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Stripminers were brought up several posts back.  The safety of building on a centralized world versus using regular mines on multiple colonies comes to mind -- those kinds of decisions are fundamental to how Draco works, so it makes for an interesting discussion.

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A few thoughts.


In the beginning the only way to get a jump on industrial requirements is to colonize.  You can do the math to see what the ROI is, but it is not that far off so for many empires that is the way to go.  I don't find it of much value to mine low yield planets so I don't, but others do.  What is low yield is not fixed but based on many factors.  The primary of these is if the planet is in the home system, how defensible is the home system, are there good yields of some other desirable material on the planet and how can I defend the colony. On the HW just about anything is fair game since it is handed to you.

For most folks iron will be needed most so I will base this on iron.  If you have a planet with yield of 1000 for iron you could colonize with 4000 pop give or take the support installations.  At this point you will mine 2.4M iron a turn.  To get the same result out of stripmines  and the industries needed to convert RAW to iron will require 120,000 pop or a 30:1 ratio.  If you sit home and rely on stripmines you will use 90+% of your industrial power to convert RAW to iron.  It gets better as you get better tech and once you get to advanced industries and advanced stripmines the number would drop to just under 15k and this does not consider Industrial Bonus nor power costs.

If instead of 1000 for the yield you found a planet of yield 1500 then the same amount of pop would net you 4.4M iron.  

If you can find planets with yields that high it will always be better to mine them, however most yields that are considered to be good are in the 400-600 range.  At those numbers the gap is much narrower.  Using a yield of 500 with 2000 mines it would take 30,000 pop to do the same thing with RAW and industries. or a 15:1 ratio.


As you can see stripmines become more viable as yields go down.


From my experience you colonize a lot in the beginning since tech is low and enemies are far away.  In a few years tech is better, you may have gotten improved industries/stripmines and would rather expend effort on building up a defensible HW so this makes the use of Deep Core Surveyors desirable.  At the same time the low yield mining colonies that were better than nothing are now a liability so return migration starts to happen.  Better to bring them home than to let an enemy capture them.  A few high yield colonies can be defended to a certain extent, but not all.  So, the empire shrinks back to the Home system and the use of stripmines which will reduce overall production by up to 90% as opposed to being able to mine for resources.


A starting HW has an industrial output of about 110,000,000, for 450k insustry

The same HW converted to Improved with no industrial bonus and only 400k improved industry will be 300M.  

An advanced world is close to 900M and by the time you get there you should have industrial bonuses so actual production could be closer to 2B


That sounds pretty good, however, the amount of iron, lumber etc. mined does not change and with DCS's being limited in scope to barely minimal improvements all this extra industrial power will only be fed by stripmines.  You can pretty much figure that the amounts mined will be paultry compared to required and can be left out of the calculations all together without too much problem.  So once you get to advanced with bonus the balance point will be something like 1.86 to 1.  So for each 2 industries you add you will need 1 Advanced stripmine.

All of this coupled with distances traveled, slow ships, poor engines even at the highest levels and the scarcity of mining colonies empires will find it challenging to feed them selves.

This says nothing about an empire that is growing by several 1000 a turn so could have twice the industrial capacity but no more deposits to mine.


Planet Cracking would not change the long term need for materials but if the yields were not reduced from andromeda then they could be quite useful in the mid term.

What would also be nice is improved and advanced mines that mine better and what about those mining shuttles the DMX use?

I would never choose to keep using stripmines of any variety, but if that is the design of the universe....






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I never thought planet cracking would be contentious...

Anyway, he is the next one...

1)      Reduction in shield strength

a.       This looks to be a pretty decent reduction and I think it is great.  I have lost billions of tons of shipping to fleets for a number of reasons without doing any significant damage since the shields would be back to full the next order.  Draco will be much more about attrition and being able to wear down the enemy force, even if the only way to do it is with suicide wave attacks.


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Adv Stripmine (ASM) = 500 Adv Hvy Machinery = 9,000 Raw Resources

Adv Industrial Center (AIC) = 500 Adv ConMats = variable output but maxes out at 5000 tons of input so we'll use that.

To get at an even amount between the two you would need 5 ASMs (Generating 45,000 Raw Resouces (RR)) and would need 9 AICs (accepting 45,000 input tons). That would generate 4,500 tons of Iron a turn for 2,500 AHMs, and 4,500 ACMs. 

Now, let's say I have a yield of Iron at 604. If I put 2,800 mines on it then I generate 907,200 Iron a turn fairly efficiently for a cost of 1,400,000 CMs. If I go the route of ASM/AICs to generate the same amount, I would need 1,008 ASMs and 1,815 AICs with 3,000 AIC input lying fallow. That takes 504,000 AHMs and 907,500 ACMs for a total cost of 1,411,500 materials. So, it's slightly cheaper in materials to go with the specific mines.

1,400,000 materials (specific mines) vs 1,411,500 materials (ASM route)

2,800 Pop vs 2,815 Pop


Let's increase the Iron yield to 1328 and put 5,500 mines on it (not max number of mines but a reasonable number of mines due to the costs of moving pop around in Draco).

4,279,000 Iron for 5,500 pop and 2,750,000 materials (CMs)


4,279,500 Iron for 13,314 pop and 6,657,000 materials (AHMs and ACMs)


And that's not mentioning the additional production costs for AHMs and ACMs versus CMs. Plus the cost of moving large numbers of pop around. I'm still hoping for Improved Colony Berths to make it easier. And, as HobNob pointed out, with engine thrusts severely downgraded, ships with colony berths are pretty much 1 AP (with a large number of CBs). You could go the route of 1 CB on the ship with multiple engines to get higher APs for 1 CB but the cost in making enough engines to make this worked (like a 1,000 ships with 1 CB) is prohibitive. Now, if you are populating a colony 1 jump from your home system, that's a 4 turn round trip for a 1 AP colony berth ship.  I found it was more economical to create large 1 AP ships rather then the swarm of small ones.

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Reduced Shield Strength - I like this. It makes armor and repair bays far more useful. You might get a few combat pulses at full strength damage output before the shields are blown down and integrity loss kicks in to decrease your damage output. Becomes more of a slug fest. I can see empires forgoing force shields on their combat designs and opt for more armor and/or weapons. The argument can be made that enough damage output on the first combat pulse (the only pulse you are guaranteed full damage potential since you are at full integrity - at least for this example) is the best hammer. If you have enough to blow down their opposing shields on the first pulse, you are starting to degrade their damage output. And tonnage dedicated to repair bays takes away from other items. However, the ability to self repair (at the beginning of a turn if I'm correct) means that a ship can be wore down a fair bit or even destroyed if enough waves come at it during the turn. 

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