Early Game Strategies

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Goontrooper
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Early Game Strategies

Post by Goontrooper » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:13 pm

I would love to see a more detailed discussion of early game strategies. I'm doing ok so far, but have been running into some tough areas.

Here is what I have typically been doing. I have played two games as Sol Force, both less than 100 turns.

Initial Turns:
1: Send Survey fleet out to look for good systems.
2: Research to get faster drives and longer range so I can scout and settle farther out.
3: Prototype and build a few new C&C, Armor, and Supply ships.
4: Form first combat fleet of 1 C&C, 3-6 Armor, and 1-2 Supply, and set to patrol home system.
5: If I find a good System, send Colony fleet and establish world. Allow Colony fleet to continue support.

Later Turns:
1: Continue to survey as many systems as possible.
2: If needed, build a 2nd Survery fleet.
3: Research moves to focus on colonization techs.
4: Form another combat fleet and set to patrol another starting system.
5: Boost Stimulus to get some civilians out there forming colonies.
6: Continue to Colonize new Systems.
7: If enemy threats start to show up, focus research on getting better weapons.
8: Build a Science Station in my home System, and a new Naval Station on my frontier.

By this point, I have probably added 2-4 new Systems, and may have gotten 1-2 Civilian colonies in them plus whatever initial planet I settled. I have 1-2 Survey fleets exploring the frontier. I have 1-2 Colony Fleets, upgraded with Biome Colonizers, adding new Systems and backfilling planets in older Systems. I have 2-3 Combat Fleets with maybe 10 ships each, all on Patrol duty. My Economy is doing well, and I have $100,000 in Savings each turn, and can still pump lots into Stimulus. I have researched 4-6 techs, mostly focused on improving exploration and colonization. I probably have encountered at most 1 other Empire, maybe none.

In both games, I have started getting thumped by the Ghost Ship, Von Neumanns, Slavers, and multiple meteor strikes, from very early on. My patrol fleets can defeat Slavers and meteors, but some still get through and I lose millions of people. Not sure how to really defend against this. Slavers were easy to kill, but I wasn't able to kill all their shuttles before they got to the planet, so even though I massacred their fleet, I still lost millions of people. Meteors were a pain, and even though I split up my fleet and destroyed most of them, some still got through and damaged my planet. The Ghost Ship just kills any System it enters. This sunk me in my latest game because it showed up and wiped out one of my 3 initial systems. I went from having a great booming Economy to suffering massive debt. I don't see how to defend against this early game, and it has happened two games in a row. Do I just have bad luck?

Any advice on how to improve? Should I slow expansion and focus more on defense? Should I focus on building tons of combat ships and research combat techs, and then try to expand and build up? Is there any way to better defend against all the nasty random encounters?

I'm thinking I will ditch the 2nd Survey Fleet and 2nd Colonization fleet, and slow my expansion a bit. I will establish a Patrol fleet at each colony of at least 4 ships to hold off minor threats, and build up a couple bigger fleets to face the bigger threats. I'll grab some better combat tech first, and then get some exploration and colonization focused tech once I have secured myself a bit more.

Zyrtex
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Zyrtex » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:12 am

Personally, i think that the way you start the game is dependent of the race you play but i guess that there are some common things to do for everyone.

Initial Turns:
1: Send Survey fleet out to look for good systems.
2: Research to get faster drives and longer range so I can scout and settle farther out.
3: Prototype and build a few new C&C, Armor, and Supply ships.
4: Form first combat fleet of 1 C&C, 3-6 Armor, and 1-2 Supply, and set to patrol home system.
5: If I find a good System, send Colony fleet and establish world. Allow Colony fleet to continue support.


I tend to agree with most of this. Exploration and expansions is mandatory if you want to have a slight chance of survival. In general, i go for a second survey fleet right off the start, generally a clone of the first one (same composition of ships). For Zuul, i even go straight for a third one (gotta bore those lines if we want to go somewhere). Of course it cost a lot of time and money but it's not like the Zuul need it for anything else than ship building (and they are not really affected by higher taxes so good to go :D )

For prototypes, i have tried different early setup for new ships and i can tell that the best for early game is missile boats. Just missiles, lots of missiles with a side of missiles. Just put them everywhere on your first ships, medium and large mount (you don't have any good large weapon at start so let's get some extra missiles no?). Missiles are awesome in dealing with almost everything. Swarm, asteroids, drones and even enemy ships with a combat fleet of 6 ships loaded with missiles, nothing will survive early engagements (of course when PD comes in, they are utterly useless so try to anticipate).

