Strong Atheist's Journal
Master of Orion notes:
1. Keep a scout or other small ship at all your worlds at all times, especial in the small universes. You can be as little as four turns into the game, and opponents can be more than the three spaces that you can send people at that time, but if they explore your world with a scout, they can send THEIR people up to six, while you can only do three (initially).
2. The same applies if you have better environmental tech and/or one of your worlds goes radiated; the opponents can send people to attack your worlds (and other opponents) even if they do not have the planet tech, but you can not do this till you have the planet tech.
3. Especially at the more difficult levels, the opponents "create" colony ships out of nothing! It happens when a world is colonized. I have witnessed countless times a single colony ship approaching a world, and colonizing it. THE NEXT TURN, a colony ship will leave the just-colonized world for another world etc. etc. This is a killer at the impossible difficulty level.
4. I have NEVER, in hundreds of games, gotten the "Your scouts find an alien derelict" event. EVER. The opponents get it periodically.
5. The odds of winning ground battles do not seem to be the way the book suggests, especially at the higher levels. It seems to help if I wiggle my cursor over the enemy troops when I am losing a battle...
6. If you start to gain an early lead, bad events start happening to you EVERY time, life earthquakes, plagues, and novas. I have had several happen before the first hundred years because I was winning to quickly. This is obviously programed in , but annoying, as I should be allowed to win quickly if that is what is happening.
7. The opponents seem to tend to know what your "good" worlds (that they HAVE NOT explored) are, and send attacking fleets there, rather than the poor worlds.
8. Orion causes problems. It is ok to take it, if necessary. This requires 600 - 900 small ships equipped with neutron pellet guns or ion cannons, and warp two or better. I do not do this often; my games are usually won quickly (less than 200 years, my overall average win time is currently 128 years at all difficulties/ universe sizes, number and type of opponents), and building that many small ships takes time and a LOT of maintenance, and is usually not worth it. However, if I am losing, or NEED a good tech or high weapon tech (given by the Death Ray, you always get it for defeating Orion) to miniaturize my weapons, I will do it. I have several times when losing seen the game give me JUST the tech I needed by defeating Orion; it is sort of the opposite of the "cheat" mention in #6 above.
The problems that Orion causes involves both the weapon tech, and putting a colony there (I NEVER do that anymore). Getting the Death Ray can cause your list of weapons to work on to become quite long; this seems to occasionally cause crashes. Putting a colony on Orion and improving the planet IN ANY WAY with the planet techs seems to cause a crash every time; I simply do not colonize Orion.
9. Crashes seem to occur if you have too many small ships going to too many planets (see strategy hints below), especially at warp one. I try to get advanced warps and get rid of my small ships ASAP, this seems to take care of the problem.
10. For along time, there was a planet in the upper left corner of my screen that caused the game to crash just by visiting it (in multiple different games - it was an area), but that went away just as mysteriously as it came.
11. If your speed is more than warp one, you still do not get a combat bonus to movement unless you include a short range weapon on your ship. If all you have is long range weapons, and you fire, your movement is over. If you have at least one short range weapon, like a laser, and you fire your long range weapons (Heavy laser, Heavy ion cannon etc.) you can move again, if your speed is high enough.
12. Unowned stars (GRRR). Despite what the book says, NO MATTER WHO WAS AT THE STAR FIRST, if you can not defeat the opponent in fifty (fifty-one, see #13) rounds, the opponent ALWAYS gets control of the system, 100% of the time (GRRR). I do not bother to defend systems where I can not defeat the opponent; it is hopeless.
13. It is not combat for 50 rounds; it is fifty one. I have counted my movement a million times ...
14. Death spores. You can be over an enemy planet and WANT to use your death spores, but it NEVER happens, except in combat. Bombs; yes, death spores; no. When you have control of the skies and the game asks if you want to bomb the planet and you say yes, ONLY your bombs go; NOT your death spores .
15. When two or more opponents are defending a planet, you need to defeat them both to get access to the planet. GRRR. You can not defeat the original defender but not his helper; you get sent away! This hs pissed me off on occasion when I have "softened up" a planet, but been unable to get access to it due to another defender.
16. When you do not want to be friendly with an opponent, but they vote for you in the council, you become paired with them if you are not in contact with them, and they can send ships to anywhere you can send ships to, including your planets, and THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT till you are able to talk to them (at which point you can piss them off, and they can attack all of your planets that they are illegally circling too far from their supply lines - GRRR).
17. VERY RARE- twice in all the times that I was playing, a ship that had not reached its destination simply disappeared, without my having scrapped it... weird.
18. Speaking of the council, I have figured out that it first starts occurring when EXACTLY 2/3 of the HABITABLE planets are colonize, so it is worth it to keep control of this, maybe even not colonizing some yourself ...
19. The monsters require YOU to have an incredible death fleet to defeat them; I never bother. I have watched the monsters approach enemy fleets that I KNOW are insufficient to beat them, and the result is that the monsters are defeated. Once again the computer opponent can do things you can not; that is ok, I don't like the space monsters anyway.
