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Home » Primary Racial Traits » PP » Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game
Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Sat, 13 July 2013 12:16 Go to next message
Bystander is currently offline Bystander

 
Chief Warrant Officer 1
Duel club Champion 2007
Duel Club Champion 2007

Helped track down one or more Stars bugs

Messages: 141
Registered: June 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA

I have played the Packet Physics race against human opponents in three large games over my lifetime of Stars!

In one, I fired scanning packets as fast and often as possible and offered the results to all players in a bidding war. After all, what good is it for me to know in the first 8-10 turns of the game what the habs are like 500 lys from my HW?

The other two games, I kept my race a secret in order to do some sneak attacking.

All three games had no restrictions on communication or alliances.

But with the advent of so many non-communication games, it strikes me that PP works better undercover in the fog of war.

1) your scanning packets are less valuable, because you cannot sell the data
2) sneak attacks against multiple opponents are more likely to success. Players can't reveal what they have seen.
3) long-range scanning is less successful as territory is almost always enemy-occupied. No gating or racing through wide areas of allied space.

If you minimize your scanning packets and do quick packet raids in limited areas of the galaxy, you might be able to surprise more than one opponent. Besides, your most cost-effective raids are the surprise ones, before opponents start parking evac freighters and building defenses and drivers.

I will follow up with five tips on how I keep my PP race discreet.

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Re: Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Sun, 14 July 2013 13:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bystander is currently offline Bystander

 
Chief Warrant Officer 1
Duel club Champion 2007
Duel Club Champion 2007

Helped track down one or more Stars bugs

Messages: 141
Registered: June 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA

Above I had talked about the benefits for keeping your Packet Physics identity secret for a while in non-communication games.

Here are some of the methods I have used to minimize discovery risk while still enjoying some of the special abilities of the race.

A) You can positive terraform for yourself (or allies if you have them) without a packet ever showing up on enemy scanners. You just need to set up a driver within a 1st-year firing range of your target planet. For example, build a cheap warp 6 driver on a planet less than 40 lys from your target. Use a red planet to fire from if you have to. Overfling at a speed of warp 9. 1st-year distance is 1/2 driver squared, so roughly 40.5. Packet hits planet in same year as fired, so no scanning evidence for enemies to see. Depending on size/number of packets, habs and luck - you can have a big yellow world close to 100% fairly quickly. The better the driver tech, the farther away you can fire from, giving you more planets to choose from as source and target.

B) If you see an unarmed enemy ship is about to scout your driver-equipped world next turn, just make sure that no armed ships of yours are around. No battle, no scanning to see you have driver.

C) If an armed enemy ship is approaching your driver-equipped base, it is pretty cheap to switch your driver to a gate. Build happens before battle, they only see a gate. Switch back to driver when danger has passed.

D) Cloaking your bases helps against War Monger scanning your design from a distance. Also makes it more difficult for IT to see your habs have changed drastically.

E) Scanning packets should be limited to paths that are unlikely to be scanned by enemies. This is ususally just a rear-corner at the start of a game. But you would be surprised at how some players don't zoom out the map to their full scanning ability in early game. You might get lucky skirting the edges of some 300 ly planetary scanners because the players are zoomed in and concentrating on their HW and immedi
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Re: Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Sun, 14 July 2013 18:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
Commander

Messages: 1154
Registered: May 2008
This is all well and good as a way of disguising the PP PRT, but there's still always the issue of "why would you play PP to begin with". Razz

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Re: Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Sun, 14 July 2013 23:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bystander is currently offline Bystander

 
Chief Warrant Officer 1
Duel club Champion 2007
Duel Club Champion 2007

Helped track down one or more Stars bugs

Messages: 141
Registered: June 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA

A Packet Physics race is fun to play, but if you want to dominate, play the same CA (if allowed), JOAT, and IT races.

In terms of building the economy, a centralized, narrow temp hab PP using bora for terraforming can keep up with monster IT or IS races for the 1st 50 to 70 turns. At least, that has been my experience in testbeds, duels and two out of the three large-scale games.

But then PP runs out of steam (minerals).

