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On Strategy by Darth Pedro
#1
Here is my nutshell take on initial game strategy.

There are four basic areas in which TL must be developed continuously. All other efforts are ultimately subordinate, though temporarily may be of higher priority at times.

1. Laboratories and Research:

Laboratories are consumers of Fuel/Power and most importantly require MANY Professionals to run them. The first higher TL Labs should be added to the OBC where Solar Power can be used to power them. They consume no other resources so will NOT be a drain on transport once established. Of course you will need a bigger OBC and LFS to accomodate the staffing.

2. Mines and Resources:

Mining TL is a VERY high priority since the home world UNLIMITED deposits will inevitably be the bulwark of the home system economy. Elevating Mine TL will increase maximum limits on resource supplies while remaining stable as far as staffing requirements. The 1,000,000 Mines per Deposit limit sets the pace.

3. Factories and Manufacturing:

Factory TL is next as you must have the resources to use in the manufacturing processes or you will outstrip them. Factories are not limited as to how many can be assembled in each Factory Group. Thus ultimately 23 Factory Groups should suffice for the manufacturing complex in any one colony. Doing Build Change orders to higher TL of 200 will ensure that they always attempt to produce the highest TL Items possible.

4. Propulsion Systems:

Space Drive TL determines how many you need to go how fast during Maneuver Orders which occur in tactical distance units within one orbit. Hyper Engine TL on the other hand determine the lift capacity AND the absolute range of interstellar Jumps that can be executed. The range being formulated for this game is 3 + SQRT(TL). Starting at TL-2 we are limited to distances of 4.414 Light Years per Jump. You must achieve a TL of 49 in order to Jump 10 Light Years (the distance achieved by a maximum system probe for exploration). It will be a long haul achieving TL-49.

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Transports (and now Beamers) will be important to Research too. Basically all Items need to be advanced with their own unique advantages and limitations. Thus the priority of LABS!!!
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#2
FARMS:

Farms-1 can only be assembled and operated in Open Colonies (on habitable planets of course). Each one produces 25 FOOD per turn and these are your backbone for FOOD supply initially. They are limited to 100,000 Farms-1 per Habitability Factor so your initial home planet with Hab=25 can only operate 2,500,000 Farms-1. This limits FOOD production to 62,500,000 FOOD per turn. Each population consumes .25 FOOD per turn so the capacity is 250,000,000 population (unless you reduce the ration rate - DON'T).

Since the Habitability Factor of the home planet is 25 and each Hab Factor can support (you would need Life Supports in all but Open Colonies) 10,000,000 population...the capacities are the same. This means you had better find a way to put population elsewhere and that will required FEEDING them (as well as Life Support).

You can put Farms-2 through Farms-5 on your COLONIES within orbits 1 through 5 and they will use sunlight and if in the orbiters they will also use SOLAR POWER for their FUEL requirements (orbits 1 through 5 only). Typically they are used on Orbiters (OBC's) and in Enclosed Surface Colonies (ESC's).

Farms-6 are the lowest TL Farms you can operate on a ship so YOU NEED THEM SOON! They use artificial light and require FUEL and/or POWER plus staffing but NO sunlight as the lower TL Farms do.

Since Farms-2 and higher TL produce 5 x TL FOOD, you lose some efficiency until you get to Farms-6 anyway. Go for Farms-6 and put them in your OBC's and Ships ASAP. Farms-6 running in your OBC's in the inner orbits (1-5) are the best deal and with Automation use only a minimum of Professionals for staffing.

LIFE SUPPORTS:

As long as you can continue to build some Life Support in excess capacity to your population growth numbers, you can simply Assemble them on your local OBC. This will help you expand staffing capacity for items operating there. TL for LFS is not initially urgent so don't worry about it too soon.

ORBITING COLONY:

Your home OPC can remain as a Population grower, FOOD producer and MINING center. Remember that the three (3) UNLIMITED deposits on your home planet will be the MAINSTAY or your resource supply for the immediate future and possibly on into the long term.

So what should I do with my OBC? EVERYTHING ELSE!!!!

Manufacture, Assemble and operate ALL:

Laboratories
Factories

Manufacture, Assemble and operate MOST:

Life Supports
Automation

Manufacture, Assemble and operate SOME:

Light Structure
Sensors
Transports

Manufacture EVERYTHING ELSE to be used elsewhere as needed.

PROPER UTILIZATION OF YOUR OBC IS KEY TO WINNING THE GAME!

MINES:

Before you have anything else in large quantities you MUST HAVE HIGH TL MINES!

