Economic Rationalization of Ultra

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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Cralis on Wed 23 Feb 2011 16:59

Jeff,

Have you ever considered limiting trade to a percentage of your economy? I don't mean each trade, I mean ALL trade.
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby PracticalM on Wed 23 Feb 2011 18:52

I tend to not like hard limits like that.

And it creates a new problem for players following the peaceful route because we don't also limit things like conquered planet income.

I don't have good data on the CFFP strategy. I don't know if it's riskier or if it pays off better. I rarely see players use it and when I've tried it, I hit a larger NPR first and failed to kill it quickly.

I would not want to have a hard limit unless we were also going to have a hard limit on conquered income. Also, historically there were a lot of nations that had a huge trade incomes.
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Cralis on Wed 23 Feb 2011 19:33

PracticalM wrote:I would not want to have a hard limit unless we were also going to have a hard limit on conquered income. Also, historically there were a lot of nations that had a huge trade incomes.


Conquered incomes will tend to be lower and have a the cost of conquering. GFFP has both the cost of conquering AND recolonizing.

But even with those nations with large trade incomes, an economy can only support so much trade. The problem with trade in STARFIRE is that we don't require any of your GEV to be "used" to conduct trade. IRL you trade some of your GEV for some of their GEV that is worth more, and vice versa. That way everyone has a net surplus. But in STARFIRE we ignore the mechanics of trade and try to simplify it into a simple +MC value.

But a nation cannot trade more than it produces. That is the theoretical natural limit. Realistically speaking, a nation can't really trade everything it produces either because many products MUST be made domestically (for example, milk, medical services, house keeping, etc.) and there is preferred local brand loyalty.

That is why I suggested a percentage of your GEV as the limit. We are going to assume you trade 1 MC and get 2 MC in return, for a net gain of 1 MC. And if you want to have trade better for smaller, lower tech empires you make their ratio higher and the larger, higher tech empire's ratio lower.
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Starfire on Wed 23 Feb 2011 19:56

PracticalM wrote:All the turtling strategies I've seen are designed to drop your maintenance for the first dozen turns of the game to attempt to gain an edge on your initial colonies. Every time I see it used by players, they do it poorly. Partly because they usually are not willing to really mothball everything.


And that may be the issue. To turtle, you need to truly mothball it all, and for longer than most people are willing to do. And it is difficult to time the coming out of mothballing. You need to time unmothballing the survey fleet, and finally your warships need to be unmothballing as your survey ships are completing a survey. Its also SIGNIFICANTLY more effective if your using racial design rules (which is typically used).

But while turtling will put you ahead of most other players, if a player gets LUCKY (friendly, HEL, large population NPR who you quickly get comm and FREE trade with, instead of the usual much longer period)... then, there is nothing you can do about that. But players who are unlucky, will be quite significantly behind you. So, its not a guarantee when you turtle, which we certainly would not want. Of course, if you hack trade income by a boat load, then turtling (done right) is a lot more promising compared to the lucky trader and those PU will grow for a significant period of time.

You should come out of turtling with about 10 PU on all desolates (more on a desolate planet), and small populations on all habitable PLUS a lot of IU saturation. I'd have to run the numbers again, which I'm loath to spend that much effort doing.

BTW: How many people can go to old campaigns and examine player situations at the end of turn 20 and turn 30.

Need Income, total IU, total PU, trade income. NPRs met, and their status.


You know, one possible solution is to delay the EL bonus (it doesn't kick in until EL 6) or lower that values alone (not the maximums, and not the initial 15%/30% amount).
That would not significantly effect the turtle strategy but would limit the early impact of trade.

However, it would make squadrons more powerful because the fleets need to exceed a certain size to be wholly effective against squadrons.

------------
Using standard setup, your income should start around 2954.6 MC. Probably a bit closer to 3000 MC.

