1830 Railroads & Robber Barons Frequently Asked Questions


Author/Editor : Michael Carlton email:mcarlton@mcs.net

My 1830 Home Page http://www.mcs.net/~mcarlton/

Version: 1.0 - June 24 1995, Version 1.01 - July 4, 1995, Version 1.02 - July 9, 1995, Version 1.03 - July 13, 1995

Version 1.10 - July 21, 1995, Version 1.20 - August 8,1995, Version 1.21 - August 13, 1995, Version 1.25 - August 19 1995

Mod 1.01 - Added link to my homepage additional comments from Steve Thomas

Mod 1.02 - Added additional comments from contributors. Keep them coming. Added random map replay and a random map game.

Mod 1.03 - Added many comments from Nigel Buckle.

Mod 1.10 - Added 18xx Article info from David Reed. Many thanks to him for allowing me to use his article. Stuart Dagger, Chris Farrell, and Bill Dixon thanks as well..

Mod 1.20 - Added The General Articles index, New July patch location!

Mod 1.21 - Add comments from Russ Williams and some other ideas I had.

Mod 1.25 - Add comments mostly for the hardest level from Elliott Bonnett.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to the 1830 FAQ. This is a rough draft. I will preface this FAQ by saying I have only played 1830 - the board game once so I am not a veteran here. Most all my experience lies with the computer version. Also I have played most of my games with 3 opponents. I need some input about other opponent numbers.

Naturally, if you find a mistake, or have some information to add, send it to me and I'll add it in for the next version. This document has been created as a HTML and the text form will be created from that. I would like to thank some of the contributors:

to this FAQ, as well as other snippets from usenet posters, it was much appreciated. I did not always quote the contributors. Many times I grabbed the essence or combined with other input.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1) Introduction

1.1) What is 1830?

1.2) What is the latest patch? Where can I get it?

1.3) How can I contact / e-mail Avalon Hill?

1.4) Is there an 1830 strategy guide?

1.5) Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ?

1.6) Anyway to play 1830 multi-user?

1.7) How can I replay a random map?


2) Strategies

2.1) Private Companies

2.2) Railroad Corporations

2.3) What par value should I pick?

2.4) How do I use the railheads effectively?

2.5) Pay Dividends or Keep?

2.6) Why do I always seem to have no trains and no money?

2.7) How many players should I play with?

2.8) Personalities of the Computer Players

2.9) Train Buying / Swapping

2.10) Buying and selling of stock

2.11) Random Map and other variants

2.12) Track Placement

2.13) Dumping of Companies


3) Game Operations

3.1) What is the difference between the Floppy and CD-ROM versions of 1830?

3.2) The CD version is slow - how do I get it onto my hard disk?

3.3) Minimum requirements


4) Advanced Topics

4.1) How can I get 1830 to run on OS/2?

4.2) What DOS configuration to use?

5) Bug Reports

6) Misc. ideas

7) Tell me about the 18xx Board Games

8) Reference Articles in Avalon Hill's "General" Magazine and other resources


1) Introduction

This section introduces 1830, and provides basic information, such as where to

get the latest patch.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.1) What is 1830 Robbers and Rail Barons?

In 1830 you play the role of a rail baron that will buy, sell and operate railroad corporations. The emphasis is more on creating a huge fiscal empire more than creating train routes and running trains.

The game is a straight conversion of the boardgame designed by Francis Tresham that Avalon Hill released in 1982. Bruce Shelly was one of the principal designers of the board game and later (amongst other things) designed Railroad Tycoon with Sid Meier (Microprose 1990).

It was written by SIMTEX (Master of Magic, Master of Orion, and the upcoming Metal Lords) and published by Avalon Hill.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1.2) What is the latest patch? Where can I get it?

The latest patch is version ???. There has only been one so far and it is about 500k of just an 1830.exe.

It was released in early May. This patched fixed 2 bugs and both very minor :

New Patch (July 18 1995). They don't seem to go by Version Numbers just date.

Type 1830 v (v for version) to check what version you have.

The July 18th patch added/fixed

(RW)

CompuServe in Game Publishers C (GO GAMCPUB) in Avalon Hill's library.

ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/dresden/games/patches/1830jul.zip (including the july update!)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1.3) How can I contact / e-mail Avalon Hill?

Internet 72662.1207@compuserve.com

AHGAMES@AOL.COM

CompuServe 72662,1207 or GAMCPUB

Customer Support M-F 8:30am-5pm EST (410) 426-9600

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1.4) How can I get the 1830 strategy guide?

None exist, or planned, as far as I know, there may have been a few articles in The General many years ago but I am unsure on this (anyone?)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1.5) Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ?

WWW: <URL: http://www.mcs.net/~mcarlton/home.html

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1.6) Anyway to play 1830 multi-user?

There is no network or modem play but you can play hotseat and this seems to work real well since you have nothing to hide in this game.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.7) How can I replay a random map?

