1825 Variants by Lou Jerkich

This web page contains some of the variants for 1825 that I have invented in the past few years.  In some cases they have been only minimally tested.  Nevertheless, I offer them here for any who wish to experiment or try something new.  These variants may draw on or include ideas or suggestions of others, especially my wife, Judy, and our friends Lisa and Steve Stroup.   Thanks also to Dave Berry for some useful comments, suggestions and corrections.  Although no modifications are necessary for the 1825 Units to be played and enjoyed, 1825 is a rich enough game that experimental variants may be used without doing harm to play balance.  These variants are offered not as "fixes" (since the game is not broken) but as enhancements that may appeal to some players who like more variety or like to experiment.

PORT Variant Rule for 1825 [also posted at 1825 Port Variants]
Historical Order Variant
1825 Maximum
Optional Rules for 1825 Ultima (a variant for use with 1825 Maximum)
1825 Fast Progression variant

Click this link for an additional Variant for the T-Trains by Lou Jerkich: Suburban Routes

PORT Variant Rule for 1825

1. If a company places a Station Token in a PORT (named in white letters on the map), then on subsequent turns (but not the turn of placement), the company receives a £20 bonus at the very end of its turn, after purchasing trains. This amount remains in the company and is not distributed as dividends. This £20 represents the return on investments made in Port facilities, steamship lines, etc..
2. Optional addition to the PORT Variant Rule for 1825:
For each of a company's trains that runs to the Port, add £10 to the £20 bonus. Once again, this is retained by the company and not paid out as dividends.
Rationale:  This variant makes use of the PORTS named in white capital letters that are present on the 1825 map boards, such as Dover, Harwich, Swansea, Hull and Leith.  It replaces the Steam Packet Lines of the original 1829 game which to date have not yet been published for the 1825 Units.  This rule adds some incentive for companies to build to ports and place station tokens in them, yet it does not have an overwhelming or unbalancing effect on the game.  If a station is placed in a PORT in the early part of the game, it will have made a useful contribution to the finances of its owning company by game end.  The £20 bonus that must be retained by the company may eventually accumulate enough to help it buy another train, place a station token, or build through difficult terrain without having to withhold revenues first.  The optional rule provides a £10 bonus for each train run by the company to a PORT containing its station token.  It is a minor financial incentive to get the companies to actually use the PORTS they token.  Some companies such as the LNWR and the GWR will have many options available to them for placing PORTS. Others, such as the GER (to Harwich) and most of those on the Unit 2 map (to Hull) will have only one easy place in which to attempt to locate a port, and there may perhaps be some competition for it.  My group has not found the city of Hull to be used much in our games, but with this PORT rule it could achieve more of the prominence in the Midlands region of the map than it hitherto has had.

Historical Order Variant

The companies, both private and public, must be purchased in historical order.  However, when one or more companies share the same starting date, shares in the companies of that group may be purchased in any order relative to one another, and it is possible for players to buy a mix of shares among them before or after any company in that group is formed.  It is intended that all 10 shares of each company in a 'year' group should have been purchased by players before moving on to the next group of companies, but this variant may also be used with the Fast Progression Variant described below that allows only 60% of companies to be bought until all companies in the game have been floated.

Acts of Parliament are used for the sequence of Private Companies. Since many companies were formed by amalgamation from existing lines, the "historical dates" of the various Major and Minor companies are based on the start of the first significant component of what eventually became the company under its name in the game.  This starting point may be the Act of Parliament (P) authorizing the company to proceed, the company's incorporation date (I), the date of merger of several companies to form the railway (M), or it may be the date that the company opened for railway service (S), especially between the locations forming the company's name.  A few additional rules changes are needed to make this variant work.  They are provided at the end of this variant section.

This Variant uses each of the privates costing £30 that are provided if more than one Unit is in play.  Private Companies would be made available in the following order:

Private Companies:

1. Tanfield Wagon Way (costs £60; pays £10): In 1671 the horse-drawn Tanfield Wagon Way in the Durham area became the first railed road to convey coal.  By 1765 it had wooden rails and was using cast iron flanged wheels.

