Our How to Play videos are designed to be short (but still complete) instructional videos, mainly for people who want an overview before playing with someone who knows how to play (in place of that person teaching the rules). Setup and refresh is usually in a separate video, since only one person needs to know the details.
Hi! This is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and today I’m gonna show you how to play 1830.
Game Overview [0:11]
The goal of the game is to become the wealthiest player, totalling both cash and assets.
1830 is played over multiple rounds, each consisting of a Stock Round followed by 1 or more Operating Rounds. In Stock Rounds, players can buy and sell shares of corporations. In Operating Rounds, players operate corporations by laying track, buying trains, and running trains.
Special Stock Round [0:30]
To start the game there is a special Stock Round where the bank offers up Private Companies in ascending order, which provide the owner (player or corporation) with income. Some also have special abilities for the corporations to use. In turn order, starting with the player with priority deal and going clockwise, each player is given the option to buy the company currently offered at face value, bid for another private company, or pass.
If you buy the currently offered company, you pay the amount to the bank and receive the certificate. The player to the left is then offered the next highest company and can then make the same 3 choices.
If you choose to bid on a different company, you must commit at least $5 more than the previous highest bid or $5 more than the face value, whichever is higher. When a company that is offered for sale already has bids on it, if there is only one bid, the bidder receives the private company for the bid. If there are multiple bids, there is an auction that starts with the highest current bid with minimum increments of $5. After it is sold, losing bidders can take back their money and use it in further rounds. Play continues to the left of the person who won the bid.
For example, if Alice and Bob had bid on this company, and Chris bid on this one, and Dan buys this one for $20, then since this company only had one person bidding on it, it goes to Chris. Then this company goes into an auction between Alice and Bob. Alice wins the auction, so Bob gets his money back. The next company has no bids on it, so play continues with the player to the left of Alice.
Stock Round [1:47]
After all the private companies are sold, the player to the left of the last person to purchase a company gets the priority deal card and begins the official stock round. Each turn in a stock round, you’re allowed to sell as many shares as you wish and/or buy one share, in any order. You can even sell, then buy, then sell. If you don’t do an action on your turn, you pass. Passing does not prohibit you from coming back in.
Buying a Share [2:07]
To buy a share, if this is the first share that a company has sold, you become the president and get the president’s share, worth 20% of the company. You must decide the par value of the company by placing its token on the appropriate space (67, 71, 76, 82, 90, or 100) in the stock market and the par value indicator. This value signifies that all IPO shares - shares that have never been bought - cost this much per 10%. You then pay 2 times the par value to the bank because the share is worth 20%. If another company’s share price marker is already on the stock market, the current one gets placed underneath it. In general, whenever a company’s marker goes into a space with an existing marker, it goes on the bottom of all the tokens.
If you want to buy shares from an already started company, you can choose to buy from the IPO or the bank pool. IPO shares have never been sold. Bank pool shares were once owned by a player but sold back to the bank.
You pay the par value if you buy from the IPO and you pay the current stock price if you buy from the bank pool. Either way, you pay the amount to the bank and get a 10% certificate. If when you buy a share, you surpass the % ownership of the current president of the company, the current president must give you the president’s share in exchange for 2 normal shares.
You cannot hold more than 60% of a company, and you cannot buy shares in a company that you sold in the current round.
Selling a Share [3:18]
To sell one or more shares, place your shares into the bank pool and receive the current stock price times the number of shares sold. For each share sold, the stock price will move down on the stock track. When it’s at the bottom of the market, it doesn’t move down anymore.
For example, if I sell two shares of B&O and one share of C&O, I’d get $200 for the 2 shares of B&O and $80 for the C&O share. Then B&O would move down to 82, and C&O would not move down, since it is already at the bottom.
The bank pool can never have more than 50% of the shares of one company in it, and you cannot sell your president’s certificate to the bank pool. You also cannot sell shares in the first round.
