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How do I create trade routes with planets?

Discussion in 'How do I...' started by ProfPhoenix, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. ProfPhoenix

    ProfPhoenix Viceroy-in-Training

    United States
    Mar 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    So all my planets are starting to/already have ran out of materials and food, I want to help but I can't, what do I do?
  2. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
    Staff Member Developer Forum Admin

    United States
    Dec 17, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Great question! Welcome to the forums, ProfPhoenix! The simple answer is you have to connect your sources of materials and food to planets that need them. You do this by creating trade networks. Here's the process.

    First, you have to understand how trade works in Imperia. Goods can move only 2 ways: upstream (towards planets that need the goods) or downstream (towards hubs that manage and can push goods upstream).

    A planet can be one of 3 trade types: a trade hub(collects goods from trade nodes, sends excess downstream to higher-level hubs, and can send goods upstream to nodes within their sphere), a trade node(sends excess goods downstream to nearest trade hub, can not send goods upstream), or not connected to the network. If a planet does not have a logistical station or starbase, it is considered not connected (exploration stations are unmanned and have no trade use).

    The larger the starbase or logistical station, the more goods they can receive without loss, and the more they can send downstream or upstream. Let's give you an example to show what I mean...

    The Maris system has 4 planets, Charis, Io, Maris III, and Ganymede. Io is the system capital and system trade hub with a level II starbase, while Charis is a colony with a logistical station and Ganymede is a colony with no orbital base at all. The Maris system is part of the Hawkstorm sector, where Hawk is the sector capital and sector trade hub with a level III starbase. Let's say that Charis is running low on goods, specifically materials. Below 30,000 mTons of minerals on a planet, a low material alert is generated on a planet. So what happens?

    1. First, the game looks to fill the need internally. Will Charis be able to produce enough materials this month to make up enough shortfall? In this case, the planet is an agriculture planet with very minimal industry, only a level 4 manufacturing industry. It only creates 8 mTons per month, while its need is around 100 mTons. The planet can not generate enough materials this month. So we go to...
    2. Next, the planet looks for a hub in the system that can send goods. In this case, Io is a system hub. If Io had a surplus of materials, it would then send them to Charis, with a small loss in efficiency due to the small size of Charis's logistical station (less efficient in receiving goods than a starbase). In this case, however, Io does not have a surplus, so it will not send goods (note: this will change in .413 - hubs will send goods even if they do not have a surplus unless you set the planet to 'stockpile goods') So, with the system hub dry, the program next looks at...
    3. the sector capital. Hawk. Fortunately, Hawk does have a surplus of materials, so they are sent across the vast expanse between stars to the Maris system, where significantly more of them are lost then had they stayed in-system. For the moment, however, Charis has enough goods to remain stable... for now. But let's say that Hawk either couldn't or wouldn't be able to send goods? Then the Empire hub, New Terra, would have attempted to send goods, but at a huge efficiency loss. It's always a bad idea to rely on ol' Mother New Terra in Imperia, and trade is no exception.
    So while Charis would be served this month, this is a recipe for disaster. Hawk might be sending 30,000 mTons of materials, but combined with the distance to send the materials, the small logistical station that receives the goods, and any possible corruption (evil/corrupt viceroys often skim off the top) Charis might only receive 25% of these goods. The rest of the materials are simply gone... and as you may have noticed, materials in Imperia are used for just about everything. You can not afford to waste materials like this! So what can you do?

    First, you might temporarily embargo Charis and 'cut them out' of the trade network. While this will in the short-term piss off your viceroy and your people, sometimes it's about survival of the fittest while you figure out a way to best serve a sector or system. Now, you have some options...

    1. You can survey Maris III if it's not already scanned, or possibly rescan. Volcanic and radiated planets in particular are excellent material sources, but are not very nice planets. Perhaps an outpost would be a good choice to serve this system's needs? Outposts come with a basic logistical station so they can send goods to their nearest hub (in this case, Io).
    2. If Maris III is not a good option, is it possible to explore other nearby systems that might be mineral rich? Create a system survey Edict for a system that might be attached to a sector but is not explored yet. If you find a planet that is rich, explore it fully and create an outpost (or even a colony!) to send the goods back to the sector hub (which will then hopefully be redirected back to Charis if you deem the surplus is large enough)
    3. If that's not practical or available, consider making Charis the system trade hub! To do this, you have to change the system capital from Io, which has repercussions in popular support and your viceroy not liking it, but if you have a friendly viceroy who you want to 'gift', this is an excellent way to add some influence and Loyalty from that viceroy. Remember that you have to have a starbase to form a trade hub, so don't forget to build the starbase before you change the capital!
    4. A bit much to rearrange your system governance? Focus on Charis itself! Maybe you can change Charis' primary designation, or boost the manufacturing sector by Edict or by simply talking to your viceroy. If they like you enough (and are smart enough) they will generally do a good job of boosting a particular sector. Edicts are much more powerful, but they may take a long time. You can resurvey the planet to look for more minerals, or terraform the planet to increase the productivity (this will also have a side effect of making the planet more desirable to immigrate to, which may help grow your burgeoning manufacturing sector provided you improve the sector desirability (wages and sector size!) You will soon also be able to add up to 2 secondary designations that will help provide 'bonuses' to planets without completely changing how they develop.
    5. If all else fails, consider abandoning the planet. While you will take a popular support hit and a power hit, sometimes certain planets just weren't meant to be colonized. Poor decisions were made before your time. Lucky you... you get to clean it up!
    So in short, the downstream resource flow is this, assuming planets can send their full 80% of surplus (planets will keep at least 20% at each hub for a tariff, more if there is corruption)



    CHARIS SENDS 10,000 mTONS of food to IO (SYSTEM HUB). 80% TRADE EFFICIENCY----->8000 mTONS RECEIVED, IO KEEPS 1,600 mTONS(20%)

    This is a simple example, and assumes that Io only received goods from Charis, and that Io is not stockpiling goods. If Io had received goods from other planets, or sent along a surplus, that would have been included in the downstream trade. Planets that are stockpiling goods do not send their surplus (either from their own production, or from trades from downstream nodes) downstream, plus they receive goods from New Terra. This is used mainly to build up surpluses for either Edicts or to assist with a system/sector level project that requires a lot of goods, or to be a more efficient 'warehouse' to service a given system/sector.

    You can see what has come through your planet hubs or what has been received by looking at your Production tab, Trade sub-window on the left. If any upstream or downstream trades have been made, you will see where they came from or went, and if they were received, what was received and the efficiency of the trade.

    You can also see your trade network on an empire-wide scale by using the 'T' sub-mode (trade) on the Quadrant screen. You will see the system hubs (red), sector hubs (yellow) the empire hub (green), downstream trades (green) and upstream trades (red).

    Hopefully that's enough to cover the very basics of trade and supply. Please let me know if you have any questions!

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015

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