Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I've just finished an almost 200 "year" test of the last (9 March) US History map. Wow, has it really been seven weeks? I successfully triggered all three transcontinental routes and level-3 victory. Nearly all events are now acting and expiring correctly. There were no drop-dead, game-becomes-unplayable errors.

However, I did not see the gold victory dialog; maybe it flashed at some point when I was hitting the escape key (needed on my machine when pausing). The worst bug emerged late in the game: Two of my "tech advance" events were erroneously set to "multiplayer", so they never fired -- I never got the Thalys, Eurostar or Brenner :(

The errant "multiplayer" settings have been fixed. I also fixed a large number of cosmetic and economy balancing issues during the testing. I have notes for about ten more things to adjust. I'll do those and then upload what I think will be a "beta" version (previous uploads have been "alpha" -- not ready for prime time). Look for a new upload (and announcement) in the next couple days.

BTW, though there have been several downloads of each version of this map, I haven't heard anything back from anyone about trying to play any of them. Be advised that these earlier versions were tests. That means that they were for immediate trial and comment. They aren't suitable for long-term storage and future "someday" playing. Each had (has) bugs -- some being drop-dead, can't continue playing bugs (e.g. My initial income tax calculation, in the December version, forgot that amounts were in thousands, so it charged 1000 times as much as it was supposed to!).

If you're getting this message, please delete those older versions now (because I don't want you suffer a drop-dead bug after 100 "years" investment in what looked to be a promising game).

Also, please download the next version and actually play it. I need to know how it plays on other machines and against others' playing styles.

PPS: Its eventual intended audience is the high-school or college history student. If you know one (i.e. have one in your family), please hook him/her up with the upcoming "beta" version to see if any history knowledge is imparted by this map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the delay... I have replaced the map file in the OP (post #0). I have corrected (I hope) a number of issues:

The fastest electrics should be accessible in the late 20th C

Caving in to unions should actually cost you something

+ Many cosmetic fixes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might restart again. I was in the middle of the 1880s, having started in the South on expert. I was transcontinental, had 90 mil in cash, was struggling for a challenge.

Is Canada a lot harder? Because I'm just having the same problem as I do with all early maps; just too easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the mid-game is what's harder, so your challenges were ahead of you (or are, if you don't mind not having Eurostars etc at the end).

Historically, the combination of taxes, regulations and union demands can render passenger trains unprofitable. And then you get hit with inheritance tax -- against personal cash -- and a possible margin call. If you don't realize in time that you're no longer on easy street, your $90 mil can turn to dust.

And the victory condition is (after scoring silver) to reach Jan 1 2001 with a $billion, now all in personal cash. I've done it, but I was helped by a couple bugs that have since been fixed.

In other words, you need considerable momentum to get over the hill. That said, the bug fixes were significant, so starting a new game is a good option. I just hope that I didn't introduce any new bugs.

If I had to rank the starting countries from easiest to hardest, they be North US, Canada, South US, Mexico.

Starting in Mexico also means starting in 1880 or thereabouts, so it's the most challenging game possible. Not only is the pathetic starting economy moved forward to 1880 (so that every subsequent decade will be much poorer), but you're almost immediately hit with some (but not all) of the progressive era events. Mexico also has some really nasty events just for it. All that and you don't have as many years to pile on the wealth.

And I'm about to try it to see if I can turn the corner to profitability and runaway growth before being hammered by what I know is coming. I think I'll fudge the starting date earlier and be an "investor" for a while. However, I can't fudge too much -- I'll still have time limits on Bronze and Silver milestones.

Okay, now I am curious to find out if I can build up my starting stake as an investor so that I can own my whole company when I finally start it. At least I know that Mexico will remain unencumbered by computer company rails until late 1880 (and probably until standard gauge is announced in 1904).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was transcontinental, had 90 mil in cash, was struggling for a challenge.

Oh, and on challenges: The late 1800's is about the time that advancement options (event choices) come into play. About 1894, you'll be asked to invest in heavier rails and wider radius curves so your railroad can handle longer, heavier locomotives. You'll have a choice between aggressive (fast) implementation or slow. Your reward, in addition to a slight bump in speed and safety, is the introduction of the 4-6-2 Pacific. If you choose the slow option, then you actually get the Pacific much later than normal.

BTW, How did you do with creating surpluses of lumber and steel? Diesel is next, then electricity. Eventually cement will replace lumber.

