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Advice for Morgan

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  • Advice for Morgan

    Iím playing Morgan in a PBEM and it feelsÖalien. Iím an eco weenie at heart and Morgan doesnít come naturally. So, hereís the deal Ė I feel like Iím not playing Morgan correctly and not utilizing his advantages. Iíve read all of Velís outstanding advice but it still doesnít seem to be gelling.

    Situation: Large planet, average everything. Morgan, Sparta (the other PBEM), Zak, Aki, Yang, Dee, and Lal. Tech is semi-directed (choose Explore/Discv/Bld/Conq) Ė I am on Build/Discover right now. I am on a largish island by myself (which is good). Aki is on a smallish island with 5 max bases, pop 12. Zak is on a small island with 5 bases, pop 16. I havenít met Dee, Yang, Lal, or Spartanís yet, although I know the Spartans have been trading tech with Zak and Aki because of the dialog I trade with the Spartan PBEM. Iíve been able to trade one tech with Zak and none with Aki Ė both are seething and hate me.

    It is 2169 and I have 10 bases and 20 pop. Iím running FM, and havenít gotten Ind Auto yet (grrrr!). Iíve built WP and will finish HGP this year, which will help my nasty stability problems. No one else has completed any SPs. Lal has the pop lead, and Zak is leader in tech. Zak, Aki, and Santiago are an incestuous tech team, and they are leaving me out (bastards!). My energy output is 30, which isnít bad (I think).

    If the power graphs count for anything, Zak leads and Iím a very close second with Lal, Aki and Santiago. I lead in nothing since I just spent 400 energy to buy the HGP. Dee and Yang have about 1/3 the Ďpowerí that anyone else does due to their apparent isolation; they must be on a small island since both do relatively well as an AI.

    The main problem now is social stability (from FM) and minerals for industry. Morgan is pathetic with his Ė1 support on early bases, which hurts a lot. That means I canít go Dem for a long time or Iíll have no minerals at my small bases. The max base size w/o rec commons seems to be one, which is a major problem that I think HGP will fix. Five out of my 20 pop are non-productive doctors.

    My plan is this Ė please give advice here if there is any:
    ∑ Use the HGP get my citizens productive, finish rec commons to I can grow bases to size 3 or 4. Smaller bases (size 1 and 2) will crank out colony pods until their portion of the continent is full, then the start defensive and infrastructure.
    ∑ Continue base expansion to 18 (the next cut point for bureaucracy drones), which should fill out my continent. Small Morgan bases make huge amounts of energy Ė they just have a problem building due to low minerals.
    ∑ Keep a core of 4 or 5 bases building infrastructure, with at least one working on a SP (I have no hope of getting VW Ė the Spartans will get that one).
    ∑ Build a transport and two more probes (2 built already) to steal tech from Aki, who is on an island 1 hex from me. She has not been friendly, so Iíll return the favor. Iíll try to frame Zak or Santiago, if I can (or should I just steel the tech? I think Morgan would take the risk for the subterfuge advantage).
    ∑ Since I have no weapon techs, so build a few infantry defensive probes (I have 2 regular probes now); upgrade coastal defenders to synthmetal. Make stealing laser or impact a priority, along with trance
    ∑ Use the WP to build my land up so my bases are NOT adjacent to the sea (longer term project).
    ∑ Once I get Ind Auto build at least 1 supply crawler per base and get mineral prod up to at least 10 per base; these will also block hexes by the coast to prevent invasion. I foresee a ring of crawlers in my future

    So, that is my economic and development plan. Iím not sure it will work Ė it depends on how much time Iím given before nasty things start happening to me. I think that, given the seething nature of local politics, my Morgan will have to be harsh. Aki (truce) and Zak (treaty) will hate me even more when I go wealth, so I think I may have to steal them blind and then subdue at least Aki, who is too close for comfort. Having only one hex of sea between us should help the transports, probes (yeh!!) and impact rovers do their jobs (after she is infiltrated, of course). That is a long way off, though.

    Any advice? I just hope Masterbuilder isnít lurking out there or I will have tipped my hand!

  • #2
    You are in the perfect position to start getting high minerals without ecodamage.

    You need to cause a fungal pop in a base radius due to eco damage, easiest way to do it is by rehoming lots of crawlers to that base.

    All tree farms, hybrid forests, centauri preserves and temples of planet built AFTER the first fungi pop due to eco damage raises the clean mineral limit by one. For all bases. So if 10 bases builds tree farms after the pop clean minerals go from 16 to 26.

    Planet rating only raises or lowers existing eco damage, but clean mineral rating decides when eco damage starts at all. So with enough of the four facilities built in your empire AFTER that fungal pop you can have hundreds of minerals while running FM and get no eco damage at all.

