Keeping Track of Things (SEV)

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See also Inigma's Tips

Knowledge is power. Information overload is helplessness.

Endturnititus is a condition one suffers when they find themselves fretting over hitting that "F12" key or "End Turn" button, thinking they "must be forgetting something." So they check and recheck and still upon ending their turn don't quite feel safe doing so. I don't know about you, but until I learned what I am about to teach you, I would always hit the "F12" key as if I was pushing the final button on a nuclear bomb that would ultimately wipe out my dear empire after spending countless hours crafting it together.

Knowledge is freedom from fear of the unknown. And the cure to the "restart-my-screwed-up-turn-from-a-saved-game mental complex."

The power of this game is its ability to easily gather useful information about your empire easily and so be able to micromanage it on the fly using custom reporting layouts and so at a glance be able to decide how to maximize your empire's resources.

The time taken to setup custom layouts in the reporting windows is well worth it. It will mean less time spent hunting for information, less time mulling over the bloated event log, less time making decisions, less frustration at your turn process, reduces overall confusion, prevents uninformed risky decisions, and prevents losing the game because you forgot to make use of resources you could have utilized (like forgetting to maximize an emergency build queue, or launching that drone that would have given you the sensor edge, or launching that vital sensor satellite that you have to now go back another turn to set up before moving your fleet onward).

The ability to go through the mundane tasks of your turn quickly so you can focus on the fun is a skill well worth learning to fully enjoy this game. Creating custom reports in the reporting windows is, I think, the greatest thing about the game as it makes it easy for you to make quick decisions concerning all your tasks without having to waste time data gathering. Having said that, as a newbie, not knowing what screens to customize and how to use these valuable tools is a cache 22 which I hope to prevent by giving you the screens setup I use below, and in the order I use them.

First some instructions.

Report Layout Commands

To set a custom layout in any of the following reporting screens, simply open the screen and click on "Layout," and then "Create Custom Layout." You can change the order of the layout of the categories from here.

To set a filter, click on the "Filter" button and select the appropriate filter(s).

To set sorting, click on the title of the category to sort by ascending order (Z-A). Double click category to change to ascending order (A-Z). To set multiple sorting stacks, click or double-click categories in order from least important to most important. Example: if you want to sort the three categories:

Size, Atmosphere, Mineral Content

by largest, breathable, highest mineral content with most breathable as most important, highest mineral next important, size last important then do the following:

Double click on Size (to sort from A-Z which is also Huge to Tiny), then double click on Mineral Content (to sort from Highest percent to Lowest percent), and then finally click on Atmosphere (to sort from A-Z which is CO2 to O2 or double click to sort from O2 to CO2). The result should have at the top of your list the most breathable, highest mineral, and largest planet. A very high priority target for colonization indeed.

The following below are the layouts I use. Feel free to use them to get started with designing your own.

Systems (Shift + X)

Inigma's Custom Layout Name: System and Planet Unit Status

Layout: System Name, Notes and Status Icons

Filter: Systems We Have a Colony In, Planets

Sort: A-Z by Name

Purpose: To see at a glance if there are units on planets that I've constructed that need picking up or launching (double click to go to planet and launch), or notes in a system I need to catch up on (right click on system name).

Planets (Shift + P)

Inigma's Custom Layout Name: Colonization Screen

Layout: Planet Name, Planet Size, Planet Type, Atmosphere, Mineral Value, Ship Enroute Name

Filter: Colonizable and Breathable, or Colonizable

Sort: A-Z by Name, then A-Z by Size (Huge first), then A-Z by type, then Z-A by atmosphere, then Highest to Lowest by Value

Purpose: To see at a glance top colony targets that have no colony ship enroute to them yet. The "Send Colonizer" button when enabled (you have to have a colonizer sitting around without orders) makes for a one-click Colonial expansion to those targets. I use the embedded quadrant map to ensure my colony targets are going to systems I want to own instead of halfway across the quadrant in enemy territory. The quadrant map lights up systems when I mouse over on planet names. Later in game, I sort by planet name as highest priority and therefore target systematically entire systems for backfill colonization in order to completely own them.

Colonies (Shift + C)

Inigma's Custom Layout Name: Colony Facilities and Unit Queues

Layout: Colony Name, Facility Space Used, Facility Space Total, Item Under Construction, Status Icons, Mineral Value

Filter: Our Colonies

Sort: Highest to Lowest by Facility Space Used, then by Highest to Lowest by Facility Total Space, then A-Z by Under Construction (showing empty "none" queues first); or Highest to Lowest by Value, then A-Z by Under Construction (showing empty "none" queues first)

Purpose: To see at a glance which colonies can build facilities, or which high value colonies can build resource facilities, or to see what colonies are simply free to build units, or need non-breathables removed (the dome icon shows up in the status icons for which the "Scrap Cargo" button is useful in releasing un-needed pop from their service to the Empire).

Construction Queues (Shift + Q)

Inigma's Custom Layout Name: Construction Queues

Layout: Queue Name, Item Under Construction Name, Queue on Hold, Queue Emergency Build, Item Under Construction Time Remaining

Filter: All Construction Queues

Sort: A-Z by Name, then Z-A by On Hold (showing On Hold items first), then Z-A Repeat Build (showing Repeat Build first), then A-Z by Emergency Build (showing Emergency Build first), then A-Z Time (showing no build first, and longest build last)

Purpose: To see at a glance my queues in order of priority - from highest to lowest priority: empty slow build queues, then empty emergency queues, then empty queues, then soonest queues sorted by emergency queues, then slow build queues, then lastly items on hold. Categorizing my queues in this way has reduced my decision-making time by almost 80%.

Ships (Shift + S)

Inigma's Custom Layout Name: Ships and Deployed Unit Status

Layout: Ship Name, Design Type, Damage, Status Icons, Supplies, Ordnance

Filter: Our Ships, or Our Units, or Our Fleets

Sort: Most Damaged to Least Damaged, A-Z by Design Type

Purpose: To know what ships at a glance need help, are mothballed, sentried, or need a fleet. I switch back and forth with the filter to show my units and manage unit, ship, and fleet interactions mostly through this screen initially, and then use the prev/next ship buttons over the quadrant map on the main game screen to "mop up" any ships I may have missed moving.


Inigma's Recommended Turn Process

Please read my Custom Layout Guide for the Emperor Suffering from Endturnititus above first.

1. (Shift + R) Set Research Spending

2. (Shift + D) Create new designs & upgrade queues (Shift + D)

3. (Shift + L) Read treaty offers (don't respond yet)

4. (Shift + I) Set Intelligence Defense Spending

5. (Shift + X) I launch any units (based on custom Systems report) and give them orders

6. (Shift + P) Send out the colonizers (based on custom Planets report)

7. (Shift + S) Give orders to ships, units, and fleets (based on custom Ship report)

8. (Shift + O) Check my resource levels to ensure I'm not going bankrupt

9. (Shift + Q) Give shipyard construction orders (based on custom Construction Queues report), switch over empty emergency queues to slow build if no longer needed

10. (Shift + O) Check resource levels again

11. (Shift + C) Give non-shipyard planetary construction facility/unit construction orders (based on custom Colonies report)

12. (Shift + E) Create/Respond to treaties

13. (Shift + R) Confirm research is set to what I want (always good to double check)

14. (Shift + I) Set Intelligence Spending (always good to double check and set offense spending last)

15. Now you can finally hit that End Turn button knowing you have covered everything!



Preceded by:
Empire Management
Manual (SEV)
Section 12.1
Followed by:
Ministers