Railroad Tycoon Strategy for Eastern US
Typical game setup
Game version: Original
World: Eastern USA
Level: Mogul or Tycoon
Difficulty: 80% (Mogul with cutthroat competition) or 100% (Tycoon)
Compete against Mike! (It can't be that tough!)
Goals and Guidelines
- Begin by connecting three or more large population centers. Build a post office with each station. Build a restaurant (and hotel, if funds permit) wherever more than two trains will stop.
- Give trains just two cars: one mail and one passenger.
- Carry freights (coal or oil) only where significant sources are located near the corresponding industry or port. Food cargoes usually don't return enough profit to be worthwhile.
- Borrow up to $2 Million at the start of the game. Do not pay more than $2 Million in interest through the game. Refinance loans during boom periods when funds are cheap.
- Buy up treasury stock while it's cheap--use borrowed money if neccessary. By 1845, try to own 50% or more of your stock
- Wait for panic conditions to build long track runs. Use track to cut competitors off from lucrative markets.
- By 1860 try to own at least one of your competitors' roads.
- Passenger and mail trains need the fastest engines available. Replace Grasshoppers as soon as the Norris appears.
- Never allow annual engine maintenance to exceed $20,000.
- Avoid rate wars if possible. They consume resources and divert attention from management. Initiate rate wars only when it's critical to gain an important market or to weaken a competitor.
- The most important factor in winning a rate war is to pick up everything produced at the site. Leave a train with a full consist in the Wait mode. Bring in cargoes (e.g., coal) that will be picked up immediately as another cargo (e.g.,
steel). Plan ahead to have trains and cargoes in place for the second two-year turn (the first one does not count).
- Once 50% of a competitor's stock is in hand, wait a turn or two for the stock price to drop before purchasing the remaining 50% as a block.
- After purchasing a 50% block of shares to complete a takeover, sell 40% immediately, and loot any cash from the subsidiary's treasury. The objective is to drive the stock price down to a very few dollars, then re-purchase the stock for almost nothing
on the next turn. When--in a few years--the subsidiary becomes profitable, the shares will recover their value and turn a nice profit.
- Once the shares have been reacquired, pay off all bonds and build track to inspire confidence in the stock.
- Subsidiaries will not build track when they do not have enough funds in the treasury. If a survey does not produce a negative result and track is still not built, give money to the subsidiary and/or wait for a panic, when building costs are cheapest.
- Your competitors can do many things that you cannot--they can, in effect, cheat. They can borrow more money, build longer bridges, configure track in ways that are illegal for you, and sometimes they even cross your track (that's the lowest!).
- You, on the other hand, have access to unlimited funds, if you use the
following cheat: in the Regional [F1] view, pressing $ adds $500,000 to
treasury. This obviously removes much of the game's challenge and appeal, and it means that claims to record-setting performances depend altogether on the claimant's integrity.
Nevertheless, the cheat is there to be used when, for example, experimenting with takeover strategies and the like.
This page last updated on January 26, 1997.
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