Several Questions from a New Player

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JetJaguar
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Several Questions from a New Player

Post by JetJaguar » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:42 pm

Hi. I just started playing BotF for the very first time a couple of days ago and I'm really enjoying it (to say the least)! I first heard about BotF a couple of years ago, but (even though I've been a life-long Star Trek fan) I was concerned that maybe it was too dated (it was about 10 years old at the time) and I thought that perhaps a Star Trek mod with one of the newer games (like GalCiv 2) might be a better choice. But after playing it for the first time last week-end, I can't believe how well it stands up to current 4X space games. I'd probably sell my soul to have a 2011 sequel to BotF!

Anyway, I have some questions about BotF which were not covered in the tutorial:

1) Is there any benefit in using your labor to work farm buildings to produce food in access of what a system needs not to starve? In other words, once you're working enough farms to keep your population fed, is there any reason to work (or build) anymore?

2) In diplomacy, you're allowed to offer proposals in three different tones. I've only played as The Federation so far and all three of their "tones" sound about the same. Does the tone you choose actually effect gameplay? If so, then how?

3) Another question about diplomacy: I'm at war with The Klingons and I want them to give our "disputed areas" to me. I notice that I can give up the disputed areas as part of a peace treaty, but I can't demand/ask for them as part of a peace treaty. In order to aquire them through this war, should I just wait for The Klingons to offer them to me as part of a peace treaty (since I can't ask for them as part of a peace treaty)? also: is there any reason to want "disputed squares" if there aren't any systems in them?

4) For purposes of BotF gameplay, what's the difference between Phasers and Torpedos?

5) Is there any way to get minor races to accept membership other than sending them lots of credits (bribing)? Can I make them like me for doing other things? also: I notice that I can still talk to a minor race after I have made it a member of my federation; but is there any reason I'd want to though? What can I request of them after they've already joined me?

6) Is it always better to peacefully get a minor race to join you instead of subjugated them through conquest? If not, why?

7) With the exception of trade routes, I don't understand how income works. I notice that on each system's screen their is an income for that individual system, but it doesn't explain how it's generated. Is it simply based on population size? If so, how much credits does each population point generate? Does this reprent tax income? Does income-per-population point differ from race to race?

9) Are the best systems simply the ones with the highest population limit and growth levels? Are systems with lower population limits ever better to have than ones with higher population limits? I know about the energy bonuses and dilithium, but it seems to me that max population limt (and population growth) are, by far, the most important attribut for systems. Is there more to it than just this?

10) I also bought Master of Orion 2, which I've never played, over the weekend. I know it was made three years before BotF by the same company. I've seen BotF referred to as the real sequel to Master of Orion 2. Is this really the case? Is BotF simply a better version of Masters of Orion 2 with a Star Trek theme?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by MordainThade » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:26 pm

Heya Jet, I hear you loud & clear regarding this game; it's a classic that stands up well to most modern games that are out there, even with all of its various bugs and imbalances. 100% agreed that souls would be sold for a modern sequel to the game. Now, as for your questions:

1) I have found no benefit for a fully populated system to have a surplus of food; I tend to keep them as close to the exact number of food that they need to not starve. As I upgrade farms, I scrap the surplus farms, so as to lower the industry cost for future upgrades (although an argument can be made for keeping them if the system can potentially be bombarded or if you're being hammered by saboteurs, as extra farms may come in handy). If a system is still growing, I believe extra food causes it to grow faster than its standard growth rate; I believe I read this somewhere before, but am not 100% certain of this.

2) I don't know if the tones have a different effect, but I personally do tend to try to word things as close to the meaning that I want to send; I know they're similar, but usually different enough to have a different tone. Truth is, though, I'm not sure on this one.

3) You can issue a demand to the Klingons that would force them to cede the disputed territories to you, rather than requesting money from them.

4) I'm sure someone can answer this with more technical detail, but it seems that phasers are generally more accurate, plus they hit instantly; less phaser fire goes to waste in large battles as well, due to multiple ships unloading their full torpedo spread against one target (that blows up, wasting all of the torpedoes that haven't hit yet).

5) Money is the only thing minor races care about. Once you have a friendship treaty, opening a trade route with them will gradually build up their meter without sending any more gifts, but it does take time. Talking to a minor race after acquiring them as members can show if someone else is attempting to bribe them, or if they are losing confidence in you for some other reason. If their meter goes below a full worshipful bar, it is in your best interest to pay them another gift and get them back up there, or you risk losing their membership.

