1841 (1994)

Average Rating: 7.86/10
Board Game Rank: 2017
Strategy Game Rank: 779
Information
Designer
Publisher
Year Published
1994
# of Players
2 − 8
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 5 players
Recommended with 4, 5, 6 players
(5 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
14 and up
Playing Time
300 minutes
User Suggested Ages
14
(1 voter) [poll]
Language Dependence
Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(1 voter) [poll]
Subdomain
(8 voters) [vote]
Category
Mechanic
Family
Primary Name
1841
Alternate Names
1839
Website
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ObjectID: 1447
Description Edit | History

1841 is the apex (or nadir depending on your point of view) of 18xx stock-market manipulation. Set in Northern Italy during a period of rapid political change (borders for playable hexes change twice during the course of the game) the game is one of the most difficult even for experienced 18xx players.

The greatest innovations center on the ability of companies to own shares in other public companies and the merging of companies. Train obsolescence is rapid and unforgiving, and it is quite possible for forced-purchase trains to be obsolete before they get a chance to run. Capitalization is on a per-share basis throughout the game and train prices are steep >1400 for an 8 train - the largest.

There are 8 historical corporations and eight, named but ahistorical "generic" corporations. These are normally used simply as investment vehicles to maximize the amount of capital available to "successful" companies close to Milan. Northern Italy is mountainous, especially near the off-board Alpine areas and to the South of the map, making progress slow and expensive for the outlying historical companies.

1841 has a reputation as a very long game, but is not necessarily much longer than games such as 1870 which have a very large bank. It can be completed in four hours.

Chris Lawson's game kit is one version that is available and is of his usual high (for a game kit) quality. A large amount of time with scissors and craft knife to cut out the stock and tiles can be expected. Deep Thought Games now publishes 1841v2 which incorporates changes by Manlio Manzini to address some of the perceived shortcomings with the original which was designed by Federico Vellani with Manlio as a co-author.

Description by Steve Thomas:

1841 is the 18xx game of choice for many players, though some hate it. Designed, and originally published as 1839 by Federico Vellani, it is set in northern Italy. The McGuffin here is that 1841 is the 18xx game which is least about actually building a railway and most about manipulating the stock market and managing the extremely fierce train obsolescence. Route development has its place, but unless the players can get the rest of the game about right they are doomed, and it is this which polarizes players' views of the game. When it first became available it whetted the slightly jaded palates of some players since the dividing line between success and abject failure is so narrow. 1841 achieves this by allowing companies to buy and sell shares in each other, and to merge with one another. These factors result in frequent and hard-to-predict changes to the order in which the companies operate. It's exciting and dynamic, and the only real downside, at least for "the financiers who've had enough of the engineers", to misquote the 1853 box art, is the length of the game. At typically seven hours it cannot sensibly be played in an evening. Even so, the game is usually well worth the investment of time, though it's certainly not for the novice.

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More Information Edit | History

Deep Thought Games is publishing version 2 of 1841, but all components are supplied to play the original game if desired.

Versions
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Pg. 1
1841
Nick: 
Version 2.0
Publisher: Deep Thought Games, LLC
Artist: 
Year: 2006
Size: 12.00 x 11.00 x 2.50 inches
English
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1841
Nick: 
First Edition
Publisher: Chris Lawson
Artist: 
Year: 1994
Size: 12.44 x 9.06 x 2.09 inches
English
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6 1841 differences
List of rules differences between 1841(v1) and normal 18xx rules.
English
2014-11-07
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Statistics
Board Game Rank: 2017
Strategy Game Rank: 779
Num Ratings: 159
Average Rating: 7.86
Standard Deviation: 1.78
Num Views: 29647
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 4.4
Fans: 12
Personal Comments: 93
Users Owning: 204
Users Wanting: 70
Users Trading: 1 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 0
Want Parts In Trade: 0
Price History: View
Total Plays: 480
Plays This Month: 2
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