City Blocks instead of Main Bus

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Nilaus
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City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Nilaus » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:40 pm

It seems that using a Main Bus or Central Bus is all the rave these days. Sure it is a step up from random spaghetti, but to me it doesn't scale well and doesn't lend it self easily to robotic transition.

I always opt for a robot based base, but without the "spine" of the Main Bus the base easily becomes cluttered and disorganised. I ended up slapping roboports left and right to cover random holes in the network (where important chests just happened to be :x )

Now I have played 2 campaigns with my new City Block structure and I absolutely love it, so I wanted to share it here :D
The idea is simple:
A City Block is the size of 4 Roboports and includes roads, power poles, lights and a big area for building a modular area.
Image

I generally have a number of different types of city blocks
* Inbound logistics (Trains and storage areas)
* Smelting and Processing (more of these are needed with Angels mods and Yuoki Industries)
* Power (Solar/Accumulator or steam powered)
* Production (Oil, Military, Circuits, Robots etc)

The album illustrates some of my different types of City Blocks.
http://imgur.com/a/Rdxid

It is incredibly easy to expand the base by simply stamping down more City Block blueprints and filling them with what is needed, such as in the Africa base below:
Image

I have introduced this is my Yuoki Industries Lets Play (link in signature) and will continue and expand it further in my next season 5 starting soon :)

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by steinio » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:50 pm

Nice idea.
How many robots do you have to cover this area?

Greetings steinio
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My little mods: Link | My favourite mods: Bob's Mods | Angel's Mods | Yuoki Railway Core | EvoGUI | Logistic Train Network
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Nilaus
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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Nilaus » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:53 pm

steinio wrote:Nice idea.
How many robots do you have to cover this area?

Greetings steinio
10k Logistics + 4k Construction
The logistics robots are not strained at all because this setup I do not unload trains with robots and the construction part of the base if relatively small.
When I spam several new City Blocks down then I want them going up fast hence a relatively high amount of construction robots.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Grimakar » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:47 am

My last base had some sort of similiar idea. I just mixed the bus und roboport block idea. See it like the road system of new york is the bus and the skyscraper are the assemblies etc. My bus was relatively wide. 3 x 4 belts/pipes plus 2 space between.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by XBBX » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:05 am

hmm
Image

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Vallion » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:10 am

XBBX wrote:hmm
Image
Illuminati confirmed.

Nice idea OP, gonna try it out too, not a big fan of the main bus

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Carl » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:54 am

There's no question the main bus concept has flaws, a lot of them tbh, but the problem with this is it's completely unworkable with an initial belt based setup. It puts you on the clock for getting to bots. To be fair all your really doing here is harping on the "bots are superior" line of thinking. Which sadly is mostly true. Belts are stuck with a lot of issues ATM and the fact that the stack inserter is pretty much an abject failure at addressing most of the things it needed to address, (it's one real success is on the train unloading IMO). And the flaws of the main bus concept are intrinsic to those.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Grimakar » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:34 am

Carl wrote:There's no question the main bus concept has flaws, a lot of them tbh, but the problem with this is it's completely unworkable with an initial belt based setup. It puts you on the clock for getting to bots. To be fair all your really doing here is harping on the "bots are superior" line of thinking. Which sadly is mostly true. Belts are stuck with a lot of issues ATM and the fact that the stack inserter is pretty much an abject failure at addressing most of the things it needed to address, (it's one real success is on the train unloading IMO). And the flaws of the main bus concept are intrinsic to those.
Isn't it like anything else? Everything has its pros and cons? Just like the stack inserter reveal their power, when it gets to move things from one chest/train to another?
For me the main bus idea works pretty well. And the flaws you are talking about could be minimized by elaborate design. In the beginning I quickly had a problem with the green circuits. Just like "it is needed here, but after there is not enough on the bus anymore for the next". So I figured out two possibilities to solve that problem. First is to refill the circuit lane. Here a modular design is great, as you blueprint your existing structure and copy it where you want to refill the bus. It is just like bringing the intermediate products production closer to where it is needed. This thought came to me, when I had gears on the bus. I saw them on the whole bus and almost never used. So I decided to make temporary bus elements, some sort of mini bus, that come and go, like the just mentioned gears or engines or pipes.
The second is to make the bus wider. This is especially important for copper and iron plates. So making the bus using 2+ belts parallel.

