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Sid Meier's Railroads!

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I've got more to say about Railroads!, so I thought a new thread is in order.

 

The more I play this game, the more I like it and I may have to eat words I said just days ago about always going back to RRTII.

 

Earlier today I attempted to load the NW scenario and the game crashed. Exited and tried again....and the game crashed. Attempt after attempt, with other scenarios....and the game crashed. I went back to SMRSimple and re-read the info about playing SAMs and surmised that my problem was that I had installed both the California and San Francisco user maps in the user maps folder and you can't do that. I don't understand why, but you simply can't do it.

 

So I deleted both maps and the problem was fixed. The game then went back to trouble-free play.

 

So then I remembered having problems with the New England Big map....years ago. At the time, I concluded that it was just a problem map and noted the file accordingly. Much as I wanted to try it, it was apparently not to be. But after my experience today, I wondered if back then I had done the same thing and installed it in the user maps folder with another map. 

 

First evidence is that is exactly what I had done. Because I re-installed it by itself this afternoon, fired it up, and it works fine! Great map, too, and it is already my favorite of those I've played so far. It's early goals are strictly monetary and that's the way I like it. I dislike having to haul a specific number of loads of a specific cargo to specific cities by a specific year. I want the freedom to build and grow the want I want to. 

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Good idea starting another thread for Railroads.

 

 

I install the Calif. Map and I couldn't make it load. I had also downloaded about 6 other maps as I want to see how realistic they looked.

 

I looked for the 6 maps but never found them.  I found the California map and stuck it every place I could think of but without result.

 

I 'm running a system 64 machine so the directions don't help me very much. 

 

I think i'll wipe Railroad off the drive and try again.

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Good idea starting another thread for Railroads.

 

 

I install the Calif. Map and I couldn't make it load. I had also downloaded about 6 other maps as I want to see how realistic they looked.

 

I looked for the 6 maps but never found them.  I found the California map and stuck it every place I could think of but without result.

 

I 'm running a system 64 machine so the directions don't help me very much. 

 

I think i'll wipe Railroad off the drive and try again.

The added SAM maps go in the UserMaps folder that is found with this path....

 

D:\Documents and Settings\(Your Name)\My Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Railroads!\UserMaps

 

On most machines it will probably be drive letter C: Mine is D: because I dual boot and use C: for Windows 98SE.

 

Over at SMRsimple, I read way back when that you can only put one map at a time in that folder. Don't know why, but if you put anything else in that folder, it will likely crash the game. I've also tried putting a map in the main game folder where the default maps are and that won't work either. Again, don't know why.

 

Yesterday I reviewed the map database over there and see that my version of New England, "New England Big", is no longer there and apparently replaced by one called New England-SAM. Same author, I believe, but definitely a different version. So I downloaded that new version just to compare and can't get it to load at all. Crashes every time.

 

New England Big crashed on me a couple of times after there was a lot of AI bridge contortions on the map. So I upped my virtual memory to a little over 2GB and so far, so good.

 

I've pretty much concluded that in Railroads! the AIs very often ruin the game with their aggressive expansion and absurd track configurations that destroy your plans and just leave you shaking your head. I've started a new New England Big game with just me and so far enjoying the freedom from the AI nonsense. :)

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I did have more than one map in the UserMaps folder. (#1 Califorina  #2 Califorina-SAM)  Thanks.  I owe you.

 

Using an USB stick (9 free GBs) seems to have stopped my crashes until I started moving maps.

 

I wonder if I could download a number maps and leave them zipped in their own folder in some special place.

 

 

Question:   Where are the map building tools?

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I did have more than one map in the UserMaps folder. (#1 Califorina  #2 Califorina-SAM)  Thanks.  I owe you.

 

Using an USB stick (9 free GBs) seems to have stopped my crashes until I started moving maps.

 

I wonder if I could download a number maps and leave them zipped in their own folder in some special place.

 

 

Question:   Where are the map building tools?

I've never tried to make a map, and the only thing I know about map building tools is the game's terrain editor. To enable it, add this line in the settings.ini file in the main game folder....

