lancer -> RE: The RESOURCE Mod for Random Games (6/20/2011 8:04:08 AM)
A resource that isn’t connected doesn’t provide any benefit to you. Only when it can trace a path back to your Capital do you receive the RAW or OIL.
The path must be either a direct rail link to your Capital, or if that isn’t possible, a rail link to a Port (or Shipyard) that itself can trace a valid route back to your Capital. This route could consist of a chain of Ports and rail-lines as long as they eventually make it back to your Capital.
The picture above shows a simple situation. The three resources sites on the main island with the Capital have a direct rail connection. There are a further two resource sites on the big island (circled in yellow) that have rail connections to three separate coastal cities, each of which can trace a sea route back to the Capital.
There are four isolated resource sites on various islands that are circled in red. These are unconnected and won’t benefit you until you land engineers and construct a port and rail infrastructure linking them to your Capital.
A City on the coast is considered a Port as are like-named structures that you build with your engineers such as Ports or Shipyards.
The mod determines the length and breadth of your transport network at the beginning of each turn. Having done so it looks at all your resource sites and figures out if a valid path exists for each. With a thumbs up you are connected and in the money, so to speak. Thumbs down and your Resource site sadly fails to resource this turn.
Unconnected Resource sites are denoted by a red background on the map for easy identification.
Shown above is a more interesting situation. The Capital here is inland but it is connected to a coastal city by a rail link. The coastal city has a viable sea route to a port on the Southern Island which should normally be enough. But remember the resource sites themselves must have a rail connection to either the Capital or a Port that, eventually, reaches the Capital. You can see that all three sites have a rail connection to a city but that city doesn’t have a rail line to the only port on the island, hence unconnected resources with the red highlights (under their names, eg. OIL) indicating this.
Enemy zones of control, blockaded ports and broken rail lines all act as broken links in the chain. If there are multiple possible routes the mod will choose the best one (the shortest).
If you would like to know what route is being used for a particular site then center the map on your capital and press F5. Follow this by right clicking on the resource site in question and the red arrows show the route taken.
Due to a few minor variations in how a supply path is calculated by ATG and how a transport path is worked out by the mod there may be the occasional differences to the path indicated by the red arrows. These are rare and have minimal impact.
Here is an advanced example. The Capital on this map is way down in the bottom left of the picture. The Raw resource (‘A’) is connected by its rail link to a nearby port. From here it has to be shipped north then railed south to the Capital..
But what about the Raw site (‘B’), top left? It traces a rail link to a shipyard via two linked cities. From this shipyard it traces a sea link east and another, final, rail link south to the Capital.
Take a look at the Raw site middle right (‘C’). It has a rail link to a city in the west, then a sea link heading further west to another coastal city, then a rail link south west to the shipyard and then back to the Capital via another sea and rail link.
Likewise the Oil site (‘D’) top right, traverses five separate rail and sea links to reach the Capital.
All of the above are connected resources. The mod can handle any combination of paths provided they follow a linked route back to your Capital.
While the above is a contrived example that I quickly knocked up in the editor it demonstrates the nebulous nature of your transport network – particularly on ocean maps - and how certain rail lines or ports act as critical links in the chain. Lose control of these ‘hubs’ and you’re in real trouble.
The resource numbers on the main display screen need a little explanation. The game automatically tallies up resources regardless of their connection status. As this is hardcoded the mod subtracts from the total any resources that aren’t connected.
The White values will be accurate at all times and reflect the true resource situation. The Yellow values only really apply to RAW – resources chewed up by your production – and they will also be correct. The Green values indicate the sum total of each resource available this turn regardless of whether they are connected or not. Ignore this. Instead use the ‘Connected Resource Report’ shown below to get a snapshot of your available resources.
Beans and Bullets
All those pretty colours when you press F5.
They show the extent of the Supply range from your HQ’s to your units. Currently this is a passive game function that just happens. Beans and Bullets put some backbone into it and requires you to provide trucks to make it so.
The trucks you require don’t have to be assigned to particular Headquarters. In fact they can be part of a combat formation hooning off around the map. They are assumed to do double duty running supplies during the night. As long as you have enough trucks and they are somewhere in your Empire then it’s all good.