2. Leeds & Middleton Railway (costs £30; pays £5): In 1758, the Middleton Railway became the first private horse-drawn coal-owner's wagon way to obtain an Act of Parliament to build it and enforce the sale of property by landowners along the proposed route.  The line was built to convey coal from the Middleton coal pits to Leeds.  In 1812, its engine, The Salamanca, became the first steam locomotive to run with commercial success on a railway.  John Blenkinsop and Matthew Murray built it with a rack and pinion system.   This line remained in use for another 20 years.  In all, four locomotives of this type ran on this line through the early 1830s.

3. Swansea & Mumbles Railway (costs £30; pays £5): In 1804 an Act of Parliament permitted a railway with L-shaped track to be completed between Swansea and the limestone quarry and oyster fishing town of Mumbles.  The rail line was completed in 1806.  Then on 25 March 1807 Benjamin French, who arranged to pay a regular fee to use this rail line, ran a converted iron carriage in what was the first railway passenger service in the world.  The car could hold 12 passengers and was conveyed by a horse.  In 1877 the horses were replaced by a steam engine, and in 1929 it was converted to an electric railway.  The line was closed down on 5 January 1960.

4. Stockton & Darlington Railway (costs £160; pays £25):  An Act of Parliament in 1821 approved a tramway between Stockton and Darlington.  The traffic was originally expected to be horse-drawn, but under the influence of its engineer, George Stephenson, the act was amended to permit steam locomotives and to carry passengers.  The 26 mile line of the Stockton and Darlington Railway ran its first train headed by Locomotion No 1 on 27 September 1825.  The success of the Stockton and Darlington was also due to its specially designed malleable wrought iron rails which were able to withstand the weight of the locomotives.  The name of the '1825' game derives from this company's first locomotive run on 27 September 1825.  For awhile this company used both steam locomotives and horse-drawn trains, but by 1833 it had converted fully to steam engines.  In 1863, the Stockton & Darlington Railway was merged into the North Eastern Railway.

5. Cromford & High Peak Railway (costs £75; pays £12):  This line in the Derbyshire Peak District began with an Act of Parliament in 1825 for a "railway or tramroad" that would utilize "stationary or locomotive steam engines."  The first part of its line heading northwest from the Cromford Canal at Cromford Wharf opened in 1830.  The second half to its ending at Whaley Bridge where it met the Forest Peak Canal opened in 1832.  Originally intended to convey coal and other minerals on a more direct route from Derbyshire to Manchester, it later became the object of several East Midland railway schemes looking for a route between London and Manchester.  The Cromford & High Peak Railway ran its first locomotive, Peak, in 1841, and thereafter gradually replaced horses with locomotives.  The London and North Western Railway leased the line in 1862 and fully absorbed the company in 1887.

6. Canterbury & Whitstable Railway (costs £130; pays £20):  In order to shorten a 70-mile meandering river route that brought supplies to Canterbury, the much shorter 17 mile distance between Canterbury and the coastal town of Whitstable was deemed a suitable route for a railway.  Formed by an Act of Parliament in 1825, the Canterbury and Whitstable began construction under George Stephenson in 1828.  It began the first steam-hauled service in southern England on May 3, 1830, but except for some level stretches where a steam locomotives could be used, most of the line initially used cable haulage by stationary steam engines.  The original locomotive, Robert Stephenson's Invicta, proved unable to handle the inclines so they reverted to horse haulage.  This struggling line was eventually taken over in 1844 by the South Eastern Railway.

7. Liverpool & Manchester Railway (costs £210; pays £30):  Although the Liverpool & Manchester Railway Company was founded on 24 May 1823, it took two attempts before an Act of Parliament in May of 1826 authorized it to proceed with its plan of service.  Opened for business on 15 September 1830, this was the first railway in the world to offer inter-city passenger service mostly through use of steam locomotives running on a schedule.  It also was intended to convey goods more cheaply on the 35 miles between its two principal cities of Liverpool and Manchester.  The famous Rainhill trials were held in October of 1829 on the Rainhill portion of the track to determine whether or not a steam locomotive would perform suitably enough for regular use on the line.  George Stephenson's Rocket 0-2-2 locomotive won the competition and proved that a steam locomotive could give consistent performance in service.  The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was absorbed in 1845 by the Grand Junction Railway, the world's first major trunk railway providing long-distance service of 82 miles from Birmingham to a connection with the Liverpool & Manchester Railway.  The Grand Junction Railway, in turn, merged in 1846 with the Manchester & Birmingham Railway and the London & Birmingham Railway to become the London & North Western Railway.

