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How to Get Over 25,000 Resources by 2450

Author: Jason Cawley
Date: 16th January 1999

    Theo Clouter wrote:
    This is a small request for guidance, I have already spoken to Art over this and am getting slightly better at race design, but how do I break 30/50/70/100k resources after 50-70 years?
Well, let's shoot for 30k in 50 years Acc BBS first, ok? :-)

I recommend you try to do that with a fairly simple race, not too jazzed up. The idea is to learn how to run the empire-building phase, and see what really matters in getting the performance. It is a lot easier to tweek a way of doing things you know with a more complicated race than to discover everything with one.

So, I recommend you shoot for the 30k with the Feds. As follows -

Federation (click here to download for J-RC3)
Jack of all Trades
0.27/3.68g, -128/128C, 16/84mR
1/3 overall, eventually live almost everywhere with full terraforming
19% pop growth
1/1000 pop efficiency
10/9/13 factories
G box *not* checked
10/3/15 mines
Weapons cheap, rest expensive and start at 4.
Leaves 0 points.

The idea of the Feds is the main idea to understand in getting a big economy by year 50 or so - sheer numbers of people. The factory settings aren't great, but it may surprise you how much econ you can get without monkeying with those very much. The Feds get a maximum planet size of 1,320,000 - the most possible (non -AR anyway), since they get the +20% from being JOAT and the +10% from OBRM. With the wide hab as well, they wind up with *lots* of space for population. The huge planets and 19% growth rate will also grow lots of people - 62,700 a year at 25% of capacity from the homeworld alone. Also, the Feds get great starting tech, which makes getting going (and moving all that pop growth) much easier. You start with 40 LY penscanning from all scouts, frigates and DDs, so scouting is a breeze. And you start with fuel-mizer equipped privateers to move pop, giving great range and speed right from the start.

The autobuild to use with the Feds is -

auto 500 factories
auto 500 mines
auto 5% max terraforming
Don't contribute to research

You will want to make a few modifications to those orders on some worlds as they develop, though. First, on the HW, you want to build 100 mines after the first few years of factory building (and any extra scouts you need) - before you run out of starting germanium. Just put them in at the top of the Q when the G starts running low. The idea is to have enough G income from the mining to be able to build ships to move pop.

The other modifications to the Qs relate to terraforming strategy. Here is the way to play that with this race. On planets with 50 or better initial hab value, put autobuild 1% max terraforming at the top of the Q once they get over 200 resources. The idea is to get the best places turned into breeders quickly, so they can export even more pop. The second modification applies to all worlds that get to 500 resources before the autobuild lines turn green. For those, once they hit the 500 resources, bump up that "auto 5% max terraforming" line to the top of the Q. The idea is to fully terraform those places rapidly as or before they start to get crowded, but after they can afford it. Incidentally, they will also build up some surface Germanium (which can be used to put up bases or for exports) doing this, since the big terraforming order will cut off the resources going to the factories temporarily.

That's it for Q modifications, so not too much to do there.

For research settings, you start with so much you can leave it at 0. After the HW gets through making its factories and mines (to various hold levels - on which more next) it will bring in some research resources. Use them to buy the terraforming tech levels - weapons 5, then energy 5, (you start with prop 5 BTW, because of the 4 box and +1 for IFE), then weapons 10. That will give you up to 25 points of terraforming to do, and isn't expensive at all - one expensive level and 7 cheap ones, all 10 or below. After you have all that, you can divert to con for better ships (fuelxports and large freighters) if you must, but the main thing should be the long slog to prop 10, energy 10, then weapons 16 for more terraforming. In an unopposed test, you should be able to live with the starting tech for most of the game, in terms of ships you need.

You want starbases only on the best, "breeder" worlds - those that will be 70%+ value after terraforming with 5/10/5 tech, say. On those, you want their bases up before or around the time they get to 50% of capacity pop-wise. Then they can make their own shipping to move their pop growth above that figure. However, earlier on you can use orbital forts with 100/250 gates on them to speed up the return runs from the farther planets (buying con 5 for that if you need it, naturally).

The HW should just grow until it has 330,000 people - you will cross that line on turn 6 in an Acc BBS start. Then export the pop growth (only) to the best places you have found. Send 50k pop to all the good worlds and 25k pop to every green, in order high hab to low. If the pop rises a bit on you because of mineral trouble, no biggie - but try to keep it under 440,000 pop whatever happens, in this period.

