Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

BOTF Strategy Guide

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Pisces
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Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by Pisces » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:02 pm

Hello everyone.

I just started playing Birth of a Federation again. I'm not an expert and maybe a bit noobish so I'm getting frustrated coz I'm finding it very hard to survive the first 100 turns. I wonder if my approach is wrong and if so what it could be.

I usually play Federation. I'm not that warlike and they have a good balance plus good diplomacy. The first turn my build cue on Sol will look something like this:

-Science Vessel (3 turns)
-Troop vessel (5 turns)
-Colonization vessel (6 turns)
-Science vessel (3 turns)

I tend to repeat that to give you an idea of what I am doing the first 50 turns. I focus research on getting the Cruiser fast by setting Construction, Energy and Weapons to 20 percent. I try to explore as much as possible to meet new races and focus diplomacy on the natural allies of the federation (Vulcans, Betazoid, etc, etc)

1) Is that a good cue for the opening part of the game?

2)Also I wonder how long I should wait to build my first destroyer. Does the size of your fleet affect diplomacy with the major powers for instance?

3. When I plan to colonize a planet, do I terraform all the planets first and then colonize or colonize and let another one do it later?

Finally I would like to know any tips on being friends with the neighbours. They almost all the time seem to hate me the more i come into contact with them. Even though I stay off Romulan terratory for instance. I just quit a game playing the romulans and by turn 50 I had two major powers at war with me. 4] Is it because I don't have enough warships?

I would value any insight you have. Thank you

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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by cleverwise » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:32 pm

The way I play is I start colonizing fast. If you build a transport ship and combine it with a colony ship in a single fleet you can teraform any planet in one turn. I personally teraform all planets in a system before colonizing it unless another power is about to grab it and I am not at war. Otherwise I often park a warship (or fleet depending on conditions) to protect supply ships.

It is good to build relations IMO. However you don't want to membership to fast as you want the computer to build up the system before taking it over. But do get affiliations. The key for me has always been economy. You need your fleets to defend but the economy drives your ability to field huge fleets. Also don't be afraid to lose systems at times. You will take a hit in morale but you get it back when you retake the system. I have often let a system be conquered in the short term for long term gains.

It is a balance, of course, as you don't want to build to few ships. You need to be able to defend yourself and do keep in mind expanding to fast will result in meeting the other major powers faster which can be a headache. So while you are learning start off on a huge map with random events off. Also give yourself a higher tech level than the other majors while you are learning.
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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by Martok » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:20 am

In addition to following cleverwise's sound advice, I strongly recommend putting all your research into one area at a time -- don't split it up. It may sound like a trivial difference, but I've long found it to be a more efficient use of your scientific resources to concentrate them on just one tech at a time, especially when you have special structures that grant bonuses to specific fields (such as the Genesis Lab and Daystrom Institute).


And yes, your military strength definitely makes a difference when it comes to diplomacy with the other four powers: The stronger your fleet is (especially at first contact), the less likely it is the other powers will try to bully you.

Oddly enough, I've found troop transports seem to increase your perceived military strength more than destroyers. Given how troop transports are useful in the early game anyway (for both terraforming and building outposts), you might as well build as many as you can early on -- it will help keep your neighbors off your back. :)
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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by cleverwise » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:54 am

I totally agree with Martok. I usually put all my research into one area at a time as it brings buildings online faster and helps with over all upgrading. For example researching biometrics will allow you to upgrade your food centers faster and thus transfer population into other areas like industry. If you stick with balanced research it takes longer.

Another trick if you get short on credits and have extra ship building ability is scrapping. I have often built ships then scrapped them for the credits to buy a building/upgrade or another ship. For example lets say you have 10 systems and a system on the right side of a map can build a destroyer in 5 turns and a system on the left (where you really need a destroyer) will take 25 turns. Well build the destroyer in the right side system then scrap it and buy it on the left side one. This is how you can used developed systems deeper in your empire to get ships faster deployed to your front lines.
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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by Pisces » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:08 pm

Thanks for the comments and useful input!

It's already going much better now, aside from the problem that everybody still hates me but I'm dominating in economy and have tons of minor races on my side. In my current game, I have an empire that spans across a diagonal across a spiral galaxy. The klingons are to the north of me and the Ferengi are in the south east sector. They took a planet of mine early in the game but I didn't let it get to me. I was still alive and that mattered most maybe.

I already my research. usually to get a ship I like or to upgrade Internal security through researching computers. I never tried completely focusing on one. I will try that. Thanks.

