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New Player Here - Initial Questions

 
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New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 5:13:19 PM   
Paradox Pancake

 

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Hello folks,

I recently purchased Distant Worlds with the release of Shadows, having waited for the bundle sale. I was pulled into Distant Worlds from the sheer amount of detail that I wanted out of a 4x game for awhile and I do enjoy the game, but I find myself lost at a few concepts. I've been quickly overwhelmed by the AI in a few games or they vastly outmatch me in terms of tech and military strength extremely quickly OR I start getting smacked down by pirates to the point of non-recovery. What I'm wondering is:

- Fleet Composition:
How do you folks sort out your fleets? What ship types do you use for what kind of instances?

- Pirates:
Same as above. How do you deal with these guys? I can attack them in some instances, but I usually end up having a phyrric victory because they boarded/took a bunch of my ships during the attack or I lost a few from their defenses.

- Colonization:
When is it a good/bad time to go colonizing? I notice that some empires go on extreme land grabs early on and I'm wondering if this is the key or if I should be a little bit more reserved in my colonization.

- Early Game:
What should my priorities be? Having as much as I can of strategic resources? Send out a ton of mining stations?

I've watched a few Let's Play from Das and I've learned a bit, but our end results generally tend to be greatly different . In any event, I appreciate any help or guides that could answer the above questions. I love the game, but I keep finding myself getting beaten pretty handily.
Post #: 1
RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 5:21:00 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Are you playing mainly in the Age of Shadows or in the Classic Age? Are your galaxy settings generally the defaults or have you adjusted them?

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(in reply to Paradox Pancake)
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RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 5:29:20 PM   
Paradox Pancake

 

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Classic Age Empire. I wanted to avoid playing a complex Shadow Age Empire due to the lack of tech. It's also my understanding that pirates are a step up in difficulty as well so I've avoided playing them until I understand the concepts of the game a bit more.

As for the galaxy settings, I've not touched them at all. Normal settings across the board.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
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RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 5:37:36 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Fleet composition:

This is a matter of taste. Some have fun doing fancy stuff. Me? Keep it simple. At the start (in a start setting) big ships are not available, but apart from that.

Main battle fleets. In my latest AAR, 13 cruisers and 3 carriers. Maybe they should have a carrier or two more, and if I played on I would replace cruisers gradually with capital ships when they became available. And probably go down a bit in ship count when very many capitals are in the fleet.

In addition some smaller protection/kill fleets can be useful. Things to keep an eye on pirates, or kill enemy mines. 4-6 frigates or destroyers work well for me here (I prefer destroyers). In early game of shadows you can need significant defenses against pirates. You won't have cruisers, so somewhat larger frigate/destroyer fleets.

Other players may have all kinds of ships in their fleets, trying to emulate what they imagine a space fleet should be with escorts, frigates, capitals...

Pirate defense: In Shadows...

Try to get spaceports on colonies of value (all should have value). They need defense so park a good fleet there while building. Once it is up it can repair defenders, and help keep the colony "clear". Ships can take a lot of damage against pirates early on, it is hard to keep them clear. With a spaceport on the target, it is much easier to keep the defenses up (local repair).

Bust their bases if you can. Last night I started a new quick game, and it was 26 160-size Haakonish frigates (with graviton beams) against a pirate large spaceport nearby. Early on just amass a massive fleet and bust it, later a main fighting fleet or two should do the trick.

If they got another base, it may not help much, but if the other base is far away, it is harder for them to operate in your area. If it is their only base, they are gutted. Just keep an eye out for new base builds, and kill all mines you can find.

Colonization:

This one is not obvious. I will only colonize for "territory gain" early on. That nice little prospect right next to my capital can wait. It won't extend my sphere of influence at all. A new shadows issue is anti pirate defense. Finding the balance with what you can afford raided and how often, and the number you can defend... is not obvious.

Until they grab a lot of cash raiding, I will accept some raids on some colonies, and be aware of pirate structures and bust them early with a garrison. I am not sure how hard the structures are in the latest patch, though, but I will try with 3 garrison and early attacks. 3-4 worked in beta, though, as long as I got them while they were building.

Early game

Get through pre-warp somehow. I just tend to turtle quite badly, and it is dead boring.

Grab nearby independents. I invade them
Keep in mind that pirates will likely be there, so send a fleet ahead of the troop transport.

Get fuel sources, and to make things simple 1 source for each strategic. You need more of the common ones (steel and friends), watch your stores a bit for trends. Keep in mind that mines in systems that the pirates raid will not survive. I think early mines are better off in the capital system, and in nearby systems with no colonies. If you can't keep pirates out of the capital system, consider more 'home defense'. Losing a mine to a pirate attack now and then is not a massive problem, and hard to prevent.

Another trick for "what is needed the most" is to peek at the component summary of spaceport and warship designs. The ones with high counts are the ones you may want more than 1 source of. Some strategics are only used in later tech. Otherwise "empire's most needed resources" in the planner is the AI's opinion, and usually not way's off. But if you already got 5 fuel sources and 0 for other strategics, maybe ignore the "fuel, fuel, fuel" advice that may be there.

Otherwise, the sticky on the main forum about easy shadow game, may help with the environment.

(in reply to Paradox Pancake)
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RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 6:00:35 PM   
Paradox Pancake

 

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Well, for fleets, I'd pretty much just like to remain practical in that regard. Should I assign a small defense fleet of frigates or destroyers to each colony? Should I build ships whenever I get a new colony up?

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RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 6:07:29 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I am not sure how much colony defense is needed in classic. I have not tried that in Legends yet.

I guess you discover if they are needed or not soon enough? I would start with 4-5 ships, and adjust according to the level of attacks. Also, if colonies are left alone, you really don't need ships at every one. I would probably make a new defense fleet for each colony, but that is tainted by Shadows era.

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RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 6:09:51 PM   
Paradox Pancake

 

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Alright, thanks!

The help files in Galactopedia are somewhat vague regarding the pros and cons of frigates and destroyers. Is there any real difference between the two? What are they used for? I've come to the conclusion that escorts are... well... cannon fodder.

Edit: Also, how do you go about preparing for war? What are priority targets for you? Do you use fleet posture at all?

Edit2: Oh man, tons of questions now. So with building space ports, I always notice that the icon has an exclamation point stating that the colony(?) or the empire(?) is lacking the resources? Does that mean the resources need to be transported to the colony or that my empire is just definitively lacking in those things.

< Message edited by Paradox Pancake -- 5/28/2013 6:13:13 PM >

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RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 6:51:23 PM   
Bingeling

 

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A frigate is not a frigate. The usefulness may depend on design.

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RE: New Player Here - Initial Questions - 5/28/2013 7:08:18 PM   
Bingeling

 

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You edit a lot, and I am a bit less busy.

The exclamation mark is that they don't have enough resources. They will get there, but maybe don't start 4 of them at once in the early days...

I prefer destroyers to frigates, but really only use them for small stuff. Destroyers are a bit larger, slower, more shield, more weapons. But in shadows these may be very different from race to race, so have a look.

Preparing for war? I never fleet posture. I micro manage. I have a lot of AARs that show what I do. The Ikurro one is Shadows, the Yor one is legends. And this game may be played in many ways. I am one that like a lot of automation, and micro manage ship usage.

(in reply to Bingeling)
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