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  • #31
    Sea bases can be very useful, and are possible to adequately defend without burning a hole in your pocket. The thing is you have to go all the way with them. An energy park consisting of supply foils on tidal harnesses is a very powerful thing, particularly when you have the Merchant Exchange. If you are going to build sea bases, you can use them to protect such an investment. A tenable energy park is extremely valuable, but must be surrounded by bases in order to prevent suicide choppers from blowing it to pieces. The solution is to to place the park at sea and surround it with sea bases. You should build the bases first, and you should only attempt this strategy if you have some sort of bay by your continent that is not too close to an enemy (that is, another) faction. The sea bases are economic drains, it is true, and must be staffed with air units, and the area around them must be patrolled by a powerful fleet of cruisers, but they can be made to pay off. The absolute bane of your existence is going to be the submarine aircraft carrier. A clever player may use this logically puzzling homonculus to get suicide choppers through to your energy park. Sometimes your patrolling cruisers will get him first, sometimes not. It's a risk you have to be willing to take.
    This strategy will not work on every map. It requires you to be near to a highly concave coastline (your park should be surrounded 2/3 of the way around or better by land bases) and if you have lots and lots of room to expand, which on a huge map you often will, land colony pods for the most part become a better investment than supply convoys and large fleets. If you are in a good position to do it, however, it can single-handedly win you a nice technological advantage or even an economic victory. I have tested this mostly versus the AI so a lot of what I say is theory, but I think it's a good theory.
    Also, I really don't know why, but most people do not seem to build needlejet transports. These can be used to carry colony pods, supply crawlers, and even (to a lesser extent) formers around the map, resulting in a surprisingly huge boost to the efficiency of your expansion. If you already have half a dozen or more of these things, it becomes easier to defend your sea bases if you get into a war without building too many naval transports, which have fewer peacetime applications.
    Oh - and who says cruisers aren't worth it? Those are artillery units with 6 moves per turn, my friend. They are also the units that pick up those pods at sea, which is how the thread got started. If properly used they are the most valuable units in the game until gravships or orbital insertions come along, and that takes a long time.
    In regard to the Green Maritime Pod strategy, however, I think that it is a good concept but is badly executed. You want to pop those pods as soon as possible. Don't explore and pass them by. If you are Deirdre, which I assume you are, your regular old non-empath foils are sufficient to take on those isles of the deep, and can start doing so early on if your first naval units are not probe foils. I prefer a combination of (4)-1-4 and (2)-2-4 ships. Get industrial Automation instead of all that other stuff - it's just wrong to go beelining for other techs and neglect Industrial Automation, the second or third most important tech in a builder game. That is probably why you only have tachyon bolts when it is already MY 2262. That's not awful, but you really could do better if you just pay more attention to your infrastructure.
    Oh- and never, ever, ever, ever, ever sit on a bunch of alien artifacts without cashing them in. If you are so worried about someone stealing your tech advantage, you could use those artifacts to get to Pre-Sentient Algorithms and then hurry the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm. Even if somebody does probe rape you and gets all your advanced techs that is better than not having those techs yourself. By taking the techs later rather than earlier you are stunting your growth.
    So that's about it; I'm done harping on everybody :-).
    Last edited by sammy1339; November 5, 2003, 20:43.
    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?

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    • #32
      Oops. :-) I didn't even notice that this thread was a year old. That kinda makes me look like a jerk. Hehe.
      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?

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      • #33
        There is nothing wrong with revisiting past discussions. Sometimes they have mistakes that should be corrected. Sometimes there are alternatives to strategies shared.
        I am on a mission to see how much coffee it takes to actually achieve time travel. :frantic:

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        • #34
          One other reason Sea Bases can be more vulnerable: You can't plant your sea bases on a sensor beacon for an inherent +25% defensive bonus.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by CEO Aaron
            One other reason Sea Bases can be more vulnerable: You can't plant your sea bases on a sensor beacon for an inherent +25% defensive bonus.
            Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I find myself not building those sensors early on. 4 former turns is quite a lot, especially since I usually only just finish the roads to the base site before the colony pod arrives. Instead of building a sensor, I usually start roading to the next base site or planting forests.