The only way you can sell the president’s share is if someone else controls 20% or greater of the company. By selling your shares, you exchange the president’s share with the majority holder, or in case of a tie, the closest person to your left. For example, if Alice and Bob both have 2 shares of B&O when I sell down to one share, since Alice is on my left, she will get the president’s share.
End of Stock Round [4:14]
If everyone passes consecutively, the stock round ends. Pass the priority deal card to the player to the left of the last person who passed. Any companies that are sold out have their share price increased vertically unless they’re already at the top. If a company has sold 60% or more of the shares, or 5 certificates, the company is considered floated. Shares sold back to the bank pool are still considered sold. When a company is floated, the player with the president’s share receives the charter. The company gets 10 times the par price from the bank, and the remaining company tokens. Corporation money is kept separate from player money.
For example, if I had bought 6 shares of PRR, including the President’s certificate, during the stock round and set the par price at $76, I would receive the charter and it would start with $760 in its treasury.
Operating Round [4:55]
At the beginning of each operating round, the owner of each private company, either a player or a corporation, gets money from the bank equal to the private company’s revenue.
During the operating round, all the corporations will activate in order, from highest stock price to lowest stock price. If tied, the corporation furthest right on the stock market goes first, and if they’re on the same space, the corporation with its marker on top goes first. Corporations that have not floated will not operate.
On a corporation’s turn, the president of the corporation will make all the decisions for it: you can construct track, place a station token, run trains and collect revenue, and purchase trains, in that order.
The first time a corporation operates, place a token on the city with its logo before starting its turn.
A lot of things the corporations can do depend on routes - you have to have a legal route in order to place track, place a token, and run trains. A route is a continuous length of track that begins and ends in a city or a red hex. Routes cannot backtrack, use the same track twice, or use the same city twice. Some tiles, like New York, have two separate cities, so a route could go through both of them. You cannot run through the red hexagons, and you can’t begin and end in the same red tile.
For example, this is a route, but this would not be a route because it backtracks across this junction.
Constructing Track [6:04]
On a corporation’s turn, you can optionally lay or upgrade one track tile for the corporation. To lay a track, the corporation needs to be able to trace a route to the new track from one of its tokens.
At the beginning of the game, you can only place yellow tiles. Later phases in the game will unlock green and brown tiles, which are upgrades. Yellow can be placed on the beige board, green can be placed on yellow outlined track or on yellow tiles, and brown is placed on green tiles. No tiles can be placed on red or gray hexes.
You have to choose the same type of tile to lay on each hex. The hexes with no cities get regular track, the ones with small cities get dots, two small cities get two dots, large cities get circles, and two large cities get the two circles. Some hexes have special labels, and you must lay the corresponding labeled tile on that hex. For example, Boston has a “B” here, so you must use these tiles when you place track here.
When you place a yellow tile, at least one part of the tile placed must be an extension of an existing route that your corporation is connected to. When you upgrade to green or brown tiles, all existing track must be maintained. You can upgrade as long as any part of the new tile, existing or new track, is on a route that your corporation is connected to. When you upgrade, the old tile goes back to the supply.
Whenever you place a track, the track cannot run off the grid, or end against a gray, blue, or red hex that doesn’t have track. You can end your track against a yellow, green, or brown edge.
If you place your tile on a hex that has a terrain cost, the corporation must pay the cost listed before placing the tile. Since yellow tiles cover the cost, upgraded tiles don’t cost extra.
Some hexes have the names of private companies on them. If the corresponding private company is still owned by a player, not a corporation, then no track can be laid on them yet.
Placing a Token [7:40]
If the corporation has a remaining token on its charter, it can place one token on its turn. The starting token doesn’t count toward this limit. The corporation pays the amount shown for the token, $40 or $100, and then places it on an open city on the board. The corporation must be able to trace a route to that city from one of its existing tokens, and there can't be two tokens of the same corporation in the same tile. You also cannot place a token on another corporation’s base city, the ones with their logos.
