Umi Alpha Oil Tycoon
This is an analysis of the economics of oil. It may help people who have completed the Liberation path storyline and want to use their 5 (or 6 on "hard") Umi Alphas as they continue playing in the world they have molded. The player can continue to change the world and never run out of oil. The Umi Alpha is the most fuel efficient vehicle in the game. Computing the quotient, (Max Load) / (Fuel Consumption per 100 km) for each vehicle shows:
- Toe Cutter: 600 / (7/100) = 8571 kg-km/fuel
- Igelkott: 1600 / (10/100) = 16,000 kg-km/fuel
- Umi Alpha: 12,000 / (43/100) = 27,906 kg-km/fuel
Your Umi Alphas are only one user of fuel. Several towns receive regular fuel supplies and will also consume fuel.
Your Umi Alphas Demand
An Umi Alpha moves 16 km per hour. In 1 day, it travels 16 km/hr * 24 hr = 384 km/day. Fuel consumption is 43 fuel per 100 km. Daily fuel need is 384 km * 43 fuel/100 km = 165.12 fuel/day per Umi Alpha.
5 Umi Alphas use 825.6 fuel/day. 6 Umi Alphas use 990.72 fuel/day.
You can manage your own fuel consumption. One obvious way is to not use all of your Umi Alphas all the time. Another method is just let time pass without moving. A subtle method is to turn on Collect Forage and/or Hunt on the settings which will reduce your daily fuel use by 5% or 10% by reducing your speed.
Daily Town Fuel Demand
These towns receive regular fuel deliveries. A few other towns in Janubi occasionally receive fuel, too, but it is unpredictable. The demand for fuel is based on snapshot of a town's consumption. Population and wealth changes in the towns will change consumption. Consider this data as an estimate of consumption. The numbers have been rounded.
- Ausz and Valintingrad: 440 + 350 = 790
- Qubba and Hara: 410 + 60 = 470
- Botxo, Tifk, and Twin Rivers: 280 + 240 + 140 = 660
- Botxo and Tifk frequently run out of fuel, so their daily demand has been cut in half.
Total town fuel demand: 1920 fuel per day
|Total Daily Oil Refining and Drilling (by region):|
|fuel||petroleum used||supply of petroleum (in same region)|
|Twin Rivers:||800||1600||1200 + 600 = 1800|
|Valentingrad:||1900||3800||1660 + 1520 = 3180|
There are 30 more petroleum produced per day than the 3 oil refining towns consume (about 0.5% of supply). Twin Rivers and Valentingrad occasionally run out of petroleum which will slightly reduce the daily supply of fuel. If an oil refining town runs out of petroleum, the price of its fuel rises significantly. One trick for lowering the price is to sell petroleum to the town and let game time pass for a few hours and the price will go down. One-half day's consumption of petroleum is more than enough to sell.
There are initial stockpiles of fuel and petroleum. About 1 million fuel are initially available, mostly in Ausz and Qubba. About 6 million petroleum (containing 3 million fuel) are initially available, mostly in the 5 oil drilling towns and Hara. The only way to access the daily petroleum surplus and initial stockpile is to start your own Oil Refining industry. Qubba is the better place to start your Oil Refining industry. Romagna and Heiselle are about the same distance to Ausz and Qubba, and Qubba is closer to the other oil drilling towns. Each level of Oil Refining produces 5 fuel from 10 petroleum each day.
Increasing Supply of Petroleum
Romagna and Heiselle will increase their Oil Drilling industries if their population and unemployed increase. You can only utilize this extra petroleum by expanding your own Oil Refining industry. There does not appear to be a practical limit to how high their Oil Drilling industries can grow.
Comparison of Supply and Demand
Your 5 Umi Alphas and the towns have a combined demand of 825.6 + 1920 = 2745.6
Your 6 Umi Alphas and the towns have a combined demand of 990.72 + 1920 = 2910.72
Daily oil drilling supports 5660 / 2 = 2830 fuel per day.
Your needs are 29% to 35% of daily supply. Overall, there is a near balance between supply and demand, if you manage demand by not expanding population in the fuel consuming towns too much. Unfortunately, this includes much of the Janubi region. Plan your industrial empire with this in mind. You may need to stop selling fuel to towns, but your oil refinery will produce more lubricant than you consume. This surplus lubricant can be traded. (If your want to build an industrial empire in Janubi in story mode, follow the Workforce Merchants path.)
If you want to completely support your 5 Umi Alphas from your refinery, a level 165 oil refinery would be needed. This industry would use 1650 petroleum per day. You would draw down 1620 petroleum from the stockpile each day, and the 6 million petroleum stockpile would last 3703 days, or about 10 years.
A combination of using fuel from the oil refining towns, existing stockpiles, your own oil refinery, and expanding population in Romagna and Heiselle will stretch out the available supply and stockpiles for many more years. If there is no game limit on Romagna and Heiselle Oil Drilling expansion, you will never run out of fuel.
Making money with Umi Alphas
To make money with Umi Alphas, you need to leverage their advantages: cargo capacity, passenger capacity, and speed. The details depend on the state of the world when you reach the end of the storyline. Specifics will only be given for Qubba town since that is where your oil refinery should be.