 

EditorEnabled = 1

 

Then the terrain editor will appear in the game menu. I don't know, though, whether that feature encompasses everything you need to create a new map.

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The Calif. map is great.  Who produced the little red tenders.  I think those cars are why Costco ran out of red paint.  The color elf painted all of the tenders red.

 

This was the first time I had to scrap a train.  What happens to the cargo when the cars are dumped to untangle and scrap two trains?

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The Calif. map is great.  Who produced the little red tenders.  I think those cars are why Costco ran out of red paint.  The color elf painted all of the tenders red.

 

This was the first time I had to scrap a train.  What happens to the cargo when the cars are dumped to untangle and scrap two trains?

Well, I just scrapped a couple of trains in order to answer that. It appears that you lose all of the cargo value and get only half of the normal trade-in value for the engine.

 

I knew there seemed to be something different about those tenders, but hadn't given it much thought until you mentioned them.  :)

 

I've had more trouble running the New England Big map after the game grows. Seems to crash every time once I reach a given level of growth. So I'm thinking about getting a USB stick like you mentioned above.

 

So, is this USB stick a flash drive? Do you have to do anything to configure it for virtual memory?

 

So I'm going to go back to the California map for now. But I'm not sure how long it will hold my interest. Because, at least for me, it seems that once you've played a given map in SMRR a couple of times, it is always just about the same every time you repeat it. So it's kinda like replying a movie that you've just watched. 

 

That's in stark contrast to my experience with RRTII. You can play the Heartland map time and time again and it will be a different game altogether each time. With different resources, placed in different locations, and all those choices of start locations, each new game is truly like a clean pallet ready for you to paint your latest unique masterpiece.

 

So perhaps what I've long said is still true. I always end up returning to RRTII....sooner or later.

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I believe the flash drive is the same, or also called a thumb drive or USB stick.

 

My Stick flash drive is almost full of backed up files.  

I'm planning to pick up three 32 bits drives and not use them for anything else except as part of my support for memory.

 

 I think I can use more than one USB stick at the same time for even faster memory support. 

 

The configuring was easy.  I don't remember exactly what I did.  I just turned it on as a memory support tool.  Possibly a right click.

 

 

 

Does SF have a major water problem like the rest of Calif.  

 

Here in Seattle we have had above normal rain but very little low level snow to melt and support summer needs. 

Lakes behind Dams were lowered for flood control.  Now the lakes are filling again. 

Hopefully, we will get more late summer rain than normal.

Or maybe Russia and the US will stop their weather war and use their HARP programs to benefit our weather. 

 

It is ironic that it takes lots of water to generate enough electricity to run the HARP programs. 

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I have spent some time playing Railroads! also. Been playing through some of the custom maps. Custom maps are generally even more likely to crash, so after some frustration I came across this page: http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Sid_Meier%27s_Railroads! . Specifically, the last section "Low Memory Crash" contains a link for an executable download. For me at least, this has made the game almost totally stable even when laying long track, etc. on the largest of maps.

 

I have also managed to get signals working quite well, not 100%, but 95%. Here's a few pointers:

(1) Any signal you build must give the train 2 possible routing options. If you get signals when you building track other than to create a junction you are probably not connecting track with a "green" connection. You need to remove the others, else you will never be able to have two trains running on the same track 95% reliably.

(2) The junction signals you build must have enough room between them that the end of the train will not overrun another signal. Else everything comes to a crawl.

(3) Station Signals, an exception to #1: On a single track where this is the path for all trains (not in the middle of a siding) the game can deal with ONE signal on it's own. This applies to the signal entering a station, not one you build. Station signals often get blocked when a train is turning and not reloading, so don't use one to make a siding and seek to have the line terminate in only one of the station track's. It is acceptable to use the station signal as a true junction as the train will go back down the path it came in along.

