Author Topic: Early Game Strategy Guide  (Read 36297 times)

shadow_knight

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Early Game Strategy Guide
« on: July 05, 2011, 09:18:24 AM »
This guide covers early game basics of Star Ruler vanilla game (VG from now on) and the great Galactic Armory mod (GA from now on).

EDIT (2012-06-20): I have tried new Galactic Armory mod (1.9.1b for SR 1.2.0.0) today and there are so many changes that this guide is quite obsolete concerning GA mod. However the economy in GA mod tends to be much more stable than in VG now (thanks to improved automatic governors). Two resource worlds in the beginning were more than enough for constant-colony-ship spamming, so it seems GA is now more about tactics, research and blueprints than constant fear of botched economy. :-)
EDIT (2012-06-18): After longer inactivity I have come back to Star Ruler and I have revised some points in this guide.

Setting up a great empire
Star Ruler is all about economy and resource flow. You want your empire to be in constant surplus of metals, electronics and adv. parts - this way your construction rates on planets/docks won't be slowed down or even stalled (which is the worst case scenario especially in early game). Now how to do that from early on?

1. Early on colonization
1.a) Colonizing your home system
You start with one planet with decent production and some free slots. Fill out your construction queue with:
  • Scouts to look around a bit - ~25 - but make your own blueprint - scale it to 0.001 and put there only 2 size 4 Bussard Ramjet engines and nothing else (thanks to JediBear for the idea). If you hold Shift when adding scouts to the build queue you'll add 5 at once.
  • As many colony ships as there are free planets in your home system
  • 3 space ports (if you are playing VG) or 3-4 space ports, 1-2 cities, goods factory, rest metal (if your are playing GA)
  • Enable planetary governor on your home planet and set him to Renovate Only

First thing you want to do is to colonize your home system completely. Your home system will be your first resource base. Also you want to use automatic governors for managing planets as much as possible - you will have many planets and it is not possible to micro-manage every one of them. Now what automatic governors you should use for these first planets? First colonized planet HAS to be metal producing world - you will need a lot of metals early on and electronics and adv. parts are made from metal as well (1 metal for 1 electronic and 1 metal and 1 electronic for 1 adv. part). Second = electronic world. Third = adv. part world. If you are wondering if they could all be economic worlds - they could be and it is actually better, however to do this effectively you need to change a bit economic world governor (I'll return to this later). Fourth world should be electronics again, fifth world metal and then adv. parts. Right after colonizing first planet in your home system you will need to build one Goods factory on the planet - you will be in shortage of goods and this slows down your early on expansion significantly (lack of goods cripples your labor - slows down building time of buildings on planets). The bad thing about this is that original governors are scrapping Goods Factories from Metal, Electronic and Adv. Parts worlds so you've got two choices - either build one of the initials worlds manually or edit original governors (the better choice). So how to change original governors in the game? You need to edit file build_queues.xml that is located in Star Ruler/Game Data/ folder. Change Economic world entry to this:

Code: [Select]
<queue id="economic">
<waitEmpty />
<buildSpecial tag="Capitol" type="Capital" />
<buildN count="1" type="SpacePort" />
<buildN count="1" type="MetalMine" />
<buildN count="1" type="ElectronicFact" />
<buildN count="1" type="AdvPartFact" />
<buildWhenLow by="low_pct" res="Food" threshold="0.4" type="Farm" />
<buildWhenLow by="avail" res="Workers" threshold="10500000" type="City" />
<buildPerN per="5" type="SpacePort" />
<buildPerN per="8" type="AdvPartFact" />
<buildPerN per="4" type="ElectronicFact" />
<buildPerN per="3" type="MetalMine" />
<buildRand>
<item weight="3">MetalMine</item>
<item weight="3">ElectronicFact</item>
<item weight="1">AdvPartFact</item>
</buildRand>
<rebuildRand levelThreshold="1" />
</queue>

The difference is that this Economic world does not scrap any extra building you put there - so you can set all your initial planets in your home system to be these economic worlds and you can build one goods factory on the first world right away (it should be the first building you build there). Also this economic world is optimized better when it comes to Metals:Electronics:Adv.Parts ratio than the original one (that is somehow more random). Notice that first buildings are pre-set - MetalMine, ElectronicFact and AdvPartFact - this means that when they are built, even when your world is cut off from any other resources it will slowly built itself up anyway - which is a huge plus for an economic world.

