Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 03:47:34 AM

Title: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 03:47:34 AM
by Brandon Van Every, long term SMAC addict
cybernetic consciousness
cybernetic consciousness

Questions and comments about this game are welcome in this thread.

In my last game I played a similarly large map as the Pirates.  I was trying to give the AI lots of room to spread out and be effective.  But, freakish world generation caused all other factions to start on small islands.  I started next to one of 2 giant continents and played an un-Pirate-like game, mostly on land.  This game, I fiddled with the world generation in alphax.txt to ensure "proper" continental land masses.  I changed: Continental base = 48, Continental modifier = 96, Islands = 1.  These settings generate large land masses while still leaving vast oceans.  If a Pirate ends up in the game, he'll be happy.

planetfall
planetfall

Hopefully with some squinting you can see the large continental shapes of this world.  Even with these settings, it still took me 3 restarts to get a proper starting position.  On my 1st start, I was given a degenerate 3 square island in open ocean!  I've got a good start now, and I hope everyone else does, or this will be an awfully short writeup.  I've seen plenty of games where factions were stillborn / DOA, the telltale sign being their bar on the faction histogram is completely flat.  One time I was given a 1 square island with no boat!  Can't even give me a boat??  I tried to play anyways but, uh, that didn't work out.

near nutrients
near nutrients

This is a non-terrible start, on some ok land near some good nutrients.  That spot of water might lead to open ocean, although it could also just be a tiny lake.  I don't think I will prioritize settling it now.  I'll just head for the nutrients.

Last game, I found the Pirates were slow to get started, due to the extra overheads of getting a life at sea up and running.  Even heading for land as quickly as I did, it was a slow affair.  It put me behind and many early Secret Projects went right by me.  I'm endeavoring not to have that happen to me this game.  The Cybernetic Consciousness has a +2 Research advantage and should be able to get the techs needed for Secret Projects.  Thus they can start early and dominate all those races.  Her main concern is getting the minerals to build them.  Some games I have bad luck and there are simply no minerals to be had, but nutrients + forests do count as minerals in my book.  I'm seeing no problem here.

Those nutrients are going to help my -1 Growth penalty quite a bit.  That can really bite the Consciousness.  For instance, they cannot afford to go Green Police State early on, as -3 Growth is strategically deadly.  You have to wait until you're already huge or have The Cloning Vats, both of which are late game concerns.

I've played the Consciousness a lot in recent months, so I do not expect to make any faction specific mistakes.  I know them well, and I think they may be the best overall human faction to play with.  It's either her or Chairman Yang.  The latter is a great Builder faction but suffers from a lack of Efficiency.  Not Aki Zeta-5's problem, she's got Efficiency in spades.  She's flexible about what she can do, unlike Yang who is a one trick pony.  Being flexible tends to make would-be allies declare war on you though.

Note that this map has no Supply Pods on it.  They are a crutch.  I guarantee that if they were in the game, I would win easily.  Because I know how to "Pac-Man" the supply pods and the AI doesn't.  So, no Artifacts to goose this along.  I have to find or make minerals.

I have also opted for No Random Events this game.  2 Energy Market Crashes last game cost me thousands of credits and that gets old.  I'm disappointed that I won't ever get sunspots, as amusing things can be done during those, but the game is a lot better without the negative random events.  I've learned, the hard way, that you'd better like how a long game is treating you, or you're gonna lose motivation to play it!

So yes, the Consciousness is gonna treat me nice.  Prepare the slaughter!
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 04:10:03 AM
jungle
jungle

Ho-lee @#@!  I'm next to the Monsoon Jungle.  On a Giant planet, there's a pretty good chance I have it all to myself as well.  Talk about a blessed start.  I sure hope the other factions aren't stillborn, as I'd hate to restart this game now.  Any AI that gets the Jungle, dominates the early game.  A human can of course do better.  It also happens to be the antidote for Aki Zeta-5's growth problem.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 04:52:18 AM
weather paradigm race
weather paradigm race

Only Cha Dawn is struggling, and he's not strictly DOA.  I'm not restarting the game for him.  The Caretakers dominate and are the only Alien faction in the game.

I chose Discover, Build focus which already gave me Social Psych.  That is fortunate, because I will surely need it in the Jungle.  With luck maybe I'll get Secrets of the Human Brain first?  Unfortunately I researched Ethical Calculus, not really wanted right now.

To spread, each of my cities built a Former, built a road on flat terrain, planted a forest on it, then built roads all the way to the Jungle.  Forest is a good "second square" to have when making Colonists at the beginning of the game.  It doesn't pump your population unnecessarily, as size 2 is the cheapest food you can make a Colonist with.  It gives you a minerals boost when you reach size 2.

I got this far spreading, then Brother Lal started The Weather Paradigm this turn.  Now I must race viciously to complete multiple Secret Projects, because he starts with Biogenetics as well.  I've researched it myself, so that's at least 2 SPs I need to start now.  My cash will go towards rushing Recycling Tanks and Recreation Commons to get "Builder" cities up and running.  A good trick for Jungle productivity, is to plant Forests on all of the Flat Rainy squares.  That turns them into 2-2-1 squares, like having a Tree Farm without the tech!  That minerals desposit at the center of the Jungle is also going to be helpful.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 05:18:36 AM
planned
planned

On this turn I go Planned.  I researched it several turns ago but didn't have the money to make the change.  Roze has entered the Secret Project races, so I need every bit of advantage I can get.  Due to my faction's +2 Efficiency advantage, with Planned I now have +0 Efficiency.  Deirdre beat me to Secrets of the Human Brain, so I stopped focusing on Discover.  Instead I'm doing Build, Conquer, hoping to pick up The Merchant Exchange or The Command Nexus.  Experience has shown it can take a very long time to learn Doctrine:Loyalty though.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 05:45:19 AM
peacekeepers win
peacekeepers win

The Peacekeepers built The Weather Paradigm and The Merchant Exchange on the same turn and there was nothing I could do about it.  I'm glad they built the latter though, as they've left The Human Genome free for me to complete.  I've only got 4 more turns and hopefully I will get it.  Getting The Virtual World may be stiff as I need 17 turns for that.  I hope the other factions aren't as robust at pursuing that as Lal was.

If I wanted to improve the AI's chances, arguably I did a good job.  I've switched to Conquer only focus as The Merchant Exchange is toast and I'd like to get The Command Nexus if I can get it.  Maybe it's not so useful in a game where everyone's too far away to fight, but old habits of mine die hard.  I must not be a very good conqueror though, as my last breakthrough was Progenitor Psych.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 05:57:22 AM
genome
genome

I complete The Human Genome Project with 60 credits, taking no chances on the last 2 turns.  The Caretakers and the Data Angels are still in the race for The Virtual World with 2 copies each.  I need 12 turns to complete.  As this used to be my Weather Paradigm city, I think the odds are in my favor.  In 3 years I get a new tech, at which time I'll decide whether to start a copy Secret Project in another city, in anticipation of getting The Command Nexus.  Problem is, if one doesn't get a SP, one's city goes into what I call a "climb".  That's when it's stuck building the SP forever and can't do anything else.  It can be mitigated by turning it into a support city, for Formers and the like, so that eventually its productivity slows down to 1 mineral/turn.  I call that "parking" the city.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 06:17:20 AM
virtually winning
virtually winning

I spend 100 credits to complete my last 3 turns of The Virtual World.  I knock everyone out of the Secret Project races doing so.  I declined to get a copy SP started earlier, because I only managed to research Industrial Base, nothing closer to Doctrine:Loyalty.  With my rapid growth in pretty much every city, I feared a "climb".  I will continue with my Conquer focus, even though The Empath Guild would be more valuable.  Deirdre's in the game and often I cannot out-Explore the Explorer.  There is no particularly strong Builder faction in the game though, so I might be able to out-Build everybody.

I relocated my capitol to the center of the Monsoon Jungle for greater efficiency.  Everyone is building Network Nodes.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 06:50:34 AM
killer deirdre
killer deirdre

This year Deirdre starts 3 copies of The Command Nexus.  How did she manage it?  Her research focus is Explore, so I'm tempted to say she's cheating.  However maybe she got in touch with a faction that gave it away to her.  Can't imagine who that would be.  I haven't mentioned that the Believers are in the game, and doing ok as the graph tells it, but they wouldn't give away that tech.  Could they be fighting and Deirdre stole it?  But I would have expected Miriam to have started it as well.  Unless they started close to each other and are locked in a deadly embrace, no time to build Secret Projects.  Well, this is all speculation.  I like the idea that Deirdre is cheating.

I have nothing to build.  I'm making massive numbers of Probe Teams, which don't cost me any support and can be cashed in as a "poor woman's Supply Crawler" if I do get Doctrine:Loyalty in time.  2 years until my next tech.  I was right about how I would have gotten stuck in a "climb".  Well I've got Impact weapons if anyone bothers me, which they won't.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 07:17:03 AM
surprising neighbor
surprising neighbor

Wow, this is totally and utterly weird.  Cha Dawn is my neighbor.  I guess this is what happens when you spend all your time building Secret Projects and very little time exploring.  I've had only 1 or 2 Scouts walking around, taking in what I though was pretty much "my island", although it might be connected to a continent to the south.  I only just found what looks like a land bridge down that way.  Maybe Cha Dawn took a slow boat from very far away and just happened to land here.  I am at dead center of the world map, with ocean on 3 sides, so that's not improbable.

Even more amusing is he's met the Caretakers.  I bought the comm frequency, wonder what they have to say?  I am Planned and the faction info says she's Solicitous, so maybe this won't be awful.  Here goes.  Brrring!  Brring!  "Hey,  ;caretake;.  You're  ;uno and  :stickpoke:  ;lol".  She says, " :tada:  :doh wanna trade?"  My Nonlinear Mathematics for your Field Modulation, sure.  She'll also sell me Doctrine:Flexibility for 125 credits if I come up with the cash.  She likes a Planned woman, mmmm.  Won't sign a Treaty with me though.  "Ok,  :hunter: :dunno: :whip: :clickme:"  ;lol

I wonder how a game where you have to negotiate using emoticons would go?
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 07:40:37 AM
deirdre races miriam
deirdre races miriam

Deirdre adds The Citizen's Defense Force to her extensive portfolio of Secret Projects in progress.  Miriam starts on The Command Nexus, making me wonder if I wasn't wrong about them fighting.  Meanwhile my inventory of Probe Teams is getting ridiculous.  66 active, 10 in production.  I'm pretty sure that's enough to instantly build anything, twice.  Just gimme a tech already!  I'm faffing around with Doctrine:Flexibility which I researched on my own.  The Caretakers are already Ambivalent towards me, perhaps because my empire of Scouts doesn't look like strength.  But what's Cha Dawn gonna do, spit at me?  My production is so high, I could crush her in seconds.

I have 1 "finished" port city which will soon start radiating Skimship Probe Teams to see what the rest of the world looks like.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 08:19:47 AM
isnt it ironic
isnt it ironic

This is irritating.  Deirdre just finished The Command Nexus this turn.  1 more turn and it would have been instantly mine.  Well at least I have an alternate possible government model now if I want it.  Lots of factions were trying to get it at the end.  Seemed like everyone had this tech but me.  I can't say I'm entirely shocked, because I've played a lot of games where Aki has a rather difficult time acquiring this tech.  Don't know why.  Certainly isn't for lack of Network Nodes and big cities in this game.  I suppose if I wanted to empower the AIs with land masses, I've done a good job.

H'minee dialed me up and said, " :dunno: ;v ;no :writer: ;spock".  Yeah she didn't trade a thing or sign a Treaty.  Complete waste of time.  At least she's Noncommittal, guess my Planned economy still turns her on.

Shifting to Build focus on the premise that Deirdre will out-Explore me.  Also I really could use some energy.  I've got nothing to build.  All these Probe Teams are pretty useless without a SP to complete.  Hmm guess I can build at least 1 Command Center now.

I'm remembering the trick with Colonists, that I can make cities larger than size 7 by adding them to bases, even if I don't have a Hab Complex yet.  However, I don't seem to have the happiness infrastructure to make that obviously a wise choice.  This despite having both The Human Genome Project and The Virtual World.  Hrm, puzzling.  Not Efficient enough maybe?

In my outlying settlements, I've started to build more Formers to service new cities.  My policy is not to go lower than 8 minerals, and to keep my interior Jungle cities free of support burdens.  Perhaps it's time to go Democratic.

Know what?  Forget it.  I'm tired of making Probe Teams.  I'm still settling things and I like free minerals when I start a base.  Gonna start making Formers.  I've got a ridiculous reserve of Probe Teams and no Secret Project to spend them on.  90 active!
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Geo on March 11, 2018, 09:06:58 AM
planetfall
planetfall

That's a beautiful looking contour map.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 09:07:50 AM
Beauty!  Yes, this is a closeup of the beautiful center of the world.

formative years
formative years

At 4 AM, this is the state of my world.  5 AM if you count Daylight Savings Time coming into effect.  It's reminding me a lot of my last game, just less finished.  No research yielding Secret Projects anywhere in sight.  I just got Polymorphic Software.  Tomorrow, sometime, I shall resume.

Roze has already started The Planetary Energy Grid, making me realize I'm behind in the Build races.  Perhaps going for Doctrine:Loyalty was a major strategic error.  Maybe the AI gets so many research bonuses on Transcend, that I really shouldn't regard all my Network Nodes and +2 Research bonus as meaning all that much.  Anyways I contacted H'minee to see if she'd trade or sell me Industrial Economics.  Yes, but she wants 300 credits for it.  Pretty much all I have and a pretty outrageous price.  I have 9 years until my next tech, so some time to try again with her.  Maybe her price will come down.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Geo on March 11, 2018, 11:29:51 AM
The Monsoon jungle with the Cybernetics? Lucky you.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 03:03:32 PM
Lucky, yes, but this game is demonstrating that even a perfect start doesn't make it a cakewalk on Transcend on a Giant map.  The AI definitely seems to know what to do with its (typically) +4 Industry advantage on this difficulty level.  I must have succeeded in my objective of allowing the AI factions to grow.

secret project copies
secret project copies

H'minee begins The Empath Guild.  I was right that I couldn't out-Explore the Explorer, but I thought that was Deirdre.  Usually the Aliens go Fundamentalist by midgame and their research slows to a crawl.  I don't know if I can count on that this game though.  The Giant map is skewing some otherwise expected phenomenon.  Currently H'minee is Democratic Planned, will she have any reason to change her tune?

The AI factions are making lots of copies of Secret Projects, so I hope they don't get more than 1 at a time to work on.  I wonder if H'minee's new project, will make her uninclined to sell me Industrial Economics at all?  Well, I'm feeling a bit petty about it.  I've never liked the various ways the AI tries to extort me; for instance, I almost never pay tribute.


