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Do you still think GalCiv 1 is fun even with GalCiv II out?
758 votes
1- Yes
2- No


A chance for someone to look smart (noob question)
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by Citizen Mooncusser - 9/8/2005 9:38:35 AM

I've beenn playing GCiv for a couple of weeks now, and have long played Civ/Strategy type games, so I'm familiar with most of the general concepts of the game. My current issues are threefold (specific detail later):

1) What are the factors that increase a planet's Influence base?
2) How do you get population to grow quickly?
3) If you choose to build nothing on a planet (e.g. no military units, just social projects), does this help your budget?

Some background:
My general play style is to build up my economy to the point that I can roll over other players in a wave just through sheer size. (The "Steamroller/Tidal Wave" strategy...) This seems to work well at levels around "Normal" intelligence and below. However, I have played a few games at "Bright", and things don't seem to be working so well, amd I am trying to figure out how to refine my strategies/produce better. In my last game (not over yet, but the writing is on the wall), I have a large portion of the map, but I have fallen behind technologically, militarily, in population, etc. The Alterans are the big boy on the block - and they are at war with me. No one else seems to like me so much, although some will trade techs with me - if I have anything of value to them.

My issues:
1) Influence: Early in the game I colonized a star with three good (14-18 PQ) planets. They had developed fairly well. Later in the game, I colonized a star in the same sector with two PQ 13 planets (marginal, but I figured I could get them up to PQ 15 and make something of them.) I had gotten one planet to PQ 14 and not colonized the second when the Alterans walked in and took the system. A couple of turns later, I see that my old system is generating about 125 Influence! (I still had enough to keep from being culturally dominated). How is this possible? That system only had a PQ 13 and a PQ 14 planet vs. my star in the sector with three PQ 15-21 planets. They also had no other major planets nearby, while I had some good planets in adjacent sectors.

2) Population: In the same game as entioned above, I have noted that all of my competitors seem to be able to grow their population much faster than I am - what should I do to maximize population growth? I think this is really harming my productivity/financial income.

3) I am not very specific in targeting building on planets. (I tend to build everything on every planet.) I know that I have to get better at this, but here is my more specific question: If I have a rear-area planet and choose not to build anything beyond research improvements (the planet is more likely to be a research hub than a weapons factory), I clearly save the maintenance that I will not have to pay on Shipyards, Manufacturing plants, etc., but does the fact that I am building no Social Improvements in any given turn help me out economically by making my budget easier to balance? e.g. - If I have chosen to spend 50% of my income on Social Improvements, do I spred that money out over fewer planets producing Social Improvements now - or is that "spending" effectively lost on this planet? If the former is true, then I may have found a way to target my building better - as to date I have always been producing something at all times on all planets - figuring that this would maximize my empire-wide production.)

Whew!

Thanks - more detail or clarification can be provided if needed.

- Mooncusser

      
#1  by Citizen Walldorf2000 - 9/8/2005 10:22:02 AM

1) Is "125 Influence" the influence of this star system or the influence of the Altarians in this sector?

2) The trick is that the population growth doubles at 100% approval (i.e. moral). Thus a planet should be kept at 100% nealy at all costs until the cap of 200 per turn and planet is reached. When this is reached depends on your population ability and is about three to six thousand population per planet. There was a good explanation with a value table somewhere in this forum. Does anyone have the link?

3) When you don't build something on a planet the money is lost. This makes it very hard to build up new planets (or flipped planets where everything was destroyed) in the end game when you don't have to build anything on the other planets anymore. e.g. when you have a manufacturing plant on a planet where you don't build anything it means that you even waste more money for nothing Often the only chance you have is to buy the most important improvements.

I don't build everything on all planets. Manufactoring only on the best planets where I build wonders, trade goods etc. Moral only on planets where moral is significant below the other planets. Military only where I build war ships. Research only when I have more money that I can spend, i.e. spending slider is at 100% and I still have income. Otherwise e.g. research ressources are much better because you get two thirds free. For improvements it's only one third.

Some expensive improvements (i.e. high maintanance costs) I build only on big planets and others never (Virtual Reality Modules etc.).
[Message Edited]

                              
#2  by Citizen Mooncusser - 9/8/2005 10:53:07 AM

Thanks, that helps. Here is some additional info:

1) the 125 Influence was for the planet/star (With a PQ 14 planet with hardly any improvements!!!). The Altarians had a 2000 Influence for the sector. (I had about 1250 for the sector.)

