Alpha Centauri: Campaign: 2011-10-24
Main: Alpha Centauri
I ended this campaign since I built to few Formers compared to the 2008-10-16 2153 save.
This was due to building a high amount of crawlers.
Also, worm exploration and expansion was sub-optimal with several unescorted Spore Launchers wasting time on worms, and loads of unkilled native worms from pods roaming the land.
Data Angels were totally fucked by the worms, probably since they changed to free marked early and could not handle the negative planet rating.
Also, i discovered and perfected two (TWO!) former tricks on my own during this campaign, and hence, they were not implemented from the start.
- If you put a Former on auto move to a tile, the next turn, it will do so. After it has moved, you can cancel the move order, and it will allow you to move a second time on the same turn.
- I forgot since I wrote this text. Maybe, MAYBE something about two Formers working on the same square, and being able to manipulate them in a way that you can construct the item while the other former keeps work that should have been spent.
Enslave other factions earlier. Consider what tech route each slave faction will go, and try to limit techs given so they correspond to their path, so their tech rate does not slow down. Give techs that they need early before it gets buried under your "tech to give" list.
- The main cities are built in a specific pattern so their territory overlap as little as possible with each other in order to grow as large as possible. They are named by the sequence they were built and year they were built.
- x cities are small temporary cities that will disband after the big cities require the land. They are all named simply "x". This cities do not build any infrastructure, only units, so the main cities can focus on buildings.
Too keep in mind for future games:
It was a good idea to have Crawlers crawl from mines for the x cities, so the x cities can keep pumping Formers and Crawlers. Keep the x cities at 1-2 population so they wont require food, forest and land from the big cities, who will have access to them and have the infrastructure to multiply the energy.
Larger cities need to get their minerals mainly from Boreholes, and feed from rainy farmlands, and send one and later a second Crawler to the rain-forest to get 6 food each. Get just enough crawlers from mines to be able to build a Former per turn while not rush-building a building.
By having a mines/borehole discohomony with small/large cities, eco-damage is minimized.
Build order and city growth
- First needed building is recycling tanks, since it makes a big impact when built very early.
- Secondly, Children's Creche in order to pop-boom.
- With police units, and Recreation Commons, i can boom to 5.
- Adding virtual world-empowered network nodes will boost research and enable 7. Much formerwork will enable good use of all 7 workers.
- With tree farms and more, i should be able to aim for 14.
Food, minerals and energy
the cities will be on different size while they boom, due to new cities being constantly built, and not being able to afford rush-buy building for all at the same time.
With a six-food crawler and a recycling tank, i get 9 food. I need 14 for 7 workers.
14-9 makes 5 left. If I put two people on two boreholes, 5 workers are left. If they work on forests, I get the other five food, as well as 6*2 + 5*2 minerals = 22 minerals, as well as 6*2 + 5 energy = 17 energy.
With 50%-50%-0% and one corruption, I get 8 economy and 8 labs, 12 labs after network node. With a freshly filled reserve food (what did i mean?), one worker that labors on a forest can be turned into a scientist, resulting in 20 minerals, 17 science and 7 economy.
If I rush buy a research hospital, I get an additional 5 science for a total of 11 bonus from my 11 science, at a cost of 3 maintenance and 172 rush-buy energy. Not worth it while having only 7 workers.
The network node added 6 science for 1 maintenance and 104 rush-buy energy, not to mention it adds 50% more psych instead of 25% and it reduces two drones instead of one. Research labs are probably worth it at 14 workers.
This has not taken into effect the considerable energy added via trade to the most energy intense city. Taking trade into the consideration would produce other results. If the trade trick can be put into effect, the the alternative result would be true for several cities.
With 16 minerals needed for a Former, one can be created per turn. If needed, a mine-crawler can be added from an x-city to cope with the upkeep.
In that way, its more obvious what good an x-city is really doing, and when its time to disband them, and when doing so, it wont create upkeep havoc with the re-assigned units.
Since it takes time to get crawlers up and working, and to get condenser in the rain-forest you first need The Weather Paradigm, something that will be built after the Planetary Transit System, and pop-booming is to be a priority as soon as possible, a method need to be used to boom until then.
