Online strategy guide

Got a new strategy? Not sure how to do something?
efast
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by efast » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:30 pm

this game is so bugged you can have ridiculously hacks.

eg: 'walking' stations aka 'double track then delete' to create create zero travel distance between two towns.
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darthdroid
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by darthdroid » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:56 am

efast wrote:this game is so bugged you can have ridiculously hacks.

eg: 'walking' stations aka 'double track then delete' to create create zero travel distance between two towns.

Right, this is called "Excessive Station Moving" and violates all 4 rule systems. There are only 4 "cheats" in the Base Rules (the advanced rules) and this is one of them.

But ultimately many of the things in the game are on purpose I think. This is one that was a necessity for other reasons but unfortunately can be used in this silly way.

Check the Base Rules for what is legal here and what is going too far... movement is ok, but not excessive movement. Excessive movement is clearly defined in the base rules.
-Bob the Lunatic

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BandOFan
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by BandOFan » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:01 pm

Those extreme right turns seem like cheating to me. You are exploiting a weakness in the game to get no slow down on a turn that in reality you would have an extreme slow down on that would out weigh the distance saved. But I guess there's no real way to prevent you from doing it. :|
They also just plain look ugly. :wink:

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BandOFan
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by BandOFan » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:00 pm

No, the more I think about those crazy right turns the more I am absolutely convinced that it is cheating. You are clearly exploiting a bug in the program. Shame on you. :)

keotaman

Re: Online strategy guide

Post by keotaman » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:59 pm

Band- 1st, it is not a right angle, it is a sharp radius curve. It shows that way because of the inflated scale of the track. 2nd, if the track being laid is too sharp a turn or too steep a grade, the program won't let you lay it. 3rd, to say there is no slow-down is incorrect; there is a speed reduction, you probably just missed it -- watch your game more closely, and on ½ normal game speed. 4th, it's not a bug, not a cheat, it just is. Just like 12 inches to the foot railroading, sometimes you accept a speed reduction due to a sharp radius curve over a short distance to head directly where you want to go. It is often more efficient, just as it can be more efficient to level the ground before laying track, to maximize track for money.

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BandOFan
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by BandOFan » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:48 am

1: Please do not argue that this an issue of scale. If it were I would agree with you because a train can make a 90 degree turn within a mile or so, but it is very evident that this whole game is "not to scale".
2: Here you are making my point for me. When you try to lay track "normally" you will get a 'turn too sharp' error. But if you pull the track out veeery carefully just a fraction of an inch you can get this glitch to show itself. See below;
Turns.JPG
Turns A and B
As you can see, turn A is "legal" and yet turn B is not legal. Why? It is evident from this that the game designers never intended for either of these turns to be legal. "A" was just achieved by exploiting a weakness in the program.
3: Yes, there is a speed reduction, in most cases(1), but not nearly as much as there should be and it is all moot because we have already clearly established that a turn like this is illegal.
4: See #2. This is clearly not what the game designers wanted. It is just like the 'ghost stations' and other odd manifestations of this game and is a bug/glitch whatever you want to call it and therefore clearly illegal..

*(1) I wrote "in most cases" because I have seen in game where trains have not slowed down at all on turns like this and worse ones.

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Jancsika
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by Jancsika » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:11 pm

Ok. Let me wade in on this.
First and foremost there are two schools of players in this game and it depends on what your goal is.
In the first are those who go for the esthetic of the games. They avoid silly bridges, 90 degree turns, long tunnels. These are model railroad types. BandOFan and myself belong to this group.
The other group are those who want to win the economic goals of the game, beat your opponent, no matter what. They exploit every little glitch in the game as long as it is within the limit of the original design. If they can make route an inch shorter they will. They look at the $$$ balance sheet not the spaghetti bowl they build.

But most importantly they enjoy the game and they participate and also they greatly contribute to our knowledge of the game.
So everybody to his/hers own.
Jancsika

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BandOFan
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by BandOFan » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:24 pm

Let me take a step back for a moment and say that if my use of the term "cheating" insulted anyone I apologize. I understand that saying something is "cheating" can imply that I am calling someone a "cheater". That was not my intention. Let's just say that, IMO, turns like this "violate the spirit of the game".

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BandOFan
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by BandOFan » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:46 am

This discussion of Point #1:No curved Track and the crazy right angle turns got me curious. How much of an actual advantage is it to have those 90 degree turns? I tested it.
Case 1 : 7.97 miles of track
test.JPG
Case 2 : 9.71 miles of track
test2.JPG
After running the same brand new train the same amount of time (ten years in both cases) I compared my starting and ending cash to get the total profit I made and the Lifetime amounts made for both cases for this commodity ( Livestock).
I found after running this a couple times that the advantage of Case 1 was only around a few thousand dollars. This was out of a total amount of around $450,000. A completely insignificant amount.
I did not factor in the cost of the track. I'm sure the track cost in Case 1 was lower than Case 2, but I don't believe it was that significant.
Oddly though, in all the times I ran it the "Reported Profit" for the train was always higher for Case 2.
However, if one player had Case 1 to the commodity and another player had Case 2 to "the same commodity" then Case 1 would probably gather more resources. I say 'probably' because A) I haven't test it and B) I still am not sure that Case 1 is definitively more efficient than Case 2.
Contrary to what I wrote earlier I believe the slow down on that tight curve is actually significant and nullifying most of the advantage of the shorter distance.
I could have run many many more iterations of this test than just the few I did so if anyone else wants to test this and refute me I would be curious to see your results.

