Economy for New Players

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Economy for New Players

Postby gnatinator » 30 Jul 2012, 01:41

With the influx of newcomers, I am constantly being asked how to get better at Forged Alliance quickly. And being a new player myself, I can relate to what you're dealing with. These simple economy guidelines will give you the tools to get up and running with any faction quickly.

Your economy is the most important thing in the game. Don't stall it, especially your energy because your mass extractors require energy to run.

1. Make sure you've taken all of the mass extractors you can.
2. Upgrade them one at a time (or more at once if you can afford it) to T2.
3. Ring your T2 extractors with storage (make a template).
4. Then upgrade your extractors one at a time from T2 to T3.

4 engineers per upgrading extractor is ideal, so having a dedicated group of 4 for this purpose is useful. ALWAYS be upgrading your economy or you will fall behind.

Play multiplayer. Watch your replays. Watch TA4Life's channel:

YOU WILL get destroyed your first 20 games online but you will learn a shitload in each defeat. Stick in there, train up, and you'll eventually start smashing other players. Get your friends and play 4v4 Setons in order to learn together.

Build order to get you started:

1. Factory FIRST, set to infinite engineers.
2. Two power generators.
3. Mass extractors.

More advanced build order for setons, rock:

Big list of build order videos: ... uery=build

I realize this post leaves out a lot of advanced concepts, but it's to get noob economies up and running quickly without the learning curve of massive guides. Feel free to add basic tips to this thread if you like.
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby Benoker » 30 Jul 2012, 14:19

I'm a medium player, and I liked your tips a lot. The transition from noob to medium took some time, and was not always easy. I would like to offer my thoughts about the "meta game", about the things that need to happen in your brain a long time before they can happen on the screen. Some of this may be stupid or wrong, but I'm not a pro player, so feel free to correct me ;)

While mass and energy are the most obvious resources, you also need to handle and understand other resources contributing to your victory or defeat:

Motivation: After being utterly crushed and destroyed the first 10 times, you seriously are wondering whether you want to continue playing FA. Let me explain why you are going to be better soon:
- I have some friends which refuse to play any game where they are not going to win, as a result they are and remain noobs. But you are going to search a challenge, you are going to play against people twice as good as you. You will be defeated, but with a little bit of thinking, watching the replays, or asking for help, you can figure out why you lost - and improve.
- It looks as if you have to learn the stats of a few 100 units. You don't, because FA has a beautiful inner logic. As soon as you learn this logic you will be able to just look at a unit and tell what it is good for.
- This game looks hard because a lot of things are going on. Take one step at a time, you can only get better.

Build power: Build power measures your ability to convert mass and energy into units and buildings. If you are missing build power, you start wasting mass and energy. Build power is provided by the ACU, by factories, by engineers and some other special units. The easiest way to get build power is to tell your first factory to continuously build engineers. On some bigger maps with a lot of mass, you will see players ordering several factories to build nothing but engineers!

APM: "Actions per minute" describes your ability to give commands like moving a unit, or zooming in and out. Your APM is limited, so you have to make sure every command counts. The best players in FA do not have a very high APM (... compared to some Starcraft players ...), they just know how to efficiently issues commands.

Luckily FA offers some help:
- Hold "shift" and you can queue up several commands in a short amount of time.
- Have factories working on an "infinite build queue", so you never need to care about them again.
- Group units ("ctrl + number") and quick select them ("number").
- Assist (select unit, right click on other unit) allows one unit to automatically help another.
- Attack move ("alt + right click") allows engineers to reclaim mass and energy along some path.
- Templates allow you to build several structures with one command.

While you have a maximum APM, you should also try and have a minimum APM. Do something! The worst thing you can do is doing nothing. There is always room to improve something: which factories are assisted, in which direction your ships look, the patrol route of your planes... if you don't know what to do: do some scouting and raiding.

