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  1. If you pay out maximum merger cash there is a chance, a good chance, the AI will accept, it does seem to me a bit random however as there was also the odd time (through testing) that they didn't accept and I had to wait. In my game I had downturn and recession from the get go, but I like this as I am trying to come up with strategies independent of external factors. hence my strategy in the walls scenario where you stop the AI from building in Poland. I like the idea of selling stock early on to buy up others early, on my next play through for my write up i'll give it a test...
  2. A train speed increase makes all the difference in how you lay your track, Me personally I have NO problem bulldozing industries to get straight and long tracks, I also tend to try to put the majority of my bends close together if I can and leave longer stretches untouched. But it also depends on the map, sometimes the lay of the land just doesn't allow for straighter tracks, but most do if your smart about it.
  3. You're right I didnt read your post thoroughly (well to be honest I didn't read much of the thread outside of the initial post :P ) I'm impressed you managed the scenario with electric track, did you take -20% track laying as your bonus? when I first played i toyed around with the idea of going electric but could not reach a good number of cities without spending too much so that i couldn't buy a train even with a bond and stock issued. I always tried to go to 2 cities from Warsaw before I even un-pause the game as to not let the AI spawn in Poland. Its double hard because you need a further city from Warsaw (like Poznan and Wroclaw) and a closer city (always Lodz) or the AI possibly connects either Ponzan to Wroclaw or Lodz to Krakow. So do you go the -20% or do you reload if the AI plops down in Poland? I will admit I am an aggressive player, and electric track cost too much to engage in the rapid expansion I employ to win fast, having gone through your post it appears we use almost opposite strategies; I use diesel trains for long range passenger runs and build my personal net worth through mergers while you use electric trains for short passenger runs and build your personal net worth off your company's back. It's a pretty good testament to how well the game is designed! (just a quick question do you run Cargo outside of mail? I assume yes given your post on tires) As for the India campaign yes I have it completed (with gold and time to spare of course :D), I like it because the map is designed (scripted?) so that both AI's will always get controlling shares in their companies regardless of how well the player uses the stock market. This forces the player to have to merge at maximum price which is a challenge given the tough starting position of the players rail. I pretty much just concentrate on doing that, then after I have merged with the 1st company i redirect all trains for long distances (passenger runs of course, no cargo), money starts raining, and then I just wait until I have enough cash and buy up all the industrial buildings in one moment for the victory.
  4. I'm having a go through the first campaign now taking notes for a strategy guide I want to write. Playing on hard I got gold on this map with something like 8/7 years left and I only ran 1 cargo train the entire time, and the only reason i did that is because I had an extra train left over after i rerouted all the trains I got from a merger. (just to note when I say cargo I mean industrial cargo, not including mail of course which I run regularly). The thing that must be understood is that in most standard 'modern' starts houses only give 0.2 pax a year but on this its 0.4 so going pax is largely profitable so long as you invest heavily into it, this means: 1. All your routes must be a far distances apart 2. Stations must be fully "upgraded", that is to say everything that increases passenger revenue must be built, large hotels, large restaurants, and saloons, along with every other bell and whistle which increases preformance (don't forget custom houses), also a good passenger manager helps to. If you do this then you should have no problem racking up cash with minimal effort, I believe i had 35 or so trains when i got gold on my last play through (again 7/8 years to spare on hard campaign setting) Also i read in this thread that someone said go electric, maybe they are playing on easy or something but DO NOT GO ELECTRIC to start, maybe later if you want to convert for fun but this map can be won with diesel the whole way through. As for personal wealth, I don't even worry about my company until the end, most of your money will come from owning the most shares possible from rival railroads and merging with them for the highest price (and hence paying yourself for the acquisition). I believe after I merged with the 2nd company my net worth was something like 14 million, I then used all the cash I got from the transaction to