A good method is to boom all your cities to five workers using only entertainers and The Human Genome Project. That will enable five workers with no luxury % used. Later on, those workers can be use for new Colony Pods for a wave of rapid expansion, followed by a Children's Creche/worker boom for 7 workers at selected bases. Selected x-cities could build only a creech and a recreation commons, since its cheaper to a have a size 5 with no boreholes, while the borehole cities also build the network node and boom to 7.
As soon as 5 citizen is achieved in the wanted cities, change to specialists in order to keep immediate order, and then change to police state in order to use two police units. This units will be sent away to newly built cities in the future, but will stay where needed until the change back to planed + democracy for the creech-enabled boom disables dual police units.
This will make use of many tiles, so forestation should be used effectively to push out fungus. Consider not building roads on the forest to save time, although its possible that it will result in no time being save with proper use of the former-trick (what trick?).
The size five x-cities need 10 food. They will receive 3 food from the recycling tank, 4 food from forests and 3 food from a rainy farm, that will also be occasionally used by the main city, specially before the crawlers get going.
At an altitude of 2000 and higher, the rewards from solar collectors get so significant, that they merit special consideration and even tactical changes. A rolling, rainy solar-collected 2000+ altitude square yields 3 food, 1 mineral and 3 energy. With a network node, that increases to 4 energy.
This extra trade comes at a cost: higher altitude have more rocky squares and lower humidity. Also, borehole drilling prerequisites either expensive elevation modulation or fewer boreholes placed unsymmetrically, as the landscape allows. Also, the base will receive less minerals from farms than from forest, and the lack of forests will leave the existing fungus unmolested.
To make the most of it, Echelon mirrors need to be employed to maximize the profit from the solar collectors. This extra trade will make base facilities more profitable, so high ranked-facilities will be rush built. The extra time devoted to base facilities in combination with the lack of minerals will create a former shortage in the area, so the bases should settle with using their lower amount of minerals to pay the upkeep of formers, and leave former creation to the lower altitude cities.
This will create migration patterns for the formers where they will move towards high altitude cities from the lower altitude cities in order to re-home there, and eventually continue beyond and re-home to cities build on the lower altitude on the other side.
The extra base facilities of the high altitude cities may make it profitable to create artificial rivers.
Considering the extra space consumed by creating echelon mirrors, and the extra former time consumed by creating solar collectors and rivers, it should be ruled out to try to improve the humidity of the terrain all the way to rainy, specially considered that humidity from boreholes and rivers are not cumulative neither to each other nor to condensers.
Also, note that the high symmetry needed will force formers to manually remove formers (edit:what?), slowing the work-pace even more.
Is it worth it?
- No dual minerals from forests, hence no former production
- Energy production at 10, raised from 1 to 3-4 due to elevation, one more from rivers and several more from mirrors. Seven even more raised due to buildings, and extra high trade.
- Dual food before tree farms.
- Extra former time consumed.
The extra food and extra buildings make the cities prime candidates to privileged status speeding towards 14 workers. Having 14 workers might also mitigate the lower amount of minerals produced.
If 4 energy can be considered standard, counting that the elevation will vary between 2000 and 3000, while rivers will add another one, and another 4-6 can be added by solar collectors, a total of 8-10 energy per square can be harvested. make it 9 to 11 considering the extra trade generated due to the high energy levels. So 10 can be considered standard. Double that with early base facilities, and you get 20.
That equals 10 minerals, adding another half due to the occasional rolling terrain, making it 11 minerals per square.
A borehole adds 6 minerals and 6 energy. On lower altitude bases which will not necessarily have the tree farm until the year 2160, that will equal 6+3 minerals = 9 minerals. So the elevated energy farm will be more profitable than a borehole, specially considering that it also will give 1 or 2 food.
This profitably will be lowered considering the echelon mirror square, but raised considering they can be build adjanced to each other.
How about coastal cities? They will have access to 4 food 4 energy squares. This will require more expensive Formers, who will have a lower workload than ordinary Formers. The extra 2 food will cover the food expenses of a secondary citizen.
This creates a good opportunity to have specialists, so each sea square will in effect give 7-9 energy. Another possibility is to work on a crawler-less mine, so each sea square will give 4 energy and 4 minerals, in effect being a 2/3 borehole that also give 2 food, becoming almost as good as boreholes, even better considering they can be adjanced to each other, lessened in profitability since they require two facilities to get the extra food and energy.