Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 03:06:36 PM

Title: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 03:06:36 PM
Comments and questions about the strategies I'm using in this game, are expected and encouraged.  Please make them in this thread.  As my AARs become longer and longer, I think that's the only way to keep this readable.  Don't worry about "interrupting".  I guarantee I can reestablish the flow with a massive wall of text and 5 screenshots if need be.

I thought a lot about why I'm disliking the past few games I've played.  One of my conclusions is that I tend to rate my progress by the number of Secret Projects I've completed.  When a whole lot of them go by that I didn't get, I don't feel that I'm doing very well.  So in this game I intend to focus on the SPs and not be distracted by peripheral concerns.

Huge map, average settings, random factions including myself.  First I get Aki Zeta-5.  I've played so many games with her recently, that I reroll.  On the 2nd attempt I get Santiago, and no Alien factions in the game.  I've just drawn the worst faction to be isolated with on a Huge map, as her Morale bonuses aren't terribly useful if there's no enemy to crush, and she has -1 Industry.  I've played "isolated Santiago" games before though, so I push down the feelings that this is going to suck.  I decide I will make a go of it, and if this ends up being a short game and a short writeup, so beit.

I'm on some kind of land mass that looks like it could be substantial, or it could be a tiny island.  If it's a tiny island, I'm likely to quit the game.  I've had quite enough of tiny island starts that require me to focus on Explore, to get ships to get off the tiny island.  That's just a "bad roll" AFAIAC nowadays, as it will invariably put me behind other factions.  I've done it hundreds of times and it's not basically interesting to me anymore.  So I set my focus to Discover, Build, figuring that if things don't work out, I'll just quit.

The land turns out to be acceptably large.  Some touching land in the northeast leads to a new area.  I also set off an earthquake in the east which extended my land slightly.  I've won the land size gamble, but it's rocky and covered in a lot of fungus.  If it looks ok to you now, that's because I've done lots of work meticulously cutting all the fungus away around my bases.  Those river systems were full of fungus.

I did not get any minerals near my starting location, nor any Artifacts until just now.  I did get lots of free Rover Scouts.  I've built more vertically than spread-y, because I had a real problem last game with spreading thin and not having substantial production.  I've got Recycling Tanks in all cities and Recreation Commons in almost all.  Not building Rec Commons and failing to have my cities get bigger sooner, is a mistake I've made in several recent games.  Not this time!

I began The Human Genome Project even without good minerals, because I figured I had to do something.  It is perhaps 60% finished and nobody else is working on it, so I might get it.  My 2 copies of The Weather Paradigm are barely started, only 15% complete.  Aki Zeta-5 is working on it as well, I can't remember for how long.  The University is working on The Virtual World.

The free Rover Scouts did their job popping pods where they could.  The remaining pods are either on rocky terrain or fungus.  I'm sending Scouts to finish those.  Then I'll be out of pods and will need to consider when I'm going to start fishing the ocean.  Unless I get The Weather Paradigm, in which case I could raise land instead, but that might be an expensive way to avoid Explore research.  Still, I'll consider it.

I find it interesting that the Peacekeepers and the Gaians are rated so highly on the graph, yet they have not begun any SPs.  Maybe they're on large land masses and are expanding like crazy.  Meanwhile the Data Angels clearly got the short stick.  I'd be in the same boat if I wasn't good at this.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 03:48:42 PM
Why I got Doctrine:Flexibility this turn I don't know, but it is useful.  One of my bases can start making a Transport 3 turns from now.  I need to save my cash for SPs.  Deirdre just started The Empath Guild.  Lal recently began working on 2 copies of The Weather Paradigm.  The University is working on 2 copies of The Virtual World.

I forgot that the Spartans have +1 Police, enabling me to use 2 military units as police.  My bases can get a little bigger than I thought they could.  Well for better or worse, I've got Rec Commons everywhere.  I won't make the same mistake when colonizing the upper half of my land.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 04:05:52 PM
I completed The Human Genome Project with cash.  I'm now beginning 2 Transports.  We started sunspots a few turns ago, so I have to be more careful about enemy SPs.  I won't get any warnings that they're about to complete.  The Believers have thrown their hat in the ring as well.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 04:18:46 PM
I pop Industrial Base from a fungus ridden sea pod.  That's a lot better than an Isle in the face!  Now I have some breathing room for SP completion, even if I don't get The Weather Paradigm.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 04:34:11 PM
I research Planetary Networks.  I switch to Planned, accepting the -2 Efficiency in the interest of getting my SPs done.  I switch to Build only focus as I've got the techs for the Discover SPs.  I don't strictly need Secrets of the Human Brain.  My inherent Morale bonus is protecting me from mindworms and Sea Lurks just fine.

I popped an Artifact in a fungal sea pod.  If I can get it back to base in time, I can definitely finish The Weather Paradigm with it.  If not, well there's still The Merchant Exchange and The Virtual World.

I am not going to try for The Command Nexus at present.  I'm conscious that more techs increases the research expense of additional techs.  Previous experience is that one can go a long time fishing around for Doctrine:Loyalty and not getting it.  I have taken on the role of a Builder this game, not a conqueror.  I don't even know if I have anyone next to me to conquer anyways.  And if there is anyone, I can now probe team them anyways.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 04:47:36 PM
With the aid of a Planned economy and an Artifact I already had in my base, I complete The Weather Paradigm.  That knocks Miriam out of the race, although I don't think she was a contender anyways.  I wonder how close anyone is to The Merchant Exchange?  Sunspots have ended, but I have no diplomatic contact or infiltration.  Well at least I should get warnings about others completing it now.  I may be able to complete it with cash, particularly if I pop a little money from a sea pod.  By the time my Artifact arrives, it'll be overkill for that.  Do I care enough to overkill it?  To be honest I'd probably rather have The Virtual World, if I have to choose.

Even though I have a -1 Industry penalty, I think I'm doing better this game because nobody's bothering me, and I have enough land to do my thing. I get to see progress, instead of being handed stressful #### sandwiches.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 05:43:45 PM
Deirdre completes The Empath Guild and calls an election.  Lal is poised to beat her by 2 votes.  I vote for Lal even though he was going to win anyways, just to express my preference for him.  Deirdre is not going to like my Planned economy and I won't be shocked if she goes to war with me when I talk to her.  Whereas I will probably go Democratic soon enough to offset my current -2 Efficiency.

Now let's see what everyone has to say.