Regenerating the same random map:

Whenever a random map is generated (by starting a game with the random map option on), a file called LASTSEED is created in your

1830 directory. If you like a random map and would like to play it again, execute the DOS command:

COPY LASTSEED READSEED

and then rerun 1830. The program will read the random seed from the file READSEED if it exists, thus repeating the same map again

for you instead of making a new random map. You may save several seed files with whatever other name you like, or write down the

seeds (you can TYPE LASTSEED; it's a plain text file) and create READSEED yourself with a text editor. (readme)

Back to Table of Contents

**************************************************************************************

2) Strategies

2.1) What are Private Companies and which ones should I bid ?

These are what you are bidding for in the beginning:

By purchasing them it allows you to prevent anyone from building a rail line into those designated hexes. They also return a dividend as long as they have not been sold to a corporation or the first 5 train has been purchased. Keeping in mind that I usually play on average level, so the other cp's don't bid up that high.

I find that the C&A or the B&O are the most interesting. C&A has a great dividend plus it gives you one share of Pennsylvania RR. B&O is my other favorite since this gives you the presidents share of the B&O. So if you want to run either one of these Railroads it helps to buy the corresponding private companies.

Others can be helpful, like the C&SL if you are going to run the Canadian Pacific. This gives a quick city to connect to. D&H gives you an extra railhead to place with an access to New York City. I never bother with the M&H actually (help anyone?). And the SVRR I end up buying not for its value or hex on the map, rather to speed up the initial bidding. I bid on the Private company I want then buy the SVRR outright and this will end the round rather quick.

As a side note, B&O is both a private company and a Railroad. It is the oddity of the companies. By purchasing the B&O private company it gives you the president's share (2 shares) of the B&O Railroad. It will give you a dividend for as long as B&O railroad has not been floated (60% of the shares sold) This is a powerful company and worth the cost IMHO.

Other views:

In the company bidding, don't bother with the two most expensive companies. Instead, try to get two or three of the others (that don't have a lot of computer opponents bidding on them). These will give you the most return on your money. The first three can also usefully be sold to one of your corporations for double their value, just before they expire, and the second and third will be of use to that corporation. Trade the fourth one, if you get it, for a share of NYC, just before the companies expire. In the early going, your return for companies will be a lot higher than for corporation stock. (JAC)

While the SVR and CS&L have the best cost/dividend ratio, they are unquestionably the worst private companies to buy. Private companies, in my experience (which isn't amazing, but I've played the game more than a few times) are used to get a large cash inflow in the _player's_treasury in the stock round after the first 3 train is gone, often allowing a quick company float. Since a player's corporation can buy his or her privates for double the original price, the C&A becomes the best private (undervalued by the computer opponents, btw), for not only does it give a PRR share (not necessarily used to take control of the PRR corp, but worth money later) but it also is worth the most ``fast cash''. (EH)

The main benefit of buying a Private Company is the option of buying it with a Corporation. The idea is that you can lend yourself money this way. Because money in your pocket makes money, this way you can really make a killing. This factor makes the M&H and C&A more valuable than they would otherwise be. The fact that the C&A comes with a free PRR share does not mean that the C&A owner ought to go for the PRR himself. Anyone can do it. The free B&O President's share does mean that the B&O private owner can defend the B&O corp if he has the money. (ST)

If you've been forced to take B&0, and you've NOT got enough cash to float it at $100, the PC WON'T help you (unlike the board game with humans), so still set a par price at $100, then wait until the other players have started buying shares (remember they CAN'T sell shares in the first round), once it is safe (ie. no-one can afford to buy 3 shares in B&0, i.e. no one has any shares and < $300, if they buy shares - fine, you'll be able to float it!), don't buy any more B&O shares, just invest in THEIR companies instead - that way you'll get the $30 income from the private, which is MORE that B&O makes in the first turn(s) anyway! Then next turn (or better, as soon as someone else buys a B&O share) dump enough of the lowest paying company(s) shares you have to give you the capital to float B&O (and retain control). (NB)

Hardest Level insight:

For example you state that the C&A is good value, and the computer players let you get it cheap. Not on Hardest, no way! They will bid up to ~$260 for it. I find that the bidding process involves forcing the computer players to buy the privates for as much as possible. Bear in mind that they will ALWAYS sell their privates to their public companies, as early as possible. (EB)

Some comments on playing at Hardest, and differences in playing styles from how our group has always played the Board game.

On Hardest the computer players are out to get YOU. They will collude to get the privates for the cheapest price between them (no bidding wars between Cps) but will always bid you up as high as possible. I find I have to bid on as many private companies as possible in the initial bidding (starting with the C&A and working down), and then indulge in a bidding war with the CPs for each private. You do not necessarily want to get these companies, but aim to make the CPs pay as much as possible for them. The Cps will usually go to 150% of the face value of the company (higher for the C&A). (EB)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.2) Railroad Corporations

You have 8 (9 if you played the reading variant) Railroads to buy stock on. You will notice the Presidents share of B&O is gone and 1 share of Pennsylvania is gone as well. A quick rundown on each.

