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Starbases in 1.1.8
02-06-2013, 04:05 AM
Post: #1
Starbases in 1.1.8
Thinking more about the starbase changes: they actually feel a bit counterproductive to me, as far as the defenses are concerned. This is not really a complaint, I think my typical way of playing actually benefits a good deal from these changes, just some observations in light of the changes being supposedly to help the defender.

Before, SB1 was $300. Now, it's $500. Yes, it is also more powerful -- but old SB2 was $600 (iirc), only $100 more, and was quite a bit more powerful still. So the option to build a strong starbase was already there! The main reason people would not do it was due to research cost, and to many other important things being on the Astro tree. But this can be solved by either simply granting the SB2 technology to everyone, or making it cheaper to research (like MB2) -- e.g. I would take it for 200RP every time, even if for no other reason than to have a shot at the brilliant researchers getting brilliant.

The issue with the new starbases is that the initial cost is so high it is no longer worth it to build them on new planets, unless you actually plan to defend them in the near future.

In 1.1.7, I often build starbases on new systems simply for production shifting. Then if/when an attack actually comes, I at least have those starbases, and I still would have an option to upgrade them to SB2 for $300 if I have the tech -- and I can do so by scrapping a couple Frigates at the SB1's -- and only at those SB1's that actually are in danger! (this last part is very, very important -- these are small planets, $500 is ~10 turns of production, doing that systematically before things like EF2/ACP2 will lose you the game if your opponent does not attack; doing this after EF2/ACP2 will lose you the game if he does.)

Thus, I am confident that I will be seeing much fewer Starbases when I attack myself now Smile And my initial attack is usually not to take out the HW -- it is to force the opponent to evacuate, deny expansion, and (hopefully) make him buy a few (now very expensive) Starbases.

So, the new system is definitely not in favor of the defender, imo.
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02-07-2013, 01:46 PM
Post: #2
RE: Starbases in 1.1.8
If you can come up with the cash, the 1kGC for a starbase is still pretty good -- and to a certain extent, I think the ease of buying them before was a little too easy, really.
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02-09-2013, 04:17 AM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2013 04:18 AM by macaronnie.)
Post: #3
RE: Starbases in 1.1.8
well that is a big "if" Smile When the next leader comes up, that 1K GC would have to be compensated by 2K production, that is a full 3 cruiser difference between your fleet and that of your enemy. I'll take 3 cruisers over a starbase any time.

The leader auction upkeep adjustment will probably mitigate this a little (b/o average out of pocket prices are going to be a little lower) but probably only slightly, need to play more 1.1.8 to see...
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02-09-2013, 07:39 PM
Post: #4
RE: Starbases in 1.1.8
(02-06-2013 04:05 AM)macaronnie Wrote:  Thinking more about the starbase changes: they actually feel a bit counterproductive to me, as far as the defenses are concerned. This is not really a complaint, I think my typical way of playing actually benefits a good deal from these changes, just some observations in light of the changes being supposedly to help the defender.

Before, SB1 was $300. Now, it's $500. Yes, it is also more powerful -- but old SB2 was $600 (iirc), only $100 more, and was quite a bit more powerful still. So the option to build a strong starbase was already there! The main reason people would not do it was due to research cost, and to many other important things being on the Astro tree. But this can be solved by either simply granting the SB2 technology to everyone, or making it cheaper to research (like MB2) -- e.g. I would take it for 200RP every time, even if for no other reason than to have a shot at the brilliant researchers getting brilliant.

The issue with the new starbases is that the initial cost is so high it is no longer worth it to build them on new planets, unless you actually plan to defend them in the near future.

In 1.1.7, I often build starbases on new systems simply for production shifting. Then if/when an attack actually comes, I at least have those starbases, and I still would have an option to upgrade them to SB2 for $300 if I have the tech -- and I can do so by scrapping a couple Frigates at the SB1's -- and only at those SB1's that actually are in danger! (this last part is very, very important -- these are small planets, $500 is ~10 turns of production, doing that systematically before things like EF2/ACP2 will lose you the game if your opponent does not attack; doing this after EF2/ACP2 will lose you the game if he does.)

Thus, I am confident that I will be seeing much fewer Starbases when I attack myself now Smile And my initial attack is usually not to take out the HW -- it is to force the opponent to evacuate, deny expansion, and (hopefully) make him buy a few (now very expensive) Starbases.

So, the new system is definitely not in favor of the defender, imo.

Thanks for the comment, macaronnie. Maybe there is a distinction between Starbases in early and late games. I firmly believe that the new Starbase shuts down the "Laser Blitz" strategy that was dominant on small/medium galaxies. That 600 Structure on a Starbase 1, combined with the 0.5 damage modifier for Lasers vs Structure, is simply too hard to crack with the Laser fleet you could assemble quickly. The Starbase 2 was not available before, because typically you would attack before they can even research it. So the "Laser Blitz" strategy is pretty much nullified now.

Your strategy of parking some frigates on a Starbase 1 world, to quickly scrap and upgrade to Starbase 2 or 3 was a valid one, and still is valid. Maybe now, you just need a few more frigates.

There's still little doubt that in a big battle, a Starbase is the best defense per unit of production- better by far, than any ship you could build with the money. Not to mention its role as a "production scrapping centre", which in my mind would easily be worth spending 200 production for by itself.

It will be interesting to see how 1.1.8 changes peoples strategies...
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02-10-2013, 07:23 AM
Post: #5
RE: Starbases in 1.1.8
Hi Marcus -- I don't think we are in disagreement on anything you said (too bad I didn't get a chance to see the awesome blitz before the update!) -- my point is that beside specifically preventing an early takeover of the homeworld, the changes are not helping defense, and the issue with the early takeover of the homeworld could be solved by making SB2 cheaper to research.

But if it's better or not, is really a subjective question. I actually kinda like the change so far. I definitely can't build as many starbases as I used to, but overall, I think my typical strategy actually benefits from this, so I think I'm likely going to be doing more of the same. It's more of an observation about the effect of the starbase changes.
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