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bizpro

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Freitag, 10. März 2006, 21:58

General Strategies

Please post your questions and comments about general strategies here.

Accidental posts in German will be deleted after they have been answered or if they are double posts.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Freitag, 24. März 2006, 22:26

Mighty's Piracy Trick

The basis of my trick is Levon’s Gold Nugget trick, which should the user should know and have obtained mastery of it.
You engage a pirate in the tavern and then attack his ship with a trader full of expensive goods and let the pirate catch the ship. The pirate will pay you maximum 60.000 GS. Then you retake the ship. This scenario can be continued until there is no more crew left.
You provide the pirate with a hulk since it is the least agile one. Own ships should be a convoy comprising a hulk and a crayer. The hulk is loaded with fur, IG, wine or other expensive good to ensure that you receive 60,000 on each occasion. The captain, with good fighting sills, is commanding the crayer and the hulk is without captain but a crew of 10 [should be 12 for a hulk, sic]. The crayer has full crew and cutlasses.
When you attack the pirate the hulk lets the pirate board it and kills off some of the pirate crew. The crayer bombards the pirate hulk until it is in the red condition. As soon as the fight is over the crayer attacks right away and recaptures the freight hulk. Since the hulk has only a small crew and no captain, and the pirate hulk will always be the superior force. This cycle continues until each ship is down to a crew of one.
This is the strategy that you have understood and mastered.
I have worked many hours to fine-tune it to perfection.
Ideally you manage it that three ships are drifting on the ocean. The hulk in the middle and than it goes back and forth. The hulk gets captured and recaptures and each time you get 60,000. The gold rush is only over when you can’t keep the three ships together any more. Of course, you need the wind in your favour and a good helping of luck.
Should the pirate flee you can attack him again as soon as you are back on the situational display. To avoid having to look for him all over, you give him a destination. You tell him to plunder in front of one city.
I admit, it is difficult to be successful with this trick. It requires a lot of skill in sea battles but the increase in GS surpasses everything previously known. My record is 3,000,000 on one day.
If it is a legitimate trick is up to the player. The fact is that it should be permitted in the contest as long as Levon’s Gold Nugget is allowed.
I did not want to withhold this trick from you. It has nothing to do with the principles of the game.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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3

Donnerstag, 4. Mai 2006, 06:48

Export profits

Westcoast Trader made a spreadsheet where he recorded details of his expeditions. Its here

Edit: an updated version with descriptive text on the first page has been uploaded.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Baltic Trader

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Donnerstag, 4. Mai 2006, 16:39

Very nice piece of work.

Now, several questions present themselves.

1. What was the number of ships in the convoy?
2. What was the armament status?
3. Were all the ships fully crewed?
4. I presume A, B, and C are American tribes. Were multiple stops necessary because of unsold goods?
5. Bagaluth once wrote that if a captain were better in fighting than sailing, that he would try to engage. What was the fighting skill of the captain?

I note that my previous statements about honey and the Med trade (written elsewhere, mostly on TSR) are confirmed; honey has the highest return on investment overall, by percentage. Net return for invested amount was 40% on the honey trade, and 34% on furs. For a beginning trader, honey to the Med is the best export path to become rich. Pitch is better than iron goods, as well. For contest purposes, building apiaries which provide 30 workers/120 population and require no additional materials are the best approach at first. It is the simplest supply chain to manage as well. Furs are the second export good that should be concentrated upon, also an excellent return but a higher initial investment is required and in the early game that is more difficult to manage.

In fact, my usual path is trading in scarce goods about the Hanse, and a rapid Med exploration with initial focus on building up export trade. Whatever I produce, I want to sell. Next is purchase of wine in the Med, with export to America. I usually only get into iron goods production in excess of needs later on, for addition to the America trade.

Next, I have written on this board as well as elsewhere (TSR) about the virtues of snaikkas and crayers over holks and cogs. In fact, I usually only keep a small fleet of holks for the escort/fugitive/sought pirate missions to capture additional holks for sale at auction, and never build any. If you compare the profit per day on the America trip of crayers, you see the advantage that speed brings: higher profits, and a much higher overall return on investments. The data is limited, but there is about a 1/3 chance of a damaging encounter, and I doubt it matters with crayers versus holks.

One item we had looked at in Patrician 2 was the relative speeds of empty and full ships. One writer claimed the most effective strategy was to sail 2/3 cargo capacity. There may be merit in sailing full one direction and empty upon return, comparing repair costs, crew and captain salaries, and quickness of return on investment.

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5

Donnerstag, 4. Mai 2006, 20:47

I have lost 7 level 3 crayers in the America trade and now, with hulks and cogs, haven't lost any. Having to repair crayers from 12% vs cogs from 68% does not make for a huge difference. Maybe it's just the "liuck" of the draw that each convoy gets caught in a storm.
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Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Donnerstag, 4. Mai 2006, 23:56

Single ships, or large convoys? Singles are more prone to the pirate factor for total loss I think.

In Patrician 2, the loss rate was pretty high for crayers. I got many a message from the South Seas of a lost ship. P3, it is not so bad. Storms seem just a set percentage, random probability. I am still not too sure that pirates aren't the same, less a convoy safety factor. I still get pirate encounters even on empty ships with nothing aboard to steal.

Bagaluth used to say that the ideal was a thirty ship holk convoy with twenty captains aboard. What has the German board's experience been?

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Freitag, 5. Mai 2006, 02:19

I only send convoys of >2,000 to America and all have 5 red dots in armement.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Freitag, 5. Mai 2006, 10:12

For all external convois I use minimal Personal maximal wepons on Orlog. For Transport to America only Holks

average per convoi 1400. For explring some 45 Coggs where used. For captains the worsest I actually had because there is no differece between good and bad captains in the outback.
Niemand braucht ein einfaches Spiel! Ein gutes Spiel reicht!

Für die Dunkle Seite! Auch Piraten wollen Handeln!

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Freitag, 5. Mai 2006, 12:35

Basically, each of my convoys has three fully armed and crewed ships. That way I never loose any to pirates. The cost is neglectable if you consider what it costs to build and arm a level 3 cog or crayer.
You will find that ships with less than 60% load return faster from abroad than thos loaded down to the gunnels.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Freitag, 5. Mai 2006, 18:39

Incidently, that is a good use for those little snaikkas you capture at level two and are otherwise not very worthwhile. Develop them to level three, load them up with cannon, and just use a bigger ship as convoy leader. If you attach several little ships to the fleet, they are well capable of defense. In multiplayer, some had a rather nasty little surprise thinking the fleet was poorly defended. They travel at the same speed as holks, and do fine as cog escorts too.

Speed is still important. I don't mind holks for the near Med, for hauling back 1000 or 2000 wine where you do it once a month and speed isn't important, or bulk shipments of pitch. But for furs, and valuable cargo where transit time and greater distance is important then there is clear evidence of the superiority of crayers.

Is 60% the best figure? I never sat down and did all the experimentation. There has to be a balance between repair and crew/captain costs (which are directly affected by time in use) and profit from sales. Empty is fastest but in the red for the net, full is highest profit from total sales but is affected more by higher repair costs and you cannot compound wealth as quickly. It is a problem with three variables, and I don't know the optimum . It has to be somewhat under full capacity. On a related note, I think that sending unextended ships on expedition generate more net profit on high priced goods, enough so from the extra amount sold to offset the increased damage and rate of repair. For a high value cargo like furs to the Med, a leader, adequate defense, and (60%?) loaded level one crayers might give the optimum between gross profit and compounding of profits.

On the crayer issue, don't forget either that they are repaired and back in use quicker. This adds to the bottom line, since your investment in ships isn't standing idle as long.

