Sid Meier's Railroad

Discussion in 'Other Sid Meier Games' started by Ryanstein, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. zarakand

    zarakand Prince

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    It's not that bad. It's very different from RRT 2 and RRT 3, which I enjoy. In RRT 2 & 3 I got tired of the immense micromanagement that the games offered.

    My main complaint so far is the routing issues, and that you can't give a train a direct order to continue or halt. Hopefully that will be fixed in a patch.
     
  2. Virvini

    Virvini Chieftain

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    As I see it, this game was built for multiplayer, much more than the RT series. Looking at it that way, I understand why the stockmarket was simplified, because as someone stated it is a game in and all of itself. I used to spend a lot of time playing and toying with it in RT2. With no pause in mutliplayer, then it would take the player away from their tracks and planning. Overall though, I like this installment just as much as RT2, even though a few things have changed. Here are some tips:

    Some tips:

    *On the train routing pop-up it tells you exactly what path the train is taking, I found this immensly helpful in modifying tracks so they took the path I wanted. Track loops are where its at.

    *As Shylock stated, every senario can be played in 'Train Table Mode', even the none adjective ones. Train Table Mode = Sandbox.

    *Remember when you double track that you need to click on single track and create a cross over rails. I'm finding Sid's R!'s track laying system to be much more indepth. You can scrap track and get some resources back if you mess up, so keep trying. Sometimes its just more beneficial for you to never have two tracks cross paths. (hint: double and triple tracking).

    *When laying the track there are 2 important things: the grade keys (-,+) to reduce the grade of the track (Reignking, this is what will create your tunnels) and holding the mouse buttom down instead of just clicking, as this will let you determine the approach angle the tracks will take up to that point.

    *When playing, be careful how many goods are sent to one city (you'll just have to watch the cities.) In my last game I flooded Munich, which was only a city, with beer (2 trains with 8 cars a trip for 5 years and no other goods) and they stopped demanding it. I ended up laying new tracks to make better routes for those trains so they could each supply another city.

    *If there's a good not being used, when you have the money, creating a completely new industry chain can be lots of fun.

    *Stay off of 'hard' routing until it's fixed.
     
  3. Reignking

    Reignking Prince

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    Train Table mode is closer, but it is sandbox without a game.
     
  4. Virvini

    Virvini Chieftain

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    Hmm... so playing a senario without any competitors? Is that what you're looking for?
     
  5. Krupo

    Krupo Old-time newsgrouper

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    An early tip I was proud to stumble upon: fool the AI into bidding on useless auctions! :)

    When I first started playing, I was irritated but appreciated the competition when the AI tried to score a lucrative industry that I wanted for myself.

    I quickly realized something: if the AI doesn't have cash, how can it bid on the industry I want?

    So I tried a trick: I found two slaughterhouses, one in a central "hub" city, another off to the side.

    I initiated an auction for the "off to the side" place - if I ended up winning it, it would 1. be cheap and 2. I could still supply it if I really wanted to.

    The AI jumped at the bait and took the slaughterhouse (I should add that it was in Manchester, surrounded by mountains, and only serviced by my trains).

    I then immediately started a new auction for a slaughterhouse in Birmingham - the AI had used up all its cash so I got a profitable industry for myself with no bidding war whatsoever! (The AI never made a cent off the industry I let it have, since I never sent cattle up there!).

    While this game has some huge simplification issues, a little incident like that illustrates that it's not all bad - I'm liking it. :)
     
  6. Reignking

    Reignking Prince

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    No, one of th RTs had a an open-ended games with competition. None of the scenario restrictions. The object was to have the most valuable company.
     
  7. Virvini

    Virvini Chieftain

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    Ah... I see what you mean. Yeah, its more about buying out your competitors and monopolizing the region in Sid's R!
     
  8. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

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    I disagree with this point (although the others are well made). The game is much, much too easy on the other routing settings. Railroads! is really meant to be played on Hard routing (on Easy, your trains will simply move right through one another, which removes about 90% of the strategy from the game). My suggestion would be to practice in Train Table (sandbox) Mode with routing trains to get the hang of it. It's a much more intelligent game on Hard routing; your track placement matters enormously! :cool:
     
  9. Unmasked

    Unmasked Chieftain

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    I agree that the game is much more interesting in Hard Routing mode but I won't say it is necessarily intelligent. You might have a track layout like this (not necessarily the best design) with trains A and B heading towards each other

    -----------/------\--------------
    A---------/--------\------------B
    ---------/----------\------------

    and sometimes wind up with this.

    -----------/--AB--\--------------
    ----------/--------\-------------
    ---------/----------\------------

    even worse you might have a layout like this

    A----------\--------------------
    -------------------------------B

    and occasionally wind up like this.