The track discounts are probably not worth the effort -- just avoiding a "shortage" is probably sufficient. However, the fuel discount(s) could be worth millions per year, especially in a big system. If you go electric, then be sure to set up coal / uranium to create and deliver waste (thus proving a well-supplied electric industry).

When I play my own maps, I find these games within the game (advances and surpluses) not only keep me interested, but they give vital purpose to many commodities that might otherwise be completely ignored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I started a new game in Canada. For some reason, I couldn't achieve transcontinental status, even though I was connected to Vancouver and running trains all the way to Fredericton (I tunneled through the Rockies just for kicks). So I only got bronze once 1896 hit.

I think I'll try Northern US again, and this time stick it through. The mid-game sounds challenging and fun.

One question about creating surpluses; the idea is that you want to deliver more of the raw materials right? So you might deliver 10 loads of logs in a year, but you'd only want to deliver ~4 of lumber. Am I getting that right? And then similar situations for iron, coal, oil, and uranium?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I get it now. At least one of the finished product, and then at least five more of the raw.

One thing I would suggest is not having the Civil War destroy tracks. It's pretty much a death sentence for the AIs. Is there a way to limit it to player trackage? Because if not, I think freezing the movement of trains in a territory would be a better alternative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm... I'll have to think on that one. The Civil War isn't the only destructive event. That, and the object is to teach the history of what happened (even if it's illustrative rather than cell for cell precise). I also care more about shaking up human players than coddling computer ones.

Interestingly, I have seen a computer company come back from a one-station stump after being savaged by Sherman's March. It had enough cash to connect a new city, which it finally did in about 1890. It then grew like a weed.

Another solution is that I bump up the minimum number of players so that the loss of one computer company won't hurt the game.

BTW, something else I changed in the new version: A CEO can now be fired. I think the no-fire option was what kept computer companies from liquidating even after going $4 Bn into the red. My worry is that there are rough spots in the history where a human player could be fired even though he has a good plan to get out of trouble.

Am I right that once one owns 100% of one's company, one is immune? In that case, as long as one doesn't dilute one's shares via bankruptcy (in which bond holders become shareholders), a player is safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My test as a "Mexican" is proceeding nicely. I started the game at 1860 (by running the start date up to 1880 and then back by fives to 1860). By investing astutely (i.e. making the most of prophetic knowledge of panics), I have parlayed by measly $300k stake into $7.2M at the news of Mexican RR Charter. If I were so inclined, I could earn bronze victory without even starting a company!

However, the stock market shelves are now mostly bare, so I am going to take the plunge to become the only RR in Mexico. Since I have been in the game over ten years, even though I didn't have a company, I am going to need immediate lumber and iron deliveries or else suffer track price bumps. What fun!

Regardless of what shortages may arise, I should have no trouble reaching the $10 M net-worth bronze goal in the next 15 years. Transcontinental status will become possible when Mexico switches to standard gauge in 1904, allowing me to buy into California well before the 61-year deadline. Gold is impossible to predict, but some disjoint lines in other countries could rake in enough money to reach the billion.

BTW, Something I discovered in an unsaved experiment: No matter what the econ level when you start a company, it seems to start as if the market were normal. However, the first year-end will adjust the price to fit the current climate. I'm still trying to figure out how to exploit that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did another playthrough in the Northern US. By 1922 I had a billion in cash without trying too hard. The only AI competitor of significant size was confined to 15 or so towns from Buffalo to Richmond, and struggling mightily by the end. The Canadian transcontinental award worked this time.

Still think it's too easy, especially in the Northern US. Might give Mexico a shot next. Here's a thought: is it possible to start players with different amounts of cash depending what region they select? Say $100 K for Northern US, $150 K for Canada/Southern US, and $300 K for Mexico. Because at least in the Northern US, starting with $300K gives you enough cash to grab and connect every city worth a damn, and the AIs will never have a fighting chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A billion by 1922 is good, but that's the roaring 20s. You still have the Great Depression, the Pinnacle of Labor, two inheritance tax events and more between you and the finish line. Remember, the gold victory isn't to get a billion *before* 2001 but to still have a billion *at* 2001. What are you going to do when the government takes away half your net worth and renders your passenger trains anti-profitable?

The computer companies can't be helped in any scenario that lasts more than 25 years. As somebody pointed out recently, they start replacing their engines at 25 years of age, and once they start, they do it every year until they run out of money. At best they just provide terrain obstacles that are harder to remove than ordinary mountains.

