Sly racial traits

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Dragget
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Sly racial traits

#1 Post by Dragget » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:28 pm

Sly in previous versions were not a playable race, but that has changed in recent builds, so I've done some testing. What I'm finding is that this race has such severe disadvantages compared to others that you have to have a ridiculously good starting roll to even hope to compete. Probably the most crippling issue is supply: Even with building outposts (where possible), you're basically forced to research Orbital Construction (an expensive tech at game start) much earlier than you would if playing with any of the other races, and when coupled with their other shortcomings, such as poor ship handling, weak offensive ground troops, and research penalty/no bonus to production, you end up with such a slow start that you get outcompeted by the other races. Given the huge disadvantages they start with, their increased stealth and scanner range only serve to delay the inevitable defeat in most cases.
The other issues I noticed with Sly is that they're supposed to be restricted to gas giants, but later in the game with advanced research on population growth tech, they can actually colonize some non-gas giant planets. I'm not sure if this is a bug or intentional, but it doesn't seem like it should be possible. Additionally, Sly can't build Gaia improvement. I can understand why terraforming would be excluded, but why not allow them to at least build Gaia improvements on their worlds? All other species except exobots can do this, after all.

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Oberlus
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Re: Sly racial traits

#2 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:08 pm

Dragget wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:28 pm
you have to have a ridiculously good starting roll to even hope to compete.
I've won every game I played with Sly against AI. They don't counter planetary and ship stealth so I can (first) expand unmolested and (then) cripple their fleets with stealth carrier fleets and system mines.

I go research focus on every colony and get Adaptive Automation ASAP, then Orbital Construction, the detection/stealth techs and every growth tech that is cheaper than current research objective, as well as asteroid hulls if I have a belt on my homeworld or the first colony, or organic hulls otherwise. Also system mines, it really works charms against AIs. To get a hard game I forbid myself from getting mines, still I win.

However, I think Sly might be UP against human players. I have not played them against humans yet.
The one thing they have that is very good is their great stockpile. It makes them quasi-immune to blockades, which is one of the best ways to get an enemy to his knees.
you get outcompeted by the other races.
True, always. Against AI that's not a problem, though, unless you are playing against a single AI in a small galaxy (having no other enemies to face, it can grow faster than your Sly and reach detection 200 and a nice stack before you could begin decimating its fleets with stealth carriers.
with advanced research on population growth tech, they can actually colonize some non-gas giant planets.
Actually, all non-gas planets.
All species can colonise hostile environments if they get enough growth techs (usually faster way is to get xenological hybridisation). Sly can't terraform them to good environment, though (the non-gas species can).
why not allow them to at least build Gaia improvements on their worlds? All other species except exobots can do this, after all.
Maybe we should let them have Gaia... Meanwhile you can believe GGs are already gaia planets for Sly.

Dragget
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Re: Sly racial traits

#3 Post by Dragget » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:58 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:08 pm
I've won every game I played with Sly against AI. They don't counter planetary and ship stealth so I can (first) expand unmolested and (then) cripple their fleets with stealth carrier fleets and system mines.
Sly have planetary stealth bonuses, but not ship stealth bonuses. If they had ship stealth bonuses, then that would help offensively, but once the opponent parks a fleet over your colony, any ships you have in the system are going to get wrecked. (Laenfa are the same way in this respect, but they are better balanced otherwise so I have not had the same struggles with them.) I have tested out all the other playable races, and with every other one, I can start at the 2nd highest difficulty level and win on almost any map, but with Sly, I have to save at turn 1, use Super-Tester takeover to see what it looks like, and if there are no nearby minor races that will compensate for Sly inadequacies, I just reroll the galaxy. I've found that if I try to make a go of it on an average start location with Sly, I just get crushed. Even exceptional start games where I end up winning stretch out much longer because building initial momentum is so slow compared with any other race. It's not just me either: AI players that roll Sly usually get crushed early on by the other AIs. They don't seem to be able to get traction. I realize the AI strategies are piss-poor in general, but if the Sly weren't crippled, they should have an equal chance in AI vs. AI competition, and that's not what I'm seeing.
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:08 pm
Maybe we should let them have Gaia... Meanwhile you can believe GGs are already gaia planets for Sly.
They don't even have any racial population bonuses, so that'd be a hollow belief. :) Actually, a good population bonus might go some way towards compensating for their other weaknesses.