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 03:19:57 PM
hi lal
hi lal

Look who manages to show up by boat.  I suppose being at the center of the world and surrounded by ocean has some advantages.  I wonder how this is going to go?  He says, " ;caretake;  :mad:  :hunter:".  I say, " :whistle:".  He's Solicitous, but won't sign a Treaty, won't trade techs, and wants 375 credits for his rotten Optical Computers.  Pass.  Well that didn't go badly though.  Didn't get a chance to ask him for other comm frequencies.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 11, 2018, 03:38:22 PM
Hey - speaking as just another member, I hate it when you do late post edits w/o marking the additions with "Edit:".  Like, nobody cares if it took you more than the 15 minute grace period I put in for edit notices to nail all typos and phrasing, but the additions can be hard to spot, and it makes me a little crazy when I already read the post before the edit. -Which I always have in the daytime; I live here. ;nod
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 04:38:18 PM
Noted for future preparation, but the edit occurred on the same turn that post was made, because I thought to do something in the morning that I didn't think to do that night.  For my own conceptual organization, in those cases I will continue to do the same, not splitting turns between posts.  I do have my own life / sleep issues to contend with.  It is not likely to happen very often, and I wouldn't do an edit of anything really critical, so I would suggest not worrying about it too much.

free market
free market

When I was 1 turn away from getting a new tech, I tried to trade techs.  However Lal's price was too high as usual, and H'minee is now Belligerent towards me.  I researched Industrial Economics and have now gone Free Market.  As I'm no longer suffering an Efficiency penalty from a Planned economy, I'm now at +2 Efficiency.  This is needed because I had plenty of extra drones from Bureaucracy, my empire is getting so big.  Now people are happy and I'm only spending 20% on psych, which is better than usual for running an early Free Market.  30% is more typical.

I have so many cities, that my vast horde of Probe Teams doesn't look quite so vast anymore.  The core cities in the Jungle still have plenty of extras, but all other cities only have a garrison of 2 Probe Teams.  Why 2?  Well, they're weak teams, only Disciplined.  I made them in cities that didn't have Command Centers.  I figure 1 isn't good enough, they'll just get killed and not serve any real defensive function.  Since I have so many of them, I'm doubling them up.  Soon I will have my "peninsula" completely covered in cities, and then I won't need any more.

To this day I have only built 1 Command Center.  Cha Dawn has been Seething at me for a long time, but he's weak.  I still have my original Scouts in most cities as there just isn't any military threat.  I build Recon Rovers to make a better defense than Green troops, and I gradually shift the old Scouts around.  Cha Dawn can't perform any kind of meaningful surprise attack, I will see him coming, and there's a vast horde of expendable Formers in his way.  I still have no idea where H'minee is but I suspect "pretty far away", as I haven't seen any of her ships.  Some day I suppose I should beef up my coastal defenses in case she finally does show up with a barge of hostiles.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 11, 2018, 04:42:58 PM
Just be religious about keeping substantial additions/changes at the end and/or putting in the "EDIT:" and I promise not to worry about it.;)
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 08:36:41 PM
caveat emptor
caveat emptor

Belatedly - as in exactly the sort of thing as the last time I saved the game and did something in real life ;lol - I realize that since I now have Industrial Economics, Lal might be inclined to trade differently with me.  It's still the same turn, but I rang him up.  He wants my Industrial Economics but he wouldn't trade tech for tech.  He is willing to have me buy Gene Splicing.  200 credits for a useful tech, is definitely a better deal than 300+ for a useless tech, like he wanted for Optical Computers.  So I buy.  Bonus points: he didn't get a tech out of this.  He wasn't real eager to keep trading, he signed off right after that.  His loss.  He's Ambivalent towards me, whatever.  Think he could cut me some slack for not going Police State.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 09:01:21 PM
cha lousy
cha lousy

Well, here it comes.  Cha Dawn has recently gone to war with the Believers.  I'd like to get Miriam's comm frequency for sake of completeness, but I haven't been willing to contact Cha Dawn about that, because I don't expect this to go well.  Noncommittally he says, ":danc:  :hunter:".  I say, ":whistle:".  After noncommittally asking for a bunch of other absurd stuff, designed to make backstabbing all the sweeter for him, he declares war on me.  I guess he wants to see a real power in action.

H'minee recently completed The Empath Guild.  She's listed as Noncommittal but I'm not sure I trust that prognosis.  I've noticed it has a nasty way of shifting to some other value when you actually go to talk to someone.  I will not pester her about comm frequencies for now.

Lal might like me better, now that we have Cha Dawn as a common enemy.  He's not answering my hails though.  Give it time, Lal.

Hey at least this will be a relief from tilling the earth!  Free Market aside, I expect summary conquest.  Cha Dawn is still by far the weakest power in the game.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 11, 2018, 09:15:31 PM
I've been enjoying the smilie incorporation.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 09:52:13 PM
I find it interesting to contemplate the visual symbols that would be needed for diplomatic communication.  It has been done in some games, but I think The Sims is the major exemplar.

worldliness
worldliness

I steal Cha Dawn's map, revealing our geographic relationship to the Caretakers.  So far the Caretakers only have The Empath Guild to make them "invasion worthy".  Roze is about to complete The Planetary Energy Grid, a race I never even got to try.  So, the Caretakers may not end up with much in the way of Secret Projects to offer for the trouble of assaulting them.  It might be better to let Cha Dawn persist as a buffer state.  Still, mobilization is in order, because I do have an empire of Scouts.  Need to at least create a front line of tougher stuff.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 11:22:52 PM
Deirdres wall
Deirdres wall

Deirdre builds a wall to keep out illegal immigrants.   ;hippy  The kind that tend to show up with Impact rifles.  In doing so, she knocks a lot of would-be Secret Projects into the dust.  Can I now do some trades and get some of these techs?  Lal is Belligerent and won't trade with me, so no.  Not even gonna try to talk to H'minee, she's Seething.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 11:28:43 PM
no ai integrity
no ai integrity

Why am I getting these things 1 turn after Deirdre completes them?  Smells like cheating.  Why am I getting it anyways?  My research focus is Build.  I'm supposed to be getting Industrial Automation.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 11, 2018, 11:53:37 PM
dilberts
dilberts

I've hit the threshold of Bureaucracy on a Giant map for +2 Efficiency.  Fortunately I only have 2 Colony Pods left to put somewhere.  1 of them has an obvious site available.  The other needs fungus removal at 2 candidate sites, and I don't have Formers in the immediate areas.  Well, going Democratic isn't really important until I get Hab Complexes, so I'll hurry up and wait.  It's an additional argument against actually invading Cha Dawn, as he'll just give me more cities with more Bureaucracy and unhappy conquered citizens.  Should I take 1 city and make him sign a Truce?  Or should I stay at war with him indefinitely?  Politically, the latter might help me get along with other factions.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 12:49:06 AM
sea creep
sea creep

I didn't mean to, but I ran into the Caretakers at sea.  Guess how well this is going to go?  "Hey,  ;uno.   :stickpoke: your  :whip: in the  ;morganercise!"  Actually she's  :danc: obsessed.  ":whistle:"  She talks about her missiles (don't ask!) but surprisingly, remains Noncommittal and unthreatening.  Her price for Adaptive Economics is too high, 425 credits.  We're still talking, so I ask for a commlink.  50 credits later, I've got Roze on the line.  That went way better than I could have ever expected, I thought my Skimship Probe Team was dead!  I'm thinking that being at war with Cha Dawn is profitable and I should never stop.

Brring!  Brring!  "Hey  ;roze;,  ;rockon :wall: :bike: :clickme:!!"  " ;caretake; :hunter:" ":whistle:" " :rules:"  Don't really have a Treaty icon, that's about the best I can do for now.  Whoah, Ecological Engineering for 100 credits?  Hell yes!  Think I made a friend.  Why does everyone want absurd amounts of credits for Optical Computers though?  250 is too steep for my blood.  Roze out.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 01:04:30 AM
redheads
redheads

This is a weird woman.  I ran into her at sea, not expecting much, but at least it's her Transport so she can't kill me.  It went much better than I had a right to expect, in that she traded me Centauri Empathy for my Industrial Base.  Then she decides to execute me.  I guess it isn't personal, she's just insane.  Once I get a Biology Lab built, I will name my first mindworm in her honor.  "Red".

I'm not even Democratic yet!  How does she know I'll make the change soon?
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 01:30:29 AM
tooth pulling technology
tooth pulling technology

Finally, after years upon years upon years of research, I've finally got something that nobody seems to have yet.  Let's see if I still have enough Probe Teams in the Jungle to insta-build this.  Maybe, but I don't have an appropriately located city to start the project this turn.  My eastern Jungle cities all built Command Centers and are tasked with cranking out Recon Rovers nowadays.  I will have to wait until next turn for my insta-build exercise, if it even works out that way.

sloth knowledge
sloth knowledge

I changed to Knowledge, as this alleviated my Bureaucracy problem.  However this turn I settled 1 of my last 2 Colony Pods and got another Bureaucracy warning.  So, +3 Efficiency on a Giant map will support 33 bases, isn't that interesting?  I didn't even have to sit around counting them up.  I don't really have to go Democratic at this rate though.  1 more base and I'm done expanding.  I can wait for Hab Complexes.


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 02:50:00 AM
i know everything
i know everything

It took roughly 20 Probe Teams.  My plan worked; it just took forever to put into effect.  I could probably do it 1 more time.

I've infiltrated H'minee and Miriam.  The latter doesn't have any new tech.  Next I'll endeavor to steal her map.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 03:50:04 AM
expensive tech
expensive tech

1st yield of The Planetary Datalinks.  Other factions wanted 250..375 credits for this.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 04:17:47 AM
pusilanimous wimp
pusilanimous wimp

Lal declares war.   ;bored  I suppose it's time to put Trance 3-Pulse garrisons behind my coastal walls.

found deirdre
found deirdre

I make my 1st mindworm and affectionately name it "Red".   ;miriam;  I steal the Believers' map and now know where Deirdre is.  Charm offensive coming soon.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 04:49:12 AM
you can buy trees
you can buy trees

Roze sold me this.  250 credits worth of trees.  The turn before I get a new tech.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 05:44:44 AM
deluxe apartment
deluxe apartment

The turn before I was to get a new tech, Roze wanted too much for Adaptive Economics.  Next turn I got it, I guess from the Planetary Datalinks, because I also got Industrial Automation.  Deirdre already built The Planetary Transit System but I sorely need Hab Complexes.  I see Democratic Planned Knowledge in my future.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 06:59:32 AM
monkishness
monkishness

A few turns ago Deirdre completed the Xenoempathy Dome.  This turn she completed the Maritime Control Center.  I began The Ascetic Virtues, in a city that unfortunately didn't have my remaining contingent of excess Probe Teams in it.  They will arrive next turn, so I fully expect to have this completed in 2 turns.  I'm switching to Discover focus to try to pick up the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.

3 AM and I'm going to sleep!
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 12, 2018, 01:10:46 PM
;bored <- yawn emoticon
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 02:33:55 PM
Looks more like a "hit in the head with a bat" emoticon, but I'll use it.

deirdre cheating pest
deirdre cheating pest

Next turn Deirdre is hot on my heels.  Seems a little convenient of her.  Frustratingly, my pile of Probe Teams moves one square short of their destination city, losing me another turn.  I didn't think the city was that far away.  Deirdre didn't have any Secret Projects in progress on the board, so I hope she isn't somehow gonna generate some kind of insta-complete.  I would consider that cheating on her part.  I will try not to sweat this, but I'm going to be awfully annoyed if I have to play 2 turns over again, as I'm not going to let her cheat her way through this.  I will be really careful about picking which city I start building in from now on though.  Really surprised that even 1 turn can make all the difference.

cha capitol crushed
cha capitol crushed

Looks like my "buffer state" against the Caretakers has an expiry date on it.  I should probably hurry up with Democratic Planned Knowledge, if I want politics to buy me some time.  The Caretakers still only have The Empath Guild, and I'd have to invade a whole pile of cities to get to it.  Not so bad at some future time when I've got rails, but painful now.  I'd rather keep Building.

I've started to raise small amounts of land near my coastal cities so that they won't have any deep ocean squares.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 02:46:17 PM
poor mans crawler
poor mans crawler

Deirdre did not insta-complete anything.  Maybe I stressed for nothing.  I didn't have quite the excess of Probe Teams that I thought.  I must have 32 cities, because I have 65 teams remaining.  They're doubled up in all my cities except one that has 3 in them.  To complete this project this turn, I will remove a few more teams from interior cities that are never going to face any threats anyways.  If I get The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, then I can use teams to complete it, because I won't need them after that project is finished!  And then I may finally reduce the number of these pitiful teams to something sane.

Now I have 59 Disciplined Probe Teams.  Still a horde.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 03:06:43 PM
I completed The Ascetic Virtues without incident.  My cities can grow bigger and I can now use 2 police, so it's time to abandon the Free Market.  Switching to Democratic to keep my Efficiency up, and I will go Planned next turn.

long distance contact
long distance contact

I've been pushing this Skimship Probe Team a long time!  It has survived Miriam's gauntlet, it seems she just hasn't put any ships in the water.  Soon I get to find out how Deirdre and I feel about each other.   ;hippy
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 04:03:02 PM
expensive data
expensive data

Couple turns later, Roze contacts me out of the blue.  Wants to kill the Caretakers.  I decline.  I offer her a Pact anyways since we're both Democrats, but she won't do it without her war.  I ask her for a tech but her price is too high.  Not like I'm in a speeder war with someone and desperately need ECM.  Not like I make so much money that 300 credits is meaningless to me.

not one red cent
not one red cent

Weaning from a Free Market does cost some.  4 credits/turn ain't much!  Fortunately I happened to have 610 credits when I made the switch.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 04:19:02 PM
nature looney
nature looney

Deirdre, I'm so glad I came all this way to have this conversation with you.  My only regret is it's too tedious to push more teams out this way to steal your tech.  I infiltrated her.  The Planetary Datalinks should give me her techs soon enough anyways.

I'm starting to disband my vast horde of Formers as I really don't need them for much anymore.  A small complement could gradually make more Mines.  I don't want to go crazy on eco-damage.  I've already put roads on top of all the Rocky terrain to make access easier.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 04:52:46 PM
delicious algorithms
delicious algorithms

YeeEEESs!!  Onwards to Orbital Spaceflight.  My interest in disbanding Formers is well timed.  It's a way of proceeding that doesn't cost money.  Again I have the problem that no city was ready to start production immediately.  That will be rectified at the start of the next turn.  In addition to a contingent of Formers, I've moved piles of Probe Teams towards the designated city as well.  I expect to have the HSA in 2 turns.  I've left 1 Probe Team in all of my cities for now, as now they're Hardened and it's somewhat amusing to use them to bribe enemy units.  In the real world, at some point I'll probably recognize the complete lack of threats to most of my cities, and only keep some teams on my front line with Cha Dawn.

