Contrast Train Gaming

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Two consecutive Fridays, two consecutive train gaming sessions. How different they can be!

Last Friday I hosted an evening of 18XX gaming, a rare pleasure these days and as satisfying as always. We had enough people to split into two separate games - 18AL and 18Scan. Couldn't talk Jacob into playing this time - he covets his free weekend evenings which is the only time he gets to play video or console games.

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Eric has become our 18XX guru in terms of collecting and teaching the games. He led the 18AL game while Matt, George and I struggled through the rules for 18Scan. His version of 18AL is like mine - mostly hand-made but with nice components. Still, it underscores how amazing the productions from John Tamplin at Deep Thought Games are - I hope he continues to do his craftwork.

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My impression of 18Scan is that is short, sweet, but has a few more tricky rules than the other short games I've played. I stayed out of some of the initial private company auctions and let Matt and George fight over them, hoping to preserve some cash to get a head start on the public companies.

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This strategy served me well - for a while. I think I was probably in the lead for most of the game, but as I hit my certificate limit near the endgame I got a bit restless and did a stock transaction that I was to regret. I sold a share of one of Matt's companies but failed to realize that it wouldn't reduce the share value. His company continued to soar while I gained little to nothing in the transaction. It was an extremely close finish, with Matt edging me out by about 100 Kr and George a bit further behind me. This game took about 4.5 hours to finish, but would likely take 3-3.5 hours if we ever manage to play it again.

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Julie's uncle was in town last weekend and we brought out Ticket to Ride: Europe as a gateway / introductory game to teach Bill. He caught on quickly and I think he enjoyed it quite a bit. I pulled out a slim margin win, with Jacob coming in a close second. I was able to focus on eastern Europe without too much distraction, allowing me to finish 5 tickets including a long run.

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