2) I searched and found a few morale posts. I'm going to have to pay more attention to morale than I have. (I haven't ignored it, but I might have to watch colonization of "iffy" star systems in contested sectors until I can really afford to support the system through self-sufficiency.)

3) Hmmm. So my standard practice of "always be producing something" isn't that far off-base... (except for the continuing maintanence costs) I'm going to have to play around with this one at an easier level to see exactly what effect everything has. I usually have a sub-100% spend level because my productive capacity is higher than my spending ability (income). It seems to make sence that if I didn't spend money on social improvements on planet A, that the monies available for social improvements would be diverted to other planets that had excess productive capacity. (The assumption being that if I am under utilizing my production facilities, then most other planets would have the capacity to ramp up production if given the extra funds/resources.)

GCiv II should make all of this even more interesting...

- Mooncusser

      
#3  by Citizen Mooncusser - 9/9/2005 9:19:56 AM

I played a bit last night and have rethought my previous post.

I still have no idea how the Altarans got a 125 influence rating on that one system, but they were wayyyy ahead of me in terms of development, so maybe it was just various wonders and their acheivements prowess.

I started a new galaxy and did much better in terms of managing morale. My population seems to be growing much better now.

Also, based on your info on the economic process, I came up with a new expansion/development scheme which seems to have worked well. The trick is just managing the changeover from rapid colonization/constuctor build to star system developement before your economy goes to pieces because of the rapid early spend. (If I don't start social program development early enough, Soil Generators and Habitat Improvements don't get built quickly enough to help boost morale/population and taxes can't keep up with my development needs. The result can be a bogging down of the economy until enough social development occurs. This can be deadly, I have found, as I usually trail in Military development, and this effect occurs right about at the point in the game that the AI starts trying to pick on me - which is coincidentally also right about the time when they can actually do something about it (i.e. - Transports)...


I'll probably try out a new test map tonight to see if last night's result was a fluke, or if I indeed have discovered a way to manage my early development better. I have a feeling that my next problem issue will be how to successfully engage in diplomacy...

- Mooncusser
[Message Edited]

      
#4  by Citizen InfernalRS - 9/9/2005 10:30:20 AM

Well, it sounds like the Altarians have several developed Influence resources, in addition to owning the largest empire. Those Influence resources can provide a massive boost to any planet's influence, especially with multiple resources under the command of one civilization. If you toggle the graph over to Influence, I bet the Altarians have a commanding lead while you're stuck at around 50% of what they have.

What's happening is that by taking a planet close to yours, they've established a "launching point" for their empire's galactic influence right in your backyard. This is extremely bad, because the effect can quickly domino across an entire star cluster if the influence difference is high enough. If you're the influence leader, it's actually a pretty good strategy to take over other star systems with minimal fuss- colonize any marginal planet, then boost it up by rush-buying influence boosters (Cultural Exchange Center, (Galactic) Research Lab/Center, Embassy). You can flip the other planet in just a few turns, sometimes before they burn all the improvements.

In this case, your recourse is to either take back that planet, go on a civilization-wide construction binge for influence boosters, or crank up the production on cultural resistance and morale improvements in the affected system along with a generous application of propaganda. Unfortunately, you are probably going to lose that game unless you can persuade other civilizations to come to your aid and attack the Altarians. In fact, you should always try and keep the #1 civilization at war with the #2 and #3 civilizations (excluding your own civilization, of course). The more they fight each other, the less they fight you.

                  
#5  by Citizen Mooncusser - 9/9/2005 11:43:32 AM

Infernal:

Your last paragraph highlights what will be my next issue - how to better handle diplomacy. The Altarans are clearly the leader in the game I referenced, and I am clearly the laggard. (OK, the Drengins were the worst laggard, but they surrendered to the Torians - leaving me at the bottom of the heap.)

By the time I figured out that I had to do something with the Altarans, I was so diplomatically weak that no-one would listen to me, I was technologically so far behind that I had no tech to trade, and I was militarily so far behind that I didn't have any worthwhile ships to offer. The only way to get someone on my side would have been to give up star sytems. I really don't like to give up star systems...

