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poll.gif  -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Wed, 12 September 2012 14:32 Go to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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What research/tech fleet strength should be attainable by a half competent human with a half decent race?

I'm testbedding a -f IT, and obliterating three expert AI in a small dense.

I took out both of the neighbouring PP starbases in the early 30s, although I don't have a big enough bombing fleet (defenses are a pain) I'm just expanding through him, without the packet threat.

I basically control the top 60% of the map, with an HE in the SW and an AR south central/ east (number 2 player at the moment)

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Wed, 12 September 2012 18:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
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[XAP
Bob wrote on Wed, 12 September 2012 12:32]What research/tech fleet strength should be attainable by a half competent human with a half decent race?

I'm testbedding a -f IT, and obliterating three expert AI in a small dense.

I took out both of the neighbouring PP starbases in the early 30s, although I don't have a big enough bombing fleet (defenses are a pain) I'm just expanding through him, without the packet threat.

I basically control the top 60% of the map, with an HE in the SW and an AR south central/ east (number 2 player at the moment)


Not all AI are created equally.

The CA (Rototills) and AR (Macinti) are pushovers. The CA doesn't expand enough and the AR doesn't arm and guard his Orbital Forts. Both will give up some tech (usually Bio and Energy respectively) far too easily.

The IS (Automitrons) are tough to dig out but like the CA don't expand enough.

The PP (Cybertrons) expand aggressively and will packet you, especially at worlds you take from them. At range and with good defenses their threat diminishes.

The SS (Turndrones) don't expand as aggressively as the PP but they field Beta DD's early and their stealth makes them a greater threat.

The HE (Robotoids) are a nuisance when close, firing all those Mini Colonizers at you. And a rich source of tech from pop dropping them. But if they can develop in size and to later tech they become a serious threat.

In your test wars, I would suggest not making the AI random but distribute it among the last four, all expert. Make it no more than one IS and add a pair of SS and an HE for 4 enemy. If more, add up to 2 PP and maybe another HE.


[Updated on: Wed, 12 September 2012 18:39]

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Thu, 13 September 2012 04:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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I took the starting position from a post for a beginer game:

Quote:
3: Can you produce at least 50 Arm BBs by 2460 in a small packed Acc BBs uni with 1x expert Cybertron, Macinti, and Robotoid?

OK - so I went dense rather than packed - oops.

There is every chance (at the rate I could be going) that there won't be anyone to fight well before that.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Thu, 13 September 2012 05:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
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[XAP
Bob wrote on Thu, 13 September 2012 02:07]I took the starting position from a post for a beginer game:

Quote:
3: Can you produce at least 50 Arm BBs by 2460 in a small packed Acc BBs uni with 1x expert Cybertron, Macinti, and Robotoid?

OK - so I went dense rather than packed - oops.

There is every chance (at the rate I could be going) that there won't be anyone to fight well before that.


All testbeds (without AI) and testwars (with AI) are better at comparing two race designs against one another than judging their absolute merit. You should use a .def with a seed value so you can run the exact same planet layout. The second time around in a testwar you'll know where the AI's are but you find that out early anyhoo. You try to play all of the runs the same way, but your economic play is likely to improve and the AI does different things so you have to react to that.

The goal of using a testwar with AI is to get closer to the conditions of playing against human opponents, ie. you have to produce armed ships and defenses and you have to balance expansion and tech improvement with defending and warfighting.

I'd suggest you switch to using the tougher AI set to expert, as I suggested above (eg 2 SS and 1 HE). You can also set the flag to allow the AI to ally against you. A second change is not eliminate the AI but only grab key planets and hold them off and get to that # ARM BB's by 2460 goal (simulates trying to improve tech and build a fleet while having another race as an obstacle that you can't completely eliminate as an early war of conquest would hurt you too much). You can also drop the density to dense or normal as you'll have a smaller empire and you'll be under more pressure as the AI will press on you sooner.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Thu, 13 September 2012 09:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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So the answer to my original question is actually that the same "monster" test-points apply.

Longer time spent doing research compensating for the out and out economy of a "normal" monster for the later techs required...

