30 turn challenge - Custom Race edition!
Well, release is out, and I think we could do for a new 30 turn challenge, this time though lets get some race-crafting involved as well! I have found that a galaxy seed will generate the exact same galaxy every time if type, size, and players are standardized. Even the starting heroes will be standardized. Please post your race setup as well as your results and strategy. As always the focus should be on working out strategies and not about completion, so please post thorough write-ups to encourage discussion. A turn 0 save file with ameboa is attached so that you can easily check out the galaxy. Feel free to do so in order to reduce the random factor for comparisons. Evil4Zerggin has now also done a great summary of key systems down below, you cant miss his formatting. The previous challenges can be found here if you are interested.
Seed: 2032707727 (make sure you uncheck the random seed button.)
Small Spiral 2.
Difficulty: Serious (If you are newer and have trouble at this level feel free to lower it, your results wont be directly comparable, but everything about the galaxy will be the same).
Pirates off (if your race benefits from having pirates, feel free to turn them on, it will not affect galaxy generation)
Enemies: Sowers, Cravers, Pilgrims in that order
All other settings on defaults
Screenshot of setup screen
Screenshot of galaxy
Thirty Turn Custom Intel.zip
My own results will be coming shortly.
Last edited by Milaha; 07-08-2012 at 09:49 AM.
Out of curiosity, what's the judging critereon? Population? Tech? FIDS? Score?
It is not a competition, so there is no real 'judging' but in the past we have found population to be the best single indicator of success. With custom races though we will see more diversity of strategy and thus population may not be as good a marker as it has been before.
I think population will still be a great measure. In previous testing, I found that a Food (and therefore Population) focus massively improved everything--in fact, I generated more Dust with Spendthrifts III and a Food focus, than no Food traits, Businessmen, and Entrepreneurs at max.
Summary of the local situation for those who don't want to load the game and look through all the planets:
The galaxy has two constellations. You are with the Sowers on the north/west side, and the Pilgrims and Cravers are on the south/east side.
You have one Administrator.
The north path from the start leads to Vyrak, a very solid system with a Large Terran planet, and three Class II (Arid, Tundra) planets, two of which have positive anomalies.
Beyond Vyrak is an opportunity for a quick Hydromiel monopoly.
The left, and shortest, path leads to Hidel, with a Small Arid with 3 (!) Hydromiel--if you colonize one of the the Hydromiel planets in your home system, you'll have a monopoly. Unfortunately, it also has Kessler Syndrome. There's also a Tiny Tundra with Ancient Artifacts and a Medium Tundra, but not much else good.
The right, and longest, path, leads to Tsing. There is only 2 Hydromiel here... but that planet has Garden of Eden for a massive 7 food per population! There's also a decent Low Gravity Small Desert and a Medium Arid, but little else of note.
So you have three options for Hydromiel monopoly. Grab Hidel and one of your home system planets, Tsing and both of your home system planets, or Hidel and Tsing.
The middle path leads to Rotanev, with a single Huge Arid planet with Mutated Flora. Quite good for a single-planet system.
Southeast: Dead End at First
To the southeast is Atlas, whose primary feature is a Large Tundra Garden of Eden. There's not much in the way of useful systems near the other end of the wormhole, so I wouldn't bother rushing Casimir unless you have trade intentions.
South: Mostly Crap
To the south is Kais, a pretty bad system--the only habitable planet is a Huge Tundra with Seismic Activity. After that is Qiad, a mediocre system, and then a wormhole leading to roughly the same bad systems as above.
Southwest: This Way to the Sowers
The first system in this direction is Ceres, not worth colonizing. Head north to Spica from here. From Spica, the west path leads to Hidel. The other two paths lead to the only other two systems worth colonizing. The more westerly path leads to Yisel, which has a Huge Tundra Garden of Eden. The more southerly path leads to Mira, which has a Small Ocean and three unremarkable Deserts.
Final note: You probably won't be able to take advantage of this in 30 turns, but a lot of the planets have moons.
Last edited by Evil4Zerggin; 07-08-2012 at 10:59 AM.
First off: Population will still be a great indicator for the economy and expansion focused races, but if someone builds a military rush race for example it will probably be a poor indicator.
Now, on to my results.
75 knowledge (per the button on top)
781 research per turn
My Race: Horatio improved
* Cloning 3: +1 food per pop
* Crowded Planets 2: +2 pop on small and tiny, +1 on medium
* Blockade Breakers: Trade routes in cold war and at war
* Diplomats 2: +50% trade route yields
* Merchants 2: +2 trade routes per system
* Dust Lode: +3 dust on home planet
* Legendary Heroes 2: +20 xp on new heroes (instant level 3) -4 upkeep on all heroes.
