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Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening move

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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Distant Worlds Series >> The War Room >> Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening move Page: [1]
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Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening move - 12/21/2013 10:44:21 AM   


Posts: 14
Joined: 12/20/2013
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First time played on Prewarp with "Normal" Homeworld conditions(usually i'm start on excellent), normal difficulty, and default prewarp settings. Got totally pwnd by those pirates. When i choose to pay them dollars, cash got all red, if i refuse i can't even finish my first starbase. I used quamenos with technocracy btw.

i'm confused now, what steps should i take? what crucial techs to research first, tax rates, etc

Oh and yeah, i'm quite new to this game, i've played some games in classic mode but this prewarp mode totally frustates me. :P

thanks for your help anyway :D
Post #: 1
RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/21/2013 3:51:52 PM   


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Agree to pay protection, wait until they're gone, then cancel the agreement immediately.

(in reply to terololo)
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RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/21/2013 4:43:17 PM   


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Joined: 12/8/2013
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The above is a very good suggestion. If pirates are your main worry, however, I'd focus on troop defense first, then armor, then torpedo tech until Shockwave in the weapons branch, then troop attack and troop armor. You don't want to expand much until you've got the pirates under control anyway.

To prioritize energy research early on you simply build a majority of energy labs. If your labs are 50% energy, 25% weaps, 25% high tech then this will shape your actual research accordingly.

Final thing, make the civilian ships obselete until there's actually any reason for them to fly around. Early on they'll be snailing about for no reason and drain your resources in the process. It's much more efficient to hold b ack on them until you've got a few mines and some solid defensive ships.

(in reply to Deathball)
Post #: 3
RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/21/2013 5:50:22 PM   
General Patton

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Joined: 1/23/2010
From: Mass. USA. now in OHIO
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Research shields and fighters. Got to be able to defend yourself.


win 7, AMD A8-352M APU w/ RADEON HD GRAPHICS, 1600Mhz, 4 CORES, 6 GB RAM

"I don't like paying for the same real estate twice" General George S. Patton

(in reply to Spidey)
Post #: 4
RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/21/2013 6:10:52 PM   

Posts: 1585
Joined: 6/12/2003
From: My Own Private Hell
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Hi terololo, welcome to the forums

Have a look at this, it might help a bit with the basics. Also do not forget the tutorials accessible from the game main menu.

How to play an Easy Introductory Game in the Pre-Warp Age of Shadows

Once you have gone through those then have a look at this thread.

Distant Worlds Guide to Guides Mk II



Darkspires's File Repository

Dual Core E4500 2.20GHz - GeForce 8800GT (1gb) - XP 32bit 4gb with a 3gb twist and a shaking of PAE

(in reply to General Patton)
Post #: 5
RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/22/2013 6:25:42 AM   


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Joined: 7/9/2005
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The first thing to realize when playing pre-warp Shadows, is that it is an entirely different sort of game. You cannot play it the same way you play classic. In classic, your revenue determines how large a military you support, it does not play a role in determining whether or not you can afford an extra constructor or whether you should wait a few years before building a colony ship. In Shadows (normal) however, money determines absolutely every decision you make. You simply don't have enough of it, in fact you have so little that it is hard to fathom how you can get anything done at all.

When starting a game on normal difficulty Shadows, before taking the game off pause, go into the ship designer and open up the small spaceport. Look at it's constituents, then close that window. Now open up the large spaceport and reduce it's components to roughly half of what was in the starting small spaceport. Remove all weapons (having popguns on a base with no shields is worse than useless). Add labs to have ten of each and make sure you have enough energy for them. Give it ten fuel cells. Save.

Open up your research window and set your weapons to research enhanced missiles, armor plating, improved defense tactics and improved assault tactics in that order. Set your energy to research shields, energy collection, space construction and advanced nuclear fission in that order. Set your high tech to research entertainment systems, medical systems, countermeasures and target tracking in that order. Your weapons choices for later can be more flexible, but right now you need to research the fastest, most effective ranged deterrent you can, and little beats missiles (though fighters might be viable) for that initial game. (I go for torpedoes afterwards.)

Bump up your taxes just a tad, set your planet to building that 'large' spaceport you designed and then take the game off pause. You will probably be visited by a pirate by the time it is built. Pay them off (then as Deathball suggested I suppose, cancel it, though I've never learned how to do that). When the spaceport is built, build a scout and send it to explore the ruins that will unlock warp drive. Explore other planets that are enroute if it's not too much of a detour. If the layout of your system makes it time consuming to explore with just that one scout, build another, but skimping on everything you can in the beginning is crucial. If you've got a good moon or two you could put mines on or happen to be orbiting a nice fuel gas giant, build a constructor, otherwise wait till you've got warp bubble.

A big part of the strategy of the opening game in Shadows is to wait and be patient. The one advantage you have over the pirates (and frankly the AI races) is the labs in your station doing research. Give yourself the time to let your research give you the advantage. It won't take all that long before you will be able to field two of your biggest warships, and with just that, take out large pirate spaceports et al. Given that you probably won't be able to afford more than two at first, this is the key. High tech research ought to aim for boosting population happiness, growth and revenue. Don't forget that boosting colonization will ultimately double the population growth on your homeworld as well.

When your research has given you energy collectors, shields and missiles (you could try being brave and wait for a few extra goodies), upgrade your large spaceport and add twenty concussion missiles and twenty shields. the medical bay and recreation facility you probably also have, add a bit of armor if you researched it. You can also increase the construction and docking capacity a bit at this point. Make sure you have enough surplus energy for your missiles, and add energy collectors to cover all the static energy requirements. Upgrade your spaceport. You can now consider stopping paying off pirates, as if they come near your station, you will blow the snot out of them.