8. Arbroath & Forfar Railway (costs £30; pays £5):  This railway running from Arbroath on the northeast coast of Scotland inland to Forfar, was incorporated in 1836 and opened in 1839.  In 1848 it was absorbed into the Aberdeen Railway.  That same year it also was connected with the Scottish Midland Railway formed in 1845 to link with the Aberdeen Railway at Forfar.  The Scottish Midland Railway and the Aberdeen Railway merged in 1856 to become the Scottish North Eastern Railway which in turn was absorbed into the Caledonian Railway in 1866.

Major and Minor Companies

(When more than one company shares the same year of origin, the player has a choice of which shares to buy.  Green = Unit 1, Red = Unit 2, Blue = Unit 3, italics = Minor Companies; Magenta = Variant Minor Companies, mostly from Mike Hutton's Single Track Variant [see also Dave's 1825 Pages and also Dave Berry's Variant Kits].

--London and North Western Railway (LNWR) £100 [Also used in Unit 2]: M-1846 (Grand Junction Railway, P-1833, S-1837; London & Birmingham Railway, P-1833, S-1838; Manchester & Birmingham Railway, P-1837, S-1840).

--North Eastern Railway (NER) £82: M-1854 (Durham Junction Railway, I-1834; Durham & Sunderland Railway, I-1834; York & North Midland, P-1836, S-1839; Great North of England Railway, P-1836 authorizes line from York to Newcastle, York to Darlington built); 1863 - Stockton & Darlington Railway amalgamated..
--London and South Western Railway (LSWR) £76: P-1834 as London and Southampton Railway, S-1840 as London and South Western Railway.

--Great Western Railway (GWR)
£90: P-1835, S-1841 (London to Bristol); S-1844 (Bristol to Exeter), S-1849 (Exeter to Plymouth). 
--London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSC) £67: M-1846 (London and Croyden Railway, I-1835, S-1839; London and Brighton Railway, I-1837, S-1841).

--Great Eastern Railway £76: M-1862 (Eastern Counties Railway, P-1836, S-1839; Eastern Union Railway, S-1846; and others).
--Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&Y) £71:  M-1847 (Manchester and Leeds Railway, I-1836; Manchester and Bolton Railway, S-1838; Ashton, Stalybridge and Liverpool Junction Railway, 1844; Liverpool and Bury Railway, 1845; East Lancashire Railway, 1846).
--Midland Railway (MR) £82: M-1844 (Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway, P-1836, S-1839; North Midland Railway, S-1840; Midland Counties Railway, S-1840).
--South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) £71: M-1899 (South Eastern Railway, P-1836;  London, Chatham and Dover Railway, I-1853 as East Kent Railway).
--Taff Vale Railway (TV): P-1836, S-1841.

--Glasgow and South Western Railway (GSWR) £67: M-1850 (Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Ayr Railway, P-1837, I-1837, S-1840; Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway, I-1846, S-1850).
--Great Central Railway (GCR) £71: M-1847 as Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway (Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne & Manchester Railway, P-1837, S-1845; Sheffield and Lincolnshire Junction Railway; Great Grimsby and Sheffield Junction Railway; Grimsby Docks Company); 1897 - reaches London at Marylebone Station and changes name to Great Central Railway.
--Maryport & Carlisle Railway (M&C): I-1837, S-1845.

--North British Railway (NBR) £76: P-1844, I-1844, S-1846 (Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed).   Subsequent mergers include in 1865 the Edinburgh and Galsgow Railway, P-1838, S-1842).
--Furness Railway (FR): I-1844, S-1846.

--Caledonian Railway (CR) £76: P-1845, I-1845, S-1847 (Carlisle to Beattock), S-1848 (Beattock to Glasgow and Edinburgh).
--North Staffordshire Railway (NSR):  I-1845, S-1848.

