Gamers: Jeff Au, Chua, Long, Victor, Nick, See Weai, Shaun, German brothers
Games: 1830, Bang!, Through the Desert (2), Through the Desert, Pirate’s Cove
Location: Games Circle, Damansara Jaya
Date/Time: 5 November 2005 4.00 PM till late
Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Games Circle 5/11/2005
Started with this game as per the good Dr’s request. As usual with games of this level, most of the time during the starting phase was spent reading the Rule Book and this rule book is printed in those black-n-white style of Avalon Hill’s of the 80s. Anyway pretty soon we got started with the Private Companies bidding stage.
Victor took B&O, the most expensive private r/r for $225 while Jeff bought C&A, Long took D&H and Chua bought M&H. The cheapest two r/r SV and CSL went to Victor and Long respectively.
Next up was buying of Public Companies with Pennsylvania going to Jeff, B&O to Victor, NYNH to Long and C&O to Chua. Everyone obviously bought enough of their own public company shares to float them, and started laying tracks and buying railroads.
Long got excited, and made a quick impulse buy of two 2-trains, while Jeff, Chua and Victor bought one 2-train each exhausting all 2-train supplies and moving the game to the Green Tile Era (3-train). Long then decided he didn’t need two 2-trains and sold one to Jeff for $40 (half price). Still not clear whether this is allowed by the rules but we just played as house rule.
The tracks and trains started earning profits for the public companies, most paid out as dividends (therefore moving the share price up) without dividend paid to individuals being re-invested into more shares of the floated companies.
At this juncture we started to appreciate the mechanics of the game. I’ve to say it’s one of the better corporate share-trading railroad operations gameplay I’ve ever seen or played.
Long then sold his own private holding – the D&H – to his own public company NYNH for $140. Must admit the deal looks fishy. The private company was bought recently by Long and did not seem to be turning in good money yet he can sell it for twice its purchase value!! The ACA was duly informed. Nevertheless Long started to invest more heavily in shares of other players’ floated companies. We were really getting into the flow of the game and while the game does amble along slowly, we enjoyed the gaming atmosphere….
This is also the 1st game I’ve played where you have to keep separate piles of cash – your own personal cash and those of your floated companies. To get money into your own pocket – legally – so that you can invest in more shares, you need to operate those companies you owned prudently so that you can get high operating profits which can be paid out as dividends therefore channeling those much-needed funds into your own bank account.
Sidenote: To get money from the public companies illegally into your own pockets, just execute some sleight of hand while the other players are not watching. 😛
For public companies which you owned shares but were not the CEO, you merely wish the incumbent CEO is as biz savvy as you! 🙂 CEOs who chose not to pay out dividends would see their share price dropped a notch, again mirroring the market’s impatience at not getting returns from their investment.
There’s a variant where the CEO can choose to pay out 50% of the profits as dividend and keep the other 50% as operating cashflow, mirroring even closer actual biz situations. We didn’t play this variant as this is our 1st game of 1830.
Anyway our game didn’t last long as Long has to leave (could this have to do with the ACA incident above? Hmm…) and we all decided to end the game mutually. Victor has to take his leave too so Jeff and Chua went for a quick bite of KFC.
While stuffing fried chicken down their throats, Jeff and Chua kept reminiscing over the game and being very appreciative of the game mechanics. We all agreed this is a very very good corporate game albeit running a bit too long at 5-6+ hrs. Wonder if there’s an option to shorten the game without losing any of its balancing features.
We also planned how we can play this game over two sittings; taking digital snapshots of the game turn using our digicams and restoring the game status on next play.
Here’s the link to BGG’s Geeklist of all 18xx versions and variants. Jeff was told Sham (our gamer buddy from Houston) is a good advisor on 18xx variants.
P/S. This is the game where we discovered Dr Chua’s definition of “medium length” game = 6+ hours :O So next time Dr Chua invites you for a “lengthy game”, make sure you pack your camping gear and one week’s supply of food. LOL
After dinner, while waiting for Edwin to show his face at GC with his newly arrived Confrontation figures, Shaun (Edwin Jr) ajak everyone for a game of Bang!! We thought we’ll be playing a 4 player Bang when the Two German Brothers decided to join us too and soon we’ve a full suite of players with Nick “Camelman” as the 7th cowboy.
Roles were distributed; German Bro #1 was the Sheriff, Jeff and Bro #2 the Deputies, the outlaws being Shaun/See Weai/Chua while Nick was the Renegade. Outlaw #1 (See Weai) hit the dust first (partly due to his inexperience – 1st time playing Bang) while Shaun (being targeted mercilessly by Jeff (Slab the Killer)) and Chua followed not too long. Outlaws were gone… and only the Renegade was left.
The sheriff wavered and ended up shooting his own deputy (Jeff), losing all his cards, pants, undies, watever….. But he finally made the right choice and took out Nick the Renegade. Some Germans were spoken between the two Bros and Nick the Camel Renegade is still contesting this point……..
Through the Desert
Nick then decided to exact his own revenge by opening his pastel camels… getting everyone excited. I can understand ladies getting excited over pastel camels, but when you have a bunch of males all drooling when the pastel camels were shown, it defied belief!! Anyway we did two rounds of 5-player camel screwing….
Nick won the 1st round while Chua was the runaway leader in the 2nd round due to a high-value opportunistic encirclement scoring.
We then move on to another ho-ho-ho- great fun game of buccaneering on the high sea of Pirate’s Cove. A new game for Chua, Jeff and Nick but the game owner Hans was around to teach. Jeff did not participate in the game as he has to leave soon but he did stay to watch two rounds of the game and surmised it is indeed a game of good furious fun of high seas pirating! Not heavy stuff but definitely a delightful light game.
10pm… Jeff left and still no sign of Edwin and his Hybrids.
Next gaming here should be next Sat 12th Nov where we should have our Ossie fren Yee Seng back on semester holidays….
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