Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 09:53:24 PM

Title: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 09:53:24 PM
Gas Them All
Gas Them All

Chairman Yang will endeavor to commit minor and major atrocities early and often, exterminating all sentient life.  Global warming and floods are a given.  Hordes of mindworms are expected as Planet retalliates.

This After Action Report demonstrates the awesome capabilities of my SMACX AI Growth mod (http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=20959.0) version 1.17.  It is mature, well playtested, and unlikely to be changed much in the future.  That said, sometimes another modder comes along and shows me something I want to have too.  For instance, 1.17 has somewhat cheaper mindworms / PSI units than the unmodded game.  This may help the Cult of Planet avoid being gassed by the Hive - not!

Note that this Hive doesn't get an INDUSTRY bonus, nor any ECONOMY penalties.  Instead of immunity to negative EFFICIENCY, Yang gets to use Police State with no penalties at all.  Anything else, he takes penalties same as any other faction.  This means he has a more interesting range of economic choices.  It's not a given that he'll choose a Planned economy; going Free Market or Green are perfectly reasonable things to do.  Note that all the social engineering choices are different from the unmodded game, although they are thematically similar.

I'm using a Huge map.  Usually I test with Enormous maps.  Technology will go faster, and enemies will be in crushing range sooner.  Average terrain settings, Transcend difficulty, random opponents.

In play are the Caretakers, Usurpers, Morganites, Cult of Planet, the Data Angels, and the University.  The Alien factions have been defanged and are no stronger than ordinary factions now.  In particular, they do not start with any special armor.  All the other factions are far more dangerous than their unmodded counterparts, because they've been freed of their crippling limitations.  For instance, Zhakarov doesn't have anyone unhappy with his regime.  Morgan has the same SUPPORT as anyone else.  The Data Angels aren't Democratic, their hangup is now Thought Control.  Cha Dawn is the Fundamentalist counterpart to Yang, having no penalty with that political choice.  Fundamentalist is very simliar to Police State in this mod, basically six of one, a half dozen of the other.  That's because all real world police states have used fundamentalist cults of personality to deify their leaders.  Do what Chairman Yang says!

humble beginnings
humble beginnings

Here is what I have to work with.

island fortress
island fortress

I am on an island on the southern end of the map.  That will make invasions somewhat more difficult.  Land raising capability comes much later in this mod, so I might want to get The Weather Paradigm.  That's easier said than done though, because all Secret Projects come later in this mod.  Nobody starts with the ability to make any of them.  No Command Nexus for me right away.  In fact it'll take awhile just to learn Police State.  I'm not really terrifying until I get that, so maybe a large island start is just as well.

crunchy mineral goodness
crunchy mineral goodness

I use one of my Colony Pods to pop a pod on a river square.  I do this because if it's a mindworm, at the very beginning it's not going to be able to kill my Colony Pod.  It may wound it, or it may even barely scratch it.  Depending on where a mindworm larva appears, I may be able to kill it immediately with my Scout, or capture it if I'm playing a faction with a PLANET bonus.  In this case I get a mineral deposit on flat terrain.  I'll want to plant a forest on that, as that gives a better total yield on a flat square than a mine would. 

foot draggers will be shot at dawn
foot draggers will be shot at dawn

I'm not completely happy about the location of those minerals.  They're too far inland to be reached from a coastal city, and I know I'm on a big island.  Getting off an island is not a big difficulty in my mod, as Doctrine: Flexibility is now a C1 tech with no prereqs.  But it still has to be researched and Transports still have to be built, so having a coastal capitol is useful.  I hedge my bets and attempt to pop another pod with my Scout.  However I don't manage to move to the pod square.

the flatland shuffle
the flatland shuffle

If I thought I was going to be in a crowded neighborhood, I'd settle my capitol immediately, to get production and research started.  I think I'm likely to have this island all to myself, so I can afford to be more picky.  An Alien faction could land in a few turns and share the island with me, but that would be bad luck.  And even so, the Aliens aren't any special difficulty now.  I have defensive walls, and I'd simply kill them in not too much time.  So I endeavor to predict where I'll want my capitol.  I think I'll want access to that sea nutrient, and one of the nearest pods might yield a Monolith or other valuable resource.  I always settle on Flat terrain, so that the city's inherent minerals are an improvement rather than a redundant waste.  So I move within settlement range of the southern pod.  If the northern one yields a good resource, then I'll accept 1 more turn of delay and move north next turn.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:05:07 PM
bigger tastier minerals
bigger tastier minerals

Mission Year 2102.  Bingo!  I pop an even bigger minerals deposit on Rocky terrain.  Now I don't just want that sea nutrient, I actually need it.  I will make my capitol this turn.  Even if a mindworm or a fungal bloom comes out of the next pod, it won't be able to affect my capitol.

mindworm salad
mindworm salad

It's always good to wrap yourself in green leafy vegetables when mindworms are trying to eat you.  I heard that's a Gaian thing... or is it more Cult of Planet?
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:11:20 PM
researching the obvious
researching the obvious

MY 2103.  I need both Formers and ships, so I stick with the Hive's default foci of Build and Conquer.  Doctrine: Flexibility is a Conquer 1 tech in this mod, with no prerequs.  I'll be eating giant kelp topped with boulders in no time.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:13:54 PM
evolve with minerals
evolve with minerals

MY 2105.  I gain a Monolith.  My Colony Pod is on flat terrain at the time and there is no better square in range of both resources, so I accept a slight overlap with my capitol's city footprint.  I don't like to do that, but I accept the imperfection as expedient.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:18:25 PM
get yer very own free steenkin aliens
get yer very own free steenkin aliens

MY 2106.  The Aliens have landed... somewhere.

tiptoe through the tulips
tiptoe through the tulips

I've put my Independent Scout into the base.  I'm sending a Supported Scout to pop that pod.  If it dies, my support is freed up, instead of losing an independent unit.  That pod is on a fungus patch, so I will first move to the river square to get faster access.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:34:41 PM
stirring the oceans
stirring the oceans

MY 2108.  I think someone relatively nearby, popped a pod at sea.  An Isle of the Deep rose up, and made its way to my fair shores. 
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:36:33 PM
its mine
its mine

MY 2110.  I rush my 1st Former, to get my Mine built that much sooner.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:42:09 PM
protecting the useless
protecting the useless

MY 2114.  I am in possession of the Borehole Complex.  This is actually a burden until midgame, as mindworms will attempt to destroy it.  In the real world I may not be able to protect it fast enough to extract any benefit from it.  If you ever find this thing, don't claim it in your own territory too quickly.  Being within your own territory, seems to make the mindworms go after it much more aggressively.

I've also popped yet more minerals, will probably get killed by a mindworm, and researched Doctrine: Flexibility.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:45:35 PM
lucky number 13
lucky number 13

MY 2116.  I don't have much money, but saving 2 turns is worth something at the beginning of the game.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:49:22 PM
I so kill you
I so kill you

MY 2120.  The mindworm zigs when it should have zagged.  Thank you for leaving my Former alone!  With the proceeds I rush my other Colony Pod.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:52:42 PM
mine mine
mine mine

MY 2121.  My mine is operational, although it still needs a road to reach full output.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 10:55:36 PM
mine mine mine
mine mine mine

MY 2124.  My mine reaches full capacity.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 11:04:16 PM
sail softly round the Island
sail softly round the Island

MY 2127.  I prepare to "fish" the sea pod next turn by stopping next to it this turn.  That way, if an Isle of the Deep surfaces, I'll get to move 1 square away from it.  There's a good chance of surviving the encounter that way.  Isles move fairly predictably, always heading towards cities to unload their destructive cargo.  Sometimes unfortunately one gets jammed up by terrain, or they move on a row or column rather than a diagonal, but the odds are much better with this technique.  It's one of the basic reasons that pods are more of an advantage to a human player than the AI.  The AI doesn't know how to do these survival tricks, which are similar for speeders on land.  They don't work if the pod is covered in fungus, on either sea or land.  You'll need mindworms, Isles, or the Xenoempathy Dome for that.  Failing those, send sacrificial units.  Scouts are cheapest to replace, if slow.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 11:09:28 PM
sink me
sink me

MY 2128.  I got a free slow ship.  Unfortunately I gained it within my city's perimeter, so it is costing me support.  This is the working definition of a sacrificial ship.  First sea pod I see on fungus, it's going in.

Why pop with Transports and not Foils?  Because you won't pick up an Artifact with a Foil.  It's better to grab all the pods near you with Transports.  Save Foils for distant areas, or for areas your opponents are going to empty out and you simply need to beat them to the punch.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 11:14:41 PM
case in point
case in point

MY 2133.  See what good advice I give you, hmm hmm hmm??!
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 11:28:59 PM
pickled
pickled

MY 2139.  I don't necessarily fish for Artifacts with a Foil escort, but it happened to work out that my ships were in the same area at the time.  Now I can try to kill the Isle, or I can shell it.  It is only carrying a mindworm, which will be easy to kill when it lands, so I'm going to shell it.  If it was carrying a Spore Launcher, it would shell my coastline from the water.  That's really really annoying, so I'd make a greater effort to kill it quickly.  My Transport might survive this encounter or it might not.  I can move 1 square out of the way, but that Isle may head straight south and tag it.  Or it might move diagonally and miss it.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2018, 11:32:35 PM
thermal boring holes
thermal boring holes

MY 2140.  See what I mean?  No possibility to defend against this.  Wherever that Spore Launcher came from, it wasn't from anything I did, or anything I've seen.  Some neighbor of mine has stirred the ocean on the unexplored side of the island, most likely.  Even if I do get a city in place to protect the remaining boreholes, I have no food resources to make any actual use of them.  This is a dry island interior.  I will have to wait for Ecological Engineering to put Condensers around there, and The Weather Paradigm isn't available until then anyways.

the artful dodger
the artful dodger

Great.  While searching for the maurauding Spore Launcher, my Rover blunders into an unknown mindworm and has no moves remaining.  I knew there was a mindworm to the northeast, but if this is the same one, it sure has walked around a lot.  Crawled.  Slithered.  Munged.

At least my Transport actually did survive.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 02:55:20 AM
mindworms all around us
mindworms all around us

MY 2141.  I fish a Battle Ogre out of the water.  This will help with producing Sea Colony Pods at my capitol.  I will be able to get up to size 3 without having to build a Recreation Commons.  That's the amount of time needed to produce such a colonist anyways.

I found the Spore Launcher.  It's not showing now, but I think it is south-southwest of my Colony Pod near the Borehole Cluster.  I can't do anything about it just yet because my Rover is injured.  I'm hoping it just shoots at my colonist, which it can injure but not kill, rather than moving into position to destroy another borehole.

I've also blundered into the other, known mindworm that was inhabiting the northeast.  Fortunately with moves remaining to kill it.  So, the units maurauding my boreholes, are from an unknown Isle of the Deep stirred up by someone else somewhere.

I have shelled that Isle of the deep repeatedly and will get some money when I finally kill it next turn.

I am thankful the badly wounded mindworm to the west is finally deciding to commit suicide.  It prevented me from colonizing that area for awhile.  That's why my colonist is near the boreholes now, it was running away.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 03:04:17 AM
sprouting enemies
sprouting enemies

MY 2142.  I prevail in many areas, but a brand new Spore Launcher has spontaneously appeared right in the middle of my stuff.  It shelled a road, when apparently it could have shelled a borehole.  I managed to locate it by taking an educated guess as to its whereabouts.  I attack with only 2/3rds strength as I don't want it to hit the boreholes.  Fortunately my attack succeeds as Spore Launcher larvae are still rather weak compared to my Scouts.  If I had died, I would have followed up with a 2nd Scout from that nearby city.

My suicidal slow transport got a production completion.  So next turn I will have yet another Sea Colonist.

I think my Colonist near the borehole cluster, is right next to a Spore Launcher.  I'm trying to get it to shoot at me so it won't shoot at the boreholes.  I don't have any units to come kill the Spore Launcher yet.  Everything has gotten wounded from all this mindworm spam.  I don't think there are any more mindworms, just the one Spore Launcher, so my Colonist shouldn't die.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 03:24:04 AM
three times is charming
three times is charming

MY 2143.  Well, that ploy sure didn't work.  The Spore Launcher up and murdered another one of my boreholes.  Only one left.  Subsequent movement has revealed that the Spore Launcher is indeed right next to my Colonist, but 1 square east of where I thought it was.

I've never even had a chance to defend the Borehole Cluster.  I almost wonder if a land claim there, immediately spawns enemies trying to destroy it?  The alternate thesis is it's just hard to protect.

the liabilities of instant completion
the liabilities of instant completion

The downside to instantly gaining another Sea Colonist, is I no longer have any food.  If I work a square other than the mine, my units will disband.  This would be a good time to bring a Colony Pod into my capitol and add it to my population.  I have one available, but the road to my capitol is now broken, and I need to get cities out in front of my last borehole.

