My First IT, Suggestions?, by Mike Rollins, Jason Cawley, and Verker

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My First IT, Suggestions?

By Mike Rollins (, Jason Cawley (, and Verker

Mike's post:

This is one of my first race designs. Could you give me some pointers please?

  • enemy ("Your Nubian #31 was destroyed by the enemy Battleship #20. :-)
  • Inter-stellar Traveller
  • 0.52g to 3.92g, -96ºC to 128ºC, 20mR to 76mR, 1/4 habitable
  • 18% pop growth, 1/1100 pop eff.
  • 10/9/16 3G factories
  • 10/3/16 mines
  • weapons, construction, propulsion normal, rest expensive
  • start at 3 box
  • Leaves 0 points

I know I have more than 4 LRTs, but I like both the FM and the Space Dock. My factories are barely acceptable. I could, I suppose, get rid of ISB and increase factory settings.

I am currently playing a variant of this design with prop expensive. I know, I know; it's stupid to create an IT with prop expensive and it's hurting my SG research, but that's what I get for not testbedding.

Jason's reply:

Mike Rollins wrote in message..

This is one of my first race designs. Could you give me some pointers please?

Will try :-) Overall the bones of the design seem pretty solid to me, especially for one of your first attempts, but there are things I think can be improved.

enemy ("Your Nubian #31 was destroyed by the enemy Battleship #20. :-)

Inter-stellar Traveller

You address these ones below of course. I'd recommend keeping one or the other of ISB and IFE at most, rather than both. Since you can put up an orbital fort and add a gate to it pretty cheaply, it seems to me the natural one to drop would be the ISB. But if you want to keep both of them, you can try that of course. I have recommendation below that keep the ISB and that drop it; mostly a matter of 1% on the growth rate.

0.52g to 3.92g, -96ºC to 128ºC, 20mR to 76mR, 1/4 habitable
18% pop growth, 1/1100 pop eff.

I'd try to get this back to 1/1000. Because your factories aren't great, the pop has to carry more of the load.

10/9/16 3G factories

One thing to consider here is dropping the G box. Yes it will slow your factories. But with just 10/9 factories, they don't go up all that fast anyway, which stretches out the G demand, compared to the faster compounding 12/9 sort of setting. You might combine that with a slight reduction in the number too, to reduce the overall G needed, even with faster compounding that can be livable for ITs. One of the reasons to think of G supply as a place to look for points is that your mineral gating ability ought to help you there, making your G go farther. Won't have as much flying through space, and it will generally get to where it is needed fast.

10/3/16 mines

weapons, construction, propulsion normal, rest expensive

Despite your comments below, I think the prop expensive is a fine change. Because you have the mizer anyway, and with NRSE you are likely to stop buying prop at 12. You might think you need more for gates, but you don't really. The 2 key gates to get are the any/300 at con 10/prop 6 (you start with prop 6 with IT + IFE ;-), and the any/800 (so good you won't really need anything better) at con 18 / prop 12. So you *do* want normal con to get your good gates - but just going from 6 to 12 for the IS-10, overthruster, and any/800? With the any/300 and mizers in hand until you do? Expensive is fine for that - it is only 6 levels and mostly low ones.

As for that any/any, sure it looks pretty sitting there in the tech browser :-) But how much does an any/any do that an any/800 *doesn't* do, especially with your extra IT abilities to overgate on range relatively safely? 800 LY is a *long* way. 1600 LY, overgating 2x on range only, is as big or bigger than most galaxies. Think that is worth the expense of 7 high levels of prop (and 6 of con, but you'll want those anyway)? Nah. If it is less than 800, no difference. If it is more and you can wait one year on the arrival time, no difference. If you can't, so you overgate a tad and repair a bit at the other end.

start at 3 box

This is another place to grab some points. You will have prop 6 con 5 anyway, and that is the *moving* tech you need. You are only getting 3 bio, energy, and elec with this 60 points. That is a lot of points of 9 low tech levels. Yeah, starting with the "lights off" can seem a pain, but you can buy elec 1 easily enough, and 3 later. E.g. you can let your secondary do it exclusively for a few years without slowing your HW much, after a few turn's factories. You also want the low bio levels for terra, but that isn't urgent right away. Initial colonies are going to be buying factories and mines, and forts and gates - not terra right off the bat. In the early 20s if not before, you can buy the lower bio levels same time as the "roundouts" in other things and some weapons - using the 1/2 held homeworld's resources.

