The universe wide trade network

General discussions about the games by Egosoft including X-BTF, XT, X², X³: Reunion, X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

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jlehtone
Posts: 17092
Joined: Sat, 23. Apr 05, 21:42

Post by jlehtone » Wed, 12. Sep 18, 23:00

Timsup2nothin wrote:I got angry. I slaughtered some Xenon.

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So, reload. Still angry. Slaughter more Xenon...or maybe the same Xenon...hard to tell.
:lol:
Memo to Xenon Mainframe: profitss savess chipss.

Memo to Pilot Union: if you go to strike, then the Ancient Ones will break your Gates.
Goner Pancake Protector X
Insanity included at no extra charge.
There is no Box. I am the sand.

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3155
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Thu, 13. Sep 18, 07:20

I always appreciate it when someone notices the humor buried deep in my walls of text. Thanks jlehtone!
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3155
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Mon, 17. Sep 18, 19:48

Okay, progress report.

From the standpoint of the mineral distribution company, somewhere between none and minimal. I have a Mercury Hauler set to buy at minimum prices from all the mines in Montelaar and shlep the goods to my headquarters east of Legend's Home. He doesn't have a jump drive, so it will be an extended shlep, but since I haven't got anyone to sell the goods anyway I'm in no hurry.

From the standpoint of getting the infrastructure in place things have gone great and there is a sense of completion around Military Fuels Supply Company headquarters. The distribution side is in completely in place, and the supply side is functional for the currently low throughput.

Every Military Outpost in the commonwealth is on the distribution list of a CLS seller who will jump out promptly when they are down to about half their inventory with enough cells to top them up to capacity, even if they sell out while they are waiting. Each race has their own dedicated distributor, so if I get in a scrap with someone it will idle their deliveries without affecting anyone else.

Supply is still being provided by lame CAGs without jump drives, who use the HUB connection to draw from Akheela's as well as Power Circle to Queen's Space and Queen's Harbor to that Teladi sector with the SPPs over there. They aren't very efficient since a lot of their runs to buy at minimum end at a supplier that has already sold to an NPC, but they are okay for current loading. A couple are ready for jump drives and the rest will be pretty soon. Again, there is one CAG for each race, and once the jump drives are installed they will get assigned an appropriate buying region so that a scrap will idle the appropriate one and not impact the others.

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I'm pretty pleased with this fuel system. The entire operation will be totally autonomous when it is fully operational.* Having every Military Outpost restocked automatically will provide reliable jump fuel anywhere I need it for anything I want to set up, and the more I use it the more profitable MilFuels will be. That's "fire and forget."




*I think. I'm not sure yet what kind of throughput limit it will have. As long as I restrain myself to using it for jump fuel I wouldn't expect to exceed capacity. Of course the temptation to set up an e-cell supplier for critical fabs using the local Military Outpost as a supplier has to be fended off regularly. I might set something up temporarily just to test the limits of the system once it is completely functional though.
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3155
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Wed, 19. Sep 18, 22:54

Further progress.

My guy shlepping all the way from Montelaar made a couple three runs, or maybe four. Dunno, I was busy. Anyway, I had some inventory to work with but it was obviously going up too slowly to keep up with any sort of distribution. So off I went to the Hatikva's Faith Used Ship Emporium and did some shopping.

They were having a sale on Dolphins, so I picked up a standard Dolphin Tanker and one of those really huge Superfreighter XL things. Set an apprentice Boron to work in the tanker collecting ore from the mines in Rolk's Legacy and parked the giant transfer tank at the trading station.

Then I systematically relieved my MilSec Trading Company of their ore distributing duties so I could reassign the equipment. That operation had a Teladi in a Vulture Hauler doing the buying, importing from Teladi space, and I took him first. He is now running the route from the transfer tank in RL after refueling at the Outpost in Great Trench. Since the Boron had already filled the tank by the time I got him organized he made an immediate impact on inventory.

Distribution in the Military Sector had been handled by a Mercury Hauler, and once their transfer tank and his hold were emptied I moved him as well. Shifted to CAG, he now has the entire region to distribute to, excluding the war sectors, obviously.

He needed jump fuel, so I added a Mercury to the MilFuels operation that runs from the headquarters and sells to the minerals hub, maintaining it at 6000 cells in stock, just for CAG fuel since there's no production.

Ore inventory dropped like, well, a rock. The Vulture, with the out of the way fuel stop, is just too slow, and the laggard running all the way from Montelaar is basically no help.

However, those long runs had gotten him to the point where he could use a jump drive, so I replaced him with a new apprentice and picked him up a good low mileage Mercury Hauler. I noticed that the Vulture had started getting ahead of the Boron filling the transfer tank, so I adjusted the Montelaar buyer and now he only has to drag stuff as far as the transfer tank in RL. The veteran in his new to us Hauler is running a purchase route through the same region we are supplying, using the Outpost in BHS to refuel. Ore inventory is low, but hopefully stabilizing. I'm starting to see some silicon come in as well. When that starts to sell it will slow down the ore consumption.

If this were the usual thing I'd probably just dump in freighters ten at a time and let the chips land as they may. But with an experimental application I'm satisfied moving slowly. My intentions are to expand into new regions by installing a buyer first, to help create a shortage and drive up prices, then install a CAG distributor and move on, backfilling as needed when a single CAG or single buyer proves to be not enough for a region, or when imbalance drives my inventory out of whack.

