Accumulating free weapons

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

Moderator: Moderators for English X Forum

Post Reply
Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Accumulating free weapons

Post by Timsup2nothin » Mon, 25. Feb 13, 18:58

I started this other thread as a sort of tutorial on building a CLS trading network. Some people thought it sounded like a good idea and have been doing some experimenting. Thanks to Kirlack in particular not only for being encouraging, but for taking a serious run at adapting the system to a specific objective of his own. What he wants is to monopolize the supply lines to his favorite weapons fabs while keeping them constantly supplied and producing, making enough profit in the process that he can pay for purchasing their entire output and use it for his fleet.

After throwing my two cents at him I realized my normal approach doesn't fit his situation. I would just monopolize the entire energy industry first, then the food industries and mineral industries. So I would just need to focus the supplies and gather the weapons. But that's me.

This thread is about building a streamlined specific purpose network. The gritty parts of setting up CLS freighters is covered in the other thread, so it will be abbreviated here.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, Teladi arms forges in the PTNI Headquarters and surrounding sectors are the objective. There is a practical limit, because there is a local shortage of Nostrop, and apparently a universe wide shortage as well. The local Nostrop refineries can only support seven forges, so we are going to limit our network to seven forges, picking the seven that produce the stuff we want the most.

Step one is to set traps on our seven client fabs that will buy their products at one credit below average price. They will actually pay less, because the product price will be exactly average when the fab is half full, then drop substantially the next time an item is produced. Rather than figure out how far it drops, just set the trap at average minus one.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Step two is Nostrop supply, since we know that is the limited resource.

I like to build a headquarters building to keep the operations accounts separated from my ship account. Kirlack used two Nostrop refineries in a complex with production stopped, which is good because it also provides Nostrop storage. I'd probably use my standard two large cattle ranches because I'm cheap and the only storage I really care about is e-cells. Since Nostrop is scarce there won't be much accumulating. A permanently docked large freighter can be used as a storage tank and it should do the job.

So since Nostrop is scarce we don't want NPC freighters buying any. Set traps on the two refineries buying at one below average (71). Assign a 'gatherer' to empty the traps and unload at our storage tank. Set delivery tanks selling at something close to maximum price, we'll use 111. Set up a 'distributor' to load from our storage tank and fill the delivery tanks.

At full production the refineries produce 4200 units per hour. We will make 40 credits per unit, or 168,000 credits per hour. Since we are buying all of the local Nostrop and have exactly the right amount of clients to consume it the system is stable. BUT what if some NPC freighter makes the long trip from somewhere and sells a load to one of our clients at a cheaper price?

Any Nostrop sold into the system from outside shows up in our storage tank. Eventually the storage tank will be full. We dock an overflow tank and add it to the gatherer AFTER the storage tank. Add an export freighter loading at the overflow tank and selling to the other local fabs at our 111 price. Since we are directing all local Nostrop production to our clients the other fabs will be constantly starving so he won't have much trouble eliminating the overflow. Since he will only take Nostrop from the overflow tank he won't cut into the supply to our clients, but he will make up any lost profit from scheming Teladi undercutting our price with our clients. It won't happen often.

Initially the entire system is empty. The supply exactly equals the demand if the refineries and the client factories are all operating continuously, but of course they aren't, yet. If we get the refineries running full speed before we get the clients running at maximum our system will fill up, so we will do that first.

The refineries need flowers. The local flower supply is an exact match to the local refineries. Set traps on the flower farms buying at minimum, 5 credits, and sellers at the refineries selling at average plus one, 21 credits. Dock an 'import tank' at one of the flower farms. Set up a transfer freighter to load at one flower farm, then the other, then the import tank, max cargo space, then unload to the selling tanks. Set up an importer with a jump drive and set traps on a couple remote flower farms. The importer unloads to the import tank, flies to headquarters and reloads jump fuel, then empties the remote traps.

This entire system will fill with flowers, and stay full. Any time an NPC freighter gets in and buys 'our' flowers, they will be made up in imports. As long as no one interrupts we will just be transferring the local flowers since the production and demand are balanced. At full production we are moving 6300 flowers per hour, making 16 credits per unit, or 100,800 credits per hour.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Mon, 25. Feb 13, 19:53

Next step is energy. It will get our entire food production system working, and whatever product fabs have minerals. The food system will fill up while we work on minerals, giving us a reserve stock.

We have seven client fabs plus the equivalent of seven fabs worth of refineries and seven fabs worth of flower farms. Total of 21. They consume 18,900 e-cells per hour, about one quarter of the output of an XL SPP like the one in Nyana's hideout. A trap system set to buy at 15 will trap the entire output of an SPP. Setting the price lower will allow NPC haulers to grab some of the output. Setting the trap at minimum, 12, will allow quite a bit of output to get away.

