Beginners Guide to City Building

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Before getting started

The Citymania client 1.3.3(current ver) is a very useful tool while playing CB games on Citymania and it also comes with features which can be used for other servers also for example a watch window where u can follow other players as they are playing.

You can download it here: (Citymania Client 1.3.3)

Installation is simple. You copy all the files into your OpenTTD 1.3.3 folder and overwrite.

This will add the CB button which is located in Citymania CB server towns and it looks like this. Very handy tool for Advertising/Funding and having full control of your CityBuilding.


Choosing Town

(click on a picture then again to see full res)


When you join a CityBuild server and need to choose a town, you want a town which is quite close to the center of the map. The reasoning for this is your cargo that is needed will not be as far away and will easily be transported with fewer trains then compared to a corner town. You will also have all sides to choose from when making stations and by that not making it so hard for infrastructure. Still you will have to pick a good town in center which is not blocked by surrounding industries which will make your road layout bad.

The picture shows the minimap of the center of the map and all of the industries. Have a look around the map before you play and look for some good places to get your cargo from. Speculate about which town you want and make a visualization in your head how you will put things so you wont end up with an "aha" moment when you are doing it.

2-corner town.png

This picture shows a corner town which is OK for sizes 5k/10k pop but for 30k town its not recommended. Sure you can select this town if you want to make it a harder game for yourself (which sometimes can be fun). This town has a lot of free/flat space around it, and the power plant is bottom left of it quite far away so you wont get blocked by it doing your road layout for town. The water is not an issue as you can Elevate(shortcuts:Q,W,E) the land when you get money later on in the game.

3-crowded town.png

Here you have an example of how most beginners choose town. They actually like the industries around. As it gives a prettier picture of your town compared to a totally flat land and no stuff around it. This works to build a 5k town and 10k but you will be tight on space when it comes to putting the incoming cargo stations. As you dont want to impose on the road layouts ground. For a 5k you can make the town layout pretty small as it wont need much roads to get to that size. For a 30k town however, this town should never be an option and neglected at once.

4-non deletable hill.png

There are some doodads (the tower in this case) that cant be removed. And if they are spawned on a hill like this one. Well then u cant flatten the space around it. So this would make this town bad on the growth on this side. And road layout will be weird. For 30k pop games you can skip this one. Unless you dont find a better town then you might go for it if you find it better than all others. This example wasnt that harsh. Could have been a higher hill.

5-mass terra hill.png

Here is a town for the workhorses! Want to elevate like mad? This is the town for you. In the Game Script servers (5k,10k,30k) you have quite much Elevation to use per time (150) compared to normal CB servers 4,5,6 which has 50. For you that dont want to elevate that much and want to save the money for other stuff instead should maybe find another town. This town would work ok for 5k/10k with a breeze. But for 30k you would want to remove the hill. Also this hill blocks some of your station placements.

6-water town.png

This picture shows a good example town but with another problem. Town pop of 263. Max you can choose from is 250 and below. This requires a neat little trick. You place your HQ somewhere else and delete a house or two if needed. Then u relocate HQ to it. Voila its yours! At this town you also have two powerplants to use as they both are close-by. The water would have to be removed later on of course but thats not a real issue if you make a good money line at the beginning. More on that later.

7-hill town mass terra.png

Here did i place my pre-HQ as i was deleting house to choose the above picture town. This town itself would be bad if it was placed even higher on a hill. This aint that high. A bit crowded with stuff around it and elevation is of course needed here which means using money! Also it has farm land close in the road layout. Building on farm land cost the double and more.

9-hq placement.png

At this pic i deleted a house to go below 250 and took it. Note that i did not place my HQ in the center of the town. You want the HQ as far out as possible so it doesnt block early growth. You will see in later pictures that i will move it one more time to the final location.

Starting Money

1-find city.png

Ok. You have now chosen a final town or just took one randomly for now. Now comes the time you want to earn money. If you dont and start building stuff directly to town a short distance. You will soon find out it was a mistake, and making money slowly no one wants ;)

The servers 5k,10k,30k game script servers have very spreaded industries. Making connecting many coal for example in one station quite impossible. So making money from industries are quite slow early on. So the best way to earn it fast is to go for the passenger/mail business. You want to look for two cities. That have quite a distance from each other. If you zoom out max this should be a guideline how far it should be. Try the length of which u can barely see them on each side zoomed out. Maybe you wont find any cities in this distance but try some other closer or a bit further then. The city you want to look for should be in size 1500+. If that is impossible to find in your distance then take a 1300.

In the picture i found this one 1914. You can use the "town directory" button and sort them by size to easily find a first city. Then from that city you start looking around for a suitable second city far away. If you cant find one then you take the next in the "town directory" and looks from that one. This is a great way for beginners to find good starting money lines.

