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Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 4:14:06 PM   
Poliorcetes

 

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So you like to read eh, welcome to Shadow Empire! We have plenty of words for you :p

This is a shortish intro into how to make it 20 turns into the game (I haven't made it any further after many days of playing). There is an excellent YouTube series that does a more detailed game explanation if you happen to have 6+ hours to spare . . .
Presumably, once they actually fill in the Help section, this will become redundant.

1. Make a world. Terran "like" is probably the simplest as we don't know anything yet.
2. Set up a game. Pick all 8 councils, if you don't you have to wait to create AND STAFF them before that part of your empire becomes active. You need them all and they come with decent leaders at start. The less councils you start with, the harder the game.
3. Your militia are junk, but free. Regular troops are "2.5" times as effective per manual. Having high militia level at your city means new units will randomly spawn.
4. Secure your city as suggested. This lowers your danger level, affecting morale. Important as many cards let you gain danger in exchange for FP.
5. FP are very valuable, you mostly have to exchange bad events to gain more of them. So don't just use them without a plan.
6. You start with no borders. Until you set up diplomatic relations with your 6 or so neighbors, borders are quite fluid.
7. Logistics is everything. You can't use assets that aren't linked to your city, and you armies will grind to a halt and be easily destroyed if cut off.
8. So forget about anything except following roads. Its tempting to send militia off into the wilderness to "grab" some asset. Without a road the asset is probably useless. Neighbor scout units will invariably move through and cut your unit off and it will die.
9. Building assets is slower than "predicted". Just build 1 at a time at first. Otherwise you will have a lot of half built assets doing nothing.
10. You will want to Nationalize (buy) stuff when you can, its much more efficient. After a few turns the private market will start building assets in your city. You can subsidize this with your Governor.
11. Cards that say "increase 1 level" of an asset will also create the asset if you don't have it.
12. Major diplomacy is rare early on, weight your diplomacy card creation towards minor cards.
Spying gives you recon, not much else early on. I tend to weight budget towards Economic and Supreme councils.
13. Setting sliders for research and discovery: "discovering" tech means they are "theoretically" possible but useless until you actually research them. So once you have a few techs discovered, up the Research to get them deployed.
14. Good leaders are rare and paying for leaders is a major part of your early game expenses. Useless low level leaders can easily burn up your economy if you just spam them. example - getting a decent military Mercenary is about 48 pp, while hiring noobs will be 6pp or so (plus the random ones groups ask you to hire). Firing leaders is hard and expensive.
15. General turn actions will be - deal with decisions, use Strategy cards, check asset progress, move troops.
16. press 1 to make unit invisible. press 6 to have a Logistics overlay so you can sort of see where you should be going.
17. Replacing troops - your SHQ orders troops, you have to pay metal, production, etc. Troops go to SHQ and then AI distributes them to your units.
18. Initially troops are "free" once recruited, you are only paying the recruitment fee and food. Later you can start paying salary to raise morale.
19. Beware of various "demands". Many of them are insane and you are just guaranteed to fail if you accept them (ie. go seize a town 20 hexes away in 10 turns, Raise Victory score to highest in the game in 10 turns)
20. Terrain is super important at times. Building roads into mountains will bankrupt you. Hover your mouse over the terrain description in right lower screen to see the combat bonuses for units (can be huge).
21. So far I like to get the Beaurocrat Office early. You don't need a farm until you really start growing your city. You will need a Factory and a metal supply (though sometimes private industry will build a mine that you can buy!).

Hope this helps.
Post #: 1
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 5:55:41 PM   
Twotribes


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Actually I have found farms are needed right away. Usually because you start with no real surplus and no major production boost.

(in reply to Poliorcetes)
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RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 6:07:44 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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#2. Pick all 8 councils. I noticed this differs from the advice of DasTactic in his Tips and Tricks series. He recommends selecting council members in a sequence: Economic. Then Military. Then Model Design. Then maybe the others in any order. He says that would be game situatonal. I just finished my first full game run through at 170 turns and I didn't fill all council slots until about turn 150.

