This is the manual of turnplaying
In this thread issues pertaining to turnplaying are going to be discussed. Everything from appropriate procedures for unit movements, base maintenance, production queues, handling of military actions to etiquette, are going to be covered here.
Our adversaries are doing everything what they can to beat us, and in order to prove ourselves to be better than them we have to excel as much as we can all the time. Down to every detail you can think of. Of course, not falling in to paranoia at the same time.
Issue no. 1
Checking tiles on the map
How to check a tile on the map without cancelling orders for units present there
Cancelling unit orders may be not good, however as in the case of military units there are rarely problems, the situation is differnt with formers. Especially in the middle of terraforming. For example, a former making a mine on a rocky tile has left 5 turns to complete his task, but if cancelled while still having full move points in that very turn and given order once more, it appears, that the terraforming time is longer one turn more and now he has again 6 turns to go. this is not efficient use of formers. there is also possibly a bug, which i saw one time when giving an order to a former unit that already used its all move points. As I remember, it was supposed to help another former that already was performing its task for some time. For some reason i cancelled 1 of these formers and it actually instead of shortening time prolonged it.
So in general, avoid cancelling former unit orders. It is wasted time and resources. Unless there is an explicit need for it.
There are cases when it is required to cancel a unit order not only of a former, when leaving the order may be harmful, but it will be covered in other part.
As you maybe noticed, a click with the left mouse button (left-click) on PC computers may cause automatic cancellation of unit orders, and this is what we want to avoid. The problem might be solved in:
Menu >> Game >> Preferences >> Advanced Preferences
There is an option: click on unit always cancels orders, which can be turned off. However, in multiplayer games, when other players can change this option without your knowledge, always assume that this option is ON. You would probably be tired in every turn go through a detailed list of options that you wish to check. Therefore, it is good just to play as if this option was ON.
Safe way of clicking on a tile in order to select it may be then performed by:
1) Right mouse click,
then choose from Pop-up menu "move cursor to here" option.
2) SHIFT + Right mouse click,
This selects the tile instantly.
You can view the tile information and units on that tile in the small windows in the panel at the bottom.
You can also select a specific unit on a tile, where there are multiple units using Right mouse click and selecting from the pop-up menu command:
"Activate unit(s) here"
However, be aware, that if the tile contains only one unit that you have control over, its order will be cancelled. Therefore checking in the lower information panel window actually how many units there are on a tile is a safe practice. When there are multiple units, no orders get cancelled when the option "Activate unit(s) here" is clicked, but a dialog window appears with a list of all units there you can select. Be sure, you click the unit you wish to activate. Activating a former with order will cancel its order, so be sure there is a reason to do it. Selecting a unit without order is neutral here.
Tip You can select this way a unit that already used all its move points. This is important especially for crawlers, which will be covered in section pertaining to crawlers.
How to see if a unit has an order?
The unit has on its flag an appropriate letter:
f : building farm
F : clearing fungus or planting forest
M : building mine
R : building road
O : crawling resources
and so on.
Left mouse click is safe on base tiles, when game enters the clicked base.
I would forgot, the left click is safe on tiles not containing controlled by the player units. In this case map centers on that tile too. The feature may have a possible trap.
As you know, the map of smacx is pseudo-3D. Tile edges are drawn in not regular diamond shape, but deviate to give an illusion of being in 3D. In general, if you click some tile as it appears on the screen you select the right one, however, in the case of more deformed tiles the game is not detecting your click correctly. Be aware of this and in the case when you wish to view or give a "go to" order to a unit with mouse, it is better to flatten the map. The option is in:
Menu >> Game >> Map Display Preferences >> show flattened terrain
A quick keybord shortcut is:
CTRL + SHIFT + x
this toggles the flattened terrain On and OFF
Detecting correct tiles for the mouse click on the flattened terrain works quite ok. So far I have no serious problems. In the case when terrain is not flattened, I had already cases when I selected wrong tile. Just for viewing was not a problem, since I rather use right click for that purpose, but cases when I used mouse to give a "go" order were very dissapointing. A unit just ended on a wrong tile using its move points. In many cases I reloaded the turn when in singleplayer. In multiplayer I avoid it as much as I can.
So this is yet another possibility of giving a former team one more turn of work...
There is more to nasty traps pertaining to units movement in this game. It will be discussed in the issue post on unit movement.
Practice this in singleplayer game.
If you have any remarks pertaining to this issues, pleas write in this thread
The second topic will be appropriate Turn Procedures, as linked
Last edited by mart7x5; July 15, 2005 at 02:21.
Issue no. 2
Turnplaying steps. This is in particular for ACDG3 game
The following turnplaying steps are proposed. Thy are flexible more or less, or you may find that making these steps in a bit different order might be better. These gives just general direction
1) Checking forum, pm and email messages.
2) Loading turn and performing operations that pop up immidiatelly.
3) Activities, that must be done prior to other.
4) Report and proposals for review.
5) Possible mid save.
6) Running terraforming orders started in earlier turns.
7) Moving units, new former orders
8) Diplomacy, after probing by other faction members.
9) Base maintenance
10) Saving end turn 1 and posting for review.
11) Corrections spoted by other members or yourself.
12) Possible end save 2.
13) final load and Ending Turn posting for the team playing next.
These steps are explained below:
1)Checking forum, pm and email messages
Other members of the team might have already opened the turn, and have some remarks regarding the current turn immediate pop up messages. Since they pop up immediately, you have little opportunity to review other things. Therefore see if you could get a feedback from other members already aware of them. For example, if there is new research tech required to be selected, it often pop ups like that. It is good to choose appropriately. This feature can be tricky when receiving techs unexpectedly, like playing Data angels with their inherent ability or having Planetary datalinks secret Project. Usually, you are able to predict the choices you are given and discuss them using special excel spreadsheet with macro functions. However, the ability, or the SP mentioned is more tricky.
2) Loading turn and performing operations that pop up immidiatelly
These are as mentioned previously.
- Choosing new techs for research,
- Diplomacy where AI is initiating the contact,
- Diplomacy by other human fuctions.
There are also events during this step, that are random. For example your teammates may have different forest growth or fungus pop-ups. Quite unfortunate, and this is one of the reasons reloads are not welcomed.
3) Activities, that must be done prior to other
And here i mean in particular cancelling unit orders that must be cancelled. For example, an unit has "Go to" order and you no longer wish that unit to go there. If you allow the game proceed with units, it may select that unit for prforming its orders so you will not have a chance to actually cancel it. Therefore be sure you cancel all units required here.
If you have just one unit, just do it. If you have more units, be sure the game would not start automatic performing of unit orders from here. Giving just one unit a new order will trigger such "avalanche' of many units doing their stuff, so avoid it. Appropriate way is:
- Select a tile where a unit for cancellation is by either right mouse click and "move cursor to here" or SHIFT + right mouse click.
- Click on unit in lower panel window cancelling its order. DO NOT give new order. If there are multiple units, you get a dialog box with unit list, be sure to select correct one. By this selecting the order should be also cancelled. DO NOT give new order to this unit.
- Find new unit for order cancellation, if needed.
Last edited by mart7x5; July 13, 2005 at 23:40.