Because you are going slow, waiting for research and such to mature, you do not need a lot of mines and such. Be judicious. Build no more than two constructors in the early game. I don't have more than three even well into the mid game. Your civilian economy cannot support a large number of mines in the early game, so only build what you actually need. The same goes for colonies. Every colony is a drain on your meagre finances if you have any troops to defend the colony or add any sort of base to it. What you are looking for is extremely high value colonies. A planet in the 300's for size and in the 90's for quality 'might' be worth while colonizing. What you really want is a high growth rate independent race on a decent planet. Let the handful of scouts you've built find them first.

Go slow, research fast. Give your population time to grow so you can afford the growth in colonies, ships and bases. If you find a good resort location, that can help with a bit of extra revenue. Trade techs for cash with the few races you meet. Turn off the advisors or otherwise ignore them, as their advice will almost always ruin you if you follow it (the exception perhaps is the intelligence operations). Patience is your friend.

< Message edited by Panpiper -- 12/22/2013 7:38:22 AM >

(in reply to Darkspire)
Post #: 6
RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/23/2013 1:38:35 AM   


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As far as the initial batch of labs goes, I'd sooner weight the balance towards energy labs than have an even spread across the board for early research, then add in high tech labs, then add in weapons. The energy branch of the technology tree gives you a bunch of things that you need (hyperdrives) or which are very useful to you (shields, energy collectors, better reactors). The high-tech branch gives you the next set of useful stuff (colonization, better fuel cells and cargo bays, passenger and troop compartments, sensors), but it's not something which is essential in the very early stages of the game. And weapons, well, long-range guns and pulse blasters and seeker missiles might not be great, but they can work well enough for a fair amount of time. Basically, I'd suggest having only energy labs (or at least leaving energy labs as a significant majority of your labs) until after you've finished researching the first hyperdrive technology and have energy collectors, and then add in enough high-tech labs to give roughly equal research weight between energy and high tech until you have shields/energy collectors/fission reactors/colonization/passenger transport. Only then would I move on to an evenly distributed research spread. Also, energy collectors should probably be what you research until you meet the prerequisites for beginning the first hyperdrive research, as otherwise anything you build is going to start draining your fuel reserve, which can end up causing you some issues unless there's a convenient caslon source, preferably in a gas giant orbited by your homeworld.

As far as the initial spaceport goes, I personally would sooner build a small spaceport and retrofit up to something more appropriate for the homeworld because a very basic small spaceport can get built rather quickly, and getting those first few exploration ships out quickly for investigating the ruins in your system can help get you to the initial hyperdrive faster, and that's the part of the Shadows start that I like best - when you aren't restricted to a single system but are still at a significant speed and range disadvantage compared to the pirates, and probably cannot easily send ships or establish colonies more than one or two sectors away from home without setting up some intermediate bases of one kind or another. There are a couple of other advantages to starting with a really basic spaceport and upgrading it to something larger - once your spaceport is built, your homeworld can begin construction on something new (like a construction ship, a defense base, or a research station), and your minimal spaceport probably has at least some amount of weapons for warding off the occasional pirate. You can also be constructing ships at the spaceport while it gets retrofitted to a much more significant installation, making the first exploration ship(s) and civilian ships come out sooner. Having a 5-firepower 1-shipyard spaceport up now is better than having a 100-firepower 15-shipyard spaceport up later, especially since it's going to be a long time before you can really start using the extra shipyards, anyways, and before you have access to shields and armor neither one of the spaceports is particularly good against pirate attacks (although the 5-firepower version may as well be unarmed, to be perfectly honest). The smaller spaceport additionally costs less to run, though since you should be replacing it with a homeworld-appropriate spaceport relatively quickly that's not as much of a gain as it might initially seem.

As far as paying off pirates goes: it's a very bad idea to honor the agreement signed when the pirates show up in your home system and demand tribute. Usually you'll be required to pay enormous sums (say, 1K per month; you have to multiply the price listed in the agreement by 12 in order to determine its impact on your cashflow, because the pirate 'protection' agreements are monthly payments, while your empire's cashflow is the net yearly income), so it's a good idea to honor it long enough for the pirates to go away, and then break it. If they come back quickly enough that your spaceport isn't up yet, or in enough force to overwhelm your spaceport and any other defenses you have in the area, then sign another arrangement and honor it long enough to get the pirates to leave; if the harassment is too much for you, you might also try signing a protection agreement while the pirates are out of your system, because usually the arrangements offered then are two or three times less expensive than those offered when there's a pirate ship closing on something belonging to your empire.

(in reply to Panpiper)
Post #: 7
RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/23/2013 9:12:26 PM   


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Joined: 12/9/2013
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My starting strategy:

1. build medium star port and research stations

2. 1-2 explorers and 1-2 constructions ships

3. drop tax rate as much as possible and leave it low untill you have shields and start bulding the first military ships. (cash flow can be negative, once you reach 10% population rate, the mass of people actually make the money)

4. Get med and recreational centers and build resort bases (+ a passanger ship design)

5. Do what ever it is you like doing...

(in reply to terololo)
Post #: 8
RE: Newbie here - got some questions on Prewarp opening... - 12/26/2013 3:21:32 PM   


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Joined: 7/22/2013
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Seems like the tribute canceling tactic should give you a hit to your reputation with the pirate.

They should come back and demand an upfront payment or raid you a few times and then see if you want "protection"

Also, they should cancel the protection deal as you start deploying ships to "keep you in your place"

Should increase the challenge for those looking for higher difficulty.

(in reply to Apox)
Post #: 9
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