Don't the other 3 5:1's take the refined over the base materials as a default already? If they don't, I think all four of them should do that to begin with. (I think they might not, I seem to recall a situation where I built a cannon with 15 iron and 1 steel available and I was left with 5/1 instead of 10/0 as I would generally expect.)
Since a large majority of trades are base/base, using refined materials as default could get around this, though it makes it awkward to build things when you're stockpiling the latter.
... I don't really see a good alternative to this aside from policy.
Yeah, the way the world is working, unlike the old BM where refined materials were god, and you couldn't trade unrefined - it's currently looking like unrefined is the butter that keeps the wheel churning milk. (It's a Dutch phase. deal with it)
Perhaps a flag during construction to use refined material first would be a decent option?
I am kind of torn on that one. On one hand, as a URO miner, I'd rather have EUR 110% of the time. It doesn't get stolen if I get vassalized, it lets me defeat the fuckers in defensive combat (I am only holding one cannon from now on, its as good as setting Firepower: 1 on defensive with a stockpile of EUR), and it is worth a whole hell of a lot more to Ramul. However, once I finish teching up to Reactor (almost there...) I can see a reason for keeping URO around.
For the non-URO miner, I think URO is even more valuable. It is going to be much harder for the average joe to get ahold of URO, it is very valuable in teching up, combat, and will be key in keeping pollution low and GM high once everyone begins using Reactors. I like Option C the most, swap priority on EUR and URO so it saves the URO.
Finally, someone who makes an ounce of sense. Those are the kind of lines I was thinking along, iuewen.
That said, if you have so much damn URO, you're probably topping up your reactor regardless. Unless someone's argument floors me, I think I'm going to leave it the way it is for now, until we hear some experienced voices/stories.
I want to spend refined over base because of the sheer fucktitude of vassal trades I have available for me. The Battler playstyle doesn't really build buildings, but when I do need to put back up a cannon or a warehouse, I'd rather use the aluminum or steel I tithed off, instead of the 10 pig iron I could be trading away for more URO to keep the masses in line. I can get around this by making sure I trade before I build, but sometimes it just doesn't work that way.