If you expand faster, you need more constructors. That makes sense. And if you have a lots of ships killed you need more mines. But in shadows I feel that blitz expansion is not so easy, and there is no need to build that many mines at once.
I half agree that blitz expansion is not so easy. Early game, I strongly agree with you. Mid game, destroying pirates around the map removes one barrier. In the meantime I've built sufficient mines to support a war machine in parallel with building as many colony ships as I can and supporting ports/bases et al at those colonies. Eventually I would say it indeed becomes blitz expansion. In my last game (same settings as AAR, Expensive Research) was 21 colonies in 2120, 135 colonies in 2130 and not long after that > 200 (large map as always, tried abundant colonies and teeming independent life for a change and had the victory conditions set very high).
I find it interesting exploring how few mines are actually needed, but the tracking of resource usage is not very good in the current game. Two questions that are not easily answered are "does the store of steel increase or decrease with time" and "how are steel stores in various parts of the empire".
I agree. But I think the way around it is to know how many mines are needed to support your expansion plans. I find 20-30 mines is about right for my expansion style ... which is very aggressive once I feel I'm ready. At this point I stop checking stocks for Strategics as it's never a problem. Stores for resources in various part of the empire I also ignore, because I find building fleets at my best worlds with Large Spaceports (typically homeworlds and in particular my initial homeworld) ensures resources are generally where I want them for the big consumptions, and I'm prepared to be patient waiting for new starbases/spaceports to build (although that's now an area I'm starting to focus more on) elsewhere.
In that AAR I had 22 colonies, 210 military ships, 4 constructors, 24 mines, 39 gas mines. I remember booking some mines now and then whenever I was bored. Of course, 22 colonies gives quite a few sources as well. And if in doubt, build another fuel mine.
Outside of Debris Fields I feel more constructors are needed for two purposes:
1. To build mines around newly conquered homeworlds (because I'll be building/refuelling fleets there)
2. To progressively place Gas Mining Stations around the map to support refuelling and with Long Range Scanners to find targets.
After that I agree, retire.
< Message edited by Icemania -- 8/9/2013 12:56:50 AM >