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1822: The Railways of Great Britain» Forums » Rules

Subject: Private Company 16 - Tax Haven rss

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Simon Cutforth
United Kingdom
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There has been some debate about this private company. There are some strongly held opinions that it is broken. The issue being that holding a share in the tax haven prevents the company from being all sold out. The creates a potentially significant loss of value for the company in the tax haven. Such a negative impact is deemed to be not in the spirit of 18xx games, because it is a "kingmaker" effect, and it distorts the value of the P16.
I am persuaded that it is a problem (though I believe that the scale of the problem has been exaggerated). P16 was added to the game for the final year of play-testing, and has been tested extensively by my local group and the play-testers before and after publication without it seeming like a major issue. On a personal level, I see the issue, but don't believe that it is much of a problem. However, I see that it could be.

I am therefore recommending a rules change: ignore the rule that the company held in the tax haven can't be all sold out.

On a related issue, in discussion of the above, a rule that I never considered was suggested. I really like the idea, but hadn't thought of it so have never tested it. Add a rule that the dividend income money that accumulates in the tax haven accumulates in the normal way, but can be used to buy another share, which is also placed in the tax haven and accumulates money from dividends in the tax haven. This purchase would be a stock round action of the owning player. Maybe this could be allowed to continue in an open ended fashion - in which case by the end of the game the tax haven will be able to buy a share every stock round (which I would use as a limit, even if it could afford more): or maybe it should be limited to one additional purchase. This additional rule would add incentive to use the haven early in the game, though as the owning player cannot use the money directly there is still a disincentive to do so.

Please implement the recommended rule change. And consider either version of the rule experiment. And provide feedback. Thanks.
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Lance Harrop
United States
Manassas
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If I ever get my hands on P16 I'll have to see if it seems broken as is.

I know the players in our group don't like the fact that a share in the tax haven doesn't count as the company being sold out and floating up the stock chart.

Unless they are the one with P16 if course...
 
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Simon Cutforth
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Personally I don't consider it broken, but I do understand the point that others make when they say it is.
My local group continue to use it as printed.
Other people will develop their own house rules...
 
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