This chapter discusses all of the steps you take after the beginning of the storyline in Bounty Train. You have to complete a number of missions to become independent and be allowed to take your own decisions, as to which contracts to accept. You should have no problems completing the initial stage.
- Father's lawyer / The first trip
- Falling by the wayside
- Passenger carriage for Jeremiah
- The trip to New York
- Urgent letter
Father's lawyer / The first trip
After the game starts, click on Jeremiah on the platform to start a conversation with him. You can get straight into action, or focus on familiarizing yourself with the details of the storyline. In the game, you will be often having conversations that will be decisive in determining if you will be capable of obtaining/completing the contract.
By clicking on the name of the city at the top of the screen, access the map: select Boston as your destination. However, before that, you have to click on the padlock on the route, thanks to which you unlock the route, by buying the license. You are charged for unlocking routes, which is why you should not try to unlock them all at once. This time around, though, it is free of charge.
In Boston, you have to visit the City hall - this is where you receive the majority of contracts that you will be rewarded for. Remember that offices have their business hours. By pressing the button in the upper-right corner, you can speed up time. After the conversation in City hall, return to Portland to talk to Jeremiah.
Falling by the wayside
You can lie in city hall (say that you are a worker) and you will receive a mini-quest to deliver tobacco to the city called Utica (the most important thing is that you get a license for this route for free). It is an important decision - if you don't want to be a good guy and you want to seize any opportunities then, from now on, you will start receiving more smaller quests connected with smuggling. Thanks to that you can have a quest in which you must incur a debt to bandits (you will receive a letter from Jeremiah).
Passenger carriage for Jeremiah
You will receive a license to travel to New York. Later during the mission, you will have to obtain cash ($400) for a passenger carriage - after you have bought it, you will be able to give rides to people at stations, which often makes a convenient form of making money, when you have to make a trip anyways.
There are two ways in which you can earn cash for your first passenger carriage: trade or City hall contracts. You can accept contracts in any cite. Each time, they are different. They will let you earn your reputation, but often your profit may be lower than from trade. Reputation points are also required for the more demanding contracts. You can visit the City hall only during the day.
Trading is about buying goods in one city and selling them in another one, preferably in one, where there is a high demand for such goods and people are prepared to pay more. The key here, of course, is the difference between the buying and the selling price. You can learn information about demand by subscribing to the local newspaper at the post office. It costs a dozen-or-so dollars a month, but it is money well spent. Remember that the newspaper only provides information for the city in which you bought it. To keep track of prices, you have to subscribe to newspapers in cities that you visit frequently and want to trade with.
Access the Economy panel (the last button in the upper-right corner). This will displays cities and goods. The green arrow tells you for which goods there is demand in a given city, whereas the red one tells you where there is a dire need for the goods. The number represents the number of units of that goods in the city. Find the goods that there is a high demand for in Boston, which you can buy in Portland. At the beginning of the game, Medicine is the best choice. After that, press the Market button in the upper part of the screen, by the name of the city and drag the selected goods onto the train. Then, access the map and transport the cargo. Afterwards, buy oil in Boston and sell it in Portland (this is not a permanent scenario, but it's repeatable and the profitability may not be that good). This way, you should gather enough cash for the new carriage. Talk to Jeremiah.
Access the depot (the upper part of the screen, the button to the left of the city name). Buy small passenger carriage and drag it to your locomotive.
The trip to New York
Now, talk to Jeremiah once more. Go to New York. Click on the train station building, to display all of the potential passengers and earn some more money, if there is someone going to New York. You can transport cargo and passengers at the same time.
Remember about coal - keep some money for the fuel. Otherwise, you may run into trouble. During the trip to a city, you can slow down, to consume less coal. You buy coal just like any other goods in the market and it is automatically loaded onto your train.
During your trip, an event will occur. These are minigames, where you have to steer your character (and sometimes your crew members) to perform certain tasks. In this specific one, you gave to cover the route, by controlling the locomotive: first, click RMB on the coal heap in the train, use the lever I the bottom-right corner, to increase the pressure in the boiler, but do not go beyond the red bar - this is when the boiler gets damaged. Also, you will be able to see the speedometer.
In the upper-left corner, you can view the distance that you have to cover. In the upper-central part of the screen, you can view the route to cover and possible obstacles. The most frequent ones are curves - you have to brake before the curves to reach the appropriate speed, to prevent damaging the engine and the carriages(you can use the brake lever, by the speedometer, in emergency situations). Also, you can use the valve to speed up, but this overheats the boiler and speeds the train up only temporarily - to use it again, you have to wait for it to cool down.
After you reach your destination, give the letter to Jack Godman, who is standing in front of the station. Then, talk to Jeremiah. From now on, you will have to start working on your own a bit more. Follow his suggestion and subscribe to the newspaper at the post office, thanks to which you will familiarize yourself with the trading. At this point, you should have gathered enough experience to upgrade your character. To learn more, see the chapter entitled Hints -> Your crew and development.