I'm clearing 10k in 2440 with 7/14/8/10/7/4
I control two HW, and 60% of the map (not all occupied yet, but only token resistance remains - enough to save me some colonisation modules Laughing
I've picked up a few (expensive) techs from battles (4*L 4*N 2*P), none of my "key field" research has been stolen thus far.
I lead the universe in economy (by 50%, despite recent MM failings) and tech (equal lead with the AR). Recent focus on building fleets of bombers has slowed my research, but they will move on to the next planet which needs them Smile

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Thu, 13 September 2012 15:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
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[XAP
Bob wrote on Thu, 13 September 2012 15:54]I'm clearing 10k in 2440 with 7/14/8/10/7/4
I control two HW, and 60% of the map (not all occupied yet, but only token resistance remains - enough to save me some colonisation modules Laughing
I've picked up a few (expensive) techs from battles (4*L 4*N 2*P), none of my "key field" research has been stolen thus far.
I lead the universe in economy (by 50%, despite recent MM failings) and tech (equal lead with the AR). Recent focus on building fleets of bombers has slowed my research, but they will move on to the next planet which needs them Smile


Don't let the AIs fool/teach you into bad playing habits. Even the strongest AIs are bad.

The primary reason why I, too, suggest testbedding in a very similar setup than the real game: it's at least better than letting your race run in an empty universe. It gives you hints wether your start might be too slow, wether you run into mineral shortages, wether precious tech items you thought essential to your strat might come in much later than expected... so, as a beginner it helps you to get a feeling for your race design and how those choices in the race wizard translate into the gameplay.

Since the AIs have some very stupid habits, you actually should play against them as if they were smarter. So don't milk them for tech. The opposite is true for a real game, whenever an enemy gives you the possibility to gain tech from him... go for it. Well, sometimes the diplomatic turmoil might be contraproductive and weighing pros and cons might be wise (but more fun it is to follow the irresistible lure of somebody offering you "free" tech on a plate *grin)

For the Fledgling Admiral settings the beginner's aim should be to conquere an AI-HW within the first 40 years. But try to do it as if they were smart mean humans and not stupid AIs... which means try to build an attack/bomber-fleet which would be capable to strike successfully vs a HW for which the owner has 1-2 turns to prepare for your incoming fleet. And imag
...



[Updated on: Thu, 13 September 2012 15:20]

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Thu, 13 September 2012 16:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ManicLurch is currently offline ManicLurch

 
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Quote:
I took the starting position from a post for a beginer game:

Quote:
3: Can you produce at least 50 Arm BBs by 2460 in a small packed Acc BBs uni with 1x expert Cybertron, Macinti, and Robotoid?

OK - so I went dense rather than packed - oops.

There is every chance (at the rate I could be going) that there won't be anyone to fight well before that.


While this testbed of 50 Arm BBs, etc. is good practice, what I like to do is set up test beds that reflect the real conditions of the next game I will be entering. Very few games have packed universes. So your race that monsters in your packed testbed might not do what you want in a normal spaced universe.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Thu, 13 September 2012 20:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
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What Altruist and ManicLurch said.

I always run my testwars with the same settings as the game I'm designing the race for, ie. size and density. I include at least as many AI's as I'll have human opponents. I haven't yet turned on the AI ally again me flag but that's my next step. And I don't include the CA and AR AI's as they are just too weak to provide any challenge.

Use the seed number in the .def file. Run your testwar for your initial exploration and if you find a good number of green planets near your homeworld. stop that one and begin another with a different seed. You want the testwars to be tough on you. I have one that mimics Stone Age Slaughter 7 and only the third different seed gave me any challenge. It finally had a poor number of greens near my HW *and* a close threatening SS AI. I had to seriously prep my empire for war and not just push my economy.

Remember, a solo vs AI game is still a lot easier than a human game. You will get a better feel for running the economy and research with a real (if weak) threat. You will build more ships and defenses and make other decisions accordingly. As I mentioned before, if you can run it again with a variant race design, it will give you a good feel for what works in each and which might be the better choice.

But it's still all riding with training wheels, when the human games will be you on a unicycle blindfolded. Smile

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Thu, 13 September 2012 21:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
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[XAP
Bob wrote on Thu, 13 September 2012 04:32]What research/tech fleet strength should be attainable by a half competent human with a half decent race


In "real stuff" you're looking for roughly the same results, yeah.