* Optimistic 2: +20 Happy on all systems
* Anti-Expansionists 2: +20% ship cost
* Dust Impaired 2: +50% ability costs on heroes
* Feeble Warriors 2: -10 defense on system
* Sloppy Sawbones 2: +50% healing cost for heroes
* Spendthrifts 3: -30% dust
I kept what I consider the 'core' Horatio abilities of cloning and crowded planets, which supports great early game pop growth and high pop caps (Horatio unique tech tree also helps push pop caps and growth). I then added in legendary heroes to get a sprinting start out of the gate. A +25 ind hero helps more than you can imagine in the early game and getting 2-5 of them in the early game is even better. Dust lode on an arid planet ensures solid dust production in the earliest game when combined with the higher tax rate due to optimistic, letting me get that 2nd and 3rd clone out earlier than otherwise (I got up to 4 in this challenge, and a 5th was only a turn away). Optimistic is a must-take imho for every custom race, it is just that potent at every stage of the game. The 'trade set' is balanced with spendthrifts for a net cost of only 8 points. For those 8 points you generally get just a hair more dust production, but the bonus of getting all the research as well. This works especially well on the Horatio due to their strong population growth and high pop caps, since pop is the biggest factor in your trade route yields.
Most of the penalties are the standard 'these do not hurt much' type, with the exception of spendthrifts, which I already covered and anti-expansionists, which is a big one, but since it is also a basic Horatio trait it is one that I have gotten used to. Generally it mandates a fleet with more defenses that is going to last vs the destroyer swarms. For the 30 turn challenge I never built a true military ship, though I was quickly gearing up to do so since the cravers were starting to get close. At this stage anti-expansionists mostly just increases colony ship cost.
I went for the large Terran in Vyrak first and picked up the Garden of Eden tundra in Atlas shortly thereafter. From there I probably should have sent a colony ship over to Tsing for that Garden, but I put it off and grabbed Hidel next to get the monopoly on hydromiel. I pushed out lots of barebones scouts to get the galaxy scouted early in order to get my trade routes going, and prioritized wormhole tech before non-bary for that reason, it ended up paying off since the cravers had already massively expanded and provided me with lots of routes.
For tech my path was as follows, though if I were to try again I would probably move a few minor things.
Improved fleet managment
Futuristic Game theory (Horatio racial moved)
Military up to lasers
High energy Magnetics.
In hindsight I probably should have picked up core mining a bit earlier since I had several of them that I could have been getting the science off of, and I waited too long to get the tech for hydromiel.
Overall I think that I probably outperformed what a standard race could do by a mile, but customs seem to be a whole new ballgame.
I did a Horatio run as well.
57 population in 7 systems
62 Knowledge (1 turn from Optimized Logistics)
838 Research per turn
Growth Plan III
Legendary Heroes II
Crowded Planets I
Feeble Warriors II
Deep Roots II
Offense First III
Fragile Hulls II
Anarchists II (yeah, yeah, kind of a cheap shot)
Dust Impaired II
Sloppy Sawbones II
Beelined Hidel for Hydromiel monopoly, while sending my scout to ward off colony ships from Yisel. Settled Yisel next, then Atlas, Vyrak, Rotanev, and Tsing. I only cloned once, probably I should have gone for more. Was about to start building Colonial Rights, Moon Surveys, Intensive Cultivation Logistics, and Careful Sweeping for +3 Food and +2 Dust per pop on 12 of my 13 planets!
89 population in 7 systems
1188 Science per turn
Moons are pretty nuts. Might try another run later and see if I can do better.
Last edited by Evil4Zerggin; 07-08-2012 at 10:53 AM.
30 turns challenge mean that you start at turn 1 and end at turn 31, so 30 turns are played.
Unfortunately for a challenge my conquests were 1 turn late.
Turn 32(real 31 turn):
research status: 85
research per turn: 854
Military Power: 11814
command points: 66
Turn 31(real 30 turn):
research status: 79
research per turn: 537
Military Power: 10740
command points: 60
Race: Hissho Kamikaze Small Map
traits with (mandatory) are crucial traits this game-play style.