I think research is based on what you need. I usually start for basic economic or industry tech just for the decrease in ship cost and then i go for what i need. If i have crappy planets, biotech otherwise i usually go FTL economics for rapid trade.

Stimulus ? Except for trade, i never use it. Don't want some free colonies running around. They're mine! ALL MINE! (although i know they can come in handy to colonize hazardous planets without you paying the full price)


If i recap my early turns (1 to 10-15) it would go something like:

    - Send survey fleet on survey mission
    - Build new Survey fleet
    - Start research on economy techs
    - Send colony fleet to the systems i already have to complete colonization of all planets.
    - (Zuul) Build civilian station on homeworld. (after upgrade to level 2 you will have slaves which will boost your production)
    - Prototype Missile cruisers. Command and supply stay the same except if command is designed stupid (bunch of useless modules)\
    - (Zuul) Build a third survey fleet
    - After that, adapt to the situation you're facing

My tactic is usually aggressive ( i play zuul a lot ) and i always over extend. In the end i have too few fleets to defend and get grinded back in the dark depths of space.

Does patrolling your own system is useful beside detecting pirates and raiders ? I never use it in my system that does not have trade. I just park the fleet there.

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Heart of Storm
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Heart of Storm » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:17 pm

I'm playing a Human SotSverse game right now, realistically when playing as Apes you want to be exploring nodelines as fast as possible.

General set up is:

1. Set Tax to 10, reduce security spend to the notched value.
2. Check my starting systems, if I have any worlds with a CH lower then 150ish I use the starting fleet to colonise this immediately.
3. Constructor fleet is generally ordered to build a naval station at one of the other starter systems (so the infrastructure is already in place when I want to trade.
4. I redesign everything in the design screen, and set up at least an ER cruiser with mainly energy weapons to ensure Supply is as high as possible, a CnC with a similar set up, same for colony ships and supply ships. I then set up a missile CnC and a missile Armour for in-system defence.

5. In terms of build priorities, if I'm colonising a starter planet I queue 3 colonisers in the home systems (to max out the colony fleet ASAP) I then build a second survey fleet, either at the Capitol system or at one of the others.

Remember to dial down Tax to 6 after 3-4 turns

I focus on getting at least 3 survey systems running, and generally two colony fleets to start with, I then add more as I find myself with more and more available planets. Construction fleet puts a naval station at every starter system and then, dependent on how many station slots are left, possibly a science station (if I have 3 or more slots only)

I will build a guard fleet (1 CnC and 3-4 armours) at each system around the turn 25 mark (when randoms start spawning), that and the planet missiles generally suffices to deal with most enemy randoms (meteors will always hit but never kill a developed world, think of it as a free resource boost, Ghost ship will glass a station by preference so getting a station at each system early will save you this pain).

Tech priority is Grav Adaptation or Node Pathing first, then Orbital Foundries, Materials Applications, Expert Systems, FTL Economics and Photonic Torps.

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Hawawaa
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Hawawaa » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:04 pm

Here's my order,

Tech- Material Applications or Empathy first with new low moral starting changes, Orbital Foundries (saving money right now is top priority) ,Environmental Tailoring, Heavy Planet Missiles, now next part is situational, grab a pd tech, fusion missiles, xeno- coll, ftl econ, Combat Algorithms, Biological Transfer (this fails go for Gravitational Adaptation), etc...

For multiplayer Empathy and material applications are first tech (grab some pd, fusion missles, and a weapons tech). Then if you survive experiment.

Now fill up your first colony fleet up, fill your first survey fleet, build 2nd survey fleet, add few ships to 1st construct fleet, build 2nd colony fleet, build imperial guard for homeworld, etc...

Getting stations up in important systems to feed casper when he pops up.

