Building a Solid and Defendable Colony


Every colony needs jobs, residences, and power. However, colonies are most effective when specialized in a particular area of expertise. The three main types of colonies are Commerce, Research, and Population.

The Commerce Colony, also known as the 100k colony supports no more than one hundred thousand colonists. The primary purpose of constructing a colony like this is to produce tax revenue for your empire. The recipe for these colonies is simple, 100k jobs, 100k residences and enough power for both. Set the tax rate to 80% and let it stand for a day or two. It is possible to set the tax rate as high as 89%; however, this can be dangerous because any negative effect on moral can cause the loss of the colony. Remember, colonies go unprotected by invulnerability unless you set them and you can only have one at a time, therefore, it is wise to keep the costs of outlying colonies down and simply use them for income and harvesting. One last thing to know about the 100k colony is the job type that should be used when creating one. While factories are effective at bolstering income, they are not as efficient as research facilities. Presumably, researchers are paid more than factory workers are, so revenue is higher.

The second colony type is the long-term research colony. As the name implies, these colonies are intended to carry out your long-term research meaning special research and designs that take a significant amount of time to complete. With these colonies, you need a large population to sustain the many advanced research centers. The total population needed is determined by the number of projects you want to be able to run at the same time which in turn determines the number of research facilities you will need. Adding additional research facilities to a project will decrease research time however the decrease is not linear. The first research facility assigned to a job contributes all of its production capacity to the job; the second contributes half, the third a quarter, the fourth an eighth, and so on. It is common practice to put at least four facilities on a relatively long project. The drawback is that initiating the research on a new facility requires the full credits and minerals each time. Once the number of research facilities is determined, the total population can be calculated. When there are more jobs than colonists, the efficiency of every producing entity in that environment is decreased - the higher the gap, the larger the decrease. Therefore, to have your researches progress at their maximum rate, the population must equal to or exceed the available jobs. Using a tax rate of 0% for the colony will offer much better overall production.

A large population supported mostly by factories will yield a higher intelligence. (The ratio of research jobs vs. factory jobs is inversely related to the intelligence. In other words, with a constant population, as the amount of research jobs decreases the intelligence goes up). Therefore, if this colony has a very large amount of factory jobs you can have more research centers without hurting your overall intelligence. Thus, the capitol colony becomes the place to create designs. A result of also having this colony as your production colony is that the most used resources in your empire are readily available for research.

Lastly, a large population gives your allowed death fund a boost as this number is based on the total amount of colonists in your empire. In order to maximize this death fund you will need multiple colonies of large size to increase your population enough to reach the cap without violating Building Point limits to a point that will put you into massive debt.

One common strategy, often adopted when using the beginning technology, is the mass build method. This strategy relies on sheer numbers of simple buildings to amass enough colony capacity to fit your needs. There are pros and cons to this strategy.

The first pro is the lack of required resources/components. The buildings available to you require only colonists, enlisted and officers to build, thus these colonies can be built just about anywhere. The second pro is the blanketing effect these bases often have on a planet. Large colonies made in this fashion reveal a large amount of the map and prevent other players from building there at the same time. On the other hand, the starter buildings are very easily dispatched. They have a relatively low amount of hit points and are easily destroyed by advanced technology. Not to mention the relative inefficiency associated with these buildings and the associated facility point limit. If you are not utilizing larger structures then you will not be able to attain the same population levels as those empires that are using more efficient and larger structures that rely on already mined minerals.

Beyond this initial strategy is that of designing new buildings. Ones with greater capacity and staying power that require recreating the actual hull of the building. This means two things: higher hit points and mineral cost. Beginning buildings have severely limited hit points but use no minerals when being constructed, therefore if you start using minerals to build your buildings, the structural integrity of those buildings increases significantly.

One thing to know when designing a prototype is how power works with buildings. When designing a building the power generated does not need to be more than that of the power used. Extra power goes into the colonies grid. A building with no power generated inside of it, will pull from the grid.

You can place a small generator in your buildings or use a few large power generators in power facilities to supply your entire base. You can place several guns on every building, or concentrate your defenses by fully arming several key buildings. You can build near coastlines so that the large naval vessels can protect your colony and serve as a mobile ground defense, or you can focus your efforts in the mountains leaving tanks unable to assault you. The enemy wants what you have and unless you want them to have it, you need to put up a good defense. From ancient civilizations to modern societies, defense of the empire has always been the highest priority.

A smart attacker will find key areas to destroy and let your population find a reason to leave on their own. So don’t put all of the same buildings in the same area. Put a certain number of power generators, housing, factories, and spaceports in each sector. This way, if one sector is destroyed, the others can take up the slack. It’s also important to realize that once you lose your command center and all your residential facilities that it’s game over for your colony. While smart opponents would rather leave your colony to die a slow and unemployed death to attempt to paralyze your economy, there are those who prefer to just quickly eliminate your colony through ruthless destruction of its populace. Keeping that in mind make sure to give special attention to your residential structures as without them your colony will be gone in an instant.

Now that we have our colony sectors built correctly, it is time to concentrate on planetary defenses. To begin, design and build a variety of turrets around each sector. If you build just one type of turret, they may be able to nullify it by matching the correct armor to yor damage type, or by matching their shield to your DPS.

Next, when you are redesigning your buildings, arm everything. Put a weapon or two on each arc of the structure utilizing point defenses and your best point defense radar on everything you redesign. The point defense weapons will handle most of the missiles coming in to hit the building, tailor your armor for the buildings to resist some of the other damage types seen such as magnetic, impact, and beam damage. Also, consider using your turrets as jammers. If the Enemy cannot use their radar to lock targets, and you are able to target them, you are already ahead in the battle. Every building is capable of having a hangar. Design a building with a hangar door large enough to launch some ships into battle. When placing the facility, open the orders and set the Launch Children order so that if that facility comes under attack, it will launch the ships it has to defend the structure. The AI will automatically return those units back to the structure when combat ceases. The defense planner needs to have a reserve of offensive ships to be able to come to the rescue and stop the siege. Your hope lies in forcing the enemy to come to the surface and continue the attack or move the fleet out of orbit.


Keep in mind that you can only have a single command center which is capable of production, however, you can build as many command center hulls as you would like, so long as they have no production in the prototype design phase. This allows you to build “fake” command centers to confuse your opponents, furthermore you can equip them with weapons and armor to make his life that much worse.


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