The varying cash is an interesting idea, but I'm not really aiming to make all starting positions challenging or equal. Instead, my primary aim is to make a history teaching tool for US high school kids, few of whom will have mastered the game's stock market and "undocumented features" like we crusty Tycoon veterans have. Therefore, I want the default starting position to be fairly easy, and I'll be satisfied if only one (Mexico) is "challenging".

BTW, The South has its challenges too, depending on whether it starts with two "towns" (two-way pax/mail demand). Sherman's March can get you too (the first time you play).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A billion by 1922 is good, but that's the roaring 20s. You still have the Great Depression, the Pinnacle of Labor, two inheritance tax events and more between you and the finish line. Remember, the gold victory isn't to get a billion *before* 2001 but to still have a billion *at* 2001. What are you going to do when the government takes away half your net worth and renders your passenger trains anti-profitable?

The computer companies can't be helped in any scenario that lasts more than 25 years. As somebody pointed out recently, they start replacing their engines at 25 years of age, and once they start, they do it every year until they run out of money. At best they just provide terrain obstacles that are harder to remove than ordinary mountains.

The varying cash is an interesting idea, but I'm not really aiming to make all starting positions challenging or equal. Instead, my primary aim is to make a history teaching tool for US high school kids, few of whom will have mastered the game's stock market and "undocumented features" like we crusty Tycoon veterans have. Therefore, I want the default starting position to be fairly easy, and I'll be satisfied if only one (Mexico) is "challenging".

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I tried using the game in a high school class that taught the stock market. I found learning the game was a big challenge for the students. None had an interest in trains.

I built a very small map that included mostly the local area, together with some real up to date history much that had happened during the student's lifetime. They quickly lost interest.

The teacher felt that it was a game that the students would not normally play.

There has been very few high school students on the forums. I guess it is a game for the older crowd that have an interest in trains.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BTW, The South has its challenges too, depending on whether it starts with two "towns" (two-way pax/mail demand). Sherman's March can get you too (the first time you play).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 28-April version has minor but irritating glitch in the SF Earthquake event: If your company is Canadian or Mexican, then your trains won't move to or within the (invisible) SF territory. You can still build track there, but SF-bound trains will stall and block track. You'd probably get move-rights again when free trade happens in the 1990s, but that's 80-90 years later.

The rest of California is unaffected, but a player can't (easily) see the border to know the difference (It's only visible in the editor). This will be really annoying if you build new track through the edge of the area only to discover that your trains have "no route" (or take some awful way around).

The glitch was introduced when I added train-stop effects to all destruction events in order to (I think) avoid the game crash that destruction sometimes causes otherwise. There's no problem for US companies because their California rights are refreshed at every month-start. It's only the foreigners who bought rights that get hosed.

The next version makes the effect temporary, so even foreign trains should start running to/through SF again after a month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished one of my games. Finished with 7.7 billion in cash, and a company 50 mil in the red, mostly due to my laziness with regards to rationalizing my fleet of locomotives.

I think I need to comment on the... political... nature of some of the newspapers. I realize that it's your scenario and you can do whatever you want, but seeing as how you're openly sharing it and promoting it as an educational tool:

1. When I'm playing the last thing I want to do is be preached at

2. It's value as an educational tool is lessened by the overtly partisan nature of some of the news events

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I need to comment on the... political... nature of some of the newspapers. I realize that it's your scenario and you can do whatever you want, but seeing as how you're openly sharing it and promoting it as an educational tool:

1. When I'm playing the last thing I want to do is be preached at

2. It's value as an educational tool is lessened by the overtly partisan nature of some of the news events

Much of American history is political, and the headlines of the time were overtly partisan. That and RR Tycoon puts players in the position of robber baron, so my news is written with that perspective (what other kind of newspaper would any dedicated robber baron read?). That gives it a robber-baron slant, and in a few cases I even tried (but perhaps failed) to be sarcastic in that slantedness.

Since it's just a supplementary teaching tool and not a complete textbook, my aim was to prompt players to look up further details for themselves. Challenging popular opinion is one goad toward that goal.

That said, if I actually got any facts wrong, please let me know. I'm also curious to see Gwizz's opinion of my news reporting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much of American history is political, and the headlines of the time were overtly partisan. That and RR Tycoon puts players in the position of robber baron, so my news is written with that perspective (what other kind of newspaper would any dedicated robber baron read?). That gives it a robber-baron slant, and in a few cases I even tried (but perhaps failed) to be sarcastic in that slantedness.

