Author Topic: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?  (Read 1405 times)

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Offline MistaMeowmas (OP)

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Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« on: February 05, 2024, 10:24:03 AM »
Hey all, I haven't played this game in YEARS.  I never got far, never got into combat, but I've been listening to and reading a lot of sci-fi books that have pushed me back towards Aurora 4X!
(If you must know: Three-Body Problem, Warship, Hyperion, Rebel. . .  And some old Naval novels, too!)
The furthest I got in the past was setting up solar colonies and industry, but I'd love to get some tips for a steady vanilla start.  What I'm wondering about and imagine will be helpful is:
- What skills/abilities/systems should I put my focus on in the the early times to get 'good' at the game? (As in, should I focus on learning the office system, the ship builder, industry screen, etc etc. )
- Before leaving the starting system, should I have a basic combat fleet ready? What kind of stats, weapons, etc?
- What kind of industry/production should I build up to before starting to build a combat fleet, or settling in other systems, etc.
- Should I focus on a particular tech tree or something?
- What is a good method for determining what my next step will be?
- And finally: Since this is a sandbox 4X, and a sci-fi story simulator, what kind of goals do you set for yourself? Story ideas that you maybe come up with to determine your goals? Roll the dice on a scenario generator website?

Anything else I'll scan the forums and guides for, I can get caught back up on on my own!

Cheers in advance! Happy Empiring!
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2024, 07:28:03 PM »
Dude, no offence but you are overthinking this  :D Aurora is complex but it isn't THAT complex! You'll learn and re-learn the game as you play, there's no need for a study plan or anything like that. You learn each system as you come across it or need it. Don't stress it.

You should build some sort of Battle Fleet before you leave Sol but the details are largely meaningless. That is because of the immense random element in play, though you can reduce its impact via game options. It is possible to get really unlucky and meet higher-tech spoilers just 2 jumps from Sol who then wipe your civilization out in short order. Or you could survey 100 systems without finding hostiles. Some NPRs will hate you almost immediately while others are easy to befriend. So any advice regarding the technical details of your first battle fleet is largely meaningless because you cannot know what sort of opposition it'll go against.

But the rule of thumb is that a well-rounded fleet can at least get you information about the enemy before having to retreat or getting destroyed, and JP defence can be done successfully even if outnumbered and -teched. Combination of fast ships with plasma guns and slow box launcher missile platforms at each Sol JP is generally enough to wipe out any enemy ship(s) coming through unless you're really unlucky. That buys you time to design and build better ships, ones that are tailored to defeat your enemy. Oh and a well-rounded fleet means that you have a bunch of specialist ships that support each other, so for example:
1) Command/sensor ship (could be a carrier carrying recon fighters)
2) Missile launcher ships
3) Beam attack ships
4) Anti-missile missile launcher ships - AM escorts
5) PD escorts ships (either lot of railguns or gauss turrets)
That does not guarantee victory but it means you can try different approaches when you encounter hostiles.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding turtling in Sol or exploring quickly. If you start with no NPRs, then turtling in Sol to improve tech and building up your industry is totally safe. Exploration is always risky; on the other hand, you must do it to find more minerals. But again, the random element is big so there are no specific thresholds. Neither are there any critical technologies without which you should not explore. Obviously, you need jump engines and gravitational survey sensors to leave Sol in the first place. Having shields on top of armour is also useful and the faster your engines, the better in general. But when stuff gets spawned, some of it depends on your size and tech level (in a very rough manner) so there is a downside to just doing lot of research before venturing forth.

As for strategic planning, there are few general hurdles that most campaigns have to overcome though they do not always happen in the same order:
1) Mineral crunch - Earth runs dry, you can't find/mine/transport enough minerals in a timely manner back to Earth. This is almost always the first problem. So getting your mining industry up & running is generally the first strategic goal but it is also something that always requires some attention. This then pushes research and exploration and colonization and fleet logistics.
2) Fuel shortage - once you start having a bunch of ships, fuel becomes the next issue. So get some harvesters to the gas giants and a tanker or two running the rounds delivering that fuel. Remember that a tanker with a refuelling system can only GIVE fuel, it cannot TAKE fuel from a ship/station, so your Sorium harvesting stations need a refuelling system of their own so that they can fill up tankers that can then take that fuel to other ships and colonies.
3) Financial crisis - especially with a TN-start, wealth can become a big issue. Solving it requires lot of financial centres and having civilian shipping lines can also help a lot. So, you need colonies on Luna and Mars to stimulate civilian growth which brings more tax wealth to you. You might need to cut spending down, not buying minerals from civilians or not building so many ships.
4) Due to the new ground combat model in C# Aurora, if you ever decide to invade an NPR home world, you need a big army. And I mean A LOT of troops. Not some piddly amount like Allied forces at Normandy beaches on D-Day, no. We're talking about Red Army in 1944 humongous size. Or Warhammer 40,000 Imperial Guard. That means you have to start researching ground forces right from the start and start building them as soon as you can. There is a huge temptation to wait until your tech gets better and focus on specialized training but that would be a mistake. Yes, there are cases where you need specialized training and there are small-scale ground battles but for NPR homeworld invasions, you need massive numbers of bodies and metal.

Finally, just have fun. You will lose a bunch of games, don't fret about it. Each game is a learning experience too!
 

Offline AlStar

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2024, 12:26:02 AM »
Only thing that I'd like to amend to Garunkel's excellent post is that I would prioritize researching and building a STO weapon of some kind. Unless you turn them off, there's enemies that can totally ruin your day if you have literally nothing to defend Earth with.
 