Note: Sometimes on GA you start with a really bad home system with low slot planets. Then it is better to colonize some good planets in nearby systems than to colonize few 7 slot planet in your home system. The guide above presumes you have at least mediocre system with some decent (15 <) slot planets.

Ok, you have colonized your home system and filled up your home world. Now just wait until the resource worlds build up, because you will need a lot of resources for all-out-colonization that will follow soon. You can build some more scouts (presuming you don't spend too much resources to stall production on your resource worlds) or just resend your already owned scouts to other systems and select some planets for auto colonizing, but about that later.

Note: Research. Early reserach is only about Economic, Metalurgy and General Science. I usually cycle between one level of each in this order, or you can go for 2 levels on economic early on (will boost up space ports on home planet - don't forget to rennovate them when the research is done - this is of a big help - the best thing how to do this is to select Renovate Only governor on your home planet) and then metalurgy and general science.

Note: Colony ships scales. For colonizing your home system stick with default Colony Ship designs - the cost/effect ratio is OK for that. Default colony builds planet capital, space port and city. When resizing to smaller scales, first city goes out, then space port. The smallest working colony ship design is 3 (for VG) and I use it for inner system colonization of new systems - more about this later.

1.b) Spreading the empire
You have colonized your home system and your planets are built up. Time has come for some galaxy wide culture spreading. Start building colony ships on your home planet - I build at least 10, max 20. The important thing here is to select your starting home planet, click Economic tab and disabling Auto Import - this way the planet will use only its own resources and leave the rest for your new colonies. Now, one colony ship colonize one planet in one system. You normally don't want to send two colony ships to one system, but if there is close two 35 slot planets system nearby, than of course - start with those planets. Otherwise, pick the best planet in each scouted system (starting from the closest ones) and select Auto Colonize Planet (you can do this while waiting for your home system to build up). I use a trick here - every time I select a planet for auto-colonizing I pin it up with +Pin button. This way I see how many systems I am in, I see the status of the first planets in those systems and can quickly access them and build colony ships there. So when you select planets for auto colonizing, the colony ship AI does the rest. Again, you want these early on planets to focus mainly on resource production, but you also want them eventually to build colony ships to colonize the rest of the planets in each system - that requires a shipyard, otherwise the building of colony ships will be slow. Several options here - 1) use our custom economic world from before and add there a shipyard or 2) use balanced worlds to be the first colonized planets in new system. I usually use Balanced Worlds that are a little bit changed (they build Metal Mine first and then shipyard):

Code: [Select]
<queue id="default">
<waitEmpty />
<buildSpecial tag="Capitol" type="Capital" />
<buildN count="1" type="SpacePort" />
<buildN count="1" type="MetalMine" />
<buildN count="1" type="ShipYard" />
<buildWhenLow by="low_pct" res="Food" threshold="0.4" type="Farm" />
<buildWhenLow by="avail" res="Workers" threshold="11500000" type="City" />
<buildPerN per="6" type="SpacePort" />
<buildPerN per="12" type="PlanetCannon" />
<buildPerN per="12" type="SciLab" />
<buildPerN per="12" type="Farm" />
<buildPerN per="12" type="GoodsFactory" />
<buildPerN per="20" type="LuxsFactory" />
<buildPerN per="3" type="MetalMine" />
<buildPerN per="8" type="ElectronicFact" />
<buildPerN per="7" type="AdvPartFact" />
<buildRand>
<item weight="2">MetalMine</item>
<item weight="2">ElectronicFact</item>
<item weight="2">AdvPartFact</item>
<item weight="1">SciLab</item>
<item weight="2">GoodsFactory</item>
<item weight="1">LuxsFactory</item>
</buildRand>
<rebuildRand levelThreshold="1" />
</queue>

This works much better early on - the first metal mine helps greatly with the development. But anyway at least every third world of these newly colonized planets should focus on resources - should be preferably Economic World.