2-remove and place.png

Here you can see comparing to the above picture that i deleted a road piece and a house to make my station fit nicely on the side. This will make me able to spread into the center of city to cover the whole passenger/mail output it gives. Dont delete too much stuff though. Then your rating will plummet and you will need to plant trees for it to rise again so you can build a station.


The spreading i was talking about is this. The max station size on Citymania servers is 7x7. Which means 7 tiles a square. This is the max "spread" you can utilize per station trying to cover as much ground as possible. This is the case for cities, where each house/skyskraper is an amount of cargo output you will get to your station in passenger/mail. So covering the whole city with this spread will give the max passenger/mail to your station.

How to do this spreading is either building stations beside your already placed station and they will connect and go by the same sign. But if the server accepts it you can use a shortcut key to spread distances without even touching each other from the start. This key is the CTRL key. Hold CTRL meanwhile you place a bus/truck station 7 tiles into the city on a road. You will then be asked to make a new station or to connect with the 7 tile in-range stations that exists.


This is the final spreading/coverage of the city. You can count the tiles and see it is 7x7. Coverage means the total squares a station is catching cargo. Heres a list of the coverages of each type.

Bus/Truck station: 3 tiles

Train station: 4 tiles

Boat station: 5 tiles

Airport small/big/hub: 4/5/6 tiles

Heres the thing though. If you connect different stations with each other. In this case i have a train station + truck station. The stations catchment cant be split so it will use the biggest one. Which in this case is 4 tiles from train station. So the truck stations becomes 4 tiles coverage instead of 3.

5-train 5-5.png

Time to make the first train as you are done with the stations placement. Monorail or Normal rails you ask? I would go with normal rails for a simple reason. Money! The better you become at this game the more you will see that money always matters at the start. So the cheaper the trains the more trains you can make early on for a bigger income fast. As a beginner this might not be the case so i will let yourself to try out different rails. Once you become familiar you should try the cheaper options instead of monorail.

This picture shows a SH'125' Train being built. It cost around 30-40 compared to the next train TIM which cost around 70k. So i made it cheap. You want to start with the passenger wagons and as you can see on picture i built wagons until 5.5 range which is 5tiles + a half in wagons. Each tile can have 2 wagons on it.

Why not any other train than SH'125'? Well the speed. SH'125 has approx 200km/h where rest of the trains in this price range is below 170km/h.

6-train complete.png

I then completed the train with 3 mail wagons up to 7.0 = 7 tile station. There are two ways to build a passenger train for money income. Either you have 3 mail wagons or 2. Try both!

7-train orders.png

Time to add orders. You add the train station to the list with "Go To" button and then click "Full load" button. Why you want "Full load any cargo" is because if u go for "Full load all cargo" your train will be at the station for too long waiting for either mail or passengers, mostly mail. If you want to become familiar with hotkeys, which i recommend you should. You can hold CTRL button while using "Go To" on the train station to automatically add "Full load". It saves you a click with the mouse and thats precious stuff!

Once the order of Full Load is set i launch the train and let it start loading cargo.

9-placement station.png

You can do this differently. Either you build the two stations at once (one per city) or you start one at a time. I started one at a time as im not a beginner so this is the fastest way in my opinion to play. If you want to add both orders at once on the first train you did then do so. In this guide i show my method of how i do pax(passenger/mail) start so bare with me. Try to follow! :D

As you noticed i didnt finish the first train. As it is still loading cargo so i have time to do other stuff meanwhile. In this case making a new station at the second city. Note how i remove roads/houses if needed to fit the station perfectly at the side. This is to cover the city as i mentioned fully. So i dont miss some precious passengers wanting to go to the other city.


As u see i did the spreading again and it looks awesome. Now comes some very very very important stuff and here you might get a bit confused but ill try to explain it. You can see ive clicked the "clone" button in the depot. I now open the "train window" button and see my train there. I hold CTRL meanwhile the clone button is in work, cliking on the train i got... (see next picture)

13-complete orders.png

Voila i get another train but in this depot instead. Ok why did i hold CTRL?? Well there is something called "Shared orders" which simply means they are connected. If i edit orders on one of these trains. Like say remove "full load" button. It will disappear on all connected trains. Which in this case are only 2 trains but still. Imagine having 100 linked trains, doing the same order. And then u just feel like the trains should go somewhere else or do something else. Editing 100 trains... Quite hard work compared to changing 1 train!!.

Try to make "Shared orders" your main thing. You will benefit so much from it when you are in a case of having to edit the trains doing the same stuff. CTRL button while cloning is the key!

Enough about shared orders for now. You can see i added "Full load any cargo" on this station also. See the little arrow pointing on the bottom station in the order window? This is where the train will go next. When i cloned i did only have one order in the list because i didnt add both at once on the first train. Then i added this station to the list but the arrow is still on the first station, so you click "skip" button to make it skip the station its on and go for the next one, which in this case is the correct one for this train.