Offline nakorkren

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2024, 12:52:31 PM »
Everything Garfunkel said, plus:

If you can't resist metagaming by delaying building prime combat troops because you don't want to build a bunch of troops at a lower tech level, consider building up 500k to 2M tons of your preferred flavor of logistics troops. Doesn't really matter what their armor level is, they'll be in the rear echelon anyway, and you'll need a lot of them depending on the relative size of your invasion force vs an NPC homeworld.

Make sure you assign colony/sector governors (so you get the benefit of their bonuses), set priorities for them and turn on auto-assign unless you want to do it manually for RP purposes, and set your commandant to ensure you get good scientists/officers. Also set your fleet training standards (1 through 5 for quantity vs quality respectively).  Don't forget to set the sector for each section (Starting with SOL) on the galaxy map, or you won't get the sector command benefit (which also requires you to build/have at least one sector command, the tech for which you'll need to research).

I'd also argue that you don't HAVE to research jump engines, you could use jump stabilization ships, but your expansion will be a lot slower that way.

I'll send Garfunkel's warning to be wary of mineral crunch, fuel crunch, and to a lesser extent financial crunch. Those can cripple your empire early if you fail to prepare or mis-handle them!

As for goals, I like to imagine that humanity has a voracious appetite for initial exploration, followed by a "oh crap, we're out of minerals" phase, then a burst of fear and xenophobia when first contact is made (if hostile) or wonder and curiosity (if neutral). Beyond that, humanity wants to expand to the stars, so that usually drives my games. Get people out of Sol and start terraforming!

And like Garfunkel said, just have fun. Or as Dwarf Fortress players would put it, losing IS fun!
 

Offline Froggiest1982

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2024, 04:01:35 PM »
You should build some sort of Battle Fleet before you leave Sol but the details are largely meaningless. That is because of the immense random element in play, though you can reduce its impact via game options. It is possible to get really unlucky and meet higher-tech spoilers just 2 jumps from Sol who then wipe your civilization out in short order. Or you could survey 100 systems without finding hostiles. Some NPRs will hate you almost immediately while others are easy to befriend. So any advice regarding the technical details of your first battle fleet is largely meaningless because you cannot know what sort of opposition it'll go against.

Now this would be generally true, however, after you explore 10 systems (default but depending on your setup) some spoilers may find you! So I am backing up the STO plus the Battle Fleet.

I am adding that while adding commercial sensors to commercial ships was an RP flavor, now is actually recommended along with any early warning buoys or large DTS stations in any relevant or valuable system.

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2024, 04:40:05 PM »
You should build some sort of Battle Fleet before you leave Sol but the details are largely meaningless. That is because of the immense random element in play, though you can reduce its impact via game options. It is possible to get really unlucky and meet higher-tech spoilers just 2 jumps from Sol who then wipe your civilization out in short order. Or you could survey 100 systems without finding hostiles. Some NPRs will hate you almost immediately while others are easy to befriend. So any advice regarding the technical details of your first battle fleet is largely meaningless because you cannot know what sort of opposition it'll go against.

Now this would be generally true, however, after you explore 10 systems (default but depending on your setup) some spoilers may find you! So I am backing up the STO plus the Battle Fleet.

I am adding that while adding commercial sensors to commercial ships was an RP flavor, now is actually recommended along with any early warning buoys or large DTS stations in any relevant or valuable system.
We can now configure that in the Game Options settings, so it can be set at anything now - we're not 'stuck' at 10 systems. But yeah, building STO's is a good idea in any case. If you don't need them for Earth, they can be transported to colonies.
 

Offline StarshipCactus

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2024, 03:33:12 AM »
play till you git gud
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2024, 09:33:28 AM »
play till you git gud

Instructions unclear: played and got gitted gud
« Last Edit: February 07, 2024, 10:11:38 AM by nuclearslurpee »
 
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Offline Droll

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2024, 01:18:33 PM »
play till you git gud

Instructions unclear: played and got gitted gud

Was rekt before I could check myself.
 
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Offline Froggiest1982

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2024, 03:44:09 PM »
You should build some sort of Battle Fleet before you leave Sol but the details are largely meaningless. That is because of the immense random element in play, though you can reduce its impact via game options. It is possible to get really unlucky and meet higher-tech spoilers just 2 jumps from Sol who then wipe your civilization out in short order. Or you could survey 100 systems without finding hostiles. Some NPRs will hate you almost immediately while others are easy to befriend. So any advice regarding the technical details of your first battle fleet is largely meaningless because you cannot know what sort of opposition it'll go against.

Now this would be generally true, however, after you explore 10 systems  (default but depending on your setup)some spoilers may find you! So I am backing up the STO plus the Battle Fleet.

I am adding that while adding commercial sensors to commercial ships was an RP flavor, now is actually recommended along with any early warning buoys or large DTS stations in any relevant or valuable system.
We can now configure that in the Game Options settings, so it can be set at anything now - we're not 'stuck' at 10 systems. But yeah, building STO's is a good idea in any case. If you don't need them for Earth, they can be transported to colonies.

Yep, as per "red", but good to reinforce since he is returning after a while  :)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2024, 03:46:24 PM by Froggiest1982 »
 

Offline MistaMeowmas (OP)

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Re: Returning New Player - Any tips to get back up to speed?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2024, 08:01:11 AM »
Thanks all for the replies! :) Sorry for the late reply here, I honestly kinda forgot about the post after I forgot to send a reply. . .  But I did pick the game back up and just start one!

I started non-conventional and I'm slowly working my way up, using the research tree as a means of making my life easier to manage by at least knowing what I've got and what I'm working towards! It's pretty darn fun, honestly! And playing when listening to sci-fi audiobooks is a treat, especially hard sci-fi.

Thanks for all the tips and advice, it'll definitely be helpful with keeping me focused on whats important in the game!