Being inside the hold of a cargo ship rolling around the ocean doesn’t count. For the purposes of the mod, trucks stowed in cargo ships are considered persona non-grata. They are, for the duration of their voyage, a non-truck.
The report below demonstrates what happens when you don’t have enough trucks to keep your troops fed and ammo’d up.
Notice that the size of your (in the example) Army has increased from 1380 PP (Power Points) in the previous example to 1830 PP in this. As a result your requirements for trucks have jumped from 7 to 9. As you haven’t got 9 trucks there is a shortfall of 2.
Which drops your Supply Range proportionally (you only have 70% of your required trucks) from 250 AP to 175 AP. Best not to let it go any lower.
You’ll notice in both examples that the trucks running supplies on your behalf burn up a certain amount of fuel (set at 20 bbls [edit: bbls means barrels] of fuel per truck). What’s worth knowing here is that you are only charged fuel for transporting supplies for the required number of trucks, not for every one you own.
So if you cleaned out the East Coast Showrooms and cornered the truck market, say a fleet of fifty, then you still only pay fuel for the six, for example, that are required.
In further good news you are given, at the start of the game, a bunch of trucks for free. Courtesy of your Government. Your Government loves you.
The amount you are given is what’s required to commence the game with the standard supply range sitting at 250 AP, after that it’s up to you as to how much you value your troops being in supply.
Interestingly if you are on the defensive you can get away with a smaller supply range but when launching an offensive it’s a case of the more the better. Unfortunately for world conquerors the maximum range is capped at 250 AP.
Another point of interest is that the Mod calculates your Army size in Power Points at the start of every turn but it excludes your navy from the calcs.
Suffice to say that if you want to build a really big army and keep it supplied then you had better love trucks. As in real life, big armies drag a big tail around behind them.
The information bar along the top of the screen displays your current Supply range in AP (action points which translate to a particular number of hexes depending on the terrain involved. Eg. it goes forever if it is following a railway line and stops dead in a swamp). Ignore the yellow zero, it’s there for decoration purposes only.
All calculations for the Beans and Bullets option are done by the mod at the beginning of your turn. Which means – important point – if you produced trucks this turn then they won’t show up (on the report), or be taken into account, until the following turn.
This is the option that involved the most effort to program and is also going to require the most explanation. This part is long-winded and involves a small amount of maths. Very simple maths for the purposes of showing how it works (none involved in using it) but still maths nonetheless. It requires that you devote a portion of your busy, multi-tasking brain to the subject matter in order to comprehend what’s going on.
That’s the bad news. I personally consider this the best one of the three options (but then I’m the guy that made it) and the one that requires making the most interesting decisions. It’s also the most challenging of the three options.
So off we go.
First up is that you can only select this option in conjunction with the Connected Resources one. If you inadvertently messed up the ticking of the correct option boxes then the mod will take care of it for you and assume that you meant to choose both.
You can, of course, select only the Connect Resources option and ignore this one.
To avoid all the mumbo jumbo explanation read the ‘Executive Summary’ below and, perhaps, ‘Important things to Know’. Read the rest only if you are interested in how it works or are interested in knowing how to optimise your approach.
Resources, even though they may be connected, have to be transported to your capital. This requires you to build a bunch of trains and cargo ships. How many you need to build depends upon how many resources you have to shift and how far you have to shift them.
Having a few resources close by your Capital will be a matter of a couple of trains. Having a lot of level 3 resources half way across the map will get you into the ‘swear at the wife and kick the cat’ red zone.
There are a number of action cards. They tell the Fat Controller to focus on, for example, Oil only. Who is the Fat Controller? He’s the large gentleman in the top hat who controls everything for you and handles all the micromanagement. Feed him biscuits and he’ll be happy. Most of the time.
Any resources that are connected but that fail to make it to your Capital ‘cause you couldn’t be bothered to build enough trains will end up in your ‘Reserves’. This is a stockpile (two actually, one for each resource) that keeps getting bigger until you finally get your act together and provide the Fat Controller with enough transport assets to handle the day to day stuff and to have sufficient left over to make a dent in the Reserves.
