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  • Energy

    Hello...I have a couple of inquiries regarding energy (note: I have SMAC, not SMAX, so thermoclines are not an option):

    1) How do you develop a science city (in other words, what method do you use to rake in big bucks)? Is your science city a land or sea base? It seems that many seem to prefer sea bases over land bases for energy production. Which leads me to a second question...
    2) Do you bother with mass energy production in land bases? If so, how do you do it?
    3) Are energy parks cost-effective? It seems to me that raising a piece of land 3000+ meters and mass constructing solar collectors and echelon mirrors is a difficult task.
    4) Concerning do you get this SE setting to work? I usually have a large portion of my military patroling my continent, and this choice of economy always breed drone riots and mass eco-damage, which leads to worm assaults and fungal blooms. How do you prevent these crippling drawbacks?
    5) When in peace time, does anyone use this combination of SE choices: FM, Wealth, and Eudaimonic for energy dominance?
    |-- Net Maverick --|

  • #2
    I am not the energy guru but I can pass on a few tips

    The SSC may be a land or sea base but IMHO if it is a land base it should have access to the sea. trawling for energy seems to be VERY effective. I also find boreholes as an obvious but effective kickstart to any SSC.

    As for energy parks I sometimes experiment with them. The land park can get a LOT of energy to channel through the SSC BUT I seldom see it as worth the bother. If I have land I will usually just found another base. Instead I stick tidal harnesses everywhere and create ocean parks. In the early stage of the park these trawlers serve double duty as my early warning system for seaborne invasion. The energy per square is not near as high as on a land park but neither is the level of terraforming effort required

    [This message has been edited by cbn (edited May 13, 2001).]


    • #3
      There is no reason not to have both land and sea energy parks. I agree with cbn that you can get a lot of energy quickly with tidal harnesses but the advantages of sea over land are not as pronounced in SMAC on account of no thermoclines.

      Site selection for energy parks is always key. Better to start with high ground than to waste time and money raising it. But laying down a good solar/mirror grid quickly is at least as important as having the park at a high altitude. Cost effectiveness is assured partly because you get so much more energy per tile on land parks.

      Anything that will help you for research, psych and economy should be considered when you are constructing the infrastructure for your science cities. Obviously the two big ticket SPs, the Supercollider and the ToE help the most. Consider building your crawlers in nearby cities and rehoming so as not to tie up the SC's production.

      On FM, it really depends which faction you play. You are already +1 energy with Wealth for Morgan so the tradeoff between FM and Green is not as unambigously favourable. If you are good at a Green game as Deirdre or Cha Dawn you may find more reward to staying Green. But for the other factions consider black hole defense for less drones, clean units homed to a couple of P/S cities once you have the tech, greater reliance of the probe as a weapon and exploration/patrol unit, and diplomacy to keep your enemies at bay. Then you won't need all those units out there patrolling.

      Standard environmental measures like treefarms and planting lots of trees will help contain enviro damage. But you don't need a ton of minerals per city if you can rush buy everything. And if you have confidence in your defensive units to wipe out any angry worms, the odd bit of enviro damage is not so bad.


      • #4
        If Energy is your focus, your HQ is the best bet due to efficiency losses in the other bases, at least as far as actual production (vs specialist output) is concerned. Most, if not all of the time, the game will put HQs on the coast, so you will have the ability to use the trawlers as mentioned above. Despite the relative advantages of the HQ, you will probably also want to use other bases as big energy producers, but load up the HQ in any event.

        I try to give more priority to energy enhancing facilities than I would otherwise want to; I find that the Fusion Labs in particular become available at a time when I am getting tight on disposable income - if I force myself build them instead of whatever seems more important at the time, my cash supply is usually OK until I can start with the sats (and the later energy facilities).

        Engineers are big money makers (and researchers) while at the same time keeping erstwhile drones productively employed; assuming your food supply is OK, they will likely not otherwise crimp your style.

        The energy sats are major energy contributors, but they get wiped out periodicallly and so I try not to become so dependent on them that I can't afford to rush build some replacements when they are destroyed.

        If I have some non-base tiles at top or bottom of the map, I often crawl energy from boreholes there (preferably to the HQ); although there are possibly better uses of former time, it still gives a decent payoff and they seem to be a bit safer than trawlers from enemy pot shots.

        Don't forget the ability of probe teams to steal money from the enemy. If you have an ongoing war with a well heeled opponent, you can get a good income from repeatedly zapping their energy (not to mention the negative effects on them); I think that the typical "take" (for each Drain Energy probe action) is about the same as you get for conquering the base, so sometimes it might be better to keep on dinging a base located in convenient probe range for cash rather than capturing it. If you leave an enemy base or two within your territory, you can keep them weak and at the mercy of your incessant probes. In addition to the energy, you can also disrupt their research if one of these probe-able bases is their HQ.
        [This message has been edited by johndmuller (edited May 14, 2001).]


        • #5
          Cbn, RedFred, and Johndmuller: thanks for all the replies. They were very helpful indeed.

          [This message has been edited by Net Maverick (edited May 14, 2001).]
          |-- Net Maverick --|