(Note: the start time has been changed to noon. The end time is not a hard limit but we have one attendee who will have to leave by 5:30. If we get more players and have a second game, the other one can run later.)
January has come and gone with no 18xx event. But I'd like to see February escape the same fate. I'm open to it happening somewhere else, but the weekend of February 9-10 is the only one I have available so that is WHEN I would like to play. Feb 2-3 is the Arisia debrief and the Super Bowl, Feb 16-17 has all kinds of stuff going on (Boskone, Science Fiction Movie Marathon, and Fetish Fair Fleamarket, to name a few), and Feb 23-24 is Total Confusion.
Tamm has retired from hosting 18xx, at least for a little bit. Shirley, one of the regular 18xx players, is hosting a game for February. We have lots of tables and chairs, enough to hold three games at once.
Exile isn't a real name of a Planet of the Apes production; it's in recognition of the location, which may be a bit distant for some of you. You can drive here (there is lots of street parking available on weekends) and it's a short walk from the Red Line.
18xx games are about railroads: building track and running trains for profit. 18xx games are also about a stock market, and the skullduggery between various robber barons as they try to build, thwart, take over, or bankrupt companies. But, they can take quite a while to play. We play with poker chips and emphasize a "ready to play" culture (meaning you're ready to act when your company is up). Games have generally taken from 2-3 hours (via bankruptcy) to 6-8 hours (all the way to the end) with the average around 4-5 hours, even with new players. The more you plan in advance, the faster the game (of course, many times the other robber barons thwart your plans!)
We endeavor to begin at 2pm, or very close to it, because the game is so long. Being early is preferable, so we can decide which 18xx games to play. Our group has been running monthly since 2015. We usually have 7+ regular players. We don't break for dinner, so many players bring food with them. Food options in this neighborhood are a bit limited, but there are an OK Chinese restaurant and a Latino-oriented supermarket nearby.
Currently our group owns and most often plays 1826, 1830, 1846, 1848, 1849, 1856, 1870 and 18EU. Several other 18xx titles are owned by our group but haven't seen as much play yet. Some of us enjoy playing the same game month to month, while others are interested in learning new titles. Likewise, we vary in our preference for shorter or longer games and often have one of each running.
New players are welcome although we strongly suggest familiarizing yourself with the basic rules and concepts first. A brand new player will need 20 to 40 minutes of rules explanation before they play. The game really isn't overly complex, rules-wise, it's just long with lots of decisions. It is a little fiddly sometimes, though.
Due to some late arrivals in prior months, we will emphasize: If you're over 20 minutes late and have not made arrangements with one of the tables, you are probably only going to be a mere spectator, unless there is a game doing a rules explanation, you know that 18xx variant well, and can make it before it starts. If you wander in an hour late, you probably won't be able to join a game at all. It usually takes us all afternoon and well into the evening to play one game of 18xx (unless it's a 6P with bankruptcy or a short variant like 1846 with aggressive train purchases, but even those run 2-3 hours!). It is rare that there is a second game after we finish one. If you start a game, we expect you to stay until it's over.
Also, since we usually know the people in the week or so prior it will be good at that point if we can sort out what games we want to play in advance.