Launching the train as im done with the orders.. Its loading cargo!


Very simple railing, nothing fancy, no super curves and stuff making the trains go slowly, it should be straight and very non-turny if possible. The signals used here is called "block signals". I wouldnt recommend these signals for beginners. Use "One-way Path signals", they are always red and have a white sign below. Use density of 2. The further away signals are the bigger the distance is between trains and you want trains to be able to drive nearly behind another train.


Showing an overview of the rails going from left and from right of course. Try to avoid driving straight through farm land. As this will cost extra and quite a lot extra.


Right side overview. No fancy stuff and curves here either. Simple, straight and fast!


The connection of rails on right side.


Here we have an issue. The city i chose is too small. Its 1300 and it cant give the pax i need to keep trains not stacking up. So i have to remove "full load" on this side for the trains to just leave cargo and take what there is and keep going. Cargo waiting in a train means money lost if it stays too long. This is most important on passengers. Which start to decrease in value from day 1 its picked up.


Show how many train i could fit on this money line for it to roll smooth. See the percent? If you see this percent going down to 60% or even lower. Consider adding 1-2 more trains and see if it jumps up to 80-90. Ill explain how the ratings work later on.


The income graph shows a curve you all like to see. Straight up! :D

Playing CB

Got your money rolling now? Great! Time to City Build!

2-first station.png

Many people wonder how to put their stations and it aint that hard really. One thing to remember is that breakdowns are OFF on Citymania so there is no reason to make depots everywhere for it. By that you can "trap" vehicles going back and forth between stations close-by which we will show now.

Dont build ANY roads at all now. Skip that until you have busses rolling. Else the rating will plummet and you wont be able to build stations without wasting money to make the rating good again.

Look at picture and you will see the coverage area is exactly covering the center tile. This is how you should measure where to put your station. Start by putting a station as picture.

3-second station done.png

Second station you place just beside the one you just placed in the same angle so a bus would be able to move between them. HOLD CTRL to make a NEW station. You dont want it to be the same station.

After you are done with this side.. Jump across to the other side of the town and use the same angle and cover the center tile like you just did to make stations on the other side. Dont forget the CTRL button to make an individual station beside another station.

If the ground aint flat so you cant build station. Raise or lower it with Q,W,E shortcuts on keyboard. Dont overdo the elevation because this will also destroy trees and mess upp the rating.

5-stations done.png

This is how it should look like after you have done just that. If you are using the Citymania client 1.3.3 you can see the actual rating of the town in the town window. It says 322 now. Here is some info about the ratings of town.

8-oneway done.png

For busses to not move allover the place you need to make one-way stops at the roads like in picture. You click the Autoroad button and then the "one way" button which is the button with the blue arrow on it. So if a bus enters any of these station areas they will become trapped and cant get out until you remove the one-way or build roads on other side.

9-length road to depot.png

Now you will drag a road 12 tiles from the center. But dont count the center tile. Go one step against the side you want to build roads and count from there. If you are counting the center tile also it will be 13 in length. Then place a depot at the next tile after you have placed this road. It will look like in the picture below..

11-vehicle orders.png

Now buy a bus. Take the fastest one. As the better bus the more cargo they can lift and they have better speeds. Add stations like in the picture. Add the pairs. Then let the bus go and get stuck in one of these traps, taking passengers from your town and deliver to it at the same time.

14-bad rating show.png

In Citymania client 1.3.3 you can see your town/city ratings just by looking at the towns population number. Its red. This is bad if you want to build stations inside the authority of the town. In the town window you can see its -263 and you need to have -200 or above to make a station.

15-bad rating local auth.png

Showing you how far local authority is stretching. 25 tiles counting the center tile is the area you cannot make stations with bad rating. You can see im allowed to build outside. I didnt count the center tile you can see so it says 25.

2-ends complete.png

Making the "road-ends" so houses cant be built by town where i am supposed to make roads later on in the game. I save the house at bottom for now because i want as fast growing speed as possible by town, so id be better off saving this house for now. Town has enough growing space anyway at this point.

4-station name matters.png

This is a frequent question on 5k/10k/30k servers of Citymania. Why doesnt my town accept the coal i deliver to powerplant? Well the answer is that simple that your station you deliver coal to that is beside the powerplant of your choosing doesnt have the name of your town. If you are named "Beta" the station should have "Beta" name when its built (you cant change name of station to "Beta" for it to work) which means you need to build the station close to your town to get the proper name on the station. Here a problem arises. Your station isnt even close to powerplant for acceptance of coal? Then you need a neat little trick called "station name pushing".

