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Best factions by order....

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by Evil Beejeebers, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    19
    I noticed Yang's early tech slowness this time. I was spreading across a continent, creeping up on the Monsoon Jungle, and I wasn't making any money or tech at all. Couldn't even scrounge up 40 credits to go to Police State. Coulda hunted mindworms I suppose, but I was busy expanding. Ran into Morgan also contesting the jungle and kicked the snot out of him. Then I sat around consolidating with Police State, Planned, and Wealth. Lal got powerful meanwhile, enough that I needed to take him out. I did the D:AP thing but didn't bother to switch from Wealth. :D It worked fine for awhile but then Lal started deploying lots of AAA units and Silksteel armor. It got boring, I quit. Miriam had trounced another continent meanwhile. This didn't feel like a speedy victory. I was pretty close to getting MMI but I'm not sure I would have had the votes. 2x vs. 4x is a big difference.

    Maybe my early game was too slow. Not sure. Trashing Morgan was definitely the right thing to do though.

    Diplomatic Victory is seeming to be just a variation on Conquest victory. I don't see that you're going to be left alone on a standard size map.

    I never do that Librarian stuff. Too tedious.
     
  2. civac

    civac Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Forcing a size 5 base is an interesting trick. Let's see. Suppose you have a size 2 base with nearly full food box (17+ food). Add 3 colony pods and switch all workers to librarians. You will lose 8 food per turn. Research from the librarians will be 15*2+12+9+6=57 and then your base is size 2 again. You can use it as usual size 2 base or keep one librarian for another 3 research points per turn. You get about one to a half technology.

    You do sacrifice a lot of expansion for it though. I don't think it's really worth it. Moreover, Lal can use Free Market without problems in early game and will still be faster I think.

    With Yang I would try to get the Weather Paradigma at all costs. With condensors and crawlers growing a base to size 5 is easy and very quick. Then you have a base full of librarians without sacrifice.

    Regarding Air power, weapon 6 is almost always sufficient in practical situations. You also get nerve gas tanks on the way. If you are talking about Yang specifically keep in mind that air units ignore perimeter defense.
     
  3. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    19
    I've concluded that Diplomatic Victory is just a variation on Conquest.

    I played Lal, started really near the Monsoon Jungle. So did Zakharov; I got most of it, he got part of it. He got Nonlinear Mathematics fairly quickly and started threatening me. I paid him off once, but the 2nd time around I wanted him out of my territory because he was going to pop a pod. In hindsight that was petty of me and he declared vendetta. Dumb move on his part though, because his Monsoon bases were right next to mine and only had scout rovers in them! I had almost no armaments, but I did have 1 Recon Rover so I took 1 of his bases. Then I declared a truce and a treaty, figuring I'd better not press my luck. He pulled some crap on me later on when I was better prepared, so I enslaved him. With Deirdre's help coming up from behind.

    Figured ok, I'm on easy street now. I'll just sit around consolidating and rack up the votes. Thought hmm, let's try Knowledge and Free Market. Well, Sparta showed up finally, and annoyed me with some attacks. I beat those off without changing my agenda, but then Miriam came down to trash me as well. And what a job did she do! I was surprised / impressed that the AI could actually take me over. Her probe teams just weren't any fun. By the time I built the Hunter-Seeker, she had taken 4 cities. Then I got Silksteel but I didn't have it prototyped, and it looked like she was about to grind into my capitol.

    I could have done a lot of trickier heroics to pull this back from the brink. I could have changed from Knowledge to Power, as I had that available a long time ago. But I didn't want to. I wanted to do the Diplomatic Victory thing and not the Conquest thing. If I thought the whole point was to go kill Miriam, I would have done that in the 1st place. With lots of troops. I've played 1 gazillion games like that; why bother? I know how that goes.

    So maybe Martin is right. Lal is kind of "plain vanilla," not the best faction for conquest, and Diplomatic Victory pretty much requires conquest. The AIs simply aren't going to leave you alone. Time to uninstall this game again. I played it a lot a few months ago, answered all the questions I had, and it was becoming too much of a time suck. Same thing's happening now.
     
  4. civac

    civac Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Messages:
    108
    Yes, diplomatic victory is mostly a short cut when you are on the way to conquest. This is a good thing. It spares you the the agony of having to conquer 1265 unimproved sea bases.

    I'm bored with Smac SP is well. However, MP is alot of fun. I'm currently playing in several pbems. You could try that maybe.
     
  5. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    19
    MP would take too long and I'll soon be camping in the woods anyways. I camp for months at a time.

    Yeah, I noted the "too many mouseclicks to end the game" problem years ago. All those stupid AI cities that have spawned units that you have to kill, taking at least 1 mouseclick per kill and possibly more. Lotsa lotsa mouseclicks. I want a WIN button that I press when I'm pretty sure my empire will overrun whatever is left. Then all my troops would go WIN for me. But hey, I will have to write that game. In the woods.

