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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Space Krill

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:39 pm
Posts: 5
Hi everyone,

after just a few posts here with mostly newbie questions I have gone quiet for a long time. But back then especially MatGB helped a lot with his answers and I got sort of hooked on the game. As I have played a few games in the mean-time, I figured it might be a good idea to write down my experience in the hope that it will benefit others. So, I give you all

My personal strategy guide

This guide reflects my personal style of play, which I have developed over the course of (estimated) about 50 games. The version I play currently is "v0.4.5 [build 2015-09-01.f203162] CMake", although I think any reasonably recent version of the game will do.

I think this game is simply amazing. It is therefore my intention with this guide to help others really get into the game. I try to pick up where the quick play guide left off. The quick play guide shows you what you can do and how you do it, whereas I try to point out what is beneficial to actually do.

All this has been tested on the following settings:
  • Stars: Between 15 and 30 per player. Pick what you like.
  • Galaxy shape: elliptical
  • Galaxy age: mature
  • Starlane frequency: medium
  • Planet density: low
  • Specials frequency: low
  • Monster frequency: high
  • Native frequency: none
  • Max AI aggression: maniacal
  • Species: human

I think the medium settings for galaxy age and starlane frequency are the ones to make the most interesting games. Planets, specials, monsters and natives have been chosen to make a challenging game.

Please note the "flaws" of this guide: So far I have only played as humans. Also, this guide is biased towards the robotic hulls, see below. I might add notes about other species or about organic hulls (both living and non-living) later. But for now I consider this good enough.

My aim in every game is to build a superior economy. You can of course choose, say, high starlane frequency, no monsters, no specials, no natives and play some sort of deathmatch. But this is not my style of play and I will not go into this. This guide is about economy.

One more thing before we really get started. I find myself checking the following graphs roughly every 10 turns:
  • colonies
  • production output
  • research output
  • rough estimate of total military strength
Colonies and strength help me to balance expansion and military power (what to build next). The output graphs show me my current stand in the goal to develop said superior economy.

The bulk of this guide is devoted to the early game. Here is the reason why. The galaxy is a dangerous place. There are all sorts of monsters and warships of competing empires roaming the starlanes. So, you have to build up your military just to survive and stay in the game. With the game settings I described above this concern becomes so pressing, it will eat almost all of your economic output at game start. On the other hand you want to expand and reasearch new technologies to create a huge and lasting empire. To do so, you somehow have to squeeze out some precious research and production points. Phrased differently, you have to create something out of nothing. And the key to archieve this lies in the early game.

The early game: how

For the early game I have a rather specific order to do things in, both in terms of production and research. We cover production first, because it is rather simple. At game start produce:
  1. scout
  2. scout
  3. outpost ship
The Mass Driver 3 tech (see below) should arrive when there are two turns left for the completion of the outpost ship. You should then produce a Cruiser II. If you have a suitable planet nearby, delay the warship and colonize the planet first. But if there is no planet to colonize just make the warship.

On to the rather long list of research projects:
  1. Algorithmic Elegance
  2. Planetary Ecology
  3. Mass Driver 2
  4. Subterranean Habitation
  5. Mass Driver 3
  6. Robotic Production, Military Robotic Control (just pick the latter; the game will automatically add the former)
  7. Mass Driver 4
  8. Nascent Artificial Intelligence
  9. Nanotech Production, Adaptive Automation
  10. Orbital Construction
  11. Fusion Generation, Orbital Generation
  12. Microgravity Industry

Scout as much as possible. Knowledge of your surroundings is key to putting your Colony Ship to good use. Note that with that colony ship you can colonize one more jump out of your supply lines compared to an outpost ship. (In theory you can colonize anywhere with your Colony Ship, but try to keep your supply lines connected.) Try to colonize before the Nascent AI tech arrives. But apart from that take your time and find the best planet available. Sure, we would of course like to settle as soon as possible, but there are opportunity costs at work here. So, do not rush, but also do not hesitate.

