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Subject: More rules questions rss

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Steve S
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Some of these may be because of my lack of experience with train games, but I'm finding myself unsure about several parts of the rulebook, even though some of it has been attempted to be clarified before:

I) Turn Numbers
The rules start out by saying the game consists of 8 turns. However the board and other sections of the rulebook refer to there only being 6. Was the 8 a misprint?

II) The "Swap Trains" action
The rule refers to swapping two adjacent trains in the same row of the tracker.
The original board shows each horizontal row having multiples of the same train, so swapping two trains on the same row wouldn't appear to do anything. The "updated art" board now shows trains of the same level laid out in vertical columns. Am I correct in assuming that the point of this action is to swap a higher valued train with a lower valued one between two companies (so on the old board it would actually be swapping two trains in the same *column*, and on the new board it would be two trains on the same row?)

III) Selling (and dumping) stock
"Players may only sell one company's stock once per round." Based on other examples, it sounds like this could be better worded as "May only sell *each* company's stock once per round." It's OK to sell more than one company's stock, just not more than one of each per round, correct?

Also, it refers to being able to "dump" your stock, including the President's share, onto another player. First, are you selling these shares directly to the other player (he/she gives you the money)? Secondly why would you want to do this? Something along the lines of thinking it will continue to lose value, and/or just wanting to free up your owned shares limit to buy something new?

III/B) Buying Stock
"A player may purchase one share of stock in any company that has share in the bank." I assume this means per trip around the table, as only being able to buy one share per turn would mean companies wouldn't even be able to start until halfway into the game.
So from what I've been reading elsewhere, it sounds like you can buy shares of as many companies as you like, but only one of each at a time?
And buying keeps going around the table until everyone passes?
If so, then in the example of a two player game, does this mean that say if I'm interested in yellow, I could buy one yellow share, and then regardless of what my opponent buys, I can then buy an additional yellow share when the buying comes back around to me?

Would it be safe to say players are for the most part going to want to try to buy enough shares to start as many companies as possible on turn 1?

IV) Starting a company and setting par
This section explains that the first person to buy a share in the company gets the President's share, and that person will set the par value for the company to start with.
Then several paragraphs later, it explains that the company can't actually start operations until 3 shares have been bought, at which point the par value is marked and the cubes are distributed to the company. Then it says "the starting player receives the President's share" and places the income track cube and the first station cube.
So does the President's share change hands here? Is the person who buys the 3rd share (thus allowing the company to "start") now the President? And if so is par determined when the first stock is bought, or when the third stock is bought, as the rules appear to say both?

V) Turn 1 track laying
The example for laying track on turn 1 says the line goes from Montgomery to West Point, and that it has no spurs. However, the actual graphic shows the line actually going from Selena to West Point, with a stop/change of direction in Montgomery. Am I correct in assuming that it is OK for the track to turn, it just can't branch yet? (seems like this would be hard to do on turn 1 anyway...)
And just clarifying here, but when a company starts building track, the track will always start on the "home base" hex (thus being next to the starting station)?

VI) Solitaire shares
In the solitaire game, it states that once cards are drawn on a turn, if you have two or more cards for the same company, you can start that company, and you may also buy any single cards for a company you have started (which I assume includes one two or more cards came up for on the same turn, thus starting it this turn). Does this mean you are not allowed to buy single cards of stock for companies you have not started yet?
[Edit] Also, does the "you can't own more than four of each company" rule apply during solitaire play? I was assuming "no" as there's no competition for ownership.
Also, are you allowed to sell all of your shares back to the bank when playing solitaire, or must you always hold onto the first/President's share?

VII) Open sourcing the rules
Would you be willing to post up an editable version of the game rules so I can edit/correct/clarify a copy rather than having to rely on tons of chicken-scratched notes in the margins?

[Edit]
VIII) Is $30 the maximum income allowed for a single company? At least in solitaire play tonight, I had a game where one of my companies "maxed out" about halfway into the game.

IX) Does a train line have to connect to at least 2 cities in order to collect income, or can you just lay one track on "home base," buy a train, and collect the income from the home base city?

