Economy = Merlins & Freight

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B A N E
Posts: 3777

Economy = Merlins & Freight

Post#1 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:36 pm

(L-O-N-G---P-O-S-T)
A post over at RCWorld has me rethinking freight.
http://www.rcworld.de/cgi-bin/forums/ik ... =17&t=2452
(2nd post)

My default method has been the following...been doing it this way
since mid-early 90s. (old dog-new trick joke inserted here!)
Build low tech merlins and haul supplies to them via LDSF & STF.

But the alternative is to build a Twarp Merlin or a 2(+) engine Twarp
ship towing the Merlin.

So, here are some numbers to consider.
I think in my next game, I am going to try TWarp Merlins.

Roughly equivalent cargo:
2 TWarp LDSFs = 416 minerals and $1520
(Can skimp on one LDSF to reduce cost to 320 minerals & $918)

1 Twarp STF = 372 minerals and $1420

1 Twarp (H.Blaster) Merlin
(Everything beneath a Darkwing is a risky/costly tow kill)
1765 minerals and $4088
(offset the fact that a minimal merlin costs ~1100 minerals & $900)
So, it's ~600 minerals and $3200 to go Twarp/H.B. Merlin.

If you offset the cost of the assisting 2*LDSF or the 1*STF,
The premium drops further.

600 minerals & $3200
- ~400 minerals & $1500 for 2*LDSF = ~200 minerals & $1700
or
- ~400 minerals & $1400 for 1*STF = ~200 minerals & $1800

Then there is the fuel cost (to move 81.5 LY):
2* LDSF moving 2400 supplies = 800 alchemied minerals =
232 minimum fuel.

1 STF moving 2600 supplies = 866 alchemied minerals =
243 minimum fuel.

1 Merlin moving 2700 supplies = 900 alchemied minerals =
165 minimum fuel. (It alchemies before move)

Right there is a savings of between 60-80 fuel.
If the merlin stops and alchemies before moving, the fuel
savings jump to ~160 fuel per move.

So, that's a lot of fuel saved for the initial outlay of cash & minerals.

What other advantages are there?
Less ships to do the same job.
1 TWarp merlin instead of lowtech merlin + 1 or 2 big freighters.

Large freighters can be busy moving minerals and clans instead of
moving supplies.

A number of defensive advantages.

So, that's what I've been muddling the last couple days.

Your Thoughts?
Pros/Cons?
(where did I absolutely bomb in my calculations! :lol: )
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
Your side,
their side,
and the truth.

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Hawkeye
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Post#2 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:45 pm

:-k Hmmmm...... it might have some merit in the later stages of the game - I can see a Transwarp Merlin could move from planet to planet, picking up the vast quantities of dormant supplies and swapping them for starbases. I can also see some merit in having one ship do the job instead of two or three.

However.... in the early game stages, the only planets capable of continually supplying the Merlin are going to be large population Bovinoid, and there's not exactly one on every street corner. Therefore if I was to build a Merlin, it would sit over the one planet doing what it does best - generating minerals. Using it as a tranport means it can only do the supplies-to-minerals thing once every other turn, and that would be if it's visiting planets within 83.99LY. Planets in the 84-167LY range would mean the Merlin is converting supplies once every four turns (presuming that it would have to return to the bovi supply planet for re-stock).

Once the ship-limit is hit, production of ships falls off signifcantly, so as each turn goes by, there is generally an excess of minerals available for starbase building, therefore limiting the requirements of having a merlin somewhat.

Also, at game start, cash is king, and homeworld minerals are *usually* abundant enough if managed properly. I tend to sell the supplies to beef up SB tech levels, and considering the tech levels required to build your merlin with transwarps and heavy blasters, this represents a considerable cash outlay. The inherit danger lies with having too-little cash left over to build both planetary structures and additional ships.

Lastly, I tend to find that in the first half of the game, minerals are going inward (for ship building), not outward (for starbase building). Therefore the LDSFs can perform a dual role - colonists and supplies on the outward leg, minerals on the inward leg.

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Gilgamesh
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Post#3 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:32 pm

I tend to agree with Hawk. My merlins are usually pretty static things unless there's a pressing need to move them. Then it's a quick tow and the tow ship is on its way again.
QI'DaS tuQ SoSlI'

Gavan
Posts: 879

Post#4 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:34 pm

I do not think I have ever moved supplies to a Merlin. The Merlin goes to the supplies. (I always thought it was simpler to move 900 minerals then 2700 supplies)

Later on in a game I do tend to have one Merlin over top of a Bovinoid planet and second / other Merlin's towed around by a warship.
Just cause I am paranoid does not mean they are not out to get me.