Note: At this stage you can consider scraping some of the space ports on your home planet and build there research labs - your home planet is not exporting anything anyway, because it spends all its resources to build colony ships.

The plan is now to build a strong economy - the research, defence and stuff comes later. Watch your food and goods level - if they go down build somewhere one food, goods factory (balanced worlds are good choice or our custom economic worlds - the important thing is to build it somewhere where AI won't scrap these buildings). So the order first extra-home-system colonized planets should be Balanced Worlds / Economic Worlds with majority of balanced worlds. Watch your resourcers - it may be a good idea to add metal world or electronic world in this stage if you find in shortage of the materials. What is the optimal production ratio? In the beginning its somewhere around 3:3:1 (meaning 3 metal mines : 3 electronic factories : 1 adv. parts factories on your planets) - this produces metals, electronics and adv. parts in ratio that corresponds quite well to ratios of buildings and ships early on.

Remember that you can use civil acts to overcome the shortage of particular resource for a while, but this is just a temporary solution, you need extra world or two dedicated to the missing resource or more economic worlds.

Now when and how to colonize the rest of the planets in our seeded systems... Again watch your resources. If you find yourself at 0,0,0 at this phase, pause the construction queues of some planets and let the resource planets build up first, then unpause the rest. For inner system colonization I started to use the following trick - I make the smallest colony ship design available (in VG scale 3, runs out of fuel in 4 mins). This colony ship is so cheap you can build it even on the world WITHOUT shipyard quickly - this way you will be able to take over the system very quickly. The planets colonized by these small colony ships take longer to develop, but that is not a problem - a) You will be still colonizing new systems with proper colony ships, b) these new inner system planets are not sucking much resources at first, so it is ok to colonize whole 2-3 systems at once with these ships. When these new planets builds their space ports and starts to suck much resources I usually have a reasonable resource base established to support their development (you can always pause them if they cause trouble).

In this stage don't wait until all of your systems are fully colonized before colonizing new ones - now your resources are indicator of additional colonization. If you have surplus - build more colony ships. If you are at 0,0,0 you really need to slow down and wait for resource planets to build up (consider pausing some research and balanced worlds in favour of resource production worlds). I am usually using only my home planet to build colony ships one after another with the Allow Import in Economic tab switched off - building colony ships like this doesn't cripple my economy at all (except that I lose the extra resources from my home planet, but the colony ships are worth it).

To summarize: For inner system colonization I use smallest cost effective colony ships, the proper colony ships I usually build only on one place and they are used to "seed" new systems.

Research: You should start slowly to develop your research rate at this stage. When you see your colonization is going well, think about dedicating a planet or two to research. When you are at lvl 4 of economic, metalurgy and general science, get 1-2 levels in social - it boosts up your cities, which is handy, because you will need less of them on planets. Also go for Biology 1-2 - better farms means you will need less of them.

1.c) Early on combat
You don't want to do much fighting early on - at start you don't have any military ships and you don't have any combat technologies researched. It is not a problem with the exception of pirates. How to get rid of them? Level 3 projectiles with one planetary cannon on each planet in the system eventually kills all the pirates. You can also build a few fighters in each system - pirates tend to attack undefended systems first.

To get rid of pirates, especially when you already have few first levels in projectile weapons, engeneering, armor, ship construction etc. is simply to build few larger ships (greater than 4, implicit desing in both VG and GA) in the system - but do this only if you can afford it with your resources, otherwise it is better just to wait until planetary cannons kill them.