    Which also makes going wealth less of a necessity, which hopefully buys you more build time before going after Zak and Aki. In general I find blitzing exceedingly early or waiting for Air Power and decent builder strength before going to war being the two strategies that work. Going with a late rover war, like gatling rovers or such never works out for me.

    I am lyric just because I recently learned the real eco damage formula, and took my normal morgan base from 20ish minerals to 120ish minerals in the mid game. (I've almost never been able to build lots of the mineral multipliers in combination with nessus mining stations before.)

    And once you have Doctrine: Air Power it's time for nerve gas mayhem.


    • #3
      I would be interested to hear how it all turns out, Hydro.
      Voluntary Human Extinction Movement


      • #4
        Your energy production sounds really low. You say that you are running FM with 10 bases and 20 pop, yet your energy output is only 30? You should have way more than that from your base squares alone. Do you have formers yet? If so get them going in order to increase energy and minerals via forestation. If you have probes, consider holding your bases with armored infantry probe teams rather than infantry. You'll save one min per base on support, and the APTs are pretty useful throughout the game to garrison bases against enemy probes, etc. Plus probe teams can leave your area without causing unrest.
        He's got the Midas touch.
        But he touched it too much!
        Hey Goldmember, Hey Goldmember!


        • #5
          I took that 30 to be net ec generation, not gross energy production, Sikander. Consider - 10 base squares - 51 raw energy, 5 doctors, 15 other pop at 1.5 energy/square = 51+22= 73 raw energy. Inefficiency loss of 12%...-8...65 raw energy. since the labs get the rounding benefit of the bases enerating odd amounts, at 50 - 50 allocation, 30 ec and 35 labs sounds reasonable to me.

          Hydro, I think the rush of the HG was a misallocation of resources. You could have rushed almost 8 rec commons (with 10 mins accumulated) for the same 400 ec, or a like number of recycling tanks.

          I recommend against instigating a war with Aki before the discovery of D:AP and Bioegineering. Switching to Wealth is going to set Zak against you. I don't think it prudent to take on three other factions without noodles or clean garrisons. Should you not get D:AP timely, Aki will destroy most of your crawlers and severly crimp your mineral situation if you are trying to support large numbers of units.

          If you do decide to probe Aki, get your probe team as high a morale as you can through infiltrations and then try to frame the Spartans. If successful, you'll probably prevent your opponent from ever being able to obtain a Borg pact.

          I recommend trying to improve relations with the Borgs, commerce is good! You'll not be able to make good friends with Dee unless you eschew Market for Green. Lal will probably hate you just for being above him on the power graph. You need a friend somewhere.

          How can Santi be part of the incestuous tech trading team when the Spartans are being played by the other human?


          • #6
            The 30 energy is my profit after expenses. Now it is up to a whopping 34 after HGP and getting my non-working ľ of my pop productive again. My pre-HGP size 1 bases had either no minerals or one or two, and it would take a hideously long time to build rec commons at theses bases, even after rushing when they had gotten 10 minerals accumulated. Another problem is that after 9 bases my first citizen was a drone, and that is bad. Now I can expand to 18 bases without any real fear of unrest. Another advantage of HGP Ė when I build rec commons I can go to pop 4 without riots and not build expensive holo simulators (at 2 energy each plus construction that is serious for early bases).

            My terraforming is going rather well with WP, and almost every base has a former. Iíve not built them at my last few bases since they had all the improved squares they needed (one farm/solar and a forest, as applicable). Now my formers are racing to improve some of my interior territory, and extend my reach for future sites. All those fungus and rocky hidden nutrient squares will be uncovered soon and forested. My first sea former will be out soon too Ė it will also serve as a pseudo scout when its initial terraforming duties are done. My early forests are spreading nicely, obliterating the bad, evil fungus.

            Good idea on the rec tanks. Iíve neglected those except at my core bases. I will now remedy that situation since my drone problems have been alleviated.

            I looked at armored infantry probes, but they seemed prohibitively expensive when a size 1 base is producing one or two minerals per turn. When the bases get to size 2 (without riots) this will no longer be a problem. Then Iíll take your advice and scrap the scouts and rely on the infantry probes. Another possibility is a transport with a few probes, which means I could explore a little Ė I feel very cut off and vulnerable since I donít know where the Spartans, Gaians, or PKs are hiding. Maybe Iíll find elusive Hive and Gaians, or PKs, too. Iíd rather the Spartans stay far away from me, thank you.

            My war plans were very far off in the future considering I have no weaponry techs. I have had no luck being Ďniceí to either Zak or Aki. In particular, Aki has been seething since I met her (it?). Zak has started to be seething recently, too. I have one whole energy in trade with Zak. Wheee.

