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  • #91
    Originally posted by 551262 View Post
    CEO, how has the instruction map been going?

    I like your words on tech parity with probe teams.
    You mean your achieving tech parity with probe teams? In single-player, you should manage to have the tech lead long before any intensive covert operations. It's like with the Planetary Datalinks - if you need them, you're doing something wrong.

    A Command Center or a Children's Creche?
    Actually it's Children Creche. This facility is bugged a little, see the details here:

    but long story short, it adds 1 morale to all units homed at this base, providing you run Wealth (and you do run Wealth even during war, don't you?), on the top of morale bonuses for units stationed there. So in terms of morale only, it's still better for wealthers that the Command Center.


    • #92
      Sorry, work has been tripping, so no, no significant progress on a demo game.

      As for Creches, YES, they're worth it. They're one of the very few facilities that are invariably worth it, at every level of base size. Here's a helpful strategywiki article pointing out the compounded turn advantage benefits of the creche.

      A war monger has to conduct warfare.
      This is false, and will get you routinely pounded into cheese-flavored dog food in MP. Every faction has to play their position, not conform to a one-size fits all strategy. If you're alone on a continent, and your rivals are an ocean away, you had better come up with a plan to exploit the uncontested space you've got, rather than blindly cranking out Impact Rovers so you can start cracking skulls half the map away.


      • #93
        Svensgaard running PLANNED+WEALTH without CC's is not good for economy
        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


        • #94
          I'm not even getting into the morale benefits of the Creche, as when you're playing Sparta, it is not possible to get negative morale, and any case, the growth and economic benefits of the facility make it worth building for any faction.

          I put some time into the Sparta demo last night, I'm about 50 turns in. I'm just going to post it in 50 turn increments, so you can see how my progression works, with some commentary about tech choices and strategy. I'll get screenshots and saves posted tonight.

          Nearly at 100 turns in, I want to have at least 2 saves to post so you can see growth. It's going pretty well, I'm on a pretty heavily fungus-infested island, so I'm having to spend a lot of former time clearing off mushrooms, which definitely holds up the rate of expansion.
          Last edited by CEO Aaron; November 14, 2013, 15:13.


          • #95
            One of these days a veteran should make a post describing what tech advances should be *ideally* acquired at a certain time -- i.e. Fusion Power before MY 2200, Synthetic Fossil Fuels before MY 2170, etc. Only problem is that I *think* that tech advances get slower as time goes on with larger maps over smaller ones.

            Also -- today we get to play Where's Waldo...

            (Shown in reduced resolution. Playing as Deidre on ...I think it's a Small map, but sure feels like a Tiny one, Talent. I have the CN and CF SPs, among many others, because while I was in peril footing very early on, I expanded well and grabbed a huge mass of land, including the MJ. First time playing Deidre in a long time -- Democratic, Green, Knowledge.)


            • #96
              Yeah, progress is definitely map dependent. I always play on Large maps. Smaller than that, and my 'empire' seems comically small, bigger and you can get spaceflight before you'll wind up near an opponent. Anyway, after much delay, here's my first 100 turns in my Sparta game:

              Starting position. No great shakes, decent size continent. As it turned out, no neighbors, lots of fungus (I play with abundant natives and ironman, transcend). Good setup do demonstrate a game where Sparta is somewhat isolated. My first few bases were forced out of grid for fungus. Early tech picks are formers, recycling tanks, then beelining for Intellectual Integrity, as per my recommendation. I may have grabbed Doctrine Flex on the way, I can't quite recall, but it's not that big a deal. I also think I got a pod drop or tech trade for Applied Physics. A free rover, a unity foil, and sent my guys around to pick up some easy pod pops, until a roving worm eats my boat. By turn 50, I've got 11 income, tech every 8 turns, and 7 bases. I grab the Command Nexus, a crucial SP for Sparta which will let me fight above my weight while I'm behind on tech early, and will let me have one turn repair in every base late-game, very nice for creating a artillery powered juggernaut.

