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Holding the last hand of stock

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In this thread, I want to share my stock market trick experience with you which I call "Holding the last hand of stock". I have been looking around for a while, it should be new to this forum. It's based on special behavials of stocks when there are only 1,000 shares outstanding in the first opening year of a company. I still can't catogory this as cheating, using game loopholes or a clever strategy.

 

To achieve the 1,000 shares outstanding, you need to be able to buyback stock and issue bonds on this map. In the beginning of the game, you can simply buyback all your stocks at once untill the last hand you can't buy, as long as you have more cash than equity. Although the stock price may swing from $50 to $80 and end up in $2, you should left with $0 cash. This is because buyback stock can be considered as canceling out cash and equity on both side of balance sheet. Thus, if you got more cash than equity - in other words "less non-current assets than debt", you can cancel out all the equity, AKA, buyback all your stocks. So, if you issue a bond before buying back, you should end up with $500K cash. It's enough to connect 2 cities with single track, but not the engines, you need to resign and let computer buy them for you. You can also simply leave the computer to select 2 cities to connect if you are lazy to do a connect with a $500K budget - it's quite hard I have to say. Once computers set up the connection from short term credit, you can buy the only 1,000 stock for $2K, and this is going to worth a million at the end of the year. Meanwhile, if this map allows you buy on margin, you can buy into a large share of computers' companies in the fist year with quite low prices. Besides this, you can speculate your 1,000 shares, with one-trade own and one-trade dump, you can make quite a margin before and after your trains stopping and getting some revenue. The revenue may be small, but the effect on the last hand of stock is surprisingly strong. You can cheat by save&load a few times to achieve the best result. If you do this correctly, you can controll like 3-4 companies in the beginning of the second year with a PNW of 2-3 million. You can do merge, massive expand on debt, stock price manipulation to bankrupt computers, you say it.

 

This is one way of doing it. I use it when there are lots of computers in this scenario. The other way is buy back stocks at the end of the first year. You need to generate revenue very fast in the first year, and you can't have too much non-cash assets. It's because, as I mentioned before, in order to buy back all but last hand stocks, you need to have less non-current assets than debt. Let me explain it furthermore:

Assets = Liability

Assets = Cash + Non-current Assets

Liability = Equity + Debt

as       Cash > Equity

so   NC Assets < Debt

"Non-current asset is less than debt" means you need to use your tracks and engines with efficiency to get enough credit to cover the investment of them all. Passenger revenue is usually not enough especially in 20th century. Grain-food or cattle-food industry is good because they tend to be close to cities, so they require not much additional tracks to build. 

If you achive this status before the end of this year(you may need the help of Oakes). Now buy back all your stocks. In the end the price should be $2-$5. This is tricky, although the company has no equity and all the assets are relying on debt, however, it earns like $2,000K in a year, and the EPS is extreamly high, how come the stock price is so low? I figure it's because the profits are not confirmed buy the annual report yet, and this company has no earning history! So the EPS of "last year" is 0, equity is 0, the stock has no value! Well, I don't think so, "other investors", I'll buy them!  After the annual report, the stock price is shockingly over $9,000. The EPS is confirmed, it's $2,000 per share, the price should be $20,000 per share, but with $0 book value per share draging it down to $9,000.

Here is another tricky thing. Now you can issue stock. It should be 5% of your shares outstanding rounding by 1,000, but wait, 50 rounding by 1,000 is still 1,000. You can double the shares! The amount of capital you are going raise is actually $10,000K, not $8,000K, because you will raise so much cash and it would drag up BPS so much that the share price goes up instead of dropping down. After stock issue, the price may raise another 10%, now it's $11,000. With so much equity on the line, your credit rate surge, and you should be still hiring Oakes.

After maximizing the credit, you find yourself sitting on $18 million cash to be invested. With this, it is time to build the nation's economy. 

 

The last but not the least way is to combine this two together. You open your first company doing the first method, collecting like 10 million personal cash after 2 years. You should leave a company with like nothing but 20 million debt for further use. Open a new company with 14 million capital of a new company, you can make around 20 million profits in the third year of the game. Since you may have build like 24 million worth of tracks and buildings, you need to merge the previous debt-only company so that you can have enough debt to reach the "Non-current Assets < Debt" requirement. Now you can use the second method to make your share price reach $100,000. In the beginning of the forth game year, by issuing 1,000 stock, both PNW and CBV reaches 100 million, which is usually the end of the scenario if it requires PNW or CBV only.

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That is why I like playing the stock market and having a number of AI RRs start up that I can gain control of. 

I also use AI locos to operate on my track to reduce my micro-management; at least until I start merging the most useful AI RRs.

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Wow! What a method. I don't usually dabble in multiple companies, but I couldn't resist trying it out on the Heartland map. I think I understood everything, and I was trying to do the combined method. What I can say is you are good to have 10 million player cash at the end of year two. I couldn't manage it even though I was playing with 16 AI competitors to invest in. How do you exit your positions? I was selling all on the spot. The most I can muster so far is 4.5 million. Will have to wait till year three.

 

It ended up taking 7 game years with my inexperience. I must say that this makes some of Gwizz's maps more appealing to me. Good work. I have used leveraged buyouts before on some of Gwizz's maps. Will try the second method by itself with a single player game.

 

Thanks for sharing this. I think it should be classified as a game bug other than a cheat. I think the sole reason for this sharp drop in price is the book value turning negative. (Maybe a function for stock price includes an integer plus 1, just my theory as to why this happens. Any ideas?)

 

In the past I have noticed that when an AI with a negative book value declares bankruptcy, its share price rises instead of dropping. Also that the share price is automatically 2 or 3 dollars when debt exceeds non-cash assets. One interesting thing I noticed using the first method was that stock price is irrelevant. Amazingly, you always end up with 499k from your bond, whether you use a stock discount manager, sell straight away, or sell at the best price you can get.

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When you are near the end of a year, pause to see how many trains will arrive before the new year starts.

 

Year end financial activity normally causes the stock to increase in price.  Low activity causes stock value to drop in price.

 

I sell a few stocks when the price is up and buy the stocks back when they drop in price. 

 

This old trick is how I got interesting in playing the tycoon's stock market.  

 

 

PS:   There are random numbers in a majority of the game's functions.

         I don't think Kameyer  (sp) wanted the game to be predictable.  Although a number of players are getting close.

       

         I had many many hours in a map.  When I locked up the map with negative debt.  Pop Top fixed it for me. 

         I was told they didn't believe anyone could go so deep in debt.  But Obama does have me beat.  :ph34r::wacko::blush: :D

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I know this a little off topic, but compared with RT3,  I find RT II is much more predictable in regards to stock price. I also love to run up values for the year end stock split especially in the first 2 years of play when I have fewer shares to make earnings more important to stock price.

 

You know, when playing this method it is really tempting to let the computer run your company, they will make much more money than you can. Especially how I play at -25% human revenue. When you regard everything as fake like the stock market is, I personally don't see the point of trying to make an honest effort to run a nice railroad.

 

I love how after repaying the first 20 (10 million, all you can) of the 40-50 million bonds I got free interest on the rest!

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Meglev, you are learning very fast. It's only been 2 days since I posted this method here, you've gone so far! 

You get 5-8 million after 2 years if you are in 20th century using the buyback at beginning method, you've done great. I got 10 million in 19th century when passenger routes are a lot profitable. To cash these stocks, I prefer merging them. Since you control all the companies, you can assign as chairman and issue bonds in every company. Usually each company has different earnings, so they have different credit rates, leading to different cash after you maximize their loans.