 

Note: There are still a few issues with ghost signals and other niggles very occasionally, but I have successfully run 6 short trains (makes a difference at the stations) on one long track without having problems. Practically 4 is a good number for long runs or maybe 5. On the shorter runs one siding in the middle will keep two trains happy and that's how I am running many of medium distance or high traffic routes now.

 

Another tip is to make extra non-active parallel tracks through a station. How? Build a station. Now lay a short section of parallel track a little distance away that doesn't activate. Switch to normal track mode, and extend this track as if it was parallel through the station. Then go back to parallel track mode and lay a parallel track beside this "normal" track. This will activate as "station" track.

Notes: This works better if you do it under the station itself if you have a terminal and want to get the final track in this way to make 3 inactive through-routes. These are very important for running the long routes as otherwise the station signals cause lock-ups for long trains that are passing through. By carefully planning, the shorter hops can begin on one side of a station and go to maybe second from the other side of the next one, allowing at least two routes from further away to "switch sides" and thus work their way across the map. I have been playing all games without overpasses, and this is great fun to set up.

 

Users have made some great maps. Lots of new industries and locos. I have been enjoying the slow-time maps especially, but the maintenance cost's rate of increase and building upgrade/production rates seem a little excessive. Probably there is a way to fix these things though. With the better exe file, I have been able to play all those I have tried so far.

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I don't use many bridges and I normally duck under the AI bridges where possible.

 

I had one game where the AI covered me with bridges.

 

I think I found a way to block the AI. Before the AI started I ran a spur of my track across the end of the AI's track and at about a right angle to his track.

 

I just touched the end of his track.  This end was where he came after me in the past.  Not this time.  He had to use the other end of his track to continue his track building.

 

This time ( game not complete yet) I blocked both ends of his track.  No activies for that AI so far after one year.

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I don't use many bridges and I normally duck under the AI bridges where possible.

 

I had one game where the AI covered me with bridges.

 

I think I found a way to block the AI. Before the AI started I ran a spur of my track across the end of the AI's track and at about a right angle to his track.

 

I just touched the end of his track.  This end was where he came after me in the past.  Not this time.  He had to use the other end of his track to continue his track building.

 

This time ( game not complete yet) I blocked both ends of his track.  No activies for that AI so far after one year.

That sounds like a plan. My first thought was that I should try that....my second thought that soon followed was that I'm accomplishing the same thing more simply by selecting 0 computer players at game start.

 

As to your water question, yes - we are pounded every day with water conservation pressure. I don't get the impression that Hetch Hetchy is in as bad shape as some of the other supplies, but not totally sure about that. Seems certain that, if we go through yet another year of drought, consequences will be dire. Without water, we will be Phoenix.

 

However, from what I hear, el nino is expected to break this cycle this winter with abundant rains. That's exactly what happened after the '76-'77 drought years. They were saying that we'd never have enough water again - ever - and every drop used was guilt, guilt, guilt. Then in '78 we had more constant heavy rain than anyone knew what to do with. The reservoirs were all full and overflowing well before the season ended and suddenly all the hand-wringing was about flooding. 

 

This year, of course, the eco-fanatics will move right back to "climate change" drama once the rains return.

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I'm still on the map where I have blocked most of AI 's end of tracks.  

 

Three end of tracks were lost to expansion.  All three escaped by using bridges and tunnels.

 

I just merged one AI and I will use its tunnels to control the last gold mines.  

 

Next I will try to control the goods cargos.  I'm not trying to meet map goals.  Just having fun. 

 

I'm still looking for cracks in the game engine. 

 

 

I am surprised how much I'm enjoying Railroads. 

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I'm still on the map where I have blocked most of AI 's end of tracks.  

 

Three end of tracks were lost to expansion.  All three escaped by using bridges and tunnels.

 

I just merged one AI and I will use its tunnels to control the last gold mines.  

 

Next I will try to control the goods cargos.  I'm not trying to meet map goals.  Just having fun. 

 

I'm still looking for cracks in the game engine. 

 

 

I am surprised how much I'm enjoying Railroads. 

I'm enjoying it, too.

