Gauging Interest in Play-By-Forum for Heavier Games

There are a few games that I am eager to give a go. With social distancing not going away any time soon, I’d be interested in trying many options but these are certainly the top 3 on my list.

  • 1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties (a.k.a. 18EA) (scales from 2-8)
  • 18CZ: The Railway Comes to the Czech Lands (scales from 2-6)
  • Roads & Boats (scales from 2-6)

0 voters

I’ve not looked into the exact workflow or software I would use to manage any of these games.

1 Like

I have no experience with any of these, but it’s no less worrying than my dream of one day running a ParanoiaBF

1 Like

I also have never played these irl, but if love to give it a shot


It appears there is quite a bit of interest! That’s exciting news!

Call for Players & Poll

I’ll leave the poll open for at least 24 hours to get a comprehensive idea of how much interest there is. It looks as though we have at least one game’s worth of players but we may end up with 2 or 3 games’ worth- at that point, we can discuss if those games should run in parallel or sequentially.

If you are lurking over there (yes, there, behind the water cooler), afraid to show your interest because the poll already looks full, don’t fret! We’ll find a way to get everybody interested involved in a game!

1862 and/or 18CZ

I’ve looked a bit into how other communities are running play-by-post 18xx games and appears to be a common method for representing a game for play-by-post that does not enforce (or even understand) the rules of the game; merely a virtual gameboard that understands tokens, tiles, and spatial-orientation thereof.

Those of you interested in 1862 or 18CZ, please let me know if you object to signing up and using board18 to represent the bulk of the gamestate. The rest of the gamestate (money, namely) will be tracked via spreadsheet but also in the thread we’ll create. If you have an objection to using board18 feel free to private message me your objection if you wish to remain anonymous; if that is not the route that is chosen, there are some other alternatives (such as me hosting an discrete instance of the board18 software, or me using board18 to render the game state and copy/pasting it here).

Roads & Boats

I suspect any attempt at Roads & Boats will be met with some SVG-y work much like RogerBW appears to do with his PbF games.

Over the next few days, I’ll try to source (or make) some SVG assets to represent the board and chits for the game. If anybody has prior knowledge of a play-by-post of R&B that I can crib from, please do let me know.

1 Like

I’m up for an 18xx and Roads and Boats.

No issue using an external site.

I don’t think I have the bandwidth to learn 2 big games concurrently.


Happy to play any. (But not both at the same time!)

1 Like

It looks like Roads & Boats will be a sure-thing. I think we already have 6 people other than me interested, so I’ll go ahead and work on getting that setup. I’ll just run the game (and not participate) so that I can get comfortable running the PbF portion of it.

I think that will likely put off the 18xx PbF initiative unless somebody else wants to take the lead on that (in which I’m more than happy to play but don’t want to over-commit). Though, based on the numbers, I don’t know if we have enough to run both simultaneously. That said: 1862 and 18CZ are both well-regarded within the 18xx community (as much as can be expected) for their 2- and 3- player modes.

I will need a day or two to get some files put together in order to run R&B. In the meantime, feel free to discuss any other “heavy” games you may be interested in the future.


I would be up for running any of the four big Eric Lang area control games: timeless (and out of print) classic Chaos in the Old World, Viking rampage Blood Rage, samurai spectacular Rising Sun, or recently Kickstarted Egyptian struggle Ankh (the mod presumably based on what they showed in the KS, so it’s probably my lowest priority as likely not a finished game). I’d basically use TTS for the board state and take screenshots as needed. What I did for Kemet elsewhere was have private Imgur albums for player hands. It’s possible there are better solutions.

I’ve played Chaos several times, but the CMON ones I’m partly wanting to run to get to (sort of) spectate a game of them. I do not propose to actually be a player in any of them, just facilitate.


When I ran Roll Player using TTS I found the ability to save camera positions was hugely helpful.

I see two easy ways of doing this here:

  1. screenshot the hand and attach that in a private message
  2. upload the images that’ll make up the hand, note the upload URLs, and put those in the PM.

If Roads & Boats is good enough, I might consider making a Vassal module. Have to give it a try first though.


But why is it a dream?? Just do it!

1 Like

Literally the hardest game ever not to do in realtime!

1 Like