Higher TL means more resources mined out of those UNLIMITED deposits BECAUSE you can ONLY assemble 1,000,000 MINES maximum on a deposit. Therefor Higher TL means higher output with NO increase in staffing.

With 3,000,000 MINES running on your three (3) unlimited deposits...

TL-1 produces:

12,500,000 FUEL at 50% Yield
10,000,000 METS at 40% Yield
10,000,000 NMTS at 40% Yield

TL-10 produces ten (10) times as much while TL-200 produces:

2,500,000,000 FUEL at 50% Yield
2,000,000,000,METS at 40% Yield
2,000,000,000 NMTS at 40% Yield

Now it will take some doing to get to TL-200 but if any item is worth that effort it is MINES!

FACTORIES:

Once you have the Mine TL you must be able to build them. Higher TL Factories will be needed for the same reason...economy of scale. Put those newer high TL facory groups on the OBC and let them rip. You should only need 23 Factory Groups since there are only that many Items to manufacture. An exception is if you intentionally want to build lower TL Items for some reason (paranoid that the enemy will capture those items and use them for prototypes).

Issue orders to Build Change all of your factory Groups to whatever item at TL-200. This will automatically cause the factories to start building the highest TL for each respective Item Type as you continue to do research improvements.

Build more factories and Mines first then add to the menu as capacities increase. When new higher TL stuff comes out in large quantities then Disassemble and SCRAP the lower TL stuff and Assemble the newer high TL stuff. This goes especially for Laboratories, Mines and Factories.

TRANSPORTS AND BEAMERS:

These will be needed to haul resources to your OBC.

Transports are need specifically where ships are concerned or where establishment of new colonies and surveys are performed. Beamers can be used to transfer GOODS (no population) between any Colonies in the same system. Transports may also be used to haul Soldiers and Military Robots to and from Combat.
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#3
Based on this I have done at least one thing right. GAH!
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#4
They way I see it, higher tech goods just means you get more productivity out of your people. And since we are all rapidly automating, we are really talking about our Professionals. So there's not much difference between high tech mines or factories. Labs, on the other hand, use 3x the pros, so if pros are the ultimate limiting factor in EC/CW, then I suspect the long-term best investment is in labs. That's where your investment in research will pay off with the biggest improvements in pro productivity.

Having said that, there will be a time when one has to switch gears. High tech labs are great, but they don't blast aliens. And given the lead time in building up military tech, setting up factories and supply chains, and deploying stuff, you can't ignore the military side too long.

We're probably going to need a mix of tech investments. Keep researching higher tech labs with some significant effort, but once you get a decent pipeline of research coming off the line, buy up lower techs in military and ship stuff. I heard in the last game people were getting up to Energy Weapon level 60 or 70! You obviously need a massive lab base to get there, but you also need a massive production base to push out those super weapons (and a massive fuel-mining supply chain to let you fire them!)
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#5
(07-19-2013, 03:31 PM)ixnay Wrote: They way I see it, higher tech goods just means you get more productivity out of your people. And since we are all rapidly automating, we are really talking about our Professionals. So there's not much difference between high tech mines or factories. Labs, on the other hand, use 3x the pros, so if pros are the ultimate limiting factor in EC/CW, then I suspect the long-term best investment is in labs. That's where your investment in research will pay off with the biggest improvements in pro productivity.

Having said that, there will be a time when one has to switch gears. High tech labs are great, but they don't blast aliens. And given the lead time in building up military tech, setting up factories and supply chains, and deploying stuff, you can't ignore the military side too long.

We're probably going to need a mix of tech investments. Keep researching higher tech labs with some significant effort, but once you get a decent pipeline of research coming off the line, buy up lower techs in military and ship stuff. I heard in the last game people were getting up to Energy Weapon level 60 or 70! You obviously need a massive lab base to get there, but you also need a massive production base to push out those super weapons (and a massive fuel-mining supply chain to let you fire them!)

I believe you should dump all Research into better LABS every 4 Turns. Then do Mines, Factories, Everything else on the other 3 Turns between. Do it on a 4 Turn cycle. Spare change can be used to bring up less important items.
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#6
The 4 Turn Manufacturing Cycle.

When you Assemble Factories on a new Factory Group, they will immediately (providing they are staffed, powered and supplied with resources) start to produce in a BATCH.

Example:

I Assemble 1,000,000 Factories (whatever same TL) and they start producing Items which will not be available in Inventory for another 4 Turns. If I Assemble 250,000 factories each Turn (on the same Factory Group) for 4 Turns, I will end up getting 1/4 or the overall output in inventory, starting after 4 Turns, and also EVERY Turn thereafter BECAUSE effectively there are 250,000 factories starting a new smaller BATCH of output in each quarter.