I'll start with Miriam, because I'm not Democratic yet and she'll surely have the least amount of tech to trade, giving me a bargaining advantage.  She begins by offering a Pact to attack Deirdre.  Since her might is Wanting, I have no idea where either of them are on the map, and I'm outfitted as a Builder not a conqueror, I decline.  I can definitely trade my Industrial Base for Nonlinear Mathematics, as my Artifact is 1 turn away from reaching my base.  If I want to complete it next turn, I can.  No I don't want your map.  No, no free techs, you're already Magnanimous anyways.  Should I offer an alliance?  She may not actually be at war with Deirdre yet and might take it.  Nah; find out more about everyone first.  Lal, Miriam, and Roze will go to war eventually, and I need to know which of those is relevant to me.  Santiago out.

Hmm.  Aki, Zhakarov, Lal, Roze, and Deirdre.  All strong research factions.  Who will be the least technical, that I can bargain the best with?  Well since Lal is working on 3 copies of The Merchant Exchange, he must not have Planetary Networks.  Let's try him.  Hm, won't sign a Treaty and isn't prepared to share research at the time.  He's Noncommittal and cut me off.

Sometimes Aki stupidly gives up Doctrine:Loyalty, so let's try her.  She's only working on 1 copy of The Virtual World and has growth problems as a faction, so maybe she doesn't even feel she can complete anything.  She's Cooperative and Feeble.  She wants my Nonlinear Mathematics for Progenitor Psych; I don't trade.  I could offer an alliance and thereby learn what other techs she has, but I can also figure that out in other ways.  I'm going to make a wild guess that she hasn't done well and hasn't researched Doctrine:Loyalty yet.  I will try offering another trade and see if I get any better option to try than Progenitor Psych.  Nope, she offers to sell it for 100 credits.  Not interested, I need my cash for SPs, and certainly not for Progenitor Psych.

Roze might have less tech than Zhakarov, so I'll try her.  She has a tendency to give away Planetary Networks, but I already have that so it doesn't matter.  She's Obstinate, Pathetic, and wants a Pact to attack Deirde.  Thanks but no thanks.  She offers Progenitor Psych for my Doctrine:Flexibility.  No, I think that just increases the expense of my research without any benefit.  No I'm not giving it to you for free either.  We sign a Treaty.  I'll try an obligatory new trade offer, but I don't think she has any more tech.  Nope, same deal.  Santiago out.

Time for Zhakarov, as I'm saving Deirdre for last.  Wow, everyone wants to beat Deirdre up!  I'll pass.  Do I want to trade my Ethical Calculus for his Optical Computers?  It's kind of a speed bump tech, and will make my own research take longer, but I do need to get his Secrets of the Human Brain out of him.  So ok.  Well, he won't trade it anyways, thinks he's too good for me!  We sign a Treaty.  I try the trade again.  This time he does it.  Trading again.  My maps for Progenitor Psych?  I could do that, but I'd rather have Polymorphic Software.  He won't do it, so I take his first deal.  Further trades?  Yes I will buy Polymorphic Software for 100 credits.  My Artifact will overkill The Merchant Exchange next turn anyways.  I don't think I'm ready to ally with him, so I'm signing off.

And now at last, Deirdre.  Lots of people hate you, girl.  She's Seething.  No, a Peacekeeper map isn't worth Optical Computers.  Gene Splicing would be though.  She won't trade it and signs off.  We have a Truce though.

I will check back with other factions to see if I can rustle up any maps.  People want too much for them, but hey... Aki does have Doctrine:Loyalty after all.  She trades it for Optical Computers!  Still don't want a Pact, goodbye.  I switch my SP to The Command Nexus.  As no one else is building it, I can probably complete it with cash in a few turns and save my Artifact for something else.

Miriam wants to kill Roze too.  Whatever.  Nobody's got cheap map info, so I'm done now.  That was a good score with Doctrine:Loyalty though.

Next turn I got a warning that the Peacekeepers are about to finish The Merchant Exchange.  Hopefully nobody starts working on The Command Nexus.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 06:15:06 PM
I complete The Command Nexus by ordinary production, saving my 1 Artifact for later.  I've started to make a bunch of land based Probe Teams, since now they'll be trained.  I've got 1 Skimship Probe Team starting to scout my surroundings and 3 more in production.

I'm 1 turn away from gaining a tech, and 3 turns away from using my last Colonist.  After that I think I'll go Democratic.  Better talk to some people now, like Miriam, before I make those changes.  Let's see what's up.

Miriam wants to kill Roze.  Roze wants to kill Zhakarov.  Lal wouldn't trade Industrial Economics for a tech.  He wanted 225 credits for it, which I didn't have and wouldn't pay anyways.  Aki has Intellectual Integrity but isn't trading it.  Zhakarov wants to kill Miriam.  I trade Doctrine:Loyalty for Adaptive Doctrine, which is very useful to me as I don't have any solid armor yet.  He sells me Secrets of the Human Brain for 100 credits!  I'm so set.  I wonder if Lal will recant on his tech recalcitrance?  Point is moot as he's not talking to me.

Switching production from Probe Teams to Trance 3-Pulse Sentinels.  Everyone's gonna be so happy with 2 units everywhere.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 06:42:41 PM
Lal turns out to be my neighbor.  He's Belligerent now.  The readouts claim he's Unsurpassed.  I'm Formidable myself and I haven't even built proper garrisons yet, so he'd better watch himself if he thinks he's going to sabre rattle.  I don't have to be a Builder faction, it's just what I prefer doing right now.  I've infiltrated him; he doesn't have any tech advantages.  I founded my last city for a bit, so I went Democratic, unfortunately after I spoke with him.  Maybe my politics will placate him, maybe they won't.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 06:45:37 PM
Miriam is also my neighbor.  She's Seething.  I've infiltrated her datalinks.  It's a bit weird to have neighbors who are politically wound up, be Democratic, and still have Lal be Belligerent.

I do a little tech trading with Zhakarov and Aki Zeta-5 just to keep up with the Joneses.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 07:06:08 PM
Lal was about to complete The Virtual World, but Zhakarov built it instead.  I always figured he'd get it.  Lal completed The Citizens Defense Force instead.  Meanwhile he and Deirdre are working Builder SPs.  I find it annoying that they're out-Building me.