Hm, all this time I thought my slow transport was supported, it was independent.  Glad it survived the suicide mission I gave it.  I'll send it to one of my sea bases to live out a nice, peaceful life for the rest of the game.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 03:43:12 AM
tooth pull
tooth pull

MY 2146.  Finally I will kill the Spore Launcher.  The Colonist has done a heroic job of keeping it busy.  I'm not even sure where they're going to settle.

we don need no steenkin minerals
we don need no steenkin minerals

I managed to get the support situation of my capitol under control.  Hopefully we'll be back to normal soon.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 03:53:37 AM
mineralopolis
mineralopolis

MY 2149.  I add a Colonist to my capitol, bringing it to size 3.  I don't think I want this city knocked down again, so I will leave it to other cities to build Sea Colony Pods.  In this one I will build a Recreation Commons.  It is hard to let go of traditional Hive habits, as in the unmodded game, I'd have long since had a Police State.  But in this mod, I could be a number of techs away yet.  Planetary Networks, the tech that gives both Police State and probe teams in my mod, is not deep in the tree.  It's only a Conquer 2 tech, but there are lots of Conquer techs.  So it can take awhile to finally get to that one.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 04:00:48 AM
Hi Morgan
Hi Morgan

MY 2151.  Shall he be friend or foe?  Unlike in the unmodded game, we aren't destined to be enemies.  It would be perfectly reasonable for me to choose a Free Market, although it will slightly hurt my POLICE rating.  In my mod I got rid of the draconian Free Market POLICE penalty.  Now it's just a choice among choices.  To get -5 POLICE, you have to choose Democratic Free Market Knowledge Cybernetic.  Each one accumulates a little bit worse POLICE, with Democratic being the worst that way.  Which of course will never happen, as I can't choose Democratic even if I wanted to.  The Cult of Planet is the same way, they can't choose Democratic either.

I will offer him a mindworm sausage recipe
I will offer him a mindworm sausage recipe

How productive, I will be speaking to Cha Dawn as well.  Who is destined to be my sworn enemy.  In this mod their hangup is Fundamentalist politics, not a Green economy.  Cha Dawn runs a cult, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  He's not an economic policy wonk, and he basically doesn't care as long as the cult obeys him.  I'll let you in on the reality of Chairman Yang as well.  Ignore any positive spin you might think you're hearing in the game's descriptions of him.  I read a biography of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung recently, and this is exactly the same guy.  I didn't know that he experimented with literally numbering peasants, to dehumanize them and make them cogs in his machine.  The game adds lofty ascetic overtones, but it's all a charade.  Mao's basic policy was himself above all others, and to kill early and often.  So will Yang.  All this "embracing the self of group" nonsense is pure smokescreen.  Mao talked about what a great adventure death was going to be for everybody.  Everybody but himself, of course, if you look at his actions rather than his catch phrases.

new technologies
new technologies

Morgan offers E2 Synthetic Fossil Fuels for my C1 High Energy Chemistry.  In my mod, the former only gives you fungicidal tanks, nothing else.  And you can have it rather early, as you see here.  The latter only gives you Synthmetal Armor, not Plasma.  I separated all the combat stuff from the economic, exploration, and happiness stuff.  This is a good trade for me, and it looks like we'll be doing more of the same.

My maps for Doctrine: Mobility?  Sure, Rovers are always great to have.  An important difference in my mod, is you don't get Command Centers with that tech.  You need Planetary Networks, which also provides Police State and probe teams.  I went through a phase with my mod where I was trying to make Police State into the thing you do probe teams with.  It didn't work out, because a Police State without a lot of POLICE to keep people in line, just isn't worth doing for all the penalties you get.  I eventually made Fundamentalist more of a police state and not a probe team thing either.  The only choice that increases your PROBE rating is Thought Control.  Knowledge and Cybernetic both decrease your PROBE rating.

He sells me Biogenetics for 100 credits and signs off.  In my mod it's a D1 tech and gives you Biology Labs.  It's cross-listed in several categories and easy for most factions to research.  It gives a small, constant boost to one's tech research, so I thought it was most appropriate for factions just starting out.  Information Networks is a D2 tech and is a bit harder for non-Discover researchers to get.  Not impossible though, because I found that making it impossible, seriously crippled various factions' research.  So I had to compromise and make its research focus less pure than it was.

I will offer him a barbequeued peasant recipe
I will offer him a barbequeued peasant recipe

I'm going to talk to Zhakarov too.  I'm quite the Chatty Kathy!  Cha Dawn has no tech and I will keep it that way.  We do sign a Treaty.  I ask him for Roze's commlink but he says he doesn't have it.  I don't ask about the Aliens.  I wouldn't be able to initiate a conversation with them, and they'll probably just declare war on me anyways.  The Caretakers have the same old fixation of a Planned economy, but the Usurpers now insistn on Power.  Since Conqueror Marr is a warlord, expecting him to engage in economic policy wonking made no sense.

goody goody gumdrops
goody goody gumdrops

Zhakarov has made me an offer I can't refuse: the key to the Police State!  This isn't weird for my mod.  In the unmodded game, lots of Secret Projects obstruct the trade of basic social engineering choices.  In my mod, no Secret Projects are available until Level 3 techs.  Political choices are all Level 2 techs.  They provide important capabilities, but the AI will freely trade them.

He offers C2 Progenitor Psych for my E2 Synthetic Fossil Fuels.  It's a good trade and I accept.  In my mod, the former lets you talk to Aliens and gives you Soporific Gas Pods.  Maybe that's a bit anti-Spartan but eh, I got tired of being able to talk to Aliens when there weren't any in the game.  This way, it's always worth something.

We sign a Pact!  Now I know where all the humans I've met are.  No sign of Aliens.  The power graph shows the Caretakers as almost stillborn.  The Usurpers, the University, and myself are about equal in power.  Morgan is said to be stronger than us, because he's got sea bases around the Monsoon Jungle.  Cha Dawn and Roze are said to be weak. 
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 05:08:09 AM
send in the bureaucrats
send in the bureaucrats

MY 2155.  I am not Efficient.  I could really use a Free Market about now, which in my mod also awards +1 EFFICIENCY.  I did just discover Ethical Calculus which makes the Children's Creche available.  That's a partial remedy, but I don't think it'll prevent unhappiness due to Bureaucracy.

you are such a researcher
you are such a researcher

I talk to Morgan about some Free Market goodness, forgetting that if he had it, he'd be working on The Merchant Exchange and wouldn't trade it.  Industrial Economics is a B3 tech in my mod.  Industrial Base is a B2 tech and gives Recycling Tanks.  Useful, but not a Free Market.  I mostly know how to play my own mod now, but sometimes I forget things.  Anyways he sells me Network Nodes, a product so good that nobody feels a need to compete with them.

Checking with Zhakarov, he got a map of Cha Dawn's territory.  If I mounted a sea invasion, they would be utterly helpless right now.  This is reminding me there's a reason I usually play on Enormous maps, not Huge.  The Morganites are a little stronger, but they are near neighbors and I don't think an invasion would be especially challenging at this point.  I feel like biding my time for now.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 05:28:15 AM
Aliens can die
Aliens can die

My ally Zhakarov has run afoul of Aliens.  I have agreed to exterminate them.  An odd thing about SMACX, you can use chemical weapons on Aliens no problemo.  No United Nations consequences, and no vengeance by Planet.  Unlike, say, using them on your fellow humans, which will cause eco-damage.  Planet bleeds for senseless human violence.  I haven't verified whether Planet still responds negatively if the minor Atrocity Prohibitions have been lifted.  Maybe this game I will finally find out.

he only likes war you big dummy
he only likes war you big dummy

I spread the love to Morgan because he so much wants to run afoul of Aliens too.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 05:38:52 AM
jetting outta there
jetting outta there

MY 2161.  Now we know why the Caretakers were "stillborn".  The Usurpers kicked the snot out of them.  They must have started out right next to each other, for the Usurpers to achieve a decisive result so early.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 05:52:34 AM
adapting to the mod
adapting to the mod

MY 2162.  I infiltrate the Morganites and see they have Adaptive Economcis available.  In my mod it merely provides the Planned economy and Hologram Theaters.  Morgan trades it to me readily.  This reminds me that economic choices are all level 2 techs, not level 3, and that Industrial Base makes Free Market available.  Since my focus is Build, Conquer I could end up researching it myself soon enough.  Presently, I am having happiness problems due to Bureaucracy and am not keen on lowering my Efficiency to -1.  Also I'd rapidly make enemies with the Morganites and at this time, there's no need for that.  I'd rather do it his way with a Free Market.

new choices
new choices

Here you can see the choices currently available to me.  Note that Frontier politics give -1 GROWTH due to a basic lack of safety.  This is balanced by +1 GROWTH for Simple economics.  Basically, have lots of children to work your farms.  The game doesn't do a good job of illustrating my Police State options, but I don't take any negative penalties from it.  Politics, Economics, and Values choices are all in a "3 benefits, 2 penalties" format.  The Future Society choices are in a "4 benefits, 1 or 2 penalties" format, and they come way earlier in the game.  They aren't overpowered and it's generally expected that factions will make 4 social engineering choices, if they survive that long.

Notice that a Planned economy gives +1 SUPPORT.  Essentially I removed some of the SUPPORT that Police State used to provide, and put it in Planned instead.  Now none of the factions gets a SUPPORT bonus, since it was exceedingly overpowered in the original game.  Instead, nearly anyone can go Planned and get some extra SUPPORT, at the cost of money and efficiency.  Generally speaking -2 penalties are gone, replaced by a pair of -1 penalties.  This makes it easier to take on one choice and just stomach the minor penalties in 2 different categories.  It only starts to be painful when multiple choices accumulate the same penalties.  This mod is oriented towards mixing and matching in a gradual way.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 06:21:02 AM
you are my bastard love child
you are my bastard love child

Cha Dawn meets me at sea and declares war.  That's mildly annoying.  I always figured Deirdre and Yang hooked up to make this worm.

silence is golden
silence is golden

I guess the main thing I could do is nerve stable my citizens and nobody would find out.  Otherwise I'm not seeing any advantage to this right now.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2018, 06:59:14 AM
cartographers r us
cartographers r us

MY 2183.  Sunspots have ended.  Morgan offers a map of Usurper territory.  They are north of Morgan and east of Zhakarov.  Morgan is working on The Human Genome Project and The Planetary Datalinks, both of which are on the Discover research path. 

I also loan Zhakarov some money.

let us punish the world together
let us punish the world together

Zhakarov the busy beaver has researched Doctrine: Loyalty.  It provides some interesting capabilities: Fundamentalist, and the Punishment Sphere.  They're exceedingly cheap in my mod, costing no more than a Recreation Commons.  Their main disadvantage is -50% tech.  They are good for pacifying distant conquests that aren't going to yield good energy or tech anyways.  Despite being a brutal nihilist, I don't think I want these things in my core empire.  I still need research advantages, especially with my buddy Zhakarov in the game, and Morgan is actually leading on research now.

Almost forgot the other great toy awarded by Doctrine: Loyalty.  Nerve gas!  In my mod, ships can have chemical weapons.  I can wipe Cha Dawn off of Planet if I want to.  Although, I don't need nerve gas to wipe out his sea bases, I could just Obliterate them.  I've got 3 Impact Skimships inbound.  My mod has Foil Probe Teams available to everyone, and AI does use them to take over sea bases, so Obliteration might be a good idea.

da winnah
da winnah

Zhakarov obtained Roze's comm frequency, so I call an election before even talking to her.  I've presently got the votes to beat Morgan.  There's a chance that Roze won't like me and will vote against me, if I talk to her.  So I won't!  The result is... I win!  Even though she voted against me, so maybe I shouldn't have cared.

Roze doesn't have any tech.  She's Obstinate but signs a Treaty with me.

An astute observer might wonder how I got 7 sea bases so quickly.  The answer is all the Foil and Cruiser chassis costs are cheaper in my mod.  They cost the same as Speeders and Hovertanks respectively.  It's easier to spread by sea.  I was also blessed with a lot of shallows with resources, making sea bases a good idea for me.  They are, unfortunately, vulnerable to probe team takeovers, so I may have to spend some time defensively hardening them soon.


Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 12:33:18 AM
Chinese freedoms
Chinese freedoms

MY 2189.  A couple of turns ago I researched Industrial Base and became, essentially, modern China in space.  Note that my version of Free Market isn't so onerous to choose and isn't synonymous with a society of peaceniks.  I did take a reduction in my POLICE rating, but only 1 city became unhappy.  I think the +1 EFFICIENCY increase pacified some people who were grumbling due to Bureaucracy.

In my mod, Industrial Base also gives Recycling Tanks, so my land cities are starting to build those.

The 1st of my inbound Impact Foils got blown apart by one of Cha Dawn's ships.  Maybe I shouldn't be sending them piecemeal and should come in greater numbers at once.  On the other hand, ship pushing is tedious and I did sink a Transport coming my way.  Sweeping the seas of "trash" is somewhat the goal here.  Logistically, Cha Dawn is somewhat far off and it's annoying bothering to try to fight them.  I guess we'll see how well my plans for world extermination really work out, compared to the logistical difficulties.

I bought the Caretaker comm freqency from Morgan.  Those Aliens are Pathetic and they signed a Treaty with me.  I acquired Field Modulation from Morgan, which in my mod is how you get Trance capability.  The Aliens start with it, but they don't get any armor.  They have to research all sorts of other stuff to finally make Resonance armor.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 12:43:52 AM
cry me a river for Zhakarov
cry me a river for Zhakarov

MY 2191.  My ally is getting his butt kicked by the Usurpers.  Nothing I can do about it.  I'm not even managing to put a dent in the Cultists just yet.  They've got a Foil Probe Team coming my way, as I approach their 1st sea base with my Impact Foil.  There's a bunch of fungus in the way and I hope I prevail at the mutual zappings.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 12:54:05 AM
siege by sea
siege by sea

MY 2193.  Last year the enemy's Foil Probe Team stayed in port, preventing me from easily approaching the sea base.  I got clever and went around to its landward side.  I destroyed a badly wounded ship in port by shelling it from across a strip of land.  Next turn I'll start shelling this sea base from my position of relative safety.  I've got a 2nd Impact Foil approaching which may be able to kill the stuff in the base.  However this is where the cheapness of Foil and Cruiser chasses is a two-edged sword.  Their production rate for producing new sea units is pretty high, at least on Transcend.  In other games I've had big sea battles where I took a lot of bases, only to have unconquerable land cities spew out more ships and take most of them back.  The cheapness of the units actually favors the defenders, when the attackers have to come a great distance.  So it may be just as well that I haven't committed any atrocities yet, as I may not really have the logistical reach to do much of anything to the Cultists right now.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 01:01:38 AM
the northern passage
the northern passage

MY 2194.  Morgan is blocking what may be the only strategic waterway that leads to the Caretakers.  I'll have to talk the long way around to infiltrate them, assuming I even survive.  There seems to be a massive continent to the east so it may not even be possible.

The Foil Probe Team left the Cultist base.  It was not in open water, and I didn't guess correctly about the 3 fungal patches I think it may have hidden in.  So next turn, my 2nd Impact Foil ship may be bye-bye.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 01:06:29 AM
rats

MY 2195.  Sure enough, he got me.  I've also just given him Impact capability that he didn't have.  What a sloppy "offensive".  It's over now, I should just harass and explore with my last Impact Foil.  If it even makes it out of his territorial water without being captured.  I have a lot of money, so I will try a Foil Probe Team offensive for awhile.  Fight fire with fire?

Nah, screw that.  X Impact Foils at the ready!  We're gonna poison.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 01:16:12 AM
run your trap
run your trap

MY 2196.  I sent my last Impact Foil on the offensive.  I've put in a fungus patch where it will attack a different sea base next turn, likely destroying the occupants.  Cha Dawn seems to want to talk about it.  What will he have to say?

predictable
predictable

Maybe one of these days I'll take out the "God" language and put some more appropriate "mindworm" language in there.  I'm not sure if I can do that on a per faction basis or not.  Editing dialogue has so far been outside the scope of my mod.  Another area of annoyance is when Marr goes on about his Power politics.  He starts speaking like a human.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 01:36:44 AM
Zhakarov the human sacrifice
Zhakarov the human sacrifice

MY 2199.  This game is shaping up to be a long distance battle between myself and the Usurpers.  Well, Morgan is doing fine and may weigh in eventually.  Maybe he'll ally with me eventually.

I died
I died

Well, this is an example that I still don't quite know how to play my own mod.  The Cultists kept building a new Synthmetal defender every single turn, so I was unable to take over the base.  I can't spam defenders in time like that, so I tend to forget that the AI can, due to Transcend bonuses.  Eventually I got picked off, by the same ship he captured from me.

I'm building a round of X Impact Foils to enact the Final Solution to the Cultist question.  I've got Gatling capability but haven't completed a prototype yet.  I'm also a little loath to lead with a fleet of Gatling ships, considering that I gave away my Impact ship design the last time.

paying to make people happy the nerve
paying to make people happy the nerve

I've got happiness problems on the home front.  I've had to change my tax basis to deal with it.  Yeah I really am Free Market and all of that.  I've just got more jackboots about it.  How do we deal with protesters in Space China?  A sharp kick in the teeth, that's how.  We used to just shoot them, but that's not our "goto" anymore.  We have kinder, gentler State violence.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 01:46:26 AM
will you trade will you trade huh huh will you trade
will you trade will you trade huh huh will you trade

MY 2201.  I wish he wouldn't bother me unless he's actually going to trade.  Like, just because we ran into each other at the "grocery store", doesn't mean I want to know intimate details of your life.  Oh woe is Morgan, poor Morgan.  Does he trade?  No, of course not.  Does he ally?  No.  Is he worth much of anything to me?  Well, he's a peaceful northern front, for now.  If he builds too many Secret Projects though, he's going to look downright tasty at some point.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 01:54:23 AM
super peevish annoying AI behavior
super peevish annoying AI behavior

Remember what I said about sea bases being vulnerable to Foil Probe Teams?  Case in point.  At least he went for a cheap base I just settled.  It'll be trivial to take back.  My own Foil Probe Team would be the right tool for the job, but I haven't been making those.  I've got 2 trying to infiltrate the Aliens, that's about it.  Cha Dawn doesn't have any tech, so there's been no reason to send them his way.  In my mod, I can pretty much count on the AI to come a very long distance across the map, even on an Enormous map, just to perform these annoyance operations.  The AI doesn't get bored of pushing a unit that far, whereas I surely do, so it's an advantage for them.  The upside is it also delivers enemy infiltration and tech theft to your doorstep, when you counter-probe.  Not applicable here as the Cult is worthless.  Worthless.  Where's my X gas?
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 02:06:45 AM
Roze cant fight
Roze cant fight

MY 2204.  Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that the Cult of Planet is chewing up the Data Angels.  They are basically my opposite number, the Yang that isn't Yang.  They're tough now, whereas, I'm not entirely sure that the Data Angels have kept up.  In various iterations of my mod, they used to be quite formidable, but I'm not so sure anymore.  When they have a good geographic start, they tend to spread everywhere and become a real pain in the neck.  Maybe they didn't get as much space to work with on this Huge map.  Well, they're not dead yet, we'll see later.  If they get some money together with their probe teams they are fierce, because they're the only +2 PROBE faction in the game.  The Believers have +1 PROBE, that is all.  And there's no way to improve PROBE except for Thought Control.

it will not belong to Morgan
it will not belong to Morgan

I have the cash and the Artifacts to complete The Weather Paradigm immediately.  This will change my planning - if I even have a plan right now other than "grow" - because now I can attach myself to the land north of me.  As well as moisten all these dry interior spaces.  There's a big splotch of ocean north of my capitol that I'd like to fill in, to make a "perfect economic circle" around my capitol.

The enemy Foil Probe Team has left its base and is on the prowl again.  The bad news is that means I can't approach his sea base right now, for fear of being captured.  The good news is in a few turns, the sea base should be wide open to extermination.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 02:16:10 AM
I am the greatness
I am the greatness

MY 2205.  Exploiting Planet to the hilt is going to make my conquests more pleasurable.  That took 3 Artifacts though, so I'm not sure I'll be pulling this off again.  In my mod, all Secret Projects cost at least 300 minerals, or 6 Artifacts cashed.  Nobody gets one of these things "quick" anymore.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 02:51:19 AM
Zhakarov has got a small mindworm
Zhakarov has got a small mindworm

MY 2207.  What an opportunist!  The Cult has overrun University Base.  The University looks doomed.

leggo my eggo
leggo my eggo

I am about to liberate my base.  I thought about gassing my own people but decided against it.  If the Cult doesn't sign a Truce immediately, then we're about to get real.  One of my X ships has made it unopposed within range of their 1st sea base.  When the rest of my fleet arrives, it's going to be a slaughter.  It might even be a slaughter without them, because there isn't going to be any problem with "repeat defense" this time.  A couple of hits on any given base, and it'll be gone.

I guess we'll see what the sanctions impact is like.  As of now, my earnings are 30 credits/year.  I don't have a clear accounting of how much of that is from Trade.  Looking at individual city stats, it looks like the Morganites are responsible for most of my Trade income.  I suppose they'll impose sanctions and we'll see how much that is worth.

your fate is sealed
your fate is sealed

It is always this way with zealots.  I don't feel that bad about exterminating them, because this game doesn't offer any "acceptable" options for shelling a base into oblivion.  What this game calls an "atrocity", would just be called "heavy bombing" in some other time and place.  Yeah some I'm going to use chemcials.  So what??  Not like I'm shipping them off to camps to apply the chemicals.  Not yet.

Nivenah Rising will be sinking
Nivenah Rising will be sinking

I wonder if I could put a Death Camp in the game?  Why call them concentration camps, I'd just call them death camps.  It probably wouldn't mean anything game mechanically, unless I got into .exe patching.  Eh, forget it.

you should not have declared war on me
you should not have declared war on me

I don't presently feel as ideological about this as they do.  They have caused me a problem, and I am providing the solution.

buh bye
buh bye

I didn't get any grave protestations from anyone.  Do those come next turn?  The base was size 1, maybe this wasn't even necessary.  Oh well, it's necessary on the next 3 sea bases!

let us bury the accountants alive
let us bury the accountants alive

Sanctions do set in immediately.  I didn't get any kind of message about it though.  My income has dropped to 19 credits/year, definitely acceptable to my Free Market war effort.  Cost of doing business!
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 03:03:13 AM
you move badly
you move badly

MY 2208.  Lucky me!  The Cultists moved right next to my flotilla without actually capturing anything.  Now I pay them back for taking my ship earlier.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 03:47:37 AM
not going green
not going green

MY 2213.  My 2 Foil Probe Teams were on a long journey to the Caretaker capitol.  The Cult finally got some tech as I was approaching the very back of their line, so I stole E2 Centauri Empathy from them.  It doesn't give mindworms.  Rather, it gives the Green economy and allows 3+ nutrients per square.  In my mod, Green is not about capturing the most mindworms.  Rather, it's a viable economy in the same sense that we mean it today.  It doesn't make as much money as Free Market, and it's not allowed to use as many resources.  It increases PLANET and it doesn't have a POLICE penalty.  The latter makes it attractive to me, but my income would drop from 20 to 8 and my research would suffer.  So it's not happening for now.  Space China will pollute!

I do not have the energy
I do not have the energy

While attempting to raise a land bridge to Morgan's territory, and to claim a piece of it as my own, I created 2 energy specials.  I'm just going to put a sea base in range of them and call it good.  I'll put my first moisture condenser on that peninsula.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 04:12:38 AM
damn those things
damn those things

MY 2217.  I lost 2 of my ships attacking Cha Dawn's Isle of the Deep in port.  This is just a captured Isle, but something to worry about in the future, is I made the cost of all PSI units somewhat cheaper.  That was to help the PLANET factions, and in my last game where I all but conquered the world as Cha Dawn, I can say it works.  At least, in human hands.  It's always possible for the AI to use them badly.  I shouldn't point fingers right now though, because clearly I've just demonstrated that I don't even know how to play my own mod yet.  I've got 3 more ships to try to rectify my mistake with.  After that, I'll just concede that I'm wasting my time.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 04:23:27 AM
die

MY 2218.  The Isle was wounded enough that the Impact Battery had to be the defender.  I made a direct attack, not a bombardment, and that made it into a chemical attack as well.  The base dropped to size 1.  On my 2nd attack, the Isle was the strongest defender again.  My 2nd ship died, although it left the Isle grievously wounded.  If no ships show up to reinforce next turn, this base is dead.  I've also got a 2nd ship almost on scene if anything goes wrong.