In resource numbers, you probably want to halve the numbers (so 12.5k@50 is minimum viable, 25k@50 is pretty good), since a -f has a much greater percentage of "free resources" than a +f.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Fri, 14 September 2012 05:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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magic9mushroom wrote on Thu, 13 September 2012 21:58
[XAP
Bob wrote on Thu, 13 September 2012 04:32]What research/tech fleet strength should be attainable by a half competent human with a half decent race


In "real stuff" you're looking for roughly the same results, yeah.

In resource numbers, you probably want to halve the numbers (so 12.5k@50 is minimum viable, 25k@50 is pretty good), since a -f has a much greater percentage of "free resources" than a +f.


OK - let's see what I have by 2450 then - I'm past 12.5k at 2444, BBs are this year (I took a break from weapons for fun and profit) - but I might not be getting the higher weapons tech fast enough (unless I stop terraforming at quite the rate I'm doing it - that's probably a good move then - I'll change my default orders (pity changes don't propogate))

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Fri, 14 September 2012 11:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
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[XAP
Bob wrote on Fri, 14 September 2012 19:07]magic9mushroom wrote on Thu, 13 September 2012 21:58
[XAP
Bob wrote on Thu, 13 September 2012 04:32]What research/tech fleet strength should be attainable by a half competent human with a half decent race


In "real stuff" you're looking for roughly the same results, yeah.

In resource numbers, you probably want to halve the numbers (so 12.5k@50 is minimum viable, 25k@50 is pretty good), since a -f has a much greater percentage of "free resources" than a +f.


OK - let's see what I have by 2450 then - I'm past 12.5k at 2444, BBs are this year (I took a break from weapons for fun and profit) - but I might not be getting the higher weapons tech fast enough (unless I stop terraforming at quite the rate I'm doing it - that's probably a good move then - I'll change my default orders (pity changes don't propogate))


If you don't mind sharing, what's the race design? It'd be easier to give specific advice if we had something to get our collective teeth into.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sat, 15 September 2012 03:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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IT:
IFE,ISB,NRSE,OBRM,NAS
1/4 @19% (.24g-2.24g/Immune/15mR-49mR)
1/1000
5/25/5/4
10/4/13
WC Cheap
NPLB Exp @ 3

IFE means I start at prop6 (Good for the any/300 gate and jihads) and require no Prop research for a LONG time. It also provides the FM for all my early ships and fast remote shipping. NRSE pays for it, and with the FM/SFX/AMG, wide hab and gates I can afford to snub scoops in the game.
ISB makes gates *very* cheap, and provides small ship building capability across the whole empire (of relatively small early planets), the refuelling at border gates is somewhat useful too, but SFX MM could mitigate.
OBRM gives me slightly bigger planets and I've never really got on with RM, besides I have a decent habitability rate and rad tolerance designed for an inter-settling alliance.
NAS + L start @3 gives excellent early scanning in a small universe and 30 RW points, as well as putting mine-layers only one expensive tech level away. Gate scanners and scouts littered across the galaxy will have to suffice for orbits later in the game unless I can trade for pen scanners.

Plan:
GROW, gate pop/minerals to the expansion front lines to expand (rapidly building gates) far and fast (in spokes) then in fill.
Occupy space and use docks to build decent, early, war fleets and the gates to concentrate force in order to expand further and protect the borders. Yellows are fairly easy to bring up to force.
Cheap techs to allow the smaller economy to keep up and field effective fleets early. Also to get to important technology levels (e.g. SFX to allow gate healing (seems generally permitted in games)) early.
Build a handful of mines each year on each planet, and a little TF*. Mines don't compound, so I don't need them all up front, but TF directly affects my resources.

Research plan:
C8 (SFX+LF) for expansion (and to get close to CC & any/300) (within 10-12 years).
B4 (Mine-layers) for defence
W10*, C9, W12, C10.
Then W, but at some point (maybe at juggernauts?) run to C13 for BB (getting the US
...



[Updated on: Sat, 15 September 2012 03:24]

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sat, 15 September 2012 14:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
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I guess the race is NOT made for a lengthy big game but for a fast paced game in a small universe with lots of expected early trouble?

Assuming this, the design looks very good.

Only finetune I'd suggest:
Cost of mines from 4 to 3. It's cheap race-pts-wise and mines can be built a rocking 25% cheaper/faster. Only spot where to scrab the pts from for this would be to tinker a bit with the habs.