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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by KrazeeXXL » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:09 pm

well, I could probably write a couple of pages about SP. Played mostly T1 games anyway. :lol:

as feds in SP, I usually go for a quick research start. beginning with bringing biotech research up to 2 as fast as possible.

I build/buy enough mass replicators at first, so universities only take 1 turn or so to complete. Usually up to 20. Always kinda mixed here. I buy a couple of universities here and a couple of mass replicators there - all depending on the growth rate.

I research the rest up to 2 and after that I go straigt to computer 3 for the trade center and build it in my homesystem. Besides that, it's always good to have a CS or two which can start terraforming. The trick with the TT doesn't work in most mods anymore... (I stopped building them in SP as feds altogether in the beginning)

After computer 3, I go straight to biotech 3.

I should get quite a bit of money now and will be able to colonize a couple of systems. The first thing I get here are the private farms. They're quite expensive in the beginning but I often manage to get it w/o scrapping anything. The most stupid exploit in the game anyway imho...

so, colonize, have a lot of universites and mass replicators to get the moral bonus there and buy the private farms early on. Trade centers are not important in new systems. Don't buy them there in the beginning. When a system is behind and has a good pop and not enough mass replicators, then it's an option. otherwise the money is better spend somewhere else.

Usually everyone hates me in this game. ;)

I always have small fleets. focussing on the class which gives me scan radius. I like to line 'em all up to get some kind of detection network. Always good to have a bit of propulsion tech. But only that much as you really need. It makes no sense to research it, and then to find out that the class of ships you have, get the next range upgrade only in the next 2 or 3 levels. That's wasted xp.

I check my borders every turn to see if something unknown shows up. I usually withdraw when I see something to not get detected by the AI early on. They have a fleet advantage most of the time anyways as I focus on construction and colonizing. If I happen to get detected I have to switch my playstyle pretty quickly. Means building ships, ships and more ships. That's the only thing the AI understands. Don't cancel their requests, just ignore them.

It's good to get an early ship-upgrade if it's possible. Won't give you an edge but strengthens a bit.

I almost never get outposts anymore. You can't move them away and they can get crushed in the worst case. I only buy them when I want to advance in a direction where I can't otherwise. I only build Starbases in key sectors. But a SB alone is pretty vulnerable, too.

If the enemy attacks with a big fleet, than he'll get a big moral bonus. Another reason not to buy outposts.

What else to say... don't colonize everything around you. Just pick the best systems at the beginning. there are lots and lots of systems and you need mediocre systems in your territory for the late game @moral boost buffer, when you start bombing the shit out of the AI.

Contrariwise to mp, I go for fast attack ships first. Scouts, Dessies, that kind of stuff. Can help here and there to raid a bit. And it's always good to have a good detection network. That's prolly the most crucial thing in my gameplay, as I happen to be very weak in the beginning, due to my focus on economy and research.

But at some point... it just explodes. There's some border, when you feel that it's working. The key is to always know your limits and how far you can expand. The more you expand, the bigger fleet you should have. I try to have like 3 cruisers for every 9 dessis as feds.
You have to know the strength of your enemies and when you're stronger, they won't dare to attack you.
When you see an enemy with lots of big ships, then definitely start building big ships, too. Or you won't win. It's as simple as that. Besides that it's good to go on mass esp when you happen to play with random events on. There it's always great to have TT. They make a great buffer against the crystaline entity or the damned calamarain.

When you happen to have a major nearby in the beginning, go in a race with them. always. Buy/build as much ships as somehow possible. And let them attack you/declare war on you. You shouldn't declare war as feds.

When you get attacked, it'll also strengthen the bond between you and the minors that like you/are affiliated with you. This can save some good amount of money.

There's much more to say... and most of it is arguable and depends on your playstyle. I usually haven't planned out everything and tend to react to the circumstances. What you read above is pretty much my standard, how I start. But even some small occurence can change that entirely.

There may be a bad minor near to me and I have to rush ships. Some BORG cube may appear on turn 30... or whatever. try to be adaptive and always know your surroundings. if there's a wormhole, hide a scout in there. and check if something's flying by. could also be a wormhole which opens not far away and you could use as a quick and fast expansion and as highway later on. There's so much you can do in this game. But you have to adapt.

It's good to always build ships. Always. You can't have enough of them, really. As in real life, it's not that good to focus just on one thing. But you don't have to be a jack of all trades either. When you know what's happening around you, you can start plotting your plans.