At least then, you can throw a few Warp 16 scanning packets every turn and see what the entire galaxy is up to . . . Laughing

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Re: Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Mon, 15 July 2013 14:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
skoormit is currently offline skoormit

 
Lieutenant

Messages: 665
Registered: July 2008
Location: Alabama
Bystander wrote on Sun, 14 July 2013 12:20

A) You can positive terraform for yourself (or allies if you have them) without a packet ever showing up on enemy scanners. You just need to set up a driver within a 1st-year firing range of your target planet. For example, build a cheap warp 6 driver on a planet less than 40 lys from your target. Use a red planet to fire from if you have to. Overfling at a speed of warp 9. 1st-year distance is 1/2 driver squared, so roughly 40.5. Packet hits planet in same year as fired, so no scanning evidence for enemies to see. Depending on size/number of packets, habs and luck - you can have a big yellow world close to 100% fairly quickly. The better the driver tech, the farther away you can fire from, giving you more planets to choose from as source and target.


How much have you used red planets primarily for terraforming in this way? It seems to me that the costs of this approach (colonizer, 50-55k+ colonists that could be elsewhere, freighters to move the minerals to be flung, resources and minerals to build the fort and flinger, etc) outweigh the benefits of packet-forming (cheaper tforming in exchange for minerals). It would seem even harder to get good value out of this approach while trying to only fling packets that will not appear in space, because you'd have to colonize even more reds (and build even more flingers) than if you were willing to fling through space.

Am I misunderestimating the net value of packet-forming? Am I overestimating the net cost this approach to it?



What we need's a few good taters.

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Re: Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Mon, 15 July 2013 19:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bystander is currently offline Bystander

 
Chief Warrant Officer 1
Duel club Champion 2007
Duel Club Champion 2007

Helped track down one or more Stars bugs

Messages: 141
Registered: June 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA

Hi,Skoormit. Thanks for the questions.

My testbeds probably increased from 25K to 30K for -f Packet Physics when I used ALL options for positive terraforming.
And even playing as an undercover PP in a large game, my HG race was in 1st place from 2440 to 2470 inclusive. I did a moderate amount of red colonization and packeting from those red planets for both myself and for allies use. If you have an AR for an ally, he doesn't even have to move off his world Razz I was still able to get some sneak attacks in too.

But I didn't win, so morale is - PP is fun, but one of the most difficult to win with.

If I am not trying to hide my PP nature, probably only do 3 or 4 red planet colonizations to cut down on decay shooting from more distance greens. Minerals tend to be more of a problem than resources.

If I am trying to hide my PP nature, I might actually have to increase the number of red colonizations to 8 or 9. Would depend on size, density of galaxy, habs and luck. All so I can fire in 1-year paths.

I think you have a good handle on the net costs. Just like to point out that not all costs you mention are total loses.

1) You can cut down the people on the red planets once driver is built to just the number needed to fire packets.

2) You can cut down to a skeleton crew once nearby planet(s) have been positively terraformed. Later upgrade driver, more planets in range. Upgrades are cheap because lower number drivers get full credit when upgraded to higher. So possible one planet does terra for more than one world.

3) Cargo ships only need to be dedicated to this for a few years. Then go back to real jobs.

4) 11% of minerals that hit a planet are recoverable there. Almost makes up for decay.

5) Don't start colonizing reds until HW and some breeders at 25%, when you need to move people anyway.

There are other threads in this area about the size of packets needed for effective positive or negative terraforming. It is better than what the Stars! help file says. I think fracti
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Re: Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Wed, 17 July 2013 14:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
Lt. Commander

Messages: 904
Registered: August 2012
Does packet terraforming not always TF according to the PP habs, and therefore TFing ally worlds is reliant on overlapping habs?

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Re: Playing a low-profile PP in a non-comm game Wed, 17 July 2013 16:40 Go to previous message
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Chief Warrant Officer 1
Duel club Champion 2007
Duel Club Champion 2007

Helped track down one or more Stars bugs

Messages: 141
Registered: June 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA

Successful packet terraforming moves the habs towards the PP's ideal hab. But that doesn't mean PP and ally's habs HAVE to overlap. Say a planet has grav left, the ally is centered and the PP has high. That planet is a good candidate for terra and settlement by ally. The iron packets drag it from left towards the center. Of course, if your packet is too big and successful, it might drag the grav beyond ideal for the ally and closer to what the PP likes.

If the PP has an immune hab, packets with minerals for that type of hab move to the nearest extreme. So if rad immune PP shoots at germ at a planet where rad is somewhat to the left of center, then it moves farther left.

What happens when a PP with immunity shoots a perfectly centered hab? Not sure, maybe wormhole swallows the planet? Laughing

Reminder:

Ironnium moves the gravity
Boranium moves the temp
Germanium moves the radiation




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