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After i read how many people had problems to get into Bountytrain i decided to write a small Starter guide to make it easier to start up. As always...this is only my impression and no goodly widsom, please add your opinion but be polite.

Firstly take a look at your Character:
Your Char and hired Partymembers have a level, it raises if you gather enought exp. You gather exp through killing enemys and doing missions, any mission...even delivering a letter. If you level up you can choose one of three random bonuses, ranging von Stat.-points to several special bonus things.

There are three Stats
Strength:Every point give you 10hp, raises your meleedamage and throwing-range, there is a potion that can be bought at Drugstores(respawning) or found at loot that raises Strength,so only raise Strength during level up if you have no choice.
Agility:Every point raises Evasion and reduces the reloading time(very important for your snipers for 2/3 of the game),there is a potion that can be bought at Drugstores(respawning) or found at loot that raises Agility. Early on you should raise it a few times but after you start making good money use the potions instead.
Intelligence: Every point rises your crit.-chance and every 3(?) points gives you a Featslot

Then you have the Feats aka Skills
Every Feat/Skill gives you a passive bonus and a active combatskill, only 1 active skill can be choosen so be carefull about your choices. If you take a skill with a World- or Train-bonus with different Partymembers it seems to stack.
Feats/Skill have their own level and, they can be leveld through "learning by doing" (like patching someone up during a fight to raise Healer) or you choose it as Levelup-bonus. If you raise a Skill via Levelup you loose the exp gathered until know, so think twice.
Feats/Skills to ignore Bows(never found a good one), all Meleeskills(you can't leave the train so you can only use if the enemy decide to board your train and with good ranged skills they wan't make it far.) and skills with effects that can be attained with potions (Kung_Fu gives you 1% evasion...Agility gives you 0,5% Evasion and 20% reload reduction and can be raised via potion)

Secondly take a look at your train and your carriages
For the Train himself the most important Stat are the PS/HP and the tractive power. Ps define how fast your train will be with a certain weight and the tractive power will define how much he can pull, so upgrade the engines of every new Train as fast as you can because more PS=faster traveling and/or more cargo/passengers hauled. Next comes armor to reduce the damage during fights, Next come Coalconsumption and maybe Coalcargo.
It's the same for all trains and all playingstyles...more PS=more speed=more and/or faster money.
Talking about the carriages, only pull around what you need and take into mind that you need enough weightcapacity for the cargo. It is sensless to use a carriage with 10 cargospaces if can only use 4 for midweightgoods.

Starting to make money
Well...the basic for most these games is buy cheap and sell expensive. Visit a City once and you can see the prices of that city at the trade-tab (but the prices will only update after changes if you suscribe for the city-newspaper or visit the city again)...after you visited a few Citys you can start trading...but overall early on on directtrade isn't that usefull for most city's. Later on you can make big cargohauls across the country to by jewelry cheap and sell them very expensive but with your limited money, space and the slow productiontimes doing mission is much better, for that lets explain reputation first.

You have a reputation for the 4 major factions and a for every city.
For Bandits&Natives a reputation neutral+ reduces the chance for ambush events and let you trade with their camps and you might be able to talk you around some of their "checkpoints" if your Rep. is good enough. Reputation can be raised via paying them off during ambushes and missions from their camps and the salon for bandits. Doing missions for the bandit faction will always lower your reputation with targetcity and the goverment the city belongs too, resulting in a small rep.loos at ALL citys that belong to that goverment. If you are arrested during a mission for the bandits you will loose: a bit rep. at the bandits, a lot rep. at the target city, a bit rep. at the goverment the city belongs=a smaller loos for all citys that belong to that go to jail some time, pay a fine and loose all cargo if it was a smuggling-mission.

For the 2 goverments a reputation neutral+ let you trade with their camps, camps&checkpoints won't attack you and if you raise/reduce your reputation you get a small bonus/malus for all citys connected with that goverment. every city you have a reputation, the reputation is primary raised by doing cargomission&bountyhunts from the cityhall and transporting passengers from that city. The reputation is lowered by failing missions/transports, working with bandits, smuggling and angering the goverment.

The important things are
the higher your Reputation at the city, the higher the payment and the better the jobs the citys offer
the Goods for Transportmission(not obtaining!) are spawned if you accept the mission, so they are not influenced by the (possible thin) supplys of the market
the Missionreward is a net profit

So...your goal raise your reputation as fast as possible to get those nice missions that net you a thousend+ dollars. According to my opinion the best ways are a

1.Fast Mail&Passengertrain, this way you can blitz between the citys with high speed, doing many missions in a short time, having passengers to assist you during fights and getting a nice bonus payment for fast Maildelivery. The downside is...passengers and Mailmissions are very random and you might drive some miles with a single passenger or even without if.

2.Mediumspeed Allrounder, you start with a small cargo&passenger-carriage, upgrade it to medium after you get a better train, then upgrade the cargoslots and stay this way. With a allrounder you can do most cargomission, add passenger and even the long/medium-time won't get a speedbonus but for the Allrounder it's more about the bonusrep. Just avoid Mission that fill up cargospace with heavystuff like steel, they often look good but they slow you down to a point where you can't transport passengers and Mail in timeand aside from this...during the time your crawling around you could have done 2+Mission with medium or light-weight goods.

It's sounds simple and it is, the simple way to start a fortune is doing Citymission and raising your Rep.=better payment and more&better mission until you found you playstile.

Many people seem to have problems with roadblocks and ambushes...i found it easy at first, scary after the bandits got their Horde&Dynamit-upgrade and easy again after you got turrents. But...things i found important to make fights as easy as possible

1.Don't waste your level-ups, do not use it for useless Feats/Skills like Melee/Bows/..., don't raise a Feat if he on the verge of being raised for free through "learning by doing"
2.Hirelings/Mercs, get a 2er carriage as fast as possible, hire good mercs, high levels doesn't mean automaticly good, avoid Mercs with the allready mentioned Feats/Skills, avoid Mercs that have widely(4 ore more) spread Feats expect for perfect combos(i never see one;)
3.Partysetup, early you need 2xHealer and 2xSniper, remember...2-3 Skills/Feats per Chars works a sniper can be healer at the same time
4.Upgrade your weapons, take a look at the gunsmiths and if you see that he has wepons that are a decent upgrade buy them, precision is more important then damge, esp. for rifles with lone reload times.
5.By consumables and remember to equip them at the belt. Always buy grenades/dynamit too, they are cheap, do aoe-damge and...most important...they can destroy most kinds of cover.
6.Use your passengers, most passengers can aid you during fights, some are Healers, others are basic fighters...don't forget them
7.Place your Merc-carriage behind the train, if you don't mess up with a goverment faction most fights are bandit-ambushes, they attack you in small groups that enter the screen above ore below the train. If your Firepower is massed at this area you can take out all or most of them before the next group attack.Don't be afraid to use a grenade early, if you kill them fast you can reload and heal up before the next group appear. It's much cheaper to use some grenades instead of paying them off or having to repair the train for several days. As i said..grenades and dynamite can destroy most cover, this will raise your precision and and avoid blocked shoots.
8.If Gatling guns appear, by two to cover both sides and your done with bandit ambushes

A laste note:At the Border citys might change ownership during the war. If this happen your Rep. will be reseted and you loose your property if any. to buy far north or far south early on.

Hope it helped, regards DF1871
Post edited May 24, 2017 by DF1871