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how to achieve $45m in mission elbow room?

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i'm playing the "elbow room" mission on hard difficulty. i'm getting nowhere near the $45m worth target.


i start a new company. i don't construct anything. i let the company die.

then, i start buying the AI company - usually the one run by Strathconda.

after about 4 years, i dump Strathconda's shares and have about $1m in cash.

next, i resign from my company and then set up a new one and get investments of about $3m.


now, even with $4m in hand, i simply cannot seem to run a profitable business.

construction and running trains costs are very high and finishes my $4m easily.

and i don't get enough from pax nor from wool, cattle etc from the remaining 18 years to be able to truly expand.


so, anyone here know of successful tactics to get to $45m?


thanks in advance.

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hey people, don't worry, i found a way.

i manipulated the stock market more aggressively and managed to get $6m by year 3.

and the map gave me more industries to make money from.

phew, it was hard work but i got there in the end.

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Thought I would share my favorite strategy for a start which doesn't require share price manipulation.


I like to start between Venice and Torino, mainly because it is about the maximum distance I can afford which will give higher passenger revenues while being a nice clean run. This is provided that I can cover 10 houses (12 is better, there is a substantial difference in the demand of stations that cover 8-houses, 10-houses, or 12-houses) with a large station in Turino. I don't care if some of the houses are "in Genoa" as long as I can do a good cover, but there is a small risk that the AI may connect to Genoa later and "steal" the passengers from those houses. By carefully using the managers including those for cheap stations and Ernest Siemens for -30% electrics, and the initial bond, it is possible to consistently set up this route pretty efficiently while also starting my company with only 100k of my cash which allows me to immediately buy 1,000 of my shares on margin (while cycling to find the other managers I will likely find one that reduces share price for maximum effect). Depending on the seeding as to which angles are blocked, only one or two turns are necessary near Turino. I use single track. I think that it is better to use a medium station in Venice and instead buy a single track Steel bridge. I should be able to start a full express train from both ends (don't worry if other costs mean you can only afford one E111, buy a AE 8/14). The idea is to get some revenue on the books as quickly as possible for the sake of share price. All income goes into upgrading the stations with amenities and then doubling track.

I think there is an advantage if the AI that starts: New Athina to New Izmir, founds his company late in the year, as, if year end goes by before any of his trains arrive, his share price will take a cut you can capitalize on. I don't really care who starts this company, the main thing is that the seem to build this route with consistently manageable grades and it has a plentiful passenger supply. (I have started games using it, but distance wise it is a little too short to bring good long term profit from passengers.) Either way, because this AI gets a free loan for its engines (shows as -cash), his share price will drop significantly after the first month end, due to interest payments (-revenue on low book value). I tend to buy 1,000 of his shares, then sell 1,000 of mine (hopefully just after one of my trains arrives). I wait another month as customs will slow his first incoming train revenue, then sell out of my company and buy into his. I should be able to get 5,000 of his shares up front. I then follow my margin in aggressively, using investing smarts to hopefully take my ownership up to 50+% without exposing myself to devastating risk. This is a matter of feel for me and how close I think I can walk the line.

After two years, my companies' credit rating should be significantly improved, especially if the economy improved. Otherwise, it may be necessary to wait another year, while my PNW should be strong thanks to the consistent strong profits of the New Athina to New Izmir AI company. This is the time that I will try to get 3 or 4M of bonds issued and use them for the Cairo to Benghazi route which is also possible with only one turn. I start investing heavily into my company in preparation for this and if my timing versus risk works I should have at least 50% ownership in my company when this new profit comes on line. I will chose E111s. Again starting one at each end. Both stations will be upgraded with amenities and when these trains come in they should give at least 1M revenue on the first trip. This will propel my stock price upward. I will follow my margin into my stocks as much as I dare. There should be a Textile Mill or Slaughterhouse in either Cairo or Benghazi to start off the industry profits. There is more work to be done to get to the goals, but this should be a decent start.

As far as seeding on this map. I have seen a seed or two that don't have chemicals anywhere near Madrid. Maybe some will sprout there later in the game if you service that area well. Other than that, other seeding variations may slow down a medal for a year or two (such as if the seeding in Torino is insufficient for this start and the more classic Madrid-Valencia one is used), but I don't think there is a case for an impossible seed here. Also, if no company starts New Izmir to New Athina this strategy will need to be modified. I have great fun taking a strategy idea and optimizing and implementing it for the conditions on the ground in any given game or seed. So have fun with these ideas!


General tips here: Lots of terrible grades here, avoid them if possible, and when you need to tackle them, use straight track. Remember a turn is treated like a 2% grade on a loco that has already slowed down for the corner, so avoid turns on grades wherever possible;

            Don't get too confident in an investment in the AI here over the whole 20 years. Scale back your holdings as they become less efficient (they aren't really smart). Instead, try to invest in your company heavily (until you get 100% control) just before new revenue from the latest well-thought out, sustainable expansion phase flows into your coffers.

            To eventually get to 45M after you finish the other goals, you need to plan to use most of the 20 years allowed. You need your company to be strong late in the game. Maintain concentration and keep long-term costs down. My preference is for electrics which are good for the long-term, but the game can be won without them also.

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maglev, all very handy pointers. i too use the E111s. everything else seems to be expensive to run and/or don't have the engine power to pull 4/5/6 carriages over the higher grades.


you get $1m on the first run between benghazi and cairo? hmm, i'll replay the mission and check this out for myself. i haul 4 carriages and get about $300k. i was scared about pulling 6 carriages due to the grades. but, i'll give it a shot and see if 6 carriages does give me $1m.


again, thanks for your help.

