Game summary by David Hecht
1849 is set in Sicily and is based on a historical "what-if:" what if King Ferdinand had accepted one of the several proposals by British consortia to develop the island's railroads? In reality he rejected all these offers and Sicily only began building railroads after the Italian Unification. 1849 covers the period from the mid-1800s to the early twentieth century. The game reflects its mountainous terrain by using a second track type, narrow gauge, which is cheaper to build but harder to run on.

1849 is a smaller game, but with many unique features. It has only 57 playable hexes, and of those, only 25 do not have some sort of terrain cost: the remaining 32 hexes cost anywhere from 40 to 160 to build. This is made worse by the need to pay the terrain cost each time a hex is upgraded. Coupled with the relatively steep train gradient (the least expensive train costs 100, the first permanent train costs 550, and the most expensive permanent train costs 1100), this means that 1849 is primarily a game of financial management, somewhat like Federico Vellani's other published design, 1841, but on a smaller scale.

Companies are incrementally funded, and can buy and sell their own stock. Companies can be started with as few as two shares, and have a very limited range of starting values. Additional, higher starting values become available as the game progresses. Trains have a range in hexes (4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 16) rather than cities, although an optional rule introduces electric trains that have a range in cities. An additional twist that adds to replayability is that the companies (up to six) open in a fixed order that is randomly determined at the start of each game.

Return to 1849 the Platform
This page is maintained by Chris Lawson (chris.lawson@virgin.net)
Last Updated 4th April 2000