Yesterday I made a trip to Turku — two hours driving each direction — just to play two games. Crazy? Well, one of the games was a five-hour game of 1830. Still crazy? Well, I like being crazy that way.
It was my first go at this most significant game in the 18xx family. We had five players, all 1830 newbies, some with other 18xx experience. We managed to finish under five hours, but include setup and rules and the game time goes slightly over five hours.
Experience counts, as players finished roughly in the order of experience. I won, having most cash and the best stock portfolio. It was a fairly friendly game, with no major company dumping or stock thrashing.
Based on this game, 1830 isn’t one of my favourite 18xx games. There are few things I don’t like… the dot towns are annoying (they won’t upgrade from yellow), yellow cities are purely straight track tiles, OO tiles are annoying and let’s not even get started on diesel trains. 1825 is better on these respects (dots upgrade to major cities, there are many kinds of yellow city tiles and the upgrades are more interesting, there are less OO cities and no diesels) and I much prefer the 1825 stock market with the multiple step jumps for good dividend performance.
Still, I’d like to explore this game a bit further, being a classic and all. Perhaps it’ll get better once I get used to its quirks and as the players gain experience.
After 1830, I didn’t have time for anything major. I had brought a bunch of Winsome games and we ended up playing a three-player game of Preußische Ostbahn — I might’ve preferred playing something I haven’t yet tried, but I can’t complain, Ostbahn is such a great game.
So it was this time, too. One of the players complained about not getting turns — and ended up winning the game, of course. Another player was badly left behind early on and I was sure he would lose. Well, he did, but only $10 behind the leader, while he was more than $100 behind the top two at some point in the game. Had he played his last move better, he could’ve won the game. It was that close.
So, a top-notch game, once again. Preußische Ostbahn is certainly chaotic game, where small things make a big difference and the result is probably quite a bit influenced by pure luck, but who cares? It’s really exciting and fun, that’s what matters.
I really love this game. I went and upped my rating to 10, it’s that good.
The reason why I went to Turku was JunaCon (“TrainCon” in Finnish), a board game event dedicated to train games and train games alone. The event was held at the Turku railway station, a suitable location for a train game event if any! Yesterday was a good success, they had something like 40 players. In addition of my games, people played 1853, 1856 (same guys played these two in a row), 18AL, Steam, Age of Steam, Freight Train, On the Underground and other lighter games.
Today they’re playing the Finnish Ticket to Ride championship tournament. It was a really nice event, well done and I hope they do it again next year.