--Great Northern Railway (GNR) £71: P-1846, S-1849 (Peterborough-Lincoln-Doncaster), S-1852 (London to Doncaster, and King's Cross terminal)
--Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR): P-1846, I-1846.

--Highland Railway (HR): M-1865 (Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway, S-1858; Inverness and Nairn Railway, I-1854, S-1855; Inverness and Perth Junction Railway, P-1861, S-1863)
--London, Tilbury and Southend (LT&S): I-1854, S-1856 (London to Southend); 1912 - amalgamated with Midland Railway.
--Somerset and Dorset Railway (S&DR): M-1862 (Somerset Central Railway, S-1854; Dorset Railway, S-1860).  Became jointly owned by LSWR and Midland Railway, 1875.
--South Devon and Tavistock Railway (SDTR): I-1854, S-1858 (Plymouth to Tavistock) [make Plymouth the base] .

1855 and later
--Callander and Oban Railway (C&O): I-1864, S-1880 (Callander to Oban) [make Oban the base].
--Cambrian Railways (CRC): M-1864, 1865, 1904 (Oswestry and Newtown Railway, I-1855, S-1860-1).
--Hull and Barnsley Railway (H&B): P-1880 as Hull, Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway; S-1885 (Hull to just east of Barnsley) [make Hull the base].
--Manchester and Milford Railway (M&M): P-1861 [make Milford Haven the base].
--Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway (M&GN):  M-1893 (several smaller railways); jointly owned by Midland Railway and by Great Northern Railway.

Additional Rule Changes:

1. The LSWR and NER are in the second group of companies to form, immediately following the LNWR.  They would be severely handicapped by the rule requiring runs to end at large stations.  For the purposes of this variant, rule 4.5.2 is modified so that the 2-trains may legally end their route at a small station, but not if running double-headed.

2. The LSWR, especially, could be hurt in the early game if it is blocked by yellow tiles placed by the GWR.  Hexag X16 may be closed to the LSWR initially because green tiles aren't available, and Brighton's tile placement is already reserved for the LBSC.  Rather than build tracks for the SECR and perhaps become confined to the southeast corner of the board, the LSWR has reserved hexags that lead out of London and then to the port of Southampton.  This also prevents the GWR from impeding the early-starting LSWR in this area.  On the other hand, the GWR has the hexags between Swindon and Reading reserved for itself so as to place the initial track tiles there since otherwise the LSWR might curve north and cut off the GWR from London. Similar conditions could apply for the CR and NBR since the GSWR starts earlier than they do.  Thus there are additional hexags to those indicated by rule 4.2.8 that need to be reserved for specific companies.  They are as follows:

CR: H6
GWR: V16, V18
LSWR: W19, W17, W15, X14

3. The turn order within an Operating Round still follows rule 4.1.3.  Thus, even though the LBSC must now be formed before the MR, the MR will still, by virtue of its higher initial share value, operate earlier than the LBSC.  However, the NER, by virtue of forming earlier than the MR, will thus operate before the MR.


1825 Maximum

Variant created 22 July 2008 by Lou Jerkich.  Refined November 1, 2008.

This set of variant rules was successfully used in a 4-player playtest of an 1825 game that was completed in November of 2008.  All railways except the Highland came into play, and the board was so covered with developed track that only Oban and the small towns of Dumbarton, Pitlochry, and Fort Williams in Scotland plus Barnstaple in the southwest were without track connections.  It took 11 stock rounds and 19 Operating Rounds to complete the game.  At one point on the last turn the Caledonian ran an express 4+4E "Royal Scot" train from Glasgow(70) to Liverpool(70) to Wolverhampton(70) to London(100) for £620--a run value which cannot be exceeded in 1825 by any single train.  Yes, it does take awhile to work through 23 of 24 companies in an Operating Round.  The winner finished with assets worth £21,526 of which £9811 was in cash.  The last player had assets worth £1414 less than the winner, so it was a reasonably even game.  Players held anywhere from 50 to 54 shares at game end.  The winner had 52.

