I haven’t been putting in manual stops at either of the maintenance structures. I just put them in periodically, with spares wherever trains seem to be running out of water or oil, and the trains stop when they feel the need, without automatically stopping. Not that manual stops would be useless - they just seem to fall into the micromanagement category, for when you know a train should fill up for a long stretch without water or something.
I haven’t been putting in manual stops at either of the maintenance structures. I just put them in periodically, with spares wherever trains seem to be running out of water or oil, and the trains stop when they feel the need, without automatically stopping. Not that manual stops would be useless - they just seem to fall into the micromanagement category, for when you know a train should fill up for a long stretch without water or something.[/quote]
I put the tower/barn right next to a station, and then routed the train manually without any cars at the end of its “route”. Its a few clicks. I can avoid the micromanagement if I want to spend more money though.
I played through the first five scenarios on easy, decided it was too easy, then went back and re-started the campaign on normal. I’m on the third scenario now, and I have a few questions for folks at large:
What’s the difference in the difficulty levels? I’m finding it a little harder to get off the ground at “normal”, but once I hit that critical mass of stations/connections, there’s no stopping me.
Is there any reason not to take bonds out the wazoo when the due date is past the scenario end? I don’t actually do this, since I like to run a no-debt company, but it seems like it might be a way to get free money. Of course, you’ll have the interest payments, the stock price hit, etc., but do those things matter that much?
Does it make any difference if you finish a scenario early/with additional resources? Or is the “scoring” simply what medals you got?
My strategy so far has been to build series of links: A to B, B to C, C to D, etc. I run one train between each pair of stations, double-track around the stations so the coming and going train don’t overlap, and make sure that every section has the necessary support buildings. So far, this has worked without fail, but it seems like there must be another logic at work. With the auto-consist stuff, I don’t even bother to select specific cargoes, just limit the number of cars to what the engine can handle on that section of track (for grade issues, mostly).
What are other people doing? Do you run dedicated cargo trains? Is the priority/express stuff actually important/useful? So far, simply building a consistent and reliable network has been enough to make my companies successful. Do you have to change tactics later on in the campaign?
It’s definitely been fun so far, but my sense is that there are layers to this thing that I simply don’t understand, and I’m wondering if at some point I’m going to need to learn how they work or whether I can skate along the surface playing connect-the-dots all the way through (except for the management-specific scenarios, of course).
The difficulty levels basically jiggle the money scales. Primarily it affects train hauling revenue - to a lesser extent stuff like company overhead, train maintenance, etc. They also affect the AI, to a lesser extent, in reverse (i.e. at Hard level, you get less money for hauling, the AI gets somewhat more)
The incremental difference between Easy and Normal, and Normal and Hard, is noticeable, but not huge. Probably the fact that you know the game a lot better second time around (and played better in various subtle ways) largely canceled out the revenue bonuses/penalties. In general, veteran strategy gamers should be able to play the campaign through on ‘Normal’ just fine. ‘Easy’ is aimed a bit more at casual gamers who haven’t played many games (we get more of these for Railroad Tycoon than most PC games get), and ‘Hard’ is for your 2nd time through or if you play a lot of management strategy type games.
Remember, you don’t have to play the campaign in order, so if you switch over to a higher difficulty, you can skip to whatever part of the campaign interests you.
The only ‘Scoring’ in the game is based on your medal level, with a bonus factor based on the difficulty level. If you get a gold medal, replaying again and getting a gold faster won’t win you any special awards (but feel free to pat yourself on the back :) )
Bonds, as you say, incur interest charges, plus a small cost to issue them (~2% of the face value of the bond), and the more bonds you issue, the more your credit rating is hurt.
BTW, the campaign scenarios start to get noticeably more varied from scenario 5 onward. Your basic strategy seems sound (it’s pretty close to my own basic strategy), but you’ll need to vary it to fit the scenario. Also, once your trains get better and faster in the 20th century scenarios, you’ll do well to run a mix of some longer routes along with the short ‘local’ routes.
Seeing as I am an idiot and can’t figure out how to get a link to work here, GameSpy has posted a review of the game. It got 4 stars and Editors’ Choice.
I was up until 2 A.M. playing one of the scenarios. It was a lot of fun and my first experience with a RR Tycoon game. There was a lot of depth and plenty to keep you busy. I’ll definitely be playing it more.
Have game on order, UK junkies might be interested to hear that Pre-ordering from Amamzon, will set you back £17.99 rather than the RRP of £34.
looking forward to a weekend of crashing trains
Wow, is there someone out there who doesn’t agree that the RT3 intro movie isn’t the best ever?
Ah, OK, you don’t use the http: part. D’OH!
Man this is a fun game. I wasn’t a hardcore RRT2 player, but I did play it enough that this game is rather easy on Normal mode.
Does anyone know what the maximum number of human players is over the Internet or a LAN? Three? Four? I assume it’s scenario-dependent but I can’t seem to find this information anywhere in the game’s documentation.
Am I the only one who thinks reviewers should move beyond putting “I’ve been workin’ on the railroad” in their reviews?
Beyond that, it looks good. It’ll be on the Xmas list.
Max human players is 4 (though a couple of the multi-player scenarios have a lower cap).
http://www.trainsim.org.uk/rrt3.html get the claws out. Though their biggest complaint appears to be with the opening movie :roll:
He’s utterly horrified at the way safety near trains in RRT3 has taken a back seat to vicarious locomotivery. Did you hear that, Phil? Utterly. Horrified.
If children scamper across lines in an effort to get close to the trains they love, it’ll be your fault.
Seemed to me that the intro movie is set in the past, you know, before child safety laws.
Oh, and this is just funny.
The music is awful - the typical hillbilly vs blues vs banjo nonsense that seems to plague this sort of game. Appears the developers assume anyone playing train games won’t like New Wave/Chillout, Dance/Techno or just plain old fashioned Soft Rock.
“As someone who feels strongly that rail software has a vital role to play in getting across the anti-trespass/vandalism”
Rail software? Really?
“I’ve decided to overlook the faux pas of the Introductory Video…”
This guy is just awesome.
Oh, so it’s okay for a MOUSE to get flattened! That…that…that ANIMAL HATER!
Well, regardless of what this site says, the first couple reviews are in from the major sites:
“Never has there been a tycoon game this visually attractive or effectively designed to minimize micromanagement. Railroad Tycoon III is surprisingly easy to learn for a game of its scope, and it has something for anyone with a fondness for trains or for making loads of money–which means just about everyone.”
(The users also give it an average score of 8.7, with some very nice things to say)
GameSpy 4 out of 5, Editor’s Choice
“…we can tell you with authority why Railroad Tycoon 3 is one of the best strategy/empire-building games of the year.”
And the mouse does not get squished - you can clearly see him jumping out of the way (In fact, I ordered the artists to lengthen the shot so it was clearer that the mouse got away - in the initial version, it was a bit ambiguous). So there - no cruelty to mice!!!