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  • #16
    Originally posted by 551262 View Post
    Hmm. See I have (been) building units with clean reactors because I have to field quite a few of them. I suppose I could probably gun for the specialist strategy and try to pump cash into my coffers to upgrade the non-clean units to clean. Dunno.
    As I've said, by the time I reach Chaos guns, killing off the AI is more of a housekeeping chore than a real challenge. I suspect your issue is that you're taking too long to tech, rather than needing more support. Scout your opposition and plan your conquest before you take the field. If you need to have a huge force in the field for 30+ turns, odds are good you're trying to conquer more than you need to. The key to victory in SMAC is to stay in peaceful growth mode as much as possible. Keep your wars short and brutal, then get back to expanding and building. Also, use more probes. Probe away defenses, then probe away their tech, then probe away their money.

    Particularly with naval based strikes, you really do need lots of units. The favorite attack unit I use on the sea is something like 13-1-4*2 SAM-Clean foils. I think destroyers and cruisers with best-weapon-best-armour-AAA-Clean are very expensive so I think I should standardize on using the previous attack foils coupled with 1-6-4*2 AAA-whatever for defense and just plop them on the same square. Naval units can get shredded pretty easily with needlejets...and air defense is warranted in any case because proper invasions are essential for warmongers. Say you have 1-6-6*2 Trance Clean Destroyer Transports, when they're packed with rovers, marines and infantry attack units they can be rather precious. So we stack AAA defense units on top of them to make sure they're covered and surround the whole shebang with cheap attack and defense foils so that conventional missiles have a harder time getting in. Add destroyer probe teams and destroyer carriers and you're set.
    I counter needlejets with interceptors and a handful of cheap AAA ground units. Anything that's too far to shoot down with interceptors isn't worth going after until you get bases closer to it. Remember that scrambed interceptors fight a needlejet's attack value, but on your turn, they go after the defense. That means a 4/1/X interceptor is more than a match for any needlejet that's dumb enough to sortie against your army.

    I dunno. Are clean reactors really worthwhile? They are essential to fielding large armies if you don't have +4 support.
    Paying a few minerals in support costs isn't going to cripple your faction, and if your army is only going to be in the field for a few turns, it's actually more cost-effective to skip clean and just get to work killing stuff. Clean units die just the same as units you're paying upkeep on, and if you're not getting your units killed, you can't be fighting much of a war, can you? Bottom line: Build more units, skip clean, and crush your enemy with the extra numbers. Every row you spend on clean is minerals that could have gone into another combat unit.

    Also, more questions: Is it better to have best-weapon-best-armour attack troops for taking down bases, or is it better to field something like best-weapon-no-armour troops stacked on something like 1-6-1*2 AAA-ECM defense troops? I suppose if you take the base down in a single turn you're fine, but you still need ready defenses against counter-attacks. I suppose if you were playing against MP players then adding 1-6-1*2 Secure-Trance for good measure wouldn't be too bad, but I don't know if Secure abilities make the base that much more resistant to probe subversion, as base probe defense is probably more of a SE thing.
    In my experience, quantity beats quality most of time, which is to say that what you want is a cost-effective unit you can afford to lose, rather than fielding six ultra-powerful juggernauts.

    What is the practical "limit" to turns per tech? Zak might be able to get 1 tech every two turns but I'm not sure about everyone else. Is 4 turns per tech "good enough"?
    Every faction in the game can get 1 tech per turn. Build more bases.

    How much cash can a "real" Morganite get per turn? 25,000?
    That's really dependent on your maproot (basically, how big the map is). I only play on Large maps, as I find Huge leaves too much time before any pressure hits your door, leading to boring games.

    When starting out, while we're waiting for former tech to come down the tube (rather slow if you don't have a starting monolith or what have you, assuming you're not Zak or Deidre) what should I do? I build scout patrols until the formers are ready, then I disband + rush to get it out as fast as possible. Should I be doing something else like working on a colony pod?
    I typically build 1 scout to protect my base and do some local scouting, then immediately switch to a colony pod, which more often than not, I will convert into a former before it finishes. Disbanding scouts actually costs more minerals than just switching production, since the first 10 minerals are always conserved in the queue.


    • #17
      Originally posted by CEO Aaron View Post
      This also applies to your research: When your base contributes its lab count to your current goal, any leftovers are discarded. So if you have 9,999/10,000 labs banked and the game collects 300 from your capital city, you just wasted 299 labs.
      Promise that you aren't going to hang yourself or like for have wasted your life beliving this when I tell you that you're wrong. Surplus lab points are transferred to the next project in SMAC/X. It's in Civ3 that there are this annoying waste.

      With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

      Steven Weinberg


      • #18
        That doesn't jibe with my recollection, but it's been a long time. In any case, specialists still whomp energy parks in numerous ways, in terms of efficiency. Parks are just low-maintenance.


        • #19
          Assuming you get the WP and get condensers up early, aren't specialists also low-maintence?

