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A few questions - 12/26/2018 10:08:20 AM   


Posts: 1
Joined: 12/26/2018
Status: offline
Hey guys.
I've been playing DWU for a couple of years (with research unleashed 2.2 and a couple of graphic mods) and since the game is kinda old now, the only way to talk about it seems to post here :)

First of all, I almost always play in custom game as standart empire, all settings are set to normal, except difficulty at hard. No shakturi events and no giant kaltor. I'm only automating exploration ships, a few construction ships and all fleets using defensive fleet posture. Victory conditions at 90%, without racial conditions (unbalanced I think)

I think i've got a good understanding of many mechanisms of this game but sometimes I feel like I'm missing something.

So here's a few questions, they are kinda open-ended I know, and I can answer to them partly, but I'd like other point of views to get better at this game:

- How do you deal with pirate in your game? They are not particulary threatening to my success in the game, but they are often harassing me constantly. My main way to deal with them is to continuously use a spy to steal the territory map of every pirate factions harassing me and destroying their space ports when located. But still, I feel that I'm spending far too much time micromanaging stuff to deal with them. It's so sad that fleet posture doesn't work with pirate since you are not at war with them...

- I've used fleets of 20 cap ships with phaser lance (fleet at 60k atk according to tooltip) that were all blasting at an enemy space port and his shield was almost not going down, if at all. Do you know if there's a known bug using beam weapons? Because it was literally game breaking that such a fleet couldn't destroy any base. Never had any problem when playing with my usual weapon group: torpedoes.

- I've let a troop transport in automated mode once, and I couldn't understand what was his behavior. He was transporting troops from my capital to other planets, sometimes emptying worlds where I wanted troops to stay to put them somewhere else. What is your understanding of their behavior?

- How many troops do you hire to defend your planets by the way? 3 standard troops + 1 planetary defense unit at each colonny is fine?

- How do you planify your expansion? (This is quite a large question yeah...) I'm aiming at getting all kind of colonization tech somewhat early, then I try to get every strategic resource at least once, then every luxury. My expansion setting is 1.4sector from my claimed territory. So I always try to colonize planets the furthest from my territory to maximise my territory gains. Yet, I always find a race expanding quicker than me, taking a lot of territory and snowballing from there.

- How do you manage your fuel? I'm manually building gas mining stations at every caslon and Hydrogen sources I find. Yet, I'm often running out of fuel stock at my capital. Note that I'm not building a lot of space port, 1 for every 5 planets. (I've read a thread about not building spaceport at every colony) so that should maximize freighters to bring caslon to my planet with spaceport right? Maybe it's a freighter problem? I increase their storage compartments so it's not a volume problem, but I think that the private sector simply doesn't build enough freighter to meet my needs. (Even though they are swimming in money)

- How do you deal with a very aggressive race? (using way of darkness) They are colonizing and taking so many worlds, It's kinda hard to manage many offensive and defensive fleets + creating and transporting enough troops to take back their newly acquired colonies. If I commit to stop the way of darkness race in my games, there's often another race starting to snowball since I'm so busy on the other side of the map.

Thank in advance for any answer, and Merry Christmas Btw
Post #: 1
RE: A few questions - 12/26/2018 12:59:20 PM   


Posts: 5173
Joined: 8/12/2010
Status: offline
Some random ideas, I have not played for quite a while...

- Pirate hunt. Spying seems work intensive and slow. I would focus on long range scanners to see their travel lines. I know their base is on a fuel source. If their course is towards my colony/mine whatever, the other end is probably at a base. How many fuel sources with nothing on them are there in that area? Send single ships to each of them, and consider queue "refuel" or whatever to avoid them getting into a losing fight. When I got it somewhat under control, I know that they need fuel sources, so I build on every single one I can get hold of.

- Hurting stuff? I never bothered with manual designs, but if a fleet of 20 does not work, bring two fleets. Or more.

- In troops part of colony interface, you can set troops as garrisoned, those won't get picked up. I use manual ships, but automate single unfleeted transports since they are good at filling up as troops are available. I make sure to garrison some on conquest (and full transports are added to troop fleets and of course not automated anymore).

- Defense? 1-2 troops for the non-valuable colonies (that are most of them). 10 or so to stop a small drop on the valuable ones, but the important part here is spaceport, defensive bases, manual defensive fleet, to make sure the only possible accident is a single transport drop that is handled on ground.

- Expansion? Careful at the start (helps with pirates too), grabbing territory (good colony prospects) as priority.