Transport assets dedicated to moving your resources don’t have to be anywhere in particular. Like the trucks in the Beans and Bullets option as long as they are somewhere within your empire then they count. You can still use them to transport your forces and do things like strategic transfers. The mod won’t interfere with your operation beyond requiring that the necessary trains and cargo ships are present.
Cargo ships move three times the amount of resources that a train does. Unlike trains, however, cargo ships burn a small amount of fuel (50 bbls per cargo ship) each turn while doing so. If they are way over yonder on military exercises then you can assume that the Fat Controller has chartered in a civilian cargo ship as a replacement but he still has to provide it with fuel.
If you want to tear off and learn by doing then consider yourself adequately boned up on all the essentials. Just don’t forget the bit about the cat. That’s the key piece of information. Seriously.
Important Things to Know
Resources must be connected to your Capital.
Resources required transport Capacity to move back to your Capital.
Transport capacity is measured in t-Nm (see below). Trains and Cargo ships are have are both rated at a certain amount of t-Nm that they can do per turn.
Cargo ships have three times the capacity of a train but burn fuel (50 bbls) per turn in addition to any other fuel they may burn for normal usage.
Resources require 10 t-Nm to move 1 hex for each ton of resource.
A land hex is the same as a sea hex for transport calculation purposes. Eg. ten hexes of land is equivalent (in distance and transport capacity) to ten hexes of sea.
Oil is converted to tons for the purposes of transport at 12.5 bbls per ton (level one OIL site produces 20 t, same as a level one RAW site).
Each turn the mod figures out how much transport capacity is required to move both your RAW and OIL resources.
It also figures out how much transport capacity you have available (trains and cargo ships).
If you don’t have enough available capacity to meet your requirements only a portion of your resource are transported (a proportional percentage). The remainder are sent to your ‘Reserves’.
Your Reserves can’t be used until, they too, are transported to your Capital. This only happens if you have excess capacity above and beyond your requirements.
The Fat Controller handles all the details. You can tell him (via Action Cards) to focus on a particular resource, eg. OIL. If you do this he will direct all available capacity to moving OIL and only what’s left over (if any) will be allocated to RAW.
The Fat Controller uses a default setting of ‘Balanced’. He allocates exactly half your available capacity to RAW and the other half to OIL.
You also have the ability to tell him to prioritise Reserve movements. If you told him to concentrate on OIL he will direct all available excess capacity to moving your OIL Reserves. If there is any left over he will then move your RAW Reserves.
Any trains or cargo ships you build will be taken into account the following turn.
You are given bonus resources (400 RAW and 2,000 OIL) and a handful of trains and ships (varies depending on if your Capital is a port or not) to get you started. If you are playing a 1 town start then you get your bonus resources but nothing else. Don’t want to spoil you.
Effort or why is this so Easy and that so Hard?
Consider this a look under the hood. It’s the technical part - you can skip it.
How do you measure the effort involved in moving resources from A to B?
Effort = Distance x Amount.
Having decided on this you have to come up with standard forms of measurement in order to provide some consistency. Distance is measured in Nautical Miles (Nm). What the heck?
Nautical miles, believe it or not, are an international standard used universally throughout, unlike kilometres and miles. (For those that are curious a nautical mile is 1,852 m. About 1.8 km’s and 1.1 miles)
I’ve waved my magic wand and declared each hex on the map to be 10 Nautical Miles. I can do this ‘cause I’m the mod god.
Amount is easy. Tons.
RAW mines generate tons of resources. OIL comes in barrels (‘bbls’) of the black stuff. But there are a lot more barrels in a level one OIL site (250 bbls) than tons in a level one RAW site (20 t).
To avoid this huge transportation imbalance I’ve converted bbls to tons – 12.5 bbls make 1 ton (about double the conversion rate of real life) – which, unsurprisingly, makes a level one OIL and RAW site identical – both produce 20 tons.
So now we have a simple means of figuring out how much effort is involved in shifting resources.
