The Riding Series
J C Lawrence
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Campbell
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The Riding Series is a series of games designed by Han Heidema and published by Winsome Games. The Riding_Series is stock-based economic train game series where players purchase stock in basic companies, draw train routes for those same companies, and later consolidate the basic companies into larger groupings. Common to all the designs are the concepts of stock dilution (as more share sell in a company dividends pay a reduced percentage of earnings) and merger or grouping shares which pay in relation to multi-company patterns.

Harry Wu's wonderful Chicago Express (part of the Historic Railroads System) fairly clearly derives from the Riding Series in addition to Pampas Railroads.

The basic elements that seem to be common across the games (caveat: I own only one of the series and am working off other's comments by extrapolation):

1) Share dilution -- Shares are won at auction and pay an N'th of the company income where N is the number of shares issued for that company.

2) Share-based capitalisation -- The operating treasury for a company comes from the auction price for its shares. In general there is no other significant source of treasury funds for the companies.

3) Activity-based income -- The current turns income for a company is a compound of the actual cash income of the company, plus a measurement of the growth-activity of the company this turn. Thus active/growing companies pay much better than moribund companies as they have the extra (potentially HUGE) boost of activity-based income.

4) Deflating income -- Company income is a function of the number of empty exits on the cities their track is connected to. As more track is connected to those cities they become worth less and company incomes fall precipitously. This causes a rather fiddly constant recalculation of company incomes, but there are procedural habits which may be used in play to greatly reduce this.

5) Grouping shares -- Shares that pay out as a function of the interconnectedness of the current track patterns. Thus as multiple companies connect to a city that city contributes significant income toward the grouping shares. There usually seem to be multiple different grouping share companies that reward different and competing aspects of the track development. Grouping shares are acquired by trading in basic shares 2:1.

6) National shares -- (Later in the series only?) Shares that pay X% of all the grouping shares' dividends, reducing the grouping share dividends by that percentage in the process.

7) End-game share valuation -- Shares trade in for money in the end-game.

Many of the below games are being considered for reprinting. Thumb the matching entries on the Winsome Games -- P100 review requests geeklist if you are interested in a reprint.
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1. Board Game: Dutch InterCity [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:6113]
J C Lawrence
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While Dutch Intercity is not a member of the Riding Series it is by the same designer and shares several common traits with the members of the Riding Series. From a design perspective this is (largely) the progenitor game that the Riding Series seems to derive most from.
 
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2. Board Game: West Riding [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:10579]
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Perhaps oddly, this is the simplest, cleanest and most elegant of the series. It has the least chrome, the least fiddle and the most focus on the core patterns that make the game interesting. All the later games add additional mechanisms, more chrome, length and other fiddle faddle to the base game as defined in West Riding.
 
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3. Board Game: Länderbahnen [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
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4. Board Game: Länderbahnen Expansion Set [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked]
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5. Board Game: Riding through England [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
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6. Board Game: Wooden Shoes & Iron Monsters [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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7. Board Game: West Riding Revisited [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:8890]
Peter Mumford
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Looks to be a streamlined addition to this series.
 
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