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  • Fixed Base Placement - main bases and helper bases

    I have been trying this base-placement strategy, and it seems to work quite well. Sorry if it's already been done by the pros on this board.

    [the configuration]
    If you jigsaw 3 base radii together, the tightest fit will be a triangle with one on top, and a 3-tile strip between the two at the bottom, as shown below by the 4's.

    ____111____
    ___11111___
    ___11111___
    ___11111___
    _222111333_
    22222433333
    22222433333
    22222433333
    _222___333_

    The idea behind the base placement strategy is:
    (a) to work 100% of the tiles
    (b) to concentrate the Main Bases, which will eventually work their full radius, on infrastructure
    (c) to relieve the Main Bases of building small builds and colony pods by relegating those tasks to the Helper Bases, which work the 3-tile strips.

    * in the very early game, the focus for all bases is expansion via building colony pods

    * in the mid-early game, once the Main Bases are sufficiently far from the territory perimeter that it would take their CPs too long to crawl anywhere, switch them to infrastructure, and don't look back

    * in the mid-game, the helper bases that are deep in the territory build drop CPs, needlejet CPs (if mineral production outstrips nutrient production by quite a bit), or regular CPs to boost the population of Main Bases beyond Hab limits and thus work their full radius.
    When the police rating increases, they can also build clean police infantry.
    Helper bases in the mid- to late game lets Main Bases build costly infrastructure and not waste their high mineral production on small items.

    * in the mid-game, Main Bases finish infrastructure, then build either Secret Projects or uber-military units.

    * in the late game... I'm not there yet. But I expect it will be more of the same in the mid-game, until the world is choked full of bases and expansion is no longer feasible. At that point, the Helpers are building CPs to boost population if the Cloning Tanks are not available. Then clean formers to have a sizable force of formers.

  • #2
    Sorry if it's already been done by the pros on this board.
    I believe it's still brought up because there's no definiate right answer to that question.

    Generally fixed base placement, isn't that good an idea as you are restricted by terrian (fungus or rocky on your intended base square) or there will be a better base placement due to available resources. Also the moving a base might be required so you can create that sea channel or so that sea probes don't get returned to the nearest base that is land locked.

    Usually need to consider what base size you intend your cities will reach, if the game will be decided by the mid or even late early game, and what faction+strategy you're playing too.

    * It has been shown that closer base placement gets earlier advantage, while wide base placement helps the late game more.
    * It's generally accepted that Hive gets more advantage by packing the bases closer for that high support. Also it's unable to pop boom easily.
    * It's generally accepted that peace keepers need more space as their faction pop booms easily and has less drone problems.
    * People like to pack bases closer together when given the monsoon jungle.
    * Morgan is usually packed closer to allow for more bases and to take advantage of the large amounts of energy from the base square. Also Morgan has base size restrictions and boom restricted so can't make use of as much of the land.
    * Some people can handle more juggling of resources between bases and can handle the mircomanagement of packing them tighter than others.
    * For momentum players with large support a huge army can be fielded if you have many small bases.

    An example of an extreme strategy... curiousity has spoken of minimal base packing with 3 squares per base being fairly successful (if you're up to the huge mircomanagement task). Also there can be frontier bases packed at minimal spacing used as a defensive grid.

    So the answer is, your base placement strategy may be the best for certain situations. However, it would be a mistake to think that one size fits all.



    Edit:
    The most interesting idea I've read on base placement is founding all your bases on the coast. Crawling the middle and making use of the high amounts of food that can be gained from the sea. I forget which forum it was, but I think the discussion was between Sikander and Ogie Oglethorpe on some obscure site that hadn't been posted to for a few years. I thought about it, and figured that the extra time required for expansion (since you would mainly be expanding only in two directions instead of 4) and getting flexibility&fusion (delays the nutrient crawling) would put you too far behind to make use of the benefits of the strategy.
    Last edited by Kody; December 1, 2003, 11:02.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kody


      wide base placement helps the late game more.
      How so? I find that the hab domes come too late to be useful and pod booming isn't usually the best approach. Satellites allow you to have the maximum population even if you pack your bases very closely.

      Originally posted by Kody
      An example of an extreme strategy... curiousity has spoken of minimal base packing with 3 squares per base being fairly successful (if you're up to the huge mircomanagement task). Also there can be frontier bases packed at minimal spacing used as a defensive grid.
      I've yet to test this properly, but I believe this base spacing would be really useful when satellites come into the picture. Of course, the game can well be over before this time.

      Originally posted by Kody

      Edit:
      The most interesting idea I've read on base placement is founding all your bases on the coast. Crawling the middle and making use of the high amounts of food that can be gained from the sea. I forget which forum it was, but I think the discussion was between Sikander and Ogie Oglethorpe on some obscure site that hadn't been posted to for a few years.
      I've read a lot of older posts on this forum from Sikander about this strategy. I think who used to place his bases like this before he started using the 2 on the diagonal base placement.

      Comment


      • #4
        Grail Quest:

        No overlapping base radius may look pretty, but it is fairly useless.