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Oberlus
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Re: Sly racial traits

#4 Post by Oberlus » Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:56 am

Dragget wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:58 pm
Sly have planetary stealth bonuses, but not ship stealth bonuses.
It's the hulls and ship parts you mount on them what makes your ships hidden.
Symbiotic hull (+15) with a stealth part of +40 will get you undetected ships for most of the game. The next living hull (can't remember name now) is +25 and has an extra internal slot so it's great for 2xbomber + stealth.
once the opponent parks a fleet over your colony, any ships you have in the system are going to get wrecked.
Remember to set your hidden ships to passive, and move them away of battles they won't survive. Pile up and strike where you can win.
And remember: mines. I kill tens or hundreds of enemy ships before I build a single armed ship.
2nd highest difficulty level
IMO there is only 2 difficulties: beginner and the rest. The extra levels increade aggressivity of AIs but not how well they play. Against mines, less aggressive AIs get less losses (less armed ships, less trying to blockade you, more focused in expansion) and get harder for your Sly.
nearby minor races
I don't get any non-stealth species. Most Sly games I extinct everything but unconquered natives. I use population bombing.
AI players that roll Sly usually get crushed early on by the other AIs.
Because they play as if they were a normal species, trying to oupost places, conquer non-stealth species, enlarge supply, built normal armed ships, not prioritise planetary stealth... Sly are not meant for that.

Ophiuchus
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Re: Sly racial traits

#5 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:52 pm

Dragget wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:28 pm
you're basically forced to research Orbital Construction (an expensive tech at game start) much earlier than you would if playing with any of the other races,
I usually research orbital construction later than with other species as they do not give much advantages - i usually do not build my supply network early but concentrate on expanding as fast as possible. The flux bubbles give enough range and when they are out of range you can use an outpost for fuel refill.

I think Sly should become good_fuel though. And we need to do something about stealth.

And I agree with Oberlus - you need to play Sly very different from other species - that is why they are a good addition to the game.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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swaq
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Re: Sly racial traits

#6 Post by swaq » Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:03 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:52 pm
Dragget wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:28 pm
you're basically forced to research Orbital Construction (an expensive tech at game start) much earlier than you would if playing with any of the other races,
I usually research orbital construction later than with other species as they do not give much advantages - i usually do not build my supply network early but concentrate on expanding as fast as possible. The flux bubbles give enough range and when they are out of range you can use an outpost for fuel refill.
This ^^^. The stockpile bonus for Sly means you can essentially ignore supply for early expansion.

defaultuser
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Re: Sly racial traits

#7 Post by defaultuser » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:01 am

I haven't had much problem with Sly against the AIs either. You have to have a bit different mindset. Build colony ships instead of outposts for instance. I get to exobots as soon as I can and rely on them for military. They're no worse pilots and can use robotic shields.

Dragget
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Re: Sly racial traits

#8 Post by Dragget » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:21 am

Is there a guide on how to use stockpile/how it works? I haven't been able to figure it out and have just basically been ignoring it so far.

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Oberlus
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Re: Sly racial traits

#9 Post by Oberlus » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:35 am

Dragget wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:21 am
Is there a guide on how to use stockpile/how it works? I haven't been able to figure it out and have just basically been ignoring it so far.
This discussion might help you: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11413&hilit=stockpile

In short:

PPs produced in a supply group that you don't use up on that turn is put into stockpile (no limits on how much PPs you can put into stockpile).

Supply groups that lack PPs for their buildings/ships will take them from the stockpile, but there is an extraction limit (PPs taken from stockpile per turn).

To increase stockpile extraction limit you can research stockpile techs, build certain buildings and set planets to stockpile focus (increases in stockpile extraction are ubiquitous, not confined to a given supply group).

Sly's Great Stockpile means you can rely on techs and buildings and seldom require setting a stockpile focus.
But you can't expect to produce all your stuff in a single planet through stockpile extraction, it will be wise to have several planets producing your colony ships, so build a shipyard on every system.

Later on, when you have colonised many planets and advanced in the research tree, you can rely on orbital elevators and supply techs to out-supply your enemies and have connected supply groups to focus military production on a single or few planets.

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