OTK Meetup 7/12/10 – Le Havre, Roll thru the Ages, 1830, 18TN, Homesteaders

Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 7/12/2010
By jack208
This was a mid-week meetup on a Tuesday mainly due to this being a public holiday here in M’sia. There was some buzz lately on 18xx and we decided to make today an “18xx Day” with all newcomers to the 18xx game system welcomed to come and try it out! Did we manage to have some new converts?
Gamers: Nurul Jannah (laydeh), Azmir Abdullah (mir), Jackson Chin (jackson), Ang Xian Jun (ang), Afif Ter (afif), Henry Yeo (rhyen), Jacky Chong (jacky), Neo Say Soon (neo), Jonathan Soon (jonathan), Heng Aik Yong (hengy), Ainul Azman (aanemesis) and CK Au (jack208)
Games: Le Havre, Rolling thru the Ages, 1830, 18TN
Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras | Google Map | GPS: N O3° 6.195° E 101° 44.058°
Date/Time: 7 December 2010 2.00 PM – 7:30 PM (Tue)
With some buzz on 18xx lately in our Facebook walls, we felt it’s appropriate to call an 18xx Day when a public holiday on a mid-week Tuesday presented us with another gaming opportunity. Let’s see how many we can convert to 18xx’s beautiful no-luck game of business strategy.
We didn’t exactly start with 18xx even though we called today an 18xx Meetup Day. It’s good to warm the gamers up before throwing them into the deep end. 😛
Nurul & Amir dropped by to OTK for their first visit, and while they were eager to find out how 18xx plays, their main objective is to get a game of Le Havre going…
BGC Meetup - Le Havre
This lovely couple was joined by three other gamers – Jackson, Ang – while Heng went thru the rules.
BGC Meetup - Le Havre
While waiting for one or two more gamers to arrive… the other 4 gamers decided to start a game – no, make that three games – of Roll thru the Ages -the recent fast-Civilization fave of OTK!
BGC Meetup - Roll through the Ages
by ayheng
Foreword by jack208
Finally the main menu! The Roll thru Ages group started a 4-player session of 1830.
In normal circumstances, a 4-player 1830 is probably the best player-count to learn the game (you wouldn’t want to do 1830 with full 6-player; it’s simply too brutal) however in this instance, we have three sharks veteran 18xx players sitting in the same table with an 18xx newbie (afifter). Hmm..
I did not follow their game much as I was busy facilitating the 18TN session (see report next) on the other table but I heard there was some “painful” stuff going on there… instead I’ll let ayheng’s sessrep do justice to this session. 🙂
Sessrep by ayheng
It was a game that Afif cannot forget. And maybe it’s the game that will hook him forever. Afif experienced the Hotsun(TM) maneuver at the hands of 18xx sharks Henry, Ainul and Heng.
BGC Meetup - 1830
(Heng: here’s your money Afif, don’t lose it to sharks…)
Usually Jeff is very good at this, taking pics of the tracks and the company ownership but since on the day itself he was called to invigilate another 18xx session (18TN – shall we see their report too?), we shall have to make do with some random pictures.
BGC Meetup - 1830
(Afif: ainul, heng says take care of your money, don’t lose it to sharks…
Ainul: but i’m a shark…)
The game started innocently enough with the prized B&O president cert falling into Ainul’s hands. Acting on my advice, Afif went for C&O while Henry tried his luck with NYH. As I got myself two expansive private companies, I went into investor mode and end up partnering with Ainul in B&O.
I advised Ainul into pushing B&O fast and hard early on to generate some handsome dividends through multiple trains and routes. This of course forced the others to catch up and soon the 2 trains were gone…
BGC Meetup - 1830
(Afif: oh crap, something’s not quite right here…)
Henry branched out to a 2nd company first to start NYC to get some synergy going between it and NYH. I myself started PRR with lots of cash as a result of a mutually beneficial arrangement with B&O. This mutually beneficial arrangement would continue with PRR and B&O scratching each others back and at critical juncture, blocked C&O as well as the NYC-NYH synergy from entering the lucrative south-eastern routes.
BGC Meetup - 1830
(Afif: this is my company, C&O…)
Later, I would start yet another company – Erie, while Ainul started up B&M. All this while, Afif starts getting antsy of the massive profits generated by other companies and decided to start another… no… to dump his own shares to buy shares of other companies!
