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How do you guys design your transportation?

Joined
Dec 5, 2023
Messages
8
Hi Everyone,

I am trying to deliver all consumer goods to all of my cities to satisfy them. But I found there is a big issue with the vehicles: they will not transport anything once the destination storage full (they will just stay there and doing nothing, this pretty annoys me, because, for example, A has wine but storage is full, B is not yet full and has beer, I want my wagon transport the wine from A to B and beer from B to A, however, because A is storage full, my wagons will stuck and do nothing). Because the storage for each settlement is limited, the speed for each vehicle (whatever wagons or treks) is limited, also what we can set is limited (we can only set the import and export), to make sure consumer goods can be delivered to each settlement as soon as possible (so they can produce more happiness to support more population to produce more goods), we need to carefully design our transportation system.

I would like to know how you guys solve this problem, but I will also post my solution.


Suppose here is how my settlements looked on the map:
1701847816574.png

I grouped 5 - 6 settlements together and here is how they looks like:
1701847973639.png

Since there are roughly 40 kinds of consumer goods, we can split them into 5 groups and each group should have 8 goods.
Then for each settlement group, what I do is, make one of the group member to store 8 kinds of consumer goods, for exemple:
1701848356552.png

Let consumer goods group A contain roasted peanuts, roasted coffee, yerba mate, chocolate, cigars, cloths, wool cloths, and milk, then the B will have another 8 goods so as to C,D and E.
Then we just need to use vehicles to links them:
1701848780365.png

If some settlements are producing some goods that the settlements was not set to store (e.g. the settlement C is producing roasted coffee but this goods should be stored at settlement A), we just need to use another wagon to transport them to the correct settlement (in this example, it should be from C to A).

To balance the storage between each settlement group, we can add another vehicle to do the transportation like this:
1701849344202.png

i.e. make the vehicle (could be trek) to transport goods between each "consumer goods group A" settlement in each settlement group, it could also be done to B,C,D, and E.
To avoid the system being stuck by surplus, we can add a port city to store the excess goods and later export to Europe.

And, the reason I don't use automation is, it always inefficient and hard to maintain (I think it may caused by the algorithm).
 
Hi,

actually, I use automation as followed.

Marked goods (e.g. roasted coffee):
- import 50 and export 50 with using the feeder
- 50 might be changed for products with very high consumption

Production goods (e.g. fur):
- import 300 and export 300 with using the feeder
- might be higher for factories
- wood also according to these settings
- animals also handled this way, to keep the 300 for growth

Construction goods (e.g. stone, tools)
- import 100 and export 75 with using the feeder
- later 200 / 150 ... depending on city development or other needs (e.g. wagons, ships)

In my opinion the key for this method is the number of transports (wagons, ships, ...).
This method works only in a contiguous settlement area, which is actually my play stile.
 
Hi,

actually, I use automation as followed.

Marked goods (e.g. roasted coffee):
- import 50 and export 50 with using the feeder
- 50 might be changed for products with very high consumption

Production goods (e.g. fur):
- import 300 and export 300 with using the feeder
- might be higher for factories
- wood also according to these settings
- animals also handled this way, to keep the 300 for growth

Construction goods (e.g. stone, tools)
- import 100 and export 75 with using the feeder
- later 200 / 150 ... depending on city development or other needs (e.g. wagons, ships)

In my opinion the key for this method is the number of transports (wagons, ships, ...).
This method works only in a contiguous settlement area, which is actually my play stile.
My system within each region is like yours, just add some settings on wagons to make sure they will not try to transport goods from the remotest settlement to another remotest settlement. And add some wagons to balance the storage between each region.

Actually, the reason why I think automation is inefficient is that the wagons just care about the goods but not the distance (I thinks), so they always try to transport something from the Arctica to the Antarctica.
 
I'm impressed Wilhelmus-van-Nassouwe - I love the way you think.

Personally, I would never be able to manage a system as complex as that. I am very much a hub based player, and mostly only care about luxuries in my main city. For me it is strictly one trek for every settlement <-> capital.
I tend to warmonger mid-game, as I find that more satisfying.

I am very interested to hear more about trade systems though.
 
I'm impressed Wilhelmus-van-Nassouwe - I love the way you think.

Personally, I would never be able to manage a system as complex as that. I am very much a hub based player, and mostly only care about luxuries in my main city. For me it is strictly one trek for every settlement <-> capital.
I tend to warmonger mid-game, as I find that more satisfying.