Survey juicy systems, if you can colonize more in systems you already have do so, max early planet development is 75-100k, world must bring something important to the table to justify the price until my econ can handle it. Drones can help speed up survey time and so does full survey fleets.

Tax always at 6. Burst taxes to 7 or 8 but don't go lower than 80 morale. Love empathy! Once your systems start having their police cutters setup you can tax harder and longer which is wonderful.
Last edited by Hawawaa on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Goontrooper
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Goontrooper » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:12 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

I've been trying to alternate military techs with civilian techs. That hasn't worked great. I still typically find myself stuck with, at best, AP Drivers and slightly better drives and engines, and I am being hit by the Locust. I have typically established nice big trade networks though.

For this game, I started (as Sol Force) by getting Node Pathing and Plasma Focusing. I refrained from building any ships beyond a few extra colonizers and a 2nd tiny survey fleet. Once I had those two techs and the first Armor tech and VRF + Vulvan PD, I started building up my first combat fleet of 1 x Command, 2 x Driver Cruisers, 2 x Missile Cruisers, 2 x Drone Cruisers, and 1 x PD Cruiser. I then started focusing on improving my economy. I've built up 6 Police Cutters and a Naval Station at all my systems. So far I have lost one colony to Spectres, but haven't had any other major problems other than a couple of Morrigi relics at a nearby world. My new combat fleet is going to clear those out while I start building civilian stations everywhere that can support them. I will then throw stimulus at trade to get civilian freighters up and running. For tech, I've been grabbing a few things like Enviornmental Tailoring and Enhanced Jurisdiction. I've colonized most of the local systems, and have some great prospects on the frontier. Should have enough for 2 4-System provinces soon.

So far I think this is going well. By skipping civilian techs for awhile, I have better ships, so once I start building up trade and frontier colonies, I will be able to better defend them. The only setback was losing an awesome CH 25 colony to Spectres, a world down the star trail towards the galaxy center that I was planning as a future Provincial capital and staging point for expansion. I had gotten a Level 1 Naval Station built there, but that wasn't enough to save the world. I'm going to recolonize that world and station my 2nd combat fleet there while the 1st fleet guards my core systems.

From here, I think I will solidify my internal trade network and then push towards Dreds. I have yet to encounter any alien empires, but I figure that will come in a rush as we all start to hit the galactic center. I'd like to have a strong border established by then.

Khyron
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Khyron » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:24 am

This has been the early game stragity I have been useing mainly after the 1.0 patch. It has been fairly standard for Humans, Liir, Morrigi, Tarka. Not gotten arround to playing the others yet.

Normal A.I. Games settings that are not standard. Bonuse techs 10, Grand Menaces 0, sometimes bonuse money but that is in multiplayer where the host set it.

Turn 1 -
Check all systems to see hazard rateings, if there is a colonizable world and it is less then 75,000 rebase the colonization fleet to that system and que up 4 colonisers. If no colonizable worlds select a close system and send it to survey. Pick the largest system in range and send Survey fleet 1 to survey it.

Head into the Ship design and redesign all ships that I do not like. Armors maxed with Camels energy smalls, Mass driver mediums, Missiles on the engine mediums, and Particle beam large. CnC, Supply, R&S, Drone Carriers turned into missile boats. Extended Range ships vary on usefull ness by races. For some I was getting better endurance from an armor maxed with Camel mods equiped with missiles and Med mass drivers, opposed to ER with all energy. Also I would design a Drone Satalite for Humans, Liir, and Tarka. Morrigi seemed to not get them as a bonuse.

After doing all this and haveing probably 1 system with 4 colonisers already qued. I go to the 2 other systems and Que up survey fleet 2 and 3. 3 of my new armors, 1 CNC, 1 Supply, 1 R&S. If I have several worlds with extremely low development cost I may hold off on survey fleet 3, and instead que up another Colonization fleet at one of the systems. So I can start the colonisation by turn 2-3 CnC with at least 1 coliniser.

Reaserch where I que up Biological Transfer feasability.

Next its the Pie chart where I drop reaserch to 0 and notch security and max 10 on tax.

Finally I build a Science Station at my Homewold.

