Managing Your Economy (SEIV)

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FAQ (SEIV)

By Stone Mill

Principles

  1. A Strong Economy is the Backbone of your Game
  2. Expand and Develop your Planets With Efficiency
  3. Strive for Economic Harmony
  4. Adjust your Production to Meet the Needs of your Construction
  5. . Predict and Prepare for Crippling Resource Swings

Overview

Of all factors involved in SEIV, economy is perhaps the most critical, yet widely underestimated factor. It will take many games before you have an understanding of how to run an empire efficiently. Economy has a direct relationship with the number and quality of machines in your military.

-- Production refers to your empire’s resource output; the amount of minerals, organics, rads, intel, and research points generated. -- Construction refers to your empire’s ability to build in respect to how many resource points may be used in a turn by a component’s rate %.

Ramifications of a Troubled Economy

Economic woes are usually tied to a lack of resources (produced or in storage), or swings in happiness.

Issues involved with lack of resources: a. Ships will not be built b. Refits will not occur c. Ships will be abandoned at random due to shortages; as opposed to scrapped. The main difference is that when you intentionally scrap a ship, you get a percentage (in settings.txt) of the resources back. Abandoned ships return no resources, any cargo being carried is lost, and the game certainly won't choose wisely when deciding which ships to abandon.

Issues involved with happiness: A planet’s resource production % will decline in respect to the planet’s declining happiness (FAQ 4.4.8.1). Also, a planet will construct at 100% rate as long as it is not rioting. When rioting occurs, a planet will not produce resources or construct anything (FAQ 4.4.7). This is a very bad state. So it is in your interest to:

a. Keep your people happy (strive for Jubilant) b. Prevent Riots

Widespread rioting is the worst pain your empire can feel; bringing your empire’s economy crashing. It is very difficult to recover, and potentially game-ending.

Economics at Empire Creation

When developing your race, they are many selections which may enhance (or limit) your economic capability:

Culture Selection

Pay attention to the modifiers; most are small and somewhat fairly balanced. That small bonus is nice boost when compounded with bonuses in other areas.

Characteristics

The most economically important selections are:

  1. Maintenance: Although costly, this has a drastic effect on the size of your military. Boost it. Always.
  2. Construction: Significantly increased to help your rate. It’s nice to build stuff faster.
  3. Mining Aptitude: Help your mineral %
  4. Organic Aptitude: Usually reduced, unless you are playing an organic race
  5. Radioactive Aptitude: May be reduced, but avoid if possible
  6. Repair: Avoid reducing this. Retrofitting requires lots of repair
  7. Political Savvy: Very nice to boost trade %, as long as you have lots of friends. But don’t rely on it much; things go bad.
  8. Happiness: Don’t reduce it. It’s hard enough to keep them happy. An inexpensive increase can go a long way.
  9. Reproduction: Nice to raise if compounding and/or organic. Usually kept even. Otherwise, reducing a bit does not hurt.
  10. Environmental Resistance: Usually reduced without much impact

Advanced Traits

The most economically important selections are:

  1. Advanced Storage Techniques: It’s like getting 20% more facilities.
  2. Hardy Industrialists: Again, It’s nice to build more faster.
  3. Natural Merchants: Not needing spaceports = instant application of resources. Nice; but I spend the 1000 elsewhere
  4. Special Racial traits: provide their own unique components and facilities, detailed later in the article

Manage your Maps

Part of being a strong economic player is keeping track of things in your empire. The stronger you lean toward micromanagement, the healthier your economy will be.

Do it Yourself

I don’t use ministers. I don’t like them messing up my master plan. They will never be as efficient as you can be. Game settings that may Help

  1. Empire Status -> Empire Options -> General Options. I select all of these. Select Display note when similar system-wide abilities exist, which will warn you if you attempt to build a duplicate special facility.
  2. Empire Status -> Empire Options -> System Display. I select all of these. It helps to see as much as you can on the map.

System Notes

I like to keep track using the system notes on the galactic map of such things as which system-wide facilities are built, if the system has cloak detection sats, and other system type info (see also section 11.1).

It is helpful to place new tech in queue immediately when you get it, so you don’t forget to add it later. Go from system to system in one sweeping motion.

Find your own method of keeping track of things. A good old notepad does the job, too. Personally, I try and do most of it in my head.