I am very interested to hear more about trade systems though.
Well, I did try this method, but soon I found it doesn't work. This problem is caused by the wagons stopping transporting once they found the destination is full (any destination, for example, if your wagon is set to transport clay from A to B then transport stone from B to A, it will stop if any of them are full).

On the other hand, because of this problem, this kind of transportation system (I call it "single warehouse") is hard to maintain - you don't know why it is inefficient, you just know every wagon strikes and your warehouse full but you don't know which route has too many wagons and which does not have enough. Though you can sell some goods to Europe to make some space, but because the warehouse city (in your case, it is your capital) also needs to store the goods to other cities, and it is hard to let your warehouse city not to produce anything, it is almost impossible construct a complex system to provide many different kinds of goods to your colony (because the maximum storage space is constant). But I must say it does work if the number of kinds of consumer goods was not large.

Actually what I do is like, split my colony into different regions, and then set a capital for each region. But the storage space for one capital may be not enough as the settlements grows, so setting more sub-capitals to help the capital to store goods.
 
The automated transport system is build on top the vanilla system, which honestly isn't good. It's on my wishlist to scrap all of it and start over, but due to other tasks, I haven't gotten around to even starting on this.

If people have ideas on how it should work, then I'm all ears. I do have ideas of my own, but I won't tell about that right now because I'm interested in knowing what other people can come up with without being influenced by my idea. Maybe somebody else will come up with something even better.
 
The automated transport system is build on top the vanilla system, which honestly isn't good. It's on my wishlist to scrap all of it and start over, but due to other tasks, I haven't gotten around to even starting on this.

If people have ideas on how it should work, then I'm all ears. I do have ideas of my own, but I won't tell about that right now because I'm interested in knowing what other people can come up with without being influenced by my idea. Maybe somebody else will come up with something even better.
I do have a thought, we can use use the distance, priority, the gap decrease after a shipment (i.e. the (upperbound - goods storage after shipment) - (upperbound - current storage)) to calculate the utility of this shipment and the wagons will choose the route with the highest utility. We should also add another variable to estimate the goods storage after this shipment so the next wagon will not do the same.

But this will cause a problem, with the expansion of our colony, there will be at least n(n-1) route needed to be calculated and each wagon need to be calculated for all route, which is time costly.

So I do suggest design a system to set the wagons run like a train (like the train in OpenTTD), we can also set the wagons if they should drop goods whatever the remaining storage space. But this way is brain costly.
 
The automated transport system is build on top the vanilla system, which honestly isn't good. It's on my wishlist to scrap all of it and start over, but due to other tasks, I haven't gotten around to even starting on this.

If people have ideas on how it should work, then I'm all ears. I do have ideas of my own, but I won't tell about that right now because I'm interested in knowing what other people can come up with without being influenced by my idea. Maybe somebody else will come up with something even better.
But I must say, automating transport just suitable for original game, because the original game colony is always a small system with little amount of goods.

The WTP have many goods, and hence it would be hard to maintain if you use automation (automation actually link all settlements and all goods into a complex system, hard to know the real reason why a settlement has some shortage, hard to know just casual issue, number setting problem (could be this settlement of other settlement), or wagons not enough).

Additionally, if my utility method is applied, there will be another issue: generally, because it always takes at least a turn to produce a wagon, wagons are always in limited amount. So they will always try to transport goods from prosperous cities (large input and large output, like a ironforge city, large consumption of ore and large production of tools) instead of small settlements, while players may likely to let the small settlements to grow. The only way to solve this problem for me is make more priority setting, but still, hard to maintain, because you don't know what your wagon actually doing in each turn. You may increase the priority because you found not enough tools, but it could just caused by you built a national congress last turn.

Take an example in real world, there are three cities, New York, Boston and Nuuk (Gothab), if you do nothing, market will prefer transportation between NY and Boston because they earn alot (in my system, it is utility), but you want Nuuk people to get enough commodities, so you issue a policy to let them get more money from route to Nuuk (like priority). But suppose, there is a fashion about wool in Boston, so the wool was supposed to Nuuk now transport to Boston at short time. It will soon tranposted back to Nuuk even if you do nothing because the fashion will gone in few weeks. However, you noticed the shortage in Nuuk, so you issue more policies (increase priority).

In this three cities one goods model, this issue may not cause any problem because Nuuk storage will soon full. But in game, our colony always have many settlements and the automation will link all settlements together into a complex system and hence the increase in priority is highly possible to cause some problem on other settlements.

