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Give them superior ship capture abilities. Longer range engines, and stronger ships such as built in armor or free SIF components.
Since they are nomadic wouldn't their ships be more adept for longer voyages in space? Lower maitenance? I would bet that there weapons are dated thus lower tech but effective. Where we're going we won't need roads. Back to top
I see 3 problems for nomads, and my suggested solutions are below. (Again, I no longer have SE4 - I'm doing this off of the posts so far and my memory)
Problem 1. Slow research: Planet facilities produce so much more research than ship-based, with lower cost and less maintenance. Trying to focus on research ends up causing an "evil empire" status.
I am a researcher by heart - maintenance on the research facilities is murder to get any kind of real research done. I focused on space stations due to the inherent reduction of maintenance.
Solution 1a: Allow larger space stations (similar to the "city-bases" mentioned above - Point 2 will discuss stations vs ships) to lower the "evil empire" rating due to research. Make the base similar to the research station, if need be, but on a much larger scale.
Solution 1b: Create larger sized research components that are more efficient in regards to maintenance and size, allowing someone focusing on research (through want or need) to ultimately research faster.
Problem 2. Nomads cannot colonize planets, allowing the computer players to take over systems already "occupied" (does selecting systems in the empire galaxy screen affect this?) and severely affecting range of their ships.
Solution 2a: Moving "star bases" created as ships with set components and special components for refueling might work to both help defend systems and refuel ships. I'm personally not sure how the refueling would work, so the alternative is:
Solution 2a.2: Give Nomads "refueling stations" (very cheap, perhaps their small SY ships can build them in 1 turn?) that are too small to do anything else. They may actually be a bit more convenient than planets, since they could be placed anywhere...
Solution 2b: Can Nomads be given a special atmosphere type, like "none"? then they could be given asteroids or special planets to "stake a claim" in a system. Alternately, perhaps a "slowed-down" colony would work; allow only star bases to have colony modules!
Problem 3. Nomads build too slowly. Their Space-borne construction is outstripped by a planetary construction yard. People have already mentioned taking ZG yards to improve the situation. No additions are possible, and the only alternative is to build more ships and build in parallel - even slower getting off the starting block, with moe time dedicated from your 1 SY to build more.
Solution 3a: Give Nomads larger SY capability, preferably without additional size or allowing for said size in at least 1 ship or star base class. Additionally, Give Nomads Temporal SYs for ships so someone may choose to go that route.
Solution 3b: Give Nomads SY expansions for ships, again taking size into account.
Take a Massive planet, filled with SY & expansions (and whatever happiness structures and/or police to keep it happy) and think about between 1/3 and 2/3 of that in 1 star base. My thought would be 2/3, but then I'm not building this, am I?
Solution 3 Note: There are unlikely to be too many Massive construction planets in an opposing empire, but you could potentially build TONS of SY star bases- perhaps a maintenance penalty for each expansion? Perhaps a massive-scale "Construction Dock" with a large cost? The point is to allow for at least marginally competitive building rates (for when / if the Nomads must bring a war machine to bear) while not allowing for the Nomads to become the low-tech meat grinder of doom due to number of ships. There is a fine line between Genius and Insanity. I am firmly on one side of that line! Back to top
Why are you guys all assuming nomads must be competitive with normal empires in an open fight?
Nomads == No colonies
If you can't shoot down a measly colony ship, you don't deserve to hold the territory. Just put a single fighter bay on your mining base if need be.
Quit munchkinizing the Nomads, and accept the fact that they are a challenge to play (you don't have to choose 'em, somebody will) and that they require lots of politiking and time to become relatively powerful. Back to top
Personally, I'd like all types of races to have several ways to play. It seems that enough people have mentioned improvements to the Nomads that they are seriously underpowered, which may limit the ways to play Nomad races. I'm not saying they are not playable, just that they will always be challenging and can probably be played one of... 3 ways? (Pirates may be similar, but I haven't played them.)
I'm not saying Nomads can't even be fun. I'm not saying Nomads have to be super-powerful - in fact, I try to cut my suggestions by at least a third to prevent overpowering.
Finally, my ulterior motive: I'd like to play a "no planets" race, preferably in a similar fashion to how I would play other races. My preferred style is "evil empire", focusing on research. While this may be really hard to do no matter how you "fairly" mod Nomads, it seems impossible now.
I could not research a fraction of the speed I could with a planet-based society, with every iota of focus, construction and "gaming the system" focused on either research, construction or maintenance. I recall not having more than 4 or 5 tech levels in anything before every race declared war on me due to the number of research "star bases" I had created. (interesting thought... If a star base cannot equal a planet at some level, are the Nomads really a "race"? There couldn't be more that a couple of tens of billions or so of them... unless the had enough star bases to be the evil empire.)
I did not even get to the point others had, trying to get more than 1 system away from "home" with any useful force, or having another empire try to take a system from you.
If you want to play a hard race, it would be easy to either not spend all your points or put points in the stupid places to make it harder.
I'd like to see this interesting concept made more usable in general (even if it will never work for me ) There is a fine line between Genius and Insanity. I am firmly on one side of that line! Back to top
You've gotta play up the strengths of the race option, which are significant. Lack of maintenance can make up for almost anything if you play your cards right... you just have to find a nice secluded evil island to build up your forces before you try and take on any major governments and their militaries.
If Nomads don't fit your style, maybe pirates or normals will be better for you. Back to top
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