  1. Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) is one of the best companies to run. It gives you 4 railheads to thwart your opponents and usually will get a clear shot at New York City for the big bucks. If it can't go to NY it always has the back do to get to Chicago or north up to Erie RR territory. This is usually my first choice. Also If you get your hands on a diesel this RR can make it shine.
  2. Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) is a big money maker in the early going and the stock seems to be one of the highest by end game. In first few rounds you can make 150-200 easily with the right railhead placement. In an interview of Steven Barcia (the designer of 1830 PC) said this was his favorite. The stock usually is one of the tops as well.
  3. New York Central Railroad (NYC) sits in upstate NY and can run well with a diesel but it usually doesn't end up high on the stock market. It has 4 (thanks Elliott) railheads which is good to keep the diesel running well but I the way I play this is definitely a second round of start ups type railroad.
  4. Canadian Pacific Railroad (CanPac) is up in Canada and usually won't be bothered by its competitors much but as a start up I never go four it at least initially. This railroad is tough to make very profitable without at least a 4 or better train. 2 and 3's is rather lack luster because of station values that are lower.
  5. Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) is out on the western front by itself with quick access to Chicago. I do like running this one. You don't have the early money runs of B&O but it can be impressive with bigger trains. You usually get shut out of NYC but you can go up northeast towards Erie and possibly sneak into NYC from the Northern end later in the game. The stock usually doesn't end up to high but it can be a leader at times.
  6. Erie Railroad is a late starter as well, because until green tiles are available you can place a track out of the initial railhead. The stock can swing high to low and is a generally OK railroad is started later.
  7. New York, New Haven, & Hartford (NYNHH) starts out in NYC which an excellent spot to start. The down side is that it only has one extra railhead. The computer tends to place it on the hex between NYC and the B&M main hex. So as you guessed the Diesel runs won't be extensive. But this is a powerful RR in that with any size train it will run well and a 5 or 5 & 6 train at end game can clean up some revenue. This usually is a first start RR and worthy of purchasing.
  8. Boston & Maine (B&M) is limited in that it does not have but one extra railhead and it is placed up in Boston. It needs to either get to NYC or Albany (NYNHH or NYC railhead sites respectively) right away before it gets boxed out. The stock price at least for me ends up middle of the field but occasionally it is the leader in the $300 range.
  9. Reading Railroad is only available if the reading option is selected. I've only tried this option a few times as a second start up and with pretty good success. Reading has the advantage of getting the president's share equaling 30% instead of 20%. When this railroad is in play early it can shut out B&O from NY and help PRR early with longer runs. Anyone has other experiences????

PRR:

Start up a company, preferably PRR, immediately. The advantage of PRR is that you only need to buy five shares, since one is already out. A good second choice on the default map (if PRR is already taken) is NYNC. Set the par value to be the maximum that you can afford to actually start up the company this stock round. (JAC)

Buy only the stock needed to start up that company this round. If you do not have enough money to start a company this round, buy no stock. All stock will have negative return (since they generate no revenue) the first round, so you are going to be taking a loss. In general, never buy stock in any opponent startup the same round it is started, since it will generate negative return. (JAC)

It's all very well holding back, but you should be aware that in the second round good stock may not be available in the desired quantity, and that having a cash mountain at the end of SDR1 will cause the priority for the 3rd round to be, probably, to your left. This is the wrong place for it! Also, stock probably won't be any cheaper to buy in SDR2 than it was in SDR1. (ST)

Don't count on help floating a company - you WON'T get it! (NB)

C&SL is a bit of a turkey - if you float it early, you need to have C&L private to have any chance, but the station markers it gets are nice so it is quite viable later, play it aggressively - break into an existing route and slap down some station markers (NB)

B&M is similar, NYC & NYNH can effectively shut it out of the nice routes, the lack of station markers is also part of the problem, it is only viable as a 'support' company for another (floated late for $100) or supported by NYC or NYNH. (NB)

When buying companies, try to get ones that 'link up' so track building etc. is faster. E.g. C&O and PPR, C&O and Erie, NYNH & NYC, etc (NB)

Our gaming group considers CPR & B&M to be the worst startups. But as is frequently discussed on rec.games.board, these perceptions among 1830 groups have a self-fulfilling nature. (RW)

Back to Table of Contents

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.3) What par value should I pick?

I usually pick 76-90 on the first round and always 100 on the second round of start ups. I always want the 100 so I can buy trains for the first corporation that I floated. I find it best to pick the highest par that you can still afford to float the corporation that round.

