Random questions from a (relative) newbie

BOTF Strategy Guide

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Spychotic
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Random questions from a (relative) newbie

Post by Spychotic » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:06 pm

Hi all,

I've been playing BOTF for a little while on and off and have a few random questions. It is of note that I like to play as the Federation and as such, I'd like responses reflecting Federation tactics if possible please.

Firstly; one concerning minor races. If a minor race has joined an opposing faction before I meet them, I seem to be unable to bribe them. Is there any way it is possible to seduce such a minor race away from their affiliates and into the enlightened world? If not, how do I best go about acquiring said world without upsetting my populace?

Secondly, one concerning general war strategies for the Federation. I get the jist that planets must be subjugated slowly with a liberal number of battle victories in between to keep morale up. Does the size of the defeated fleet matter in raising Federation morale?

Thirdly, what is regarded as the best strategy for the first 50 turns when beginning on tech level 1?

Thanks and regards,

Spike

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Post by xDx » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:31 pm

Welcome Spychotic,
For the Feds it is easiest to bribe a minor race to your empire but it still requires a large amount of money to do so. The minor race in question usually has to be at least enthusiastic to your side if not completely worshipful to sway them from the other empire. Also take note that when you meet them and they are subjugated by the empire you cannot bribe them. You have to declare war on the empire that has them and assault the planet. You will get the option to liberate the minor instead of subjugating them yourself and you will get a big moral boost if you succeed. The minor will most likely join you over the next couple of turns. Second, the size of the battle does give different results to moral bonus/penalty. Larger battles if you win give a higher moral boost then say a scout vs scout and you win. For Feds its all about doing "the right thing" to keep your populace happy while still waging war to counter balance the hit you take to moral. As far as strategy for Feds everyone has a different one. Overall for T1, you need to expand early with the Feds and get your research up and running. If you play with minors make sure you get treaties with them to bring more money in. By turn 50 you should have at least one minor joined if not at least affiliates. Hope this helps you. If you ever want to play a MP game pm me and we'll work something out.

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Post by Spychotic » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:00 pm

Thanks for the very rapid response, and the offer of a multi. Don't know if I'll have the time to take you up on it I'm afraid, though I'd like to!

I'll hopefully get the opportunity to do some steamrollering with a Federation side soon. I've only once got to the stage of the game where one is waging wars with other races as the Federation, and in that instance, I failed to keep my morale up and fell to pieces. I've done several games through as the Romulans in the past, a good side, but not as satisfying as the Federation.

I've thought of another question; roughly how long is the average game?

Spike

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Post by xDx » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:06 pm

That depends on size of galaxy, tech level start, and if you use mods. In vanilla on a large galaxy T1 any game can take up to 200 turns maybe more. In mods like UDMIII, very good one for sp, if you play with the extra large galaxies they can take very long. Longest game I played was as the Cards on UDM in a XL galaxy from T1 took 516 turns!

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Post by Peter1981 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:26 am

lenght of game will also depend on victory conditions -- i.e. domination or vendetta

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Post by Spychotic » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:10 am

Hm. I seem to be quite slow then, most of my games take 400 turns at least to complete.

Though that said, I start on tech 1 all the time, and I also have a custom galaxy size. In fact, I can't remember how I did that, it was a while ago... I also am still familiarising myself with the game and tend to play on easier difficulties, where enemies don't have so many ships so I don't have as much to destroy to increase my morale. Perhaps I should be playing on Hard difficulty?

It strikes me that games as the Federation will take longer because the time it takes to conquer an enemy in vastly increased due to one having to strike the balance between conquest and destroying enemy fleets. I have a few questions on this too, that I'm not too clear about;

1 - I have read that it is better to simply bombard small planets into oblivion and recolonise them, but to do so you need to use a huge fleet to minimise the turns you spend bombarding. Is this true?

2 - I have read two conflicting statements regarding subjugating planets as the Federation; on the one hand, I read that you must take care that you limit the number you subjugate in a turn to keep the morale penalty low. On the other hand, I heard the exact opposite, that you should try to subjugate all at once. I don't know which is correct for keeping morale penalty low, can someone enlighten me please?

3 - Can you invade and liberate a planet that joined an enemy faction before you met them? I recall trying it once and I could not; I could only subjugate them myself, this is why I ask.

Thanks for the help so far. I'm getting more and more into this game! I bought it only as a curiosity to begin with, I can see why it gets called 'a timeless classic'.

Spike

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Post by Peter1981 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:33 am

game length will varie with the numbers of stars a larger galaxy with more systems take longer to conquor than a sparse space

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Post by xDx » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:11 am

With the Feds its best to conquer as quickly as you can in as few turns as you can. Also you want to take the system with as little collateral damage as possible so the system is worth conquering. Smaller systems if you blast them into oblivion have a bunch of galaxy x hvy cruisers so you can take them out quickly (strong hulls, many torpedoes). The time spent to make a small system content morale sometimes isn't worth it. For larger systems imho its best to knock out the orbitals and shield generator first turn then come in with 8-10 transports ships and invade while bombing with your fleet as well. Training TTs at Starfleet Academy or whatever helps make them more effective too.
The thing where you cant meet a minor before you invade I think is referring to a bug in the game where you could sometimes not meet a minor and have the option to liberate them. That bug has been fixed in the main multi installer in the downloads section here. When you enter orbit around a minor race system you will always establish first contact with them. So if your at war with the empire you can liberate and have them join you. A great morale boon for both those so you can keep invading the other systems at will.

