It's friggin' expensive to have a bunch of colony ships sitting around. The PPs sunk into these "just in case" ships could have been warships or troop transports.
do you compare the cost of Colony Ship against that of an Outposter? Then, yes, outposters are more cheap, but what you're really have to look at is the cost of a Colony Ship versus an Outposter + Colony building. AFAIK the Colony Ship is cheaper, esp. early on when distances aren't that much stretched, and certain key techs still have to be unlocked.
Besides, I don't colonize when I could instead take worlds from the AI - which is more effective in terms of investment return in winning a map. But I don't see much point in raising more military when my military is already winning more or less lossless.
However, I usually play a game focused on prroduction, and there's usually so much production available I don't even know what to do with it. For example, I terraform/gaia every planet and turn all GG into planets just that my global production can sink into something that won't create more lag (ships are the worst offender in that regard)
And with colony ships, for each race you keep around you need a substantially larger fraction. Even with just two races this doubles the amount of PPs you keep sunk into the colony ship reserves.
You only need the amount of investigated planets that are planned to be colonized + 1 additional ship per race as reserve. You may even scrap that reserve and only order a ship once a planet has been found, it may delay your colonization approach but sometimes, and esp. early on, you just can't muster enough PP to make ships in advance, and that qualifies equally for Outposters, as well.
It's not really that much more, although sometimes, of you get unlucky & encounter an unusual system where only the same planettypes are present, you may run out of optimal ships.
But seriously, I'm not trying to promote this approach here, because the Outposter approach is far better (and is a no-brainer, and such things are always bad for any strategy game) but because of other reasons (which are all mentioned ion the previous page)
Plus yes, the larger distance from home planet makes the PPs useless for a longer time because the colony ship needs more time.
It really depends on how you do it ingame.
If you build shipyards on any system and then simply order your ships from the nearest one, it may save you time but it'll come at extra costs of errecting these shipyards in the first place and also the delay before they got established.
Personally, I just have one planet that is building outposter ships, usually using some organic hull, thus my distance between source & target can get very large also. I help it with lighthouses, so usually these ships fly with speed 120-140 and that seems better to me than just building 2 or 3 shipyards everywhere.
In direct comparison if I use Colony Ships instead I just have 2-5 of these source planets, and those may even be more close to my targets. Needs a few more lighthouses though, which also really doesn't matter since I build them consistently anywhere, anyway.
And you sink more costs into building a basic shipyard plus orbital incubator.
The additional shipyards required for this are usually already established by the AI.
Worse, you sink substantial time; you need a CS pronto, are already taking the hit for flying distance, and THEN you find you didn't have the PPs pre-spent on the shipyard infrastructure and need to wait another 12 turns before you can even start building a CS.
I don't encounter these kinds of problems, partly because I do things differently (see above)
toolforger wrote:You could have a real war fleet or two for that amount of money.
Early expansion means you meet much weaker enemies; don't let them grow by building those colonist fleets!
doesn't really matter much since the AI in this game is of no threat whatsoever. fine if he colonises, taking these colonies away from him is actually more cheap then colonizing on my own!
it needs bonuses to production in the range of +50% and research +30% to be able to be somehow close to be competetive.
Even in early game, operating outside your supply means you need to spread your defense fleets so thinly that they may as well not exist.
Greedy expansion might work up to the point where an opponent grew slightly slower but has a sizable warfleet, and then he'll gleefully overrun your colonies. Maybe you have enough time to build your own warfleet before he hits your core worlds, dunno...
if you play somewhat smallish game perhaps, but in these cases it's actually better to simply rushstorm the AI. but I'm playing +500 systems vs 10 AI, there's no AI around for +150 turns.
Ironically I don't even build early military except +20 att robocruisers in order to lossless kill Sentries. I focus on colonization in order to bring production up.
Then, once I meet the AI, I shift to produce military, sometimes even loosing some planets while waiting for them, but doesnt really matter since what I'm producing I so uberstrong that I can defeat any AI practically lossless, simply overruning them in all directions.
Seriously, judging from the graphs, around turn 200 I have more RP & PP output than all 10 AIs combined, except for the very first FO game I played I never got hit on my core worlds.
If you just optimize your research path the game becomes very easy even if you play 30 voids first turns to give the AI a headstart...