Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Check here for updates and discussion about the new edition of the Victory by Any Means Campaign System.
User avatar
gstano
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:41 am
Location: Huntsville
Contact:

Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Postby gstano » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:35 am

Hello Everyone,

There has been a little lull in the e-mail traffic this weekend, so I thought I would kick off a little discussion. Our playtest groups are in the process of picking out there initial builds and there certainly appears to be several routes that individuals can take.

As it stands currently, it does not appear to be largely necessary to start with a lot of military forces beyond scouts (if we need to survey the routes/unexplored systems) and maintaining a lid on piracy. One thing I am mulling over is a long-term versus short-term approach. Even if all jump lanes are available with no exploration, supply limits and distance will keep the four empires apart for a little while. If exploration is needed, there will certainly be more time to build up capabilities.

With a short-term approach, I would aim for more initial military units and civilian fleets to quickly exploit new systems and to establish a police presence to ward off piracy. This would come at the expense of facilities, although a shipyard and starport are essentially must builds. Beyond that, you would focus on facilities and support units later.

The long-term approach would see far fewer military units, but a large expenditure on homeworld facilities: mining station, foundry, research facility, etc. There would also be the necessary civilian fleets as you still want to have an initial expansion ability. This approach aims to add "force multipliers" to your homeworld at the cost of short-term fleet capabilities. The hope is that over the long haul, the economic and production capabilities available from the start would allow you to catch up with opponents who may have taken a short-term approach.

What are your thoughts here? Additionally, what considerations would you have for a few initial troop purchases? While unlikely to be needed immediately, having a few already deployed could prove beneficial if needed relatively quickly. Here, individuals with cheap troop units may be more inclined to do so as they would not drain your initial build points as quickly.

As I said, I am just looking for some discussion. Thanks!
It's not as bad as it turned out to be.

User avatar
OneMadOgre
Commander
Commander
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:13 am
Location: Mpls, MN

Re: Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Postby OneMadOgre » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:04 pm

You and I had a similar vein of thought. Since I'm a rookie, I took the suggestion of about 150 of the starting EP to be on non-military units. At the risk of tipping my hand, (yay playtest!) I took an immediate look to where I want to set choke points. My thought was that I could look to immediately control a couple of key systems, scouting on my way to them, and then back fill in colonies as the systems warranted.

Since I took the tech group with stealth and first attack advantage, it seemed to make more sense to take an aggressive footing towards the systems I've flagged as critical based on perceived value, both economically (carry-raw-bio) and strategically. (There appear to be three main approaches to my home world.)

User avatar
gstano
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:41 am
Location: Huntsville
Contact:

Re: Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Postby gstano » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:24 am

I am not exactly a rookie with this, but I am pretty close. I have had the chance to try a few 1E campaigns, but they have all folded fairly quickly. I am very interested in participating in this playtest. I think that the designers have some interesting evolutions from 1st to 2nd edition.

It does appear that we have a similar starting strategy. I immediately checked for decent choke points on the map and was figuring how to hold those. Your Senorian fleet may have a advantage over my Tirelon thanks to the stealth. However, if I am reading the ability correctly, the Tirelon may be able to field a larger force with the Communications (adding command points) and Jammers (remove enemy command points). It will be an interesting combination.

I think I may aim for a slightly longer-term strategy as I am unsure how quickly colonies will be able to build up. A profitable homeworld would be beneficial to improving the colonies in the future. Like you I am going to field about 150 points in civilian fleets, so we shall see what we shall see.
It's not as bad as it turned out to be.

The_Beast
Cadet
Cadet
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:00 pm

Re: Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Postby The_Beast » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:23 pm

Also a newbie, I was wondering how quickly the colonies start adding to the empire's potential.

Anyone remembering Third Millenium's Empire I, knows that they' produce from the get go, so putting potential in the opponents direction is putting a knife to his throat.