Concerning your initial question about test beds and results: they work extremely bad for -f. And while economy is important also for a -f, in comparison to factory-races the quickstart ability and early tactical expansion of a -f is such a more important factor that it is very difficult to measure and to compare.

About your research strat just one hint:
IMHO weap is prime even for the IT. And while the con-10-gates are great (and later on needed), you get along with the standard gates for quite a while. An IT can just do so much more with those standard gates than the other PRTs without having constant losses to the void.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sat, 15 September 2012 18:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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If it was my race, I'd drop IFE and NRSE and take CE instead. The DLL7 is good enough for your first engine, and with ISB + a wide hab range you don't really need the fuel mizer to expand. CE hurts you much less as an IT, gives decent points and prop 6, and the combo of that and no NRSE will make your ships much cheaper.
You can use the points to get some cheaper research, possibly dropping start@3, and/or widening your hab even further.

Edit: You're also definitely going to want Regenerating Shields. Not only does it always help in the pre-BB era, but once capital missiles and sappers become common, armor becomes a liability and you're going to want every single shield point you can get.


[Updated on: Sat, 15 September 2012 18:26]

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sat, 15 September 2012 22:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
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Coyote wrote on Sun, 16 September 2012 00:20
If it was my race, I'd drop IFE and NRSE and take CE instead. The DLL7 is good enough for your first engine, and with ISB + a wide hab range you don't really need the fuel mizer to expand.


Mmmh, that would slow him down thrice:
* no fuel mizer
* CE stops
* the need to research prop

I wouldn't do that as a -f who needs to be expanding and kicking from early on.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 03:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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I like the FM for a couple of reasons, one of which is that my 2401 scouts need never stop.

If the universe was sufficiently dense that all planets were within 36ly then I might take CE, but it strikes me as a less good deal than IFE.


RS is an interesting question - stacking and repairing are nice, but I have no intention to research energy whereas my construction is likely to be universe leading.
At what point would you sacrifice C/W research to get N?

I think the @3 start is important for early planetary scanning, early mine layers and some sort of shield - I get 9 tech levels (nothing from having expensive P).

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 03:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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Altruist wrote on Sat, 15 September 2012 14:37
I guess the race is NOT made for a lengthy big game but for a fast paced game in a small universe with lots of expected early trouble?

Assuming this, the design looks very good.

Only finetune I'd suggest:
Cost of mines from 4 to 3. It's cheap race-pts-wise and mines can be built a rocking 25% cheaper/faster. Only spot where to scrab the pts from for this would be to tinker a bit with the habs.

Concerning your initial question about test beds and results: they work extremely bad for -f. And while economy is important also for a -f, in comparison to factory-races the quickstart ability and early tactical expansion of a -f is such a more important factor that it is v:ery difficult to measure and to compare.

About your research strat just one hint:
IMHO weap is prime even for the IT. And while the con-10-gates are great (and later on needed), you get along with the standard gates for quite a while. An IT can just do so much more with those standard gates than the other PRTs without having constant losses to the void.


Mines 3 is an option, although the economic impact isn't as focussed as they don't compound. I could also drop to 11 operated as I've not got a complete set of mines anywhere yet (2 points remaining to go on either mines or minerals)


I only get the C10 gates after W12 - the starting gates are excellent with IT overgating, my LF can't gate with complete immunity, but they're close enough, especially with healing.


[Updated on: Sun, 16 September 2012 05:33]

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 06:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
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[XAP
WC Cheap
NPLB Exp @ 3


I'd question the effectiveness of going 2 cheap. Going 3.5 cheap isn't too much additional expenditure from there IIRC.

There are also very long diatribes about the effectiveness of IFE and ISB for IT. Both is probably a bit overkill. Remember, you start with fairly high Prop, and most of your heavy pop-movement will be gated (which uses no fuel).

Altruist wrote on Sun, 16 September 2012 12:39
Mmmh, that would slow him down thrice:
* no fuel mizer
* CE stops
* the need to research prop

I wouldn't do that as a -f who needs to be expanding and kicking from early on.


IT CE with no NRSE starts with the radram. Radram's good enough for a while.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 08:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
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magic9mushroom wrote on Sun, 16 September 2012 12:41
I'd question the effectiveness of going 2 cheap. Going 3.5 cheap isn't too much additional expenditure from there IIRC.

There are also very long diatribes about the effectiveness of IFE and ISB for IT. Both is probably a bit overkill. Remember, you start with fairly high Prop, and most of your heavy pop-movement will be gated (which uses no fuel).


Mmmh, your points and mine are so completly on the opposite sides, that I guess we have also completly different playing strategies in mind.

My background thought for -f ITs in a small short game:
Everything is about speed and early kicking ability. You must achieve a leading position very early, not necessarily in resources but in space/planets(/conquest). If you are behind in the 40ies, you have basically lost the game to the factory-races.

The race design is called quickstarter (QS). And Bob's design is a very good typical example of a QS.

@magic9mushroom, most of your points are true for a long game (but in a long game you should think twice about playing -f). But every of your made points above slows down the design which is deadly. Here explanations in detail to show the different logic of a QS:

* 3.5 instead of 2 cheap fields: slows down because the intention is to research 4 fields. In Bob's design research will be concentrated onto 2 fields (faster and very likely resulting in havng the first strike fleet), the free pts allocated to LRTs and hab.

* IFE: Again, in a long game you wouldn't choose IFE, but here it is necessary to get the early speed for colonization plus the usual other advantages: less fuel, ship designs need no engine upgrade.

* ISB: Fuel, defense, production. Even more important than IFE for a -f IT. Every colonized planet can setup a dock and start production rightaway. An IT can network the yearly ship production and focus it onto one point via gates.

magic9mushroom wrote on Sun, 16 September 2012 12:41
IT CE with no NRSE starts with the radram. Radram's g
...

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 08:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
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Altruist wrote on Sun, 16 September 2012 22:39
Mmmh, that was the point when I started to think, perhaps you intend to join the same game as Bob and you try to sabotage his race design Wink


I consider this a severe insult, and a clear violation of Hanlon's Razor.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 13:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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Looking at various game stories many seem to be over by 2450 - 2470, so this was an aim at a QS design - it would need to rely on an ally later in the game, but with the bigger gates would still offer a significant advantages to the alliance, and the ability to throw them up fast would be good.

Does a rad ram kill colonists even if they aren't engaged? Ie when parked or gating?


Oh, and just as a side note this is one if a couple of race designs I'm toying with Smile


[Updated on: Sun, 16 September 2012 14:46]

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 14:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Coyote is currently offline Coyote

 
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No, only when moving through space.
If you have Energy cheap and plan on researching it, it's better to take Rad immune than Temp anyway, because of the planet distribution.
The Rad-Ram is a little better with fuel than the DLL7 at all speeds and is a lot cheaper and lighter, so you could at least use it for non-cargo ships anyway.
I'm still not convinced that the FM gives such a huge advantage over the DLL7 for expansion when with a wide hab and ISB you won't need to move as far as anyone else to begin with. Unless you're in a sparse uni, you probably won't need more than one w9 jump.
Having ramscoops available doesn't in any way mean that you "have" to research Prop any more than you "have" to with NRSE. It mainly just gives you more options for lighter, cheaper, more efficient engines - you don't have to invest in them if you don't want to, but it can pay off, and you can really get by pretty well with the tech 9 scoop instead of pushing to that horribly expensive IS10 engine. You can still push at w10 if you need to, and if your ships come out 10% cheaper than they would be with the IS10 the explosion losses are not even going to hurt - and you'll still be at an advantage in every other situation.


[Updated on: Sun, 16 September 2012 14:45]

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 14:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XAPBob is currently offline XAPBob

 
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Except hitting minefields Wink

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 15:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark Hewitt is currently offline Mark Hewitt

 
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[XAP
Bob wrote on Sun, 16 September 2012 12:47]Except hitting minefields Wink

At least the IS10 isn't a ramscoop engine.

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Re: -f benchmarks (IT or ithers) Sun, 16 September 2012 22:29 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
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[XAP
Bob wrote on Mon, 17 September 2012 04:47]Except hitting minefields Wink


Not exactly true. SFXs are not fans of minefields, and getting stuck without them hurts a lot more if you don't have scoops.


(Incidentally, as far as the radram goes, there's this thing known as "taking Rad immune". Colonist deaths? What are those?


[Updated on: Sun, 16 September 2012 22:30]

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