MOO Strategy Guide v. 1.0, Section 1

The originial MOO faq contained a strategy guide, which has been omitted from subsequent versions of the faq. Here is my attempt to restore some of the gems from that original, as well as to add other discoveries since then, as well as some of my own insights. This is the resulting strategy guide. If anybody has other strategy insights they would like to send me, I would be glad to include those in future editions of this guide. Each of the hints in this guide apply to version 1.3, unless specified otherwise.

Also, if you would like to lay claim to some of the tricks or hints that I got off the net, let me know and I will cite you.

This Guide is organized into three sections.

1. Clever Tricks

Go to section 2: Strategies

Go to section 3: Tables and Formulas


1. Clever Tricks

1.A) Ship redirection cheat

This trick has been posted on the net, but I do not recall who originally posted it:

Versions 1.2 and higher allow you to click on a retreating ships fleet and redirect it, either to another planet, or back to the planet they came from. If you build a ship with missiles or bombs, you can attack a planet, use up your missiles or bombs, retreat, and then reattack next turn, with all your missiles and bombs restored.

NOTE: I do not use this trick personally because I consider it a cheat, just as I do not use the save game cheat, or the ALT-GALAXY cheat.

1.B) Intelligence trick

This trick was also posted on the net, by somebody. If you want to attack a race, and you want to know the population, number of missile bases, and number of factories on each of their planets, one way to find out is to perform sabotage on them. Then when you are given an option what to do to what planet, you can click on each of their planets to find out this information about each one.

1.C) Research Allocation trick

I ... eventually noticed the line in the manual [about taxing planets] that there was a 50% penalty, so I stopped doing it. In case you wondered, putting money into your reserve by putting money in industry on a planet that is maxed out on factories has the same problem. However, rich planets give you the same double bonus for industry expenditures that are going into the reserve, so you can put money from rich planets into the reserve without any overhead. I've never done it, but presumably with a super-rich planet you could put the money into the reserve and get a 150% return, which you could even plow back into the same planet! A cute feature. Also, there is one time that it is particularly useful to transfer money from a built-up planet to a recently colonized planet: when you are expanding your frontier very rapidly, you should put lots of colonists on the frontier planets so that you can transfer colonists from last turn's newly colonized planet to this turn's newly colonized planet, thus putting population on newly colonized planets very rapidly, without waiting for transports to move all the way from your center planets to the fringe for every colonization. However, due to the overhead of waste management, newly colonized planets often do not have enough money to transport half the population to another planet, so you need to have just a few BC in reserve to pay for it.

Contributed by: jacob@sun19.objy.com (Jacob Butcher)

Generally, I do not have rich or ultra-rich planets do any research at all. Any excess production I plow back into reserve. For ultra-rich planets, I continually plow it back into the planet's production (this effectively increases the amount going into the reserve by a third. For example, suppose an ultra-rich planet has production of 100, all of which is going into reserve. This means we are feeding 150 into reserve every turn. If we then double this planet's production each turn by plowing 100 back in every turn, we are effectively feeding 200 (or 200*3/2 - 100) into reserve every turn, or an increase of 50 over not doing any plowing back.

I also then try to feed reserve into artifact planets, doubling their production every turn. If this production then goes into research, I am getting effectively double the research than if I had let some rich planet produce research rather than planetary reserve. (Note that it does not pay to have a non-rich planet feed into reserve, which is then fed to artifact planets. This situation is a wash.)

So every few turns, I make sure:

Contributed by cox@unx.sas.com (Jim Cox)

1.D) Excess Trade trick

This is one I just recently discovered. Although it is most useful for Humans, it also works with other races.

The documentation notes that the maximum trade amount you can establish with another race is 25% of the lesser race's total production.

When I first meet a race, I set trade at the minimum amount possible. Then I wait a long time until my trade is getting close to the maximum. Then I renegotiate trade agreements. But first I do the following: I take all my reserve and distribute it to a number of my planets for the next turn. This fools the computer into thinking that I have up to twice the amount of production I really have. Since I play impossible level where the computer races have OBSCENE production bonuses, I am usually last or near last in total production at this point, but I have artifically dramatically increased my production for one turn only. Then I meet with each of the other races, and increase trade to the maximum allowed. This trick can dramatically increase trade revenue.

(Additional note: NEVER add small increments to trading amounts often, as the algorithm the computer uses to determine trade will work against you. Do large increments at very infrequent intervals instead. I usually do not increase trade until I can at least double the previous trade amount)

Contributed by cox@unx.sas.com (Jim Cox)

1.E) Future ship building trick

SHIP CHEAT (I hesitate to call it a cheat, but it is like the production cheat in civ). If you want to have a huge fleet "hidden" from the enemy, design a really huge ship with all sorts of expensive toys on it. Then dedicate 1 click to SHIPS and set the planets producing this ship (I name it SHIP CHEAT, call me logical). The[n] I forget about it because it will normally take 400+ years to build this ship. When the time comes to "reveal" your fleet to the enemy, with you highly advanced fleet, you change the type of ship you were producing and presto.... instant invasion force! Personally I like to do this around Zortium Armor. You should be able to build speedy small ships for fodder (computer likes to attack largest NUMBERED fleet, I THINK at least on Average) and that's from on[e] or two planets. The great thing about this is that you can design COOL large and HUGE ships (that you would actually use) and get them rather quickly without dedicating all resources to SHIPS. [cox: Just be sure you keep up with these planets regularly to change the ship they are building or you may find yourself with a pretty worthless fleet, when they actually do finish building what you have told them to build!]