- END TURN-

Turn 2 -

Science Station should be done so deal with that, generaly queing up racial habitats conferming then techs conferming build order and then the rest.. If colonisers were qued one maybe ready to add to the rebased fleet and then start the colonization.

Check to see if everything is ok on the pie chart.

- EnD TURN -

Turn 3 to 4 -
Check any survey data and conferm it. Survey fleet sent out as warrented, possibly colinization fleet if I can not find any decent systems.
Construction Fleet should be ready for a new mission send it to a starting world to build a Naval station.
Make sure pie chart is doing fine and pitch forks are not being handed out

- END TURN -

Turn 5 -
Generaly moral has droped to pitch forks are geting readied so tax rate back down to 5-6. Slider adjusted to 50% economy/reaserch unless I have less than 5 mil in the bank then it is 25% reaserch. Notches are set to.
Survey fleet 2,3 should be built they are formed and sent out.
Construction Fleet continues to build Navel Stations at starting worlds.

- ENDD TURN -

Turn 6-19 -
Survey, Colonise, build Naval stations.
At some point Biomes will either be completed or 200%ed. Once I know wich is more likely I will decide if I can hold off for second Colonisation fleet or not, assumeing I have not already made one.
After Biomes is sorted I will attempt VFR generaly getting 1% feasability on humans. If VFR is a go I will grab it. then choose between trying Laser PD or Ballistic PD. I generaly do not Prototype a PD cruiser before turn 20-25. After PD it is up the engineering tree stoping before dreads.
Work my way up to 10 million in the bank. Once I hit 10 million I try to stay above it as it depending on gov type seems to allow for tax of 7 and still have moral rise/not drop.
Build a combat fleet - 3 brawler armors, 1CnC, 2 Repair, 1 supply, 2 Drone or additional Brawlers. Patrols home world unless incomeing threats are detected. Morrigi I drop one R&S for a Grav Boat.

-END TURN -

Turn 20-25 -
Que 6 Police cutters for each system, home world often makeing those for recently colonised non-starting systems, but as it has a fleet on patrol it is fine. Adjust Slider so build ques do not drop me below 10 mil.
Contact is another race is likely to occure in smaller maps or maps where there is an opponet on either side of you.

- END TURN -

Turn 26-50 -
Contact with another race is should have occured by now. Generally I am at war with one. The first combat fleet is reloacted to a system that the A.I. is trying to survey where I have a colony. If there are multiple systems where this is happening I will pull Survey fleets back to those systems and teansform them into combat fleets. This stage is the Survey/invasion/strike spam stage eventually the A.I. will get board and leave me alone when I destroy enought fleets. This stage may become a thing of the past once the A.I. learns to ramp up attacks. In any case a combat fleet pluse up to 6 police cutters dose a good job holding the A.I. back currently. Just renember to replace losses. Depending on the enemy it is every 3-6 turns for each attack cycle.

Durring this time I start to build some Drone Satalites in systems with more colonised planets as the cutters can not be in two places at once and I never know what planet a random will choose. Thought it was always the outer most colony then specotrs ate my inner most colony.

Tech wise I should have biome sorted, a PD sorted, and engineering to just before dread. Humans I grab the Engine tech. Then it is time to get Armor tech and reflective tech I run them up as far as I can, sometimes swiching after magno if Quark is low feasability or going to take to long. Then it is over to Torpedo tech for hopefull Fusion Torpedos, or at least something to open battle bridge. Next it is Advanced Sensors. If Morrigi then advanced drone tech. Other races it is Phasers or a different medium mount, AP/HEAP rounds if possible, goop tech, then advanced drones. Heavy combat lasers, and increase command points limit at somepoint. Finally its over to start working on Shield tech. Tech is not all guarteed to be gotten but it is a pattern I follow into later turns. Only one game so far did I get Adamantine, improved reflective, phasers, Fusion torpedos, shelding Mk2, Advanced drones, adv sensors before turn 55 becouse most hit 50% and completed.

