Ogame mine building
If you join an established ("old") universe, the trend nowadays is that there won't be any abundance of targets to attack. The best way you can contribute is to build mines. Getting some big mies is the only way to really build a foundation as a new player where you start a good deal behind the others. The good thing about joining an established universe is that there is a much great chance of you being left alone. Though it might seem like a long process at first, you mines will grow exponentially in the beginning, and it won't be long before you make almost as many resources as players who have been around a great deal longer. If you do it right, mining is a safe and quick way to get yourself in the game and have enough resources to be part of the real fun.
As a miner, I would recommend that you colonize in remote galaxies, where fewer players are around. It will mean that you don't have to build and much defence and most likely won't be forced to build a fleet. It's easier to keep mining without being too active. Therefore, you will get big mines bigger, and once you get enough resources, you can delete a few planets and recolonize if you want to do something somwhere else.
Clearly the best and most convenient thing to do when you focus on building mines, is to put all your planets closely together. You will have to transport your resources around often, and here the lower flight time and deuterium consumption will really help. It also means that if you can build something that will do good for all your planets, instead of having to build it on several planets due to then being spread. If you build a fleet, it will be able to defend all your planets. If you build big storage, you can collect resources there easily. If you get a moon for fleetsaving, you only need it in one place. If you have a planet for researching, you won't have any hassle collecting resources.
Apart from putting your planets closel together, you should also make sure that any planet you build has at least 200 field. It's really worth it to get this right in the beginning. Once your mines get bigger, expanding your planets will be very expensive, and at a certain point, almost impossible. You don't want to limit yourself. You don't need to start deleting your colonies until you have made all eight of them. Just keep them and let them producre resources to build new colonies. The planet slots 4-6 are the only slots where you will regularly get planets of more than 200 field. So, always colonize on these slots. To keep you planets closely together, colonize in three solar system right next to each other where you take the planet slots 4-6. Try not to colonize in systems where other new players are close by, since the might put planets in the systems you were planning to use, and you will be forced to put your planets further apart.
When you start "mining" (not on your main planets, but on colonies), the first thing you need to know is how to build the mine. When you start off, your resources will fit perfectly if you build the mines in a ratio where the metal mine is always two levels greater than the crystal mine. At higher levels, the level difference will be greater as metal mines only increase 50% in cost per level, while crystal mines increase 60% per level, meaning that the pay-off of building metal mines will be better. All you need it metal mine, crystal mine and solar planet for power. You might also want one of your colonies to build a few levels of deuterium synthesizer. All your planets should have robotic factory level 4 once your reach mine levels of 17-15-0. The added speed it gives really is invaluable, and the sooner you build the mines, the earlier you can get the resources from them. You should keep building mines at the same ratio until you reach 20-18-0. Eventually you will get some excess crystal, but you will need it for research. From levels 20-18-0, you whould increase the gap between metal mines and crystal mines to three levels. You should also start building some deuterium synthesizers, since you can now afford this diversion from normal resource production, you can afford to defend solar planets for extra power, you will be able to procure enough to sell it and you will need deuterium on all planets for transporting. You should eventually reach about 29-26-23, where you should increase the gap between metal and crystal further. And from here on, you can just play it by ear.
When you build mines, there are two golden that will help you get the maximum amount of resources. The one rule is that you should always build the cheapest mine. The cheapest mine is the one that will yield the most resources for its cost and thus have a greater "profit margin". The higher the mines get, the less relative increase you will see in production compared to what you spend. Rule two is that always build one mine at a time. Until levels 19-17-0, your planets will be able to support themselves. However, from there, you should always collect the resources to build the next mine whenever possible. This means that you will get your mines much quicker, and therefore increase your production much quicker, enabling you to build even more mines. Planets building the mines without any transporting will increase their mine levels much slower. Another thing you should be mindful of is how you power your planets. About the levels of 22-19-15, you should definately start to use solar planets. If you keep using solar plant, you will end up using too many resources on something that gives you no production at all. Solar satelites are cheap and give you the energy you need. With the right combination of defence and fleetsaving (both described below), you should be able to keep the solar satelites from being crashed by other players.
Miners are often associated with defence. The so-called turtles are quite common. They build defence to an excess to ensure that they won't be attacked. If you want to be an effective miner, you shouldn't be wasting money of useless buildings, research or defence. You should only make sure to have a bare minimum. Unless someone really has it out for you, you shouldn't need any defence before you start building solar satelites at around the levels of 22-19-15. Once you get satelites, other players will always have something to gain by attacking your planets, even if you remove the resoruces. What you need to make sure is that the debris field form the satelites and the large cargos that you keep on each planet. You need a combination of defence that you are certain can shoot something down any bigger ships, something which will provide cover and something to shoot down the smaller ships. Therefore, 15 plasma cannons and 400 light lasers would be an excellent combination to start out with. The plasma cannons are the ultimate defence as they will always hurt the attacker. The light lasers do not have much rapid fire against them, provide good cover and are also cheap firepower (compared to price) against smaller fleets. You might also add some rocket launchers, since they are cheaper than the light lasers, being just as good. Just never had too many rocket launchers without also having a good deal of light lasers to cancel out the rapid fire from cruisers. Eventually, when you get big mines levels (maybe 33-29-29), you defence might mature with the following combination: 50 plasma cannons, 60 gauss cannons, 300 heavy lasers, 2000 light lasers, 2000 rocker launchers. Now, this is a fairly big defence. The important addition here is that we have added the heavy lasers. The heavy lasers make sure that you opponent cannot just swarm you with light fighters. Even if a battle only lasts one round (the attacker is normally superior if attacking), 300 heavy lasers will have a chance to kill 300 light fighters in one round, making it hard for the attacker to profit in this way. Guass cannons are slight cheaper than plasma cannons, but don't have much use against the normal raiding fleets. They are good at shooting down heavy fighters and cruisers, which wouldn't normally be used to attack any bigger defences. In really big defences, they are good, since their firepower will be put to better use as the attacker will be less likely to have a superior fleet.
