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As your city grows, it takes over hexes that might be convenient to use for transportation later in the game. This is a plan to avoid having to destroy city tiles (and population) to facilitate transportation.
Plan B: Terraform Planning For City Growth
While learning the game, it can be frustrating to realize that an early decision has unforeseen consequences in the mid to late game. One situation in this game involves city growth and transportation.
If you don’t prevent it, the city will almost certainly grow into spots where you would place transportation assets. While you can add additional supply centers / waste disposals or delete city tiles (which lowers your population), it is more satisfying to plan ahead and have a pleasing and useful layout.
This guide will demonstrate one such plan. This is only one of many possibilities.
Our goals will be the following:
- 1. Plan a layout of transportation that will serve the city completely for as long as possible.
- 2. The plan must be valid for truck use (early game).
- 3. The plan must be valid for rail use (mid and late game).
- 4. The plan must be able to transition from truck use to rail use.
- 5. The plan must be able to support 4 products supplied to the city.
- 6. The plan must be able to support 3 waste products to be removed from the city. (This plan will actually provide for 4 waste products mostly because of the desire for symmetry.)
Here is the beginnings of a city. Humble and small, it can grow into a great metropolis if only we can supply its needs.
To do this, we will add a Supply Center
To show the residents that we mean business, we will add the maximum number of Depots (5) to the hexes next to the Supply Center. To be honest, one of them may not be needed, but one never knows when the rules might change :).
Next we need a road to deliver products to these depots. We extend it out 5 hexes from the intersection because we will need that space later.
At this point, we can start sending supplies to the city. But we should NOT just yet.
As soon as the city starts growing, it will annex hexes. We want to use those hexes later so we have to claim them now before we send products and cause the city to grow.
We will use depots to clam these hexes. Someone suggested using roads and while that will work, it can cause problems. We have no direct control over what path the trucks will use when setting a origin and destination. If later, we delete a road that is being used or replace it with something else, it will break the route. Careful road placement can prevent this but it is just as easy to go ahead and use depots.
First, claim the hex where the Waste Disposal will be placed.
Next, place 5 depots for the Waste Disposal to use. As before, one of them may not be needed.
Now, place depots where the rail line servicing the Waste Disposal Unit will go. By the time you have access to waste management, you will already have access to rail and it is much superior to road.
In order for rail transport to work properly, it needs multiple Depots. While it may be possible to get by with 3 Mk2 Depots for each rail stop, let’s go ahead and plan to use 4 and be sure. (Remember we are placing these as Mk1 Depots as markers before we have access to Mk2 Depots.)
Note that this is not just a ring of depots around what is there. An additional 4 depots beyond the ring are necessary to give us access to 4 depots for each rail stop. This will make sense when you see the placement of the origins and destinations.
When we transition to rail, we will want a place for the trains to turn around. Let’s place Depots as markers for where these will be.
At this point, we have staked out our claim on all of the hexes we will need for this transportation complex. Don’t worry, the city is not blocked from growth.
Once rail is available, you will be able to convert the waste management side of things at any time. As for the supply side, I advise that you save up enough rail and trains to complete the entire conversion at once while the game is paused. To be sure, it does not have to be done while paused, but because the train will need to turn around, once you start transitioning all of the supply side products need to be changed at the same time as the roads will be deleted.
Here is what the complex looks like after the rails have been placed.
Now it is time to discuss the Depots. To facilitate full loading and unloading of trains, they will need to be upgraded to Mk2 Depots. The extra range is required for the outside ring of Depots to be able to reach the Depot inside the ring or else they will fill up and stay that way. The extra drone is required to load or unload the train quickly enough.
Finally, here is a color coded image showing where to place the stops (destinations on supply, origins on waste) and which depots that should be assigned to that product.
Going through this process is not necessary. However, if you are like me, you like to plan ahead and control the game rather the game controlling you. 🙂
The layout I have provided is just one of many possibilities. I chose to have the rail entering and leaving horizontally because it looked good to me. You can also have more rails exiting the turnaround rings.
I played around with a design that had 4 turnaround rings in an attempt to keep the road in place. I decided that the road would not be necessary once the rail system was in place. Your mileage may vary, but I have had no issues making the entire transition from road to rail all at once. There may be a short period of stagnation while the train ‘pipeline’ fills but that is dependent upon how far the origins are from the city. My best advice is to have plenty of rail items before you transition.
I hope this guide was helpful and I hope it helps increase the enjoyment of this game.