When starting a 2nd railroad, definitely set a high par value; only consider $100 if 5 trains are coming out soon, I'd say. Certainly only $100 if 5's have already been bought. (RW)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.4) How do I use the railheads

Many hexes have two station holders. One thing I have found effective is to have two profitable corporations, and have them each buy a station at a couple of crucial hexes. This can "shut out" the opposition pretty effectively, while allowing you free reign. (JAC)

Don't build track that will help an opponent railroad owned by the leading baron. (JAC)

Rarely pay to build track. Usually the computer will for you, saving you the cash. (JAC)

If you have problems spotting which tiles have station markers (or not), try turning the 'tile values' off. (NB)

When we played the board game, we used to hold back on token placement, saving tokens for that "ideal" place. No more. Computer players in 1830 will aggresively build a route with tokens, (especially companies with lots of tokens like the NYC, PRR and CanPac) , We now place tokens as aggresively as the computer, long gone are those $800+ Diesel routes. (EB)

I could use more strategies here!!!!!!!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.5) Pay Dividends or Keep?

When in doubt always Pay Dividends. This raises the stock value and is one of the most important things to do. You may find that you will have to keep from time to time if you can't get another corporation. To fund your 1st RR permanent trains. Also in order to lay a railhead.

Withholding should be done *very* infrequently. About the only times to do it are to be able to buy a permanent train this time, or to keep a share price down in the yellow/orange/brown. (ST)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.6) Why do I always seem to have no trains and no money?

5 and higher are the permanent trains, all the others get obsolete at one time or another. The scramble is always on to get the permanent trains. I like to buy only one 4 so I can trade in for a Diesel. But always jockey yourself so you can get those 5 trains. Float that second RR up to buy trains for the first one.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.7) How many players should I play with?

The number of players changes the game by an amazing amount. I usually play with 3 opponents but I think I will try some of the other combos. It should get tougher as you add more opponents. As you add the additional opponents, your amount of starting cash dwindles and therefore makes it harder to float a corporation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.8) Personalities of the Computer Players

I cant be sure if there actually is any difference in the programming for the robber barons but this is what I have noticed:

Back to Table of Contents

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.9) Train Buying / Swapping

The double whammy is my favorite. It requires you to have one 4 train and usually a 3 as well, by your primary corporation. You start up you second (or third) corporation with par value 100. You buy a 3 train from your primary line for as much bucks as you can while still allowing the company to buy a 6 train as well. The six will eliminate the 3 you just bought off your primary. Then you must strike immediately with your primary to trade in the 4 train for the diesel ($800 - the good price). This will knock all you opponents out of trains (3 and 4 trains are now obsolete). Since they have no trains, their stock will take a hit without paying a dividend and make them yank money out of their treasury to buy trains as well.

This strategy is kind of tough to work out. It can't be done each game but I always try to jockey myself into position for it. A couple of tips :

Try to avoid having to buy a train with YOUR cash - it is usually better to take in with the company. If nothing else, buying a train with YOUR cash leaves the company with $0 money, so there is no flexibility for you to 'swap' trains for $1 between companies (maybe this should be expanded on as a tip, but it seems really obvious to me ... I guess I've played the original board game too much ) (NB)

Back to Table of Contents

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.10) Buying and selling of stock

Robber Baron techniques:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other techniques:

In all of this, there is a crucial equation: return = price diff + div / 10;

In other words, to see how much return you will get from a share of stock in a turn, you need to check three things:

  1. Is the cash position of the company sufficient for the company to declare dividends this turn?
  2. Check the stock market and see what the numbers are in the cell just before and just after the current cell of he company. Subtract the current stock price from these numbers to determine price difference for declaring or not declaring dividends this turn. You can also determine probable revenues for the next turn from this screen and the map screen.
  3. If the company can declare dividends, its return will be positive and be determined by the positive price difference + its revenues / 10 (since there are 10 shares in the company). If not, its return is negative and is determined by negative price difference. (JAC)

For any stock round, figure out the average return on each stock available for the number of turns until the next stock round (using the technique described above). You want to be invested in stocks that will generate the greatest return. (JAC)

During mid-game when 5 trains have just come out, do a quick scan of corporations. If you are invested in any corporation that has no 5 trains and is short of cash, I suggest bailing out of that stock. It is either going to be:

  1. Looking to dump onto another player
  2. keeping its profits to buy an engine therefore reducing stock price and you won't be receiving a dividend.

Never own more than one share in a company that could be dumped. A dumpable company is indicated by a low cash position in combination with the need to buy trains soon. (A prime example is a company with two four trains with diesels able to be introduced the next round.) If you have a dumpable company and someone owns at least two shares, dump it on them. (JAC)

If you have excess cash, buy any yellow stocks that will have positive return, even if it is not the highest. Then you can own more total stock. (JAC)

Never have less than a 50% position in a corporation you own unless you are trying to dump it.

