Winning 1856

We just finished a six-player game of 1856, played with Rails. It was interesting and not least because I won the game. I had to do some analysis to figure out why I won…

Here’s a spreadsheet of player net worth throughout the game.

I was steadily in the competition throughout the game, I never fell behind. Then, on operating round 7.2 I got the lead and kept it until the end. So, what happened? Diesels happened!

My WGB was among the first companies to get a diesel on OR 7.1. On OR 7.2, three companies had diesels. CGR paid whopping $790, but that was split 35-30-20-10-5-0, and the company had to withhold a $720 run to buy the diesel. TGB had a $490 run, but it was only 40% owned, and the owner had previously paid $705 from personal cash to get the diesel. My brand new WGB paid the diesel from company money and paid me 60% of the $440 run.

I got the best profits from that set of operating rounds and while that wasn’t true on OR 8, as other people got even better runs (and my other company had a 5-train run of $290), my lead was big enough to hold.

So, the key here was priority deal on stock round 7, so I could grab the WGB to buy me the diesel (the original plan was to put the diesel in CPR, my main company, but since I was the sole owner of WGB, it was the best place to keep the diesel). I had the priority deal, because stock round 6 was very active and I happened to sit next to the player with the most interest in selling and buying shares to trash company value.

Also critical for my victory was that BBG was badly dumped in SR8. Four shares were sold, dropping the value from $150 to $90 and the final value from $225 to $125.

So, how much was luck and how much was skill?

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