6) Subjugating a system gives them a lower starting morale, and a turn-based morale penalty; this means that initial productivity is low, and without morale-boosting structures (either local or empire-wide), their morale will continue to drop without other events (i.e. battles won, etc). If, however, you're playing a race with local morale boosters, or have system-wide morale bonuses (especially the minor races that give them, i.e. the Bajorans and Edo), it can be worth it, especially if you're playing an empire that gets large morale boosts from the actual act of subjugation (i.e. don't do it as Federation, feel free as Cards).

7) I know income generation is based on which race you're playing, but otherwise have no idea exactly how its generated... I believe it has something to do with industry (more people working in factories = more credits per turn), but don't know exactly how it works.

9) What happened to 8? But yea, a big system is generally more desirable than a small one. Having the planets that can get special structures (polar, barren, oceanic) is a plus as well. Systems populated by your own people are especially useful for the Cards & Roms due to Phoenix Facilities, and every system adds to your economy in some way, so don't pass any of them up, but yea, unless you need the system for positioning in the galaxy, in general, bigger is better.

10) I've never played the game, so I can't comment on it ;)

Hope this helps!
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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by QuasarDonkey » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:19 pm

1. Food Surplus
The only time you want extra labour in farms is for new colonies, if you want them to grow faster. In the Solarsystem (F2) screen, hover the mouse over the Food statistic on the left. It will tell you the amount of food that's need for maximum population growth.

5. Minor Race Diplomacy
Money is not the only way to get a minor race to join you. The Mizarians often request membership if they fear being invaded by another empire (even if you just met them). Liberating a minor race from another empire is also a way of improving your standing. I think going to war with their enemies will improve your standing, and war with their friends will damage it. Other than that, I'd say just don't blow up any of their ships. :D With regard to trade routes improving standing, there's a bug in the vanilla BotF that makes it VERY slow.

6. Subjugation
Depends on who you play as. You rarely want to subjugate as the Federation, but often as the Cardassians. This is because (nearly) everyone loves the Feds, and everyone hates the Cardies. Plus the Cardies have a special morale-boosting "Re-education Center" that can be placed on any system (I think after tech level 6).

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by Peter1981 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:38 pm

1) Extra food production will increase population growth rate. (no effect after 100%+ food vs population IIRC)

2) AFAIK tone has no effect on the AI

3) Disputed teritory can be given or offered by an opponent or demanded by one or yourself but cannot be negociated as a peace treaty tribute.

4) Phasers are energy weapons torpedos are missiles but as long as they hit the damage is the same

5) minor race attitude improve with trade (connect a trade route) If a minor is subjugated the liberating them will improve there opinion of you, if they are a member of another empire then declaring war on that empire will drastically affect your relationship. (I believe that if they are at war with a major empire and you declare war on that major empire then you getr a boost in your relationship.) If you notice that a major empire is sending money to one of your members you may need to send them money to stop them leaving you becase of a bribe.

6) Depends which race your playing as but as a general rule peaceful membership is ''cheaper'' than subjugation. However a subjugated race is unable to recieve major empire request to bribe them away from you.

7) Income is based on population it is fixed per head of population and is unique for each major race so it is effectivly a flat tax rate. special buildings like trade centre will give a bonus and trade good will convert industry into credits. (p.s. the AI "massivly" cheat (It's main advantage) by being given extra credits)

8) ??????????????????????

9) Large population are very important but you may need a to colonise a small system so as to build the genisis research station.

10) Don't know never played it.

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by Badbru » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:12 am

1) Something no-ones said so far with farms is that I'm certain I've seen my credits per turn income drop when I've reassigned no longer needed farm production, so check it, but I think excess farming increases credits per turn.
Also something I've read from one of our esteemed code readers is production units get a minor boost if the number of them will divide evenly into 100. So if you need ten level 3 farms to feed a population and you upgrade those to level four farms and find you now only need nine filled, don't scrap that tenth farm, just leave it there, you get a small production bonus and you have something you can afford to loose to saboutage. (Ten farms divide into 100 evenly, nine do not.)

4) Phasers vs Torpedoes, Range is often an issue, sometimes the ships start beyond, or move within, maximum and minimum ranges for torpedoes and thus on occasion in some circumstances torpedos wont be fired. This is less common with the Federation however and more noticable with cloaked Klingon and Romulan forces.

Also less important to the Federation (perhaps) is that ONLY torpedos count for purposes of planetary bombardment which no-one else has pointed out.