Never leave a stock round without having purchased as many shares as you can. Stock earns money; cash just sitting in your treasury doesn't. If you are getting close to your certificate limit, then give much greater weight to buying yellow stock even if it will earn less. Of course if there are white shares that are going to earn an incredible amount more, then grab them. (RW)

On Hardest Level:

The CPs always make sure 1 of your shares of your highest value company is in the pool. They especially love keeping your company on the "sawtooth" section of the share price index (so that you spend half your time moving your share price up, when you really want to move it right). They don't do this to each other, but always do it to you, even if it would be in the best interests of the CP to buy the share. This induces a certain degree of paranoia:) . (EB)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.11) Random Map and other variants

See section 1.7 for how to replay a random map.

Playing the random map adds quite a bit to the game if you want a change of pace. This is one huge advantage over the board game. I am starting to pick up some clues on how to pick the good locations / Corporations from the bad. I usually look for:

I played an interesting random map <291966596>. Most of the corporations were out on the west side with the exception of NYNHH. I played with three other opponents and won! I played B&O which is unusual for me on a random map. I got a score of 1564, can anyone beat it? I'm sure you could if you tried. B&O stock was highest and then Erie and C&O. Let me know of other maps you have played. Just give me the value in the lastseed file.

Back to Table of Contents

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.12) Track Placement

The placement of the tile outside NewYork - between the starting hex of NYC and NYNH is VITAL (it's a double city that does NOT update), if you are planning on floating either NYC or NYNH early (or even B&M) - ensure YOU are the player who gets the chance to lay this tile, otherwise you'll get shut out. (NB)

Don't buy a train which frees up the next set of tiles (unless you have to) unless you have a company that can use them before the PC player(s) - otherwise your best laid plans go out of the window when the PC updates a tile (not the way you wanted it) and usually plunks down a station marker to really rub salt in the wound. (NB)

CALCULATE YOUR ROUTES YOURSELF - you might make pointless updates / new tile lays expecting to increase your revenue, and you don't because the PC has found a 'better' route you missed! (NB)

2.13) Dumping of Companies

The following assumes hardest level, but can also be implemented on lower levels I would think: (MC)

One useful strategy to use is the loot and dump strategy, especially in the early going. My favourite implementation of this strategy is to get the NYNH&H or B&M early, buy up lots of cheap 2 and 3 trains, token place on that town between Boston and New York (on the seaboard), and run for early dividends. When you can float another company (the NYC or the C&O are my favourites for this second float) do it. If the computer players invest in your first company (and this early on they usually do, its paying good dividends, and the death of the 2s and 3s is a long way off) your ready for a dump. IMPORTANT you want the priority deal. Once you have bought the final share in your 2nd company, STOP buying. Usually the computer players will diddle about, buying up your shares and then dumping single shares to lower your share price. LET THEM, DON'T INTERFERE.

At the end of the share round, determine if you will be able to dump the company. Another player must hold at least 20%, and you must be able to sell enough shares to transfer ownership. Remember only 50% of the company can be sold into the bank pool, and if you haven't got the priority deal, make sure that the players that go before you can't interfere by selling stock into the bank pool. If everything is OK put plan A (dump company) into operation. Assuming 3 trains have been bought,and thus there are 2 operating rounds between stock rounds, you should operate

your first company as normal. Track place to help your second company if you can, and run for dividends. Your second company should then track place and buy one or two trains, one from the bank (if you don't want your second companies stock price to go back again - but don't kill the 2's by buying the first 4 train), and one from the first company. On the second operating round, withold dividends with your first company and buy the worst of company 2's trains for all Company 1's cash. Then operate company 2 as normal, paying dividends if you can, and buy as many of company 1's trains as possible (best first), hopefully you can buy all its trains, leaving it with none :)

At the start of the next stock round, REMEMBER to dump the now crippled company one (Congratulations Mr Westinghouse, you are now President of a fantastic company :)) You now have a company with a lot of cash and lots of trains, and Mr Westinghouse has a company with a very low share price, no money, and few or no trains. Welcome to the world of Robber Barons :)

(Its at this point that Mr. Westinghouse bankrupts, and gives the game to another computer player, even though I am all set up to cream the lot of them, I still haven't worked out how to avoid this :)) (EB)

Back to Table of Contents

**************************************************************************************

3) Game Operations

3.1) What is the difference between the Floppy and CD-ROM versions of 1830?

No difference in the game or what comes with it. The CD-ROM version allows you to play with a minimum install but since the whole thing takes a mere 11MB, I just installed the whole thing to disk. A tip to save room, delete the opening.lbx file. It brings the space down to 5MB and all you lose is the opening intro. (readme)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2) The CD version is slow - how do I get it onto my hard disk?