Eventually you want to research few levels in projectile weapons - to be precise - enough levels to get artillery gun (which is available both in VG and GA) and some engineering (to get repair tool) and build up your ~32 scale Artillery Gun station. Pack there one 2-4 sized artillery, rail guns of size <=1 (at least one 0.25 rail gun), two scale 1 armor on both sides (left/right) and repair tool. This station is great in that it can handle both small and bigger ships AND it can even kill enemy planets that are close enough in the system. I usually use remote repair tool and build two of those stations. Of course you can add shields or anything, the esential is the artilery here and reasonable prize. This I use as the first (and last) planetary defence (just changing the scales later in the game and adding shields) - however these stations are too expensive to built early on, so your first level of defense will be the planetary cannons.

1.d) Summary
  • Colonize your home system, research economics, metalurgy, general science
     
    • Build resource worlds - use custom economic governor or start with metal world
    • First building on first built planet should be Goods Factory (you are in shortage of goods)
    • Fill up your home planet (focus on space ports) and wait until the planets build up.
  • Spread by building ~ 10-20 colony ships
     
    • Build colony ships on your home planet - turn off Auto Import for this planet in planet Economic tab (extra resources gained this way will be sucked quickly by new colonies)
    • Colonize better planets first, don't forget to pin them up
    • Use balance worlds and economic worlds
    • After the first world in the system is built colonize the rest of the systems with mini colony ships (planets you want to have developed fast with proper ones)
    • Watch your resource flow
  • Watch your economy and keep spreading when in surplus (actually you should be able to almost constantly build colony ships on your home planet)

The section 2 didn't fit in this post, you'll find it below in this thread.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 10:21:51 AM by shadow_knight »

Hazzard

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Re: Early game strategy
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 12:38:32 PM »
+1

This type of guide is exactly what is required. It should be made as predominant as possible on the forums for new users.

Thanks Shadow.

darthdiddy

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Re: Early game strategy
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 09:00:21 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to write such an awesome guide. I agree that this is the kind of thing that is very helpful for new to newish players (like myself).  Regarding the resources > research.  This may be different between trivial - hardest AI, but I find myself falling behind in all aspects if I fall behind in research, because research plays such a pivotal roll in your ability to gather resources.  I usually produce nothing but balanced worlds at the beginning, then a few specialized (metal, ele, adv.) depending on shortages, then later go 50/50, then 100% research.  I could be very wrong, or have just misunderstood what you meant in your post, considering my current level of noobosity...or is it noobism?

shadow_knight

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Re: Early game strategy
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 03:04:27 AM »
2. What to do next - conquering, building ships and general notes
2.a) Command and conquer
I myself prefer to conquer with larger scale ships. When I set up my economy (4-5 and more build up systems) I slowly start to build scale 64 to 128 class ships (Victory). 64 is for defense, 128 for offence. I pack there simply one size 2 rail gun with rack mount, some 0.25 rail guns, armor on both sides and heavy hull if available, shields also if available - engines - bussard ramjet and REPAIR TOOL (but the one that repairs OTHER ships). In GA you can use solar panels to provide this ship with energy and it never runs out of fuel (though it can run fast out of ammo especially against swarms of small ships). Never forget to add ammo cache (in VG) or two (in GA)! Again, swarms of small fighters can suck ammo from these ships, but the purpose of this ships is to kill stations/planets and not to target and shoot out fighters (that do nothing to them anyway because of armor). 4-5 of these ships repair themselves and can take out planets early on with no problems.

Usually 128 Victory is everything I need to beat even hardest AIs (without cheating). If it is not, then later, when my resource production is not a choke point anymore I start building my another design scale 256 - 512 (Vengeance). You should have researched heavy hull now - use it for every combat ship, the extra protection is much better than extra system. This ones idea is to recharge shields faster than enemy damages it and use beam weapons (its actually better in GA), so it does not need any ammo. As for engines I usually don't use bussard anymore, but go for around 1 hour flight time with reasonable speed. Pack there one size 1 shield generator and one size 2 shield charger. If you were doing ok in previous phases, you should build your first couple of 512 size Vengeances so fast, that nothing will be able to hurt them (so it means you need one to take out whole system). Always put some repair tool on the ship, it repairs faster then crew. And put at least some armor on both sides (cause the shields can sometimes be penetrated). You don't need much armor for this ship though.