    ----------A\--------------------
    --------------------------------

    with A just sitting there after B passed by.

    The problem with routing is that I think the routing intelligence works only on the same track segments only and not globally. So if you make tracks in multiple segments it might cause some problems and for that reason I'd much rather have a specific button for making crossovers and switches rather than using the track button for everything. At least that's my impression, especially going by the last situation where laying a new track segment over an existing track segment will get the train to move again (and by the way you can delete any track segment but the system can get a little finicky so you have to be very precise).

    My overall impression of the game is mixed. I was a big fan of the earlier games like Civ, Civ2 and RT2 (don't think I ever played the original RT). When I first got RT3 I hated it but grew into it. The RT series is more complex but that doesn't necessarily make for deeper game play. It also gets heavily bogged down (in both game play and performance) and there is no easy way to fix that, especially when you are buying competitors (if I buy out a competitor in RR! I invariably hit the liquidate button).

    My personal preference is to play the game like a historic "Robber Baron" rather than as a train simulator (for my money this is why I felt Rails Across America is such a great game which avoids many of the pitfalls of RT such as the huge micromanagement and performance hit in the end game but it just didn't have the epic feel of RT). I like playing RT with big sprawling maps (usually the continental US plus some of Canada and Mexico) with as many competitors as I was allowed to select. Most scenarios were very limiting in those regards and it took a while to locate maps that would allow it. But RT3's AI was somewhat feeble and never put up much of a fight.

    In RR! the initial scenario maps are much smaller and there is a max of 3 competitors which is why I didn't like the game when I first loaded it. That opening trailer when you first launch the game was what I was hoping for but is not what I got. So I decided that the way for me to try and play the game is to get the full victory conditions in each scenario. In the easiest mode, this is somewhat trivial so I wanted to try and do this in the hardest mode. I noticed that there is no way to select the difficulty of the AI so I was not expecting much.

    However when playing in the hardest mode the computer AI is (in my opinion) much better (although to date I've yet to see the AI initiate an auction for an industry which to me is a big omission). Whether this is because in an easy mode the AI doesn't get a chance to flex itself enough or if the AI secretly gets better in the harder modes I can't say. The maps are much smaller which puts you near a competitor almost right away and the AI will buy up your stock in an effort to force you out - something I've never seen happen in RT. Plus your competitors can directly interfere in your victory conditions.

    For example in the NE scenario you need to route 50 cars of passengers directly from New York to Washington before a particular time. While playing on hard routing makes this a challenge in itself, it is difficult because at least one of your competitors will gun for NY as well and if he beats you there's problems. Just getting 50 cars of passengers isn't that easy. I was close last night - 47/50 :sad:. The game continued on as there were additional victory conditions to go for but my goal is to meet all of them so I retired and will try again tonight.

    In short I like the idea that you can finish a full game (over a century) in a few hours but miss the epic feel of RT. I don't miss the tediousness of RT's end game although RR! has it's own issues there as well. I do think hard routing needs to be fixed though it's not nearly as bad as people seem to think. I'm hopeful there will be more scenarios added soon (and free - not as an expansion I have to pay for).

    I think I'm going to load up Rails Across America later.
     
  10. Greybriar

    Greybriar Prince

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    The original Railroad Tycoon (RRT) is an old favorite of mine. I spent many, many hours playing it and I still get the urge to fire it up every once in a while. It was made by MicroProse, Sid Meier's and Bill Stealey's old company.

    I have also played Railroad Tycoon II and Railroad Tycoon 3. They were made by PopTop. Of the two of them, I prefer Railroad Tycoon II.

    As I see it and as a friend of mine expressed, "SMRR is not about depth - they kicked a lot of the economic stuff overboard in favor of a simplified game more accessible to casual gamers." I have been playing around with Sid Meier's Railroads! (SMRR) since I purchased it on the day of its release. Although I miss the large maps of the previous RRT games, I still enjoy SMRR.

    It does have its problems, however. I chanced across a large review of the game that I feel is very informative. Here it is, broken into sections:
    I hope they are helpful.
     
  11. Esckey

    Esckey Deity

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    I've been following this, or trying to, for a bit and I'm sad to hear these lackluster reviews. I really liked RTT(it was my very first computer that I bought with my own hard earned cash) I spend alot of time playing that and years later got RRT2, never touched 3. Personnally 2 was great, it was only missing about a hand full of things, such as tunnels(been begging for tunnels for years) and bridge structures(like building a bridge over tracks and what not)


    So far the only other game like this thats kept me going was TTDLX, wish I could get my hands on Locomotion(TT2 I believe)
     
  12. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Warlord

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    I'm actually enjoying it! Railroad Tycoon 3 had too much micro-management IMHO. So if you like addictive, easy to get into and don't have tons of time available this is a good buy. :)
     
  13. Krupo

    Krupo Old-time newsgrouper

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    Having given it some more playtime, I'm coming around to your point of view - especially with with regards to Easy.