After this, you list their cash and market capital in order of the amount of cash like this:

                            Cash     Market Capital

Company A      7,000K        10,000K

Company B      5,500K         6,000K

Company C      4,500K         5,000K

Company D      4,000K         4,000K

Company E      2,500K         2,000K

Now you can merge from top to the bottom, assign as chairman in company A, sell all of company A stock(it's gonna collapse), merge B by 1/6 premium with 7000K; take over 5,500K from B, merge C by 1/10 premium with 5,500K; take over 4,500K cash from C and merge D etc. In the end you get an ultra company with massive debt. Usually the amount of debt this company has equals to the amount of cash your person has if you own 100% of each company, if you own 50%, you get 50% of it's debt. Cash your stock in this way can actually inflate your PNW, and force computers to cash their stock too. If they are aggressive in stock buying, they will buy into A because you've over-sold the shares of A. Now, destroy all the assets in A, it's actually a big task because it contains all the assets now, then you can bankrupt computers by the way. The smart ones may not be drawed into this trap, they restart companies. Then it's another round, hah? 

I agreed with you that RRT2 stock market is very predictable in the eyes of players that knows what's going on and what are they doing, like me, the stock market is a fountain of infinite cash. And it's very addictive, once you know how to make money from stock market, it's hard to go back to run an honest railroad.

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In deeper thinking, I also have something to say. The beauty of the whole deal is that the borrower does not take responsible for the debt, because the problem of leverage usually needs time to be revealed. Once the creditors find out that Company A, used to worth 10 million, worths nothing while the company being liquidated, the true borrower, which is me, has long gone. No one is responsible for this hole.

This is why I believe Obama should not be responsible for the pile of debt US is owing. The debt bomb is not planted when it explodes. 

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One thing that I certainly cannot predict is passenger and mail generation. I still don't know of any indications when they will appear. In my view, modern debt is a system of control over normal individuals, nothing more, nothing less. The scary question is what is the end goal and when?

 

I was trying the buy-back method again and managed to have 17 million cash at the end of year 2 on the Heartland map. The little problem I have is that the faster engines (Daylight and Hudson) don't arrive until June of the third year. I cannot manage to make 20 million in the third year so far. Maybe with free electric track I would and maybe that is what I will do. I have been doing many saves and trying different methods. One time I managed to get a stock price that displayed as $0! Doubt it could actual be zero, right?

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I'm trying to catch up on this thread, but I just don't get it. The OP is quite long, so I can't see the "trick". No offense, but the broken English is hard for me to follow. Can somebody summarize it for me?

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Jeffry, I will do my best.

 

Stock price in RT II is heavily reliant on book value in the first two years of a companies' life. Because debt is subtracted from assets before book value is determined it is possible to have a company that has a book value of less than zero. When this happens stock prices "crashes" to near zero.

 

Easiest example to understand:

Immediately after founding a company, the correlation between book value and stock price is so high that if a player buys back all stock in his company (after he sells his stake) he will be left with 1,000 shares worth 2 or 3 dollars a share and a book value just below zero. If, however, the player had taken out a bond before buying back his stock he would be left with 500k of cash. This cash can then be invested to make a profit. Both the increase in book value and income will drive the price of this single share up. If he gets a good return on investment (he builds a good company) the 1,000 shares in the company will be worth 500-600 dollars a share at the end of the first year.

 

There are ways for him to further increase his wealth from this circumstance. For example, because of interest repayments and running costs buying and selling the 1,000 shares before and after trains arrive will give a better result. Also, purchasing power will be greatly increased allowing almost immediate control of at least one AI company.

 

P.S. The second and combined methods require the explanation given above, they are simply too complicated.

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Jeff, Meglev understand my idea quite well, you can ask him if you don't follow my language. However, the best way to understand it is to try it out. My introduction is a bit heavy in details, but once you are on the road, you don't need to learn the whole story. Start from the first method of buying back all stocks in the very beginning of the game, you will see.

