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First edition box cover art
|Setup time||10 minutes|
|Playing time||4–6 hours|
1830: The Game of Railroads and Robber Barons is a railroad operations and share trading board game first published by Avalon Hill in 1986 based on an original design by Francis Tresham. The popularity of 1830 spawned an industry creating similar "18XX" games. 1830 was republished in 2011 through a partnership of Mayfair Games and Lookout Games.
1830 is a strategy game where the only element of luck involved is in determining the initial play order. The game takes the basic mechanics from Francis Tresham’s 1829, with players seeking to make the most money by buying and selling stock in various rail transport companies located on a stylised eastern United States map. Players also operate any companies they are the President (majority shareholder) of in order to generate revenue and affect stock prices.
The game is designed to represent the beginning of railroad operations in the eastern United States beginning in the year 1830, with stock companies in the game representing historical railroad companies.
The goal of the game is to maximise personal wealth before the game ends, whether by nurturing a railroad company to increase its stock value, gutting it and running with the money, successful stock trading or arranging for another player to go bankrupt. Buying, trading and speculating on the stock market is often where 1830 is won or lost.
A game is finished when the bank runs out of money or any player goes bankrupt, with the player with the greatest personal wealth winning.
1830 has been translated as a PC game of the same name by Simtex in 1993. This game has been praised for superior computer AI and, due to the lack of randomness in 1830 game play, the transparency of game play.