Scorched Earth Guide
—> Scorched Earth Guide
Written by Whisperer
Edited by Gnerphk
Planets.nu Year 71
This guide provides a brief description of Scorched Earth defensive tactics.
First, I'll clarify what's meant by "Scorched Earth." In military tactics, this is the process where a retreating army destroys everything that the enemy might find usable. They burn crops and buildings, machinery and supplies. What won't burn gets dismantled, blown up, booby-trapped, or made unusable through some other process.
Why Should I Use This Method?
At Planets.nu, these tactics are used to deny an advancing enemy the resources they need to replenish and maintain their advance, primarily fuel, supplies, and MegaCredits. It can slow or even stop that enemy, providing you with the time you need to prepare a better defense. At the very least it will cause them to think hard about continuing their attack.
Advanced players can also scorch the earth on enemy worlds while behind their battle lines, siphoning off needed materiel from poorly guarded worlds. This is frequently employed by the more successful Bird and Fascist players, but anyone with cloaking vessels can cause great damage in this fashion with little effort.
When Should I Not Use This Method?
In general, you should be careful what you destroy if you intend to take the planet back in the near future. In addition, if the invader is using ground assault, it would not be a good idea to reduce your colonist population too far.
How To Minimize Resources
The very best way to reduce the resources that are left behind for an invader is to simply take them elsewhere. This denies those resources to the attacker and allows you to use them in the future. However, since this is not always possible, there are other methods, as follows:
Build as many
defense posts as possible. This consumes MegaCredits and slightly increases the ability to defend the planet.
Build as many
mines as possible. This has a long-term negative effect on the happiness of the colonists and natives, decreasing the maximum taxation, and except on a mineral-rich world the excess mines are useless. (NOTE: Only do this if you don't plan to recapture the world in the near future, or if you can RGA.)
target quantity of
factories to zero. This will keep new factories from being automatically constructed.
If you have a starship in orbit around the planet and there's a ship that you
(likely from a friendly race) in orbit around that planet, you can transfer unlimited amounts of cargo, including minerals, supplies, and fuel, from the planet, through your starship, to the other starship. This is likely to require multiple Transfer actions, but they can all be accomplished in a single turn. Any cargo which cannot fit inside the fuel tanks or cargo holds of the friendly starship will simply be eliminated from the game.
On planets that are about to fall, it can help to decrease the happiness of Amorphous natives as much as possible through taxation. On worlds that will inevitably fall at some point, Amorphous happiness can be reduced a fraction while still maintaining some colonist population growth. This makes it quite expensive (in terms of colonists) to hold the planet, and a non-Cyborg invader is unlikely to have superfluous colonists with the attack fleet.
For most natives, you can tax them to the point of riots or fighting. For maximum effect, this is a 2-step process. The first step is to tax them until their happiness is down to 30 points. The second step is to tax them at 100%. This will cause the maximum drop in happiness, generating the maximum loss of natives (and, unfortunately, your own colonists), decreasing the potential usefulness of the planet. It will also cause planetary structures to be destroyed.
During a long seige, and especially against the Cyborg, it is sometimes helpful to eliminate natives entirely from endangered border worlds by the taxation method described above, but limiting the second taxation such that only one or two turns at a time are spent with native happiness below zero (in Civil War). Either a truly vast colonist population or dedicated orbiting freighters are required to sustain this process; otherwise, friendly colonists will die off at the same rate, which is at best bad for defense and at worst can cause the planet to become depopulated.
In a rich world that absolutely will fall to enemy invasion, even your own colonists can be consumed in order to scorch the earth. Tax the Colonists to the point of riots and even civil war. For maximum effect, this is a 2-step process, as with natives (above). The first step is to tax them until their happiness is down to 30 points. The second step is to tax them at 100%. This will cause the maximum drop in happiness, generating destruction of planetary structures for the longest possible time. If there are any non-Amorphous natives on the planet, it will also accelerate the loss of those natives. Extreme care must be taken with this tactic, for reasons that should be obvious. If the planet has a starbase, it's possible to kill off all the colonists and cause the starbase to be destroyed.
If there's not a starbase, building a starbase can consume significant amounts of excess minerals and MegaCredits. In addition, it can provide additional defensive capabilities for the planet, making it more expensive for the enemy to take in combat. Use of this method where ground combat is being used could be counterproductive.
If there's a starbase, you can build throwaway starship hulls. Unlike starship engines and weapons, hulls will not survive a takeover, even if the starbase remains intact (ground combat).
If there's a starbase, vast and evenly-split amounts of minerals can be consumed by creating Mark-1 torpedoes. This is a quick and easy way to make large amounts of minerals unavailable. In addition, if the starbase remains intact (ground combat), Mark-1 torpedoes are virtually useless.