- Fuel? If you build on all sources, that won't help. If your capital has few nearby sources, don't use that as your construction site. I do not know your pace of game, I am kind of slow, and will only ever have local fuel issues. And I love resupply ships, and those can live on top of mines and help out in a region with few fuel sources. I would look at the gas mines around your capital, if they are full of fuel, it is a transport issue, if not, it is a (local) fuel issue. Things that will help with making local fuel shortage at shipyard are extra large fuel tanks, and losing ships (which means that more are built).

- Aggressive races? I have not had much issues with those, which may be luck or doing the right thing. Colonies are either, rich, medium, or poor. Most are poor. So do not focus a lot on grabbing those, or keeping them. I usually try to keep my borders clean, so I grab them to achieve that. So, to fund their war, they need the rich colonies, and they will help you in defense as well. The rich border colony (that you grabbed is lovely, you can defend it well and waste their fleets as they try to take it.

- How to abuse the AI in war? Know that they usually attack the closest colonies, so do not focus defense on those "away" from the front. With a proper blob of a territory, only the border colonies are exposed. Make sure your fleets are stronger than the AI fleets...

- During a war that you want to end, look at "negotiate a deal". Check the price for peace. If the AI feels it is winning, the price is high, if the AI is losing the price is low. If it wins fights, grabs colonies it feels it is winning, and vice versa. So if I want to end a war, I check the price. If low, I buy it. If high, I focus on busting some mines, wreck a fleet, take down a spaceport... And check again, the price is probably low, and I can end the war.

- Oh, and if the AI has a colony with a lot of troops, leave it alone (if you want it). Notice your AI emptying worlds of troops, the AI does that too. When the troops are gone, you can take it.

- As written, I try to have a blob of territory. If an enemy gets colonies on both sides of my blob, a priority during war is to get rid of the "outliers" of my enemy so that I know for sure which direction they attack from. So apart from a few "oh, ****" fleets around the empire (in case I get jumped), the area the AI attacks from should be known and I focus there. I have long range scanner coverage to warn me of attacks. I have only a few important border colonies, that I will micro manage if attacked (target troop carriers first).

- My tools.
- My main battle fleets, of maybe 15 AI designed cruises and 4-5 carriers (I rarely play until capitals as research is always slow). They should be able to bust any AI fleet, and also take down small and medium spaceports. And they can sit on colonies in defense.
- I have some larger fleets, of maybe 25 cruisers and 10 carriers (or whatever). I call them Crusher fleets. They should manage a large spaceport (and a defensive base?). One can of course also use two main battle fleets, two crusher fleets, or whatever it takes if you have a really strong target.
- I have one or more transport fleets with a non-troop carrier leader, attacks are done with single transport orders from these fleets (it makes them return to leader after dropping their load). (Giving such a fleet a "load troops" order is lovely, non full transports head out and return to leader after loading once).

So if I am somewhat prepared, the start of the war goes like: Fleets head for enemy systems (but defenders are left at valuable, front line colonies), crusher fleets attacks spaceports (large ones). Transport fleets are parked in safe (empty) systems near the front line. Fleets will blockade after fighting ends (keeps them at the colony). Behind the attackers, single transports are given invasion orders, they should arrive when defenses are down (and there should always be enough to win). I use some smaller fleets to attack the weak colonies, maybe 6 destroyers or whatever. Mostly to distract any locals while the transport drops its load. No need to use a main battle fleet on a fresh colony...)

If all goes well, I will maybe have busted 2 important spaceports, wrecked a few enemy fleets (in defense, or in enemy systems). I may have conquered 4-5 small colonies and battle rages towards victory in the (former) spaceport colonies. Set garrisons (single troops), automate or "load troops" with now empty transports, after a little while move defensive fleets forwards (as former border is no longer border). Maybe send in some resupply ships to fuel crusher fleets traveling inside enemy territory wrecking spaceports. And decide if you want to run "step 2, step 3" or just end the war. The enemy should be happy to end it after losing every fight (and 5-7 colonies). I feel that the opening punch is of course the best, as transports are full, and battle fleet should not sit in newly conquered systems to bust enemy ships that arrive with outdated orders (like move or refuel).

And in an early war, grabbing a valuable colony (but I stay away from the capital) is still key. Or just hurting them enough to end it. Blockading the capital is fun, though.

I usually play this way, and enjoy having just manual diplomacy, manual military ship building and operation/fleets. And I use the buttons beneath selection panel to queue fuel mines.

(in reply to Akantor)
Post #: 2
RE: A few questions - 12/26/2018 5:53:30 PM   

Posts: 7934
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
Status: offline
OK, I have played recently, but also keep in mind my game is heavily modded, and one of those mods greatly increases the strength of pirates. Still this advice should hold true in the vanilla game as well.