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casebolt
Posts: 1589

Post#5 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:50 pm

You dont want to know my thoughts.

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B A N E
Posts: 3777

Post#6 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:28 pm

Toss this into the musing:

Refineries convert 1 supply & 1 mineral into 1 fuel.
That's an effective cost of $1 & 1 mineral.
If you have to alchemy minerals, that's:
(3 supplies = 1 mineral) + (1 supply) = 1 fuel
That's effectively $4(4 supplies) for 1 fuel.

At ~60-160 fuel savings per turn with the Twarp Merlin;
that's potentially between $240 & $640 savings per turn.

In rich mineral games, this is less of a problem, but in a low mineral /
poor universe this can be huge.

Hawkeye,
The Merlin moves nonstop. A->B->C->...
Planet A's supplies are converted for planet B.
Planet B's supplies are converted for planet C.
Daisy chain the alchemy.
It would require forethought, but quite doable.

Bovies:
Bovies get stationary merlins...that's a given.

This is a theory I think I am going to test in game.
If it bombs miserably, I'll know.

:shock:
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
Your side,
their side,
and the truth.

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Hawkeye
Posts: 1029

Post#7 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:06 pm

B A N E wrote: Hawkeye,
The Merlin moves nonstop. A->B->C->...
Planet A's supplies are converted for planet B.
Planet B's supplies are converted for planet C.
Daisy chain the alchemy.
Yes I understood, hence my original comment "it might have some merit in the later stages of the game - I can see a Transwarp Merlin could move from planet to planet, picking up the vast quantities of dormant supplies and swapping them for starbases"

In the early game however, unless that merlin is visiting a chain of Bovi planets, there will be too-few supplies to make it worthwhile. Keeping in mind that those early supplies are needed for cash in order to build planetary structures, ships and base tech levels.

But hey, give it a go and let us know what you find :)

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Shardin5
Posts: 3808

Post#8 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:13 pm

I don't make many Merlin's in any game, but do try to equip the 2nd with a minimum of q7 engines. Transwarp Merlins for some races would just ruin the economy if done to early. You can count on Heavy Blaster's on a Merlin if playing the Cylons. Pesky Tholians are a real pain for the Cylons.
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference.
The US Marines don't have that problem.
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lord vinny
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Post#9 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:04 pm

unless im playing a poor mineral map i tend to sell off most supplies at low-econ worlds...big built up worlds, bovines or my hw ill keep supplies for minerals but i agree with hawk that its usually later in the game when youd have enough supplies lying about for this to be worth it...

now i will build merlins instead of super freighters cause it can pull double-duty as freighter and alchemy(plus minesweeper)..and its cargo is about as big(i think... :lol: like i said i dont build many supers)

all in all though i suppose if you have the cash to put tech10's on the merlin then why not?
yuck!...Who's got the cat breath?

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JonnyDoH
Posts: 433

Post#10 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:31 pm

I'm with Shardin5 on this. But it depends entirely on your economy.

I've done both with different races; the best advantage I can see is creating a TWarp Merlin paired with a Lady Royale-- you have a mobile platform for torp production anywhere that you need it most. It's worked well when I've played the Colonies. Paired with a Gemini, and you can set up carrier Starbases anywhere you need a defensive position *fast*.

For other races, it's less important. Making a TWarp Merlin for the Crystal race in the early turns is tantamount to suicide-- your economy just isn't there yet. It will be useful for getting those torps to the front, but if you can't back it up with protective ships, you're hurting yourself in the long run.

Better to make a low Engined Merlin and tow it to the front. One caveat, of course, is to *always* load a Merlin with the best weapons available. Just because it can't move doesn't mean you can't use it as a minesweeper or a last ditch defensive ship.

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BitMask
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Post#11 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:18 am

These days with more games using Teleport (Thanks ][), I tend to use that to transport supplies and minerals. So any supplies can go to the nearest SB and then get transported to the Merlin.

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FLETCH
Posts: 1440

Post#12 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:15 am

casebolt wrote:You dont want to know my thoughts.
You're right.
FLETCH


667 The NEIGHBOUR of the BEAST!

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casebolt
Posts: 1589

Post#13 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:39 am

It is like Gravity, its all relative............


Otherwise build your fleet of Merlins, I'll build what is needed at the relative time.

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B A N E
Posts: 3777

Post#14 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:52 am

BitMask wrote:These days with more games using Teleport (Thanks ][), I tend to use that to transport supplies and minerals. So any supplies can go to the nearest SB and then get transported to the Merlin.
BM,

No question that Teleport, Star gates & Jump gates change the equation.
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
Your side,
their side,
and the truth.

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