Author Topic: Planetary Transit Starvation  (Read 128 times)

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Offline Hans Lemurson

Planetary Transit Starvation
« on: March 25, 2020, 10:13:18 AM »
I have the Planetary Transit system, and I also have a bunch of marginal land to settle that has not been blessed by Formers.

There is no food surplus here.  There are enough moist tiles, but that will not feed a city of size 3.
Even if I rush production of Recycling Tanks, the starvation kicks in first and I will lose a population.

What advice do you have on how best to settle this frontier? 
-Should I build the cities anyways and just eat the starvation?
-Should I wait 10+ turns for formers to arrive and make things ready?
-Should I ruthlessly leverage the free population to rush more colony pods who will found their own starvation-camps in turn to settle this region?
-Is there some way I can do something useful with this 3rd population before it dies?
-Is losing a population really that bad if you look at it as "+2 would be nice, but at least I got +1 free pop in my colony" instead of "oh no, I just lost the most expensive citizen in the colony!"?
Termination of specimen advised.

Offline Geo

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 10:24:03 PM »
Settle it on your choosen spot, rush the recycling tanks, and afterwards rush a former.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 12:22:35 AM »
I just let them starve.  I don't see that there's any play mechanical consequence to them starving.  I didn't ask for an irrational bonus when the land can't handle it, so I feel emotionally distanced, that they're not "real" starvations.  If you had time to prepare a food site in advance, that's nice, but sometimes that's just not realistic.  The game is definitely not going to turn on whether any base is size 2 or 3 anyways.

I wonder if there's some COVID-19 analogy to this, like people buying up most of the eggs at the grocery store.

Offline Hans Lemurson

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 04:26:51 AM »
What about using it to rush more colony pods?  How do multiple undeveloped colonies compare to one that's had a Former's love and attention?
Termination of specimen advised.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2020, 05:39:53 AM »
Using larger population centers to spew colony pods is completely useless.  The larger the base, the more expensive it is to make enough food to increase population by 1.  What you actually want for spewing colony pods, is a size 1 city with a farm and a forest.  That's assuming no better resource specials are available.  The farm gets the base up to size 2.  The forest gives the minerals needed when food is no longer needed to make a colony pod.  Wet, lather, rinse, repeat until you're having trouble holding your empire together due to Bureaucracy penalties.  You don't need an infinite number of colonists to win the game. 

I think the Planetary Transit System might be the most useless Secret Project in the game.  Other people seem to think it's this great empire building thing, but I'm not seeing it.  Maybe I have some kind of bias or blinder as to how I build empires.

Later in the game, you might have bases that have got so much food, and so many minerals, that they can chuck out a Colony Pod in 1 turn.  However, by that point in the game you probably don't need or care about building more bases.  You probably should just be winning the game.  If you do need a city somewhere, say to open a waterway across an isthmus, well then you might do it.  I can't say I've ever really tried a "settle every inch of land" play style, as I think it gets very boring building all the stuff for cities, even when I'm just conquering enemy cities.

Offline Hans Lemurson

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2020, 07:32:10 AM »
Sorry, I should have been more clear.  I have a colony pod at the edge of this frontier along the far coast of my continent, and if I ever build a city with it, that city starves from 3 to 2 the next turn.

My question is "What is the best thing to do with this pod, and any city it creates?"

I'm well past my Bureaucracy limit (24/6 cities), but the Human Genome Project + Planetary Transit System, + Police will keep a size-3 city under control.

Should I:
(A) Try to find a place where my Colony Pod can make a colony that won't suffer starvation
or settle in place and...
(B) Rush a Recycling Tank to make it food secure (after it loses a pop)
(C) Rush a Former to start making the land useful
(D) Rush Police to make sure the city can use its population
(E) Rush a Colony Pod (bringing it down to size 1) to found yet another colony to fill my frontier faster (and possibly repeat this pattern)
Termination of specimen advised.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2020, 08:11:42 PM »
I honestly believe that if you need the PTS as part of your settlement strategy, you did it wrong at the beginning, and are doing everything too late now.  Distant frontier stuff does not matter.  The core of your empire is what matters, and you only need so many cities to take over the whole globe, even on a Huge map.

If you ever conquer someone else's city, it's likely to be far away from your capitol.  People there will be unhappy, both from distance from your capitol, and from the 2 drone Captured Base penalty.  This is a good pretext to not develop the city, and instead use it as a source of Colonists, that you relocate back into your empire via a road or rail network.  I think of this as "laundering" the colonists, like a money laundering business in real life.

The other typical option with captured cities at a distance, is to slap a Punishment Sphere on top of them.  Then you use it for minerals output, not anything that has to do with energy.