This is the point in the game where my enjoyment starts to suffer.  I can't build the SPs I want, and I can't establish dominance over the other players.  Lal, I could invade, but I don't even know where Deirdre is.  If she's on the opposite of the map, then she's a runaway that I can't control.  That would be like the game I played with Morgan on the opposite side of the map, where I kept reacting to him forever and was never able to catch up.  After that I said I wasn't going to let other factions become more powerful that me, but I can't control that right now in this game.  I didn't want to play as "the invader" either, that's another thing ruining my enjoyment.

Perhaps Fundamentalism, stealing, and invasion are in my future.  But I will grow for now.  18 years until my next research breakthrough.  That's not looking good for Industrial Automation.

I walked the dog and came back to the game.  I decided I cannot win by sitting back and hoping to out-Build Lal and Deirdre.  The AI is given basic resource advantages I will not be able to match for some time.  Games are pretty much winnable "eventually" but it takes a lot more mouseclicks to get there.  I don't want to waste lots of real life time on such things.  It's sort of like grinding in MMORPGs and I have pretty deep feelings of been there, done that over the years.

So my politics have to change and I have to invade Lal.  I will try to accomplish my objectives with subterfuge, but my probe teams may be compromised and then I just have to invade the old fashioned way.

First up is I'm ditching the Planned economy in favor of Simple.  Although some of my bases need very much to grow, others are at their population limit and need less population pressure.  Perhaps at that point Deirdre will also make peace.  Before switching her attitude is Seething.  After switching her attitude is still Seething, so I guess I'll need to wait some turns before speaking to her.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 08:07:49 PM
Lal is sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.  That explains why he's strong.  He has also researched Industrial Automation.  I've given up the Build focus, I've switched to Conquer.  There's a chance that over the long haul, I might out-Conquer the other factions.

I am Fundamentalist Simple now.  I have 2 Elite land Probe Teams ready to go, but I didn't have a land city target to use them on.  Now I've found one, but it'll take some time to get there by Transport.  My Skimship Probe Teams aren't trained enough to do a frame job.

I still don't know where anyone is other than Lal and Miriam.  I've encountered a Gaian Isle of the Deep far to the northeast.  Her attitude is softening towards me, she's merely Quarrelsome now.  Miriam ironically is still Seething.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 08:13:31 PM
I've probably found Deirdre, a ways to the northeast.

I bought Intellectual Integrity from Zhakarov for 100 credits.  When I steal from Lal, I am taking a risk of war with another faction.  I want to minimize the number of times I roll the dice on that.  I'd like to obtain something "good" for my trouble, not something I can buy for a mere 100 credits.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 08:26:39 PM
Deirdre completes The Planetary Energy Grid.  Nothing I could do about that.  Lal is showing 24 turns to complete The Planetary Datalinks, so maybe I can steal that one and build it.  I suspect his productivity is no better for The Planetary Transit System, as he started that one more recently.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 09:03:54 PM
Lal had some choice words for me when he saw my Probe Team.  He's Seething, but he didn't declare war.

Who shall I frame?  Definitely not Zhakarov or Aki Zeta-5, as sometimes I buy techs from them and they're well-disposed towards me.  How about Roze?  She's the weakest player in the game, I have no idea where she is, and she's naturally Democratic.  On the other hand, I'm not doing this because I want to be Democratic, but because I need to get ahead of Lal.  Roze is Noncommittal towards me, she's not a hater.

Meanwhile Miriam is Seething despite all my good words with the Lord.  She's at war with Aki and Deirdre.  It feels right to frame her.  Especially, it's highly credible that she'd do it.  I doubt the game takes that into consideration, but it has panache from a roleplaying standpoint.  If I do it and get caught, then Miriam may annoy me with her ships, but Lal will be annoying me anyways in that case.  And if I succeed, it's very good to have Miriam and Lal at war with each other.  They're supposed to be at war anyways, they're politically incompatible.

Ok here goes.  And I promise I'm not going to save scum this.

Industrial Automation stolen.  Miriam framed!

That's almost the best possible result, because I can use supply crawlers to build the SP quickly.  It is tempting to sit back and make good on this, but I think I'd better steal the other tech next turn.  If I steal later, Lal will probably declare war when my probe team comes next to him.  Something about time passing and probe teams showing up, allows AIs to engage in instant communication with them.  I think that's a cheat, or a serious misfeature, as it's not a diplomatic envoy.  Are probe teams supposed to be trivial to detect?  If so, then why can they pull off operations like this?  Anyways it's illogical, more game mechanical than sensible.

The point is, if I steal now, and I get what I want, then I can retire from Fundamentalism.  Lal doesn't have any more techs to steal, and Deirdre already completed the Grid.  It would be reasonable to go back to Democratic Planned to complete my SPs.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 09:20:24 PM
My 2nd probe team succeeded, but not at stealing the tech I was expecting.  I got Centauri Empathy, which Lal didn't even have the turn before.  I didn't think to check whether he'd learn something new.  That said, nobody's been offering to sell it cheap, so I might as well steal it.  I successfully framed Miriam again.  I considered framing Deirdre, but I'd like to keep her in a Truce with me for now.  When it's time to steal from Deirdre then I'll worry about pissing off Deirdre.

I have to bring Transports back to my coast to pick up Elite probe teams to steal from Lal again.  It will take a number of turns.  I hope he doesn't declare war before I can retire from Fundamentalism.

The northeast enclave I discovered earlier may be the Consciousness, not the Gaians.  Looks more like their border color in the water.  The Gaians must be somewhat nearby though, to have that much sea lane traffic.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 09:32:38 PM
Nope, the colors just look similar in the water.  I've found Gaia's Landing.  She's close enough to invade, if I decide to do that.

Crap, Lal is rushing The Planetary Datalinks.  Maybe I don't retire from Fundamentalism because I'll need to invade him?

I notice that Lal is also sitting on The Garland Crater, although I can't tell how much he's developed it.

I think I'm about to lose both of my Transports in the region because I wanted 2 pods.  They both sprung Isles.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 09:54:30 PM
Um, yep.  Sunk.

I find Zhakarov's home waters.  He's pretty darned far away to the southwest, past Lal's continent.  Pretty impossible to invade.  Zhakarov offers a Pact without any strings attached, but I decline.  I'm focusing on Conquer now and expect I'll go for Power soon enough.  Then Zhakarov will hate me.  For now though, he sells me Cyberethics for 100 credits.

Now the only thing I need to steal from Lal is his map.  Can I live without it?  In that case I can retire from Fundamentalism now.  Yeah, a map is not a critical thing.  Switching to Democratic.  I'm such a weasel!  I just happened to have finished founding 3 new cities too.  Good timing, I got my free minerals already.

