Author Topic: How to Grow Empire?  (Read 2230 times)

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Offline Montecchio

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How to Grow Empire?
« on: April 28, 2014, 05:26:11 AM »
I've read accounts of people 7 years into the game with 100 labs and 2000 factories. I am 30 years into the game with 40 labs and 1000 factories.

The 7 years, 100 labs game was not a Sol start, but I still think there's something suboptimal with my empire management.

Specific questions:

Is there a sort of "standard" way to manage growth, such as devoting a certain percentage of industry to creating each kind of production facility?

Is debt to be avoided, or tolerated?

Is it better to colonize a higher colony cost body in a system I control, or a more suitable body in a system where i'd have to establish defenses and facilities from scratch?

An alien race seems eager to befriend me. Is it more beneficial to me to let them, or to invade them anyway?

Is it worth buying fuel from civilian harvesters?

How many ground units should I build before I have to use any to occupy conquered bodies? They seem to take a very long time to train so I try to train them before I'd need them, but I don't like the clutter.

Any tips, even if I didn't ask for them, are much appreciated. Thank you.

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: How to Grow Empire?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 06:13:10 AM »
In my opinion there are no real hard and fast rules. Some of the stories you read will also have many different starts. Me personally almost always start at a level just above Conventional start which means that I'm nowhere near 100 labs in even 50 years of play.

Secondly there are a few tricks you can use to do things in an optimal way. There are for example ways you can alternate having the civilian fleet running colony ships between mars and earth for example to gain a wealth boost, things I certainly consider cheating... I rather restrict all my operations down to as realistic as I feel as it can get. This include dedicating research labs into specific fields and don't allow industry to change focus on a dime etc... So don't bother much if you don't always for the optimal thing is my main advice.

That being said...

When you plan for colonization you obviously need to consider what your needs are and where you see your future bottlenecks will arise first. You priority must always be to mitigate these bottlenecks.

If you see fuel as a problem then research harvesters and go find planets that you can harvest and build up a fleet of fuel transport. Make sure you have fuel depots along the routs or even fuel harvester placed in key location so your fleets can refuel directly from them.

If you lack Duranium you need  to seek out enough planetary bodies with enough quantities and availability to sustain your growth. Don't exploit these more than you need, make sure they grow in the same rate as your overall economy. Over investment is the same as wasted resources. This obviously goes for all other minerals as well.

You must plan for the usage of all other minerals, I use a list that I wrote down over what buildings and component use what strategic minerals and I then try to judge how I will need these in the future. This then depends on what type of ships I intend to build, how they are configured, what planetary structures I intend to build and so forth.

You can use my list here if you want to... (made bu Open Office, but you should be able to open it with other calc software)

Here is a PDF version as well, not as good to use but it works...

Regarding colonization you should of course focus on planets that are easier to terraform than those that are not. From a pure numbers perspective it is mostly more efficient to colonize one planet at a time and focusing all terraform on that one, from a realistic point of view it might not be so clear cut. This also depends on distance to these bodies and so on. There are also the population growth. The more planets you have the faster your general population will grow since they grow faster the smaller the population is.
If wealth is a bottleneck you can be better of to colonize more planets, at least if their colonization cost is low enough. You can also face a problem that you don't have enough workers, then you need to sprawl out and colonize.

In short... to be efficient you need to be good at judging your future needs. Just be watchful of over investing and strip-mining resources to fast, you might find yourself in a situation where you once had an abundance of a resource and you now have a severe shortage, such situations is bad from a strategic point of view. They work in the short run but can be devastating bad in the long run.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 06:14:57 AM by Jorgen_CAB »

Offline xeryon

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Re: How to Grow Empire?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 11:38:08 AM »
Don't forget that your starting population affects your starting facilities if you let the program auto-calculate the appropriate number for you when you create a new game.  I can have 2000 factories and 100 labs on day one if I change my starting population to ### billion or so.  Initial game setup plays a huge part in how the empire looks 7 years in.

Offline Montecchio

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Re: How to Grow Empire?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 01:00:15 PM »
I just realized that the story I read makes no mention of terraforming power, because at this point in the game I have 40 labs, 1000 factories, and 0.2 atm/year worth of terraformers. Perhaps we just grew our empires focused on different things, because I am seeing an accelerated growth in every aspect of my empire now due to not needing (m)any infrastructure any more except by choice (civilian money).

