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Jamniq

Cascadia by Nick Bennett

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Sup everyone

Recently I've been reading a lot about Cascadia on /vr/ and /tg/ on 4chan and decided to give it a try. I had a long break with RT2 (about a decade) and I quickly realised this map, while absolutely fantastic in concept and execution, is impossible to win for me. Not for bronze, but at all. Due to having Rockies modelled in the middle of the map, I'm completely unable to cross the mountains. No matter which pass I try to use, it always ends up with some absurd grades (8 and higher) and the locos you have for your choice struggle with that to the point they are unable to haul anything over the mountains. I've tried to find a solution for past three days, but I simply give up.

How to cross the mountains in this map? I usually barely scrap coal transport to Corvallis and it usually involves extremely inefficient method of using first freight trains to get the coal to flats and then using different loco to haul it to Cornvallis.

Also, the "main" railroad you start with usually gets completely choked after about 15-17 years, as the locos at hands are unable to handle heavy freights and I can't have trains longer than 4 wagons, quickly turning the entire main trunk into a never-ending string of locos, barely moving forward.

What am I missing and doing wrong? It first I simply assumed I've got rusty, but yesterday I've beat almost entire campaign in single go without even slowing up, so it's not me being that bad. Any help with this great map would be appriciated.

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Hi,

I like this map too, I put together a little summary that might help. Sorry it's a bit late.

This map is more difficult than usual to make money on. Because of the scale and time period, revenue drops quite quickly during transit. Lines need to be as straight as possible.

The way I have always played it is to have some services to make money such as the primary Eugene to New Salem express service. I accept that the strategic deliveries will run at a loss, the bugged port deliveries sort of ensure this. I know ports can be fixed, but the map was balanced this way. I go for lowest cost on the hauls. I like to retain Herbert Garatt as manager.

Unconnected track is allowed, so one strategy option is to setup some secondary money making services in the east. This area is flat enough. But need to have at least 6 house towns and preferably 8 before seriously looking into bond financing.

 The main valley does get crowded. But hauling more Milk will earn enough track allowance to build a second line for slow freight. Depoting freight for the switch to faster trains works too.
 
 There is a realistic path through the mountains of lower than 4%. Follow the river Eugene-Lowell-Oakridge. Head a little north to find a valley with a gentle slope to climb the range. At the pass go south again before heading east into Wickup.

Lastly, be patient. The map lasts 40 years. Don't over-do the bonds which are expensive, especially for the haulage that wont make  a big return anyway. PS. Your shop will expand to make new engines a couple times during the game, you were almost to the second wave.

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I've figured the scenario out in the meantime via extensive trial and error, beat it few times, even attained a gold medal eventually and... wow. One of the better maps I've ever played or recall seeing. The sheer nostalgia factor for me (I'm a huge fan of "The Postman" by David Brin and this scenario fits right in) made it a great experience and then there is the whole logistical puzzle to figure out. I absolutely love how everything in the scenario connects together, rathen than having some obscure resources. Well, aside maybe canned coffee, but compared with other maps, this is a golden standard of connection between resources and goods.

However, there are still issues that I was unable to figure out for high efficiency, instead simply removing non-essential trains once I've got all the rails I need laid down, because even with three lines going, it's a mess. And a LOT depends on early RNG, since not having Chemicals in Salem/Eugene/preferably both or having Coal scattered around can make things absurdly complicated. I also end up restarting few times when I realised there are no Dairy Processor around, or having a single Milk producer in the Valley.

Anyway, stuff I still have and can't figure out

  1. Any dam that isn't Detroit one (the north-most) is a complete pain in the ass to connect with rest of the rail and a sink for rail cells, while you might end up with any of those dams getting destroyed right after being connected. Not a single line created by connecting any of those southern dams has any practical applications, unless I'm missing something. At least Detroit Dam is on the shortest and most effective route to Madras, but other three are painfully hard to connect
  2. Connecting to the Grant's Pass military depot has absolutely no way of avoiding high grades, unless openly cheating (by stocking up high amount of spare rails and then lowering the terrain by building at angles, demolish the rail and build new line in the now "flat" terrain. The fact you need to haul Oil from Salem to... Roseburg and then to Grant's Pass only works in three stages, otherwise the line(s) between Eugene/Veneta to Roseburg gets blocked in no time, even if nothing else goes there.
  3. If for whatever reason Chemicals don't spawn in Salem/Eugene, the scenario is close to impossible to win.
  4. If there is no Workshop turning Steel into Goods, things get wonky ealy on, since connecting to... Siletz? The place with Ammo factory. Anyway, Steel deliveries provide a lot of rail cells, so without a quick dump of entire Steel production from Corvallis, there is lotta steel that does nothing and railway to ammo factory might take even 3 years to finish.
  5. I was absolutely unable to get Alluminium production going in effective way. I know you can suffice on Steel, but this undermines the whole effort to get Alluminium at all, as hauling it half over the map back and forth (and only two places can have mills) doesn't exactly work. Am I missing something, or this was intended?
  6. Connecting to...  Grand Ronde (the port you need to connect) serves nothing. The terrain makes any hauls going there impractical and wasteful, but at least it's self-contained area, so a tiny passenger train going there can pay for the tracks.

