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Space ports on each colony?

 
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Space ports on each colony? - 10/12/2015 11:00:13 AM   
jadelith

 

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Joined: 5/30/2014
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This is what I usually do - build a small space port (tiny in size, but with med/rec facilities) on small colonies, to be upgraded to medium, well defended ones.

I only build the large one in my capital, which is a ridiculous overkill megafortress with 200 shields & armor, 10 tractor beams, 5 rep bots, a few '000 of firepower, 100 docking & const yards, all the research facilities, etc etc.

I just read somewhere that building spaceports on each colony messes up with the ai of freighters. Why & Is the impact significant? Could someone elaborate / mention how they go about building spaceports?
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RE: Space ports on each colony? - 10/12/2015 12:03:23 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Each spaceport wants a store of strategic resources so that it is prepared to build ships.

Having a spaceport at each colony means that each colony is asking for strategic resources for this purpose.

Compare this to only a single spaceport on the capital. The capital spaceport is the destination for all resources, and this is the only location that asks for stores of strategics. The freighters receive no orders to spread all kinds of resources to the other spaceports.

A followup to this, is that you risk seeing a lot of resource shortages, since ships are built on tiny and not well supplied spaceports.

The benefit of having a spaceport on a colony is that it gives some defense, and that it has a medical facility and recreation center that boosts happiness (and thus tax income) from the colony beneath. You can achieve the same by for instance having a Star Base (design type) base above each colony with these components, and with as much defenses as you see fit. The only important thing about which base to use is "not a spaceport" since they need a shipyard and will ask for resources to build ships.

I would still build some more spaceport when the empire grows, simply because I want to build ships at more locations, and have repair nearby. I do however keep to a small amount of spaceports, and try to avoid two of them being too close. If I play with just AI designs, having a large spaceport above the colony is also quite a bit better defense than just adding an extra defensive base or two. This is of course only relevant for the most valuable colonies.

As for significance, if you get no messages of resource shortages in your game, it is not significant :-)

(in reply to jadelith)
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RE: Space ports on each colony? - 10/12/2015 6:08:55 PM   
Kayoz


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Joined: 12/20/2010
From: Timbuktu
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I'd go for a maximum of one port per 3 systems.

_____________________________

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: Space ports on each colony? - 10/13/2015 12:28:14 AM   
CyclopsSlayer


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As Bingling above says

For growth and economic purposes build a small Star Base not a port. It can have the Commerce, Med and Rec centers but doesn't pull resources.

(in reply to Kayoz)
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RE: Space ports on each colony? - 10/13/2015 1:15:57 AM   
jacozilla

 

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I've done what seems to be the expert consensus - I am not expert myself, fairly new player to DW, but read lots of posts - and here's my 2 cents:

a) if I do the 1 space port for ~3-4 systems approach (size of space port depending on planet pop and my cashflow) - with custom designed starbases or defense bases with just rec/med/commerce over rest of systems, then all is fine in terms of maintenance costs, and I don't really see any resource shortage except where I expect to - on systems I literally just colonized so of course there may be some shortage to insta-build a port/base.

However, the big, really big for me, negative is the inability to refit my local defense fleet I keep in each system on fleet posture defend-sector without exposing those covered systems to pirate attacks.

And somehow, the pirates always, always 'know' when I refit. The instant I pull a fleet out - either via automated suggestion popup or I manually control, either way- soon as fleet leaves to refit, pirates attack and kill whatever base I was still building, etc.

To some degree this can be moderated by staggering fleets manually to refit, but the logistics of that becomes sometimes more a nuisance than the hit the pirates do. The setting I really wish existed was refit all fleets vs refit all non-fleets whenever the suggestion to refit was asked. This way, at least my roaming defense forces would still be there, or vice versa my organized fleets when roamers are refitting.

