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Author Topic: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World  (Read 10164 times)

Curse

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Hello folks,

due to my visit in Beginner's World (#18) I noticed several reoccuring things that might (or might not) work out for you or others in Beginner's World but will (most likely) not work in real gameworlds where profit is much lower.


This is and should be in no way some kind of rule book, maybe you find something useful in here, maybe not. At the end of the day you decide and all consequences - positive and negative - come simply and fully back to you.

While my FAQ in the general forums give you more vague ideas and explains basics and other things, this thread here gives you some numbers to work with as well as some strategies to survive the real gameworlds after candytime Beginner's World has ended.

This thread here aims only to Beginners. I'm fully aware of the fact that each point has several good and strategically clever exceptions.


Glossary:
Fleetgroup = The sum of individual aircraft of a specific and connected group of aircraft. For example: Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-400 are in the same fleetgroup. The sum of all of your 737-300 and 737-400 builds your 737classic fleetgroup.



1) Don't fly too many fleetgroups.

There are exceptions (especially when you have played for a while and know what you're doing), but to give you an idea:
1940-1970 = max. 8 fleetgroups
1971-1990 = max. 6 fleetgroups
1991-2005 = max. 4 fleetgroups
2006-2040 = max. 3 fleetgroups

Each additional fleetgroup will not only increase the costs of your new fleetgroup, it also increases the costs of your old fleetgroups significantly.


2) Fill up your fleetgroups.

Each fleetgroup needs a number of aircraft to pay for itself. In most cases this will be 2-3 aircraft, more when you have lots of fleetgroups (i.e. more than 2 fleetgroups).

This means: Each additional aircraft you put in your fleetgroup lowers the cost of this fleetgroup for each individual aircraft and adds more to your profit.

There is no sense in having a fleetgroup with only 3-4 aircraft. Personally I don't suggest to open a fleetgroup if you plan to have less than 20 individual aircraft in this fleetgroup.


3) Put useful aircraft in your fleet.

There is no sense in ordering 747-300SR if you are based 1985 in Copenhagen. If you want to try it's nice and fun of course. In real gameworlds such experiments will most likely kill your airline.
Problem in this case is not only the extremely limited amount of routes you can use the 747-300SR on, you are also extremely limited with the other aircraft from the fleetgroup. While 747SP and a pair of 747-100/200 could make sense, you will soon notice they consume a huge amount of fuel that can only be covered by a good part of business and first class passengers your (smaller) airport simply doesn't offer.


4) Choose your airport carefully.

If you start late, there is no sense in choosing a big airport that already has 2-4 airlines. If you have competitors, you are limited. Tests and experiments could kill your airline.

Choose a smaller airport that is open 24h, have no airline based there and offer lots of slots - some random expamples are Minneapolis, Miami or Charlotte.


5) Don't try every feature as soon as it is possible.

You must not be the first guy who opens a base. Bases are always (much) more expensive than your headquarter is - additional staff and additional fleet commonality costs are only two big expenses you have to deal with.

Try to max out your home airport as good as possible and when you find yourself slot or route restricted (= expansion restricted), it's the perfect moment to open up a base.


6) Real gameworlds are different from Beginner's World.

Fuel is much more expensive - Jet Age has seen fuel prices over $350, Dawn of the Millennium over $700 and Modern Times over $1500. Fuel in Beginner's World is practically free.

Fuel massively increases or decreases - if you don't prepare your fleet for high fuel prices, you will run into problems. In Beginner's World fuel price doesn't increase or decrease this drastically.

More players - 400 to 700 players are typical numbers for real gameworlds. Those numbers are usually maxed out for a good amount of the time. 600 players will cover more routes than 40-100 players in Beginner's World do.

Better competitors - most guys in Beginner's World are Beginner, too. They experiment, they don't know all the tricks and there's a good chance they are the same skill level you are. In real gameworlds you face only very few people who don't know what they do. Lots of experienced players know all tricks and have good strategies not only to survive the gameworld, but also to give their competitors a hard time.



So what's the conclusion?

Just because the things I suggested in the first points are ignored by you and your airline made it through Beginner's World, don't expect it will work in the real gameworlds, too.


On the other hand - don't be scared. Everybody was a beginner once and if you stick to all the tricks in the forums and learn from your mistakes, you can and will have lots of fun with this wonderful game.



7) Ask for help.

If you run into something you don't understand or something that needs a decision ("737-400 or A320?"), don't hesitate to ask. Easiest way is here in the forum. Nobody will laugh at you.

Many experienced and very successful players at least reflect the decisions they made with others. Those people are connected via skype or alliance forum - the fact you don't see them asking that often doesn't mean they know everytime for sure what they are doing.


So don't be stupid and ignore help offered by other players and the forum.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 12:03:08 PM by Curse »

L1011fan

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 12:14:42 AM »
Great refresher course for me! Thanks!

BD

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 01:55:06 PM »
In BW today, I see prices peaked at $792.  The prices started in the mid to low $200s.  Prior peak was upper $400s, then seemed to hang around the mid $300s for a while, and have been on a constant march upward for the past game year.  It remains to be seen if it shoots up later on from the upper $700s to as high as the $1400 reported here for other worlds.