If I increase the TL of said Item then the immediate effect will be the next Quarter production will become available after 4 Turns while the remaining 3 Quarters or the older TL Item continue to process through to inventory. Remember to set those Factory Group TL's to 200 so you don't forget to do it incrementally later. If you set the Factory Group TL to Item Type TL-200 when you BUILD the factory Group, they will automatically start building the higher TL item ASAP. Otherwise you will find yourself analyzing the situation repeatedly and possibly forgetting to upgrade the factory Group TL incrementally as needed. The ONLY reason you would want lower TL Items than the maximum TL is in cases like Farms 2 through 5 OR as stated previously, IF YOU ARE PARANOID about an enemy capturing said higher TL Items and using them as prototypes...there are ways to minimize that probability too.

Therefore, look carefully at the Item Type and Research goals you have in Mind.

For manufacturing Mines, especially, I would want the WAD or batch method described above where the whole complement of Factories is established on the same Turn. This way the whole output becomes available at once and the larger quantity will be more useful as you can replace existing Mines on Mine Groups in chunks of 1,000,000 Mines at a time. Remember that Mines are limited to 1,000,000 on each deposit. So the Turn that the newer TL Mines show up in inventory you do the following.

Disassemble 1,000,000 Mines from the desired Mine Group.

Assemble 1,000,000 Mines (newer/higher TL) on said Mine Group.

Scrap the disassembled lower TL Mines for resources and reduced space requirements (raw resources except FUEL are stored OUTSIDE of the SURFACE colonies).

Now think about this when you establish the Factory Group that will be manufacturing those Mines: Put enough factories in the Group to manufacture exactly 1,000,000 of the TL Mines they are producing. This means that as the Mine TL goes UP, the desired output capacity of the specific Factory Group will increase with it since Mines TL mass is directly proportional to TL of said Mines. Therefore you should plan to either beef up the Factory Group with enough more same TL Factories to produce the 1,000,000 Mines (or multiple thereof) OR you should replace said Factories with the required number of higher TL Factories to accommodate the new needs. This requires some calculations and planning in order to optimize the end results.

Note: you want your Mines to be manufactured in BATCHES.

Now we have opened the "can of worms" regarding Factories. You now see the reason we need to keep increasing Factory TL ASAP in order to keep up with the Mines TL and their INCREASED output of resources from those eternal UNLIMITED deposits as well as the increased manufacturing output to create those higher TL Mines.

Forget the long term impact of anything BUT the Unlimited deposits as they will be gone sooner than later. The extra higher yield limited deposits do help kick-start the development of your home orbit but will soon be gone.
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#7
I find this RSCH expenditure plan slightly intimidating - I should plan out anticipated RSCH available to figure this out. Every 4 turns on labs seems too little. But ixnay is also right - too many other tech items to balance, too.
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#8
(07-20-2013, 02:48 PM)Pool Boy Wrote: I find this RSCH expenditure plan slightly intimidating - I should plan out anticipated RSCH available to figure this out. Every 4 turns on labs seems too little. But ixnay is also right - too many other tech items to balance, too.

You definitely need to plan ahead and the complexity of such planning is what makes the game so unforgiving...the difference between a failed empire and a robust empire.
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#9
Turn 5

Are you feeling the thrill of deep space exploration? Have you realized yet that you can't chew what you are finding?

Now is the time for a reality check and the realization that it is time to continue building your infrastructure.
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#10
I'll tell you, this food-shortage thing has paralyzed my early turns. And the one star in range of my home system has an alien colony, so I will need to hit it with guns before butter.

My first priority is to populate that in-system hab-10 world. That will be the dress rehearsal for colonizations to come.

I am glad I split my first-turn research investments into FCT-4 / LAB-4 instead of FCT-5. I get to play with new Labs AND set up some big new production runs. I liked the idea of LAB-5 that the other player mentioned via email, but while he's presumably got a load of LAB-5s to set up that's double what I've got, he will be limited by FCT-1 tech for further turns (depending on when he started investing in them.) We'll see how it goes.

Finally, while I am glad I doubled my Consumer Good production (heading off THAT crisis), I am nervous about not having enough Structural Units to make big enough freighters. During the next 4 turns, while I fix my food shortage, I will be fleshing out the orbiter as large as possible, and set up some production runs for Farm-2, Life Support, and Space Drives. Sensors can wait -- my fleet is still grounded.
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