Vishniac

Free market: how does it work?

23 posts in this topic

In SMAC/X, of course!

 

Almost everything else, I can understand and use at some way or the other but Free Market seems...difficult for me.

It's not the environmental penalties (frying worms give big money) but the police malus. I tried FM in the Sister Miriam GOTM and thought there wouldn't be much problems since I had mainly seaformers and inside my borders but cities erupted in drone riots requiring 2 good citizens to be changed to doctors.

 

So:

 

- can someone explain me in details the rules about that? Which units give you drone riots: all, or only military, or also formers with armor, or also plain formers? And how about their location: must be inside the faction's borders or inside it's supporting city borders not to trigger riots?

 

- is it really that good? I mean, money and research bonus are good but being unable to send units to explore or defend the territory makes the faction an easy prey except if you want to wait and probe...hoping you can against a surprise attack/air attack/amphibious landing. Also, it is mainly a builder's tool but fungal blooms will soon cripple your terraforming efforts (and lack of units will make worms attack your undefended cities). FM: impossible for hybrid players?

 

- some links perhaps to a useful thread somewhere talking about it. SMAC Academy has no article directly about it, it seems.

 

In short: tell me a little how does it work, how do you use it, the pros and cons. It seems like I'm depriving myself of a useful tool.

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In SMAC/X, of course!

 

Almost everything else, I can understand and use at some way or the other but Free Market seems...difficult for me.

It's not the environmental penalties (frying worms give big money) but the police malus. I tried FM in the Sister Miriam GOTM and thought there wouldn't be much problems since I had mainly seaformers and inside my borders but cities erupted in drone riots requiring 2 good citizens to be changed to doctors.

 

So:

 

- can someone explain me in details the rules about that? Which units give you drone riots: all, or only military, or also formers with armor, or also plain formers? And how about their location: must be inside the faction's borders or inside it's supporting city borders not to trigger riots?

All bombers and choppers cause riots no matter what. Air superiority versions act as normal military units though.

 

Normal Military is anything with a weapon. You can armor probes, formers, and IIRC, transports, send them outside borders, and no problems.

 

Normal military only cause riots when outside borders. The best way to run a military in FM is to build a punishment sphere city or two, and have them all based out of there.

 

- is it really that good? I mean, money and research bonus are good but being unable to send units to explore or defend the territory makes the faction an easy prey except if you want to wait and probe...hoping you can against a surprise attack/air attack/amphibious landing. Also, it is mainly a builder's tool but fungal blooms will soon cripple your terraforming efforts (and lack of units will make worms attack your undefended cities). FM: impossible for hybrid players?

You need to allocate some psych if you want to use FM and deal with the loss of police. It really comes into its own after tree farms, with the energy restriction raised, and the nice 'free mineral' raise that tree farms offer. Still nice before then, though.

 

You do know about fungal blooms, eco-damage, and tree farms/Hyb forest/Centauri Preserves, right?

 

Jonathan Fisher

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When I use Free Market I'm either Morgan and relying on the +4ec per base or have some form of hard drone quelling in place like the Drone's ability or rec comms rushed with the extra money.

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I try to pop a lot of pods and get a cadre of independant units early in the game, upgrade them and use them for a strike force in earlier years when using Free market. Middle and Late game it does not matter. With higer technology units, enemy territory becomes home territory by the end of the first turn or war. However, I am rarely running free market except in the early stages. In the middle and late games I am flipping between SE combinations that maximize research and efficiency, and those that maximize production. Reasearch a batch of techs, then build all the new facilities and projects.

Edited by Lefty Scaevola

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If you use FM, your goal should be to reach ECON +2 from all of your social engineering, or +1 energy per square. Can't really wage offensive warfare (unless you're both in a small island or otherwise packed nearby w/ roads, in that case use 4-1-2/6-1-2/8-1-2 rovers and conquer bases on the same turn you enter enemy territory) until punishment spheres, should avoid warfare in general until clean reactor.

 

Now there are better guides than my words especially since I'm one of the least advanced players on this site, but if you're truly a FM-newbie, let me offer some thoughts based on my single player runs with Morgan:

The idea is to build up your bases so you have a tech and a probe (plenty of $$$) advantage. If you play it right and others don't pay attention to tech or your progress, you can do some serious damage or even win the game outright when you hit fusion power/choppers/punishment spheres.

 

Have all your built-up bases (should be size 6 or over by now) build choppers before others catch up with the AA, relocate choppers to bases with punishment spheres and make them support 'em, mop all opposition. By fusion power, the offense/defense ratios turn really unbalanced in favour of offense, with 3 or 4 defenders defending against shard fusion (13 attack).

 

Also, with FM or Morgan/Wealth, What really turns the game belly-up with +1 energy per square on large maps are the supply crawlers. Build up a circle of bases with plenty of room in the center, push up forests with your initial former force which builds up the roads between bases, beeline for crawlers. Now set all crawlers to minerals until you run out of squares to assign crawlers into. After building up necessary improvements for research, change all formers to energy from minerals. BLING! +2 energy per crawler, with 10 crawlers this really spikes up your research with all the base improvements.