I post this here because this thread and several others often talk about the BW as if there is very little price variation or that it remains in a low range ("essentially free" is what I've read elsewhere), lest any noob can assume they don't have to worry about this.

Not sure how currently (the models may have changed since the original post) the other more competitive worlds operate (in magnitude and speed of price changes), but the current BW model seems to reach to the levels of Dawn of the Millennium levels, at least, as reported at the time of the original post.  This gives some level of challenge that may not have existed when the original post was made, in addition to being open to more than strictly beginners to join.  

The fuel price model does give a taste of what the other worlds are more likely to be, and is welcome, even if a surprise vs what one would get the impression from reading (perhaps dated threads) in these forums.

UPDATE:  Based on cost per pax, fuel increases have taken additional $77M cash, about $3M per week for last 26 weeks (avg price at 693, with 609 the period low and 792 the high).  Many bankruptcies being reported in airline news on Dashboard.  BW is not (no longer?) as lightweight (re: fuel prices) as these guides make it out.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 05:49:35 PM by BD »

Offline Ace McCool

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 02:34:19 AM »
I have played Beginner World and have seen other competitors buying 30 or 40 aircraft at a time. Is it advisable to try and stagger your leases to coincide with the arrival of new A/C? Seems kind of impossible.

Solemus

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 09:47:27 AM »
Hey Curse my friend

It's nice to see you back, great post as well and it's a bit of a refresher for me.

Hope all is good with you and merry Christmas to you

Rick  ;D

Offline JTAirbus

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 02:30:21 PM »
Learnt a lot cheers!  :)

Offline wilian.souza2

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 03:54:43 AM »
The hardest part of Beginner's world, for me, has been the part of choosing planes. It's been harder than choosing a smartphone in real life!  ;D

Offline dagwood

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 10:13:48 PM »
How much effect does the time slot have in the BW's versus the GW's? I have read that there is significantly more effect on the LF with non prime slots in the GW's than the BW's.

Online gazzz0x2z

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 07:43:28 AM »
How much effect does the time slot have in the BW's versus the GW's? I have read that there is significantly more effect on the LF with non prime slots in the GW's than the BW's.

Take off at 0400 instead of 0600 keeps the LF..... if you reduce price ticket by 40%(roughly - depends in seating, on image, on plenty of other things)

Offline wilian.souza2

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 03:19:25 AM »
I think another mistake should be added to this list: ordering new aircraft for lease.

Because leasing prices for new aircraft are very expensive, even in Beginner's worlds... And if you opt to buy  these new aircraft later, the lessors ask you twice the price for a new aircraft!

I remember the hard time I had ordering Fairchild Dornier 528s for lease in last Beginner world. The planes needed to have a load factor over 70% to be profitable!

Of course you can have profits with new aircraft ordered for lease. I had. But it's a lot better to order new aircraft only if you can afford direct purchase of the model you want!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 03:22:08 AM by wilian.souza2 »

Online gazzz0x2z

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2017, 09:02:01 AM »
I think another mistake should be added to this list: ordering new aircraft for lease.

Because leasing prices for new aircraft are very expensive, even in Beginner's worlds... And if you opt to buy  these new aircraft later, the lessors ask you twice the price for a new aircraft!

I remember the hard time I had ordering Fairchild Dornier 528s for lease in last Beginner world. The planes needed to have a load factor over 70% to be profitable!

Of course you can have profits with new aircraft ordered for lease. I had. But it's a lot better to order new aircraft only if you can afford direct purchase of the model you want!

Well, it's more complex than that. In the 50s, you don't really have the choice. You lease new or you die by lack of airframes. In other eras, it really depends on the fleet type you are aiming for. Your advice is of course spot on for popular, efficient, but costly aircraft(A320, B777....) that will simply kill you if you lease new. OTOH, if you're aiming for less popular aircraft, then you can afford to lease them, even new. A A148 costs around 20M$ of base price, but as noone takes it, usually goes down to 14M$. For a 70 seater jet that ages well enough to pass one D-Check. If you're in a need for a quick growth, and lack the cash for buying anything, those can be a life-saver. They are of course not as good as their same-era counterparts(10% more fuel, 100% more maintenance, IIRC), but you spare so much on leasing costs, that it's not important, at the end. And previous era similar aircraft are not impressive(F28, F70, Avro, TU134...) enough to be better leased old than A148 leased new.

But yes, most beginners will aim for shiny new airframes they can't afford, and die. That's probably what you mean, and I agree.

Offline freshmore

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2017, 04:44:55 PM »
Worth adding leasing new aircraft vastly depends on the maturity of a Gameworld. In a new gameworld you need to lease new, because that's the only option you have, not immediately, best to get market share at first. At this point demand is not enough to cause huge price rises.

When a gameworld has been going on for a while, most popular frames get expensive very quickly and that is when new players need to look for good deals on the used market, I have found many hidden cheap gems there before now and it's a the only place to look as a new airline in later parts of a GW if you need to lease, far far cheaper. It's also a great place for established airlines to get a cheap air frame that they need. And if you want new, you really do have to look at alternative options because leasing is expensive.




