Some questions

BOTF Strategy Guide

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Some questions

Post by dejos » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:42 am

I've recently rediscovered this game, but after some fooling around at Impossible difficulty, I have some questions/concerns. Playing Ultimate Mod, if it matters, but I'm guessing this stuff applies generally.

Intelligence : I usually colonize every system I see, build ships in as many as I can (Dilithium wise), and devote the rest to 50% Science and 50% Intelligence. This usually seems to leave me slightly behind the curve at first (minor succesfull sabotage against me once in a while), but only a little bit, and only at first. What kind of a setup do people normally use? 60/40, to hopefully cover even that initial period?

Combat : I have the impression that this usually consists of some minor skirmishes, then eventually some massive battle involving the bulk of the fleets, and whoever has the advantage in that battle has then basically won the game (between those 2 races at least). Actually finishing it would require a lot more time for expanding starbase range, conquering/bombarding etc, but after the huge battle, the outcome is essentially decided already, since the loser can't really recover sufficiently. This is obviously not really desirable, as playing out the rest of the game is kinda boring, so all the build-up before that point is also kinda rendered moot.
Is this basically an aspect of the game that can't be changed, or are there any mods or settings that can mitigate this, to a point?
By allowing some amount of recovery?
By discouraging such huge battles, and instead encouraging multiple smaller engagements (for example, a few groups of 9, instead of a dozen)? That way, the advantage would be gained incrementally, and some amount of correction along the way might be possible. As for possible ways to do this : I don't usually play with Random Events, as there's too much annoying/"unfair" stuff, but if you could just have medium alien fleets appearing randomly once in a while , that could for example encourage players to spread out their ships over their entire territory on patrols.

One possible alternative that I can see, but haven't tried yet, is to go for games on very small maps, with very early engagements. That would guarantee smaller engagements, with easy recovery (as you would essentially be able to rebuild the entire fleet you lost in a dozen turns), but it doesn't really suit my playstyle. I like large maps and long grind-y games. I just don't want them to be over long before they actually end :)
I'm still thinking of giving it a try though. Does the AI handle this fairly, or does it cheat too much with free ship buys?

Also, is there any way to make sense of the "military" indicator in the Intelligence screen? Last game I was at 80% or so, compared to about 5% for the Klingon, just before I discovered a 170 ship fleet on my border. Granted, that was a mix of about half Command, half Fast Attack, and some other stuff, at tech-level 8 or so, while I had about 120 Warbird 3 and about 20 Warhawks, at tech level 10, so I had a pretty big advantage, but 16-to-1 seems a bit much?

Diplomacy : Doesn't seem worth it with Major Races? They'll all just end up stabbing you in the back anyway?

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Re: Some questions

Post by adi » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:12 pm

you pretty much summed it up.
people on the forum would recommend PvP;

but against the AI you would need to edit stats with UE. Some ideas i had over the years:
- for fleet recovery, since the AI needs to recover, i'd suggest high maintenance cost and low build cost for the ships; that way your fleet size would be limited by maintenance cost (AI does not seam to care about it) and AI could recover faster after a defeat;
- much better ships at higher tech level so one of those could wipe fleets of earlier ones and longer time to research. see wep accuracy vs defence; but make sure you know what your doing since it's very easy to ruin the balance.
- play with a tech handicap.

about the boring conquering phase, lately i don't play feds that much because i want to conquer faster so most of the enemy system i just wipe off.

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Re: Some questions

Post by robertbc73 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:10 pm

As the Federation, I have bombed planets clean without harming overall moral. >.>
"Understanding is a three-edged sword."
Kosh from Babylon 5

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