When conquering system, send some colony ships with your fleet - they will colonize first one or two killed planets and you can establish foothold there with ammo depots, ship yard and few artilery guns that will do also as repair yards. Don't forget to use auto colonized system when finished with conquering (with plenty of extra colony ships waiting somewhere) and leave a ship or two in the conquered system to get rid of some pesky enemy reinforcements, colony ships or pirates.

2.b) Building Larger Ships
64 and greater size ships can take some time to be built. Research Mega Construction technology to speed it up a bit. Also build these ships on Dry Docks and never on planets. Even inital scale 50 Dry Dock produces much more labor than your best planet. I usually build a Dry Dock over some balanced world and add at least two Artilery Guns (32 station with art. gun and repair) to protect it. You can build extra space ports on the planet to speed up construction. With these Dry Docks I usually build my bigger ships in infinite loop. First on one dry dock, then adding more dry docks when my economy can handle it. Each dry dock should be on different planet! Two dry docks on the same planet would slow themselves down due to resources consumption (space ports will have hard time to support one dry dock above them).

2.c) General notes
Well, this is it. With this strategy I was able to beat the hardest AIs in VG and GA (without cheating). Now for some general remarks:

Concerning research - it is good idea later to keep you research levels even - it takes virtually seconds to research some forgotten technology from lvl1 to 6 later in the game. Also don't forget to research hunches/guesses (this is more important in VG because not all techs are revealed at start). Now since I like to conquer with bigger ships - Mega construction technology is essential. You want to keep it at the top of your researched levels, thats for sure. It saves you a lot of resources and speeds up the construction time because of it. I also modify the research world governor so there is one metal mine on the research world - the ore in Star Ruler is limited so it is a good idea that each world is doing at least little bit of mining:

Code: [Select]
<queue id="resworld">
<waitEmpty />
<buildSpecial tag="Capitol" type="Capital" />
<buildN count="1" type="SpacePort" />
<buildN count="1" type="MetalMine" />
<buildWhenLow by="low_pct" res="Food" threshold="0.4" type="Farm" />
<buildWhenLow by="avail" res="Workers" threshold="6500000" type="City" />
<buildRand>
<item weight="1">SciLab</item>
</buildRand>
<removeRand remove="MetalMine,ElectronicFact,AdvPartFact,GoodsFactory,LuxsFactory" />
<rebuildRand levelThreshold="2" />
</queue>

Concerning advanced planet management - I like balanced worlds quite a lot - good for building, produce some resources, goods and research. I never build farm worlds. I usually build one Goods and luxury world, where I focus mainly on luxury factories (because normally I find myself in shortage of luxuries). I do use research worlds, because after you have resources up and running you need research levels. But here, my general opinion is resources > research (meaning first you get your resources all right, when its done, dedicate fair ammount of planets to research). With more resources you build more and bigger ships, that can still kill the advanced ships of your opponent, because the gain of extra 2-3 research levels is not that big. But again, when your resources are allright you should concentrate on research. About military worlds - only have them in systems with enemy planets, otherwise I just build few ammo depots somewhere to support my already-present-fleet.

Concerning ships retrofiting. I don't use that much. My older ships are usually conquering enemy systems far away. They die out eventoually and I am always building new ships (~10 dry docks dedicated to ship building with repeat order in games with ~ 50 systems). Of course if you find difference big enough (you see that nicely on hit points and shields comparing old ship with some new ship just built) and free ship yard is nearby feel free to retrofit - this can be good idea for bigger sized ships (256 =<), because they take plenty of time to build up. Again I would not retrofit unless the difference is more than 50% (in HP/shields).

Concerning control and orientation - I don't use the free camera - its confusing and especially turning around does not behave as I want it to behave. The other mode is quite ok, except the occasional accidental zooming to objects when I want just to select them, which I hate.