Andrej720918

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 06:29:53 AM »
I tend to see airlines in BW operating 10-13 fleet groups and actually quite at the top of the list.  :o Does this mean that in BW there is no heavy penalty on that, and that kind of guy will struggle in normal game worlds when having that many fleet groups?

Online gazzz0x2z

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 07:51:29 AM »
I tend to see airlines in BW operating 10-13 fleet groups and actually quite at the top of the list.  :o Does this mean that in BW there is no heavy penalty on that, and that kind of guy will struggle in normal game worlds when having that many fleet groups?

Depends on the company size. Well, I'm not sure for BW, but in real games, 4th fleet group penalty is gentle up to 200 aircraft, and still very survivable at 400 airframes. When you begin to have 600 birds, OTOH, it's getting really harsh. Having too manu fleet groups, in general, is punitive when you are very small(because) or very big.

In current GW2, my opponent went through a painful transition. His margin went down from 24% to 18% when he went up to 4 fleet groups, and back to 24% when he finished. He has a 250 planes fleet. If he had flown a 750 airplanes company, I'd be alone in Poland now(or not, he'd probably have killed me first to reach such a size).

The thing is, most players out from beginner's world are not good enough yet to reach those levels of margin. They are happy at 10%. Then, they get a 4th fleet group, go down to 5/6%, and suddently, other players smell fresh blood to drink, and attack. Bye-bye beginner.

Andrej720918

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 08:14:25 AM »
Actually I am doing ~13% margin with 3 fleet groups and 72 aircrafts, while this guy I mentioned with 13 fleet groups and 200 aircrafts generating about ~2% margin.

Offline freshmore

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 01:54:07 PM »
With more than 3 fleets, there is one thing you must have ready and that is a plan on how you will eventually reduce to 3 fleets. At the beginning of a full gameworld operating more fleets to gain market share but being less efficient is a legitimate strategy to get going. Ideally, you want to keep 3 but sometimes you might just get forced into a corner and have to compromise. But you should always be looking how to get back down to 3 fleets because the cost of operating a 4th or more, is often more than you will gain by operating that fleet.

When you are joining a game mid world, I would say going more than 3 fleets to gain market share is more of a problem. This is because at the beginning of a world everyone is at the same level trying to expand and gain a market share. In the middle people have expanded and have made themselves efficient with 3 fleets and those that haven't are being heavily squeezed and are often in a compromised weak position. Therefore, the way to survive is to pick a decently free base and to run yourself to be as efficient as you can be.

Offline wilian.souza2

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2018, 02:03:06 AM »
I think the worst part of a normal game world is acquiring the best aircraft. The better and most efficient ones have their production lines always packed and you, as a new airline, have to survive with what you find at the used market, spending extra money on maintenance and most likely inflating your company with extra crew. Maybe the gravity of this problem depend on the game era, but the one I am at currently is very torturing in this aspect. If you enter during the 60s - 70s like I did, the used market will be full of large props that are a hell to maintain and jet aircraft that make vortexes in its fuel tanks. Many of them have maintenance costs which escalates quicky after 1st D-check.

There are exceptions, though. I had an opponent that entered the game in 1969 with NEW 737-100s, the model itself was one of the newest in that year. He couldn't keep them in its fleet, though, but he went on with Fokker Fellowships (which was also new for that era) and Beechcraft B99s and because of that, for years his airline had the highest profit margins in my country, always above 25%. I went into despair because he stole a lot of my passengers and had to build a strategy to compete against him, which involved early fleet changes for better aircraft. For my luck he's out now. I suspect he entered the game using the easy setup and chose the 737 on purpose to gain this advantage of starting up with the most modern a/c possible.

Back at the problem with new aircraft, I've been playing GW2 (my current one) since 1964, now it's going to 1982 and I'm still strongly dependent on the used market to get aircraft, some leased, some bought. ALL USED. I can only make bulk orders for small turboprops (via bargaining models going to have their production lines closed). This differs a lot from my situation in my very first AWS game in a Beginner's world played in the 2020s: After only five years into the game I was buying BCSs from Bombardier and 8 years into the game I was filling up my fleet with A321s, too. If you can afford a new and good aircraft, be prepared to wait 5, 6 years until delivery or wait for some aircraft investor to make it available in the used market (in few quantities, just as expensive and without possibility to divide your payment).

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Frequent Beginner mistakes - how to survive (after) Beginner's World
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2018, 08:16:50 AM »
Well, the last part Wilian described (getting planes from the UM / from the manufacturers) is usually partially solved when you're inside an alliance or know some players.
One person can't always stay in front of her computer, but an alliance (30-40 people) can.
You will not be lucky each and every time, but it will still be much better.

But it's true that you got to enter the game a little more to be succeeding in large airports. However I think this is normal.
And while current GW#2 was only my 2nd GW, I managed to be the 1st to have a LH fleet of Britannia 320, and then the 1st with a LH fleet of DC-8 Super Sixties. And one of the 1st with a 737 Jurassic fleet. I had to commit a good bit, put I've been rewarded.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 08:20:17 AM by Tha_Ape »

 

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