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what should i build on squares?

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  • what should i build on squares?

    should i build boreholes? or what?

    what is the point of forest?

    oh yeah, is there a matching service for smac multiplayer? the smac head quarter is like shut down...

  • #2
    First let's address the question with the short answer. Check out the news on Apolyton's SMAC section for October 7. They have an alternative service. Now for the long, winded answer.
    What you build on squares depends on lots of stuff. Here are some tips:

    - Moisture: The moisture of a square is either moist, rainy, or arid. Moisture determines how many nutrients a square produces, and is represented by how green the square is. Try building farms in rainy and moist squares.

    - Rockiness: The rockiness determines how many minerals a square produces. A square is either flat, rolling, or rocky. Rocky squares are your best bet for mines. Farms cannot be built on rocky squares (I'm not sure if forests can or not)

    - Altitude: Altitude determines how much energy a square can produce. The higher up a square is, the more energy it produces. Build solar collectors on high ground when possible.

    In general, build enhancements where they'll be most effective. Mines in rocky squares, farms in rainy squares, and solar collectors on high ground. Boreholes, enrichers, condensors, and eschelon mirrors are also great, but cause more eco damage than the others. Some things to remember about them:

    - All of them take a while to build

    - Eschelon mirrors do no good by themselves, they only boost the production of solar panels

    - Boreholes cannot be built next to eachother, and adding a farm to a borehole square does no good whatsoever

    - None of these can be built at sea

    Forests, to answer your other question, have several advantages over other enhancements:

    - They aren't terrain dependent

    - They are eco-friendly

    - Their production can be upped by building hybrid forests and tree farms

    - They can help defend your base by slowing enemy rovers (minor benefit)

    - They spread spontaneously

    Build forests on arid, flat squares, where other enhancements have minimum effect.

    Sea squares: On sea squares, you can build kelp farms, tidal harnesses, or mining platforms. Basically, build what you feel you need here, since there is no benefit or loss due to terrain.

    Special squares: Certain special terrains enhance production of a specific resource. Use these squares to help boost your production of that resource.

    In general, you have to decide the what enhancements suit your situation. Hope this helps.
    "Beauty is not in the face...Beauty is a light in the heart." - Kahlil Gibran
    "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves" - Victor Hugo
    "It is noble to be good; it is still nobler to teach others to be good -- and less trouble." - Mark Twain


    • #3
      To emphasize, forests are terraforming that grows. So you don't have to do all the work yourself. Kelp farms do something similar at sea.
      Both are heavy advantages, if used, especially early in the game.
      You should be aware that forests will not grow in rocky squares, kelp farms will not grow in water deeper than ocean shelf.


      • #4
        The main advantage of using forests is they are durable, cheap to build and reasonably productive.

        Consider this -

        If you have forests all around your base, and a Hybrid Forest erected, you will produce 3 nuts, 2 mins and 2 energy from each square. In a (say) size 10 base, that means 10 extra nuts (30-20), 20 minerals and 20 energy. Note tht this is the absolute minimum one such base can produce. This can be easily enhanced by crawlers working on boreholes, solars/echelons and the like. Also, if you are running FM, each square will produce 3-2-3, which is a massive boon, allowing you 30 energy minimum.

        This is why I am such a big fan of forests. There is also the bonus of little or no eco-damage, which is one less pain in the backside. Sure, TFs and HFs are expensive, but the amount of minerals you'll be producing, you shouldn't have a problem!

        But be careful about using them early in the game. Because they only produce 1 nut without a Tree Farm, they can severely hamper your initial expansion.

        They also cost two to move through, and although the opponent will get a massive 50% boost vs. land attacks, this does not apply to air attacks, leaving the infantry coming through as lambs to the slaughter!

        Another very useful thing you can do with terraforming are the so-called 'energy farms', in with solar collectors and echelon mirrors are interwoven, to have the effect of solar collectors producing a minimum of 5 energy each! In this way, you can send an army of crawlers over there, and bring in an obscene amount of energy every turn. Furthermore, if you raise the land to its maximum altitude, they will produce 8/turn....

        If it's minerals you're after, a mine on a rocky square with a road running through will produce 4/turn, which is all you will need, as eco-damage increases dramatically after about 20 minerals....

        Hope this helps!

        [This message has been edited by mark13 (edited October 28, 2000).]
        We're back!


        • #5
          One last thing, which is easily missed. It probably seems from the above that you only want to build tree farms and hybrid forests in bases which have a lot of forests nearby. But, because tree farms/hybrid forests both increase the productivity of forest squares and reduce eco-damage from non-forest improvements such as farms and mines, they are useful for bases which are entirely surrended by farms and solar collectors and boreholes as well as for bases surrounded by nothing but trees.