However, I assume that I don't want them TOO close, or they become a plum for the picking of aggressive opponents, and using 'back stars' as a protected pocket empire is preferable if they don't play for themselves quickly enough.

While this is more about strategy than directly about rules, it does show how little I have a feel for these issues just yet.

Heck. I'm still trying to work out HOW to purchase, much less WHAT. ;->=

Doug

User avatar
OneMadOgre
Commander
Commander
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:13 am
Location: Mpls, MN

Re: Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Postby OneMadOgre » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:58 pm

Near as I could tell, the ability to buy census and feed it would have a drag effect on how fast colonies would come into their own. Buying a census level once per year (if I read that right, once every 10 turns), means that you're going to have a hard time getting a colony to be a core world type production without a significant investment in time. Finding a world that has the BIO to support a big population and a RAW that makes it an economic powerhouse will be something worth fighting over. I expect most worlds that we can explore and colonize to have around half the attractiveness of the starting system.

User avatar
virtutis.umbra
The Critic
The Critic
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:50 am
Contact:

Re: Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Postby virtutis.umbra » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:06 pm

Can we voluntarily "evacuate" Census from the homeworld and resettle them elsewhere, though? One nice benefit of that is that dropping below a certain threshold would decrease the food-per-census cost, thereby increasing the food surplus of the homeworld and allowing yet more outward expansion. You'd end up with hypothetically a whole bunch of Census-1 colonies that individually aren't worth much, but after 20 turns or so you would suddenly start to look pretty good. Even if those colonies were poor BIO, the increased surplus of freeing up space on the core world would help provide the necessary food for those seed colonies until you could drop a few Hydroponic Gardens to improve their self-sufficiency.

Not sure if the loss of productivity in the homeworld is a wortwhile sacrifice for the improved growth, though. I haven't run the numbers.
-Patrick
crit·ic /ˈkritik : Someone who knows the way but can't drive the car. -- Kenneth Tynan

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: Initial Builds - Homestretch Playtest

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:33 pm

The strategy that Patrick discussed is something that players did tend to do in 1E, and is also part of the reason that players are no longer allowed to move Census from one system to another. You'd almost always end up with a situation where the player would keep his homeworld at Carrying Capacity - 1 for Census to ensure that the population would continue to grow there (free Census!) and then ship the excess to his empire's other systems. That was before food was an issue, however (I used BIO and food for a long time as an optional rule during the "1.5E" period, but it was never an official rule).

In 2E, barring the planetary evacuation rules that are now optional, it's impossible to reduce a system's Census value except through population damage (starvation or bombardment). That means it becomes more important to the player to decide where to purchase Census because the purchases are more or less permanent.

The choice of deciding where to colonize usually comes down to looking for systems that have high RAW and BIO values and then weighing those resources against their Carrying Capacity values. A system with low CAP but high RAW and/or BIO is still a good colony site, but not necessarily as good as a system that can be expanded to be a major colony capable of performing major construction or research projects. The smaller colonies are also easier to destroy, which also becomes an important element when considering the likelihood of the enemy moving in and just blowing the colony away.

Back to the original topic of short- vs. long-term expansion, a lot of it depends on just how aggressive you think your neighbors are going to be during the game. If you think they're going to be fairly passive you can get away with purchasing more colony fleets and focusing more on economic growth instead of military strength with your initial starting force purchases. Alternatively, you could go heavy on military with the goal of just moving in and capturing enemy colonies instead.

Map geography has a major impact on your strategy, too, as some empires will have better expansion routes than others or else find that the best places for them to expand would put them into conflict with neighbors that they suspect would turn hostile early in the game. At that point turtling and building up a small number of systems might be a better strategy. Playing defensive like that would make it harder for an opponent to conquer your systems, but it would deprive you of resources in the long-term. You just have to hope that by going "tall" instead of "wide" you can crank your tech up high enough and build up enough defenses to make attacking your empire an unappealing option.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"


Return to “Second Edition Development”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests