HOUSE RULES FOR 1835

Cyberboard PBEM version - by Lou Jerkich, Gamemaster

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. Home Tokens: In the Stroup Variant, an operating company's first act is always to lay its free home station.  This is an exception to Rule XV.5.  In the event that the Stroup Variant is not used, the Badische Eisenbahn's home token must still be 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. The STROUP VARIANT will be used unless the players agree otherwise.

13. These house rules apply whenever the THOMPSON VARIANT (2-3-2) is to be used [see part J in the linked site] instead of the Stroup Variant:
14. Non-cooperation Rules
We will use our customary non-cooperation rules, namely:

A.
Non-cooperation between players and companies not owned by the same player except as noted in "the 30% rule" (see 'B below).

B. "The 30% rule": The owner of at least 30% of the stock of a corporation may make 'positive' suggestions to the President of that corporation about the laying of track, the placing of tokens, and the buying of trains. These suggestions/recommendations can only be made if they are clearly 'for the profit' of that company. Token placement suggestions should only be recommendations to place a token in a particular spot, not to avoid placing it in a certain location. (E.g., OK: "I think we protect the company's route best by placing a token this time in Frankfurt and next time in Essen." Not allowed: "Don't place a token in Hamburg.") Suggestions to lay or upgrade track should state the profit or good results to be expected. They should not be requests to avoid track placement in a particular direction or to avoid upgrades. A suggestion to buy a train should emphasize the profits to be made over the current trains or the advantage of getting a permanent train at that point.

C. Players may openly discuss (in public announcements before all other players) joint efforts to buy enough shares to float a company. In these discussions, players can be freer about expressing their rationale for why they might want or not want to help start a company.  However, in 1835 when using the Stroup Variant, these situations may not often occur until later in the game when 4 or 5 shares are needed to float a company.

D. These house rules allow for some advice-giving but only in a positive manner for the company's good. Suggestions to 'avoid' doing something have the possibility of inferring that the suggesting player has other things in mind for a certain track or station position. Therefore they need to be avoided.  Thus, it is never appropriate to even raise the issue of keeping a route token-free in a given city.  Someone would benefit from open routes more than another player, and such an agreement can turn the tide against a player who doesn't even have access to that city.  Such a bargain often means that one of the beneficiaries of the agreement also would have tokens to spare to block some other company elsewhere.  In effect, even if not deliberately intended, it can have the same effect as a deliberate collusion between two or more players that hurts another player.
 
15. Recommendations from the GM: Sitting on cash in hand that could be invested in stocks rarely, if ever, works to one's advantage. Moreover, in 1835 it also makes it correspondingly easier for other players to then purchase additional shares, thereby perhaps reaching 60% of ownership in a company. That allows the company to nationalize, which gives a financial edge to its Direktor. Plan ahead and make contingency plans for intelligently spending your cash in the Stock Rounds so that you don't end up lagging behind because you needlessly gave the competition an opportunity to profit while you dallied in your purchases.

16. Observation from Tom Butcher: The six Minor Prussian lines are generally considered by the game's veterans to be undervalued. They believe that to allow one player to own three or 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 during the initial stock round.

17. Standard Abbreviations to be used in Cyberboard Games.

These abbreviations are mostly based on the tokens in the Cyberboard 1835 Gamebox.
 
Thus we will have:
By = Bayerische Eisenbahn = Bayern = Bavarian
Sx = Sächsische Eisenbahn = Sachsen = Saxon
Ba = Badische Eisenbahn = Baden
Wt = Württembergische Eisenbahn = Wurttemberg
He = Hessische Eisenbahn = Hessen = Hessian
MS = Eisenbahn Mecklenburg-Schwerin = Mecklenburg-Schwerin
OL = Oldenburgische Eisenbahn = Oldenburg
Pr = Preußische Eisenbahn = Preussen = Prussian
 
 
M1 = Minor #1 = Bergische-Märkische Bahn
M2 = Minor #2 = Berlin-Potsdamer Bahn
M3 = Minor #3 = Magdeburger-Bahn
M4 = Minor #4 = Köln-Mindener Bahn
M5 = Minor #5 = Berlin-Stettiner Bahn
M6 = Minor #6 = Altona-Kiel Bahn
 
 
Use the following for the Private Companies:
BB = Braunschweigische Bahn = Braunschweig
HB = Hannoversche Bahn = Hannoverian
LD = Leipzig-Dresdner Bahn = Leipzig-Dresdner
NF = Nürnberg-Fürth
OB = Ostbayerische Bahn = Ostbayern
PF = Pfalzbahnen = Pfalzbahn
 
Note: I've made the Oldenburg be OL instead of Ol since the latter may look like a letter O followed by a #1.




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This page created on 10 September 2008.  Additions made (especially #14) on 19 September 2008.  Corrected links and added Section 17 on 1 November 2009.
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