In the picture above there is a RAW site (‘A’) and a distant OIL site (‘B’), both connected by rail to the Capital.
Figuring out the transport effort required for both is easy.
For ‘A’ it would be 40 Nm (remember four hexes, each 10 Nm across) x 20 tons (level one) = 800 t-Nm
‘t-Nm’ (Tons per Nautical Mile of effort) won’t ever make the grade as an official unit of measurement but it’ll do for us. (edit: I Googled it and, yep, it’s official).
Now transport assets such as trains and cargo ships are given a rating in ‘t-Nm’ so the code can figure out how much they can shift in a turn.
Train 3,000 T-Nm
Cargo ship 9,000 T-Nm (three times that of a train but burns 50 bbls of fuel per ship)
So for ‘A’ one train would handle the sites transportation requirements with ease. If mine was upgraded to level two, then the capacity required would become…
Transport Capacity required (eg. Effort) = 40 Nm x 60 tons = 2,400 T-Nm
Still easily managed by the same train.
Develop it further to a full level three facility and the capacity jumps to…
Transport Capacity required = 40 Nm x 100 tons = 4,000 T-Nm
O.K, so our single train is starting to struggle. It can only move three quarters of the RAW resources this turn back to the Capital. So 15 tons will be moved and the remaining 5 tons will be sent to the reserves.
The stockpile of RAW reserves will continue to grow each turn until you have sufficient transport capacity to meet your requirements. Resources in the Reserves can’t be used by you until you manage to transport them, like any other resources, back to your Capital.
This won’t happen until you have enough transport capacity to deal with your requirements and have excess capacity left over. This excess is employed, by the Fat Controller, to start moving your Reserves.
Like a great big pile of money, frustratingly just out of your grasp, your Reserve stockpiles (one for RAW and one for OIL) will continue to grow until you stop your warmongering ways and start buying trains.
Let’s look at that picture again.
Over yonder, through plains of blissfully grazing buffalo and snaking through the swampy delta, is a lonely railway line leading to a lonely level one OIL well. What’s involved in getting vital Oil back to our thirsty Capital?
Transport Capacity required = 250 Nm (25 hexes of ten Nm each) x 20 tons (250 bbls equivalent) = 5,000 T-Nm.
Hey, that’s a lot. Our solitary, hard working, train that could easily handle the nearby RAW site all the way up to level 3 development (struggling a bit at lvl 3 but still moving most of it) can now only move sixty percent of the meagre output (3,000 / 5,000 x 100 = 60%). Our Capital will receive a mere 12 tons of Oil (150 bbls) per turn, with the remaining 100 bbls (250 – 150 = 100 bbls) sent to the Oil Reserves.
What happens if we upgrade our OIL site to level 2?
Transport Capacity required = 250 Nm x 80 tons (1,000 bbls) = 20,000 T-Nm
Wow! Even Thomas the Tank Engine isn’t going to move that. In fact our huffing and puffing little train will move only 15% (3000 / 20,000 x 100 = 15%) of the OIL sites output which is 12 tons (150 bbls). This is exactly the same as before which is how it should be. A train is a train.
Better put on more trains. How many? Well at 3000 T-Nm per train you’d need to have seven trains working the line to shift all that oil per turn.
How bad would it be if we went the full hog and developed our OIL site to level 3?
Transport Capacity required = 250 Nm x 160 tons (2,000 bbls) = 40,000 T-Nm
Son of gun. We now have to put fourteen trains on the job!
The astute reader may have noticed that a level 2 or 3 RAW site no longer coincides, amount wise, with identical level 2 or 3 OIL sites. That’s because Vic (game designer) has tweaked the RAW values down in the latest patch. As a result more effort is required to move a level 2 or 3 OIL site compared to a similar RAW site.
Not mentioned until now is the fact that the transport capacity of a train (and cargo ships) is tweaked by the mod according to the map size. Larger the map the greater the capacity.
Train Capacity ( x 3 for a Cargo ship)
Small map 2,500 t-Nm
Medium 3,000 t-Nm
Large 3,500 t-Nm
X-Large 4,000 t-Nm
XX-Large 4,500 t-Nm
Huge 5,000 t-Nm
T CAP% is your available transport capacity this turn. In this case it’s 99% so you are looking good. The other two show the size of your Reserve stockpiles. Remember you can’t use them until you have surplus transport capacity above and beyond what you require.
