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Subject: 18AL Game #3 - Learning How to Play rss

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Ed Holzman
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Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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Greetings to all participants and observers! This is the forum thread where I will be conducting the third teaching/learning game of 18AL. If you are interested in reading the thread of the first two 18AL games, they can be found at

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/101877 and
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/157423

here on The Geek.

First, a simple summary of how we will play and what is expected of everybody.

1. Players will have a minimum of 24 hours to submit a move on their turn. This allows the game to accommodate players in differing time zones. I will probably send you a gentle nudge via Geekmail at 24 hours and make your move for you after 48 hours have elapsed. Let's try and keep this moving along at a steady pace.

2. Given advanced notice, I have no problem with giving players a "time out" period for vacations, business travel, and other offline activities. Let's try and keep the time outs limited to no more than 30 total days per player over the life span of the game. If you feel comfortable with giving "conditional" orders or allowing me to take your turn for you, then that can be arranged as well.

3. I will be providing periodic game summary posts (usually after each player's turn). I will use red text to highlight these posts so that they stand out in the thread. When you submit your orders for your turn, you should bold your text so that they stand out as well. Off-topic chatter and advice from observers is fine, but please try and head your off-topic posts with a banner of some sort such as "OFF-TOPIC" in the first line or use light gray text. This allows readers to more easily follow the game and ignore the friendly table talk (if they wish to).

4. When rules questions come up, I will use green text to highlight that a rules explanation is being made. I will do my best to quote the rules by rule number (where applicable).

5. Let's have fun! Everyone here is learning the game and you WILL make a move that will cause veterans to shake their heads in wonder and cause you to look back later and feel sheepish. We all have those D'OH! moments and they are expected when you are still learning. Do not feel embarrassed when you make a mistake. We all learn together when we learn from our mistakes (or the mistakes of others).

I would request that any veteran 18XX commentators please keep in mind that the players are totally new to this experience and may not fully realize the Law of Unintended Consequences when making a move.

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

The list of players that have responded wishing to play an introductory game of 18AL consists of:

Arik (arikya)
Jonathan (quozl)
Jeff (jeff)
Matt (coolpapa)

These names are listed in player order (randomly determined by myself). The first thing everyone should do is visit John David Galt's website located at:

http://www.diogenes.sacramento.ca.us/18AL_18GA.html

and grab the latest PDF version of the 18AL rules, map, and other sundry items. If you enjoy playing 18AL, I would highly encourage all of you to consider purchasing a copy of the game from Mr. Galt. He does excellent work and it will be well worth the money you spend. He may or may not be out of copies of 18AL (since he has ceased production to begin work on 18Dixie, the combined version of 18AL and 18GA). The print-and-play option for 18AL has been made a viable alternative because of this.

Take a couple of days to go over the rulebook and let me know if you have any questions that the rules do not seem clear about. I will be making explanations about what is happening and why they are happening as we go along, but reading the rulebook provides a good foundation for learning.

If you have (or are interested in learning about) Cyberboard and are comfortable with using it, then I would also recommend that you visit the Cyberboard website at:

http://cyberboard.brainiac.com/download.html

and download the latest version of Cyberboard. This will help you better visualize the game (in addition to the screenshots that I will post of the game in progress). I will need everyone (participants AND observers) that wishes to use Cyberboard to track the gameplay to provide me with an email address capable of receiving attached files so that I can send you the Cyberboard gamebox and scenario files plus move files during the game (if you wish to learn Cyberboard while we play). Using Cyberboard is completely optional and you can simply follow along with the posted screenshots and play just fine.

SETTING YOUR GOALS

The goal of any 18XX game is to be the player with the highest personal net worth when the game comes to an end. In most 18XX games, the end of the game is triggered when one of two events occurs: either the Bank runs out of funds or a player goes bankrupt. These are the endgame conditions for MOST 18XX games; however, 18AL has an additional endgame condition. In 18AL, the game also ends when the market value of a single share of stock in any publicly-held Corporation reaches $300. If a player goes bankrupt, the game ends immediately and players reckon their personal net worth. If the Bank runs dry or a Corporation reaches a market value of $300 per share, then the current Operating Round (which is a game turn in which Private Companies and Corporations operate - you will understand this more thoroughly later) will be completed before the players reckon their personal net worth (unless a player manages to go bankrupt during this playing out the Operating Round procedure, in which case the game ends immediately - an extremely rare occurrence seeing as I have never encountered it in hundreds of 18XX game sessions over the past 20 years). This difference in end game conditions is important to remember.

