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18Mag: Hungarian Railway History


A game for 1 – 6 players
Playing time is 120 to 240 minutes
Publisher is Lonny Games


18Mag is a train-building and share-dealing board game based on Francis Tresham’s game 1829. Use the hexagonal tiles to create a track network on the map that connects train stations to each other. The trains make journeys from one location to the next, and thereby passengers pay for their journey. Here is where you, as a player, earn money. With the money, you can buy shares and better trains. Are you the player who can handle the train business and deal with dividends as the Director? Let’s start up your engines and get these train hexes on the table! 🚂

Setting up the game

Put the map board and the share price board on the table.

Lay out the charters of the 7 major companies, each with its 8 corresponding 10% shares and 2 major station markers on its appropriate fields.

All 7 share companies receive a randomly assigned starting share price card. The share price token is put on the appropriate space of the share price board.

Put the 20% director shares onto the appropriate space on the share price board.

Lay out the company charters of the 13 minor companies, their tokens, and the terrain tokens.

The the play money. It is considered unlimited.

We advise using poker chips instead, as this makes the gameplay much more fun and easier.

Put all the track tiles – sorted by colors – on the table. At the beginning, only the yellow track tiles are in play. Train cards are placed on the appropriate fields.

Add the three round indicator tiles on the three stacks of the 3-, 4-, and 6-trains, green side up, and three “no train sold” tokens onto their spaces.

Place the round indicator token onto the space “SR” in the yellow hex on the map board.

Put the wooden sticks onto the preprinted spaces on the map board.

Take as many playing order cards as there are players, shuffle them, and deal one to each player to randomly determine the initial playing order. The player with the lowest-numbered playing order card gets the card “Priority Deal” and starts the game.

The setup is related to a 3-player and up gameplay.

Now you’re ready, and let’s run these trains!

Let’s play

The game starts with a share round during which the players choose minor companies and shares of major companies from the starting package. Later, share rounds and operating rounds alternate. As the game progresses, there could be more operating rounds between two share rounds according to the round tile in play.

Operating Round the Minor Company will have the following actions:

– Build track
– Buy and place station markers
– Scrap trains
– Run its trains to earn revenue
– Keep half of the income, pay out the other half to the owner
– Buy trains

Later in the game, tracks can be upgraded from Yellow tiles to Green, Green tiles to Brown, and Brown tiles to Grey. These upgrades will grant more money or provide the reroute you require.

Also, an option for the company is to place stations that represent the company more explicitly in relation to the city where they are located.

During this round, a route consists of at least two different revenue locations that are connected. You can run your trains, and this will create income.

When you buy new trains, this can lead to a phase change. During a phase change, the track colors come into play, as described earlier. This also leads to a new round tile.

Share Rounds are also indicated on the round tiles. During this round, players buy and sell shares. Each player will usually have several turns. During your turn, you may either pass or perform one or both of the following actions in this order:

– Sell as many shares as you want.

– Buy one share certificate.

The end game is triggered by the gray phase. The current operation phase is finished, followed by the last share round and three more operating rounds.

Then each player adds their personal cash and the value of their shares as shown on the share price chart.

The player with the greatest wealth in cash wins the game.

Conclusion & final score

Difficulty: 3.25/ 5
Re-playability: 7
Our score: 7 out of 10 dice

This was our first 18xx based game and we truly had some fun nights. It’s a separate play style in the board game community, which really needs to appeal to all the players. Otherwise, it will be a long evening.

We were surprised by the game quality and the nice tray for the train tiles. Although in the end, it’s a tray that does not get you started immediately, but still better than nothing at all. Because it’s the Hungarian board, truly like that the names and some history facts are part of the main board and rulebook.

It took some plays to get the correct player counts, which finally gave the result that it’s not a game for 2 players. During a 2-player game, there is less interaction in both rounds, which makes the gameplay less interesting.

It really gets interesting with at least 4 players. Then there is a good balance between who buys and sells shares. Also, the board during the operation phases gets a lot more fun.

We want to thank Lonny Games for this review copy and the opportunity to write about this game

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