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The general form of legal track-tile upgrades is simple: any strict superset.

Worth challenging? How about:

  • City upgrades that add station slots but reduce revenue.

Or:

  • City upgrades that increase revenue but reduce station slots (if all stations still fit -- ergo extra placed stations can limit future upgrades).

?

( @18xx )

@jcl @18xx related concept: all city upgrades are tied to station building. So you can’t go to higher rev tiles until a company “invests” in the city. But any city could be the one to support 3 (or 4?) tokens.

@drewww @18xx I did something related in 1820 (failed design) with the Free Track System. In short:

  • Open map with no marked cities.
  • Big & small city & dit tiles could be placed anywhere, subject to spacing rules.

Which worked well (I'm hoping to revisit this with 1836).

I found having some external structure was necessary. I did it there through map-shape & off-boards which gave incentives & competing options. So: still organic & collusive...but not entirely laissez faire.

@drewww @18xx The specifics:

  • Dits cannot be placed adjacent to dits. Nb: dits never upgraded.
  • Small cities cannot be placed adjacent to other cities.
  • Big cities cannot be placed less than 2 hexes from any other city.

Other notes:

  • Small cities added a station hole and two legs in green, nothing more in brown.
  • Big cities added only a single leg in green, then another leg and a station hole in brown.
  • Big cities could go gray, with one more leg and station hole.

@drewww @18xx I like the trade of revenue for connectivity (more tokens = less revenue but better connectivity/legs, fewer tokens = more revenue with less connectivity)

Another project (not mine) gives a revenue bonus for every station in a city other than the active company's -- which works & gives curious incentives, but is fiddly. I've also been tempted by stations not blocking, but cities paying $0 if run through without the active company's station (full revenue if the terminus).

@jcl @18xx

Interesting!

Option 1 sounds a bit take-that-y. I upgrade the cities that I am not in simply to punish whoever is there. Upgrades should cost to balance?

Option 2 weaponises tokens in a new way; I hurt your future revenue but at the cost of using my limited tokens. End result no one goes to Chicago/New York/any other high revenue location... because everyone knows it will end up blocked at greens and therefore mid-revenue routes get more developed?

@mg @18xx Aye, the game where I'm playing with this has those city upgrades cost $80 at every level, with station cost being a linear function of location revenue. Thus: the fight for revenue vs connectivity is a thing (capital is tight & tokens few).

@mg @18xx
Image NYC:

  • Yellow: 2 distinct single-station cities @ $40.
  • Green: 2 distinct single-station better-connected cities @ $60.
  • Brown: 2 distinct cities (either each single-station @ $80, or each dual-station @ $60 (or back to $40?) -- ie add stations or revenue, but not both, and maybe force the cities to never consolidate).
  • Gray: Merged/single city 2-stations @ $100 -- ie if a hole wasn't filled in brown, go back to revenue, but lose the distinct cities.

@mg @18xx This also presents choices about upgrades to open holes to run through without committing a token...and then maybe losing that later.

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