I organized another train game session at the local library. Once again, only Olli was able and willing to join me, so it was again time for 1825 Unit 3 (I know we could’ve played Unit 2 as well, but I thought having another go at Unit 3 was better). Our previous game is documented in Two-player 1825.
With previous experience, we did the setup very quickly, but the playing time wasn’t much reduced: we played for three hours and fifteen minutes or so. Instead of pen and paper calculations, book-keeping was done in a spreadsheet. I had a simple sheet with columns for each player and company. The money totals were clear and visible, calculating dividends was very swift and the money in bank was calculated automatically. It was a very pleasant solution, and definitely my favourite way to play 18xx.
Last time we played, I took CR and Olli took NBR. Now we switched companies. Olli started developing CR to south, while I took NBR to north. CR is better in the beginning, Olli got good action fast while I spent quite a while saving money. If NBR wants to run two routes, they basically need four trains (or a 3 train), at least until phase two. That’s expensive.
In the end, NBR was the heaviest hitter, though. CR ended up with 5, 4, and U3 running for 450 pounds, while NBR had 7, 5, and 3 making 540 — that was pretty cool, especially as I had more CR than Olli had NBR. However, even though NBR’s stock value kept jumping four steps at the time, it ended up one step below CR at 230.
Olli was the first one to invest in GSWR, but I soon took it from him. The shares were 5-4 for a while, though, so developing GSWR wasn’t the most interesting thing… Eventually I dumped it, but not before it sold a 3 train to NBR and bought a 2 train in return, giving NBR a better train and 260 pounds to use to buy a 5 train.
GSWR then spent some time in receivership, but that didn’t last long: running a leased 7 train it soon got enough money to buy a 3T. At that point we both bought some stocks, with Olli taking the directorship. Later on — on the last stock round — I sold the shares, which was stupid, stupid, stupid — Olli bought them all, since they were at 49 pounds and thus didn’t count for the certificate limit. He then bought a train for GSWR, ran it for 120 pounds and finished the game with all ten GSWR shares.
Our last game ended with scores around 5000 pounds. This time we both did much better: the final scores were 7088-6511 for Olli. It was an interesting match, and I thought I was doing pretty well. If NBR had just ended up with few steps higher in the share value chart… If and if, but I’ll have to say figuring out what to do in this game is still a bit hazy for me.
This time the tile mix limits hurt me a lot. My glorious Great North of Scotland would’ve been a lot more profitable, had I been able to do some upgrading. But no — all the suitable green tiles were in use and all the possible russet upgrades that would free them were already in play. Also, the lack of a wide curve with a small station can be rather annoying…
All in all this was an excellent game. I’m kind of disappointed I still haven’t been able to get Steam over Holland on the table, but playing 1825 is never a bad thing. I would like to give the Unit 1 a go at some point, and perhaps try some combined unit action…
As usual, I’ve been thinking about the game since yesterday and have all sorts of ideas. One thing that I should try is starting the minors at much higher levels — so far we’ve always started them near the minimum level possible. Starting them higher would cost more, but it would be more profitable.
We finished off with two hands of Strohmann-Tarock. Both of us took home one deal with great ease, which was kind of fun, but resulted in a 5-5 draw. It’s a fun little two-player game, that’s for sure.