Thanks!
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Jack Neal
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Some of these may be because of my lack of experience with train games, but I'm finding myself unsure about several parts of the rulebook, even though some of it has been attempted to be clarified before:

Fair enough... Welcome aboard! I'll see what I can answer... inline...


I) Turn Numbers
The rules start out by saying the game consists of 8 turns. However the board and other sections of the rulebook refer to there only being 6. Was the 8 a misprint?


There are six. You are correct. I will have to fix that.


II) The "Swap Trains" action
The rule refers to swapping two adjacent trains in the same row of the tracker.
The original board shows each horizontal row having multiples of the same train, so swapping two trains on the same row wouldn't appear to do anything. The "updated art" board now shows trains of the same level laid out in vertical columns. Am I correct in assuming that the point of this action is to swap a higher valued train with a lower valued one between two companies (so on the old board it would actually be swapping two trains in the same *column*, and on the new board it would be two trains on the same row?)


The new board swapped the orientation, but the intent was to keep the rows of trains together.

The train action isn't completely a waste - it can be a strong action if your train would be obsolesced and its the only one you have! There are better times for it than others.


III) Selling (and dumping) stock
"Players may only sell one company's stock once per round." Based on other examples, it sounds like this could be better worded as "May only sell *each* company's stock once per round." It's OK to sell more than one company's stock, just not more than one of each per round, correct?


This would be correct.


Also, it refers to being able to "dump" your stock, including the President's share, onto another player. First, are you selling these shares directly to the other player (he/she gives you the money)? Secondly why would you want to do this? Something along the lines of thinking it will continue to lose value, and/or just wanting to free up your owned shares limit to buy something new?


You would put them into the bank and your player would just get the presidency based on holding the majority of the shares. There would be no money changing hands and the stock of the company also goes down after selling the stock.

If a company is about to lose trains and/or a better opportunity comes along, that is usually when you want to cut out to a different company.


III/B) Buying Stock
"A player may purchase one share of stock in any company that has share in the bank." I assume this means per trip around the table, as only being able to buy one share per turn would mean companies wouldn't even be able to start until halfway into the game.


Correct.


So from what I've been reading elsewhere, it sounds like you can buy shares of as many companies as you like, but only one of each at a time?
And buying keeps going around the table until everyone passes?
If so, then in the example of a two player game, does this mean that say if I'm interested in yellow, I could buy one yellow share, and then regardless of what my opponent buys, I can then buy an additional yellow share when the buying comes back around to me?


All points right on.


Would it be safe to say players are for the most part going to want to try to buy enough shares to start as many companies as possible on turn 1?


Perhaps. Or at least one company in the first turn per player is a good way to start. You don't want to set initial prices too low necessarily or you will stunt your railroad's growth later.


IV) Starting a company and setting par
This section explains that the first person to buy a share in the company gets the President's share, and that person will set the par value for the company to start with.
Then several paragraphs later, it explains that the company can't actually start operations until 3 shares have been bought, at which point the par value is marked and the cubes are distributed to the company. Then it says "the starting player receives the President's share" and places the income track cube and the first station cube.
So does the President's share change hands here? Is the person who buys the 3rd share (thus allowing the company to "start") now the President? And if so is par determined when the first stock is bought, or when the third stock is bought, as the rules appear to say both?


This appears to be a misprint. The President is always the player who has the most shares, or in the case of a tie, the person who last had the presidency. Par stays the same, but the president of the company can place stations and track once three shares have been bought. It is possible for a company to have shares available but not have enough to operate.


[i]
V) Turn 1 track laying
The example for laying track on turn 1 says the line goes from Montgomery to West Point, and that it has no spurs. However, the actual graphic shows the line actually going from Selena to West Point, with a stop/change of direction in Montgomery. Am I correct in assuming that it is OK for the track to turn, it just can't branch yet? (seems like this would be hard to do on turn 1 anyway...)
And just clarifying here, but when a company starts building track, the track will always start on the "home base" hex (thus being next to the starting station?


Correct on both counts.