I send out surevy fleets, build combat fleets to cover hot spots. Add one or two more Construction Fleets generaly one for each 3 system provance and one additional to help build Naval Stations in new systems and upgrade existing stations. I will also be building trade Stations durring this time as I have an ok idea of where the A.I. will be attacking so what worlds may need to be able to replace defenses.

Try and keep above 10 million credits but I do not add much as I am building the trade and defensive infrastructure.

- END TURNS -

Turn 50-100 -
Continue the earlier listed tech reaserch.

Continue to survey as possible, hold current boarder expand if possible, larger planets may be a bit of a difficulty to kill with turn 1 assault shuttles designs.

Continue to build stations includeing Reaserch Stations as the third station, or diplo stations if you perfer. Try and keep the trade expanding this thing grows over time it is not like the first game where the numbers were trade ship produces X in a not mature tade area then Y once it matures. I have seen the income from it go up with nothing but time 300,000 for my empire at 100 average moral, stimulas 0, 25-50 turns later 350,000 with nothing changeing to the trade network and moral was 97. Ok ok so they still do not like tax rate of 10.

Once I have stoped my upwards armor, reflective coating progression, have Deep Scan (and Adv drones for Morrigi) I redesign my CNC. Deep Scan Front, missiles in all slots but small, PD in smalls. Supply and R&S if human get the new engine PD and are missile boats. Other races may or may not get a redesign depending on cost vs how much combat they actually receaved. If I was loseing some then redesigned, if the enemy never realy hurt them then they are left alone. If they take a real beating I will go the extra cost and make them Shielded.

Brawlers are maxed armor reflective coating PD smalls, perfered Med weapons, perfered large weapons or med sloted in, sill putting Misiles on rear faceing engine mounts. Moduals are camel engine for more ballistic orentated ships, or aux energy for energy perfered ships. 1 GOOP mod, and 1 Semper fi modual.

Drone Ships upgraded to HVY drones. Missile boats again with PD in Smalls. Shielded if opponets target them.

Heavy Planetary Assault Cruiser are designed PD smalls, Shielding front perfered other weapons. Loaded with Heavy assault shuttle with PD.

Ships are protyped.

Battle group of 4 fleets is qued up consisting of 2 assault fleets, 1 planet cracker fleet, and 1 survey fleet.
2 Assault Fleets are built - 3 new Brawlers, or 2 brawlers with a PD ship, 1 CnC, 1-2 Supply, 2 Repair, rest Drone/Torpedo/Blazer/Brawlers as you perfer.
1 Planet cracker fleet is built - 1 CnC, 2 R&S, 1-2 Supply, 6 Hvy Planetary Assult Cruiser, Rest is Brawlers/PD/Drone/Torpedo/Blazer as you perfer.
1 Survey Fleet Generaly what ever you want but build it to survey quickly and be able to hold its own, should a counter attack occure as your assault and planet cracker fleets head home.

2 Assault fleet hit first punching threw defenses to the planet, Planet cracker kills the planet, Next turn Assaults clean system of stations, any remaing fleet or punch threw to the next world.

Long term patrol fleet similar to Assault fleet but with additional Supply is sent to patrol system as you colonise it, and build a Naval station. Rebase the battle group 4 fleets. Rinse and repeate.

-END TURN-

Turn 100+

Tech wise I start thinking of Anti-matter and Dreadnaughts. But currently the game is basically done the Battle group can one shot a planet and you just need a couple more to steam roll the A.I. set and set up a provance quickly. Only thing generally slowing you down is waiting on bases to get set up to launch the next attack or surveying to find a target. Once the A.I. is tuned up and turn times faster in 100+ turn games for me. I may be able to give more advice. Only game I have had enough time to play that went over 100 turns is my current Morrigi and I am in the 300+ turn mark in SoTS Vers and sadly the A.I.s have really shown they need the economy upgrade.

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Goontrooper
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Goontrooper » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:05 pm

Khyron wrote:Detailed strategies


Thanks for all the detail Khyron. Some good ideas there. I haven't tried to go for any major offensives so far, since most of my games have ended before I get to that point. I've been more defensive-minded due to the danger of early random encounters and grand menaces.