To get enough goods to sell, you need your own industries. The towns in the game do not produce enough goods at a low enough cost. Concentrate your industries in goods that can be sold in many towns: lower and upper body clothing, shoes, headgear, alcohol, cheeses. Load up your vehicles and go on a sales trip, ensuring you hit the biggest towns in a region. The unit cost of producing these goods in your own industries can be so low that you can afford to oversell them and still make large profits. With a large variety of goods to sell, trading routes do not matter. You will always have something to sell anywhere. Just travel in loops, visiting the most towns using the least fuel.
Other possibilities, which you can't produce, include salt, limestone, quicklime, and cement. Your large cargo capacity makes a trip to the eastern Federation profitable since you can bring back huge amounts of quicklime and salt (and oversell many of your industries' goods in the eastern Federation). The salt can be sold over several months and all over the world. (Excess can be stored in your towns' storage until you need it.) If you keep their producers well-supplied, soap, candles, paper, and lye are more specialized possibilities. Although much of your trading will be in the Qubba/Federation regions, don't neglect the rest of the world. Your high speed makes it possible to make a sales trip in a quick loop through any or all of the other 3 regions. You can pick up large quantities of wool, skins, tallow, lubricant, or peas (Shikendo) at low cost for sale in Qubba/Federation, too.
In comparison to horses, you would need 40 above average horses each pulling a medium cart to match the cargo capacity of one Umi Alpha. Such a caravan would only move at 75% of the speed of the Umi Alpha. 200 horses would be needed to match 5 Umi Alphas. However, the horse caravan would produce more than enough milk to feed your crew. For Umi Alphas to produce milk, see Guides_and_Other_Walkthroughs#Alpha_Dairy_Mobile for an example. You can use cows to feed your people. If your industries can use the wool, consider transitioning to sheep and/or goats instead of cows. It will take a few years to buy and breed enough sheep and goats to replace all of the cows. Sheep and goat breeding (and sale of animals) will provide a better supplemental source of income than cow breeding because sheep/goats breed faster and start producing wool at birth. You need to wait 2 years after birth for a cow to start producing income. Pick your cheese industries based on the animals you are using. Your surplus milk will be better used in cheese-making than direct sales of milk.
If you are concerned about running out of fuel on the western part of the map, build a fuel depot or two: a town with a large storage capacity where you can store fuel in advance to cover a shortfall if you miscalculate your fuel needs. The Pullid Camp is one obvious choice if you got the warehouse (Regin's Gang side mission). Northway and Toowoomba (cheaper storage) are additional choices due to their centralized locations, depending on the industries, if any, that you have in either town. If you have to use some fuel from your depot, replenish it on your next sales trip to that region.
High speed and passenger capacity will allow you to become a bounty hunter. Capturing bandits and remanding them will bring in money. (Bounties of 100 million to over 1 billion are possible, eventually.) Prisoners can also be used to expand your industries or create greater demand in towns of your choosing. If you equip your crew with the right weapons, you will loot more ammunition from the bandits than you use subduing them.
The End-Game Missions will provide a small amount of money. You will make much more money trading on your trip to the target town. The missions do provide a change from your normal trading and industrial activities. This is an advantage you do not have when starting the game in Sandbox mode. Rescuing a kidnapped person is the most challenging mission: defeating the kidnappers without killing the prisoner.
Industries for Qubba town
Qubba starts with a small number of unemployed. This will not be enough to support your industries. One early solution is to bring your people to Qubba (which will increase Qubba's population). This should be enough to get your Oil Refining industry started. Later on, consider buying Qubba's Insect Farming industry. It has 60 employees that you can reassign without increasing the population of the town. You can keep the people in Insect Farming until you need them in some other industry.
At some point, you will need to buy storage in Qubba. Early on, you can use the storage to hold an Umi Alpha that you don't need. It may take some time to build up your industries in Qubba and other towns to the point where you can profitably use 5 (or 6) Umi Alphas. Later on, your Oil Refinery will need the storage for petroleum when you go on long sales trips, so the storage expense will not be wasted. Storage expansion can be done piecemeal, over time. It will be useful as soon as you start your first industry in Qubba.
Expand your industries slowly, over time. Maintain a balance. Let your caravan's needs determine the size of your industries in Qubba and not vice versa. Qubba has a large fuel stockpile, so you won't need a large oil refinery for a few years. A small oil refinery can extend Qubba's fuel stockpile further.
Recommended industries in Qubba:
- Wool Processing (yarn): You can start this before the end of the storyline. It is profitable. Although Qubba produces wool, you can supply cheaper wool from other towns and make good use of your purchased storage. Autosale of yarn will help pay the daily expenses of your Oil Refining industry, if necessary.
- Oil Refining: You should start this after you bring your people to Qubba. (You can start it earlier if you desire.) Keep the output of Wool Processing at a higher weight than the weight of fuel you produce. This will prevent the fuel from being autosold. The ratio of Wool Processing to Oil Refining levels is about 3 to 2.
- Hats: This is optional. It is a profitable use for your yarn, other than direct sales to Qubba. It is also a good holding industry for surplus unemployed that you are not ready to assign to another industry.
- Insect Farming: This is the industry to buy to get people to reassign to your other industries without increasing population (and demand for fuel). You will likely be a multi-billionaire by the time you need to buy this industry, so don't be put off by the expense. Qubba will still produce a food surplus after you buy this industry. An alternative is to downsize all of your other Qubba industries to zero and reassign people to your Oil Refining industry. Your choice depends on many factors: whether you want to reduce town produced food, do you have a market for the insects in another town, do you have Wool Processing and Hats in other towns, etc.