The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

My Gathering Geeklist is up

and you can read it! Or not.  This year continues my trend of playing very long and very short games, with few 60-90 minute titles.

Written by taogaming

April 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm

The rule of factorio is more factorio

While I’m waiting for 0.15 to drop, I’ve been building up a mega (for me) factory.

Not a mega-base, but pretty big

That’s about 35 hours of game time. After I launched a satellite, I stopped researching (and paused my second satellite because the strain of it nearly cost me my entire petrochemical resources). I’m building up my train network and moving slowly out.

I’ve already depleted three of my iron deposits and multiple copper deposits (those kinks in my train network were adhoc stations, now removed).

My train network is (sadly) spaghetti near the base and I originally built track with 1-2-1  trains (one locomotive, two cargos, a reversed locomotive). This lets you run automatically on a single track, but it doesn’t scale well and switching to run-on-right tracks (like highways, one lane going one direction and the other reversed) matters when you start wanting to have a lot of traffic. (I guess 6 trains counts as a lot for me). I’m in the process of switching to 1-2 double tracks, but you can still see where I haven’t finished (right near CopperLoading-2). I also have to hook up my iron and copper/oil networks together, so that I can move Iron from the NW to the SE loading station.

I now know to not put a station for ore loading on a main train line, just branch. And to keep straight lines (horizontal or vertical) for the most part, because you can blueprint a few patterns and be done. Ad-hoc is bad. Power isn’t a big concern. I’m mostly solar, which costs lots of real estate and resources, but since the point was to experiment with mega-bases, that’s ok. I do look forward to Nuclear power in 0.15.

Some of my solar arrays …. Don’t hand-build more than one….

I think I’ve got trains down …. I still miss a signal from time to time, but I’ve blueprinted them and rarely spend more than a minute before spotting a problem. A significant fraction of my power goes towards laser turrets, for good reason.

The natives are restless

Anyway, scaling up a mega base means more-more-more. More ore. More factories. More throughput. I’m building way too many modules, which is also way too few.

Magic (main) bus,carrying parts to all the assembly machines

Still too much spaghetti in the station (despite having a main bus) and I’m using logistics bots, but mainly as my valets (and a few odd things like my satellite construction and disposing of lumber by feeding trains). And I (again) found a lot of things I would do differently next time.

Still enjoying this.

Update — And then I ended up staying up another few hours to fix my train network, add two mining operations, re-jigger my oil network, expand my power supply by three mega-arrays (thankfully I noticed a few minutes before a catastrophic shortage). Next is ore processing throughput/switching to advanced ovens. And there’s four hours gone.

Written by taogaming

April 1, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Beisboll is back, beibee.

We rebooted our fantasy BB league last night after a year’s hiatus. The draft went by really fast, probably because

  1. The auto-draft moderator and clock keeps it going. I remember the days of live drafts fondly, but honestly I don’t want to spend 4-5 hours drafting, and then saying “No, that player is gone,” etc. Hurray for software.
  2. Almost nobody in our group follows baseball well enough to buck the recommendations the auto draft gave.  (One player did). Whenever I wondered “why is player I know so far down the draft list,” the answer was “I know him because he’s really old,”
  3. It was an NL-only league, with 8 coaches. We originally said “NL only” because we thought we’d have 4 or 6 players, and didnt’ want to let everyone have an uber-team, but with that ratio you really have to dig into the “Who dats” early on, at which point you just check out stats (if they exist) shrug, and draft.

Net result — we got 23 rounds of drafting in under 75 minutes. BB (unlike Fantasy Football) has a lot more in-season management, just because of the number of injuries and DL rotations and even trying to maximize pitcher vs team (and pitchers who get 2 starts on that week).

But basically it gives us some water cooler fodder for five months, and you can’t argue with that. Or rather, you can’t not argue.

Written by taogaming

April 1, 2017 at 9:21 am

Posted in Ramblings

Tagged with

More Factorio, all the time

  1. I watched Anti-Elitz’s new WR speedrun live. Another “Well, I can’t get any geekier” moment come and gone. (I actually went and had lunch during some of the early restarts, but I saw the last 1.5 hours of the WR run). As I said to Mrs. Tao — The difference between this and the rest of the nation’s sports viewing today is that they’ll never actually play college basketball. (Some of A.E.s new designs are clever, although he’s optimizing for fewest keystrokes/mouseclicks instead of other aspects. But optimization is optimization).
  2. I wrote an actual strategy post for Factorio and posted it to reddit. It concerns the use of negative feedback to promote factory resilience. And I say (with all due modesty) that a) that’s a better title and b) more use of control theory than my Master’s Thesis. That would have really depressed me 25 years ago.

Written by taogaming

March 26, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

Factorio Train Debugging

(This post is so that people can help debug my train layout. Nothing to see here unless you are into that).

Update — There is a single rail missing right above the station in the first picture. But you can’t see it because the toolbar blocks it, and the locomotive obscures the view. Thanks to everyone who helped.)

Here’s the layout. The train can go to OilLoading-1 or OilLoading-2 but not back to OilUnloading.

Map Layout


Here’s a look at the OilUnloading Station. I think it says NoPath because … honestly I’m not sure. If I hit “Go to OilLoading-1” it does. Is it trying to go to Unloading even though its there?

Unloading station

Walking to the NW, we can see a junction. The most likely culprit.

Main intersection


Continuing, its a long stretch with a few links just to break things up (for future traffic).

Next links

More links


Finally we get towards the outpost.

Join into loading station

loading station


Ideas appreciated.

Written by taogaming

March 25, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

All Factorio All The Time

And not much boardgaming. I actually took the TaoLing to game night this week and played …. one game of Jump Drive. Just wasn’t in the mood to play much. It happens. On the Factorio front I’m building a mega-ish-base (ish because once 0.15 drops I’ll probably upgrade and restart). An interesting learning experience (quite different from speed runs). Also learning how to deal with big alien bases. (I do hope they do something interesting with Laser Turrets in the new expansion, because there are lots of inferior weapon types, and Laser Turrets.

A large up front cost to build, but no ammo cost (assuming your power is fine).

I’ve actually just been watching a lot of Factorio as well. Watching the TaoLing play, and some youtube channels.

On the actual game front, been playing Sentinels and finally convinced the TaoLing to play Advanced villains, so its a challenge. Also played a few games of Fairy Tale.

Written by taogaming

March 22, 2017 at 8:44 pm

I’m flattered, but ya’ll could have answered the question

instead of just mentioning my name a few times.

But since I was mentioned, I responded to the question “Is Contract Bridge Still Alive?”


Written by taogaming

March 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Bridge