I have called this set of rules 1825 Maximum because the intent is to max out the number of companies and trains in play and to foster a more rational company development.  One of the things in the 1825 game that I find less than satisfactory is the Minor Companies.  The Minor Company concept is great but too often I have seen Major Companies left out of play because the Minor Companies were too great a deal to pass up.  This is chiefly due to the fact that one Minor certificate is worth two or four shares.  So players benefit from holding lots of Minor Company stock, especially if it reaches high values.  Thus, in this variant, I do not permit the Minor Companies to be floated until all fourteen of the Major Companies have been floated.  This ensures that all the Major Companies come into play.  As it happened in the playtest, the Major Companies were so heavily involved in acquiring larger trains that the players did not have so much cash in hand that they could afford to shell out large sums to float the Minors.  Thus, no Minor ended up being floated at more than £142 per share, and one, the LT&S, started at £61 per share.

These are the variant rules for 1825 Maximum. 

1. All components from all three units and all of the kits are used.  For a "Maximum" game, there should be four players minimum, although three could experiment.   The game should work well with four or five players.   More than that may result in some initial receiverships if no one has two shares of a company due to the 6 share temporary limits that occur.

2. The player bank holds £24,045.  (This is the cash from all three units plus kit G1.)  All the company credits from all three Units also will be used.

3. To permit what will be a long game to progress more quickly, the initial cash shown in Table 1 of Unit 3 should be increased to permit each player to be running a major company at the end of the first Stock Round.  (For four players, £900 works well.)

4. The Certificate Limit is 3 more than printed in Table 3 of Unit 3's rules.

5. Every available train from all Units, Kit K3 (Phase 4) and Kit K5 (Advanced Trains) is used.  This will add to game length but will ensure a fully developed board.  Many companies will own several trains at game end to benefit from the extensive routes they have built.  In the event players use these rules with only two Units, rather than three, the trains from the Unit not being used could be removed.  But all the trains from the kits should remain in play.

6. Kevin Lorenz's 1825 Variant for the Private Companies is used but with the following changes:
A. The distribution of private companies is changed as follows: Players are seated around the table.  Shuffle and randomly distribute one of the Private Companies to each player. In the event that there are more than 6 players, use an additional 30-value Private Company each for players #7 and #8.  In the event that there are nine players, add a single share of the LNWR to the mix.  When there are less than six players, one or two private companies will be left over after the random distribution.  (If played with three players, then each should be randomly given two Private Companies.)  Note that the seating order remains unchanged after the initial distribution of the private companies.  Priority always goes to the player holding the lowest-valued Private Company received during the initial random distribution.  For the three smallest companies of value £30, priority goes first to the Leeds & Middleton Railway; if it is not in play, it goes to the player holding the Swansea & Mumbles Railway; if that is also not in play, then priority goes to the person with the Abroath & Forfar Railway.  Any remaining Private Companies that were not randomly distributed in a four- or five-player game must be bought before the first LNWR share can be bought.  Players must either buy a remaining Private Company or pass until all are in player hands.  If all pass, then Private Company revenue is given to each player and the game proceeds to another Stock Round, ad infinitum, until all Private Companies are in player hands.  At this point the LNWR shares are available for purchase.  

B. These variations occur to the Attributes listed by Kevin Lorenz for the Private Companies.
Canterbury and Whitstable Railway: Only the SECR, LBSC, or LSWR may make use of this free token advantage.
Liverpool & Manchester Railway: Place the free LNWR share beneath the L&M certificate.  In order to receive the free LNWR share, the owner of the L&M must close the company and exchange it for the LNWR share.  This can be done during his turn of a Stock Round (as his turn).  However, if the L&M still is in play it is forced to close at the purchase of the first 3-train.  The owner of the L&M must then immediately receive the free LNWR share and will henceforth play it normally.  (The 3-train is dated 1870, by which time the historical L&M had already merged into the LNWR.)