Pirates -- My advice is pay them off if you can afford it in the early game. This has 2 effects early. 1. You aren't having to fight them so you can concentrate on getting the economy shored up, and 2. they usually will send ships to protect your planet(s) since they want to keep their source of income alive. After you've gotten yourself established, then go pirate hunting.

Fleets -- the one thing I will say here is never design you ships to rely on one weapon type. I always mix my designs to use at least 2 (missiles and beams) and often throw in a few of the other weapon types as well. Large space ports can absorb a lot of damage depending on the shield tech they are using. And if they are using the special shield type fully researched it recharges very fast. Basically it comes down to this: If brute force doesn't get the job done, you aren't using enough.

Troop Transports -- Basically they are always going to try to keep themselves loaded. They will also move troops around the empire as needed if leave troop formation automated. This is to meet the garrison levels set in policies.

Troop Numbers -- If it is important a lot. This also goes hand in hand with the fact that I use certain planets as mobilization centers for my fleets, and plant my assault fleets (transports) over the top of them. Those planets get the full treatment, Large Spaceport, 6-8 defense bases, and all 3 troop recruitment centers. And I generally keep about 3 dozen troops on the surface, not including what is loaded in the space above. As for the other colonies, I generally set it for 8-10 (that being the minimum number I need to defeat a pirate stronghold; you may not need that many).

Expansion -- Early game you need to push your borders. It's really tempting to grab a planet just because its close. My advice is to manually build a colony ship or two and let it sit until you find a suitable world just outside your empires area of influence (the colored circle) and especially if it can give you control over more than 1 colonizable world. Once I've established my borders, then I start grabbing the ones already in my area of influence.

Fuel -- Biggest headache in the game. Since every colony needs it, every ship needs it, etc you will never have enough. My best solution is this: Make sure your military ships and civilian ships run on different fuel types. That means a reactor type that uses 1 fuel type on the civilian ships (in my case I leave these as Caslon) and a different reactor type for military (here I use hydrogen reactors). This is the only way I have found to reduce the strain on the fuel reserves and ensure that at least my combat fleets can stay fueled. Also, make sure every ship, base, etc you design has adequate energy collectors. Idle ships won't use any fuel if they are using energy collectors.

Dealing with the bad guys -- MDPs here are your friend. Make lots of them, then goad the bad guys into declaring war on you.

My fleet set-ups:

Assault Fleet: 1 Capital Ship, 4 Cruisers, 12 Destroyers, 6 Troop Transports
Carrier Fleet: 1 Capital ship, 4 Cruisers, 12 Destroyers, 12 Carriers
Strike Fleet: 6 Cruisers, 6 Destroyers (I use these to take down smaller pirate groups or enemy mining bases)
Patrol Fleet: 4 Destroyer, 8 Frigate, 8 Escort (used solely as defense garrisons around my mobilization centers)

I do have a tone of escorts and frigates, but as a general rule I just leave them automated and not put into fleets.

When I go on the attack, which fleets I send in first is determined by enemy power at the colony I am invading. A colony with no spaceport will get hit with the assault fleet right off. If there is a spaceport and defense bases, I send 1 or more carrier fleets to deal with the defenses first, then send in the assault fleet to take the planet. Strike fleets are used to attack mining bases and research facilities, and just to generally ruin the bad guys economy.

Patrol fleets are set on defensive stance and limited to the system their base is in. They are really only there to supplement the spaceport and defense bases' firepower.

So there is another play-style for you to look at.


Distant Worlds Fan

'When in doubt...attack!'

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 3
RE: A few questions - 12/26/2018 7:58:49 PM   


Posts: 5173
Joined: 8/12/2010
Status: offline
For fuel, it for sure helps to not have automated ships running around burning fuel. I guess I play slow enough, with no moving ships when at peace, so that my stores are always close to full. And in the areas of operation during war, resupply ships fix the issues created by many fleets needing refueling at the limits of the empire.

My games also end before the galaxy is full (which may increase fuel strain as more wealth, gives more civilians, burns more fuel).

I never felt a need for smallish defensive fleets. During war, some smaller fleets to mop up mining bases (and scout/distract at small colony targets) are handy. During peace, main battle fleet members kill discovered pirate mines just fine (2-3 single ships sent, they kill the mine and return to leader).

Paying pirates until you are powerful enough to bust them, should give an easier ride at the early game. I never tried that, though.

With AI designs, I never have the caslon/hydrogen split, but resupply ships are for the military only, as would any base with no commerce center (if mind serves me right), ending up as a military only mine/fuel stop.

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 4
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