              Once I've got II under my belt, the scouts all get upgraded to police, and I dip back to Planetary networks. From there, my general tech beeline is to head for Ecological Engineering for the ability to build Condensers. While I'm doing this, I see that nobody has taken the Virtual World, so I decided to build it. A fair number of minerals are wasted disbanding probe teams (still no IA yet), but in the long run it will be worth it, VW. Around this time I've run into Miriam, who evidently has settled on the island to my south. Typically, she plants a few totally non-viable bases off my coast, but I've got plenty of other places to spread out, and I'm trying to demonstrate the builder aspects of Sparta, so I refrain from cranking out a load of 2/2/4 foils and pinning her ears back.

              By this point I'm putting Children's Creches and recreation commons as my interior bases. I'm running planned/demo and therefore every base with a creche will boast single turn growth. Here's the turn 100 sitch:

              15 bases and more on the way. Condensers being built in the core areas to support the next stage of growth. My 5 pop bases are currently working 4 with a lone librarian, and I'm building network nodes on these bases for a nice jump in tech rate. Net income 20, tech every 6 turns. Some notes:
              I've built a fair number of mirrors, in lieu of forest and forget. This is to keep my nutrient income up early, while still delivering a decent tech rate. Yes, it's more former intensive than going FM/Forest, but affords me the privilege of ignoring the bureaucracy limit when planting new bases. So yeah, with the 10 mirrors I've built, I could have started a load more roads, cleared fungus or planted forests, but you do need /some/ lab income to get this strategy into the midgame. Two, I've kept my two rovers (1 starting, 1 unity from pod pop) busy farming the mushroom dunes. I've gotten a LOT of free money from planet pearls, which has helped fund my expansionist efforts. You can also see my nascent navy is starting to patrol the waters offshore, mostly looking to start harvesting pods and colonize the nearby islands. I'll still avoid the inevitable confrontation with Miriam while I've got room to spread out in other directions.


              • #97
                I'm going to go ahead and copy & paste your reply over to, if you don't mind.

                Did you find Waldo? It could be found somewhere in a certain morale calculation...needless to say, I did notice it...

                My thoughts...Yeah, 6 turns/tech isn't too shabby for Sparta at that point in the game. I see that you are somewhat comparable to the University in might, which is good.

                As far as starting locations go, I also go with flexible starting locations, though I don't enable Unity Survey. But I can still scan the terrain looking for the Garland Crater (good SP centre) or Mount Planet. I see you've started not far away from MP, which is good because it's a boon to your production, and to energy -- solar collector + river on the flat & rolling squares and crawl it to your HQ for an easy 4 or 5e per square. Minerals is good because you get +6 per square -- good for early fungal pop pre-tree farms.

                I don't play SMAC-X on a regular basis but I found that Sparta is really good for tackling the worm problem early on with higher morale units versus everybody else that isn't Gaian/Cha Dawn. I found that attacking fungal towers is best delayed until you can build empath units because of their inherent +50% fungal tower bonus. What say you?

                As far as factions go, when I play Sparta, the two biggest threats are 1) the Hive, 2) Miriam and 3) the PKs if they get a good start. Given a choice I always go after the Hive because of his numerous advantages, while Miriam crumbles like the rest when you're heavy on the offensive.

                Tell me, why would you build Rec Commons in the interior if you have police units? Two police garrisons and the VW mean I never have drone problems -- the only time I build Rec Commons is when I build Hab Complexes.


                • #98
                  I'm not a fan of Mount Planet, it's a giant inflamed pimple that disrupts my base formation. But I also don't like lowering terran to smooth it over, that just seems.... cheap, somehow. Garland Crater, Uranium Flats and Fungus Jungle are the money terrain, of course.

                  I use SMAX because I like the additions to the tech tree. I'm less of a fan of the factions. I typically force the SMAC factions and play with the SMAX rules. I use the Unity survey just out of my own sense of realism. This is a people who orbited the planet before they landed, they'd have to have a map and basic telemetry showing their location.

                  For Fungal Towers, as for most wildlife, the solution is artillery. If you've having late-game worm issues (overpollution or bio-using rival), you might have use for Empath (Empath SAM Resonance Laser Rovers win), but for regular wildlife policing a couple 2/1/1 artillery will clear off any native infestations you'll face in the normal course of securing your perimeter.

