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A factory is a unit capable of building mobile units.
Each faction has three types of normal factories, land, air and naval. Quantum gateways also function like factories. There are also several other experimental factories.
Normal factories Edit
Land, air and naval factories are constructed by engineers, ACUs or SCUs. They always start out as Tech 1 factories, and are capable of building all Tech 1 mobile units of their type (land, air or naval). They can also upgrade to Tech 2.
Once upgraded to Tech 2 a factory can build all Tech 1 or Tech 2 mobile units of their type, or an upgrade to Tech 3. Similarly, Tech 3 factories can build Tech 1, 2 and 3 units of their type. Factories cannot build experimental units
Upgrading a factory changes its physical appearance. It usually becomes bigger, acquires more health, and an extra build arm.
Higher Tech factories build units faster than lower Tech factories, and they use resources at a correspondingly higher rate. Tech 2 factories build twice as fast as Tech 1 factories, and Tech 3 factories, three times as fast.
Quantum gateways Edit
Quantum gateways, though not called factories, function similarly. They consume resources to construct SCUs which construct at Tech 3. They don't have any upgrades, and they can't construct any other units, but otherwise all commands that work with factories also work with quantum gateways. A lot of time and resources are required to build SCU's, however it is usually worth it in the long run if you can get your economy rolling and the Quantum Gateway assisted by T3 engineers and mass producing SCU's.
Build speeds Edit
All factories build 4 times faster than an engineer of the corresponding tech level. This means it takes no more than 4 engineers (of the corresponding tech) to double a factory's build rate. Because of this, it is much more time and resource efficient to assist a factory at T2 and T3 levels, and quantum gateways, rather than building more. It is more resource and time efficient to build a multitude of T1 factories, rather than assisting them with T1 engineers. Whilst it is most cost effective to assist with T1 engineers, their weak hp make them a prime target for bomber strafing runs, and having too many can create large amounts of congestion around a factory, resulting in a delay for the finished unit to enter the field, and in extreme cases actually increase the delay before another unit may be built.
In addition, the more engineers you have assisting a factory, the less efficient each engineer becomes due to the time delay of the exiting unit. This can be reduced by having a line of engineers assist parrallel factories (by patrolling between the factories), or simply by building more factories, and is also mitigated at air factories due to the extremely small takeoff time of constructed aircraft.
While it is tempting to assist a Quantum Gateway with the same sACUs it produces, those sACUs are often better purposed at the front line, where they can use their health and weaponry advantage. Even light artillery is enough to deter regular engineers, but is a moot threat to sACUs.
Factional differences Edit
Factories of all 4 factions cost the same, build at the same speed and are overall equal. Their Hp does differ slightly. The two only notable differences are the naval factory's build layout: While all other faction's naval factories build on the left, the Seraphim naval factory builds on the right. Also, when creating an engineer from an air factory, the factory is stalled while it lowers the unit to ground level. The Aeon are unique in that they can sacrifice old engineers to units or buildings, this is better than the alternative of self destructing and reclaiming them, as you get the energy and can put it to use immediately.
Experimental factories Edit
The experimental units, the Fatboy, the Tempest, the Atlantis, the CZAR and to some degree, the Megalith are able to function as factories, as well as act as powerful fighting units. Except for the Megalith, all of these units must be stationary in order to construct units. During the construction, their weapons are also disabled (the Megalith is again an exception to this rule, along with CZAR, which can use it's beam and AAs while constructing (though it can't move)). The Tempest and the Fatboy must also be surfaced or on land, respectively.
Constructable units Edit
Factories can construct almost each and every mobile unit in this game. The only exceptions are ACUs, experimental units and the UEF T1 Engineering Drones. Except for sACUs, each unit can be built by the corresponding factory type (Land Factory builds land units), provided that factory is at least of the required tech level (a tech 2 factory can build tech 2 units as well as tech 1, but not tech 3).
For a full list of units, see the complete unit list.
Carriers are also capable of constructing units. The units these can construct are on that unit's page.
Assisting With Factories Edit
Factories can assist another factory, making them slaves to the master factory. This is done by selecting a slave and right clicking on a master. Range is unlimited. Slave factories constuct units from the master factories queue. Slaves will build the first unit in the master queue, that they can, and remove it from it master queue. When completed the unit will use the master waypoint, but will be assigned the group # of the slave.
Slave factories have a local queue, that uses the slave waypoint. Local queue has higher priority, slaves will only take item from master queue when their local is empty. Adding items to the local queue will not impact current construction, current unit will complete. This allows you to manage only a single factory queue for land, air, and naval. It also allow you inject units into your queue for immediate construction without messing up the main queue.
Master factories cannot assist other factories unless all slaves cancel. Slaves cannot assist more than one other factory, additional assists are ignored. Land, air, and naval factories can assist each other but the only common unit is engineer, and slaves will only build units they can build. When the master factory queues something the tasks get put out as follows: Master factory starts production on the first item in queue, if it isn't currently producing something. After that the items are tasked to the first slave that can make item.
If a low tech master factory queues a techup, it can then queue next level units. If another factory capable of building those units is assisting, it will build them, even though the master cannot. However, the first item in the queue after techup is always assigned to master, so you must queue more than 1. The master will build first unit in queue that it can, so if master is higher tech, queue high tech first. If the master queues low level first, it will help build those, rather than work on higher tech items.
There are a few cautions:
- Making a factory a slave destroys current production and clears local queue unless you hold shift while right clicking the master.
- You cannot cancel an assist order in any way without destroying current production. You can give the slave factory a stop order, which also clears local queue, or you can select the slave and shift-ctrl-right click master to cancel assist, which doesn't clear local queue, but still cancels unit in production.
- Clearing a factories queue will always destroy current production even if almost done (unit or techup). It is usually best to leave the item under contruction in the queue. However if you clear master queue, slaves will complete unit they are constructing.
- Whether factories are assisting or not selecting multiple factories and queueing something adds it to all selected factories queue. If they are assisting, the items go in the slaves "local" queue.
Factory waypoints Edit
- Each factory has a waypoint where it drops units when they complete.
- Waypoints are set by selecting factory and right clicking.
- Waypoint can be multiple actions if shift is held.
- Waypoint can be patrols, land, air, or naval.
- Waypoint can go to a transport ferry point (not the same as transport assisting, but similar).
- You cannot make the factory waypoint do things (like build engineers that assist commander).
- Originally, during development of Supreme Commander, the quantum gateways were planned to have a secondary function, other than SCU construction, namely the ability to teleport units across the map between them. However, they were deemed overpowered and the ability was removed before release.
See Also Edit
For a list of all factories, see the factories category.