When it comes to colonization, you need at this point of the game a good or adequate planet for your species. But beware of the eccentric orbit special on too small planets. If in doubt check the planet suitability. Also, try to secure systems with a gas giant or asteriods. But do not overextend yourself to do so. There will be time later on for that.

There are two exceptions to the above lists. The first one are monster nests. If you happen to find a Snowflake or Kraken nest, build an outpost ship ASAP and research Domesticated Mega-Fauna as soon as necessary. Snowflakes are harmless at first. But for Kraken you have to secure the nest with your Battle Fleet (the Frigate I from game start and the Cruiser II you built). Otherwise a Kraken will pop out the turn your Outpost Ship hovers above the nest. Trust me, I tried this numerous times. :wink:

The second exception (but not as important as monster nests) are growth specials. You want them and you want them right now. So, colonize ASAP and go for growth focus.

Speaking of focus, I have rather simple rules for that. Keep your homeworld on reasearch (until the time comes to switch to growth). For any additional planet, if the system contains a gas giant and/or asteriods, go for industry, otherwise research.

The bulk of your early military will be the premade Robocruiser I design. This is already a descent ship. Two or preferebly three of these can take down a Maintenance Ship in a reasonable amount of time (head back to the Orbital Drydock for repairs, if necessary). Also, two of them are good enogh to overpower a sentry. So, make sure to get at least two rather quickly. Dyson Forests are annoying, but rather easily taken down. Stay away from all other guard monsters at this stage of the game.

Try to alternate your production between the production of warships (Robocruiser I) and Outpost Ships for new colonies. So, make one warship, then one Outpost Ship, another warship and so on. That way, you expand safely, but still reasonably quickly. But delay all this for Outpost Bases on gas giants and asteriods. You want these to be in place before the Orbital Generation and Microgravity Industry techs arrive. When the Orbital Generation tech arrives, make Gas Giant Generators everywhere. At strategically chosen points make a Basic Shipyard and an Orbital Drydock. They are reasonably cheap, but take a few turns to build. So, start early and put them high on your production queue.

One last thing, there is one threat in the galaxy which can really ruin all your efforts: a Juggernaut nest. If you happen to have one of those nearby, do the following. Make at least three, preferably five or more Robocruisers to secure the area. Kill every roaming Juggernaut you can handle. Then let your Robocruisers hover above the nest until an Outpost Ship takes it. Remember to research Domesticated Mega-Fauna. Do all this ASAP and delay even your expansion. It is that important. For if you hesitate and let those Juggernauts mature, you are toast. I mean it.

So, that was how to play the early game.

The early game: why

Why do I do all this stuff in this order? Well, like I said above, you essentially have to create something out of nothing. And the way to do so is to exploit all the flat bonuses the tech tree has to offer. The key techs are Nascent AI, Adaptive Automation, Orbital Generation and Microgravity Industry. And they are so powerful that we delay everything else to get them.

With what I have described above you will have descent reasearch and amazing industry to fuel your military production and expansion. Put that to good use. Colonize and put pressure on your enemies. And most importantly, be patient and stick to the plan. It can feel like a long time before the Adaptive Automation tech arrives. And while waiting for that it can be tempting to set your homeworld to industry focus to fuel your production and get some room to breathe. Resist that temptation at all costs. Be patient, build the necessary military to keep your enemies at bay and expand safely. You will soon enough be able to reap the benefits of this.

My focus on monster nests is mostly a denial strategy. You do not want all these monsters roam your empire. So, take their nests sooner rather than later. Also, Snowflakes make very good early game Scouts. You can essentially keep your whole border under permanent surveillance with just two or three of these critters. Monsters are also the reason to prioritize the research of Mass Driver 2 and 3 and the production of a Cruiser II so early. Taken together, the Frigate I and the Cruiser II have the necessary firepower to actually kill, say, a roaming Drone and give your Outpost Ships a save passage.

One more tip about tamed monsters: park them in places where they mature. Every monster type has a specific type of planet they prefer. Check the pedia. If you cannot put them to good use elsewhere, just leave them at their nests. When they reach their highest level, use them to guard your border or let them just go on rampage on their own. In one game I played, I took out an entire enemy empire with just two Great Juggernauts and the necessary supply of ground troops. These things can be devastating if used correctly (read: patiently). This is also the reason you want to tame them soon. Otherwise they will destroy your empire.