I can also manually control 100% all refits, but again - by definition of an expansion empire, there will always be worlds uncovered - so only real way is to build 2 defense fleets per system, and manually refit only one at a time. But that gets to be bigger expense than just building a space port in every system, and much more a micromanagement nightmare as empire grows and how fast you tech up.

b) If I do the 1 spaceport in every SYSTEM (not world), with maybe a few systems that are so obviously close together I skip those, then I end up with ability to refit (and refuel with good amount of custom designed docking port designs) in every system. Pirates or AI can't really raid me and generally if a raid does happen during refit, ships are still waiting in queue to refit and at least part of the fleet can be sent to defend so basically, this option leaves me with effectively little to no 'uncovered systems' issue as above.

And to be honest, maybe because I am still playing on 'Normal' mode settings (for my empire, AI, and pirate numbers/strength) - I have not noticed any resource shortages just spamming spaceports on every 1 star system.

I DO notice maintenance costs being any issue, but I solve that by designing low cost small space ports for most worlds.

So of the two options, despite being as newbie player, I've decided to just stay with spaceport spam on every 1 star system with few exceptions when they are so close.

The refit exposure to me is a bigger nuisance than the possible resources being spread thin rather than stockpiled on key worlds.

Not sure, but maybe its because I use low cost small spaceports, but it seems the AI stores most what I need on my mega-spaceport homeworld anyways.

(in reply to CyclopsSlayer)
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RE: Space ports on each colony? - 10/13/2015 5:51:21 AM   
Bingeling

 

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Joined: 8/12/2010
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You are touching on the choices of the early game. Keep in mind that to retrofit ships the spaceport used will need resources to build new components.

I would do things like.

- Not expand to a lot of colonies if I don't control the pirates.
- Never accept a "retrofit all" suggestion after the very earliest phase of the game.
- Consider to not retrofit fleets.
- Build temporary spaceports used during the pirate war, and scrap them once things calm down.

Focus on finding or killing the pirate bases nearby. It is easier to destroy the launching pad for the pirate raid, than it is to actually stop the raid. For instance, defending a key gas mine from the attack of a 8 ship pirate fleet is almost impossible.

Why not accept "retrofit all"? First, it is usually not a good idea to send all ships to retrofit at once. If nothing else, it could create long queues on the spaceport. Second, it will make the AI automatically upgrade spaceports based on population levels. Yes, I could tweak the population levels in the empire settings, or I can just keep far away from that "button".

(in reply to jacozilla)
Post #: 6
RE: Space ports on each colony? - 10/16/2015 10:53:07 PM   
ldog

 

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Joined: 6/3/2014
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Spaceports everywhere. And I've been playing this game as long as most. Also mines everywhere.
The benefits of having a spaceport over a colony to me outweigh any imagined drawbacks (and that's what it seems like most of them are...especially since I think one of the last few patches took care of most of what legit issues there were)
Once I get going my civilian economy dwarfs every other empire. Granted I tend to play as human, start in center of galaxy and trade with everyone I can.

Every cluster of systems in your empire should have mines for the basic strategic resources. Fuel especially. Also steel, lead, gold, iridium.
If it's a fleet base (because mid-late game you aren't going to want to retrofit all your ships at your homeworld) then all the other strategic resources as well if possible.
I think this is where most people run into problems which they blame on too many starports.

Starbases I don't tend to bother with since they can't be retrofitted into spaceports. Trying to maintain more than 1 active version of any given design is going to cause you fits unless you micromanage 100% and are very careful to boot (like when you give fleet retrofit order and your heavy battleships are taken out of commission as they are refitted into light battleships.....)

As far as building, while I like to get the small port up PDQ, there is no point starting it if resources aren't available (not to mention ships to defend it from pirates who will be the 1st to come welcome the new colony to the neighborhood). Since I tend to let the AI keep up on base design my decision to go to medium and large is heavily based on if I need a static LRS in the area, if I am going to base/retrofit fleets there, if I am at war, and otherwise the default population thresholds (even though I turn all that automation off) are not a bad rule of thumb as to when the colony is of enough importance and value to justify the expense.

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 7
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