Perfect, crazy 18xx. If you want to do something in this game stock-wise, chances are you can. It's share dealing at it's wildest, and likely to bankrupt anyone who isn't at least moderately experienced in 18xx.
My biggest criticism is that the game can be won or lost on the initial auction- some experience is necessary to avoid handing someone the game (or losing it) before it even really starts. However, this is a minor criticism for a game with huge replayability. Chrome doesn't get in the way of the game as with some Hecht designs, although it does have the usual trappings of a Hecht design (operations matter much more than any stock shenanigans).
Lots of sharp edges to use on your opponents while trying to maneuver around yourself. Many strategies are non-obvious on the first play, and the 5-share companies are more capable than they might appear at first. Rating likely to go up with more plays. Best 18xx I've ever played with 3p.
A good, interesting strategy game, with a few caveats. There are always a lot of tough decisions to make each turn, and the game really requires a lot of attention to what the other players are doing, which is a good thing. However, the endgame has some flaws which really keep it from ever getting to a 9 or 10 in my book. First, the game nearly always results in a tie, especially as the player count increases, leaving the tiebreaker (most money remaining) to decide the game. It feels very unsatisfying to burn your brain for 2 hours only to have victory snatched away by someone with a few bucks more left at the end. Also, the game is great with 3 or 4, but really doesn't work that well with 5 or 6. The luck factor involved in the power plant market really increases as player count goes up.
After a few Full and Advanced games, I can bump this one up to a 9. I can understand the complaints of the randomness of the cards, and it can be quite painful to get shut out of that level I mine or farm. However, there is nearly always a way to mitigate your handicap, either with action cards, or leaders, wonders and advancements that boost your deficient areas or pressure your opponents to negate their advantages. Lots of strategy, heavy tactics and a solid basis for repeat play. A solid 9. Based on CBG edition.