So, this is my early game. Get the flat bonuses ASAP and get the monster threat under control. It really is as simple as that.

What I miss in most strategy guides for all sorts of games are actual numbers to measure my performance. To do this right in my own guide, here are some milestones.
  • Adaptive Automation: about turn 35-40
  • Orbital Generation and Microgravity Industry: about turn 55
  • By turn 100: roughly 100 PPs/turn and 40 RPs/turn

Transition to mid-game

The economy we have created so far has one very important flaw. It is essentially hollow. By that I mean, it is based on flat bonuses rather than actual population to make a stable and long-term growing economy. So, our next step is obviously to correct this mistake. From here on I will change to a more loose description of things rather than a specific order to make things in.

After Microgravity Industry I usually research Active Radar and Symbiotic Biology next. They are both very useful and reasonably cheap at this point of the game. Also, we have delayed them for quite some time. That had a good reason, but now is the time to get them. Active Radar is necessary to see all the roaming Small Snowflakes before they mature. So, if Snowflakes start to randomly appear out of nowhere, research Active Radar and you see why. But don't get shocked if your empire is suddenly flooded with monsters. :wink: They are still harmless. And it would be a good idea to kill them before that changes. Also, Active Radar unlocks the Scanning Facility. Place these at strategically important locations just like the Shipyards to keep your enemies under surveillance, mount effective defenses and put pressure on his weak spots. Good intelligence remains important throughout the entire game.

Symbiotic Biology is the first step in a transition to an economy which is actually based on population. If you manage to secure a planet with a growth special, this can already allow you to colonize poor planets. Note that the growth special can be on a poor planet itself. Just set the planet to growth focus and start colonizing poor planets as well.

The next step is usually Laser guns and Zortrium armor. At some point the enemy will show up with shielded ships on your doorstep. When that happens, you need an additional punch. Laser guns do the trick. With Laser 4 and Zortrium you unlock the pre-made Robocruiser III design. And in all the games I play I rely heavily on this ship. The Robocruiser III is a really good ship and it will serve you well for quite some time. So unlock it soon. Note however that especially Laser 1 has a very low RPs/turn limit. So, the order I usually research (after Microgravity) is this.
  1. Active Radar
  2. Laser 1
  3. Symbiotic Biology
  4. Laser 2, Laser 3
  5. Indutrial Centers
  6. Zortrium Armor Plating
  7. Laser 4
So, I try to blend the Laser reasearch with Symbiotic Biology and Industrial Centers. With Symbiotic Biology your population will start to grow and Industrial Centers become a viable option. (Before Symbiotic Biology they are not effective enough to justify their cost.) As soon as the tech arrives build an Industrial Center somewhere. I usually build it on my homeworld.

With Active Radar, the Robocruiser III, Symbiotic Biology and an Industrial Center the door is wide open. You are now (roughly turn 75) in a position to secure your empire against any threats and still expand it. At this point I would like to propose five good options to pursue. Note that these can of course be combined.

Option 1: More effective expansion

I assume you are by now able to colonize poor planets. That can happen in one of three ways: with a growth special, with your homeworld on growth focus or with the Xenological Genetics tech. The growth special is definitely the preferred way. The two other ways cost you RPs in one way or another. Take your pick in that case. But if you have no growth special yet, maybe one of the other options will be better suited for you.

When you have a lot of planets available to colonize, things are rather simple. Research Lifecycle Manipulation and expand like crazy. Lifecycle Manipulation is key here, because it significantly lowers the time for new colonies to pay for themselves. For the actual colonization keep up the pattern: industry for gas giants and asteriods, research elsewhere.

Option 2: Magnifying your industry

At this point your industry is already very impressive. But if you wish to deliver an additional punch, you can most certainly do so. Just research Solar Orbital Generation and build a Solar Orbital Generator in a system with a white or blue star. If necessary, make a new outpost for that. The next step (if you want to take it) is the Greater Industrial Centers tech.