Concerning racial traits... When you pick fear from AI you get one bonus point and won't be able to use computers for ship control (no hard feelings for me). Then you will be able to spend this point to pick forced slavery trait that doubles your labour production. Now this stacks nicely with academics campaign civil act - forced labour trait + academics campaign civil act = normal labour production + 10% bonus to all resources production. Only things you have to do is to set your empire people to fear computers and support human slavery. :-)

Ok, this is pretty much it. Any comments, questions and/or ideas are appreciated!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 08:23:22 AM by shadow_knight »

Barleyman

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 04:54:26 PM »
I was *this* close to dumping SR after initial non-helpful tutorial and somewhat confusing gameplay even with strong 4X experience..

This guide gave some badly needed starting pointers, I'd like to point out the colonization shouldn't be so mechanical, thought. I just had a game where my economy stalled badly as I didn't have advanced parts factories.. The guide works well IF you have at least 4 planets in your starting system so you can get "1 each" of the resource worlds.

If you have less, you should probably build the missing type(s) ahead of metal worlds.

I'm not sure "scale 32" gun satellite is a good idea early on? It'll suck vast amounts of resources you can't afford until later on. Something smaller to keep pirates away before your economy really kicks in?

shadow_knight

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 05:17:41 PM »
I was *this* close to dumping SR after initial non-helpful tutorial and somewhat confusing gameplay even with strong 4X experience..

This guide gave some badly needed starting pointers, I'd like to point out the colonization shouldn't be so mechanical, thought. I just had a game where my economy stalled badly as I didn't have advanced parts factories.. The guide works well IF you have at least 4 planets in your starting system so you can get "1 each" of the resource worlds.

If you have less, you should probably build the missing type(s) ahead of metal worlds.

I think if you select balanced start in settings you always get 4 planets in VG (worked for me at least).
Anyway, you can't dump metal world - without metal you won't be able to build electronics and hence adv. parts. If you have less than 4 planets in starting system I would suggest to colonize one extra planet in another system right away and make it the missing parts world (so adv. parts in this case).
Actually its not that important where these first resource planets will be colonized - its just important to have them build up and producing before you start bigger colonization (otherwise you'll find yourself resources-stucked). So in fact, you could start colonizing new systems right away - with 4 colony ships - just you would take longer to establish your economy (but you would have more systems colonized...). Its really about what you prefer.
Another trick with early on colonization and building up - if you leave just two planets to build their building and other will be paused, you actually establish stronger economy faster - as soon as a resource planet is build up, it starts to produce resources. So actually its better to have 2 resource planets producing faster than 4 later.

Quote
I'm not sure "scale 32" gun satellite is a good idea early on? It'll suck vast amounts of resources you can't afford until later on. Something smaller to keep pirates away before your economy really kicks in?

Its just mine strategy - it is possible it is not optimal. :-) But as I wrote - I get rid of the pirates by planetary cannons early on. These scale 32 stations I build after my economy is somewhat established (they are indeed expensive to build early on). So early on pirates = I build one cannon on each planet in the system and adios pirates. :-)

Barleyman

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 08:03:16 PM »
Anyway, you can't dump metal world - without metal you won't be able to build electronics and hence adv. parts. If you have less than 4 planets in starting system I would suggest to colonize one extra planet in another system right away and make it the missing parts world (so adv. parts in this case).

That's what I meant.. 1st extrasolar colony shouldn't be always "metal", it depends on situation.

Anyways I'm not sure the whole "1 slot colonizer" concept works well. That's doing exactly what you advice against, ie spreading around your efforts with slowly building colonies. Making bigger colony ships will bring the colonies up to productivity much faster even thought you'll have far less colonies.

Quote
Its just mine strategy - it is possible it is not optimal. :-) But as I wrote - I get rid of the pirates by planetary cannons early on. These scale 32 stations I build after my economy is somewhat established (they are indeed expensive to build early on). So early on pirates = I build one cannon on each planet in the system and adios pirates. :-)

Looks like the cannon isn't exactly strong enough to take out pirates, thought. Especially since you get a real schwarm of the buggers. At least it appears to drive them away. The weapons satellite will also be in trouble with the pirate swarms unless you have 2-3 for some mutual support.

