I'll offer advice for each point:
1a. The best way to start off is not a perfect science. Listen to what others have to say and see if you can intergrate their ideas into your own until you find a starting method that suits you the best. Base Placement
It's hard to decide where the main base should be located. I generally dump it somewhere interesting and be done with it.
Consider the following factors when deciding on a good base location:
- Cash by country
- Clusters of countries
- Your favourite terrain (in TFTD this is not really that important, though depth may be quite important)
- Surrounding Land mass (i.e. a dead-zone where interception is impossible)
- Your long-term strategy. Try and think a few steps ahead and consider where your next few interception bases will be.
- Anything else you feel is necessary.
It's not necessary to build up too many modules at first, as heavy costs arise from maintenance alone. The only essential aqua pod you should build no matter how you decide to play is the containment pod.
Living quarters follow shortly afterwards as your first base will want to be able to have enough staff to do a bit of everything. Stores aren't very important, but useful if you want to move equipment on and off ships or buy new equipment. Building and collecting equipment ignores the space requirements. (amazing packrat, the X-Com quartermaster)
An additional workshop or lab is nice - but not essential.
As for sonar - building an additional small sonar will have no effect whatsoever apart from base layout purposes. On the other hand, the abilities of a large and small sonar stack - which is a Good Thing.
A new sub pen can sometimes be a good idea, but not necessary and not practical in the short run.
I'd probably rank the first few starting modules by importance like so: containment, quarters, stores, everything else.
Defense guns are debateable. So I won't get into this except that I highly recommend you concentrate your funds elsewhere for now. Ship armament
Arm them any way you want. Any combination's fine, just as long as you can shoot enemy subs down without losing your ship. Staff
As with everything else there's no right or wrong way to do this. For myself, I usually just fill all initial empty beds with scientists. I'll explain later. Equipment
This highly depends on how you like to play. Just keep a few things in mind:
- Don't overstock. Especially for items like chem flares. thermal tazers and ammo clips. Keep a small supply and replace when necessary. As for ammo, keep enough - not too much.
- TFTD has quite a number of land missions. Make sure you have some all-terrain weapons around. Yes, you can use underwater weapons on land via reaction fire, but it's unreliable.
- If you have the cash - invest some of it in a coelacanth. The gas cannon coalacanth works everywhere. The torpedo coelacanth is a decent vehicle, but only when underwater. It still has its uses on land if you don't mind using it as a scout. Not compulsory, but worth considering.
That's it for the management side of starting a new game.
1b. To get sub construction, go all out of your way to concentrate your research on getting Magnetic Ion Armour and... and... er... I think the transmission resolver. Then something about having a sub construction object in storage. Er, just go and see the sticky research thread in one of the TFTD forums for more info on that. My TFTD Bug Avoidance Guide
is okay if you don't mind my wordiness.
2. Not got a lot going on?
Think of ways of improving your bases somehow. Make them more efficient or easily defendable.
Clear out your stores. You don't need 1,642 pieces of aqua plastics. You don't need 312 Sonic cannon clips! Spring clean!
Expand your empire! There's always room for one more interception/radar post even if you're comfortable with your über-base! (money permitting)
Check your graphs. Non-activity in your area doesn't mean there's no activity on the other side of the globe.
Or you can just sit down and watch with drooping eyes as the world goes by in a flash.
Easiest option, by the way.
If you have the transmission resolver (and it's suprisingly easy to get in this game), let the aliens build a colony near one of your own. You'll never have another dull moment as you'll have a supply of supply ships (no pun intended).
3. I would suggest max scientists, nil technicians. Look at it this way. Engineers need blueprints to build stuff. They start off with no blueprints. The scientists work on churning out the blueprints so the engineers can build stuff. By the time you have anything worthwhile that you'd like to build in a continuous loop, you'll have extra living space to hire more engineers. Just in time engineering. Gotta love it.
Edited by NKF, 24 March 2004 - 10:37 PM.