5) Minor races appear to respond better if recieving gifts every second turn.

I almost never subjugate, no matter who I'm playing as I find the penalties are just too difficult to overcome.

10) I've played MOO2 once and seen it played once or twice so my knowledge here is limmited but from memory two major differences are combat in MOO2 is 2d top down only, however you can essentially design your own ships as they have a hull size into which you need to add power, propulsion, and weapon technologies etc. Also MOO2 doesn't look nearly as good as Botf.

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by KrazeeXXL » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:08 am

this thread covers some of your points:

Pop Growth, Terraforming Costs, Trade Goods, Pulsar Patterns

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by marhawkman » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:00 am

1: I always kept an extra 1 or 2 in case I lost some in a random event.

9: mainly dilithium. Certain planet types have special facilities you can build on them though. P: charge collectors, O: aquaculture center, H: Wind turbines, there's probably a few more I'm forgetting. System Bonuses can count for a lot though. +200% energy production does a LOT! Hehe, i think the highest I ever saw was +350%. But even 50% can be a big help. But a system with a population capacity of 300 or more is always a good system to have even if it has no dilitium or bonus. :)

10: or as one friend put it: MoO: Star Trek. :p
It is a very similar game. BotF has a much more complex way of modeling solar systems and is generally more advanced. MoO2's only real advantages are the ability to customize ships and race customization.

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by Spocks-cuddly-tribble » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:09 pm

@ 7:

-> viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1284
F3 -> " Economic/Military System-, Planet- & Anomaly-Properties" (former General Game Mechanics)
-> first 2 links, end of first post each


Btw, BotF diplomacy & AI are just a bad joke, not to say worse... :x
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JetJaguar
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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by JetJaguar » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:02 pm

Spocks-cuddly-tribble wrote:@ 7:

-> viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1284
F3 -> " Economic/Military System-, Planet- & Anomaly-Properties" (former General Game Mechanics)
-> first 2 links, end of first post each


Btw, BotF diplomacy & AI are just a bad joke, not to say worse... :x
Are there any mods which improve the AI and diplomacy specifically? Thanks in advance.

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Peter1981
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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by Peter1981 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:05 am

for diplomacy read protection racket ie credit make ai happy

there are a number of ai improvement by SCT that iirc were added to ECM2 che that mods tread/readme file.

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by Spocks-cuddly-tribble » Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:55 am

JetJaguar wrote:Are there any mods which improve the AI and diplomacy specifically?
Diplomacy not yet (AFAIK).

I read the UDM3 AI is one of the best out there, in terms of shipbuilding & aggressivity, don't expect it being smarter, though. Also avoid enlarged maps & epic games if you want the AI performing a bit better.

Unfortunately, the AI lacks any race specific game play (exception fed AI is only AI trying to liberate minor races). However, we've created an experimental feature to get rid of the flaw. It's called RFS (RuthlessFerengiSimulator), just go to ewarzone(links on the AFC main page) and watch for ruthlessferengi. It's still a bit bugged i.e. improves only one empire's performance each game, but aside of this issue, it does quite well...
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JetJaguar
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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by JetJaguar » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:33 am

Spocks-cuddly-tribble wrote:
JetJaguar wrote:Are there any mods which improve the AI and diplomacy specifically?
Diplomacy not yet (AFAIK).

I read the UDM3 AI is one of the best out there, in terms of shipbuilding & aggressivity, don't expect it being smarter, though. Also avoid enlarged maps & epic games if you want the AI performing a bit better.

Unfortunately, the AI lacks any race specific game play (exception fed AI is only AI trying to liberate minor races). However, we've created an experimental feature to get rid of the flaw. It's called RFS (RuthlessFerengiSimulator), just go to ewarzone(links on the AFC main page) and watch for ruthlessferengi. It's still a bit bugged i.e. improves only one empire's performance each game, but aside of this issue, it does quite well...
Thanks for your reply.

Is there a way to use the UDM3 AI for vanilla campaigns? If so, how? Thanks in advance.

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JetJaguar
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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by JetJaguar » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:06 am

I'd like to use a mod which improves the AI, but otherwise keeps the vanilla game the same; since I'm a new player. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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Re: Several Questions from a New Player

Post by xDx » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:49 am

Hi JetJaguar,
Check out the Error Correction Mod version 2. It has code improvements (bugs/omissions/fixes etc) but still has all vanilla stats, buildings, ships etc. You can find it here https://www.armadafleetcommand.com/botf/ ... it&lid=171
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