Expansion

Expand, expand, expand. SEIV game design follows standard 4X concept: the more resource producing sites you have - the stronger you are. There is almost no intrinsic brakes to make overexpansion a disadvantage (mega evil empire is one). (Oleg)

Whether against the AI or against humans, there are some best practices for expansion:

Colony Theory

Get as many planets as you can, as quick as you can. Opinions differ on whether to colonize away or home:

Away : As discussed in FAQ 4.2.13 and 17.2, it is advised to send colony ships away. Note that doing so can be risky if you are unlucky. Sending your colonizers away means you will generally fall behind early on research and minerals and new space yards. However the benefits of outward colonization will be far superior, as you will have annexed a greater portion of the quadrant (if you can defend it). The main value is investing. The returns from your colonization will be slower, but eventually they will bring large returns when your systems come on-line in mid game. In general, this is because your are seeking out better planets rather than simply grabbing available ones; and claiming a bigger chunk of the quadrant.

Home : Players who colonize the home system first receive immediate application of resources to their empire and will have space yards Online quicker, and have better home defense. They sacrifice getting a bigger slice of the galaxy and risk being boxed-in.

Tips : Usually I choose something of a mix. If there are large favorable planets at home, I usually prioritize them after I have sent a colonizer out in every direction from home. The danger in traveling too far with your first wave is that you will be caught without construction capability (especially if you have used the Land Rush technique). You need to make sure you put some colonies to work early and make space yards to continue the colonization process.

Planet Prioritization

Generally, colonize breathable (green asterisk) planets first; the larger the better, and especially high percentage resource planets. Use planets with poor resource values as your research centers. Get them right to work with a space port and build facilities. It is key to get at least one of each early, if possible. Early on, avoid using these planets as space yard planets.

Secondly, colonize domed (red asterisk) planets first; the larger the better. Choose domed planet(s) in a given system and designate it as a space yard planet. This planet may be used for building more colonizers, and early defense. You want your yard planets to be close to the front lines, but not too close as to risk losing them before they are on-line. Tip: Keep your Construction capability to the front lines to that it may be leveraged against the enemy! Depending on the map, you may find that systems in the rear will need little or no yards at all.

Thirdly, use the rest of the available planets to achieve economic harmony. By the latter stages of the game, all worlds should be put to use.

Note : Prioritize ruin planets, if they are available. Personally, I prioritize them just after breathables unless there is danger of another empire taking it, in which case ruins are highest priority. If you don't have the colonizing tech for the ruin planet yet, try to defend it to deny it to the enemy.

Get all Colonization Techs and Breathers Possible

When you encounter other races, trade for the other 2 colonization techs. This will exponentially increase your economic potential. Colony tech for colony tech is never refused by the AI, any your treaty type (even war) does not matter. The AI may even accept system maps for a colony tech.

Also acquire all available breathers, through trade or capture. Placing the breather population in the applicable atmosphere type gives you a whopping return in the number of facilities available! (FAQ 4.2.5-6, 10.2.1)

The Population Shuffle

The goal of moving population is to develop as many planets with a (production / construction ) bonus as possible (FAQ 4.4.8.1). Moving population around for the sake of increasing you overall population stat isn’t necessarily efficient. Choose large breathable worlds and routinely ship them new citizens by "skimming your homeworld." Usually, I choose to develop worlds with a minimum of 500 population.

Homeworlds start out the game jam-packed. They are churning out bonus population, but have no place to put them. It is in your interest to skim off population and drop it on your nicer new worlds. On your new colonies, population grows slowly (FAQ 4.7), and will be more noticeable when it is increased to a substantial amount. Note; Production & construction rates can drop after you remove population from your homeworld. Advanced Storage Techniques will add more space for population so that you can remove some population without losing your bonuses.

Any ship with cargo can be used for this. I commonly use minelayers, carriers, troop transports, etc., to move population when they aren't occupied. Many players build population transports for this sole purpose. The process is gradual, and will take a while before you realize benefits on the target planet.

What a wonderful thing it is to capture enemy planets in-tact filled with population. Commonly, the population may not match the appropriate atmosphere. This is where you must shuffle the population at the front for large returns. Use the extra room on your troop transport to assist (if you have time).

Hot Tip : Troop transports should have a small batch of breathers of every type (as you collect them), so you may immediately drop the appropriate type on the conquered planet, and extract the current citizens.