Though there is a simple solution: let european port sell wagons, so we can make the transportation very cheap, in real world example, it is like even Nuuk can afford a fleets of 1K cargo ships so they can deliver goods from anywhere has surplus.
 
But I must say, automating transport just suitable for original game, because the original game colony is always a small system with little amount of goods.

The WTP have many goods, and hence it would be hard to maintain if you use automation (automation actually link all settlements and all goods into a complex system, hard to know the real reason why a settlement has some shortage, hard to know just casual issue, number setting problem (could be this settlement of other settlement), or wagons not enough).

Additionally, if my utility method is applied, there will be another issue: generally, because it always takes at least a turn to produce a wagon, wagons are always in limited amount. So they will always try to transport goods from prosperous cities (large input and large output, like a ironforge city, large consumption of ore and large production of tools) instead of small settlements, while players may likely to let the small settlements to grow. The only way to solve this problem for me is make more priority setting, but still, hard to maintain, because you don't know what your wagon actually doing in each turn. You may increase the priority because you found not enough tools, but it could just caused by you built a national congress last turn.

Take an example in real world, there are three cities, New York, Boston and Nuuk (Gothab), if you do nothing, market will prefer transportation between NY and Boston because they earn alot (in my system, it is utility), but you want Nuuk people to get enough commodities, so you issue a policy to let them get more money from route to Nuuk (like priority). But suppose, there is a fashion about wool in Boston, so the wool was supposed to Nuuk now transport to Boston at short time. It will soon tranposted back to Nuuk even if you do nothing because the fashion will gone in few weeks. However, you noticed the shortage in Nuuk, so you issue more policies (increase priority).

In this three cities one goods model, this issue may not cause any problem because Nuuk storage will soon full. But in game, our colony always have many settlements and the automation will link all settlements together into a complex system and hence the increase in priority is highly possible to cause some problem on other settlements.

Though there is a simple solution: let european port sell wagons, so we can make the transportation very cheap, in real world example, it is like even Nuuk can afford a fleets of 1K cargo ships so they can deliver goods from anywhere has surplus.
Alright, I have a new idea, maybe we can add a new system called "province", we can split our colony into several provinces like what Spain did, in each province we can set a provincial capital (only a city with goverment palace can be set as capital) then we can build special building "Provincial Storage" which allow more space. After that we can let the wagon to do automation transport within province (maybe a new botton). We can also add a new botton called "Automated Interprovincial Transport" which will link all province capitals.
 
One page where you could adjust every colony's min/max would be nice. On same page, create route between two cities and choose number of wagons to assign... Woul dneed some kind of system to have distribution centers in 2 or 3 colonies. Being able to auto import from Europe, Africa or Port Royal would be nice
 
I do have a thought, we can use use the distance, priority, the gap decrease after a shipment (i.e. the (upperbound - goods storage after shipment) - (upperbound - current storage)) to calculate the utility of this shipment and the wagons will choose the route with the highest utility. We should also add another variable to estimate the goods storage after this shipment so the next wagon will not do the same.

But this will cause a problem, with the expansion of our colony, there will be at least n(n-1) route needed to be calculated and each wagon need to be calculated for all route, which is time costly.

So I do suggest design a system to set the wagons run like a train (like the train in OpenTTD), we can also set the wagons if they should drop goods whatever the remaining storage space. But this way is brain costly.
Let me take an very simple example to show how my "utility" works.

Suppose following setting in settlement A:
Coffee: Export to 20
Cheese: Import to 100

And currently have 50 coffee and 10 cheese

In B:
Coffee: Import to 100 Feeder
Cheese: Export to 20

And currently have 20 cofee and 80 cheese

Suppose the there is a wagon currently stop at C point, its distance to A is 2 and to B is 1

so the parameter about the utility to do transport coffee from A to B will be:
Excession Decrease in A: (50-20) - (20-20) = 30
Where:
50: Current storage
20: Export Limit
20-20: New Excession
Shortage Decrease in B: (100-20) - (100 - 50) = 30
Where:
20: Current storage
100: Import limit
50: Storage after delivery
Priority factor: 2 (feeder in B)
Distance between A and B: 1
Distance between wagon and A: 2

So the utility function could be:
(30+30*2)/(1+2) = 30

Same process to the cheese then compare them and pick the route with the highest utility.
 
My goods transportation is like a science, technology and engineering of Orcs from WH40k, it shouldn't work, there is no reason for it to work as it makes no sense at all. And yet it does.