Contributed by: Barry Bloom

1.F) Combat Tricks

I have gotten some of the following tricks from the net, some from my own discoveries:

1.F.1) Park a repulsor today!
By putting a stack of ships equipped with repulsor beams directly in front of your planet, no bombers will be able to get to your planet without destroying those ships first.

1.F.2) "Baiting" the enemy.
I like to keep my first scouts around for awhile and keep them at my planets. Then if the computer attacks the planet with ships that cannot penetrate the planetary shield they will continue moving forward until the scout is destroyed, being torn apart by planetary bases the whole time.

However, I am not sure this is wise. I have recently stopped doing this, because it is really nice for the computer opponents to be keeping big fleets of outmoded designs around a long time. Each turn, maintenance is being paid on those ships. In addition, if the computer opponent continues to have a large fleet of these outmoded ships, maybe he won't design a brand new ship to replace it!

1.F.3) Diversionary tactics.
When I have ships defending a planet, I like to take the battle away from the planet. Then the opponents' ships will attack my ships rather than moving to the planet and bombing it.

1.F.4) Ship Teleporting trick
My favorite way [to crack planets with many missile bases] is to use bombers with Sub-space Teleporters. On your first move you can teleport right next to the planet and drop a load of bombs. Even if you don't take out all of the bases, you're still in no danger. The planet will launch a pile of missiles that will appear directly over the planet. Now you teleport to the far left. The missiles will travel their max distance (let's say '5') toward you. Now you teleport back to the right of the planet and drop another bundle of bombs. The missiles on the left will travel their max distance back to the right but will max out over the planet, one space too short. The planet will launche another barrage of missiles. Teleport back to the left, etc., etc... Either you will ultimately eliminate all bases (which will also eliminate all airborne missiles), or you'll run out of bombs, in which case you should 'retreat' while next to the planet. Then on the next turn, return to the planet with a fresh load of bombs (pretty realistic, huh?) and finish the job.

Contributed by --pat traynor-- traynor@bostech.com

[Editor's note: As commented in further posts on net, this only works if opponent does not have subspace interdicters]

1.G) Ship Design tricks

1.G.1) No empty slots!
Always fill up your weapon slots, unless you are putting less than four weapons on a ship. Then you can continue firing slots of weapons at other stacks if one stack is destroyed by one slot. For example, suppose you build a large ship with 10 autocannons and 2 death rays. Put five autocannons into each of two slots, and a death ray in each of the other two slots.

1.G.2) Always have six active designs of ships!
If you really only have one type of ship you want to build, make six copies of the same ship, and produce the different kinds on different worlds. You have a lot more flexibility in attack and defense with multiple stacks than with a single stack.

1.G.3) Try to put weapons and specials with different ranges on the same ship.
This allows maximum flexibility in attack. For example, suppose you put death rays (range 4), stellar converters (range 3), gauss autocannons (range 1), technology nullifier (range 4), neutron stream projector (range 2), and black hole generator (range 1) on the same ship type. During a single attack, you can attack up to 6 enemy stacks as follows: Move four squares away from one stack, turn off specials, and fire at the stack (the death rays fire). Turn specials back on, move if necessary and fire at another stack 4 squares away (technology nullifier fires). Then fire at another stack 3 squares away (neutron stream projector fires). Then move if necessary next to two of those 32000 ship stacks, turn off specials, and fire autocannons at one, then turn on specials, and fire your black hole generator at the other.

1.G.4) Save a weapon slot for something like bombs that you don't normally fire, on a fast high- initiative ship.
Then you can move towards enemy ships, unload your weapons, and then back away out of range of his fire.

1.G.5) Antidote to repulsors: cloaking!
Evidently (according to some postings I have seen lately) a cloaked ship will not be repulsed by a repulsor! I like to build cloaked bombers, i.e. smalls that have only bombs as weapons. Their only mission is to get to the planet and bomb it. The only time they are decloaked is after they have obliterated the missile bases with their high powered bombs. And then they retreat. (Of coarse, I send escorts to take care of any other ships that may be lurking around).

1.H) Extended range colonizing

Wait til you have a few tech levels in construction and propulsion. Then design a _new_ colony ship, and add the reserve fuel tanks as well as the colony base. Tech 3 in construction+propulsion seems to be enough to shrink the colony base and engines so that they both fit into a LARGE hull with the fuel tanks. This will usually be _way_ before you get the range-6 or range-8 propulsion tech (or even the warp-3 engines!).

Then your colony ship has the same range as your scouts, so colonise away!

Contributed by Gregory Bond < gnb@bby.com.au>

1.I) Trading Upward

On impossible level, the computer races (especially psilons) can get a huge tech advantage over me. Solution: I trade low level but highly valued techs (such as inertial stabilizer) for very high tech items. To do this, I wait until the other race has gotten most of the high-tech advances.

Then I try to trade with them. Usually, they will not offer me anything valuable at first. But I keep on cancelling the trade until they offer me something high-tech. This may take several turns, as their diplomats often leave before I can get what I want. But eventually, I can usually get a high-tech item in each of the six tech types this way. Then the next time I make a tech advance in that area, I am allowed to research any item up to the tech level of the item I traded for. (It's nice to directly research complete terraforming instead of +40, +60, etc. especially considering it only takes four times the research to discover a tech 50 advance as a tech 25 advance). I can leapfrog tech levels in this manner.

Contributed by cox@unx.sas.com (Jim Cox)

Go to section 2: Strategies

Go to section 3: Tables and Formulas