The mercenary strike air force technique in FM
Date: October 22, 2012, 03:45:50 PM
It's tough to maintain a permanent *offensive* air combat capability [strike needlejets/strike copters/missiles/locusts] under FM in the early to mid-game - unless you are willing to do something like the Punisphere technique. However, you can have as many *defensive* air combat units as you want without causing pacifist drones. Just add the (air-to-air) combat capability to your needlejest and chopper designs. They will have shorter range and are less effective against ground and sea targets than the strike versions of the aircraft designs - though they can still wreak havoc on soft targets like incoming transports.
I play Morgan [FM/Wealth] a lot and I tend to make use of *mercenary* strike air combat forces whenever I need to attack outside my territorial boundaries. Caveat: I am nowhere near as aggressive as most players. i will normally drop the pursuit the moment I have driven the attackers from my territory. If you feel compelled to 'roll-up' your enemies, you should avoid the merc technique.
The merc strike air force technique goes as follows:
1> Place several bases on infinite air strike unit production
2> Attack with the strike aircraft the same turn they are built
3> If a strike unit gets destroyed, fine - send another one to finish off the target
4> If the strike air unit is victorious, repatriate [SHIFT+D] the merc air crews immediately. Chopper crews only after you have made multiple attacks, of course. Don't even waste time returning damaged attack air units to base. It's quicker to build a new one.
5> In either case 3 or 4, the pacifist drones in the building base disappear instantly before they can cause the base to revolt
6> Once the enemy attack has been repulsed, switch all bases back to immediate infrastructure production and repatriate all merc air attack units.
Most people probably find this a horrid waste of resources, but believe me, it's not a problem on FM/Wealth in the later stages of the game against the AI. You will easily repulse any incoming attacks - even by multiple AI factions. Do try to get the combat morale boosting facilities and SPs as soon as possible, as you will need those morale bonuses. Also, always keep a decent defensive air combat capability as a permanent air force to blunt that first incoming wave of attackers.
If I must maintain a strike air unit for more than a turn or two, I will typically switch the pacifist drones in the affected base [less than size 10] to specialists. This requires that you have boreholes, condensors and supply crawlers up and running. Keep the base's mineral production positive with crawlers. Let the nutrient production go negative for a couple of turns if necessary.
Once a base reaches double digit population levels you can actually maintain a couple of permanent offensive air combat units [i.e. planet busters] without ever worrying about losing bases to drone revolts. Just let the pacifist drones protest to their hearts content. The base will need a couple of psych specilaists to neutralize the drones and the necessary advanced terraforming and crawlers to make up for any resource shortfalls - min/nuts both positive.
If you go to FM before you finish exploring, you can use tranports and probes as ad hoc exploration teams. They won't cause drones when they leave your territory.
- Scipio Centaurus (Source: Apolyton CS)
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