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Home » Stars! 2.6/7 » The Academy » "Not habitable", my foot! (Some numbers on the economics of colonising reds)
"Not habitable", my foot! Sun, 26 May 2019 11:51 Go to next message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
Commander

Messages: 1361
Registered: May 2008
Today I did some number-crunching regarding the colonisation of planets that Stars! calls "not habitable" and the player community mostly calls "red". And because I rarely get sick of the sound of my own voice (own typing? Laughing ), I decided to share it.

First, some basic refreshers on how reds and maintaining reds work:

- Reds have negative percentage values equal to the number of clicks they are outside your habitability range. Thus, they range from -1% to -45% (though the latter is rarely seen, as the race must not have any immunities and must also have fairly-narrow hab).
- Reds kill (red%/10)% of the population on them per turn, regardless of how much population is on them. This therefore ranges between 0.1% and 4.5% killed per turn.
- Reds function as 5% worlds for the purposes of population cap. So, for an average OBRM race (not JoAT, HE or AR), 55,000 population can operate installations and produce resources at full efficiency, and a further 110,000 can produce resources at half efficiency but not operate installations.
- The exception to this is AR, since AR have population caps determined by starbase hull and resource efficiency determined by habitability. AR treat reds as 25% worlds for the purposes of resource generation.
- To maintain a red, you need to have some source of population growth (usually a green planet) constantly supply population to replace the die-off. Since planets don't produce population when they're fully loaded, this means you'll have to sacrifice some production on the world you're using to grow pop in order to maintain the population and production on the reds.
- The most efficient places to grow population for non-AR, non-IS races are very-high-value greens, as the population produced at a given %hold varies with the square of hab (due to both growth rate and cap being set by hab) while resources sacrificed only vary linearly with hab.
- AR, however, grow pop equally-efficiently on any green over 25%, as hab does not affect their population caps. Obviously, they will grow less pop on lower-value worlds, but they will also sacrifice fewer resources. The reason I specify "over 25%" is because the AR resource formula bottoms out at 25% hab, so lower-value worlds will sacrifice the same amount of resources as a 25% planet while still growing fewer pop.
- IS, of course, do not need to sacrifice production at all to maintain reds, as they can simply park a freighter in orbit to overflow pop to the red. This also negates most of the micromanagement involved, so using reds is standard practice for IS. As such, I won't be speaking about whether IS should use reds - we all know the answer.
- The optimal hold for a breeder generating population to maintain a red is the hold% that maximises (growth)/(lost resources), because growth directly determines how many reds the breeder can maintain. This is at 50% for non-AR and 54.8% for AR. Of course, some adjustment will be necessary in order to compensate for the non-continuous popgrowth formula and the integer number of reds available for colonisation.


Case 1: standard race

For our first case study, we'll be examining the question for a fairly standard OBRM HG race with 19% growth, 1/1000 pop efficiency and 11/9/15 factories. Growth does matter to the efficiency of colonising reds (as it affects pop growth on greens, but not red dieoff), but for the first part of this the factory settings don't; they're just to give some more concrete numbers.

Let's first look at the case of a 100% world supplying -15% reds populated to 100%. This is one of the more favourable cases.

A fully-loaded 100% world with its full 1650 factories built produces 2915 resources. To turn the world into a supplier for reds, as noted above, we drop it down to 50% hold (550,000), reducing the resources produced to 1458 (1457.5 rounds up) and sacrificing 1457. At 50% hold, the world will grow 16/9 * 1 * 0.19 * (1 - 0.5)^2 * 550,000 = 46,444 population per turn (call it 46,400). -15% reds at 100% capacity (55,000) kill 0.015 * 55,
...



[Updated on: Sun, 26 May 2019 22:39]

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Re: "Not habitable", my foot! Wed, 29 May 2019 06:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iztok is currently offline iztok

 
Commander

Messages: 1197
Registered: April 2003
Location: Slovenia, Europe
Hi!
> 1) All standard races benefit significantly more from building red planets to 100%
> than they do from filling good breeders beyond 50%.

No need to use plural here: "good breeders". Your numbers already did show that in games I'd play (some 30 planets per player) one 75% "breeder" would be sufficient to pop all the reds I'd expect to get in my share of the universe.