I'm finding this game vaguely amusing.  It's strange not to worry about invading anyone, simply because it can't be done, in any profitable sense.  Instead we do these Secret Project races, and I'm definitely doing better now than earlier in the game.


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 12, 2018, 05:05:35 PM
Looks more like a "hit in the head with a bat" emoticon, but I'll use it.
A smilie doesn't give you a lot of pixels to work with to draw an expression - which is why mine are a little bigger than optimal for line-spacing, and I don't think that one's my best work, either.  You're a very impressively quick study w/ GIMP, and there's a thread on page one in Rec Commons where I've done some wildly successful tutoring on smilie-making -heavily screenshotted lessons and all early on- if you fancy you'd like to try to draw a better bored face, have a look and a go, and I'll replace what I drew if it's good enough.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 07:08:27 PM
Hmm I might take you up on that.  One thing I've noticed is that animated icons are a lot more clear than non-animated ones.  I'd make something where the dude actually yawns.  But, priorities, priorities.  The icon I really felt more need for, is some kind of TREATY icon.  I also haven't designed a "badge maker" badge yet.  Maybe I can find some of these somewhere, instead of needing to create them.

I complete The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm without incident.

so well spoken
so well spoken

Cha Dawn offers a Truce.  I will accept it, because all this is for me is a small number of pointless skirmishing mouseclicks every turn.  I have nothing to gain by taking even 1 of Cha Dawn's cities.  He really should be trying to resist the Caretakers, even if he'll ultimately fail.  Making good with the Cultists may tick off the Caretakers, but they are already Seething at me and I don't expect anything to change that.  War will come; when it comes, it comes.

you mean you really love me
you mean you really love me

Now this next overture, really surprised me.  I've never really seen factions do this.  Maybe I haven't fought quite so static a war against someone.  Maybe his survival instinct is making him bite his tongue about my economics.  That, to be honest, is shocking.  Usually other factions are rabid to the death.  Well, the Caretakers are totally exterminating him, so... whatever.  Die on, m'brutha!   ;rockon

I've positioned my Scouts to escort him off the property.  I will refrain from immediately bothering him about withdrawl, but I will if I must.

angry redhead
angry redhead

Miriam finally landed on my shore.  I never did get around to garrisoning anything up there, so I'm facing her troops with Recon Rovers.  What can I say, there's just so much great stuff to build somewhere else.  A lot of my big Command Center cities are building Hybrid Forests right now.  I do have Probe Teams, and luckily she's only got Frontier politics.  Never learned Secrets of the Human Brain; Miriam, you're weird.  If I can get her to separate her units, then perhaps I can buy her off.  I've got a bunch of expendable Formers that can redirect her in various ways.  I will bring up all my Recon Rovers to destroy her by wasteful brute force, just in case.  I've also rushed an R-Laser Artillery prototype, disbanding some Formers and Probe Teams to get it done.  I got the tech ages ago from the Planetary Datalinks, but I've had no need.  I only ever built 1 Impact unit actually.  Next turn I can rush an R-Laser speeder.  So... Miriam is not really a problem, she's just annoying.  I'm not even going to change my city production where she's landed.

bloated floater
bloated floater

Deirdre killed one of my ancient Sea Former units.  In retalliation, I'm hunting her down with 2 Trance Impact Skimships, shelling her from afar.  She's about to expire.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 08:01:07 PM
pillagers die
pillagers die

The AI isn't too bright about pillaging.  You really shouldn't do it when it's providing you cover against retalliation.  In forest, maybe my Recon Rovers couldn't kill her units.  On open ground after she's pillaged my forest and sensor array: dogmeat!  Although I was a bit surprised that my Recon Rovers took her out.  I expected them to wound, not kill.  Just another cautionary tale that open ground is not your friend.  She should have moved onto the rock next to my city and then attacked it.  That's why I stuffed it with Formers, so that she couldn't do that.  She should have tried to do it on successive turns.  She would never have taken it, but she would have used up a lot more of my units in the process.

What kind of value proposition is it to the average disciple of a religious cult? "Hey acolytes!  Get on this boat, sail forever, and throw your lives away bothering the enemy!"  Should I nuke her for it someday?  Just to put all those acolytes at ease.

Deirdre's Isle of course died too.  Not even worth a screenshot.  These rubes.

Cha Dawn has moved out of my lands.  She has several of her units on my border.  To put him more at ease, I've removed my Scouts from the border and disbanded them.  They never had effective sentry positions anyways, just the way the terrain was.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 12, 2018, 08:24:27 PM
lal dresses funny
lal dresses funny

One of my Skimship Probe Teams has been feeling around in the western ocean for quite a long time.  Not trying to probe deeply, but feeling around for Lal.  I've been able to infer that he's somewhere in that direction, because of the warships he occasionally sends at me.  Must be due west of my southwesternmost city, or else he's sailing around a land mass that causes him to always arrive there.  I've run into one of his Sea Formers, which means I'm getting pretty close.  Is this guy ready to bury the hatchet?  Yes, he signs a Truce and signs off.

I dialed up Miriam to see if she wanted a Truce.  Nope.  Deirdre won't even speak to me.

Mystery: my net income is supposedly 5 credits/turn.  Why do my credit reserves keep rising?  I'm up to 756 and there haven't been enough turns for that, I don't think.  I wonder if the reported net income is bugged.  I don't think anyone gets money for disbanding units...

It's 4:30 PM and I need a nap.  Too much late night SMAC!
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 12, 2018, 08:58:43 PM
Go here for all my formal internet/forum art tutorials http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=articles (http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=articles) in one place w/o the searching, then let's take smilie talk to the OT thread, and so-on.  I like the idea of a treaty smilie for this here gaming forum a lot.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 01:12:08 AM
meet the ugly
meet the ugly

I've had a fairly long period of uninterrupted growth and am now cash positive.  Miriam has landed on my upper corner again, but I will dispatch her soon enough.  I never managed to get any proper defensive units up there, but I did leave Scouts to keep her off the rocks, and I managed to get an artillery piece up that way.  I doubled up my Recon Rovers in the region, so now I've moved 7 peons into my base in preparation for a counterstrike.  If she attacks now, she might kill 3 units.  If she pillages like last time, she's dogmeat.

More importantly, the Caretakers have been chewing up the Cultists and getting closer and closer to my own borders.  Now H'minee wants to talk.  Wonder how well this is going to go?  Her current attitude is Noncommittal so maybe my switch to Planned worked and this will go ok.  The best result I could get, would be for her to sign a Truce with the Cultists so I can retain them as a buffer state.

bravado bug
bravado bug

I got the "bravado bug".  That's when I don't say a darned thing, and she says this, as though I had said something to her.  Well the bravado bug isn't a bad thing, it means we're not immediately going to war.  Of course she likes my orderly distribution of goods and compliments me on it.  She's irritated at my collaboration with Roze and expresses minimal toleration.  Since I will be Democratic for a long time, I will try to get the Caretakers to lay off Roze, after I get them to lay off the Cultists.  She concedes to my request to sign a Truce with the Cultists.  We're still talking, so let's get her to stop bothering the Democrats that I'm friends with.  She says Roze started it and I'll have to talk to her, which I will try to do.  She signs off.

Roze agrees to a cease-fire.  I ask her what her tech price is, and as usual it's too high.  I don't talk about anything else, such as the Pact she wants, because I've never infiltrated her or even found her on the map.  I sign off.  After I do, I get an announcement that she's signed a Treaty with the Caretakers.  Maybe now I could do a Pact and not have any consequences from it?  Let's see, I've infiltrated everyone else, so I actually do know all her political relationships.  I just have to read through all the factions manually to find out what they are.  Ok, she's not at war with anybody.  Let's see what she has to say.

sweet lies
sweet lies

She's interested in Deirdre's comm frequency.  Many factions still aren't in contact with each other, and the power to control that, is worth a lot more than 80 credits.  So that's not happening.  In this game I feel a lot more like I'm doing diplomacy with countries, rather than idiots.  I think that's because I can't just walk over and stop anyone who disagrees with me.  I have to neogiate, and there's a lot riding on whether they say yay or nay.

As I suspected, having gotten the Caretakers out of the way for her, she's no longer interested in an alliance.  And I'm not interested in bribing her into one either.  I never do that.  Rubs my human ego the wrong way; ally if you want to ally.  I don't know if the long distance dynamics of this game will ever change my mind about such bribes, but certainly it won't in this instance.  She's Feeble, has no known strategic value on the map, and I will eventually get her tech through The Planetary Datalinks anyways.  I'm worth far more than she is, whether she realizes that or not.  Although the graph, strictly speaking, only says I'm Potent.  I'll take this kind of potency for now, I'm in pretty much an unassailable position and growing like gangbusters.

My only real enemy at this point is the potential for boredom.  Clearly, I decided against building a land bridge to anybody.  I only kept 11 Formers for all my land.  I am building Sea Formers now, but one doesn't build a land bridge with those.  My capitol is producing supply crawlers for lack of anything better to do.  I'm sending them to patches of forest that aren't being worked by any city.  They will take in more energy for me.


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 01:35:21 AM
Regarding boredom, at least my turns are going a lot faster now, because I don't have all those Formers to push around.  Hopefully I will soon get to some new stage of the game, like getting Orbital Spaceflight and revealing the map, for instance.

cultists and caretakers
cultists and caretakers

I didn't expect the Cultists to actually team up with the faction that's been grossly slaughtering them.  So they think they're going after the Believers together.  Ok, whatever floats your boat!  At least I'm also at war with the Believers, so I have the right enemies, even if these 2 don't really like me.  Decent as H'minee was in our last tete-a-tete, she's currently listed as Seething at me again.  I don't know what to believe about that claim.  Meanwhile, Dierdre and Miriam are recently allied, so I guess this is the shape of things.  Lal has been at war with Deirdre for quite some time and I get missives about this 1 city changing hands a lot.  Lotta probe team work on both sides.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 01:59:51 AM
caretaker pest
caretaker pest

<sigh>  H'minee, you need to leave.  I hope this is just exploration and not the prelude to a surprise attack.  If it's benign, I'll be using Probe Teams to escort her off the property.  Lord knows I've got enough of them.

I just got Fusion Power so she'd better behave herself.  I want to sit around and build labs, but there are other uses for fusion.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 02:38:56 AM
not shocked
not shocked

Doesn't a surprise have to be surprising, to be a surprise?  Now the only question will be the extent of mobilization.  Also what Cha Dawn chooses to do.  At a minimum, I need to design a fusion AAA unit.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 02:50:55 AM
the means of destruction
the means of destruction

Timely.  Courtesy of the Planetary Datalinks, I think.  No air movement from H'minee yet.  Maybe she's busy fighting somewhere else.  Hopefully by the time she does get here, I'll be ready with Interceptors.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 03:09:42 AM
little creep
little creep

What's this little creep got to say for himself??  I've tried to be nice, but he's been marching his wimpy troops on my borders nonstop the whole time we've been at peace.  I think he's come knocking to ask me to take him over.  "Hey,  ;cha;!   ;buttdance"  " :danc:  :hunter:"  75 credits while you stay in a Pact with H'minee.  Tempting offer.  How about you get mad at me and I just summarily knock you out of the way?  " :whistle:"  The next screen is priceless:

you and what army
you and what army

What have you done to anyone, let alone me, the entire game?  Deulsional much?  Stark raving mad much?  It's time to depose this ridiculous worm lover, I have no basic reason to be patient anymore.  Although... maybe it's better to contain him, and cut like a hot knife through butter, to destroy the Caretakers.

Tried contacting Lal since we're Democracies and have got the same enemies, but he's Seething and won't respond.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 13, 2018, 03:41:38 AM
That there's Transcend difficulty for you - I consistently can only swing one pact a game, sans submission.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 03:46:59 AM
should you die
should you die

He wants to talk.  Using the paltry units I've always been fighting him with, he's taken substantial losses trying to advance into my lands.  He also lost a newly founded city when he foolishly settled it right next to mine.  Should I do a Truce?  I've realized that under a Truce, I can still fly my planes over his land, and thereby escort Probe Teams unhindered down to H'minee's nearby cities.  Or I could take a boat and air cover it, I don't really need access to his lands.  This feels like the modern USA negotiating with Mexico, but I'll hear him out.

"Hey,  ;cha;!  :stickpoke:  ;cha;  :unworthy:  ;aki;!"  " :danc:" I DON'T CARE.  WE'RE AT WAR.  You know what?  I'm going to take the Truce just because it's play mechanically different than things I usually do.  I'll put some Probe Teams out in front of her to escort him off the property.  If he attacks them, he loses reputation and I lose nothing.  Now the following screen is proof that she's stark raving mad:

amnesia
amnesia

Yeah, bite the planet and all that.  At least Deirdre is a nature loony.

For some reason we're still talking after signing the Treaty.  I thought to look at his faction profile to see if I should end any of his feuds.  Like so he'll stop bugging me about Lal, GIVE IT A REST ALREADY.  HE'S THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY.  Then I noticed something really odd:

squeezed
squeezed

He's at war with the Caretakers.  Boy that alliance sure didn't last long.  And he's not insane, he's desperate!  Dude it was not your lot in life to be sane this game.  You got a crummy start and I feel deeply sorry for you.  Now if you can refrain from pissing me off for another 5 minutes....  He calls off his war with the Peacekeepers.  That will make it easier for me to improve my relations with them.  We're still talking.  Wanna ally?  It'll make my life slightly easier going after the Caretakers.  Obstinately not interested.  He signs off.  I get word that they signed a Treaty.

My 1st plane goes into service and sinks one of Miriam's annoying ships off my northeast coast.  I've decided that inland bases that are "finished" and don't have Command Centers, shall build Aerospace Complexes and planes.  I'm gonna stack this place with Interceptors.  When that's done, in due course I'll grow me some sky food.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 04:16:56 AM
drown this clown
drown this clown

Met this sourpuss in open water.  He's still Seething at me.  How much will I enjoy this?  "Hey,  :danc:!   :bot: ;buttdance!"  No, I'm not going to give you Roze's comm frequency.  You'll still win the election, even with all my population.  I need either The Empath Guild, or to grow disturbingly larger than I already am.  I offered him a Treaty and of course he blew me off.  Jerk.

circumnavigation
circumnavigation

One of my Skimship Probe Teams has made it all the way around the world and is in sight of Deirdre's territory.  Note the dotted green border at the left side of the screen.  I've found a curious site, that I imagine was once a faction's starting point.  But they must have gotten on a boat and left, possibly getting the other colonist killed while they were at it.  I wonder who it was?

My economy is going gangbusters.  I'm making roughly 100 credits/turn now.  Pretty good for Planned.