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Amazing.  And I always thought it was fun to play as a robber baron.  This takes that concept to the next level!  One of these days I need to learn how you merge these companies with such ease -- this is something I've never done.  But I certainly see what you mean -- after discovering the 'fountain of cash,' it's hard to go back to "run an honest railroad."  I'm sure it's not just my own playing style, but once I have the amount of cash I need, I never again run my own trains.  I build track, and let other companies fund the trains.  :)

 

I guess that's what I like about this game; there's something in it for everyone:  If you want to run trains, you can do that.  If you want to play the stock market, you can do that.  If you want to manipulate companies and the markets, you can do that.  If you want to out-and-out steal, leaving bondholders and other investors holding the bag while you leave with all the cash, you can do that.  So much 'therapy' for all of us that don't do anything remotely connected to any of this in our day jobs!

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Aha, I think I see the confusion in the OP. The word "you" looks like it pertains to the "player" but in several places it must be referring to the player's company. If those two entities were clearly delineated, then the explanation would probably make sense (and match what I already do).

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Powerful method indeed! Playing the map of the South with 3 AI competitors, I was able to reach around 9 million in Personal Net Worth in approx. 5 years. The highest one of them attained in that time was just shy of 1M. As the primary goal is Highest PNW in Class, the game was over very early. I was able to win gold before the outbreak of the Civil War, a feat I never accomplished previously. This map is fairly easy for me anyway, as a rule, and I have made one that is much tougher (still based on The South Map). Just wanted to try it here to see what I could achieve with an easy map. The method works anywhere, though.

 

 

Previously, I used to start a company, change manager to one that does not supress the Stock Price if needed, sell all of my shares, then hire Ginery Twitchell or Rudolph Diesel (lower stock price), take out a 500K bond, and just sit idle for two years (doing nothing, building nothing). Then when Stock Price was in 20s or low 30s would buy as much as I could personally afford for myself, and then buy back all of the remaining shares with company cash. With the 500K or so that was left, I would begin building my empire, with complete ownership of my company. It is a nice method, but yours produces fantastic profit opportunities without that 2 year wait. Incredible!! And your method gives one the needed purchasing power to begin buying up shares of the competitors' companies earlier, which counts highly when hoping for future mergers or takeovers. Brilliant!

 

I have also tried your method leaving 2000 shares instead of 1000, and it works just as well. Prolly should try leaving higher numbers of shares, as well, but maybe it all is unnecessary. Absolutely love the wild swings of the share price as trains come in, and then go back down again, only to soar again later. Seeing a share price of 1K made me laugh with greed!!  Highest split I have experienced was 25 for 1......awesome!

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I don't know why, but I cannot get this to work for me. I have tried several times. Following the steps listed in the first post as the first, simplest way of going about things, I can get a bond issued, then buy back all stocks in the company, driving it down to around $6 for stock value. I can then buy 'all' the stock in my company and own it outright, and have $500 to build a small pair of stations and get a weak route running.

 

The problem is, though I might get one or two trains of passengers moved, when the year ends, my stock is valued at $40 or $50, tops. I have no money to expand with, my company is a bond in the hole, and no stock split. It's nice to own all the stock, without having to margin myself out the wazoo, but it leaves the company in too deep of a hole. For some reason, this just doesn't seem to work for me.

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There's a lot of detail in the opening post. Contained is this tip: "It's enough to connect 2 cities with single track, but not the engines, you need to resign and let computer buy them for you. You can also simply leave the computer to select 2 cities to connect if you are lazy to do a connect with a $500K budget - it's quite hard I have to say. Once computers set up the connection from short term credit, you can buy the only 1,000 stock for $2K, and this is going to worth a million at the end of the year."

Were you following those suggestions? If you let me know which map you were trying this on, I could post a screenshot to give an idea of a start I might try.

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Hi, Maglev. If you still want to try this, you can do it on Heatland US. Beginning options are Omaha&Lincoln or Chicago&Gary. Build single track and middle size station can control the budget under $500K. Issue a bond, buy back all the stock but the last hand (don't forget to sell your beginning 2,000 share in the buy-back process), resign as chairman, the "share holder's committee" will buy two engines to run between the two cities. Then you buy the only 1,000 share for $2K. 

