How much do you micromanage?

7 posts in this topic

Hi everyone!


I recently begun to play again after a long hiatus and I was wondering how do you guys handle the micromanagement aspect of the game. One problem with the 4X genre (at least the older games) is that as the game moves on you really have to decide between using automation options like the governor and automated units (if they are available) or toughing it up and micromanaging every aspect of your base and formers. In AC it is usually beneficial to have as many cities as possible so there is no artificial limit to the micromanagement aspect and it can get quite tedious (IMO, of course).



So, do you manage every little detail of your empire (and do you enjoy it or see it as necessary to beat to ai) or do you let the governor take over when you reach a certain amount of cities?


I realize that in multiplayer it's probably a very bad idea not to micromanage everything but I don't play multiplayer and would prefer an answer from a perspective of playing against the AI.



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I like to use build queues as soon as I build a city. Defender, Former, Colony Pod, some facility of some kind (usually Creche). I find that helps the initial micromanage at least.

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I deliberately don't found a lot of bases. It is not necessary to have a lot of bases to beat the AI, and once you start rolling up AI empires you end up with a lot of bases anyway. One blessing of single player games is no need for ICS urban sprawl, nor needing to exploit every energy credit.


Since conquered bases tend to be light on buildings, I tend to use long build queues for conquered cities, paying them little attention for 8 or 9 buildings in a row. The exception is at the beginning when often I must Hurry production of drone-managing facilities. In a game where I am running away with the tech lead, I think punishment spheres and nerve stapling are good options to reduce micromanaging control of conquered cities. Often they aren't contributing much research anyway because they are small, have no research facilities, no boreholes or other high energy sources etc. I usually don't raze cities, but that is because often they serve strategic roles as airbases. Frankly a lot of conquered cities in the final world conquest campaign don't pay off before the end of the game in any meaningful sense, it's easier to just raze them sometimes to minimize micromanagement of irrelevant cities and prevent the enemy from Probing them to steal tech. This is particularly true of cities of the opposite species, which are always size 1 when you get them, which are worthless except as airbases and are vulnerable to counterattacks and Probes, or unless you are exploiting pop booming. If at a probe disadvantage, or if I manage to take an enemy base with large enemy forces nearby, for example with mind control, I think razing contested cities is often the best move, especially if the enemy can clearly either probe it, or take it back. Might as well sell a facility or two and then raze it so the damage to the enemy is permanent. If the enemy has airpower this can really push back his air umbrella.


I enjoy terraforming quite a bit and manage each former action by hand, always.


I never use governors, just build queues, nor do I ever automate units.

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I mirco manage muchly. I only switch to building queues later in a "max the cites" game when the only AI left is a single pet city. My favorite part of the game is the micro managing the early game scramble to dominance:

colonize the perfect intial expansion;

develope the perfect early infrastrure and facilities

field the perfect early military forces

wait for the first AI demand, and respond in my head

The only reasonable request by the AI is "May I be your *****, please"
Edited by Lefty Scaevola

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Micro has always been a part of the Civ style games. Folks that do not like depth or want zone-out games with little thought do not want 4x games. They run from them. More in depth would be really great, but as I said, it is really a niche market. I love chess on steroids. Even back in my old bnet cesspool days (hell, bnet is still a cesspool only slightly less putrid and full of fecal matter than Xbox Live... what am I thinking) of RTS wargames like Warcraft 3 and Star Craft, a good player was said to have "good micro" because most AIs left to it's own devices may not make the most intelligent choice.


Now, my only deal with SMAC/X is what I call "pop-up hell". This lower realm of the abyss resides mostly on larger map games. I might be really interested in some major ass whipping happening on one part of a map, but the game insists I pay attention to some drone riots on a totally different part. Or even more annoying, the pop up blocks a message like someone declaring vendetta on someone else that is nice to know (yeah... I can check comlink, but still). Do not get me wrong, I want the popup ups and love to tweak cities. Hell, a big empire on a large map I probably do need something screaming at me "Fix this" or I could forget! But, can this wait till after curb stomping happy joy time? On a related note, I wish it would not insist I work with some former when I am thinking about my air force.


Wish there was a way to set these priorities instead of a toggle pop ups on/off. Unless I am unaware of some setting. IE: base pop ups last, all air units first, then land units, then formers last.

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Yeah my least favourite popup is the AI hating on me every time I move a unit into their units' line of sight.

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Micromanagement is why I tend to play on small maps.


On large maps, you need oodles of bases to stand a chance. With oodles of bases, you either turn everything over to incompetent governors which will screw you in the long run or you succumb to the tedium and quit...


So, to answer your question, I micromanage quite a bit, which is why I play on Tiny or Small maps. Even so, the micromanagement becomes a little overwhelming in late game.

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