Information: While tanks and planes are shooting on each other, there is also a second, hidden war going on: the "information war". You know you have lost the information war when suddenly units appear in your base and you have no clue where the come from. On the other hand, if you win the information war you dictate the game, your opponent will be forced to play defensively, which will result in your victory.

The information war can be broken down in several pieces:
- Know where your units are and what they are doing. Just zooming out will ensure this.
- Know where your opponents units are ... Radar tells you the movement of your enemy.
- ... and what they are doing. Scouting provides you with even more information than a radar. Scouting can be performed with every unit, but cheap and fast units are preferred - because scouts do not live long.
- Deny your opponent information. Kill radar and scouting units, build stealth generators. Distract your opponent by attacking from several directions.

Strategy: You'll need one of these. To implement a strategy you require resources, and because resources are limited you can only implement one (or a few) strategies at a time. It's something that requires experience, there will be no strategy in your first 20 games (which you will lose anyway). You can learn about strategies by watching replays of other players, or by experimenting.

Some simple ideas/strategies that you might consider during a game:
- Brute force: just build more units. Of course that only works if your economy is better.
- Tech advantage: build better units (T2, T3). Requires a lot of time and resources - and you are vulnerable for some time.
- Turtle: hide in your base and do nothing. A lot of players tried this strategy - turns out the "do nothing" part prevents them from winning.
- Snipe: ignore the armies, just kill the ACU. There are different ways to snipe an ACU, attacking with gunships or bombers is probably seen most often. But firing some tactical missiles or using an experimental are also viable options.
- Gain the initiative: Keep attacking from more than one direction, until your opponent is only reacting to your actions.
- Attack from behind: Use drops or a hidden stealth base to directly attack your opponents base and destroy his economy.
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby eXcalibur » 30 Jul 2012, 16:00

i also liked these casts, in which growlery mentions a lot of basic things (which TA4Life just assumes everyone to know):
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby Icy » 30 Jul 2012, 16:39

Buildpower is arguably the most important resource in the late game. It doesn't matter how much mass and energy you have if you are unable to use it effectively. Having enough buildpower to use your economy is critical.

Buildpower by unit: (yes I know it looks complicated)
T1 engineer: 5
T2 engineer: 10
T3 engineer: 15(UEF/Cybran) 20(Aeon, Seraphim)
ACU T1: 10
ACU T2: 30
ACU T3: 90
UEF ACU Drone: 5
SCU: 60 (90 with engineering upgrade)
Hive: 15,25,35
Kennel: 20,40(Each drone is 20)
Factories T1-T3: 20,40,60
Quantum Gate: 120
Nukes/SMD: 1080
Fatboy/Megalith/Tempest/Atlantis: 240
Carriers: 150
CZAR: 180
Mantis: 1
Harbinger: 3

Note that t1 engineers are the most cost efficient way to increase buildpower. It is not uncommon to see hundreds of t1 engineers in the late game. (t1 bombers murder t1 engineers :)
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby Eukanuba » 30 Jul 2012, 17:33

I'm pretty sure that I read that an engineer's build power is halved if he's assisting a factory, can anyone confirm or deny this?
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby Icy » 30 Jul 2012, 17:36

Nope, all buildpower applies as normal. Buildtimes and factory buildrates were doubled from Vanilla to FA, making engineers half as efficient as in the original game. (factories used to have 10 buildpower, not 20 as it is now) It takes 4 engineers to double the buildrate of a t1 fac, unlike in vanilla where it was 2.

This is actually a change that quite a few people would like reverted. It is not uncommon to see literally hundreds of t1 engineers assisting factories, to the point where 500 unit cap is virtually unplayable on larger maps.
Last edited by Icy on 30 Jul 2012, 17:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby Raging_Squirrel » 30 Jul 2012, 17:38

gnatinator wrote:Get your friends and play 4v4 Setons in order to learn together.

oh come on!! DUDE!!!!!!
Never argue with an idiot. He will bring you down to his level and beat with experience.
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby Softly » 30 Jul 2012, 18:00

gnatinator wrote:4 engineers per upgrading extractor is ideal, so having a dedicated group of 4 for this purpose is useful. ALWAYS be upgrading your economy or you will fall behind.