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            • #36
              If you're doing it wrong, you're not alone. There are only two times I build sensors in SP:
              - One of my formers can't reach a new square to terraform on a given turn, but they can move two squares, build a sensor, and move to a terraformable square after the sensor's done; somehow, I feel like the sensor has "paid for itself" in this case, although I guess that's nonsense.
              - a former has done something on a "black square" and my road network is on the "white squares"; similar *cough* "reasoning" to the above.

              In SP, I'd say sensors' only real use is to ensure your trance infantry beat worms so soundly that they can do an attack/defend or defend/attack one-two punch against large fungal pops.

              I never build bases ON sensors though. I have better things to do with my formerturns.

              As for MP, you're playing in my first MP game, MM. :-)

              USC
              "'Lingua franca' je latinsky vyraz s vyznamem "jazyk francouzsky", ktery dnes vetsinou odkazuje na anglictinu," rekl cesky.

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              • #37
                In my earliest base plants, I too forego sensors, but usually by the time I have enough bases to reach the bureaucracy limit, I do begin putting them under my outer bases. At that point, my former population tends to be on the larger side. Also, by that time I hope to have WP built, which reduces the time required to 3 former turns.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by UnityScoutChopper

                  ***

                  1. In SP, I'd say sensors' only real use is to ensure your trance infantry beat worms so soundly that they can do an attack/defend or defend/attack one-two punch against large fungal pops.

                  ***

                  2. I never build bases ON sensors though. I have better things to do with my formerturns.


                  USC
                  1. Yes, sensors are useful to help the defense against mindworm attacks, but they have many more uses.

                  The most valuable is to give you better information of your empire; the battlefield.

                  The sooner you know of an impending invasion, alien, or worse, AI, the better you can respond to it and prepare an active defense.

                  I usually like to have sensors near the fringes of my empire to give me an early warning of an invading opponent. I could station another unit there but I usually do not want to tie up a unit for that. The native life forms (and the AI) tend to leave the sensors alone, whereas they would attack and destroy any crawlers (if I have the tech already) I might have out there as a watcher. Although one of the things I have just learned with the Laptop Collection is that in SMAX those annoying spore launchers tend to destroy your terraforming improvements.

                  Knowledge of the battlefield allows you to easily defeat the pathetic AI invasions.

                  2. Another benefit of sensors is that they do give your bases and units a 25% defensive bonus. There have been a few times where someone (usually Santiago, or Yang) start launching missiles against my bases mid-game. Particularly in SMAC (before the bug allowing the AI to launch regardless of range was fixed), it was irritating having the AI hit my bases with missiles. Sensors help out the Aerospace Complex, well-armored AAA units, and tachyan defeat the missiles. Usually in SP the only way the enemy can approach my bases is with Air Power. Using the sensors to make these attacks more expensive helps.

                  The worst thing about sensors, far worse than cost of the former turns, is that they limit what else you can use with that square. Sensor squares cannot have solar, condensers, and mines.

                  I like the idea of building a base on a sensor for a couple of reasons.

                  One, you do not limit the development of a productive square.

                  Two, the sensor cannot be destroyed.


                  Sensors are relatively cheap, and once made free. Do not go nuts in making them but they more than pay for themselves.

                  Similarly to CEO Aaron's strategy, at the very beginning of the game I use my formers to enhance nutrient and mineral production. But after a couple of decades I start using some of my former teraforming time to produce a few well-placed sensors.


                  I have not yet done a MP game, but since I just acquired SMAX via the Laptop Collection I may try to join one of the ACDG teams. I would appreciate any suggestions as to which faction would be best. How are the power rankings? Who is in second or third place?


                  Mead

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by UnityScoutChopper

                    As for MP, you're playing in my first MP game, MM. :-)
                    All the more reason for you to share your MP strategies.

