Stars!-R-Us Article

How to design a Quickstart IT or : I am IT Hear me roar
by: Jeff Berger

For the past month or so the newsgroup has been riddled with posts showing huge amounts of resources being achieved with so called quickstart races.  Most of these have been CA but is it possible to get these same results with other PRTs. Yes, one of the PRTs particularly well suited to this style of play is the IT.

While not able of the pure resourcepotential of CAs the IT more than makes up for it with it's mobitlity of forces.  Imagine having a force of 50 gateable Armageddon BBs by 2475, some kind of testbed fanstasy you say. No, this has been achieved in actual blitz games.  Doing this is easier than you may think all it takes is a little knowledge of how to use your strengths to their maximum advantage.

To begin with you must consider how any race achieves a high amount of resources by 2450.  The short answer is *expansion*.  You must have as much territory as possible as soon as possible if you want to do well.  Of course this isn't all there is to it but if you have lots of planets, good resources are almost sure to follow.

So to start our journey  look at the advantages that make the IT PRT particularly well suited to rapid expansion.

1)  You're starting tech provides a huge advantage.  Right from the beginning of the game you can build Privateers with half-decent engines, allowing you to spread quickly throughout the galaxy.

2)  You start with two planets to scout from.  If you use both of these planets to your full advantage it will allow you to find a greater number of habitable planets early in the game, speeding your spread throughout the galaxy.

3)  You start with four ships with scanners.

4)  You can gate colonists around so all you need to do is establish a single gate in an area of the galaxy and it could cut years off of the travel time for your ships to reach it.

Race Design

Now that we have a goal in mind, expand as quickly as possible we can design a race to do that, that makes maximum use of it's advantages and minimizes it's disadvantages.

Even after buying a 19% growth rate you should have about 100 points left over to spend, but that's not going to be enough so I suggest you take several negative LRTs to get points, ones that work well with this desing are NRSE, a real no-brainer, OBRM, again not too bad.  After this things get tough you'll either need to take NAS, a real pain, or LSP, which will slow your growth by about a year.  The choice depends on your playing style but whatever you choose you should have about 300 points left to spend.

Leave the  res/colonist alone, decreasing it is just too expensive and you'll want to be able to dump a load of colonists on a planets and have them grow reasonably well all by themselves.  There are a couple of other things that you will need.  Since you'll want to quickly build mines to get Germanium set your mines to cost 3 and build at least 17, more if possible.  It's okay to drop the mines to produce 9 here since it's speed, not capacity we're concerened about.  For your factories we want to drop the cost to 9, 8 if possible.  Up the res/fact to 12 and the number to at least 17, more if you can afford it.  I generally leave the G box unchecked, it would be nice but I don't have the points and it hasn't caused a problem with minerals.

Playing A Quickstart IT

That's it now you've got the basis of a quickstart IT, but that won't do you any good if you just sit there and do nothing you must expand to grow.  On the first year send out all your ships with scanners to scout, if there's one planet that you'd have to make a big detour to reach load up your colonizer with 100 col and colonize it.  For the first 3 or 4 years you'll want to set an autobuild order of 300 factories, 300 mines on your homeworld and second planet and then set your research to 0.  In 2404 build a second wave of scouts and send them out.  You'll want to start sending out two privateers with fuel pods and colony modules each year starting in 2408, (2410 if you took LSP).  Keep your homeworld population between 30 and 36%.  When you have enough factories on your HW for 1/3 of your pop start sending some germanium with your colonizers and shipping the excess G off to your colonies for factory building.  Don't start building  stargates until either you've maxed out the factories on a planet or it becomes a strategic neccesity.  When you start to meet other races, be aggressive, you've got colonists to burn, take planets that are habitable even if they're currently owned by someone else, remember you can gate ships and colonsits to your front lines while your oppenents defenses will take a long time to arrive so take advantage of this and grab some more early territory.

Now I'm sure you're wondering if these are just some neato ideas or do they work in real games.  Well the answer to that is these strategies have all been used in actual games and have worked quite well, while they haven't guaranteed a win they will make sure you're a contender.  With this race I've been able to hit 25K-27K consistently in blitz games by 2450.

This race works best in a packed/dense universe where there are a high number of planets per player.  However, it can still do pretty well in a normal density.

I hope you've found this article interesting and informative and hope to see you on #Stars!

Jeff Berger
Wilco on #Stars!

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