Part of my problem was Trade - I never really got it going. I should have identified some trading partners earlier and gotten the bigger powers working against each other. Up until now, however, I have been too busy trying to figure out my own economy, much less figuring out foreign relations. That is coming soon.

- Mooncusser


      
#6  by Citizen InfernalRS - 9/12/2005 8:59:07 AM

Trade is an excellent way to enhance your relations- it should be an early priority for just that reason. I've found that my early routes aren't made for pure profit, but more for diplomatic ties first and empire balancing second. All trade routes benefit both parties equally. If you can establish good relations, they'll make more trade routes with you, and so on. I usually end up trading with the stronger minors and weaker majors, to even them up for the fun to come.

The best time to start prodding the majors towards each other's throats is right after the initial planet rush when Trade tech is spread, and when Transports have become universally available. Since trade is likely very low at this point, you can usually goad them into fighting each other with fairly moderate offers.

Use both overall standings and galactic location in choosing who to bribe into attacking whom. It's easier to get stronger empires to attack weaker ones or ones with opposing moral alignment. You also want to make the wars "blockades". Try and get them fighting with a nearby-ish major or minor that lies right along the path between them and the other empires- their freighters headed that way probably won't make it, and their civilian trade ships certainly won't. However, you want to leave their freighters a nice clear path to your planets so those trade routes can run mostly unhindered.

                  
#7  by Citizen Mooncusser - 9/13/2005 2:03:51 PM

I have realized the importance of trade, but I am not that good at using it to my advantage, yet. I obviously get its money-making potential, but haven't learned how to get opponents to start fighting each other.

My other problem is managing the switch from rapid expansion to military build-up. I can usually expand quickly, but by the end of that rush, my economy is hurt enough that I need to scale back right when I want to start with Social Improvements and constructing my first worthwhile defensive units. As a result, I look like a very tempting target to the AI.

Assuming the initial tech research chain is Comm. Theory - Universal Translator - Diplomacy - Trade, what is usually most advisable? I often go straight to Def. Theory - Deflectors - Shields, in an attempt to get Battle Axes, but sometimes try to add in Prop. Theory - Cold Fusion - Impulse Drive to get the speed upgrade to get my Constructors to resources - a race I often lose...

- Mooncusser

      
#8  by Citizen Walldorf2000 - 9/14/2005 3:05:44 AM

After Universal Tranlator I usually don't research any of the technologies you mentioned. The AI researchs them anyway while I'm building
- 1st Colony Ships until all stars with planets above 15 in range are covered.
- 2nd Soil Enhancement and Constructors

Reseach something else the AI does not have like Nano Electronics or Invironmentel Control and trade this to the AI.

I make a table with all techs and which AI has it. First I trade for monopolies, then techs only two AIs have etc. Whenever possible I prefer minors.

You need a good diplo bonus to do so.

Things I try to get first are
- Diplomacy (better government and Diplomatic Translators)
- Impulse Drive (to win the race to the stars)
- Advanced Trade (Galactic Stock Exchange)

When I managed to get a good bunch of planets, Galactic Stock Exchange and Diplomatic Translators I know that I already won the game

When I don't get many ressources I don't care since I collect them when the AI is in war

                              
#9  by Citizen Walldorf2000 - 9/14/2005 3:09:46 AM

To get the AI into war check the military graphs on the right.

Trade techs to the first AI to attack the second and the third. The other way round will not work! Keep that in mind when you trade techs. You need some left over for the strongest AI.

When I still have techs left I check what else I can wreak havoc

                              
#10  by Diplomat Peace Phoenix - 9/16/2005 5:00:14 AM

The trick is that the population growth doubles at 100% approval (i.e. moral). Thus a planet should be kept at 100% nealy at all costs until the cap of 200 per turn and planet is reached. When this is reached depends on your population ability and is about three to six thousand population per planet. There was a good explanation with a value table somewhere in this forum. Does anyone have the link?

Is this that http://www.galciv.com/forum.asp?BID=GS&id=155077 Link (post 15) you are searching?

                          
#11  by Diplomat Peace Phoenix - 9/16/2005 5:08:39 AM

Assuming the initial tech research chain is Comm. Theory - Universal Translator - Diplomacy - Trade, what is usually most advisable? I often go straight to Def. Theory - Deflectors - Shields, in an attempt to get Battle Axes, but sometimes try to add in Prop. Theory - Cold Fusion - Impulse Drive to get the speed upgrade to get my Constructors to resources - a race I often lose...