ZedF
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by ZedF » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:05 pm

Seems like there may have been a few changes since August to some of these strats, any updates?
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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Hawawaa
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Hawawaa » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:40 am

Zedf- Why yes there has been and many multiplayer games lately so here is my new line up.

Important thing I learned recently (MAX YOUR PLANETS POPULATION SLIDER) The extra cash, planetary missiles and more research generation is AWESOME! Only do this once the planets has reached 0 Climate Hazard. (if you jump the gun you will lose lots of Biosphere if you max this during terraforming phase). Set taxes to 6. (7 for when your above 80 moral and you can keep it at 7 when your economy stabilizes). Government types affect this so experiment.

If you got space and time grabbing empathy/ftl econ first is a good bet. Or you can beeline to a pd tech (pd lasers or phalanx pd) which is a very safe choice so drones, marines, and missiles are less of a threat (this can weaken BR a little too). If planets are far out and you know logistics is going to be a problem grabbing Plasma Focusing will be a great help.

If your Liir grabbing Battleriders first is a good choice since your research is awesome and you can push these suckers out quick (and no prototyping costs is awesome for riders). Node Focusing for Humans is a good idea, your faster all around and a stronger engine section. (Tarka can push riders early too but it depends on your starting situation)

Getting pd up and running well before turn 40 is a good idea, but the sooner the better. If your enemy has pd and you don't, your going to get pushed around. You will take a beating and your enemy won't.

Ok next set of techs- If your still safe/ or in a really bad starting position go to bio transfer or Gravity Adaptation might be a good idea. This is damn risky. Its rare that I go this route. But if you know other empires are bigger than you well its all in with these techs.

Or grab 2-4 weapon techs. Push your races specialty. Loading 2-3 science stations into all ballistics or all lasers can be helpful.

Note getting a armor tech or two isn't a bad idea by turn 30-45. Sooner doesn't hurt especially if your race has weak armor.

Combat Algorithms between turn 50-75 is a good grab.

Also if you want to be evil get shields or cloaking early (aint tellin ya when). If your enemy can't adapt you win.

Placing Naval station around systems to get you better sensor coverage and science stations to push research (they also feed Casper the Ghost Ship and not your poor colonies). Only upgrade Naval stations that are on the front lines or areas you know you will be expanding into (my only exception is systems that are my manufacturing areas). Modules can cost lots of upkeep. Don't forget to keep pushing your fleets forward.

Snip or capture enemy command ships (so they have to remake their fleets later). Destroy enemy naval yards. If they have too many fleets at the system with the destroyed naval station they will have to rebase at other colonies giving you a window to do some damage. If you can't beat the enemy fleet try burning their worlds. Attack with multiple fleets. Have fleets that stick out of the fight like salvage fleet so your salvage rolls are higher and you can repair alot more (and your combat fleets will have more combat ships). A extra supply fleet sitting out of combat only work late game and or with Dread supply ships... (important note for logistic fleets is make one right after your economy has taken off, combat fleets are priority). Have 2-4 fleets weaken a system and then send in your planetary assault shuttle fleet in to finish the job quickly. Watching 30+ assault shuttles make quick work of systems is fun to watch. What ever your races advantages are use them, got sweet marine pods go piss off your neighbors and capture more ships, etc...

I usually max my first colony fleet. Then I fill my first survey fleet (I also dump extra supply ships into it). 2 extra construction ships. Then build either 2nd colony fleet or 2nd survey fleet. It depends on your starting situation. Thats all I got for you.

ZedF
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by ZedF » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:16 am

Thanks for the feedback. :)
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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Hawawaa
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Hawawaa » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:58 am

We can boost tech now... this is a game changer. :D

Samael
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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Samael » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:49 pm

Hawawaa wrote:We can boost tech now... this is a game changer. :D


How/what do you mean by this?

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Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by zenopath » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:36 am

Goontrooper wrote:I would love to see a more detailed discussion of early game strategies. I'm doing ok so far, but have been running into some tough areas.

Here is what I have typically been doing. I have played two games as Sol Force, both less than 100 turns.

Initial Turns:
1: Send Survey fleet out to look for good systems.
2: Research to get faster drives and longer range so I can scout and settle farther out.


