18Rhl - Rhineland


Wolfram Janich

Release Date



Rhineland Province


5 (Starting Package)

Minor Companies




Map Size

69 hexes ( 85 total)


Phases 2/5/


9,000 Mark

Tile colors

yellow, green, brown,grey

Stock Market

2D (square)

Historical Background

In 1815 the Rhineland became part of Prussia. At this time the  Ruhr area was not the industrial zone it became later. This development began around 1840. The first railways in the Rhineland where founded 1838 south of the Ruhr area in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf. From there they built tracks to the north and then eastwards across the whole Ruhr area.

The railway history in the Rhineland was dominated by the „Big Three“: Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn, Rheinische Eisenbahn and Köln-Mindener-Eisenbahn. They bought one after the other most of the smaller railways, but in the end the Prussian state nationalized the “Big Three” around 1880.

18Rhl-Rhineland attempts to reflect the historical development of the railways in the Rhine-land. For games reasons the purchase of other railways as well as the nationalization has been dropped. There is also one railway company included, which had been railway project only (Gladbach-Venloer-Eisenbahn) and was never active. Another historical feature is the crossing of the river Rhine which had been limited for military reasons.

Short Game Description

At the start of the game there is an 1830 style auction of the „Starting Package“. It consists of 5 Private companies and the Director share of the Rheinische Eisenbahngesellschaft. Thereafter the certificates of all railway corporations may be purchased. The Private compa-nies may not be sold by their owners. But the owners may use the Private’s special abilities when acting as a Director of a railway corporation during the operating round.

During the setup of the game the location markers of one steel mill and one coal mine will be randomly determined. These markers will have influence the revenue of the routes of the railway corporations’ trains. Due to the random decision of these locations there will be a little variance in every game play.

The river Rhine splits the map in two parts. It can only be passed at four places which are the metropolises of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Duisburg plus a crossing in the north. Therefore it is important for a railway corporation to build stations there. In the last phase of the game the “Rheingold Express” enters the game. For this train there are special rules for revenue. If it can manage a route on the map from north to south there is a special bonus plus the income for the metropolises will be doubled. Another bonus route is a certain east to west route (the “Iron Rhine” which is valid for all types of trains.

The bonus routes are the special excitement of 18Rhl-Rhineland and a well-planned place-ment of the station markers are the key for winning.