Deirdre is down to Ambivalent now.  Will I go Green?  It would be terribly politic of me.  Or is the term Economic?
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 10:08:35 PM
As I'm done stealing, I go for Knowledge.  I've infiltrated Zhakarov.

Roze contacted me.  She offered Adaptive Economics in exchange for something.  I traded her Secrets of the Human Brain, i.e. old news.  I'm 1 turn away from finishing my own research, so that was a good trade.

Witness my 3 shiny new bases.  My garrison units approach on foot.  I've got a slow transport in the sea base.

Next turn I imagine I'll go Green and try to settle things with Deirdre.  I'm not exactly sure why.  I think because I consider fighting Lal to be more important, if it comes to it.  After all he's sitting on the Monsoon Jungle and she's not.  Meanwhile, Miriam is at war with lots of people, including Deirdre.  Sort of a "gang up" mentality.  Miriam actually took one of Deirdre's bases.  Ordinarily I'd expect Deirdre to take it back with a probe team, but this is Miriam we're talking about.  Probably not an option.  So maybe I don't really need to fight Deirdre on that basis alone.  Miriam might be keeping her busy.

Well I can rationalize it any way I want.  I'm not really sure what I'm doing.  I don't even know if I can complete The Planetary Transit System before Lal does.  I hope the next tech I get is good.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 18, 2018, 11:02:01 PM
Would you take this tempting offer?  Consider that she's making it by putting a laser skimship next to my unarmed transport.  I just went Democratic.  I think she's about to declare war and sink me.  So my answer is "no".

I made a mistake.  That's an impact ship.  Yes she declared war and sank me.

I made another mistake though.  I just researched High Energy Chemistry, after we got done talking.  I'd wondered why that hadn't come up with anyone, but I forgot about it for awhile.  So all my quintillion hours of research, have just gone for something stupid.  26 years to my next breakthrough, because I haven't built crap in the way of Network Nodes.

I may have tech parity anyways from all the trading I've been doing.  In which case I could pop my Artifacts.  Problem is I think others have a superior research rate to me.  So I'd pop 'em, but then others would research the same stuff that I could have stolen.  So maybe it's time to turtle up and build some Network Nodes.

I go Green and contact Deirdre.  Her attitude is Ambivalent.  She asks me for Nonlinear Mathematics.  I guess she's not "all that" and Miriam really is going to trash her.  I'll stay out of it then.  She won't sign a Treaty, says I'm too powerful.  Whatever, you Nature Looney.  You'd think some perfectly good firearms would be of use to you right about now....

Wonder how Lal feels about all of this?  Brring, Brring!  Hey Lal,  :danc: mother@#$!er  :danc: mother@#$!er  :danc:  :danc: !!!  This guy doesn't have Nonlinear Mathematics either??  What kind of show are you running here?!  I traded that from Miram back in the what, stone ages?  Boy you people are stupid.  I hope Miriam swallows the whole lot of you.  She won't be touching me.  Lal won't sign a Treaty either, says I'm too powerful. @#!@ him.

I think my next move will be to infiltrate Deirdre.

Maybe it's also time to build a Coalition of the Willing with the lesser players.  Roze, how 'bout it?  They sign a Pact, which reveals Roze's, Deirdre's, and Lal's maps.  That was helpful.  Roze is not at war with anybody, so that alliance will merely make me some money for now.

Heck Zhakarov can make me money too.  How 'bout it?  Oh you little !!##, now you don't want it.  Just a turn ago you did.  What a weenie!  Fine, I'll go Power and kill you someday.

Aki Zeta-5, wassup?  And where the hell are you anyways?  She joins.  She's got this island to the west of me, which I never made it to.  She also reveals Zhakarov's map while she's at it.  Now I know everyone's layout.  She's at war with the Believers, so no new enemies.

Crap, Lal finishes The Planetary Transit System in 4 turns.  I'm not even remotely close.  I'd need the equivalent of 5 Artifacts to rush it, and I've only got 3.  They also aren't all positioned in the city, as I didn't expect to use them.  Thought I'd have enough Supply Crawlers by now, but my output has been lackluster.  Even if I had 5 Artifacts, I wouldn't use them on this SP.

So what was all this kerfuffle for 3 hours for?  I'm not going to get a single one of the Builder SPs that I tried to intervene on.  I might have more tech than I otherwise would.  However, I might have simply bought the tech cheap, after the SPs were all completed.  That's what happened with several of them anyways.

Am I wasting my time?  What am I trying to do in this game?  Well, at least I've got full map intelligence now.  That's new.  I'll have to contemplate it.  Also I have a full understanding of the political relationships and I didn't have much information before.

Well I'm looking at the map and thinking it's either time to quit, or to invade Lal.  The irony is that Lal didn't get The Virtual World or The Planetary Energy Grid, the 2 really powerful SPs that I would like to have.  Invading Lal isn't going to get me those.  But I can't see letting Lal sit around getting more and more powerful on such good land.  He'll get new techs, he'll build them way too fast like he just did, and I'll never catch him.  I might match him but not catch him.  It'll be like that Morgan game where he gets 3/4 of the stuff.  Screw that.  Either quit, or accept that I have to be militaristic and do what must be done.

I don't think I could have launched a military campaign much sooner than now, as I've only recently gotten all my bases garrisoned.  Not counting the 3 new bases I'm still garrisoning.  My productivity is also not that great.  Acceptable but not great.  So I think it's time to work on a land bridge.  I've had The Weather Paradigm all this time, I just haven't made use of the capability.  In general, I have not worked my land as much as I need to.  I've got cities without enough food for growth.

In general I'm living up to the faction restrictions that Santiago actually has.

And you know, Lal started on the Monsoon Jungle.  3 Jungle squares are within the base radius of UN Headquarters!  If that isn't a "prize start" I don't know what is.

Hmm, you know what else argues for invasion?  He's got an awful lot of 1-2-1 garrison units.  He's got a few 1-3p-1 units as well, and walls from The Citizen's Defense Force, so I definitely can't rover him.  But if only I could get the units to him fast enough, he's pretty weak.  The problem is, I can't get the units to him fast enough.  Oh well, I'll start doing what I can to lay the groundwork.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 12:42:58 AM
Deirdre started and then quickly finished The Ascetic Virtues, another Builder SP I would like to have.  I tried contacting her afterwards to see if she'd trade.  Now she's Magnanimous towards me, and she did sign a Treaty, but she won't do a Pact.  You'd think with the Believers having taken over Fallow Time, which is next to Gaia's Landing and also controls The Manifold Nexus, she'd be a little more interested in help.  Deirdre has done nothing about it since forever, even though she's at war with Miriam.  Anyways, Deirdre was so interested in my extensive world map that she was willing to trade Planetary Economics for it.

