The following guide to choosing the right astro to build a base on was taken from the posting of two experienced AE players from Alpha. It gives two good opinions on the subject. Soon, this will be consolidated and re-written for ease of use, and more articles in the Advice Center are on their way.
First off, some general notes. Planets are slightly larger than Moons, so if you will stay a free account, go for the planet because of the extra area. If you get upgraded every now and again, go for the moon, The discount for Planetary Rings and Shields are worth the more credits you have to fork out for terraforming and multilevel platforms.
Also, the orbit (position) that an astro is in affects how good it is. The closer an astro is to the sun, the more solar energy it gets (so an astro in position 1 gets 4 energy, while an astro in position 5 gets 0 energy). Astros in positions 2 and 3 get an extra fertility, which can be very useful with some types. And finally, astros in positions 4 and 5 get an extra gas, which helps to compensate for their lack of solar energy.
- Arid - This astro type is pretty much average except in area (where it excels), so it's a good choice for a base, though other astro types are better. It is worth noting that Arids have exactly the same stats as Tundras
- Asteroid - This astro type has a low fertility and area, but it has a high metal, and more importantly, it is the only astro type with 2 crystals, thus meaning that it will have access to crystal mines, which means it will provide a relatively high economy. Very good choice for a base, the terraforming and multilevel platforms may bite you, but then there are the discounted Planetary Rings and Shields will sweeten it.
- Craters - This astro type has a high metal rating, but a low fertility and relatively low area, and the crystals there are more of a red herring than anything. Avoid for the most part, you'd be much better off getting a rocky.
- Crystalline - The "Holy Grail" of astro types, since despite its average area and low fertility, it has the best crystal rating of all. However, most of these have been claimed already...but a few are available still. It's usefulness has been questioned, as older players would prefer 3 metal rather than 3 crystal.
- Earthly - This astro type has a high fertility and a decent amount of metal and area, so it's a very good site for a base. It is advisable to get a Gaia instead though, because the only difference is Gaias have more area.
- Gaia - This astro type is identical to Earthly except that it has more area, and thus is even better for a base.
- Glacial - Low metal and only average fertility make this into one of the poorer choices for a base, but the high area helps to redeem it at least a little bit. But you could always get an Arid/Tundra with the only difference being Arids and Tundras have +1 metal.
- Magma - Average metal and fertility, but low area. However, it has a very high gas rating, meaning it is an alright choice for a base.
- Metallic - Virtually identical to the Crater astro type except for a useless +1 gas, you'd be better off getting a rocky still.
- Oceanic - Don't let the high fertility fool you; with a low metal and low area, this is quite possibly the worst astro type of all.
- Radioactive - Average metal, low fertility, but good area and gas. This isn't quite as good a choice as some, but it's better than it might seem at first glance.
- Rocky - With a high metal, decent fertility and average area, this is quite possibly the best overall astro type for ship production. This to one of the best astro types because of that.
- Toxic - Low fertility, average metal, but good area and gas make this into a surprisingly good choice for a base. The extra area makes it worth turning into a research base.
- Tundra - Average in just about everything except area, where it is one of the highest. Just like the Toxic astro type, this is worth turning into a research base. It is worth noting that Tundras have exactly the same stats as Arids
- Volcanic - Average fertility and metal, but low area. Not the worst, but there are several choices which are better.
The most certainly 2 best astro types are Rockies and Asteroids. You could quite happily get all your bases to be all asteroid/rocky or a mix between the two, and do fine on your account. You may want a crystalline for the extra economy it gives you, but metal 3 is almost certainly better than crystal 3.
FWIW, here's what my base location criteria has become (with thanks to Jaimehlers and everybody else who's given advice on the subject, I've revised some of my opinions because of it):
No matter what you plan to specialize in at any given astro, the two most important factors are Area and Fertility.
As a counter-point - some feel that solar is a more important consideration. At higher levels, energy becomes very expensive and through the use of biosphere modifications fertility can be enhanced. Many top players consider a first position asteroid or rocky far preferable to a second or third position.
- Area because the cost of terraforming gets high quickly (multi-level platforms start high and go to astronomical). I look for planets (not moons) with at least 85 area; with two exceptions: crystalline planets or moons, when available, for the econ boost of 3 crystal; and asteroids, again for bases that are primarily econ-boosters and trade centers, because of their 2 crystal.
- Fertility because the cost curve of Urban Structures, and the lower your fertility, the more you have to build, using valuable area on your astro. Eventually, you’ll switch to Orbital Bases, but high fertility keeps Urban Structures more affordable until then. I look for at least fertility 5 and prefer 6 or better, which usually means I’m looking in a system’s 2 or 3 position, because of the +1 fertility for those orbits. Crystalline is my only exception. Early on, I picked up a couple asteroids in the 11 and 12 positions for quick econ growth – if I could do it over, those bases would be in the 2 or 3 columns or they wouldn’t be asteroids.
