I read through the rules of a new 18xx game, 1865: Sardinia, by Alessandro Lala. It sounds very promising! It’s a smallish game, 2–4 players, with interesting details. Here are some highlights:
- The game looks great, it’s done by Cory of 18AL remake fame
- The stock market has outside investors, who buy and sell shares between player turns according to an algorithm (they dump weak shares and buy good shares).
- Routes and trains use a different system that’s easier to calculate.
- Track-laying is less restricted.
- Mergers are possible, companies can absorb other companies.
The AI investors, Dragons, are an interesting touch and it’ll be interesting to see how they work. The way they work is fairly simple and I believe easy enough to understand, and with enough experience, the rulebook claims they can be manipulated and gamed a bit. Sounds sweet.
Trains use traffic system, where trains have capacity (8–35) and board has traffic. Building track and placing stations scores you traffic chips, and the companies get the smaller value of capacity * 10 or available traffic. So, a 2 train will make at most 80, if you have enough traffic. Looks like a nice, simple solution.
As a track-laying curiosity, you can replace tiles with the same colour tiles, if you maintain current connections. You can discard exits that aren’t connected. Buying trains gets you an extra boost on stock market and withholding doesn’t make share value drop. Last 2, 3 and 4 train are cheaper.
Lots of good ideas, small and neat little package, looks great… I think I want this one, even though I didn’t want to expand my 18xx collection much. This just sounds too good.
By the way — my copy of 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight arrived today. There were times I was sure I would never get it, but here it is now. Amazing.