Roze and Lal have both started The Neural Amplifier recently.  If 1 other faction would do me the favor of discovering or stealing that tech, I could insta-build it.  But as it stands, I'm still Discover focused and H'minee doesn't have that tech.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 05:32:18 AM
engineers
engineers

I never ever spend time allocating workers any particular way, but this 1 city in the Jungle had absurd numbers of Medics in it.  So I switched a few of them to Engineers, keeping half my people as Talents so as to keep getting Golden Age bonuses.  I think the whole concept of messing with these guys, is way to micromanagerial, and simply a holdover from Civ II.  They should be deciding this stuff automatically.

I stole Superstring Theory and Doctrine:Initiative from the Caretakers.  Still need to get Centauri Meditation and Synthetic Fossil Fuels.  This is being made easier by the nearly complete collapse of the Cultist state.  The Caretakers have taken many of their cities and are at my doorstep.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 07:11:44 AM
crashing
crashing

I'm suffering technical difficulty.  The game keeps crashing after I end my turn.  I suspect it's because I'm launching my 1st Sky Hydroponics Lab.  I'm a little too tired to deal with it right now as it's almost 3 AM.  This is the state of the known world before the crash.  My Skimship Probe Team that was in sight of Deirdre's territory, never found a sea facing city to steal from.  There's some kind of big land mass between us that makes it difficult for her to come eastward towards me.  Fortunately I've stolen from the Caretakers or gotten techs from the Planetary Datalinks so I'm not missing much.  Only Neural Grafting which 2 factions have.

Roze is Manganimous towards me, so let's see if I can get an alliance, or a non-egregious price on Neural Grafting.  Maybe if more of the map is revealed before launching my satellite, it will help with the bug.

pact

Hey, she's into it!  We're a thing.  How about tech?  225 credits, yeah I can do that.  Well here's the world now:

more map
more map

Did some Workshop housekeeping to incorporate a 2nd ability into my unit designs.  Does any of this help with the bug?  Nope.  Well it's after 3 AM now, so I'm going to bed.

Update: couldn't sleep, woke up after 1 hour.  Tried changing from Sky Hydroponics Lab to Conventional Missile.  Still got the bug.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 09:06:01 AM
plane crash
plane crash

It may always be crashing at this point.  I'm not sure because I haven't paid perfect attention to earlier runs.  I have an Interceptor in that sea base.  It could be that H'minee is coming to strafe my Sea Former, then my Interceptor is supposed to come out, and that triggers the bug.  I will try removing the units from the area and see if that gets me past the bug.  Turned out yes, it's an Interceptor bug.  The only solution was to remove the Interceptor from my city and let the Sea Former die.  I have a vague memory of encountering Interceptor bugs in other games.

whole world
whole world

Well, I've worked a long time to learn what's really going on.  Now I have to absorb the implications.  The Manifold Nexus is deep in Gaian territory.  At least it's out of H'minee's hands.  Most of us are on 3 continents that are separated from each other by water channels only 1 square wide.  Bridging, thus, is trivial.  It's only a question of fighting the fight long enough, or choosing not to, case may be.

Roze is up north on her own supercontinent, and she didn't do well for herself, I think because she spread herself too thin.  Maybe giant land masses aren't the best thing for the AI, because it will be too greedy and dispersed about it.  Smaller continents that can still hold a substantial civilization, would be better.  On the other hand, the AI factions did give me stiff competition for Secret Projects until midgame, and Roze did complete The Neural Amplifier recently, so I can't "count them out" yet.

dead aliens
dead aliens

I have started to exterminate the Caretakers using X Chaos Needlejets.  I destroyed their 1st city this turn.  It used to be a Cultist city, like so many of their cities now.  My intent is to preserve the Cultists in a pocket all by themselves and completely denude the rest.  I'm not ready to commit ground troops yet.  I'm still garrisoning outlying cities.  Monopole Magnets would be nice right about now, but I'm keeping my Discover focus to try to get The Supercollider.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 04:00:07 PM
research power
research power

It occurs to me that Morgan's quote about reseachers being impractical, is completely subverted by the attainment of this tech. Doubling one's research output with The Supercollider is a concrete and profitable application.  Although, I suppose I could be impractical and build it on a tiny island somewhere, instead of instantly in my capitol.  I up the last of my surplus probe teams to rush it, and a supply crawler, and 400 credits.  I now have 1 probe team per city and a few extras on the front line.  Far more than I will ever need, so perhaps I'll strip them in the age of rails.

I've switched my research focus to Conquer as I don't want the Mind / Machine Interface secret projects to go by.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 13, 2018, 05:26:26 PM
We've touched on the super-science city, and doing it at the capitol because efficiency = bigger energy pie to divide into research.  QED logic seems impeccable.  -But I've never mentioned also building the Merchant Exchange there on the same line of reasoning.  My confidence that it boosts research at the base is not 100%, but it is rather high.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 05:42:54 PM
I would have built The Merchant Exchange in my capitol if I could have.  I couldn't.  The advantage is obvious: you get perfect efficiency in a doubled city.  Doesn't matter whether it helps research or not.  Generally speaking, I try to make my capitol have all of its squares to itself from the very beginning of the game.  That didn't quite work out this time because I had to settle the Monsoon Jungle quickly, but I was compensated by the abundant food and centrality of location.

scumbag lal
scumbag lal

Lal declared war on me a few turns ago.  It happens to coincide with one of my Skimship Probe Teams passing by his shores, so next turn I'm going to try creating an insurgency in his backyard.  Can my economic output alone reinforce a small base?  I did a bad job with it in a previous game, so one lesson learned is to build defensive military units early.

Cha Dawn had the nerve to declare war on me this turn, even as I've been saving him from the Caretaker menace.  I notice that he's allied with Lal, so I wonder if Lal instigated this.  Well, who am I to stand in the way of a death wish?  I will take 1 of Cha Dawn's cities and see if he's ready to become my thrall. 

I finally realized why I so often call Cha Dawn "she" and have to correct it to "he".  I thought was just because he looked like Boy George and I was being prejudicial in some kind of 8th grade juvenile sense.  I'm a grown man now and have a worldly view of things, but in 8th grade I didn't like Boy George much!  Well, now I realize that's not it at all, there's a legitimate reason for me to be confused.  I swear the voice actor for Cha Dawn is female.

You know if he or she is meant to be transgendered I really don't care, but this sure has been confusing for a few years, and I'm going to resolve it now.  Since Cha Dawn can't tell me what pronoun to use, I'm going to pick one of those "newfangled" ones and apply it.  'Cuz I'm tired of pretending that "she" is a "he".  Consulting a list of pronouns (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-person_pronoun#Summary), I'm going with ze and zir.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 06:15:59 PM
insurgency
insurgency

Can I take over these cities?  Starting with just buying the 1st one, then building it into a real threat?  We'll see.  Maybe buying 1 city will get me a Truce.  Then I can build it up, and use it to keep Lal in line.

The city was cheap to buy, only 159 credits.  I got an unexpected Impact Speeder in the deal, that was within the city radius when I bribed.  I disbanded one of the green 3-res garrison units to rush a fusion ECM Silksteel Police unit without penalty.  72 credits.  So far this is quite within budget.

I ring up Lal.  He thinks he's going to get 375 credits from me.  Dude, I can buy your cities for less.


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 06:49:08 PM
lovely ally
lovely ally

I knew there was a risk that I couldn't get all of the Secret Projects.  I decided that The Supercollider was pretty important and made sure to secure it, especially since Roze's research focuses are Discover and Build.  I think The Cloudbase Academy and The Cyborg Factory are more important than The Longevity Vaccine, even if the latter is important and a pretty good thing to have.  I was resigned to mope about Roze's good fortune when...

maybe datalinks
maybe datalinks

...maybe the Planetary Datalinks came through for me?  Or did I research a Build tech simultaneously, despite my Conquer focus?  Checking other faction's techs, looks like I researched it myself.  Fine whatever.  I insta-build it with Probe Teams in the area, some Supply Crawlers, and 300 credits.

I begin building Clean units, for no particular great reason of need.  I will build a raft of Clean Formers in anticipation of rails.  Also I might as well colonize these denuded areas in my home territory.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 13, 2018, 07:19:03 PM
Pardon, but it does matter if it helps research in a super-science city, by definition.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 13, 2018, 08:06:18 PM
You would build The Merchant Exchange in your capitol at the beginning of the game, because it makes the most money that way.  Regardless of whether it helps research or not.  Making money is an end unto itself!  In the limit, it is one of the ways to win the game.

ma worm
ma worm

Ze swears it!  Now I just have to keep zir alive.  I made zir go to war with Lal too.

Hrm, using these new pronouns isn't actually any easier.  Well at least it's something new to try.  Maybe it'll get easier, and what other excuse will I ever have to practice with them?
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 13, 2018, 08:36:46 PM
I'd rather you just kept She, awkward as it is; the ze stuff is way too awkwarder for being worth it outside addressing someone pretty invested in the issue.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 12:07:13 AM
Well you know, given that I've conquered zir, there might be very little reason to talk about zir anymore.  I wonder what "Cha Dawn transgendered" reveals on the internet?  Looking... err, nothing.  I did find it listed as an example of the trope, Viewer Gender Confusion (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri).   Looking to see if SMACX has any canon materials, like books.  Seems Mike Ely wrote Centauri: Arrival (http://alphacentauri2.info/official/Sid%20Meier%27s%20Alpha%20Centauri%20The%20Story_cfm.htm) and Cha Dawn is "he" in there.  I guess I have to concede defeat.  He has ambiguous portrait art and a horrible choice for a voice actor.  Totally sounds like a girl or woman.

excess population
excess population

I have too many people.  Core production in the Monsoon Jungle has ground to a halt, because all I keep doing is hitting size 16 and spawning more colonists.  Since all my cities aren't up to size 16 yet, I don't feel bad about manually exporting colonists.  I wish this would end soon though.  I could go Green but I don't get much in the way of advantages for doing so.  I'm not trying to rustle up mindworms in the bush, I'm trying to exterminate the Caretakers.  I'm not trying to create new cities and +3 Efficiency is fine for them.  If I abandoned the Democratic approach to life, I'd lose Roze as an ally.  Not that I really need her for anything, but it's difficult to make allies.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 01:40:47 AM
absurd price
absurd price

1 turn before I get a new tech, I remember to check on whether Roze has anything.  I don't think this is a record for a ridiculous price I've seen out of someone, but it's up there, and might be a record for proportion to my actual income.  Yeah, I do tend to have 1100 credits at the start of any given turn, but that doesn't mean I'm saving it up to hand over to you.  She doesn't want to trade a tech, which is fine, because I didn't want to trade one anyways.  I'm not sure what good this ally is to me, other than being someone I don't have to conquer.  She's nominally at war with Lal at least, and I didn't prompt her about that.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 02:54:32 AM
deirdre eco fascist
deirdre eco fascist

I hope I'm about to get Mind / Machine Interface as well.  Otherwise this is annoying.  I had the foresight to strip all of my Probe Teams from outlying cities, leaving only a handful in hot spots to deal with any contingencies.  Which lately, there are none.  I simply wipe things out.  I can insta-complete at least 1 project, and if I pull Supply Crawlers in, I can rapidly complete a 2nd.

crusader
crusader

This I did not expect.  Where did she get the tech?  Granted she does have Explore, Conquer focus, so she could have just been researching since forever.  That's 2 factions with MMI; is there a 3rd?  If so, I get it through the Planetary Datalinks.

sailors
sailors

Drat, somebody met somebody.  My monopolization of the lines of communication is over.  I'm going to lose this election.  I already counted the votes a few turns ago, which is why I didn't give Roze a comm frequency.  If I had The Empath Guild I would win, but it's buried deep in H'minee's territory.  It will be awhile before I get it.

the governator
the governator

Hah, I was wrong!  They could have beaten me but they didn't.  They must really dislike Lal.  Come to think of it, I guess he and Deirdre have been in an active front line war for a long time, and they are allies.  Well I wouldn't have guessed because they're both at war with me to.  Miriam still sends ships at me occasionally but I always just kill them, so maybe she'll get sick of trying someday.  Deirdre hasn't bothered me since the stone ages, really only when she first declared war.  I think she's in a Pact with the Caretakers though, or is that Lal?  I really can't remember anymore.

space happy
space happy

Well, this isn't what I wanted.  But it is a Secret Project, it is useful, and it's a good weapon.  I insta-complete the project with Probe Teams and 568 credits, finally paying off all that production from the beginning of the game.  I will have Shard weapons prototyped next turn, and I think it's time for X Shard Rovers.  I don't think I'll offer to dry up the oceans because I like how my coasts are arranged just fine.  Worked hard on them.  I see some Orbital Power Transmitters in my future, because with the Monsoon Jungle and all my colony pods, I really don't need the food.  Actually I'm really tired of producing colonists, so places that have facilities to build other stuff, they're going to do that from now on.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 03:28:46 AM
mental datalinks
mental datalinks

This came from the Planetary Datalinks, faster than I expected.  I was going to start moving my Supply Crawlers in preparation before I researched my next tech.  Now I will have to scramble.  I do have a fleet of Sea Formers up north that is a bit excessive, and also some concentrations of Supply Crawlers here and there.  The real trick is if I can come up with 2 cities to get all this done in.  I can certainly get at least 1 done.

caretaker warmonger
caretaker warmonger

This explains why I got the tech.  I don't know if Roze will get it as well.  Her ability is supposed to be dependent upon having infiltrated other factions, and she was too remote to have ever done that.  Well the point is moot because I'm insta-completing both projects.  A combo of money, Supply Crawlers, and excessive Clean Sea Formers to do the job.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 04:20:46 AM
aids

Now I have a use for my 12 remaining Probe Teams.

highway robbery
highway robbery

I'm not happy about her price, but I really need to get on with the offensive against the Caretakers.  My lack of reach is holding me up.  I've almost denuded every base within range of my air force.  I've got AAA ECM Silksteel Rover units as defensive points just out of reach of H'minee's units, occupying rocky ground.  Unarmored X Gas Shard Rovers ride along with those to do the damage, although not a single one has been used in anger yet.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 12:57:27 PM
too good an ally
too good an ally

I'm still not in control of this game.  Roze is already starting the next Secret Project that I'm trying to get.  At least the AI factions have not been intelligent about finishing these projects quickly.  I've started moving Crawlers back to my capitol to get ready for an insta-complete.  Maybe I should become more Efficient so I can shift my economy more into reserach and get ahead of this.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 02:25:53 PM
like clockwork
like clockwork

At least my tech output is proving to be reliable.  Insta-completed in my capitol with a disbanded nuke and supply crawlers.  Perhaps I'm stressing too much about what the AI can do, as Roze still needed 14 turns to complete.  However when I last looked she needed 28 turns, so she could be using supply crawlers.  What can I say I don't want competitors, I want everyone to be my thralls.