          Here's something to think about for Lady Sparta. Assuming a Standard size Planet, how many SSCs would she need to keep up with everybody else, ignoring stuff like the MJ, Uranium Flats, Pholus Ridge, et al?

          If you play as Sparta, and you land on the landmass west of the Pholus Ridge, near the (Upland Wastes) the north of the Great Dunes, there's plenty of landmass there, and IIRC there's a good amount that is rocky. If you put bases with condensors galore and crawled the daylights out of rocky squares, had no citizens or talents, got the base up to like size...well, let's see: 20 squares are workable by a base, cut that by a 1/3 because of useful rocky squares. That means 14 squares are workable by crawlers sitting on condensors + farm + soil enricher. That leads 5 nutrients per square, times 14 which is 70 nutrients. 6 squares remain which leads 24 minerals which is kind of mediocre when tree farms + a couple of fungal pops as far as eco-damage is concerned. (But that base could crank out cheaper units, like pop out crawlers to cash into SPs). By my thinking, if you had let's say 6 SSCs like that, with ICS'd size 7 bases surrounding the core, that should be fairly defensible. Not sure how many turns before you'd get a tech though, but I find 4 turns per tech isn't that bad.

          It would take a while to hit 70 pop bases, especially as a warmonger you're not likely to be gunning for Hab-domes anyways. (I personally like to shoot for Fusion Reactors and Plasma Shard for both cheap units and powerful guns) But I'm wondering how many turns I would get for a new tech via this method. I suppose the rest of the bases could be capped at size 7 and ICS'd with crawlers bringing in minerals for cranking out units.

          I did do a test run once and found that with Sparta you can do quite well with relatively few facilities on size seven bases (14 gobbles more squares and has more eco-damage). Two 1-1-1 Police or better, 1-3-1 Trance Police with a tree farm and either NN+VW and you don't have to worry about drones. A Children's Creche doesn't do you any good when you're fooling around in Yang's playground, a rec commons is too expensive, and all that. Although I'm not entirely squared away whether loads of size 7 bases is better than fewer size 14s.


          • #20
            Wow I guess the emails stop after a few posts. Lots of good info here. Where can I find more details on how to setup a specialist base? I figured out you use the punishment sphere and genejack factory, but beyond that I don't know much about them.

            Plus isn't there an amount of bases that causes more drones in your entire empire? Course I think it's in the high 20's, so I guess it's not really an issue.


            • #21
              Specialist bases depend on crawling nuts so that virtually the entire base populationis a specialist. If this is the case then there are no workers to turn into angry drones. Higher tech specialists such as engineers and even better transcendi outperform working squares from energy output perspectives.

              Also CEO Aaron is dead on the money ICS ie. pod production is much more effective than crawler production until such time as Pod production on your interior bases become hindered by transport time to the outermost fringes of your empire for new colony creation.
              "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


              • #22
                Originally posted by Terraformer View Post
                Where can I find more details on how to setup a specialist base? I figured out you use the punishment sphere and genejack factory, but beyond that I don't know much about them.

                Plus isn't there an amount of bases that causes more drones in your entire empire? Course I think it's in the high 20's, so I guess it's not really an issue.
                The amount of drones that are attributed depends on the map size. Larger maps "allow" more bases before you get the popup saying that the empire is growing large and inefficient. As it says, increasing your Efficiency number on the Social Engineering window (E key) can increase this limitation. Certain factions have issues with inefficiency more than others.

                If you're looking to use Super Science Cities, you'll want to avoid punishment spheres and genejack factories. Punishment spheres half your base's (individual to base) Labs output, and Genejack factories increase drone count. I guess if you have no citizens and all specialists then I guess yes the GFs probably won't hurt that bad but Robotic Assembly Plants are not that far around the corner, or if you're flying technological wise, get the Singularity Inductor secret project (it comes out around the time of quantum chamber reactors).

                To make SSCs, it depends what you want to do with it, i.e if you want to crawl minerals with it and help with either cranking out crawlers, colony pods or military units. From there you make every square within the base radius that is not a rocky square a square with a farm and condenser, and later, soil enricher. Base facilities should be ones like the Energy Bank or Fusion Lab which are beneficial to increasing your base's contribution to labs/economy. Labs = tech and economy = the cash in your pocket. I suppose early on when you're building up the base then you'll need stuff like rec commons but later with all specialists you can disband it and line your pockets.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Terraformer View Post
                  Wow I guess the emails stop after a few posts. Lots of good info here. Where can I find more details on how to setup a specialist base? I figured out you use the punishment sphere and genejack factory, but beyond that I don't know much about them.

                  Plus isn't there an amount of bases that causes more drones in your entire empire? Course I think it's in the high 20's, so I guess it's not really an issue.
                  The best, most detailed example of specialist driven play I have seen is here:


                  • #24
                    I see in the game he has clean crawlers- I thought they were already clean?

