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Supply Crawler Upgrades

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  • Supply Crawler Upgrades

    In Vels Strategy Guide he says:

    <b>"Planetary Datalinks (Cyberethics):

    Seldom even built in MP games, unless it’s a free-for all with six players. Good one to deny the AI though.

    (How-To Note: Rapidly Building Secret Projects: The very best way to rapidly complete a secret project is to have all the bases in the immediate vicinity of the “Project Base” build crawlers and have them start harvesting minerals. In all likelihood, you will begin to run some eco-damage, but don’t worry, it won’t be for long! Remember that each crawler you have costs you a base of 30 minerals. Remember too, that most of the early game project cost between 200-300 minerals, which means that for a paltry ten crawlers (less than that, in practice), you can complete any of the early game projects! Your goal here is to keep building crawlers at an ever increasing rate until you have enough to send them all to the “Project Base” and finish the project. Alternately, you could simply set your nearby bases to building crawlers and shuffle them into the Project base upon completion, but this is slightly less efficient, although the upshot is that you don’t have to worry with eco-damage creating fungal blooms and the potential for worm-rape. Also note that, if you have the cash, you can get significantly more “bang for your buck” by spending some cash to upgrade the crawler to a more expensive variant, because when you cash the crawler in toward the Secret Project, you will get its full mineral value....note however that crawler-upgrading is regarded as a cheat in many circles, so check beforehand to make sure that’s acceptable, and if not, just use “regular” crawlers as described above)."</b>

    what does supply crawler upgrading mean and how do you do it?
    I also thought that you only got half the mineral value?

  • #2
    When a base is building an SP, any crawlers disbanded there are credited at their full mineral value.

    Crawlers can be upgraded just like any other unit, with heavier armor and a special ability or two added on top as well.

    This is the mentioned "cheat" technique for SP rush-building: Have a number of bases build basic crawlers, pay the cash to upgrade them to the hilt once they're complete, send them to the base building the SP, and disband them there.
    "Minding Your Business Since 1991"


    • #3
      PS - misleading grammar in my first post. Crawlers are always credited at full mineral value for any production, not just SP.

      "Minding Your Business Since 1991"


      • #4
        Remeber tht upgrades must have the same chassis, you cannot uprage a Inf crawler to a rover supply unit.
        Gaius Mucius Scaevola Sinistra
        Japher: "crap, did I just post in this thread?"
        "Bloody hell, Lefty.....number one in my list of persons I have no intention of annoying, ever." Bugs ****ing Bunny
        From a 6th grader who readily adpated to internet culture: "Pay attention now, because your opinions suck"


        • #5
          Crawler upgrades are actually a "cheaper" way to quickly buy a secret project. The base crawler is 30 minerals with Industry at 0 but you can upgrade it to an armoured variety with 2 special abilities it can then be cashed in for its full mineral "cost" which can be 120 minerals or more. The cost per mineral varies a bit and there was once a thread where a person calculated the cost/mineral of a whole bunch of variations. In any event it was far cheaper than rushing the Secret Project directly.

          If you are unfamiliar with crawlers, you are ALWAYS presented with a set of crawler options when a crawler enters a base (similar to when an AA enters a base) and you can chose to apply the crawler mineral value to the SP. Since the full value applies it is pretty effective.

          The crawler upgrade method allows most SPs to be built in a single turn although even without upgrades they can finish one pretty quickly


          • #6
            I would be one of those people who look askance at crawler booming. These things are supposed to be some sort of robotic supply trains - are they telling me that after 50 years of trucking that ore, that they are AS GOOD AS NEW??? Not only that, but they want me to believe that these robot farmers are some kind of combination of Wall St. Wizards and Super Einstein that they can more than triple your money and then turn it into the cure for Cancer.

            The caravans in Civ were bad enough, but at least they didn't pretend to be running the electric grid in their day job. Think about this: a hundred camels have been sitting in the mountains for 80 years; they come down to your city and ZAP!, we have two thirds of a spaceship.

            So now do you want to know how I feel about upgrading crawlers before you turn them in???

            (No, it's not just a game!)


            • #7
              Originally posted by johndmuller

              So now do you want to know how I feel about upgrading crawlers before you turn them in???

              (No, it's not just a game!)
              LOL, we all do love our smac(x)!


              Here's the thread where MoSe, as usual, outdoes himself with a detailed explaination of crawler upgrade costs. I copied the meat of it to a notepad file, which I can pull up during a game to figure out which crawlers or combination of crawlers I need for a SP. Very, very handy.


              Another thing which I learned just recently, and posted somewhere else: Normally you have to think at least a turn ahead and upgrade crawlers within range of the base where you intend to build the SP, because upgrading requires a full turn of movement. Upgrade in turn 1, and move and cash in turn 2.

              However, if the crawler is in the base that will build the SP (possibly moved there, but more likely just built), then you can upgrade the crawler, then select it and press "o" and cash it in the same turn. Super handy to get exactly the right amount of minerals for the SP, while giving some flexability as to exactly how many crawlers will be cashed.

              If you have been infiltrated, it also gives you the opportunity to rush build a SP, when your oponent thought you did not have enough resources to do so. If your opponent sees you have upgraded 1 or 2 crawlers in a turn, he may pre-emptively finish the same project 1 turn ahead of you. If you upgrade and cash the same turn you might (but might not) catch him unawares.
              Team 'Poly


              • #8
                I also consider it a "cheat" even in SP b/c the AI apparently does not use the technique. The AI will build and use crawlers to rush-build SPs. However, it only builds standard infrantry crawlers and never upgrades them. So the human here has a significant over the AI, when one normally the AI is supposed to have the advantage, especially at higher difficulty levels.

                So I personally never use the technique.

                However, what I do instead is have a range of crawlers of various costs in my workshop slots. Later when I construct a crawler, either for cashing or for resource crawling, I try to have the base build the most expensive crawler it can in one or two turns. For example, assume a base is producing 40 minerals per turn. This base can then produce a crawler costing either 40 or 50 minerals, depending on whether there were any left over minerals from the previous turn. The extra minerals can then be cashed at a later date when building an SP.

                (BTW, this same technique is useful for constructing any unit. Have a range of units, such as airpower, costing various amounts. Then select which unit to build by whether the base can build that unit in one turn. }