 

After my problems with crashing while using the New England map, I went back to my modified Heartland map in RRTII for a while. Got bored fairly quickly. Railroads! is so much more alive.

 

That "live" feel is RT3's sole advantage over RRTII, but Railroads! is a much better game.

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I figured out how the AI railroads were able to escape my blockade.  They started another station track that curved off to one side and freedom.

 

I now let my track touch the end of the AI track and hook around it where the AI may try to build new track.  So far it has worked.

 

Another problem is how I change train routes after I merge an AI.  I tend to close up the dead end spur tracks into sidings.

Now I have corn field meets and trains stuck at stations with no other trains close by. 

The game tells me to add another track at a station or I have too many trains using that station, to reroute some of the trains.

 

This is killing my profits.  The signals may have something to do with the problems as well. 

I've had to reverse a trains route and sometimes the train will leave the track and fly through the air to a new location. 

also I've had a train curcle around the map a few times looking for it's new route. 

 

I wish the lights on the signals were larger and easier to read.  I Still have not been able to lay longer sections of track to reduce the number of signals.

 

I keep wishing I had some way to watch for the trains that were getting close to a station so I could micro manage them more. 

I also miss not being able to buy marjority stock ( like in a Tycoon AI game) and take control for a short while to fix and make the AI more competitive.

 

I still don't like the looks of bridges over another AI's tracks.  I do like being able to slip my tracks under them.

 

In a way Railroads is like a 3-d puzzle that grabs you and won't let go.   

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Gee, I had so many stalled trains, I started scraping them one at a time.  Starting with the oldest mostly my locos.  The AI,  I merged ,has the newest locos. 

 

I ran the game for a short time after each scraping party.  Sold some gold and made some money from other cargos.

 

Lost about 1/3 of my fleet.   All together I made over 1.5 million during the scraping party.  That is another way to add to my earnings I haven't use before.

Made enough to buy all of the avalble shares of Hill's stock.  He owns 3 shares. His is the strongest AI.  We are in a race to see who buys who out.

 

My traffic problem allowed him to gain on me to the tune of 3 or 4 million.  I'm still ahead by about 3 million.  Let the tycoon race continue.

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Gee, I had so many stalled trains, I started scraping them one at a time.  Starting with the oldest mostly my locos.  The AI,  I merged ,has the newest locos. 

 

I ran the game for a short time after each scraping party.  Sold some gold and made some money from other cargos.

 

Lost about 1/3 of my fleet.   All together I made over 1.5 million during the scraping party.  That is another way to add to my earnings I haven't use before.

Made enough to buy all of the avalble shares of Hill's stock.  He owns 3 shares. His is the strongest AI.  We are in a race to see who buys who out.

 

My traffic problem allowed him to gain on me to the tune of 3 or 4 million.  I'm still ahead by about 3 million.  Let the tycoon race continue.

Wow....1.5 million scraping trains? That's a lot of trains. Still the California map?

 

For whatever reason, I've never had....I guess never needed....very many trains playing Railroads! Nowhere near as many as I have in RRTII. One factor is that I always liquidate an AI's railroad when acquiring them. I don't like what they build and don't want to deal with it.

 

Anyway, I'm not sure I've ever had more than 10 or so trains in a Railroads! game.

 

I just finished another California game at Tycoon, so now it's time to start one at Robber Baron level. I ended up as President of the US again with a score of 225 - slightly short of my highest of 231. Robber Baron should be higher if I can achieve all goals.

 

The only real challenge I've found on that map is growing San Diego. And that is only because of my own personal ethic which prevents me from taking advantage of the cattle ranch around Santa Ana. As I have gotten older, I have developed an increasing empathy for animals that man raises for slaughter. So I have become (nearly) completely vegetarian and I won't haul cattle to their deaths. Last game I built my own refinery in San Diego and routed oil from Bakersfield to it once I'd grown LA enough. Worked, but I made it with just a couple years to spare. At Robber Baron, I'll no doubt have to be more creative.

 

Maybe I'll open the map's XML files and see if I can replace that industry with something else in San Diego. I think I've tried that before and ran into problems, but don't remember what they were.