I've fished lots of Artifacts out of the water recently.  I'm rushing The Merchant Exchange and will have it next turn.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 04:50:02 AM
groan
groan

MY 2220.  I can't believe these bastards successfully defended themselves!  First the base grew to size 2, so I had to knock it back to 1 again.  Then a reinforcing ship showed up, killing 1 of my ships.  With my 2nd ship I decided to attack the base directly, figuring the Isle was nearly dead and this should be cake.  I can't believe he summarily died when attacking!  That's a crock.  Well, I guess the Cult has a sick weapon up its sleeve, with these captured Isles.  It basically ate my entire fleet!  What a waste of time.  Well at least I know not to bother with this in the future.  I will wait for some other means to eliminate them.

I have researched Adavanced Subatomic Theory, no thanks to the ailing Zhakarov who has had it for awhile.  In my mod it gives Plasma armor and The Citizens' Defense Force.  I am likely to get the latter, as I have 2 Artifacts on my home soil, 2 more sailing home, and I've been making a lot of money popping pods.  Morgan doesn't have the tech, although he's working on The Plantary Energy Grid and The Virtual World.  The latter comes from Secrets of the Human Brain in my mod, which also gives Knowledge.  The intent was to make it a path for Discover oriented factions like the University to get to first.  Morgan, however, has enjoyed safety from the Usurpers and the shores of the Monsoon Jungle this game, so he has taken over the role of "lead researcher".  So far he's completed The Human Genome Project (from Gene Splicing) and the Planetary Datalinks (from Optical Computers).

Belatedly I remember that I don't even need a free Perimeter Defense, I already have one at every base!  I'm either blocking other factions from getting The Citizens' Defense Force, or I'm hoping to turn it into a different Secret Project.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 05:41:16 AM
bureaucrats
bureaucrats

MY 2226.  I've hit the base limit for +1 EFFICIENCY.  I need Knowledge or Wealth to increase my EFFICIENCY again.  I will stop making Sea Colony Pods for now.  Meanwhile it may be time to switch to a Green economy, so that I can increase my POLICE.  Switching now won't do me any immediate good though, because I only have 2 army units in all of my cities.  I have to actually make more garrison units before increased POLICE can benefit me.

I sure could use E4 Intellectual Integrity right about now.  It gives Non-Lethal Methods and The Ascetic Virtues.  It is on the Explore tech path and I'm researching Build, Conquer.  "Explore" actually means colonization and growth, according to the various .txt files.  So in my mod, anything that makes people happy is deemed to be an "Explore" tech.

I have found a bug!  E4 Intellectual Integrity is supposed to have 2 prerequisites, but it only has one.  I'll need to fix that.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2018, 06:38:14 AM
speaking my language
speaking my language

MY 2228.  In my mod, Advanced Military Algorithms gives the Command Nexus.  This is much more useful to me than The Citizens' Defense Force, and Morgan is also working on it.  So now he's not gonna get it!  Rushed for next year.

new power
new power

The Power social engineering choice does not have as severe an INDUSTRY penalty as in the unmodded game, but it is still enough that I don't want to do it right now.  I'm trying to compete with Morgan to build Secret Projects.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 04:46:44 AM
back to business
back to business

MY 2235.  I switched to Green because I need a maximal level of POLICE repression, to keep my growing cities in order.  Morgan may eventually become unhappy with me.  If he's too unhappy with me, I won't mind taking his Secret Projects as a penalty for transgression.  But we aren't there yet.  I will simply avoid talking to him for now.

Now that ships can have chemical weapons, I notice their indirect fire attacks get a choice of making a chemical attack or not.  I opted for a conventional attack, because I'm only trying to keep Cha Dawn busy while my Foil Probe Team approaches to steal a tech.  After enough chemical attacks, Planet throws a hissy fit and tries to gut you, so I don't want to use them on things that don't matter.  I didn't think about whether artillery bombardment could depopulate a city though!  I hope not, because that would be cool to the point of overpowered.  I will try it out next turn to see what's up.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 04:57:03 AM
the tools of the trade
the tools of the trade

Well I don't think I'll be worrying about Morgan at all.  He'd better behave himself!  In my mod, I don't mince around with drop pods or copters being some other tech's capability.  It's all just "air power".  This is a really powerful offensive tech to have.  One could make an argument for spreading these things out over more techs, but I haven't seen fit to worry about it so far.  Maybe I'll make a long distance air campaign against Cha Dawn, but I'd need to build some Air Bases for that.

Or else get Doctrine: Initatiative, which I've similarly consolidated as the thing that gives you Carrier Decks and Submarines.  It also gives Deep Radar.  Maybe I should give that back to Advanced Military Algorithms.  Yeah, that's been bugging me for several games now, needing to get a ship chassis for something that planes need.  I've already got a bugfix for Intellectual Integrity, might as well add another change.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 06:06:37 AM
I am so kind
I am so kind

MY 2245.  I have belatedly researched Monpole Magnets.  Morgan has had this for awhile, but I have declined to steal it from him.  He even recently completed The Planetary Transit System.  In my mod, mag tubes become available relatively early, although we're still in midgame now so not necessarily that early.  I haven't been researching Explore techs, only Build and Conquer, so that's why it's taken me awhile.  It is also a Conquer tech in my mod because that's what rails are good for.  Not so much for my sea based empire though.

Morgan has Intellectual Integrity and is building The Ascetic Virtues.  However he needs 36 turns to build it, so hopefully I will research it myself and then just insta-complete it.  Morgan also completed The Citizens' Defense Force.  I let him do it, and I still have an orphaned copy of that being built.  That's how I'm going to instantly complete The Ascetic Virtues when I finally get the tech.  At present I only need 12 turns to complete whatever this Secret Project turns out to be.  It won't be the Xenoempathy Dome though, as Morgan only needs 3 turns to finish that.

In general Morgan is doing a much better job at building than I am.  I'm definitely feeling limited by my unhappy citizens.  I almost wonder if I should put Punishment Spheres on my own people?

western theater
western theater

I've had a lot of good shallow water with resource bonuses to the west, so I keep sending my Sea Colony Pods that way.  I'm almost in range of Cha Dawn's satellite island even without an air base.  I have 2 Formers approaching via that Transport.  I have another Transport with 2 more Formers coming.  The interior of my island is producing untrained X Missile Needlejets.  I figure wiping out Cha Dawn on this island will be a cakewalk, as he doesn't have air anything yet.  Once this island is sterilized, it will be onwards and upwards to his main territory.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 06:49:06 AM
wtf

MY 2249.  I'm not sure I've ever seen an AI attempt Economic Victory before.  Is this a testament to my mod being "worth something" somehow?  I'm baffled; this is almost like seeing a bug.  I mean, I'm the Governor, and I just got re-elected this very turn too.  How is Morgan pulling this off?  I must dissect.  His energy reserves now are 1071 credits.  What were they last turn?  2032 credits.  The turn before?  2035 credits.  Ok, this makes no sense.

Ok, well, I read a bunch of formula gibberish (http://alphacentauri2.info/wiki/Victory_(Economic)) about Economic Victory.  Due to my wonderful mod, which gives bonuses to ECONOMY for all kinds of things, Morgan can be presumed to have +5 COMMERCE.  My economy is nothing special so I presumably have +0 COMMERCE.  The most important point is:

Quote
This is calculated for each base and added up. If more than 1000 this is the cost of cornering the energy market; if it is less than 1000 then it only costs 1000 to corner the energy market.


So yes, Morgan could have paid 1000 to try to corner the energy market.  I've never seen that as possible in any game that I've played before, it's always been a fortune.  But then, I wasn't playing Morgan in my new mod!  If it's that easy for a human player to corner the market, I may have broken the game.  I'll have to test that at some point.

I guess I have to blow Morgan away.  This isn't how I thought things were going to go.

finishing my stuff
finishing my stuff

This has caught me flat footed and I'm not ready to go on the offensive against my peaceful northern neighbor.  I'm recalling most units home from the western front, although I'll leave one X Missile Needlejet out there to wear the Cultists down.  I have several Sea Colony Pods that need to make new cities out that way, and they need to get clear of Morgan's territorial waters.  I've got 2 X Missile Needlejets headed home and 1 more being built.  I'm badly in need of defensive probe teams.  I've got 2 Foil Probe Teams for theft, only 1 of which is in position, and a 3rd being built.  I have no AAA units and Morgan has just gotten air power.  I will need some Drop units to take Morgan's capitol.  I've got a lot of civilian projects that I need to finish quickly, so I've switched to a Planned economy.  I raised my Psych to 30% and lowered my Labs to 30% to keep a few more people happy, as I won't be needing tech to take Morgan on.  When I'm producing only units I will also change to Power and thereby get +3 SUPPORT.  That will gain me as many units supported as my base sizes.

I hope this helps me
I hope this helps me

Maybe if I have more allies, I will have an easier time with things.  Last I looked I had 41 years of sanctions to get through.  If I can get some votes in the UN together, maybe I can Repeal the U.N. Charter.  That would end the sanctions for my atrocities and make me some badly needed money!  Roze has been bugging me to kill my ally Zhakarov, but he's nearly dead anyways, so the point is moot.  In my mod, Roze's fixation is Thought Control, so in the longer term we might end up being politically compatible.  I could use a serious pile of POLICE.  So, I give her Doctrine: Air Power, because Morgan already has it and won't be getting anything new from the Planetary Datalinks.  Maybe Roze will kill a few Aliens while she's at it.

I talked to Roze and Zhakarov about buying their votes.  They want far more money than I've got.  I will have to drain Morgan of cash to finance that swindle.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 02:18:40 PM
what luck
what luck

MY 2250.  This is deeply unpleasant.  Morgan has run into me deep at sea and has threatened me.  I couldn't pay the bribe even if I wanted to, I can't afford it.  So now he gets to start the war his way.  It is very likely that one of my sea bases will immediately go bye-bye as he mind controls it.  I was trying to get set up to take out his Foil Probe Team with a first strike.

phew

He let it slide!  I've dodged that bullet for a few more turns.  I'm happy that I retain my first strike initiative.  He gives me the usual chewing out about my Planned economy and I sign off.

does it make me money
does it make me money

Sunspots set in.  Looks like I won't be repealing the U.N. Charter anytime soon!  I doubt it will lift the sanctions already in place, but it will keep me from getting new penalties as I grind Morgan up.  I can also nerve staple my people if I feel like it.  I've got a lot of drone riots now.  Due to my faction bonus and my Planned economy, I've got +2 GROWTH, it's getting worse.  Yep maybe it's time to get the drones ready for war!

the cranium is moved into position
the cranium is moved into position

This is going to hurt you more than it hurts me.  This is essentially "preventive" stapling, at a base that already had a Doctor.  I'm not waiting for my +2 GROWTH to create even more drones next turn.

brain brain what is brain
brain brain what is brain

I hadn't thought about it, but it might keep me from getting mind controlled by Morgan as well.  Although with my luck, he'll have plenty of cash to do it anyways.  I've done everyone in my empire.  That was a lot of nerve stapling, more than I've ever done in any game.  It was the right place at the right time.  Shortly I'll have the Ascetic Virtues and won't even have a drone problem anymore.  This has been mildly helpful to my bottom line, as my net income has changed from something like -8 credits / turn to 0 credits / turn.  At least I'm not losing money anymore.  It's going to get worse when I change to Power though.



Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 03:04:55 PM
first strike
first strike

MY 2252.  I don't have perfect prep, but I do have 3 X Missile Needlejets and 2 Foil Probe Teams ready to launch.  The plan is to steal stuff and destroy the enemy's 2 Foil Probe Teams.  If I'm lucky I'll acquire Intellectual Integrity and be able to change my Secret Project to the Ascetic Virtues.  If not, I'll have to keep destroying and stealing until I get it.  I am 2 turns away from completing my Secret Project and I want it done, so that I can change to Power.  I've still got some bases building civilian stuff, but I can't wait for my offensive much longer.

better than a hole in the head
better than a hole in the head

My 1st theft doesn't particularly help me, but it's a tech.  Unfortunately I lost the Foil Probe Team.  If I lose too many of these, I could have trouble with my program of theft.

you look cute when you are angry
you look cute when you are angry

Morgan of course declares war.  Not a problem, that was the idea.  Although if I had enough stealthiness to have done this undetected, I would have tried.

awesome
awesome

My X Missile Needlejet destroys the 1st enemy Foil Probe Team without a problem.  I steal my primary objective, Intellectual Integrity!  My citizens are never going to be unhappy again.  In 2 turns all my units will double their police ability, and that's not even with non-lethal methods.  Sadly I lost that Foil Probe Team as well, but since I've secured the primary objective, it doesn't matter so much now.  I have 2 more teams en route.