Since I have 2 Treaties and 2 Pacts, I'm going to see if I can get a Global Trade Pact.  It would have happened easily, except for Lal's Executive Veto.  Yeah, it was sort of the point that I had more trade relations than him.  More reason to take him over.

Miriam is attempting to shell the coastal city nearest to her.  It's useless.  My artillery just keeps beating up her ships.  I don't do anything.  By sitting still, I'm healing faster than she's wounding me.  Very good trade.

I've infiltrated Aki Zeta-5.  That wasn't hard as she's a near neighbor.  The bigger trick is getting over to Roze, which has taken me near to Miriam's waters.  I think I'm past the danger though.  Just in case I've got another skimship probe team coming from a different direction.  I don't have anything heading to Deirdre yet.  I've got another skimship probe team quite far away, south of Lal, that is on pod popping duty now.  That's what I'll continue to do with them until there's something to steal somewhere.

Oooh, good to check the status of allies.  Zhakarov has researched Advanced Military Algorithms.  I trade him High Energy Chemistry for it.  I'm not going Power yet.  I want my land bridge to Lal finished first.

Clearly I was correct about not popping my Artifacts just yet.  I've got 4.  I'm building 3 more Network Nodes, in cities nearest my capitol, for when I want to finally cash them.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 01:07:51 AM
Both Zhakarov and Deirdre have started The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  This is not good.  If Zhakarov gets it, it's no tragedy, merely inconvenient that I won't have it.  But Deirdre is likely to get it very quickly, based on the rate at which she's been completing SPs.  Also bad is that if I get it, Lal's going to get it through the Planetary Datalinks.  On the other hand, Lal could research it himself, and then I could steal it from him.  It may start a war prematurely, but I'd rather have that SP.  I'm bringing the Supply Crawlers I didn't use, back to the vicinity of the base which is still working on a copy of The Planetary Transit System.  Between those and cash, I do have enough to instantly finish a SP.

Roze is now Ambivalent towards me.  There's a chance that when my Skimship Probe Team shows up to infiltrate her, that she may dump our alliance.  Which could send that unit home.  Fortunately, I have 2 en route to her from different directions.  She doesn't have anything, I just want her infiltrated.

If I'm going to steal from Lal, it may be best to go Fundamentalist before I do so.  If I don't try to frame someone else, then war is certain.  I'd be changing just to fight him, and to keep my bases and units from being subverted.  Whereas if I change beforehand, there's a possibility that I can avoid war until the time of my choosing.

But first, let's see if he learns the tech.

A similar logic applies to stealing from Deirdre.  Problem is I've never gotten any probe teams anywhere near her.  She will probably finish before I can even manage it.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 01:19:14 AM
Zhakarov stopped building the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  I wonder why?  He's not at war with anybody.  I decided to talk to him, just on the weird chance he wants to let go of that technology.  No he doesn't, but I forgot we weren't in a Pact.  So we swore one.  He's also in a Pact with Deirdre.

My bridge to Lal has produced an energy resource, which I don't want to ruin.  So that's a delay in construction.  The diversion will make a good place for a new city next to my capitol though.  I don't have any special economic or research SP in there, but if I invade Lal as planned, my existing capitol will be fairly close to the center of my empire.  Or else a new city will be, closer to Lal.

Feels like governing from Panama though.

Hm, next turn Zhakarov is building it again.  I think the AI gets to fiddle the continuity of SPs in ways that we humans don't get to.  Either that or he really did start, stop, and start for some goofy reason.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 01:48:31 AM
Lal has started working on The Maritime Control Center.  That's not critical for me to get, as I'm building a land bridge.  In fact, I could let him finish it for me.

Miriam landed 2 garrison units on my shores.  If they pillage a forest I'm hardly worried about it.  The irony is I've never built offensive units!  First there were Scouts, then 1-3pt-1 from the Command Nexus, then a couple of artillery pieces, then a whole bunch of probe teams.  I've got all my old cities covered with those now.  Never needed offensive units because nobody ever came here or looked like they were going to come here.  Also I had hoped that I might have a better weapon than Impact by now.  Well, whatever.  Making some weapons.

Up north I captured a mindworm.  I forgot that I'm Green and can do that.  If I had any extra productivity, I could put ships in the water and try to capture something.  But I don't.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 02:06:51 AM
I've researched Synthetic Fossil Fuels.  So now I have something that others don't: bigger guns.  I'm starting work on 6-3-1 units, and I'm adding another Former to bridge duty.  I'm not going to make Fungicidal Formers though, because I am Green and could be capturing mindworms I run into.

I killed Miriam's better armored unit with a 4-1-1.  Her lesser armored unit is nearly dead, but could still move around and make trouble, so I've sent a Scout to block it off from my Formers.

Lal is Noncommittal.  Just for laughs I offered him a Treaty.  He didn't take it.  Usual crap about me being too powerful.  Dude, you're Unsurpassed.  Oh well, I will continue with the plan to kill you.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 02:25:18 AM
I'm quite surprised that my buddy Zhakarov completed The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  I guess Deirde isn't as prolific as I thought.  This is a somewhat good result as I'm more likely to want to steal from or take over Deirdre than Zhakarov.

I'm also surprised that Zhakarov won't trade or sell me any tech.  Deirdre wants 475 credits for it, which is not worth it to me.  I'll steal it from Lal when he gets it.  Deirdre is also at war with Roze, my ally.  I asked Deirdre to stop, but she says Roze is the one who must do that.

Hmm, I didn't want to talk to Roze, but her attitude is listed as Cooperative and she's got Ecological Engineering.  So let's talk.  Wassup girlfriend?!?  I made the trade, and got her to sign a Treaty with the Gaians.

Can I entice Deirde with Ecological Engineering?  Nope.  And she's the only faction I haven't infiltrated.  I'm finally working on a Skimship Probe Team to fix that.  Just remembered I need to add deep radar to that.