The advice offered is still invaluable, though. Thank you.

Offline Nathan_

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Re: How to Grow Empire?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 03:22:06 PM »
As long as you aren't getting stopped by bottlenecks(minerals,wealth,workers) you are doing alright. if you're building up giant surpluses of any of the above though you should strive to use them.

Offline Arwyn

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Re: How to Grow Empire?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 10:11:26 PM »
Part of the issue with Aurora is that there is no "best way" to win. One of the better features actually! :)

The big thing is the guys with heavy factory/labs probably started with a bigger initial population. Makes a huge difference at start. But, even with that, a lot of it comes down to the luck of the draw when it comes to minerals. You can have big initial pop, lots of factories and labs and wind up choked due to next to no adequate mineral supplies.

I play pretty conservatively at start until I can get a good survey done of the home system, and a solid supply of duranium lined up. The infamous "duranium crash" gets everyone at some point, so working around that is pretty key to keeping your production lines rolling smoothly. No other element bottlenecks you as bad as it, so I usually look for planets/moons/asteroids/comets in that order for duranium sources. Once I line them up, I start dumping mines and automines depending on the colony costs.

Venus is a good example, most of the games I have played, Venus has been loaded with something, in huge quantities, but crappy accessibility, and really crappy colony costs. That makes it a great spot for automines.

I save automines for hellholes, anything worth inhabiting gets regular mines, as they are FAR cheaper in material costs.

That being said, under 6.4, Sorium CAN be a big issue as well, so grab what you can there as well. Tritanium runs a distant third, I have only had issues with it if I am REALLY burning through missile stocks. I try to keep solid stocks of those around.

One handy thing to run is asteroid miners. If you have lots of dinky asteroids that aren't worth shipping automines and mass drivers to, they can be worthwhile with an asteroid miner on automation orders. Just make sure to have a cargo ship with the miner, or cargo holds on it. I like them as an early tech goal, as they can be really useful to mine systems that you cant otherwise get to. IMO they save you a lot in fuel costs in NOT having to ship automines around.

The other big thing post 6.x engine changes is FUEL. Getting some forward bases setup for refueling and resupply helps immensely in getting further afield from Sol or another home star. I run about two jumps out from homeworld before I drop a base somewhere along the warp chain to keep supplies going. If your going to do this with exploration ships to keep them going, crank the crew duration up to a year or more to keep them in the field.

One REALLY handing thing now is civilian shipping. Setting up supply orders on your homeworld, and demand orders elsewhere works pretty well. UNTIL you run into NPR's who want to trade, thats when the civvies will go running off to strange new worlds....

FYI subsidizing civvie shipping lines is great way to get more civ ships out there in the field and working for you.

As far as exploring, there are a couple of schools of though. Go big, with a combined fleet that can probe, survey, and shoot their way through stuff (hopefully). Or, go cheap, and put out a lot of very cheap disposable small ships. You are going to lose them, and losses in Geosurvey will be the majority of them, but they are cheap and easy to replace.

I tend to go the "lots of cheap" early on, as it gets me a head start on finding something decent if I have a poor starting system. As time goes by, I tend to "gun up" the survey ships/fleets as things (NPRs) get bigger and more dangerous. I don't tend to go big at start because its A) Slow as hell, B) Expensive as hell, and C) BORING. Also, I have found that even a decent gunned up survey fleet can get its collective butt handed to it by a dedicated anti-shipping fleet or more annoying Swarm!

Fast exploration can also get you in a lot of hot water fast, so you better have some military ships! :) IMO that makes the game a bit fun when you get yourself in a tight spot and you have to really work at it. Makes the fights WAY more meaningful when the Battle Fleet is ALL the fleet you have between the Big Bad NPR and your homeworld!

Two other things I usually run for fast as far as techs, Expanding the Civilian Economy, Improving Research, and Construction Efficiency. If your really building like mad, and running the civvie shipping around, you need cash. Expanding the economy research helps a LOT in keeping that rolling.

Anyway, a lot of this is still up to your actual playstyle, but the forum is great place to ping folks for creative things to do to pick up the economy or surprise the NPR's! Good luck!


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