Obliterating the base has severe consequences if you haven't repealed the Atrocity Prohibitions.  But if you have, then it's a way to go.  Also you can do it in a human-alien or alien-alien conflict if you like, as there are no penalties.

Offline Hans Lemurson

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2020, 08:43:59 PM »
Apparently my lack of clarity wasn't the issue... ::)

I was not asking about how to conquer the world (I'm playing peacefully because the AI sucks at war), or why you think using the PTS for fast colonization is a bad strategy.  (I really don't care about "what I should have done".)

I was asking "What's the best thing to do with a new colony given my current situation?".
I am filling in the last corners of my continent, and a colony pod wandered too far ahead of my Formers.  I found out that you cannot rush-buy buildings before starvation sets in, and so I came here to seek advice on how best to finish this settlement wave.
Termination of specimen advised.

Offline Nexii

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2020, 12:53:42 AM »
Improve the surrounding land with formers before you settle the colony. A single kelp farm should do if its near the sea

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2020, 01:00:04 AM »
I was asking "What's the best thing to do with a new colony given my current situation?".

Nothing.  Your situation has no game mechanical consequence.  You are sandboxing.  Whatever artistry you want to draw upon the map, is yours alone to create.  There are no pros and cons.  You can try to pretend there are pros and cons, but there's only one game mechanical consequence that actually matters, and that's winning the game.  I gave you the answer for that.  If you don't believe in or care about that, that's totally up to you.

If we were discussing poker, and the variant of poker had wildcards in it, but you didn't want to use them, I'd be like ok, you're not serious about winning poker.  So do whatever you want, as it doesn't matter.

If you want further game mechanical explanations of why your choices at this point don't matter, the most basic one, is that at some point you're going to get Habitation Domes and Sky Hydroponics Labs.  Plus you will have jacked many of your cities' terrestrial terraforming to the hilt anyways.  You will have far more food than is necessary to win the game, even by voting yourself Supreme Leader.  Going beyond the population a "core" empire can put out, is simply sandboxing.  Your funzies, to see how big your empire can be on the map.

How big can your empire be on the map?  "As big as you want".  You can even build big empires on grossly oversized maps if you want.  To see more citizens growing.

You may run into some software limits of number of units allowed.  Can't remember if there's a limit on number of bases allowed.  Someone else can speak to that point.

Another way I can say all of this, is worrying about the PTS is not an optimal path through the game, in any way at all.  It doesn't matter if you personally vested in it, or think it's supposed to be a benefit.  The tech tree is structured as a system of rewards, and they don't all have to be "play mechanical genuine" benefits.

Here is another way to try to explain your real choices to you.  Try building the most obnoxious amount of Formers you possibly can.  Before you get the PTS.  Just try!  So that whether land is terraformed with enough food, is never your bottleneck.  See how this strategy impacts your empire's development.  See if you could win the game in less time using this approach.  My prediction is you will run out of SUPPORT, you will be weak to enemy invasion, and it will take you longer to win the game, not shorter.  It's not optimal.

If you understand this, then you understand that "terraforming things in advance" is a time tradeoff.  And that letting people starve is just fine, because you didn't have to take special heroic measures in advance.

Have you ever faced a problem, where you actually got the answers from someone, and you didn't like the answers you got?  That's what's happening here.  I know this game pretty well.  If you have some other theory on how the game works, feel free to prove it.

Offline Hans Lemurson

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2020, 03:37:59 AM »
Nothing.  Your situation has no game mechanical consequence.
...
Have you ever faced a problem, where you actually got the answers from someone, and you didn't like the answers you got?  That's what's happening here.  I know this game pretty well.  If you have some other theory on how the game works, feel free to prove it.
??? Do you seriously have your head so
*Ahem*...I decided to delete the first draft of my reply so as not to cause a flame-war.

Let's just say that so long as you do not believe that my questions are valid, and so long as I do not believe that your replies are answers, then there's nothing relevant to discuss.

Two people gave replies which I do believe are answers.
I will reply to them directly.

Settle it on your choosen spot, rush the recycling tanks, and afterwards rush a former.
I was about to do this and have the city slowly regrow that lost population while building the tools to prevent its problem, but then I thought "I still have a population here...what if I leveraged THAT to try to build more local colonies to fill this place in faster, while waiting for my Formers to be brought in from elsewhere"
But doing that would leave the colony crippled (size 1 stuck on drone control), since it would consume the 10 free minerals on a project that wouldn't benefit it.

Improve the surrounding land with formers before you settle the colony. A single kelp farm should do if its near the sea
I'm not sure I want to wait around for that long.  Is it worth sacrificing 8+ turns of city production (and colony-pod maintenance costs) just to save that one citizen?  (My formers are far away because I thought I'd be able to just build them from that city after it was settled.)
It's true that losing pop 3 means losing out on 30 Food, so it's not a trivial loss, but my general understanding is that you're almost always better off founding a colony sooner rather than later (so long as it's not at risk of death).
Termination of specimen advised.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2020, 06:43:15 AM »
Let's just say that so long as you do not believe that my questions are valid, and so long as I do not believe that your replies are answers, then there's nothing relevant to discuss.

