17-Aug-2007 04:45:27 Quality: +2.
Concept: Land Balance
Land balance is the concept of holding onto as much land as you can reasonably protect with your military. Since there is no definite formula I can give that would help you know exactly how much land you can have, you have to do it by careful comparison to those around you. Look at your "Score" sheet to find your networth rank. Then, click on "Land Score" and compare it with your Networth Rank. The most optimum balance is where both networth and land scores are the same. Usually, if I am logging off for a whole day, I find it best to be a little landthin.
You can tell you are landthin is your networth rank is higher (lower number) than your land rank. If your networth rank is lower (higher number) than your land rank, you are what is known as landfat. It is OK to be a little landthin or landfat (like within five ranks either way). If you are landfat, the obvious result is that some greedy person is going to relieve you of some of that land. If you are landthin, then a not so obvious result happens: your growth becomes stagnant. Therefore, it is important to maintain a good land balance.
Concept: Military Balance
Military balance is the most difficult type of balance to achieve in this game. Military balance is the art of having around the same offensive and defensive power. Most people play TEQ very defensively because defense units usually cost less per networth point than offensively capable units. However, this is a mistake until the last few days. This is because instead of making one or two fairly good sized landgrabs a day, they end up needing to make four or five, and end up wasting a lot of turns as well as a lot of military. Some players also like to stock up on a lot of offensive military units, making big grabs on people with higher networth. This is also a mistake because they can be grabbed quite easily.
The best thing to do is find a good balance. This balance allows you to grab almost anyone you choose around 1/2 your NW (provided you have maxed your profile and CPU enhancement military bonuses) and also most people around 3/4 of your NW. The only people that can afford to go almost all defense are people who buy all their land from their private markets.
Most people start playing TEQ thinking that the best way to build a country is to go with an equal number or at least some of each building. While this approach may work in other games like Utopia and Dominion, it is actually a very BAD thing here. TEQ is set up to penalize those who do not specialize in a certain strategy. Only certain combinations of buildings are "linked" so that they do not provide penalties. Beaches and solar panels are linked. Barracks and bakeries are linked. Iron mines and war factories are linked. Tax offices and condos are linked. Missile Installations are linked with everything, although they produce nothing...just protect you from missile attacks. Science facilities do not link with anything else besides missile installs.
Let's take the following countries as an example. For mathematical simplicity, let's assume the following.
Beaches make 1000 sv.
Bakeries make 100 bread, which sell for 10sv. each
Barracks make 10 marines, which sell for 100sv. each
Let's take three countries. All three countries have 1000 land. Country A has 500 beaches and 500 bakeries. Country B has 1000 barracks. Country C has 500 bakeries and 500 barracks. For now we will ignore bonuses by profile and science.
Let's say they each process a turn.
Beaches: 500 of them out of 1000 land total = 50% output. 500 * .50 * 1000sv. = 250,000 sv.
Bakeries: 500 of them out of 1000 land total = 50% output. 500 * .50 * 100 bread = 25,000 bread, which sells for 250,000 sv.
Total money made by Country A: 500,000 sv.
Barracks: 1000 of them out of 1000 land total = 100% output. 1000 * 1.00 * 10 marines = 10000 marines, which sell for 1,000,000 sv.
Total money made by Country B: 1,000,000 sv.
Bakeries: 500 of them out of 1000 land total...WAIT...would that be 50% output? However, since barracks and bakeries are linked, the formula works like:
Bakeries: 500 (+500 barracks)= 1000 out of 1000 land total = 100% output. 500 * 1.00 * 100 bread = 50,000 bread, which sells for 500,000 sv.
Barracks: 500 (+500 bakeries)= 1000 of our 1000 land total = 100% output. 500 * 1.00 * 10 marines = 5,000 marines, which sells for 500,000 sv.
Total money made by Country C: 1,000,000sv.