But I'd love to here your opinion to this. Maybe you were talking about something else ;-)

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Carl » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:25 am

That may take a while, but i'll start typing and see how long it takes ;).

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Daid » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:57 am

Grimakar wrote:But I'd love to here your opinion to this. Maybe you were talking about something else ;-)
I never put gears on the bus. As you have iron on the bus it is easy to make gears/pipes and a lot of other small intermediate products from that.

For me, a bot factory takes the fun away. I like the logistical challenge that belt based factories provide.

"city blocks" with belts instead of bots can work. But you need to provide some way of having your main bus surrounding your blocks. And most likely define input and output sides. A bit like seeing a single block as a large assembler...

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Cengro » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:26 am

Daid wrote:
Grimakar wrote:But I'd love to here your opinion to this. Maybe you were talking about something else ;-)
I never put gears on the bus. As you have iron on the bus it is easy to make gears/pipes and a lot of other small intermediate products from that.

For me, a bot factory takes the fun away. I like the logistical challenge that belt based factories provide.

"city blocks" with belts instead of bots can work. But you need to provide some way of having your main bus surrounding your blocks. And most likely define input and output sides. A bit like seeing a single block as a large assembler...
Early on, you have to use the bus style system to get your materials to where it goes, yes this can be messy unless you roll with the steel x4 ribbon and copper x4 ribbon, then branch off that. Inserters are in a current state of influx right now, maybe the devs will revisit them in 15.x? To me, once you reach robots, it feels like an achievement and makes you advance the transportation network with this technology.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Carl » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:38 am

Hit post too soon due to misclick, tired ughhh. bed soon for nap i think.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Deadly-Bagel » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:11 pm

Intending on doing something like this for my current Bob's Mods run, similar to Factorio Towns. Set up production of something in an area its resources are nearby, stick them on a train. Eventually receive from trains as well when local deposits run out. Even when something becomes too difficult to expand you can just add another 'town' or 'module' for it and double up.

Even without being able to control train stops directly you can cut down on traffic by telling a train to hold at the loading station while nothing is requesting its resource(s).
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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Nilaus » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:38 pm

Carl wrote:There's no question the main bus concept has flaws, a lot of them tbh, but the problem with this is it's completely unworkable with an initial belt based setup. It puts you on the clock for getting to bots. To be fair all your really doing here is harping on the "bots are superior" line of thinking. Which sadly is mostly true. Belts are stuck with a lot of issues ATM and the fact that the stack inserter is pretty much an abject failure at addressing most of the things it needed to address, (it's one real success is on the train unloading IMO). And the flaws of the main bus concept are intrinsic to those.
I do not position this as the be-all end-all fix for all the short comings of non-robot based bases :)
My own relationship with belts and inserters are troubled at best. On the one hand i enjoy belting things, but in more advanced mods such as Bob's or Yuoki the logistics of belting everything is more of a nuisance than a design challenge in my opinion. On the other hand robots trivialise this completely, which also seems a bit too good.
I focus on have good modular designs, where stuff is transported internally with belts and inserters, but each design is fed by robots. The city block design is just another abstraction of the modular approach. How much you choose to rely on robots vs belt is an individual choice, but for the robot heavy setup then this is a proposal for consideration.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by TheTom » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:43 pm

This is similar to what I do, except ;) I am bigger.

A block is 5 cells x 5 cells. Originally that is quit a lot of roboports, later it gets down to 4 (bob mod tier 4 roboports) plus possible quite a lot of recharging stations.