An important element in making it as a mines is being able to "safe" your fleet. What you need to do as a mines is known as resources saving. At any times of the day/week what you know you won't be online in Ogame for several hours, you should always save your resources. You do this by transporting all resources to one planet. On that planet, you should have your main "fleet", which should basically be a lot of large cargos and a few recyclers. You don't send this fleet on a mission where it is carrying the resources. That way you make sure that neither fleet nor resources can be attacked. It also make sure that you won't stop resource production (when you exceed storage) on the planet where you gather the resources. When doing this fleetsave, there are several different options that you can chose. Often you will have to be careful that your fleet cannot be catches when it gets back. Other players will often have moons nearby, and on those moons they can build a phalanx build that will enable them to see your fleet and therefore catch it on the return or arrival (called "phalanxing" someone). Having recyclers will make sure that you fleet is slow enough that the fleetsaving times will fit your online times. You can also build a colony ship to vary the speed from the recyclers (just leave recyclers on the planet and use colony ship in your fleet instead). I will describe the normal fleetsaving method below:
- Deployment: You send your
fleet on a deployment mission from one of your planets to another one of your planets. To save deuterium, these planets should preferably be close to each other. When performing this mission, your fleet will be visible in enemy phalanx, so always make sure that you go online before it arrives so that you can recall if someone attacks(once you recall, your fleet will not be visible on the way back).
- Recalled deployment: This is very unpredictable and therefore very hard to catch for your opponent. You launch a deploy missiom from one planet to another and then at some point, maybe halfway, you recall the fleet. When returning once recalled, your fleet will not be visible on enemy phalanx. This fleetsae requires that ou are able to go online to recall, though, and won't fit most people.
- Recycling: If you have recyclers, you can send your entire fleet on a recycling mission towards the debris field of a planet. When you use this method, you can easily make long fleetsaves to a planet close by. However, you cannot do anything is someone should you in their phalanx (they can see when you return and you cannot recall if they attack). If you fleetsave from a moon to a debris field, no one can see you , though, as neither moons nor debris field can be scanned with a phalanx. To perform the recycle fleetsave, you must send to a planet where a debris field exists. Normally, debris fields will be visible in the galaxy overview, but very small debris fields won't be visible. So you can just test to see if there is a debris field by sending your recycler towards the debris field of a planet and see whether the mission is allowed. You can also easily create a debris field by seding an espionage probe on an attack mission to any planet. The planet doesn't have to have defence - any battle on a planet, even without a defender, will create a debris field. Just remember that all invisible (small) debris field will be removed every monday morning when the server "cleans up" - that is, unless you have a fleet heading towards them. If you have a large fleet, people will be willing to sit up at night at watch to see when the debris field dissapears when you collect it and will be able to catch you on the return. So, fleetsaving to insible debris fields is always preferable, and if necessary, you should send one of two small fleets of recyclers ahead to fool the other players and make them think that you fleet picked up the debris.
The reason that you should always use large cargos is that they are much cheaper for the capacity that they can carry. Although they are a bit slower than upgraded small cargos, they are still better to have as a miner. You will only need to keep maybe 20 large cargos on each planet from transporting the resources each day until you reach very high mine levels. The reason that you should not have any other fleet - at most a few cruisers or heavy fighters for raiding - is that any fleet will make you much more attractive for attackers, since there will always be the debris from the fleet to bring them the necessary profits to attack.
If you don't waste any resources on more than a bary minimum of techs, fleet, resources or defence and only focus on mines, you should be able to reach about 200k points within a few months. From here, everything is possible and you can quickly build up a useful empire. The key really is to focus purely on mining and nothing else.
When you get big mines, you will want to build your solar plants a big higher to have something to rebuild with if someone is after you. I'd say never any more than solar planet lvl 28, but such level can make sense if youre mine levels are 37-32-33. Later in the game, you should also keep in mind that the sooner you get the mines done, the sooner they start procucing. So, once you have fairly good mines, building nanites will definately pay off, giving you an advantage for every mine you build after it, without slowing you down too much. Lets say you get nanite level one at around 28-25-23 and nanite level two at around 32-28-27. Also, at when you reach levels 34-29-30, the next mine you build will take about a year to cover its cost in production. So, if you plan to be a fleeter, this might be where you should stop building mines.