In another way. Just issue the bond, buy back all the stock but the last hand, resign as chairman. The committee will connect two cities and buy two engines.

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Hi Batchman. If you want to do it right, you need to buy back ALL but the last 1,000 share. You can find shares outstanding in your finance book page, just above the annual dividend, the number MUST be 1,000.  Don't forget, you own 2,000 share in the beginning, you need to sell them to allow your company to buy them back.

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I have tried this a few more times on the Heartland map with 9 AI players. Just the first method. My best result so far was 11M personal cash after 2 years. Everything booming, good seeding for a couple of AIs, and gutting out the AI companies so that the sole remaining AI is 20M in the debt hole to give me more cash. I started with a Sioux to Sioux Falls line that incorporated a Cattle Farm -> Meat Packing Plant chain with two medium stations while leaving over 100k extra after buying a Praire engine. It seems to me that I can get better results when I keep control of my company including the purchase of engines whether my company makes much money or not. Book value changes trump all. Also, if shares don't split much at year end, you can play the game effectively in the second year as well, probably because there is still no established profit trend.

If the AI buys two engines, that's too much for a short, single-track network. I agree there are plenty of opportunities for passenger and mail revenue initial connections if you let the AI buy the engines. I even got Chicago and Milwaukee hooked up with a Medium and Large station one time with a perfectly straight track, but was only good for 300k with the AI running it. I don't think I am getting the most from this method and it seems that my absolute results have a lot more to do with how the AI and my early investments in them fair than on my own early performance.

Anyway, how well have you done with the second method on the Heartland map? What about the combination method? Reason I ask is because "connected track only" seems like a limitation. Do you have some tricks for this? Earning 2M in the first year seems like a tall order let alone with only the debt money you can procure especially at the lowest human revenue modifier. Do you use the second method successfully in the second century with only connected track?

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I have tried this a few more times on the Heartland map with 9 AI players. Just the first method. My best result so far was 11M personal cash after 2 years. Everything booming, good seeding for a couple of AIs, and gutting out the AI companies so that the sole remaining AI is 20M in the debt hole to give me more cash. I started with a Sioux to Sioux Falls line that incorporated a Cattle Farm -> Meat Packing Plant chain with two medium stations while leaving over 100k extra after buying a Praire engine. It seems to me that I can get better results when I keep control of my company including the purchase of engines whether my company makes much money or not. Book value changes trump all. Also, if shares don't split much at year end, you can play the game effectively in the second year as well, probably because there is still no established profit trend.

If the AI buys two engines, that's too much for a short, single-track network. I agree there are plenty of opportunities for passenger and mail revenue initial connections if you let the AI buy the engines. I even got Chicago and Milwaukee hooked up with a Medium and Large station one time with a perfectly straight track, but was only good for 300k with the AI running it. I don't think I am getting the most from this method and it seems that my absolute results have a lot more to do with how the AI and my early investments in them fair than on my own early performance.

Anyway, how well have you done with the second method on the Heartland map? What about the combination method? Reason I ask is because "connected track only" seems like a limitation. Do you have some tricks for this? Earning 2M in the first year seems like a tall order let alone with only the debt money you can procure especially at the lowest human revenue modifier. Do you use the second method successfully in the second century with only connected track?

 

 

Not sure if this will interest you Maglev, or anyone else, for that matter, but I will go ahead and explain some things I have done along the lines of the method, or a mixture thereof. I play almost continually on a remade map of Southern USA, where I have taken away the options of "unconnected track laying" and "resigning as chairman". I have also made all of the towns and cities much smaller than the original Southern USA map, many have only 4 houses, and some only have 3 with an industry. It was almost too easy to win the original map in its given state with the first method of stock buying/trading. So I purposely handcuffed myself by making the changes in the map editor.