VI) Solitaire shares
In the solitaire game, it states that once cards are drawn on a turn, if you have two or more cards for the same company, you can start that company, and you may also buy any single cards for a company you have started (which I assume includes one two or more cards came up for on the same turn, thus starting it this turn). Does this mean you are not allowed to buy single cards of stock for companies you have not started yet?


Correct. It makes it a bit harder to start desired companies. I was never really satisfied with the solitaire rules, honestly, but that is what I have settled on over the years.


[Edit] Also, does the "you can't own more than four of each company" rule apply during solitaire play? I was assuming "no" as there's no competition for ownership.
Also, are you allowed to sell all of your shares back to the bank when playing solitaire, or must you always hold onto the first/President's share?


You may sell your shares at any time.


VII) Open sourcing the rules
Would you be willing to post up an editable version of the game rules so I can edit/correct/clarify a copy rather than having to rely on tons of chicken-scratched notes in the margins?


I would be more than happy to do that. Does Open Office work?


[Edit]
VIII) Is $30 the maximum income allowed for a single company? At least in solitaire play tonight, I had a game where one of my companies "maxed out" about halfway into the game.


Income is unlimited - share income is capped.


IX) Does a train line have to connect to at least 2 cities in order to collect income, or can you just lay one track on "home base," buy a train, and collect the income from the home base city?


The latter. You always collect for a city if you have a train... even if there is one. Think of it as an interurban route.


Thanks!


Welcome!
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Jack Neal
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http://www.jkntech.com/openrails/Open%20Rails%20Origins%20-%...
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Steve S
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Thanks! This is helping quite a bit, and I'm already making updates on the doc.

Another one I just bumped into was for the Advanced action choosing phase (auctioning), the title says "3 players only" but then in the text it gives rules for two players. Was this originally for three players only and later found to work for two as well, or was it originally for 2 *or* 3 and later found that it doesn't work well with 2? (Basically, should I leave the rules for 2 players in there and remove the "for 3 players only" deal from the title)?

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Jack Neal
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It was originally for three as you suggested. If you wish, make it for two and three as well.

Thanks for sticking with the game and hopefully it will be worth the effort you are putting into it!
 
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Steve S
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Raiderjakk wrote:
It was originally for three as you suggested. If you wish, make it for two and three as well.

Thanks for sticking with the game and hopefully it will be worth the effort you are putting into it!


N/P
I kept trying to work through the game and thinking "gosh this seems like it would be really fun, if I wasn't so tripped up by the rules," so I thought it would be worth investing some time in.

So I went through and spent some time "cleaning up" the rules so that hopefully they're less confusing to us newbies, by using lots of the clarifications that have been discussed in the forums, adding more examples of how different mechanics would work in play for those who may have a hard time picturing it in their heads for the first time, removing errors, adding a few mentions of the differences between the "new" board and the original one, and so on.

I've re-read through them several times and I think it's come out very well.

(Oh, and I added a train graphic to the front page - very important! )

I just uploaded it as rules v0.60, hopefully it will show up soon so everybody can check it out.
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Steve S
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OK this might be a slightly dumb question but I'm probably being tripped up by playing 18AL and then going through the Open Rails rules and trying to "step back" a little -

In the "full" 18AL game, when the initial company share is bought and the par value is set, all shares that are still "IPO" (never bought) will always have a price of whatever par was, regardless of if the stock price has gone up or down.

In Open Rails I've always gone with the assumption that company shares always cost whatever the market value is, even if the shares are still new/ipo - is that correct?

Also, there's a bit of text under the buying stock section of the rules that is throwing me off a little:
It says "If a player has more shares than the President, he becomes the President of the company."
Then it explains the share limits,
Then it says "The stock value for the company remains unchanged."

Is that "value remains unchanged" supposed to be with the part about a new player becoming company president? It's just sort of out there and doesn't seem to be referring to anything specific.

Thanks again
 
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Colin Harris
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I wish someone would do a video guide as I am still a little baffled by it all. Looks great but having never played a Railroad game before either it seems a little daunting.
 
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