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When do you tinker with %energy?

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  • When do you tinker with %energy?

    Just when I thought I knew everything, something comes up again. I'm in a rather slow PBEM and getting frustrated at that point after you're made the first two or three discoveries and your discovery rate drops to one every 15 years because you only have two size 1 bases and a size 2 HQ base. I tried fiddling with the % allocation and found that by going up to 70% research/ 30% economy I could up my annual research points from 5 to 8 at a price of 3 measly credits a year in economy! This is as the Gaians, of course, with +2 efficiency. But a 60% increase in research rate brings the Gaians close to the 70% bonus of the University (20% bonus plus 50% for the free node).
    In the very early game, you can still make pretty favorable trade offs with +0 efficiency. It depends on whether you have an odd or an even number of energy units in your base. If you have 3 units of energy, then it splits 1:2 in favor of research anyway, and there is nothing to be gained from tinkering with the % allocation. But if your bases have an even number of energy units, then it is much better to have a 1:3 aplit in favor research rather than 2:2. This is because research costs is 50-100 at this point, and getting Planetary Networks 4 turns earlier is worth forgoing a few credits of income.

    I have to admit that I steopped playing with the % energy allocation unless I was trying to get a Golden Age with some Psych allocaiton, or when I was +4 efficiency and could goose up research or eceonomy wihtout penalty. It seems like much of time (especially for the Peacekeepers or Pirates!) that tilting your allocation toward research yields almost no benefit and just wastes energy. But it seems to me that even at +0 efficiency, it is sometimes worth it to bias your energy towards research, espeically very early on.

    There are a few times when I bias toward economy instead of research. Most important is a military challenge, which usually means I am in a hurry to upgrade those flimsy scouts to plasma steel. Also, I like to have plenty of cash on hand the turn I discover Fusion Power for the instant upgrades. Finally, it is worth slacking off on research for a turn or two to rush build some Tree Farms or Hybrid Forests to let my bases grow and to increase economy and psych.

    How about the rest of you?

    Creator of the Ultimate Builder Map, based on the Huge Map of Planet, available at The Chironian Guild:
    Creator of the Ultimate Builder Map, based on the Huge Map of Planet, available at The Chironian Guild:

  • #2
    It looks like I am more of a micro-manager. I am forever fiddling with the energy/research ratio. My habit seems particularly excessive in challenge and PBEM games. I often find myself playing with it (although not usually changing it) every turn or two.

    And it starts right away. I am currently working on the Miriam OCC challenge. Since you don't get RPs for the first ten years, I maximize cash from day one. Thereafter I will often go negative cash flow for the added research if I happen to have cash lying around.


    • #3
      In the first 10 years, Miriam and Domai gain no research points -- so for them, you might as well throw all your energy into commerce income. (Depending on efficiency, the optimum may be 100%, or somewhat less than 100%.) But don't forget to put the sliders back in place for research when the 10-year penalty is over!

      For most of the early game, I tend to run 50/50 unless I have an efficiency bonus. Especially if I'm in Planned (which is common), the losses due to inefficiency are too big.

      After Tree Farms are in place, I'll typically run with a large research allocation and a small energy allocation -- and maybe 10% psych, depending on needs. I generally avoid running a commerce deficit unless I absolutely, positively must learn some tech ASAP. I'll also try to avoid running close to a commerce deficit -- if, say, 30% commerce would give me +5 EC/turn, but 40% commerce would give me +40 EC/turn, I'll run 40% and let research take an extra turn. (I tend to build a lot of base facilities.)

      Toward the end of the game (post-Fusion, certainly) I may be able to run 100% research (or 90%, with 10% psych) and still have appreciable positive income, thanks to the Engineers/Transcendi. This requires that I have Trees & Hybrids, Energy Banks (or Energy Grid) and Fusion Labs in my core bases for the multipliers.


      • #4
        Once as Cyborgs playing blind research the early game situation had caused my tech rate to fall way down, mainly because I had no network nodes.

        So I switched Econ to 100% (which I rarely do except for mass facility rushes and when I really need cash for military) and focused on expansion and building network nodes, this also had enourmous payoffs in terms of the VW SP, allowing me to switch to FM much earlier and my tech rate really exploded when I switched back to normal allocations.


        • #5

          I never played with energie% in the early game, because I thoughd, with those few bucks, it wouldn't make much difference.

          But after the things You mentioned, it seems very worth to give it a try.

          Normally, I look about energy% after a change in SE.


          • #6
            Another example: As university, getting 6 energy in each of two bases. Normal split is 3:3 so you get 6 economy and 24 research points from both bases. Now (and this is with normal +0 efficiency) you just go to 60% research, the split becomes 2:4 and now you are getting 4 economy and 28.8 research points. Helps get those critical early techs.
            Creator of the Ultimate Builder Map, based on the Huge Map of Planet, available at The Chironian Guild:


            • #7
              One use I find for juggling energy is in that phase between Hab Complexes and maximum city size where I am pop booming like crazy.

              Normally I try to ensure each base on a boom has +2 and only +2 food, other citizens are technicians or librarians according to need. I selectively starve bases by using specialists to generate tech or income, and then overfeed to boost production and food reserves.

              I never let a base reach maximum food if it cannot grow. Well almost never.

              Once the base reaches max it can usually support 4-6 specialists, especially if there are some food convoys around

              But I hate doctors, so until empath arrives I'll often slowly boost the psych to enable the pop boom to continue, the loss is almost always compensated for by the extra specialists I can bring on. Once the empath is there, its economy boost is 2/3 of a technician anyway so I'm not so fussed.

              Also, I love the Longetivity Vaccine, I am so frequently in planned or perhaps green, that the drone reduction is a massive bonus, allows me to run a virtually 0 psych.
              Remember my son, you've got to get your retaliation in first!

