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  #31  
Old October 17th, 2004, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Quote:
spoon said:
Quote:
PvK said:
...it tends to reduce your fleet strength...
How do you figure? Don't you end up with more ships? Or do you mean in the very short term?
Short- to mid-term, rather than very short term. The reason is that more of your shipyard time and resources are going into working on ships which aren't ready to fight, because:

1) Retrofitting costs a significant amount more than building components on a ship in the first place, and they start out damaged, meaning even some of the upgraded ships have unworking equipment and/or extra repair ships and bases need to be built and maintained and/or ships are at planets instead of on the front lines.

2) A large part of a ship's cost is in its engines and control components (one of the reasons why big ships are dominant in the unmodded game), and these need to be built on the shells. So there is a lot of cost and maintenance going into ships which have little or no combat strength. Ships that are being fully built don't cost any maintenance until they are complete.

On the other hand, if you would soon be retrofitting your ships with new equipment anyway, then that's even more expensive. Particularly in a low or early in a medium research cost game, sometimes a few turns' wait can bring technology that multiplies the effectiveness of a ship. So I was talking about a situation where you have something that's worth building now that won't be obsolete by the time it reaches the front line.

So it depends on the situation, but my experience is that while this is a valid technique with distinct advantages, generally it costs resources and results in a weaker overall fleet strength at first. When a bunch of ships are in the middle of retrofits, shell stages, and mothballs, that's a lot of resources going into unready ships.

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  #32  
Old October 17th, 2004, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

I tend to merely use a single retrofit step myself, mainly because of the reasons PvK had underlined (and because I am quite lazy as well). A single retrofit is usually enough to cut down the construction delay by one turn, and the vessel will then remain in orbit for repairs, which should be completed in one turn if you have a decent repair ability (82% with the Berserker culture). It is somewhat expensive, although nowhere as costly as the full retroseries way, but can be helpful if you do not have as many SYs as you should.

In the later game, the full retroseries way is probably much more appealing, when your basic income is a seven-figure number. *Coughs* Roanon's Collective. *Coughs* But when you are that wealthy, the galaxy will fall under your dominion no matter how you build your ships.
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  #33  
Old October 17th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Quote:
Alneyan said:
But when you are that wealthy, the galaxy will fall under your dominion no matter how you build your ships.
You forgot about that hostile empire in the other side of quadrant with 2 x "your seven-figure number" income.
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  #34  
Old October 17th, 2004, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Quote:
PvK said:
Short- to mid-term, rather than very short term. The reason is that more of your shipyard time and resources are going into working on ships which aren't ready to fight
Better than shipyard time going into ships not ready at all.
I usually do a 2-step retrofit, starting with a roughly 50% cost hull needing 2 turns to build, and going up to 70% then 100% in 2 steps. This produces a ship that would need 5 turns to be built completely otherwise.
If I need 2 turns to build a hull plus 2 turns to retrofit and repair, rather than 5 turns to build, I have MORE ships - short, mid, and long term. The real waste of shipyard time is continuing to build a complete ship turn 3, 4 and 5 instead of already building a second shell, and not using retrofitting which is unlimited and in addition to any shipyard capacity.

Quote:
1) Retrofitting costs a significant amount more than building components on a ship in the first place, and they start out damaged, meaning even some of the upgraded ships have unworking equipment and/or extra repair ships and bases need to be built and maintained and/or ships are at planets instead of on the front lines.
10% extra cost for retrofitting. If you bild a ship with 50% of the total costs and retrofit it, this is a total of 5% extra on top of the total costs. Yawn.
Ok, you need some starbases with repair bases. Well some extra costs for that. If you are THAT short on resources, ok, do something else. Like looking for a way to earn more resources .
And for the extra time to the front: the opposite is true as you cannot build every ship near the front (usually, the front planets have other things to do than building ships, like resource mines for example...). With the retro-technique, you build far from the front, and already send them towards the repair/train base (which should have a convenient location) during the 2 turns while they are being retrofitted. So after 4 turns you have a completely trained ship near the front rather than an untrained ship 1 turn later and far away from the front. Which costs a lot of maintenance until ready to fight.

Quote:
2) A large part of a ship's cost is in its engines and control components (one of the reasons why big ships are dominant in the unmodded game), and these need to be built on the shells. So there is a lot of cost and maintenance going into ships which have little or no combat strength. Ships that are being fully built don't cost any maintenance until they are complete.
The cost to build the engine and control components on a ship shell is not different from the cost to build the same parts on the complete ship which is ready much later. Absolutely no extra cost here.
And it is in fact CHEAPER to train an half-finished ship for half maintenance rather than a fully built ship for full maintenance.

All in all, it never depends on the situation, this strategy is always good as soon as you use battleships or better. The resource cost is actually lower, not higher, as you do not have to waste much maintenance costs for training a fully equipped ship. The overall fleet strength is actually higher, not weaker, as you have fully trained and equipped ships much earlier then when building complete ships.
Ok, you have a weak fleet the first turns - but with the standard build schedule, you have no fleet at all these turns.

You must have A LOT more resources and shipyard capacity to beat this retrofit strategy with standard complete-hull building.
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  #35  
Old October 18th, 2004, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

You're assuming that your empire has a large excess of resources. To take from your examples, if you build the fleet the "standard" way, the full 100% cost will be spread out over 5 turns. IIRC, a component costs 20% more to retrofit into a design, so you end up paying 10% of the cost on top of the original design if you have 50% cost shells, and this cost is spread out across 3 turns (about 25% + 25% + 60%). If you're strapped for resources, or running a deficit, then this strategy could push you into negative resources, and cause random scraps. So, it's only viable if you have lots of excess resources, and want to spend around 15%-20% more (retrofit costs, repair base costs, extra maintainence) to get ships finished a few turns faster. Better than the Emergency build option for many cases though.
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  #36  
Old October 18th, 2004, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Yes, sorry retrofit is 20% more. But you do not pay 10% of the cost of the old design. You only pay 10% for components that you remove. If you design a retrofit series that only components are added, which is easy usually, there is no extra cost. So the cost to construct a retro-ship from a 50% hull is 20% of 50% = 10% more. Still not worth mentioning.
Again, you do NOT have extra maintenence, you have LESS. You have to train your ships anyway, and you pay more maintenance if you train them fully equipped rather than train them as a mere shell.

Yes, you pay more as you can build more. You pay nearly double for more than double the ship production. If you do not have that much resources, ok - still it may be better to use retroseries with half the shipyards and idle the other half. Then you either have too many shipyards, a too high racial shipyard rate, or not invested enough in resource mining.

Not using a resource like shipyard capacity is a waste, and game strategy should be adjusted so it does not happen. Wasting capacity with drawn-out buildings of complete ship designs may give you the illusion not to waste capacity, but you still are at a disadvantage not using your full potential even if you try to hide it from yourself
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  #37  
Old October 18th, 2004, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Quote:
Roanon said:
Yes, sorry retrofit is 20% more. But you do not pay 10% of the cost of the old design. You only pay 10% for components that you remove. If you design a retrofit series that only components are added, which is easy usually, there is no extra cost. So the cost to construct a retro-ship from a 50% hull is 20% of 50% = 10% more. Still not worth mentioning.
Again, you do NOT have extra maintenence, you have LESS. You have to train your ships anyway, and you pay more maintenance if you train them fully equipped rather than train them as a mere shell.
Sorry, I didn't follow the first part... I said you end up paying 10% above the original ship cost when you do retroseries on a half-cost shell, and you're seeming to say that the 10% is wrong, then using my exact same argument to say it's 10% more and "not worth mentioning"... odd.

And again, you DO have extra maintainence. As soon as the ship is built, you're paying half maintainence on it until you do the retrofits, then you're paying full maintainence after the retrofits while you repair. While it's not a huge cost in itself, multiplying it by several ships over a period of time makes it more of a drain than standard build methods. Time spent on training is only relevant if all your ships are built at a training centre, then the reduced cost would come into play -- but most people (AFAIK) have a few seperate points as training centres, towards the borders of the empire usually, and most shipbuilding capacity in their core systems, simply because that's how the empire grew. If you're only building ships at training centres, well, that explains the using all your shipyard capacity comment, since you wouldn't have much capacity to begin with. Or you could have training centres on all shipbuilding planets, but that takes up facility slots that could have been used for greater resource generation, which cuts into the effectiveness of the strategy (fewer resources == fewer ships built).

I think the general consensus though, is... it's a valid strategy, you just have to use it at the correct times. Sometimes you should build more shipyards to boost production (long term), sometimes you should do retroseries to give a quick boost to fleet size (short term, oh-crap-he-opened-a-warp-point-to-my-home-system or jeebus-i-only-need-a-few-more-ships-to-break-his-line moments), and sometimes you're just farked and are gonna lose anyway
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  #38  
Old October 18th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Ok, here's my math on it: Since halves are confusing, I will take 40% core and 60% weapons/shields/etc.

You build the ship and start paying maintenance early, but you get it into service early too, so there's no net change there.

So, the plan is to build 40% of the ship now, and to retrofit 60% of the components on later.

You pay 40% of the maintenance while it flies to the training centers near your front lines. This is pure discount since a full ship would take the same time to get there.

Once there, you sit and train for a couple turns at 40%. More savings.

Now you retrofit over the training world. You are adding on components worth 60% of a full ship. (This will take multiple retrofit steps). You pay 120% of the build cost of the 60% added now.
No components are removed, so that cost is zero.
In total, you pay (1.2 * 0.6) 72% of the cost of building the whole ship at once. Add on the 40% you already paid for, and the ship cost you a total of 112% of the normal cost.

While the components are repaired, you finish the training at the regular-price maintenance.

So, we have...
Extra costs: 12% more per ship.
Savings: 3/5ths of normal maintenance for 2 to 8 turns or so, depending on distance from the training center and training rate.

If you have maxxed out your maintenance reduction and are paying the minimum 5% of hull cost per month, your savings turn out to be:
3% of full hull cost per month.

After only 4 months, you break even!
Without maxxed maintenance reduction, the retrofits give you a net resource savings sooner.

If you have just one training center at 3% per month, your ship will sit there for 7 months training. If it takes 2 months to repair the components, even ships built in the sector see a small net savings from the 5 months of reduced maintenance.
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  #39  
Old October 18th, 2004, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Of course, using a huge planet with 2 moons for training skews this, as it only takes 3 turns to get full training.
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  #40  
Old October 18th, 2004, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: this Strategy must be broke

Plus the original purpose I had of having a partially capable and visually impressive warship at my front lines. And it gradually increases its war capability rather than count as a 0% war ability until its suddenly a 100% war ability (when it arrives there fully built in the old method though untrained)

All in all this is beginning to look much better than I expected. I was sure it would net me a "you missed something obvious". Even if it does have drawbacks at least none of them seem to have been obvious-everyone-knew-it things.
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