I'm switching to Build focus as The Cloning Vats is the next Secret Project in ready reach of my existing tech.  It's not useful to me at present because I've been manually increasing my population anyways, and all of my cities will be at size 16 soon.  However I don't want anyone else getting it, and it will be useful someday when I have Hab Domes.  Even though it removes the penalties when choosing Power, I'll stick with Knowledge because staying ahead on research is far more important.  In fact, next turn I'm going to go Green to gain +5 Efficiency.  Then I can make my budget whatever I want without penalties for overemphasizing parts of my economy.  I'm going to jack my research through the roof, as I make way too much money now and don't have any facilities left to build in my cities.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 07:44:12 PM
I complete The Cloning Vats using a pile of excess Sea Formers and cash.  My previous choices actually gave me +7 Efficiency and I don't need to worry about growth anymore, as the Vats do that for me.  So, I've abandoned Democracy.  Now I'm just Frontier.  That leaves me with +5 Efficency, plenty for my empire and for choosing an arbitrary budget, which is now 20-20-60.  Hope Roze doesn't get pissed that I'm non-Democratic, but I haven't picked any politics she should object to.

remote outpost
remote outpost

The base I bribed from the Peacekeepers eons ago, is doing fine, but is hardly a threat to them.  Dierdre is much more threatening and has taken several of Lal's cities to the west.  She's still Seething at me; I wonder if she'll talk to me?  Yeah she did... long enough to tell me she's gonna kill me.

If I'm only Frontier and not Democratic anymore, will the Believers talk to me?  We haven't actually fired a shot in anger in ages.  Yes she'll talk, to demand 550 credits.  Ain't happenin'.  Ok well I tried, give it time.

Lal is still sore as well, still wants me dead.  Whatever Lal.

I was doing Conquer focus for a bit as I wasn't really sure what to do next.  Looking at the tech tree, Build is a better idea if I want to get to Hab Domes.  So I am switching now.

Funny, I was thinking about using my population to win the election, forgetting that I'm already the Governor!  I guess I don't need The Empath Guild after all.  I just need to wipe H'minee out.  I wonder if The Empath Guild + Hab Domes + wiping out the Caretakers can give me Diplomatic Victory?  I'd much rather do that than Transcend.  I find the concept of Transcendence as depicted in this game to be totally depressing.  It is the loss of individual identity.  Like being part of some cosmic Hive mind.  I know I'm a cyborg and maybe that's supposed to sound appealing in some ways, but these cyborgs are logical, not anonymous.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 09:52:57 PM
railhead
railhead

I have finally completed rails linking all of my cities.  I have a railhead that will be in contact with the Caretaker front line next turn.  Simultaneously a massive quantity of mindworms will be delivered to them.  I have lots of cities that I'm not willing to build Command Centers for, but they all have Biology Labs, so I figure why not?  At least, I will see how a sheer quantity of rail based mindworm onslaught goes.  They aren't the best worms but I sure have a lot of them.

My Silksteel defensive units did not hold up very well on the front.  I have denuded cities, but I've lost lots of expensive Shard units doing so.  My poor hapless Probe Teams from the old days are almost gone as well, I've only got 2 left!  They got missed during the generall call up and have been sitting safely in cities for all this time.  Well no more of that, off to the front you go!

I have a new raft of Photon defensive units entering service, which I hope will hold up better than the Silksteel did.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 15, 2018, 01:10:00 PM
helpless
helpless

1 turn of penetration using massive numbers of Formers.  I'm not even using Super Formers, I only just got that technology and my fleet is too large to bother building anything new.  My forces are so massive that I can often build rails completely around a city and take out rearward Sensor Arrays before even assaulting the city proper.  The mindworms have been somewhat useful for eliminating units in the field, but I haven't figured out the best way to apply them.  I've been short of Probe Teams to introduce genetic plagues, but I built a Covert Ops center and will have more shortly.  One problem is when I eliminate a city, there's often a stack remaining with air units.  They're weakened, but the air units protect the stack from my ground troops.  I hope retalliation doesn't cause me any great problems.  I won't bother making SAM units unless the escaping air units prove to be a big deal.  Now is a serious test of whether AA Photon armor holds up to weakened enemy Copters.  I've got 1 such unit accompanying all the forward stacks.  I don't have quite enough to cover everyone on my line, so the rearmost units are exposed.

Unless the retalliation really slaughters me, I'm likely to get The Empath Guild next turn!  It's only 2 cities south of my present railhead.  The mindworms should be useful for taking that, as I want to minimize the damage to that city as much as I can.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 15, 2018, 11:28:59 PM
good aliens smell dead
good aliens smell dead

I've cut a horrific swath through the Caretakers.  Next turn I will have completely wiped them off the continent.  I took losses from wounded planes and copters for awhile, but my AA Photon units were very effective at causing them to die a lot.  I think their air force is pretty much wiped out.  I've also now got enough AA Photon units that I'm able to effectively cover my troops, so I've stopped making them.  I'm making a new generation of X Gas Shard Hovertanks to replace the many offensive units I lost.  The Caretakers are on another continent and also in the water, so I will make a land bridge, and also a city or two to provide an Aerospace Complex for my air force.  It has been out of range all this time and done nothing, as I was happy to use rails and ground units to wipe out bases on land.  I don't really feel like making Marines to go after sea bases though.  I'd rather just use the units I've already got.  I'm cheap that way!

I just remembered that I did build 1 Tectonic Missile prototype, so I can make my land bridge rather quickly if I'm willing to sacrifice a few resources and water passageways.  I also built The Nano Factory, a not terribly exciting Secret Project.  My cities that lack Command Centers will no longer produce mindworms as I have plenty of them.  Instead they will produce Supply Crawlers.  I will either use those to insta-complete Secret Projects as they come up, or I will just crawl for energy because I can.  I really don't need more minerals, and I'm only going to build a Robotic Assembly Plant in 1 city.  That would be that 1 distant outpost in Lal's territory.  It has grown quite large thanks to The Cloning Vats and is almost ready to start terrorizing the Peacekeepers.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 16, 2018, 03:10:31 AM
cybernetic
cybernetic

1st good Secret Project tech I've gotten in awhile.  It also lets me choose Cybernetic, which my faction only gets positive benefits from, no negatives.  Of course, building the Network Backbone would do that anyways, but who's quibbling?  I insta-complete the project with Supply Crawlers and cash.

Urgh, now the political question.  I'm now at +7 Efficiency.  I only need +5 to keep my budget focused on Labs, so I could afford to go Police State now.  But if I do so, Roze will surely dump me as an ally.  Do I care?  To the extent I might wish to win a Diplomatic Victory, maybe I care.  Yet it is such a natural fit for me... I gain only advantages, in particular a Chairman Yang worthy +3 Police rating and +4 Support.  All that Democratic Planned gets me is +1 Industry, offset by a drop to +0 Support.  I don't need the Growth anymore, I've got The Cloning Vats.  AaaaaaAAARGH!!  I think I shall succumb to the desire to be a bad, greedy person.  If Roze gives me trouble, I can take The Neural Amplifier and The Planetary Energy Grid from her, right?

I didn't think I'd have the Formers to make good on my pledge to wipe the Caretakers off the continent this turn, due to a final base that was far off the beaten path.  However a bunch of Formers finally completed all the Mines in my home territory, thereby doubling the number of Formers I could put into combat.  Even with those, I barely managed the elimination of the last base.  The distances on a Giant map are truly vast.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 16, 2018, 04:38:46 AM
AAA survival
AAA survival

This I found surprising.  An AAA Photon unit that I put in my newly created base, survived a direct hit by a Conventional Missile.  Maybe it was a fission missile?  I suppose it must be the Caretakers that are dropping them on me as no one else is in range.  The whole point of this base is to bomb a few sea bases into oblivion.  Also it's exactly 14 squares away from my nearest mainland base, so that I can move my air force perfectly if I decide to make more planes.  Well we'll see how many more missiles they've got to spare.  I happened to have stacked the base full of mindworms, because I had nothing better to do with them, so I seriously doubt they're going to be able to hit my planes.

before bridge
before bridge

Yep they failed, and I wiped out 2 sea bases that had missiles in them.  I've decided this is where I'm going to set off the Tectonic Missile.  This turn I can probably wipe this island completely clean of cities, especially given the absurd number of mindworms I have now.  I'm really only limited by the speed at which I build rails, and I don't want to push any more units around.  If I find myself with a lot of extra cash, I could upgrade all my Formers to Super Formers, but to date I've had other uses for cash.

Oops, I forgot that I'm only using a Fusion missile and the radius of the quake is 2 squares.  Last time I used a lot of these things I had Quantum missiles.  Well that's what we save games for, in case we screw stuff up.  I will come across from my other rail head, where the distance to land is only 2 squares.  It'll seal the water passage in the bargain, but I could always put a city there, or sink it with Sea Formers, if it ever really matters.  And it probably won't.

Hrm, that bridging point is actually out of range of my missile.  Time for plan C: use the missile to get 2 squares closer, then use my huge fleet of Formers to raise the last square to the city.  I can sink 2 of their ships while I'm at it.  Goodbye!

last square
last square

stupid rocks
stupid rocks

Well shoot.  I didn't think about the possibility of raising a rock in front of me.  The traditional answer for this would be a Hovertank Former, which I've neglected to make, thinking I have enough Formers.  And generally that is true, I simply go around rocks.  Helps that I'm usually just laying rails on enemy roads that have already been cut through stuff.  Fresh roads have their own problems.  Do I have 3 Elite Formers handy somewhere?  Nope.  Never did go for Power, which might have created such.  This is going to delay me a turn.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 16, 2018, 01:58:01 PM
prepare to bridge
prepare to bridge

Rocks have a compensating advantage: they provide good cover from enemy aircraft.  With only 2 AAA units I was able to fend off the Caretakers and keep my Formers from harm.  I actually meant to put more in but forgot.  I did put 4 mindworms in as well, but they were not attacked.

I'm finding that big stacks of mindworms are better for cleaning out cities with air units in them.  It's better to kill the air units while the city still exists, so that the air units are sitting on the ground.  The nerve gas ground units, just destroy the city and leave the air units in the air, where I can't hurt them.  After destroying everything in the city, I'll bring in 1 unit that needs healing to take it over.  This reduces an Alien city to size 1 anyways, which makes Obliterating a base rather easy.  Generally I take the healed unit back out of the city, while the railway still exists, and bring in an unimportant unit to do the Obliteration.  Once the city is gone there's no rail or road, so the point is not to have the healed unit get stuck on that bare square.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 16, 2018, 03:26:57 PM
dumb place for a base
dumb place for a base

I was wondering how I'd get rid of that Sea Colony Pod.  Well if I could just count on them to do stupid things, like putting themselves in the way of my land bridges, I'd have no problem.  Since I can't, it's time to make some Transports from the former Caretaker base that has The Empath Guild.  It's my southernmost port and nearest my victims.  I will make a few Marines, send them by rail, and that will be the end of the Caretakers.

[Limit reached]
Oh looky she moved all these planes in, to feed my hungry mindworms!  How thoughtful of her.  They're crunchier than they look though, so I'll need to introduce a genetic plague to tenderize them.

[Limit reached]
I wonder how insta-completable these will be?  They're expensive and I don't have a lot of cash.  I wonder how many Supply Crawlers I'll have to strip from energy crawling duty to get it done?  Not that many, as it turns out.  The number of Supply Crawlers I put out per turn is pretty massive.  I also just realized I've got cities that produce 40+ minerals from the Mines surrounding them alone, so they will make Orbital Defense Pods in 3 turns.  I don't need more minerals from Nessus Mining Stations, I've got tons.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 16, 2018, 03:32:59 PM
Best thing to do with any spare colony pod is to enter it into one of your bases that could stand instant growth by one, and hit "b".

-This is legit, IMO, unplanned, and there's also a mildly exploitish tactic, especially after you've got Cloning Vats and rails and big bases with nothing urgent to do, to do en mass and grow any new or lagging behind-base fast.

;nod
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 16, 2018, 08:18:11 PM
I only have 2 bases on my mainland that are less than size 16.  It is not important for me to make them grow faster than The Cloning Vats makes them grow anyways.  One is already size 9 and can spit out the Transports I need in 1 turn.  The other is size 4 and its main function was to serve as an air base to wipe out a few Caretaker sea bases.  It also made a land claim on the Borehole Cluster, although I don't actually use the Boreholes for anything.  I didn't want Cha Dawn settling on them, but he hasn't done anything except settle 1 sea base anyways.  He's kind of a weenie.

Making my bases grow larger than 16 by adding Colonists to them, in the absence of Hab Domes, sounds like cheating.  What is the point of gaining technologies and Secret Projects like The Ascetic Virtues, if the limits don't actually matter?  What is the point of Lal having a higher base limit than other factions?  Well, I'm going to build 1 Colonist to find out whether it actually works or not anyways.  That's faster than trying to look stuff up, either on the internet or digging my paper manual out of a box in the basement.

Incidentally, I've been trying for a very long time to get Hab Domes, going for a Build only focus, but I can't even seem to get the basic prereq of B7 Probability Mechanics.  So my civ has evolved with what it's actually got, which is quite a lot.

Well I'll be a monkey's uncle.  Now I've got a capitol that's size 17, using its own colonist to do it!  Now I have to find a way to decide whether this is cheating.  Morgan, for instance, would play totally differently if he can violate hab limits early in the game.

[Limit reached]
The Caretakers don't have much left.  I count 4 nearby land bases, 4 remote land bases, and 10 sea bases.   The nearby land bases, I may be able to destroy next turn.  The remote bases will take awhile to reach, and perhaps I won't build rails to do it, but will just send hovertanks and elite rovers to finish them off.  It looks like they don't even have any roads, so that could take time.  For the sea bases, I've built an airbase and will begin nerve gassing some of them into oblivion.  I have Marines in production to finish off the rest.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 16, 2018, 08:30:07 PM
...I, as resident SP cheat expert in the community, would deem exceeding hab limits on purpose an exploit, yes, but very arguable/borderline, as any MPer might simply deem that smart playing or not according to whether they could afford to do so and what making a particular city big accomplishes - it's just not so indisputably a broken bug as something like the patrol-elite trick, but maybe an intended feature.  [shrugs]

I've taken the colony pod-city grow exploit up heavily in my most recent cycle of heavy playing, as a way to shave nearly 100 off the turns it takes to grow my capitol/super-science city to 127 - by the point I try that, it's a little rare for the five or  six adjacent bases to have anything more important to do, as I'm playing out the clock by then...
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 12:16:45 AM
I read the manual, which only says hit "B" with a Colony Pod to "Join Base" and increase its size.  The manual describes the Hab Complex as increasing the size limit of the base by +7, and the Hab Dome as increasing the size limit to 127.  Based on everything I've ever seen in SMAC, I cannot believe that it was intentional to let bases go over these limits.  None of the base population (dis)incentives make sense if you can just add colonists without restriction, as it takes a lot more food to grow from size 11 to 12, compared to 2 to 3.  I notice that this website has a bug list (http://alphacentauri2.info/wiki/Bug_list/Bingmann) where this issue is at the very top of the Unsorted category.  The list is intended to be sorted into bugs vs. undocumented features.  I say it's a bug, and as such, I'm not going to use it to cheat.