In case you do not know - a cell is 32x32 little rectangles. Thanks to some f5 config change I can see the grid - the cell border is stronger than the normal grid ;)

Blocks are separated by a road that is ALSO one cell wide - a center area and 2x8 for the bus. I do use a bus for the stuff that moves in masses.

The whole base is surrounded by two walls of guns and snipers - I refuse to use lasers because I want the supply isue.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Carl » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:58 pm

The first and most important point i'd make is that the main bus concept works perfectly so long as you aren't putting too much iron or copper in to start with. Assuming you can remember what exactly it is that each item you can produce is use for, (and thus dead end bus lines at appropriate points), and you avoid the temptation to belt up gears and copper wire, (seriously build them on spec), the main bus works fine. But once you start opening it up beyond that you start to run into some issues, both on the buss itself and on the raw ore feeds. Your start to hit serious issues in terms of balancing items between the belts, compressing items onto the belts, combining and splitting belts up, and so on and so forth, technically you can do all that currently with splitters, but beyond a certain point it becomes completely unwieldy.

Now you can work around that the way you described. But what your really doing is shifting the issue to either the central ore handling area, or your train network as your now trying to properly distribute a supply of ore from multiple widely dispersed mining fields to multiple widely dispersed smelting operations. It also denies you the ability to use both sides of the main bus for machinery, but then with wide busses doing thats fairly awkward in it's own right so thats somthing of a wash all things considered. Overall whilst your solution restricts the main bus issues fairly well, it adds a bunch more upstream of it.

The one advantage wide main busses and the resource flow that goes with them does have is that certain very high usage items can be given entire belts of raw resources if need be without worrying about splitting the belt at all. Which has certain advantages. However this brings us onto the other problem the main belt concept runs into, there's simply a practical lower limit on how compact you can make the machinery because of all the belts. This makes even the machinery prone to considerable sprawl beyond any issues you may have with the size of the bus itself. The real advantage of belts has allways lain with mass goods movement, beyond a certain number of items per second bots get very unwieldy. And that has allways meant on paper at least they could compensate, (and then some), for the inferiour space per machine by using speed modules in the machinery to get a lot of production out of the machines they can feed. Something bots would find much less practical to do.

Where there's allways been an issue is in the loading and unloading of goods. Inserters have allways had issues with items per second and response times. This has allways been one of the limits. And it was one thing the loader/unloader was supposed to adress. When they replaced it with the stack inserter though they created somthing that whilst great for loading from storage to storage or from belt to storage or from storage to belt was great, it's not as good as the loader/unloader would have been but it's very solid. But for loading to/from machiner to/from belts it's no better than the old inserters as whilst it has better items per seocnd, it has equivelent or even worse response time.


Now if you want me to i can go into a rough shortlist of things i think need to be implemented to really make main bus type builds work at the level needed to make them competetive with bots.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by MisterFister » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:22 pm

Sorry for necro, but my question is rather spot-on for this thread. I, too, have been using the same 4x4 large-pole city block form factor, here, and my current project requires something larger. I am not concerned about blueprint alignment or radar-vision distances that might limit the ability to stamp new grid squares from space.

LPs are 30-tile increments; substations are 18-tile; roboport logistics range is 50-tiles.

Nothing I've come up with in a creative sandbox environment seems to be of any increment that tiles well. Any thoughts on larger sizes for city blocks?

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by LordWampus » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:39 pm

MisterFister wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:22 pm
Sorry for necro
In awe of the Nagash level necro :)
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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by Trebor » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:32 pm

I’m trying a 4x9 chunk block with a 1 chunk border (so tiling @ 5x10) and ignoring all other constraints.

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Re: City Blocks instead of Main Bus

Post by mergele » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:25 pm

Don't use the max range, some overlap is fine and you easily get a something tileable. If that's still doesn't fit next you can kill always-same-distance-between-things-of-the-same-nature within a block and really have free rein. (For example you could have 3 large pole with distances 28-27-28.)

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