Economic Harmony

Economic Harmony is practicing efficiency during your empire’s growth; Keep most of your planets constructing assets while not wasting resources (producing a large mineral excess that is wasted every turn) or slipping into a resource shortage (lacking enough resources to keep most of your planets constructing). In summary, spend all of your produced minerals each turn, while resisting digging into your storage. You will need stored materials for retrofitting sooner than you think.

This is very difficult to achieve; but you can become efficient with practice. Monitor the Empire Status (F11) (Crown Icon) window early in the turn, and constantly check back after construction choices. Assess the resource type you need, and allocate new or existing colonies toward that goal. Don’t be afraid to switch a planet you were using for research to radioactives production, should your empire need them.

Also, you should be constantly building research facilities somewhere. This is a staple to the game. Early game, this is a huge priority, as long as your resources are stable. Mid-game, when you have a stable research base, this may become less of a priority, and you can focus more on resource production to support military activities.

How many Space Yards do I need?

Common pitfalls experienced:

  1. Building too many spaceyards that you never leverage. Commonly, this is because you don’t have enough resources to support construction, or the yard is too far away from the front lines. Use the slot for an extra production facility instead of wasting 5 turns of SY construction depleting your economy.
  2. Building too little spaceyards. Commonly, this is not having enough yards ready to construct with the full amount of your resource production. Usually, you can estimate how many yards you will need by how many colony types and breathers you may leverage. In a KOTH [King of the Hill games at PBW] game, you can usually expect to have only one of each, lending to a moderate economic potential at best. So, you may have something like 50% of your planets with yards, mostly toward the front lines. In a perfect arrangement, you may be able to have a spaceyard on every planet constructing. This generally will require your having access to all colony types and breathers, lending to a soaring economy. You may get close to this in large PBW games.

Planet Values

Pay attention to the mineral, organic, and radioactive value % on a planet’s details. When determining where to build a facility, use a planet close to or exceeding 100% for a given resource type. That percentage is part of the formula used in producing your empire’s total resources:

(Extraction Facility value) x (planet’s resource type %) x (empire’s racial %) x (Planet Computer Facility %) x (System Computer Facility %) x (planet’s happiness %) x (population %) x = total mineral resources committed to your empire for that facility.

For example, a Mineral Miner I extracts (700) x Planet mineral 120% (1.2) x empire racial bonus 110% (1.1) x Planet Robotoid factory I 110%(1.1) x System Robotoid factory 110% (1.1) x Jubilant happiness 120% (1.2) x 500 population 110% (1.1) = (x) mineral resources committed to your empire for that facility.

Use planets that have mediocre or low resource values as research or intel centers. The same basic formula applies for total points available for projects.

In the example above, you can see the value of important factors in boosting your economic output.

Note: Don't force an absolute minimum value for building miners. I've built mineral miners on planets with a minerals value of 40 before. It all depends on the game and what you need. If you have plenty of planets with high values, use low value planets for research and such. If not, you may need more resources (Imperator Fyron).

Develop Your Planets

The key to economic growth is maximizing your planet development. Special facilities can help, but they take a while to build. Therefore, in a small universe or one-on-one game, I rarely use any advanced facilities, unless I’m really comfortable and secure.

Medium scope game facilities :

  1. Planet Robotoid Factory (Computers). I usually build these last on a planet. Second to last, I build a space yard to expedite the build time and facility upgrade time (quite often, I set the yard on emergency build for these.)
  2. System Robotoid Factory (Computers). I usually build these last on a planet. Second to last, I build a space yard to expedite the build time and facility upgrade time (quite often, I set the yard on emergency build for these.)

Note: System Robotoid Facilities do not increase the benefits of remote mining. (Imperator Fyron)

  1. Monolith Facilities: only if the planet has good values across all categories, and I feel I can wait 5 turns.
  2. Scanners: I don’t generally use them because the bonus is applied to only one resource area, rather than all three. And you cannot use both Robotoids and Scanners at the same location; only one takes effect. [Note: after v1.91 patch, the individual bonus facilities have a higher bonus than the Robotoid facility]
  3. Urban Pacification Centers: Populations will grow happier in this system; Not too expensive, and worth it in the long run. Will nudge your planets to jubilant, and especially help pacify foreign citizens. Subtle and slowly effective.