Well, if you really need speed, take the speed +1 pick

And if you want to catch up the tech race, you shold research first techs that won't be researched by the AI. That way you will have something to exchange. And you could have a snow ball effect: the techs you researched allowing you to get some techs from diplomatic exchange, allowing you to increase the tech offer with other aliens.

And you should be aware that the AI tend to share easily tech. So if you trade a tech with one race, it is wise to share it with other races.


                          
#12  by Citizen Mooncusser - 9/16/2005 7:32:01 AM

Thanks, PP.

I have noticed that the AI tends to share, and I have actually started taking the Speed ability bonus, as well. Not sure if the 5 points on speed is worth it, though, as I usually try to get to Impulse Drive quickly just to get Transports.

I am guessing that the AI usually doesn't research the green techs. They are the ones that it most often initiates trade on. I also have started to learn to spread my techs around liberally, once I start to trade them. I usually get a least 4 or 5 techs for each one I sell. Are there any other tech lines that the AI tends not to research? (Maybe yellow?)

- Mooncusser

      
#13  by Citizen Walldorf2000 - 9/16/2005 10:43:23 AM

Thanks Peace Phoenix. I knew that the post was from you

I have it in my watch list but when I try to show the watch list I get "An error has occurred while processing the page."

                              
#14  by Citizen Stoner the 420th - 9/21/2005 1:09:20 AM

On the system with the PQ 13 planets what was the original influence of the star? I've noticed some non-yellow and non-purple (love the purple) systems have starting influences of over 100. Finding one saved my baked civ from certain failure when I first stepped up to crippling.

                      
#15  by Diplomat Peace Phoenix - 9/21/2005 2:50:05 AM

Well, what is really frustating is when a high influence star has no habitable planet

                          
#16  by Citizen Mooncusser - 9/22/2005 7:16:54 AM

I don't remmeber what the original influence of the star was, but I don't think it was 100. I can't remember specifically, but I don't think my influence was that strong pre-planet loss.

How soon do you guys start to to beef up your military, and what do you beef it up with? My toughest problem now is that the AI always perceives me as weak militarily and starts thrashing me. If I can make it to the point where I have Battle Axes, I'm fine, but the AI usually starts making "pay me 1,600bc or else" threats before then.

- Mooncusser

      
#17  by Citizen Walldorf2000 - 9/22/2005 8:24:21 AM

I don't build any military unless I want to crush someone. I concentrate on colonizing, starbases, trade etc. A strong economy gives you some respect, too. And when you manage to get "Diplo Translators", "Eyes of the Universe" and the "Gravity Accelerators" you don't need to worry about a war.

I never give in when they demand something. It's just my pride which keeps me from doing it

I usually play the good guy. Thus I send all my frighters to the bad guys. This improves your releationship.

I try to keep the AI at war with each other. Each AI should be at war with one other AI. Best would be 1st against 2nd, 3rd against 4th etc. It needs to be somehow balanced.

When this is not enough and a strong AI gets "Wary" towards me I try to get this AI into war with as many as possible civilizations. When this does not work very well or the AI is very powerfull I give them some techs as gifts until they are "Cool" again.

To do so I check the techs of all AIs and research techs they don't have.

When I get into war despite all my diplomacy I fortify starbases near by my war opponent first. Then I build warships to intercept the transports. Don't bother with their warships. Attack only those which protect the transports.

I try to keep everyone in war with my opponent. When I can't win the war I offer a peace treaty after a while.

This startegy did not fail for a long time. Sometimes I loose some starbases, very seldom a system. But usually I get more than I loose.

[Message Edited]

                              
#18  by Citizen Stoner the 420th - 9/22/2005 2:09:13 PM

How soon do you guys start to to beef up your military, and what do you beef it up with? My toughest problem now is that the AI always perceives me as weak militarily and starts thrashing me. If I can make it to the point where I have Battle Axes, I'm fine, but the AI usually starts making "pay me 1,600bc or else" threats before then.


I usually concentrate on increasing industrial and economic capacity so when a threat presents itself I can deal with quickly. Getting all my planets to complete ships in single month without rushing. The AI will usually want peace without firing a shot. If they make threats before you are ready ignore them. Send them something else the next month and they will usually be happy.

                      
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