PBM Play, April 2000 version - by Lou Jerkich, Gamemaster
Note: These House Rules are intended for use in a PBM or PBEM game
of 1835 that requires players to mail their moves in simultaneously
without seeing what other players or companies have done during that
1. The GM has the 2nd edition English translation of the rules by John Webley that came with the game components.
2. The GM recommends that all players visit the GameCorner's 1835 game page and look for a link to the 1835 FAQ by Bill Stoll at a web site called "the Depot." This site contains rulings on common questions about 1835. (These take 8 or 9 sheets of paper to print.) Some of these rulings are from the game's designer; others are Bill's interpretations of what the designer said or are the consensus of other players. All of these rulings appear usable and reasonable to me AND WILL SERVE AS MY GUIDE when necessary EXCEPT for his ruling on question Q3.2.4B which involves Hamburg. For this Bill Stoll gives his version and then gives a conflicting opinion by Jeff Goldsmith. See the next house rule for the GM's version.
3. Hamburg Rules Clarification per this GM: The Hamburg problem lies in the ferry which appears in the brown tile upgrade. The rules (section X, 2nd ed., English) state that "The brown Hamburg tile has a value of 50 if the Elbe ferry is used and 60 if not, (imagine that there is a ferry toll of 10M)." Now suppose that before the upgrade there are two station markers north of the Elbe (say the PrE and the SxE) and another station south of the Elbe (say the BaE).
QUESTION #1: When the tile is upgraded to brown, does it matter what station marker is placed where on the new tile?
GM's ANSWER: YES, it does matter. I would keep the PrE and SxE on the north half of the tile and the BaE on the south. Why--because the tile makes it clear that the Elbe is an obstacle, not to be treated lightly, although the upgrade now provides the ferry as a means of crossing it. If the BaE owned a station south of the Elbe, creating the ferry doesn't magically move it north of the Elbe.
QUESTION #2: How does the station marker placement affect income for companies with markers on the upgraded Hamburg tile?
GM's ANSWER: Using the above example, if any of the three companies located in Hamburg has a run which requires the ferry to be used to reach its next station, the run will pay only 50M for Hamburg. Thus, a run from Kiel (A11) to Hamburg to Bremen (D8) would pay only 50M for the Hamburg portion for any of the three companies. A run from Hamburg to Bremen for the PrE and SxE would also pay only 50M for Hamburg, but would pay 60M for the BaE that wouldn't need to use the ferry. However, the BaE would get only 50M if it started in Hamburg and went north to Kiel.
NOTE: After the upgrade to the brown Hamburg tile, companies without a station in Hamburg must end their run at Hamburg unless at least one of the three station circles is empty. Any company with a station marker on either side of the Elbe in Hamburg may always run through Hamburg "across the ferry," since the ferry is enclosed in the white city oval and therefore it will NOT be counted as track which can be run on only once by a company during its turn.
4. Schwerin and Oldenburg are large cities. Small stations are exclusively those on tiles that can legally be placed on hexes containing one or two black dots. Thus Schwerin (C13) and Oldenburg (D6), even though permanently valued at 10M, must be considered "large stations" if they are on the route of any train which is limited to an equal number of large and small stations (2+2, 3+3, etc.).
5. Pfalzbahnen private company: On the Internet site called The Depot, there is a FAQ (Q4.1) on 1835 that clarifies the Pfalzbahnen private company rule. The game's author has ruled that "the Pfalzbahnen closes when it lays a token on L6, whether or not it uses its power to lay the tile free." Apparently, the 2nd edition English translation of the German rules went too far when it suggested that it closes when both the free tile and the free station had been placed. Thus, it doesn't matter who lays a tile on L6--it is only the placement of the free station that closes the Pfalzbahnen.
6. The Rick Westerman Rule for the PF and NF Private Companies: "The PF and NF token-laying powers can only be used during the company's token-laying phase. This means the NF cannot be used to give the BY two quick tile lays north of Furth-Nurnberg in the first operating round; the BY must lay its tiles before it can lay the NF token." (This ruling is from Rick Westerman's Supplemental Rules at the Mostly 1835 Web site hosted by Bill Stoll.)
7. Track may run to the blank edge of a brown "tile", but not to a blank edge of a brown "map hex". Since nothing in the 1835 game clearly forbids track running into the blank sides of brown "tiles", the GM will allow track to lead to the edge of a "tile" of any color, but not into a blank brown hex side as printed on the map.
8. The Baden Home Token: As an exception to Rule XV.5, the Badische Eisenbahn's first token is laid in its first operating round rather than in the share round when it is floated. (This ruling is also found in Rick Westerman's Supplemental Rules at the Mostly 1835 Web site hosted by Bill Stoll.)
9. Train Purchases: Trains are purchased successively, one at a time. This means that all the consequences of the purchase of one train (such as new train limits) must be worked out before the second is bought, and so on. In addition, a Director can only use his own cash to help purchase a train when the company is forced to buy a train. In such a case, the Director's personal cash can only be used to buy a new train from the bank or a used train from the Bank Pool. The Director's personal cash cannot be used to buy any train from another company.
10. PrE Formation: Rules Clarifications. Paragraph three of section XIII of the rules states: "It is not permitted for the owner of a certificate to gain a bonus by getting two lots of income for any certificate in the same round. If therefore the Prussian Railway is opened at a point in an operating round where its operation would result in a player gaining such a bonus, then the Prussian, although open, does not operate until the following round." The Internet site that contains a FAQ list for 1835 by Bill Stoll includes the following comments about the opening of the Prussian Railway:
According to game author Michael Meier-Bachl: "If the PR forms during an Operating Round (OR), then: a) if the Minor #2 (M2) has already operated, the Prussian (PR) does not operate until the next OR. That is the ONLY instance in which the PR, although formed, does not operate. b) if a Private or Minor company converts to PR in an OR after providing income or operating, then those converted shares earn no PR dividends in that OR. The unpaid dividends stay in the bank." GM ruling: The PrE suffers no share value adjustment if it cannot operate on the turn it opens.
Since the game rules specify players should not get two lots of income for the same certificate in the same Operating Round the GM will allow a Minor company which operates, but pays no dividends for lack of a train, to convert and the owner to receive the subsequent PrE share income in that Operating Round. The possibility of double income can occur only at three possible points. These are at the very first instance when the first "4" train is bought and the PrE is allowed to form, at the moment the "4+4" train is bought and the PrE is required to form, and when the "5" train is bought and all shares must be converted. In the case of the "4+4" train situation, this only is relevant if M2 has not yet converted until that point.
At all other times, the decision to form the PrE or to convert to it is part of the very first part of the operating round activities and takes place before any income is paid out. (1835 Rules: V.2.1 [or V.2.a])
As a point of clarification, since it is unclear in the rules, the GM interprets the combined effects of the above rule (V.2.1/V.2.a) and rule XIII (Bringing the Prussian Railway into service) as follows:
At the start of an operating round, the owner of M2 first decides whether to form the PrE. THEN, starting with the new PrE director (the former owner of M2), the players in turn by "seating order" convert whatever minor railways and relevant private companies they may wish into PrE shares.
If during an operating round, the "4+4" train is bought and the M2 has not yet converted, all players will have once again an opportunity to convert shares to the PrE in the same manner as listed in the previous paragraph. The M2 must convert in this case. When the first "5" train is bought, conversion is immediate and simultaneous for all relevant companies. In all cases, if double income would occur for a player, he does not get the income from the PrE for a certificate converted from some share that already has paid him income.
11. One interesting fine point in the rules is that the Locomotive placement after a Stock Round is determined after everyone passes, but it is always given to the player next in line after the last player to PURCHASE. Thus, it is buying, not selling, that is the critical action in the determination of the last player for purposes of determining the new Locomotive location. This is an easy detail for all, including your GM, to forget, so please alert the GM if it is observed that this detail has been overlooked.