Lets be clear that the larger your economy the more you want to be putting in to upgrading it. The reverse is true; how many games would you win on a 5x5 map if you started with that at min 5?

gnatinator wrote:Get your friends and play 4v4 Setons in order to learn together.

Yes setons can be fun but I would recommend playing it as part of a balanced set of maps. If you're lucky enough to have 3 friends starting with you then don't restrain yourself to doing one map pleeease! Also, an important part of learning is application, and the best person to try application on is your newbie friend, in other words you need to play each one another. That's how you'll develop as an individual player, rather than just a copycat.

Moaning aside, I think that something more formal needs to be set up whereby "noobs" can find easily accessible articles, as well as a list of people who would be willing to help them get better. Perhaps put the nationality of these "trainers" down as well so that people can get help in their own language as that's when they learn and make friends best. We are here to enjoy ourselves after all.

This would be best placed I think into the "Help I'm new" article, although it needs more work to tailor for absolute beginners who don't know what a pgen, mex, etc is. This could then be linked to the top of aeolus chat so that beginners know exactly where to go.
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby CoreKrogoth » 16 Jan 2013, 01:23

Thank you all for the informations here! I am really grateful.

But now I have some questions in my mind:
What do you guys think about connecting PGs or Mass Storage to buildings?
When should I build the four Mass Storage on a MEX?

In my recently played games I am tending to build the storage after I upgraded some MEXes to T2.
I think it depends all on the buildpower and resource income.

And what's the usefulness of PGs (T1) on normal T1 factories?
Often I just spam T1 land factories that I can just build more units.

But what about T2 and T3 PGens? Where is it the best to connect them?
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Re: Economy for New Players

Postby Orb370 » 17 Jan 2013, 03:38

What do you guys think about connecting PGs or Mass Storage to buildings?

(Edit: I answered this question in reference in connecting to factories. Surrounding Mass Fabs with storage is not worth it as far as I know, and I talk about mass extractors later)

Connecting power generators, while making your factory slightly more vulnerable, is always worth it. Most players don't take the time to do it due to there being more important things to dictate your attention. I've been lately using a template of Pgens in a square formation in order to speed up the process. Power generators -can- slow your unit flow somewhat due to blocking units that come out, however, so keep that in mind. Of course, the flow problem doesn't apply to an air factory.

Mass storage, on the other hand, is not worth it at all. It provides no benefit. Storage buildings increase the production of resource production buildings they're attached to, and resource production buildings decrease the production costs of the building they're attached to. If you meant mass extractors, it's a toss up. If you plan to constantly produce from a land factory (especially an engineer assisted one), then it would definitely be worth it to connect it. Otherwise its generally a safer bet to use that adjacency slot for a mass storage.

When should I build the four Mass Storage on a MEX?

There's probably some complicated formula for this, but I personally upgrade all safe extractors to T2 before I start putting mass storage around them. When I say safe, I mean anything securely in my realm of control. This question really depends on the state of affairs on the battlefield though, and is answered with experience. You also have to remember that building mass storage requires build power, and if you're low on it, then upgrading a fringe extractor might be better worth it.

But what about T2 and T3 PGens? Where is it the best to connect them?

I generally connect my T2 Pgens to my shields. They act as both a wall to prevent damage to them and provide a significant power reduction cost on the shield. (Be mindful of putting T2 power on offensive shields, they tend to get overrun). Connecting them to a factory never hurts, though they can get in the way of your assisting engineers/produced units, just like T1 Pgens. For T3 Pgens, I generally connect them to either a nuke launcher, a shield, or in a pattern so that I can put mass fabricators between them if need be. You can also plop them down next to an air factory, but some people prefer that space for more build power (in the form of engineers). Up to you.
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