              I always carry a bottle of alcohol in case I should see a snake....which I also carry!


              • #8
                I am a crazy micromanager and thus I fiddle with the energy allocation all the time, from the very beginning. Sometimes I run 100% tech or 100% economy if I need something badly and quickly even if I have losses. But more often I find, that running 90% is better than 100%, e.g. 90% economy gives more energy than 100% (due to roundoff effects vs inefficiency ratio) - does not matter where you put the 10% rest.

                E.g. if I'm playing Miriam or Drones, I do not pursue research at all, let others do it and I steal it. In this case I fiddle my energy allocation between economy and psych to maximize the cash output each turn. On the other hand with UoP or Gaians I often go full-blown research (close to 100%).

                This is why I am not so much fan of FM either, because I find that running Green can get me more output of a single kind (energy or research) than FM. Especially considering drone-control as well, i.e. in FM you need to allocate some to psych or convert workers to specialists (doctors) to get rid of drones.


                • #9

                  You're right. With 2 size 2 bases in 2117 and two techs already under my belt, my Gaians went from 1 tech in 8 to 1 in 7 years with a 60/40 lab/eco split. With the low total energy the eco and lab penalty (which occurs even with a +2 efficiency) doesn't register, so there is effectively no loss. I didn't try to goose research to 70%, but will later. Now that I think of it, I really don't care if I lose a point or two in economy. A couple of MW kills more than makes up for it, and I get research bump to boot.

                  In my role playing PBEM my research is set permanently on Explore, and I am dreading the day when the Hive or Spartans show up with impact speeders against my 1-1-1 garrisons. Maybe with an aggressive lab strategy I might get a decent weapons tech to defend myself. Thanks, DD!



                  • #10
                    DDad: I don't know why but that game sounds familiar .

                    Usually I increase labs allocation in the early years when playing the hive. Their economy is poor anyway so I end up loosing 3-5 credits/turn, wich is much acceptable considering the tech gain.

                    When playing the UoP I don't use that as much - although what I just read will make me reconsider .


                    • #11

                      I often tinker with the allocation in favor of increased labs in the manner suggested above. In fact I am to the point where almost every turn the allocation is tweaked if there is any research benefits. Usually with most factions, increasing research seems to be the key.

                      I have a different question. Do you ever totally forsake Labs in favor of money?? In theory I hate the idea but have found myself in the situation as Miriam where it seems better to have more and more cash for rushbuilding units and infrastructure. Efficiency is +4 and Economy is set at 100%. "Research" is at about a tech every 4 turns through probe actions and probes should be able to reach and maintain tech parity.


                      • #12
                        Key times when I boost economy rather than research:

                        1. Military emergency. However, it is important to research new military techs, so I wouldn't go 100% economy.

                        2. Just before getting the tree farm tech, I go 60 to 100% research to lift energy restrictions and get tree Famrs as soon as possible. As soon as I get the tech, I go 60 to 100% economy and use the money to rush build Tree Farms. The extra population, economy and psych from the Tree Farms pays for itself very quickly. Once most of my bases have Tree Farms, I switch back to research but now my pop is higher and my economy is humming even with a 40% setting.

                        3. Ditto the above but to rush Hybrid Forests. You can resume research after getting those facilities in place.

                        4. DItto the above but to rush Fusion Labs AND upgrade units.
                        Creator of the Ultimate Builder Map, based on the Huge Map of Planet, available at The Chironian Guild:


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the response DD. I do the same things but those are generally more short-term. My question was whether there is ever a time when you simply forsake research totally for several turns.

                          The game situation is

                          Double-blind, transcend, Miriam
                          NO IND Auto, NO tree farms, energy restrictions are NOT yet lifted
                          Air Power and 6r weapons are available
                          Caretakers (2 techs ahead) and Usurpers (4 techs) remain ahead in the tech race.

                          I have boreholes and lots of terraformers to jump up energy production if crawlers come or restrictions are lifted but for now the research rate is so so pitiful that every bit of available cash is useful for rushing more probes and military. Currently the SE choices are Demo/Green but a switch to fundy is soon in the cards to go to war. Is there any point in allocating any research when your SE rating is -4 ??

                          The plan is to forsake research for perhaps as long as 20 turns-- hopefully clobbering the Caretakers in that stretch and definitely stealing the 5 techs that the aliens have between them that I do not. The hope is that 20 years of pure military will yield a sufficient force to carry on a war. If restrictions get lifted I would still carry on a cash only economy for a while . The extra cash would rush build a bunch of research facilities in the same turn that the allocation would be switched back to research again.

                          This cash- only idea is against my natural inclination. With most factions, by mid-game its 80% research or more and the goal is to out-tech the opposition. As Miriam with restrictions still on and no crawlers, research just seems so fruitless. Not researching seems so WRONG !! Thats why I have been seeking some advice as to how to handle the situation and have wondered as to when others might forsake research.

                          [This message has been edited by cbn (edited February 14, 2001).]


                          • #14
                            If you are in a situation where you can probe for the tech, especially if the Usurpers have Environ Econ, then go ahead and go 80% economy. Definitely do that if you are in Fundy. With a setting of 80% economy, Fundamentalism becomes more attractive, especially if you already have probes on the move.

                            After your probe missions are complete, switch out of Fundy to Demo and boost research over economy. If you are still behind in tech, your research costs will be low and you can catch up quickly.

                            Before lifting of restrictions, I usually would goose up research to the max, then go to economy after lifting restrictions to build those Tree Farms. Each Tree Fram you build boosts your economy, especially with 60-70% economy over research.

                            Creator of the Ultimate Builder Map, based on the Huge Map of Planet, available at The Chironian Guild: