Stars!-R-Us Article

Hyperproducing Super Stealth races
by: Jason Cawley


After a few pieces in another thread brought up the issue of hyperproducer race design and the differences between hyperproducers and pop-growers (aka hyperexpanders), I thought it might be useful to provide an example superproducing race design so that players have a general idea what sort of creature is being discussed.  The following design is by no means polished; I am sure other SP designers would find much they could improve.  My own forte is pop-growers, but I dabble in the other designs to get an idea what my competitors can do.  Anyway, to the issue at hand.

I'll give the race parameters and then a little discussion.

A superproducing SS race:

PRT - SS LRTS - OBRM, NAS, LSP, IS Habitat - 0.50g - 4.40 g, -100 C - 140 C, 70 mR - 100 mR, 1/7 overall Growth Rate - 16% Pop Eff - 1/2100 Factories - produce 1.5, cost 9, up to 25, 1 less G Mines - produce 1.0, cost 3, up to 15 Tech - weapons and elec cheap, bio expensive, rest normal

leaves 0 points

A variant of the above would be

pop eff - 1/2500 # factories - 24 cost of factories - 8 Construction cheap

rest as above

leaves 4 points - surface minerals

Now a little discussion.  These races are designed for normal play - in acc BBS the starting economy is much smaller than normal because the pop to factory ratio is so high.  The first race will give only 23 starting resources in normal - already a long way behind; while the second gives 22 - about the same.  But as the factories go up you'll make up the ground - the first gets 16.7% from factories with G available, the second 18.8% - versus 10% for the defaults.

The race is designed to be, well, quiet.  Hence the stealth.  It is also designed to get lots of tech - using the SS spying bonus, cheap fields, and high resource capacity for later when tech is expensive.  A full 100% planet gives 528 resources from pop, operates 2750 factories producing 4,125 resources, for a maximum planet total of 4,653 resources - 2.33 times the default.  So the "space capacity ratio" is about the same as a race with 1/3 habitat and the defaults for original greens.

With full terraforming, about 1/3 of all planets should be habitable.  A 16% growth rate should make up for the low starting pop by midgame (again compared to the default), and fewer people will be necessary to fill all your habitable planets anyway.  Decent planets (65% after terraforming, say) should give 3000 resources when full, or 2000 when partially developed.  Your target is to have 15-25 such planets in the midgame, though that may not be easy, habitat-wise.  For getting around use the tech 6 ram and lots of fuel as soon as you get the tech, a better rams as they become available.

You want to build a few worlds up to very high levels, compared to what a pop-grower would do.  The highest value planet nearby (say, 2-3 years) should get most of the growth until it is up to 1/3 or so, then move to the next one.  You build planets in sequence, in other words, not in parallel like a pop-grower.

Use lots of spies with the Chamelon to scan planets, keep an eye on potential enemies, etc.  By nice to the first races you meet - you can provide them good intell, for example, and you are an excellent tech trading partner.  You need them to provide protection (starting with "from them") while you have time to develop.

You can easily "intersettle" with allies - they probably won't want all your high rad worlds.  Also, investigate wormholes, scout extensively for unsettled areas of the galaxy, etc.  You want to find overlooked, relatively empty regions.  Scan them for habitable planets and "trek" there stealthily (using the cheap and effective transport cloak). Stealthy warships can keep interlopers out.  Pick one good place and get it very developed before expanding in the region, etc.

Then you operate several clusters of very large planets.  You do lots of research for your elec toys and for advanced weapons. The amount of research others will be doing in weapons should be very high - so you'll get lots of spying bonus points.  With 1/2 the average applied to the 1/2 expense field, and some larger econs paying high prices, you should be able to get a weapons edge (though not on e.g. hypers with cheap weapons and good economies).  Your different clusters should be pretty hard to conquer, with large planets, ultrastations, good weapons, etc. And they will provide many points to send out heavily cloaked raiders, thieves, battlefleets, etc.  But you'll probably want to stay allied to at least one race that settles more extensively, just for bulk.  Keep them happy with tech trades and specialty ship orders, or fly their raiding ships for extra stealth, etc.

Anyway, a lot of stuff not all to the point, but you get the idea.

Any comments welcome.

Jason Cawley

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