        Hab domes enabling tech comes something like 5-6 turns before transcedence if this is your preferred victory objective. I don't even build them usually as the investment will never pay off.

        Effectively max base size is somewhere between 11 (Morgan) and 18 (Lal+Ascetic Virtues). So you really never need more than 18 workable squares per base and more likely than not no more than 16.

        In addition, placing bases farther apart means that
        (i) you'll lose more time moving colony pods
        (ii) you'll lose more energy to inefficiency, as it is proportional to distance from HQ.

        Realistically working all 16 squares in all bases may cause drone problems (unless you are willing to spend 30% on psych), so you'll want to convert some of your citizens to specialists. But then, it becomes obvious that you will not use your 16 squares either and you may pack your bases tighter.

        How tight is a matter of preference. If you are a governor and playing a peaceful game, you'll get tons of commerce which is proportional to the base raw energy output. In this case, you don't want *too many* specialist. In such a case I'd shoot for 12 workers (3x4 rectangle for each base) and 4 specialists.

        If you are at war or everyone hates you (ie aliens), commerce income is non-existant and then specialists are actually better than workers (except on a borehole). Same holds true for Hive who cannot really pop-boom and tends to be energy-deprived anyway. So in such a case it would be better to shoot for 1:1 worker/specialist ratio which means even smaller bases (3x3 square for each base, 8 workers/8 specialists).

        It is possible to place bases even tighter and have even more specialists but I tend to think that it is suboptimal simply because of all the terraforming required to support this strategy (you'll need plenty of condensers and bases will have troubles growing to max size prior to sattelites). Except Hive, maybe.

        For Lal/Zak/Dei/etc, and assuming I can grab AV, my ideal placement would be

        1...2...3...
        ............
        ............
        .4...5...6..
        ............
        ............
        ..7...8...9.

        but it is much more important to place bases close to resources, on rivers, on the coastline etc. so it is rather academic.
        Last edited by ErikM; December 1, 2003, 12:33.
        It is only totalitarian governments that suppress facts. In this country we simply take a democratic decision not to publish them. - Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister

        Comment


        • #5
          There's another reason that 3 and 2 space base placement is more effective, and that's the concept of mutual defense. If your bases have no overlapping radii, then they must be 4 squares apart. This means that any infantry reinforcement from an adjacent base must take 2 turns to arrive. The strength of the 3 square alignment is that it leaves a reasonable amount of workable tiles for each base while allowing each base to support it neighbors with troops, whether it's to stave off worms, enemy units, or just an untimely riot.

          I heard mention of some folks packing Morganite bases tighter, for faster collection of base square energy. While this is a strategy that can be valid, I actually prefer 3-tile spacing, as this will accomodate as many workers in the midgame as possible. Why? Because I'll always be running Wealth for +1 energy per square. In order to reap the benefits from that SE choice, I need more workers and fewer specialists, and that means having sufficient tiles to work.

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          • #6
            Interlocking Base Grid

            I play solo exclusively. This item reflects my solo-play methods. I use very large custom maps.

            Here is the base grid I use for a non-overlapping interlocking layout that leaves the least possible number of squares unavailable to workers. It can be mirrored.

            I have it printed out both ways. When looking at the printed grid, turn it 45 degrees to see it as it appears in the game. Each can be used two ways, depending on which way it is turned. Which way I use it is decided by the landing spot and where the best site is for the next base. I expand around and out from there, preparing sites as I go. The only time I vary from the grid is to avoid placing a base on a special. The grid continues into the water when I feel like having sea bases.

            It gives every base its own 20 squares plus 2 more. In the diagram, those two are the closest with the X diagonally out from the base. The inside 20 get workers. The outside 2 get crawlers. They are forested unless they are rocky, then they are mined. The forest crawler takes whichever resource I need at the time. I don't use "second-tier" terraforming (boreholes, condensors, enrichers, mirrors). I frequently drill new wells around the tops of hills: if you don't drill at the peak, you can drill 3 or 4 wells one space lower.

            Roads are laid only on the diagonals: two spaces out from each of the four corners of the base, not out the sides. Mines receive roads, of course. Magtubes are laid over the standard road grid, never on mines off that grid. This prevents a unit from bypassing a base via magtube.
            Attached Files
            I am on a mission to see how much coffee it takes to actually achieve time travel. :frantic:

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            • #7
              The defense problem is easly solved by building a few rover defense units, usually one for every two or three bases is enough.
              A university faculty is 500 egoists with a common parking problem

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              • #8
                I favor flexibility over all else-- my bases are generally 3 tiles apart, often 2 with Hive or morgan but I follow NO fixed pattern and never have. To me , the early benefits of getting to use a special, or creating a coastal base, or not having to terraform rocky or fungusy squares away is most important. I put bases where they will go most easily. So while bases are generally 3 tiles apart maximum, there are times when a base will go 4 or 5 tiles out, simply because it is the best base site-- I may infill a base in-between after OR perhaps I will crawl some stuff from the gaps.