            As to the Tech Trading Axis of Evil, the PBEM Santiago found a pod with Zakís frequency and immediately traded two or three techs. Zak gave Santiago Akiís frequency for free, and then more techs followed. Repeat this pattern for 30+ years and you get the picture. I traded Zak Ethical Calculus for Doct: Flex, but that is it. Zak has told me to pound salt otherwise. When I try to call Aki every 10 years or so she ignores me. What galls me is that EC was then traded to Santiago, who then traded it to Aki. Later Zak traded Info Networks to Santiago, giving the PBEM Spartans both VW and the ability to get Impact. Boo, hiss. Then she traded Nonlin Math to Aki and Zak for more tech. Iíd REALLY like to steal this from Aki so I have some defense. With my research set at Discover/Build I may never get any weapon techs for a long time, and I am dead meat if Santiago lands a single transport full of impact rovers. If Iím lucky I can buy them off, but my synthmetal probes/infantry will get pasted pretty bad. Did I mention my capital is at the edge of the ocean, and that inside is WP? This makes me very nervious.

            Thanks for the advice. Iíll post Masterbuildersí and my ongoing narrative on the Fiction forum Ďsooní. Right not we are at MY 2170 and our text is over 140 pages longÖ


            • #7
              Hey, shouldn't it be *unfair* to seek for public advice in a *PBEM*????

              Originally posted by Hydro
              Another problem is that after 9 bases my first citizen was a drone, and that is bad. Now I can expand to 18 bases without any real fear of unrest.
              I'd carefully check this assumption using the datalinks-provided formulas.
              If your FIRST citzen was a drone *in* your 9th founded base (or *after* founding 9 bases?), then probably you have triggered your first Bureaucracy Warning with your 7th base, as the first extra-B-drones are NOT usually generated in the new bases which trigger them, but in one of the existing ones.
              Thus, you might find out that every base will have an extra-drone by the time you have 14 (or maybe even 12) and not 18.
              Anyway, with the HGP, and investing in RecCommons, you'll be able to tackle higher levels of B-Drones. Just expand till you see you can manage them, no point in setting a pre-set limit.

              As with Blind Research you are not guaranteed when you'll get IndAuto, and you have the WP anyway, go for Condensers (with a Farm)!
              Even before crawlers, they allow faster growth, and to sustain a 4sized base with the other 3 workers on a forest or even one mine (only on a special, before EcoEng of course). BoreHoles are instead a waste w/r to FM-forest (pre-restrictions), just ensure you get online some for when you obtain EcoEng.

              Should you fill up your land before getting HabComplexes-IndAuto (or if the several Drones induced by a new base make no more convenient founding new ones), IF the PBEM rules don't explicitly deny it, remember that you can add a CPod to a base beyond its Hab limits (produce it in a smaller, faster-growing, less worthy base, and add it to a well-established & infrastructured slower growing big one: the lost citizen will be regenerated in the small base far quicker than the big one would have grown on its own).
              Seeing that Morgan HabLess size is 4, that extra citizen would prove crucial to allocate an inefficiency&drone-immune specialist (technician or librarian) in the base. A Condenser will allow to support 3 foresters and a specialist in a RecTanked base. When you'll finally get crawlers put one on the Condenser and you'll sustain 3 foresters and TWO specialists.

              PS: one alternative in case a big base has an excess nutrients which would lead it to hit the hab limit anyway, is to make it produce its own Hab-Bypass-Pod (when the food tanks are almost full), wait very few turns (eventually just 1) till it grows again to 4, and then add its own pod (makes me eerily think of Finn long-distance runners auto-emo-trasfusions .... that way in singleplayer I usually have 24-sized base dozens of turns before STS-HabDomes)
              Last edited by MariOne; March 31, 2003, 09:06.
              I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)


              • #8
                I was suprised you only had 10 bases but that often depends on terrain and fungus.

                I would say start building bases. My response to low hab limits is to build as many bases as my territory will allow. Ind auto allows sustainable specialist bases-- so this tech is a priority.
                You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo


                • #9
                  But if the PBem Opponent trades with the Two Techhouses..
                  it seems dangerous to turtle up..
                  *Imagines Morgan being the only one without D:AP*
                  *shudders at the thought of dozens of exploding crawlers*
                  Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the advice, all. I know soliciting advice for a PBEM is like an open letter, but then my games with MasterBuilder are pretty open. We write about our yearly events and e-mail them to each other, so not a whole lot is kept secret. We are role playing after all, and we Ďwiní by this role playing. Sometimes weíre friends, and sometimes not. I find this a lot more fun than the cut throat death races that other PBEMís seem to be (not that there isnít a lot of Machiavellian maneuvering on our games).