Edited by VJ

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Also, with FM or Morgan/Wealth, What really turns the game belly-up with +1 energy per square on large maps are the supply crawlers. Build up a circle of bases with plenty of room in the center, push up forests with your initial former force which builds up the roads between bases, beeline for crawlers. Now set all crawlers to minerals until you run out of squares to assign crawlers into. After building up necessary improvements for research, change all formers to energy from minerals. BLING! +2 energy per crawler, with 10 crawlers this really spikes up your research with all the base improvements.

 

You forgot to mention doing this primarily from home-base to keep from losing a joule of energy... ;)

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Thanks for the replies and the links. Food for thought for sure.

 

Now, just to wait until I get creamed in PBEM by someone using FM and I shall get motivation to test!!

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just a quick note, the documentation for ECON >2 is wrong. You get a bigger bonus than the one listed - see sig to update your datalinks.

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just a quick note, the documentation for ECON >2 is wrong. You get a bigger bonus than the one listed - see sig to update your datalinks.

Now that you tell it: I have downloaded your datalinks since some time but it stayed in My Files because, ahem, I don't know where it goes...:o

 

I've got "conceptsx" and "helpx".

Does it just goes somewhere or must replace something?

HEEEELP, poor enduser here!!

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I'm almost completely certain you just dump 'em in the SMAC root directory, replacing the old ones.

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Ok, it's done! (feel lazy sometimes)

 

And, yes, it updated. (Just checked Children Creche and its bizarre effects)

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Besides the police malus, I have difficulty understanding what are the real effects of -3 Planet. Datalinks don't say much.

"wanton ecological disruption", yes but what does it do? No production in fungus, ok.

But someone warned about having bases with many fungus tiles around while using FM as a big risk. Does it spawn more native life attacks? Or is it more native appearance when a unit treads on fungus?

If a base hasn't any ecological damage, has it to be afraid of -3 Planet when fungus is abundant? Mineral limit lowered perhaps? And to how many? Is keeping the base with just 10 minerals/turn enough not to trigger terraforming destruction?

 

So many questions...:cool:

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And more to it, I just realized that "2 extra drones" seems to mean drones not quelled by conventional means (rec commons). Some info? Help!

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Hmmmm? No, Rec Comms is hard quelling. It shouldn't be possible to overcome. Even super-drones get hard-quelled, right?

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Did a quick test in my santiago game turning hq into exactly no ecodam and changing to free. Granted I have the nexus so only - 2 planet but I didn't get any ecodam in free. Reloaded and tested with ecodam - 8 and it shot up to - 21 when I changed to free.

 

Before Free market:

 

s79.jpg

 

After:

 

s80.jpg

Edited by d72

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And more to it, I just realized that "2 extra drones" seems to mean drones not quelled by conventional means (rec commons). Some info? Help!

Recreation commons (and similar base improvements) only helps with drones caused by increased population. With low police rating, drones are caused by troops outside territory/troops that have inherited drone penalty (ground-attacking air units).

 

FM would be actually very easy if rec commons and others would also deal with drones caused by troops. Solution is to increase talent amount by changing SE psych rating to 10, 20 or 30.

 

The point is, you really shouldn't even try to run long offensive warfare campaigns with free market until punishment spheres. Or, well, you can start using choppers when you have size 8 or above bases and plenty of energy sources near them (built-up bases), but at that point punishment spheres are right around the corner anyway.

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P-Drones (pacifism) cause more trouble than B-drones or s-drones? This sounds familiar but I can't remember the details.

 

Best way around it is a specialist base. After the early land grab you feed a base up to pop 5 and turn all its population into Librarians so they can't riot. Fed by nut crawlers (teehee). All Air units get homed to this base in future.

 

Given what things are like in the early game theres no reason not to have a specialist base. With energy restrictions preventing more than 2energy/square and it getting divided by econ/labs, why wouldn't you have a 3/labs per worker specialist base with a network node?

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P-Drones (pacifism) cause more trouble than B-drones or s-drones? This sounds familiar but I can't remember the details.

 

(snip)

 

See my post in this thread for details on how drones are quelled.

 

Petek

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You'll be happy to know I am now comfortable with Free Market. :cool:

 

Preparing for the DG, I just played a classical SMAC at Transcend with Morgan. Strangely (50-70% sea), we all landed on the same huge continent and Sparta eradicated 4 factions to become a behemoth. So, I played submissive turtle until I could lauch the Economic Victory. Got it at 2297 for only 1000EC. It permitted me to get every SP till Cyborg Factory.

 

Interesting! :b:

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Besides the police malus, I have difficulty understanding what are the real effects of -3 Planet. Datalinks don't say much.

"wanton ecological disruption", yes but what does it do? No production in fungus, ok.

But someone warned about having bases with many fungus tiles around while using FM as a big risk. Does it spawn more native life attacks? Or is it more native appearance when a unit treads on fungus?

If a base hasn't any ecological damage, has it to be afraid of -3 Planet when fungus is abundant? Mineral limit lowered perhaps? And to how many? Is keeping the base with just 10 minerals/turn enough not to trigger terraforming destruction?

 

So many questions...:cool:

The -3 planet will also give you a nasty -30% when doing psi attacks. Makes fungal towers very fun.

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