August 10, 2002

Here I am on August 10, just over 1 week from when I started the park Rangers.

It is now game date 115, and this will be a busy session. My plan today is to break sanctuary and spread my people over a larger area of my home island, and then designate my new land in preparation to get my economy going, and finally - when everything is as I like it, and I've used most of my movement time - I'll update to make everything efficient.

Here is how the island looks before I start, remember - I'm the "S". That's my sanctuary. I'll start by using the SPREAD command - which spreads civilians from one sector through a region delimited by to sectors, the upper right sector, and the lower left sector. The following shows how the SPREAD dialog looks.

You'll notice in the visual below, my sancuary has now changed into a capitol (C). Remember, as soon as you move out of your sanctuary - you are no longer safe from attack. Fortunately in this game, I have the island to myself - so the risk of attack is near zero.

The result of the three spreads I performed above was to occupy a small area of coast on the north side of my island. These will later be designated as docks. Docks must have water access to the open sea, and obviously - the north coast has that access.

Also notice that I have used some movement time. As you can see from when I first started this session, I had 99/12 for time units. That's 99 movement time and 12 update time. Time accumulates as movement time, but cannot exceed 99, so the last 12 time units I accumulated showed up on the right as update time. The three spreads I performed above, consumed 10 movement time units, which caused 10 time units to shift from the left (movement) to the right (update). That leaves me with 89/22. Remember, we want to move - and then update.

I will continue spreading my civilians. I wand to have docks on both the north and south coasts, just in case an undiscovered island is closer to one coast or the other. When I launch my exploration fleet, I want them traveling in all directions, so it is more efficient to launch from all coasts instead of having to sail around the island.

You'll notice when I spread, I'm only leaving 1 civilian per sector. I want to keep the bulk of my population in one sector, and I want that sector to be in the right position for my next spread. Thus in the visual above, my mass of civilians are in sector 31,7 ready for the next spread southward. Thinking ahead while spreading is important.

I'll skip ahead to my final spread.

You can see above that I have occupied a large region of the island, and this looks like about enough land to get started with my economy. I want to have my large group of civilians located in my capitol - so I will just move my capitol to where the civilians are. This is accomplished using the DESIGNATE command (see above).

There is one problem though, the capitol is sitting on a pretty good ore sample (17%). This spot would make a decent Mine, so I should move the civilians and establish a more suitable capitol. I want the capitol to be safe, so it is best to not locate it on the coast where an enemy ship might find it and assault it. It would be disastrous to lose your capitol (which sets all your time to zero) and also lose the bulk of your population.

To move the people to a new capitol, we will use the MOVE command (see below).

You'll notice when we moved into the next sector - it had even a better ore sample (50%), so we needed to keep going. The next sector we moved into (18,12) also had a marginal ore sample (9%), so we moved one more time into 17,12 which had an ore sample of 4%, perfect for a capitol.

Now we have as much land as we are going to occupy in today's session. We need to designate the land (define the land use) prior to updating. One of the things UPDATE does, is make land more efficient. Whatever the sector designation is, updating 50 time units will make all the sectors 50% more efficient (up to a fully efficient sector - 99%). If you designate a sector to be something else, the efficiency drops to zero, and then works its way back to 99% as you use update time units. It only takes one occupant to make a sector efficient. It won't get efficient any faster with hundreds, so that's why we only left 1 in each sector.

When designating new land, the fist consideration is to designate Mines. Mines should be placed where there is good ore sample. The next few images show the use of the STIPULATE command combined with the ANALYSIS report. The goal is to assure enough potential ore production supply all possible industries with a little left over to fuel ships. The first STIPULATE command is equivalent to STIPULATE (SAMPLE>9), which means change all sectors with an ore sample greater than 9%.

After I changed the 10 qualifying sectors to Mines, I used the ANALYSIS command to see if I will have enough ore production to run my future industries on this island. I'm look at the last line of the report (Excess ore per update) to see if the potential (42.2) is greater than the number of Rurals (58), because when I get enough ore potential, then I will designate all the rurals into industrial sectors. Each industrial sector (Docks, Explosive Plants, Artillery Plants, Plane Factories) consume 1 unit of ore per update time. If my industries consume more ore than my mines produce, then I end up with no excess ore to fuel my ships. That's bad.

So, since my potential ore production is less than the number of rurals, I must designate some sectors with marginal ore samples as mines. First I designated rurals with 9% samples, and in the example below I also used 8% samples. Too bad - but the fact of the matter is, this island does not have good mines.