Personal net worth is a combination of three things: the amount of cash you have, the sum total value of all of the stock shares that you own in publicly-held Corporations, and the face value of any Private Companies that you own. The assets owned by publicly-held Corporations play no role in determining victory. The path to winning seems clear, have lots of cash and own numerous shares of high-valued stock when the end of the game occurs. Of course, getting there is another challenge. I should note that the value of Private Companies rarely comes into play when determining final net worth. Usually, they have either been purchased as assets (a takeover) by publicly-held Corporations or have been rendered obsolete by the passing of time before an endgame condition is triggered (with the very rare exception of an early bankruptcy). All Private Companies fold at some point during an 18XX game - in 18AL (and numerous other 18XX games), it is when the first 5 train is purchased.

The Bank in 18AL starts with exactly $8000 in it. From this, each player is given seed money to start the game. This varies based upon the number of players in the game and each player starts with $500 in a four player game, leaving $6000 in the Bank. You will use your seed money to purchase Private Companies and shares of stock in publicly-held Corporations during game turns known as Stock Rounds.

THE FIRST STOCK ROUND

The game starts with a Stock Round and, initially, the only items available for purchase are Private Companies. Your purchasing decisions during this phase of the game will have far-reaching consequences. Generally, holding onto excess cash is not a very efficient way to increase your net worth. Money invested in stocks and Private Companies has this magical quality called ROI (return on investment). Every dollar invested in stocks and Private Companies has a chance to earn you dividends (fixed dividends in the case of Private Companies and variable dividends in the case of shares of stock in publicly-held Corporations). If you hold onto $100 it will be worth $100 at the end of the game; however, if you use that money to purchase a $100 stock certificate in a company that pays regular dividends, then it will probably generate closer to $300-$400 in income at the end of the game. Determining which Private Companies and public stock shares offer you the best ROI is the most important skill that you will develop as you gain experience with any 18XX game. And it is a rare occasion when two people agree on exactly what purchasing strategy is the best approach.

PURCHASING PRIVATE COMPANIES

When considering which Private Companies to purchase or place a bid on, you must take several factors into account.

1. The simplest and (usually) least decisive factor is the P/E (Price-to-Earnings) Ratio. This is simply a value that is determined by dividing the purchase price by the fixed dividend amount that the Private Company pays each Operating Round. The lower the P/E Ratio, the better return you get on your investment. For example, at face value the Tuscumbia Railway has a P/E Ratio of 4 ($20 purchase price divided by $5 dividend value). This means that you must invest $4 in order to earn $1 and it will take you four Operating Rounds to recoup your initial investment. In comparison, at face value the New Decatur Yards has a P/E Ratio of 6 ($120 purchase price divided by $20 dividend value). This means that you must invest $6 in order to earn $1 and it will take you six Operating Rounds to recoup your initial investment. The P/E Ratio is a short term look at the potential ROI of Private Companies. On the basis of pure P/E Ratio, the Tuscumbia Railway is a much better value. However, this leads directly to the second factor...

2. Most of the Private Companies have a special power that may be triggered when they are purchased as an asset by a publicly-held Corporation. The nature of these special powers make these Companies attractive targets for takeovers depending upon the power and the Corporation involved. Since Corporations in 18AL will pay up to 1.5 times the face value to purchase Private Companies from the players, this makes higher priced Companies more attractive. Using the companies mentioned above, you could sell the Tuscumbia Railway (which has no special power and is not an attractive takeover target) to a Corporation for up to $30 and you could sell the New Decatur Yards (which also has a very attractive special power) for up to $180. A Private Company with an attractive special power and higher face value can be a great purchase. The general attractiveness of Private Companies for purposes of takeover is a more long-term look at potential ROI. The income generated from such a sale can also help you in floating your first or second Presidency at a higher IPO value (since you will likely have started the game as a minority stock holder in Corporations, having spent your money on Private Companies).