                    Flubber - you're probably right on the number of bases. My plan at each base was to build a former (rushed; roads, forest, sensors, and farm tiles are critical), then a scout. The first two bases build one pod, then RC and RT, then projects. Others cranked out pods (occasionally rushing to get it out a few years earlier). My last few bases haven't build formers since I had plenty of improved terrain by then. Three formers and a scout destroyed by worms were replaced, which is expensive for early bases. Is there a way to improve this?

                    MariOne Ė My drones showed up after constructing the 10th base. I'll review the drone formula. I'm not too worried now that I have HGP and hope to fill up most of my continent. I'll consider pod-booming, but that seems a tad expensive right now (size one bases produce a lot of energy at +3 eco; the only reason not to is if bureaucracy gets too bad). My last tech was Gene Splicing (no Ind Auto for me, apparently) so all those rainy farm tiles I prepared just in case are paying off now.

                    Main_Brain Ė Looks like you were prophetic. In MY2173 my neighbor Aki invaded with a laser infantry. I have no weaponry tech (due to no trades and blind research) so I'm desperately upgrading defenses to synthmetal, calling in reserves, and getting my probes to that theatre (good thing I built two). It looks like the AI decided my target for me and the need for finesse (framing) is gone. Next up, a transport and lots of probes with Aki as the target. I NEED impact (and anything else I can steal from Aki, like other tech, money, or maybe a base). Bribing her laser infantry sounds good since then I can build that unit; I many not be able to afford it since her capital is so close.


                    • #11
                      Keep in mind, that probe teams do not count as police units for crowd control. I know, you are in FM where no police is allowed, but I just wanted to say that.
                      In a game I played recently I had my police units all counted out and for a moment I forgot that running FM will disable police. Ouch.
                      In sea bases I tended to build foils with armor, but they don't count for police duty as well. (When using ships for defence in a sea base the +25% for being in a base really pays off when facing IoD or SeaLurks early).

                      Good luck with your game and keep us posted


                      • #12
                        Get those recycling tanks out, pronto. When I found a base as Morgan, the FIRST thing I build is tanks, _then_ my first former. You NEED the extra mineral from your tanks to counteract the support penalty, until you can get IA. I agree with 'goose when he points out that rushing the HGP was a mistake. You _can_ rush build SP's, but only using the crawler upgrade trick. Upgrading them with straight cash is prohibitively expensive, as you are discovering.

                        Holding Aki's solitary laser infantry shouldn't pose too much of a problem. Don't bother with weapon techs for the moment, just stave her off with well placed Synthmetal and a sensor beacon or two. Meanwhile, build a probe foil and infiltrate her, so you can keep an eye on her production, and find out when she starts deploying those impact rovers you're dreading. While one of your bases is pushing out that foil probe, the rest need to be building pods, tanks, the odd former, and _nothing_else_. You're playing catch up, and the only way to do so is to get the most use out of HGP that you can, since you paid so much to have it.


                        • #13
                          War with Aki update:
                          Good news - Aki didn't attack my former, which was adjacent to the infantry she landed
                          Bad news - she upgraded the infantry to impact.
                          Good news - I upgraded a scout at the nearest base to synth, will upgrade a second next turn, and will build a third syth after that.
                          Bad news - in combat between impact and snyth, the synth will get slaughtered
                          Good news - I have two probes that will be able to subvert the infantry next turn
                          Bad news - I probably don't have the cash - 75 or so by next turn (upgrading is expensive). I probably made an error upgrading the scout since I could have kept the cash to bribe. Oh, well.
                          Good news - The surviving formers and its friends will be able to build a sensor next turn (and maybe the infantry will attack the defenseless formers). That is what he was going to build before the nasty cyborgs showed up (Bad Aki! Bad!)
                          Bad news - this sort of war of attrition is very bad for Morgan. All this effort for one blasted infantry. What would happen if a few showed up (no bribing)? Answer - I'd be stewed.

                          More later...


                          • #14
                            A field upgrade for a computer opponent? Never seen that before. Were I you, I'd pull my formers out of range and have them make my beacon behind my base. And don't worry, one impact infantry is not going to knock over a base with 3 synth defenders, at least, not before you get someone else over there.

                            I don't know if this violates PBEM ettiquette, or even if it is possible, what with password protection, but is there any chance of you attaching a save for us to see your situation?


                            • #15
                              I have the saved turns, and I have no problem letting folks see. I welcome any friendly advice! Here is MY2175. I can attach other turns if you'd like.

                              My password is: Morgan (clever, eh?)

                              In MY 2176 the infantry didnít move (again). I can bribe it from Aki for apx 175 energy, and it may be worth it to get impact infantry for a little defense. I sold Gene Splicing to Zak for 100 energy, so I have a bit of cash on hand. He wouldnít trade, so this is the next best thing.

                              BTW - I was wrong about the upgrade. I checked the previous turns and it was impact. I semi assumed that because it didn't move in MY 2175 it must have been laser. Oops.
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