Two people gave replies which I do believe are answers.


Um, look.  I think you are learning the game.  This is based on the kind of question you ask, and that you've been on this board for 4 days.  It is possible that you know other things about the game and are learning this aspect of the game.

When I said "I know this game pretty well", I meant I'm one of the preeminent modern modders of the game.  There are some people who know certain aspects of the game more than I do, but that's not you.  There is no possibility that you have done the level of playtesting of this game that I have, and indeed, in modern times there are very few people who could make that claim.

Your question, "What's the best thing to do with a new colony given my current situation?" is valid.

The problem is, you don't have a metric by which an answer could be given.  You've disclaimed winning the game as quickly as possible.  You say you like pacifism, but you haven't said how you want to win.  Transcendence?  Economic Victory?  Diplomatic Victory?  Conquest victory by a very very long process of gradually strangling everyone else's land?  Or by flooding everyone in a global warming mindworm apocalypse?  You can choose any style of winning that you like, but without a metric, it is only style.  There is no "best" in it, it's just your personal choice.

You don't seem to accept, and possibly don't understand, that "frontier" settlements in midgame mostly don't matter.  They're non-strategic.  Mega-growth comes that dwarfs all the things you were piddling with earlier.  The way you reach that point of growth, is by working on the core of your empire, not your frontier.  Every time you build a "ring" of cities at another city radial distance from your capitol, their contribution to your economy and tech matters less and less.  This is due to corruption losses at a distance, and due to the inevitability of them having been settled later.  This is primarily a game about stacking the earliest things you do.  Whatever you do in your first 100 turns, is pretty much going to determine your success, unless you are determined to make major mistakes afterwards.

Or unless you are sandboxing.  In which case it's all style and nothing matters.

Just how fast are you completing the PTS?  What turn?

A Colony Pod in the stock game costs 30 minerals.  An early Secret Project costs 200.  You could learn the tech for the PTS, and then build it, possibly building Supply Crawlers to get it done faster, if you have already built a good enough road network to move them on.  Or you could simply build more than 6 colony pods and have already settled them, without ever bothering with the PTS.  Grabbing Nutrient Specials early is more important than the PTS.  I mean, why were you even asking where the food is?  Don't you know where the food is, didn't you grab that already?  By the time you get the PTS, you've already determined your growth curve.  You've got a core empire with the best food, unless you were doing something wrong and are now playing catch-up.

Consider this: any AI that starts on the Monsoon Jungle, dominates.  It's about the early food, not the PTS.

Offline Geo

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2020, 08:16:02 AM »
Settle it on your choosen spot, rush the recycling tanks, and afterwards rush a former.
I was about to do this and have the city slowly regrow that lost population while building the tools to prevent its problem, but then I thought "I still have a population here...what if I leveraged THAT to try to build more local colonies to fill this place in faster, while waiting for my Formers to be brought in from elsewhere"
But doing that would leave the colony crippled (size 1 stuck on drone control), since it would consume the 10 free minerals on a project that wouldn't benefit it.

Rushing a new colony pod sure will help you settle the neighbourhood faster, but you're simply back to your original problem then. And I believe you mentioned you're already settling at the edge of your continent at this point. I would simply accept the loss initially, rush even more then one former locally, and then build a colony pod to fill the neighbourhood. You'll have a couple formers by then who can follow or even construct ahead of your latest locally produced colony pod.

If you're coastal, a good variation would be to rush a sea former (very expensive though) like Nexii mentioned, and have it planting kelp farms within base limits.

Oh, and if there are nutrient resources nearby, settle on or adjacent to it.

Offline Fibonacci

Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2020, 09:23:54 AM »
You can send a supply crawler along with the new colonies. Have the crawler transfer food for a turn so that you actually can rush the recycling tanks without starvation. Then you can choose to re-home the supply crawler to the new city boosting its productivity, move it along to crawl something more valuable back to the existing home city, or send it along to prop up another colony for a turn to save it from the same fate.

Any of these options is available to you in the standard game if you have Industrial Automation to have built the Planetary Transit System. Crawler don't just bring stuff back to their own base, they can send things temporarily. And that buys you the full value of the population multiplier that you've gone to the trouble to produce.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Planetary Transit Starvation
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2020, 10:19:08 AM »
Of course you've doubled your production cost, tying up a Colonist and a Supply Crawler for this.  Is this about the aesthetics of not starving people to death?  Game mechanically it's not worth it.  Let them die already.

 

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