Now I am forced to remain as chairman, and I must choose very wisely where I will build, and what. I cannot always buy back all but the last hand of stock (if I do mange to, all the better). This leaves anywhere from 2000 to 4000 shares on the market. If I want my share price to go as low as possible, I must make sure that the first train does NOT make it to its destination in that year. Sometimes an AI opponent will buy 1000 shares of my company, as well, as the share price comes down in that first year. After year one, I can buy all of the remaining shares available and let the fun begin. Stock price goes up decently on the first train's arrival (40 to 60/share) and I sell off my entire stake again. The AI usually sells their 1000 shares, as well, having made a nice profit. Use any company cash earned to make improvements to stations, as when starting out I sometimes don't even have enough cash for water towers. As the stock plummets yet again, buy up all remaining shares before the next train's arrival in the second year. Now the stock price really soars, and I can sell some, or issue more shares (adding to company cash), or I may begin my assult on a competitor's shares. Their first trains all run empty i've noticed, giving you some time to buy their shares without its rising. I continue to amass PNW and Purchasing Power and eventually gain control of one or more AI companies. In this way I can "resign" as chairman, by not resigning, but by assuming control of the AI railroad of my choice. Now, my original company really makes money (as only the AI can) and the profits and PNW just continue to grow exponentially.

 

This all may not apply to others' style of play, but I find it the most fascinating way to spend a game-playing session. That's just me. I play on a Hard setting (153% difficulty) with 4 AI competitors and the original goals of the Southern USA map. I have added events like a flood and a proposal for a Railroad Workers Union to spice things up even more.

 

This map is no longer an easy victory by any means, but the cornerstone of my approach now on ANY map is the "holding the last hand" methods. What can I say? I am addicted to it now.   LOL

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immpy, interesting to know what you are doing with this method. I always found that it took the challenge away, hence I only use it for goofing around. I am interested that you made a map designed to be difficult even while using this method. If you care, you could post your modified map on a new topic, or if you prefer PM it to me.

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I am not sure if I did everything correctly, but I made an attempt to attach my modified Southern map into this post. I apologize ahead of time if anyone tries to add this file to their game and it does not open.

This is my first attempt at adding a map into a forum post. Crossing my fingers that it will work,

 

Southern USA - Tougher (2).zip

 

 

You may look in the map editor if you like to see some of my changes. All of the added events have a randomness to their occurring at all, but the Railroad Scandal usually does occur, and it may affect you or one of the AI competitors. Watch and/or prepare for this. Only connected track can be used for building, and you may not resign as chairman.....but as some of us know, there are ways around most everything in RRT2....as I have certainly discovered. Thinking outside of the box sure helps.

 

Again, I hope it all works out for anyone willing to try it, and I hope you enjoy the gaming experience.

 

Thank you all, and thank you Maglev for suggesting I post it here.

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Your upload is good. The map looks good. I just tried a game using the first method at 210% difficulty, but forgot about the no resigning condition of this scenario. By paying out big dividends I managed to get 11.5M in personal cash and one company with 13M of debt at the start of year 3. I went to open a new company, but no joy. This method works but has much reduced effectiveness due to new companies allowed. Most of the money I made came from investing in AI which is pretty random.

I then tried the second method and was successful at it for the first time ever. I ran a line from Miami (seeded with two ports) up to Jacksonville. I built a spur to Tampa. All medium stations. The thing I discovered here is that speed really matters with these early locos, so I went for a manager with a speed bonus. I also cranked up all the throttles on the engines to make them that little bit faster. I was unable to take out new bonds in the first year unless the economy had improved and I had Oakes. I also learned the hard way that once book value goes over about 2M I start seeing the better managers and it's much harder to find Oakes. I had to jump from a speed bonus manager right at the last minute or the last train wouldn't arrive. I had several goes to get everything right. Was seeing year end profits between 1.5 and 1.7M. This was good for a 6.7M stock price at the start of the second year. After issuing stock and maxing out bonds again, I have 12.3M to spend. Thanks for sharing your version.