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11

Freitag, 5. Mai 2006, 22:15

Somehow I have no luck with snaikkas. Even the ones sent to Santander mainly sank. So for me it's crayers only to the Med and cogs/hulks to America. Since I will send one every month it does not matter what speed they travel because, ultimately, one convoy will get there every month and I can't foresee a problem with necessary tonnage, especially since I can reture some of the wall builders.
My builder convoys of around 8,000 load will just make the rounds and when all towns have long queues it does not matter if bricks get there today or in a month's time.
The optimum value may lay between 60 - 80% but I have not tested it. I do know that the turnaround of a 60% load is faster than one of 90%. So, if you get one or two trip more in per year you make up good on lesser profit per trip. It has to be calculated on a per-year basis rather than a per trip since crew cost are year-round.(Don't you just hate beancounters and economists :D )
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Samstag, 6. Mai 2006, 00:28

Ah, dear Bizpro, we are always so taken with the fumbling way you wipe the drool from your chin! :crazy:

Do you mean to say you have most of your convoys just sitting in repair docks with full crews? Tsk, tsk, what a waste. Here is a tip: The captain of course does cut a few days off the trip if he is familiar with the route, and normally he can be kept on the ship. But since I usually have a series of ships in drydock, coming due at varying times, I just transfer the crew to the first ship convoy that is ready, and then repair the now crewless ships. Now, I know you used to be a fine sailin' man, and liked to spend all that down time carousing with the tavern wenches in all them there foreign ports, but in this game I sure don't want to be paying my sailors to do the same! :giggle:

Snaikkas aren't good convoy leaders. But they do fine in other roles. Think of them as "destroyers" and let them accompany your convoys about the Hanse. They won't slow down those bulky holk barges you favor. On a side note, if you don't need all the speed about the Hanse (and clearly you don't think you do or you would be running a fleet of crayers!), check the construction time of one of the 700 last holks versus three 250 last snaikkas. Now check the repair costs, and length of time in repair. Yes, you need fifteen crew to sail the snaikkas versus twelve for the holks which is slightly more per load (last), but factor in the repair price difference and time out of commission and you may discover for yourself the superiority of snaikkas over holks in the Hanse.

Holks are big and flashy. Biggest isn't always best. ?(

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Samstag, 6. Mai 2006, 01:49

Crews get swapped between convoy leaders and armed ships, I just keep the basic ones since I am too lazy to have a click orgy to exchange 8 crew from here to there. In the grand scheme of things 185K in wages for sailors of a total weekly bill of 4.1M is peanuts and not worth the effort. Savings would amount to maybe 10K a week, that's just not good economic sens, I rather spend the time making real money :D So let them have some liberty and increase the sales of beer in the tavern. :giggle:
Why do you think snaikkas make bad convoy leaders. More than half of my supply convoys are being led by snaikkas. They are good enough to take care of any pesky snaikka or crayer a city will send out and other pirates do not get more than a few ship's length past their nest before they are history. Just for the halibut I tried it and let one sneak by. He attakcked two snaikka-led convoys before I put a stop to the nonsense. Both convoys escaped since they are faster than the pirate cog.
The convoy leader is instrumental in the convoy's sailing speed. So, let's say a snaikka leads 4 holks. Repair time is identical since the snaikka is the first down to 90% while the holk still sits aroud 96-98%. Both take the identical time to repair, one day. So, where is my loss in turnaround due to my beloved holks? BTW, I am not the only fan of holks as transporters. From his comments I take it that Swartenhengst is building holks exclusively in 8 shipyards. I only employ 6 at a steady pace and, since I have all the crayers I need for the Med, and am considering replacing some 350 crayers working as arbitrage ships with 700 holks (why use two ships or a convoy) For example, last months my fleet increased by 30 ships and a capacity of 900 bales (9,000 barrels). That's good enough for my Hanse.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Samstag, 6. Mai 2006, 02:58

We had a contest once upon a time, to see who could automate the Hanse the longest. Game submitted, then fast forwarded until population fell. The solution was having crayers as convoy leaders in the supply chains. They performed best in attacks on the convoys on automatic fighting.