buy up as much of my company as possible, I then turned up the dividends for the first time the whole game, sped the game up and just kept turning the dividends up as my company cash increased, I also steadily bought shares of my company while buying back company stock at the same pace until I was awarded gold. I would have merged with the 3rd railroad but by the time I got to it the chair had the majority share, but it really didn't matter at that point because a) it was far out of the way and did not hold any cities I wanted or needed, and b) my rail was a cash gushing monster so buying it up instead of my last rivals company (and jacking up the dividends of course) meant victory anyways. With regards to the other mission objective; hooking up cities, don't worry about it as it will happen through expansion, both Alborg and Istanbul I got through mergers, Venice was a little different as it was tucked out of the way and a part of the elusive 3rd railroad company so all I did there was when I noticed my personal wealth at around 19K I just made I giant, single track line from Bucharest to Venice and won the game a few months later. I read that some people like to start this game by going to Lithuania first after they get a little cash from their initial railroad, don't do this, the cities are to close to make a profit. your first expansion is going to be Ukraine, its cheap, borders Poland, and has some nice sized cities at good distances apart. Go straight to Kiev and then Dnipropetrovs'k, I don't care how you get there but just do it; remember to bond like crazy and take out stock when you can (remember we wont even worry about our company until later) Anyways Kiev and Dnipropetrovs'k are usually good sized cities so my first 4 trains will look something like this: Kiev - Poznan Wroclaw - Kiev Dnipropetrovs'k - Warsaw Lodz - Dnipropetrovs'k around this time I made the jump to double tracks, make sure to expand to Donetsk (from Dnipropetrovs'k) quickly as your large Polish cities (Lodz and Wroclaw usually) have extra pac/mail kicking around. After that you can expand to Chernivtsi, Odesa in Ukraine and Krakow, Bydgoszcz in Poland and set up trains accordingly to their generated sizes. After all this is done I usually rack up the cash and make sure all my stations are decked out like I mentioned before, large hotels, restaurants the whole deal. After this its time to go to Germany, either by merger or expansion depending on how the AI spawned. In my case there was a Berlin based railroad so it was merger time, if you've been buying up AI stock from the beginning you should have the majority by this point, or if not you should be close to it. I guess I should make a note about the beginning of the game that after the AI lays its first track take a look at it, calculate which company will be your first acquisition based on expansion (either Germany or the Romania/Turkey based company) and begin buying early. With the personal cash you get from the merger buy up the Istanbul railroad in one swoop, you wont need to merge with it at that point but you will want to stop the AI from controlling the company. anyways after your company gets the German railroad it is mega expansion time: First connect your Polish rail to Germany and then bond like nuts if you have to and then buy the rights to Russia. your German Acquisition should include Hamburg, Hanover, Bremen and Berlin (maybe more maybe less), connect to, Tula, Yaroslavl, Moscow and later Voronezh, re-direct all the trains you got from the German merger to your Russian cities. Don't forget to naturally expand to Munich if you didn't get it in the merger. After this its rinse and repeat with the Istanbul railway (I say Istanbul rail but it will probably also include Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova), when your company makes enough for a full merger buy it up, redirect trains to both your German and Russian stations, don't forget to buy the rights to Belarus somewhere along the way and connect to the 4 cities there. Distribute trains accordingly, just remember distance is everything. Sometimes you wont have a German rail company, in this case just buy up the Istanbul rail first and mega expand into Germany. The AI can spawn any number of ways so just remember to plan your natural expansion on the opposite side of the map from where you "merger expanded". After the second merger your personal wealth should be above 10 million and the year should be somewhere between 2000-2009, plenty of time to start buying your own stock and hauling in the cash. Your company should be quite lucrative so when it comes time to connect to Venice it'll be easy to buy up the necessary rights and lay a long track from your network. As for the trains themselves I generally go 3 pax, 1 mail, and 1 dinner-cart. I use SD45 until i cant , then the FP45 because its the cheapest after the SD is gone. I'll usually switch to the Dash 9 and the Class 232 after most of my expansion is done. (but I'm thinking that