Monday, August 27, 2007

Ogame 6 - Poaching Gazeteer

This morning my Ogame stats were as follows: Rank 3679 - 615 points - Cohort above 761 players - Cohort below 368 players - Met 14 - Cry 11 - Deut 11 - Solar 15 - Fusion 4 - Rob 6 - Yard 4 - Res 6.

Having made my leap to the stars, I sent out my probes to nearby planetary systems and started looking for potential threats and juicy targets. I have mapped out about 50 such systems in the form of a 'gazeteer', though only really taking note of either those players in my cohort (ie No more than five times and no less than one fifth my point total, thus being able to attack, and be attacked by, me), and those who are 'inactive' (haven't been online for seven days).

I have noted where active players are (there are maybe a couple dozen nearby who fit the bill). At this stage, this is so that I can best avoid them. If patterns of their play become evident through my broad survey (such as one fellow who is colonising his own and a neighboring planetary system, farming a couple of 'inactives' into the ground), I make a note of that also. My aim here is to have an idea of who is around so that I can advantageously position myself in relation to them, primarily by the art of avoidance.

At present all similarly ranked players in the neighborhood seem to be concentrating upon a less 'aggressive' activity than outright war - the ancient art of 'farming'. In the lexicon of Ogame 'farming' and 'raiding' are two accepted ways of feeding one's empire. 'Farmers' harvest the planets of inactive players around, 'raiders' take out other player's resource colonies (or homeworlds if able). I see 'poaching' as the 'third way' of Ogame foraging, utilising the fact that we in Australia are playing while europe works, means that we can go on anonymous night raids upon inactive planets which are being farmed by others through the day. The trick is to do it only to the extent that they either don't notice at all or they aren't inconvenienced to the extent that they devote resources to catching me.

The tricky thing about doing all of this is that it is pretty labour intensive, even when systemised. It is all very interesting, but map information is dating from the moment in Realtime that you obtain it. My 'map' is really more of a 'scan', because each spy mission to a planet records a different moment in time. Thus the map is more of a 'thinking aid' than an answer to the problems of the poacher, and I rely as much on wit and intuition as I do upon logic and planning.

All this will change as the population of my cohort grows and the reach of my empire expands. I will keep you updated.

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