Hmm... I'm now being made to wonder why it should take so long for a society to develop non-lethal methods.  I mean, aren't we talking about the invention of cops?  Should I make it available earlier?  If so, from which tech?  Maybe I'll just accept that this is a game mechanical thing, about when you get a better way to deal with drones, and leave it at that.  I'll think about it.

turkey shoot
turkey shoot

I destroy the 2nd Foil Probe Team without incident.  It didn't even scratch my Green planes.  They're going to be terrifying once they finish wiping out everything in the region.

lucky break
lucky break

While moving a Sea Former, I discover an unwounded Morganite ship prowling my coast.  I happen to have a Foil Probe Team in the region and subvert the ship for a mere 42 credits!  That was timely, as warships were exactly what I didn't have out that way.  With that ship I destroy the other wounded Morganite ship.  It had a previous run in with an Isle of the Deep.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 05:47:23 PM
I wanted to steal that
I wanted to steal that

MY 2255.  I suppose I have never changed my Build, Conquer focus, so it's to be expected that I'd finally research this.  At least my tech gap with Morgan is narrowing.

machetes work too
machetes work too

My chemical attack last turn left this base empty.  I've already stolen from it so it's of no further use to me.  I certainly don't need new bases, I'm barely keeping people happy as is.  Although, having completed the Ascetic Virtues, I shouldn't have as much problem with that in the future.  Anyways I've now completed my short term objective of ridding my immediate waters of interlopers.  Next step is to destroy all cities with in air range of my own.

[Limit reached]
I think Morganite businesspeople make a crunchier sound when the machete sings through their necks.  Must be their enhanced diet.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 06:03:08 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2256.  I completed the last of my base facilities, except for an Aerospace Complex that I can't afford to wait on.  I've transitioned to a full war footing.  All of my new units will now get a MORALE bonus.  And surprisingly, thanks to my energy limits being lifted, I'm making 5 credits / turn.

So this is the new Hive.  How does it compared to the old, unmodded Hive?  Well the old way, I would start the game with a -2 ECONOMY.  I'd also probably never do anything other than Planned, due to the immunity to negative EFFICIENCY.  In this version, I end up with a -2 ECONOMY if I choose to go down that road.  My SUPPORT is similar now, in that I get free support up to the base size.  In the unmodded game I'd have more SUPPORT earlier, because I'd start the game already knowing Doctrine: Loyalty.  Just have to save 40 credits to make the change to Police State and you're good.  In my mod, Yang starts up more slowly and is even with everyone else to begin with.  Not much in the way of bonuses or penalties.  My Yang is less EFFICIENT, but only for having chosen this path and -1 is not that bad compared to 0.  You can never escape 0 in the old game, whereas I can get positive or negative EFFICIENCY.  It's my choice.

So I feel decent about these changes.  At this point in the game I haven't overpowered or underpowered the Hive, it's actually pretty similar.  I thought historically, the Hive had way too much of an advantage over other factions.  It was a real killer.  What has happened in my mod, is all the other factions got beefed up.  At least, I think they did.  Most have been verified through playtesting by now, but perhaps not all.

The most basic trick is nobody gets a SUPPORT bonus for free anymore.  You have to earn it with your social engineering choices, and take the consequences of those choices.  Well except for IMPUNITY, in the case of the Hive with Police State, and the Cult of Planet with Fundamentalist.  They still have to earn their SUPPORT for Planned and Power choices, and they have to take the penalties.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 08:54:29 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2260.  Sunspots have ended.  Last year, Morgan pulled a groaner and mind controlled my most remote northwest sea base.  This year, he's attempting to fortify it with Needlejets.  I have Interceptors en route, that I started producing awhile ago in anticipation of an air war.  I'm tagging one of his planes now.  I have taken losses elsewhere though, due to attacks on bases going badly, or my own Needlejets getting intercepted.  In short, Morgan is no longer displaying complete helplessness.

I am worried that I am not going to have the productive oomph to actually take his capitol before he corners the energy market.  The possibility that this could happen simply never occurred to me, because I have never seen it in any game I've played, ever.  In almost 20 years of play.  I had no idea that it could cost as little as 1000 credits to corner the market.  It is easy to make 1000 credits with my new social engineering choices, I do it all the time.  Nor have I ever gotten a 1000 credit price tag, it's usually been 10,000 to 20,000 when I look at it.  If I had known Morgan could be this much of a threat, I would have invaded him earlier in the game.  It has always been a completely convenient thing to do, he's been just north of me the whole time.  As it stands, I'm at risk of getting punked by this guy.

[Limit reached]
Looks like my ally Zhakarov declared war on my ally Roze during the sunspots.  I got him to beg off.

[Limit reached]
Only to have Roze contact me and demand to be loaned money.  Of course I refused, because Morgan is about to win the game and I'm only making 11 credts / turn.  So she broke our pact!  That means once upon a time, she got Doctrine: Air Power from me and I got no benefit from that transaction at all.  Not even any COMMERCE due to all the sanctions I have leveled against me. 

[Limit reached]
Did the AI decide I have a Kick Me sign on my back?  I've about had it with this.

[Limit reached]
I get my first drone riots of the post-sunspot era.  A few more cities follow suit.  I suppose it wouldn't matter if I nerve stapled them, because I've got 56 years worth of sanctions to go.  I think they just imposed 30 years for the last chemical attack I made, post-sunspots.  But I can't quite bring myself to nerve staple my people when I just need a police unit.

[Limit reached]
Morgan threatens my coast with a probe team.  This causes me to divert an X Needlejet to the task, which could be hitting Morgan's cities.  His spam will be the death of me.  If I had completed a rail system earlier, I might have used some artillery pieces to take out that Transport, but I didn't.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 09:18:25 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2262.  I steal Adaptive Doctrine from Morgan, which in my mod gives both Pulse and Resonance armor.  That was a side effect of taking free Resonance armor away from the Aliens, but letting them have Trance instead.  I'm not entirely happy with this arrangement, but I haven't given much thought to how I'd do it otherwise.  I've revised the tech tree a lot and I don't like I have much wiggle room left to make changes.  Still, I will take another look, since I've got this small list of other minor things to deal with.

It's not good that Morgan has this.  It's yet another way he can resist me taking his capitol.  I honestly don't think I'm going to make it at this point.  My rate of progress has been terminally slow.

[Limit reached]
After some losses in earlier turns, Morgan Dock finally keels over and dies.  This flank is safer, at the cost of major distraction from the actual mission, island hopping to Morgan Industries.  Oh well.  If the game beat me with a cheap shot I've never seen before, so be it.

[Limit reached]
I have built up a substantial force at Hole of Aspiration.  I have 2 Drop units about to arrive by Transport as well, shielded by a AAA Plasma Foil.  The land base Morgan Solarflex will fall, but my planes could take heavy losses due to a spore launcher he's put in there.  I don't really have an answer for that, at least nothing that can be put in position in time.  Even a sealift of artillery will be too slow, as I didn't think to build speeder artillery units.  I do have other X Needlejets in production, so maybe I'll be able to just plow through.  Maybe.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2018, 09:41:00 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2263.  I thought I was about to win the air war in the west, but Morgan keeps stocking more Needlejets, and he's building an ECM unit to keep my ships at bay.  Maybe it will be a net positive.  Maybe it'll keep his air force away from his main cities when I finally go for his heart now.  Although, I can think of a lot of ways he could just toast me.  Not the least of which is one probe team, which I really haven't got a plan for.  I was supposed to have gotten a foothold on the island north of me, a decade ago.

[Limit reached]
Fortunately the Spore Launcher died on my first strike.  There is only a Trance unit remaining, so I will take Morgan Solarflex intact.  OH GOOD GRIEF.  I threw away a Tactical because I thought there was a Trance unit in there, and it wa an ECM unit.  Complete brain fart!  Dammit, I don't need to lose planes for nothing.  Well, that attrition isn't as bad as I was expecting.  I will push on.  I take it not-so-intact, knocking it down to 1 population.

[Limit reached]
Oh heck I'm obliterating this thing.  I don't want to get mind controlled and it's not the real jumping off point for taking Morgan Industries anyways.


Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2018, 02:14:51 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2265.  Morgan has done me the inestimable favor of flying his Missile Tacticals away from Morgan Mines, leaving it all but defenseless.  Since he is only at war with me, I don't know what possessed him.  He seems to prefer to keep them in Morgan Hydroponics to the east.  This mistake on his part may end up being the difference between me winning and losing the game.  I was going to take Morgan Metagenics, which is also in striking position of Morgan Industries, but Morgan Hydroponics is definitely the more defensible position.  Other cities, I might be able to destroy even this turn as I do have a lot of X Needlejets built up at Ark of the Edicts.  My production doesn't seem to be too late after all.

[Limit reached]
Morgan had a mindworm just outside the city.  I had to use a plane to kill it.  I did not use planes on the other cities because I need them to strike at Morgan Industries.  I may have to destroy it with chemicals rather than capture it.  That would wipe out both the Human Genome Project and the Planetary Transit System, but it's better than losing the game.  Even 1 AAA unit, or some Tacticals, could make it impervious and Game Over.  I really need the AI to keep screwing up, which fortunately seems likely.  I also need it to fail to counterattack Morgan Mines.  Next turn would be a great time for it to do so, although I did at least block the roads leading to it.

Morgan wins in MY 2268, so I have very little time.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2018, 02:50:14 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2266.  Golly Gosh, what wonderful last minute technology could possibly be bestowed upon me?  Watch it be something I was about to steal from Morgan anyways.

[Limit reached]
Actually this is pretty good, and something I expected to get since my focus is still Build, Conquer.  Of course I have to take or destroy Morgan Industries for this to help me at all.  I'm also belatedly remembering the pile of Artifacts I have sitting around that I've never cashed.  Well, the plan has been to steal all of Morgan's tech before popping anything, so I think I can be forgiven.  I don't recall any techs that would seriously change my situation anyways.  I never had time or money to build a Genejack Factory, and my existing weapons were powerful enough to make the assault.  Hope I prevail.

In my mod, aircraft carriers and submarines are lumped under Doctrine: Initiative as "Naval" stuff.  I don't really see a reason to dole those things out slowly.  This is the 22nd century, we aren't still figuring out how to build a carrier or a submarine.

[Limit reached]
In the west I've won a major air and naval battle.  I'm about to liberate the city that was mind controlled so long ago, and I'll get to steal a tech while I'm at it.

[Limit reached]
I have dumped all kinds of planes into Morgan Mines, regardless of state of health, for the last ditch effort against Morgan's capitol.  Next turn it is do or die.  If the AI continues to behave stupidly, I'll be in great shape!  Yet it would only take that 1 Transport and Probe Team sitting across the channel at Morgan Interstellar, to undo all my work.  At least I did keep Morgan busy on the island I'm occupying, so hopefully the AI won't think straight about what it should do.

A human would toast me... but then, a human wouldn't have gotten to corner the energy market for 1000 credits either.  I will strongly consider taking an ECONOMY bonus out of the social engineering choices, probably from Democratic.  Reminds me of when Santiago was getting Elite units without even learning Power yet.  Had to fix that too.

I just realized that all 3 factions who can't choose Democratic are in this game.  The Hive, the Cult of Planet, and the Usurpers.

I have a feeling of foreboding as I press TURN COMPLETE.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2018, 05:08:18 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2267.  Ok!  Am I going to win this thing or what??  And am I going to take Morgan Industries intact or am I going to have to destroy it?  Well will you look at that, Morgan doesn't even have as many units in his capitol as he used to!  What a maroon!  I'm going to save scum this a little bit to determine if it's realistic to attack without chemical weapons.  No, scratch that, all those non-AAA units are Very Green.  This is going to be cake!!!  He does have an Interceptor in Morgan Interstellar, so I'll need to avoid attacking within 2 squares of that.  Not a problem.  I need to block up those northwestern roads anyways.

[Limit reached]
I take wounds, but my air corps has done it!  Not bad for only having 1 Aerospace Complex.  See, you just need to deregulate your industry enough to spew enough toxic waste, then load it onto your planes.  Enemies love drowning in the stuff.  Although for some odd reason, Morgan has defended himself with super-wimps.  I looked at his government not long ago and he was Fundamentalist Simple Power.  Actually it still is.  So he must have built those units when he was a Complete Wimp and just left them there.

[Limit reached]
In celebration of this great victory, I am removing the +1 ECONOMY bonus from Democratic politics.  Instead it will have +2 EFFICIENCY.  For awhile now, I've actually thought the game was a bit EFFICIENCY poor anyways.  It's not easy to get enough of the stuff if you don't go Cybernetic.  I wanted to give Morgan his chance to win the game, and frankly, he came pretty close.  But now we don't need no steenkin' super-cheapo Corner The Markets anymore.  I mean, what if this cad tries it again?  Well, he'll be stone cold dead soon, but what if?

