For Whom The Web Rocks
|On May 24th, 1830, the first regularly scheduled railway
service in America was inaugurated by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Although those
first trains travelling out to Ellicot Mills and back were pulled by horses, this was the
dawning of North America's railway era. Within a few years the horses were replaced by
small steam locomotives and every town in the land was building or planning its own
railroad. By 1930 the continent was criss-crossed by many thousands of miles of track, and
the railroads and railroad men had secured their place in America's cultural history.
The early railroads were the first great industrial corporations, and the profits, power, romance and glory of running them attracted the best and worst of the era's bright businessmen. There was the rough hewn but shrewd Commodore Vanderbilt and his son of the New York Central, the devious and greedy partners Jay Gould and Jim Fisk of the Erie, the brilliant builder of the mighty Pennsylvania J.Edgar Thompson, and J.P.Morgan, the tough financial wizard and ruthless manipulator of men, money and the New Haven Railroad. These men and others like them presided over the wild railroad era, with its continental construction projects, financial panics and stock market swindles.
The game is set in the north eastern United States and southern Canada, with six private companies and eight 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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|© Keith Thomasson September 1st 2004|