Tokens allow the city to be used as a base for the corporation’s train routes. Also, they block other corporations - if a city is filled with tokens of other corporations, your corporation cannot pass through for purposes of laying tiles, tokens, or routes.
Running Trains [8:18]
If the corporation has at least one train, it can run its trains and collect revenue. Trains must be run along routes that include at least one city with the corporation’s token. Routes cannot run through cities that are completely blocked off with tokens from other Corporations, but they can start or end there. If you have two or more trains, the routes must be completely separate, except they can meet or cross at cities.
The number on the train card shows how long of a route it can run. The length of a route is the number of cities that the route hits. For example, if my corporation has a 5 train, I could run it through this route with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 cities. The Diesel train can run an infinite length route.
Revenue and Dividends [8:55]
The revenue earned is the sum of the amounts shown by the cities that were included in the routes run. For the red hexes, the revenue is the left number in the first part of the game, and the right number after the first 5 train is bought. For example, this 5 train route would earn 30, plus 10, plus 20, plus 30, plus 50 for a total of $140. You have to run the routes for the highest revenue that has been pointed out.
Once you calculate the revenue, you decide whether your corporation will pay it as dividends or keep the entire amount in the corporation’s treasury. When you pay dividends, divide the total revenue by 10, and each shareholder gets that much money per 10% share they hold. If there are shares in the Bank Pool, the corporation receives the amount for those shares in its treasury. For example, if this corporation ran for $100 and the shares were distributed like this, I’d get $50, this player would get $20, the corporation would get $10, and the rest would not get paid.
Whenever a corporation pays out dividends, its stock token moves right on the stock market. If it is at the furthest right of a line, it moves up instead.
If a corporation doesn’t pay out dividends when it operates, move its token left one space on the stock market. If it’s already on the far left space, move it down instead.
Purchasing Trains [10:01]
After you run the trains, you can buy trains. If your corporation has a legal route of at least 2 connected cities and does not own a train, then it must purchase one.
You can buy a train from the Bank or from another Corporation. To buy from another Corporation, you and the President of that corporation must agree on a price that is at least $1. Your corporation pays the other corporation for the train.
Trains are available from the Bank in order of increasing size. At the beginning of the game, you can only buy 2 trains. Once all the 2 trains are sold, you can buy 3 trains, and so on. To buy a train from the bank, your corporation pays the bank the amount listed here.
A corporation may buy as many trains as you want on its turn, as long as the number of trains it owns doesn’t exceed the train limit of the current phase. If a corporation ever has more trains than the train limit, it must discard down to the limit.
For example, this corporation could buy another 4 train and a 5 train. When it buys the 5 train, the train limit decreases to 2, so it discards the 4 train back to the supply.
When the first 6 train is sold, the Diesel trains are also available. These cost either $1100 or $800 if the corporation trades in a 4, 5, or 6 train. Traded in trains that aren’t rusted go back to the supply.
End of Operating Round [11:07]
When all the floated corporations have activated, the Operating Round ends. Then you move to either the Stock Round or another Operating Round, depending on what phase you’re in.
When the first train of a certain number is sold, a new phase of the game begins. The phase of the game determines what the train limit for a corporation is - 4 at the beginning, 3 after the first 4 train, and 2 after the first 5 train - which track can be laid, which number on the red hexes is counted for revenue - the left value at the beginning of the game and the right value after a 5 train is bought - and which trains are removed from play. At the beginning of the game, only yellow tiles are available to use. Green tiles are also available when a 3 train is bought, and brown are available when a 5 train is bought. Starting with the first 4 train, the new phases start rusting older trains. When a train rusts, all trains of that number are immediately removed from the game with no compensation. For example, when this corporation buys the first 4 train on its turn, all of the 2 trains get discarded right away. 6 trains rust 3 trains and D trains rust 4 trains. Trains numbered 5 and up never rust.
