Top 10 Newbie Mistakes (SEIV)

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Below is listed the top 10 mistakes new players make when playing Space Empires IV.

Contents

Not Loading population onto a Colonizer

Don't worry, everyone has done it. Some of us still do it from time to time. Use the (C)olonize order after using the (L)oad order. See also FAQ 0.2 (SEIV) and Colonizing (SEIV)

Putting a planet with a Resource Converter on "Repeat Orders"

This will cause resources to be converted each turn. Adding orders to convert resources on subsequent turns does not delete the first order so all orders will attempt to be executed each turn. Many people have been caught off guard by this. Resource conversion happens before resources are deducted for retrofits so if you are sure you had enough resources to cover the cost of retrofits but they failed anyway, check for this problem. Also, if you are seeing unexplained changes in your resource pool, this might be the cause.

Cloaking the minesweepers

Minesweepers will not remove mines while cloaked. If you find out your ships take damage and you know you have minesweepers but they didn't remove them, then you have them cloaked. To make sure it does not happen, uncloak all minesweepers, if possible. If you're unsure whether a warp point has mines on them, uncloak fleet anyway, just in case mines slip by as mines detect cloaked ships.

Relying too much on trade income or not paying attention to your economy

Trade is not a reliable source of income. If "allies" rebel, then the empire goes bankrupt.

Solution: build more "economic-type" facilities (mining, farming, refining, etc.)

Not protecting warp points

The most effective way to protect your planets and systems is to protect warp points. The reason is that enemy ships must enter the system through the warp point; and most importantly, when combat is initiated on your end of the warp point, you as the defender get the first shot. During warp point battles, all the ships are usually positioned close to each other so the defender has a big advantage in being close and firing first. In the early game, mines or a few satellites or a ship is good enough to kill enemy colonizers and exploration ships. In the late game, you need large fleets with powerful weapons and good strategies to deal with large enemy attack fleets. See also System Defense.

Using Ministers

In general ministers are very poor at managing your affairs. In some cases they can actually make things worse. Serious players do everything themselves. See Empire Management (SEIV) for some pointers on empire management.

Using "Divide Points Evenly" in Research or Intelligence queues

Even though this sounds like it would be a neat way to divide your points, don't ever do this. The reason is that when dividing points evenly, you will lose any points over that required to complete a project. If not dividing points evenly, points are applied to the leftmost project and any remaining points will spill over to the 2nd, 3rd, etc. until all points are used up. Just keep extra projects on the right and reorder the queue to prioritize the most important projects on top.

Not adapting to the situation

Other empires

It is very important that you adapt and ready yourself. You never know what other empires will do. Expert human players will make every attempt to counter the tactics you may have, and if you don't try and counter them back, you will fall to them.

Events

Events can also come out of the blue. They can cause all sorts of things and, in the default game, will always give bad things. Some mods will actually give positive events in addition to negative events. You can take the Lucky trait though to reduce chances of events.

Resources

Most mods, as well as the vanilla SE4, require that you keep an extreme watch on your resource pools. Not watching them can cause unpredictable results. Scrap old ships you don't need, mothball ships you don't immediately need, and put queues on hold to help keep expenses at a manageable level. This especially jumps in if you are playing with Finite Resources.

Failing to satisfy expenses

If you fail to satisfy the expenses, constructions will cease to for that month. Some ships may also be destroyed in the process of not satisfying the maintenances.

Falling behind in the game

This problem can be caused by falling behind in research, not expanding the empire fast enough, being attacked by combat or otherwise.

It is very difficult to make up for what you lose. For example, if you managed to research the whole tech tree and scrap all research centers at once, you will lose a lot of points!

The best way to make sure you don't fall behind is to try and maintain all aspects. Go to war if needed. Be sure you do not rely on trade for your resources, as you never know when your allies break from your empire. If you managed to research the whole tree, scrap a few research facilities per turn if you plan on building more.

Not keeping your population happy

An unhappy population will make any emperor want to pull his hair out. It is very frustrating because this has many effects on the game. Unhappy population will produce less resources, will reproduce slower and may riot. Note that population amount affects construction rates so having unhappy population will indirectly affect construction rates. Rioting populations do not produce any resources, do not construct anything and do not reproduce. If rioting for long enough, populations may even rebel from your empire to become an independent empire.


Preceded by:
Top 20 Newbie Questions
Manual (SEIV)
Section 0.3
Followed by:
Game Start-up and Empire Creation


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