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  • Updated May 2010.
  • Updated July 2013.
  • Validating September 2014.

The Ten-Seven Guide assists novice players with early empire building to enhance their overall Astro Empires playing experience. The goal of this guide is to help players build ten bases in the first week, and educate players in key aspects of early game play. It is important to balance astro selection, structure building, and scouting. For the first three days player bases are immune to attack, but players need to remain focused on building proper defenses. This guide will also lightly touch on combat, which is discussed in greater detail on this site. The one-week goal provides “free” players (those who will not be upgrading) a chance to build one extra base before free account restrictions are applied.

This guide was originally written in September 2007, and validated on Ceti and Alpha. Soon after, Astro Empires started tinkering with the rules of gameplay for the first week of an account. Players were protected for the first week, then three days. At the time of this writing (May 2010), the rules protect players until tenth level. This guide was re-evaluated at the opening of the Ixion server (May 2010), although earlier attempts to update the guide were made. The original version of this guide is discussed a bit in A Ten Seven Diary; which may give new players a chance to read their future.

The important thing to remember about this guide is diligence. The rules change means players cannot be sloppy at any time. The time demands the first week are high; perhaps higher than other times. You are the most vulnerable because you are a target of any player and your defenses are weakest. This guide favors the “Turtle” approach, high defenses over high fleet; as novice players may be less prepared for the rigors of constant combat.

This guide does not dive into details. There are more detailed discussions of much of what is written here in other guides found on this site. Some advice here goes against popular wisdom, and the guide tries to explain why. This guide also assumes you have at least read the information provided by Astro Empires.

Astro Picking

Your First Astro, or Getting Off on the Right Foot:

  • Great Choice: Slot-2 Rocky
  • Good Choice: Slot-2 Metal-3 (Crater or Rocky)
  • Fair Choice: Slot-1 Metal-3 (Rocky, Crater or Rocky)
  • Poor Choice: Slot-1/-2 Metal-2 (Arid, Tundra, Gaia or Earthy)

You will start on a moon, that is how Astro Empires is programmed. The ideal start astro is a Metal-3 (Rocky, Crater or Metallic) moon in Slot-1 or Slot-2. If you do not have both the quality of metal or the slot, restart your account until you do. This will take some time. If it seems you have no choice, prefer a Slot-1 or Slot-2 Metal-2 (Arid, Tundra, Gaia or Earthy) astro.

The best choice is a Slot-2 Rocky for a start as it provides excellent fertility and decent solar.

Metal-3 astros (which also includes Astroids) provide the best construction/production rates, which is critical at the beginning. Metal-2 astros provide less, but they provide more space for structures. For this reason, some will advise Metal-2 astros for Research bases as they provide capacity to build your Research Labs. The first base tends to become a Research base, so you may decide keeping your Metal-2 base is acceptable.

The slot affects solar output and fertility. Slot-1 gives you the best solar energy, but Slot-2 provides a boost to fertility. The Advanced Base Guide provides a deeper discussion on why Slot-2s are the preferred choice.

Restarting accounts is a feature Astro Empires provides because players tended to delete accounts that had unacceptable astros and start over. This created a considerable amount of chaos. So, this feature provides more stability, while providing you a chance to have a decent start.

Other Astros. The Advanced Base Guide provides a recommendation of which bases to build after the first. The focus is on astros that you should seek next. It also discusses when you should prefer planets, moons or asteroids (a.k.a. Roids). In a nutshell, if you plan on upgrading, favor moons or roids. If you do not plan on upgrading, prefer Planets. Merovech, who always upgrades, prefers Roids, because it takes two terraforms to provide the same space as a Planet, and one terraform to provide the same space as a Moon; but cost of Planetary Ring defenses are ¼th that of Planets, or ½ that of Moons.

Location. Building your bases too close together is a very bad idea. Larger rivals may easily pick them off in rapid succession. Therefore, try not to have more than one base in a region. Defensively speaking, your bases need to be self-sufficient. The closest your bases should be is in adjacent regions, but even that risks your bases being attacked in short order by a dedicated opponent.

The table below lists the cost of each base, the cumulative cost of bases built that day, what econ you should have on that day to ensure you can plant those bases, and what day you should plant that base. Merovech managed to plant an extra base on Day Three on Ixion, which helped ensure he built all the bases in time.

Note 2014: I have to say I’m rather pleased. This guide was so consistent for others in allowing 10 bases to be built in seven days (which gave free players an extra base), that AstroEmpires had to increase the cost of the Tenth Base.

Base Establishment Quota
\ Base 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Cost 100 200 500 800 1600 3200 6400 12800 25600
Total 350 1200 4800 19200
Econ 55 140 400 800
Level 6.5 8.5 12.2 17
Day 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6

Activity Guide

Once you’ve picked your base, it is time to start building. Remember, time is essential in the first day. You want to ensure your queues are full and no time is lost. When filling your queues, you will want to balance your activities. For example, when building a Metal Refinery or Robotics Factory, pick the less expensive structure. This is the cost-effective approach to construction. This section discusses construction objectives, research objectives and production objectives.

Construction

When you get your first base going, build Metal Refineries. I suggest building three Metal Refineries before anything else. You will run out of Population and Energy, so build an Urban Structure and another Solar Plant as needed. This guide assumes you will plan your queue to include Population and Energy expansion. When you research enough Energy, you can start building Fusion Plants.

After building your first set of Refineries, built a Research Lab. Then, build a Spaceport and find a neighbor to trade with. Some will build the Spaceport first then the Lab; so it is up to you. After the Spaceport, build a Shipyard; then return to building Refineries. The chart below shows what your goals are for Day-1, Day-2, and Day-3 for your first base. This enables you to start planting new bases on Day-3. The Others column are the overall build objectives for all other bases through Day-7. You should balance your queue to meet those objectives.

Daily Construction Quota
  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Others
Metal Refineries 7 10 15 10
Robotics Factory 4 6 6 6
Research Labs 5 8 8 -
Shipyard 4 6 8 1
Spaceport 4 5 5 5–10
Turret - - 1 1–3
Crystal Mines - - - 5–10

Research Labs are only built on the first base and any Research Bases during the first week. Crystal Mines are only built on astros with Crystal 2 (Roids) or Crystal 3 (Crystalline). You will experience a financial crunch as you run out of credits. Queues are your friends as you can go do other things (such as sleep) while the base constructs.

Turrets. The Base Defense Guide discusses defenses in greater detail. When you are near Tenth level, you will need defenses. This guide recommends you satisfy your requirements for Missile Turrets and build one on all bases right before you reach Tenth level. The Defenses section below discusses your needs in a bit more detail.

New Base Goals. As each base new is built, you will want to work toward the Others goal. Merovech recommends the Shipyard be built before you have to build an Urban Structure when you are above Tenth level. This reduces the likelihood of a scout-tap. Otherwise, build the Shipyard before your first Spaceport. This reduces piracy.

Research

Once you have your first Research Lab built, you should start your research. The chart below shows the end-of-day goals for research. You must build enough Research Labs to support the higher technologies. So, if you cannot research a technology during its target day, you are behind in your construction. The parenthetical number in the chart below describes the number of research labs you need to research that tech. Start by researching Energy, then add Computer and alternate between the two techs until you satisfy the Computer-2 objective.

Daily Research Quota
  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 5 Ion
Computer 2 2 2 10  
Energy 6 8 8 10 12
Stellar Drive   4 (5) 4 (5) 4 (5)  
Warp Drive     1 (8) 1 (8)  
Laser     1 4 10
Armour     2 4 10
Missile     1 6  
Shielding         2
Ion         1

The last column shows the minimum technology required to build Ion Turrets.

Computer
  • Computer-2 unlocks Robotics Factories.
  • Computer-6 unlocks Command Centers, which allows you to occupy friends and neighbors.
Energy
  • Energy-2 unlocks Laser.
  • Energy-6 unlocks Fusion Plants and Stellar Drives.
  • Energy-8 unlocks Warp Drive.
  • Energy-10 unlocks Shield
Stellar Drive
  • Stellar-4 unlocks Warp Drive (with Energy-8).
Warp Drive
  • Warp-1 unlocks Scout Ships (SS) and Outpost Ships (OS).
Laser
  • Laser-1 unlocks Fighters.
  • Laser-4 (with Energy-6) unlocks Plasma
Plasma
  • Cruisers (with Armour-10 and Shielding-2)
  • Plasma Turrets (with Armour-6).
Armour
  • Armour-2 helps enable Corvettes

Production

Production should focus on scouting and planting new bases. This guide recommends three units, shown below with the number of Shipyards and Research Targets.

Unit Shipyards Research Notes
Fighters (FT) 1 Laser 1 Defend your Trade Routes
Corvettes (CV) 4 Laser 2 + Stellar Drive 1 + Armour 2 Preferred scout unit
Outpost Ships (OS) 8 Warp-1 Build new bases

There are a couple other units that you may consider adding if you want to pick on your neighbors: Frigate and Recycler. Frigates allow you to carry Fighters that can more cheaply attack your neighbors. Recyclers allow you to recover the debris (derbs) that enhances profitability. This guide does not need these units; but Astro Empires is an economic combat simulator.

Never send a “naked” Outpost Ship. It takes hours build and send one to a decent base location. If you are scouting, you will build and send your first Corvette, then build an Outpost ship. That Corvette should be moved to the Outpost Ship’s target astro so it can help defend it. If you are not scouting (because you’re picking only Roids), then you can build and send your Outpost ship, then build and send your Corvette. The Corvette will typically beat the Outpost ship.

You should anticipate your trade routes being hit when you can build a Corvette—because your neighbors have them, too. So, before you are Corvette-capable, build a Fighter. This prevents your trade routes from being easily pirated.

Scouting

Once you have researched technologies and built the Shipyards, then build one Corvette. As this guide recommends one base per region, send it to a neighboring region. Bookmark any potential base locations (Slot-1/-2 Rocky, Crater, Metallic or Roid). You can actually scout Roids without having a Corvette; another reason why Merovech likes them. Send the Corvette to each of the regions surrounding yours. That gives you nine total regions to plant bases in. Then, just let whim take you. Make sure you pick a couple base locations in each region as your neighbors are doing the same.

Why Scout with Corvettes?

Corvettes are fast combat units. Scout Ships are faster, but are not combatative. They cannot even kill another Scout Ship. Corvettes can be used to kill any Outpost Ships you see, unless the OS is a guild mate’s.

Trade Routes & Banking

Economy is key at all states of Astro Empires. This is an economic simulator with combat. Build one Spaceport as advised above, then build to five. Once all bases have five Spaceports, build until each has ten. This gives you ample trade routes to help your economy grow.

Who to trade with?

You really have only two choices: yourself and your neighbors. Trading with yourself is a good short-term solution if you are having problems finding partners. Once you are established, slowly replace self-trades with neighbors. Until you have Prings, Merovech does not recommend trades outside your galaxy. This is because the value of a pirated route is higher for those routes, making them a more valuable target to pirates.

Banking credits is how you safeguard your credits from pillage. If you are attacked, a portion of your available credits goes to the victor. By either stashing credits in long-term research or construction projects, or by production Goods, you can prevent those credits from going to your rival. You can cancel the research or construction and spend the credits how you want. Don’t cancel goods.

Goods production is good for when you know when you need money available, such as when you know you will be planting your next base. Astro Empires lets you put in a time for completion. So, if you know you will be planting a base in eight hours, type ‘8h’ in the production field for Goods. It will provide a fairly accurate number of goods.

Defenses

Earlier, this guide shows that you need an economy of nearly 800 to build your last base. To accomplish this with the previous nine bases, your average base economy will be between 45–65. It is imperative that you defend your bases so they are not profitable to your attacker. This discourages attack at this stage of the game, as the primary focus should be on empire build.

The chart below is a variation of the one found in the Base Defense Guide, with values adjusted for technology levels found at this early stage of the game. Barracks are omitted because they suck. The chart shows what turrets are able to defend what base economy at what strength. The objective is to make a base non-profitable to an attacker. This is generally enough to discourage many attackers. The value in parenthesis is the level of economic protection given. This assumes you have no extra credits waiting to be spent.

For example, Missile Turrets-10 can defend a base with econ 22. This means that the attacker will have a net loss if he attacks a base with Missile Turrets-10 and an economy of 22 or less. Conversely, if the base economy is above 22, he will have a net profit. Overhead defensive fleet is ignored as they create derbs that can be harvested, increasing profitability.

\ Fighters Killed/Needed Corvettes Killed/Needed
Turrets @5 @10 @15 @5 @10 @15
Laser (13) 20/20 (19) 40/40 (24) 60/60 (19) 10/10 (27) 20/20 (33) 30/30
Missile (15) 26/40 (22) 52/80 (27) 78/120 (22) 13/20 (31) 26/40 (38) 51/60
Plasma (22) 52/60 (31) 104/120 (38) 156/180 (31) 26/30 (44) 52/60 (54) 78/90
Ion (23) 56/240 (32) 112/480 (39) 168/600 (32) 26/60 (46) 66/120 (56) 84/180

The chart includes the economic protection against the typical fighter drop and against the typical Corvette swarm. While the Ion Turret does not provide much more economic protection, you should take notice of the value of its weak shields. In order for a Fighter drop or Corvette swarm to crack the turret in one shot, it takes significantly more. That is, it takes twice as many Corvettes and four times as many Fighters to take the base at a profit.

Turret economic protection drops significantly beyond its listed level. So, you cannot add the Missile Turrets-15 economic protection of 27 to Ion Turret-5 economic protection of 23 to get an economic protection of 60. The actual combined economic value of that combination is 35. This is because of how Astro Empires calculates the pillage bonus.

Look to the Base Defense Guide for base defense standards. The Small Fleet Doctrine provides an approach to efficient fleet construction that is valuable after the first week.

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