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ok, did a quick run on this mission.


i placed electric track between benghazi and cairo. for 6 pax cargo, i only get around $500k-to-$550k.


i've attached my saved game.it is just prior to buying a loco for the benghazi->cairo run. ignore the track layout. i simply plonked that it any which way just to test things out.

if you have time and are bothered, please check things from my saved game to make sure i'm not doing anything stupid or seeing things!  :blink:


as a pure guess, i think if the game is played as a campaign and the more gold medals you get, the AI makes things more and more difficult?

from what i can see, from the game/mission i have, things are very very difficult. sometimes, it is simply not worth playing as it is too frustrating.

i mean, how many times can i replay the mission, each time for hours on end, and then find i only get bronze?


anyway, in the end it doesn't matter as i've already played the mission and achieved gold.

i'm now having difficult in the next mission (island of hope)!  :D

elbow room.rar

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Ok. I had a look at your game and the delivery value received for the 6 car train is 358k which when you add in the station bonuses (hotel/restaurant/saloon +45%) makes 522k. If starting a train from both ends, double it. This is what I meant by 1M of revenue. There will be interest and other expenses, so that wont be 1M profit, but my company's profits will double that year. In your game there isn't a full train load in Cairo. I am not exactly sure why. I tried building a second station that covers all houses in Cairo, but no more were immediately available. Normally when I place the stations there is at least a full 6 car load ready to haul at each end.


Ignore this if you want, seeing you did a quick track lay etc., but I thought I would comment on what I would have done in this instance. The way the houses have seeded in Cairo in your saved game it is necessary to have a bridge right into the city center in order to cover all the houses. This means that a produce farm near Benghazi is blocking the way for the only possible one-turn route. Because this is a premium run (ideal length), in my opinion it is worthwhile to bulldoze a farm to get straight tracks. On the other hand, covering houses is of utmost importance, so I will add a turn to a route (as long as it's on flat ground) if I can cover extra houses to get to a higher station supply/demand level. 


While it may seem to be so (the campaigns progressively get harder towards the end), in reality their difficulty is set. I see you are getting the idea of building straight tracks. That's great. In the current era, the revenue bar from express traffic falls very fast (Cairo to Benghazi loses at least 20% even with the straightest tracks). The main idea of straight tracks is to get the train to the next station as quickly as possible. There is an ideal distance (never bothered to work it out exactly, but I am sure someone has) and I think the Cairo to Benghazi route is close to it when using the E111. On flatter maps, covering a larger distance with the high speed trains between large cities can be good, but you have to watch fuel costs. My tip for doing the campaigns where you must use steam in the modern era is to hire Herbert Garratt as manager. -40% fuel costs can make a big difference and make even the DB 18 201 useful in some cases. Fuel costs also affect the optimum distance to aim for routes to be. Good luck.


I did another start on this, as an easy way to show how i set up this route. This time, I couldn't get 10 houses in Torino. Decided to start there anyway, but only bought one train (a E111). Initial profit was therefore lower, but this worked ok because Lord Strathconda didn't start the New Izmir to New Athina company until October. I even shorted one thousand of his shares over year end. Immediately at the start of the second year I sold out of my company and bought 7,000 of his shares. Then I followed this in as his share price increased until I had bought up all the shares he didn't own. Because there were no unowned shares in his company, he bumped dividends up at the end of the second year which further increased the value of his shares and gave me more purchasing power to use to buy up my own company. I hired a manager with -10% share price for this. The economy also has boomed which helped me to get hold of more shares.


I don't know if you noticed, but personal purchasing power is only calculated at the turn of the month or for the shares of a company in which you have just bought or sold some shares. The most common place to see this is at year end, where the game fails to apply the end of year share prices to your account/purchasing power (this is a bug). But there is a trick where you can sell 1,000 shares to update your purchasing power when there is a discrepancy between the two. This can sometimes enable you to buy more shares on margin if you re-buy that thousand and then buy more with the extra purchasing power. You can get yourself in trouble this way also, so be careful. In my saved game, I can get control of the last two thousand unowned shares in my company if I fire the -10% manager and then sell 1,000 shares which will update my purchasing power, then I re-buy that thousand as well as the last two. Because the New Athina->New Izmir company is now paying dividends, it becomes tempting to try to hold onto his shares for too long. But unless the AI is uncharacteristically smart, my experience is you have to sell to preserve as much of this net worth as possible. A possibility to use this situation to your advantage is to use his stock buyback to sell at better prices. Timing is the tricky thing and it can be a gamble how long economic cycles will last and thus the ideal price to settle for.


Cairo Benghazi arrival.zip


Edit: re-uploaded corrupted attachment

Edited by MaglevForever
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maglev, all very good advice.


some things, like straight tracks, i did without really taking notice of how critical bends are, ie a bend is like a 2% grade. i think i was spoilt by RRT II which is more forgiving. so, i became lazy about everything, track laying, micromanaging etc. then on RRT II TSC, on hard mode, things can be fairly brutal. it has taken me some time to get my head around the game.


yes, i have bulldozed some things in some scenarios. again, i used to do so without really paying attention to tracks and grades etc.


thanks to you and others, i've learnt some of the nuances of the game. virtual beers all round!

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