What will you play in the weekend?


Ooh, I’ll look it up. Thanks!


Look it up? Dude, it’s like 15 years old! A sequel to a Sid Meier Classic ;)

It’s got a pretty neat economic sim going on. I’ve got things to say about the economic model. One neat thing it does is actually cause an interesting interaction between the company and the player avatar tycoon. With a stock market existing they do some interesting scenario design.

In Germany, in particular, I was fascinated by what it simulates. For that there were two sets of goals, for the gold medal.
Have your company connect 13 German States
Have a personal net worth of $25 million.

See where this interaction becomes interesting is that you, as the tycoon, do not own the rail company. You are an investor. You have a set of shares (which you can buy and sell, even buy and sell other companies too). And often the personal wealth aspect is at direct odds with the company. For example, as a tycoon, one thing that can be very profitable is do something to cause an opposing rail company to drop in price (such as bogarting their good supply by building parallel lines) and buying up a bunch of shares, causing a price rise. Then do something to help that stock price rise, such as connecting your lines to their main hub. the AI isn’t very good at building networks. It struggles to get past the early game, which a network of 2-3 cities will quickly lose value. So it is often nessecary to, after the initial delivery surge, take out bonds/ issue stock in order to expand. The AI doesn’t really do this part well.

Anyhow. If you connect your rail line to their hub, it will cause a goods surge that immediately boosts their supply of deliverables, and hence their profitability. It also allows them to use your rails (for a fee) often further boosting their income. Their stock shoots up. It can double, or more. Now you bought a stock that was bottomed out, and now is worth far more. Now have your company buy out said rail line. Personal wealth ++.

Thing is, from the rail company perspective, far better to buy it then connect the lines (hence your rail line more directly reaps profits). So there is a conflict.

Back to the Germany scenario. I saw an interesting bit of emergent gameplay that is a testament to the economic sim. My rail line was expanding well, making good profits, and stock prices were rising rapidly. I had also leveraged my assets (you can buy stock on margin, if your personal wealth is higher than your debt) so that I had roughly a 1/4 share of the rail (you start at 9%). But then a recession hits. No problem, I’m still running profits.

But it goes on for a year, then two, and gets deeper. The stock price tanked. And now those shares I had bought on margin? Now my debts were higher than assets. Which triggers a warning. You have two months to reverse this or your broker sells shares until your buying power is positive. Problem is that selling shares causes prices to drop, further depressing price. Which then cascades and could potentially wipe out 100% of my shares. It’s not that my rail was doing bad, the stock price dropped simply because of the liquidity crush of the depression.

Now my rail has decent income and profits. We’re it not for the stocks/ personal wealth aspect, I could just plow through on reduced revenue and continued expanding. Potentially buying up a bunch of industries on the cheap.

Yes, it is literally simming how the wealthy and well monied can use a recession where they ‘on paper’ lost huge money, but use cash and leverage to buy up a bunch of assets on the cheap. And when the economy normalizes? Now you are even better off than before. Those losses are gained back, and far more because you own a bunch of formerly distressed industries.


So for my company the ideal is use my ongoing income to basically buy up industries. But that would completely wipe out my tycoon. So what did I do? I issued a bunch of bonds (at high interest rates) to issue a stock buyback. Same with profits. I am basically cannibalizing my companies future cash in order to pump up the stock prices and increase my tycoons share of the company. Basically directly using the credit and cash of the company to funnel into my tycoons pockets.

Wow, it’s kinda dark when you think about it.

So I alternate between taking bonds to do stock buybacks and using company profits to buy industries. And when the recession ends I’ve gone from about 25% control to about 65% control (I really did buy back that much stock), my personal wealth skyrockets, and my company has a bunch of assets now that are very profitable that I got on the cheap. Stock prices blow up, and my personal net worth goes up about 2.5 times its recession nadir.

My company has a bunch of debt and is highly leveraged with a bunch of high interest bonds. So it takes about a year to pay down those. Had I not been forced to issue buybacks using bond fuels payments? The company comes out even stronger, and with probably even larger networks and assets.

It was fascinating. One of the more interesting economic models I’ve seen in a game. It, through well designed systems, leads to emergent gameplay and actions. The way it simulates how a recession can be an opportunity for the rich to get richer, how a CEO or investor can have conflict between their company and personal interests.

I’m really digging it. And holy wall of text! I did not anticipate going that longs.


Whoa. Monster post, I’ll have to try it!


I knew it. Those recessions are just a bullshit ploy by the 1%ers to fuck over the working man. REVOLUTION NOW!


We just finished some Tricky Towers, and are enjoying Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time. The Switch - best on the go, and with friends on the couch. Nintendo at its best!


I’m glad you enjoyed* my treatise ;)

*satisfaction not guaranteed


Should have time to get some good gaming in this weekend. For Space Game Junkie, if I can get it to work, I’ll be playing this for next week’s game of the week:

Plus I’ll try to get some coverage of these:

For myself, likely a lot more:

Plus the beta of this, which I am LOVING:

Along with more of this fun thing:

Should be a really fun weekend.


I’ll probably play some more Warhammer 40K Mechanicus . I’m 30% into the campaign now and canticles have been unlocking left and right.

I may also play some Kingdom Come Deliverance .


Thanks to @marquac and @KristiGaines

Backlog clean up on this one , I remember unlocking a hard to unlock door and thats where I left off.

I gotta get caught up on Telltale games, this is my oldest one so I’ll start there.


Okay, I noticed something not on that list!


Hahahah right, I’ll finish the manual this very weekend and dive in!


Second playthrough of Pathfinder Kingmaker. This time with a decent main character. Enjoying it a lot more. Ranger/druid.


Thanks to Northgard being on sale on Humble, I’ll be checking out its viking stylings!


I’ve been back on the Dragon Quest XI of late, also playing some Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

However a new season of Diablo 3 starts imminently so…


I am playing a super heavy modded Skyrim on Legendary difficulty. It makes me want to kill someone how hard it can be.

Plus Warhammer 2. As Nagarythe in a ME campaign.


I’m pleased to say that Monster Hunter World has finally started to click, so this weekend it will be:







More Divinity: Original Sin 2. Just made it to Act 3. Does this game ever end?


If it’s anything like the first one, the answer is “yes, but long after it’s worn out its welcome.”

Though honestly, thanks to the armor system in 2, it pretty much had worn out its welcome by act 2 IMO.


I don’t mind the armor system but I’m not seeing a lot of interesting synergies in the combat even compared to simple stuff like Dragon Age 2. I’m just doing lots of damage. Maybe it’s my party.