The unappreciated importance of start location

After a few playthroughs I have noticed that start location plays a much larger role in this game than in other games of this genre.
The primary reason seems to be the limited range of your aircraft. If you start in a central location, say central Asia, you are fine - you can reach a broad region quickly with many locations to explore. However if you start in a more remote location, like South America, you quickly run out of local places to explore and also end up with a very long (slowly traversed) region to defend. And with the devs limiting your ability to build aircraft until mid game you are truly up the creek.
Frankly - it isn’t worth playing if your base spawns anywhere other than central Europe or Asia. Just quit and restart.
I would suggests that the dev’s rework the game slightly. Not a huge rework.

  1. First base spawn point is influenced by the difficulty setting. Easy = always central; hard = always remote.
  2. Easy - Pandoran nests only spawn near your home early game. Difficult - Pandorans spawn wherever.
  3. Easy - All Havens are within range of each other. Hard) Nope.
  4. Easy - Each faction will have at least one haven near your start base. Hard) Nope.
  5. Easy- Diplomatic missions will always spawn on a continent where you have an active base. Hard) The opposite.
  6. Also - rework Ambush. Seriously. It happens too often. At the very least let the exploration site remain as an available exploration site after the ambush. Afterall - wouldn’t the Pandorans choose to ambush us someplace with attractive bait? At the very least tone down it’s frequency on easy settings.

YES! please

My last campaign started in South America (Bolivia, I think). Didn’t have any problems.

I’m pretty sure that wherever you start, a mist growth point always spawns next to you, which means it doesn’t matter as much as you’re saying – the first couple of Pandoran Nests/Haven Defences will always be right next door.

Nope, if you take into account all of his points, bad RNG can lead you to a really bad position even on easier difficulties. I agree that there should be more intelligence between difficulties.

I had a game on veteran with 2 Anu havens in the entirety of the Americas and Antarctica, none of them with soldiers to recruit and none of them near mist. No way to increase relations with them. It was before the cthulhu patch, I don’t know how much this’s been changed already, but it still can be too RNGey - my current necro campaign is being almost impossible to raise relations with NJ, no HDs for them because of very few havens and those far from the mist.

But surely you’re getting rep from fighting the Pandorans? Every destroyed Nest is +5, every Lair is +10, every Citadel is +15.

I usually find that if I do the diplomacy missions as soon as I get them, I can get Allied status with all three factions by around the start of February.

Nope - not the case. You see - there are very few NJ bases in my campaign also - the nearest being two continents from my starting base. I git relations with them to 38% and then - nothing. No opportunities to grow relations with them without attacking other havens. Finally there was a HD opportunity with them, but by the time I got to them it was too late; Haven annihilated - first attack. Now I have no NJ to visit at all. (This is one reason why I have been saying that enemy attacks need to be raids, not genocides)
I restarted the game and now am in central Asia- I have havens from all three factions nearby. Not only is building relations much more practical but I also have far better opportunity to trade, recruit, and was able to decide which aircraft I wanted to steal instead of being forced to settle for the Tiamat - which is virtually useless early game. (but was the only choice in my prior campaign)

OK, I have no idea what’s going on in your campaign. NJ start off with something like 35-40 havens (I think) so unless you’re in super late game and the Pandorans have wiped out most of the planet it should be easy to find one. And I don’t understand how it’s even possible to get relations stuck at 38%. You should be getting +5/+10/+15 rep for every Nest/Lair/Citadel you destroy, and by late January the things are sprouting like weeds.

Maybe it’s a difficulty thing? I play on Legend, so I’m never short of Haven Defences and lairs to attack.

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Nope, I’m in february already and only 2 nests near my first base. It’s become a bad luck loop where I can’t have HDs and thus also can’t find pandoran bases. Some of the few HD’s were also outside base scan range and didn’t find the nests. I’ve explained this in more detail in two other threads already, so I didn’t want to repeat myself much as to not go off-topic.

Edit: veteran difficulty.

Africa is a big continent too. I agree with what you said about the importance of starting locations I just think there a few more that aren’t a burden.