Once the HW has green autobuild lines (factories or mines done next year to the level that the pop can operate), stop exporting pop from the HW and let it grow all the way to 660,000 pop. That won't take long from the time you stop exporting - 6 years or so. The higher level will mean more mines working, thus more G, etc. "Hold" the HW again at 660,000 pop, exporting the growth there. When the factories that pop can operate (858) are up, "clear" the HW Q so that the HW is "building nothing" (expect ships to move pop and such). That will get you G for export, as well as the pop exports. Export all of it you see on the surface :-) Only go back to building factories on the HW when you run out of places to send pop from it, or when you stop doing micro-management. In a year 50 target test, though, you can let it grow and build after year 40 regardless.

The other breeders, let them terraform after 500 resources and put up bases on them, and let them grow to 50% of capacity. Then export their pop growth, too, and their free G once their factories are done (though that will take longer for many of them). The lower-value worlds, forget about em :-) Or, rather, just send them things, like more pop and more G.

You want to send more pop to the smaller places and any good places under 100k after the HW goes on its second, 50% level "hold". As breeders come on line, get everyone to 100k or better, and after that if you keep doing MM work shoot for at least 250k each place. Once a place has 250k, you can leave it alone pop-wise - because then it will get to 500 resources on its own and terraform itself. If you have more pop besides that needed for all this, hit the better yellow worlds with 66k pop each and some G. -3 or better yellows (or so) you can terraform right after landing, using only the pop resources. Worse ones, let them build factories until they have 100 resources, then terra 1% a year.
You will have a lot of G-running to do, and not enough to send at first. Don't worry; with only 13 factories operated, places will get done and thus free up more for export eventually. But don't leave it lying idle in places that can't turn it into factories - get it to places that can.

For scouting, use the initial 3 ships and the following design - booster, scout, fuel mizer, fuel pod, nothing else.

Build as many as you think you need to scout *literally everything* in the galaxy by a reasonably early year. In tiny, before year 20. In small, before year 30. When scouting, go fast - as fast as you can, burning the fuel (the initial DD and armed probe are exceptions, since they will have warp 7 engines and not a lot of fuel per bit of weight - go warp 7 with them). Scout by moving between worlds, not to them, to get the most out of that 40 LY penscan ability.

For settling, you can use a few small colonies with fuel mizers for the closest planets, just to get them started. Move the real pop to them with privateers with fuel mizer and 3 fuel pods, going warp 8 or 9 all the time. After those close in places, use a variant of that same privateer, but with one colony pod in place of one of the fuel pods, and "crash-land" settle on the farther places, 25000 colonists at a time.

In the early teens, the HW should be firing off those colonizing privateers every year - 2 one year and 3 the next, e.g. In the 20s the second, 50% hold should be on, and the HW should be building 3-4 privateers a year (non-colony versions for the most part, but an occasional colony version for a yellow) to move all its pop (55,700 a year even at 50% of capacity) and G (297kt even at concentration 30 or below). Looping privateers from the early colonies will give you some ship re-use early on, when the iron is likely to be tight (because the privateers cost a lot of iron, and not many mines have been built yet). After the pause to go to 660,000 pop, the iron situation will clear up (several years income without building, freighters coming back and piling up, and many more mines operating), so don't sweat it too much if it looks dicey in year 12-14 or whatever.

OK? So that is a race and its how-to stuff :-) It is straight "sheer numbers of people", and gives a fast, smooth start (with only an early iron crunch as a possibility to worry about, if you draw a low HW iron concentration).

There are few other races that will get the numbers of people by midgame the Feds will. Some, but few. And you should see from playing them that those numbers of people are the main thing - because they don't have great settings for factories or anything, and yet they can fly.

Once you get used to them, you can try modifying them for more by giving up some of the easier start things, taking extra weaknesses, and narrowing the hab a bit - but gradually on the hab. Like, no start at 4 box. NRSE. Grav and temp narrowed to 60 wide each (click immune and back I mean). Then put all those points into factories - 16 operated, 11 efficiency, G box, 12 eff, cost 8 - in that order as and if you find things you can "do without" to pay for them. Only keep a change if it improves the performance for you. On no account touch the pop growth rate ;-) You will do everything more or less the same with the modified races - they will just industrialize faster, while the start will be a little harder (you will need to buy privateer tech at some point e.g., and live with medium freighters for the close-in 2 year runs), and perhaps have a few less worlds to land on (while getting more from each one).

When you are done with all that, congrats - you will have mastered the JOAT HG, one of the strongest race design ideas in stars, and one of the hardest to shut down with early pressure in a real game. Sure, there will still be many things to try after - IS races, CA races, HP econs, narrower hab schemes with or without immunities, warfighting PRT races like SD WM and SS - but knowing the JOAT HG is a great place to start that off, and frankly many people weaken their performance when they move away from it.

I hope this is helpful, and have fun :-)

        Jason Cawley

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