[Limit reached]
I did obliterate the 4 nearby land cities.  I'm sending hovertanks after the 4 remote land cities.  I will not build any further rails in that direction.  With the Caretakers nearly dead, I think it is time to invade Deirdre.  As it happens, my easternmost rail is pretty near the Manifold Nexus.  I think in 2 turns I could reach it.

My city on Lal's backside, has 31 minerals and 16 population now.  Unfortunately I keep having to do this and that to keep people happy.  A Paradise Garden should square that up.  I just couldn't bring myself to make a Punishment Sphere back in the day.  I was a Democracy at the time and it would have been out of character.  I also think it's still out of character, as torturing people strikes me as deeply irrational.  I would expect the Consciousness to want to purge people of emotions, not revel in them to make them terrified and therefore compliant.  I'm not even sure they would punish people.  Maybe they'd just kill whoever is completely useless, and otherwise reprogram / reimplant them.

My Supply Crawler situation is getting pretty absurd.  I wonder if it actually helps me in any way?  Many of my bases gradually climb slightly upwards in energy, at the cost of a lot of mouseclicks.  I don't see any noticeable effect on my research rate though, and it might be hard to pass from 1 tech every 2 turns, to 1 tech every turn.  I've changed my budget to 10-20-70 and I suffer no penalties for it.  I still make 228 credits/turn and I still have very little to spend them on.  I'm wondering if I should just build ridiculous numbers of Clean Super Formers to build rails to just about everything and end this game.  It might result in a few massively long turns of Former pushing, but how is that different than doing it on turn-by-turn basis?  I get the feeling that I'm just fooling around with the Suppy Crawlers, that they don't make my victory come any faster.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2018, 12:44:09 AM
Dunno, man - I didn't realize/recall the manual mentioning the "Join Base" - I tend to think that pushes the hab-exceeding over into Officially Kosher, as I'd think it unlikely the playtesting turned up that join trick in time for the manual -implies intended feature, in fact- and not the hab-exceeding...
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 02:39:03 AM
"Join Base" is officially in the manual, and there was never any doubt that it's part of the game.  The question is whether you should be able to use that to exceed base size restrictions.  I say it's a bug.  Otherwise why have base size restrictions?

[Limit reached]
I don't care about this tech.  Just last turn I decided not to build any more Supply Crawlers, and instead am making a new raft of Satellites.  My intent is to have all that done before I finally get Hab Domes... assuming I ever get them, at this rate!  Well I guess now I'll build Quantum Labs for lack of anything better to do.  Deirdre's going to really hate these new Quantum units.

[Limit reached]
I've colonized the Mainfold Nexus.  I've got roughly 40 mindworms in that base, ready to attack Deidre next turn.  I wonder how far I'll get with those?  It will depend a lot on whether she's got air force or missile reserves to pound me before my offensive.  Everything out there is expendable though, they're all old units.  The only way she could stop my advance is to nuke me.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2018, 03:24:35 AM
I still say feature, but hardly a hill worth dying on - we all make these decisions for ourselves, and that's all that matters unless you're playing against a people.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 03:51:00 AM
[Limit reached]
No attacks came.  Consequently I took the opportunity to plant lots of forests around my base.  It seems that my "vast" fleet of Formers, is merely enough to terraform the land of 1 city.  Less if one considers that I left the fungus alone.  I am approaching 50 mindworms in the base now.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 03:57:25 AM
[Limit reached]
I've been waiting a long time for this.  Blind research can really throw you for a loop.  Could I have finished this game 2 days sooner, if I had gotten along this path earlier?  I'm switching to Explore focus as Nanometallurgy is an Explore tech.  It's the next one on the way to getting Hab Domes.

[Limit reached]
I push my rail northwards.  I take 2 cities easily with mindworms.  Still no counteroffensive.  I notice that Deirdre is fighting Lal again, despite having briefly made an alliance against me.  I wonder who backstabbed who?  Thorny Vinaryd is my 1st target.  It contains the Xenoempathy Dome.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 05:05:15 AM
[Limit reached]
In 1 turn I cut all the way through to Gaia's landing, seizing The Xenoempathy Dome, The Command Nexus, The Maritime Control Center, and The Planetary Transit System.  Then I signed a Truce, because I wanted to remain strongly garrisoned and not overextend.  I never even used my Quantum units, just mindworms.  They are now expensive guards on top of all the Secret Projects I've captured.  I left Deirdre with The Citizen's Defense Force because it's somewhat to the north and would spread me out to take it.  It is not especially valuable and if she acts up, I can take it then.

[Limit reached]
I have destroyed all Caretaker bases on land.  They have only 4 remaining sea bases, which I'm converging on with X Marines, X Needlejets, Cruiser Probe Teams, and Shard Destroyers.  They'll last 3 turns at most.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 04:33:21 PM
[Limit reached]
Lal decided to call an election.  What was he thinking?  This vote gives some indication of how close I am to Diplomatic Victory.  If I could take a bite out of Lal's population and transfer it to me, I could win, if Roze sticks by me.  If she doesn't, then I'd either have to defeat Lal, or finally get Hab Domes and grow bigger than anyone can deal with.  The 1 city of Lal's that I took over eons ago, I find does not produce units fast enough to make a military conquest viable.  I've recently been distracted by random mindworms appearing off the coast, of all things.  I've started producing a new generation of Probe Team to see if economic conquest is viable.  If it is not, then I pretty much have to get The Space Elevator, which is the same as getting Hab Domes.

[Limit reached]
[Limit reached]
[Limit reached]
I complete The Universal Translator and get 2 free techs.  Also I researched 1 more tech.  Unfortunately none of this got me Super Tensile Solids, but at least I'm only 2 techs away now.  I'm switching to Conquer focus as the next needed tech is Matter Compression.

[Limit reached]
The Caretakers are down to 1 base.  That escaping Sea Colony Pod is in my way and I didn't have any way to destroy it.  It was going to cost 630 credits to buy it, and that's way too much of my budget.  The last city is at -5 minerals anyways so there's a chance it may disband anyways.  I do have a plane ready to strike next turn, and 5 Marines inbound, and 2 teams to introduce plagues, all against only 1 defending unit, so I think next turn I finally get the Eradicated screen.

I'm disbanding my X units to build Secret Projects.  I have no intention of using them on humans, and experience shows that if I keep them around, sooner or later I'll accidentally use the chemical weapons.  Short of replaying a long turn, there's really no way to get back in someone's good graces after making that mistake.  It basically undoes an entire game's worth of scrupulous avoidance.  So, better safe than sorry.

I'm having to spend lots of money to pacify my Gaian conquests, so there goes any hope of buying out Lal.  I could do it if I shifted to an econ rather than a labs focus, but I think getting Super Tensile Solids will be faster than that.  I haven't been able to crack the "1 tech every 2 turns" barrier, and it feels like I'm wasting money with my 10-20-70 budget.  However I tried changing it to 20-20-60 and the rate dropped to 1 every 3 turns, so at present I do have to spend 10-20-70.  I will continue to build Quantum Labs and Nanohospitals, hoping to push it to 1 tech per turn.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 05:33:47 PM
[Limit reached]
At last!  Man what a tooth pull.  If I were to do it over, I would have made a lot more Formers instead of Supply Crawlers.  Now for my fellow humans.

[Limit reached]
I am great.  Really, I am.  This writeup proves it.

Now here's a funny technicality.  I've eradicated the Caretaker faction, but technically I haven't eradicated every last Caretaker unless I Obliterate this last base I took.  I don't actually want a base down here, and I'd build my own anyways if I did.  So, hopefully the rules haven't changed about atrocities to Aliens being a free pass?  Let's find out; I'm saving the game just in case something goofy happens.

[Limit reached]
Yes!  The last 10,000 Caretakers are gone.  To trouble us again, they'll have to find us, and that seems unlikely.

Oh shoot.  I just realized there are still Caretakers at Vision:Sound, where I took The Empath Guild from them.  I still get a Captured Base penalty there, so that means we haven't bred them out, or otherwise assimilated them.  Oh well.  A footnote in history, kind of like The Vatican.  We'll give them a funny pants Swiss guard or something.

Seems like biologically modifying all existing Caretakers, like genejacking them, would be a good idea.  Also what about the ideology of the Caretakers, or worshipping them?  If we can have a Cha Dawn, seems like we could have a Caretaker worshipper to.  Maybe it would be better to exterminate more people, so that they don't pick up semiautomatic rifles and shoot up schools or something.  Well, I am a Police State after all.  We'll just monitor them, and if anyone commits any thought crimes, we'll take 'em out back and shoot 'em.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2018, 07:18:44 PM
["monument to my greatness"]

I am great.  Really, I am.  This writeup proves it.
;king
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 07:25:04 PM
[Limit reached]
Deirdre has continued to honor a Truce, so we haven't had any bloodshed.  I have finished almost all possible square improvements in that region, most notably I've got Soil Enrichers everywhere now.  The same cannot be said of my home lands.  I started bringing Formers back home to work those squares, but it was really tedious, especially with the occasional Gaian unit tripping up my movement on my rail lines.  Consequently, I have begun mass disbandment of the old non-super Formers, as it's easier than trying to push them back home.  I had so many that every single project in Gaian conquered territory will be completed next turn, and I still have some left to cut roads on rocks.

[Limit reached]
I am no closer to getting Hab Domes.  With all the new Quantum Labs though, I have been able to change my budget to 20-20-60 and still maintain my 1 tech every 2 turns research rate.  With the larger pile of cash, I am able to subvert Lal's cities, and took one fairly cheaply this turn.  Afterwards I rang him up.  He tried to extort me for 725 credits, and of course I refused.  Then he offered me a Truce anyways, and I accepted it.  I'd like to actually work the tiles around the city for a change, instead of getting them shelled.  I will miss out on capturing The Weather Paradigm, but it's non-trivial to get there from where I am, and I've made no progress on it all game.  Hey I've done this much terraforming without The Weather Paradigm, the map is a bit absurd if you consider all the squares I've worked by hand.  Why quit now?
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 17, 2018, 11:24:09 PM
[Limit reached]
I think Roze is dumping me.  Hm, actually she's reminding me about the war with the Peacekeepers.  Since I wasn't going to just break the Truce, now she's dumping me.  Meanwhile I've got The Dream Twistern and I can do Thought Control, but won't.  Still can't get Matter Compression, nor do better than 2 techs per turn no matter how many Nanohospitals I build.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 12:08:16 AM
[Limit reached]
She joined up with the Believers and declared war on me.  What a jerk!  She's obviously not principled about my Police State, as Miriam is Fundamentalist.  She has The Planetary Energy Grid deep within her territory, and The Neural Amplifier in her capitol.  I will send a few Destroyer Probe Teams but they will take a long time to reach her, and I bet I've got The Space Elevator by then.  At the rate I'm going I will need to exceed the sum total of the rest of humanity to score a Diplomatic Victory though.


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 01:15:51 AM
[Limit reached]
Finally.  Switching to Build focus.  My Gaian cities are mostly working on Flechette Defense Systems now.  Haven't had any missiles lobbed at me, but this close to the enemy, one can't be too careful.  My rate of research has actually slowed now to 1 tech every 3 turns, so I adjusted my budget to 40-20-40 so as to not be wasteful.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 02:07:32 AM
[Limit reached]
Is this gonna finally get me some tech???   Nope.

Oh shoot.  I just realized that I discovered Graviton Theory awhile ago, and that it allows me to do orbital insertions.  I haven't been in the endgame and needed it enough times, to have known that off the top of my head.  I've got the means to seize Roze's Secret Projects, I just need to make the units.  Currently I'm busing building Flechette Defense Systems everywhere though, out of paranoia.  She's been launching lots of Sky Hydroponics Labs and I should probably destroy them.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 02:58:21 AM
[Limit reached]
What a drama queen.  I value my Nobility.  Since we've both been Green since forever, I offered her a Treaty.  She wanted me to attack Lal in exchange but I declined.  She signed anyways.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 18, 2018, 03:05:21 AM
BTW - you value your nobility; you're the first person I can think of who's ever mentioned playing that way. ;b;  I do as a habit, but I don't recall saying so.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 03:29:21 AM
I haven't really explored Wicked diplomacy to be honest.  I'm not sure to what extent I gain any game mechanical advantage being Noble, vs. it just being roleplay.  You can certainly get people to seriously dislike you while being Noble, just use Probe Teams in a dastardly way.

[Limit reached]
I think the secret is you're only allowed to live in extradimensional space.  Well at least I learned how to manipulate the Manifolds, which got me yet more secrets, which finally yielded

[Limit reached]
Of course most of my cities are not ready to make Hab Domes because they started working on a massive drop cloaked invasion force to seize Roze's secret projects.  Those will be ready in 2 and 3 turns.  I've switched to Explore focus as I won't need research much longer and Eudaimonia might be useful.

In my Hab Dome building glee I almost forgot to build The Manifold Harmonics and The Space Elevator.  The former I finished with a lot of Supply Crawlers.  The latter is an "economics" Secret Project, so it'll need to be built in my capitol next turn.  I had a fair number of Supply Crawlers sitting on forests that lacked roads, so the delay allows me to move them on to roads.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 03:57:44 AM
[Limit reached]
Could this be a sign of Global Warming at the very end of the game?  I've been really careful, deliberately not developing all the factories I could have.  I've also got a +5 Planet rating.  Who might be doing the polluting?  Hmm, Roze has gone Free Market, so maybe that's it.  No Global Warming yet, but maybe I should seriously trash her.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 04:32:34 AM
[Limit reached]
I forgot about Clinical Immortality.  This could be the game ender right here.  You see the way it works is, if you live long enough, people get confused about who's dead or alive at the polls.  You get to vote twice!  Building this took all but 1 of my Supply Crawlers and 200 cash.  The straggler was too far away from my rails.

[Limit reached]
I'm assaulting the city with The Planetary Energy Grid.  My awesome Singularity troops do surprisingly badly against even weak mindworms.  Fortunately I have a larger 2nd wave coming.  Unless Roze summons a zillion missiles or planes or something, she's dead.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 05:40:12 AM
[Limit reached]
Roze, you lousy person, this is all your fault!  My cities don't emit any eco-damage at all.  I just checked every single one to make sure I'm not in denial.  I never built any Centauri Preserves, that's how forward thinking my civilization is.  I did inherit a few from Deirdre, but who needs them when Tree Farms and Hybrid Forests are standard issue for every city?  I've got a +5 Green rating.  Roze, you're a lousy human being.  Last turn I wiped out all your satellites, and this turn I I might have to kill her a lot more, to halt global disaster.  Meanwhile I'll just have us launch a Solar Shade.