I'm not criticizing your suggestion. In fact, I find it interesting and don't have enough experience to know if your suggestion is better or DasTactic's. Now DasTactic is great but I also know he is not always right.

So my question would be what are the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action?

Thanks by the way for all the suggestions. I'm about to start a new game under 1.04, and I carefully read through your list.

#20. One of the most important things I did in winning my last war in my last game involved building a road through four mountain hexes. I did not mention that in my Redwolf AAR I posted, but it allowed my northernmost formation with my armor to get through and break out into open ground. (Edit - Somehow I put a link that was on my clipboard here accidentally and didn't notice it. I was looking at something about Vic. In case you were wondering. Deleted now.) And it was contested by the enemy. And as you noted it was really, really expensive. I could not have done it earlier in the game.



< Message edited by jwarrenw13 -- 6/29/2020 7:57:53 PM >

(in reply to Poliorcetes)
Post #: 3
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 6:17:35 PM   
LordAldrich

 

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Does starting with all 8 councils also give you a few levels of bureaucracy buildings for free? If not, there's no way you're generating enough BP to actually fund that size of government at the start of a new game.

I think that the two most important councils (in the early game) are actually the Interior council and the Model Design council. Interior council is what generates leaders that aren't total trash, so that you can staff your other councils. Model Design is amazing because you do NOT have to research howitzers - meaning you don't need the Military Research council to discover, design, and field Light Tanks or Artillery, both of which utterly stomp minor regimes.

(in reply to jwarrenw13)
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RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 6:56:06 PM   
lloydster4

 

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I'm going to be rude and say you shouldn't write a guide if you can't get past turn 20.

(in reply to LordAldrich)
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RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 7:29:27 PM   
Jdane


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I quite like your council strategy, LordAldrich, it makes a lot of sense to me. I'll be sure to give it a try in my next game.

Otherwise, good tips OP.

< Message edited by Jdane -- 6/29/2020 7:31:15 PM >

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RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 8:20:20 PM   
Hoyt Burrass


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lloydster4

I'm going to be rude and say you shouldn't write a guide if you can't get past turn 20.


But it is labeled as a Noobs Guide to getting started...20 turns sounds like a start to me.

_____________________________

Roll Tide

(in reply to lloydster4)
Post #: 7
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/29/2020 9:26:50 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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From: Monroe, LA, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hoyt Burrass


quote:

ORIGINAL: lloydster4

I'm going to be rude and say you shouldn't write a guide if you can't get past turn 20.


But it is labeled as a Noobs Guide to getting started...20 turns sounds like a start to me.


I agree. I like his guide. At the very least it gave me a list of things to think about as I'm starting for about the 10th time with only one that I've played out to the end, even if I may not agree with all of them.

(in reply to Hoyt Burrass)
Post #: 8
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 12:18:31 AM   
eddieballgame

 

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Any guide can be useful, particularly for a new complex 4x.
The tips are good & thoughtful.
Lets' not discourage any & all from contributing...this isn't a Steam forum.


< Message edited by eddieballgame -- 6/30/2020 12:19:49 AM >

(in reply to jwarrenw13)
Post #: 9
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 12:55:50 AM   
actrade

 

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If I'm reading this correctly, he's saying in the game setup he starts with all 8 councils by default by checking that box. TBH, that's a pretty big help/cheat and would make the game much, much easier. I'm out to turn 120 and still don't have all councils. Started with just Supreme Council and all default settings checked. But, to each his own. I would say that you probably won't get the full game experience by starting with all 8 councils already filled.

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 10
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 1:07:11 AM   
Tomn

 

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Hmm. My instincts suggest that full councils early on is a needless dilution of BP, but thinking about it the card-generating councils ARE more efficient per BP than the strategic council you start with, and one could potentially aggressively budget to divert funds towards the more critical councils early on. It might also be of some benefit for a beginner to start with all councils unlocked just so that they know what the councils actually DO so that they can make more informed decisions later.