If you installed it partially, Just reinstall with everything.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.3) Minimum requirements

The Box Says

I found that on my 486/66 16MB it ran fine on average opponents. If I went to hard or harder the computer wound take forever it seemed to run the other railroads. I realize that it takes more for the AI but it was unbearable to me. I usually get a run for my money on average though. The sound was by the FAT MAN (George Sanger) of MOM and Master of Orion fame. I really like his stuff. That MOM soundtrack was outstanding on a Sound Canvas. There are about 13 different tunes but not all original. Some are old classics like the entertainer, a bit of Mozart and some train tunes. Some may turn off the sound, but I keep it on.

Back to Table of Contents

******************************************************************************************************

4) Advanced Topics

4.1) How can I get 1830 to run on OS/2?

I've tried it and it works yet it asks for the copy protection about 5 times. This is every game. Not just the first time like under DOS. But if you want to try these settings below.

Open a DOS full-screen window, type PROMPT $p$g (to get rid of the legend that blocks the top line of the screen), try to run 1830.EXE, and see what error message you get. Chances are it will say you don't have enough expanded memory. You need at least 2700KB of EMS, 3000KB for first version.

If that's what it says, go to the DOS settings in the program object that you use to launch 1830 and set the EMS_MEMORY_LIMIT to, say, 3000, to give yourself a little leeway. Try again.

DOS_FULLSCREEN=ON

DOS_BACKGROUND_EXECUTION=OFF

DOS_HIGH=ON

DOS_RMSIZE=640

DOS_UMB=OFF ; exception-if you run into a rare game that will use UMB's

DPMI_MEMORY_LIMIT=0

HW_ROM_TO_RAM=ON

HW_NOSOUND=OFF

HW_TIMER=ON

IDLE_SECONDS=10

IDLE_SENSITIVITY=100

INIT_DURING_IO=ON

KBD_ALTHOME_BYPASS=ON

IDEO_FASTPASTE=ON

VIDEO_RETRACE_EMULATION=OFF

VIDEO_ROM_EMULATION=OFF

4.2) What DOS configuration to use?

I have:

486/66

Sound Blaster 16

Roland Sound Canvas (SCC1)

I use PC DOS 6.3 with QEMM 7.5 using stealth with absolutely no problems with the possible exception of it being slowish (30-60 sec)for the computer players to make a turn on hard or higher in the later rounds.

ou may want to give it more ems memory if you got it.

Back to Table of Contents

***************************************************************************

5) Bug Reports

Any others I'm unaware of?

***************************************************************************

6) Misc. ideas

If you get bored playing 1830 against computers, I suggest a few scenarios using the multi-player feature:

It is amazingly hard to setup a coalition. Of course if they could trade privates, it would be a lot easier, but still... (CFG)

If you are having real trouble - try using a random map, the PC players are much weaker on those. (NB)

The AIs do indeed play less well on random maps, primarily because the standard map is so well balanced whereas on random maps some railroads are "obviously" lousy (to the human intuition) but the AI has a harder time recognizing that. (RW)

Back to Table of Contents

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7) Tell me about the 18xx board games

As most of you know 1830 was based of the 1830 board game, released in 1982, but in the same genre as 1830 there are board games in the same vein as 1830 dealing with variants of the rules and locations. (RRI) Included in the list are the following:

The Titles:

1825: Covers England and Scotland. +

1827: Covers all of the continental United States.+

1829 (South): Covers Southern England and the Midlands.*

1829 (North): Covers Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland.*

1830: Covers Northeast United States and Southeast Canada.

1832: Covers Southeast United States. +

1835 (1): Covers Germany.

1835 (2): Covers Germany.

1837 (1): Covers Austria.

1837 (2): Covers the Austro-Hungarian Empire

1839 (1): Covers Holland.*

1839 (2): Covers Northern Italy.

1847: Covers Southern Germany and the Alsace-Lorraine area.@

1850 (1): Covers Sicily.

1850 (2): Covers Midwest United States. +

1853: Covers Imperial India.

1856: Covers South Central Canada. +

1869 (1): Covers Transcontinental United States.+

1869 (2): Covers Transcontinental United States.+

1870: Covers Midwest United States and the Mississippi River Valley. +

1874: Covers Michigan-Wisconsin-Minnesota-Central Canada.+

1881: Covers Berlin's tramways.*

1899: Covers Korean Peninsula and China around the Yellow Sea.

2038: Covers the Solar System.+

+ Not yet Released * Out of Print @ Rumor of title only (DMR)


1825 England And Scotland

Designed by Francis Tresham - To be published by Hartland Trefoil (UK)/Distributed in the US Mayfair.