With that industrial capacity you will easily be able to produce what you want, when you want it. I prefer to organize my build queue like this:
  1. most buildings; usually they require only a few PPs/turn
  2. warships for roughly half your total PPs, repeat 99 times
  3. Outpost Bases for gas giants and asteroids
  4. colonies
  5. outpost ships/bases for new colonies
  6. warships for the remainder of your PPs, repeat 99 times

I make exceptions for expensive buildings. (I'm looking at you, Geo-Integration Facility and Asteroid Reformation Processor.) Also, when I go on the offense, I insert ground troops wherever needed. But overall, I constantly build warships and expand at a descent speed.

Option 3: Improving Research

This is almost a no-brainer. Beeline for Quantum Networking. Note that this ties in with your population. You should have a good population to make the best use of Quantum Networking. On the other hand, when you get there, an opportunity presents itself to shift the burden of research from your homeworld to other planets. So, this might be a good time to switch your homeworld to growth focus. (See option 1 above) But remember to take the opportunity costs into account. When you switch your homeworld, you will loose the RPs of its twenty-something population. Make sure that you have enough planets on the research focus which can benefit from the homeworld supply.

Option 4: Improving your warships

If you want to pick a fight, go ahead. You have been patient long enough now. :wink: So, go for either the Contra Gravitational Maintenance tech and the Self-Gravitating hull (to stay on the robotic hull path) or switch to asteroid hulls (in any size you see fit). Only then research Plasma guns and Diamond Armor Plating. (Skip the latter, if you intend to use Rock Armor Plating.)

Why not go straight for Plasma and Diamond? Well, I like to alternate research into hulls and research into components (guns and armor). When you look at our two types of Robocruisers you can see a pattern. The Robotic Hull is just a little too large for Mass Drivers and Standard Armor. But with the additional power of Laser guns and Zortrium Armor the Robocruiser III makes a very good warship. But for Plasma guns and Diamond armor the Robotic Hull would be just a little too small. So, I prefer to get better hulls first (which then are just a little too small for Laser guns and Zortrium armor) and then mount Plasma guns and better armor on it.

Option 5: Terraforming

This is sort of an alternative to expansion when we pursue our goal of a population based economy. What to do is simple. Research Terraforming and then terraform all your planets. Start with the larger ones and work your way towards the smaller ones. This will put your industrial capacity to good use in order to increase your population a lot. Note that this is more a strategy for long-term growth. That is, it prepares your empire for the Gaia Transformation.

And Gaia Transformation is the obvious conclusion of this option. Note that you can combine the latter with the Artificial Planet tech to create Artificial Gaia Worlds from all your gas giants and asteroids. With the necessary economic efficiency techs these will easily outperform Gas Giant Generators and Microgravity Industry.

Combinations and more options

All these options can of course be combined. For example, you might want to improve your research first in order to get the necessary techs for the other options faster. Or what I like to do is to improve my military techs followed directly by an improvement of my industry. That can easily overpower an enemy which had been a real threat to you before.

Other techs I like are the following. The Neutron Scanner tech allows for much better intelligence. I prefer a highly tactical form of warfare instead of just rushing forward in bigger numbers, so this suits me well. If you consider quickly improving your economic output, the Force-Energy Structures tech can reduce delays. The Orbital Habitation tech is always a good idea, when you can afford it. Combined with a growth special or your homeworld on growth focus and the Cyborgs tech it even allows you to colonize hostile planets. If you go on the warpath, both the Spatial Flux Drive and the Nanotech Cybernetics tech will give you much cheaper ground troops. The former will also improve your scouts and is really cheap. Also, it lies on the research path to Self-Gravitating Hulls. Finally, energy hulls of all sorts are always a good idea.

Like I said in the introduction, I play without natives. They usually provide you with a very cheap and effective opportunity for expansion. And I find it challenging to deny myself this opportunity. For the same reason I do not use Exobots and instead try to colonize the whole galaxy with humans, just for fun. Also, I prefer terraforming and later the Cyborgs tech over the Xenological Genetics and Xenological Hybridization techs.

