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  • Kirov
    replied
    I understand how Momentum works, it's just what Aaron described doesn't exactly fit it in my opinion. He specifically mentions ICS and he builds colony pods rather than assault units. This is why I asked my questions. With a beeline to II, you still need to maintain your research arm healthy, because it will take some time before you will grab any lab-boosting techs or SPs. And as my experience with Sparta says, your Robocop policemen don't have much to police in the early game.

    You can't rely on getting WP. Even if you start to build it in the first turns, a typical builder faction like Zak or Morgan can get to IA and instabuild WP faster than you complete it with -1 Industry. Besides, every strategy that relies on getting a specific SP is a bad strategy in my opinion. You never know how SPs split and you can't hastily adjust your strategy because you were beaten to WP by one turn.

    I can be quite an aggressive (Hybrid) player, but I admit I don't have much experience with Momentum strategies, partially because I find them very vulnerable to issues not always in my control. Your description above is all cool and enticing, but it goes down the drain when suddenly you discover that you're actually alone on a massive continent... And that Morgan on the next island beats you to Doc:Init, and gets MCC, and then controls marine access with 2-3 cruisers, and your elite units can only shake their fists at the sea. And did we mention that he infiltrated your coastal bases earlier and without Planetary Networks you can only watch his probe foils with awe?

    And against decent builder players, I somehow don't believe in that "pushing out elite units and keeping up with the tech race" part. Against Zaks, Morgans and Akis who go early FM/Wealth, you're going to fall behind really really fast. If they choose to go to D:AP after IA (as I would do against Sparta), you don't have much time before their jets come actually a-knocking to your house.

    In MP games, more often than not players are separated by water, so there goes the "let's kill somebody really fast" approach. What CEO Aaron presented is more a builder/hybrid approach to Sparta, which is why I wanted to compare notes. I'm not saying that early FM is the only choice, but you need to solve the problem of money against a player who can afford to rushbuild.

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  • 551262
    replied
    I think you're forgetting the key principles of Momentum play.

    As long as I get a good start, and get the Impact Rovers out the door quickly enough, I can hang along with them. I couldn't care less about the advantageous of FM or the principles of Democracy. Fundamentalist + Planned + Knowledge + Command Centers + monolith trips = elite units. Disadvantages? Well, you do have -1 Efficiency, but that's not that bad, and if it's a problem then build Children's Creches. Sure you don't have +2 Econ, neither +4 Efficiency, nor +4 Support, are lacking +4 Growth, don't have +4 Research, or +4 Industry, but it's probably the best you can do. (Democracy + Planned + Knowledge works well once you get the Cyborg Factory.)

    Building is all nice and all, but it's still vertical growth. If you're tumbling downhill from a punishing thrust of 6-3-1 troopers, 6-1-1 batteries and 6-1-2 rovers with a healthy dose of probe teams, it doesn't matter how much +Econ you get.

    That said, Momentum play doesn't really work on large excursions, but Lady Sparta can still sit down for a hundred turns and build up the empire and pop boom like everybody else. The Virtual World? You can build it, yes, I like to have it too, so you can build it and I'll take it 20 turns later. Deal? :P

    The issue with growth is solved by the Weather Paradigm. Condensors + farms = +4 nuts before Gene Splicing.

    I will say though that Momentum play is very risky. But a punishing attack on a core bases can hurt him just as bad as it does me. I'd call that fair enough, as long as I can keep up in the tech race and can push out the elite units, that's good enough for me. As for the bases of mine, Recycling Tanks, Tree Farms (when possible), Command Centers, Perimeter Defenses (if the area is hotly contested, otherwise no) and I'm set. I only bother with Network Nodes if I have a lot of artifacts to cash in (had four in the present game) or I plan on getting the VW. Otherwise, two 1-3-1 Police garrisons, and later, 1-4-1 AAA ECM coupled with a 8-1-2 SAM rover and we're covered.

    I found out just today that about three battery units can take out a impact plasma steel (4-3-4) foil. With that, I guess I won't have to bother too much with naval units, which are kind of a waste until Doctrine: Initiative and Fusion Power.

    I also found out that you can put a road, bunker and sensor on the same rocky square. This means a 50% + 50% + 25% bonus to defense. A base is better though, especially against air units. But as far as rocky mine + road + bunker goes, it could work as a stop gap solution, especially if you have mag tubes around. A sensor in a nearby square (under a base) and you're set.

    EDIT: BTW this is for CEO Aaron. 1) Can mobile airbases offer a "Aerospace Complex: +100%" type bonus to defending units against aerial attacks? 2) For early game SP "rushing" is it "kosher" to build scout patrols in the other bases, run them over to the base in question, support them there and then disband them, or should one focus on buying it with energy?
    Last edited by 551262; August 23, 2013, 14:26.

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  • Kirov
    replied
    Originally posted by 551262 View Post
    He's on track about running towards Intellectual Integrity, and with Spartans, 2 1-3-1*2 Police units can handle four drones quite nicely. I try to avoid rec commons. Nowadays I don't even build Network Nodes unless I have the VW, and don't bother with Children's Creches either.
    It sure looks good on paper, but I need to see this in action. I tried to play Santiago some and the main problem for her and several other non-builder factions (Pirates, Miriam, etc.) is that after first several cheap techs, the tech cost rises and if you don't do something about it, your SE screen says something like "+1 EC/turn | Breakthrough every 12 turns". This is why when I play Sparta or Pirates, I tend to switch to FM actually earlier than Morgan. The bonus for Sparta is that even under FM she still gets the upper hand when attacking native life. And Planned sucks for non-builders, it virtually kills their research. Use it only when you see the opponent and can safely probe/conquer him.

    The beeline to I.I looks cool, but it postpones any serious empire building forever. You get crawlers and then boreholes decades after other players. Yeah, you say you build more bases and police 4 drones. Cool, except you don't have condensers and most of the time you can't even feed four citizens. Especially that as Sparta, you may probably want heavy forestation. My early Sparta bases are usually stuck at pop2-3. Building farms just to increase it obviously also decreases mineral output (as you harvest 2-1-1 tiles or 2-1-2 with collectors).

    Policing sure looks good, but as I see it now, you do your meagre ICS and build police units when your opponents crank out crawlers and cash them in for PTS, VW and the like. You have no chance to be the first to D:AP, and as CEO Aaron mentioned elsewhere, quantity beats quality - you come to me with 4-1-2 Sparta units, I put my 1-2-1 Very Green units on a forest with sensor and watch you lose at least half of you health bar every time.

    All in all, sounds like a risky business to me. If you don't find and kill your opponent fast, your ICS may not make any impression on him.

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  • 551262
    replied
    He's on track about running towards Intellectual Integrity, and with Spartans, 2 1-3-1*2 Police units can handle four drones quite nicely. I try to avoid rec commons. Nowadays I don't even build Network Nodes unless I have the VW, and don't bother with Children's Creches either.

    The nice thing about gunning for I.I. is the close proximity to Chaos Guns. I love those. You do end up keeping them for awhile, and if I'm winning (or at least holding on) I'll hold on to them until Plasma Shard.

    Although lately I've been reconsidering jumping for Synthetic Fossil Fuels. Makes D: AP right around the corner, although if I'm running towards Chaos Guns (Superstring Theory) and the University just so happens to be coming along nicely with D: AP and Fusion Power, then I'll be dropping by for a visit.

    I've been making more efforts on making lots of probe teams. Sometimes a base which can turn out a probe team in 2 turns (isn't doing so well in the mineral game) will do nothing but just make probe teams. They don't cost support, same with crawlers and trawlers, so build build build. Such leaves the better bases kicking out 20+ minerals to produce other things like 8-3-1*2 troopers (very dangerous when Elite), 8-1-2*2 SAM rovers (again, when Elite, not something to shake a stick at), 1-3-1*2 AAA ECM frontline punching bags, and 8-1-1 Amphibious marines. Battery units (I don't put them on rover chassis) are likewise cheap.

    AFAIK a couple of battery units (better when they have +50 Altitude bonuses) can knock out naval units.

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  • Kirov
    replied
    Originally posted by CEO Aaron View Post
    My Spartan early tech picks are Centauri Ecology for the obligatory formers, biogenics for Recycling Tanks. They are immensely useful in an empire with a large number of bases, and rapidly accelerate thin expansion. Then I beeline directly for Intellectual Integrity, which gives access to non-lethal methods.
    Wait a minute, so as Sparta you don't beeline to IA? Even without Wealth, you still need those crawlers in place. The only situation I would stray from IA is early rush. But even I'd like to get on the track as quickly as possible, i.e. after AppliedP or NLM.

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  • Kirov
    replied
    Originally posted by CEO Aaron View Post
    Oh, on Morgan, a couple of things: First, the window where Free Market outperforms Green Economy for Morgan is actually pretty small when you're building a lot of bases with him. Second, during that window, just junk your needlejets and use interceptors. If you really need needles/choppers, switch to Fundy/Green/Wealth for your war footing. Creches completely negate a -1 morale penalty for units built there. Then kill who you need to, and switch back to Free Market.
    Long time no see, CEO Aaron. I remember your Morgan gameplay and tips from back in the day and your posts taught me a lot! But I'm actually a bit surprised you recommend Green for Morgan so early. Isn't it better for him to run Demo/FM/Wealth for the entire early/midgame? With Vendettas conducted through the use of pop1 military purpose bases? My impression was that Morgan is the best builder/energy producer under such conditions.

