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The first railway in the Chicago area was the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad. Chartered in 1836, construction was not started until 1848. On October 25, 1848, the Pioneer, with a small group of town dignitaries and the line's directors seated on a flat-bed freight car behind it, chugged five miles west of town to introduce steam railroading to the little city of Chicago. This was the start of railroading in what was to become one of America's largest railroad centres.

This game covers the fortunes of some of the railroads that served the Chicago area.

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1850 was designed by Bill Dixon and published in 2006 by Deep Thought Games.
1850 is © 1993-2006 by W R Dixon.

The game is set in the Chicago area, with seven private companies and nine public companies (corporations).

The game starts with a stock round, during which the private companies are sold by auction. Once the private companies are all sold, shares in the public companies are sold.

The stock round is followed by an operating round, where the private companies pay dividends to their owners and the public companies that have sold enough shares to operate start building their railroads.

The game continues in this way, alternating between stock rounds and operating rounds. In later stages of the game, two or more operating rounds take place before the next stock round.

The game ends when either the bank runs out of cash or a player goes bankrupt.

If the bank runs out of cash at any time, the game continues until the current set of operating rounds is completed. If the bank runs out during a stock round, the next full set of operating rounds are completed. If the bank subsequently becomes solvent before the game ends, this does not have any effect - the game still ends.

If a player goes bankrupt, the game ends as soon as the player in question has sold all shares they are legally allowed to sell.

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The following more unusual features are part of the 1850 game. These summaries are not intended to cover all the rules relating to these features, and are provided as an aide memoire.

Share Price Protection

After shares are sold, the share value of the company is normally adjusted downward on the stock market. In 1850, however, the president of the company whose shares are sold may protect the company's share price by buying the shares. The price does not move until the president declines the opportunity to protect the price. However, note that when selling shares to comply with the certificate limit, a player need not consider the possibility of share price protection, and may proceed on the basis that the price may have dropped into the yellow zone of the stock market. Note that the president always has the option to buy stock, even if the price could not drop.

Share Redemption

During a stock turn, the president of a public company may buy a share of that company on behalf of the company. Such a purchase is considered a redemption. The cost of this redemption is paid from the company's treasury to the bank or the player, depending on the source of the share. The price paid is the current market value. The redemption is that player's sole action for that stock turn and moves the priority card.

Share Reissue

During a stock turn, the president of a public company may reissue redeemed shares on behalf of that company. Reissued shares are placed on the initial display offering. A new par value is calculated as the higher of the old par price or 75% of the current market price rounded to the nearest available par price. The company receives the money for these shares as they are sold, but the company may not use this money until the beginning of the next operating round (i.e. it may not use it to redeem a share in the same stock round). Reissued shares will be shown on the portfolio table in braces {x} as a reminder that the payment for these shares goes to the company treasury.

Edge Tokens

Some of the public companies have an Edge token and an associated space for the token in one of the red off-board areas. If the railroad places a token on that spot, that off-board area counts double for that railroad. This represents a major amount of track that the railroad built outside the area depicted in this game. These tokens cost $50 and count as token placements. The tokens can not be used as the token required in a run. The token spaces are initially shown with grey backgrounds. When the Edge token has been placed the background will be changed to white.

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Mail me © Keith Thomasson June 16th 2010