Tony Randall
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Jeffersonville
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This is my first 18xx game, and I was sitting down at a multi-"player" solitaire session to suss out all the rules and any interconnections. My biggest trouble lies in exactly where/how/when the bridge company private (when owned by a public) gives its discount.

From the lack of pertinent questions in FAQs and around here I'm going to assume the answer is obvious to others that have played other 18xx games with similar privates (if any), but it sure isn't obvious to me.

As I see it there are at least a few possibilities. The public company that buys the private can get the $40 discount:

1) only once, EVER, in the game, for its first yellow tile played in a Mississippi river space
2) once per O-R, for the first mississippi river tile played in the O-R in case there are two yellow tiles placed by the company that O-R
3) for all yellow mississippi river tiles placed by that company.

There are two further possible wrinkles to options 2 or 3:
a) the benefit extends only until the company closes at the beginning of phase 4
b) the benefit can extend until the end of the game (This presumes "close" only means "doesn't pay the private company's owners their listed amount, but this possibility is severely weakened by the loss of cattle and port tokens for those privates in phase five.)

I ended up using option 3a (all tiles placed by the company, but only until it closed). But that seems to make the worth of the private VASTLY more powerful than its printed cost and as the 2nd cheapest company (and compared to port and cattle specifically). option 1 is right in line with the printed cost, but if so does the company also immediately close or keep paying out until phase 4?

Thank you!
 
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Tony Randall
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Another question about privates closing (so somewhat related?):

Under "winning the game" it talks about adding in the private company values into the total cash value. Is this even after all privates have closed in phase 4, or only if someone goes personally bankrupt before phase 4 somehow?

When I got to phase 4 in my sample solo game I took all the privates that didn't have any further effect (those NOT bridge, cattle and port) and tossed them into the box because I figured they weren't going to pay any more to their owning publics. Oops!
 
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Shawn Fox
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Richardson
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The bridge company ability only works once. As you noted, getting a $40 discount on every tile along the Mississippi river would be worth far more than the $40 par value of the private. If the ability isn't used by the time the first 5 train is bought it would be lost, since no private company abilities apply in 1870 after a company closes.

As far as privates having a value, the issue should never come up. A player should always sell their private companies to a railroad before the 5 is bought. If it did come up, I'd say that the value of a private company is 0 after it has been closed (after the first 5 is bought). I've never seen any official answer on that that question though, likely because it never happens thus it is a moot point anyway.
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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TDRandall wrote:
Under "winning the game" it talks about adding in the private company values into the total cash value. Is this even after all privates have closed in phase 4, or only if someone goes personally bankrupt before phase 4 somehow?
This is only true if the game ends before the privates close. Note that it is possible that no one ever buys a 4-train. This would be bad play by most if not all the players, but it could happen. If so, the bank will eventually break, and those privates will count toward your final score.
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Tony Randall
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sfox wrote:
...no private company abilities apply in 1870 after a company closes.
Is there some extra visual purpose I am overlooking to the cattle and port tokens then?

I don't understand why those tokens stay on the board (if already present) through phase 4 if they don't still give their public owners the $ benefits for their trains passing.

But boy I sure would enjoy being able to treat them all the same!
 
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Shawn Fox
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TDRandall wrote:
sfox wrote:
...no private company abilities apply in 1870 after a company closes.
Is there some extra visual purpose I am overlooking to the cattle and port tokens then?

I don't understand why those tokens stay on the board (if already present) through phase 4 if they don't still give their public owners the $ benefits for their trains passing.

But boy I sure would enjoy being able to treat them all the same!
Yes, sorry... that was a misstatement on my part. The port and cattle tokens do still work (assuming you have placed them onto the board) in phase 5 after the private companies are closed in phase 4. The port/cattle tokens are,however, the only exception to that rule and they are also removed at the start of phase 6.
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Dirk Vahlenkamp
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To answer the initial question:
Normaly privates can be bought by public companies after the first 3-train has been bought. For the Mississippi River Bridge Company there is an exept: 2 publics (Missouri and CottonBelt) can buy the MRBC in their very first operating round prior to the 3-train being sold. If one of these two does, it can immediately execute the 40$-rebate on their home-station-tile and bridge the river. This is the only way to built 3 yellow tiles in one round.
Otherwise, the 40$ rebate can be used by any public having bought the MRBC.
Executing the rebate closes the MRBC.

If the MRBC is kept in a players hand until the first 4-train is sold, no tile can be build to bridge the Mississippi.

Everything clear now?
 
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Tony Randall
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Yes thank you, although the possibility hadn't even entered my mind about this:

IgrajemChef wrote:
To answer the initial question:

If the MRBC is kept in a players hand until the first 4-train is sold, no tile can be build to bridge the Mississippi.

That must be one incredibly frustrating situation. Does it actually happen with any regularity, or maybe just one of those incredibly odd situations you see once in your life (or per decade, or whatever)?
 
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Shawn Fox
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IgrajemChef wrote:

If the MRBC is kept in a players hand until the first 4-train is sold, no tile can be build to bridge the Mississippi.
This is not correct. The rule is that no one can bridge the Mississippi until either:

1) The Mississippi River Bridge Company is purchased by a railroad
2) The first 5 train is bought (which closes all private companies including the bridge company).

The situation where the MRBC is not sold to a railroad happens on occasion. For example if player A buys the MRBC and then player B opens the Missouri Pacific Railroad, player A may purposefully hold on to the MRBC until right before the first 5 is bought to prevent the Missouri Pacific from crossing the Mississippi River.
 
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Dirk Vahlenkamp
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sfox wrote:
IgrajemChef wrote:

If the MRBC is kept in a players hand until the first 4-train is sold, no tile can be build to bridge the Mississippi.
This is not correct. The rule is that no one can bridge the Mississippi until either:

1) The Mississippi River Bridge Company is purchased by a railroad
2) The first 5 train is bought (which closes all private companies including the bridge company).

Correct, this is a typo by me. The first 5-train closes the privates, no matter where they are. If cattle- or one of the port-tokens had been placed, they remain until the purchase of the first 6-train.
 
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Eric Hogue
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sfox wrote:
TDRandall wrote:
sfox wrote:
...no private company abilities apply in 1870 after a company closes.
Is there some extra visual purpose I am overlooking to the cattle and port tokens then?

I don't understand why those tokens stay on the board (if already present) through phase 4 if they don't still give their public owners the $ benefits for their trains passing.

But boy I sure would enjoy being able to treat them all the same!
Yes, sorry... that was a misstatement on my part. The port and cattle tokens do still work (assuming you have placed them onto the board) in phase 5 after the private companies are closed in phase 4. The port/cattle tokens are,however, the only exception to that rule and they are also removed at the start of phase 6.
That's not really an error, since the ability of the private is to *lay* the token, not operate the token.
 
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