Large scope game facilities:

  1. Resource Converter: Converts between resource types with a 30% (at best) loss of material; comes in real handy when you have an unexpected surplus of one type
  2. Ultra Recycler: Items scrapped in this sector will reclaim 80% of their original resource value (I don’t use them).
  3. Atmosphere converters: Changes the atmosphere of the planet to one that is breathable by its colony over 2 (at best) years (that’s 20 game turns) I’m too impatient. I won’t use them unless the breathers aren’t available
  4. Climate Control Facilities: Improves the conditions of the planet up to 3% each year. I never think to use them.
  5. Value Improvement Plants: Improves the mineral, organic, and rad value of the planet up to 3% each year. Requires patience; but a slow payoff.

Special facilities and economics:

  1. Religious
    1. Time Shrine: Increase mineral production in a system up to 15%
    2. Nature Shrine: Improves the conditions of all planets in the system up to 3% each year
    3. Fate Shrine: Improves the happiness of the populations who live in this system
  1. Crystalline
    1. Solar Generator: Generates up to 300 minerals, organics, and radioactives per star each turn. May be interesting in ## multiple star system
    2. Crystalline Restructuring Plant: Reduces all vehicle maintenance costs in the system by up to 30%. This can really help defensive buildup. Remember, the bonus is lost when you leave.
  1. Organic
    1. Gestation Vats: Populations in this system will reproduce up to 3% faster (may be combined with Replicant Centers)
    2. Replicant Centers: Populations in this system will increase by 40M per turn (may be combined with Gestation Vats)
    3. Medical labs: Prevents plagues, populations in this system will reproduce 1% faster, and Populations will grow happier in this system
  1. Temporal
    1. Temporal Vacation Service: Improves the happiness of the populations who live in this system. More effective than an Urban Pacification Center.
    2. Temporal Shipyards: Temporal Shipyards (I, II, and III) have higher construction rates than a spaceyard III, but a planet with a spaceyard facility has to scrap it before building a TSY.

Upgrading Facilities

As soon as you get new tech, don’t forget the Upgrade button. Generally build a space yard first to expedite the facility upgrade time on larger worlds. With smaller planets, just upgrade direct.


The Monolith Economy

Some players rely more heavily on monoliths than others. The Monolith Economy includes them as a key component (used with a resource converter). Included herein are the arguments for and against:

Factors For:

  1. It is generally accepted monoliths aren't efficient in small games or in the early game. If you only care about short term gains (such as early game, small maps, early wars), go with normal miners. If you care about long term gains (large maps, mid-game, no early wars that are not resulting in you steamrolling over a minor empire), go with Monoliths. But in large epic games, going with Monoliths is pretty much always a better idea. Such games often have long periods of peace, and those periods are good for getting Monoliths going. Compare Monolith III with Miner III, 2700 (or 1800 of one resource with converter Is) to 1000 resources. In the long term, Monoliths really pay off. (Imperator Fyron)
  1. Build time: Also, SY III + HI + 120 const. apt. gets Monoliths in 3 turns on low pop worlds, and in 2 turns on high pop worlds. Take Organic, and you can make all planets high pop worlds (well, large and huge ones, at any rate) in no time. Temporal is not the only way to get fast construction rates. (Imperator Fyron)
  1. Gradual introduction: If you really wanted to build the monolith economy, but still gain maximum resources as soon as possible. Would you not build the normal economy first, say resource II's. But for the final two facility slots build a space yard for improved build and start the first monolith. As each monolith completes, scrap a normal facility and build another monolith. It is a lot a micromanagement, but it will get you the most resources along the way. (cybersol)
  1. Building a Robotoid Factory III after the 4th Monolith often takes just one more turn than a Monolith, and gives many more resources than a Robotoid on a planet with normal miners does (as there is much more base production).

Factors Against:

  1. I never build monoliths in the early game, and find that Monoliths aren't really comparatively desirable until Monolith III is available. The early build cost (up to 5 turns) with a regular space yard is too prohibitive. Usually, your empire needs immediate application of resources. They also set your economy back because of the high build cost. If I have better construction % (can build them in 2-3 turns), I will be somewhat more likely to use them. Generally, I can only pump out Monoliths this fast with Temporal yards, or when a planet has been eventually groomed to SY III, jubilant, high population. (Stone Mill)
  1. I still look at Monoliths like a luxury item. In a competitive game against humans, I stick with:

