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Dan Lorenzen

Walls come down (original campaign)

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Glad you got gold! :)

I don't like any newer maps. I usually skip the entire "Second Century" campaign. Original is only fun one. Even scenario maps I like it to be 1900 or so at least.

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Likewise. I really get the warm fuzzies when playing with the old choo-choos in the 1800s. Maybe it's some sort of weird nostalgia or whatever - don't know and don't care; what I do know is that I have lots of fun playing the old ones. More atmospheric, for sure (at least to my taste). Transporting munitions and alcohol and uranium around on a maglev? Meh, not my cup of tea. But playing in "ye olde times" with a nice steam loco chugging mightily on a 1% slope at a breath-taking 20 mph? Gimme all you got!

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Hi Guys,

I'm just back to RRT after a year off and you've got me playing this mission again. When I first played it I got gold (at hard level) on second attempt. This time I've learnt more and reckon it should be possible from almost any start. Provided the economy goes the right way: I've never had to cope with an early recession.

If you play with the map editor you'll discover sooner or later that plonking down a large industry within city limits (even towards the edge), the way this map's designer did with the nuclear plant at Warsaw, means that the map starter sometimes responds by refusing to generate any houses in the city at all. If you get no houses at Warsaw count it as a glitch and keep restarting until you get some.

In a campaign we human players are always on the "expert" industrial model. The AI tycoons aren't. That is how they make money hauling freight to places without the right industry for it. They don't need roundhouses to oil their trains. They've been given free access rights everywhere. Anyone know any other advantages they have?

Passenger revenue has been increased for eveyone. (This is Eastern Europe so fewer people own cars than in the West.)

to be continued....

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.... (I'm wary of trying to post too much in one chunk in case I lose it all)

To win gold, go for it. Net worth comes first. The way I play now, at the end of the first year I own a third of my company. Having some left-over purchasing power I also buy someone else's shares while they are still cheap. After three years I have half my own company and more shares than before in at least two of the others. That way, if my stockbroker gets agitated about how much I owe him, I can always sell the other guys' shares first. Owning that much of my company, I just have to grow it profitably enough to afford all the rights and track I'll need, and personal net worth will take care of itself.

If stock splits at the end of December, (prices adjust further and?) purchasing power goes up at the end of January. So if I've had a margin call in January, I wait until February before seeing if I still need to do anything about it. Usually I don't.

Gold requires three connections (two-and-a-bit if you make Venice a short branch off the Istanbul line) but they can be made in any order you like (and you don't have to haul any loads over them). I like micro-managing a fleet of trains so the no-train build-and-burn corporate solution doesn't interest me, but I see nothing wrong with some foreign track being part of the connecting route. You can only lay track outwards from what's already there, but it doesn't have to be your own.

(I enjoy claiming Istanbul for myself before an AI gets it, by buying rights in Turkey - they are so cheap - and Bulgaria, and using the AI's Constanta-Varna line as a launch pad. To make the most of Istanbul's potential I then expand as far as Sofia, especially if there is a bauxite->aluminium->goods chain available, simultaneously with expanding in Poland. But if the AI is in Istanbul first, you only need link to the nearer end of the AI track, and plonk your own small station on it close enough to Istanbul's centre, and the connection counts.)

As you see, there are many ways of skinning this particular cat. I believe in electrics for this map. The first time I tried the map - the time I failed - I was using diesels on the sort of run that works in 1891. Once they stopped making SD45s (relatively slow) then the price of diesel fuel started killing all my profits. My strategy is the cheapest electrics doing short (on single track for affordability) passenger shuttle runs - pile 'em high and haul them cheap, to keep expensive trains and track doing something - between stations all with saloons, small hotels - cannot afford large ones - and large restaurants. I strongly suspect that letting most passengers "die" uncollected, to keep demand and hence fares high, besides under-utilising investment, would hurt goodwill so making access rights more expensive. As I earn more I can start to add freight hauls and to double my track where needed.

Another glitch in the game: laying single electrified track, and then doubling it, is cheaper than laying double electrified track from the beginning. The game makes you pay for doubling single track but doubles the wires for free. John Work Garrett is, I think, the manager who gives 40% off laying electric track. The route I now prefer to start with, I usually make too much money the first year to get offered Ernst Siemens (30% off buying electric engines).

Use bonds judiciously to expand, and remember to re-finance them when you can do so cheaper. When you can take out 5% bonds to buy a steel works that you've got turning a consistent 25%, do so!

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By the way, the reason tires don't earn much freight money is that, in general, demand in an industry's second input drops to 0 (which is not the same as "no demand") after the first delivery, and never recovers. I don't remember if this is true for coal at the steel works but it is for tires at the auto plants and for aluminium at the cannery. It is also true for all but the primary export at ports. I've never had a problem making auto plants produce autos - provided you make sure they do get both steel and tires. If there is a tool factory sharing the same station, maybe that is taking all the steel.

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oops, forgot to sign off at end ....

I'll let you experiment for yourselves which pair of Polish cities to start with

regards, Richard

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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

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Hi there, hunter! Have fun with your strategy guide. You didn't read my series of posts too well: I use electrics and win gold thereby at Hard. You had a few trains spread across lots of miles of track, which is when diesels are better. I have lots of short passenger and cargo hauls so busy track which is the way to use electrics (the E656 and E111 that is - I wonder if anyone out there has gone with the high speed Thalys when he could afford to?). Maybe your company earns more than mine but it needs to to pay for the takeovers. Like I said, lots of ways to skin this cat. One thing we agree on: go first where access is cheap and pickings rich.... regards, Richard

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PS. I'm guessing the chair who got a majority share in his own company before you did was Nehru ("Black Sea" company). He is a mean tycoon that way. Have you played the next campaign yet (#13, in India)? You'll meet him again there and must take him out for gold.