With all my changes above, you get quite a few points to play with. Sticking with your priorities for them, you might take -

  • no ISB
  • wider 1/4 hab, each range 60 wide and offset a bit
  • 19% pop growth and 1/1000 pop efficiency
  • 12/9/14 factories without G box (5% more factory resources than yours, costs
  • 1/6th more G, but compound much faster)
  • 10/3/15 mines
  • weapons cheap, prop expensive - rest as you have
  • 9% more pop resources, 1% higher pop growth, faster factories, a few more planets, and cheap weapons.

If you want the ISB back, that isn't a big problem with the other changes. Just give back the 19th pop growth point, making that 18 again, and narrow one of the ranges 2 clicks to 56 wide. If you want your 16th mine operated too (could help with the G box gone) then narrow another click or so.

I think you will find either one of those ramps up faster than your current, while keeping all or most of the things you like and giving the same capacity about (bit higher actually). In return, you will have to buy a few low tech levels you currently get free, and manage your G a bit more actively (including perhaps 1-2 year special builds of mines only, on high-G colonies with gates, for extra G exports). You work a bit but they fly faster if you do ;-)

I hope this is helpful.

Verker's reply:

Hi Mike!

Not too bad for one of your first designs. Here's some suggestions for improvement from an IT-addict:


good choice


Seems you wanted to design a HG IT. I've already expressed in other posts / articles, that I think it is the right way to go with the IT. But a HG IT design needs neither IFE, nor ISB - and dropping both will give you a lot of points to improve your economy.

I agree that both LRTs give nice gadgets to play with, but they're not worth the points IMHO. Especially with a hab as wide as yours, W7 privateers (which you start with) will do the job. You will want prop tech early for several reasons, so prop level7 is one of the first things to research anyway (so you're switching to W8 privateers as soon as possible). If you consider those engines expensive (especially G wise in comparison with the FM), you may consider taking CE.

Concerning the bases, ultra stations are a waste of res and mins, as a few scouts (=chaff) and missile BBs take them out easily. Besides, you will gate in those heavy missile BBs as a defense too, won't you? Building ships everywhere is nice, but not needed for the IT. The 2 things that count here are the 20% starbase cloaking and bases being cheaper, which allows to set up a cheap gate for 150 rather than for 190 resources, which can speed up expansion quite a bit. The latter is more important for HP designs, being HG you just bring a few more initial colonists...


Would keep all 3. NRSE especially with expensive prop tech (is-10), NAS is a no brainer concerning gatescans (especially in long games) and OBRM too, gating minerals (+points +planet size).

1/4 habitable

Nice, but being IT I'd say a 1in5 non-immune (along with better tech) or a 1in7 immune is enough. I'd strongly recommend the immune version. If you don't have energy normal or cheap, I would go for temp immune btw (starting tech gives grav TF7 early, most other immune races choose grav, cheap weapons give high rad TF early bla, bla, bla...)

18% pop growth, 1/1100 pop eff.

18% liveable, but 19% better if you can afford ofc. I would not change the 1/1000 setting for a HG.

10/9/16 3G factories

While enough concerning planet size with a 1in4 hab, these are slow settings. Many will suggest 12/8-9/16+/3g, my personal choice is 14/9/16/3g, which gives a planetary max of ~3500, fitting well with a 1in7 hab. These settings also have a incredible low G consumption.

10/3/16 mines

fine if you can afford them. Sometimes I try to free some points here. Even 9/6/16 works well for me, along with the fact settings above.

weapons, construction, propulsion normal, rest expensive

Have you ever played in a pbem? If not, take weap cheap in your first. Believe me, you'll need it. Will also speed up your TF abilities. A HG IT may take all others expensive and still be competitive. If you can afford to take others normal, I'd recommend const first, then prop.

start at 3 box

Hell NO. You're starting with everything you need. Being blind in the first turns just takes getting used to. Waste of points IMHO, even with weap cheap, rest expensive.

If you followed all these suggestions, you now have something like:

  • IT
  • 1in7 (temp immune, 2*36 wide 12clicks from edges)
  • 18%, 1/1000
  • 14/9/16/3g
  • 9/6/16
  • weap cheap, rest expensive
  • leaves 0 points

I've done >46k in a recent pbem by 2450 (huge dense, accbbs, 16 players) with quite a similar race (even more expensive mines, slightly better hab'n'growth) so I think a design like this works well... Was G conc 30 on the HW btw, so no lucky draw or anything. Game is ~2550 now, I'm very close to the player in 1st (CA!) and had tech maxed out as early as everybody else...