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How do you play as a pirate?

 
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How do you play as a pirate? - 5/24/2014 6:17:36 PM   
FireLion1983

 

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So I'm starting to play some games as a pirate, and I just don't get it...

1) When should I expand? Why do I need another pirate base?
2) If an empire drops your protection, how do you get it back? Destroying their stuff pisses them off and you can never get them paying you again.
3) How big should you let an empire get before you trim them back?
4) Is it worth trying to take over empires and build bases on their planets? Or do you just focus on independents?

Thanks! :)
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RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 5/25/2014 1:15:36 AM   
Aeson

 

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Fair warning: I am by no means an expert on playing as a pirate. I occasionally toy with it, but I much prefer playing as a normal empire.

1. You should expand when you've found a lucrative area which is too far off from your current pirate base to properly sustain a fleet in that direction. An example would be a small cluster with a few independent worlds that you can dominate, or a system with one of the superluxury resources (Korrabian Spice, Zentabia Fluid, or Loros Fruit). Having a base in the proper area means that your fleets are less likely to be crippled by slowly-accumulating damage from skirmishes with empires and other pirate factions (because you have a much more convenient center for repair work) and it helps safeguard a world you've put a lot of effort into corrupting or one which has something particularly valuable (a superluxury, or the only major source of chromium in three sectors, or something like that). The extra base also means you won't be as crippled if someone comes along and kills your original base.

Another reason why you might want to build a second base is that your original base is somewhere with no decent targets nearby, or with poor access to resources (e.g. if you spawned in a gas cloud outside of a star cluster, instead of over a gas giant in a star cluster). A third reason is that you're trying to make a push against another faction. Don't build too many bases, but don't be afraid to build a new base if it provides a convenient fleet station.

2. No idea.

3. The earlier you suppress an empire's growth, the safer you are, as a normal empire will almost always be able to out-research and, eventually, out-fleet your pirates. However, if the normal empire isn't in your stomping grounds, I'd tend to leave it be and just discourage encroachment. Remember that as a pirate faction, your direct competition is the other pirate factions, not the normal empires; tying up too much stuff trying to trim back a developed empire might be too costly, especially if the developed empire isn't distracted by wars with other developed empires or strong pirate factions.

4. I would generally prefer to take over independents, but if you can find an empire before they really get going (for example, if you find an Age of Shadows pre-warp empire before they get their spaceport up or shielded) then they're an acceptable target, possibly even a better target due to the higher population (but this hurts your ability to corrupt them, and also means that they probably have a decent number of troops available to blow up your facilities, unless it's a new colony that you're trying to take over). The planets of normal empires are much, much harder to take over than independents are, and it's harder to set up a decent support infrastructure for your raiders nearby - normal empires will typically build space defenses and ground forces which make raids, corruption, and hidden bases more difficult, they'll go after your ships and bases, especially those within their space, and you're just not in their league in military strength and economy if they've had time to build up, unless you've been doing really well.

I generally prefer to stay away from developed empires and take even minor protection agreements, and only really perform smuggling activities in their area. More strongly criminal pirate activities stay in the under-developed fringes - new colonies, poor colonies, areas devastated by warfare - when dealing with a generally well-developed empire, because you're just not going to successfully pull off a raid against a large space port, two or three defensive bases, and the local naval presence, and the more you tick off the giant, the sooner it's going to start swinging back.

(in reply to FireLion1983)
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RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 5/26/2014 7:17:15 PM   
Bloodly

 

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However, the big question is 'how do you afford this?'. You start with foul amounts of cash. Raiding brings little raw money. Nor does capture. And Smuggling's not useful unless someone's giving out something you can give. Which isn't always the case.

(in reply to Aeson)
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RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 5/29/2014 12:57:39 PM   
Raagun

 

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I found most of my steady income comming from minging which also increase smugling income. I accept all smugling missions (sat auto on that policy). That gives sustainable income. Problem is securing all that.

(in reply to Bloodly)
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RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 6/30/2014 12:23:08 AM   
Extreme Boyheat

 

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Also don't colonize too many worlds once you get the ability to do so, they tend to have huge amounts of corruption.