might even be overkill, but what odds I like having a top line rail!) just some notes about my play through: A) this was my first play through in almost 8 years, I'm pretty much exclusively a pre 1914 kinda guy but I got the urge to start a guide so I had a go at it. B) at one point I accidentally laid a huge electric track, and by the time i realized it I had already done considerable work on my rail network. I was too lazy to reload an earlier save so i just bulldozed it (including a station lol) and re-laid. Cost me an estimated 5,000K!!!!! So If I had another go at this map now and didn't make that mistake I'm sure I could get it done with AT LEAST 10 years to spare. Wow, I never expected to write so much, i hope this helps someone. Cheers! Edit: I guess I should let you all know what my 1 cargo train was, there were uranium mines near Chernivtsi, and Kiev so with a leftover train from the German merger I sent uranium to the plant in Warsaw and waste to the landfill located just to the North. I probably wont do that again on a second play through but like I said I usually dont play past 1914 so I got excited when i saw a Nuclear power plant lol
  5. Thank you for posting this, after I've had a chance to mull it over I'm sure I'll be full of questions lol
  6. One things from RRT3 I would love to see is the ability to build your own factories/plants. The ability to group trains and some kind of "train search" feature would help immensely, also an improved way point feature (so you don't need 500/500 vision to see all the tracks) would not go astray. I never thought about a scaling time feature based on map size but that would kinda make sense... also bigger maps are always welcomed :D
  7. Really, that's extremely interesting. I don't suppose you know where I can find this list?
  8. Few more questions on Freight distances and good old supply & demand. 1) Does distance play a role in freight? I know with passengers distance is everything, but what about industrial cargo? If I get milk from Stoke and send it to Manchester would I get less money than if I sent it from London? 2) How long does it take for demand to go back up? I remember reading somewhere that its 1 per six months, but can anyone confirm that? 3) Does a higher demand mean higher prices? For example if a city has a Food Demand of 5, and another a demand of 3, will I get more money bringing food to the first city?
  9. Excellent point. I once had 3 stations at a city for a steel to goods operation, one station really far out of the way for the coal/Iron drop off, another for the steel pick up, and a 3rd a little ways away for the tool and die factory. (this particular map had one of the only Tool and die factories and steel mills in the same city) I also had a 4th station for regular passenger/mail operations.
  10. A few rules Multiple Stations in the same city: A city can have multiple stations at it, for example at a busy city I will often make one station for freight and another for passengers/mail. Quadruple track / multiple routes: this seems to be one that escapes a lot of newbies but setting up a second layer of track next to your initial / main line can drastically cut down on traffic, just make sure you use... Waypoints: use them! They are fantastic for diverting trains away from congested lines, trains automatically take the shortest route possible, even if there is another route available which is only a tiny fraction bit longer, however setting a waypoint will ensure that trains get off the busy mainline and still get to their destinations at roughly the same time. Priority: priority can speed things up too, in most of my games I have all my freight trains set to "slow" my regular passenger/mail trains to "normal" and my transcontinental passenger/dinner cart trains set to "express". (I tend to play before 1900 so passengers are worth the most, this exact example might not apply to modern set ups but you get the idea, setting priority can cut down on congestion) Branching: Branching off the mainline to stations is a big one, although there are times, especially at the beginning, when making direct lines is vital. However when you're up and rolling try to keep stations off the main railways.
  11. thank you for your help guys, again its great that this form exist. How do I find how much my company is worth during the regular month? usually I can see it at the year end report, but is there a way to see that number at any moment?
  12. So does that mean the stations themselves actually cost maintenance? Like the small, medium, large stations you lay on the actual track? Also In all my time of playing I think I have only seen the AI bankrupt itself once, for the most part their personal wealth is very low (compared to mine anyways) but they are usually conservative enough to keep out of the red. So there is really nothing good about shears splitting? Just means you have to buy more if you want to control your company?
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