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Subject: Selling the Elephant rss

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JR
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I got 1853 recently and my friend, who had purchased it a week or two prior were discussing our first glances at the rules. We are playing it this coming weekend and getting an idea beforehand of the differences from our usual fare. I mentioned a few unusual rules I had noticed and he mentioned something I hadn't seen in my look at the rules.

It turns out that the player who gets priority deal (the elephant) at the end of a share dealing round has the ability to sell priority deal privilege (for the next SR) to another player for an agreed (and I assume publicly known) price.

I was surprised that I hadn't noticed this rule and so the next evening I poured through the rules more closely and found it, sure enough. It was a sentence at the end of a small paragraph marked 3.1.11.

The reason I am mentioning this rule here is because I am wondering if anyone else thought it was odd that this seemingly significant unique rule was slipped in rather subtly. Since I've never read the old rules, I don't know if this is a new feature of the new edition or an old rule, so maybe someone can confirm this is all normal. I just thought it was buried so out of the way that there was some vague chance that it was actually something they had removed from the rules but a small mention of it got accidentally left behind. Since there were other editing errors which have been noted here already, I figure it can't hurt to be sure.
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Rick Vinyard
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I've read through the rules several times and completely missed that one too.
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Hanno Girke
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This is really quite normal. I had never seen this happen in our countles 1853 games. But I'm sure Francis had some funny ideas in his mind when he invented that rule, so I saw no reason to leave it out.
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JR
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If you're expecting to have the larges dividends coming up, it would certainly be powerful to connive your way onto the elephant's back so you can force the extra OR. I suspect lots of players won't notice the rule though as they'll be reading the rules for differences rather than start to finish like a new game system.
 
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rvinyard wrote:
I've read through the rules several times and completely missed that one too.

Everyone misses it, unless you do something like this:

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Ron K
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'80' maxlength='250'> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="15%" align="right"><b>Avatar OverText</b></td> <td width="85%"> <input type="text" name="overtext[avatar]" value="Train Game anyone?
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Since 1853 (the original design) predates most of the current 18xx family, it isn't so much that he hid that rule but that those that followed failed to be more explicit in its not applying anymore. There should have been a specific and upfront rule that forbid selling the priority deal rights to another player.


-Ron ;-)
 
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JR
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Did 1829 or 1830 have specific rules to disallow selling priority deal?
 
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Ian M
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I have set 025058 which in Tresham speak is probably the 58th set sold.

The rule allowing selling the elephant is in that set and I was in on one or two of the pre-publishing final game tests and I am sure I remember the rule being mentioned then.

Unfortunately we seem to have lost touch with Francis and can't ask him directly. Last contact I had was buying the first part of the 1825 game he was producing

Does not need a specifc rule in other games, simply not provided for in the rules
 
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Chris Farrell
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This was in the original game.

I think Tresham was trying to get across some sense of historical collusion/corruption. In the original game, the contract bid phase was really a back-room negotiation phase, the players were supposed to mingle and negotiate a carve-up of the Indian rail market before putting in their bids, making deals like "I'll give you 20 pounds to stay away from the EIR", that sort of thing. It doesn't seem like people played it that way, just because 18xx doesn't seem to draw players who like doing that sort of thing, but that was the original intent. The new contract rules are, I think, a better way to work it for people who like euro-type games, but the old way was perfectly legitimate too and was, I think, making a real attempt to give a historical feel.

Anyway, I think allowing the selling of the priority deal marker was just another little bit of flavor in the same vein, to allow a little bit of deal-making that implies some anti-competitive collusion without going nuts. In practice, I have never seen the rule used. Part of it is that the priority deal is very hard to value, so it's hard to come up with a fair deal and since it feels valuable to own it, players are disinclined to sell. That having been said, if you're not in a strong cash position or aren't looking at opening a company, clearly the priority deal marker has some value, and if you need cash more than the first crack at stocks, it wouldn't hurt to consider offers, especially in a larger game. If you're willing to sell, you could get a little bit of a racket going by pitting someone against the player on their left.

Whether or not all this is good, I don't know. It's all hypothetical, as I've never seen anyone sell it. I think even if you had players actively looking for deals, I doubt actual deals would be made very often.
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