Crowded Planets I (mandatory)
Dust Recyclers II
Fast Traveler II
Growth Plan III
Legendary Heroes II (mandatory)
Masters of Destruction II (mandatory)
Militarists III (mandatory)
Optimal Structure II (mandatory)
Optimistic II (mandatory)
Deep Roots II
Dust Impaired II (mandatory)
Feeble Warriors II (mandatory)
Fragile Hulls II (mandatory)
Offense First III (mandatory)
Sloppy Sawbones II (mandatory)
Space Cadets III
Spendthrifts III (mandatory)
homeworld -> dust production
colony ship -> colonize Large Terran in Vyrak
Scout -> scrap
research -> Soil Xenobiology(better farms)
set taxes so you would have 20+ dust on turn 2
buy administrator hero and +25 production trait.
administrator applied to Vyrak
change tax level to make all planets enthusiastic
past that it was quite obvious
Colonizing Atlas, Tsing, Hidel(apply admin there as soon as you colonize), Yisel
grabbed Hydromiel and titanium bonuses,
then spammed missile corvettes and overrun Sowers
1. Soil Xenobiology (better farms)
2. N-Way Fusion Plants (production boost)
3. Xenobothany (to colonize tundra)
4. Arid Epigenetics (to colonize arid)
5/6. Core mining(better factories) / Adv. Machining (missiles & better deflectors)
Hisso Kamikaze Small map - Turn 30.zip
Hisso Kamikaze Small map - Turn 31.zip
Last edited by Mer; 07-08-2012 at 09:08 PM.
While it may be obvious for experienced players a big part of the theory behind the 30 turn challenges is to help new players who it is not obvious for. If you have some time for a more thorough writeup of your tech path and strategy it would be helpful.
Originally Posted by Mer
I took an extremely cheesy route and I'm embarrassed I didn't do better than I did on my first run through. I got complacent in the middle and focused on building up my existing planets instead of sending colonizers out when I should have been hitting all the good planets in time for them to get full near T30.
T30 population: 59
T31 population: 63
Yes, every single planet was ticking over to a higher population every turn or two. I had a 30% tax rate and a Fervent/Ecstatic (well, mostly ecstatic) empire.
The big cheese: I took Cravers, and their FIDS bonus doesn't disappear until T40 at the earliest. (... and I trivially could get the T60 extension in that time.) There were a few other things (noted below) that were especially advantageous because of map shape, but I'd probably have picked them anyway, in retrospect.
Now, in case you think that the aforementioned cheese means I had an overinflated result that would collapse soon, consider:
AI Cravers: 9 planets
Grey Goo (me): 6 planets
others: 4 planets
My FIDS: 80% of total for galaxy
My Population: 53 of ~100
I figure I could probably have rushed everyone before any planets depleted if I'd kept playing.
Crowded Planets 1/2
Dust Impaired 2/2
Fast Travelers 2/2
Feeble Warriors 2/2
Masters of Illusion 2/2
N-way Fusion Plants
Sloppy Sawbones 2/2
Some notes on things I picked:
- Blockade Breakers is mainly to make trade routes useful with Eternal War, although Eternal War was a last-minute addition. I'm not certain it was worth it, as each trade route only gave about 1-2 extra population worth of Science and Dust. So, at best, a 5% DS boost. Given that any further trade routes elsewhere wouldn't be better than my homeworld ones, this game, I don't think I lost anything by not putting points in for that. Besides, my Sowers expanded really slowly and only had two planets I knew about for much of the game.
- Masters of Illusion - I meant to only put this to 1, but I put it to 2 at some point and just sort of left it that way... in a do-over, I'd bump it back down to 1, I think. The goal is to counterbalance Anti-Expansionists. Your combat ships are more expensive in the future when it doesn't matter, but your colonizers are cheaper now when it does matter.
- N-way Fusion Plants - I know most of you think that starting techs aren't worth it, but I've found this one is because of the early production boost you can get from it. It's doubly worth it when you've got TI-70 on your homeworld, though.
- Fast Travelers - It turns out that the nearby planets are exactly six spaces away, so this gets your starting colonizer to its destination faster. That said, I'd probably pick it anyway because later destinations are far enough away that it saves a turn of travel then, too, often enough. (Sort of like how people immediately redesign their colonizer to put an engine on it...)
- Huygens Rings - Extra research early when it matters! I had Dust coming in like crazy anyway, so it really was just for the +2 research. I'm torn about whether this or Mineral Rich (+3 I/P; costs 5 points instead of 10) is a better choice. If I dropped this and Masters of Illusion down, I'd have 10 points to put somewhere like, say, hero bonus exp or +% science or something.
- Cloning 2 and Crowded Planets 1 - The third level of Cloning, which, after the second level only gives you +food on T0 planets is more expensive than I think it's useful. Terran-type planets already generate absurd amounts of food with food exploitations. +1 food on arid (my HW) on down, though? Yes please! Similarly, I didn't really think the extra +1 on small/tiny was worth the extra cost.