Anyway, in my games I have a habit to have one or two mineral-poor breeders held at 50% pop just for purpose of producing pop for future conquests. OTOH when those conquest give me lots of planets, then I start hitting RL and Stars! hard-coded limits, and colonizing reds just compounds them.

Your study per-se is OK. You just confirmed the old wisdom: "When you run out of habitable planets, colonize reds". And for that you don't need a wall of text. Please do add a TL/DR for mere mortals. Wink

BR, Iztok

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Re: "Not habitable", my foot! Wed, 29 May 2019 14:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
magic9mushroom wrote on Sun, 26 May 2019 17:51
Today I did some number-crunching regarding the colonisation of planets that Stars! calls "not habitable" and the player community mostly calls "red" [...]

A fully-loaded 100% world with its full 1650 factories built produces 2915 resources. To turn the world into a supplier for reds, as noted above, we drop it down to 50% hold (550,000), reducing the resources produced to 1458 (1457.5 rounds up) and sacrificing 1457. At 50% hold, the world will grow 16/9 * 1 * 0.19 * (1 - 0.5)^2 * 550,000 = 46,444 population per turn (call it 46,400). -15% reds at 100% capacity (55,000) kill 0.015 * 55,000 = 825 population per turn (call it 900). so our 100% world can keep a staggering 51 red worlds at that value. Each red builds 82 factories and produces 145 resources per turn, for a total of 7395 resources - 5.08 times the resources sacrificed! Obviously, this is an amazingly-good deal.


Excellent approach, so simple and at the same time extremely efficient and convincing that I am almost ashamed to admit that I've never thought about it before. The genius of science, to ask the right question so obvious that everybody wonders how could this have not been asked ever before.
And this from somebody who repeatedly made quite some use of red planets in recent games... but my intention behind was mainly gaining minerals (low hab warmongering IT always short on minerals). Adding factories I did only without ever giving it much thought because I had those planets set up with an automated freighter anyway and definetly without being aware of the economic impact.

Thanks a lot, incredible helpful data and a well done analysis upto the min/max points.

Copied and stored for future games...


[Updated on: Wed, 29 May 2019 14:06]

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Re: "Not habitable", my foot! Wed, 29 May 2019 14:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altruist is currently offline Altruist

 
Commander

Messages: 1068
Registered: August 2005
Location: Berlin
iztok wrote on Wed, 29 May 2019 12:36
Please do add a TL/DR for mere mortals. Wink


What's TL/DR?

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Re: "Not habitable", my foot! Wed, 29 May 2019 19:21 Go to previous message
magic9mushroom is currently offline magic9mushroom

 
Commander

Messages: 1361
Registered: May 2008
iztok wrote on Wed, 29 May 2019 20:36
Your numbers already did show that in games I'd play (some 30 planets per player) one 75% "breeder" would be sufficient to pop all the reds I'd expect to get in my share of the universe.


Quote:
OTOH when those conquest give me lots of planets, then I start hitting RL and Stars! hard-coded limits, and colonizing reds just compounds them.


Good points.

Quote:
Please do add a TL/DR for mere mortals. Wink

BR, Iztok


I kinda did, actually, with the last paragraph of each section.

Altruist wrote on Thu, 30 May 2019 04:01
The genius of science, to ask the right question so obvious that everybody wonders how could this have not been asked ever before.


Oh, it's been asked and answered before, I just haven't seen anyone pony up the hard numbers before. For instance:
Wreck wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 10:25
This is generally the best use for pop. Any PRT, not just IS, can benefit from red planet colonization. IS are a bit better in that they can grow pop to replace red-planet losses without having to lose productivity on their green worlds.

As for whether to overpop normal worlds or do red planets - reds are a much better deal. Overpop on a normal world will quickly get to 1.5% losses, or 3.0%, etc.

The only real problem with red planets is that there aren't enough, assuming a reasonably viable race design. A single 100% planet can grow enough pop to keep ~20-30 reds topped off. But nobody plays races with ~1/20 greens after terraforming.



Altruist wrote on Thu, 30 May 2019 04:49
What's TL/DR?


"Too long/didn't read".

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