View Full Version : MOOIII Military Stategy

Mar 14, 2003, 12:48 PM
I have started quite a few games, to get a feel for the early game strategies for MOO, and I have made a few observations regarding military and early colonization strategies.

I usually come out of the gate making a headlong rush to colonize everything in site, as is a tried and true turn based strategy game staple. However, I have been considering an alternative to this standard beginning strategy. I noticed that in almost every game I have played, no matter the galaxy size or number of opponents, that I almost always start in close proximity to one other race. As I colonize as rapidly as I can, and explore everything I can with my first two scout fleets, I invariably run across a neighboring empire. This immediately plunges me into the diplomatic arena. Most often, I also find that I am usually next to two races. Depending on the race I play, I also inevitably run afoul of one of my neighbors and before I know it, they are declaring war on my Empire. I currently use Colin The Grey's Mod Pack that heightens the AI aggressiveness, but even before I did this, I noticed that once I did make contact with an Alien Empire they would send scouts, and smaller fleets into my star systems, to snoop around, and almost always shortly thereafter, I see them sending colony ships to colonize those worlds in my systems, that suit their needs. With the mod this behavior is amplified. My Empire being spread thin to lay claim to as many worlds as I can find in my terraform range, I find myself unable to respond in force to the threat of having my neighbors right next door. This is similar to the AI's in Civ III founding a city right next to one of your border cities :mad: .

In my latest game using a modified Human race, I am going to try another tact. Instead of of rushing out blindly and trying to explore the entire Universe, I am going to concentrate on developing those worlds in close proximity. Once those worlds have developed, then, I will venture out further, gradually expanding as I do so. My thinking, is that I will be better prepared militarily, if my production level is more consistent among the majority of my worlds allowing me to build fleets more rapidly, and allowing me to sortie my fleets more quickly to my star systems, as they will be closer together. The moblization center, is without a doubt one of the most vital technologies, allowing you to deploy fleets quickly to your frontier systems, to deal with possible border incursions by the AI races. I have noticed that if you have a military fleet stationed at a system, that a enemy colony ships sent to that system will not be able to colonize it. Your fleet will not attack either as long as you are not at war with your neighbor. This is good defensive measure to prevent the enemy from colonzing too close to your core worlds. I believe that by building up those world in proximity first than expanding gradually my worlds will become more valuable and more easily defended. The AI however, does expand quickly and spreads itself somewhat thin (at least with the mod pack). The way I see it, when I am finally able to expand, if the enemy occupies a system that is valuable to my race, I am more capable of fighting an offensive war to capture the system, and what's more hold it afterwards, as my mobilization centers will be closer as well, allowing me to get my fleets and transports to the front, faster.

The subject of ground assaults and transports has also been a sore subject for many players. Admittedly in perfect world I would prefer it if after I have launched a successful assualt my troops and transports would not be banished to the delay box immediately afterwards. However, this is not the case. I have found the most sound approach is to think several turns into the future and plan ahead for ground assaults. My plan involves building several ground formations for both offensive and defensive operations, against my enemies. I will make sure that after I assemble my ground transport to assault the enemy world, I will also have enough units in my reserves to immediately create a second invansion force after the first has reached its target and successfully assaulted their target. I will also build a large reserve of standard infantry and mobiles to garrison those worlds I have conquered as I can immediately access the miltary menu of the newly conquered world and create a ground force there. With my surviving ground troops dispatched to the delay box, I can then build my second wave of transports at my closely located mobilization center.

Those are some of my ideas, just wanted to hear oppinions from other players, and if anyone else has tried this strategy and what their results were. :)

Mar 14, 2003, 01:44 PM
The more I play, the more I LIKE this game...

Mobilization Centers are EXTREMELY important, but did you know that you can just miss getting that tech? Then you're left with trying to trade for it from an alien or just making really fast ships!

The first time I played the game I missed out on all the early terra-forming techs so I thought they were all really high-level. The game I'm in now I was surprised to see that the 'x' had moved on some of the planet displays and I've only got Warp IV engines!

I'm pretty sure that your troops stay on the ground after the ground assualt, it's just the rest of the fleet goes into the delay box. Annoying, but it can be dealt with...

I make sure to turn the 'specialized production' for planets on in the Empire page. I originally colonized everything in sight, then after I read that your manufacturing (or was it mining?) capacity is reduced if the GRAVITY of the planet is too far away from your norm, I would start getting only Moderate worlds (I'm a Human). even if they were Red over Green Extreme ones. The idea being that the temperature terraforming comes much sooner than the gravity terraforming and so I would get better results. However, early trials are showing this to be a bit of an error...

Taking a tip from Sirian who built a transport ship capable of holding 4 troop pods, I will start to build Colony ships with TWO colony pods so that Yellows will be colonized in one turn. (I haven't done a 4-pod for Red since you need a larger ship yard than I usually want building it.)

So now I claim the best systems I can, even if they're far away and then fill in a string of systems to connect them.

When my food production can support it, I will go into each system and see which one has planets I don't control, then build a fleet of system colony ships to get them. Obviously the home system gets this treatment first, then choke-points and high production systems. It's nice to have all those auto-built system defense ships come to the rescue when an alien gets by your forward position!

I've also just started building outposts; the verdict is out on them, right now. There must be a reason they're in there, right?

Talk about 'Doh!' I was in the Senate and was just beind the leader in votes. (Other than the Orion.) It looked like soon he would win a Senate victory until I realized that I could just take over HIS planets transferring those votes from him to me! (Slaps head in disbelief that it took so long to realize that...) Anyway, a few assaulted worlds later and I was the new Leader!!!

