Bombardiere wrote:Actually, I have had some time and I have played the scenario to halfway point. And it looks highly interesting. The fact that most cities are so small makes the gameplay really challenging. The usual tactics getting multiple trains and loading those up to the hilt, doesn't work here. I have to really think.
My start has been sluggish. I overbuilt my track and couldn't get good revenues. And I built a Papermill at Smith, which gave some revenue, but was wrongly located for scenario goals. (so was a Tool & Die at Edmonton. Brought money because of Grain to Aluminium conversion, but doesn't contribute towards transport requirements.)
I got a brainstorm and connected early on to a rival company south of Edmonton. This gave me good early cash, as the company was eager to ship to/off Edmonton, but I got lion share from the revenue.
I have tried my new Mastodon with this scenario. And it is a perfect engine for this scenario. In fact I haven't been using any other engines than Mastodon and Camelback. (apart from one lonely Mogul) Mastodons are great for those long distance connections between Edmonton and outback, and I use Camelback for low profitability local routes.
The early low resource level did make me to stick on South. Not a good move for achieving the scenario goal. I simply don't have enough cargo from the outback. I might make silver, but probably not gold. Still it has been interesting and, let me say, exotic scenario. The managers have been fun too, although I have stick with same one. (one with industry bonus) And I haven't found any bugs or anything. Even the ledger works fine. (Beta 1.06 introduced some problems with the last ledger page)
What has worked well for me is to quickly take control of Edmonton. With the 50 starting track it is possible to connect Edmonton and Sherwood Park or Fort Saskatchewan. With the rest of the startup money I buy a few farms. The ones in the south can do really well because they are so close to demand warehouses and factories that they can take care of themselves. There is also extra passenger production in the first six years to account for the huge influx of immigrants around Edmonton. Typically I build the railway in the summer when track laying is cheap, and buy industry in the winter, so there is balanced growth in both components of the business.
In real life, Edmonton continues to be the focal point for most of the map, even Fort Nelson. I have lived in Fort McMurray and Fort St. John, and it is where you go to see medical specialists, for instance, or to see professional sports or concerts. It continues to dwarf the other communities even though Prince George is over 100,000, and Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray are booming.
Many of the communities in the north are small but if there is even one house they will attract some crops that are edible without processing. Also there is a possibility of a railshed-type warehouse or a factory coming in later, so I often place stations at these communities. McLennan is a really good spot for a northern hub.
I have developed a cool strategy for rails around Smith. I expand from Edmonton to Westlock, then continue straight north to the bend in the Athabasca River, east of Smith. I can place a gathering station there, and it will be located on the south side of the river with no risk of bridge wipeouts, but is in the District of Athabaska. So that sets up a flat and fast haul from the District of Athabaska to Edmonton. On the north side of the bend I place a lumber mill, which is strong enough to pull the logs away from the Smith warehouse, and will capture logs from any logging camps around there. Later on I may put in a paper mill too.
All it takes is one or two fan made locos, and you have such good options. A Mastodon would be a great mainstay (I use the fanmade Ten Wheelers and Moguls). And, yeah, the Camelbacks are good for gravel hauls. I also like 8 Wheelers and Atlantics for short runs on busy lines around Edmonton.
I should point out that although the resources are low initially, the growth rate is extremely rapid. If you build a base around Edmonton with all its factories and warehouses, you are well equipped to later pull in all sorts of raw material from the north at a tidy profit.