    I find Medium to be a good compromise until they add more control to the game -> you get punished for poor track layout by delays, but it won't destroy your railroad (honestly - I don't want to have to re-route or delete trains just because they got stuck!).

    Perhaps after, as you wisely suggested, getting the hang of it I'll be able to "graduate" to hard mode - you're right, the main elements of strategy in the game *do* come from track layout, and in that way, SMR is completely unique from any earlier titles.
     
  14. Tae

    Tae Warlord

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    I appreciate the comments in this thread. I have chosen to wait till I finish CoH and maybe even Medievil 2 Total War before I get into this, but it sounds like a fun game.

    Simplifying a game actually doesn't bother me, I find so little time to play games these days that I skip games that seem overly complicated because I just don't want to invest the time to learn the game before I have fun playing it. Galactic Civ is pretty much like that for me. This is why I fell in love with Company of Heroes, I had fun learning it.
     
  15. CaesarDave

    CaesarDave Chieftain

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    I'm surprised no one has brought this up. The main difference on the strategy level for RR! is optimizing train routes. Yes, it is initially frustrating when it seems we have less of a control over the trains but in my opinion, it adds to the game. They've stripped away the stock market, which either was a great challenge or a horrible confusion depending upon the person, and substituted a streamlined but no less challenging system of optimizing train routes and cargo.

    For example, something as simple as not switching out boxcars can drastically effect how quickly a train can move through a station. On another layer, the more variety of commerce entering a given city, the faster it will grow. It's not always the best choice to have a train devoted to only one or two resources. Sometimes it may be better to have your train load up on oil, drop it off at a refinery, but then swing down and assist in unloading some corn from a farm that is not being fully utilized instead of having it just looping oil over and over. You may be able to make more money off of shipping gold instead of mail, but including a few cars of mail will help a fledging town grow a little faster, which will equal to bigger pay-offs in for all future cargo.

    The strategy is still there, just on a different layer than what people are expecting. I enjoy this game immensely, and find that managing train routes is far more fun than tracking stocks.
     
  16. sir_schwick

    sir_schwick Archbishop of Towels

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    It depends whether your now 8-yr old likes to watch the trains from extreme close up or from an eye in the sky viewing the track for distance as well. If he is a fan of the first, I would actually recommend RRT3 on Sandbox maps with the economic factors turned low.

    Now for eye in the sky stuff, I would recommend either OpenTTD or TTDPatch. They are basically the same game, but your system may have less problems with one compared to the other. Most modifications you can find out there work with both. And the mods are the primary reason to try either. Some people have done impressive work creating trainsets for North America, Japan, Europe and I think there are even Chinese rail sets. Also there are mods for the town graphics, stations, and intermodal transport besides rail.
     
  17. hklvette

    hklvette Chieftain

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    +1 to that. The routing system still needs a way to micro-manage a train's path though.
     
  18. Modeltrainman

    Modeltrainman Warlord

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    It does. I want an expansion pack for Railroads!
     
  19. Zild

    Zild Warlord

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    Hey all,

    I just purchased Railroads! having first read a few reviews and deciding that, being a few years newer then RRT3, this sounded like the marginally better choice.

    I'm going to give Sid the benefit of the doubt here and say that what he has created is not "dumbed down for a graphics-obsessed audience", rather "streamlined and simplified for an entry-level audience". For them it works wonders; gameplay is kept simple yet challenging, especially the "stock" system which works well as a simple victory mechanic; if it were a more detailed game like I understand the RRT games to be, I would want a more realistic stock market system (if a stock market has a place at all in a game about railways...) - but for what the game is it seems appropriate.

    Track gradient and radius do not "make sense" given the scale (which irks me, as I like realism in my games), but they do make for good gameplay (which I appreciate!) It also fits the game's model railway theme - so good if you're a fan of model railways, not so good if you want realistic business simulation.

    I also suspect it will make for interesting, short multiplayer games, unlike the more-detailed alternatives.

    Yes, as a hardcore gamer for twenty years, I find it superficial and would probably have prefered RRT. However, I think the game does very well at what it was probably designed for and therefore the designers have my respect. The people who do not have my respect are the marketing people who pitched it as something it was not.
     
  20. tim-stock

    tim-stock Chieftain

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    Really very nice post by you
     

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