-- I usually build monoliths only when I have a planet with good values in all 3 resource types (and there aren't that many of 'em). I may sometimes select a planet with 2 out of 3, if I need those 2 types. -- If for some reason I am comfortable and don't need the resources immediately, and I don't feel threatened (which is rare). If I'm playing the AI, I may toy around a bit more, because I certainly don't feel as threatened. (Stone Mill)

  1. If anyone wants to prove it to themselves, just do a few case studies and add up the net resources over time:

- Make sure you subtract the resources you spend on the facilities you build and add in the resources the facility makes on the turn after it is built. Do this for every turn and you will find that building monoliths will create a large resource deficit for many turns - is your other income able to absorb this and still be competitive? - Make sure you account for the time it takes to build the facilities, - You can include a resource converter in the end if you wish, but this really benefits both sides of the argument, - If you build a spaceyard before building facilities to speed up build time, include the resources and time to build it as well as the increased facility construction rate, - If you build value improvement plants, include the resources and time to build and the time to increase resource percentages, - Use real game probabilities for planet resource percentages. It is much easier to find a planet which is > 100% in one resource than to find one that is > 100% in all 3 resources. - Consider planet size. No matter what your build rate, it takes far longer to fill a large or huge planet with monoliths than individual resource facilities. - Since monoliths I, II, III all cost the same, they all take the same time to build, but the lower level ones produce less. On a standard planet with standard construction rate (2000, 2000, 2000) a single resource facility level II can be built in 1 turn with no spaceyard. When the last one is built, they all can be upgraded to level III's. This method will fill a planet the quickest and the extra cost for upgrading is made up by having the level II facilities built in 1 turn instead of 2 turns for a level III so you have the income sooner. - Finally, compare both schemes and see how low your resource deficits get while building (this will surprise the monolith builders) and how many turns out it takes before a monolith planet exceeds a single resource planet. There is no doubt that a monolith system will eventually out-produce single resource facilities. The real question is at what point and what happens in the meantime? You will find that this time is very long (too many variables to put a discrete number here), but try some case studies yourself and you can see that it will be many many turns. And in the meantime, your enemies are coming... (Slick)

Setting up the Front

Expansionism and military support go hand in hand, I can't seem to operate one without the other. So much boils down to an effective balance between managing your economy and having a long enough arm (militarily) to protect your fledgling colonies. (Echo Mirage)

Co-occupation?

Personally, I resist co-occupation at all costs, and try to enforce sole possession of any system I occupy. I usually do this by military action (denial via units and attack ships) or through politics (offering a player something in return for their planet(s)), especially if I have the basis of "claiming a system" first. Why? a. Keep all the resources for your own empire. When you later achieve system-wide facilities, the bonus will be applied to all planets in a given system. Note: They benefit only the empire that owns them; planets owned by other empires in that system do not receive a bonus. b. It is easier to defend warp points. It takes far less effort to build defenses at a choke point on the front line than to build defenses on each planet, or risk leaving planets vulnerable. A co-occupying planet in your system is a thorn in your side that will attract your constant attention for monitoring hostile activity.

So, what to do if a frontier system is co-occupied? The answer may surprise you: Create a sole outpost.

The Outpost

While an outpost has more to do with military strategy, it deserves attention in economics because of the potential damage that is done by over-colonizing the front line:

-- Losing planets to an enemy - Decreases happiness, causes rioting; Negatively impacts both production and construction

So, do not rush into a system and "grab as many planets as you can" in the area you determine to be the front line. Create a single strongpoint in that system and defend it well. Do not panic if your opponent grabs these planets; if you play correctly, this will be a mistake for which you will make him pay. Concentrate on denying further penetration, and build up you outpost with mines, weapon platforms, etc.


Staging System and Forward Bases

The Staging System is the system directly behind the front-line system with your outpost. It will contain your Forward Base for this front. All planets will be colonized; and yards will be your priority. Good Forward Bases have your training centers, resupply, repair capability (ships / bases). They are best over colonizable moons, which can be used to build an additional training facility, increasing the % of training per round. Ships are retrofit and repaired here with the latest tech while they are repaired and staged. Your fleet can be used for defense, or applied to the front line for an assault.