    Also, do you still stand by that Morgan should start with Biogenetics and rushbuy RecTanks everywhere?

    When you recommend ICS - do you pay any attention to the B-limits at all? Do you pause for RecCommons/projects/whatever or just say 'meh' and push onwards? In my experience, B-drones may hamper the expansion since they appear in the just-built bases, especially when you run Demo/FM, have no free minerals and can't use the police.

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  • 551262
    replied
    Originally posted by Ogie Oglethorpe View Post
    I noticed in you screen shots you had no commerce income. As Spartans you should have conquered and made submissive some faction by now. Judicious use of your submissive helps you and them as they help crank a techout every so often and you get the benefit of pacted commerce at your biggest (Read SSC) most infrastructured bases.
    Morgans: I might have had a treaty with them but they were wiped out by the Believers.
    Diedre: Same.
    Believers: Vendetta for most of the game.
    Hive: ibid.
    Peacekeepers: Ugh...Might have had a treaty, I am pretty sure he broke it by a probe-action or an attack with a needlejet which one of my interceptors scrambled and he lost.
    University: Might have had a treaty, I doubt it. The Hive dealt him in.

    I do have a game going now that is Momentum. It is fun. Six Impact Rovers and probably the same number of probes and the University was done in. The Believers put a up a bit of a fight but with only two bases it simply wasn't enough, although she did take a lot of steam out of my attack with some good counter-attacks. (I attacked before Plasma Steel Armor was available, so I didn't have any defensive units around.) The Gaians just lost their HQ, which had the WP, HGP and ME. I didn't make any SPs, usually I gun for the WP, VW and CN, although I've started the CN. I'll deal with the Hive later. :P

    I get bored with big maps and long games. That game above with the SSC experiment took me about a week. I can't play more than about two hours in a stretch because I get fed up with all the micromanagement. Usually I play on Small (Tiny is not big enough) maps for this reason.

    If you think about it, Momentum play offers significant advantages, but really only if you have warmongering type neighbors or untrustworthy (PKs, who will play nice early on, then declare war for lame reasons) or on smaller maps. On Planet size or larger, the Hybrid style is probably better to play because there's a good chance that due to the larger map size, the attack will stall before the opposing empire is significantly damaged by the attack. Especially with Spartans, a failed attack can actually benefit the opposing target or weaken the core for a third party to swoop in. That, and Transport Foils are pretty lame troop transports. It's not until Clean Fusion Destroyer Transports that proper invasions can commence.
    Last edited by 551262; August 6, 2013, 16:23.

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  • CEO Aaron
    replied
    Originally posted by 551262 View Post
    You are correct that satellites can greatly boost the power of the empire, especially if you have something like 40+ Orbital Power Transmitters and +5 Efficiency. But if the efficiency isn't at least +3 with Children's Creches (makes the base +4 IIRC), then they're kind of a waste. Sky farms are something I usually only throw up one if I haven't explored the whole map yet just to get a world view. Nessus Mining Stations come so late that it's kind of a cost/benefit analysis problem again.
    Sky Farms are the key to a specialist-centric ICS strategy. Fact 1: Nutrients are immune to inefficiency. Fact 2: Specialist are immune to inefficiency. With 14-16 Skyfarms, you can support max-pop bases all over your empire on a very small land footprint. (7 squares per base is quite easy to do).

    Like crawlers, satellites have their benefits, but crawlers can produced sooner, and thus the turn advantage is realized sooner. Probe Morgan early on for Industrial Automation, nab the Weather Paradigm, unlock the resource restrictions, and the rest is something we are familiar with.
    Sure, and colony pods are available quite a bit earlier than crawlers, and offer a stupendously better ROI than crawlers. The most a crawler will ever really deliver is 8 or so of a particular resource. While your initial returns from a colony pod don't match that, they'll soon dwarf it. It's really all a question of land use. Crawlers tie up map squares to collect one resource. A base will collect all available resources in its footprint, plus from its population of specialists, plus facilities, etc.

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  • Ogie Oglethorpe
    replied
    I noticed in you screen shots you had no commerce income. As Spartans you should have conquered and made submissive some faction by now. Judicious use of your submissive helps you and them as they help crank a techout every so often and you get the benefit of pacted commerce at your biggest (Read SSC) most infrastructured bases.