3. The special powers of the Private Companies are more attractive to some Corporations and less attractive to others. For instance, the South & North Alabama RR Private Company has the Warrior Coalfield token power. Because of the limitations of where this power can be activated on the map, the S&NA RR is more attractive to Corporations with stations located near the Coalfield area on the map (such as the Atlanta, Birmingham, & Coast RR and the Tennessee, Alabama, & Georgia RR) and less attractive to Corporations located far away from the Coalfield area (such as the Mobile & Ohio RR and the Louisville & Nashville RR). Taking this into consideration, you might want to purchase the S&NA RR if you are planning on running the ABC or TAG Corporation and you would probably not want to purchase it if you were planning on running the M&O or L&N Corporations. This factor is really more applicable to the potential ROI of the Corporation that you intend to preside over rather than that of the Private Company. It is a way to use your Private Company purchase to boost your future Corporation's profitability.

4. How much cash do you wish to set aside for purchasing stock in publicly-held Corporations? The minimum amount of cash you will need to float a Corporation (without assistance from other players) in 18AL is $360 (60% of stock purchased at an IPO value of $60 per share). Since you start with only $500 in a 4 player game, this leaves you with $140 to purchase Private Companies. Normally, you would never expect anyone to assist you in floating a Corporation; although with 4 players in the game it is possible that an attractive Corporation will have minority investors (since the other players may not have enough cash to float their own Corporation and will be reluctant to just sit on their cash reserves).

5. Placing a bid on a Private Company ties up some of your cash until the auction of that Company is resolved (the cash is set aside as if you had already made the purchase - you will get the cash back if you do not win the auction for the Company). It only takes one bid to get invited to the auction party. Do not waste money upping a bid until the auction of that Company commences. Be wary of purchasing the lowest valued available Company unless you are satisfied with all of your bids on higher valued Companies (this is sometimes referred to as pulling the pin as it frequently sets off an explosion of auctions).

6. Determine your pain level before you bid on a Private Company. Just how much over face value are you willing to pay for a Private Company? When does the ROI diminish beyond attractiveness? This is something that time and experience will help you learn. As a general rule, if you are approaching the maximum Corporate takeover price (1.5 times face value), then it may be time to bow out of the auction.

CORPORATE STOCK PURCHASES

After the dust has settled from the Private Company sales, the IPO (Initial Public Offering) shares of the Corporations are available for purchase. Just like purchasing Private Companies, there are several factors to consider when purchasing Corporation stock shares. Some of these points remain valid throughout the game.

1. Check the other player's cash reserves (and your own) and determine if you are more likely to start off as a President or as a minority share holder. Private Company purchases will consume between $350 and $500 of the $2000 in seed capital that the players start the game with. With only around $1600 available for use in stock purchases, it is not likely that all four players will end up as Corporate Presidents during the first Stock Round (although it is possible). Remember, if you are going to be a minority share holder, you do not control the operation of the Corporation. You will end up being a coat tailer riding a stock and trying to earn enough money to float your own corporation in a later Stock Round. Remember that there are only six Corporations in the game, so the chance of your being President of more than one Corporation (in a 4 player game) is a bit slim. As President, be aware that coat tailers will be selling off stock in your Corporation later to fund their own bids for Presidency in another Corporation. This will normally have a minor impact on the Market Value of your stock holdings. However, sometimes "group think" and the "apparent leader factor" will cause the other players to plow the value of an early opening Corporation down to the bottom of the stock market.

2. Consider the potential P/E Ratio of the Corporations. Some Corporations start the game in a more advantageous position and are better able to capitalize on the landscape near their home station. If the IPO cost per share of ABC is low ($60 or $70 per share), then it is a sound investment (P/E-wise) as it is not unreasonable to expect that it will be able to return higher dividends early in the game. If the IPO of M&O is high ($90 or $105 per share), then it is a weak investment (P/E-wise) as it will likely return lower dividends early in the game.

3. Unlike many other 18XX games, the small towns (whistle stops) in 18AL do not count against the travel distance of a train. This makes Corporations with numerous nearby towns a bit more attractive.

4. Consider your holding limits. Every 18XX game limits the number of stock certificates and Private Companies that a player may own. In a 4 player game of 18AL, your limit is 12 certificates. This makes that 20% President's stock certificate that much more attractive.

5. Beware of owning more than 10% of a Corporation that is in danger of being forced to make a costly enforced purchase. You may end up holding the President's certificate and having to pay for a train out of your own funds. Holding 20% or more is not as dangerous if: the current President does not have a second Corporation that can be used to raid, OR the President sits to your immediate left and does not hold the Priority Deal, OR the President has more than one Corporation under his control AND permanent trains are in play AND the Corporation you hold stock in is his lowest-valued Corporation (it cannot be raided since it operates later in the Operating Round).