          And then they have energy bonuses and psych bonuses which make them worthy of consideration even for sea bases...


          • #6

            Originally posted by Black Sunrise on 10-28-2000 10:00 AM
            You should be aware that forests will not grow in rocky squares, kelp farms will not grow in water deeper than ocean shelf.

            I disagree with your comments about forests and rockiness. You cannot build forests in rocky squares, but forests will def expand into them. I frequently come back later to put down some mines on rocky squares that have forest on them (bonus five mineral harvested!). Forest will also expand into condesor squares, provided there is no Farm, and will expand into a square with a monolith aswell.

            Not sure if I agree with you about the kelp expansion either.

            My rule of thumb is simple.

            Pre Tree Farms
            Rainy/rolling: Solar collector, farm after gene splicing.
            Moist/rolling: Farm/solar collector.
            Rocky: Mine/Road or Borehole
            Anything else: Forest.

            post Tree Farm, Pre Hybrid Forest
            Not that this phase usually last very long in SMACX, but
            Rainy/Rolling: Farm/Solar collector
            Moist/Rolling/alititude 1000+: Farm/Solar collector.
            Rocky: Mine/Road or Borehole
            Anything else: Forest

            post Hybrid forest
            Rainy/Rolling/alititude 1000+: Farm/solar collector
            Moist/Rolling/altitude 1000+: Farm/solar collector/soil enricher when available or forest.
            Rocky: Mine/road or Borehole
            Anything else: forest

            other enhancements
            I might place the occasional condensor on an arid or moist/rolling square if the majority of the surrounding squares are also arid. I will usually place one on a nutrient special.
            I will place a echelon mirror if more than half of the surrounding squares have solar collectors.

            Every square outside base radii gets either a borehole, or a mine/road if rocky and can't place a borehole, or farm/condensor/soil enricher. I don't like energy parks usually, although I do concede their effectiveness. They just take a long time to set up (granted, so do boreholes), and you need a relatively safe contiguous area, which is usually my biggest problem.
            [This message has been edited by Fitz (edited November 01, 2000).]
            Fitz. (n.) Old English
            1. Child born out of wedlock.
            2. Bastard.


            • #7
              "Every square outside base radii gets either a borehole, or a mine/road if rocky and can't place a borehole,"

              I see this kind of thing a lot. Question: Why put bore holes outside of city radius? You would have to use a supply carrer and it can only harvest one thing at a time. If they are in the radius you get all the goodies.
              I have no living enemies!


              • #8

                Why put bore holes outside of city radius? You would have to use a supply carrer and it can only harvest one thing at a time. If they are in the radius you get all the goodies.

                Two reasons:

                a) you don't get any nuts from borehole squares,
                b) the effect of eco-damage is smaller outside the base radius. (I think)

                Base radius squares are better used for farm/solars or forest, as they give you a more balanced supply of nuts, mins and energy.
                We're back!


                • #9
                  Regarding boreholes outside of city radii, my reasons are simple:

                  1) Pre Hybrid forest, you get 0 eco damage from a borehole outside of city radii, and lots inside.
                  2) Post hybrid forest, I will put boreholes inside city radii. Usually on rocky squares that aren't sloped.
                  3) Crawling & Boreholes: This allows you to control eco-damage precisely. Use minerals until you get to the limit for 0 eco-damage, and have the remainder crawl energy.

                  I'm a mineral man, not an energy man. I find I do better if I aim to produce things rather than rush them. That's just me though.
                  Fitz. (n.) Old English
                  1. Child born out of wedlock.
                  2. Bastard.


                  • #10
                    To be honest, I build very few boreholes, and none at all in many games - particularly SMAX. They take so long to build and I build them outside the city radius because of eco-damage anyway. Being an energy fiend, rather than a minerals type, my preference is always, always for tidal harness/thermocline/sea crawler post fusion reactors. It's easily the cheapest, fastest most cost-effective way to harvest a *lot* of energy. Which is not to say that I don't build land energy parks because I do. But not to the same extent.
                    Team 'Poly


                    • #11
                      Yep, I use that a *lot* - tidal harnesses are incredible value for what they are...

                      Mind you, as the pirates I tend to devote one or two sea shelves to mining platforms - after AdvEcoEng they produce 3 mins each - you only need two or three of these to make a difference.....

                      Also, with kelp/tidals as the Pirates, each square brings in 4/1/5 (assuming aquafarm and thermocline) - and that is a *lot* of energy.....
                      We're back!


