[HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

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oLaudix
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[HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by oLaudix »

Hello. I recently bought the game and since then im struggling with decision which approach should i take while designing my factory. First i went with expandable design, producsing stuff and putting in on the main bus. Problem is that just after putting wheels, green circuits and basinc transport belts on the bus it became quite fat ... The ammount of underground belts and splitters i needed to get resources on the right side of the bus hurt my brain. After that i decided to go with more modular design and started to produce everything on site where it was needed with only copper and iron on the bus. This time i had problem with fitting stuff in the designate place. When i went from producing basic belts, splitters and underground belts, demand for wheels grew so much i couldn fit enough machines in place not to mention getting resources where i needed them. I didnt even go far into the game both times (i was starting plastic and batteries production) and it already became a pain. My question is, which design is better long term? I would hate to go deeper into the game and find out i need to start from scratch. Or maybe both sux and i am doing something wrong?
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Xterminator
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Re: [HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by Xterminator »

Hey there,

I think both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. The main bus idea is generally recommended for beginners because it is fairly straightforward except for the logistics of figuring out how to materials where they need to go, as you mentioned. However the main downfall to a main-bus system is in the later stages of the game it can have some make throughput issues. If you decide to go with a bus system, typically it is good to just have iron and copper lines (preferably 2 of both), a green circuit line, a steel line, and a plastic line. Then just do everything else on site.

The other method is just producing most everything on site. I prefer this method because it eliminates some of the headache with figuring out how to get resources everywhere. Lol I do kind of a hybrid type build which so far seems to work fine for me through many playthroughs. I just have lines of copper and iron going out from the smelting areas, and then just split those off where I need them and make everything locally wherever I split off the iron/copper. So I has a tiny little bus of just iron and copper, but them everything else is moduler and just made on site from split off lines of the 2 main resources. :)

So I can't really say one just better than the other. I just personally prefer the second method I mentioned. Hope this helped! :)
I am sure other people will give you some great answers as well!
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Re: [HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by RoddyVR »

I've tried both ways too, and have settled on a horizontal copper/iron bus (at 2 lines each now, but thinking should be 3 or 4), splitting off from it make vertical lines that make a specific product. Green circuits are made and fed back towards the bus and go along it for a short distance to the "next" sections that makes red circuits and then modules.

dont designate space for your modules, designate lines. so that they can always grow longer (away from main bus) if needed.
my blue belts production line is a row of assemblies of 6 gears, yellow belt, red belt, blue belt, 5 gears. the gears are fed into their assemblies via a belt (on the other side of the iron line), and the belts are direct inserted from one machine to the higher ones. Growing the line longer is useless cause the iron line cant feed it fast enough (already probably needs 2 to do blues at full speed).

My circuits production looks like 2 rows of 2 rows of machines, one eating copper into wires, and direct feeding it to the other line, which has iron on its side, and outputing green circuits using 2 long armed inserters per machine and then mirror it to put circuits on the other side of the output belt from the other side. could eat 2 lines of copper and a line of iron before needing to be repeated.

I highly suggest making the main bus spacious (no more then 2 belts right next to each other, with at least 2 spaces between each pair). cause you'll need the space for splinters, and later for pipes and temporary lines with things like circuits and plastic and maybe even coal or stone (depending on where they're mind and what you want to make).

The only regret i have in my current base with this approach is that i didnt make the space designated for the bus wide enough, and the production columns start too close to it in a couple places. makes adding a stone line almost impossible at this point (wanted it for rail production).

The one thing i think i do weird is that i dont make steal at the smelting site, i make it with electric smelters where ever its needed. Sometimes this means a whole column of steel smelters eating their own iron line to provide enough steel for a module (laser turrets in particular are a pain in this).

Oh, and i do science as one big module, not in parts, so its like one really thick colomn in this system, eating one line of copper and one of iron (and taking side inputs of plastic and acid). Almost done with science in my current map (just need more artifacts), and then i can finaly feed those lines back into the main bus (the science i get now isnt improving my factory at all, just draining resourses).


You'll find that there are only a few items that cant be made from iron and copper, sometimes with the addition of one of the following: plastic (red circuits can replace the plastic line on the bus since they're the only thing that uses it),sulfuric acid (batteries and blue circuits i think) or lubricant (blue belt stuff and engines).
notable exceptions being tank shells (explosives need sulfur not in acid form) and rails so i try to place their production where the main bus comes closes to the oil industry (or stone mine).

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Re: [HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by Peter34 »

Xterminator wrote:If you decide to go with a bus system, typically it is good to just have iron and copper lines (preferably 2 of both), a green circuit line, a steel line, and a plastic line. Then just do everything else on site.
There's no reason to have a Plastic line, on a main bus. Plastic is almost only used for red circuits.

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Re: [HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by JyeGuru »

Peter34 wrote:There's no reason to have a Plastic line, on a main bus. Plastic is almost only used for red circuits.
I concur with this. By the time you really need it elsewhere, it's usually time that you have bots flying around to deliver the smaller amounts to the factories that need it.

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Re: [HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by roothorick »

I think the best design is a combination of the two. Have a bus with iron, copper, steel... then use modules that are designed around getting the right ratios to run all the assembly machines at 100% duty cycle. Some items don't have close enough ratios to make this work well; you could sub in "mini-buses" in those cases.

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Re: [HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by SHiRKiT »

Peter34 wrote:
Xterminator wrote:If you decide to go with a bus system, typically it is good to just have iron and copper lines (preferably 2 of both), a green circuit line, a steel line, and a plastic line. Then just do everything else on site.
There's no reason to have a Plastic line, on a main bus. Plastic is almost only used for red circuits.
Not true if you play with mods.

I always start with a expandable main bus layout and eventually move to a modular approach, with logistic bots.

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Re: [HELP] Modular vs Expandable.

Post by PROTOS »

expand if you need more prodution if you dont have more than your demand modgue is if you have space

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