Now I have the conundrum of only The Maritime Control Center being available though.  My bridge is not finished and I'm not ready to invade yet, although it will be soon.  Lal will complete his SP in 13 turns.  I will complete mine in 6.  I need to slow mine down and "park it", because I think letting Lal build the MCC and taking it over, is the better plan.  So I will support units from that base, thereby lowering its minerals output.  In 12 years I get another tech, so maybe I'll get The Neural Amplifier or something.  Or maybe Lal will develop something more worth stealing.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 05:01:14 AM
Zhakarov is not trading me techs anymore.  He's researched Superconductor.  Fortunately Deirdre dropped the price on Pre-Sentient Algorithms to 250 credits, so I bought that.  Oddly, they are allied.  I can't get Deirdre to ally with me though.

Miriam has researched Bioadaptive Resonance.  I'm creating a new round of Skimship Probe Teams to go steal it, and to finally infiltrate Deirdre.

My bridge to Lal is nearly finished.  I need to put a city at the end of it though.  A colony pod won't be ready for 5 turns.  It's coming from my capitol, which is a bit minerals poor.  Meanwhile my Formers will work the squares to make ready for the city.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 05:16:09 AM
Lal completes The Maritime Control Center.  Deirdre is starting the Xenoempathy Dome.  That pretty much settles it for me.  I can't keep up with these two ping-ponging back and forth getting different SPs.  It's time to steal from Deirdre, and to invade Lal.  I'm going Fundamentalist.  One of my Skimship Probe Teams is about to be finished and this will hopefully make it Elite?  Maybe not, but I'll work with what I've got.  I want my SP copy to actually be something, and I'm tired of Deirdre getting all the good stuff.

Oh crap, just realized I've also got Knowledge.  That won't make an Elite probe team.  I'll need to switch to Power as well.  Well I'm tired of Zhakarov anyways.  Looks like all my alliances are going to go belly up.  Unless of course I beat Lal so quickly that they don't object.  I don't see much chance of that.  Maybe I can keep Treaties though.

Next turn I'm Fundamentalist Green Power.  This added substantially to the cost of my SP.  I do have plenty of supply crawlers and cash to finish it instantly, but I'm surprised I need to do it.  Skimship Probe Teams take longer to complete as well.  The rest, which will presumably be Elite, will be available in 3 turns.  The 1st one is going to steal Bioadaptive Resonance from Miriam, and if it survives, Doctrine:Initiative from Lal.

All of my 6-3-1 units have gone Elite, which is friggin' great!

Next turn, I stole Bioadaptive Resonance.  That promoted my Skimship Probe Team to Elite.  I will send it to Deirdre.

Next turn, 3 more Commando teams become available to me.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 06:00:45 AM
Just as I'm about to complete my land bridge, Lal suddenly wants to talk.  Whaddya think he's gonna say??

Hey, Lal!   :danc: mother!@##er  :danc: mother!##!er  :danc:  :danc: !!

Surprisingly, he only wanted a tech trade, and to sternly warn me about the errors of being Fundamentalist.  Well, uh, thanks for sharing.  And for letting me know you have more tech to steal.

You know we've never actually had a formal Truce?  It's been informal this whole time.

I've infiltrated Deirdre.  Hmm, she's researched Environmental Economics as well.  Will she sell it cheap?  Does anyone else have it?  Roze does, but I don't want to talk to her.  So does Lal.  And Zhakarov.  I so need to invade all these people, this is ridiculous.  Who titled this stupid After Action Report anyways.  Santiago a builder?  Hah!

Well hey, Deirdre sold me Environmental Economics for 100 credits.  It's gonna hurt if the heist of Centauri Meditation goes bad.  Next turn we'll see.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 06:13:07 AM
And here we are, connected at last.  I suppose I don't have to declare war immediately.  I can make some roads into Lal's territory!

Carefully checking Deirdre's tech before the deed, she only has Centauri Meditation to steal.  Here goes nothing, and I promise not to save scum this one.

Hot dang.  Centauri Meditation stolen, Miriam framed!  They were at peace too.  Mission Accomplished!

I spend 1 supply crawler and 24 credits to rush The Xenoempathy Dome.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 07:00:54 AM
Now it is as I feared would happen.  It has taken me so long to get to this point, that Lal has acquired Fusion Power meanwhile.  Pretty sure Zhakarov was the 1st to research it.  I can of course steal it from Lal, but it becomes an effective barrier against the 6-3-1 units I already made.  Lal is already fielding new Fusion garrisons, although fortunately not everywhere.  So I will attack in places where he doesn't have them yet.

I am almost ready.  I need a segment of road to link 2 patches of fungus, and that will take me 2 turns to complete.  Then I will steal techs from his coastal cities simultaneously, cause him to declare war, and summarily storm his 1st city.  I've been building Energy Banks and Tree Farms, but I have a huge cash reserve to complete many of them.  I had thought my next wave of units would be more powerful one way or another, and I didn't want to waste my productivity on lots of weaker units.  I would save a lot of money if I switched from Power to Knowledge after the 1st conquest.  And maybe I could sucker Zhakarov into declaring war on Lal?

One thing I did not build is any artillery units.  I had 1 to accompany me, but Miriam started attacking my shore and I had to send it back for home defense.  I just assumed I'd roll over Lal's fission units so fast, that it wouldn't be needed.  Also Energy Banks were much more needed.  Well I guess I'll make some once I've got Fusion Power.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 07:35:06 AM
You SOB.  I can't sit around making all that crap, I've got -1 Industry.  Well it's -3 now actually, but it's been -1 since Day One.  I've played games where I turned random events off because they are so obnoxious.  The bad ones are way, way worse than the good ones are good.  If they toasted my 1562 credits with an energy overload, I swear I'd rage quit this thing.  But I do have Energy Banks everywhere, so they'd better not.  You know, there was one game where I had the Planetary Energy Grid and I still got my credits wiped out?  That made me furious!  I would never put this kind of jackass stuff in a game.

You ever had a meteor destroy one of your good cities?  That's not fun, that's being griefed by the game.

Miriam also decided to annoy me by landing when I was just about to launch my offensive.  Now I have to take 1/2 of my units back to deal with her.  I'm annoyed to find out I didn't make anywhere near as many 6-3-1 units as I thought.  I've only got 2 to attack with now.  Well, if Lal doesn't deploy any new garrison units in UN Great Refuge - in short, if he doesn't cheat - and both my units hit, then I'll take it.  They are Elite missile units going against 1-2-1's, they should by rights chew them for breakfast.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 08:11:51 AM
Lal rebuked me for building up my units in his territory.  Since they're sitting in fungus out of range of his base, how did he even see them?  Cheating?