I followed basically the same strategy as everyone else... colonizer to the Terran planet; beeline a Hydromiel monopoly. I detoured for the Garden of Eden Tundra and considered going for the other Hydromiel instead because of Kessler Syndrome, but... honestly, Kessler Syndrome really isn't that big a deal on that planet. Drop a colonizer for the Hydromiel and then use the hero for the industry boost instead.
What impressed me was the amount of research and Dust I was throwing around by the end. It was pretty terrifying, honestly, especially since it was essentially driven by Private-Public Partnerships and Tundra planets... oh, and the bunch of other +science anomalies scattered around my corner of the galaxy.
Very nice write up ricky. For whatever reason I never even thought to use cravers in a non-militaristic build. I imagine on a large enough map you could get enough of a colonization head start and grab up enough land mass to make the various non-military victories viable even after depletion kicks in. I might have to switch over to huygen rings for my own anomoly and drop down to cloning 2, you make a compelling argument.
My issue with N-Way fusion is this, for 6 points (which is worth it imho) I can get legendary heroes and have a moveable +25 industry. I do have a rush race that uses sowers and takes it, but it uses it in addition to the hero to really push ind to the max out of the gate.
I have to agree with your assessment of blockade breakers. It feels very poor on it's own, and I only consider it valuable when paired with merchants, and preferably diplomacy as well, and at that point it kind of mandates a tech path change to pick up early casimir.
I will probably take a second crack at this tonight some time, I think I have learned enough to improve upon my results.
Took a huge military handicap for a good early game. These are the stats when the bottom button says "Turn 30", getting 10 more population next turn (3 pop was in colonies, 7 systems increase before scrapping colonies). I've attached the save before scrapping colonies on turn 29.
Population 133 (14 systems, 31 planets)
I took all the military debuffs I could find (except slow travel), and put point towards anything increasing FIDS (or decreasing cost). I had Militarist 3/3 and Masters of Illusion 2/2 meaning 70% discount on colonies. I took N-way Fusion tech for 10 because it makes the start-up really smooth. Fast Travelers 2/2 is essential, you can setup your second colony on the first turn. It helps you get colonies down a few turns earlier.
Growth Plan 3/3
Masters of Illusion 2/2
Fast Travellers 2/2
N-way Fusion Plant 1
Eternal War 1
Offense First 3/3
Sloppy Sawbones 2/2
Spray 'n Pray 3/3
Wasted Space 2/2
Humane Weapons 3/3
Fragile Hulls 2/2
Feeble Warriors 2/2
Deep Roots 2/2
Dust Impaired 2/2
I didn't really micro taxes, just making sure everyone was ecstatic, if possible, and the empire was in fervent. I didn't change it very often, IIRC it was 30% early and 15% after. I focused only on food, building HIR then Alien Grafting on every planet colonized (except Spica, Ceres, and Gemini). I would buyout the HIR if I could. I settled the colonies as quickly as possible, I had them all by turn 20, and probably half by turn 10. I boxed in opponent so they could only get 2 systems, and I could get the others.
The way I made so much population is by making "Population Factories" - which is usually my mid-game strategy when systems start to max. Population is cheaper the less population you have, so if you create enough colony ships in any system you will be producing population at 1/turn. Then you can scrap colonies to regain the population, or redistribute them.
I try to setup some colonies in an equilibrium, where they gain 1 pop/turn and can build colonies in a turn. It was actually possible to do this on a lot of systems, I mostly redistributed population instead of holding on to them.
Here's and example. You have 8/16 pop in a system increasing in 10 turns, you create a bunch of colonies (which will slow down) - say 4 in 4 turns, but now you increase at 1pop/turn, 6 turns later you have 2-4 more pop, and you scrap your 4 colonies, giving you 10-12 pop in 10 turns instead of 11. However, this will cost you 1 dust/turn for the colony, and whatever dust/science loss from the population.
You can also do this for systems that are maxed out, its better to let them be producing population than let the food go to waste, so create colonies in them.
Xenobotany, Soil Xeno, Arid, Compact Fusion,
Then got Non-Baryonic Particles (~t20) and a whole bunch more, really fast after this, it wasn't important.
I got Accelerated Yield and Graviton Manipulation which helped a lot.
Fascinating strategy! This gives me a crazy idea...
My crazy plan almost worked--21 systems in 27 turns! Unfortunately, expansion victory required 4 more systems =(
Basically I played Sophons and focused everything towards fast expansion--colonized the Terran planet to the north and put out a colony ship every turn. With Sophons you can get a colony ship down to 36.8 Industry!
Last edited by Evil4Zerggin; 07-09-2012 at 05:55 AM.