 

Best of luck in your race.

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I lost the race.  :wacko:  Those darn traffic jams.  Worst then freeways in seattle or LA.  I started scraping trains even gold trains to get some to move.

 

Not every scraper paid something back to me to take my locomotive.  I sometimes I had to pay him to take it.

 

 

I  re-started the Calif. map again.  I've never liked starting poor, without a good bank account.  I opened the saved map at the peak of my profitability. 

 

This time I will buy back the stock I sold to get started.  I now own all of my stock.  During that time the AIs went crazy building bridges.

 

I did find out that I could do better stealing gold from the AI RRs.  The AIs seem to have a process of making instance gold from ore.

 

When I sent 8 ore cars to the smelter I'm able to fill 2 or 3 cars of intance pure gold.  I have to wait on the rest of my gold to be processed.

 

 

This time I will go after the middle or produced cargos hauled by the AIs, by hauling his gold, his goods, his wine and his food cargos.

 

I might do some back hauling.  I hate running an engine empty for a long distance. 

 

I try to place my industry and town stations as close as possible without letting their station tracks touch. 

This gives a shorter distance when running empty. 

 

 

Now disreguarding the win goals, we continue on and try to wiggle under all the bridges and to discover our results. 

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Different maps have different scales. This is something that the mapmaker can adjust. I believe that computer power holds back bigger custom maps in Railroads!, which are actually possible far above the standard sizes.

 

Because the map scales differ so widely, I don't know if this number means as much, but the quoted track "length" when a track section is selected puts the longest possible train with a double-heading arrangement at around 6 miles in "length". Which is fairly long, and almost double the length of the initial terminal track you start the game with. Please note that I am no expert on Railroads! and you should probably look over here at the wiki: http://www.sidmeiersrailroads.net/media/index.php?title=Main_Page. (Use the latest Internet Explorer to access this site as security there is tight.)

 

@Gwizz, the AI in Railroads! can be tough to beat. Good luck in your trade wars! Keeping your track more efficient than theirs is a good start to win in close competition.

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I did have trains that stopped running.    I struggled with the track.

 

But , It was an even match.  We each held the same amount of the others stock. 

 

One company had been merged by each of use.  The AI earned about 14 million in profits and I earned about 19 million

I served industry and the AI served passengers and mail. 

 

What I don't understand is, How, to figure the cost to merge the other should be.  It took about 8 million for me to merge the AI.

It took just about 4 million for the AI to merger me which the AI did, In the end.

 

I did some rough figuring and it looks like the AI companies get close to a 50% cut in costs. Track,  bridges and tunnels

 

I bought about 8 money saving inventions to help me cut costs.  The AI bought two.  Tunneling and track building.  This could be where the AI Made his savings.

 

I think I will continue my playing style.  I just don't like roller coaster track.   

 

Oh Yea,  I didn't haul any cattle.  There was two ranches on the map. 

I think the ranches had a cattle drive to another RR. There was one gent carrying a sign that said " Save the cattle" :ph34r: :)

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The takeover/merger costs are double the cost of ALL the shares in that company that you do not own. Hence, if you own 70% of stocks you will pay a fair bit less than if you only own 60%.

 

Track costs and maintenance etc. for the human player are higher for the more difficult settings. Whereas, the computer pays the cheapest (Investor) costs, giving them a distinct advantage expecially on Robber Baron.

 

I have found that if I play single-player (most of the custom maps are designed for this), I can keep my track sane. When I play with AI, they are going to make a jungle so I am often forced to lay overpasses, steep ramps, etc. just to get access to resources in the first place. To really compete for the same resources especially near the AI's starting cities it's almost impossible not to use some ugly track solutions.

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I did have trains that stopped running.    I struggled with the track.

 

But , It was an even match.  We each held the same amount of the others stock. 

 

One company had been merged by each of use.  The AI earned about 14 million in profits and I earned about 19 million

I served industry and the AI served passengers and mail. 