                  Hive and Mimi are the 2 factions that suits the zergish playstyle of the AI best, due to their outstanding support profile. The AI has a tendency to overbuild units and under-develop terraforming and infrastructure. The Hive comes apart under the weight of artillery and probe teams, and Miriam you just need to avoid until you've lapped her tech-wise a few times.

                  My decision to build rec commons comes down to keeping some semblance of mineral production in my bases. I don't have the VW yet, and my nutrient focused terraforming and relatively poor industry does make for slow production much of the time. 2 EC =~ 1 mineral, so while the RC has a higher front-loaded cost, it will pay for itself over the long haul (in 60 turns, to be exact). But more importantly, when my net mineral income in most bases is in the ~6 range, saving that one mineral upkeep keeps the wheels of production moving smoothly. But, that's the price of running 2 formers in every base and a high nutrient strategy early on.

                  I'll put some more time in this week, and we'll see how the build really gets rolling with the installation of condensers. My near term goals are to finish settling my starting continent and relocate my capital to a more centrally located base. From there, I'll start settling the nearby islands, and hopefully pick up some useful pods and engage in some cheap tech brokering on the way. Tech wise, my next goals are IA, Air Power and Fusion Power.


                  • #99
                    Oh, and no, I'm not getting your 'Waldo' quiz. What's the issue?


                    • Code:
                      Gaian Shard Interceptor           Hive Gatling Squad
                      <13>-1-9*2                        5-1-1
                      Plasma Shard: 13                  No Armor: 1
                      Commando (+): +62%                Disciplined (+): +0%
                      Ground Strike: -50%               Strength: 1.00
                      Strength: 10.56                   Power: 10
                      Power: 20
                      Probably a fluke. I don't have a regular penetrator on hand, although I'm WAY ahead of everybody else (a glance at the # of bases & landmass should tell you everything) in tech and haven't caught around to building them yet. Just packing 1-4-1*2 AAA ECM troopers in the front line bases and some interceptors until I finish Building. The Hive declared vendetta recently so it gives me a convenient excuse to try something else for a change. Everybody is treatied, I'm trying to gun for Supreme Leader. +7 Efficiency works wonders.


                      • Does anybody know the procedure for guaranteed base sinking?

                        I know that a sea former, for each [ terraform down, it lowers the nearby squares by ~1000m, but how do you establish the situation so you are guaranteed to sink the base without the case of an auto-pressure dome?

                        How do y'all load up the transports for an invasion? Assuming Clean Fusion Destroyer Transports (1-6-5*2 Clean, sometimes with Carrier ability), I'm stumped a bit. Two transports gives me 16 slots, but I have to load up on SAM rovers, infantry (sometimes Invaders instead), defense units (1-6-1*2 AAA ECM), probe teams, and artillery units. I like Singularity transports because then I can pack four SAM rovers, four infantry, two defense, two probes and four battery units (Four battery units, sometimes five, six for sure, can sink IODs, enemy transports, naval units etc) for a multi-dimensional strike force. If I'm going up against the Believers, probes are a waste of time or anybody with the HSA so I won't bring them then, but against the Hive I really need them to help take down the Perimeter Defenses.

                        How to truces expire? I like making them expire so I can attack without hurting my faction image, but I don't see that option very often. I know it has something to do with 20 years and faction contact.


                        • I don't sink bases, it's really a gimmick tactic that you use to prank a defeated foe. If I want to remove their base from the map, I'll roll in, park a few garrisons and start rush-building colony pods to disperse the inhabitants.

                          I raise a land bridge and drive my guys over. My general military tactic is to use interceptors to establish unambiguous air supremacy by way of standby interceptors. I'm not a great consumer of SAM, except for shooting down SAM/Empath/Res rovers to take out Locusts. Instead I'll run a few flavors of defensive units: Comm Jammer, AAA, Trance if necessary, and fill up the ranks with infantry artillery and rovers. As I've mentioned before, I'm a HUGE fan of the X/1/1 artillery unit. Judicious peppering with artillery bombardment will ensure your force will suffer minimal losses. The defensive units will become my clean garrisons of newly conquered bases. The artillery and rovers will typically be decommissioned for minerals once hostilities have been concluded.

