1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties is an 18xx game set in East Anglia, England. It features a company-packed board, where 16 of 20 companies are randomly selected for use on a board containing only 37 hexes. Major features of the game are:
• Petitioning parliament as a means of floating your preferred company
• a mixture of full and partial capitalisation for companies
• three train types with differing objectives and building requirements
• company mergers and re-floatation
• 1860-style semi-linear stock market featuring multiple stock jumps.
The year is 1843, and Great Britain is poised to see the country gripped by a new disease – Railway Mania. Rail transportation to link industrial Great Britain together has captured the public imagination, and thanks to a rapidly expanding affluent middle class, more than enough money is available to build that rail net. Scores of new railway companies spring up. With virtually no governmental oversight, many fraudulent or economically unfeasible railways appear, financed by a tidal wave of cash from starry-eyed investors. By 1849 the spectacular railway construction bubble completely burst, thousands of individual investors are ruined, and the surviving well-run rail lines move into the financial wreckage to salvage the workable lines, continue construction through the next decade, and grow stronger.