(in reply to Raagun)
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RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 6/30/2014 1:56:30 AM   
Nanaki

 

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Having experiances with pirates... As a smuggler.

- Pick Haakonish. Most racial bonuses do not work with pirates, Haakonish has two, +1 intelligence agent and +15% Military Ship size, which happen to work. Also, Haakonish start with a colonial governor which you will need later (pirates are not able to generate colonial governors to my knowlege). Only viable alternative is Gizurean, and only because Gizureans have the unique quality of never having to worry about coups which means they can get some very powerful leaders.

- Explore, Explore, Explore. Exploration ships are your most important asset, you need them to scan everything. You can even use it to get money from empires by selling the info to them.

- Take defense missions from indies, 99% of the time they will autocomplete without you ever sending a ship there, so its a great source of early-game monies.

- Use money to set up pirate bases. These will provide steady income.

- Find an independant to 'take over', preferably in a system with lots of resources, even better if it has race with happiness bonuses (Sounds odd, but pirates do not benefit from most racial bonuses, happiness is one of the few they do benefit from). Set up pirate base/fortress in it, and then get Criminal Network when you can afford it. The sooner the better.

- Espionage is critical. You will not be able to keep up in techs so you need espionage to close the gap.

- Derelict fleets are awesome. They are usually equipped with end-game mods so gather enough derelict ships and you could still fight empires toe-to-toe.

- Note that pirates do not get as much benefit from planets they own as empires do, they do not get a whole lot of research capacity and their tax is hobbled by high corruption. You will also need to set up powerful defenses because the AI will relentlessly attack you.

< Message edited by Nanaki -- 6/30/2014 2:57:31 AM >


_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Extreme Boyheat)
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RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 6/30/2014 7:14:47 AM   
Keston


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My first Universe game (and as pirates) was as Kiaidian Lone Moon Marauders from the tutorial through 2119. Naturally on those defaults it was not hard to lead the pirates, and was ahead of almost all known empires in military strength, but this actually helps pop out the mistakes.

-Slow to get focused on the key concept It's all about the money.
-Selling information cautiously and strategically instead of checking it out for my use or not, prioritizing, and selling it wholesale widely to rake in cash.
-Not pushing presence in strength around near and more distant planets more heavily to get protection deals and more influence and therefore having to fight rival pirates for "mine" and letting them secure "theirs" that might have been in play. Note: Getting my military strength up prompted suggestions that we cancel protection deals and propose new ones at a higher price, which were accepted.
-Not noticing that I couldn't build Construction Ships when one was lost - meaning capture is key until that capacity opens up.
-Not building up boarding strength and good capture ships fast enough, critical to build the fleet numbers and tech by captures.
-Slow to pick up on raiding, which happened to be the "Raider" pirate's aptitude and is all-around good for getting cash, experience for characters, and weakening the targets.
- Tried to get fleet "attack" postures and commands to help raiding, but it pretty much seems that I have to do it manually.

-Playing Raider in a fairly spread out galaxy.

Raider is probably my least favorite playstyle to try, so I know the others will be more fun. It would also be sense to evaluate the racial bonuses available against playstyle in starting as a pirate of industry.

I'm still not clear on the math of revenues and resources from destroyed ships/bases, raids, and retirement. It seems like raiding, then capturing or destroying, is the optimum unless the plan is to come back again.

The future plan if I continue is to fully control the nearest world and be able to build forces to secure some independent planets and act directly against rivals - though I'm not sure the empires would like big pirate battles on their soil - will see if that kind of "corporate warfare" is even possible.

Still need to work on how to charm or weaken empires a little farther away and in any event control "business" on their planets.


< Message edited by Keston -- 6/30/2014 8:35:33 AM >

(in reply to Nanaki)
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RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 6/30/2014 1:24:56 PM   
Nanaki

 

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quote:


Raider is probably my least favorite playstyle to try, so I know the others will be more fun. It would also be sense to evaluate the racial bonuses available against playstyle in starting as a pirate of industry.


Racial bonuses are completely different. Most global racial bonuses, such as research and colony income, do not work at all. Planet bonuses like happiness are also worthless because you have no starting population. Troop maintenance bonuses are also useless because you have no troops either.