Since it's just a supplementary teaching tool and not a complete textbook, my aim was to prompt players to look up further details for themselves. Challenging popular opinion is one goad toward that goal.

That said, if I actually got any facts wrong, please let me know.

I'm also curious to see Gwizz's opinion of my news reporting.

I can get very political at times. I believe in freedom and the value of the US Consitution. I believe these ideals are under attack by control freaks.

On a couple of maps I have built a choice switch that turns political news on or off as a player chooses. IMO, it is important to keep the peace between individual personalities.

The Tycoons in RT2 were very political. Some were ruthless, aggressive and controlling such as Gould. Other used political trickery such as Huntington.

Fisk and Gould caused the Black Friday Panic in 1869 when they tried to corner the gold market. Hill set off the stock market panic of 1901.

Morgan with his consolidations caused at times a major dip in the job market. I believe Ames was also involved in doing this as well.

All of this is political. Now, is it possible to put this history into a map without irritate someone and still letting others just slide past it, even if the history is true or it is made up history?

RT2 is a game where role playing is possible, and where we still have the freedom to choose the play style we wish to use. I enjoy playing the role of a tycoon in RT2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can get very political at times. I believe in freedom and the value of the US Consitution...

In that case, I hope you'll try my US History map sometime and comment on its content and presentation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have replaced the map attached to the OP. The issues this time were relatively minor, mostly relating to my test game played as a Mexican company. There were a couple of US events that shouldn't have affected it but did. They've been refined.

I am pleased to report that it is possible to win gold starting in Mexico. However, between the late start (no RR before 1880), 80+ years of nationalization, and the Mexican Civil War, it takes some serious tycoon trickery (but not cheat codes).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, Has anyone spent time as an independent investor at the beginning of a game? I am finding it a good way to build up enough money to then start a RR with 100% ownership. It's also a way to let the towns on the map grow a little bit before getting down to business.

When playing my map as a Mexican company, one won't have any rights to any territories until late 1880. However, the victory milestones are lenient enough that one can start the game before the civil war and act as an investor for 20+ years. Starting a company in 1881, there's still time to grow it to bronze and silver, and the job is slightly easier with 20+ years of map growth than without it.

Now I try Canada while testing to see if bugs discovered in Mexico were fixed by my latest round of changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonna give this map another go. Probably start in the South.

My goal will be to attempt to maintain a quasi-profitable company by the end. Which will probably involve the retirement of ~150 locos, and the destruction of ~1000 cells of track. Maybe the wholesale destruction of west and east coast stations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huzzah! I'm happy to hear that another pair of eyes will look over my many events. Let me know if you spot any typos.

If you're aggressive about paying for optional "tech upgrades", then you might be able to keep your trains profitable and not need to retire them. Alternatively, you might find some kinds of freight profitable enough that you can reassign locos rather than killing them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last time I paid for all the tech upgrades, re-assigned all my non-named GG1s to freight, had a complex track alignment and plenty of "tunnels" to deal with bottlenecks, but I still couldn't scratch out a profit. I think I needed to eliminate ~100 so that existing freight trains had higher revenue due to greater demand, and so that they ran faster with fewer interruptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did you treat labor ultimatums? About what year did you turn unprofitable? Was it the trains that were operating in the red, or did taxes push you into the red?

In my last few games, I have made more money in the 20th C when the economy tanked than when it boomed. That's because I had so much cash that high interest was worth more than my trains.

This most recent version of the map has slightly less burdensome regulation, so you may have a little less of a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rejected all the ultimatums. Which in hindsight may have been a bad move, especially once I stopped moving pax with any regularity, but I never did a proper cost/benefit analysis. I think it was around ~'65 that my company started going into the red, mostly because of the slew of trains that due to bottlenecks and oversaturation were unprofitable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rejected all the ultimatums. Which in hindsight may have been a bad move, especially once I stopped moving pax with any regularity, but I never did a proper cost/benefit analysis. I think it was around ~'65 that my company started going into the red, mostly because of the slew of trains that due to bottlenecks and oversaturation were unprofitable.

I'm guessing that rejection is the best policy for most of the game, especially because a union level above 2 will preclude some tech advances in the end game (a huge opportunity cost on top of a union's direct costs).

The one possible exception is during the depression. In the current version, US companies will still be forced to accept level-two unionization (arbitration during WWII's "strike-free pledge"). If you have a US company and you get a union ultimatum in the late '30s, then you may as well save yourself a strike (maybe two), because you'll be at level two anyway by 1944.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...