I intend to post about this farm one in-game day’s activity at a time. A reminder that each in-game day equates to approximately 10 days in the Seasons Year and that the actual playing time for around 15 hours of ‘daylight’ is approximately 3 hours of irl time. Posts about Boundary Farm will be interspersed – time there is 1 to 1 with irl time although each day also equates to 10 days of whatever month we are playing.

Day 1 – March 1st-10th.

I get a late start because the game starts us at 08:00 rather than at first light. I already have a plan of action and as suggested in my previous post from the Bessy Beneath map, I know that I will be taking out a bank loan. First step was to purchase the Sheep Farm…

I should show you the farm – here’s the Farmhouse with the machinery barn and the bales barn beyond…

…The field behind the house is my grass field and opposite the buildings is my sheep pasture…

To work this I only really need a small tractor with 80-100 HP. I visited the local dealer – conveniently located at the end of the lane from the farm. The dealer is an AGCO / Massey-Ferguson dealer and I intend to be as brand loyal at possible on this play through. Other brands specifically advertised are Kuhn, Vaderstadt and Krone, so expect to see the products of those companies represented too.

In-game there is the Massey-Ferguson 5600 series tractor which would meet my 100HP needs well, but I can also get the newer 5700 series as it is available as a mod. So that is what I chose to do – this is the 5710S…

…And I also bought a front lifter and pallet fork by Stoll and a trailer from FarmTech. Some of my first jobs will be transport and I will need a trailer to carry bales as and when I get my sheep 🙂 In fact a couple of my first jobs were transporting and I had an amusing incident with the ai on the main road…

…It seems they all drove into each other when I slowed to turn off at my delivery point – they were still there when I came out 😉

Next purchase was a Spreader for Fertilizer or Lime – I need to fertilize the grass to promote strong growth. With luck I’ll be able to get a Silage harvest from field 19 before I have to turn it to Hay production for my Sheep – the ones I don’t own yet! I’m also buying field 15 from that map I’ve shown above because I want to have a crop as a means of getting some income in the period when the sheep are just eating and not producing wool.

Owning field 15 automatically means a second tractor – one that can pull a plough. Again we’re going Massey-Ferguson and once more it’s a mod. The base game offers the 5600 in the small tractors. The next tractor available is the 7700 – which is bordering on a large tractor but creeps into medium. The price reflects that status. So I need something in between – something with around 180HP. That is the Massey-Ferguson 6600 and the 6616 version gives me 185HP for £133K…

…A nice comparison shot of the tractors together in my barn. Here’s the 5710S returning home from another delivery job…

…The roadsigns will give you an idea of where we are in the UK 🙂

I took out a loan for £150k to facilitate my second tractor purchase and also to buy a plough. Again, I’m sticking with manufacturers that the local dealer sells. So I bought a Kuhn 153 4+1. To translate, that is a 5 blade plough which cuts 2.5m. If you’ve been following and read my notes about ploughs and required horsepower, you may be wondering why I’ve gone with a plough that only needs 125HP (game claims 150HP) when I could go with the 153 5+1 which probably needs 150HP (in-game rating 180HP). One word – testing! While testing I found that the 6 bladed plough caused the tractor to lose traction so badly, even on the flat, that every row was being cut at 4-5mph. When I checked the soil moisture figures I found them to be significantly higher than on Boundary Farm. The Seasons mod claims to include adhesion changes according to ground conditions and here I’ve seen it in action. With the 5-bladed plough the tractor achieves 6-7mph consistently and so the speed more than makes up for the loss of width on a medium-large field. Here’s some business at the sharp end…

…as I work on into the night at the end of March 10th, ploughing field 15. I need to get it ready for liming in the morning. It was 23:00 when I finished. I put the tractor to bed and then went to turn in myself…

Time to try out another map in Farming Simulator 19. This map is based on a real location in Cornwall called Bessy Beneath. Like most maps it offers a choice of possible starting farms from the main dairy farm in the area to a couple of very small sheep farms. As far as I can see, all aspects of gameplay are present and the scenery is well crafted although it’s probably not quite as good as the Oakfield Farm and Six Ashes maps which I have been playing on.

