How do you play 1862?

As in, how do you approach the game? What strategies do you like to use? We played a game today and I’m curious.

(Also, does anyone know of any crib sheets or player aids that already exist? I am growing to loathe the GMT rulebooks)


Played this a few times (well, 12 times)

1862 isn’t not exactly a “run good companies” nor is it exactly a “stock market game”. Because I have run companies to the ground and just dump my shares. Not the latter as it’s easily to boost your share value - allowing you to jump 4 times on the stock market. You need to own the best shares at the right time. Buying the best shares is the thing - shares that give the best dividends and/or payout. The low cert limit forces players to this path. This may sound like basic 18xx 101, but your company sometimes isn’t the best one to buy shares from.

The cert limit also forces merging companies. There are two paths on a company that you believe have fully matured: drop the company, as 1862 is unique on how you can sell 100% of your shares; or merge it with another company of yours. Merging it with Company B would be a good idea if Company A has good tokens on the board. Good tokening is good on mid- and late-game. Merging also allows you to own different train licenses. And when merging, you need to weight if losing 50% of the company value is worth it for the token positioning.

I feel like there’s an obvious route here, which is the London to Felixstowe route. But ideally, your company should have multiple trains. This means though that any company being put to auction within this route, I end up valuing more on the auction.

On the long term, you definitely want companies with fab token positions. As you’ll be struggling to make defensive token moves if you’re starting a new company on the late game and you’re playing against giant companies with tokens all over the place. And you want to own these ideal late-game companies with a massive share, ideally 100%, (this is where merging comes in) otherwise, other players will sniff a good deal and you’re left with a cow-manure arrangement of 40% and others own like 30% and 30%. So even if this company pays out good cash, you’re only getting a net delta of 10% from these players on the scores.

Don’t hesitate on withholding here if, on the next round, this allows you to buy a new train and jump forward on the stock market like 4 times. But withholding won’t save your failing company, and you will just lag behind.

Directorship is a bit more powerful here than on other titles. The director owns 30% and only freaking counts as 1 on your cert limit.

In general, floating a company as an incremental cap is for long term, and floating as a full cap is short term. Again, in general. Local trains are great for injecting money into your company.

I hope what I’m saying makes sense. I’m in Spain and inebriated. Also, it’s an 18xx game, so there’s more to learn here even for me.


I like the cut of your jib


(I wonder if this will give me an edge in our current Go knife-fight)

(I wonder what the correct Go term is for a knife-fight)