This doesn’t mean that 99% of your resources will be transported this turn. On the default setting of ‘Balanced’ the Fat Controller will allocated half of your capacity to RAW and half to OIL.
If all your RAW resource sites were close to your Capital and all your OIL sites were a long way away then you are probably going to be able to transport all of your RAW but only part of your OIL.
In the report above (which you get every turn) you can see that you have the stated 99% of the required transport Capacity (top line) which is enough to shift 125% (all) of your RAW (second line) but only 82% of your OIL. As a result 270 bbls of Oil end up in your Oil reserves due to a lack of transport.
There is another report that you can see (if you click the ‘Detailed Report’ option) which tells you why this is so.
O.K, looking at ‘1’ we see the RAW required capacity is 20,400 t-Nm. The figures for distance and amount are tallies of all your individual RAW resource sites so you can’t multiply one by the other to get the total. In the interests of brevity I won’t explain why this is so but suffice to say that the figure is accurate.
Same for the Oil in ‘2’.
Adding both these up 1+2=3, the Total Capacity required. This is how much transport you need to shift everything this turn.
‘4’ is the Available capacity, how much you actually have. The mod doesn’t differentiate between trains and ships for the different routes. So you could feasibly have a wholly train based system running your multi-island transport network.
Trains don’t float so this is a bit of a stretch. However in reality if you have a water-based map you’ll have a few cargo ships by necessity. On the other hand if you have a totally land based map you’ll be unable to build anything other than trains so in both instances you’ll end up with an appropriate mix.
Number ‘5’ is all your train and ship capacity added together, in this case 51,000 t-Nm which works out at 99% of the required amount of 51,600 t-Nm.
Now the Fat Controller splits your capacity in exactly in half (if you have ordered him to be ‘Balanced’, eg. treat both resources the same).
So your Raw capacity would be 25,500 (half of your available 51,000) divided by 20,400 (the RAW cap required at ‘1’) which gives 125%. So all RAW is transported to your Capital.
Your Oil capacity would be the same 25,500 divided by 31,200 (the OIL cap required at ‘2’) which gives on 82%. So a portion of your OIL doesn’t get transported and ends up in the Reserves. This has happened because your OIL sites are further away (on average) from your Capital than your RAW sites and require commensurate greater capacity to move.
Game Play Implications
Strategy wise it is easy to see that the closer a resource is to your Capital, the more valuable it becomes. Distant resources require a significant commitment in order to fully utilise them.
Think long and hard about upgrading distant resources. If you don’t need them right now then don’t overstrain your transport network unnecessarily.
Don’t be afraid to tell the Fat Controller to prioritise one particular resource if you are running short.
Trains or cargo ships? Trains on land maps of course but otherwise a tough decision. Cargo ships cost only twice that of a train yet move three times the resources. Both cost the same to build in RAW so on the face of it you should build nothing but cargo ships. The hitch is that trains are free to run, cargo ships aren’t – 50 bbls of OIL per ship per turn to pay for resource movement duty. That can add up.
Complicating matters is the fact that cargo ships can be built by Shipyards and – if so – they are essentially free production that doesn’t take away from your army, supply or Political points. Trains are the opposite.
Consider bullet proofing your transport network. Look for the weak spots and try and build a rail line or a port that provides a backup route. Hard to do when fighting a war but sometimes it’s necessary if your main ‘hub’ is in the firing line.
Also think about building new rail lines and ports in order to shorten the distance that your resources have to move to get to your capital. This
can pay big dividends.
Just about impossible to balance this option. Way too many variables involved. A huge map with many opponents could have you controlling a small area with nearby resources whereas a small map could have your resources spread far and wide.
What I’ve done instead is too tweak the main factor (transport capacity per train) according to the map size and handed out a bunch of free resources and transport assets at the start.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a bountiful situation of plenty. Other times you won’t. Life wasn’t meant to be easy.