Many people like shields. I do not, because they are not cost-effective. Their effect is to virtually increase your structure points (armor) against weak weapons. But here is an idea. How about we actually increase structure points through better armor, which costs fewer RPs to research, fewer PPs to produce and helps a lot more against stronger weapons? So, no shields on my ships.

Other techs I avoid are all the organic hulls and all the stealth and defense techs. For the former, this is certainly due to a lack of experience on my part. So, I might practice to use them effectively. I consider the stealth techs relatively expensive and have not yet found a good use for them. About defense, my idea is simple. The best defense is a good offense.

I will end the guide at this point. I am sure, if your game lasts longer, you can take it from here and apply these ideas yourself, following the general pattern I have laid out above.

Conclusion

The key points of all this are to stay patient and to nurture your economy. It will serve you well in the long run. You might at some points see from the graphs that the AI outproduces you in the early game by sacrificing research for production. In that case, do not get scared, but put the champagne on ice, for you will have won soon.

I can play this game over and over and still have so much fun. So, first thank you to all the developers and contributors for creating it. It is my sincere hope, that this guide helps you to get into the game and have as much fun playing it as I do.

Comments, thoughts and suggestions are of course welcome.

Regards,
CmdrKeen


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:09 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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Very nice work. 8) Very useful for beginners who could be overwhelmed when starting a FO game for the first time.

This topic should be sticked IMHO. :p

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:34 pm 
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Space Krill

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:39 pm
Posts: 5
Ouaz wrote:
Very nice work. 8) Very useful for beginners who could be overwhelmed when starting a FO game for the first time.

Thank you. That was the intent.

Ouaz wrote:
This topic should be sticked IMHO. :p

Apparently someone did stick it.

I'm currently testing all this with other species.
So far, several shortcomings have shown up.
The most important ones are propably these:
  1. All this is too static and too brittle. It doesn't give enough guidelines to react to the actual environment of a particular game.
  2. I've tried the Egassem and the Laenfa first. I wanted to see how my early focus on getting flat bonuses prevails when playing a species with weaker research. With the Laenfa I managed to get through, though a lot slower than usual. I added (for obvious reasons) Psionics and Distributed Thought Computing to the list of early research projects. With the Egassem the whole approach has to be modified a lot IMHO. But it's a good thing I've discovered that now.
  3. In the meantime I've read some more posts around here. In reaction I've changed my preferred monster setting to low. On a small enough galaxy this indeed makes for a more challenging game. So, I've got to test this some more with different monster settings.

So, I'm going to do more tests with different races first. For the next version of the guide, I plan the following:
  • Better describe the effect of the game settings. Emphasize how a smaller galaxy makes the game (sort of) harder or at least forces you to divert more economic output to defense and military early on.
  • Make the plan for the early game more flexible. Describe the trade-offs. Demote the current hard and fast rules to rules of thumb.
  • Adapt the guide to industry-focused species like the Egassem. Describe how to play every species to their natural strengths.

I won't cover organic hulls any time soon. These will have to wait until much later.
When I've got the above list covered I'm going to post an updated version. In the meantime suggestions of all sorts are welcome.

Regards


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:22 am 
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Krill Swarm

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I've won a couple Maniacal games as Egassem. The best approach IMO is to use natives to your advantage. Invade their homeworlds, use their species to colonize as many good/adequate planets as possible and set them all to research. Meanwhile my Egassem planets are set to industry focus for my production needs. In both games I grew far stronger than my opponents before I even met them.

I do wonder what an Egassem player can do in a galaxy without natives though.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:01 pm 
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Ruldra wrote:
I do wonder what an Egassem player can do in a galaxy without natives though.

Win, but it's REALLY hard work (fun though).

200 systems, medium planets, 8 AIs, no natives everything else normal, took me about 200 turns to sweep the board but I had to make sure I was constantly on the aggressive front. You basically have to take an AI homeworld or two very very early, so you have to play to their strengths (ie good supply, cheap troops, large production) and build as many warships as you can once you've got the initial scout/expansion going.

