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Maintenance problems.

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by Danielion, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Danielion

    Danielion Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
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    After having conquered far-away settlements it seems several of my bases are losing buildings due to a negative income in energy -9/turn (admittedly I think I have placed too many buildings I don't actually need, like a seafarm for one measly tile with a nutrient bonus near a shore).
    How do you cope with this problem? Are echelon mirrors worth it? I think I have built too many sea farms and command centers this playthrough (should delete those), but I need lots of more buildings in the future to build and I'm already over my energy cap (and I have Environmental Economics researched). I do have a lot of terraforming to do at faraway bases I have conquered from Prokhor Zacharov, so I guess they can cover up for the -9/turn. Meanwhile I could go for well-placed thermal boreholes here and there (without starving my population).

    Do you also make settlements for sheer energy production only after you have one production powerhouse already (high mineral sources)?

    I'm going to restart with a clean slate anyway as I learned more of the game already (was an experimental run on Librarian). Also handy was printing out the tech tree of SMAX. It's near impossible to beeline certain techs, protoypes or projects without.
     
  2. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,647
    Location:
    Berkeley, Calif., USA
    It's easy to get into negative energy by building too many facilities that don't pay for themselves. Recycling Tanks can be built at any base because they don't require maintenance. I usually hold off on constructing Children's Creches and Network Nodes until a base reaches size three. Don't build an Energy Bank until a base produces at least three ECs; otherwise the EB costs more than it produces. Unless you get the Command Nexus, you only need to build Command Centers at a couple of bases. Produce your military at those bases, then rehome the units to other bases to spread out the unit maintenance. Hold off on building Research Hospitals (which cost 3 EC/turn) until after a base reaches size 5. These are just rules of thumb and may be varied as circumstances dictate.

    As you've already discovered, don't build facilities that won't benefit a base. If a conquered base is distant from you HQ, it will produce little or no energy due to inefficiency. Better to set these bases up to produce minerals. Boreholes work well to produce minerals and energy. I usually only build Echelon Mirrors for energy farms (let me know if this requires an explanation). Finally, you can always set one or more bases to Stockpile Energy to help make up for an energy deficit.

    HTH. There are lots of ways to play this game and perhaps someone else will come along with different advice.
     
  3. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,204
    Handling conquered bases is a fine point.

    (1) If a facility isn't cost effective, you can sell one facility/base/turn. Be sure to examine where a facility is redundant because you have the corresponding Secret Project.

    (2) Bases can be ceded to an ally, eliminating maintenance cost (and increasing commerce income).

    (3) At higher levels, bases can be eliminated through starvation/colony pod production.

    Be aware that the inefficiency caused by newly conquered bases can affect the income of your existing bases.
     
  4. Danielion

    Danielion Prince

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    I've also noticed that sea bases are great energy producers. Setting up a few of those and have them stockpile energy can help.
     

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