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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by adi » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:25 am

One more thing; i take it you are playing Vanilla; you can install MPR++ on that; see Floke's thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2720
With MPR++ the game autosaves every time you hit turn; so if you did something wrong(like meeting a major early in the game) or forgot to do something just load the last autosave.
And if you are just beginning set the difficulty low so you learn the game without much frustration; once you get to know the game you will raise that and soon you will start games on impossible with a tech handicap.

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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by ruthlessferengi » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:51 pm

[quote="Martok"]In addition to following cleverwise's sound advice, I strongly recommend putting all your research into one area at a time -- don't split it up. It may sound like a trivial difference, but I've long found it to be a more efficient use of your scientific resources to concentrate them on just one tech at a time, especially when you have special structures that grant bonuses to specific fields (such as the Genesis Lab and Daystrom Institute).

quote]


true unless you have percentage bonus point for all techs, in this case assign 2% for each tech and put bulk into your current interest. over a course of 100 turns it all adds up. have fun. there are good strategy guides posted as well on the site.
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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by Ernst » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:43 pm

this is a funny discussion :o)
No one bothered to ask what settings he's playing in the first place and that makes all the difference!
Meet me on gameranger pisces and i'll share some insight into the game with you, that will actually help you play

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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by Flocke » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:55 pm

Ernst wrote:this is a funny discussion :o)
No one bothered to ask what settings he's playing in the first place and that makes all the difference!
what settings might it be when he plays federation, builds ships right away but takes 3 turns for science vessel and 6 turns for colony ship and he's focussing research to get cruisers as soon as possible and diplomacy on the minors that are "natural" federation allies?
fed tech 2 + minors enabled I guess and he didn't complain on borg did he? :D
for the map size at least we have indication by the number of turns, so I guess it is medium cause on large usually you can stay away from other majors long enough to not end in war by turn 50 with two majors at a time. on the other hand you easily get in conflict by territory claims on smaller maps
nonetheless when you play early tech minors are the key once they evolved and some of above tactics are a good help most of the time

but yeah I can only recommend to try mp to learn the game, specially with a pro like Ernst as there are so many tricks you never stumble across in sp ;)

cheers & hf

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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by stardust » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:46 pm

Truth be told, I go for the same approach whatever level I start at. I get 4 or 5 colony ships and troop ships build first, then concentrate on building a battle fleet while they're off hoovering up the nearby systems. I don't go off exploring, I keep my ships close to home so I can stay off of the radar a little longer and avoid having to chuck a load of resources into intel.

Research wise, I go for industry first. get that up a level and upgraded so when I get the other techs going I can upgrade things faster. By the time I run into anyone I'll have a useful if small empire that's easy to defend.

The AI will often declare war or intel you to death (though the cardies do this irrespective as it's hard-coded behavior for them) simply because you're too weak and it knows it'll be a cakewalk for it.
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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by robertbc73 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:14 pm

Currently, if starting with only 1 Dilithium, I alternate heavy (or normal if no heavy) colony ship and your best cruiser. Start training the cruisers at your homeworld until they are needed along your borders. Once your second Dilithium is acquired homeworld focus on best cruisers or best escorts and your next best planet making the colony ships. Third Dilithium goes toward troop transport production because, well lets face it, every sector having a starbase isn't a bad idea and frees up your fleet some. I usually use 27 troop transports for dedicated 2 turn star base construction and 9 (normal) colony ships for heavy/fast terraforming (not using any of those colony ships to colonize with unless its a matter first colonize first claim).
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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by adi » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:41 pm

9 colony ships going together?
you need to get as many system as possible starting as soon as possible; pop growth is slow so you have time to revisit with another colony later to terraform the rest of the planets.
I just send one colony per system to be colonized, and colonize as soon as one planet is terraformed; for colonization use heavy colonies if available; later i'll have one-two REGULAR colony ships going to those system and terraforming the rest of the planets;

Heavy colony ships do not terraform well; so use heavies for colonizing and regular for terraforming.

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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by robertbc73 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:49 pm

9 Colony ships so a system can be fully terraformed in 1-3 turns unless its super large. Also that way I can run escorts for the colony ships and also have them grouped together. Less threat from attack in large numbers.
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Re: Noobish question. I would value any insight you have.

Post by robertbc73 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:50 pm

also I keep the farms full of workers. The more food you produce the faster the population grows. If you keep food just above minimum is your slowest growth rate.
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