The rest of us were looking at him like he was crazy but he kept saying that he still didn’t get the point. This was of course the cue for one of us to perform the Hotsun(TM) maneuver and Henry volunteered.
BGC Meetup - 1830
(Afif: and i’m dumping half my shares…
Ainul, Heng, Henry: what the heck?!?!)
Still clueless, Henry went through the motions of doing train shuffling and at the beginning of the next turn, dumped a trainless company to Afif. And that of course, was how Afif got hotsun-ed(TM) and left a half-bankrupt railroad mogul, doomed to shuffle his sole Diesel train between two empty shell of a company, watching his share price going into a death spiral.
But then we decided to call it a game rather than to go through all that. So, Afif, next time, be wary of holding more than one share of a rival’s company in your hands! Especially if he has two companies to do hanky panky stuff with!
BGC Meetup - 1830
(Afif: guys, i’m feeling the hotsun(TM), my shares’ on a spiral downwards…
Ainul, Heng, Henry: serves you right for dumping your shares!)
18TN Tennessee & Kentucky
While the other table was enjoying their 1830 Hotsun, I’d the chance to intro the 18xx System to 4-5 people at this table. My fave beginner’s game for 18xx is 18TN with this game being the cleanest and simplest in terms of 18xx game mechanics.
BGC Meetup - 18TN
In the picture: Derrick (partially seen), Jacky, Neo, Jackson’s fren, Jackson, and Ang.
Ang started the game by sharing his cock-n-bull story about seeing a yellow-headed snake THIS long! 
One of the reason 18TN is good for beginner is the provision of 6 companies, all can be starters so that everyone gets a chance to start the game with one railway company. This is important as one of the core skills a gamer should pick up in 18xx is running a railway company in OR (operating round). Yet I sometimes see beginners choosing to start the game as “investors”.
BGC Meetup - 18TN
Four companies started in a 5-player game… so again, one player has opted to become “investor”.
An “investor” in an 18xx game is one who chooses to divest his risk by buying shares in other players’ railway companies; the thinking is probably that by spreading their investment across the pool, he’s not likely to be in the “losing” end. But the biggest downside is that they miss the golden opportunity to learn how to start-up & operate a railway company from the obsolete Type2 train till the company acquires a permanent train.
BGC Meetup - 18TN
Initial track expansion…
The other thing one needs to learn about 18xx is timing.. Or to be more precise, “momentum”. Being able to time exactly when one needs to be holding back dividends (for the permanent train) or to push forward and rush the game to an end (especially for less complex 18xx games like 18TN where there’s a game-end timer in the stock reaching the top of the hill).
BGC Meetup - 18TN
A “slow” market as shown by L&N still around the $100 market point when Type6 trains are available
The CMV (current market value) of the shares indicated the players have been withholding one too many dividends – possibly trying to max revenue yields from their trains…  The key in 18TN is L&N. If L&N is played aggressively, the others have to step up to go heads-to-heads with the L&N player otherwise he becomes a runaway leader.
BGC Meetup - 18TN
Network development was pretty cooperative, which is not a bad thing given this is almost (except for Ang) everyone’s first game of 18xx.
BGC Meetup - 18TN
I did not follow this closely so did not see what happened here but SR’s share price plummeted so much since the last time I checked (see picture above). Withholding dividends alone won’t pushed its price so low so I’m guessing there were some selling pressures… (hehe)
BGC Meetup - 18TN
The game was eventually won by Ang – not surprisingly since he has had some 18xx experience – but from feedback, everyone enjoyed this relatively short (by 18xx standards) session and I hope they’ll be coming back for more 18xx games!
NOTE: To read more about 18TN in details, click here for this past sessrep.
It was already dinner time when both 18xx sessions ended. Most of the gamers left for separate dinner arrangement, leaving only three still at OTK joined by Jonathan who just dropped in.
BGC Meetup - Homesteaders
Homesteaders was the choice agreed by all.. And we did two rounds of this resource management / auction game.
BGC Meetup - Homesteaders
4-p Homesteaders with Ang, Jonathan, Neo and CK.
Till next week, ciao!

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