I also noticed my modified governor to build shipyard in resource planets didn't work.. It's kinda funky SR expects you to modify script files!

Code: [Select]
<queue id="metalworld_sy">
<waitEmpty />
<buildSpecial tag="Capitol" type="Capital" />
<buildN count="1" type="SpacePort" />
<buildWhenLow by="low_pct" res="Food" threshold="0.4" type="Farm" />
<buildWhenLow by="avail" res="Workers" threshold="8500000" type="City" />
<buildPerN per="4" type="SpacePort" />
<buildN count="1" type="ShipYard" />
<buildRand>
<item weight="1">MetalMine</item>
</buildRand>
<removeRand remove="ElectronicFact,AdvPartFact,SciLab,ShipYard,GoodsFactory,LuxsFactory" />
<rebuildRand levelThreshold="1" />
</queue>

I had previously the shipyard line as last item before /queue, I moved it before the random stuff. I suppose I should actually build explicitly 1 mine 1st.. 

shadow_knight

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 04:54:01 AM »
That's what I meant.. 1st extrasolar colony shouldn't be always "metal", it depends on situation.

Anyways I'm not sure the whole "1 slot colonizer" concept works well. That's doing exactly what you advice against, ie spreading around your efforts with slowly building colonies. Making bigger colony ships will bring the colonies up to productivity much faster even thought you'll have far less colonies.


I use it when I want some system colonized fast - before for example AI comes there and colonize planets - for this it works ok. Besides these small colony ships I build also larger - usually just on one planet in the whole empire - and I use these bigger colony ships to colonize new systems/or good planets in already colonized systems.
Also these small colony ships planets takes almost no resources at the beginning, so I just leave them unpaused and continue colonization - they take their time to build first space port and after they are done I decide whether to build them up right away, or pause them for a while. I guess I will elaborate on this eventually in the guide.

MD

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 06:11:02 PM »
Small tip: don't start with a galaxy that's too big. I suggest 100 systems max for a first game.

blacksmithgu

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 07:53:40 PM »
Good guide. This takes some practice, though, of figuring out when it's time to start expanding and such.

Tenebrys

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 02:29:00 AM »
I used to be able to ward off pirates by sticking a planetary cannon on each planet in a colonized system.  Nowadays, however, the pirates appear to have wizened up -- they park on the fringes of a system and blockade the planets.  Without a food supply, famine sets in, population dwindles, and the planetary cannons go offline, one by one.  Once the system is too starved to defend itself, the pirates begin looting.

Building a farm along with each planetary cannon will allow the defenses to stay online in the event of a siege, but the planetary governors don't seem to understand this strategy and instead demolish all my "siege farms" when I'm not looking.  I'm still trying to figure out an effective strategy against pirates, since even 4 tightly-packed capital ships seem to fail at warding them off.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 02:31:29 AM by Tenebrys »

Mr. Yar

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2011, 05:43:56 AM »
Design a decent size station with a large artillery gun and a remote repairer (Plus all the ancillary equipment and decent defense) and build about 6 of them around any planet with a starport.

As your tech levels go up, increase the size of the station as well as fiddling with the internals to squeeze out more damage/survivability and pirates will never bother you.

Until you get to the point where it's easy to mass colonize a system and it takes awhile for them to set up. Time in which pirates will show up and blockade the system.

At default pirate strength, pirates mostly come in small sizes, the largest common pirate being 12 and the largest pirates being size 50, though I've only ever seen 3-4 in one raid; so you can start with size 8 or 12 stations, and then go on up to size 32 if you want.

The key is with 6 of these per large planet, with additional ones built/upgraded as time goes on that the pirates will never want to hit the system you've built them in. You could get away with fewer, or if the AI comes knocking build more.

