18Korea – first rules sneak peek

18Korea is (of course) game about railroads on Korean Peninsula.

If you want to enjoy it fully, it is good to have some knowledge about Korean history (or you’ll be surprised when half of the map won’t be available anymore and your comapany disappeared 😉
All images are taken from publisher’s – Artnpiece – Instagram account with their approval.

To whom it may concern: For now only campaign for korean players will be live soon, but designers wish to run Kickstarter campaign in 2022.

Short history lesson from the designers – Rach Seo and K.jack:
“Modern Korea suffered colonial accept the invasion of Japan. The first railroad in Korea was built by Japan in 1897.
After Japan’s surrender after World War II, Korea fell into a severe ideological conflict.
In 1950, the Korean War broke out due to a sudden North Korean invasion of South Korea.
War was in progress fierce three years has also lead to a truce without anyone’s win.
Thus, the Korean peninsula was divided into a liberal South and a communist North.
For the next 70 years, North Korea was firmly shut down, and the railroads on the Korean Peninsula were cut off as well.”

Because designers are still working on English rules, then we are unable to read them by ourselves, but we got some information for you from them. (As soon as we get English rules I’ll post my full rules impressions.)

Key features:

  • High replayability (desigers said that it will be infinite) because:
    • there will be 75 asset cards in the game (an assets cards in generall will work as private companies in 18xx games)
    • there will be 24 companies in the game from which only 11 will appeared in the same play. There are 12 North Korean companies and 12 South Korean companies. In each game, 5 North Korean companies and 6 South Korean companies appear randomly. (In the 5-player game, two more South Korean companies appear.)
  • Half of the map will be unavailable from the middle of the game (after Korea will be divided to liberal South and a communist North)
  • short time of play: 2-3 hours

Rules sneak peek:

    • Asset cards are divided into 3 decks and each player will have one card from each deck. Player can use asset cards only for companies that can be started before the Korean War
    • Stock round actions (1 of 3):
      • sell/buy – you can have more than 60% of company shares, but if you have 60% next shares can be bought only from bank, not from company. The stock price falls only when the major shareholder sells the stock. No limit of shares in the bank, except of president’s shares. Certificates limit: 2p = 28, 3p = 20, 4p = 16, 5p = 13
      • bid for president’s certificate – player who won auction will be company president. Only 20% (presidents certificate) is needed to float company. Before the Korean War, stock prices could be set within the range of 60-100. After the Korean War, it increases to 60-200. Before the Korean War, only red cube companies could be floated. After the Korean War, it is possible to start a blue cube company.
      • pass => next stock round is determined according to the pass order tokens
    • Operation round
      • each company has 3 tile points to spend (build track costs 1, upgrade 2). It is impossible to develop a hex twice at once, so you can’t build and upgrade same tile in one round
      • suburban station – you can place a station in a city that is already full (ex. when floating company in fully occupied city you can put station on that tile, then if after upgrading that tile will be empty city spot you must put that suburban station on that spot).
      • E-trains – if your company have 2 of them, you calculate income from the lower e-train and then double it. E-trains can skip small towns.
      • train purchase – in first OR 2-trains are unlimited and at the end of that OR are removed from market (no more 2-trains in the game, except that already bought)
      • train selling between companies is allowed only when companies are connected
      • change of the phases is not when first train of next type is bought, but when is available on market (green – when 3-train shows up, brown – 5E, grey – 8E)
      • When 4/6E/8E trains are sold, 2/3/4 trains are rusted
    • Export trains
      • At the end of the set of operating rounds, one green train from the train market is removed. If the first 4 trains are exported, the 2nd train will be rusted.
      • If the Korean War card appeared due to export, the Korean War would immediately start.
    • Korean War
      In the game setting, put the Korean War card in front of the last 4 trains. If a Korean War card appears during the operation round, the Korean War will occur after the operation round is over. When the Korean War breaks out, remove all tiles and station from North Korea and remove all city tiles from South Korea. Station in North Korea are removed from the game. If North Korean companies do not have station in South Korea are removed from the game. From now on, Blue Cube Company can also float. (I’ll wait for full rules, but it seems for perfect plan to run North company, transfer all the money to south company, and then close that from North :))
  • End of the game (1 of 3 possibilities):
    • first 8E train sold – finish that set of OR, then final SR in which floating companies is not allowed. After final SR, final set of ORs is played, in which it is impossible to lay tracks, place station, or purchase trains from other companies. It is possible to purchase trains from train market.
    • company’s stock price reaches 460 => The game ends at the end of the operation round
    • player’s bankruptcy => The game ends immediately


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