6. When setting the Par Value or IPO price (or when purchasing stock in other player's Corporations), be aware of how closely your cash in hand matches a multiple of the chosen price. With $120 in your hand, perhaps buying two shares at $60 is a better deal than buying one share at $90 and having $30 languish until the next Stock Round. Money invested in stock shares usually appreciates; money in hand is stagnant. Of course, if a Corporation is facing a cash shortage and is likely to NOT appreciate, then perhaps it is not a good idea to invest in it until the current cash crisis is passed (cash in hand also cannot ever depreciate, unlike an investment in a weak stock).

7. Another consideration when setting the Par Value or IPO price is the amount of funding the Corporate treasury will receive. Each Corporation starts with a treasury of 10 times the IPO price. Corporations floated at $60 per share will start with $600, while Corporations floated at $90 per share will start with $900. Generally, early opening Corporations float at a lower IPO price and later Corporations float at a higher IPO price.

OK, I know that this is a ton of information to digest. If anyone has any questions about the Initial Stock Round, please let me know ASAP. Feel free to post questions or comments (especially if it is your turn in the Stock Round) and I will do my best to offer a fair and unbiased answer. Unless somebody objects, we can begin the game in the next day or so. Arik, unless somebody posts questions within the next 24 hours, feel free to take your first turn.



Current Game Status
Arik - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None
Jonathan - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None
Jeff - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None
Matt - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None


Arik holds the Priority Deal and it is his turn to choose an option:

a. Buy Tuscumbia Railway for $20, or
b. Bid on another Private Company ($5 over face value), or
c. Pass

What will it be, Arik?
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Jeff Coon
United States
Plano
Texas
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Greetings fellow future railroad executives! Here's an early thanks to our gracious host, Ed. Thanks for the opportunity to learn my first 18xx game in a friendly learning setting. Hopefully I won't embarrass myself too much. I'm still trying to digest the rulebook and some unfamiliar concepts, but I'm sure by the time it rolls around to my turn I'll be as prepared as I can hope for. If I have any rules questions, I'll post them by tomorrow afternoon. If not, good luck everyone!
 
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True Blue Jon
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Vancouver
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I'd like to echo what Jeff said. Also, I'm sure I'll have LOTS of questions as I try to figure out how everything interrelates. Please be patient with me. Thank you!
 
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Matt Davis
United States
New Concord
Ohio
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Man am I glad I get to go last. I feel just like you guys right now, so I'm happy for the extra time. Thanks again to Ed for doing this.
 
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Arik Yaacob
United States
Austin
Texas
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I'll bid 45 for South & North Alabama
I also want to thank Ed for this opportunity. I still try to set up my goals and strategies for this game. Good luck to everybody, and lets have some fun
 
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Ed Holzman
United States
Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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ArikYa wrote:
I'll bid 45 for South & North Alabama
I also want to thank Ed for this opportunity. I still try to set up my goals and strategies for this game. Good luck to everybody, and lets have some fun

Arik bids $45 for the S&NA.

Current Game Status
Arik - Cash: $455, Bids: $45-S&NA, Privates: None
Jonathan - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None
Jeff - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None
Matt - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None


Jonathan is now up and his choices are:

a. Buy Tuscumbia Railway for $20, or
b. Bid $50 or more for the S&NA, or
c. Bid on another Private Company ($5 over face value), or
d. Pass

If Jonathan purchases the Tuscumbia Railway, then Arik will purchase the S&NA for $45 (since he has the only bid on that Company) and Jeff would have the next opportunity to buy, bid, or pass.

What will it be, Jonathan?
 
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True Blue Jon
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I'll bid $125 for New Decatur.
 
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Ed Holzman
United States
Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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quozl wrote:
I'll bid $125 for New Decatur.

Jonathan bids $125 for the New Decatur Yards.

Current Game Status
Arik - Cash: $455, Bids: $45-S&NA, Privates: None
Jonathan - Cash: $375, Bids: $125-NDY, Privates: None
Jeff - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None
Matt - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None


Jeff is now up and his choices are:

a. Buy Tuscumbia Railway for $20, or
b. Bid $50 or more for the S&NA, or
c. Bid $130 or more for the NDY, or
d. Bid on another Private Company ($5 over face value), or
e. Pass

If Jeff purchases the Tuscumbia Railway, then Arik will purchase the S&NA for $45 (since he has the only bid on that Company) and Matt would have the next opportunity to buy, bid, or pass.