Actually after taking over The Planetary Energy grid, and dropping on a size 1 city to destroy it, I signed a Truce with her.  I've realized that Cloaked units aren't particularly effective at immediate attack.  They'll be better under a Truce to restrict Roze's movements.  I'm surrounding Data DeCentral which contains The Neural Amplifier.  It's not a terribly important Secret Project but if she acts up, it's mine.  I've firmly garrisoned the Grid; the only thing she could do is nuke it.  She won't, so I've sold off all my Energy Banks.  That enabled me to buy another 6 or 7 Hab Domes at typically 300 apiece.

Hrm, if I propose that we Launch a Solar Shade, will that prevent me from proposing Unite Behind Me As Supreme Leader for another 20 years?  Let's see, I've got 2504 votes.  The others have 216 + 383 + 382 + 570 = 1551 votes.  I need a 3/4 majority which means I'd need to roughly double in size.  Since most of my bases are size 16 now, that is indeed on the order of almost 20 years, since they will grow some as well.  I think making a UN motion is an acceptable risk.  And for all I know, maybe a Unite motion won't be restricted by a Solar Shade motion.  We'll see.

[Limit reached]
The measure passes easily.  I hope that's enough to stop Roze's eco-damage.  I wonder if carpeting her with fungus would be considered a hostile act?  I think it would take too long to deploy missiles though, as they'd have to come by Carrier.  I don't think I can secure her base fast enough and build it up to make missiles locally.  I could drop Formers on her and plant fungus on her Mines, if that is not considered hostile.  Worth a try. 
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 18, 2018, 06:49:55 PM
The good news is that planting fungus on a faction with a Truce does work.  It's not regarded as a combat action, which to be honest is an oversight on the part of the game developers.  Anyone who has studied the history of Israelis bulldozing settlements in the West Bank would know it's a very hostile move.  Well, technically they did make Pillaging a hostile move, which would be the exact analogous thing.  Planting fungus is a grey area where it's usually a detriment to most factions, but could be beneficial to some.  I, for instance, extract all kinds of resources from fungus now, so it's very much beneficial to me.

The bad news is that due to quirks of the UI, dropping Formers from orbit is rather tedious.  There are all sorts of rules about where you may and may not drop.  They are not all obvious, for instance one cannot necessarily see if there's an enemy unit exerting a zone of control.  It's also a bit of a pain to check whether bases have Aerospace Complexes, although this late in the game, many cities can be assumed to have them.  Any time one of the landing rules is violated, the UI scrolls back to the blinking unit whose move it is.  The UI option "don't center on units with orders" doesn't affect this behavior.  So this has all the mouseclicking joy of a tedious Transport loading and unloading campaign.  It's not a fun way to conquer, and encourages me to hurry up and wait to win the game automatically.

Due to lack of getting this far in the game very often, and lack of need, I don't know much about how Psi Gates work.  I am wondering if it's easier to move ordinary Formers through Psi Gates, rather than bother with the drop mechanics.  Also, can ships and missiles be moved through?  I haven't determined if I can detonate a fungal payload without it being a hostile act.

I'm also noticing that the game forgets that I made certain unit designs, i.e. nukes, tectnoic, and fungal missiles.  This happens when design slots are running out, a new kind of engine is discovered, and I don't have an active unit with the previous engine design.  The game recycles the design slot and now suddenly I don't know how to make some kind of missile.  That's an annoying wart; wish we could bugfix these sorts of things.  A workaround would be to turn off automatic unit design, but that creates other mouseclicking burdens.

[Limit reached]
Lal, you fool, I was just about to go Democratic!  I just finished the Telepathic Matrix.  My people can't revolt anymore, so running a Police State is obsolete.  I was going to offer everyone the same deal: Treaty or fungal carpeting.  I feel truly sorry for you Lal.  It's going to be a little more brutal this way.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 18, 2018, 06:55:19 PM
The psi gate answer is yes.  Select the unit in a base with a gate, hit "I" I think it is, and a list of bases w/ gates appear.  One teleport a turn FROM a gate, unlimited TO, IIRC.  You can port ships into landlocked bases when fixed artillery is needed, or just because you're stupid and want a landlocked boat - it does work the same as a garrison unit that can't move to sally, but can shell the base radius...
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 01:39:59 AM
[Limit reached]
Well !@#$! looks like I just verified the from part of a psi gate.  That makes 1 gate completely useless for moving a lot of troops from my home territory to an invasion destination.  I'd need to build lots of gates to do that.  I doubt I'll have the cash for that in the next few turns.  I've got all these Behemoths coming that aren't going to be useful.  Well at least I'm on an automatic timer to win the game anyways.  Currently I've got 3230 votes.

[Limit reached]
Taking one of Lal's cities reminded him who's boss.  I couldn't get The Weather Paradigm.  I took a city next to it.  I will get the Psi Gate thing sorted out and move in all kinds of troops in force.  Meanwhile I'll continue to starve his cities by planting fungus on his best cropland.  I'm also insta-completing The Singularity Inductor this turn.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 02:18:11 AM
[Limit reached]
I'm realizing that under a Truce, I can still starve cities out, using any units I like.  That could have been useful earlier in the game, although I really wouldn't have thought of it until after I defeated the Caretakers.  Everyone was pretty busy doing actual fighting.  Now it's useful for depopulating Roze and Lal, who don't want to sign Treaties with me.  Maybe I'll send the Behemoths after Miriam?  Thing is, I conquer 1 city and then they're happy to have a Truce.

I'm thinking if I took a Singularity Cruiser Transport full of 16 units through a Psi Gate, I could deliver units a lot faster.  As it is though, I'm making massive amounts of money and will have a whole pile of Psi Gates completed next turn.  Talk about overbuilt!  Good thing the game is ending soon.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 19, 2018, 02:42:52 AM
I suppose you've discovered the "Release Worm into the wild" feature.  Great as a trick for waging war w/o vendetta.  Maybe an exploit, but what did they intend the feature for if you couldn't use it to discretely inconvenience someone you don't want a vendetta with?  Great for getting rid of that unit that's been standing on a bonus resource inside a radius forever.  Takes too many to take out that base crowding inside your base's radius unless it's completely undefended, but I waste a lot of time doing that anyway...
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 03:08:12 AM
Releasing worms into the wild does sound like a good idea at this point, because I have so many of them.  Although, I am still bottlenecked by a limited number of Psi Gates in Gaian conquered territory.  None of this matters anymore this game anyways, as I'm at 3548 votes.

[Limit reached]
Unbidden, Miriam offers to talk, and then signs a Truce.  Perhaps she's rightfully intimidated by my superior weaponry.  Perhaps she's just going to surprise attack next turn, like the idiot she often is.  Doesn't matter either way, she's not relevant.  I'll be happy to have some peace and quiet, and I'm going to make her lay off poor Cha Dawn while she's at it.  There's this beautiful supercontinent completely devoid of Caretakers, and the irony is I don't even need the rail network anymore.  Stupid for people to be fighting.  I will see how many wars I can get her to call off.  Only Cha Dawn; that will have to do.


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 04:08:46 AM
[Limit reached]
Well, I could win the game now.  However I really hate the Transcendence ending.  It's like all individuals die.  Diplomatic Victory is imminent, and Economic Victory looks possible as well, as I'm building nonstop Orbital Power Transmitters now.  I'm just annoyed that I have to respecify "yes, build an Orbital Power Transmitter" every time one completes.  Lotta wasted mouseclicks.  I suppose I could just stockpile energy.  I can definitely end up with more Satellites than I can utilize before I win the game anyways, so stockpiling would be rational and more convenient.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 04:58:01 AM
[Limit reached]
What does this guy want?  Maybe just to let me know our Truce is expiring.  Actually, to claim that he'll annihilate my units when he won't and the Truce was renewed.  Fine, I will keep choking his cities to death.

I've jacked my budget to 70-20-10.  I'm currently Democratic Green Wealth Cybernetic.  Strangely, switching to Eudaimonic would only net me another 80 credits per turn.  Since I'm currently making 11,110 credits per turn, there's no point in that.  I'm wondering if it's the loss of Efficiency in distant cities, or a decrease in Planet friendliness, or some kind of saturation of square output, that is responsible for the meager difference?

[Limit reached]
My intervention with a Solar Shade was more than sufficient.  Now I've got a landlocked ship.  It had nothing to complete anyways.  The other ships to the east, finished their tasks and are now useless.  There's not even anything to disband for, as cities are stockpiling energy now.  18,154 credits saved.  4008 votes.  I would currently need 4800 votes to win.  Let's see what it takes to corner the energy market.  Uuuuh 124k credits needed.  So, 10 more turns of saving energy, or however many votes are needed meanwhile.

I don't think my fungal planting tactics are having any decisive effect on enemy cities.  It's useful for laying a gradual path through enemy lands during times of Truce, assuming one has the Xenoempathy Dome.  I'm going to see if Fungal Missiles are a hostile gesture or not.  The other concern is, does Planet dislike them being detonated?  It doesn't like nukes or Tectonic missiles.  I think logically speaking, Planet should love fungus, but I don't know what the game designers actually decided.




Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Fibonacci on March 19, 2018, 06:05:11 AM
Releasing mind worms into the wild in someone else's territory is a feature. What did you think the "Secret War"  ;deidre; keeps going on about in quotes was?
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 19, 2018, 12:01:04 PM
Good point.

The game considers Fungal and Tectonic acts of war inside someone's territory, and I should think the game logic scans that they both upset Planet.  Now, I always build Voice of Planet before I run out the clock for a last turn transcendence, because the eco-damage fungal pops yield no worms afterward.  I'm always playing a green/red faction, so I want more fungus -and I've toyed with Fungal and Tectonic to speed that up, but while the missiles are pretty toxic early-game, the effect that late seems slight.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 01:24:33 PM
[Limit reached]
Belatedly I've realized I didn't finish some oceans next to a couple of conquered cities.  I could have gated my inactive Gaian fleet awhile ago.  Now I can only bring 1 ship per turn because that's the only Psi Gate port that I've got in Gaian conquered lands.  4 ships I've decided to sail the old fashioned way to a destination, as I've got 9 ships total and in 6..9 turns, they could arrive at a target anyways.  Although I expect by then the game is won, so the point is moot.

I'm removing military units from Truce territories as I've realized I don't actually need them to plant fungus.  At first they seemed like they were helpful for capturing bunkers and holding off the enemy.  However, Probe Teams can occupy bunkers without having to stop their movement, and they allow ordinary units to slip past the enemy.  If I were to actually plan a fungal campaign instead of improvise one, I would make Cloaked Formers so that they can ignore zones of control.  I also belatedly realized that I've been moving my Cloaked Drop units around Roze's territory as though they have to respect zones of control, and they do not.  It is much easier to withdraw troops when I simply walk around the obstacles.

I was reminded of the negative consequences of military troops by the occasional communiques of unhappy factions telling me they'll destroy them.  I know they won't, but they're Seething at me, even though we're all Democracies.  Politically I made the right choice as far as keeping them from going to war with me, but I am not extracting full advantage from that, so long as I gratuitously irritate them.  Military troops should be used for sieges on implacable enemies, and I don't have any of consequence anymore.  Miriam will be a Fundie until the end, but I've never cared about taking anything from her, as she never built any Secret Projects.

I'm at 4466 votes.  Enemies have 227 + 416 + 406 + 528 = 1577 votes.  Maybe 2 more turns.  56,219 cash so Diplomatic Victory is still closer than Economic Victory.  Technically I suppose I could bribe the crap out of other factions for Diplomatic Victory, but I'm not going to.  Prefers to keeps my money!
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 02:29:10 PM
[Limit reached]
Here's a weird forest display bug.  Notice the UN city Mu Sector.  (No Lal didn't take it from me, he named it that, presumably using name rosters from other factions.  Many cities on the map have a Cybernetic style name but I didn't build them.)  The city is surrounded by fungus.  Now look at the city production blowup:

[Limit reached]
Observe the 3 patches of forest that are actually fungus on the map.  2 of them might have been forest at the beginning of the turn.  The southeast patch was definitely fungus before though.  So there you have it, I've played this entire game just so I could discover this 1 bug at the very end!


Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 19, 2018, 02:39:42 PM
The in-city display does inaccuracy a lot about anything but what squares are being worked for how much.

-On the worm-releasing tactic?  PERFECT for doing something about that (non enemy but not yours) colony pod sniffing around your border if you can get there in time; a wild worm will only rarely pass up an opportunity to attack a completely unarmed unit, and if the pod isn't destroyed, it will still almost always flee whether it's taken damage or not.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 03:18:23 PM
I could have used that against one of Miriam's late sea bases near me.  Instead I just signed a Truce and blew her off.

[Limit reached]
It is time.  I have the votes.

[Limit reached]
Nobody likes me.  Whee!!!

[Limit reached]
So ends the most epic After Action Report I've ever written.  Possibly, that I may ever write.  I can think of play tactics I'd do differently, but I'm not sure I'd take quite so much time to write about them.  I began this game eight days ago and I've been playing more than full time.  As in, I could have collected 2 paychecks producing this AAR, not calculating overtime pay.  Consider that!  If you made it this far reading the thing, hopefully you will realize why you're not likely to see something this long again.  It's the AAR equivalent of playing Space Invaders until you drop dead.

[Limit reached]
First thing I'm gonna do in my new Global Office is execute the Art / Propaganda Director and put something in the middle of that banner that actually looks cool.  Who dreams of teal?

[Limit reached]
4159 points.  I wasn't playing for points, and I don't even know if that's good.  It seems the majority came from my gigantic population. 

[Limit reached]
The game gave me a funny book, but it won't be my last.  I deliberately avoided Transcending as I'm morally opposed to it.  Lots of individuals will be writing lots more books in lots of libraries.  None of this hive mind stuff for me!

[Limit reached]
389% sounds impressive, but I don't know who I'm being compared to.

[Limit reached]
I got a completely black screen for my replay.  The years ticked by, and the ticking got slower and slower as the years progressed.  Maybe this is due to my video settings, as I have Secret Project movies turned off.

[Limit reached]
Is it over??  Is it over??  Do the nightmares cease now!??