                NO pattern ever. I like to keep my opponents guessing.
                You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

                Comment


                • #9
                  How so? I find that the hab domes come too late to be useful and pod booming isn't usually the best approach. Satellites allow you to have the maximum population even if you pack your bases very closely.
                  Well you have to remember who's asking the question when you reply to a question. I believe the players who don't play much PBEM or multiplayer, are more used to single player games where the game continues for a while after hab domes. Also he talked about pod booming. It means he's purposefully bypassing the hab limits by sending pods to the bases.

                  The defense problem is easly solved by building a few rover defense units, usually one for every two or three bases is enough.
                  The defence problem is also related to aerodomes, and the interceptor defensive grid. A more tightly packed spacing prevents drop units and an interceptor in every base means aircraft can't easily get to your central bases.

                  Anyway in my opinion the way people place their bases is often strongly effected by their playing style and also whether they are mostly playing multiplayer or singleplayer.

                  The base placement suggested by ErikM is what is most commonly used in the multiplayer community as it seems to be the best setup for the conditions in most PBEMs. My humble opinion is to not restrict yourself to a certain base placement strategy as the conditions in your game might vary from what is usual.

                  For example if you were playing peace keepers, with many rivers (faster colony pod movement), no special resources (except from unity pods), pod booming allowed, huge map and in single player. Those conditions would favour wider base placement.

                  The delay of moving the colony pods around is reduced from the rivers. The no special resources means you'll have less useful squares available and you might have to move your colony pods further apart to make use of the special resources you pop from pods. Peace keepers allow means it's easy to increase your base size, and pod booming means you can bypass the pop limits. Huge map means you should expand more in the early game as you have the space to sprawl out. Single player means your opponents are stupid and you don't have to worry about defensive as much as in multiplayer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kody


                    Well you have to remember who's asking the question when you reply to a question. I believe the players who don't play much PBEM or multiplayer, are more used to single player games where the game continues for a while after hab domes. Also he talked about pod booming. It means he's purposefully bypassing the hab limits by sending pods to the bases.
                    You said that it has been shown that wide base placement helps the late game more and I disagree with that statement. I also mentioned pod booming in my post and I'm aware what it's about. There's a cost to pod booming, and I believe the colony pods would be better used in most cases by founding new bases, even amidst the old ones. By the time satellites come along, the new bases can very quickly get to maximum size, assuming pop booming.


                    By the way, one element that influences my base placement early on are unity pods -- whenever convenient, I like to place my bases right next to them. Getting an assured positive pod outcome (barring earthquakes) can be very beneficial, especially if the pod is on fungus, in which case worms seem to be more common in my experience. I also delay pod popping, if I know I will place a base next to the pod in the near future.

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                    • #11
                      You said that it has been shown that wide base placement helps the late game more and I disagree with that statement. I also mentioned pod booming in my post and I'm aware what it's about. There's a cost to pod booming, and I believe the colony pods would be better used in most cases by founding new bases, even amidst the old ones. By the time satellites come along, the new bases can very quickly get to maximum size, assuming pop booming.
                      That argument makes alot of sense.
                      Last edited by Kody; December 1, 2003, 21:06.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Base placement has been an ongoing discussion since inceptionof SMAC. Initial disucssions regarding hollow continent approach was something toyed with by Sik. By and large tho' the first to advocate 5 on the die spacing was Vel. Vel thought of 5 on the die where all outside bases of the nexxus worked squares whilst the internal base was completely specialized via crawlers sent tothe interior. (This was deemed an innefficient use of crawlers as it would take inordinate amount of crawlers relocating single nuts to the interior base). Sik and I then expanded the idea to use of crawlers for complete specialization. Problem was how to get specialists early enough in the game to compete with a traditional forestation and beeline through tech restriction lifting approach. The obvious problem was the massive amount of terraforming and crawlering involved to make specialization a reality.

                        One suggestion was make use of ocean squares as they are easy to t-form and kelp spreading. Hence the initial look see at primarily coastal bases. In the long run tho' as suggested here it is my belief that the sacrifice in terms of truns required to place bases along a coast outweigh benefits Instead one is much better suited setting them as quickely as possibel in what approximates 5 on the die allowing for variance inthe case of inhabitable fungus or rocky squares (if they can not be cleared by formers in time.)

                        Finally, along with previous forum disucssions about need for roading I think at present conventional wisdom holds that getting bases placed ASAP (ala similar to a 5 on the die) holds the most initial game advantage and as a consequence allows players stronger early game gambits and thus holds the greatest promise. (the early game is always the most important part of the game IMO)
                        "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

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                        • #13
                          Wasn't pod booming able to overcome the hab limits (never used it)? If so, is it regarded as a cheat when you use it to get larger bases than allowed?
                          Why doing it the easy way if it is possible to do it complicated?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Adalbertus
                            Wasn't pod booming able to overcome the hab limits (never used it)?
                            yes


                            Originally posted by Adalbertus
                            If so, is it regarded as a cheat when you use it to get larger bases than allowed?
                            NO--this does not appear as a rule in any PBEM I am a part of

                            its a decent tactic but the cost of a colony pod means each pop point is far from free. . .
                            You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Flubber


                              NO--this does not appear as a rule in any PBEM I am a part of
                              Except perhaps the ACDG?

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