A massive revision of the 1829 games. Will be released in three units and an unspecified number of extension kits). The first unit will cover the southeast, the second will be the Midland, the third will cover Scotland. The three boards are designed to be combined (unlike the two 1829 boards). Later "kits" will add different trains, ship packets, new railways, more map, and, for the first time, a fifth phase. (Not yet Available) (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1827 Continental US

Designed by Federico Vellani (Italy) - Privately published. (not yet available)

1827 will have a western and an eastern section, which may be played separately or joined together. The planned publication date is January 1996. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1829 (North & South) England & Scotland

Designed by Francis Tresham - Southern Board published by Hartland Trefoil (UK)* 1829 Northern Board - Designed by Francis Tresham - published by Hartland Trefoil (UK)*

The original 18XX games. These games introduced all of the fundamentals of the 18XX system: tile-based track laying; trains that run a number of stops based on their number; tiles upgrade in phases, which are started based on the first sale of different types of trains; shares of the corporations are purchasable by players; share performance is based on railroad profitability; trains become obsolete as newer trains become available; and private railways and packet shipping lines can add to the earnings of both players and corporations and may make other routes possible for their owners.

A unique feature of the 1829 games is the survey parties which are used before tile placement. 1829 has four phases (yellow, green, russet/brown, and grey). 1825 will be a major overhaul of the 1829 games.

There are six (four still in print) expansions:

MSK-1: Added 6 tiles: 2 of #60 (grey) and 4 of #67 (grey and russet)

MSK-2: Added 9 trains: 3 of type 3T, 2 of type 6, 2 of type 2+2, and 2 of type 4+4E.

MSK-3: Updated the rulebook and added 4 pound notes to the game. (Out of Print)

MSK-4S: A bookkeeping program for the Southern board for the Commodore Pet. (Out of Print)

MSK-5: Added 8 tiles: 2 of #55 (yellow), 2 of #56 (yellow), 2 of #69 (1853-style, not 1830 style - yellow), and 2 of #11 (green)

MSK-6: Added 8 tiles (3 of #52, 1 of #64, 1 of #65, 1 of #66, 1 of #67, and 1 of #68.)

There are at least a couple of add-on variants that provide a new map, new stock certificates, but utilize the rules, trains, tokens, and tiles of 1829. They include:

1835 (1) - Covers Germany. Not to be confused with the later title.

1837 (1) - Covers Austria. Not to be confused with the later title. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1830 Eastern US

Designed by Francis Tresham - published by Avalon Hill (US)

The second 18XX game saw many major innovations. Diesel trains, which run through unlimited numbers of stations were added; 6 trains were added; the stock market became much more dynamic, with share values being able to move in four directions (in 1829 they only move right or left), and zones where extra shares may be bought or held in excess of normal limits; many of the private companies have special powers or bonuses for owners; and the private companies are auctioned at the beginning of the game. 1830 has three phases (yellow, green, and brown)

There is at least one add-on variant that provides a new map, new stock certificates, but utilize the rules, trains, tokens, and tiles of 1830. It is 1899. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1832 - Designed by Bill Dixon (Canada) - No publisher at this time. (not yet available)

As well as some interesting private companies, this game introduces company merger rules. This game uses the new stock market rules introduced in 1850 (2). 10 companies. Train types 2-6, 8, 10 and 12. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1835 Germany

Designed by Michael Meier-Bachl and Francis Tresham - published by Has im Glueck (Germany)/Distributed in the US by Mayfair. 1835 added the following innovations to the 18XX system: "nationalization" (the ability of players to buy up all of a company's stock under certain circumstances); a starting packet set-up; "minor" railroads, which are only owned by one player, but lay track; the Prussian railroad (which eventually absorbs all of the private and minor railroads); companies gain capital as the shares sell; and "plus" trains, which can run through minor (10) towns in addition to the major towns (a 2+2 can run through 2 major stops and 2 minor stops).

Hartland Trefoil has made one expansion:

MEK-1: A complete new money set in more convenient denominations.

(DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1837 (2) Austro-Hungarian Empire

Designed by Leonhard Orgler (Austria) - Privately published.

1837 (2) shares many features with 1835 (2) and is, in many senses, a more complex form of that game. It added a different form of "plus" trains (4+2) trains have been mentioned in reviews, but no details on how they work); freight trains, which run to coal mines; older trains may be voluntarily be scrapped for a 50% discount on new train purchase; a third company payout option (split payment between company and stockholders); and a hexagonal share price index (stock prices may move in six different directions). A deluxe edition of this game features cut-out tiles, a mounted game map, and other niceties. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1839(1) - Holland

Designed by Rob van Wijngaaen and Paul Stouthard - Privately published.*

Not to be confused with the later game of the same title. This game covered Holland and was published in extremely limited quantities (30 copies). It was authorized by Francis Tresham, who has one of the few copies. The game is no longer available and will remain so, unless some company releases a commercial edition. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1839 (2)

Designed by Federico Vellani (Italy) - Privately published.