Resources and Construction

Resources are required because of the component cost for:

- constructing new items - maintaining existing items

  1. Take a look at your designs. The display will advise you how many resources of each specific type will be deducted during construction. When you add or remove components, the resource amounts adjust. Tip : as you acquire new technology, pay attention to the resource cost of the new components. You will have to adjust your empire’s resource inflow before you build them so you can sufficiently construct and maintain them.
  1. Keep an eye on your construction queues; when adding items to construction, your empire resources (crown) are immediately adjusted. This goes for units, ships and facilities.
  1. Monitor the units and ships you have in service. The totality of these items impact the amount of empire resources spent on maintenance. Scrapping / gifting / destroying items lessens the total maintenance cost; building / acquiring new items increases the total maintenance cost for your empire.

Resource Rules of Thumb

How many (Minerals / Organics / Radioactives) does my empire need?

Early game: you will need 10 : 1 : 2-3

Mid-Late game: you will need 10: 1 : 4

This will vary according to your tech usage, especially special tech. For example, an organic empire using many organic components may require a resource ratio of:

10 : 5 :4

This is because the components and facilities generally tax organic resources.

Understanding where the demand on your resources is coming from is critical to managing your economy.

Predict Resource Swings

How did this Happen?

All new players learn a hard economic lesson when they start using advanced tech and their economic needs change. Players can experiences economic droughts of 10, 20 or more turns trying to compensate for current resource needs. For instance, you start using Phased Polaron Beams on your designs, and find your radioactive reserves drained while you halt all production to build radioactive mining facilities. The best bet is to plan ahead.

Most commonly, economic swings are caused by:

  1. (Mid game) Building and maintaining components with a heavy radioactive cost, such as shields, armor, certain weapons types such as PPBs, and stellar manipulation components (huge!). Rads are most often underestimated.
  2. (Early game) maintaining too many colony ships en route; building too many non-resource producing facilities at the same time
  3. Mass building or upgrading of facilities, especially special facilities.
  4. Losing (or acquiring) fleets and planets.
  5. Retrofits to your current designs, using new components with a different resource cost. Retrofits are subtracted from your stored resources. When you give the retrofit order, the specific resource cost is displayed. HOT! you must take a mental tally of all retrofits you order in a turn and ensure the total cost does not exceed your storage!
  6. Broken treaties and the loss of resource bonus (up to 20% of the other empire's income multiplied by your political savvy %)
  7. Mothballing / unmothballing. I generally don’t use it, because I strive to employ and leverage any ship available in the staging and forward area. Many good players use mothballing, depending on their strategies.

Tip : Upgrade directly to the latest tech; there is no need to step. If you have a facility upgrade in queue, that has not started yet, delete the old upgrade project and enter a new order to the latest tech. (i.e. 10 Minerals I facilities do not have to upgrade to Minerals II before upgrading to Minerals III; upgrade direct from I to III).

Storage

Storage is generally used for:

  1. Retrofits
  2. Compensating for moderate overages in expense
  3. Preparing for upgrades. (Parasite)

If you are close to Economic Harmony, you probably won’t need much more storage than what you expect to spend on retrofits. In mid game, this will commonly be a few mineral storage facilities, one or two rads storage , and maybe an organic storage facility. However, most of us need some padding until we get good at understanding the game.

Treaties

Treaties are good for your (and the other empire’s) economy. A treaty provides you with (up to) a 20% share of the other empire’s economy, modified by your empire’s trade modifier %. Therefore, a small empire benefits hugely from a treaty with a big empire; and likewise, a big empire does not gain much. Depending on type, the treaty bonus may be realized in resources, research, and intel.

If you are benefiting largely from treaties, be sure to maintain an additional buffer in your resource expenditures and/or maintain increased storage to compensate for when they are broken. This will hurt. Even if your relationship is solid, remember, an enemy can run Communications Mimic against you.

The Happiness factor

Keep your people happy (see FAQ 1.2.1). The happier they are, they less of a hit they take when things go bad. Your goal is to prevent rioting. Use Riot control measures (FAQ 12.1) in advance before you become handcuffed.

Foreign citizens are more difficult to keep happy, and will be strained by unhappy events. Pay special attention to them.

