Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mainlining in Chiswick

I visited Iain's enviable home in Chiswick last Saturday, where we played 3-player 1829 Mainline. I played quite a bit of 1830 back when I was younger - in fact I used it as a gateway game, assembling a group of colleagues to play in the staff canteen once a week after work. They loved it! Non-gamers these days are soft, insisting on Settlers and Carcassone....

Anyway, 1829 was a bit of a surprise. It's very different to its stablemates. Francis Tresham has opened the whole thing up, introducing quite a bit of randomness with the share deal, and also opening up the board by removing restrictions on yellow tile-laying and the upgrades. And the bonus system gives the companies a way to get ready cash when they need it. The result is a free-flowing, less deterministic game, where there is less need to calculate ahead every last dollar for that critical train upgrade. I lost, but I liked it.

We had to cash up after three and a half hours in order to watch a certain rugby game, and I'm sure there was at least another hour and a half in the game. (And we were using my lovely new poker chips, which speed things up quite a bit.) So a touch long for what it is. It will never supplant 1830 or 1825 in my affections, but it's a nice change of pace, and a good introduction to the wonderful world of 18XX.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The price of knowledge

The gaming is getting very sparse now that my Masters is in full flow. (Even in the good times I manage less in a year than Brian Bankler does in a month!) Since I became a student I've played Lost Cities and Fluxx with Sue, soloed an ASLSK#2 scenario ("88s at Zon") and won a PBEM game of Puerto Rico. Oh and I've beaten my step-nephew Tom at Napoleon at Waterloo a few times on Hexwar.

It's all pretty scanty.

Was looking forward to a session with Iain Cheyne this Saturday, but England's dratted rugby success has curtailed that.

Oh well, at least there's Midcon next month to look forward to....