Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

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Qwestyngbeast
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Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Qwestyngbeast » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:28 pm

Is there a way to force a fleet to make a trip by sub-light-speed, or slower-than-light speed (STL)? As an example; I often play hivers. Sometimes I would prefer to send a fleet via STL and use my gate capacity for other fleets. At this time the only way I know to accomplish this is to go through and fill up my gate capacity first, then send out the STL fleet. This can be mildly inconvenient, and sometimes severely damaging if I have a lot of fleets to move around and forget to go back to the one I need to send STL. I would like to be able to issue the move order as I am processing each fleet in the order I naturally approach them rather than having to manipulate my order of operations. I cannot think off-hand of any examples of a need for STL for other races, but if the need should arise I would love to know if there is a command that will allow forced STL movement. I have searched the manual, key bindings in game, and both the forum search function and google search in vain for this info so I decided to post this topic and see if someone still paying attention should know the answer.

ZedF
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by ZedF » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:41 pm

There is sort of a way but it's not specifically for sub-light speed, rather it's to move direct from one star to another without necessarily taking the most efficient route. So if you have a fleet at star A, but the fastest way to get to star X is by first gating to star B which is closer to X than A is, you can force it to go directly to X from A (IIRC by holding down shift then clicking on the destination when giving the move order.)

I often use this as humans when I want to send pickets out into deep space don't find myself needing it as much with most other races.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

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Qwestyngbeast
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Qwestyngbeast » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:05 am

ZedF, thank you for your reply. Alas, the shift-click procedure does not seem to work for hivers in forcing sub-light movement.

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by BlueTemplar » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:07 pm

It should :
"Using Shift to set a direct route for fleets, even if Slower Than Light" :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z7qL42i1rM

(Turn annotations on.)

(Also showing a pathfinding bug : the blue owned planet is (slightly) closer to destination (7.3 vs 7.4), but gating there takes a turn, so it ends up being slower.)

Qwestyngbeast
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Qwestyngbeast » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:32 pm

Interesting. It is not working for me. I wonder what I am doing wrong. It seems too simple to do incorrectly. I am stumped.

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by BlueTemplar » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:52 pm

Probably stupid question, but try both left and right Shifts? Maybe you were using Caps Lock instead?

Qwestyngbeast
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Qwestyngbeast » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:30 pm

I think those were thoughtful suggestions BlueTemplar, and well worth checking out. When the seemingly likely causes do not pan out, unlikely possibilities, however improbable they may seem, should be considered. In particular I would not have thought to check the alternate shift keys. Thanks for that input.

Unfortunately, neither the caps lock nor the alternate shift keys seem to be the problem or the solution in this instance. I am beginning to think there is no simple way to force STL travel for the hiver short of filling up the gates first.

Torezu
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Torezu » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:39 pm

Quick check for clarity: you are pushing the 'Move' button or hitting 'M' first, before holding down shift, right?

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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by ZedF » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:07 pm

I just tested this and the direct travel option works fine for me. Note that in the above example, though, it is assumed that star X is NOT gated. Are you trying to go sublight between two stars that both already have gates? If so I don't know any way to force that.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by BlueTemplar » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:29 pm

Ah, indeed, that appears to be so, we should have read his first post more carefully.
Yeah, probably the only way to do that is to scrap the gate (either at the starting point or the destination)... which takes one turn (then another to re-establish, not the best solution, especially taking into account the cost of the gateship!)
And Human/Zuul cannot even do that (though I can't think of many situations why they would want to...)

Torezu
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Torezu » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:31 pm

Also, unless you're constantly cycling at maximum gate network usage (which doesn't usually happen that often), it's almost always quite a bit faster to wait a few turns before sending the fleet, when there's a lull in gate activity, instead of deliberately sending a fleet sublight.

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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by fredNN » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:12 pm

Qwestyngbeast wrote:Is there a way to force a fleet to make a trip by sub-light-speed, or slower-than-light speed (STL)?

For Hiver, press Shift key and target planet without gate or fleet in space in direction you want to move your fleet, then next turn, when fleet is in STL space, change direction to where you want.

As an example; I often play hivers. Sometimes I would prefer to send a fleet via STL and use my gate capacity for other fleets.

I can not imagine situation I want my fleet away from gate network and not travel to attack something. :?: It is always better to wait one-two turn and gate that fleet, than move it in real space and "lose" it for defense for many turns.

Qwestyngbeast
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Qwestyngbeast » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:03 pm

Thank you all for your input. Yes, I want to be able to move fleets in situations that would otherwise utilize the gate systems. This happens in two circumstances that come immediately to mind:

- First, both the origin and destination have gates. This is an uncommon scenario.

- Second, after obtaining Far-Casters in the Antimatter (AM) Era, sending attack fleets to worlds that are in range of the Far-Casters. Of course the Far-Casters utilize gate capacity when they teleport a fleet out toward an un-gated world. This is the more common scenario.

