So I discovered a new min/max tip regarding scouting – Outpost Teams.
I have mapped out the travel time for unvisited Gloomy Cave on Easy, at all possible upgrade levels. I do not know whether or not harder difficulties effect travel time. Outpost Teams don't appear to benefit from any speed bonuses, including their upgrade or the return bonus, so that appears to be bugged. I highly recommend skipping the upgrade until this is addressed as it is expensive and completely useless at this time.
That said, this means that if you can spare the resources and workers to set up an extra outpost team early, you can boost the speed of Scouts considerably. At base speed, starting the Scouts and the Outpost Team at the same time, the Outpost Team would arrive at the Gloomy Cave after 3:38. You would then resend the Scouts to the Gloomy Cave, and the 13:56 remaining on their travel time would be halved to 6:58, resulting in a total Scout travel time of 9:46, essentially a free Lighter Scout Sleds upgrade.
This means you can gain 50% Scout movement for either 30 Wood, 20 Steel, and 7 research hours, or 40 Wood, 20 Steel, 10 Workers, and a little micromanagement, with the caveat that the Outpost Team would have to be created in time to reach Tesla City simultaneously with the Scouts anyway for maximum Steam Core returns.
All of these findings can be applied to the Refugees scenario as well, with the additional caveat that the resource type and location of Outposts is randomized and never includes Steam Cores, making it less useful than on A New Home.
Travel Times to Gloomy Cave::
Scouts – Base Speed: 14:34
:Scouts – Return Bonus (x2): 7:17
Scouts – Lighter Scout Sleds (x1.5): 9:43
Scouts – Lighter Scout Sleds – Return Bonus (x3): 4:51
Scouts – Boosted Scout Sleds (x2): 7:17
Scouts – Boosted Scout Sleds – Return Bonus (x4): 3:38
Outpost Team – Base Speed: 3:38
Outpost Team – Return Bonus (x2): 3:38
Outpost Team – Faster Outpost Teams (x1.5): 3:38
Outpost Team – Faster Outpost Teams – Return Bonus (x3): 3:38
TL;DR – Outpost Teams have the same baseline travel speed as double upgraded Scouts returning to a previously scouted location, and they count as discovering the location for the purpose of boosting Scout travel speed. Use to add an additional +50% multiplier to your Scout travel speed by sending Outpost Teams and Scouts to the same location at the same time. Stacks with Scout upgrades.
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