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darthdroid
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by darthdroid » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:09 pm

BandOFan wrote:This discussion of Point #1:No curved Track and the crazy right angle turns got me curious. How much of an actual advantage is it to have those 90 degree turns? I tested it.
Case 1 : 7.97 miles of track
test.JPG
Case 2 : 9.71 miles of track
test2.JPG
After running the same brand new train the same amount of time (ten years in both cases) I compared my starting and ending cash to get the total profit I made and the Lifetime amounts made for both cases for this commodity ( Livestock).
I found after running this a couple times that the advantage of Case 1 was only around a few thousand dollars. This was out of a total amount of around $450,000. A completely insignificant amount.
I did not factor in the cost of the track. I'm sure the track cost in Case 1 was lower than Case 2, but I don't believe it was that significant.
Oddly though, in all the times I ran it the "Reported Profit" for the train was always higher for Case 2.
However, if one player had Case 1 to the commodity and another player had Case 2 to "the same commodity" then Case 1 would probably gather more resources. I say 'probably' because A) I haven't test it and B) I still am not sure that Case 1 is definitively more efficient than Case 2.
Contrary to what I wrote earlier I believe the slow down on that tight curve is actually significant and nullifying most of the advantage of the shorter distance.
I could have run many many more iterations of this test than just the few I did so if anyone else wants to test this and refute me I would be curious to see your results.
You kind of missed the point on this deal-the sharp turn has to be at the END of the track, not in the middle. You can't have 2 inch station entries-it defeats the whole purpose and thus makes the 90 degree turn in the "middle" of the track from an effective point of view.

You are to create the turn such that maybe 20% of the engine hits the turn, not half the train. And if it is done really well... well the train doesn't really turn at all, it behaves more like a straight track. So shave that station entry way way down to a hair (a couple mm). so you have a tiny piece of track, a 90 degree turn (AT station) then it goes straight to the other station. Then you'll see the truth of this and the sharp turn train will destroy the pretty train in profits, likely by 2 to 1 or more.

Cheers
-Bob the Lunatic

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BandOFan
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by BandOFan » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:42 am

I see what you mean, but it can sometimes be really difficult getting that station track to be very small and still connect to the station. I'll test this out sometime and get back to you.

And it still seriously violates the spirit of the game. :wink:
Like having a train route so short the train is already in the station when it's full. :mrgreen:

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darthdroid
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by darthdroid » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:49 pm

BandOFan wrote:I see what you mean, but it can sometimes be really difficult getting that station track to be very small and still connect to the station. I'll test this out sometime and get back to you.

And it still seriously violates the spirit of the game. :wink:
Like having a train route so short the train is already in the station when it's full. :mrgreen:
Where you stand depends on where you sit. There is no question there are 2 schools of thought as we have visited this discussion many times. There is the train table school and there is the online business strategy game school. So the "spirit of the game" is indeed a subjective thing. And as such-what's the name of this thread? Right, so trimming tracks is completely in the spirit of the online game.

Some of us want to make pretty tracks, take nice screen shots, paint more impressive skins, and so forth. But some of us want to dominate the other players with cost cutting, and revenue increasing measures. Pretty vs. Profits and they do seem to be mutually exclusive. To make the most profitable railroad, ugliness is a requirement.

And ultimately, this discussion is about that-mutual exclusivity. You said that pretty would actually beat ugly and you are wrong. Ugly will win.

Also, it is not hard at all to make tiny station entry tracks. Online players do this every time without fail, and they do it very quickly. Practice til you get it and then I do hope you report your new results and perhaps you'll have a new respect for the other "spirit of the game". This is also a violent business strategy game and for some of us, that is loads of fun.
-Bob the Lunatic

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darthdroid
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Re: Online strategy guide

Post by darthdroid » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:13 pm

efast wrote:5. Prevent stealing. By building your station closest to the raw material deposit, your opponent might try to steal, but you will always get the most because you are the closest.
Sorry... one more thing. The above statement is questionable also. It also coincides with the earlier passenger remarks of efast. I disagree with this statement on preventing stealing. This is why:

A (good) thief targets the highest profit areas, not raw materials trains. I am a good thief, so let me explain my thinking here. I would be just happy to have NO resource trains at all, and only "profit trains" as I call them, that is, city to city trains. THOSE are the important ones. Sometimes they make up to 5M per year. A resource train will rarely break 100k per year after the first couple years. So only a foolish thief would target those (latter) trains as a high priority.

Thus, to "prevent stealing", really one should make sure they build their station closest to the target city or "destination city", not closest to a resource. I will still try to get the shortest route to the resource too, of course, but it is a lower priority, MUCH lower.

With these points in mind, I would add a key piece of info to efast's list: You want "profit centers" not networks. Profit Centers almost always have only TWO cities, for the above described reasons (If I want a station closest to the destination city, there can be only ONE destination). So I have detached networks, thus not really networks but "profit centers". These are cities paired together to maximize profit.

This is also true because I do not wish to compete with myself. That is, I don't want 2 trains trying to get the same passengers, at least not for different destinations. It's fine to have 4 trains all carrying the same thing, IF and only if they are taking the exact same route (quadruple tracks). But I don't want a Train A going from City X to City Y and a Train B going from City Y to City Z.
No. I want Train A, B, and perhaps C going from City X to City Y. The 4th track on each side allows for multiple resource trains to come in to each station and provide the goods to transport.

You should compete with the opponent, not with yourself. Setting up profit centers will always be vastly superior to networks. It also allows for a good builder to have a ratio of about 50 miles of track per engine. This ratio is an excellent measure of efficiency and productivity. The average online player runs about 100 miles per engine... And some are even higher than that. They will always lose to a profit center strategy.
-Bob the Lunatic

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