Things that I never had issues with or figured out:

  1. Money is barely an issue, since a huge amount of resources and finished goods are going to be hauled. Passenger trains can be managed almost entirely as "side" or during "empty" return hauls. It's absolutely normal to generate 10 million of industrial profit/year if all the farms and processors in the rail system are owned by player, closely followed by coal.
  2. Milk is the key. If Halsey, Tangent or Albany don't have Dairy Processor, just restart the map. Milk not only can carry on thanks to rail cells it grants (probably the easiest of all "farming" goods), but the food provided from it can then be quickly shipped to Salem and traded for Iron. Flooding Salem with Food is great, since it goes through customs to get Iron. Having a ready pile of Iron for pick-up speed things up significantly
  3. Bend to Madras is a nice money maker passenger route, because it doesn't interact with rest of the rail and provides substantial income.
  4. "Efficiency" locos are better, solely because they have higher reliability and better grade performance.
  5. No point bothering with Lumber, while Paper is only worth to get the Mail production bonus. Same with Concrete - once the dam is fixed, no point clogging the system with Gravel and Concrete shipments. Profit is meaningless, but the slow down on the rail system is painful.
  6. If there is no place to connect at least 2 Coal mines with single station, restart. If said Coal isn't in easily accessable spot, restart. Coal is one of few choke points of the whole system, not having it makes a difference between winning or failing.
  7. Once electricity is back, there is no point to keep using steam engines outside mountain hauls. The sheer reliability and speed of GG1, along with compact size (so less things on the track) makes up for everything else.
Quote

There is a realistic path through the mountains of lower than 4%. Follow the river Eugene-Lowell-Oakridge. Head a little north to find a valley with a gentle slope to climb the range. At the pass go south again before heading east into Wickup.

I'll have to try that. Usually I connect via Detroit Dam and then next to Mt. Jefferson, over the top of the Lake Chinook's Dam. When I have spare cells, I demolish the most graded element and rebuild it, dropping the grades to a passable 4-4.5%

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On 6/27/2018 at 7:19 AM, Jamniq said:

I absolutely love how everything in the scenario connects together, rathen than having some obscure resources. Well, aside maybe canned coffee, but compared with other maps, this is a golden standard of connection between resources and goods.

I agree!

 

Your summary of the map is well put together. Were you using the "exploit" of no-conflict X crossings :: diagonal tracks intersecting on grid corners?

 

I always play with custom -25% revenue modifier. Perhaps this is partly the reason that I had some trouble with generating money, but more likely I missed somethings or pushed too hard for somethings.

 

In terms of the seeding of Coal Mines, Dairy Processor, Chemicals, Tool Maker etc.. I'm not one to restart if I don't find the perfect one, if you follow the link below you will see I played a seed with no Cement Mill on the map till 2115. I always took an imperfect placement as part of the difficulty.

 

Actually there is a test version of this which has an extra military outpost (Warm Springs) here: https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/26099-cascadia-from-difficult-to-insane/?do=findComment&comment=384713

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On 7/2/2018 at 1:15 AM, MaglevForever said:

Were you using the "exploit" of no-conflict X crossings :: diagonal tracks intersecting on grid corners?

Could you please elaborate? I might even know this one, just under different name

As for profits, I have the slider at 0%, so neither bonus nor  penalty. It might be that on -25% it gets troublesome with money, would have to try that too. And it might just be me being rusty, but I was unable to get above bronze in a "non-perfect" setup. By "perfect" I just mean ability to haul Milk to Processor and having handy Chemicals. Everything else can be more or less dealth with eventually, even Coal, but since Milk is my main source of rails, I can't even imagine playing without Processor. Without those two (Milk and Chemicals) covered, my railway eventually chokes up completely.

Also, not counting shipments toward dam repairs, I almost don't use the "priority" setting for my trains, so whoever gets to intersection first, wins the "contest" for the passage forward and everyone stops. Micromanaging those is too much work without any substantial effect in my experience, at least on this particular map.

And I've read that thread before posting my own. Warm Springs looks like actually nice addition, because while it requires extra loads of goods for supply, the route there is MUCH easier than toward Grant's Pass.

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A picture will probably be best. These trains can pass through one another without conflict.

1056568362_Noconflictdiagonalcrossing.jpg.47b91fb4c9672a04fd312f59953a5b42.jpg

PS. I don't know the correct naming. I just had to refer to it somehow.

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Like chess bishops on different colored diagonals, those trains ignore each other. OTOH, if they'd crossed so that they actually shared a tile, then congestion would wreck both lines.

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Yep, know and use that. However, I only find it practical in two areas: the big crossing that eventually grows between Albany and Lebanon once I got spare rails for redesign AND depending on how resources are spread, Corvallis might end up with one of those, too. Other than that, I was unable to find any application of such crossings for my traffic, or at least not in places where it matters.

Also, there is something in the vanilla map that I quickly ended up editing. The placement of the depo in Albany is one tile too far "south" on the grid, meaning a possible "shortcut" connecting Albany and New Salem via the starting main trunk would be weirdly bend in the final cell of rail. I consider it an accidental mistake on side of Mr Bennett, rather than intentional placement. Once "fixed", the issue of hauling Iron from New Salem to Corvallis gets solved, as there is a favourable route for such shortcut, greatly decreasing the traffic on the main trunk between Lebenon and New Salem

 

EDIT

The reason why such crossing works is due to it technically not being a crossing.

The game keeps track of connected cells. For such crossing to be "connected", it would have to use straight line, but due to being diagonal, it's using the mathematical "diagonal shortcut". If the game was using hex grid rather than squares, it would be even weirder and creating bigger shortcuts with even more geometrical exploits, assuming it would allow to lay tracks in all four directions, rather than limiting to the obvious three directions of a hex tile (normally you have a defunct "axis", but technically you should be allowed to still move on a hexgrid on said axis), leading to something like this:

Single tile movement on hex grid933278445_Singletilemove.png.0522645d12616b84e70373f51a864a3e.png

Man, explaining basic geometry becomes a hell lot harder when you must do it in a non-native language.

Edited by Jamniq

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17 hours ago, Jamniq said:

The reason why such crossing works is due to it technically not being a crossing.

That's not meaningful. The real reason that trains don't collide at a one-point diagonal crossing is that they never share a map cell.

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