I tend to play long games on large maps; typically 350 stars with many opponents. Depending upon the map configuration, by the time I reach AM I will be embroiled in conflict with several opponents on multiple fronts. At this point in the game most of the opponents will have fairly extensive empires with well developed industrial capabilities, economies, and technologies, thus allowing them to field many large, well armed fleets with annoying frequency. This will tend to strain my gate capacity on almost every turn sending out defense fleets to ward off multiple attacks on my colonies. I wish to have the ability to easily send out attack fleets at STL speeds to relatively nearby worlds that would typically utilize the Far-Casters, thus conserving gate capacity for moving defense fleets, newly-produced replacements, mining fleets, colonizers, etc. When you have dozens of colonies and scores of fleets to process each turn it would be a great convenience to be able to designate the STL travel as I naturally approach the order of operations, rather than having to juggle them to achieve this aim.

Currently, I am playing Hivers on a 350-star "Spiral" galaxy map configuration. Large games on the Spiral map tend to progress very slowly. I have found that the HIvers are severely challenged on this particular map configuration because it is difficult to build a very large gate network quickly. This is due to the sparsity of available planets at which to place gates in the early game, and the great distances involved up until you reach the dense cluster of planets in the core.

In my current game it is turn 145. I have 32 colonies. I have just reached the first planets in the edge of the galactic core. I have colonized all of my starting spiral arm and most of one other spiral arm that was, fortunately, vacant and located directly next to my starting spiral arm. At this point in the game I would usually have a fairly extensive gate network on most map configurations. However, at this point on this map I have a maximum gate capacity of only 390. I have just made hostile contact with humans and tarka. I have made an alliance with the liir who started in the other spiral arm adjacent to mine. I am beginning to place gates at the liir worlds, but until I get the Far-Casters going that is still a very slow process. At this point every race in the game already has Dreadnoughts, advanced weapons, advanced shields and armor, a large economy and industrial base, and the war is only just beginning. I am hoping the liir will act as a buffer between me and the tarka. However, the liir tend to be pacifists, so they will likely try to make peace with the tarka and leave me to defend myself.

I anticipate that I will soon be fending off attacks from both the humans and tarka, both of whom have fairly rapid faster-than-light (FTL) drives. When the attacks start coming in from the humans and tarka I will be defending in at least two directions against large fleets of very dangerous ships with generally better technology than my own, since the hiver tech deities have been crapping on me generously when it comes to availability of tech research lines. I will be busting my gut trying to keep enough ships at the front to keep up the defense and my paltry gate system will be strained severely. I will end up sending many of my attack fleets out via STL as a result. This is a situation I have faced before in a couple of other games so I know what to expect in the way of challenging logistics. This is the cause of my interest in simplifying the use of STL travel in situations that would otherwise utilize the gate system; most particularly in avoiding use of Far-Casters when sending out reconnaissance, pickets, and attack fleets within the range of the Far-Caster, which is 10 light-years (LY) if I recall it correctly. 10 LY is not a prohibitive distance to send out an attack fleet via STL. I will probably only maintain one or two large attack fleets, but I will need several large defense fleets with hefty gate footprints to fight off the attacks coming from all sides as I progress into the galactic core.

I will first try to take and hold what I can in the galactic core. However, it may be difficult to hold what I have taken if I am successful in taking a majority of the core worlds. I will naturally become the focus of attention for every race on the map at that point and I will be set upon from all sides. This will make defense very difficult. If that strategy does not work I may try a "scorched earth" strategy in which I take a world in the core, mine out all the resources, leave it a useless rock and move on to the next world and do the same. The objective of this would be to create a buffer zone of very undesirable, desolate worlds between me and most of the enemies, which will hopefully encourage them to fight more with each other than with me due to the logistical difficulties the dead zone will present for them and the fact the desolated words will be undesirable for colonization. By comparison the worlds of their neighbors will look very tasty. In the meantime I can use these resources to super-charge my existing worlds while sending STL attack fleets to attack each enemy one at a time in the spiral arms while they are embroiled in the ugly dog fight in the core.

I see that I have strayed a bit off-topic. I will end this epic novel I have written here. Back to conquering the galaxy at a snails pace.

Note - edited to correct some minor word omissions and punctuation errors.
Note - edited the edit to correct some minor word omissions and punctuation errors.

ZedF
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by ZedF » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:52 am

Then as fredNN suggested the only way you can force it regardless of other considerations is to direct travel to some far-away non-gated star in the right general direction, and the next turn (or at least sometime later) you need to remember to change targets and direct travel to the actual intended target. You need to use direct travel twice or the fleet might turn around and head back to the origin star in order to use the gate and farcast.

But there might be another option, if you name your defensive fleets differently from your attack fleets so that you can easily identify which is which, you might be able to make sure to move all the defensive fleets first until all defense needs are covered, and only then move attack fleets with whatever spare capacity is left.

Alternatively, you can try to be very aggressive about spreading your gates in the early part of the game to build up a large gate network quickly before other races can establish a defensive presence -- though bear in mind this will also increase the territory you need to defend, so plan accordingly.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

Qwestyngbeast
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Re: Can you force Sub-Light-Speed travel?

Post by Qwestyngbeast » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:30 am

Those are good suggestions ZedF. Thank you. I will give some of that a try.

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