In this picture you can see how i pushed "Brod woods" to be closer to my town than "Saber resort mines" but still remaining as a station from "Brod" town.

9-push name5 rules dont.png

This picture shows how ive "pushed" my station from the left rail piece that is left on the ground to the most right where it is placed now. Its not allowed to do this for fun allover the map so dont over-use it for fun. This is how you do it if you need to do it to get closer to a powerplant but cant build a station there to get your name on it.

Start make a station near your town to get your name on it. Hold CTRL and count 6 tiles away so u end up on the 7th tile and make a connected station with the one you already built. Now click R button for removal of a station tile and remove the oldest one which is closest to your town. You name will remain on the station and its now further out. Do this some more times to get it to the place where you want it by the powerplant.


Time to get some coal to town. I made a station that cover 1 tile of the coal. Do not use SH'125' if possible. Passenger/mail has no weight multiplier to it so it serves good to use SH'125' there. But Coal and other industries got x2 or x3 multiplier so SH'125' is very slow uphills. If you got money to spare go for TIM or AsiaStar. Whichever is newest. Make 7.0 train with coal wagons. Hold CTRL and click "go to" on the station for "Full load" and launch!


Go to powerplant side and put station here (you can do this before you do any trains at all so you can make orders completed before launching trains). And add either "unload all, no load" or "transfer" order to it. There difference between these two is that IF the station for some reason gets acceptance to coal later on in the game. Lets say you expand the station to more tiles and accidently accepts coal. It will be delivered instead of Transferred. Without acceptance they work the same though.

Why do you want to Transfer and not do coal directly? Well if you are playing 30k citybuild i wouldnt say anything about it but for 5k or 10k pop cb you are better off stocking the coal and deliver by trucks the little amount you need per month. Else you will go half a year with no growth to your town because the constantness of trains incoming is too little.

13-completed train.png

An overview how a rail line should look like. Very smooth and no sharp corners and not too often either. And pretty straight to the end-station.

15-new train cloned.png

In this picture i did a new station at another coal industry and clicked clone button and copied the train WITHOUT CTRL! These trains have nothing incommon as they doesnt go between the same stations so you should NOT share orders here. Clone you can do but dont touch CTRL.

17-orders add.png

As you can see the orders are from the other train you cloned. Here you need to add your station and remove the other trains station but keeping the end-station which has transfer on it. Click the bottom end-station so it gets selected. "Go To" button and then add the station you are at. This station will now show up above the order you selected which is the end-station.....

19-orders delete.png

Now select the old station from the other train and click delete. You will see that the primary station to start with which has an arrow will be the station you are at. Orders are done. Launch train!

21-completed train2.png

Make rails and if you like make a new end-station for it so they are separated. You can connect em at the end-station if you need to save space for other stuff but this aint the case here so i made a new station for it (dont forget signals if you connect). Straight and simple railing! Nothing Fancy! Just how we like it in Citymania! ;) (See Normal CB servers 4,5,6 doing 80-90k games if you want to see some straight rails!)

26-truck station.png

To get the coal into the towns demands you build a truck station beside the end-station of coal trains so it becomes one connected station. You can hold CTRL and make it further out and still connect if needed.

29-add truck.png

Now you make a station at powerplant which has coal acceptance. Try to make it so trucks dont have to turn and make it quite close to they dont have to go so far to deliver. Build depot and roads with a one-way so they wont go into depot again. "Trap" em! Buy a coal truck and just add both stations. End-station of coal first and then the powerplant station. Dont overdo it here by buying 20 trucks.. The reason you want one truck is because you want to save the coal until it becomes higher demands from the town. Then u add another truck when its becoming close to what you are delivering. Lets say 150/100 (deliver/demand) in town as an example on when to add another truck.

A side-note.. Coal is not Stored in towns supplies like valuables/Goods are. Passenger/mail arent stored either but they are easier to have control over as you can take those from the town itself when it gets bigger.

37-complete square.png

Finishing the Road Layout of the town now when the town started growing some. You can do this pretty late if you want. It doesnt have to be done directly after coal. Im just doing it now to show how it should look like for teaching purposes. In a real game you finish this layout later on. Like after Passengers on the easier servers. On harder servers you do it like the last thing you do.

Anyhow you can see i elevated some water and made road ends to town wont grow on the spots i want roads soon. Counting 12 tiles from the next piece from center and makes a square around town from this.

39-completed square.png

In this picture you can see the reasons of road ends. See on right side how it started doing houses just beside where i made those. If it happens to build a house there before i do the ends you will have to delete it later on in the game to build roads there. Waste of time growing a town when u have to delete it later on ;)

43-completed layout.png

The final touches of your road layout for 5k, 10k and the starting layout for 30k. For 5k however you could make it smaller half the size is ok. Note the one-way that is added for the busses on each direction so they get trapped.