Harzbahn 1873 summary

I studied the rules of 1873 Harzbahn. Here’s a summary I created. It’s based on the July 5th 2011 version of the rules available at the Geek.

Start Auction Round

  • first bid for first purchase right
  • high bidder goes first, rest in the reverse order of passing
  • high bid is Start Premium
  • first bidder must buy mine/concession, with face value + Start Premium
  • the rest pass or buy with Premium
  • once everybody passes, Premium is reduced by 10
  • ends when everything is sold, or players pass after Premium is reduced to 0
  • unpurchased mines are now closed and certificates returned to bank

Trading Rounds / Auction Rounds

  • players may auction available concessions and purchase options

Trading Rounds / Stock Rounds

  • in the first Stock Round, the order is as determined in Start Auction Round
  • on later rounds, turn order is determined by cash in hand after previous Stock Round (most cash goes first)

Selling shares

  • shares from companies that haven’t operated pay one step less than their market price
  • price goes down one step per share sold, except:
    • when company has not operated yet
    • stock value never drops below 50
    • MHE shares don’t lose value after MHE has bought a 5T
  • token always goes on the bottom of the stack
  • directorship remains with the owner of the concession until the company has bought the first compulsory train or becomes insolvent
  • no limits on how many shares are in the bank pool, but generally can’t sell director’s share unless someone else has 20%

Buying shares

  • when buying from IPO, money goes to bank if company hasn’t operated yet and to the company, if the company has already operated

Forming companies

  • railway companies can be formed by a player who owns the concession and can buy at least one share
  • first choose initial stock value: 120, 150, 190, 240 or 300 Marks
  • shares are placed in IPO space
  • owner of concession must buy one, may buy two shares
  • companies float from the third original share sold
  • two shares left are placed in the bank pool
  • owner of the concession builds home stations by placing free station tokens to all marked station circles
  • public mining companies can be formed from the second stock round
  • player must own one mine, at least one mine must be available and at least one public mining co is available
  • two mines are merged, one can be owned by other player if the player agrees
  • closed mines can’t be used
  • mining co forming process:
    • choose unformed public mining co
    • choose the initial mines
    • initial stock value is the average of face values of the merging mines, rounded down to valid stock value
    • mine certs are placed on the charter, as are the assets of the mines
    • machine markers remain with the respective mines and cannot be moved
    • former owners of the mines get 50% shares of the mining co
    • current player is the first director
  • Harzer Werke AG is special
    • can be formed on the first SR by the owner of #12, if #12 is one of the initial mines
    • only Vor-Harzer mines are allowed
    • if #12 owner doesn’t form HW on the first stock round, any Vor-Harzer mine can form it on the second round

Exercising purchase options

  • owner of a purchase option can buy 20-40% of a company with a single purchase action
  • company is then released from receivership, acting player is the new director
  • purchase options that are not exercised are forfeit without compensation

MHE shares

  • no player is ever the director of MHE
  • once the MHE acquires a 5T, share value can’t be changed by selling shares

Machines and Rolling Stock

  • railway companies can buy trains and switchers
  • mines can buy machines and switchers
  • units can be purchased as machines or trains
  • switchers are unlimited, mining companies can own one per mine
  • railways can own unlimited switchers, but can’t use them to generate revenue
  • machines cannot be traded, railway companies can trade trains

Operating Rounds

  • independent mines first in asc order of face values, then public companies in desc order of stock value, then MHE

Operation of Private Mining Cos

  • build track
    • if not connected to state railway, company can make one tile lay or upgrade
    • if pvt mining co pays construction costs, the owner is reimbursed from bank
    • track building can’t block concession routes
  • production
    • fixed revenue if unconnected
    • revenue depends on machines and switchers if connected
    • deduct maintenance costs depending on game phase
    • maintenance costs are paid from treasury if necessary and mine is closed if bankrupt
    • profit is paid 50% to owner and 50% to treasury
  • purchase and scrap machines
    • machines can be upgraded to bigger machines; old one is scrapped automatically
    • machines cannot be voluntarily removed
    • multiple upgrades are possible in one round
    • switchers can be bought from bank and from other companies
    • if maintenance is due, either buying or selling co must pay maintenance
    • independent mine can own one switcher, so old switchers are scrapped
  • closing
    • owner can close the mine
    • owner gets the mine co treasury
    • mine retains 1-machine, scraps everything else