1839 (2) was one of the most innovative 18XX games. It added many features: 8 trains; pass tiles (which stop all but 8 trains); "small" companies (which can turn into normal companies later); companies may merge; "non-historic" companies (which can start anywhere on the board - the better the start, the more expensive it is); and companies can buy stock in other companies. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1839 (3) - Designed by Federico Vellani (Italy) - Privately published. (not yet available)

A revision of 1839 (2). Federico plans on addressing the major weakness of 1839 (2) - the time required to finish a game.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1847 - Designer unknown. Nothing is known about this title. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1850 (1)

Designed by Federico Vellani (Italy) - Privately published.

1850 (1) does not cover a period of actual history, but a "what-if" era. The king of the Two Sicilies was approached by several English railroad firms about building in his kingdom. He turned them down - the game assumes he did not. It added a new train movement system based on the number of hexes rather than the number of towns and cities (narrow gauge moves half as quickly as standard). 1850 (1) also has dual gauge lines. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1850 (2)

Designed by Bill Dixon (Canada) - No publisher at this time. (not yet available)

This game introduces the new stock market rules for Share Redemption, Share Reissue and Share Price Protection. Companies may buy their own shares from players (with their permission) or the bank pool. The company then receives the dividends for these shares. These shares may be reissued to the market at a later time to raise funds for the company. A president of a company whose stock is sold has the option of immediately buying the stock and preventing the fall in value (if he has both the money to buy the shares and the space to hold them). 9 companies. Train types 2-6, 8, 10 and 12. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1853 India

Designed by Francis Tresham - published by Hartland Trefoil (UK)

The third 18XX game added many features to reflect the nature of building railroads in India. Narrow (metric), which is cheaper to build than standard, and dual gauge track was added; "M" trains, which run on the metre gauge track were added; mail trains add a sure source of income for railroads; there are no private railroads; there are frontier posts which give the first railroad to build to them a bonus; companies are limited in where they can place their stations; trains ignore minor (10) towns when counting their run lengths; and bid-contract system to start the game. 1853 has four phases (yellow, green, russet/brown, and grey)

There are two expansions:

MIK-1: Adds duplicates of many of the yellow tiles (25 in all).

MIK-2: Adds a new way of starting the game and running the share price index; and a set of event-type cards.

(DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1856 Ontario, Canada

Designed by Bill Dixon (Canada). To be published by Mayfair (US). (now available)(RW)

Companies need a variable number of shares to start. Companies receive their starting capital as shares are sold and company objectives are met. This makes companies poor. To counter this, the Government will loan the railways money. This, of course, has to be repaid. Those companies that cannot repay their loans are absorbed by the Canadian Government Railroad. Small towns may be removed or upgraded. 11/12 companies. More expensive trains, 2-6, D. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1869 (1) US

Designed by Alan Moon. No publisher at this time. No details are known about this game. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1869 (2) US

Designed by Bill Dixon (Canada). Still in Alpha. This game covers the building of railroads across the continental divide. As well as special rules to cover railbuilding in the mountains, this game uses the new stock market rules introduced in 1850 (2). 9 companies. Train types 2-6, 8, 10 and 12. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1825 Revised version of 1829 (Will be available in 3 board and many optional rules to tailor the game to your tastes.)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1870 Midwest US

Designer - Bill Dixon (Canada). To be published by Mayfair (US). This game has destinations for each railroad. It is not necessary for the railroads to build to them, but doing so is beneficial to the company. This game uses the new stock market rules introduced in 1850 (2). 10 companies. Train types 2-6, 8, 10 and 12. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1874 - Ryan Moats (US). Under development. (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1881 - Covers Berlin's tramways (Out of Print)

AKA "Das Berliner Strassenbahn Spiel" - Designed by Michael Mette - Privately published.*

Tramways, not railways are the subject of this game. It was published in extremely limited numbers (50 copies). (DMR)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2038 Asteroid Belt (not available yet)

Not really a rail game but uses similar system to run mining corporations and interplanetary shipping. (RRI)

Designed by Jim Hlavaty and Tom Lehmann - To be published by Prism/TimJim Games (US).

2038 is set in a portion of the Asteroid Belt. Companies explore, mine and deliver ores instead of laying track to connect cities. Innovative game features include: random board setup (each game is different); claiming mines, refueling stations, minor companies can either become growth corporations or eventually merge into the asteroid league, two methods to form new corporations with different capitalization / starting stock prices, a partial dividend payout option, etc. (DMR)

For more information on 18xx games: http://ntia.its.bldrdoc.gov/~bing/mayf2.html

8) Reference Articles in Avalon Hill's "General" Magazine and other resources

The General is a publication put out by Avalon Hill which discusses their games in detail. Call AH at 800-999-3222 to order back issues. There have been many articles published about 1830 in past issues:

Volume 23, Number 6, 1987:

(DM)

Volume 26, Number 6, 1990:

(DM)

Computer Game Review Supplement to March 1995?????? (very extensive)

Train Gamer's Gazette is another resource. Anyone with issue Numbers?

Discussion can be found on the usenet newsgroups:

Back to Table of Contents

mcarlton@mcs.net


Back To The Last Page