That's a mistake, you're first research priority should be "FTL Economics". I tend to build trade stations right away on my homeworld and the largest of my two colony worlds, leaving the smaller colony world for shipbuilding. The extra income from trade makes a huge difference. Also remember to set tax income to 6.

Second thing you should consider researching is X-Ray Lasers then P.D. Lasers. If you don't get the feasiblity for P.D. lasers don't panic, but if you do its a big advantage to be first race to field ships with P.D., also X-Ray lasers are in and of themselves fairly powerful, against cruisers without Adamantium armor a twinmounted medium X-Ray laser turret is stronger than a medium mass driver turret and doesn't consume supply.

Third thing you should consider researching is "Enviromental Tailoring" and "Expert Systems", having these techs make your colony world grow up a lot faster.

Goontrooper wrote:3: Prototype and build a few new C&C, Armor, and Supply ships.
4: Form first combat fleet of 1 C&C, 3-6 Armor, and 1-2 Supply, and set to patrol home system.


People tend to overestimate need to defend your homesystem early in game. If you have a trade station, you will need 5 police cutters, that combined with the massive firepower of a size 10 fully inhabited world is plenty of defense at least at first.

Goontrooper wrote:5: If I find a good System, send Colony fleet and establish world. Allow Colony fleet to continue support.


At some point you should have like 4 small survey fleets and 2 colony fleets. I'd just use like 1 command 2 supply and 1 armor for my survey fleets, but having at least 2 early on is pretty important. Using both fully colony fleets to support a world up to 50 infrastructure is usually how i roll. If the planet isn't much more than 200 CH it will allow a fleet to be relocated there, so i colonize with 1 fleet, then relocate the other colony fleet TO the new colony to continue supporting it from the system itself. On small maps though i suppose 2 survey fleets and 1 colony fleet might be enough, but you do need to be quicker at surveying at least the big systems faster than the AI is.

Goontrooper wrote:Later Turns:
1: Continue to survey as many systems as possible.
2: If needed, build a 2nd Survery fleet.
3: Research moves to focus on colonization techs.
4: Form another combat fleet and set to patrol another starting system.
5: Boost Stimulus to get some civilians out there forming colonies.


Stimulus is overrated in my book, but then, I tend to end up with socialist/communist governments. Unless you really attached to the "personal freedom" side of the government bar, relying on Stimulus is a waste of time.

Goontrooper wrote:6: Continue to Colonize new Systems.
7: If enemy threats start to show up, focus research on getting better weapons.
8: Build a Science Station in my home System, and a new Naval Station on my frontier.

By this point, I have probably added 2-4 new Systems, and may have gotten 1-2 Civilian colonies in them plus whatever initial planet I settled. I have 1-2 Survey fleets exploring the frontier. I have 1-2 Colony Fleets, upgraded with Biome Colonizers, adding new Systems and backfilling planets in older Systems. I have 2-3 Combat Fleets with maybe 10 ships each, all on Patrol duty. My Economy is doing well, and I have $100,000 in Savings each turn, and can still pump lots into Stimulus. I have researched 4-6 techs, mostly focused on improving exploration and colonization. I probably have encountered at most 1 other Empire, maybe none.

In both games, I have started getting thumped by the Ghost Ship, Von Neumanns, Slavers, and multiple meteor strikes, from very early on. My patrol fleets can defeat Slavers and meteors, but some still get through and I lose millions of people. Not sure how to really defend against this. Slavers were easy to kill, but I wasn't able to kill all their shuttles before they got to the planet, so even though I massacred their fleet, I still lost millions of people. Meteors were a pain, and even though I split up my fleet and destroyed most of them, some still got through and damaged my planet. The Ghost Ship just kills any System it enters. This sunk me in my latest game because it showed up and wiped out one of my 3 initial systems. I went from having a great booming Economy to suffering massive debt. I don't see how to defend against this early game, and it has happened two games in a row. Do I just have bad luck?