Operation of Public Mining Companies

  • no track builds or upgrades
  • production
    • sum of revenues of mines owned
    • can move switchers freely between mines
    • deduct maintenance costs
    • profit is withheld or paid out (50% or full payout)
    • bank rounds in favour of the player
    • stock value
      • up to three jumps, depending on distributed value vs the current stock value
      • token always goes on the bottom of the stack
  • purchase mines
    • can buy one mine per OR from a player or a closed mine from bank
    • price from player is between 1 Mark and twice the face value
    • price from bank is always face value
  • purchase and scrap machines
    • machines upgrade previous machines
    • public mining co may own at most one switcher per mine owned
  • issue new shares
    • 50% company can issue three new shares; all shares are now 20%
    • 20% company can issue five new shares; shares are now 10%
    • to issue new shares, 20% co owner must own at least 40% of shares
    • new shares go to initial offering and when they are paid, they pay to company
  • Harzer Werke is special
    • HW gets additional revenue of 50 Marks every OR
    • HW can only buy Vor-Harzer mines

Operation of Railway Companies

  • build track
    • placing or upgrading track is only permitted if all new track is accessible for the building company
    • lay or upgrade two tiles, if both are
      • yellow or
      • green with two unconnected track sections
    • hills 50 Marks, mountain 100 Marks, high mountains 150 Marks
    • if company builds the concession route of another company, bank reimburses construction costs to the director of the building company
    • the concession route must be built on the first OR of an operating company as a single building action
    • all costs must be paid, even if the tiles were earlier built by another company
    • in companys first OR, no other track can be built
    • if concession was already complete, company can build other track on first OR
  • stations
    • one station per OR
    • stations are placed active face up
    • station on empty circle: 100 Marks to bank
    • station replacing inactive station: 50 Marks to the company whose token is replaced
    • no permission required to replace inactive station
    • new station must be accessible
    • continuous route from active station, without any state track or blocked villages
  • running trains
    • route must contain one station, active or inactive
    • routes may not end in blocked towns or villages
    • routes must end if they enter a town hex
    • state railway can never be a part of a route
    • a n-train runs n routes, which must form a connected network
    • concession route must be serviced with a standard train (not a diesel)
    • no routes serviced by standard trains can have any track in common
    • diesel services concession route and all other valid routes that are connected to the concession route
    • diesel routes must always start and end at own station tokens
    • as many routes as possible must be serviced, all routes must be serviced as far as possible, maximizing revenue is not required
    • all serviced stations are active, all other tokens become inactive
    • tokens on concession routes never become inactive
  • calculating revenue
    • values of all stations of the company that are run to by a standard train
    • each station is counted only once, no matter how many trains run to it
    • each stop counts as 10 Marks, if at least one standard train runs to it
    • completely blocked villages (on concession route): 0 Marks
    • stations and stops run to by a diesel: 10 Marks
    • open mines run to by standard trains: mine’s multiplier x the size of the largest train running to the mine
    • mines are counted once, and mines in blocked hexes are not counted
    • plants pay the specified value, size of the train does not matter
    • plants in blocked hexes are not counted
    • deduct the maintenance costs of trains and switchers
    • profit is distributed as with the public mining companies
  • buying and scrapping trains
    • in the first OR a standard train must be bought
    • NWE can’t buy a 1 as a compulsory train
    • if can’t buy compulsory train, company becomes insolvent and goes into receivership
    • director doesn’t have to buy an used train to avoid insolvency
    • when compulsory train is bought, concession is removed from the game; if somebody else has more shares than the owner of concession, they become the director
    • QLB has a built-in compulsory train
    • there are no limits to owning trains
    • only one diesel can be owned at any time
    • max price of train, switcher or Diesel from another company is twice the face value
    • last standard train of a company cannot be scrapped or sold
  • issue new shares
    • if all shares are held by players and director has 40%, director can issue new shares
  • QLB
    • no concession and only one home station
    • built-in compulsory train services Quedlinburg hex only, which counts as the obligatory servicing of the concession route
    • Quedlinburg can be counted twice
    • diesel owned by QLB must run to Quedlinburg
  • Operating MHE
    • pays 100 x train size as dividends, adjusts share value
    • in the last OR of every set, MHE replaces old train by a new standard train (can be same size as the old train)
    • when MHE buys a 5T, it stops buying trains and share value becomes fixed

Insolvency and Receivership

  • companies become insolvent if
    • can’t buy a compulsory train
    • revenue is lower than maintenance and treasury doesn’t contain enough money
  • shares are returned to the bank without compensation
  • IPO shares are moved to pool and company gets paid for them
  • if this doesn’t create enough money, then company stock is changed from 50% to 20% and company gets paid for the new shares
  • if this doesn’t create enough money, company is converted to 10%
  • if there’s still not enough money, bank pays the missing costs; share value may rise
  • if the insolvency was triggered by compulsory train, company now buys a train from bank
  • in other cases, companies buy a train or machines, scrap obsolete machines and trains


  • profit is withheld, no drop in stock value
  • if maintenance can’t be paid, company is recapitalised
  • to release a company from receivership, a purchase option must be auctioned
  • exercising a purchase option releases a company from receivership

Game End

  • share value reaches 1000, game ends after current OR
  • start of phase 5, two sets of 3 ORs are played
  • cash + shares + face values of independent mines

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