1825 Variant for the Private Companies by Kevin Lorenz

with contributions by Lou Jerkich

For many players, the Private companies in 1825 appear to be a big waste of time and quickly are sold back to the Bank.  My personal preference is for private Companies that have special powers.   As shown below, this variant provides special powers for most of the Private Companies in 1825.

Swansea & Mumbles Railway [Unit 1]
Cost: £30
Revenue: £5
Special ability: None

Leeds & Middleton Railway [Unit 2]
Cost: £30
Revenue: £5
Special ability: None

Arbroath & Forfar Railway [Unit 3]
Cost: £30
Revenue: £5
Special Ability: None

Tanfield Wagon Way [Unit 3]
Cost: £60
Revenue: £10
Special ability: Provides a free additional tile lay or tile promotion at Durham (K-13) to the designated public company.  If used for a tile promotion, the Tanfield Wagon Way immediately is closed.  If used for an initial yellow tile placement, it remains open until the first type 5 train is bought.

Cromford & High Peak Railway [Unit 1, Unit 2]
Cost: £75
Revenue: £12
Special ability: Provides a half price build in the Mountain at P-14 for the designated public company.  No company may lay track in this hexag until after the designated public company use this ability or the C&HP closes when the first 5 train is bought.  Note that using this power does not close the C&HP.

Canterbury and Whitstable Railway [Unit 1]
Cost: £130
Revenue: £20
Special ability:  The designated company is permitted to lay a free token at Dover (W-25) regardless of whether or not it has a track connection to Dover.  No other company may lay a token there unless this Private Company closes without a token having yet been placed.  When this special power is used, the Private Company closes.

Stockton and Darlington Railway [Unit 2, Unit 3]
Cost: £160
Revenue: £25
Special ability: The owner of this Private Company receives a free share of the NER.  (If playing a combined game that includes Unit 1, no additional NER shares may be bought by any player until the GWR has been sold out.  Nor may this free share of the NER be sold until the Director's share of the NER has been bought.)  The S&D Private Company does not close until the first type 5 train is bought.

Liverpool and Manchester Railway [Unit 1, Unit 2]
Cost: £210
Revenue: £30
Special ability:  The owner of this Private Company also receives a free share of the LNWR.  The L&M Private Company does not close until the first type 5 train  is bought.

Special Rules
1. Randomly determine the player seating order clockwise around the table.  The starting private railways should be offered for sale in the order listed above using the buy/bid/pass method common to many 18xx games.  Use only those Private Companies appropriate for the Unit or Units being played.  When several units are combined, only one of the companies that cost £30 should be used.  Note that additional shares of the LNWR are not available until all the Private Companies have been sold. 

2. Starting with the first player, each player either buys the lowest-priced Private Company still available for purchase, passes, or bids on another company in the sequence of Private Companies.  The first bid must exceed the initial price of  that private company by at least £5.  Subsequent bids must also exceed the previous high bid by at least £5.  The player making a bid must set aside enough money to cover his bid.  This amount cannot be used for anything else unless his bid is exceeded by another player.  Once having bid on a company, a player does not have to raise the bid again unless he later participates in an auction and wishes to outbid his opponents.  Play continues around the table with each player having the opportunity to buy, pass or bid each time it is his turn and there are Private Companies still for sale.

3. After a Private Company has been purchased, if there is one bid on the next available company it immediately is sold to that bidder.  If the next company also has only one bid on it, then it also is sold to that bidder, and so on.  If two or more players have already bid on the next available company, then only those who already have bids on that Private Company are eligible to participate in an auction for that company.  During the auction, the eligible player seated to the left of the player with the highest bid may increase the highest bid by at least £5 or pass.  If he passes, he is henceforth out of that auction.  Bidding continues around the table until all have passed except one remaining high bidder, who then buys the company for his latest bid price.

4. The purchase of Private Companies having one or more bids occurs separate from the turn sequence.  When such companies have been purchased and the next available company has no bid upon it, play resumes with the player to the left of the last person to buy a Private Company that had no bids upon it.  When the last Private Company has been bought by a player, the person whose turn is next may buy the Director's share of the first available public company or he can pass.  Play thereafter continues normally per the 1825 rules.

5. For the Tanfield Wagon Way, the Cromford & High Peak, and the Canterbury & Whitstable Privates, the owner of the Private Company indicates which operating public corporation that he or she directs is to receive the special ability.  The Stockton and Darlington Railway and the Liverpool & Manchester Railway provide their free shares as soon as the relevant Private Company card is acquired by the player.

6. All Private Companies are closed when the first type 5 Train is bought.  The Private Companies may never be sold back to the bank.

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This page created on July 15, 2008. 
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