There are two points to solving this problem, over-kill and reserve storage. When the NPC haulers make a run on our power plant there will be a bunch of them and they will drive the price to something above average. They will flood the local market with e-cells. Then they will move on. They probably won't come back for a long time even after the price falls to 12. So during that time we need to buy, buy, buy. The plant is producing four times what we are consuming. If we have one hour of production to ourselves, and enough storage, our system can then run for three hours without having to buy at all.

So our trap is set at 12. It's a big freighter. Each flower farm and refinery has a delivery tank selling at 17. They are big freighters. For each of those delivery tanks we set up a transfer freighter that loads from our buyer, unloads to the delivery tank, then unloads to our HQ that stores 50,000 e-cells. Then we have a few distribution freighters (probably three) loading at the HQ and filling delivery tanks docked at our clients. That's ten more freighters.

This is well over a hundred and fifty thousand e-cells of capacity. If the system is full we can go eight hours without making a buy. If the system is dead empty it takes the XLSPP we have trapped about three hours to fill it. Will we get three hours out of every eleven? Maybe. But maybe not. So we better put traps on the two power plants in Two Grand as well. Chances that all three power plants will be tapped out by NPCs at the same time? Slim. Chances all three will stay tapped out long enough to eat up our reserves? Even slimmer. And they will fill our system from dead empty to bursting full in about an hour and a half.

Once the system is full we only buy what we sell. We might not buy them at exactly the same time, but over time that's what we are doing. We sell 18,900 e-cells per hour at a unit profit of five credits, making 94,500 credits per hour.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Last stop, minerals.

How this goes depends on what forges you want to have as clients. I might just need ore, you might need just silicon, or we might need some of this and some of that.

Whatever. Each mineral system works just like the food system. A storage tank docked at the HQ with a distributor filling delivery tanks at the clients. A gatherer emptying buyer tanks at appropriate mines. Buyers set to buy at minimum price, which is always available somewhere in the galaxy. Delivery set at average plus one.

But we will take a cue from the energy system. Overkill. Trap mines all over the galaxy and put a jump drive on the gatherer. There's always cheap minerals somewhere, and if you are trapping enough sources you will never run low. The system will just fill up. Trap enough that you don't even need to worry about energy supplies to the mines.
Choose mines in core sectors belonging to a race you intend to stay friends with. Since just about our whole system is in Teladi space there's them at the very least.

Once again, once the system is filled we will only buy as much as we sell to the clients, though not at the same exact time. If our seven clients all use just ore we will move 1050 units per hour making 79 credits per unit That's 82,950 credits per hour. If they all use silicon we move about half the units but our unit profit is more than doubled so we make even more.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bottom line.

We make 168,000 credits per hour moving Nostrop, 100,800 moving flowers, 94,500 credits moving cells, and at least 82,950 credits per hour moving minerals. 446,250 credits in hourly profit.

That is not enough to buy all the output from seven forges at slightly below average prices. It is enough to buy all the output from five. So we need to pick five that we want the output from, and two that we can dump the output from to the trading dock for extra profits. Which to keep and which to dump is up to individual needs, and may change from time to time.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Maintenance.

Every loop in this network is totally self sustaining. The energy and mineral loops work on a constant fill surplus principle. The food and bio loops use either exports or imports to sustain a system that runs on a basic balance. There is no routine maintenance required.

I would note the total number of ships assigned in the name of the HQ complex. Occasionally check that 'owned ships' still matches the number. Maybe once per game day. In this example, if you come up short it is probably an energy gatherer running from Nyana's Hideout that bumped into either a red pirate or a Xenon, so I'd look there first. You have two factories in the HQ complex, and you can rename them both. You can note the breakdown of ships right there to make it easier to identify what got lost. Again, in this example I would name one factory 'Nyana energy gatherer=4' because that's the most likely place for losses.

That's it.

Fluff
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue, 13. Dec 05, 23:57
x3tc

Post by Fluff » Mon, 25. Feb 13, 20:13

I really enjoy reading these. One question: I notice that both you and Kirlack use two stations complexed together as a homebase. Why a complex instead of just one station?

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Mon, 25. Feb 13, 20:25

Fluff wrote:I really enjoy reading these. One question: I notice that both you and Kirlack use two stations complexed together as a homebase. Why a complex instead of just one station?
In a complex you can shut off the stations. I use these primarily for energy storage and I don't want my energy getting turned into Argnu Beef. It also prevents annoying yellow flashing.

jlehtone
Posts: 17279
Joined: Sat, 23. Apr 05, 21:42
x4

Post by jlehtone » Mon, 25. Feb 13, 20:30

Once upon a time I thought that it would be nice if no Forge is full. Different game, different emphasis, and CAG with more limited features. Not mutually exclusive though, so this CLS Mk2 scheme could serve as the other side of the chain.
Goner Pancake Protector X
Insanity included at no extra charge.
There is no Box. I am the sand.