They are in fact a relatively easy race to play as long as you don't try to play them like any other species. They have to rush in a way that no other species has to, if players get too far ahead in tech they're in serious trouble, and unlike, for example, Laenfa or George they don't have Distributed Thought Computing as an early game unlock (and it's less good for them due to the population malus). Early Mass Drive tech, build basic warships and troop ships and swarm somewhere as fast as possible before the nearby AIs start launching shielded robotic hulls. You need to capture a homeworld before that happens, as long as you've done that you should then be able to tech up more and continue the expansion, but until the late game you're not going to be able to get ahead in tech so you have to outproduce instead.

In response to the main post, it's really rather well written, some of it goes against my personal playstyle but that's definitely personal not wrong. The only flaw in it, and it's common to lots of people as far as I can see, is not putting Active Radar far enough up the priorities. I basically want to get AR by turn 50, and Neutron Scanner by turn 100, not having AR makes you vulnerable not just to monsters but also to basic stealth stuff. Plus, it's such a massive boost to both your scouting ability and your defences it's really quite crucial.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:03 am 
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Space Krill

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:39 pm
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Ruldra wrote:
I've won a couple Maniacal games as Egassem. The best approach IMO is to use natives to your advantage. Invade their homeworlds, use their species to colonize as many good/adequate planets as possible and set them all to research. Meanwhile my Egassem planets are set to industry focus for my production needs. In both games I grew far stronger than my opponents before I even met them.


I'm going to mention how and why to exploit natives in the next version, specifically in the description of game settings and in a new section on population growth and colonization strategies.

MatGB wrote:
Ruldra wrote:
I do wonder what an Egassem player can do in a galaxy without natives though.

Win, but it's REALLY hard work (fun though).


I second that. :D
I've just managed to win my second game as Egassem and I think, I'm getting somewhere.

MatGB wrote:
200 systems, medium planets, 8 AIs, no natives everything else normal, took me about 200 turns to sweep the board but I had to make sure I was constantly on the aggressive front. You basically have to take an AI homeworld or two very very early, so you have to play to their strengths (ie good supply, cheap troops, large production) and build as many warships as you can once you've got the initial scout/expansion going.


50 galaxies, 1 AI, low monsters, everything else as described in the main post. (especially low planets, no natives)
That's probably a lot easier, because there's no other AI to flank you or something while you're in the middle of a war.
But anyway, military victory on turn 124

MatGB wrote:
They are in fact a relatively easy race to play as long as you don't try to play them like any other species. They have to rush in a way that no other species has to, if players get too far ahead in tech they're in serious trouble, and unlike, for example, Laenfa or George they don't have Distributed Thought Computing as an early game unlock (and it's less good for them due to the population malus). Early Mass Drive tech, build basic warships and troop ships and swarm somewhere as fast as possible before the nearby AIs start launching shielded robotic hulls. You need to capture a homeworld before that happens, as long as you've done that you should then be able to tech up more and continue the expansion, but until the late game you're not going to be able to get ahead in tech so you have to outproduce instead.


I second that, too. And I think we agree in at least large parts.
I'm going to try to mention all this in the next version. Just one addition: They have to rush like noone else, but they're also capable to do so like noone else. Basically, I recommend not getting Adaptive Automation or even Orbital Construction or even Military Robotic Control too early. Reason: Squeeze out every single RP you can until you can colonize poor planets. I think the narrow tolerance is an even more pressing concern than the weak research. Also, getting poor planets (combined with the supply) is a solution for both.

Btw, what would you (MatGB or anyone else) describe as early, mid and late game?
I'd say mid-game starts with Laser and Symbiotic Biology.
But late game? Collective Thought Network? Gaia? Solar Hulls? Plasma? Death Ray? (btw I hardly ever get the latter)

About the Egassem: Do you try to archieve the same economic power by turn 100 (or any other milestone) as with other species? Or do you modify your expectations?