The phases also affect how many Operating Rounds are between the Stock Rounds. At the beginning of the game, there is one Operating Round between Stock Rounds. After the Stock Round after first 3 train is bought, there are two Operating Rounds, and three Operating Rounds after the first 5 train is bought.
Private Companies [12:22]
After the first Stock Round, if you own a Private Company you can sell it to another player for any agreed upon price during your turn or the player’s turn of a Stock Round.
After the first 3 train is bought, you can sell a Private Company to a Corporation any time during its turn of the Operating Round. The price must be at least half and at most twice the face value of the Private. Once a Corporation owns a Private, it cannot be sold again. Also, track can now be laid on the hex with that Private Company.
When the first 5 train is bought, all Private companies are closed and removed from the game.
These are the private companies that are auctioned at the beginning of the game. The face value is shown here, and the revenue paid out at the beginning of each Operating Round is shown here. In addition, some of the privates have special abilities.
[13:03] - Schuylkill Valley has no special effect.
[13:05] - If a corporation owns Champlain & St. Lawrence, on its turn, in addition to its normal tile placement, it can lay a tile on the corresponding hex, B-20. Unlike normal tile lays, it doesn’t need to be connected to a corporation’s token, or any track at all.
[13:20] - If a corporation owns Delaware & Hudson, as the one tile placement on its turn it can lay a track tile and a station token on the corresponding hex, F-16. It costs $120 for the mountain, but the token is free. Also, it doesn’t need to be connected to an existing token or any existing track. If you don’t put a token on the turn the tile is laid, then you don’t get the special effect anymore.
[13:40] - If you as a player own Mohawk & Hudson, you can close it and exchange it for a 10% share of NYC as long as there’s one available and it doesn’t put you over 60% of the NYC shares. This can be done during your turn in the Stock Round or between turns in the stock or Operating Round.
[13:55] - When you buy Camden & Amboy in the initial auction, you also immediately receive a 10% share of PRR.
[14:01] - When you buy Baltimore & Ohio in the initial auction, you also immediately get the president’s certificate of the B&O railroad and set a par value. Unlike other private companies, this private cannot be sold to a corporation. When the B&O corporation buys its first train, this private company is closed.
Forced Train Purchase [14:16]
If your Corporation does not have enough money when it’s required to purchase a train, then you, the President, have to pay the leftover money. You buy a train from another Corporation, or from the Bank. If you buy from the Bank, you must buy the cheapest train available. If buying from another Corporation, the price cannot be higher than the face value of the train.
When buying the train, use all of the Corporation’s money first, and then use your own cash. If you still don’t have enough, then you must sell stock that you own until you can afford the train. Stock sales happen immediately and follow the usual rules - you get the price of the stock, the marker drops for each share sold, and there can’t be more than 50% of a corporation in the Bank Pool. Also, you cannot sell stock if you would lose Presidency of the Corporation that you’re currently buying the train for. You’re allowed to lose Presidency of other Corporations, and that happens right when you sell the respective stock. You could also try to sell Private Companies you own, but you don’t have to. Once you can afford the train, pay the entire money and the Corporation gets the train. If you cannot afford the train after selling everything you’re allowed to, you become bankrupt and the game ends.
End Game [15:16]
The game can end in two ways: if a player goes bankrupt, the game ends immediately. If the Bank runs out of money, the game continues until the next Stock Round would start, and then the game ends.
At the end of the game, each player counts up their total value: their cash plus the current value of their stock shares according to the market, plus the face value of any Private Companies they own. Assets that belong to Corporations do not count toward player scores. The player with the most value wins the game.
Other Special Rules [15:41]
Certificate Limit [15:41] - The maximum number of certificates a player can hold, including private companies, depends on the number of players as shown on this table. If you ever have more than the maximum, then you must sell shares at the first legal opportunity until you’re at the maximum.
