Making computer opponent abandon a railway track
Picture 1. Sacrificial locomotive leaving the depot
Picture 2. Complete waste of money
How can I make computer opponents abandon their railway tracks?
Well, offer more attractive services! Yes, this is the legal way. Yes, there are other ways. You might be tempted to simply destroy the opponent's vehicles. A rather spectacular way of doing this involves sacrifying a locomotive of your own. First, build a train depot and a railway track running towards the opponent's station. Make sure you haven't established a direct connection yet! Buy the cheapest locomotive and make it leave the depot. This is shown in picture 1.
Picture 3. Connection to the rear side of the opponent's depot
Picture 4. The train is about to enter the depot, where it will get stuck
Picture 5. The train cannot leave the station
Picture 6. The train cannot enter the station
Picture 7. Connecting to both the depot and the station
Once the locomotive has left the depot, make it stop and close the gap in the railway track. Wait for the opponent's train to arrive at the station. Then, drive your locomotive into your opponent's locomotive. Bang! All the running stock is going up in a large tower of flame, see picture 2. Sadly, you lose your locomotive. Even if you chose an inexpensive one, it's a loss for you. And the opponent might buy a new train and start making money on the same route again. So the whole thing was an enormous waste of money (and a deliberate killing of the four train drivers involved).
Well, if you guessed there are better ways you'd guess right. The trick is to make the opponents' trains get trapped in train depots. This can be done in the following way (for simplicity, we'll consider one-track stations first): Similar to what we've done previously, we make a short connection to the rear side of an opponent's train depot, as shown in picture 3. We don't actually have to wait until the train arrives, because the trap works automatically: Next time the train enters the depot it will stay there. It can't leave, since it recognizes a train (our locomotive) outside the depot, even though it's on someone elses track (ours). This way, rather than loosing a train, the opponent will constantly loose money, because of the running costs of the train. Our locomotive instead doesn't cost us a penny as it has been stopped. Once the opponent has sold the train and has abandoned the railway track we can sell our locomotive and our track tiles as well.
Instead of connecting our track to the opponent's depot, we could have chosen his station. The result would be the same.
he situation is a bit more complicated in the case of a station with two or more tracks. Let's look at this in detail:
- We connect to the depot.
- When the train is about to enter the depot and is currently on a section of track with no signal between the train and the depot, it will get stuck in the depot. Take a look at picture 4.
- When the train is somewhere else: It is (or soon will be) on a section of track so that there is a signal in between.the train and the depot. This can be one of those bypass sections the computer opponents usually build, or the nearby station. In either case, the train will be stuck in that particular section of track or the station. Picture 5 shows the latter case.
- We connect to the station (i.e. to all the tracks at once).
- The train then cannot enter the station (but the depot). Take a look at picture 6.
- We connect to both the depot and the station
- Depending on what the train does first, it gets stuck either in the depot or in the station. This is shown in picture 7.
What's quite important: When a train is stuck in the depot, the computer opponent can still sell the train (and regain some money). When it's stuck in the station, the train can't be sold!
Thinking a bit further from these considerations, we can easily arrive at the following idea: Why not omit our locomotive when connecting the opponent's depot with the station? This way, the train can enter (and leave) the depot, but not the station. This doesn't have the maximum possible effect, but it's an unbelievably cheap method that comes in handy during the initial stage of your tycoon career when you're short of money.
A final word, if you're too enthusiastic by now: Where you connect to, of course, depends on whether depot, station or both are accessible. They might be obstructed by other buildings, so that not all of the variations are possible.