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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.

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If a map allows "unconnected" track laying, then you may claim cities without building the rails between them.

The AI will not build a station in a city that already has one "connected". Therefore, to lock the AI players out of a city to which you hope to expand in a year or two (or ten), just plunk down three cells of track and a tiny station close enough to show the "connected" text as you're placing it. You can connect it to your network later when you have the money to do so.

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I use the blocking strategy often. Apparently the AI looks only for a clean unconnected city.

Even if you bulldoze the new station, the AI will still leave the city alone and build rail elsewhere.

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HeWhoHunts: yes, for electric I do take the -20% track build choice. It is then just possible to build single track Poznan to Lodz with two medium stations and one train. When the train arrives in April a bond can be taken at 11% rather than 15%, and a month later comes the government grant.

Poznan to Wroclaw is an easier first build (if the latter has industry you want), or Warsaw to Lodz (with wooden bridge): even that short distance can be a profitable initial run especially with hotels and restaurants.

I've never seen an AI start between two Polish cities. Berlin-Poznan yes, which is why I now prefer to start in Poznan myself. I reckon the map is winnable even if one does: especially with your Ukraine-based long-distance strategy. (Which is my initial strategy on steam maps, eg #3 and #4).

I've just finished my latest play-through with hard gold in 2005. Thanks to the second economic boom it worked out really neatly with pnw of just under 22million in the same year my company had the cash for the last rights (Germany and Denmark) and last track to make the connections. I had 50% of my own shares, 70% in the second-largest AI (but hadn't taken it over yet) and was the largest shareholder (41%) in the top AI (which was in Germany). Nehru had 85% of his shares but that was the smallest company, running only Milan-Genoa, never expanded.

Approximate lifetime incomes were 19million from freight (that includes mail of course) to 18million from passengers plus 11 million from stations. Industries contributed 4million, about what they had cost to buy (and no AI had gotten his greedy paws on any industry I was benefitting). The cost of fuel (electricity) equalled engine, track and car maintenance combined. (The three maintenance costs ranked in that order: I had gotten hold of, and kept, John Work Garrett for cheap electric track; I guess the cheapness in building carries over to reduced maintenance in proportion.) After the first boom ended I'd stopped at seven 5% bonds and not bothered taking out any more when things picked up again.

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As for India (#13), I assumed without actually putting it to the test that an AI chair (particularly a tight-fist like Nehru) will always vote against a merger even at maximum price (at hard difficulty anyway). When I won that map I got 55% of his shares in the first 13 or 14 months (any longer and it would have been too late). That took good fortune (economy going prosperous early in the first year). I don't remember exactly how I did it but think I must have sold one lot of my own shares to buy my first lot of his.

regards, Richard

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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...

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I notice that you all have the same trouble laying electric track.

Start by laying a single track from place to place.

Then electrify your track one cell at a time starting from a station.

The cost of electrifying a single lane bridge is $2k, the cost of laying the bfirst cell is 7k, all other cells are $0k.

Run electric trains exclusively in this and every other scenario that they are available, they are much faster and cheaper than either steam or diesel.

The manager is irrelevent.

My scenario is in Jan 2014, I have hooked up to Alborg, Venice, and Istanbul two years ago. At the time my personal net worth was $25 million. Is there a glitch preventing me from getting the gold?

My company has no outstanding debt but I have nearly $3 million in debt which I can easily pay off by selling shares and buying them up with company money, thereby maintaining my 100 percent ownership.

A tool and die shop will always take the entire steel shipment. If you want to build autos you have to deliver the steel to a station without one.

At the start I ran a rail from Gdansk to Wroclaw, electrified it and bought two E656 FS trains. ($28k more than the SD45 but 20 mph faster and nearly $2k a year cheaper to run) I used the rest of the start up money to buy the large restaurant and saloon at the Gdansk station. I joined Bydgoszcz, Poznan, and Lotz in later and then started the drive north to St Petersburg to feed the Nuclear power plant. My trains are all heavily laden with cargo. Passengers and mail just fill in the gaps. I own about 7.5 million in industry investments. My connections to the three cities required for gold are all straight runs just for the sake of winning the game.

Update: The game gave me the gold in Jan 2016. A depression dropped my personal net worth down to 14 million. It took awhile to earn enough for gold in a depression.

I only play on the hard setting. This game was on the -25% track building option. Restarting now on the second option -25% station turnaround time.

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Since I see on another thread that some people feel that free electric track is an unfair glitch, I played it through without using it. I still ran electric trains exclusively, bought majority shares in a competing company, converted his tracks to electric and changed out one of his trains to electric, ran the competitors trains on my track between my stations, collected the bonuses for St Petersburg to Warsaw and Frankfurt to Moscow, and got the gold in Jan 2016.

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On my last map I reduced the price of Electrified track. I believe a lower cost for electric track is more realistic.

It would have been nice to need a power plant to supply current for a section of electric track.

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Needing a power plant to power your electric lines would be excellent. If you failed to supply it properly your trains would stop. Brownouts, etc.

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In my US History scenario, delivering 5 waste in a year shaves the electric fuel price for your RR. Delivering zero waste (after about 1965) raises the price.

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"mxmtech"

You can always use the editor to check the victory conditions. If I remember correctly, on that scenario it is an annual test and current personal net worth is always used, even if that is lower than you had it earlier. ... regards, Richard

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