THEREFORE, It is imperative that you choose and use only one of the following strategies at any given time:
Solar Casher (beaches and/or bakeries)
Tax/Condo Casher (condos and tax offices)
Baker (bakeries only)
Barracker (barracks only)
Barracker/Baker (both barracks and bakeries)
Steeler (iron mines only - not recommended)
Industrialist (war factories only)
Industrialist/Steeler (war factories and iron mines)
Discoverer or Techer (science facilities only)
I personally like Barracker/Baker or Industrialist/Steeler because both provide a lot of market flexibility, but what strategy you use is a personal preference.
Concept: Missile Offense and Defense
Missiles are a very powerful force in TEQ and can only be used for one thing: destruction. Missiles are usually only used in times of war as a deliberate form of action. Understanding how to use them and also how to protect yourself against them requires knowledge of only one thing: PDS. PDS is a measure of what percentage chance a missile being launched at your country has of being destroyed.
If you look on your status screen, you will see a number called PDS. It usually starts off looking like PDS: 0.00%. This means that you have absolutely no chance of blocking any incoming missiles. PDS can actually be increased to block 100% of all missiles if you do it right. 50% of your PDS comes from PDS science. You can buy or produce PDS science until it is "maxed out" at 50%. The other 50% of your PDS comes from missile installation. If roughly 25% of your land is missile installations, you will get 50% PDS. Adding maxed science together with 25% of your land being missiles installs, you will be fully protected against missiles.
Now, in USING missiles for offense, it is first important to find out one thing: Your opponent's PDS. You can find this by performing a "Bribe Military" SEAL operation, assuming you could win it. If your opponent has a very low PDS (like 10% or less), then you may go ahead and launch until your heart is content and your opponent dead or severely crippled. If their PDS is high, it would be wise to use some other form of attack to eliminate their buildings (including missile installs) and also steal or destroy their science. These both can be done with SEAL operations, although buildings may also be destroyed by bombing raid special attacks.
On offense, it is also important to consider missile accuracy. Even if your opponent has 0.00% PDS, there is still a chance that the missile which was intended to be a chemical warhead actually veers off and hits their steel reserves. This is due to missile accuracy. Missile accuracy is affected by two things: science and profile modifications. This number too can be raised to 100%. You can get it up to 75% by maxing out your missile accuracy tech...but to get it to 100%, you have to multiply your 75% science by 133% profile on your missile accuracy. With a 100% missile accuracy, if your missile breaks your enemy's PDS, you will hit your target every time.
Discoveries are one of the most important items in the game, and are often overlooked by most players. Discoveries enhance your production, increase your protection, and help you pack more of a powerful punch in your offense. As soon as it is financially feasible, you should begin buying some tech from the market, unless you produce tech. However, it is best to be done in a certain order. This is the order I prefer to max my sciences in.
1) The first tech you should "max out" is your primary technology or technologies for your strategy. They are as follows:
Solar Casher - Space Mirror (Beaches: 150%, Solar Panels: 200%)
Tax/Condo Casher - Tax Revenues first (200%) then Urban (200%)
Baker - Bread Baking (200%)
Barracker - Military Production (Barracks: 175%)
Barracker/Baker - Military Production (Barracks: 175%) and Bread Baking (200%) - max whichever one you have the most land of first.
Steeler - Mining (200%)
Industrialist - Military Production (Barracks: 175% War Factories: 200%)
Industrialist/Steeler - (Barracks: 175% War Factories: 200%) and Mining (200%) - max whichever one you have the most land of first.
Discoverer or Techer - NONE, skip to step 2.
2) Maintenance Cost Tech. (65%) I CANNOT express the importance of this tech. This reduces both the amount of money and the amount of bread you use in maintaining your army and population. I've run techer countries that began producing a positive income just by maxing this tech early.
3) PDS (50%) - Missiles can be extremely nasty, especially to the top countries. Get this to protect yourself.
3) Tax Revenues (200%) - For obvious reasons, you get more money by maxing this tech.
4) Urban (200%) - Same reason as Tax Revenues, but it costs more bread once you up this to run your country, so tax revenues is more effective first.
5) Missile Accuracy (75%) - OK, now that you are ready to block missiles, get prepared to dish em out if you have to.
Construction tech is also important to get, but the max is like 1000%, and it takes a lot to max it, so just pick it up as you go along.