                          The utility of air supremacy cannot be overstated. You can use it for area denial and reconnaissance, between that and probe infiltration, the enemy should have no surprises for you whatsoever. From that point, with strong production, you should be able to tailor your forces to the enemy's composition.

                          I should also point out that my strategy generally avoids fighting engagements over long supply lines. If I'm not near enough to support a major invasion with my nearby bases (or sporting enough of a magtube network to cover the distances quickly), I'll just occupy myself with settling the intervening territory.


                          • I heard that you're a fan of resettlement, which has a number of merits. On land, building colony pods and escorting them back to puff up bases back home is a valid technique. Sea bases are a bit of a problem because sea colony pods can't puff up land bases (coastal), only other sea bases. What I do for a cluster of A.I. sea bases is rush build them once they got their first row or two done, then disband them back into themselves or other ones to bring down the whole network.

                            Land bridges can be expensive -- the farther you are from a base, the more it costs. You could of course set up campsites along the way. But I don't know how well that would work in MP. By raising a land bridge you've made it pretty clear which direction you are intending to attack, and some scouting for transports by the enemy could confirm that. And he could also sink the land bridge too -- although that's more of a military supremacy question because raising and lowering of land takes a long time (less with WP) and you need a good 8-10 formers (pre Super Formers) to get anything done in any real span of time.

                            Generally, I like to attack in at least two directions. The last major invasion I made (the map was shown on the preceeding page, the one about a bunch of mini-SSCs in the Freshwater Sea) I landed in four directions. (Huge Map of Planet) Two landings near the Garland Crater and two just near the Uranium Flats. I love invasions, warfare and exploring (pod popping & exploring terrain, as I don't have the Unity Survey).

                            SAM I have because it has numerous advantages on a rover. *One* can take out three marauding needlejets or choppers if it's Elite. If you have magtubes, it's very pragmatic for heavy Momentum based factions because you can pass on interceptors back home -- some AAA garrisons and SAM rovers, and the air is relatively safe with the Rover Defense model. Then, it can pay off to have it in case you need it in your attacking force. I always like to have at least one SAM rover in every base.


                            • One of these days we also need to work on a Very Early Game Tutorial....

                              For instance, land, move colony pod(s) a square or two, then start building a colony pod while researching E1 (Centauri Ecology), then ...

                              I've been spoiled I guess, playing too much Sparta. Worms are not a general problem early on and you have a starting rover which means you can cover more landmass exploring. I think my record on small map was four free rovers -- things get discovered quickly. (I think six on HMoP.) Otherwise, if you're a builder type and you spawn next to a momentum faction then about sweating bullets.


                              • So today I finally wrapped up another long game. *yawn*

                                Map: Huge
                                Ocean Coverage: 70-90%
                                Difficulty: Talent
                                Game: SMAC-X (Mac)
                                Playing as: Pirates
                                Other factions present: Default SMAC-X factions
                                Tries before I found a map worth playing: About 20-25

                                In this game, it took me a little while to get a random map where I could be near a useful landmark. Garland Crater, Monsoon Jungle, or Mount Planet were all okay. Ended up with the Garland Crater, landing just a hair to the west of it so it took me an extra turn to get the colony pods in place. The idea was to experiment with the oceanic bases "sensor" model on just a casual basis. The Conciousness dropped off a colony pod near the GC and so she (it?) had to be kicked out with some impact infantry and a impact rover.

                                I had steamed ahead in the early game and left everybody else behind. Fungboy (I love that word) had landed on a mediocre island and when I stopped by for a visit (he'd pronounced v'detta 50 turns earlier but was too far to do anything) with just a 1-4-6*2 transport cruiser with two Shard batteries (13-1-1*2), three SAM Shard Rovers (<13>-1-1*2 SAM), two probe teams and some other easily-repulsed crew and guess what? He's still on Laser Infantry. The Drones landed on a ...doable size of land but tech advance was glacial. Usurper Marr landed on a island with four squares of land on it and didn't go anywhere. Aki was wiped out by someone else long ago. Eventually once I finished my Building and kicked in to warmongering mode it was just a matter of bringing four cruiser transports, one with Shard Shock troops, one with SAM rovers, one with Marines and the last with four battery units and four 1-4-1*2 AAA ECM punching bags. The Consciousness was split up over two areas, one happened to be near the Ruins so one division made waste of her (its?) homeland while the other went for a Monolith Migration to get elite units. Then Domai was put out in two turns, leaving the Caretakers. Landing in two seperate areas and using the marine transports to finish off the sea bases, it didn't take 12 turns (he had spread out the most).