Mar 14, 2003, 02:02 PM
Good points. I have found something interesting though in one of my games where I have expanded rapidly in the early game. I have several fringe worlds, that are located about 4 or five space lanes away from my homeworld. There are a couple of unoccupied systems between my homeworld and these systems. An AI declared war on my Empire and a couple turns later occupied one of the uninhabited star systems. The next turn I realised that my fringes were effectively blockaded and had begun to starve as they had concentrated on mineral production and did not have sufficient bioharvesting of their own, having to import their food from my core systems. This is what really started me thinking on the wisdom of spreading out to thin. Blockades are an extremely powerful tool in your enemies arsenal. This becomes particularly pronounced in Grey's mod pack (:goodjob: loving it by the way). I was unable to respond with my military as fast as I would have liked, as my production was woefully inadequete to deal with the trheat this early in the game.

Mar 14, 2003, 06:15 PM
Here's a tip I picked up over at the Infogrames Forum ( ...

There seems to be a missle bug where if you have multiple racks of missiles and there are a different number of missiles on each rack, you will only fire missiles from ALL the racks up until the smallest rack is empty!

So if you had 2 on one rack and 5 on another, you'd only fire two of each and the 3 on the 2nd rack would just sit there!

This was bad for me since I was always sticking a rack with a single missile in it to fill-up left over space in my ship designs--and then not usually watching the battles!

Using autobuild it seems that you DO get the same number of missiles on all the racks--at least ever since I've started checking! If you do it yourself, make sure your racks are balanced (ummmm, balanced racks <g>) and fill up excess space with other weapons or specials...

Mar 20, 2003, 08:47 AM
Playing more and controlling the space battles, I THINK I've observed the following...

When you auto-build ships, IF ships have 80% system engine power and CV (carriers) have 60% system engine power. When you have a battle, if you have these ships in your task forces, you start farther away from the enemy's planet.

The logical extension of this I discovered when I had made some troop transports with some god-awfully slow system engine, like 100 gms, which caused the ships to start way, WAY far away! So far, in fact, that they can't even make it to the planet before the time runs out!

So when designing ships, don't cut the system engines down TOO much or you'll be sorry...

A note about outposts...the manual says that they're good for claiming planets so your ALLIES won't settle them. It really burns my butt when my ally waltzes in and claims the size 12 gas giant in my home system that was going to be my industrial powerhouse, so I sent outposts to my other home systems...

Result? Ally still came in and landed on it anyway. I had to send over a colony ship anyway, but at least the outpost had 'grown' enough that 1 colony ship was able to settle it. It takes a LONG time for an outpost to grow by iteself into a settled world--and you get a 'free' military DEA when it does--but unless you send them very early just send colonists. If they HAD stopped my Allies from landing they would have been worthwhile.

Mar 21, 2003, 09:09 AM
OK, NOW I 've found out how to use outposts!

The ships are really cheap to build--especially if they're system ships, so after you get a decent sized homeworld you build some and send them out in your home system.

The important next step is to turn migration 'on' to these outposts! The only way you can turn migration on is through the planets screen, and since I usually have 'controlled planets' checked (sorted by industry so I can make sure my best producing worlds are producing something I want) I never saw the outpost planets since they're not controlled by me yet.

So switch to 'uncontrolled planets' and you'll see an alphabetical list; switch it to 'order by population' and bingo!--you'll see all those nice magnate civs (sometimes with very high populations) and also places where you have less than 1 pop point (an outpost starts at 0.1) but have the majority of the population.

Now switch to the Orders tab and you can set Migration to the outpost plaents. You CAN'T set it to completely empty planets and my initial mistake was thinking you could only set migration to controlled planets.

Now you've set things up so people from your other planets will somehow, without you building any ships, migrate--sometimes--to planets you've picked. And when migration DOES happen it builds the outpost into a controlled planets much, much, MUCH quicker than the outpost grows on its own.

Once it's a full world it'll show up in your Controlled planets list; go back and turn migration off so your other outposts get 'priority' for migration.

Now the only 'problem' is is that if it was a small world, you used up a slot with the free Military DEA, but you could always go in and remove it. (It takes some time to be removed, keep checking!)

One other great tidbit I picked up is that when you are looking at the Space Combat selector screen, that line near the bottom about 'System combat view' is actually a TAB and can be clicked on so that you read the statistics about the enemy worlds and forces in the system AND can pick the world you want to land your ground assault on!

Hope this helps everyone else as we all figure out this game...

Mar 21, 2003, 11:28 AM
Hey Pterrok,

You don't even need to send outposts, although this speeds up the process. Whenever you conquer another opponents world, or especially magnate civs, they will build their own outposts in the name of your empire and automatically migrate there until it is a fully fledged world in your empire.

Apr 08, 2003, 07:01 PM
Well, you may have read one of my previous posts, but after several games, and failed attempts to get a multiplayer game going, I have finally given up on MOOIII. I tried desperately to like this game, but once I figured the game out (thanks to the terrible documentation) the magic wore off fast. I mean when I think about it, just trying to figure the game out was what kept me interested, and once that was out of the way I realised the only thing I was doing was managing the Military Queue! That was it. My race colonized worlds on its own, and the magnates did so at an even faster rate.

The only thing that remained was to update ship designs, make sure that the viceroys built the ships that I wanted instead of Troop ships and PD ships, and then mass them in large numbers to throw at my enemies. No Strategy there. I have tried the game on all difficulties, and I even tried the mods. Grey's Mod was definitely the best, I commend him for his effort and dedication, because it at least made the game playable, but alas it was still not fun.

I am now playing Galactic Civilazation with it's extremely challenging AI and round the clock support, and feeling rather silly for having purchased MOOIII on name credit alone. I really should have learned my lesson too after Civilazation III CTP. Just because it has the same name doesn't mean it's the same game.