Concept: Killing Enemies
Alas, sometimes it has to be done. Sometimes a country performs acts so extreme that it becomes necessary to kill them off and get them out of the game for a while. There are two ways to kill a country in TEQ: Kill all the population or take away all the land. I will outline how you do both.
Taking away all the land is simple: Just landgrab them until they have no land. It is usually best that countries around the same networth of the target attack first. This takes more land than the biggest countries attacking first. The minimum land for a grab is 15 territories, so it can take quite a bit of time with a 1,500 territory for big countries to constantly grab only 15 per attack.
Killing the population can happen in two ways: Dogfights and chemical missiles. Chemical missiles are the preferred method because they go quicker and take less turns to kill with. You simply launch chemical missiles until you see any kill under 50 people. Once you get one like a report like "killed 23 people", you know they are dead. Subsequent missiles or dogfights will yield 0 people kills and wasted turns. Dogfights should only be used when the target has a lot of PDS and it is very hard to reduce that number. Pure dogfight kills take three times the number of turns than chemical missile kills. (Assuming all hit correct target and break defenses.)
Once a country is dead, someone on the team should hit the country a minimum on 3 times before another team can. (Why let another team benefit from your hard work?) Each hit on a dead country takes 50% of the remaining silver, bread, and discoveries. After three hits, you have taken 87.5% of the remaining goods, and it becomes not worth it past the third or maybe fourth hit, depending on the size of the target's reserves.
Concept: Beating Suiciders
There are 4 types of suiciders:
1) (Most Common) Missile Suiciders - lob multiple missiles at targets for some known or unknown reason. This is the only possible one to kill a player in 160 turns.
2) Dogfight Suiciders - Hit you with as many dogfights as possible trying to kill your population as much as possible. Mostly harmless tho kills a lot of marines. Can only kill you if working with others.
3) Bombing Run Suiciders - Try to cripple you by removing your buildings.
4) Dumb Suiciders - Combine all types of special attacks (usually failing on most) and do nothing but annoy you.
So, how do you beat them? Defense.
NUMBER ONE POINT: As a top team, we need to always ALWAYS have at LEAST 50% PDS. 50% PDS is enuf not to hurt you too bad. It is best to have 90-100% if you wish to truly discourage a suicider.
Usually if a suicider notices that his initial target has a high PDS, he moves onto another target - usually within the same team. (Best not to make too many enemies). SO...get that PDS up and keep it up. If our whole team gets 90-100% PDS, suiciders simply won't affect us, and we can farm suiciders at will for whatever we feel like.
Other ways to defend against suiciders:
1) Dont go around looking for trouble...attack within team guidelines and you should be fine.
2) Keep your military balance up. Those numbers Stacy runs...those aren't just to make her look intelligent. They are to make sure that you are not devoting too much of your resources into offense or defence...either way being dangerous. (See Concept: Military Balance)
3) Did I mention PDS? (See Concept: Missile Offense and Defense for info on PDS)
4) Once a suicider reveals themselves and fails, farm them and make an example out of em...but don't necessarily kill them. As long as they don't succeed, they can't hurt you.
5) Keep a decent seal ratio so heavy sealers don't nail you as well as so suiciders cannot easily find out your weaknesses.
Concept: Market Advantage
Playing the market is a little different for each strategy. Cashers and goods producers can easily get away with just one or two visits to the market a day, while techers and military producers NEED to visit the market at least twice (preferably 3-4 times) a day to maximize their income.
Let me introduce to you a few key concepts to playing the market well:
1) Buy low, sell high. Buy the goods you need at the lowest price possible. Don't buy on impulse or "only when you need it." Bread is the best example here - stockpile extra bread while the market price is low - so that if the price goes high, you are set. Obviously, you don't want to stock up on bread to the point that you get landfat and hence get it all grabbed from ya, but an extra day or two worth saved up slowly doesn't hurt.
The best times of the day to buy low are around 12 AM to 3 PM EST (US Eastern time). Since the majority of TEQ players play in the after school and evening US time, prices soar through those times. If you can, it's best to login in the morning to buy your needs. The more obscure the time for US players, the better.
