NewGRF suggestions for a 1800+ game

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NewGRF suggestions for a 1800+ game

Post by phobos2077 »

Greetings everyone!

I've been trying to set up a kind of "perfect" game that I imagined and feel a bit overwhelmed with options available. I'd very much appreciate some advice on which NewGRFs I should get and what settings to set for my goals.

My goals are:

- Start in 1850 (or even 1800) and play until I'm bored to death or I hit 2050 (whichever comes first)
- Have slower paced game, so I can focus on building my network and have enough time to use every generation of transport in the XX century
- Use horse carriages extensively in the early game for local transportation
- Use ships and early trains for distant routes
- Transition through all of the technological stages as years go by (horses=>steam=>petrol/diesel=>electric=>maglev/monorail)
- Have a balanced difficulty for making profit (not too boring, but not hard-core) at least for the first decade or so
- See cities grow from small (<500) to huge (>10000) over the years, with faster rate in XX-century, if possible
- Early years should look as close as possible to XIX century while the same should be true when I hit the XXI century
- Have all cities connected with roads and all other means of transport in a giant cargodist network
- Have at least one complete industry chain with high production volumes at the end of the game
- I want to have at least some trains eventually carry huge loads (like 10 squares) over long distances
- Have trains/ships/RVs/aircraft to be balanced against each other in terms of profit
- I'm more gameplay-oriented, so don't want eye-candy objects with no gameplay function
- In terms of graphics I like the original TTD style vehicles (similar size, easier on the eyes, etc.)

Decisions already made:

- I'll play with daylength of 2 (via JGR's patch pack)
- Town growth speed depends on transported cargo: 50-80% (via JGRPP)
- Inflation: off (maybe turn it on after I hit 1950's)
- eGRVTS (no-brainer, the only source of horse carriages)
- FISH (no-brainer as well)
- av8 aircraft (with 1/2 or 1/3 speed)
- BaseCosts (essential for balancing the difficulty)
- I'll try Early Houses

Decisions left:

1. Which combination of new graphics to use to make XIX century look like one? Thinking about:
- OGFX+ Landscape (for gridless terrain and removal of transmitters)
- ARRS (or RattRoads? can't decide, not sure if I want the extra level of micro-management required for manual road types)
- Swedish Houses Set

It's very confusing which sets are compatible with which only by looking at the in-game content manager.

2. Do I need additional road vehicle NewGRFs to complement eGRVTS? (it allows to only use horses, leaving everything else out for other newGRFs to fill)
- Road Hog?
- Something else?

3. Which trainset to use? I'm currently split between:
- Iron Horse 2 (has clear systemic approach which I like)
- NARS 2 (liked how it looks in different ages more than UKRS)
- Any additional set for monorail/maglev/tuberail worth getting?

4. Which map size to use?
- 256x256 (played it and it's fine for vanilla OpenTTD, may be too small for the long modded game)
- 512x512 (may be a bit too large to be able to connect everything)
- 256x512?

Regarding the industry choice, I'm leaning towards FIRS basic economy. Though I may choose to play with just the OGFX+Industries. I guess this question is outside the scope of XIX century game questions.

Is there a way to have visual representation of amount of cargo waiting at station with the default industries?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!
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Re: NewGRF suggestions for a 1800+ game

Post by kamnet »

I will point you to a couple of my "Early Empire" scenarios for JGRPP which can be found on the forums here. There are a few caveats.

1. This was designed before NRT Road Types was a thing. You'll need to enable scenario developer mode to add NRT NewGRFs in the scenario editor and save it.
2. Because of #1, this could potentially break the scenario, but I believe it should be OK.
3. It is running an old version of FIRS. DO NOT UPDATE IT. This WILL break the scenario.
4. There may be a couple of NewGRFs that are only available on the forums. If you have trouble finding one, ask me and I'll try to help find it.
5. I believe I have TRBS for AARS installed, as ARBS didn't exist. Feel free to swap it out but you may need to change some bridges because of it.
6. All your other NewGRFs should be there. I did make this for eyecandy play as well, so there will be a lot of that, but no eyecandy pieces are active in the scenario. Removing these NewGRFs in scenario editor before the start of the game should be OK (but, again, potentially breaks scenario).
7. If you do decide to add NRT Roads, make sure you get the version of Road Hog that is NRT-enabled, which IIRC is only available on the forums.
8. I will also suggest grabbing the NRT-enabled version of Suspended Monorail, if you're so inclined.
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Re: NewGRF suggestions for a 1800+ game

Post by phobos2077 »

So I ended up with this currently:

1. OGFX Landscape + TTRS + Swedish Houses (both with original houses enabled) + ARRS + TBRS (ARRS-compatible version)

2. Nothing except eGRVTS. Didn't like the style of HEQS and not sure why I need anything else yet.

3. Chosen Iron Horse for now, but haven't actually tried it yet (see below).

4. 256x512 sub-arctic, mountainous with average water level (about 50% water tiles), normal amount of towns, normal industries.

So I've played my first decade with day length of 2. I'm at 1860 and already connected dozens of towns in a huge passenger network. As others mentioned before, ships make all the profit in this period because there's no trains yet, only horse-drawn trams and carriages. They also do surprisingly well but you have to create 5x the normal amount for the typical bus route so they can handle the load. I've reduced the amount of passenger cargo using the new setting so I can realistically handle those loads. Works decently well.

I've set road vehicle running costs to half initially as I was afraid those horsies won't make any profit. I was wrong (they had like 6:1 income/cost ratio). So I changed them to normal. Ships made 3:1 income (mostly sailing ships) but due to much higher throughput they provide they gave much more net profit for the same amount of work. So I set their cost to double (so now they only have 3:2 income), now I have to carefully manage my ship routes by redirecting expensive ships to better routes. The new Cargo Flow Legend from the patches works really well for this. I think the next tier of ships will be much more expensive and I might start to struggle making profit. I wish there was a finer control over those running cost multipliers...
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Re: NewGRF suggestions for a 1800+ game

Post by leifbk »

You may get some ideas if you look at the "1700-2050 Ships & RVs" thread linked from my signature. It's been a long time now since I made it, but the way I kept track of the economy with quarter-century analyses is illuminating.

There's a snag with the "Early houses" grf that disables non-default houses. So if you combine Early Houses with eg. Swedish Houses, you won't see any of the latter until 1930 :(
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Re: NewGRF suggestions for a 1800+ game

Post by planetmaker »

Adding some sailing ships might be visually nice: viewtopic.php?t=49040 - I *think* it's also on bananas. FISH or SQUID might have some old ships, too.

Early houses or another set which provides houses prior to 1920 is needed. I'm unsure which sets do. Generating a test map is cheap though :)

Personally I find more elongated map for more long-distance fun quite interesting, e.g. 256x1024 or 128x512 or so.
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