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Overbuilding mining/gas bases?

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Overbuilding mining/gas bases? - 8/18/2012 11:54:15 PM   


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I've logged a fair bit of time into the game now, not actually finishing any games yet (I like large galaxies), but playing many hours in each of three starts (ramping up the difficulty each time). I tend to leave much on automation lest the micromanagement kill me. However I am starting to realize that I need to be much more judicious about my constructors. I am hoping to solicit advice from some of the veterans here on what is and is not too much building of constructors and mining facilities, and just which way is the best way to manage an efficient use of both.

I suspect that having 100 mine/gas bases while having only say, 3 colonies, is probably overkill and hugely wasteful given that your civilian economy has to pay the maintenance on the things. Or is it the case that the resources produced somehow get sold into the galactic bank such that it is possible to have such overproduction still able to pay for itself?

On the other hand, having only 10 mines for that same 3 colonies is likely woefully insufficient. If left completely on autopilot, will constructors build an optimum ratio of production based on your actual needs, or will they as I am beginning to believe be very foolish in their choices as to what to build? Will they continue to produce long after you have ceased expanding? Is that a bad thing?

Is there an ideal ratio of constructors to colonies? Am I vastly better off micromanaging which mines get built when and aught to simply leave constructors on manual only and only ever build new mining facilities when I see prices rise above their low points?

The starting autodesigned mining (& gas) bases have but one extractor and 20 cargo holds (I think that was it). But having read in this forum that that is nowhere near maxes the mining potential of the resource, I increased that to three extractors per base. Given that they will be creating three times as much, it seemed reasonable to at least double the cargo storage as well. Having done all of that though, the maintenance cost of these bases is getting steep. Am I completely off base here?
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RE: Overbuilding mining/gas bases? - 8/19/2012 12:50:35 PM   

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Hi Panpiper, I always manual contructors (that being the way I like to play) so I can't answer many of your queries.  But...

It is more than 'possible' to make money off overproduction.  You need someone (nearby preferably) who has an unfulfilled demand for that resource.  For example if your friendly neighbour loses all of their steel mining bases (somehow ) they will buy from you if they have money.  Luxuries are a better bet if you are trying to set this up since they are generally higher priced (and the demand is ongoing so it can be a bit like getting them addicted), and largish spaceports on the edge of their territory to facilitate trade.  Resources trade at the galactic price.

My experience with constructor building priorities comes only from the suggestions you get for 'in demand' resources, both galactic and imperial.  I believe that this listing is used by the constructors but someone may know better.  (Certainly the demands for resources and distance to nearest spaceport are considered.)  Those suggestions are not bad but sometimes they seem a little strange and are not what I consider priorities for building, even if I am intending to trade the resources.  I have heard other people who play largely automated say that they keep one or two constructors on manual for priority jobs.  The other option is to queue up jobs for them (10 at a time or whatever) and then return them to [automatic].  Repeat as necessary.

Designing bases is an art in itself, although perhaps oft neglected.  I don't use a cookie cutter approach to bases so this advice may not suit you entirely.  For non-gas mining bases I find that usually the starting cargo bays are sufficient (or even a bit too much, at times).  For gas mining bases I will add lots of extra cargo if I intend them to be a common refueling point/fleet refueler.  If they are in a system with a spaceport I won't bother so much.  Also remember that your extraction rate changes with your mining tech.  So it is not always worth using 3 extractors.  Ditto for mining engines.  Better to figure out roughly what sort of demand you anticipate and cater for that.  Once you stop expanding your demands will drop (no new colonies to fill with resources) - a good time to build a victory fleet? 

If you have met all your domestic and inter-galactic demands (even temporarily) you can always decommission you constructors, or use them for repair jobs, or take tourists on joy flights around your systems...

< Message edited by feelotraveller -- 8/19/2012 12:59:30 PM >

(in reply to Panpiper)
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