7.  Purchasing Shares in Major Companies.
Players may buy one 10% share in a major Company when it is their turn to buy in a Stock Round.  It takes the purchase of two individual 10% shares to qualify for being the Director.  The first player to hold two shares of a Major Company should exchange his two shares for the Director's certificate.  If there are nine players, and eight others already own a single 10% share each, then the ninth player, should he wish to buy a 10% share, should take the Director's Certificate and place the cash needed to buy a single share on the certificate before himself.  As soon as some other player with a single share puts up the money during his turn to pay for the final 10% of the company in question, that player will receive the Director's certificate from the ninth player and will give his original 10% certificate to the ninth player.  The money for each of the two Director's shares will then go into the bank.   In the event that no one buys the last 10% certificate in the above situation, the ninth player retains the Director's share (with the cash still placed on it to indicate that it is merely a 10% share at that time) until such time as someone is able to buy a second share.  Should the company be floated but no player holds two shares of it, follow the normal 1825 Receivership Rules.

8. Availability of  Major Company Shares
Shares are grouped in "value bands" of certificates bearing the same initial price, as in the normal rules.  However, the availability of shares is somewhat more flexible  in 1825 Maximum, since a larger number of companies can be floated without having to sell out the shares of one company in a previous band.  Yet there are still restrictions, for one cannot advance to the last band by merely selling out all the shares on one company in a band.  As usual, LNWR shares must be bought first.  To be able to purchase shares from the next value band, containing the GWR shares, 6 shares (and no more than 6) of the LNWR must have been purchased.  Once six shares of the GWR have also been bought, players must buy the rest of the LNWR shares before being able to buy MR or NER shares.   This pattern then continues. The chart below indicates the minimum initial shares needed to have been bought to advance to the next band.

Up to 6 LNWR shares must be bought.
Up to 6 GWR shares must be bought.
The four remaining LNWR shares must be bought before any additional shares may be bought.
Up to 6 shares each of MR and NER must be bought, in any order.
The four remaining GWR shares must be bought before any additional shares may be bought.
Up to 6 of the shares of each of GER, LSWR, CR, and NBR must be bought, in any order.
The four remaining of each of the MR and NER shares must be bought before any additional shares may be bought.
Up to 6 of the shares of each of GCR, GNR, L&Y, and SECR must be bought, in any order.
The four remaining of each of the GER, LSWR, CR, and NBR shares must be bought before any additional shares may be bought.
Up to 6 of the shares of each of GSWR and LBSC must be bought, in any order.
The four remaining of each of the GCR, GNR, L&Y, or SECR shares must be bought before any additional shares may be bought.
Players may buy any Minor Companies or the remaining GSWR or LBSC shares, in any order.

Consider the free shares that come with the Stockton & Darlington and the Liverpool & Manchester Private companies to already have been bought for the purpose of advancing to the next level, even if the L&M has not closed.  This free LNWR share, if not yet playable, does not count toward the first 6 LNWR shares needed to float the company, but it will count toward the last four whose sale permits shares of the MR and NER to be open for purchase, even if the L&M private Company is still open.
This procedure guarantees that all 14 Major Companies will ultimately be in play.  The 10 Minor Companies must start last and are less likely to be as game-dominating as under the normal rules.  Note that the basic procedure requires up to 6 of the shares of each company in a band to be bought, but then the companies in the previous band must have had all their initial stock sold out in order to proceed to buy up to six shares of each company in the next band.

9. If a station is fully blocked by other tokens, one cannot run a train to it without paying one of the companies owning the blocking token for the right to use the station.  If the value of the station is £20 or £30, the user must pay £10.  If it is £40 or £50, the user pays £20.  If it is £70 the user pays £30.  For a £100 value London the user pays £40.  Payment is either made before running the train or it is paid from the retained earnings of  the company for that Operating Round.
The London, Tilbury & Southend Minor Railway never pays fees to the GER.
The Midland and Great Northern Railway pays no fees to tokens of the Midland or Great Northern railways.  (It was jointly operated by them.)
The Somerset and Dorset was a joint Railway operated by the Midland and the London & South Western railways, so it pays no fees to either of these tokens.

This rule sets a premium on token placement, and makes those extra four London Stations especially desirable. 

10. Use the Port Variant Rules by Lou Jerkich.  These rules also make token placement valuable.

11. To promote certain hexags or tiles containing large stations requires the presence of a station token.  Only the company or companies having a token on that hexag or tile may make the promotion.  The tiles and hexags which require this are green hexags (London, Liverpool, Bristol and the BGM cities), and any large city tile that is promoted from russet to grey or from green to russet-grey.  (These were all cities of such major importance that there ought to be someone's token in them to represent a major traffic center.)  Token placements may become quite critical for these locations.  Players will need to plan carefully or key cities may not grow for want of a station token.

