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Formers and Roads in the Early Game

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  • Formers and Roads in the Early Game

    How do you decide whether to use your formers to build roads and sensors or to improve squares? Is there enough time to accomplish both in the early game? Everybody seems to agree that roads are very important, but I am always rushing to complete terrain improvements so that I can put out more colony pods until about 2140 when I start working on my standard 4-6 SP's. As a result I have played many games all the way through without ever building even a single road. It works just fine on single player; I conquer the first faction I see and then everybody is so far away that by the time they come after me I have DocAir and can move units via air transport. In fact I usually don't even have to do that. But I think that in MP somebody is going to come along with a momentum strategy and if he has half a brain I will be toast. So, basically what I am asking is what is the general consensus about how many formers to build and how to use them? I know it's a complicated question, but it's really bugging me.
    Who exactly lives in the United Nations? If you are a hobo and you sleep in front of the U.N. building, does that count?

  • #2
    When you're in the initial base building phase, it's rare for a base to grow to bigger than size 2. That being the case, a base cannot utilize more than two developed tiles. To improve more tiles than that per base uses former time that could be better used for other projects.

    If I don't already have a square that yields 2 nuts and 1 mineral, I first create one if possible (farm on a rolling moist square). Next, again if possible, I find a flat square, build a road (one turn) and then plant a forest on that square. I then build roads leading to the next base site.

    Using formers to build roads creates turn advantage (Colony pods take fewer turns to establish a new base).

    For more discussion on roads, see the following link:

    (Hate Roads - What are They Good For?)
    "The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."
    -- Kosh