The Organic Edge

While touched on before, the Organic race deserves special consideration economically because of it’s advantages:

  1. The organic resource thing is a huge advantage (not just for reduced build time, although that is a big advantage), as are the multiple weapons in one tech area. The acid weapons have the advantage of being able to nail units (which most torpedoes can't), and the parasite reload rate of 2 can keep them effective even in late-game, particularly when used in combined arms deployments with fighters and drones and direct-fire warships. (Pvk)
  2. Organic races can out-build standard races by 60%, then. Maintenance advantage varied from 38 to 56%. With 3 standard ships to 5 organic ships, the outcome will be a toss-up. With 30 standard ships to 50 organic ships, it's no contest. If the organic race makes first kill, it's even worse. My results frequently had over 35 functional ships remaining for the organic race. Superior numbers seem to be almost as conclusive an advantage as superior accuracy, at least at max tech (Krsqk)
  3. Organic races can make some of the best fighters in the game using the Small Electric Discharge weapons. This, combined with the organic tendency to be able to significantly out-produce others, makes fighters very formidable for organic races. There is also no limit for the number of fighters in a sector. For more on fighters.

Construction

You should be intimately familiar with modifying your designs so that they may be constructed efficiently.

Question: The things I get bogged down with in the mid game are upgrading facilities once level III's come out. i.e. can't be built in 1 turn so I build level II's and upgrade later - but sometimes forget to upgrade when the last one is built.

Answer : I handle this situation according to the planet size, and how quickly I need the resources. I generally frown on building anything but the latest tech. On a small world I will build the level IIIs taking 2 turns each. On a larger world I will stop and build a spaceyard first. Then I will construct the level III facilities in one turn, and perform the upgrades much quicker.

Generally, you should have a space yard in place on your larger resource planets, as mentioned in 17.3.3.4. This yard will expedite upgrades and build special facilities. Don’t forget that upgrades divert your empire’s resources and your goal is to keep this to a minimum so you can reap the upgrade benefit as quickly as possible.

Queue on Hold

If you are at a point where your construction expenses exceed your production income (and you will be), use the Queue on Hold button rather than canceling the item currently being built. I like to use the construction window to find items that can wait and place them on hold.

Emergency Build Tips

  1. Build a base space yard, have it build something on emergency build, then mothball or scrap it, or have it build units.
  2. When you have many planetary yards, which you don't have enough resources to build with all of them at the same time. Construct toward the front. (Pvk)
  3. When there is an emergency in one area of the map (i.e., enemy invasion) and you want as much built as fast as possible, to maximize the response. (Gee, am I the first one to mention using emergency build for emergencies?) For the emergency scenario, if you are in a pretty large galaxy and have control of many systems, you can't defend them all, so you would use EB on frontier systems to produce reinforcements a bit quicker ( and pray the threat is squashed within 10 turns!) (Pvk)
  4. When something is down to 0.2 years to complete, and emergency mode will reduce it to 0.1. By canceling emergency mode the next turn, you get 25% more production than you would have otherwise, which is also a good time to buy something cheap that you wouldn't have wanted to spend a whole turn on. (Pvk)
  5. When trying to build expensive facilities, such as important system-wide ones, which take over a year to build. The fact that one of the planetary yards will be at low production for a year thereafter is often insignificant compared to getting that important facility working 5 or 6 turns earlier. (Pvk)
  6. Don't write off a construction queue when it is in "Slow" mode. Slow mode is a great time to build units.

Emergency Build first 10 turns? Why not wait? (section by spoon)

  1. you'll have more resources at the end of 20 turns
  2. you'll have more spaceyards at the end of 20 turns
  3. you'll have been able to establish border colonies up to 10 turns earlier (this is what is most important to me... getting those huge greens before your neighbor puts a domed colony there, or getting to a choke point system before anyone else)
  1. few people rush (hopefully)
  2. you should have at least 2-3 other spaceyards up and going in your homesystem.
  3. if you spent at least one of those ten turns building a base spaceyard, you can emergency build defenses anyway
  4. even on slow build, homeworlds can build enough sats or wps to protect from a small attack force. I almost always emergency build at the start, and have never regretted it. (spoon)

Notes on Remote Mining

Remote Miners can be used successfully to generate resources for your empire, but they require maintenance and administration. I don’t use them, but the factors are included for your consideration:

Factors For:

There is apparently a restriction against having more than one ship with mining components working in the same sector, even if they have different kinds of comps. To sum up: Three large sats (sats have 0% maintenance) each with different comps can mine the same sector. Additional sats of any type get nothing. One ship (and I am assuming base here too, it would take too long to test that) only can mine per sector, regardless of types of mining components onboard. But you can put as many mining comps as will fit on that one ship and get all the resources from them. (Geoschmo)

If you made the ships with all one type of miner, you would save a lot more resources. If the ship is mining only minerals, then only the mineral value goes down by 1%, instead of all resource types. Remote Mining is very cost effective if you have a construction ship with one satellite launcher. Build a Large Sat with the desired mining component. You can make good use of Asteroid systems.