However, I really don't know that starting with a council or not ultimately makes that much difference to difficulty, and it's hard to call it essential for a beginner.

As far as the other tips go...

8 is based on a misunderstanding. You don't need roads to hex perk assets to benefit from them so it's absolutely worth it to send troops out into the wild to pick up a refugee camp or something. That being said, following roads usually leads to minor regime cities and you want to be eating those as quick as you can, so it's not like following roads is a bad idea.

9 means you're building too much for your economy. The issue isn't that building is necessarily slower than predicted, the issue is that you don't have enough resources on hand to supply the construction's per turn needs. The solution is the same in either event - build at a more measured pace - but it's worth noting that once your economy is stronger it's entirely possible to build on time and on budget even with multiple construction.

10 isn't necessarily true. In fact, you can bugger your economy if you nationalize the starting private asset farm because the private economy needs that to not starve, and if the private economy has no farms the only thing they'll do is try to build a farm to feed themselves. Logistics buildings should usually be nationalized, and resource production buildings are worth nationalizing if you need those resources (the starting scavenger asset for instance is quite valuable), but otherwise there's benefit to letting the free market run - if nothing else, nationalizing everything means you go broke because the private economy is starved of taxable income while you're paying more and more in salaries to public workers. Broadly speaking, public assets are how you gain resources, and private assets are how you help gain credits.

12 is partially true. Major diplomacy isn't worth focusing on early, it's true (and arguably minor diplomacy isn't all that important early on since you mostly just want to find factions to eat in the early stages), but spying is pretty critical because it's the fastest way to identify rich targets for expansion. Further, if you have a full council I don't know that focusing on the supreme council is that great a strategy since they're less efficient in card production in every category than the other councils - they're important for their PP production, but if you have a full council they really don't have much business producing cards. Early on the standard advice is to focus down on the economic, military, and model design councils.

14 is...kinda true? Good leaders are necessary via cards, preferably profile-specific cards, it's true, but while it's not a great idea to spam junior leaders I have a hard time seeing how you'd spam so many they'd become an active drag on your economy - like what the heck are you DOING that reserve leaders suck up that much of your income? It's almost always worker salaries that form the real drain on your economy. For that matter, why would you need so many leaders early on if you already have a full council?

21 is...a bit iffy. Factories are nice but they're non-critical in the early game and more importantly they're incredibly expensive metal-wise. Until your economy is in better shape it might be best to hold off. Metals are absolutely critical early on though. And farms are pretty key as others stated since you're probably not starting the game with a food surplus and it's only gonna get worse as your army expands.

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 11
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 5:59:07 AM   
Poliorcetes

 

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I tried a few games with the limited councils. But I found it frustrating that I would start a council and literally have no leader with any skill to place in it. Certainly having them all gives me a better feel for what they do. I gather there is some sort of efficiency loss by having so many so early on. I don't fully grasp the system yet so it "feels" easier to start with them all up and running. But I am certainly open to the idea that I have much to learn.

My goal was to get a simple intro to the game, especially as I read/learn much faster than the You Tube video pace. Though I have started listening to DasTactics as podcasts.
I like these sorts of games, but I always want to lower the learning curve to where new players can start "playing" the game rather than just learning the rules.

Thanks for the feedback.

(in reply to jwarrenw13)
Post #: 12
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 6:02:19 AM   
Poliorcetes

 

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I don't honestly know about the admin level. I have noticed that it does seem to bump up rather quickly (seems like I hit Admin 3 or 4 within the first 10 or so turns). But in the swirl of so many different numbers and categories, I just ran with it and it seems to work so far.

(in reply to LordAldrich)
Post #: 13
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 6:04:03 AM   
Poliorcetes

 

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To be fair, its not much of a guide. More of a list of my earliest questions as I reviewed my past few days experience.
As in all things in life, your mileage may vary :)

(in reply to lloydster4)
Post #: 14
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 6:12:52 AM   
Poliorcetes

 

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Heck, I have played strategy computer and board games for over 35 years now. The fact that I am STILL on the beginner level and obviously using every "easy" setting I can find probably reflects a decent learning curve to this game. Which is probably good long term. But the lack of easily accessible information is a barrier to enjoying the game. The Help section is woefully lacking and the manual has no index. I spent 15 minutes trying to figure out where soldier salaries were today. Which was time spent NOT playing the game . . .