Generally, the best time to sell is during those late afternoon hours. Remember, goods take approximately 6 hours to reach the market from the time you sell them. Selling goods at approx 9 AM EST is a VERY good way to ensure your goods hit the market just in time for that primetime market gorge.
The hardest part of the game for any producer (non-casher) is figuring out what price to set the goods. That's where concept 2 comes in:
2) Find out the real price. Before you sell your goods, keep a little money onhand to go to the buy market. CHeck to see how many goods are on and at what price. If there is a small amount of goods on at what seems to be a low price - buy em and get em out of the market. Repeat process til you come to a large block of goods - and this is likely the "current trading price." Sell at or around that price, unless it is before primetime and your goods will hit the market then. Usually it is safe to go a little higher than that price if primetime isn't in full swing.
Along with checking out the buy market - make sure you know the "empty prices". When any tech runs completely out, the price shown for it is 5,000 sv. However, selling at 5000 sv. is suicide. If there's absolutely none on the market - !@$# - sell it for 19,000-20,000 sv. (20,000 is the maximum price.) Same is true for military. ALWAYS check the buy screen - if there's 0 of a certain type of good available - sell high and make the big dollars.
3) Resell. Along with buying those cheap goods is the concept of reselling. Basically - you buy out cheap goods only to resell at a higher price (usually AT LEAST over 25% higher since the market takes 5% tax). Reselling can be a blessing or a curse. Only resell when you are sure you can get a decent profit on it. Also - don't invest so much money into resell schemes that it affects your growth. But, if you are nice and thin and growing at just the rate you want, and you got some extra cash to invest - reselling can be the quickest way to a huge profit.
4) Last of all, learn the market patterns. Every reset, there are certain patterns that emerge. Bread and BCs skyrocket on "jump out of protection day" cause no one stocks up on them while they're cheap (cept good market rapers - who buy up a crapload and resell it..heh heh). Same happens with military production tech during the first week or two. Same thing happens with military on the last day of the reset. Around mid-reset, prices for steel and sometimes bread usually go through the roof. Watch and study the market for these trends. Tech always falls in price during the last week. The trends aren't 100% true all the time, but the ones I gave you above are a fairly good indication of what happens.
Concept: Effective Sealing
This post is gonna be mainly for barrackers, as it won't really touch upon seal defense as much as seal offense.
If you don't plan on using seals offensively, then the only advice I have to give is to keep your number of seals around (number of days that have passed in the reset * 40 * land). That means if you have 10,000 land on day 10 of the reset, you should have 4,000,000 seals. By day 20, you should have 8,000,000 seals on that much land. Not the best measure of things, but it works fairly well for defending against getting seal raped.
OK - those who plan to use seals offensively need to remember one MAJOR rule: Anything besides a bribe military staff, peek at profile layout, or steal (something) op, it is considered an act of war. Period. That being said: Don't do it unless we are at war/plan to kill someone.
Now...for the other guidelines.
If you are going to steal something (for example: discoveries) - you want to make sure the person you are stealing from does not think you have them singled out. To do that, you want to only steal once per time that you play your turns...maximum once per 10 hours. If the person ever catches you sealing them, it's best to avoid them for 10 days. It may not be a bad idea to avoid sealing their team the rest of that day also.
To choose good seal targets, look at your networth ranking list. Avoid those who have high points, as they are likely barrackers themselves - or worse yet - suiciders. Also - landthin folks generally have a decent amount of tech.
What I like to do is to keep 2 lists going...the first has all the good targets I've sealed. The second is all the people who have caught me. If I seal someone and take a good amount of discoveries, I add them to the first list. If I seal someone and they catch me, I add them to my second list. The next time I play my turns, I seal those on my first list. Again - if they catch me, I stick them on the second list. Personally - I never seal anyone on the second list for the rest of the reset.
That being said - most players find it very annoying to catch a sealer more than once in a reset. I know I personally hit such players. If 10 days have gone by, I might have forgotten catching them before, but don't hold your breath.
Another key to remember while sealing: It's not good to do if you are landfat. If I catch someone sealing me who is landfat, I'll hit em...simply cause they got my attention.
Morale of the story - if you're gonna seal, do it smartly. Don't make someone feel you are singling them out.