You can see above, that now I have enough mines. They have the potential to produce 54.1 ore per update, and I only have 44 rurals (which will soon be industries), so I should end up with an extra 10 ore per update to use as fuel. 10 is a good number.

First I want to designate Docks. For this I'm using the STIPULATE command again, but this time the sector criteria is (DESIGNATION=R REGION=1,1,33,1). This means I will be changing only rural sectors (I don't want to change my Mines) and I have specified a region which is the north coast of the island. I'll repeat this command for the south coast. That should do it for my docks.

Next I'll designate a couple of radar installations "(" and an airport "+". I made two radar installations to give me a couple of views, one more to the north, and one more to the south. The airport will eventually contain aircraft and will provide a much longer range radar view than the radar installations. It should be placed in fairly safe areas because the aircraft it will eventually hold are valuable.

After I completed designating docks, radar installations and an airport, I did another ANALYSIS command to see how many rurals were left. I had 30.

I finished my designations by using the STIPULATE command to change the remaining rurals into plane factories (P), artillery plants (A), and explosive plants (E). My rule of thumb is to generally have 2 or 3 times as many explosive plants as docks, and only half (or even 1/3) as many artillery plants as docks. This is because constructing battle fleets requires artillery (for ship guns) and explosives (for shells and bombs). You tend to need a lot more explosives than artillery.

By far the easiest factory to fully utilize is plane factories. The product aircraft (fighters and bombers) which shift without time from the plane plants to airports. Aircraft always move without using movement time units. They can shift from island to island, or between islands and carriers (fighters only). Normally, I would have more plane factories than any other industry, but since this is the first island - my emphasis is on docks.

Now I've completed my designations, I have no more rurals and the land I control is set up the way I want it. It's time to use my update time. Remember, you want to move - then update. I'm done moving, and I'm ready to update.

Generally, you want to update in large blocks of time (like 50 to 100). This is because population growth, which is 2%, does not store fractional growth. So updating 1 time units would not result in any population growth in sectors with less than 50 civilians. I'll update 99.

I quickly checked my capitol. The population (which was 128) has grown to 909. All other sectors which had 1 civilian per sector, now have 7 civilians per sector. Also, all my sectors are now fully efficient (99%).

The first thing I want to do is take a RADAR, to see if I'm near any undiscovered islands. Since radar installations only function if 99% efficient, I'm good to go.

Yahoo! I see two undiscovered islands. One is pretty small (12 X 3), but the other looks OK (20 X 19). On a RADAR, the land area shows as a numeric digit, the least significant digit of the island number. Thus my home island (#103) shows as "3", whereas island #244 shows as "4".

Both undiscovered islands are easily within PT boat range, but it will be several days before I have enough time to produce my first PT boat.

Radar installations may function with only 1 civilian (or military) operator, but factories and mines are another issue. Mines will only produce ore, and industries convert ore to production, when there are 100 civilian workers in the fully efficient sector. My sectors are efficient, but I do not have the required 100 workers. So before my next update, I need to move 100 civilians into selected mines and industries to activate my economy.

First, lets select the very best mines.

In the image above, I moved civilians from by capitol to two different mines (the two with the highest ore sample). The GATHER command was used to move the civilians. I could have used the MOVE command but the GATHER command is more powerful. The fully qualified command used was...


This means gather civilians from my capitol to 26,1 such that I have 100 civilians in 26,1 and use no more than 1 time unit. Mastering the GATHER command is worth the effort.

I'll skip similar gathers where I'm moving civilians into a plane factory and several docks. You can see by the last move, I had to override the default in gather which is to leave at least 100 civilians behind. I did that with the LEAVE parameter. I would rather have the civilians in a dock, that in my capitol.

The ANALYSIS above shows the results of my moves. For the first time I see excess ore - actual (7.4), and you can see that 6 docks and 1 plane factory are usable. This is as far as I can go today in preparation for my next update. What I need now is time.

A quick calculation shows that in order to update 50, which would be cause enough production in my docks to build a PT boat, I'll have to wait until game date 153, which turns out to be August 13th. I'll come back then.

Before I signed off, I checked out the POWER report. The power report is only calculated every 100 time units. The last one was calculated on 103.11, which was prior to this update session. All the power I gained by updating 99 time units is not reflected on this report, but will be there the next time the report is calculated (after game date 200).

I can see that there are now a total of 21 nations, only 10 of which used any update time prior to the power report being generated.

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