Colored Stock Market Areas [15:54] - If a corporation’s stock marker is ever in the yellow zone of the stock market, then those shares don’t count towards the certificate limit for players. Furthermore, if the marker is in the orange area, then you can have more than 60% of that corporation’s shares. When the marker is in the brown area, you can also buy as many shares of that corporation as you want on your stock turn.
Erie Base [16:12] - The Erie company base is on this hex and can be placed on either of the two cities. Once it is placed, you cannot move the token. Before Erie has been floated, other corporations cannot place tokens on either city on this hex. Erie doesn’t have to lay a tile on its base when it starts, and if it doesn’t have a legal route, it does not have to buy a train.
Passing Special Stock Round [16:29] - During the initial stock round with the privates, if all players decide to pass during a round instead of purchasing Schuylkill or placing a bid, the price for Schuylkill drops $5. If it does not sell even after becoming free, the first person who was offered it for $5 must take it for free. If other private companies fail to sell and everyone passes, all previously bought companies pay income to their owners and the private is again offered for sale.
And that’s how you play 1830. Click the link for setup. Check out our website for more videos, podcasts, and blogs. Thanks for watching Board Game Blitz!
Lay out the board and determine seating and start player randomly. Give the start player the priority deal card.
The bank starts with $12,000. $2400 from the bank is evenly distributed to the players at the beginning of the game. So in a 3 player game, each player gets $800, each player gets $600 in a 4 player game, $480 in a 5 player game, and $400 in a 6 player game.
Stack each corporation’s stock certificates in their initial offering area of the board, with the President’s certificate on top.
Separate the train cards by number and place them in stacks in order on the board.
Separate the track tiles by color and number and place them on the table so that they are all visible.
Place each company charter by the board with its corresponding tokens on it.
Place the 6 Private Company certificates separately face up by the board and begin the game.
End of Stock Round [0:46]
When a stock round ends, make sure the priority deal card goes to the player to the left of the last person who passed. For any companies that are completely sold out, move their share price vertically unless they’re already at the top. Any companies that have 60% or more shares sold are floated, and the president receives the charter, 10 times the par price from the bank, and the remaining company tokens. Companies that have just floated will operate for the first time in the next Operating Round, and place their initial token on their home base at the beginning of their turn.
[1:15] - At the beginning of the game, you are in Phase 2. The game alternates between one Stock Round and one Operating Round. Only yellow track can be placed. The train limit is 4, and only the left value is counted for revenue in the red hexes.
[1:28] - Phase 3 starts immediately when the first 3 train is bought. Then you can lay yellow or green track. The train limit is still 4, and the left value is still counted for revenue. Now corporations can purchase private companies from players for at least half and at most twice the face value. Starting after the next Stock Round, there are two Operating Rounds between each Stock Round.
[1:46] - Phase 4 starts when the first 4 train is bought. All 2 trains rust and must be immediately removed from the game. Also, the train limit is now 3, so any corporation with more than 3 trains must discard to 3. Yellow or green track can still be laid, corporations can still buy private companies, you still use the left value for revenue, and there are still two Operating Rounds between Stock Rounds.
[2:06] - Phase 5 starts when the first 5 train is bought. All Private Companies immediately close and are removed from the game. The train limit is now 2, and you can now lay yellow, green, or brown track. Also, you use the right value for counting revenue now. Starting after the next Stock Round, there are three Operating Rounds between each Stock Round.
[2:23] - Phase 6 starts when the first 6 train is bought. All 3 trains rust and are removed from the game. Also, diesel trains are available for purchase at list price or for $800 if you trade in another train. The train limit is still 2, you can still lay any color tile, there are still three Operating Rounds between Stock Rounds, and you still use the higher value for revenue.
[2:42] - Phase 7 starts when the first diesel train is bought and is the last phase of the game. All 4 trains are removed from the game. Everything else is the same - you can place any color tile, the train limit is 2, there are three Operating Rounds between Stock Rounds, and you use the higher value in the red locations.