Watch as I toss this carefully constructed hand-crafted world into the toilet.  I've never been in the habit of saving old games.  I think that's an artifact of random world generation.  Aren't I just going to generate another?  I wonder what kind of game would be worth saving the world afterwards?  What kind of game design would make it worth reexamining from time to time, as opposed to just starting afresh?  Well, consider this the last act of an angry God.  BTW Miriam, you suck.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 19, 2018, 04:03:01 PM
You wouldn't think a game designed so long ago to run on systems with so much less everything would still get slow noticably as the complexity and maths ramped up - but it still totally does.  I suspect there's some bad code in there doing it, as my early 90s D&D games had the battles going by way too fast to read on a low-end system a decade ago.

Teacher gives this game and AAR a full A. ;b; Well-done, sir.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 04:19:28 PM
Thanks for the grade.  Definitely my best work, and a year of learning curve in the making.

I actually didn't notice anything about the game itself slowing down.  Only that last replay screen.  I do wonder about designing games so that they can be played 20 years later.  For instance, a 256x128 map is 15 bits worth of squares.  Why push higher?  Even this game needs a better control paradigm than what I'm doing.  This is pretty much the outer limit of what is fesasible to push around by hand.

The irony is now I want to try Miriam, having no tech advantage, and just terraforming everyone into oblivion under fungus.  But I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow writeup of it.  Maybe not any writeup at all, although if I come up with a particularly interesting screenshot, I reserve the right to change my mind.

The problem is, there is no point in me publishing another AAR for quite some time.  This was a huge pile of work, easily an 80 hour project.  I need to see some views for having done the work, and it makes no sense to bury what I just did, under yet more AARs.  I imagine that TV productions have the same problem, there's just no point in producing too many episodes for people.  And if an episode is going to be produced every day, then the production needs to be correspondingly cheap.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 19, 2018, 05:23:57 PM
I'm considering doing Facebook and other forums and all that with this, now that I know for sure you finished the game.  I wish my buncle powers had told me so when it started -I'd somehow rather promote one at the beginning than one complete, because the suspense factor, I guess- but they don't work that way.

I'd venture that those D&D games were bad code of another kind at the time of release.  Surely even in 89-90 or whatever, timing relying on the speed of the system must have had a very noticeable different between high-end and low-end systems, and that's leaving out the obsolete low-end systems, where the battles musta been hella-slow.

-Still, Curse of the Azure Bonds FTW, baby.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 06:00:10 PM
I figure in the case of the game replay, someone wrote O(n) code and that's the rate at which I saw performance decrease.  Time spent displaying, seemed roughly proportional to the number of the year.  I can't think of a good reason for that to be true, but programmers can definitely invent buggy crappy lazy reasons for it.  The simplest one would be itereating through every previous year for some dumb reason to get some data.

Algorithms can be written in the fast, that can choke any machine in the future, if they have a sufficiently egregious O() (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_O_notation).  This was a historical problem with voxel displays and voxel based virtual worlds for instance.  There's a reason Minecraft came along as late as it did, and Notch wrote the 1st version in Java of all things.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: Fibonacci on March 19, 2018, 06:22:09 PM
 ;b; a fun read overall.


There's one thing I didn't see, and my input as someone who prefers playing  ;morgan;:

There's a unit I think of as the "truck". I read about them as being especially useful as the pirates for making landfall from sea bases cheap.  It's just a transport on an infantry chassis. With a little creativity though, one truck can give your choice of about a city worth of space wherein a unit gets your choice of: one extra move or the normal move and then an action (build/terraform/attack without hasty penalty). Terraforming without the Weather Paradigm is much more tolerable with one or two trucks.

They're even better if you can dope them into elite status via society morale and facility boosts (I'm looking at Santiago and Miriam, stints of Power and Fundamentalism can make infantry units as mobile as speeders). Or make them military-esque civilian units with some resonance armor and trance and shove them into harm's way do some off-roading and survive some attacks by worms or uppity neighbors.

Being able to move into a rocky / forest / fungus square and perform a terraform action that same turn in the Doctrine: Flexibility era makes it's easier to prepare mines for the removal mineral cap that should either now or coming up shortly.

Popping pods and see one on rocky / forest / fungus? Carry an empath unit to investigate the pod, in case of mind worms, and the unit is in place to snag some energy credits in case of a whammy.

Later game pod popping and the might get multiple worms? Give your truck a coating of resonance armor and polish it into a trance and carry that empath unit in for investigations.

Want to re-home or cash in a supply crawler this turn instead of next turn? A truck can give you three extra road moves and then press 'O' to get your crawler's action.

Needed to upgrade a single unit rather than all via the workshop (you're strapped for cash, the unit would benefit more from repairing way over there in that city with the complete repair facility, it's unity pod unit that doesn't qualify for immediate workshop upgrades and you'd rather not just disband it toward the production of something else)? Perform the single upgrade, target the unit again so you can press 'L' to get it to sleep/wait for the next transport, and have the truck haul it where you would prefer to have it. Or haul the poor limping unit in for a tuneup.

Suppose you're starting see bureaucracy drones. You've got a base churning out elite shell units (just itching to be upgraded to non-lethal methods via the workshop) so you can deploy them 9 road moves from your police academy (or 12 if you do the same on a speeder chassis).

Long story short (too late :-[) I think one or two trucks could have boosted your already impressive job terraforming, allowing you to treat land more like ocean thanks to Doctrine: Flexibility in the long period from roads until mag-tubes.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on March 19, 2018, 07:27:31 PM
I think at the beginning of the game, that would be a tradeoff.  You do have to pay minerals support on those trucks, you don't get them for free.  By the time I could make Clean units, nothing would have mattered anymore.  I made vast quantities of stuff that didn't get used very well, truck or no truck.  I already had cheap Rover Former units by then, due to Fusion Power.

In my current game as Miriam, I've started making fission Rover Former units even though they're expensive.  Even with Miriam's +2 Support, I'm at the limit of my support and now am motivated to economize on the number of support minerals I pay.  Generally speaking, Rover Formers lay roads on flat or rolling ground, as they can move and lay in 1 turn.  Ordinarly 1-movement Formers come in behind them to do the terraforming.

A similar issue occurs at sea.  When does one start making Cruiser Formers?  Sometimes, before one has Fusion Power, because one has the productivity and needs the faster unit movement.  Some coasts don't need Cruiser Formers to get to them, others do.  On a Giant map, it's far more likely that some coast will be remote from centers of production and then Cruiser Formers are helpful.

Another penalty to consider when using trucks, or air cargo, or drop transports, is all the extra mouseclicking you have to do.  Putting stuff on Transports and taking them off again isn't basically fun.  Pandora, notably, "solved" the problem by making all units amphibious.  I don't think I like that idea either, but I sure could use a way to move units around that doesn't require me manually loading and unloading them.  At a small scale, it may not seem like a big deal to you.  At the scale of units I finally ended up with in this game, that's a drag.

I'm not seeing why trucks are especially helpful for the Pirates.  Transports are necessary to get units out of sea bases onto land.  Am I going to put something inside a truck, then put the truck on a Transport?  I'm wondering if that can even be done.  At any rate, more unit support, and a Matryoshka doll (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matryoshka_doll) creates more mouseclicks.

I don't really "prepare for" Ecological Engineering by making Mines.  I do Mines when I've completely run out of other things to do with my Formers.  Similarly, I make Supply Crawlers when I've completely run out of things to make in my cities.  There's often something better to do.  Tree Farms and Hybrid Forests come along soon enough and then I don't need to crawl anything.  I just work the Mines as they exist around the cities.  It's easy on the mouseclicks, and I've never seen one of my games "skyrocket" for having crawled minerals.  More likely I get eco-damage, fungal pops, and spend all this time repairing the damage.  Why bother?

Finally I will note that half of the scenarios you mentioned are for pod popping.  There were no pods to pop in this game.  If I did have pods, to be honest I wouldn't need any help popping them.  The AI is bad at grabbing all the pods, I'm extremely good at it, and victory is a foregone conclusion if I've got access to pods.  Typically what happens is midgame I reach "tech parity" and then I jump 10..20 techs ahead all at once by popping numerous Artifacts.  Who is supposed to compete with that?  It's fun, it's amusing, but it's also a game breaker.

If I come up with a situation where "a truck would be useful here", then I'll try it.  But for terraforming, I've probably got it solved well enough by massive numbers of Rover Formers.

The single biggest thing that would have sped Terraforming along, would have been to build The Weather Paradigm instead of letting others get it.  But I was limited in my choices as I needed to colonize the Monsoon Jungle fast.  Other factions did rather well at cranking out Secret Projects early.  In my current game, they're not doing nearly as well.  So Miriam has got The Weather Paradigm and The Human Genome Project.  She may not be able to get much else for awhile, although I think I've got good odds on The Empath Guild.  I wonder if the Caretakers and Usurpers are close enough to be fighting each other?  It would explain their relative lack of performance.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on April 22, 2018, 02:22:28 AM
A month later, I'm in the middle of a massive reshuffling of the tech tree.  I've redundantly disgorged a lot of stuff about what I'm up to in other posts, so I'll refrain from doing it again here.  This is an excuse to bump my epic AAR to the top of the heap again.   8)  But to be conscientious in response, I am trying to put a predefined Truck unit into the mod.  I've made the Transport "weapon" dependent on Doctrine:Mobility, not Doctrine:Flexibility.  I have not playtested the mod yet.  It remains to be seen if the AI will try to make use of a Truck, or become terribly confused and dysfunctional because of Trucks.

Or other weird units.  Someone said if I predefine a Foil Probe Team, the AI will use them, so I'll try that out.  Much as I hate the idea, as Probe Teams are overpowered and I enjoyed not having to worry about them at sea.

Someone also wrote about Air Colony Pods, which I think I've never used.  Guess I'll have to try that out too.

Air Transports, I did try once upon a time.  Because they move so slowly, they are useless except in exceptional circumstances (redundant much?) like a particularly vicious "English Channel" situation where the water is impassable to ships.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on April 22, 2018, 05:02:05 PM
Well you know, given that I've conquered zir, there might be very little reason to talk about zir anymore.  I wonder what "Cha Dawn transgendered" reveals on the internet?  Looking... err, nothing.  I did find it listed as an example of the trope, Viewer Gender Confusion (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri).   Looking to see if SMACX has any canon materials, like books.  Seems Mike Ely wrote Centauri: Arrival (http://alphacentauri2.info/official/Sid%20Meier%27s%20Alpha%20Centauri%20The%20Story_cfm.htm) and Cha Dawn is "he" in there.  I guess I have to concede defeat.  He has ambiguous portrait art and a horrible choice for a voice actor.  Totally sounds like a girl or woman.


While modding, I had to concede defeat on a point all the more obvious.  The Cult of Planet's faction file is FUNGBOY.TXT.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: spacedust on April 26, 2018, 09:24:10 PM
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed this AAR a lot!
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on April 27, 2018, 01:08:00 AM
Cool, glad someone did.  I'm likely to write another "epic" one to test the extensive tech tree mod I'm making.  Do you have any preferred factions to see tested?  A few of them, I probably want to see how the computer handles them, but I'm open to suggestions.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: jroussey on May 01, 2018, 12:32:55 PM
I also enjoyed this AAR (and your others) very much. To answer your question, I personally think that, since you are so extensively modifying many elements of the game, while still trying to stay true to the core principles of the game and storyline, it might be fun to see this played out for the first time with the original 7 factions, possibly on the (huge) map of Planet.
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on May 01, 2018, 06:47:57 PM
Hmm I agree with you on the factions.  As it turned out I changed most of the original factions slightly, making them less extreme in their handicaps, and nerfing some of their advantages.  For instance, nobody's getting +2 Support out the gate, it's way overpowered.  Nor is Morgan going to be crippled with -1 Support, that's just a death sentence.  Spartans don't get +1 Police anymore, that's Yang's turf, and I will not have the Spartans with better police than Yang.  Spartans don't get an industry penalty anymore either though.  Believers are now a Growth faction, with population boom as their big weapon, not probe teams.  Police State becomes the slightly better way to do probe teams.  They aren't as crippled at research.  Generally speaking nobody gets +2 anything unless it's a late, powerful social engineering choice, and often not even then.  A +1 in anything becomes much more significant, and there aren't anywhere near as many disruptive -2 things.

I'm going to skip The Map of Planet though.  I believe in playing on random maps, and also I want to playtest my extensive world building settings on an Enormous map.  The mod is ready for beta testing now, I just don't have the energy right now to start playing.  I'm thinking of taking the Fusion Power Is Now challenge 1st, although I might play both simultaneously, on different laptops.  Got more battery power that way.

Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: jroussey on May 01, 2018, 07:02:33 PM
Hmm I agree with you on the factions.  As it turned out I changed most of the original factions slightly, making them less extreme in their handicaps, and nerfing some of their advantages.  For instance, nobody's getting +2 Support out the gate, it's way overpowered.  Nor is Morgan going to be crippled with -1 Support, that's just a death sentence.  Spartans don't get +1 Police anymore, that's Yang's turf, and I will not have the Spartans with better police than Yang.  Spartans don't get an industry penalty anymore either though.  Believers are now a Growth faction, with population boom as their big weapon, not probe teams.  Police State becomes the slightly better way to do probe teams.  They aren't as crippled at research.  Generally speaking nobody gets +2 anything unless it's a late, powerful social engineering choice, and often not even then.  A +1 in anything becomes much more significant, and there aren't anywhere near as many disruptive -2 things.

I'm going to skip The Map of Planet though.  I believe in playing on random maps, and also I want to playtest my extensive world building settings on an Enormous map.  The mod is ready for beta testing now, I just don't have the energy right now to start playing.  I'm thinking of taking the Fusion Power Is Now challenge 1st, although I might play both simultaneously, on different laptops.  Got more battery power that way.

I like a lot of the changes you're making. The original 7, while balanced well against one-another politically, need some work in terms of game play. I've toyed with changing their faction bonuses a few times myself but never really did any extensive testing. Sounds like you're approaching the re-balancing similarly to how I did, though - generally more well-rounded factions altogether.

Regarding the Spartans, the Industry penalty combined with the preference for Power always irked me. Seemed like a poor game design to essentially default them to -30% Industry (with proper techs, of course). I always figured that this was the major reason why the Spartans tend to stagnate mid-game. Have you considered using the 'Robust' social engineering option so they only receive 1/2 of the penalty for using Power? Essentially -1 Industry instead of the usual -2.

I'd love to see a clear breakdown of your revamped factions if/when you have time (once done with your changes).
Title: Re: Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map
Post by: bvanevery on May 01, 2018, 07:16:11 PM
I did better than that, I got rid of the -2 Industry penalty for Power.  It's really annoying when you want to build Secret Projects.  Now it is -1 Industry -1 Economy.  That's generally how I've solved a lot of -2 Whatever problems.  I've split the penalty into 2 different categories so that it's not as horrid to take the hit on any 1 category.

Spartans are actually pretty boring on the faction abilities now.  +2 Morale, that's it.  They're warriors, they aren't anything else.