What if the Usurpers did it, while we were lounging around with our squabbles?  I don't think they will, because they will always choose Power over Wealth.  They also couldn't choose Democratic to get its +1 ECONOMY bonus.  Which is now disappearing.  Buh-bye!

[Limit reached]
I should enjoy my moment while I can, because I don't have the forces to dent Morgan Interstellar.  Even if I did, it's got the Planetary Energy Grid, and I'm not going to torch that.  With a 1177 credit reserve, and 1 probe team I can't touch, I can pretty well kiss Morgan Industries goodbye.  Unless... there's some heroic way to block up the roads, or wreck them?  Hmm.

[Limit reached]
I couldn't destroy, wound, or disrupt the Probe Team.  But I was able to block the land roads to Morgan Industries.  One X Needlejet attacked to destroy a Tactical defender.  This also depopulated the city and reduced their minerals to a tiny drip.  I won't destroy it because it contains the Planetary Energy Grid.  This may only stall the inevitable for 1 turn, but it will allow me to get my air force back to Morgan Mines without being part of a mind control.  Assuming the AI remains dumb and doesn't realize it can use its Transport to get at me.

[Limit reached]
Elsewhere I attacked north of my island, pursuing the usual depopulation exercise.

[Limit reached]
Well he was going to kvetch about my Power soon enough.  Good riddance, he's nothing but Alien bait anyways.

[Limit reached]
She's been useless the whole game.  I should never have given her Doctrine: Air Power.

[Limit reached]
This one makes no sense.  I'd mod or binary patch this one out of existence if I could.

Well there go my plans for peaceful commerce.   :D  On the positive side, none of them will stop me from nukeing them now.  My reputation has been slowly falling into the toilet, and I guess this all sets in when one reaches Infamous.  It would have been helpful to Repeal the U.N. Charter early in the game, but I never had the resources to buy the votes.  I guess I have to play the role of the maniacal despot and live with it.  As I intended all along. At least the 1st part.  Not so into the "living with it" part, but I will.

My fear is now Planet may be about to decide my fate.  The vengeance of Planet is truly horrific.  I've had some doubts if it's even survivable in the real world of keyboard clicking effort.  In another game with the Pirates, the spam got so bad every turn that I just couldn't justify playing any more.  When I embarked upon this AAR, I knew this could happen, and I'm willing to give it another go.  I wonder how long I'm going to last this time though, before getting sick of it.  As a precaution, I will not make any more X units, and I'm starting to make Trance 3-Res units everywhere.

[Limit reached]
Somehow I got 1049 energy credits.  I must have gotten on the order of 600 credits from conquering Morgan's capitol, but I really wasn't paying attention.  Sacrificing 1 Artifact, I rush the Maritime Control Center.  Fast Cruiser Probe Teams would be extremely useful in the fight against Morgan, as I can use them to knock out most of his probe teams and steal his money!
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2018, 05:50:31 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2268.  Joy of joys!  The AI moved a land Probe Team and 2 Foil Probe Teams out into the open where I can easily kill them.  I may yet hold onto Morgan Industries if I can just obstruct other units long enough to wear Morgan down.

[Limit reached]
The claimed eco-damage numbers are getting absurd.  133?  I think I've seen one fungal pop the whole game.  I would be the model of restraint if it weren't for chemical weapons.  I'm not even running a Free Market, my PLANET rating is 0.  I'm not willing to go to Green or Knowledge yet (the latter gives +1 PLANET in my mod) as there's a war on.  If the war changes to one against mindworms, I'll rethink it.  I'm serious that everyone is making Trance 3-Res Garrisons though.

[Limit reached]
I replayed my turn because I wasn't aware that Morgan Transport contains the Xenoempathy Dome.  Quite an odd place to put it IMO.  Previously I wiped that city out.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2018, 07:57:13 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2269.  Time for fungus!  I wonder how bad it's going to get?

[Limit reached]
A little bit bad?

[Limit reached]
Somewhat bad?

[Limit reached]
Maybe it's bad.

[Limit reached]
I feel reasonably safe in saying it's bad.  On the positive side, this might make me a lot of money, assuming there's a stack of mindworms with each of these fungal pops.  I haven't gotten to see for sure yet.

[Limit reached]
I think this is pretty bad game design BTW.  No warning, the game just basically falls off a cliff.

[Limit reached]
Who says the chemical weapons I developed are that polluting anyways?

[Limit reached]
I think this is going to affect every single city I have.

[Limit reached]
Even cities that aren't and never have supported an X Needlejet!

[Limit reached]
I'm actually getting bored taking screenshots of this mess, but I will do it for the sake of Record.

[Limit reached]
Finally an end to this.  66 meters doesn't exactly have me quaking in my boots, and quite frankly is absurdly low given what just happened.  But I have a sinking feeling it's not going to last.  I think I will conform to Planet's demands and immediately become more Planet friendly.  'Cuz, I've got a lot more spraying to do, after all.

[Limit reached]
But it's not over yet!  Is it conceivable that I'm going to lose the game in 1 turn?

[Limit reached]
This is like a zit on Planet.

[Limit reached]
I think players would be justified in rage quitting at this point.  There's nothing in the game manual that says this stuff is going to happen, at all.  Only because I've experienced something similar before, do I put up with it.  Be advised that I sort of expected this, when I started writing this AAR, but this is bad even within those expectations.  I wonder how tall the mindworm stacks are going to be?  Land stacks aren't so bad because 1 hit kills them and makes you money.  Sea stacks, however, could obliterate bases.  Powerful artillery is a good antidote to that, as it tends to kill a lot of Isles all at once, but I don't really have powerful artillery.  Wasn't the thing needed to kill Morgan, and I haven't even had time to build many Trance 3-Res Sentinels yet.

[Limit reached]
I remember in that game I played as the Pirates, it only took 25..30 chemical attacks before Planet attacked.  I got waaaaaay more than that out of Yang.  Was it a difference in map size?  But now that the onslaught is upon me, I think I'm getting proportionately waaaaaaay more pops.  I wonder what kept the popping from happening earlier?  Hmm, here's a theory: Morgan's attempt to corner the global energy market.  Maybe it postponed all of this until after it was over.

[Limit reached]
This really is getting beyond the point of anything I've ever seen in this game.  Even endgames with Bulk Matter Transfer only have cities doing on the order of 99 eco-damage.  I saw as high as 152 the previous turn.  How does that even accumulate?  In a normal game with normal amounts of damage due to minerals, fungal pops start happening around 15..20 pollution and escalate.  This is a badly behaved game to the point of smelling very, very buggy.

[Limit reached]
Now I just need to figure out how many mindworms I'm really facing.  Turns out these stacks are not big, typically just 1 mindworm and 1 spore launcher.  "Beginning" stuff.  Eco-damage numbers aren't as ridiculous, with the highest now at 93, but they're still awful and crazy compared to a normal game.

[Limit reached]
I switch to Green, hoping it changes the status quo a bit.  The max eco-damage did just drop to 62, so that was roughly a 33% improvement on things.  I haven't done any chemical attacks yet this turn.  Watch what happens when I make them.

[Limit reached]
I think with one chemical attack on a city, the eco-damage in my capitol rose from 62 to 74.  I will check again after the next strike, just in case it was about me futzing a minerals square or something.

[Limit reached]
Yep it's like clockwork.  After attacking an enemy ship with chemical weapons, eco-damage in my capitol rose to 86.  The units weren't made in my capitol or supported from there either.  Probably every single city got additional eco-damage.  Well this is just grossly unfair and crazy, so I'm going to keep doing it.  If I lose the game this turn, so beit!  It will be a demonstration of a serious bug AFAIAC.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2018, 08:53:46 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2270.  I'm not documenting the fungal pops anymore.  They're still happening.  I'm also getting attacked by mindworms I couldn't see, even though I had sensor arrays up.  There's this buggy behavior where you can see them when looking at a city menu, but not on the main map.  It's tedious having to shuffle through everything and consequently I got zapped in a few places.  Whatever.  This game has passed into the realm of it griefing me, and it's only the discipline of writing an AAR that would require me to experience it.

[Limit reached]
Now they're talking 800 meters.  So in addition to whatever defensive units I'm trying to make, I need to come up with Pressure Domes in some places.  I count at least 8 fungal pops since this turn started.

[Limit reached]
933 meters.  14 fungal pops.  We all like to play wargames about foes with superior resources that get to appear right next to you.

[Limit reached]
1266 meters.  20 fungal pops.  At least it's a regular pattern.  Got a 21st pop and then got to actually take my turn.

[Limit reached]
This is a lot of mindworms.  It's not even counting the ones at sea.  I am remembering why I got bored of that Pirate game and decided it was unwinnable.  I'm not there yet but this game is now dictating to me how I'm going to play.  After awhile that's not a game, that's a job.

[Limit reached]
217 eco-damage in my capitol.  I swear if I ever make my own 4X TBS, it is not going to be about a "sentient Planet taking vengeance".  This sucks / is stupid!  At least I've got a lot of money, 1475 credits.  Previous experience is I'd better darned well spend that on defense in a hurry.  It's enough cash to buy The Longevity Vaccine with the assistance of 1 Artifact, but I think Pressure Domes everywhere are a higher priority.  Fortunately Morgan gave up trying to build it, so I've got time.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 01:39:22 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2271.  This is descending into almost a complete lack of player agency on my part.  What is my tolerance for abuse?

[Limit reached]
At this point I don't think I'm playing a game anymore.  I'm documenting a phenomenon.  For whose benefit though?  How much information does the imagined audience need, or care about?

[Limit reached]
I suppose if all of my stuff is destroyed, I will have fewer things to worry about in any given turn.

[Limit reached]
Morgan Interstellar was greatly weakened for some reason, I'm supposing by a stack of mindworms running into it, so I was able to take it.  I used conventional attacks only, since the defenders were weak.  Planet has done me a strange favor.  As usual the question remains whether I can hold it.  Especially since, the mindworms seem likely to be the global conquerors at this point. 

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 03:15:20 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2272.  Eh.

[Limit reached]
Meh.  I got hammered by piles of mindworms, Isles, and Locusts that were already surrounding my bases and coming from invisible positions.  Not that I could have done much even if I could have seen them.

[Limit reached]
I can't really care anymore.  I'm along for the ride.

[Limit reached]
It takes a long time just to make all these screenshots of me being flooded.

[Limit reached]
I seem to have lost a sea base to Locust / Isle slaughter.  It was empty last turn.  It should be in the middle of the screen, between Factory Drift and Seat of Proper Thought.  I didn't even manage to sell anything there.

[Limit reached]
I managed to steal Advanced Ecological Engineering from the Cultists.  Morgan had it as well, but nothing else.  I now have tech parity with all the humans.  I probably have tech parity with the Aliens as well, but I've never been able to infiltrate them to find out.  I'm now going to cash many of my Artifacts because I fear they're in danger of being overrun and destroyed.  I spread them out amongst more bases recently, only to find that my rail lines were getting cut off by big swaths of mindworms.  I wanted to wait until I had tech parity to cash them, so as not to waste them.  Now is the time.

[Limit reached]
Helpful against humans and Aliens, but not against mindworms.  A long time ago I put armored probe teams in every base.  Only ones that have been conquered or hammered are missing a probe garrison.

[Limit reached]
Not specifically helpful.

[Limit reached]
Heh!  I have already pretty much destroyed the world as we know it with chemical weapons.  Note that in my mod, orbital facilities are not immediately available, only the nukes.  However my nukes can hit anywhere on Planet.  As can the Conventional Missiles.  This could be useful if the mindworm onslaught ever ends.  Also note: Sky Hydroponics Labs, Orbital Power Transmitters, and Nessus Mining Stations are not available until late game.  My view is those are extensive orbital facilities, not a mere satellite in orbit nor a missile re-entering the atmosphere.

[Limit reached]
In my mod, Industrial Automation is a late midgame tech.  You can't just build a pile of Secret Projects lickety split until you've researched a lot of tech.  As I now have, for all the fat good it's doing me.  It does accomplish one specifically useful thing though.  If I can manage to build 1 or 2 crawlers, I'll have something to rapidly complete a Secret Project with, without needing to use up Artifacts anymore.  That means it's reasonable for me to pop my last Artifact for a tech and not hold back.

[Limit reached]
YES!!  This is what my Artifact popping was all about.  I've got to build the Neural Amplifier as fast as possible.  Cash is not usually the problem due to all the dead mindworm bodies.  I've got 1388 cash right now and I've already paid for all the Pressure Domes I can rush economically.  The problem is the initial dump of minerals so that I can insta-build without exhorbitant cost.  Of course I just used up my last Artifact to get this tech, so that's not an option. 