                    Originally posted by Mead


                    The most valuable is to give you better information of your empire; the battlefield.
                    This benefit is not that great when planting bases on top of sensors, since (IIRC) the base lets you see two squares in any case.


                    Originally posted by Mead
                    The worst thing about sensors, far worse than cost of the former turns, is that they limit what else you can use with that square. Sensor squares cannot have solar, condensers, and mines.
                    This is actually one good reason for building the bases on sensors. Otherwise, if you want to have a sensor in the base radius, you have to leave one square as a forest.


                    Originally posted by Mead

                    I have not yet done a MP game, but since I just acquired SMAX via the Laptop Collection I may try to join one of the ACDG teams. I would appreciate any suggestions as to which faction would be best. How are the power rankings? Who is in second or third place?
                    The current standings (excluding the AIs):

                    Hive
                    Pirates
                    Drones
                    CyCon
                    University.

                    The Hive is head and shoulders above the rest (they have the PTS), but the others are very close to each other. The ACDTG is pretty quiet at the moment, but I guess the interest will pick up again. In any case, I'd recommend starting a conventional MP game too, even if you join one of the ACDTG factions.

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                    • #40
                      All the other tile improvements get destroyed if you build on them, so it never occured to me that a Sensor would be left in place and give you the bonus.
                      This is actually one good reason for building the bases on sensors. Otherwise, if you want to have a sensor in the base radius, you have to leave one square as a forest.
                      Uh, what else do you do with low altitude, flat, arid tiles?
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                      • #41
                        Not all others,Stray. Try planting a condenser or eschelon mirror under your base, and you'll see that the surrounding terrain will still be affected, although your base square won't be.

                        Anyway, I plant my sensors under my bases so they can't be destroyed by artillery or airstrikes, not because I lack for other places to put them.

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                        • #42
                          I don't which thread it was under, but a couple of people did experiments. A sea base NEVER gets the sensor bonus, even if the game is modified and you can build them at sea. Made me feel stupid, I've deliberately placed sea bases for that and boreholes .

                          Foils and Cruisers are both more and less expensive than their land based equivalents. Hold on. Rewrite. I just booted the game up and did some calculations using fission power. Military units for the same buck are CHEAPER. I didn't realize it, I've always bought into that they cost more. The reason they do is that we don't bother to build them .

                          An 1-5-1 infranty unit costs 30, a 1-5-4 foil costs 20. Honest. Armor doesn't cost more on a fission foil chassis until you get to six points of it. By then you'd better have fusion.

                          An 8-1-2 rover costs 60, 8-1-4 foil costs 50. 8-5-2 rover cost 160, and 8-5-4 foil cost 80. Add 20 points to give AA to the foil, 40 for the rover. So it turns out that the military units aren't more expensive. It's just that it typically only cost 10 or 20 minerals to build an even better unit, so we all tend to build the best water combat units to get the biggest bang for our buck.

                          Infrastructure units stink, though, at least until you get fusion. A probe unit costs 20, a probe foil 50. A former costs 20, a sea former costs 40. Plus, your ocean going military units - foils and cruisers - can't function as police, requiring an extra police unit that effectively is totally static, i.e. it cannot move on it's own.

                          Routinely, when our land-based empires come under attack, we shift and upgrade units to help in the defense, at least until we get airpower. At sea one unit per base is static, if you are using any police at all. A free market type won't feel this hit and can use foils/cruisers for garrisions. Everyone else will feel it's more expensive. It is, because one unit at each base is totally static. That means you have to build more, which does cost more. Or put a transport in each base, with the same effect.

                          Remeber, though, that that native lifeform defenders can be awesome at sea. You don't get the 50% attack bonus. Get the Neural Amplifiers and the IOD's talked about at the beginning of this thread make dynamite defense units.

