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I have recently played 1 hr games of 18xx to my friend home.
I've a question. Once a company is floated. And someone holds the 60% of shares. And have started placing his tiles. Why someone should sell share of his company. We just buy our companies and run them. There was no change of President at all...
Also since I wanna buy a game of 18xx what's the difference between 1830 and 1854 1844. Which is shorter with more cutthroat interaction
The reason why to dump a company on another player should be obvious:
The president holds the majority of shares in a company, therefore he earns most by paying dividends. To pay high dividends the company needs lots of trains, which leads to less money for the company. If the president is lucky enough he can spend most of the company´s money on cheap, non-permanent trains and earn lots of money, leaving the company broke. Once he´s in danger to purchase permanent trains with his private money he´d rather dump the company on someone else and let the new directory buy the new trains from that player´s private money.
1830 is one of the toughest 18xx games I know, but I have never played 1844/1854.
On of the beauties of 1830/18xx is that the rules are relatively simple, but the interactions of these rules produces wild complexity.
My feeling is that 1830 should be played with six people (other people have other opinions). Other 18xx games have other optimal player counts. In order for the game to really shine you need the right number of players.
With new players, 18xx is probably going to be a bumbling affair (and is going to run LONG!)
There is a DOSBOX / single player version of 1830 that can be downloaded and played to start understanding strategy. You can also download Rails and play a game where you take on the role of six different players.