What is your choice, Jeff?
 
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True Blue Jon
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Bearcat89 wrote:
If Jeff purchases the Tuscumbia Railway, then Arik will purchase the S&NA for $45 (since he has the only bid on that Company) and Matt would have the next opportunity to buy, bid, or pass.


Would I also get New Decatur for $125?

Or do all lesser-priced railroads have to be purchased first?
 
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Jeff Coon
United States
Plano
Texas
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I'll bid $75 for Brown & Sons.
 
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Ed Holzman
United States
Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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quozl wrote:
Bearcat89 wrote:
If Jeff purchases the Tuscumbia Railway, then Arik will purchase the S&NA for $45 (since he has the only bid on that Company) and Matt would have the next opportunity to buy, bid, or pass.


Would I also get New Decatur for $125?

Or do all lesser-priced railroads have to be purchased first?

All lesser priced Private Companies would need to be sold before the ownership of the New Decatur Yards was determined. Rule Section 3.1(a) regarding legal actions while Private Companies remain available has the relevant information.

A player may...
3.1(a) Buy the cheapest unsold Private Company for its par value (or a discounted value if 3.1.2 applies). After this purchase, if the cheapest remaining unsold Private Company (as defined by Par Value) has been bid on at least once under 3.1(b), it is immediately auctioned according to the procedure in 3.1.1. Repeat this process for each succeeding Private Company until the cheapest one remaining has not been bid on, or until all of the Private Companies have been purchased by players. The Stock Round then continues with the turn of the next player after the one who made the purchase under 3.1(a). (Turns in an auction are not part of the sequence of turns in the Stock Round. They are separate.)

Emphasis is mine. Auctions continue until the lowest priced available Company is one that has no bids placed upon it or all Private Companies are purchased. Arik purchases the S&NA simply by virtue of the fact that there are no opposing bidders in the S&NA auction.
 
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Ed Holzman
United States
Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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Jeff wrote:
I'll bid $75 for Brown & Sons.

Jeff bids $75 for the Brown & Sons Lumber Company.

Current Game Status
Arik - Cash: $455, Bids: $45-S&NA, Privates: None
Jonathan - Cash: $375, Bids: $125-NDY, Privates: None
Jeff - Cash: $425, Bids: $75-B&SL, Privates: None
Matt - Cash: $500, Bids: None, Privates: None


Matt is now up and his choices are:

a. Buy Tuscumbia Railway for $20, or
b. Bid $50 or more for the S&NA, or
c. Bid $80 or more for the B&SL, or
d. Bid $130 or more for the NDY, or
e. Place the initial bid of $105 or more for the M&C, or
f. Pass

If Matt purchases the Tuscumbia Railway, then Arik will purchase the S&NA for $45 (since he has the only bid on that Company), Jeff will purchase the B&SL for $75 (since he has the only bid on that Company), and Arik will have the next opportunity to buy, bid, or pass.

What is your decision, Matt?
 
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Matt Davis
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New Concord
Ohio
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Bid $50 for S&NA.
 
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Ed Holzman
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Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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coolpapa wrote:
Bid $50 for S&NA.

Matt bids $50 for the S&NA.

Current Game Status
Arik - Cash: $455, Bids: $45-S&NA, Privates: None
Jonathan - Cash: $375, Bids: $125-NDY, Privates: None
Jeff - Cash: $425, Bids: $75-B&SL, Privates: None
Matt - Cash: $450, Bids: $50-S&NA, Privates: None


Arik is now up and his choices are:

a. Buy Tuscumbia Railway for $20, or
b. Bid $55 or more for the S&NA, or
c. Bid $80 or more for the B&SL, or
d. Bid $130 or more for the NDY, or
e. Place the initial bid of $105 or more for the M&C, or
f. Pass

I will note that it really does not make sense for Arik to place another bid on the S&NA. Because he has already placed a bid on it, he has reserved a seat at the eventual auction when the S&NA goes up for sale.

