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Why hold back ships?

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Why hold back ships?

Postby dshreyas » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:09 pm

I've seen many of the top bots holding on to their ships and apparently waiting for something to happen?

Why?

To me it seems counter-intuitive for the ships to be sitting there doing nothing while they can be occupying new territories?
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Re: Why hold back ships?

Postby McLeopold » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:15 pm

If you are ahead in growth and ships, you can afford to be patient. Sometimes it is better to try to poach a planet or look for a weakness in the opponents defense.

If you are ahead in growth and behind in ships, often you'll want to defend and wait until the ship count is bigger, if you don't have any good safe neutral targets.

The worst thing is being ahead in growth and taking neutrals that drop your ship count down to where you can't defend.
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Re: Why hold back ships?

Postby smiley1983 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:24 pm

My thoughts:

There are circumstances where moving first for a neutral planet effectively means you are "buying" that planet for your opponent. If a bot recognises that all the neutral planets fall into this category, and none of the opponent's planets look like good invasion targets, it might be best to do nothing or just redistribute ships. Then if the opponent moves first to take a neutral planet, the one who waited will benefit.

Also, if you've spent more ships than the opponent taking neutral planets (and hence have a higher growth rate) you might want to wait until your ship count catches up, or you will leave yourself open to attack.
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Re: Why hold back ships?

Postby Mistmanov » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:26 pm

I'm probably saying the same as McLeopold, but..

Capturing a neutral costs ships, and it takes time to earn back those ships. Say that at a distance of 10 turns, there is a neutral with 40 ships and a growthrate of 5. If I conquer it, it will immediatly cost me 40 ships, which I will only earn back in 40/5 = 8 turns. But not only that, while my fleet is underway, the ships in it are basically already lost - I can't change their orders to help defend against an unexpected attack etc. So in total, conquering the neutral will give me less available ships for 18 turns. Only on turn 19 do I earn a profit. If there's any reason to suspect that I'm going to need the ships within the 18 turns, it might be better to keep them at home.
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Re: Why hold back ships?

Postby dshreyas » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:35 pm

Thanks guys! Makes sense!
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