12. Use the T-Train variant by Lou Jerkich.  Stations in large cities such as London are also valuable when one has one of these T-Trains.

Optional Rules for 1825 Ultima [i.e. adding even more variants to 1825 Maximum]

13. 1923 Amalgamations
As soon as some company buys a 4+4E train (1922 vintage) the 1923 amalgamations occur.  Use the chart below to compel all companies (except the M&GN and the S&DR) to become part of  one of the four new railways: GWR (Great Western Railway), SR (Southern Railway), LMS (London, Midland & Scottish Railway), and LNER (London North Eastern Railway).  Whoever ends up with the most shares in each of these new companies will run the new firm, which will include all the assets of its various constituents.  In the event of ties in the number of shares, those Directors will check on which of their constituent companies floated first and that person whose company was the first floated among the group will become the Director.  This will reduce the Operating Rounds to only a maximum of six company turns, but they will be longer than typical to calculate all the runs from all the many train in each amalgamated company.  Players should not belabor their revenue calculations.  The point of this is to bring the game to a slightly quicker close and save on separate calculations for revenues from each of the 24 railways.  (Note: the LMS and the LNER, will probably make considerably more from their runs than the SR group or the GWR.)

The amalgamations are as follows:
To GWR: GWR; Cambrian, Taff Vale.



To LMS: CR, GSWR, L&Y, LNWR, MR; Furness, HR, LT&S, M&C, NSR.

When the amalgamations occur, each group must calculate its current market value in the following manner.  In each group, separately average the current market values of all the Major Companies and all the Minor Companies.  Determine the average of those two values to reach a final average. (In the case of the SR which owns no Minor Companies, the final average will be solely based on the average of the three Major Companies which comprise the new company.)  Compare the final average with the stock market values.  The new market value for each amalgamated company will be the market value closest to the final average.  In the event of a final average being equidistant between two market values, round up.

The M&GN and the S&DR's train revenues and market values are calculated normally.

14. Tile Lays: Provided that the actions do not take place in the same or adjacent hexags, a major or minor company may lay 2 yellow tiles OR lay one yellow tile and upgrade one green or russet plain tile.  This rule should permit slightly more track to be laid in the course of the game.  Players will be able to make key upgrades while still extending main or branch lines.

15.  Acts of Parliament
When Parliament gave its blessing to a railway through an act, the termini were specified for the new railway or for its extension.  When this variant is used, the company's Director should specify which cities are intended to be linked with track.  The player should set aside a bond (similar to 1853) equivalent to the current (or initial) value of the cities to be connected.  A record should be kept showing the bond amount and listing the value of each city used in the computation.  When the cities have been connected, the player can receive back the bond.  During Share Dealing Rounds, the player first announces the cities that he plans to connect, sets aside his bond money, and then buys the Directorship of the company that is intended to fulfill the conditions of the bond.

For example, if a player intends to link London with Southampton, using the LSWR company, the current value of London is used plus the current value of Southampton.  If no tile has yet been placed on Southampton then the value would correspond to that of an initial yellow tile, which would be £20 in such a case.  If the route is intended to go through additional cities between the two termini, there is no bond charge for the intervening small towns but for large cities there would be a bond value determined in the same fashion as the termini.  For cities that contain two large stations, such as Newport and Cardiff, the player can pay £30 or £40 depending on which initial green tile will be placed there.  If the bond for the city was calculated at £40 but the player chooses to use a £30 tile, that is okay, but not vice versa.  If another company other than the LSWR lays a tile on a bonded city hexag prior to the LSWR, that other company has no obligation to lay a particular tile, other than a legal one, and there is no penalty for the original player who made the bond when he links to that city.  The player will still receive his bond money back when his two termini (and possible intervening cities) are connected.

1825 Fast Progression Variant

Variant created July 22, 2009 by Lou Jerkich.