Ship maintenance typically runs about 40%-50% of a player empire cost (it can be significantly higher, but early game its
5000 warships (5000*.15 = 750)
5000 survey fleet (5000 * .75 = 375)
2000 other (usually more survey ships or maybe some bases or specialized ships)
2000 * 0.75 = 150

Total 1275 MC -- you need a few survey ships, so I'll use 1200 MC extra income due to mothballing. (we an assume that the starting empire funds are both used in exactly the same manner and thus can ignore them)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
New Ship-class FT0 5 HS/4 TS
1 Space(s) Large.
[2] HQaXa(Ica) [4/4]
Trg:1 PV=4 Cost= 69/10.4 SL1
2 HTK
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
So, that gets us 7 survey vessels.
Planet surveys would be 7 Xa plus 7 gigs at speed 3. (28 points per month, 2 months to survey, 1 month to travel)


1200/3000 = 40% of your income.

This is almost always soon supplemented with more ships for the non-turtle person, so we'll ignore their increasing maintenance costs but keep it in mind.

Motballing is an additional 1200 MC income for colonization ( you need a few survey ships to survey the planet).

That is 40 IU per turn or a gain of 1.33% of your starting income EACH TURN (excluding growth) and you buy 1.33 more IU each turn.

The IU are sold once you can colonize better locations (and at better ROI). And this strategy continues massive colonization and note is EXCLUSIVE of normal spending. Emplacement 1 away on a harsh is 16, hostile 21, desolate 28.

About turn 4 (harsh survey complete), your 124 IU turn fill your harsh to 180 PU (cost 2880) plus the turn's income leaves 73 IU
NOTE: your harsh can only take 180 but if it is a rich harsh, well, it is slightly better than IU, but worse than other things to continue to emplace up to medium.
I'm assuming the harsh and hostile are both normal richness and 1 asteroid belt (since the players are supposed to be similar..., we can kind of ignore this).

Extra Income now (1336.899156)

Now your hostile survey will not yet be done.
On to turn 7 (possibly 6, but assume 7) 3780 to colonize the hostile to 180.
104 IU left over, convert those to 156 asteroid belt population (in system). BTW: I could have been more efficient but....

Turn 9, over 339 PU on various desolates. Switching to IU

Turn 11
Income 2266.912815 (that is an increase of 1000 over the standard 1200 saving we had from not mothballing) or a 33% increase... Note: 30% of your pu (max free trade) would only be about 2310*.3 = 693. So we have in JUST 10 turns, exceeded that trade agreements income.
IU 140
harsh 192.8
Hostile 187.3
Desolate 346

Shortly after this, you start unmothballing and you should be exploring by turn 16-18.
And you also have all those PU you emplaced, increased by the 10% for EL growth bonus on turn 12-14.

But there are DEFINITELY disadvantages too. Your empire is smaller (makes it easier to defend) but your opportunities are also clearly different. Your likely 1 NPR communications bonus behind too. And your crew's grade may not have recovered to average, so there might be an issue their too.

But, your at least 300 income above with a significantly higher base population (EL bonuses and growth will increase that gap over time).

And your SORT OF obligated to continue a low maintenance, high colonization strategy through at least turn 30 and meeting a hostile NPR during that turn 16-30 period could strain your empire and cost you some of your gain. But hostile NPRs are always a risk.

But don't discount turtling out of hand, because it is more powerful than you might imagine. Note that it does depend greatly on the starting systems and their available population opportunities. If you SM is stingy, then it will not work that well. If he is generous, extra habitable planets for everyone, well then you can continue for an extra turn or two before unmothballing starts.

Perhaps now you see why trade agreements really need to be so powerful...

{Oh, I realized I didn't check CFN capacity, which I may have exceeded but you can use some income to buy FT to rent to the CFN which is a pretty good deal too (certainly better than IU). And those increase your colonization capacity considerably.}
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby PracticalM on Wed 23 Feb 2011 20:21

Cralis wrote:But a nation cannot trade more than it produces. That is the theoretical natural limit. Realistically speaking, a nation can't really trade everything it produces either because many products MUST be made domestically (for example, milk, medical services, house keeping, etc.) and there is preferred local brand loyalty.


This is quite wrong because you could be trading through and taking a percentage off the top. Group A has resource 1 for cheap, Group B has resource 2 for cheap, Empires can be the middle man between.