One of the best things about having 2 colony fleets available is losing a world doesn't hurt that much. Just go ahead and recolonize it, you probably have some downtime inbetween finding new colonizable worlds to recolonize dead worlds. Even with 1 colony fleet, randoms don't normally happen often enough that 1 fleet would have a hard time recolonizing lost worlds as they occur. Once a world has some 100+ million civilians maybe its worth setting up some real defense since that population gives income and takes time to grow, but worlds that just recently maxed infra/enviroment aren't especially valuable. The ghost ship will destroy a planet only if it attacks a system with no space stations. You should have space stations on your inicial systems, if not a trade station plus naval station to deter pirates, at least a research station on the one without a trade station. The more worlds you have the less likely it is that your important worlds are attacked, so try to colonize as much as you can, even if you can't defend your newest colonies, just recolonize them when the slavers/meteorites etc destroy them.

Goontrooper wrote:Any advice on how to improve? Should I slow expansion and focus more on defense? Should I focus on building tons of combat ships and research combat techs, and then try to expand and build up? Is there any way to better defend against all the nasty random encounters?

I'm thinking I will ditch the 2nd Survey Fleet and 2nd Colonization fleet, and slow my expansion a bit. I will establish a Patrol fleet at each colony of at least 4 ships to hold off minor threats, and build up a couple bigger fleets to face the bigger threats. I'll grab some better combat tech first, and then get some exploration and colonization focused tech once I have secured myself a bit more.


Fast expansion is better than slow expansion with well defended systems. Again, you have to be willing to lose new colonies if you have to, and to hold on to colonies that reach 100m+ civ population. Not every new colony will make it to 100m+ civ population before getting killed, but you can always recolonize and try again. In many ways its better to expand quickly to fill as many systems as you can before you bump up against an enemy player than it is to try to build up strength then expand, for one thing, you wont lose any many systems to the enemy's more rapid expansion if you do it faster. Once you can't easily colonize new worlds because the enemy is right next door, then you should build up strength so you can go take away the enemy's systems.

Shiolle
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:05 pm

Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by Shiolle » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:17 am

I also find drone sats to be an essential technology and try to research them as a first or second technology so that by turn 25 I have my major planets protected by them.

Drone sats with laser equipped drones is the easiest way to defend against the early specters visits, even if you invest in ballistic or missile weapons. Plus, placed smartly they will be helpful later to slow the enemy advance on your planets as they would drop enemy fleets out of accelerated time before out of the range of vulnerable planets and stations.

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motorbit
Posts: 2241
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:22 pm

Re: Early Game Strategies

Post by motorbit » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:50 am

so much text... i wont read it all now, just what i do:

turn one:

delete all the designs and make new ones. these will be prototype free.
research trade.
increase taxes. set researchrate. find the sweet spot for security (hint: its *not* the notch where corruption is 0) (do this whenever you change research rate)
research ftl economics

put all supply ships from the construcion and colonizer fleet into the survey fleet, and let it survey

start cranking out colonizer fleet!S! (note that plural s thingy) at the home world.

queue 1 cnc, 1-2 constructors (depending on race) and 4 system defence armor cruisers in all of your systems.


rest of the game / random hints:

i always have at last one fleet at all my systems, to fight off randoms and upgrade my stations. by turn 15, its important to have at last 4 armor cruisers everywhere. defense armors should have a different design then normal combat cruisers, as endurance doesnt realy matter and the weapon priorities may differ (ie: energy weapons for the defense cruisers, as these are best vs spectres and asteroids, and any tracking weapon is useless against neumanns)


trade is important not only for profit, but also to generate positive morale effects (this will generate even moar profit due to higher taxes) and to push the government into (my) desired direction.

i always have one planet building colony ships, even if i dont need any more colonizer fleets (haha, as if this could ever happen). reason: push the government.

manual trade and building colonizer ships will make sure my government is always cooperative, no matter what else i do in game. i realy like this government type.

if i run out of planets to colonize, ill abuse my colony fleets to survey. colony fleets are strong enough to kill off any random infesting a system. in case i see enemy fleets at the destination, i just abort the mission.

when ever i colonize a new system, i start building a new constructor / defence fleet at a nearby system and relocate it to the new colony asap to defend against randoms and to get a naval base up quickly.

i gave up fighting the ghost ship. just make sure you have a naval base everywhere so it has something to kill. much cheaper then fighting it.

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