1. The 7th through 10th shares of each company are unavailable until all companies have been floated.

2. Use the normal rules for progressing from one price group to another, except that shares in Minor Companies may not be bought until all the Major Companies have been floated.  Then the Minors may be floated in any order.

3.  After all companies have been floated with 60% of the shares sold, then players may buy the 7th through 10th shares of any companies they please, at normal par values.

4. During the time that only 60% of the shares in a company may be owned by players, the players may still sell and buy those shares normally.  However, on the first Share Dealing Round of the game, no shares may be sold.

5. In order to speed up play, the players may start with £750 of personal cash so that four companies may begin play on the first Operating Round.  (This works out well for a four-player game.  The starting amount could be adjusted to permit all players in games having other numbers of players to also be able to each start one company in the first Share Dealing Round.)

6. (Optional)  In a single Unit game, players may buy shares of any company and form companies in any order throughout the game. [Note that the use of this optional rule may tend to lessen the distribution of any given company's shares across all players as each player may prefer to buy more shares of the company that he or she is personally forming.]

Having played a game of 1825 Units 1+2 in which the GER, GNR, SECR, and LBSC never formed, although all Minor Companies were in play, this variant was devised to quickly get all companies into play.  By not permitting the 7th through 10th shares of any company to be bought until after all companies are operating, players must invest in new companies rather than placing their cash in previous ones.  Thus in the time it would normally take to sell out all 10 of the LNWR, GWR, and MR shares, in this variant players could also have floated the LSWR and the GNR, for example.  In a four-player game, at the end of the first SR, three players would be directing companies and the 4th would most likely have priority deal to start the next one.  With only 6 shares of the minors able to be bought, players will need to plan accordingly on their starting values so that the Minor Company trains can be purchased and the company be able to be run.  When the last 2-share certificate of a Minor Company has been purchased under this 60% limit, then players may buy any other initial shares at par.  This should result in a scramble to buy shares that have grown the most since formation of the company and/or can be expected to pay handsome dividends.  Receiverships may be more likely as players dump directorships in order to buy better-paying shares.  With more companies coming into play more quickly, more track will be laid and more routes will be possible.  It should make for a lively game with all areas of the board more likely to be developed.

Playtest notes (18 August 2009):
In a four player game of Units 1+2 with all kits, it was found that the companies came into play at a faster pace and all players had a chance to be running companies from early in the game. The track layout developed much more quickly in this game and many station tokens were placed to protect key routes.  Due to more companies being in play sooner, trains entered into play more quickly and the phases advanced more rapidly.  In the 7th Share Dealing Round, the last Minors were floated and then players did a lot of profit-taking by buying the 7th through 10th shares of the various companies and then keeping them for their potential high revenues or selling them at their current high market value.  Some Directorships changed hands, and one company (the NER) went into Receivership when no one any longer owned its shares.  By the start of the next Operating Round, only the 7-trains and the 4+4E Advanced trains remained available for purchase, but one 7-train and one 4+4E were then bought and helped produce very high revenues for their companies.  The NER, in receivership, owned a U3, and there were no companies lacking a train. 

In a four-player game of Unit 1 (N. Norfolk and South West England included, but not Wales) with no Phase 4 and no Advanced Trains, the game progressed at a similar rapid pace so that by the 5th Share Dealing Round all companies were in play.  In this game, players also were given sufficient starting cash so that all players could form a company in the first Share Dealing Round.  Given that there are only six major companies each in Units 1 and 2, and considering the values of those companies in a game solely comprising Unit 2, it appears that if all players will have sufficient starting cash to form a company in SDR1, it should be viable to play a single Unit game in which there is no fixed order of company formation.  Rather, players could buy shares in and start any company they choose during the Share Dealing Rounds.  The only serious disadvantage to having all companies being simultaneously open to formation is that players may focus on buying all six shares in the one company that they each choose to start so that players will therefore tend not to own shares in each other's companies.  The semi-fixed order of formation that is normal to 1825 promotes a greater distribution of shares among the players.

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This page was first created on 23 June 2008 and revised with additions from 23 July through 3 August 2009.  Posted 3 August 2009 and then updated in minor ways on various occasions, most recently 3 June 2010.
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