MatGB wrote:
In response to the main post, it's really rather well written, some of it goes against my personal playstyle but that's definitely personal not wrong. The only flaw in it, and it's common to lots of people as far as I can see, is not putting Active Radar far enough up the priorities. I basically want to get AR by turn 50, and Neutron Scanner by turn 100, not having AR makes you vulnerable not just to monsters but also to basic stealth stuff. Plus, it's such a massive boost to both your scouting ability and your defences it's really quite crucial.


First of all thank you for your feedback. Could you elaborate on the part with your personal playstyle? Since you're both an experienced player and rather active here on the forums, I think the guide could benefit from that.
Also, I have one specific question: When do you usually get Quantum Networking? Before turn 100? Even before Laser?
About Active Radar/Neutron Scanner: I will take your recommended turn numbers into account for the next version. I'm also going to delay Microgravity in a future version a bit and be more flexible on Adaptive Automation and Orbital Generation. That should create a window of opportunity for AR by turn 50, at least with, say, Humans. Like I said, I want to do some more tests before writing up a new version.

Regards


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:34 am 
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I tend to think midgame starts at about Orbital Habitation, and late game at about Galactic Infrastructure but it doe, naturally, vary. I try to have Quantum Networking finish at or about turn 100 but that's not a hard rule, it depends on other things (like having telepaths so going for distributed thought first as an example). But I definitely want to be at 100 research at about turn 100. Exception is playing Egassem, I'd like to be at 100 research by then but it's not as easy and having a mighty warfleet is more important.

My personal playstyle is very aggressive and maniacal, I've tried to slow myself down and be less aggressive and play in a more 'balanced' strategic approach but I always end up smiting an AI fleet that was vulnerable and my defence fleet ends up orbiting an enemy world waiting for unqueued troop ships simply because they could.

I like to go for high population (I take Symbiotic Biology earlier and try to go for the xenological adaptation line quickly) and thus population based boosts are more useful for me than they would be in your approach, but I think your approach is both a perfectly valid one and, crucially, easier to play for a newer player, I'm very aware that my approach is harder to get right as you're constantly juggling different priorities, which means you need to know the differences they'll make, etc. Flat bonuses are straightforward and harder to go wrong with—I have recently bumped Adaptive Automation up in my priorities than it was, last few games I've tried to grab it before Orbital Habitation instead of soon after—but it's still always a tradeoff.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:04 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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Location: Sweden
Thanks for this guide!
I'm completely new to FreeOrion and 4X in general. Had a go at Star Ruler (1) and liked it, but FreeOrion has something special boosting me into total immersion! :mrgreen:

I'll learn from your tips and search the forum for specific questions & answers. Time to start my first-ish (well, 3rd I guess) voyage across the FreeOrion galaxy!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:57 pm 
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I agree with most of what the OP stated. The exception is 'lifecycle manipulation'. It is a 300 RP investment, for 300 RP you could get plasma cannons instead. I play in fairly dense galaxys most often though, 40 maniacal AI with less than 100 systems. The more sparse your opponents and the larger your galaxy, the greater the return on lifecycle.

As for research i should throw in what i think is a superior line.

Planetary Ecology
Subterranean Habitation
Algorthimic Elegance->Nascent AI
Laser 1
->->Asteroid Hulls
->Industrial Centers
Plasma Cannon

This line of research is all about getting access to superior efficiency hulls and weapons as soon as possible. Small asteroids equiped with a plasma cannon out perform most anything else in the early game of roughly equal production cost. Asteroid hulls with 6 troop pods are damn good upgrades to typical troop ships as well.

For the mid game we really amp up industry with:

->Adaptive Automation
Symbiotic Biology
->Orbital Generation
->Supreme Industrial Center
->->->Distributed Throught computing
->Monomolecular Latticing (at which point we use Crystallized Asteroid Hulls for everything)
Active Radar
Death Ray 1

Late Game:
Orbital Habitation
->->->->->Cyborgs
->Quantum Networking
->->->->Singularity Generation
->->Artifical Black Hole
->->Death Ray 4
->->BlackShields

From a high level, this game is all about optimizing our production output and focusing military strength into 1 or 2 offensive fleets. Dont be afraid of losing systems so long as you are conquering at a faster rate. The enemy AI seems to really drop the ball in this aspect. Concentrating forces is really key to decisive victories.