The only problem that I often encounter is the space limit of warehouses. I wish there was a FF to increase it.
 
The automated transport system is build on top the vanilla system, which honestly isn't good. It's on my wishlist to scrap all of it and start over, but due to other tasks, I haven't gotten around to even starting on this.

If people have ideas on how it should work, then I'm all ears. I do have ideas of my own, but I won't tell about that right now because I'm interested in knowing what other people can come up with without being influenced by my idea. Maybe somebody else will come up with something even better.

Hi Nightinggale,

I have some ideas on how automated transport should work...

Mostly, colonization transport is based on city and cargo storage optimisation to downstream good in order to sell them to the mother country or to produce weapons. I probably have try all the transport systems from vanilla Colonization to WTP.

Currently my last attempts were to made only automate transport between 2 cities with numerous carriages (a legion of train wagons) dedicated to specific goods. This setting was made to free maximum space into intermediate cities to avoid overstorage lost... Unfortunately, the turns of importing carriages sometime occurs after the turns of importing carriages, still resulting in overstorage lost. At the end, I reach the conclusion that multiple city trade routes, like the one in transport tycoon (as you proposed last year?), is a requirement but can not be set with the current system. Another problem is the painful setting of the export advisor which should be replicate in each city.

Ideally, I think that the automate systems should be designed such way:

1. Possibility to make a list of city that the carriage will visit back (downstream) and forth (upstream), and to adjust "maintain" level for the line or for several cities. "maintain" level should hover remain possible to ajust only for a single city for fine tunning.
2. On the downstream path, carriages should unload all good and load again good with the maximum excess from the "export" level (city and cargo storage optimisation). Except at the starting city of a line where carriage only unload until passing in upstream mod.
3. On the upstream path, carriage should check at the starting city for the highest deficiency relative to the "export level" over the full line (excluding the starting city) and load these goods (cargo storage optimisation). Loading capacity should be based on the difference between export level and maintain level at the starting city. A reservation system to unload the exact quantity at the city requiring the good will be a plus (e.g. if carriage have load 300 wood; 30 wood unload at city A, 120 unload at city B, etc), but it would require a new good class with a variable for the destination and quantity. Also the starting city should remember that it has shipped these goods to avoid superfluous transportation.
4. "Export" level should be based on maintain level defined in the "export advisor" or whatever you like plus b) upstream trade route good requirement (only at the starting city of a trade route) and c) temporary need (building material).
5. in the "export advisor", it will be nice to be able to select numerous good to modify their "maintain" together. I was thinking of a screen like the city town screen with ressource "ribbon" were you can select/unselect multiple good before modifying the maintain level.

This would be a nice base for a completely new and efficient transportation system. In complement, other optimisation that I have thought are:
6. cargo space should be reserved on carriage or carriage convoy for some kind of goods to avoid bottleneck. I particularly think about construction material (wood, stone, tool, silver, etc) but could also be for weapons and horses. My first idea was on a train wagon to have 3 spaces for undifferentiated goods, 2 spaces for special good and the remaining space for... units.
7. Possibility to ask carriage or carriage convoy to hold until filled or partially filled at the "end" city (at line or unit level). This is to avoid overstorage at jonction city between many trade routes which could receive an important convoy of numerous carriages/ships.
8. When a carriage/convoy/ship is added to a trade route, they should be a function which space them to have rather even frequency between unit/convoy having the same speed.
9. As you have guest from point 4, it will be nice to extend the automate transportation not only to goods but also to units. On huge map, it might reduce the time require to move unit over large distance and in addition it would help to move unit between different islands (oversea?).
10. Extension to the trade system to oversea (with storage to be exported to the new world), or to trade with native or other colonial power?


I even started to try modding my dream transportation system but stopped due to really no enough time. However, having had a look at the "too numerous" mod files (Cv..., Cy..., etc), I can say bravo to modders which navigate in this jungle/labyrinth/mess; they have all my respect.
 
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Yeah being able to assign a basic hub/spoke kind of priority system could go a long way to making at least multiple local chains much less of a daunting micro hassle
 
There are many good ideas in this thread, but unfortunately, we lack the manpower to do much about the trade route system in the near term. :(

If there are any volunteers, we'd be happy to guide and collaborate with you! :)

Lack of manpower and time is a common issue... time passes so quickly.

Currently, I am still overbooked and try to absorb the works which is pending since several months. I would surely not have time this year but eventually if trade road are still in waiting works and that I have time I would try to help. Your guidance will be of great help to indicate which classes and classe to use.
 
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