[Limit reached]
A stratagem: sacrifice probe teams.  No one has ever come for my homeland anyways.  If I can get the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm done soon, I won't even need them anymore.  Oddly though, my armored probe teams do seem to hold up against mindworms somewhat.  I'm not sure why that is.  But I have to get rid of something and I still think they're the most expendable.

[Limit reached]
It only took 2 teams.  They are somewhat expensive units.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 04:03:03 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2273.  Morgan finally played the game like any old fool would and took back Morgan Industries.  Well at least I don't have to stress about defending it any longer.  I also achieved putting a Pressure Dome on it, so if it didn't get destroyed during the air drop, then those Secret Projects will be safe for future generations.  Namely of my own citizens, when these mindworms finally abate.

[Limit reached]
I care.  But not about what you think.

[Limit reached]
After a few dozen mindworm / Locust attacks that liquidated substantial portions of some of my cities, the Neural Amplifier comes online.  I only hope it stops future hordes.  I've now got cities that are empty, with Secret Projects in them that at risk of being destroyed if I can't reinforce.  And with the massive air power being used against me, I'm not really seeing how I reinforce.

[Limit reached]
I am starting to think I am merely presiding over my own destruction.  Am I Hitler in his bunker?  I don't even have the patience to make a screenshot of the various crippled and empty bases.

[Limit reached]
I think both the Command Nexus and the Maritime Control Center are about to be destroyed.  There's a solid wall of Locusts that I can't get through.  I flew some planes around it, hoping they might take enough hits to let the city survive, but it seems unlikely.  I won't sell anything because each of those base facilities could absorb a mindworm hit.  Maybe the cities will survive due to population?  Even that seems unlikely, there are so many Locusts.

I lost the use of my only Monolith, so I can't instantly heal units anymore.  That will hurt.

It would take more production, say of drop units, to survive this sort of thing.  Fusion Power of course wouldn't be discovered yet, as it's a late midgame tech in my mod.  I think Morgan only very recently discovered Bioadaptive Resonance and the R-Laser.  I need to go steal it, and of course I have what, 1 Foil Probe Team on the wrong side of the map to do it with.  I said I was going to make Cruiser Probe Teams, but who has time?

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 04:27:43 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2274.  Surprisingly my 2 bases with Secret Projects have survived without anyone dying in them.  Especially since 1 is defended with an armored Probe Team.  I guess the Neural Amplifier is worth something.  Of course Planet keeps sending more so I don't feel like patting myself on the back yet.

[Limit reached]
I reinforced a depleted Morgan Interstellar with a Trance Scout and an armored Probe Team.  I'm building a Pressure Dome for posterity, so that the Planetary Energy Grid doesn't drown.  I've managed to sneak reinforcements into the city with the Comamnd Nexus so I don't expect to lose that.  The Maritime Control Center is defended by practically nothing though.  Just a wounded Probe Team and a Needlejet.  6 mindworms are adjacent to the city, a stack I couldn't attack for lack of ground troops.  6 Locusts will pound it, and if that's not enough there's a big Spore Launcher.  If I get to keep the MCC it's a miracle / peculiar.

I started building the Longevity Vaccine in my capitol last turn.  I hope to have a big wad of cash from killing mindworms at some point.  I'm not making as much money off of them right now because they've had so many air units that I can't attack.  Also my rails are in tatters so it's not easy to just move ground units by rail like I used to.  Everything is going to sink anyways.  This turn I'm completing the last of my Pressure Domes though, so I won't be the one sinking.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 05:08:58 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2275.  I managed to save the city with the Command Nexus, but the city with the Maritime Control Center was utterly destroyed.  The moral of that is a nuclear strike isn't the only danger one can face, when choosing Secret Project cities.  I spread my Secret Projects out... but that made it easy for mindworms to kill one of them.

Mindworms might be calming down some now.  Alternately, they've destroyed all my Sensor Arrays and I can't see them!  I'll find out soon enough.  For my sea bases though, I'm tired of making Trance Scouts.  I've started on AAA Trance 3-Res Hoverboats instead.  They should hold up to Locusts better.

I'm rushing the Longevity Vaccine because I can.  It's been available for a long time but nobody's had the resources to build it.  After that I'll do the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 06:31:07 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2276.  I have been trying to destroy Morgan Hydroponics myself for quite some time, with chemical weapon attacks.  Morgan wasn't good enough to put units in it often enough for me to get a killing blow in, and I've never had any spare ground troops available to enter and obliterate.  So this is the 1st tactically valuable flooding I've experienced.  Hardly worth all the grief I've suffered otherwise though.

[Limit reached]
I capture my 1st mindworm in all this time since I've been Green.  It makes me wonder if eco-damage levels prevent mindworm capture.  I'm down to 0 eco-damage in all my cities now.  The storm is over!  Will it all start up again if I do more chemical attacks though?  I've all but wiped out the Morganic bases I needed to get rid of, but there are still Cultist bases I'd like to torch.  It's going to take some time to get onto an offensive posture though.  My air force is still mostly at Morgan Mines, not much used, but putting out fires as they happen.  I've decided I can afford to redirect one more X Needlejet to the Cultist front though.  That would double the amount of force I've put against them; I've been fighting them with only 1 of my original 3 X Needlejets this whole time.

I made 1 chemical attack this turn against a Cultist base.  I wonder if there's some small number of attacks per turn I can get away with?  Wouldn't it be neat if Planet just doesn't care anymore?

I've cashed more Probe Teams to build the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, but I don't have it complete yet.  Need one more turn.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 06:52:43 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2277.  Maybe the western island of Cultists is doomed and I shouldn't worry about making further chemical attacks.  Some of those cities are building Pressure Domes though, so I'll need to inventory how many turns they've got until completion.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 07:07:43 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2278.  That's one of the Pressure Dome cities I was thinking about destroying myself.  Sadly, it contained an Artifact that I was unable to liberate.  I'm never sure if I need ground troops for that, or if an air strike suffices at times.  It seems a bit random.

[Limit reached]
Researching this is annoying.  I was about to steal it this turn.  Instead I stole some money.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 08:00:06 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2279.  The Morganites liberate Morgan Interstellar.   I did my part in the stewardship, it got a Pressure Dome.  With the loss of the Planetary Energy Grid my revenues won't be so good though.  I never sold my Energy Banks because I figured this would happen eventually.  Just as, eventually I will take all 4 of these Secret Project bearing cities by conventional means.  First I need to build some conventional forces.  I'm swearing off the chemicals!
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 08:09:12 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2280.  I need to rebuild, so I'm switching from Power to Wealth.  I'm also setting my budget to 40-20-40.  I'm not really fighting anymore, as most of Morgan's cities within range of my X Needlejets have Secret Projects in them.  I need those to stay intact.  Morgan is also being attacked elsewhere by Marr now.  I don't think I'm going to get any real eco-damage from going negative with PLANET, given the number of fungal pops I just survived.  Indeed, my eco-damage in all my cities is still 0.  As the land sinks, it's going to be a challenge getting enough minerals together to run a civilization.  I remember that from my Pirate game that went like this.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2018, 08:30:56 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2281.  Morgan deposes me as Governor.  I can still beat him in votes, but others hate me as well, and Marr hasn't done a good enough job of depopulating them.

[Limit reached]
My citizens go from tearing mindworms limb from limb, to being deathly afraid of them.  Why was that?  Was it the mix of different chemicals I put in their drinking water?

I'm realizing that if I go Planned, I can pop boom!  That's why the Hive has a GROWTH bonus, because he can't go Democratic to complete the necessary conditions for pop booming.  Not all factions were given this capability.  For instance, not the Cultists, who can't go Democratic and thus can't pop boom.  Nor the Usurpers, who can't go Democratic either.  Not Morgan, who can't go Planned although he could go Simple.  And some AI factions won't choose it in practice; for instance, Zhakarov will choose Cybernetic over Eudiamonic.  Roze will insist on Thought Control, not Eudaimonic.  In this game, I'm the only one who's going to pop boom.  Lal and Domai might / should pop boom, but I haven't checked whether they've actually done it.  The Believers could do it, because I also gave them +1 GROWTH, but I don't know if the AI would.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 01:15:47 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2282.  I complete my transition to a fully industrial economy, triggering a pop boom in all cities with Children's Creches.  I will bang out my base improvements until I'm ready to put Morgan away.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 01:21:07 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2283.  I'm losing my shore minerals.  Holes in my land are opening up that are so big, I will have to build Super Destroyer Formers to turn them into food.  Some of my previously shallow ocean squares have turned into deep ocean, making it impossible to develop the squares without raising the ocean floor.  I think that's a fool's proposition at present, as the whole world is going to go underwater.  That's probably a few thousand meters of land sinking yet.  It really hurts that the mindworms destroyed my Maritime Control Center.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 01:53:59 AM
[Limit reached]
I still use my chemical weapons, but only for things that are worthwhile.  This Morganic city has nothing special in it and I've been waiting a long time to get rid of it.  He finally moved enough units into it for me to eliminate it all at once.  For a long time I was afraid of his AAA unit in there, but it actually went down with 1 hit.  Morgan is running a Democratic Simple Wealth Eudaimonic government, so his forces are almost as wimpy as mine.  Why isn't he running a Free Market I wonder?  Maybe he doesn't want a Police penalty, or maybe he doesn't want to accumulate PLANET penalties from both Wealth and Free Market.  It's an odd decision on his part though. 

[Limit reached]
If Morgan would remove the Isles of the Deep from these cities, then I could liquidate them too.  He had a big stack of them in Morgan Construction forever, back when it blocked the only water route northwards.  Now he seems to have spread them out defensively.  Hmm, R-Lasers would kill them.  Especially since Wealth gives him a -1 PLANET rating, making his PSI combat not so good.  However I don't have time to make such units right now.  Maybe he'll do me the favor of finding something better to do with the Isles.  Then I'm in there!

[Limit reached]
Wow, this cad has got everyone fighting for him.  Both Alien factions, that's quite a trick!  I didn't manage to infiltrate Zhakarov, Roze, or the Aliens, but I know that Cha Dawn is at war with Marr, Roze, and Hminee.  Historically, Zhakarov and Roze were also at war with each other.  Morgan is such a great orator!
All bow down to fearless Morgan...  ;worship ;morganercise  ;hippy  Hey some of you loons aren't in this game.  :whip:

[Limit reached]
Seeing such benevolent and unifying leadership makes me almost want to be just like him!  But I have 1122 years of sanctions to get through, so I'll keep being just like me!

That's longer than I would reasonably expect this game to last.  It's also longer than it can possibly last without modding the game's ending year.  Which I'd do if I really thought it would go that long, but it won't.  I'm halfway through the tech tree as is.  It was a painful game before, but now it's somewhat interesting.  It's obvious that I need to take the Secret Project bearing bases that I left intact, but how shall I do it?  Marine invasion?  Well, um, yeah, at the rate things are going.  There won't be any land left to do it another way.  Well, Naval invasion I suppose....
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 03:53:35 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2292.  Morgan has researched Applied Relativity.  Of course I want to steal it.  To that end, I'm performing a weakening operation against his nearest cities.  While keeping him busy, the actual goal is to sneak my Cruiser Probe Team into the middle city.  My X Needlejets might get destroyed, but that's ok.  They're no use to me if they're not being used in combat and making cities disappear.  Soon I will be able to make more of them, as I've got a few Genejack Factories and Subsea Trunklines coming online.  I won't make any new chemical units though.  When the old ones are gone, that's it, I'm going clean.  I've got plenty left to go though.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 05:12:31 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2293.  Sanity prevails!  I had my doubts that Morgan could hold his fantastic alliance together indefinitely.  They all hate each other too much.

[Limit reached]
Severe flooding has changed the food availablility of one of my cities pretty much overnight.

[Limit reached]
I got what I wanted and even more amusing, didn't lose any planes!  It had Tacticals on its 2nd line of cities it could have used against me.  For some crazy reason it piled them all into Morgan Pharmaceuticals and didn't attack me.  He should have at least destroyed the plane adjacent to Morgan Pharmaceuticals itself, but he didn't even do that.  Dumb, dumb AI!


Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 05:22:14 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2298.  Morgan researched Fusion Power, so I'm stealing it from him.  I researched Centauri Psi myself, which in my mod isn't that useful to me.  I'd rather have Homo Superior, which in my mod gives Thought Control and the Empath Guild.  Yes, that comes very late in my mod.  A number of people are of the opinion it's overpowered, and I obliged them.  I still don't quite have the population to win an election against all opposition, but I'm getting close.  I'm knocking down Morgan's cities as best he can, but now Fusion AAA garrisons are showing up.  With those I don't have a chance, so I'm trying to use up my old chemical planes before they're useless.