With this in mind, here’s what my scouts look for:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*= In the 20 and 30 position only, to bring fertility to 5
- I always prefer astros in the 20 and 30 columns (+1 fertility). Gaias and Crystallines are the only types I like in the 10, 40, or 50 columns. If nothing better was available, I might consider Arid or Tundra in those orbits.
- Asteroids and Crystalline make the list for economic centers, but I limit them to 50% or less of my bases.
- Despite its 95 area and 5 fertility, Glacial is not on my list because it has only 1 Metal, which hurts its early development potential.
Metal, crystals, solar and gas are secondary considerations, dependent on my specific plans for the base. Energy is least important, since Fusion and Antimatter plants don’t depend on the astro’s natural resources and each level of Energy tech increases your total output. In the late stages of development, you’ll probably start scrapping Solar and Gas Plants to reclaim area.
Primary Shipyard BasesEdit
Rocky planets in the 20 or 30 position are my favorite. 3 metal gives them a quick boost to construction and production until Nanite and Android Factories become cost-efficient. Plenty of room for Shipyards, at least one Spaceport to get them into your trade network, and space for Command Centers and base defenses. You won’t be able to build lots of economy-only structures if you’re planning to build big capital ships, and probably no research unless you want one lab to “bank” credits with. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Good planets for shipyards:
- Asteroid - high metal(3) for construction and production low gas(1),fertility(4) and area(65) (recommended for upgraded accounts)
- Craters - high metal(3) for construction and production low gas(1) and fertility(4) (use if no others found)
- Metallic - high metal(3) for construction and production good gas (2) low fertility(4) (2nd best you can find)
- Rocky - high metal(3) for construction and production good gas(2) and fertility(5) (best you can find)
All Bases should have shipyards present for defense
for (4) fertility use one in the 20's-30's for +1 feritilty
Primary Research BasesEdit
I favor Gaias because of their high fertility and large area. Construction is slower, but plenty of space for labs and you can build enough shipyards and econ to defend the planet and make it a good secondary econ base.
Planets that should be used for research:
- Earthly - high fertility(6) and 2 Metal for Construction of labs (use if account is upgraded)
- Oceanic - high fertility(6) and low Metal source(1) (use if no Earthly or Gaia near and then still look around for others)
- Gaia - High fertility(6) and 2 metal exactly like Earthly but has more space 5 area on planets and 4 area on moons (recommended for free accounts)
Most are found in the20's-30's spot so there fertility stats are one higher
Primary Econ BasesEdit
Crystalline when you can get them and Asteroids. You won’t be able to do much else with them; enough shipyards for a small defensive fleet and base defenses, mainly. But they’ll give you a quick econ boost and you can develop to take at least 3 incoming routes.
Planets used for economy:
- Asteroid - high metal(3) for construction good Crystals(2) low gas(1),fertility(4) and area(65) (recommended for upgraded accounts)
- Crystalline - Good metal(2) High crystals(3) low gas(1),fertility(4) and area (80)planets (71)moons(the best there is for economy)
any economy planet should be an military planet for the reasons
- you can build shipyards on them for economy too
- they are like candy, people will take it from you if you cant defend
- again All bases should have shipyards no matter what
Arid and Tundra have the area and fertility (in the 20 and 30 slots) to fill multiple roles. They make good “beachhead” bases when you expand to new galaxies or regions distant from your home world or main fleet base. I’ve got one that’s building heavy cruisers, is a strong secondary research base, has room for 3 incoming trade routes, and a 99 econ – and the growth will continue, though slowly. These Astros can also fill any of the primary roles listed above if there’s no “favored” planet available in a good location.
Any base that has at least 2 metal is a good multi-purpose but these should have high area like Arids and Tundras (for free accounts) and any planet above 1 metal even is it is high in metal and low area for any upgraded accounts (area is not a problem because of terraforms and multi-level platforms)
As my empire has matured, I’ve started implementing Jaimehlers’ strategy of building enough shipyards at each base to build up to cruisers, while my main and secondary shipyards produce heavy cruisers and battleships. As new bases become more expensive, terraforming and further base development becomes more cost-efficient, so eventually I should be able to build heavy cruisers anywhere and battleships on up at my main shipyards.
Also, in hindsight, I may have spread out too much. I started in AXX and have bases in four different regions there, which is fine. But I also have a single base each in AXX, AXX, and AXX. If I had it to do over, I’d keep the outpost in AXX and maybe a second base there, and the remaining bases concentrated in AXX. It hasn’t actually hurt me so far, but it cost me time in the mid-game, sending outpost ships to neighboring galaxies instead of neighboring regions.
my final thoughts is to keep your bases together moving takes time. expand slowly keep 2-3 planets in 1 region and the rest within 1hr travel time with a slower ship of the others and remember you can upgrade speed so it does change. have at least lv12 shipyards on all planets to fight against occupation and build defences find an guild to join they can help a lot too I did and I'm fine
and have fun :)
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