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.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

Randomness in an 18xx game?!? What is the world coming to? In fairness, I'm curious now, and want to try it out.