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Speaking of imbalance and inventory out of whack, during the initial fill of the mineral hub the Mercury crashed my inventory at MilFuels, so I'm in the process of shifting the buyers there to jump drives and giving them individual buying zones. Once the initial fill was completed the Mercury slowed down and inventory was recovering, but I'm starting to use fuel from the outposts across the universe so it's time to boost the cap on my throughput.

Overall, this seems to be moving along well enough. Of course, so far there isn't anything "universe wide" about it and I could do what I'm doing so far using no new techniques at all. But there are some critical changes in the structure that will hopefully allow it to reach a higher level of throughput than my previous systems could handle.

We shall see.
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!

ConorC
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon, 20. Aug 18, 11:07

Post by ConorC » Thu, 20. Sep 18, 11:12

Tim, a question: I've been using a lot of your methods and getting really good results, but I only have maybe 20 - 30 ships moving around different areas trading, the most being in the terran sectors. My question is, how do you keep them all straight in your head?

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3155
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Thu, 20. Sep 18, 18:13

ConorC wrote:Tim, a question: I've been using a lot of your methods and getting really good results, but I only have maybe 20 - 30 ships moving around different areas trading, the most being in the terran sectors. My question is, how do you keep them all straight in your head?
I don't. My head is a very twisted place, and nothing can be kept straight there.

I do keep them straight in my property list though, by using a rigorous system. The key element of that system is recognizing that while a CAG has to have a home base, every ship can have a home base...and that can be used to build a hierarchy structure that is very much like the file tree structure in my computer.

Example from current game:

Early on, while I was still doing the opening plot, I had credits to invest and had picked up a few ships. I wanted the factories in the Argon Military Sector to get with the program and be productive because I knew I would be wanting 25mj shields, HEPTs, CIGs and maybe some other stuff that should be available there but seldom is. So, Milsect Trading Company.

Need a CLS ship distributing e-cells from the local SPP, a buyer bringing in ore, a distributor to sell the ore, a buyer bringing in cahoonas, and a distributor to distribute them. Need a transfer tank for the ore buyer to drop off to, and since there's no trading station for some reason I also need a transfer tank for the cahoonas. So seven ships, minimum.

Since I usually have a "personal fleet" of around a dozen ships and I like to be able to go right to them on my property menu I don't want all these CLS guys cluttering things up. I choose 'NO" for "show ships if homebase assigned" and assign them all to a handy military transport renamed "HQ MilSec Trading Company," and I homebase that to my personal Boa. Conveniently, with a CLS pilot it can also fly around in the MilSector and collect the stuff that I want.

Now, early on all these ships have apprentice pilots and they need a lot of attention, so as I'm in flight I open property, mouse to the Boa and click "owned ships." There's MilSec Trading. At the time it was the only thing there, and the thought that I was wasting a click would cross my mind, but I've learned to be rigorous from the start. Now there are four or five TMs listed there.

Opening the owned ship list for HQ MilSec Trading there's MilSec Energy Distributor Dolphin, MilSec Ore Buyer Vulture Hauler, MilSec Ore Seller Mercury, etc. I name ships "buyer" if they buy and unload to a transfer tank or trading station, and "seller" if they pick up the goods and sell them. If they buy from suppliers and also sell the goods without some sort of relay I name them "distributor." Transfer tanks are named "transfer tank," confusingly enough.

When networks get big I get more TMs to add layers to the structure. Very seldom will opening "owned ships" bring up a list of more than ten to twenty ships.

Things I've learned to establish early:

My Boa owns a TM of some sort named "HQ ScorpCorp Salvage Division." Ships that I'm currently not doing anything with get based to that. As things develop more TMs may get involved to separate "ready" ships from "Equipment Required" and/or "Collector's Items."

It's also kept stocked with shields, has a Disco named "gear locker" aboard with a jump drive, and another one named "Pilot Shuttle" equipped for CLS. It is my MORS (Manually Operated Remote Salvage) ship. When I get a bail I have to do the claiming, but MORS hops in and either loads it on board or sets it up to jump to a shipyard...and gets it off my main property list. I also use it when I want to move an experienced pilot and replace them with an apprentice without disrupting the operation of the ship they trained in. I try to make the TMs I use as file headings at least somewhat useful.

There's also usually a TM with some clever name, in my current game it's Spike's Liquor and Sundries. Spike handles my illegal goods operations, and all the little rum runners, spacefuel buyers, storage tanks where I dump the kind of goods that pirate missions ask for, and other appropriate stuff, are homebased to that.

In most games I have swarms of CLS traders that are what I call the willy-nilly fleet. I buy freighters ten at a time and just throw them on trading routes in some area and leave them to ferment. Sometimes this will involve transfer tanks. Before I buy them I make sure I have a TM available and call it something like "HQ Argon Prime Regional Trading," and the whole laot, tanks and all, gets homebased to that. I might have a handful of such TM's under "HQ ScorpCorp Regional Trading Division."

So, by naming conventions and property list structure I avoid needing to keep things straight in my head. This helps out in a lot of ways besides keeping the property list manageable. When I see a good deal on space fuel I can order Spike's HQ TM to jump and fly there, and when I get the order completed message, since it's from Spike I know more or less what is going on even if I saved the game and a week has gone by.

Hope that helps.
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!

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