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Post by Spychotic » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:25 am

Thanks again. I think I might go after that main multi installer.

Spike

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Post by Spychotic » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:10 am

I think I'll answer some of my own questions now that I've played enough with the new installer to know the answers.

I've set up my map to be XL sized by using UE to modify the map characteristics. I'm playing on either Medium or Hard, can't remember which, tech level 1, spiral galaxy and I begin in the core. It just so happens that everyone else begins in the arms, as I find out later.

I began by throwing all my resources into expansion. By turn 20 I had my first minor race, the Mizarians, and was pumping out troop transports and colony ships like nobody's business for the purposes of expansion. By turn 100, I had 5 minor races under my wing and was growing very quickly. At turn 150 I ran into the Ferengi, who were about half my size and had two minors to my eight, after forging across the void between the core and the Ferengi's spiral arm and at turn 180 I ran into the Klingons, for whom the same can be said. I'm at about level 5 in research in all areas by this time, apparently about a level ahead of either of the opponents.

I have lots of scouts but no warships at all (aside from the odd minor race ship) because Federation destroyers are just a waste of industry. The Ferengi and Klingons decide to take advantage of this and jointly declare war on me. I lose one very new system (only colonised 5 turns before) to the Ferengi but that's no real loss and a spate of colonisations on the other side of the Galaxy quickly sorts it out. I switch production on five worlds to Light Cruiser IIs, I know they're rubbish but they're the best I have for about 8 turns until I research the tech required for Heavy Destroyers. I switch production to those because they royally kick the pants of any other similarly sized ships and with my huge economy, I'm able to turn out several fleets very quickly.

In the interim, whilst I build a navy, some of my scouts and minor race ships defending Shelia on the Klingon border are destroyed and Takara, on the Ferengi border, declares independence before rejoining me of its own accord (I suspect a Ferengi bribe). A medium sized battle pitching the two Light Cruiser IIs I built before switching to destroyers against a Klingon force trying to establish a forward outpost against me results in two dead cruisers but a snubbed Klingon counterattack that destroyed their impetus.

Things die down whilst enemy ships swarm in the gap in space between the galactic core and the galactic rim but only three of my planets are under any threat; Shelia, Takara and the one world I lost are the only planets within range of the enemy, and the first two have enough orbital batteries to make the enemies think twice about trying to invade.

So, come turn 250, my eight fleets of eight Heavy Destroyers appear on the sensors of Klingon and Ferengi border scouts and a sharp-eyed Ferengi sensor officer spots a large force of Federation troop transports heading his way too. Most of the border guards of both races are quickly eliminated along with any outpost I can find. I retake my lost planet and start heading into Ferengi space. I bribe the Caldonians away from the Klingons, proving that in this install I can bribe races that became members of other faction prior to me meeting them. I'm cautious as I havn't found the main battle fleets of either enemy yet and I'm very wary of the Klingons in particular because I've seen some fairly powerful fleets roaming around and I havn't met any of the ships in them yet. My plan is to slowly steamroller the Ferengi whilst having a phoney war with the Klingons whilst I research Heavy Cruisers. Then I'll build a fleet or two of those and steamroller the Klingons too.

I still have not met the Romulans or the Cardassians and it's turn 250, although border scouts in deep space have seen Cardassian ships on long range sensors; they're in a detached spiral arm that we need to build an outpost in the gap to get to each other. I am deliberately avoiding meeting them so that I don't have to worry about sabotage attacks. I don't think it'll be too long before they start expanding towards me though. Time will tell.... but in the meantime, it's fairly sure that I am going to be here for a while, due to the huuuuuuge map and the low starting tech.

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Post by Peter1981 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:55 pm

make sure you've applied SCT's large map fix else the AI will get stuck!

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Post by Spychotic » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:07 pm

I havn't, but the AI doesn't appear to be getting stuck. I also can't find the fix. Can you point me in the right direction please?

Spike

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Post by Peter1981 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:12 pm

viewtopic.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=26159#26159

its a solution to do with how far a major looks from its hmeworld for new colonies

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Post by Spychotic » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:18 pm

Is it already in the code for the .exe included on the 'Downloads' section of this site?

Spike

*edit; If not, how do I go about adding it please? I am unable to tell from the post or other posts in the topic.

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Post by Spychotic » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:48 pm

Wow. I hope you copied that from somewhere else Peter, because if you wrote it out just for me, I owe you a thousand thankyous!!!!

I have the most up to date UE and I'm familliar with hex as I've programmed microcontrollers in machine code before. I think I understand how to make the modification now but will have to look at it in a few days' time.

Thanks for the assistance,

Spike

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