unclean -> RE: Is there a good Tutorial for "gameplay"? (8/26/2012 10:52:33 PM)
I think it's useful to just think of there being 4 basic strengths of the races: fleet, troops, economy and science, and you should just focus hard on one of them. Races are generally geared towards one of these, and if you try to go for too much at once you'll just end up with your spaceports and constructors ridiculously backed up.
Then consider whatever special tech or gimmick your race has and exploit the hell out of it. Like building tons of explorers as Dhayat and snatching up half the goodies on the map with their nasty stardrive tech, or making long range torpedo ships that can outrange and outrun nearly everything as the Sluken.
I'm not an expert on all of these, but here's basically how they all play out -
Massive early game strength. It's an all in start, and most everyone will probably end up hating you, so go for this if you want to just be a locust swarm devouring everything you come across.
Anyways, in this game you can utterly wipe out the assets of an empire with a fleet, but you're out of luck when it comes to taking over planets if you don't have a troop advantage a troop advantage (there is a point where you can bombard, but eventually planetary shields come into play and you're back to square one.) On top of this, early on homeworlds are ridiculously powerful, and if you take one you roughly double your power. You can probably see where this is going - build nonstop troops, enough troop ships to hold them, and book it towards the nearest homeworld. Hopefully it belongs to a race that doesn't like you, but if you wait too long the economic races will start out expanding you, and others will start building fleets while you're stuck paying maintenance on expensive troops, so make due if you're about to fall behind.
Also, if you have Legends this is a bit easier since troop generals are be downright nasty, so if you brought a troop general to fight and you opponent didn't they're probably screwed. Just make sure to at least invade an independent first to get them tested. But in any case, make sure you bring a general to any ground battle or outnumber your enemy from 2:1 to 4:1 in troops (based on population).
Go for the colonization and stardrive techs right away and expand and explore like crazy, all the while conquering all the independents you come across while killing enough pirate bases to keep your reputation up.
Early game you want to focus on getting at least one source of each basic resource, and don't focus on them except for fuel and carbon fiber unless there's an odd shortage (check the galaxy price in the expansion planner). Luxury resources are really where it's at, especially the rare ones like Loros fruit.
Also retrofit your home spaceport to a large one ASAP, as once you start expanding it will be swamped with civilian crafts. Past that point, build small spaceports at important hotspots in your trading route, or where you need fuel stockpiled for your fleet, and medium spaceports wherever a lot of construction is going on or if it's getting a lot of business from other empires. A lot later you can build barebones ports at planets just to get the bonuses from medical facilities and whatnot, but don't go for it too early, too much construction can lock your empire down hard.
Also if you ever get stuck without any kind of basic resource try to find the ancient guardians. They'll sell you anything.
This route can be kind of boring because you just want to buy peace and maneuver yourself politically until you can boom your economy and take over. The difficulty also varies quite a bit based on how close you start to any reptiles or bugs, and how many other empires there are.
Plays out differently than the crazy zerg rush of the troop start - this one is more about breaking an empires back and then slowly constricting it.
You really want to prey on the economic races, and attack once they've expanded a bit but before they get a decent troop build up or really get their economy up and running. Ignore their homeworld and go right for their juiciest colonies, and get them to agree to a subjugation once they're demoralized. Then focus on getting enough troops to conquer their homeworld in one swoop.
Early tech is important here, I like going for construction techs and shields, and focusing hard on a couple of weapon techs. Blasters and torpedoes are always solid, and getting rail guns early on can be quite nasty, although star bases can give you some trouble.
Build research bases on your homeworld, or make a custom spaceport design with lots of research facilities to retrofit into, and focus on selling tech to the wealthiest race you can find.
I haven't played this route for a while since it seemed pretty easy and exploitative in ROTS (and by somewhat exploitative I mean snatching up every last credit in the galaxy, forever) so I can't say much, but I remember a decent defensive fleet being necessary because you'll be harder up for cash early compared to the purely economic/expansion start.
It could be better now though, and you can do lots of espionage and play with all the cool wonders in Legends, so it might be worth a shot.
If you just want general tips, a big one is getting at least 1 destroyer and 2 frigates in each settled system in your empire to act as your main defense against pirates and space creatures and let your main fleets stick to more important things. Just watch out when you're retrofitting - if your spaceport situation is dire you'll leave your colonies defenseless for a long time.
Your government pick also plays a big part in where you fit in, don't just look at the bonuses - if you want to hang out with the bugs and lizards pick a dictatorship, if you want to ally more with the rats and humans go for a democracy. It's not quite that black and white, and I don't want to give anything away, but if you're playing with storylines you should consider it.
Also stay away from the ship designer for the most part. Back in ROTS a lot of the default designs were pretty bad, but now things are pretty well optimized so you really don't have to mess with it unless you need some wacky custom design, or have some racial tech you need to take advantage of. Plus it's a good way to get yourself into some really weird and dire resource shortages.
Also don't worry TOO much about the details, just getting a feel for how things play out is more important.