Railroad Tycoon PC FAQ

       Railroad Tycoon (RRT) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Compiled and Edited by David Mitton
Rev 1 Draft      9-Feb-1994

    Scope & Disclaimer:
    Not a complete treatis on RRT or RTD.  Just an overview and
pointers.
    Also not a subsitute for purchased docs for pirates.  Keystrokes
are
    documented in the Technical Supplement.  Strategy discussions can
be
    endless.  Included are basics and net contributions.  Buy one of
the
    books.
    
Contents:
- Top 10 Questions
- What is RRT and RRT Deluxe?
- Microprose information
- Game Limitations (README.DOC)
- Known Bugs
- Version info
- Hints and Strategy books
- "The Computer Cheats!"
- Mastering the Modes and Levels
- Strategies
        - Basic
        - Grand
        - Robber Baron
        - Rate Wars
- Little known details
- Getting the most out of the displays
 (How to I find that?)
- Map Differences
- Deluxe Differences
- Acknowledgements

Top 10 Questions

- How do I double track?
        Read the Tech Supplement
- Why only 32 stations?
        Design limit
- How can I build track/stations like the computer?
        You cannot
- What is the cheat?
        Read the x? (F1,$)
- What about the GP-30?
        Didn't make the cut
- How come my city/industry are now working?
        a) Basic Economy, b)not guaranteed
- What are slums?
        Undocumented "feature"
- Why do things go wrong over $32M?
        16bit signed int bug, no fix        



1) What is RRT and RRT Deluxe?
        
        Railroad Tycoon (RRT) and Railroad Tycoon Deluxe (RTD) are
exciting
    strategy games of empire building, operation, and market
manipulation. It
    is a commercial product of MicroProse Software and is availible
for
    MS-DOS on an IBM PC or Apple Macintosh.  
    
    The game is authored primarily by Sid Meier, who went on to write
    Civilization.  Bruce Shelly also helped and is known for his
previous
    contribution to Avalon Hill's 1830 railroad board game.  The game
borrows
    elements of 1830 and combines them with elements of the PC Empire
wargame
    to provide a strategy game that can consume hours of play.
    
    RRT pits a single player against 3 simulated players.  You are
given some
    initial money and must build a successful railroad corporation.
You
    spend your money building the track and stations.  Then you buy
and
    schedule trains that earn money by collecting cargos at resource
centers
    and delivering them to stations with matching demands. A changing
    economic cycle and a growing population over time, keep things
from
    becoming static.  The financial side of RRT, allows you to raise
money by
    selling bonds and investing in the stock of your company and your
    competitors.  If you can manage to gain greater than 50% of your
    competitor's stock you can also operate their railroad and take
their
    profits.  You can also manipulate your competitor's stock values
to their
    detriment.  At the end of 100 years you are rated on your
financial
    accomplishments.
    
    RRT was released in 1990.  RTD was released in 1993.  Railroad
Tycoon
    Deluxe plays basically the same as RRT, but has greatly enhanced
graphics
    and additional scenarios.  Most discussions are geared to the
original
    game and applies to both.  The differences are discussed at the
end.
    
    Game Materials:
        Manual, Technical Supplement, Distribution diskettes, Economic
    charts
    
    The game is copy protected by a challenge to identify a locomotive
by
    sight.  The locomotives are pictured and described in the Manual.
A
    frequent player or railfan can memorize this.  The less initated
can make
    a cheatsheet by noting the wheel arrangements also given and
explained in
    the manual.  Failure to pass the challenge results in only being
able to
    play with 2 trains.
    
2) Microprose information 
    
    MicroProse Software, 180 Lakefront Drive, Hunt Valley, MD 21030
    
    Customer Service: 410-771-1151  
    MPS*BBS: 410-785-1841 (8,N,1) 8 lines, upto 14400 baud
    CompuServe: Forum GamePublishersB, ID: 76004,2223
    Internet: "76004,2223@Compuserve.com"
    AOL,Delphi,Fidonet,GEnie,MCI Mail,
PC-Link,Prodigy,Promenade,Q-Link
    
    

3) Game Limitations  
    
    README.DOC - On the distribution diskette is a file with some last
minute
    changes and details on the limitations of the game as implemented.