    EDIT: I'm weak, I reinstalled. I wanted to see if Lal could conquer. In the beginning, I thought I had Miriam cornerd in the Monsoon Jungle. Wiped out one of her cities with a scout rover walk-in. Was dancing around to try to keep off the other colony pod, but some mind worms got in the way and I lost focus. Figured, no problem, my research advantage is overwhelming. I'll just get a command center and a recycling tank and plasma and laser prototypes built, make a road network with formers, and come down and crush her. Met everyone else meanwhile and got elected Planetary Governor. Uuuh... I seriously underestimated the military value of peon unit spam. She gave me serious trouble mostly with recon rovers, then finished the job when she finally got impact lasers herself. I was struggling to make enough trance plasma garrisons since I only had 1 city producing units and its production wasn't particularly high. I just didn't take her seriously, so I paid the price. Shoulda kept skirmishing in the Monsoon Jungle in the beginning. It looked like an easy win.

    It may sound like I'm incompetent :) but I think it's just more evidence that there's no such thing as peacefully taking it easy on Transcend. You have to fight. The AIs won't leave you alone.

    EDIT: I thought I had a very clever strategy for Diplomatic Victory. I'd pander to the owner of the Monsoon Jungle! That was Morgan, and he was across the board. So I made a Pact with him. He and I became the strongest. I didn't pick any social engineering that would upset him. I figured Lal does have one advantage over all the other factions: he can adopt any strategy that doesn't involve massive inefficiency. He's plain vanilla, so that means he can be a political chameleon. Hmm is that redundant?

    Oh I'm so clever, but... just as I was about to wipe out Gaia, the only significant opposition, Morgan reneged on his pact! Also I had left Yang unconquered, because he was afraid of me. No problem, I'll just make pop and research MMI. Well, getting MMI took forever. So long, that Morgan expanded a fair amount, and Yang expanded too. When I finally did get MMI, they blocked the 3/4 majority I needed to win. So now I've got to click through another boring 20 turns. It had already been an excruciating game for several hours, depriving me of sleep. Morgan pronounced vendetta on me some time before that. Some time later, he got into a vendetta with the Hive. At that point I paid him his chump money and made a Truce with him. Hey all I needed to do was vote myself supreme leader with the advantage of more pop growth, right? Wrong! They blocked me again. At which point I said this is ridiculous and quit the game.

    So "Diplomatic Victory" wasn't a shortcut after all. In fact it was quite a bit more painful than straight out conquest.

    Uninstalling again.

    I'm weak, I reinstalled. Thought I'd win with Lal opportunistically. Did fine, built 4 really huge cities. Got Industrial Automation from an artifact really early, so lots of early secret projects. Miriam was far away in the Monsoon Jungle and I was nominally at war with her from the beginning. But very little real fighting. Kept on saying, just one more secret project, just one more base improvement. Morgan was right next to me. He got uppity about my Planned economy so I had to take a city from him. He proposed a truce and I thought, hm, well, what I really want is the Monsoon Jungle. Long term that turned out to be a mistake, fixating on the Jungle which was relatively far away. Morgan eventually made war with me again and I thought, fine! This time I finish the job. Zakharov was the only one left and he had become powerful from being left alone. Looked like a 4 way finish and I thought I'd narrow that down to 3. So I piled troops into that city I took from Morgan earlier, thinking ha ha, you are so gonna die. He got one probe team through and mind controlled the whole bloody city! Unbelievable. I quit, because that's just too boring. I do not want to be bothered with probe team defense. I think they're seriously overpowered; I mean, this is a city 4 squares away from my capital! and he can pull this nonsense.
     
  6. creamcheese

    creamcheese Spreading since 1990

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    California, USA
    My personal ratings (single player, transcend) based on my play style and preferred settings:

    1.) University. (I'm a builder)
    2.) Morgan (same as above, but not as good against early rushes).
    3.) Yang (horizontal builder rather than vertical)
    4.) Deidre (good efficiency and good against rushes, but no FM)
    5.) Lal (talents are nice, but no real specialty)
    6.) Santiago (not a builder at all, but can conquer enough to do better than Miriam)
    7.) Miriam (I hate the lack of research, not a builder really)

    I do have to disagree with Marvin Alvito that Yang is noticeably better for a diplo win. That 100% bonus for Lal really puts him over the top, even though he is only mediocre in the rest of the game. I would expect them to come out rather similarly in votes (if played by players of equal skill), perhaps a slight edge in votes to Lal but an edge in military to yang. I'd tend to think the longer the game lasts the more of an advantage Yang gets, as his unit spam rolls over the other players.
     

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