Planetary Guns aren't a deterrent to Pirates, they just punish them for raiding. You'll kill plenty of pirates, but you'll still be blockaded at the end of the day and that's the real damage.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 05:45:41 AM by Mr. Yar »

Redryder

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2011, 09:04:49 PM »
Nice guide!  Heres what Ive noticed about pirates. I've played game without a single pirate raid untill about 5 hours in. I left a newly colonized system undefended; too much multi-tasking resulted in over-sight.  From what I've observed: pirates run checks on each system. (randomly, but I've noticed they choose the civ leading in colonization first)  So the first check to pass is: Is the civ leading in colonization(or maybe not just colonization)? If so, there is a higher chance it will be raided.   The second check to pass is the presence of military ships or stations(that is: ships/stations with at least a .25 gun on them); or maybe even a paticular sum of scale in the system. For example: I only keep 5, scale 6.0 frigates in most systems, which I send out with my colony ships when the system is colonized; this keeps any pirates from even attacking me, and I play with pirate strength at 3, usually. At about an hour into the game I add more assets to each system if I havn't already so I'm not sure if there is a bare minimum to pass this check or if the bare minimum increases with game time. So if you have not military ships/stations in system, you fail this check, again there may be a minimum requirement so a few fighters may not pass this check. Also I do not think pirates calculate planetary weapons into system military strength as they cannot see them. Of course there is an exception, there is one more check. Possibly the last check, there may be more: The sum of military ship/station scale in system; this determines the chance of attack. Some times pirates will attack sytems of the same military strength at random. even if there is the same military presense in two or more systems only one may be attacked, or all may be attacked.; this percentage may be reduced by adding more military ship scale into the system. I prefer to not ever have to deal with the pirates myself. As for relying on planetary cannons, it is an easy way to deal with pirates(especially when your mass colonizing large sections of the galaxy), but you are going to lose some resources to pillaging. Also, those slots could be used for more production.

rogerano

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2011, 10:20:49 PM »
At the moment I am using this strategy.

http://forums.blind-mind.com/index.php?topic=3989.0

It is extremely effective.

spyre2000

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2011, 01:06:30 PM »
Heres what Ive noticed about pirates. I've played game without a single pirate raid untill about 5 hours in....
Why does everyone seem to have so much trouble with pirates? They are a joke in every game I've played and I use default pirate settings.

I'm not sure about pirates taking into account ranks as I've never really looked that deep into the code. I was under the impression they only thing they cared about was how well a system was defended.

I tend to build lots of civilian ships and most of my systems never get hit by pirates so I'm not sure they are looking at weapons on ship designs. When the pirates do show up, I do a select all idle planets/drydocks in system and have a build on best run of 100 size 1 bombers. This makes short work of most pirate threats early on in the game. Late game I may jack it up to 200 bombers or throw in a couple larger ships depending on system. Once built I simply leave the bombers in system and they hold their own quite nicely against most minor threats. I should also mention that my bomber designs are all set to auto refit every 10 levels. I want to keep them at the top of their game since they are cheap to refit.

Remnants on the other can be a pain since they are several tech levels above you at the start of the game. I can see having some trouble with them and when they show up in force it's more like build on best for 1000 bombers and move by fleet to system to take them out. :)

Tip on Bombers: Use armor piercing weapons like Muon cannon and they will never go obsolete. I've had swarms of bombers take down size 500 and larger ships. Normal armor DR for ships that size would negate any damage done by normal weapons of size 1 which is one of the reasons the AI starts building larger size fighter/bombers late game. But size 1 can still kick ass if built right.

Aquila_27

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Re: Early game strategy guide
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2011, 08:14:28 AM »
I have noticed something about the pirates, when they check for the military presence in a system, they don't seem to count docked ship.  I used to dock my size 50 frigate (around 4 of them) and get attacked by pirates, they undock, kill them all no problems, in the mean time some other of my system less defended wont get attacked by them.  I'm I right about the docked ship not scaring the pirates? I'm thinking there might be a random variable in all this.

shadow_knight

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Re: Early Game Strategy Guide
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 04:43:50 PM »
...
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 02:25:59 AM by shadow_knight »

ac_snowman

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Re: Early Game Strategy Guide
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 12:15:22 AM »
Just started playing the game, really loving it so far.  Thanks for the info here, uber helpful for giving us noobs some clear direction!