                      • #12
                        My latest Pirate settlement program strictly dictates that new bases can only be founded on mineral specials. Every base starts off with a mineral production of 5 (very good for a new base) and by pop 6 has the minimal number of 10/turn. Those six workers are usually working tidal harnesses, and after I work on my gross efficiency this will net me some nice income and research rates. Of course I have to spend a fortune rush building everything, but this gives me time to produce some more of those expensive supply foils.


                        • #13

                          Originally posted by Fitz on 11-01-2000 01:20 PM
                          I might place the occasional condensor on an arid or moist/rolling square if the majority of the surrounding squares are also arid. I will usually place one on a nutrient special.

                          Does this answer your question. Don't forget you can put a soil enricher on the square later on
                          Fitz. (n.) Old English
                          1. Child born out of wedlock.
                          2. Bastard.


                          • #14
                            What is this American fascination with leaving the 's' off maths? The full version, mathematics, is plural, the shorter version should also be....


                            Out of interest, how do you deal with eco-damage? It would seem a necessary part of the game to at least deal with it as it comes. In civ2 all you had to do was keep 2 engineers 'on alert' to clear up any pollution the turn it appeared. In SMAC, it is somewhat trickier, as the sea levels rise regardless of whether you have cleared it up or not....

                            Yeah, I'm sorry, I didn't read the whole thread with as much attention as maybe I should.
                            We're back!


                            • #15
                              My thoughts on t-forming (I provide here primarily land t-forming advice, or at least how I do it, as I agree wholeheartedly that sea t-forming for energy purposes is the the most effective and easily accomplishable energy harvesting)

                              Early stage
                              Initially farm a moist square if no 2+ nutrient square available (i.e nut special, rainy, or monolith)
                              Forests all other squares

                              Paradigm Shift #1 - aquisition of WP
                              New bases get condensor farm on one square and forests

                              Note if WP is not aquired, then proceed with typical Forest/tree farm approach.

                              WARNING NOTE: MODERATE WORKING/CRAWLERING OF BUT ONE BOREHOLE OR 2 MINES AT FOLLOWING TWO PHASES MINIMIZE ECO DAMAGE. Mins per base is on the order of 13-18 depending on planet rating at the time and depending on whether borhole is worked.

                              Paradigm Shift #2 - Mineral resticition lifted
                              Rockies, become roaded mines. Crawlers to the mines my robot friends!

                              Paradigm Shift #3 - Energy restrictions lifted
                              Begin boreholing coastline every other square (note this is somewhat dangerous as marauding naval vessels can arty destroy your enhancement as a default it also necessitates your expansion into the sea to provide a ring of sea bases to protect your productive coast lines and yes Mis, nothing beats foil crawlers bringing in easy tidal energy) I attempt to work boreholes wherever possible but will at times have to settle for but 1 borehole per base until advent of hybrids.

                              I used to be a huge fan of land based energy parks but now find I would rather have the extra bases that the space would otherwise take up for purposes of extra build queues.

                              Paradigm shift #4 - Advent of fusion - post Hybrids

                              Convert most existing forest squares into condensor/farm/& ultimately soil enrichers and boreholes wherever possible. Crawler nutrients back into base and put otherwise workers into engineer role. Boreholes provide ample mins and loss of hybrid forest energy is more than recouped through better engineer energy yield as well as borehole energy. Size 16 base is supported by 5 crawlered condensor/farm/soil enrichers squares (sans nutrient specials) Normally no less than 2-3 boreholes per base which are actually worked leaving remaining squares open for crawlers to bring in mins or energy
                              from untouched forests.

                              Paradigm shift #5 - Advent of hab domes (I almost never get here as I quit long before this happens)

                              Convert remaining forest to condensor/farm/soil enrichers for maximum population growth (Along with scads of hydroponic farms sats.) All specialists as transcendi.

                              Optional tactic: Pick one central land locked base (I find it helps cut down a little on the generation of locusts) and borehole as much as possible crawler in mins etc. to create a polluter base. Build every min enhancing facility. (A nice feature of this is that when the inevitable floods come if your assets are heavily weighted to formers as mine normally are, you will be able to raise land no problem while watching the other faction drown). your base must be prepared with numerous elite trance units and numerous elite empath units. Elite trance defend against any possible missed planet attack. Elite empath units(some capable to attack locusts) rake in scads of energy from planet pearls. As the fungal sprouts and worm attacks begin one nice feature is that the boreholes still remain productive even after being swarmed under by fungus.

                              "Just puttin on the foil" - Jeff Hanson

                              “In a democracy, I realize you don’t need to talk to the top leader to know how the country feels. When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that’s the dictator, because he speaks for all the people.” - Jimmy Carter