Remote Mining is very important in games where you can only colonize the right gas type (e.g. O2) or only the right Planet type (e.g. Gas giant). It allows you to get something out of all the other planet types. In these games you can make user of Base Miners where there are moons and planets in the same square. You colonists build a base to mine the uninhabitable moons or planet. If you have very low maintenance, mining ships are more cost effective. Bases even more so. (LGM)

I know for a fact that a little investment can turn into a huge gain. If you build a ship with a Construction Yard, move it to an asteroid with %200+% in minerals, build a Space Yard Construction base, then a Battle Station with 14 mineral miners, that a 25k a turn mineral surplus. Do that in an asteroid field you can easily produce more than your planets. Granted this will take a 20+ turns to deploy but if you start small the gains will outweigh the investment. Not to mention other tricks that could enhance the mining field. (Cyclop)

When I play I put Baseships on the asteroids with 4 min miners, 3 farm miners, and 4 rad miners. The result is I make at least 8K in min per turn, at least 6K in farm per turn and at least 5K in rad per turn. The maintenance on a Baseship is 2592 min - 140 Farm - 451 rad. So for me it's very profitable. Now only time it don't become profitable is when one of the %'s drop down to around 40% or lower. I've got on that's producing 218% min - 218% farm - and only 33% rad. I'm making a lot off the min and farm but the rad I'm only making 500 per turn now. So pretty soon I might have to scrap that one and put a miner on it with only farm and min miners on it. Oh BTW, the % drops by 1 for every turn taken. So if you have an asteroid that is say 250% in all 3 areas. Then I'm guessing you have about 20 years before you start losing money on it. (Rags)

Factors Against:

IMO, the costs of setting up remote mining, usually outweigh the benefits. I think the RM components are a bit large, and/or a bit costly, for the gains. Basically -- for every remote mining ship, base, or satellite I could build ... I've always a more-pressing need for OTHER satellites, bases, or ships. If the "profit margin" were larger, I might place remote mining higher in priority than other ships ... but IMO, it's always better to colonize a world, than remote mine it ... even if I can only build one facility, a single Monolith 3 is going to be superior to a similar cost base in terms of production, ESPECIALLY over time (the monolith doesn't degrade the planet's value) .... (Pax)

The biggest problem with that is that to build a construction ship requires a cruiser hull or larger. And by the time I have researched cruiser tech, not to mention battle station tech, my empire has expanded to the point where it's much easier to just pump out a half dozen colony ships and plant some more colonies. Unfortunately, when you really need remote mining to work, early in the game, there is no practical method of employing it. By the time you have the tech to make it worthwhile, it's no longer needed. (Geo)

Also. In later tech, it’s much more profitable to turn the asteroid field into a planet; value doesn’t diminish.

Remote Mining with Crystalline Tech

(Section by Taera) I have developed a neat system for remote mining. Here it is:

It requires a single (probably dedicated) planet in the system on which you will build Resupply Depot and, if available, the Crystalline Restructurer. It can be a way to use those systems where you only have 2 tiny unbreathable planets and no chance of colonizing anything else.

Now the way it works: I build a ship (preferably LC as they have the best output for cost) with ion3 engines and self-destruct device (useful).

Now I order them to go to the (mining field), sentry and go to resupply planet. Repeat orders. Now until an enemy invades the system i would absolutely forget about their existence as with -30% maintenance it would take a while for their cost to overcome the income.

Example:

Spade class LC mining a 144%-121%-61% asteroid field with 2 robo-miners and 1 farmer.

Income: 2016,672,0

Upkeep: 915,28,121

And that’s with crystalline restructurer 2 only. Useful. And I never have to worry about the ships again. They also occasionally appear up in the Next Ship list so I can monitor their income vs. upkeep.

Same system orders: To actually remove the ship from your eyes you have to bring it to the mining field, press sentry. Then order go to-nearest resupply and then tell it to go back. Check in orders list to ensure its correct. And then press 'K' (Repeat Orders) It works with asteroid fields too, given you can place the resupply planet about three turns from the mining field. (Taera)

Fini

That concludes my article on SEIV economics. Whooooo.



Preceded by:
Early Economy and Exploration
Manual (SEIV)
Section 17.3
Followed by:
Get the Most out of Fighters