Last edited by SkyCore on Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:13 pm 
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I might try that someday, I tend to play on Low planets, which makes asteroids difficult to use but it's worth a try.

For what it's worth overall, unless I'm playing at a very low number of AIs (as in, way below the recommended minimum) I never build my own Industrial Centre, I rush Adaptive Automation and sometimes Solar Generation instead and research ICs when I'm about to take an AI homeworld that's got one.

I also, normally, take SubHab before Nascent AI, the population/habitability bonus is more useful, plus population boosts improve industrial production on the homeworld even if you're set to research, which is nice.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:41 pm 
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Release Manager, Design
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SkyCore wrote:
I play in fairly dense galaxys most often though, 40 maniacal AI with less than 100 systems.
That's a rather extreme and definitely very unusual setup...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:02 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
SkyCore wrote:
I play in fairly dense galaxys most often though, 40 maniacal AI with less than 100 systems.
That's a rather extreme and definitely very unusual setup...
I had missed that. That, um, might be quite fun to try and I suspect my new(ish) PC will handle it better than the last time I tried that sort of insanity.

It would, naturally, mess with the cost/benefit balance of a lot of techs and parts and almost certainly confuse the AI.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 7:07 pm 
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Dyson Forest

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:58 am
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This has been useful even if the play as described is far from my usual game.
Thanks!
I now am in a game that is the starting game. This is directly useful there.

I often go for tight populated games where there are about 4 or 5 stars per AI player. And the monsters are turned off, the starlanes max, the natives and the specials max. My one regret with this is that max does not mean max, I would like more of everything. Maybe you could express it as a percentage instead of min avg max? Could I have 90% specials, 90%natives 100 percent stars with worlds?

I generally go for the cheepest and fastest weapon, and then some defence. My stragety is to conquer something nearby. It has been fun, but completely different realm from the original posts.

These days I am branching out and trying things in (his) direction.
Again, Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 10:05 pm 
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You can change the numbers for generation, they're in freeorion/default/python/universe_generation/universe_tables.py
Code:
# Whenever any special might be placed, the following probability is the chance
# that it actually will be (after other factors are considered).
SPECIALS_FREQUENCY = {
    fo.galaxySetupOption.none:    0,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.low:    .1,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.medium: .3,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.high:   .8,
}

# Whenever a monster might be placed, the following probability is the chance
# that it actually will be (after other factors are considered).
MONSTER_FREQUENCY = {
    fo.galaxySetupOption.none:   0,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.low:    0.033,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.medium: 0.125,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.high:   0.333,
}

# Whenever natives might be placed on a planet, the following probability is
# the chance that they actually will be (after other factors are considered).
NATIVE_FREQUENCY = {
    fo.galaxySetupOption.none:   0,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.low:    0.083,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.medium: 0.143,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.high:   0.200,
}

# This is the maximum size of the shortest path via starlane that the generator
# can create between two "adjacent" systems. So when the number is smaller, the
# map will end up with more starlanes to create enough connections between adjacent
# systems.
MAX_JUMPS_BETWEEN_SYSTEMS = {
    fo.galaxySetupOption.low:    8,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.medium: 3,
    fo.galaxySetupOption.high:   1,
}

# The maximum length of any starlane the galaxy generator can create (in uu).
MAX_STARLANE_LENGTH = 120

# This is the minimum distance between two star systems (in uu).
MIN_SYSTEM_SEPARATION = 35.0
Take a backup file (obvs) and play around, be aware that changing some of those settings too much may have some weird side effects.

If you find some particularly fun settings do please share (and also we've thought a few times about balancing those numbers a bit, it's always possible that the default settings aren't quite right).

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 11:42 pm 
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Dyson Forest

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Posts: 206
Did so last time I set up the game.
Side effects were nodes with planets and no star. And a feeling that I was not playing with the 'real' game. Thanks for the reminder of where to tinker. I still wish you all would change things to push the edge out farther.


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