20. If you bomb the sh** out of an enemy planet, and kill all of the population, but leave factories/ missile bases (it happens, especially with death spores), and the opponent latter re-colonizes the planet, BINGO, he still has the factories/ missile bases that you did not get rid of. If the same is done to one of your planets, when you come back there are no factories/missile bases. What a surprise.
21. I have had games that went on longer than they should have (and I keep track of my time in years to win - GRRR) because I got rid of the population on the last planet (death spores), but the missile base or fleet NOT containing a colony ship was still there. You have to get rid of all units, and then the game admits that there are no people left.
22. Gaea planets. This tech is next to useless; it seems to be almost impossible to make a planet Gaea. I have heard that if you pour all of you production into "cleaning" your planet for HUNDREDS of turns, it will become Gaea (after you have gotten Gaea tech, of course). Sounds useless to me; I do not get this tech, or try to use it if I do.
23. Ship maintenance. The computer opponents seem to be able to get death fleets comprising hundreds or thousands of ships with little visible effects on their maintenance; if I get 50 - 100 small ships or a couple of large ships, suddenly my fleet maintenance is getting to be 15, 20 % (GRRR).
I used to have a longer list of bugs; I have temporarily forgotten some of the ones that negatively affect you; now to the positive ones.
24. The computer players, once they find Orion, can waste hundreds of years sending increasingly less pathetic fleets to Orion. They will send streams of insufficient fleets to Orion; let them do so. Eventually, they will send a real fleet, but they can waste massive time and resources in the meantime.
25. The SINGLE BIGGEST "MISTAKE" that the game makes is also a major pain in the butt to take advantage of, but causes me to win games that I would otherwise not, and to win faster than I otherwise would, in terms of game years (but not actual real time - THAT takes LONGER this way). It is also the reason that I prefer to play in small universes. This is it: when you send UNBROKEN STREAMS of small ships (can be useless scouts) to an opponent colony, it treats this as an attack, even if they always have to withdraw. This causes two things to happen EVERY TIME: first the opponent's production of factories is slowed to a crawl. At the higher levels of difficulty, if I can not get to an opponent this way in time, they quickly get to their maximum factories. If on the other hand I have early access to them, and send streams of ships (an extreme pain requiring lots of time each turn sending ships to and from various colonies), it can take over TWO HUNDRED years to get TWO HUNDRED factories; you can see the factory production drop to nothing, with "jumps" every couple of turns; but small jumps. The second result is that the opponent starts pouring resources into ships; lots and lots of ships. This slows research, and in extreme cases can actually start reducing populations due to maintenance drains; I have seen it happen.
However, your are limited to only being able to do this to about four colonies, no matter how many you can reach, till you get warp two or better. If you try to send streams of small ships with only warp one to five or more colonies, it seems to take up too many game resources, and the game crashes, which is too bad, because when you use this strategy both you and the opponent tend to be slowed so much that getting higher techs, including warp techs is hard. It is worth it anyway, because the computer opponent overreacts, and does worse than you do in this deal.
26. If your ground armor is better than the opponents by quite a bit, and he manages to get air control over one of your colonies, he can waste IMMENSE amounts of time and people trying to take the colony, especially if you devote all of your resources to just producing new colonists. I have at times deliberately let an opponent drain himself in this way while I build up my strength.
27. I find that tech is stolen by me from captured colonies or from me when an opponent captures my colony ONLY when the ratio of colonists is equal to or LOWER than the number of factories, so it is dangerous to have few colonists and many factories. Conversely, if you have superior ground troops, it is best not to bomb enemy colonies, but to take them with troops to get tech, if they have less colonists than factories ...
28. There are several CRITICAL techs at the lower level that can allow you to win quickly; I rarely get to the middling techs, and almost never get to the upper tech levels. AUTOMATED REPAIR coupled with a HUGE ship is a game winner; you can bomb heavily defend planets or defend you planet against literally HUNDREDS of ships with ONE huge ship with auto repair; I rarely make more than ten or twelve huge ships before I have won a game. Improved industrial tech three is a must if you can get it; without it you fall behind and/or the game slows down while you SLOWLY build research points. Getting at least warp two is good, or the game play is slow. Planet shield five is a must if you can get it, and the WARP DISAPATOR can allow you to stave off attacks, or make your own, untouched with only one or two HUGE ships.
29. Small ships as defense. When I am outgunned either in tech or in ships (very frequent, the game seems to easily build hundreds of ships more than me), I have found that I can sometimes defend a colony with lots of small ships, quickly made. I NEVER use the auto combat machine IT IS STUPID! If i can evade the attacker for fifty-one turns, even with only a few or no missile bases, they are forced to retreat from a colony that I own (but NEVER unowned stars).
30. Last tip. I use HUGE ships to wipe out the enemy colonies and defend mine (with auto repair especially), I use small ships for exploration, harassment, defense, and occasionally Orion (I never attack Orion with any other type of ship; they are destroyed too easily, let it get 20 - 30 of my 600 - 900 small ships every round, I still win). I only use LARGE SHIPS for colony ships, never anything else, and I NEVER build medium ships; they are completely useless (either too big = costly, or too small = can not put enough in them).
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