I'm not saying that trade shouldn't be valuable, but even the turtling example Marvin gives, that income is good but it's not quite profit yet. Colonizing Desolate and others take a long time to recover the expense.
Trade is fully profitable after 6 turns.
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Cralis on Wed 23 Feb 2011 20:44

PracticalM wrote:
Cralis wrote:But a nation cannot trade more than it produces. That is the theoretical natural limit. Realistically speaking, a nation can't really trade everything it produces either because many products MUST be made domestically (for example, milk, medical services, house keeping, etc.) and there is preferred local brand loyalty.


This is quite wrong because you could be trading through and taking a percentage off the top. Group A has resource 1 for cheap, Group B has resource 2 for cheap, Empires can be the middle man between.


The issue you are talking about is dealing with (usually) transportation and contractual obligations. It is actually almost scary how many companies pay for the middle man...but hey Walmart exists because they removed the middle man.

As for International Trade we pretty much abstract the inter/intra-firm contracts away and deal with the total costs and prices at the point a product enters and leaves the border(s). That way we don't have to worry about the actual arrangements, only what it costs in aggregate for the nation. It also dovetails nicely with GDP and GNP calculations, so we can make comparisons using aggregate values instead of having to getting into the mess of micro markets.

I'm not saying that trade shouldn't be valuable, but even the turtling example Marvin gives, that income is good but it's not quite profit yet. Colonizing Desolate and others take a long time to recover the expense.
Trade is fully profitable after 6 turns.


I understand what you are saying. But what Marvin is saying is that the turtling tactic makes it so you can immediately start investing and getting return, where trade or war is two rolls of the same die. It can giveth, and it can taketh away. His study shows that in the long run turtling gives an initial advantage because you are maximizing your money's investment immediately and thus don't have opportunity costs.

One thing I'd like to look at is the possibility of changing it so that players start with fully colonized systems. This will require adjusting all the incomes so it isn't any higher than it is now, but the advantage of that system would be that you can't turtle...
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Elminster on Thu 24 Feb 2011 01:13

Starfire wrote:----------------------------------------------------------------------------
New Ship-class FT0 5 HS/4 TS
1 Space(s) Large.
[2] HQaXa(Ica) [4/4]
Trg:1 PV=4 Cost= 69/10.4 SL1
2 HTK
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
So, that gets us 7 survey vessels.
Planet surveys would be 7 Xa plus 7 gigs at speed 3. (28 points per month, 2 months to survey, 1 month to travel)

Sorry for correcting you, but only ships of size 13+ get a gig for free. ;)
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Starfire on Thu 24 Feb 2011 04:53

Doh.

Of course, you might keep a mini-planetary survey craft available too.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
New Ship-class EX 7 HS/5 TS
[2] (Bbs)x2XaHQa(Ica) [4/4]
Trg:1 PV=5 Cost= 100/15 SL1
6 HTK
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
With 2 st, survey of planets would be 4+2*2*3 = 16 per month. By itself, it can do a planet in just over 4 months. Having 2 of them, would work really well plus 4 normal survey craft to slowly work on a WP survey.
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Elminster on Thu 24 Feb 2011 05:39

Starfire wrote:Doh.

Of course, you might keep a mini-planetary survey craft available too.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
New Ship-class EX 7 HS/5 TS
[2] (Bbs)x2XaHQa(Ica) [4/4]
Trg:1 PV=5 Cost= 100/15 SL1
6 HTK
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
With 2 st, survey of planets would be 4+2*2*3 = 16 per month. By itself, it can do a planet in just over 4 months. Having 2 of them, would work really well plus 4 normal survey craft to slowly work on a WP survey.

Ahem... :)
First: You mean (Bba) not (Bbs).
Second: non-Fast Ships are allowed only one (1) (Bbx) per 30 HS or fraction thereof.

With 1 (Bba) + 1 st this ship could generate 9 SP per month. (The Xa has a MSS of 3)

In a test game a player uses a FGf with Xp + 12 st + gig. In a full-month-survey it generates 77 Body-SP. That's three body surveys per 2 months.
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Re: Economic Rationalization of Ultra

Postby Starfire on Thu 24 Feb 2011 14:46

wierd, hmm. Maybe the Ultra patch didn't get installed for shipyard cause it only gave the choice of (Bbs), (Bbm), and (Bbl)...

Yeah, this is going to be a while to fix.
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