If Arik purchases the Tuscumbia Railway, then Arik and Matt will engage in a two player auction to purchase the S&NA (the regular turn order is interrupted while only Arik and Matt participate in the auction). Jeff will then purchase the B&SL for $75 (since he has the only bid on that Company) after the S&NA auction is completed (regardless of who wins the auction). Then Jonathan will have the next opportunity to buy the M&C, bid on the NDY, or pass.

What will be your choice, Arik?
 
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Matt Davis
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New Concord
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Quick rules question - let's say Tuscumbia got bought right now, and then S&NA and B&SL got auctioned off or bought, but no one wanted to bid on M&C and we all passed. Then we would have an operating round where the private companies pay dividends, and then we'd do another stock round where we could only bid on private companies, etc. Is that right? I can't really see this happening, but...
 
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Arik Yaacob
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Austin
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I bid $80 for B&SL
 
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True Blue Jon
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Vancouver
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I pass.
 
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Ed Holzman
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Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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coolpapa wrote:
Quick rules question - let's say Tuscumbia got bought right now, and then S&NA and B&SL got auctioned off or bought, but no one wanted to bid on M&C and we all passed. Then we would have an operating round where the private companies pay dividends, and then we'd do another stock round where we could only bid on private companies, etc. Is that right? I can't really see this happening, but...

Your suppositions are correct. If everyone passes before all of the Private Companies are purchased, then an abbreviated Operating Round occurs. Private Companies that HAVE been purchased pay out their fixed dividend and then a new Stock Round begins.
 
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Ed Holzman
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Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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ArikYa wrote:
I bid $80 for B&SL

quozl wrote:
I pass.


Arik bids $80 for the B&SL.
Jonathan passes.
Jeff (via GM) bids $130 for the NDY.

Current Game Status
Arik - Cash: $375, Bids: $45-S&NA, $80-B&SL, Privates: None
Jonathan - Cash: $375, Bids: $125-NDY, Privates: None
Jeff - Cash: $295, Bids: $75-B&SL, $130-NDY, Privates: None
Matt - Cash: $450, Bids: $50-S&NA, Privates: None


Matt is now up and his choices are:

a. Buy Tuscumbia Railway for $20, or
b. Bid $55 or more for the S&NA, or
c. Bid $85 or more for the B&SL, or
d. Bid $135 or more for the NDY, or
e. Place the initial bid of $105 or more for the M&C, or
f. Pass

Like Arik earlier, it really does not make sense for Matt to place another bid on the S&NA. Because he has already placed a bid on it, he has reserved a seat at the eventual auction when the S&NA goes up for sale.

If Matt purchases the Tuscumbia Railway, then Arik and Matt will engage in a two player auction to purchase the S&NA (the regular turn order is interrupted while only Arik and Matt participate in the auction). Then Arik and Jeff will engage in a two player auction to purchase the B&SL (the regular turn order is interrupted while only Arik and Jeff participate in the auction). Then Arik will have the next opportunity to buy the M&C, bid on the NDY, or pass.

What is your choice, Matt?
 
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Matt Davis
United States
New Concord
Ohio
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I'll bid $105 for the M&C.
 
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Arik Yaacob
United States
Austin
Texas
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I'll bid $110 for M&C
 
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True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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I'll buy Tuscumbia Railway for $20
 
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Matt Davis
United States
New Concord
Ohio
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A couple more rules questions -

1. When corporations buy a private company, the price is just agreed on by the president of the corporation and the owner of the private company (staying within in the range of .5 to 1.5 times the par value?)

2. Once normal stock turns start, we can only buy one certificate per turn, so am I right that we'll take 5 or so rounds of alternating stock and operating (i.e. dividend-collecting) turns before a corporation floats and can actually do anything?

3. Do private companies pay dividends the whole game? I see one definite exception - the NDY folds after its ability is used, but the others are around and pay out the whole time?
 
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Jeff Coon
United States
Plano
Texas
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I can answer #2, only because I've read through a couple of the other PBEM games. During the stock turn, players play in alternating fashion until all players have passed. So during the first turn, it's likely that we'll all continue to purchase stock until we're low on cash. Eventually all players will pass and the first stock turn will end. Then the first operating turn will begin.

I think I know the answer to your other questions, but I'll let more qualified individuals reply.
 
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Matt Davis
United States
New Concord
Ohio
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Ah, thanks. Looking back over the rules, every stock round keeps going until we all pass. I just missed that.
 
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