Repair time of a convoy isn't determined by the averages, but by the time it takes to repair the most damaged ship. So, if a leader is badly hit, transferring the ships to a different convoy is better. A 98% holk doesn't take as long as a 90% snaikka I think.

You indicated that you needed shipping space early on, and took out the AI because you needed their space. Check the construction times. I can float more cargo space faster with snaikkas.

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Samstag, 6. Mai 2006, 07:45

Well. I don't think that you can build over 60 ships to the end of July. And, as you agreed, a convoy with a snaikka as convoi leader and some cogs and holks as transporters. does not get bogged down with repairs. Remember, my Hanse is pare any pirates so the only wear and tear is the normal one whre snaikkas go down to 90% relatively fast and that's when they get repaired automatically. It is different with expedition convoys but, for the reasons indicated I don't use any snaikkas and crayers only for the Med. It may even jappen that I replace the Iberian peninsula convoys with cogs/holks and use the crayers for deeper Med expeditions. I can use two convoys on the eastern Med ports since it takes about a month before they return, The Iberian ports are easily covered with slow-pokes since, by the time the month is over, they too will be repaired.
It is not good for my gamestyle to build anytthing but cogs inmy own shipyards so I can efectively capture all pirates and bring home those avenge-my brother holks in reasonable shape. Small tonnage is abound with tavern missions after the first months.
In the cotest you described I would have a holk and a cog as convoy protectors. They'll take care of anything and I even doubt that the pirates would dare to attack such a convoy. In last year's contest I used two to three aremd vessels in the convoys and even pirate convoys didn't dare touch them. Crayer convoys need 5 fully crewed and armed ships. (That was before I adapted the current trreatment of pirates.)
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new
Wer niemals einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat noch nie etwas neues probiert Albert Einstein

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Samstag, 6. Mai 2006, 15:24

Sure you could build 60 ships. If you have the cash, and if you have raided the towns you will have plenty. You can begin pitch in the current contest in Danzig and get snaikkas under construction everywhere. 24 towns, 3 snaikkas each, would work fine. I am curious about your building cogs though. When I nab a few holks, often starting Cascade style, that is sufficient. A holk/crayer pair for the patrols, one for the avenge missions, and another four pairs for newly spawned pirates and tavern missions is sufficient for me. Seven of this type of convoy is enough for manual control.

Pirates, unmolested, get pretty strong. Fleets of four and five holks, cogs and crayers in a mix occur. Whatever, it was an interesting little test. You would have hated another one of our contests, where no piracy at all and no capture of pirates was permitted. Snaikkas were the key in that game. I happily sank pirate holks with them. We had to build all our own ships, and crayers and cogs weren't quick enough in construction. Our old contests usually had us looking at the economic problems of the game in different ways. One, we had to daytrade in just the one town (we began with no ships) and you can make money that way without any ships. One was for the fastest buildup of a city population, two style categories, clean and dirty. Some of the solutions were very interesting, and in the interest of the current competition, I won't further elaborate here since I am thinking about applying it. Fitting twenty five thousand in the first city wall wasn't all that easy, and we didn't know about the "Turkish" construction methods. One of our players managed to do that, and we all learned a great deal. It wasn't me that did it; my solution involved the pitch export to the Med trade, and I came in first in the clean category but built the second wall. There are aspects of the game that are different, and if you play the same style every game you don't pick up on them. We (Quis, I and Robber Baron) developed the Arbitrage in one of our contests, and later Ugh! learned it from us and then of course the German boards. Levon developed his first version of the Golden Nugget in one as well. In some we had to learn the best ways to use the roads. As just one example, did you know that you can "hide" some iron goods and furs in a shipment of beer, and pay the lower premium for insurance still? And you would probably be amazed at just what extent a snaikka can function in the Med trade.

Perhaps that is one thing I can help contribute to this board. If a contest is always the same thing, then we don't learn different things. I know I have already learned a great deal from you and from this board, and I am very happy with it. I very much enjoy learning, and a group always will outpeform the individual in knowledge.