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You skills are amazing, my friend. I cannot possibly fathom myself achieving results like yours. I guess I worry too much about being too heavily leveraged, should that Railroad Scandal bite me (and it has many times). And I am too timid to take the leap of faith that all of your other moves require. Maybe I just need to do it one time, which is probably the case here. A 6.7K stock price? Incredible....simply incredible. And I cannot seem to afford much more than a basic RR when starting out. My company is broke most of the time. And all of those bonds; I am lucky to get one (right at the start of the game). You have surely given me an inspiration to try and better my playing techniques, indeed.

 

My play is to grow steadily and slowly and to take advantage of the AI whenever I can by reacting to some of the events. And I do achieve great joy by merging with all 4 of the competitors when I manage to pull it off, which is only occasionally. Something of a power trip for me when I own ALL of the rails on the entire map.

 

Well, thanks again Maglev, for all of the insight, the enlightenment, and for enjoying the game play.

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Better results come with experience in wringing efficiency out of the game. The 6.7M stock price is part of the trick of the second method. Stock price for the last thousand shares will rise from $2k at the end of the year to this obscene figure. Outofmage mentioned in the first post getting a maximum stock price of over 9,000k (9M) so my result isn't that good. I don't know what engines and map he was using, but I was fairly happy with my effort. My tips for efficiency in normal gameplay are to build stations that cover the maximum houses possible, make long passenger routes with as few turns mid-way along the track as possible (right near a station matters less), and above all else keep any grades away from the turns. You probably are doing those things already.

When playing with this technical type of stuff, I am experimenting a little as I go. I found that even the order you do things can make a difference for example mergers as I have noticed that when merging a debt heavy company as part of the first method the share price in the company that you have majority ownership of (you need majority ownership to take control) will drop a reasonable amount as this transaction takes place. You don't really want to sell out for good, but I have been selling out once I am in control, and then just before I leave that company I find a cheap stock manager and buy them all back. Good for a few 100k for sure. I save often, as it's really easy to miss a step and it can be frustrating to redo so much.

When I play with the first method I always issue the bond and buy back all shares before I lay any track or place any stations. This gives me an idea of what I am working with. Should be 500k. Please note that I don't actually recommend the first method here since you can't start a new company. This method is perfect for gaining a good purchasing power near the start of the game with a quite small company. To make use of this purchasing power before the game's two year limit on new company charters is up, you need somewhere to invest that ill-gotten gain. To me that means investing in the AI companies. There are only 4 here, and it can be hit and miss as to how good companies they make at the start. The better they do, the better you should. The aborted attempt I mentioned involved two AI that were well over 1M profits in the second year. The best way I can think of using the first method would be to jump into the chair of the biggest company at the start of the second year. The main thing that prevents a combined method (first and second methods) is that this company will have up to 20% AI player ownership. It's impossible to hold the last hand of stock if he wont sell his out. Could make him pretty rich though . . . .

Using the second method is a bit trickier, actually really hard in the second century. I didn't even bother trying on the Heartland map. On this map it works with some care. The whole idea of using the second method is to get the highest profit in one year. Lay aside the considerations of building a proper railroad such as spending all money to expand as much as possible.

There are factors like seeding that will affect how well you can do in a single year. The big one is actually the random passenger and mail generation by the houses (I am ignoring freight as it's just too heavy for these dainty fire-breathers). Since we're basically cheating here, may as well do a save at the game's start and go around the map looking at which cities have lots of passengers immediately available. Place a station to see how many passengers are there, then bulldoze it and try the next city. When you know where the passengers are hiding you can then load up your save with the best possible start to the game. Why do you need immediately available express? Because you will get the most revenue if you haul it as far as possible in the year. Obviously, the trains must all arrive by year end or you get nothing.

The distance these slow early trains can travel in one year is actually less than the length of track I can afford to build. That's why I was trying to make them faster. I didn't build any service until trains started arriving. And then just two water towers. If Passengers or Mail wasn't on the map by March I ignored it for the Jacksonville to Miami run, for Miami to Tampa I loaded trains up till July I believe. Only some of my main stretch below Tampa was double-tracked.

Definitely some interesting tricks I have learned here. Good luck in your railroading!

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