(in reply to actrade)
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RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 6:28:55 AM   
Poliorcetes

 

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#8 probably needed better wording, as I understand that Assets require logistics while "Perks" do not. Though a noob may not understand the difference between a Perk vs Asset.

9 is still relatively true, especially as I even heard DasTactic mention that often "finished" assets need an extra turn to "power up". So if your plan hinges on building an asset in 2 turns and using those resources on turn 3, you could be frustrated that all you see is a "completed" label rather than resources.

Interesting note about 10, I haven't had food issues so all I was nationalizing with metals. Good to know that private farms are key infrastructure and to be handled with care.

Costs are still something I am getting a feel for. Yes with all 8 councils you are paying for 9 directors, which is a hefty chunk. In some other games I had spammed leaders to try to get a few with council specific skills. Sort of getting the feeling that leaders just "learn" their way up the skills rather then a typical "spam until random right skill arrives" sort of process.

Suspect I am building up "wrong", as the way you guys discuss it I should be having tons of armies. I am at turn 25 and have 1 Light infantry brigade (5 subunits) and 1 MG brigade, plus a decent number of Militia units. Part of it is I am sorting out if this is a "economy first" game or "military first" game.

(in reply to Tomn)
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RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 9:00:28 AM   
Tomn

 

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Hm, yeah, I think I'm going to need to come down on the side of a full council being harder for a beginner rather than easier. A full council can be more powerful for someone who knows how to manipulate it, but a beginner is likely to be cautious and leave the initial budget sliders at their default levels - which leads to inefficient BP usage which negates the advantage of starting with a full council. And in any event drastic budget adjustments of the type needed to really make use of a full council at the very start of the game will result in some big relations hits unless you're careful with moderate adjustments over time - both situations are tough for a beginner to pick up on at first. On top of that you need to pay down the credit costs of a full council - if growing the councils normally that's a negligible cost since your economy should be keeping pace with the rate you add new councils, but getting saddled with the whole lot with a starting game economy might be a bit much.

For Poliocetes specifically: So two things. First, you're probably worrying too hard trying to find "skilled" leaders. Frankly at the beginning of the game slapping warm bodies into the requisite positions is all you really need - even the crappy ones will learn with time. Later in the game you can afford to be picky and maybe try to retire legacy council members who served well back in the day but are now surplus to requirements, but early on there's not that much harm sticking some 0 skill chucklehead into a given role. Trying to ensure that only skilled people take various roles is an expensive luxury. It's also worth noting that by the way that the capability rating is more important than their current skill levels - a cap 5 leader will rapidly train themselves up to the job, while a cap 1 dullard isn't going to be much better years later than they are now.

Second, to explain what people are talking about re: councils and bureaucratic points, here's how it works: Literally everything the councils do is powered by BP. When you assign the budget, what you're actually doing is dividing up your BP income amongst your various councils and deciding what they do with it. So if you have, say, 100 BP income and you have a Supreme Council and an Economic Council and you split your budget 50/50 between them, and then further split the Supreme Council's budget 50/50 between card generation and political point generation, your Supreme Council will get 50 BP and will spend 25 BP on generating new cards and 25 BP generating political points.

So given that, you see the problem with setting up eight councils from the get go if your starting BP isn't increased relative to a normal start. Yeah, you can do everything from the start, but you're doing so very inefficiently, and unless you make drastic adjustments to your budget your research will be proceeding at a crawl, prospecting will happen once in a blue moon, model designers will be spending their time painting figurines instead of drawing blueprints, etc. etc. That's where the debate and discussion is coming from.