Miriam, as usual doing poorly with her ships against my artillery, offered a Truce.  I took it.  Now I've got 2 of my 6-3-1 units tied up doing guard duty on the 2 units she landed.  Since she can't go anywhere, maybe she'll get the message, put them back on her boat, and leave.

As my opening move against Lal, I stole Doctrine:Initiative from him.  I got the most amazing reply.  Never, ever have I seen an AI fail to react to tech theft.  First time in all these years of play.  Well he'll have 2 more chances to get pissed off!

For my 2nd theft I stole Silksteel Alloys.  Still the same pusillanimous wimp response.

Ok!  3 times is a charm.  Got Fusion Power and a war.

Still need 1 more tech, so stealing from my target city, UN Great Refuge.  Hmm, high security interlocks there.  I don't think I stole from there before.  Maybe it was the Believers.  That probe team only has 1 move remaining, so he'll wait until I take the city and become the garrison probe team.

I have 1 probe team that was originally intended to go to UN Great Refuge, sitting within range of another coastal city.  Ok, that's Advanced Subatomic Theory, and the probe team is now back at Defiance Freehold as a garrsion.  So far so good.

Now for the kill.  That was trivial.  UN Great Refuge is mine.

Switching to Knowledge to finish Tree Farms and dupe Zhakarov.  Well I managed to spend about 1100 credits.

What does Zhakarov have to say?  Now he's trading with me.  He wants Silksteel Armor.  I give him Synthetic Fossil Fuels for his Superstring Theory.  He agrees to war with Lal!

I've got tech parity now.  However, Zhakarov will surely pull ahead again, so this is not a good time to pop Artifacts.  I've got a big enough gun to blow Lal to bits anyways.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 03:17:11 PM
Zhakarov ditched me as an ally.  Well I wasn't planning to feel that constrained to stick with Knowledge anyways.  Right now I still need it to finish city improvements though.  I'm building Network Nodes so that an overload doesn't happen again.  I'm making a small number of speeder fusion units, some with armor, others with weapons.  They will reinforce my position.  I will build massive numbers of offensive weapons when I'm ready to switch to Power again.

Aki Zeta-5 bugged me about not being at war with Miriam.  As Miriam hasn't made any surprise attack, and her attitude towards me is softening, I think she might actually be willing to make peace eventually.  So I asked Aki to call off her war.  Aki says Miriam is the one who wants the war.  So I contacted Miriam, who again complained to me about my Treaty with Deirdre, but I refused to do anything about that.  I asked Miriam to call off her war against Aki and she agreed.  Now they have a Treaty.  Since they're not close to each other, I don't expect further fighting.

Miriam didn't remove her 2 garrison units from my land.  I left a single Scout Rover to pin them in place, freeing my two 6-3-1 units to join the front.  They are nearing UN Great Refuge.

Lal sent a probe team against UN Great Refuge, but stopped his movement next to the city.  I'd say my Commando probe team scared him off.  I need to reinforce my probe teams though.  That's another job for when I have Power.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 03:43:40 PM
Um... Lal wasn't that scared of my Commando probe team.  He attacked it with 2 of his own, wiping it out.  Then he mind controlled UN Great Refuge.  It's not a great loss as I had some fission units and a mindworm in there.  For some reason upon capture, he lost the Rec Commons and the Recycling Tanks I had just built in there.  I wonder why that always happens?

This is a setback, but just part of the reality that I've suffered -1 Industry from the beginning of the game.  I got punished for not having many Network Nodes and I don't intend to keep getting punished for it.  So my Power offensive has been interrupted.  I've got 4 Foil Probe Teams in Defiance Freehold, my new city that guards the land bridge, so Lal won't be doing anything to me.  The campaign is not a loss: I've stolen all of Lal's techs and built a road straight into his heart.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 03:58:59 PM
Lal has begun The Supercollider.  I have moved my 3 less trained Foil Probe Teams in position to steal from his sea base next turn.  My Elite unit, I left behind to defend the base.  I kiled an interloping probe team only a couple of turns ago, so I know he will try.  His sea base isn't supporting any ships, and he's been fighting Miriam, so hopefully he doesn't have any in the water.  I've spread out my units as a precaution.  Lal has a probe team in the base, and unfortunately I don't have any ships to shell it with.  So I'll have to make do with the units I've got.

I'm not thrilled about tying up my own production to do The Supercollider.  It would have the effect of fixing my capitol's position at Sparta Command, or close by.  But I don't want either Lal or Zhakarov to get this either.  <sigh> This is blunting my offensive again.  I can't go Power if I intend to build this thing.  In fact I can't even build military units, I have to build speeder crawlers.  Everything gets put on hold to do this.  But if I don't do it, it has little to no value if I capture it later, as it'll be far from my ultimate capitol.

Next turn, I steal it without incident.  The theft is performed by my least trained Foil Probe Team, which is compromised upon completion of the mission.  Acceptable losses.

Deirdre contacts me about starting a war with Roze.  That has no strategic value to me so I blew her off.  I also asked her to stop warring with Miriam, and got an interesting reply.  "Never! etc."  I wonder what Miriam did to piss her off so much?  Oh wait, maybe it was my frame job! :lol:

Starting The Supercollider in my capitol, it would take a ridiculous amount of time to complete.  I need to go Planned.  Which means I can't stay Fundamentalist.  So I switch to Democratic.  Miriam might get pissed, but I can live with that.  She's moved her 2 garrison units back to the rock they first landed on, which makes blocking her up easier.  I will bring something tougher than a Rover Scout to do the guard duty.

Lal is using Crawlers as well.  He's Democratic Planned Power so has -1 Industry.  I'm Democratic Planned Knowledge so with my faction disadvantage I've got +0 Industry.  Lal's cash reserves aren't extensive, only 261 credits.  This is really going to suck if I can't complete this before Lal.  I have very little in the way of spare units to liquidate, although I could ditch the old Impact units.  I could bring Artifacts into the race, but I am unwilling as I will need those for tech jumps someday.  Sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't proposition.  Well, maybe I'd better bring them in case I really am pressed, and would rather lose 1 than lose The Supercollider.

