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New Game - Opening Strategy

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:16 pm
by Pegasus
I've played the vanilla game on and off for a few years.

Curious to know what people's go to opening strategy to get their empire up and running, especially at low tech when you start with just your home world.

Is it inevitable that you have until about turn 10 to build one Colony Ship and colonise a nearby system by about turn 25?

In low tech games I seem to get to about turn 100 before first contact and i'd still have only three or four systems and no fleet to speak of.

Is there an optimal build order?

One thing I did find from browsing the forum was that systems need to be over fed so they achieve their max population growth potential.

Re: New Game - Opening Strategy

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:23 pm
by slickrcbd
Odd that nobody realizes that last part about the food when it says one number for sustaining the colony, and another for max population growth in the status screen. Nobody figures out what the max was about.
Then again, the documentation was rather lacking in that it did not adequately explain the mechanics. Although it's not like that is unusual, then or now. Manuals tend to be hit or miss.

Re: New Game - Opening Strategy

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:44 pm
by jagzpanzer
Hope this helps.
Double up or even treble up on colony ships to terraform.
Buying instead of building or a combination gets stuff done quicker.
Build order is crucial.
Trade centre first because it generates cash .
Use resources on laboratories first to generate science.
Start game at corner of map or edge to delay first contact for as long as possible.
Avoid banging laptop in frustration as a new second hand laptop does not really help.

Re: New Game - Opening Strategy

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:54 pm
by slickrcbd
Mind if I ask a few things? I often have trouble in the low-tech games without cheating by hitting F10 a turn or two.
One thing on the food thing, what about if you have unused workers but insufficient credits to purchase factories, universities or intelligence (after making contact with other empires) to populate them? In that case I stop buying/building food production until I've caught up, but it greatly slows down the growth.

Also, how many factories do you generally buy, do you upgrade them, and how do you decide on the cutoff points? Do you go for something like 500 production a turn, or a ratio to population? Those upgrades are extremely expensive with factories, taking more than a dozen turns of production.

Re: New Game - Opening Strategy

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:11 pm
by Ovarwa

It's been a long time since I've played vanilla.

Population is good to have even when they have nothing to do. They provide credits and they provide fleet support. Less importantly, they also increase a planet's ground troops. So let them sit idle, and don't slow down the growth. It is said that having a massive surplus of food increases the growth rate, but I have not actually noticed this. As long as they don't starve, they grow until the limit. Terraforming planets is therefore extremely worthwhile.

Especially in vanilla, upgrading production buildings (food, industry, energy, science, intel) provides dramatically reduced returns to scale. It is almost always better to build out before building up.



Re: New Game - Opening Strategy

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:39 pm
by slickrcbd
I thought the population only gave credits and support if they were doing something. Having 5 level 1 intel structures was more useful than having 2 upgraded intel structures with 3 unused workers even if they give the same amount of intel because you'd get more credits.
Am I remembering wrong? I haven't played in at least a year.

As for growth, I did notice that there were several levels. However, the does say "max growth" and number for that. Usually about twice the minimum level. Adding more food production beyond the "max growth" level will not make things grow any faster in the short term. However, every time the population level increases, the "max growth" level increases, so you need more food production to meet it. Having a bit of excess helps reduce micromanaging, although just having a few extra food structures you can activate as needed works. The game automatically prioritizes food if there are unused structures. I I'm pretty sure it just goes in order of food, production, energy, intel, science and fills the first available structure until it runs out of workers or empty slots.

Re: New Game - Opening Strategy

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:23 pm
by AlexMcpherson79
in my experience, it filled whatever got built on that turn first - so if you added to an energy structure on the turn that 20+ pops grew (on a really big-growth system), and there's already 3 unpowered of that, then two get powered from the 2 units of pop.