    Investment:  Can own only ONE extra RR if Investor or Financier,
        TWO if Mogul, All THREE if Tycoon.
    
    Trains: 32 total, GP30 is not availible
    Stations: 32 stations(depots,stations,terminals), 64 signal towers
    
    Industry building: no forts or textile mills (or power plants in
England)
        
    (different in RDX)
    
4) Known Bugs 
    - $32,000 limit
    - hangs
    - hyperspace transfer
    - Slums
    - RDX initial bugs
     
5) Version info
    RRT -
    - RRT V03
    - SLUMFI 
    RDX - shipped
    - fixed
    
6) Hints and Strategy books 
    
    There are two published books on RRT:
    
    "The Official Guide to Railroad Tycoon" by Russell Sipe
    (C) 1991, Compute Books, Greensboro NC.
    ISBN 0-87455-244-3          $12.95

    "Railroad Tycoon, Master Strategies for Empire Builders"
    Shay Addams, (C) 1991, Osborne McGraw-Hill, Berkley CA.
    ISBN 0-07-881728-5          $14.95
    
    
    
7) "The Computer Cheats!"
    
    A frequent whine from beginners is "how can I do x like the
computer
    players do?"  And the answer is you cannot.  The computer is
playing a
    different game than you.  It has some advantages, but it also has
many
    limitiations.
    
    + multiple entrances to cities, amazing terrain conquring
    - no switches or stubs, only builds to named cities, cannot round
    corners, does not not build ferries
    - number of cities
     
    
8) Mastering the Modes and Levels 
    Difficulty:
        Investor
        Financier
        Mogul
        Tycoon
    Reality Levels:
        Basic vs Complex Economies
                In Basic mode, all stations pay for all cargos.  
                In Complex, stations pay only for industry and local
demands.

        No Collisions vs Dispatcher Operations
                NC mode does not use the block signal system.
                Dispatcher mode provides block signals which are
automatic,
                but can be overriden by the player.  NC mode has no
controls
                and is totally automatic.  Dispatcher is more
interesting
                and can provide more optimal control.

        Friendly vs Cut-Throat Competition
                In Friendly mode, your competitors will not attempt to
take
                over your RR, or start a Rate war with you.        
    
        Beginners should start with Investor level.  I recommend that
you
    immediately start playing with Complex Economy and Dispatcher
mode.  The
    lower modes are not interesting.

    Starting out:
        - Initial state, turn on Resource Display
        - Learn how to use each display and report
                Pointers: 
               F6 Train Income; watch maintenance cost, get to routing
               Balance - Econ cycle
        - Freeze the game when laying track or researching decisions
        
9) Strategies 

    - Beginning
    Learning to play: use low dif, complex, Dispatcher, Friendly
    use $ cheat if need be
    
    - Basic
    Start small, go for best revenue route, keep competitors honest
    Buy stock early, aim to own 50% of self soon
    Roll over Bonds on first Boom

    - Grand
    Mail & Pass vs full service
    Priority load service
     
    - Robber Baron
    Bankrupting and stealling from competitors
     
    - Rate Wars 
    How to wage successful rate wars
        - timing
        - Depot staging
        - analyze the demand
    
10) Little known details
    - Revenue calculations
    - Tunnel exit critera
    - Econ cycle table
    
11) Getting the most out of the displays (How to I find that?) 
    - Station displays (colored bars)
    - Train display (F6)
    
12) Map Differences 
    - Eastern US
    - Western US
        E/W vs N/S differential & Transcontental Bonus
    - England
    - Europe
    
    RDX
    - North America
    - South America
    - Africa
    
13) RRT Deluxe Differences
     
    VGA support
    Graphic renderings, but not animated
    Slow response in F4
    New maps
    New time ranges and locomotives
    Bandits and Sheriffs
    New initial bugs
        
14) Acknowledgements
     
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