                          The ocean pod popping is best done in a combination manner. I am an inveterate pod popper, I started with and honed my skills with the Gaians. Pop them early on for the techs and frequencies, later on for the ability to complete big expensive base facilities or prototypes in one turn. That 8-4-2 drop rover you just completed is a nasty surprise to everybody

                          The one thing I love is the coastal land-based headquarters. Yes, its risky though with the inland sea it just rocks. Put up a bunch of kelp farms and forests, and then once you get energy restrictions lifted, your tidal harnesses rock. If you can get an ocean shelf energy source with a tidal harness inside your headquarters production radius, it's awesome. The base grows like a weed and pumps out energy.

                          As an experiment I tried one game as Sven on the large map of planet. I kept restarting until I knew I was close to the energy shallows, and built my headquarters there. I planted the first base with I think with two energy and one nutrient resource inside the base radius. (Please remeber - experiment)

                          Later on, once I got industrial automation, I had sea formers going out and terraforming every water-based energy resource I could find. I then trawlered the energy to my headquarters. That's how I discovered that Sven can be a research monster also . It was the fastest decentralized energy park I've ever had. Obviously it wouldn't work in MP, and I suspect the worst problem would be protecting yourself from the water probes, but in SP ocean bases are great. I believe that was a transcend game, also.
                          The worst form of insubordination is being right - Keith D., marine veteran. A dictator will starve to the last civilian - self-quoted
                          And on the eigth day, God realized it was Monday, and created caffeine. And behold, it was very good. - self-quoted
                          Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
                          Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry… I wish it were otherwise.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Straybow
                            Uh, what else do you do with low altitude, flat, arid tiles?
                            Condensor/farm/soil enrichers or boreholes. The underlying terrain is pretty much irrevelant. Of course I plant forests first, though.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by shawnmmcc

                              Remeber, though, that that native lifeform defenders can be awesome at sea. You don't get the 50% attack bonus. Get the Neural Amplifiers and the IOD's talked about at the beginning of this thread make dynamite defense units.
                              err well yes and no-- they are strong in some ways but a higher weapon artillery unit or a ship on bombard will knock the stuffing out of any IOD. My typical approach is to have a boat or arty bombard, often causing things like 70-80% damage-- then a cheap low weapon empath unit finishes the job. Even without artillery first, a gun empath ship will be equal to the NA-enhanced IOD ( subject to morale)-- Heck, a positive planet rating would make the gun empath ship favored to win

                              IODs are like every ship out there, totally expendable. The 1-3-4s die in artillery duels and the 6-1-4s die to direct attack. Something like a 6-3AA-4 is impossibly expensive compared to the 4-1-4 that can take it out without difficulty. I have never seen a way to have a survivable navy. I think the only possible strategy is to simply try to outnumber your opponent since it seems, he who attacks, wins.
                              You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

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                              • #45
                                Flubber, you've played a fair bit of PBEM's. I suspected that was the case. Have you ever played in a campaign that got seriously naval? Did any players try "combined arms" stacks of ships, i.e. combining various high/specialized defense plus high attack, with the deliberate calculation they were going to take losses. I would suspect that would work just as well as on land, except that defenders typically would have a little more armor due to the break points in cost/design (highest free armor you can get). Thus, in a true naval conflict where two players are duking it out for domination of the oceans, I would suspect higher losses than an equivalent land campaign, obviously both pre-airpower.

                                I sit corrected on IOD's alone. I always have them out popping pods, and play SP. However, I still would suspect they could be handy along with the Neural Amplifier in a combined arms stack, especially against a player who's not playing green. You could have a gunship to discourage artillary duels, a defense AA in case your gunship gets nailed, and the Neural Amplifieried IOD against a straight in attack. Considering how attack is favored, if the stacks were remotely equal I suspect that will work. (Time to get out the game editor tomorrow

                                Does anybody know if you can put interceptors on patrol over a carrier group? Never needed to in single player, and I could see a serious need in multiplayer (I might stick this in a new thread if nobody reading this seems to know ).
                                The worst form of insubordination is being right - Keith D., marine veteran. A dictator will starve to the last civilian - self-quoted
                                And on the eigth day, God realized it was Monday, and created caffeine. And behold, it was very good. - self-quoted
                                Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
                                Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I'm very sorry… I wish it were otherwise.

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