                    Also are there any instances where you would use a soil enricher instead of a condenser since it takes less time to build? such as on already rainy squares?

                    Sorry I thought of another question. I tried searching about what the erosive forces option does and there was two different things that came up. Somewhere they said it made the terrain higher and the other one said that it affected the amount of rockiness. So which one is it? Or is it both? What is the difference in weak, average, or strong erosive forces?
                    Last edited by Terraformer; July 12, 2013, 11:17.


                    • #25
                      Yes, supply crawlers and probe teams cost no support, so clean does nothing except make them more expensive.

                      As for soil enrichers, the answer is BOTH. Soil enrichers can go on every farm, regardless of other terraforming improvements you've placed.

                      Yes, it's both. A more eroded planet will have lower hills and less rocky terrain. So if you want a spikier map, go with weak erosive forces. I usually go with average.


                      • #26
                        Thanks for all the answers CEO Aaron. Right now i'm playing a SMAX game with Sven and i've come across a problem I haven't had before. I have a couple cities that won't grow. When I go to the city profile it says growth in one turn. But the next turn and the next and the next.... no growth. One of them is a city i made in the ocean, and the other is one i conquered.


                        • #27
                          Morgan: Needs Hab Complex to exceed size 4.
                          Lal: Can go up to size 9 before needing a Hab Complex.
                          Ascetic Virtues Secret Project: Increases the limitation of the bases by two, and grants +1 Police on the SE table. Most players are going for the +1 Police not the other thing.
                          Everybody else: Standard limitation is size 7. Hab Complex increases this limit to 14, and Habitation Domes unlock up to size...127.

                          Unless you are the Pirates, avoid oceanic bases, even for the nice energy boost from all the tidal harnesses (which can usually be lost in large quantities to inefficiency)* or for certain tactical reasons (far-flung naval base with Naval Yard or surrounding the continent with sea bases to help thwart/alert about invasions). Naval bases are particularly vulnerable to destroyer transports (6 movement points, 7 if Elite, and 8 (or 9) if you have the Maritime Control Center, which is a waste of time if there's not much water around) stuffed to the gills with marine troopers (best-weapon, no armor, Amphibious Pods), maybe a couple of battery units, foil or destroyer probes and some best-armour-AAA garrisons. They are also a favorite for probing away tech -- because they can be attacked outside the bases' "detection radius" of two squares.

                          Even the Pirates can benefit from a good landmass to help build up a good set of core bases for SSCs/military production houses. Practically I found the Pirates to be practically worthless because 1) they need a large oceanic map (70-90% ocean coverage), 2) once people start getting needlejets and choppers then the advantage of naval power is diminished slightly, 3) you have to beeline for destroyers (Doctrine: Initiative) because they're the real powerhouses, 4) land squares are much more productive (boreholes). Although you're immune to the chop & drop tactic, since air drops cannot be made into the sea. But pit a real good player with some solid landmass versus a real good player of the Pirates sticking to the "dream of oceanic conquest" and the landmass player will come out on top more often than not. Sure the Pirates are kind of overpowered, depending on how you look at it, but elite Spartan attack foils and marines can give you a run for your money, the Hive might overwhelm you with production power (or Domai), or the Believers if they got past their initial tech stag then they can blow the Pirates out of the water.

                          *: I suppose if you had a Huge map of Planet (I'll take the regular map of Planet just for the point of discussion, but if you got a lucky break on the random map generator it'll be the same) you could make a MEGA-SSC inside the Freshwater Sea. On the Standard map of Planet, it's usually right in the lower left-ish, and plopping down a sea base in there (crawl your minerals for the facilities you need), putting nothing but kelp farms and crawling the whole lot of it could be quite useful for a specialist powerhouse. +1 Nutrient every square + kelp farm = 4 nutrients per square. At that rate you should be able to get to like size 70. Make everybody a Engineer and you'll have a wonderful economy booster. Well, maybe not the same as the Monsoon Jungle, because with that you can throw a farm+soil enricher+condensor, and that leaves you with 6 nutrients per square, 8 for nutrient bonus squares. Can't get any better than that -- although I usually put down forests, for reasons I explained further up -- 2-2-1 every square isn't bad early on, and beats a farm+solar in production time.
                          Last edited by 551262; July 13, 2013, 23:30.


                          • #28
                            These are lvl one population cities. Something is fixing the problem in some of the cities, but I'm not really sure what. I'm conquering the aliens if that info helps any.


                            • #29
                              You may be running Green, which gives Sven -3 Growth. A Children's Creche will allow an individual base to grow under those circumstances. You also could switch out of Green or adopt Democracy to negate the growth penalty.
                              "The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."
                              -- Kosh


                              • #30
                                Yeah I'm running Police State and Green. That must be the problem. I switched to Green to compensate for the efficiency hit of Police State. I was running low on funds while fighting the ursupers. I just wiped them out, but I was planning on attacking the Caretakers next.