The only racial bonuses that matter to pirates are:
Troop Strength - These affect your boarding pods
Military Ship Size - Works Normally
Extra Intelligence Agents - Works Normally

Thus Haakonish is the nobrainer pick. They have strong troop strength, military ship size bonus, extra intelligence agent, and on top of that start with a colonial governor which you will need when you take over a planet since pirates do not get colonial governors that I know of.

_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Keston)
Post #: 8
RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 6/30/2014 11:26:29 PM   
Keston


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Very good point. It's not at all obvious that benefits don't translate over to Pirates.

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 9
RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 7/2/2014 4:37:49 AM   
Mandras

 

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Joined: 6/20/2014
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nanaki


Racial bonuses are completely different. Most global racial bonuses, such as research and colony income, do not work at all. Planet bonuses like happiness are also worthless because you have no starting population. Troop maintenance bonuses are also useless because you have no troops either.

The only racial bonuses that matter to pirates are:
Troop Strength - These affect your boarding pods
Military Ship Size - Works Normally
Extra Intelligence Agents - Works Normally

Thus Haakonish is the nobrainer pick. They have strong troop strength, military ship size bonus, extra intelligence agent, and on top of that start with a colonial governor which you will need when you take over a planet since pirates do not get colonial governors that I know of.




This! Haakonish really are surprisingly well rounded.

Another thing I noticed is that periodic population growth cycles don't function for pirates. I quit my Dhayuut raider campaign when I realized I would never get more than 4 percent growth going on any of my controlled Dhayuut worlds. :(

The only positive effect was that the super low population allowed a large variety of other races to enter my faction, so I have huge racial bonuses from minorities in my empire. I had -20 percent ship maintenance from the Gizereans, and a major Teekan mining bonus, etc.

As for money, you can make hundreds of thousands selling secret locations to pirates (who can't even use them).

Lastly, some races seem more predisposed to leadership coups than others. My dhayuut campaign went on for 200 years and I never had a single coup, but a short game as Mortalen raiders, saw my leader overthrown three times in the first year.


< Message edited by Mandras -- 7/2/2014 5:47:14 AM >

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 10
RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 7/2/2014 10:05:26 AM   
Nanaki

 

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quote:


The only positive effect was that the super low population allowed a large variety of other races to enter my faction, so I have huge racial bonuses from minorities in my empire. I had -20 percent ship maintenance from the Gizereans, and a major Teekan mining bonus, etc.


Are you sure about this? I am fairly certain that those bonuses do not work for pirates.

quote:


This! Haakonish really are surprisingly well rounded.


More like overpowered. There is just no reason to pick any other race.

_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Mandras)
Post #: 11
RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 7/2/2014 7:29:48 PM   
Keston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nanaki

Racial bonuses are completely different. Most global racial bonuses, such as research and colony income, do not work at all. Planet bonuses like happiness are also worthless because you have no starting population. Troop maintenance bonuses are also useless because you have no troops either.

The only racial bonuses that matter to pirates are:
Troop Strength - These affect your boarding pods
Military Ship Size - Works Normally
Extra Intelligence Agents - Works Normally


I have not gotten to that level yet, but my understanding is that a sufficient level of pirate control of a planet lets you run it, build troops, etc., so I would hope the local race bonuses etc. would apply.

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 12
RE: How do you play as a pirate? - 7/2/2014 10:31:42 PM   
Mandras

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nanaki

quote:


The only positive effect was that the super low population allowed a large variety of other races to enter my faction, so I have huge racial bonuses from minorities in my empire. I had -20 percent ship maintenance from the Gizereans, and a major Teekan mining bonus, etc.


Are you sure about this? I am fairly certain that those bonuses do not work for pirates.


Ok I took a a ship design that costs 385 in maintenance with no bonuses (tested by importing it in a fresh game) then compared it with the game where I had almost the entire Gizurean master engineer bonus as Dhayuut pirates. My leader had -50 maintenance, and I had another -4 from Coordinated Control. I took the tech away and dismissed my leader and the price was exactly 385 again. So it looks like the -23 from Gizureans had no effect after all.

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 13
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