12. Players may send contingency orders, and if they also make clear the player's intentions for a future turn, they will be used in the event of a NMR. (For example, if the GM receives no move from a player who had clearly stated on the previous turn that he had begun to lay track toward Berlin, for the sake of the other investors the GM would on that basis use the track which most directly fulfilled the goal of reaching Berlin. However, this would still count as the first NMR.)
13. In the event of a second NMR, a replacement player will be found.
14. Two or more rounds will be the norm for most turns. Players may request one round when the board situation is complex. The GM may also limit results to one round if he finds that any player's orders for the second of two rounds are considerably out of line with the results of the first round, as may happen when the PrE forms.
15. If the GM incorrectly tallies income, dividends, or capital, and neither he nor any player catches the error before the next adjudication, it will stand unless some other error is noted and relates to or affects the calculation. [Note: the GM keeps ledgers for each company and player, and double-checks all calculations. The board will remain set up throughout. GM errors should be very infrequent.]
16. If the GM receives orders that are ambiguous or unclear, the player may find that all or some of his intended action did not occur, although it will not be counted as a NMR.
17. In the event that a player orders a track tile lay which is impossible because (1) no tile of that number is available or (2) the tile cannot be legally connected for whatever reason, the GM will take the following steps: A. use the player's own contingency plan; B. place a tile which seems to best follow the director's plans for his company as has been revealed to the GM or appears obvious from his current and previous orders; C. place a tile which will give the stockholders maximum income; D. place no tile if there is no foreseeable monetary advantage in this or the next turn. The same logic applies to orders for placing stations. Rationale: Because other stockholders are involved, the GM follows Tom Butcher's approach in Operating Rounds, namely, that the GM considers what players at the table would do when their plans are foiled by the track or station placements of other players.
18. In Stock Rounds, if the player does not specify otherwise, any SELL order will be paired with the "following" BUY order.
19. In Stock Rounds, if a player orders a purchase or sale but does not, or cannot, acquire or sell the named stock, the GM will make no substitutions. Rationale: In the Stock Rounds the player's decisions to buy or sell are part of a very personal game strategy to which other players (and the GM) should have no say. Thus, if you have not provided your own contingency plan--tough luck. There are other personnel in the corporate offices of the railroad company (which the GM can represent) who can help a director (in Operating Rounds) avoid complete mismanagement of a company through neglect, for the sake of the shareholders at large. The GM ought not to have the same role, however, for players who neglect their own personal finances.
20. If the GM receives a message saying that 1Wte or 2MSE are to be bought, the GM will interpret the number as the number of "certificates" regardless of whether they are valued at 5%, 10% or 20%. If 5%, 10% or 20% certificates are specifically desired, then players must say so explicitly, such as "I will buy only the 20% MSE certificate," or "Buy 20% MSE."
21. The THOMPSON VARIATION (2-3-2) WILL BE USED for PBM games, namely:
B. After the ByE and SxE stock has all been sold by the bank, purchases can be made from any three of the five remaining major companies (exclusive of the PrE), with shares from the last two companies unable to be purchased until all the previous shares have been bought from the bank. The four PrE shares are available as soon as the first directorship is purchased after all of the SxE's and ByE's shares have been sold by the bank.
C. The Locomotive will go to the person who comes next in the current sequence after the last purchase is made in the initial stock round. Thus, if we are in the reverse sequence and player #3 bought last, player #2 gets the Loco. After the initial round, the players will take turns in their normal player sequence.
Recommendations from Tom
The six minor Prussian lines are generally considered by the game's
to be undervalued. They believe that to allow one player to own three
more of them is as good as giving him the win in turn 1, the remainder
of the game then becoming an anticlimax. It is accordingly wise to keep
them at or near the top of your priority list.