VGA Planets Super Site

Route Planner

Name: Route Planner (routeplan) Author: Lars Dam
Type: Utility Website:

Typical ingame situation: you have a starbase with four supporting planets, and you have a large freighter dedicated to supply that base. That freighter will basically fly to planet 1, pick up resources and fly back to your base to unload it's cargo, then fly to planet two, pick up resources and fly back to your base to unload, then to planet three, pick up resources.... Get it? After a while this gets boring and time-consuming, especially if you have 20 of such bases each with it's own freighter. Each turn you'll have to give those freighters a new waypoint, load fuel, load resources or perhaps manually unload them at your starbase, and each turn you'll have to remember or check which planet it was again that this freighter was supposed to go to this turn.

Or let's say you have some patrol ships travelling along the borders of your empire. Each and every turn those ships need a new waypoint, maybe they need to pick up more fuel, maybe they need to pick up some cash from a planet so there's no chance it falls in enemy hands, and maybe you want to alter their missions between sensor sweep and minesweep, and at some points throw in a hiss or a dark sense just for good measure. You can ofcourse do all this manually every turn, but if you have 15 ships patrolling your borders this would cost quite a bit of time.

Or perhaps you have a Merlin sitting over a Bovinoid planet with a base and you want it to produce minerals for you? Sure, you can automate this by having the ship set to beam up supplies and the base to unload the ship. But what if you want to use the Merlin to hiss and the base to load torps onto ships? And what if you already have a stack of Duranium and want to use the Merlin to produce Tritanium and Molybdenum every other turn? Will you manually load those supplies every turn? Will you manually change the ship's friendly code from 'alm' to 'alt' and back each turn? Will you manually unload the minerals each turn? You could, but it would get boring.

In all these cases and many more Route planner is the tool for you. Route planner comes very well-documented and is easy to use. You basically write an ini-file with the processes you wish to automate, and give each of those processes a name. You then name the ships you want to perform those processes accordingly and each turn Routeplan will update the commands for those ships. Run Route planner right after unpacking your RST and you'll spend less time on making your turn simply because a lot of your ships have already received their orders for that turn.

There are some tactical risks involved in using this tool, however. If for instance you have automated the route from the first example above and named it "supply base Fresno" and your enemy sees a freighter of yours with that name, he doesn't have to be a genius to figure it out. Or if you have a patient cloaking enemy who takes the time to learn about the schedule of your automated border-patrol he'll be able to invade at exactly the right time for him - when your patrolgroup is just on the other side of your border. But as long as you keep those things in mind (the documentation also warns you about it), Route planner is defenitely a tool to use.

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