We Also Have Winsome

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It was recently brought to my attention that while 18xx games are very nice and we do have some rather interesting offerings not available at other train game conventions, the Winsome games we have to offer are also of interest to the general public and are often more accessible and attainable. What you see above is a sampling of some of interesting titles we have and there is a common theme among them (one beyond the thematic connection of trains that is). The first person to correctly point out what all these games have in common in the comments section below will win a special prize!

Oddball Winsome

Starting in 2001, Winsome started to release sets of games and made it so this was the only way to acquire their games. I have discussed their business model in other writings and if you are interested in that information, I will gladly share if you like. Medicine Hat is home to TWO gamers on the Mailing list and we nearly have 2 copies of every game released since 2001. (We absolutely have 1 copy of each…) If there ever was an oddball Winsome game you have always wanted to try out, this is your chance (see above).

Map of Titicaca

For example, Track to Titticaca (above). Not only does this game have the distinction of being one of my favorite non-18xx train games, it has just about the coolest shaped map ever AND includes an entire Epoch of the game referred to as the ‘Age of Guano’. It has been my quest to infuse an ‘Age of Guano’ into every other game ever made, because I can’t think of a single game which could not be improved by having an ‘Age of Guano’…. Can You?

One of our gracious hosts has constructed what we are calling ‘The Wall o’ Winsome”. 16’ X 5’ of pegboard mounted to railroad ties, this will make for a 16 foot long wall of Winsome clamshells for the convention attendees to peruse and select from. Below is a photo of the wall empty and ready for transport down to the con.

Wall o' Winsome

We look forward to seeing you all come out for Hattanooga. We have a number of people registered already and more are signing up as the day comes ever closer. (We’re a month out!) Make sure to sign up today if you plan to come, with this being our first year it is really helpful to know what we can expect in terms of numbers and such. If it’s something you’ve been putting off, make today the day. While you’re at it, do a little research and see if you can’t win a train game related prize. 🙂

Winsome Set for 2016

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18-OKI or, can 2 player 18xx be interesting?

One toy I’ve always wanted for christmas was a 2 player 18xx that was fun, engaging, dynamic and interesting. I still don’t feel like I’ve got that toy, but I’ve got a few that are close to what I asked Santa for. 1860 plays well with 2, 1825 U3 is meant for 2 and it is the closest thing so far. I refuse to believe with a system as accommodating to revision and open to new ideas as the 18xx are that this is an impossible task.

Enter 18OKI, the little 18xx game you didn’t know you wanted published one day. I approached the game’s designer on BGG back in January of 2015 because I had seen pictures of his game on BGG and some of the tiles were narrow gauge. (I like games where track isn’t an afterthought…) I asked questions, received a kit and started to build. Here’s a brief description of the game from the rules:

 

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(Map is from many revisions ago, but is a good representative image.)

“18Oki is a two player 18XX game set in the southern area of Okinawa Island, Japan. The game covers the 50 year period from the first application to form a rail company in 1894, through to the U.S. bombing of Okinawa in 1944. The companies are all historical, although some never raised enough capital to float.”

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As of this writing, the game features 4 kinds of company, narrow gauge track, a tile manifest designed to please the masochist and has my vote for ‘best waiting for that other game to end” diversion going in 18xx today. Upon my first play, I was taken in by it’s charmingly difficult track choices, variety in play style choices and it’s size. (I’m a bit of a sucker for the ‘postcard 18xx’. I SWEAR THAT ONE DAY I WILL GET A 7 HANDED GAME OF 1876 ON THE TABLE!)

One on The game’s most interesting features are the historically weighted ‘Petrol buses’ that dominated public transit on the island at the time. Without going into too much detail,  they are like privates, but are MUCH more powerful.

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This game borrows heavily from the 1825 family of games and is not shy about it. If you’re in and around Medicine Hat around the 19th-21st of May, why not give this game a try while you wait for players to arrive and get that game of 1831 going. 😉