Perhaps it’s time to tell a bit about what happens before any of my Farming Simulator 19 series. There’s a lot of background work goes on in this game before I start to show you my posts. I test some options, try out owning various farms on the map that I’m hoping to build a series around. Some maps fall by the wayside during this testing – not because there is anything inherently bad about them, they just don’t suit my style of play. A classic example would be Marwell Manor – created by the same modder as Oakfield Farm, the removal of all the farm buildings if you choose to play as anything other than New Farmer doesn’t sit well. But a lot of players only ever play as New Farmer, so it fulfills a need. The West Newton Farm map has the issue of all that farm equipment sitting there if you choose to play somewhere other than the main farm, whatever mode you choose to play in.

Then there is the decision of whether to play with Seasons activated. It took me a long time to cross that bridge but I’m glad I finally bit the bullet with Boundary Farm on the Six Ashes map. Now it’s time to push on to the level that the Season’s developers feel gives the most realistic feel of time passing – that’s using nine in-game days to represent each 3-month season and setting the clock to 5x speed. I’ve been playing Boundary farm in real time, so this will be quite a change.

To assess the change I have tried several starts on the Bessy Beneath map and after testing I think I can say that the 5x speed probably reins in the amount of work you can achieve in a day to a much more realistic amount. From mixing and matching different types of work and earning up to £70k per in-game day, I may get two fields ploughed and earn £8k before the light goes during an early spring day. That’s quite a hit on the potential finances of a farmer trying to start from scratch!

During testing I’ve taken some shots that I hope will give a basic idea how the map looks in early spring…

…And it’s clear that there’ll be a lot of dawn starts and quite a bit of working into the late evening. And there’s also the opportunity to do some submarine ploughing too 😉

I’ve decided to play this map alongside the Six Ashes map – so then you can see just how quickly I move through the seasons on Rosland Farm compared with Boundary Farm. It will also display the much harder financial task facing me as I play at the faster clock speed. If you’ve been watching the monies in the top corner of the screenshots you’ll know that I’ve been doing a good job of keeping my head above water on Boundary Farm and I expect to have almost all the money I need sitting in the bank when it comes to harvest time and I need to make that big purchase! Rosland farm will be so very different and if I want to progress I will almost certainly need to take out a bank loan.

On this map, I’m going to be a Sheep farmer with some arable work thrown in. That will be a learning process too! I’ll tell you how it goes over the next few weeks 🙂

Approaching the German Border in the Czech Republic.
Approaching the German Border in the Czech Republic.

When I last left you I’d bought a new garage in Kraków and was running scared of having a potentially company ending crash. I set off for Wien with a load of pet food – can’t have been Budgie seed; it weighed 15t… Which reminds me of Mike Harding and the Budgie called Attila – but let’s not go there 😉 Suffice to say that the run and a couple of subsequent runs went well with no issues other than the horrendous price of fuel in Germany! Even Swiss fuel is cheaper (though the same can’t be said of the Scandinavian countries). I hinted that the plan was to build up enough funds to buy another truck and hire my first employee. Easier said than done! I spent an age wandering the wilds of Germany and its near neighbours before I was finally able to get back to Katowice and finally pick up a short haul into Kraków. All these runs were fun and accident free apart from being clipped by a car on the motorway whilst travelling down to Chur. That run was great in the latter stages as I missed my motorway turn off just after being clipped and wound up taking the mountain passes from Bregenz and enjoying some difficult climbs and spectacular views 🙂

Grinding through the Alps to Chur
Grinding through the Alps to Chur

Stepping back from the actual driving and my company for a minute. SCS announced a new set of ‘challenges’ on World of Trucks (WOTR) last week while I was trying to get back to Kraków and these were of interest to me. The original challenges centred mainly around sign-in’s to WOTR website, viewing / liking other people’s images from the game and having your images liked. Not really my cup of tea. The new challenges are more like it… 10 WOTR jobs completed successfully in Euro and American Truck gets you the ‘International Driver’ award. There are awards for loads hauled, distances travelled and some that challenge you to shift certain amounts in very strict timescales. These are more like it – I decided to sign up my Euro Truck account to WOTR alongside my already signed in American Truck account. I’ve already confirmed my International Driver status and I’m very close to achieving the 1m Kg’s hauled award 🙂 This is the sort of thing that adds impetus to my game-play.

