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 Post subject: Orders: load some cargo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:11 am 
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Hi, new OpenTTD player here, please forgive me if the suggestion doesn't make any sense, there might be some workaround or functionality that I haven't considered.

When issuing orders to a vehicle there are some instances in which you don't want to wait for a full load but you also want to avoid the train leaving empty with no cargo. I usually have this issue at the start of games if I'm building long routes and the raw materials take a while to arrive to the factory, sawmill or refinery. If I issue full orders to the goods train it could happen that the raw materials delivered while it's waiting are not enough for a full goods production and the train has to wait there for another full cycle of raw materials. In this case a "load some cargo" order would be useful since it would force the train to either pick up whatever is available or wait for the first raw materials delivery.

Possible workarounds to this problem:
- Smaller goods trains, though that can have an impact on profit and doesn't eliminate the problem altogether - there's always that 99% load possiblity.
- Timetables, though I would need to extend them to the whole factory network to sync raw material delivery with goods pickup.
- Roll with normal orders / full load orders until faster trains come up and the flow of cargo is more constant.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:42 am 
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a not optimal workaround: use a conditional order:
  1. goto A
  2. jump to order 1 if load = 0%
  3. goto B

the side effect of that is that the train will go in circles all the time, as the game won't detect that it has an order to go to the same station again, and just stay there.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:16 am 
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Usually an order list of

Goto A
Goto B

is totally sufficient. On the very first arrival at stations A and B there will not be any cargo waiting. But as soon as the station was once visited, the requested cargo will start showing up (if it can be produced by anything in the vicinity). Thus your train will make exactly one empty roundtrip and make (at least some) money afterwards. As soon as you have more trains running, you can switch to "full load any" on the pick-up stations.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:00 am 
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planetmaker wrote:
Usually an order list of

Goto A
Goto B

is totally sufficient. On the very first arrival at stations A and B there will not be any cargo waiting. But as soon as the station was once visited, the requested cargo will start showing up (if it can be produced by anything in the vicinity). Thus your train will make exactly one empty roundtrip and make (at least some) money afterwards. As soon as you have more trains running, you can switch to "full load any" on the pick-up stations.


That is true for raw materials but produced cargo (steel, goods) is dependant on the raw materials so, depending on travel times for each line, it's possible that a goods train will arrive and leave empty (worst case, raws get there a split second late and goods now have to wait days for the next train).

LIS, this is mostly an early game problem so not that important. For example, the situation that prompted me to post this has already been solved since I now have several oil rigs supplying the refinery and I can confidently use full load for the goods trains since new oil is arriving every few days.

I just thought it'd be a useful addition since we already have no load, load if available, full load all and full load any. Load something sounded like the next logical option.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:35 pm 
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A little 'cheat' :wink:

Set train route as per previous GoTo A, GoTo B.

Watch train GoTo A station, immediately it sets off for B, send it to the local depot even if it has to be turned round.

When train is back in depot, change its destination to GoTo A, it will have automatically changed to GoTo B.

Do this with train that picks up at B then when first train arrives at B, production willl start immediately.

I also wait for enough cargo waiting at Station A to make the trip worthwhile, even posssibly a full load.

No empty runs.

I don't know how I live with myself. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:28 am 
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jfa81 wrote:
- Timetables, though I would need to extend them to the whole factory network to sync raw material delivery with goods pickup.

You don't need to do so, unless we're talking 1 platform serving all the needs. To the best of my knowledge it is possible to just set timing for the stops but not for the journey time (I suppose by setting the journey time very low).

And if you're using a single train for the whole pipeline, wouldn't it mean the raws always come before the processed ? Also, if you want to make one platform that serves all the needs, the trick is not to assign any "full load" order. It's not very efficient but it's the way it works I suppose (I mean, 2 platforms is more efficient).

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:09 pm 
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YNM wrote:
You don't need to do so, unless we're talking 1 platform serving all the needs. To the best of my knowledge it is possible to just set timing for the stops but not for the journey time (I suppose by setting the journey time very low).


I'm using multiple platforms. This is actually somewhat close to what I'm looking for, I didn't know you could use partial timetables. I just tested it and yes, I can assign a number of days to loading and I don't even have to use a low number for the journey, I can leave it "not timetabled".

YNM wrote:
And if you're using a single train for the whole pipeline, wouldn't it mean the raws always come before the processed ?


I use different trains. In this case, it was two trains for oil and one for goods.

YNM wrote:
Also, if you want to make one platform that serves all the needs, the trick is not to assign any "full load" order. It's not very efficient but it's the way it works I suppose (I mean, 2 platforms is more efficient).


I'm using multiple platforms so trains doing the "full load" for goods do not impede the unloading of oil. What bothers me is when the unloaded oil is not enough to produce full goods for the goods train and it has to wait for another oil delivery to complete. Like I said, it's only relevant in the early game, I now have 10+ trains delivering oil from different wells so the cadence is good enough that it doesn't bother me.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:12 pm 
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mak wrote:
A little 'cheat' :wink:

Set train route as per previous GoTo A, GoTo B.

Watch train GoTo A station, immediately it sets off for B, send it to the local depot even if it has to be turned round.

When train is back in depot, change its destination to GoTo A, it will have automatically changed to GoTo B.

Do this with train that picks up at B then when first train arrives at B, production willl start immediately.

I also wait for enough cargo waiting at Station A to make the trip worthwhile, even posssibly a full load.

No empty runs.

I don't know how I live with myself. :)


That's not exactly what I was asking, my problem is with cargo that isn't automatically produced but requires something to be delivered first (iron ore for steel or oil/livestock/lumber/etc for goods). Anyway, if you want to "activate" a certain cargo type in the station which is what you seem to be doing with your trick, you can just use full load in the first train and it will start picking up production automatically. You can then disable it as soon as what's loaded is enough for you and the train will go to station B.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:53 am 
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jfa81 wrote:
... I didn't know you could use partial timetables. I just tested it and yes, I can assign a number of days to loading and I don't even have to use a low number for the journey, I can leave it "not timetabled".

Yeah, I suppose that's that for the time being. This suggestion (partial load order) has been asked quite a few times, but that feature covers most of it.

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