We played a four player game this weekend. First time through, but all very experienced 18xx players. There is a bit of explanation even so to go through all the differences, i.e. how the minors work, the initial 40%/20% shares of the majors, the stock splits, the options, how “+” trains work, tunnels. You get the point.
Even with the money we had out there, we did not fully sell off the initial set of privates. So the privates and minors went into a couple of operating rounds. One of us bought the VB private (with the 20% share), but the higher priced SD stayed out there a couple of rounds as everyone knew what was going to happen: It would be floated and ran, thus killing it after two OR’s. BUT, the VB player got his $20 payout while we waited. Unlike 1830, we all had multiple privates/minors, so there was no one left out in the cold without private income. In 1830, someone usually gets stuck buying B&O because they didn’t get anything else. After a couple of OR’s I said screw it and bought the SD to move the game along.
VB/SD floated, eventually operated and closed their privates. We enjoyed running our minors on the local board. As private income, it was good income that slowly rose from $10/turn to 15/20 and eventually before they closed I even received $60/turn from one company. They are good income generators, but they provide NO share value. You never sell them. They eventually turn into a crappy $67/share which doesn’t really even start to progress and then the game ends.
Anyway to what happened with the majors. VB stayed by himself in the west. SD and FJ fooled around in the Northeast for most of the game. SD made better runs though. But everyone kept trashing his stocks because he did some mean trashing in the beginning. The hate managed to keep SD from ever getting to split. KT operated after the 3 trains came out and ran 2 threes for good money and bought better trains for his minors. By the way, most everyone bought the $200 mail contracts for their companies except SD. NT, KR, KE and SB eventually opened. Trains were shuffled. The poison 4 gets thrown away in this game after a set of operating rounds. So before you know it the 6 train is bought. Here is where it got interesting.
Player 1 owned 3 majors. During the previous stock round Player 2 had 40% of KR. He forgot to just do an option for 30% (no split had happened yet). No company dump had happened yet, but he forgot we are not always friendly, cooperative train moguls. Player 1 is earlier in the priority than Player 2. During OR 1, the KR had a fresh treasury and bought a lousy three train from one of his other two companies for the entire $930. ALL of it. See where this is going. Maybe not…
The 6 train is bought. All 3’s get scrapped. Now KR has NO train. But there is another OR. That’s ok, KR just started and is positioned so that he does not have a legal route, so does not have to buy a train. The stock price will go back, but then next stock round, he will dump KR on player 2.
However, the locals are forced to merge. Player 2 had Minor Local#1. So he gets to merge first. So he is the first major local to operate the next round. Now it is interesting. He gets to choose which hex to start his company from and the orientation of that tile… He chooses to position the tile to make KR have a legal route. NOW, Player 1 HAS to buy the train. He did not keep $1 in the treasury. So he cannot shuffle trains, and goes bankrupt. He had three 40% president certs he couldn’t sell. He was not liquid at all.
I won barely (less than $100 difference). Only three companies got a chance to split. Splitting is a good way to get a huge investment of cash. Especially as you can own 100% of a company before the split. We learned a lot in the merging of the locals. We liked the game. Even Player 1.