<Phew!>  Looks like I've won this.  With all the speeder supplies I made, I've got 3 turns to completion and still have junk streaming into my capitol.  Lal's showing 7 turns.  Even if he rushed it next turn, I'd have it.  Long as he doesn't rush this turn, and if he can do that, I say it's cheating.  Still I will save my game in case he cheats.  I could finish it with cash this turn.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 05:36:10 PM
Well I pulled it off.  I beat Lal by 1 turn.  I also feel like I need to build a Research Hospital and a Fusion Lab to make good on the investment.  I'm on a wild ride with the population growth though.  I've switched my budget to 40-30-30 to compensate.
Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 06:12:34 PM
Well looky looky.  After my Network Nodes overloaded, I forgot I could even do research.  I'm the 1st one to get this in the game.  I hope I can make good on this advantage.  I've started an Aerospace Complex in a centrally located, high minerals city.  I will build another in a southeast high minerals city that faces Miriam, and another at my city which guards the land bridge to Lal.  More delays for going Power.  Although, soon I may go Democratic Green Power and forget about being Fundamentalist anymore.  With combat experience, or with a trip to my 1 Monolith, I can probably make my units Elite.

I just signed a Pact with Zhakarov, who is still at war with Lal.  Don't tell him about my plans.   :D  Zhakarov isn't trading techs right now though.

Ah heck, I finished my SP.  Let's get back to Green and make Deirdre happy.  My growth rate has become painful anyways.  I'm not going to go Power for a bit though, because I've still got a lot of infrastructure to complete.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 06:17:40 PM
Deirdre has started The Longevity Vaccine.  Zhakarov has already been working on it.  Really these 2 factions are both runaways.  It highlights that the AIs are given productivity and I am not.  At least it's 2 factions running away and competing with each other for the SPs, instead of only 1 faction getting them all.  Lal is a runaway as well, just one that I'm able to intervene on.  But I can't do anything about those other 2 factions until I settle Lal's hash, and my productivity hasn't been up to task yet.  Hopefully it's all coming together "soon" though, with that big population surge filling out the squares I already worked.

I have completed a Research Hospital and a Fusion Lab in my capitol.  I've started on a Hybrid Forest.

Lal is starting to bring units up to my guard city to commit suicide.

Eventually I built my 1st plane, but it turns out Roze had already done that.  I guess I wasn't 1st to get Doctrine:Air Power after all.  Either that or she got the tech after I did, then built a plane faster than I did.  Possible, if she didn't build an Aerospace Complex first.

There's a lot less to comment on between turns now, because I'm still waiting for stuff to complete.  Lal keeps suiciding units.  The sum total damage he's done against me, is killing 1 Foil Probe Team.  I'm not quite sure why it was defending instead of the piles of older generation fission land probe teams in the city.  He had to wear it down over many probe team attacks.  The rest of my cities, have been nearly all garrisoned with a newer model of Fusion ECM Silksteel probe team.  They're not intended to move around, but to just sit there and prevent interlopers.

Lal has acquired Neural Grafting, so it is time to steal it.  Sending out a Foil Probe Team.  The bastard cheated and attacked it with a Crusier, even though I was hiding in fungus and he didn't have any Sensor Array to spot me with.  I guess I'll do an air escort next time.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 19, 2018, 08:24:23 PM
Do I care about this game anymore?  Nope.  I'm quitting.  It takes a lot of time to do these writeups, and I'm not interested in doing the work.

I know exactly how it's going to go.  "Soon" I will invade Lal.  I will win.  Zhakarov will come to hate me and will go to war with me.  I'll be in a period of consolidation where I garrison The Monsoon Jungle.  Then I'll build a land bridge to Zhakarov and take him over, since he's only 1 square away.  Then I'll find an excuse to invade Deirdre, possibly by sea using The Maritime Control Center.  That will finally put all the runaway factions out of the game and give me the SPs I wanted to build in the 1st place.

That is a lot of work compared to being ahead of everyone in tech to begin with, starting SPs early, and having enough production to complete them.  i.e. Aki Zeta-5 can run circles around everyone this way.  Santiago, in contrast, has no tech advantage and a significant productivity penalty.  Santiago has to conquer, or she won't get anywhere.  I never wanted to play a conquest game.

I'm also now realizing that being forced to conquer on a Huge map, is a seriously losing proposition.  Nobody can make enough units to conquer all the factions at all the distances from one's starting point.  Some AI is going to be left with a free hand and get very powerful.  If one is lucky, it will be a research retarded faction like the Believers, and thus not a serious long term threat to tech and SP dominance.  But that may be the only faction one can get lucky with.  I still think Domai cheats about his -2 Research penalty.

When the AI plays Santiago, I've seen her get very powerful if she sits on the Monsoon Jungle.  Or if she's gifted a lot of good land and has a lot of time to expand into it.  Under certain circumstances, Santiago doesn't develop a crippled empire.  However it is far more typical for Santiago to flounder with a marginal start.  Like a small island with few resources for instance.

Strategically, I don't think there's anything I could have done about how this game went.  I didn't have the ability to intervene in anyone else's affairs for quite a long time.  When I became capable of affecting other players, I found that my nearest runaway neighbor was sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.  So I planned to go after him, and it took a long time, because I didn't have the productivity.  The only other option I see would have been a naval invasion of Deirdre, without the benefit of Cruiser Transports.  I would have gotten a foothold, but that would have been a productively feeble effort as well.  Either way, 1 of those factions would have been left alone, to spew SPs and techs endlessly.

Nevermind Zhakarov, whom I was never going to reach in the early to midgame era.

The only other potential I'm seeing is if I had spent more time as Democratic Planned early on.  I have my doubts it would have worked out.  It merely puts me at Industrial parity with other factions, it doesn't make me more productive than them.

Ok, next game I'm not interested in playing Santiago.  If I get her, I'll reroll.  I'm also not interested in "tiny island" starts or close combat with Aliens.  Those all amount to "Here's your @#@# sandwich.  Why don't you start dozens of turns behind everyone else?"  No thanks.

Title: Re: Santiago the Builder
Post by: bvanevery on February 25, 2018, 11:34:37 PM

I blew off this game.  Not because I couldn't win it, clearly I could.  Not because I was doing badly, I wasn't.  I quit because I wanted to build and my faction wasn't appropriate for it.  I spent excessive time with the Power choice, crippling my industry with a faction that already has crippled industry.  I knew I enjoyed building SPs the most, previous AARs had proven that to me abundantly.  I played the faction that isn't good at that.  It wasn't fun for me, so I quit.

Once again the Existential question arises: why go against what is natural for your faction?  Conquest is natural for Santiago.  Staying offshore is natural for the Pirates.  Recently I did a Pirate game "backwards" and that AAR didn't go so well, same as this one.  I nipped that one in the bud a lot sooner than this one.  Now you know how long a land bridge invasion takes.  A long time.