Aside, two brigades isn't too bad for the early expansion phase where you're mostly just beating up minors and free folk, but once you come up against your first hostile major regime be prepared to ramp up military production quickly. Two brigades aren't going to be anywhere near enough to fight and win a real war.

(in reply to Poliorcetes)
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RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 12:08:35 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: eddieballgame

Any guide can be useful, particularly for a new complex 4x.
The tips are good & thoughtful.
Lets' not discourage any & all from contributing...this isn't a Steam forum.


But too many bad guides, can make it hard to find the help you are looking for.

For programming right now you need a guide just to figure out wich guides are good enough to read.

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 18
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 6:12:29 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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After considering the options Vic gives for the initial setup, I think just starting with the Supreme Council and building up your council as you go sounds more "realistic" to me. Increasing the complexity of your council structure as you grow your economy and your military and your nation just seems more sensible, though I understand the arguments for starting with 4 or 8. And Vic did leave those as options. I think starting with more council members might work better if you start with 2 or 3 zones and more initial armies and higher tech levels. So my argument is more about the feel of the game than crunching the numbers.

(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 19
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 7:56:00 PM   
eddieballgame

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd


quote:

ORIGINAL: eddieballgame

Any guide can be useful, particularly for a new complex 4x.
The tips are good & thoughtful.
Lets' not discourage any & all from contributing...this isn't a Steam forum.


But too many bad guides, can make it hard to find the help you are looking for.

For programming right now you need a guide just to figure out wich guides are good enough to read.


Agreed, but I wasn't addressing "too many bad guides"; I was addressing this person's attempt to offer some...guidance for beginners & someone's attempt to dissuade him due to not having played many games over 20 turns.
Though he did preface his contribution by stating this was about the first 20 turns.

Finding 'help' is enhanced by those willing to contribute what they have experienced while sharing their experiences & ideas.
BTW, his 'tips' have been followed up with other suggestions & corrections (if you will) to aid in anyone's learning this game.



(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 20
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 6/30/2020 8:47:47 PM   
Falke

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
But too many bad guides, can make it hard to find the help you are looking for.

For programming right now you need a guide just to figure out wich guides are good enough to read.


The issue is more that the guides are incomplete. It is crucial that any guide should specify the starting settings that are used. These have a large impact in early game strategies. A T3 or T4 have very different priority for councils and buildings.
The difficulty level also has a large impact, at regular you have 20% income tax and therefore a minor negative cash flow, but at hard it is 0% and thus a major negative

(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 21
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 7/1/2020 12:54:36 AM   
josefrees

 

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IMO starting a noob off with 8 councils is going to be information overload. It’s pretty overwhelming on its own looking at the leader screen or empire dashboard with no experience and no councils. It’s also going to be harder in that you have more characters to deal with, stronger factions, and generally more stuff.

Also don’t see why economic and interior have to be talked about as if they are mutually exclusive. Pick one the first turn and pick the other turn two. A couple turns with one or the other isn’t going to make or break a playthrough.


(in reply to Falke)
Post #: 22
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 7/1/2020 8:31:35 AM   
eddieballgame

 

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Here is a tip I stumbled on; pay attention when assigning an 'Advisor'.
Checking your leader's 'Natural Relation Point', you will see positive & negative modifiers.
Always check to see how attaching an 'Advisor' impacts a leader.
Sometimes it can be a huge negative; while some tolerable, negativity can be offset by what the 'Advisor' brings to the table in pluses.


< Message edited by eddieballgame -- 7/1/2020 9:42:45 AM >

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Post #: 23
RE: Noobs Guide to getting started - 7/1/2020 11:58:29 AM   
JamesHunt

 

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Not a fan of discouraging either and every contribution is valueable but lets get real and rainbow gloves off: If you can´t get past turn 20 on Easy you shouldn´t label threads as "Getting Started Guide" as the outcome indicates that something is done very wrong, simple as that. Nobody would write a car mechanic guide when all cars repaired explode afterwards.

< Message edited by JamesHunt -- 7/4/2020 2:28:42 PM >

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 24
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