    Leave a comment:


  • 551262
    replied
    You are correct that satellites can greatly boost the power of the empire, especially if you have something like 40+ Orbital Power Transmitters and +5 Efficiency. But if the efficiency isn't at least +3 with Children's Creches (makes the base +4 IIRC), then they're kind of a waste. Sky farms are something I usually only throw up one if I haven't explored the whole map yet just to get a world view. Nessus Mining Stations come so late that it's kind of a cost/benefit analysis problem again.

    Like crawlers, satellites have their benefits, but crawlers can produced sooner, and thus the turn advantage is realized sooner. Probe Morgan early on for Industrial Automation, nab the Weather Paradigm, unlock the resource restrictions, and the rest is something we are familiar with.

    I did to the PKs one time as I mentioned earlier, and the perks of the PKs are easy to see when you press F4 and every base is in a Golden Age. Gun for the Empath Guild and with a good army, you're set. It's also rather boring. When I play the PKs last time I made an effort to grab the Planetary Transit System to help build decent bases faster. Sure Santiago might explore sooner, the Hive can churn out pods like nobody's business, but with a starting base pop of 3, it's all that much easier to grow

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  • CEO Aaron
    replied
    Efficiency is a linear function of number of bases, distance and maproot, so no, population isn't a factor, except that larger bases collect more resources and the same percentage of a larger number results in more lost to inefficiency. But upshot, no, trimming population to reduce inefficiency is not a go-to move.

    The problem with satellites is they take awhile to build.
    Wait, you're building HOW many supply crawlers to crawl back to your SSC, but you don't want to build some satellites to support your ICS base sprawl? A single satellite costs the same as 4 crawlers, and produces one resource of its type, per base, up to the population of each base. So if you're crawling a square for 6 nutrients, the same yield can be had from only 24 bases, assuming each one is of sufficient size to collect the resource. For your trawlers, the conversion is even lower. Plus, the added advantage that the space on the map you're currently crawling can be used to build MORE BASES.

    Why bother transcending or building a massive empire if you can just cut it short with conquest? Of course conquest is more of a horizontal growth than vertical. But vertical has limitations.
    Well, if winning is your only goal, you need only get elected planetary leader and then blow up the few rival factions who defy your rule. That's probably the shortest distance between yourself and victory. But that's beside my point. My point is that a Super-Science City/Energy Park is great for getting raw lab income, but is not the best use for your territory and time.

    I do however, note that echelon mirrors and condensors don't cause me any eco-damage. How is that so?
    They do, they just don't do very much. I could go in depth, but I think it's better for everyone if you're simply pointed at the reference I read to understand how eco-damage works, here.

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  • Buster's Uncle
    replied
    Sorry about the miscommunication; I failed to place SSC, but I always try to build all the research and energy SPs in my headquarters, to take advantage of the zero inefficiency, and make a monster SSC.

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  • 551262
    replied
    I didn't answer that acronymn very quickly because I wasn't sure if there was a tongue-in-cheek inside joke about that, slightly hinting that it probably wasn't a "real" SSC :P

    I do know that a good Builder can crawl in excess of 200 energy *per base*, so it's just a thing I guess.

    Originally posted by CEO Aaron View Post
    I'm not quite understanding that. Are you saying that building your hab-dome isn't worth it for your remote bases? Because I'm pretty sure it will pay for itself pretty swiftly with a good number of satellites aloft.
    I was hoping for some good analysis of what I did right and what I did wrong, as there aren't too many "expert class" players left here :P

    But I digress. The problem with satellites is they take awhile to build. I suppose if you had every base producing ten sky farms each, and you had the Space Elevator SP, then yeah it could make sense but I am not sure if building those should get in the way of producing military units.

    Why bother transcending or building a massive empire if you can just cut it short with conquest? Of course conquest is more of a horizontal growth than vertical. But vertical has limitations.

    Inefficiency as I know it doesn't increase with pop. But with increasing energy input, more is lost to inefficiency.

    I do however, note that echelon mirrors and condensors don't cause me any eco-damage. How is that so?

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  • Buster's Uncle
    replied
    Thanks. A familiar concept if not a familiar acronym.

    Does inefficiency go up with population?

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  • CEO Aaron
    replied
    Super Science City.

    I don't like bases getting larger than size 7 (or 9) because that means there's less benefit to the ICS strategy.
    I'm not quite understanding that. Are you saying that building your hab-dome isn't worth it for your remote bases? Because I'm pretty sure it will pay for itself pretty swiftly with a good number of satellites aloft.

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