User avatar
Kirlack
Posts: 1905
Joined: Fri, 25. Jun 04, 15:59
x3tc

Post by Kirlack » Mon, 25. Feb 13, 20:37

Timsup2nothin wrote:
Fluff wrote:I really enjoy reading these. One question: I notice that both you and Kirlack use two stations complexed together as a homebase. Why a complex instead of just one station?
In a complex you can shut off the stations. I use these primarily for energy storage and I don't want my energy getting turned into Argnu Beef. It also prevents annoying yellow flashing.
That's the primary reason, but for my experiment it also gives me a place where up to 20 TS/TP/TM/M3/M4/M5/M6/M8 ships can dock for supplying the fleet ready for operations. In the long term I could even switch the factories back on and produce enough Nostrop to feed even more weapons forges, thus giving me a greater pool of missiles/ammo/guns for the fleet.

Another great guide Tim, thanks for that :) Saves me having to work out the credit balance :lol:

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Mon, 25. Feb 13, 20:46

jlehtone wrote:Once upon a time I thought that it would be nice if no Forge is full. Different game, different emphasis, and CAG with more limited features. Not mutually exclusive though, so this CLS Mk2 scheme could serve as the other side of the chain.
Short approach to the problem, which I used in my current Terran game. Use the remains of a small capped ship just big enough to trap the output of the forge, buying at minimum price just in case it ever gets there. Set a trap in every forge.

Use a CLS freighter to empty the traps. NO worries about any forge sitting idle since as soon as they hit full the product is bought. One collector is sufficient since he just has to empty the trap before the forge fills completely again, and that is a LONG time.

Add a 'fly to' waypoint to the collector that lands him at Saturn Research Station whenever there is nothing to be picked up. Intermittently do a manual sale on all the stuff he has gathered that you don't want since Saturn research buys everything and stocks nothing. Since everything he is collecting was bought at minimum this is a pure profit operation, but it doesn't make that much as the buys are pretty rare.

Can be spread throughout the universe if that's your pleasure. Set the gatherers to drop off specific wares at storage units parked at docks that don't stock that ware. Intermittently empty the storage units. If you set up solid supply to the forges to keep them producing constantly it would make a mountain of credits.

sithneverdiealone
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri, 16. Jan 15, 00:46

Post by sithneverdiealone » Thu, 23. Apr 15, 20:43

upon trying this i have discovered that the nostrop factories are logistically simpler due to the fact that they can be used to store flowers,oil, and ecells. I set up in PTNI and add an ore mine and use it as a central storage hub. if you have a large oreplex somewhere you can use this as a distribution node with a CAG (or 3) assigned to sell ore only(see http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=378522 for my inspiration).
Peace thru Superior Corporate Management... and 47 fully loaded Valhallas.

BankruptAssasin
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu, 4. Mar 10, 18:54
xr

Post by BankruptAssasin » Sun, 23. Aug 15, 17:04

HI Tim,

I have tried this multuple times & always seem to get frustrated - The issue i have is that i think i read it wrong & get what each ship is doing wrong - I have

Traps - These buy the Resources - Flowers/Oil/E-Cells/Minerals
Tanks - These land & Stay on the stations buying the resources & Sell them.
Distributors - These load the resources & unload to the Tanks.

I don't think I have this correct though - I'm unsure how many ships I need & then there is the fact that when I set them to buy the weapons at -1 avg that they either don't buy them or the AI buy them before my guys - I was under the impression that the AI didn't buy unless it was below avg price.
X3TC - Awesome
AP - Just started playing - Looks impressive
don't play Reunion - Too old
Rebirth - we all know the problems here

We're All dying from the moment we are Born.

TheDeliveryMan
Posts: 255
Joined: Sat, 10. Dec 11, 04:10
x4

Post by TheDeliveryMan » Sun, 23. Aug 15, 21:45

BankruptAssasin wrote: I don't think I have this correct though - I'm unsure how many ships I need & then there is the fact that when I set them to buy the weapons at -1 avg that they either don't buy them or the AI buy them before my guys - I was under the impression that the AI didn't buy unless it was below avg price.
Make sure to set "Supply conditions" -> "Minimum transfer amount on collection" to 0%.

Timsup2nothin
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Post by Timsup2nothin » Thu, 27. Aug 15, 16:02

TheDeliveryMan wrote:
BankruptAssasin wrote: I don't think I have this correct though - I'm unsure how many ships I need & then there is the fact that when I set them to buy the weapons at -1 avg that they either don't buy them or the AI buy them before my guys - I was under the impression that the AI didn't buy unless it was below avg price.
Make sure to set "Supply conditions" -> "Minimum transfer amount on collection" to 0%.
This solves a common problem with weapons buying. If the price drops below average but your guy doesn't see it as enough cargo to make it worth picking up then an AI will come in and get it.

Sounds like you have everything else set up for a working system.
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!!!

Post Reply

Return to “X Trilogy Universe”