 

What I don't understand is, How, to figure the cost to merge the other should be.  It took about 8 million for me to merge the AI.

It took just about 4 million for the AI to merger me which the AI did, In the end.

 

I did some rough figuring and it looks like the AI companies get close to a 50% cut in costs. Track,  bridges and tunnels

 

I bought about 8 money saving inventions to help me cut costs.  The AI bought two.  Tunneling and track building.  This could be where the AI Made his savings.

 

I think I will continue my playing style.  I just don't like roller coaster track.   

 

Oh Yea,  I didn't haul any cattle.  There was two ranches on the map. 

I think the ranches had a cattle drive to another RR. There was one gent carrying a sign that said " Save the cattle" :ph34r: :)

:D  Lol!

 

Some of those cattle told me that they were Railroad Tycoon players in another life, but for the luck of the draw there they were in the middle of that herd. Thank you for letting them live. They told me they would return the favor when that fate befalls us some day. :)

 

So what did you do to grow San Diego?

 

With RRTII's editor, it is so easy to customize your map with exactly the industries you want. And I always eliminate the cattle ranches and meat packing plants in maps I play. They are automatically replaced by others like grain silos, which is all the better. On some maps, like Australia in particular, I never seem to have enough grain.

 

In Railroads! it's an entirely different matter. For me, it's editor crashes every time I attempt to use it just trying to save the new map name at the beginning. I looked at modifying the XML files themselves and it is clear that, for industries, that would take time and effort to learn that is more than I'm motivated to spend.

 

It's interesting how different people enjoy different aspects of the game. You said in an earlier post that you never liked starting poor - that you like to start well established, something to that effect. For me, it is the start of the game with next to nothing and growing from there that is by far the most fun. Once I'm well established and accomplishing little beyond increasing wealth, I'm bored and ready to start a new game. And I usually do. That is particularly true with RRTII because its mature games are so tedious with the continued need for micro-management on a massive scale. Railroads! does much better without that continued micro-focus, but nonetheless I enjoy starting a new game with limited funds from one city much more than managing a large, established RR.

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Thanks for the lesson from both of you.  I figure out how to move the train from track #1 to track # 5. 

 

Also I split the station track with a gap in the middle for track #1.  The trains don't seem to like the split.  I'll test it more tomorrow.

 

 

 

:D  Lol!

 

So what did you do to grow San Diego?

 

Wooooops, how did i put this together

 

 

I merged the AI that lived there.

 

I struggle with building track.  I like good looking track.   That is my problem.   :blink:

 

 

My cows will not talk to me.  

 

I visited a meat plant a long time ago.  They said they could convert a cow to product in 10 miniutes.

 

One of the forman said the blood in the tank truck was being sent to mcDonalds. He had a big smile to go with that statement.

 

There was some other things that bothered me. I won't discribe here.  But, they did run a clean and efficient plant. 

 

The tank truck was parked next to the plant and was hooked up with a hose to the plant.

 

I did refuse to eat meat for a little while.  Anyway, I wouldn't like being incarnated into a cow.   

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The remarks or comments which I had and have read about the Sid's creation, was a dissappointment, so have not even tried to make an attempt to play it.   Maybe I am too critical, but will follow some of these posts, as maybe they may give me the urge to make an attempt.  After all, people have different opinions of "likes and dislikes".   Will watch this thread to see how some players react to the game. :unsure:

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Well, the California map is my going-away favorite of the SMR maps I've played, so today I finally got around to modifying it to my liking. I replaced all of the cattle ranches with oil wells and replaced the stockyard in San Diego with a refinery. Removed the remaining stockyard(s). 

 

So now I've got an industry with which to grow San Diego and, at the same time, the respect and heartfelt gratitude of the cows.  :D

 

I also upped my RAM from 512MB to 2GB. It is amazing to see the game close in a instant now, whereas before it took a half minute or so of hard drive grinding to clean up all the virtual RAM files. It is generally faster and smoother now, but to my disappointment the New England map still crashes. Must be something besides size wrong with that map.

 

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