Those who know me or have been following the (has-been-back-up-for-very-short-but-still) blog have come to figure out that I greatly enjoy train games. Now, I am not a fan of real-life trains, but as a theme or a game mechanic, I just find that trains and railways bring a lot to the table. You can do: stock market simulations; simple tech trees or advances; network building; goods delivery; simple or complex economic systems simulation. Of course, all train games are not equal and to me the apex of train games are a family of games known as 18XX, with 1829 and 1830 being the source of so much goodness. In this family you’ll find over 120(!) different games falling into that category. While they share a common framework, most of them bring tweaks or slight change to the basic system, sometimes to just the map, sometimes to the trains and tracks. Not all the variations are good, but those that are are fantastic. They are perhaps easier to teach/learn than most people think but they can be long, even with an experienced group. And taxing. And difficult to predict the first few times you play. And can lead to analysis paralysis for certain players. And a lot of fun with the right group.
Which brings me to this week’s Session Report, as I’ve had the chance to play 1844 (Double-O games) by Peter Minder and Helmut Ohley this weekend for the first time. This particular title takes place in Switzerland, amid all the mountains and valleys.