                                There are two skyfarms up and about a dozen orbital power stations.

                                Endgame, we are here. Here's the overall profile of my territory:

                                Here's the leftside flank, showing the Sea Sensor Bases:

                                Rightside. I think this deserves some additional chat:


                                Headquarters, mineral powerhouse:

                                One of the outlying bases:

                                Faction settings for most of the game, in fact nearly all the game except the early game. Modifiers to the base profile: Ascetic Virtues SP, the Living Refinery SP and I have two bases on the Manifold Nexus to give me that +1 Planet aka License to Pollute.

                                Just this turn, I finished the Cloning Vats SP so I would have switched to this model:

                                And now for my thoughts:

                                The Pirates are decent in the ocean, but the ocean really isn't a good place for regular living. Sure they can terraform deep ocean squares, but you have to wait for Advanced Ecological Engineering, which takes a long time, so once you build those warning bases, they sit around for 40 turns doing very little. Build the garrison and a sea former, and facilities, it's all you can do. Then once you do get AEE, you need the Subsea Trunkline with mining platforms to make it worthwhile. Energy -- forget it. A typical size 9 base might have 2-3-0 coming in from the mining platforms, so figure an average of 25 minerals coming in the door per turn. Decent, yes, but it takes a long time to get to a point where they are profitable.

                                Let's have another look at this area:

                                Those bases stuck on small landmasses with boreholes are the best, IMO. Get your food and energy from the kelp+tidal harnesses and bring in all the minerals with crawlers and boreholes. Easy 30 minerals without too much difficulty. Add a Subsea Trunkline to the base (which is usually near ocean shelf squares) and your 3-1-3 squares suddenly become 3-2-3, equivalent to a Hybrid Forest, not bad. I think they are good stopover areas for ill naval units and a hopping point for needlejets and choppers, as seen here:

                                But back to the "early warning system" concept. Needlejets can be put on patrol. 8-1-12*2 Deep Radar needlejets aren't that expensive, so what you do is put their patrol radius equal to half their movement points. A Fusion powered non-interceptor, non-transport-equipped needlejet has 12 moves, so you put them in a search radius of 6. This lets them return to base in the same turn and take off again the next without having to wait one turn exposed to interceptors and marauding SAM foils, then having to wait ANOTHER turn to fuel up in a base. If you have Gravships then even better, but by that point in the game either it's you alone in the top ranks, you versus some top dog & 3 of his pactmates, or there are better things to do like corner the global energy market, dig in and protect your HQ.

                                So yes, patrolling needlejets along with three or four kept back at the home base in case they stumble upon something, along with conventional missiles if you have those.

                                As a concept, I think the early warning system has merits, but I'm not sure how to weigh the cost of building the sea colony pods, paying for network nodes and other facilities because there's a dismal amount of minerals coming in per turn on said sea bases is worth the cost. I suppose it depends on the map and the situation. If you expect to be hit up by transports packed with cheap elite marines (like 13-1-1*2 Amphibious, Elite) then tossing bases on those little surrounding mini-islands, plenty of patrolling needlejets and a force of marines of your own is probably a strategy worth considering. If you have lots of Independent IODs, particularly when they're at least Mature Boils, those can fit five each, so I guess you could park those in various strategic fungal squares, hidden -- and hope a empath foil doesn't discover you, then having your little parade hit up by a conventional missile.

                                I also like to put coastal bases (and those little mini-island borehole-filled bases) with at least three, but not more than five top-weapon, no armour infantry battery units. Those can sink transports (better when they have no armour), sink foils and cruisers who are too close to the coast, and will prevent you from being blasted with ship-based artillery. They're cheap, too.

                                CEO Aaron, how have you been developing?
                                Last edited by 551262; December 28, 2013, 20:11.