I pushed on with the TGA as mentioned above and finally found myself back in my garage. Decision time – Keep the TGA and give a new truck to my 1st employee or pass the TGA on and have a new TGX myself? It wasn’t an easy choice, I really like the TGA and think of her as a milestone vehicle – Truck of the Year in 2000 with a class leading cab design. But in the end ‘die Nachtschicht’ passed to my new Polish employee, Jan. She’s still in the company and I can grab her back from time to time. Jan will get a new truck in the future.

New MAN TGX in the glow of Autumn.
New MAN TGX in the glow of Autumn.

The new TGX is gold – now there’s a shock 😉 But she’s paler than my Kenworth W900, ‘Rolled Gold’ in American Truck – more the sort of gold that some European cars are painted. Even so, in the autumn sun she still looks warm and reassuring. I chose a 440hp MAN engine and the MAN 16sp gearbox with retarder. You may recall that I mentioned the mod that provides the correct engines and gearboxes for the MAN TGX in the review of the TGA. The engine sounds more realistic than the stock engine and the provision of a 16sp box is correct for a manual TGX. The 12sp Tipmatic box standard in game is really an automatic – the MAN automatic boxes are 12sp. The cab is very much the descendent of the TGA; a little tidy here and there, a new dash shelf and slightly less height to the windscreen (or that’s how it feels to me). The key instruments are ‘right where I left them’ which is great! A proper review will follow.

Back to wotr and the new challenges… It was while doing my first job in my new TGX that I hit a problem. I got to the ferry at Gdynia with a load bound for Orebrö only to find that on seeking to embark, WOTR couldn’t synchronise my progress. WOTR jobs within mainland Europe worked fine but trying to go to Scandinavia via the ferry resulted in this loss of sync issue. Then I tried a WOTR job that crossed into Sweden via the land route – that immediately crashed the game. The culprit, which works fine with normal in-game jobs, is the MHAPro Maps mod. This is split into two maps with Scandinavia handled separately from the rest of Europe. Disabling the mod cures the issue. The fact that I could not find any reference to the problem on the web suggests that the majority of Euro Truck drivers either don’t do wotr jobs or they don’t use MHAPro maps (possibly both). It’s a shame because MHAPro Maps do add a lot to the game by filling in some of the gaps that SCS have left. The MHAPro Maps in American Truck seem to work fine with wotr jobs so hopefully whatever is causing the issue in Euro Truck can be resolved. If you aren’t doing wotr jobs, the maps are fine in both versions of the game.

Katie's new Actros in the dealers - I qute like the shade :-)
Katie’s new Actros in the dealers – I qute like the shade 🙂

So – the early days in the TGX were frustrating through no fault of the truck herself. Fortunately, Jan was up to speed and earning lots of money very quickly – he carried the company during the period of in-game issues (you lose money when you’re having to abandon jobs due to game issues) and by the time I took a job to Stuttgart we had enough money in the bank for tweaks to The TGA – side fairings to comply with safety law – and to hire another driver and buy another truck. I happened to be bedding down at the local Merc dealer and decided to take a look. The result was a cocoa coloured Mercedes-Benz Actros with 360hp engine delivered to my Dortmund Garage. I hired a young lady called Katie despite there being slightly better qualified drivers available. She had skills in High Value Cargo – which pays well – and an ADR cert for Explosives (Handy with Diwali and Guy Fawkes coming up!). Why not another MAN? Just keeping the suppliers on their toes – diversity is a good thing in both humans and vehicles 🙂

So that’s the update – Hope to have the 1m Kg’s sewn up by tomorrow night. Then I must do a review of the TGX. I’ll also try to update you on my American Truck driving and review the Freightliner Cascadia!