Empty Silos: To kill or not to kill?

In-depth tactical discussion on how to lose the least

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cza
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Empty Silos: To kill or not to kill?

Postby cza » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:26 pm

rusMike and I were just having a "discussion," over whether or not to kill empty silos. I think there are times to kill them. But if it would be too much of a tradeoff in terms of points, I think it's better to ignore them. When I first started playing, I was so into counterforce that I often did not score enough points between what I had lost in conventional battles and then killing empty stuff. Here's a game in question. I don't think I would have scored as many points as I did had I killed the empties. Mike thought this was the wrong strategy at the time, and still refuses to believe it was the right call:

In game quote from rusMike: "CZA had to kill silos with silos. Players seem to have forgotten that you can nuke empty silos too."


I haven't watched the game since the day after I played it, and I don't have the time to do so now. I'll leave it to the independent analysts.

http://sfcon.demoszenen.de/dcrec/2011-06/SFCONtourS6-2011-06-20_17.37.zip
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Ace Rimmer
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:23 pm

Ace's General Rule of Thumb for Empty Silos: 1. If they are in the way of your own silos and you have enough to kill, go for it. 2. If they are not in the way, completely ignore them. 3. If you're using subs, you should always ignore empty silos, unless #1 applies.

I've seen SA players try to kill empty NA silos that are in Canada instead of just hitting cities from under Mexico (that's retarded).
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Postby rus|Mike » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:29 pm

I did the calculations. Unfortunately they are spoiled by the fact that you also used bombers (5) and subs during the launch, which will make it longer. But the result is obvious already: killing silos would be slightly (1-2M) better. I will post exact results later.

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Those silos were totally in the way. He was AS, enemy NA, silos and all survivors were near Chicago. The launch was massively lucky though: out of each pack ~5 nukes were getting through
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Postby rus|Mike » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:39 pm

So survivors of NA before your launch were 32.9M. You totally used: all silos (60 nukes), 5 bomber nukes and your ally during your launch used 5 full subs. If you'd go for silos, those subs could launch at close cities instead of losing nukes to AA fire while launching at far cities (which were more easy accessible to subs then to silos). However, since sub launch was caused by fear of enemy ships and absence of cover, not by your order I will only add nukes lost to AA fire to the budget (~12 nukes), not all 25.

After your launch survivor count of NA was 7.7M (25.2M killed with 60+5+25=90 nukes).

If you'd go for silos, you'd spend standard 1 pack for each silo (6*6 nukes = 36 nukes) and would have free 60-36 + 5 (bomber nukes) + 11 (sub nukes which wouldn't be lost to AA) = 40 nukes.

Being distributed optimally between unprotected cities, these nukes would cause 27.87625M deaths, which is 2.7M better then your result. I would like to remind that with kills exceeded ~93M, 2.7M is very much.

I can post exact targets if you like, but that's long and boring, you can check everything yourself.

P.S. I admit that your launch had brilliant efficiency under circumstances but I believe it was mostly due to luck, not due to launch parameters: the angle was favorable for AA but it's efficiency was still terrible (~1-2 nukes intercepted from each pack- and that's with good radar coverage).
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:33 am

This is a best case scenario (silos die with only one pack), correct?
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Postby rus|Mike » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:48 am

Ace Rimmer wrote:This is a best case scenario (silos die with only one pack), correct?

Yes. Since silos were standing the same place as cities CZA targeted and 4-5 nukes from packs were making it to cities, it's safe to assume same would happen with silos. And you can also save 1 pack if you like.
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Postby W(p) » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:38 pm

I think that you should:

- when attacking military installations near big (more than 10 mil) cities you should drop a few bombs on the civilians. Its is possible that you fail to destroy the silos, or even maybe another power will rob you from your points in a territory you cleared (I do this all the time), either way you lose at least 20 points from NOT doing this. The nukes still attract attention from the silos and thus increase the possibility of the destroying enemy ICBMs

- When you encounter enemy silos, you should think only of killing an optimal number of civilians, so you should destroy silos only if they stop you from achieving this goal. If there is only one empty silo its safe to ignore it. Say if you reason that silos will take down more than 40% of your nukes before clearing the populations they are worth to destroy.

This is of course doesn't count if the scoring is set on Survivor, but it is important when your main goal is to kill enormous amount of people.

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