yahoogroups.com" <18xx@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, 3 March 2011, 0:07
                      Subject: RE: [18xx] Re: 18US (was 18XX counter-cultures)

                      I think I have played US 3 or 4 times without David and once with him. We always got some of the rules wrong without David at the table.

                      -Bruce
                      Same here.The amusing part was then playing with David and having him point out where we had gone wrong !
                      ________________________________
                      From: 18xx@yahoogroups.com [18xx@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Hecht [Barzai@...]
                      Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 7:06 PM
                      To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [18xx] Re: 18US (was 18XX counter-cultures)



                      Too many unique rules. Basically, just as you're getting used to the
                      rules, there's a phase change and now it's all different.

                      The game has the feel of a German car: it's overengineered. As I wrote
                      in the original post from which you are quoting, consider 18US in
                      comparison to 18West, which is basically 18US, lessons-learned version

                      I always thought that 1837 had too many unique rules.But then Mike Hutton really pushed the boat out with 18EA.Compared to those two,I find 18US easy-peasy.
                      Danny Victor

                      On 3/2/2011 3:25 PM, Ian D Wilson wrote:
                      > --- On Tue, 1/3/11, David Hecht<Barzai@...<mailto:Barzai%40earthlink.net>> wrote:
                      >> This game is interesting but flawed. Willing to play, but only as the
                      >> first game of the day. Example: 18US.
                      > In what ways do you think 18US is "flawed"?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      >
                      > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >




                      ------------------------------------

                      This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Ian D Wilson
                      I like 18US. Maybe it does have too many unique rules - it s a devil trying to remember them all - but I still like it. It is a bit on the long side, but at
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 4, 2011
                        I like 18US. Maybe it does have too many unique rules - it's a devil trying to remember them all - but I still like it. It is a bit on the long side, but at conventions I can normally find a few other players to give it a go. If I ever get to 50 plays, I'll let you know if I still like it!
                         
                        I'm an engineer. I drive a German car. "Over-engineer" is not something in my vocabulary.
                         
                        Ian D
                         
                        --- On Thu, 3/3/11, David Hecht <Barzai@...> wrote:
                         

                        From: David Hecht <Barzai@...>
                        Subject: Re: [18xx] Re: 18US (was 18XX counter-cultures)
                        To: 18xx@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Thursday, 3 March, 2011, 0:06


                         



                        Too many unique rules. Basically, just as you're getting used to the
                        rules, there's a phase change and now it's all different.

                        The game has the feel of a German car: it's overengineered. As I wrote
                        in the original post from which you are quoting, consider 18US in
                        comparison to 18West, which is basically 18US, lessons-learned version

                        On 3/2/2011 3:25 PM, Ian D Wilson wrote:
                        > --- On Tue, 1/3/11, David Hecht<Barzai@...> wrote:
                        >> This game is interesting but flawed. Willing to play, but only as the
                        >> first game of the day. Example: 18US.
                        > In what ways do you think 18US is "flawed"?
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > This is a message from the 18xx mailing list.Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >







                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • John A. Tamplin
                        On Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM, Ian D Wilson ... I think what he is referring to is that it is less elegant to get the behavior you are wanting by having a
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 4, 2011
                          On Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 10:01 AM, Ian D Wilson
                          <ianwilson156@...>wrote:

                          > I'm an engineer. I drive a German car. "Over-engineer" is not something in
                          > my vocabulary.
                          >

                          I think what he is referring to is that it is less elegant to get the
                          behavior you are wanting by having a rule say specifically that is what
                          should happen, rather than having fewer rules and it happens via more
                          general rules or natural consequence of player actions.

                          --
                          John A. Tamplin


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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