[Limit reached]
Note that in my mod, Fusion Power only gives the engine, not any lab facilities.  An equivalent, the Industrial Lab, was already given by Applied Relativity.  My mod separates Conquest technologies from other categories like Discover as much as is reasonable, and this was one of those cases.  Actually for a long time I designed the mod with Fusion engiens very late in the game, but it didn't work out, due to the sudden jump from Fusion to Quantum to Singularity.  Now it's spread out more like the unmodded game, but still tends to come a bit later due to the sheer number of conquest techs that can be discovered.

Hmm, Morgan has deployed so many Fusion AAA units so quickly, that I have a better idea for my old planes.  Disbanding them to complete Secret Projects!  Once I get the Supercollider done, I do have a Pholus Mutagen that could use a boost.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: Geo on September 01, 2018, 02:10:03 PM
Seeing such benevolent and unifying leadership makes me almost want to be just like him!

Chalk it up for a binary modder. Switching factions. :D
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 06:24:54 PM
Nah, nah... I will stay the course as Yang.  Actually I'm currently living up to the Build part of his Build, Conquer focus.  All I do is sit around building base improvements and new Fusion garrison troops.  I've got various generations of Sea Formers that are scurrying as fast as they can to create kelp, mines, and tidal harnesses before it all turns into deep ocean.  It's MY 2304 and the pace of notable game events is much slower now.  Morgan is amassing a scary number of military units, I think with an abusive AI Transcend advantage, but they never come for me.  Legitimately, he is at war with the Usurpers, and they have a broad front, so maybe it keeps him busy.  But the AI is also known for being weak at naval combat, not really having a clue about how to project force.  That's actually fine by me, because I think in the mindworm debacle, I already earned winning this game.  It was like, mega-unfair, but I'm still standing (swimming).

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2018, 06:48:38 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2305.  Morgan's enormous air force is so vigilant and alert that I sailed right between his bases unchallenged and will now steal Single Sided Surfaces from him.  That's my repurposed version of Frictionless Surfaces; it gives Clean Reactors.  Yes, a clean Fusion reactor is a matter of topology, you heard it from me first!

[Limit reached]
I am the Millenial purveyor of atrocities, with 1101 years of Sanctions against me!  It occurs to me that genetic warfare would be highly effective against Morgan, and would cost me next to nothing.  I have no idea if that can trigger another mindworm apocalypse, as I've never prosecuted a human vs. human genetic campaign before.  It's pretty darned useful for wiping out Aliens, and I know Planet doesn't care about that.  Sadly, I've got some time to wait for this new toy, as my research rate is not particularly fast.  Really Morgan is doing the research now.  That's ok with me, I'm trying to grow larger and win the Governorship.  I'm tantalizingly close to achieving that aim, but it keeps dancing barely out of reach.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 02:15:15 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2310.  The Morganites are mildly on the move in my direction.  I see 2 Isles approaching, but for many of my cities, they can't do a thing.  Some cities are vulnerable with only 3 Police Scout units in them, but I don't think the Isles are heading for those, nor do they intend to attack navally.  I think they're trying to dump the ground troops on my land.  There's only 1 place they can do that, that hasn't sunk yet!  It's at the exact center of my empire.  By the time they get there, it might be sunk as well.  And in any event, by then I'll have finally made some combat ships.  A couple of my cities have completed all other growth, minerals, and factory stuff, and are starting on Naval Yards.  I'm not sure how Morgan is doing by comparison, but I almost have a viable sea empire now.  I'm also Unsurpassed on the charts by a healthy margin.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 03:00:36 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2313.  In a repeat of history, Morgan allows me to sail between his cities and steal Organic Superlubricant.  Now I have the prerequs for Retroviral Engineering.  My first AAA R-Laser Destroyer enters service next year.  In not too long, I'll be completely immune to Isle of the Deep incursions.

After that I could start making the X AAA Chaos Destroyers.  It should be noted that Foil and Cruiser chassis costs were cheapened in this mod, to be comparable to Speeders and Hovertanks respectively.  So with a Fusion engine, these are not particularly gold plated units.  I originally did this to make it easier for factions to spread out on water at the beginning of the game.  It also makes the Pirates more powerful, which is one of several reasons why their bonuses haven't been adjusted upwards any time recently.  I didn't think about the utility of this mod for a waterworld apocalypse, but here we are now!

Absent genetic warfare, using X units to depopulate Morgan's major but unimportant cities is probably the key to me gaining the Governorship.  I can't seem to outgrow Morgan because, let's face it, he's pop booming same as I am.  For awhile I didn't understand why he'd be choosing Democratic Simple Wealth Eudaimonic.  Now I realize, Simple gives +1 GROWTH triggering a pop boom with the other options.  He's also only taking -2 POLICE from being Democratic; if he went Free Market, he'd be at -3.  He can't use police, but he doesn't get any penalties for building lots of Needlejets and Copters, nor for moving military units out of his territory.  He must really feel threatened by the Usurpers, to have built so much stuff and still not come after me.  Either that or the AI is just stupid and doesn't know how to fight on water.  Soon I will show him how it's done!

I just realized, Morgan is nuclear capable now.  I saw him building a Conventional Missile a couple turns ago, but if he finished it, he didn't shoot it at me.  He's prototyping 1 nuke.  I will have to make sure it never completes.  With all the atrocities I've inflicted upon him, I am the likely target!  Although it would hurt him economically to lose all his trading partners, it's not worth me losing multiple Secret Projects, like in my capitol.  In my mod, nukes can hit anywhere on Planet, so there's no such thing as a nuke threat that can be taken lightly.  Fortunately he didn't build it in a good city, so I have 16 turns to contemplate what to do.  I could end it with a barrage of Conventional Missiles perhaps, which can also hit anywhere on Planet.  Or maybe my X AAA Chaos Destroyers will be sweeping him into oblivion by then.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 03:52:38 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2315.  Morgan abandoned his nuke program, in favor of making a lot more Conventional Missiles.  I noticed a lot of his cities were experiencing drone riots.  He's changed to Fundamentalist Simple Power Cybernetic government, and he's started the Universal Translator.  I'm not sure it's that big a deal if I let him finish it, because I'd just steal his techs.  I will see if he'll let me exploit his "sail right past him" vulnerability yet again.  I'm going to run out of cities in that pocket though.  All the more reason to strip a layer of fully populated cities away!
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 04:21:11 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2318.  Morgan let me sneak past him yet again, although I did have to back off once because of an Isle tromping around.  In contrast, when a Cha Dawn transport saw me in Morgan's waters, he actually threw a Conventional Missile at it to get rid of it!  Thanks for reminding me you're nuclear capable, Cha.  I really didn't expect you to be alive this long, or to ever amount to anything.  My earliest atrocities were against the Cultists, so I need to watch my nuclear back with them too.  They have 1 Planet Buster in production, but it will take 20 turns to complete.

Hmm, happened to notice that the Morganite Planet Buster program has resumed.  Somehow this time with 9 turns to complete.  Not good.  Guess I need some Conventional Missiles.

I have no idea what the nuclear status of Zhakarov, Roze, or the Aliens are, but I've never committed atrocites against them.  Well, Roze can't be doing anything, she's been all but dead since forever.  The Caretakers aren't in much better shape.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 04:35:01 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2320.  I've dedicated 2 "completed" cities to Conventional Missile production, thus fielding 1 missile per turn.  I hope that tapping on the base causes him to change production.  Knocking out his 1st defender didn't change his production.  I don't think my ships are fast enough to sail over there, nor durable enough.  None of us have researched Silksteel Armor yet.  The armor progressions are different in my mod, with armor strengths matching weapon strengths at the same tech level.  So advanced armor is actually worth something, when you get it.  Silksteel has strength 5 and also enables the Heavy Transport ability, increasing cargo capacities by 50%.

Hmm, I wonder if Heavy Transport is a good idea anymore?  It made a lot of sense during the "mostly Fission era" version of this mod, but now that Fusion Power comes at a more normal time, maybe it's overpowering.  Well, for now I think I'll leave it in and see if anyone complains, or if it turns out to have some great use.  Maybe it can increase the storage capacitity of units that don't have much, like land and air units.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 05:37:28 AM
[Limit reached]
Morgan's speed of research is beginning to bother me.  It all started with this Cybernetic stuff.  I need to take him out now.  Switching ship production to X AAA Chaos Destroyers.  I've got enough R-Laser ships to defend the borders from Isles now.

[Limit reached]
This is my highest production city, the only one that still has some land.  Note the complete lack of eco-damage, despite no Tree Farms, Hybrid Forests, or Centauri Preserves.  I've probably cleared the deck for a vast amount of tolerable mineral capacity.  Pity I don't have any land to crank it up that high!  But eventually, there are ways.

[Limit reached]
Oh goody goody gumdrops!  I just won the Governorship.  I could even leave people alone if they weren't going to nuke me.  Note that in my mod, the Empath Guild appears rather late.  It's late midgame now, judging by the techs in play.  I consider Diplomatic Victory to be an abbreviated form of conquest.  So things that give you 2X votes, I consider to be Conquest technologies.  I suppose I could consider them to be "colonization and growth" aka Explore instead, but I'm not currently inclined to change it.  I like it just fine this way, and I'd need to hear a lot of feedback from other people the contrary.

[Limit reached]
I now have Thought Control available.  It has different penalties than in the unmodded game.  Given that I have +3 POLICE already, it may not seem like I need it, but I can use it to pay for the POLICE penalties on Free Market and Knowledge.  That will net me a little bit better research, a slightly better PROBE rating, and no more MORALE penalty.  So here goes!

[Limit reached]
My 2nd Conventional Missile strike appears to have changed Morgan's mind about his production.  I wonder if it works for stopping Secret Projects as well?
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 05:51:17 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2324.  Zhakarov has achieved Advanced Spaceflight.  In my mod that gives the Cloudbase Academy.  It's another late game Secret Project, as it's way too powerful in the unmodded game.  I'm surprised Zhakarov actually held on this long and actually made something of himself.  He was really getting hammered earlier.

Meanwhile, Morgan has got Silksteel Armor.  My Chaos guns should still be enough to cut through that though.  I wonder if I'll get more than 1 strike per ship though?  A Conventional Missile will take out any ship.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 06:09:07 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2325.  Judicious use of Conventional Missiles has ended Morgan's production of the Universal Translator.  This almost feels like an exploit, but for the amount of work I've done this game, I'm tired of the AI getting any advantages!  They can all DIE!!!  They're also dropping CMs on me, so I don't feel bad about doing it to them.  I just pick my targets a lot better than they do.

My recent attempts to probe Morgan have failed.  He's just got too many units swimming around now.  I need to destroy his front line of cities that I've already stolen from.  It remains to be seen if my X AAA Chaos Destroyers are up to the job.  If not, then eventually I'll get genetic warfare capability, which will pretty much make it cake.





Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 06:30:04 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2326.  Morgan loses 7 citizens due to 1 chaos gun attack!  Even if I die next turn, that was worth it.

[Limit reached]
I've ended the Cultist nuke program.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 06:35:03 AM
[Limit reached]
Want something blown up?  Yang's your man!  We can do it with nuclear flames, we can do it with machetes.  We can do it early and often!

I have to say I'm getting tired of being target practice for Morgan's CMs though.  It's turning into a game of whack-a-mole.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 06:52:01 AM
[Limit reached]
I paid to get this done a turn early.  I thought I was doing it for the money, but then I realized without commerce, I probably don't get any.  It's good to deny Morgan that money though, and I'll be able to make U.N. Council motions every 10 years instead of 20.  I think launching solar shades is in order soon.

[Limit reached]
That took a long time!  I'm surprised I still have viable opposition.  Now that I'm Governor and Empathizing, I can see into Zhakarov's mind.  He's got the Retroviral Engineering I want, but his bases are not terribly close to me.  On the other hand, Cha Dawn has got a lot of the techs as well, which surprises me greatly.  Someone must be bestowing gifts upon the lowly.  Well, I'll go steal something then!

I just realized that this game has totally deprived me of my usual method of conquest: rails to one's front door.  I have to manually push units on this map, there's no unlimited movement on rails.  Hrm.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 02:45:44 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2330.  I completed the research myself.  Now I'm genetic warfare capable!  I need so many Conventional Missiles to try to whack down nuke threats though, that I'm not sure how much I can afford to put into probe teams.

[Limit reached]
My X ships do not hold up, they get counterattacked.  However the defense is not thorough and tends to leave cities open.  I have at least succeeded in prying my way through the enemy's line of cities, exposing a vulnerable city I haven't stolen from.

I am now remembering that I allow drop pods on ships in this mod.  Nobody can drop into water, but they can scoot off of land into the water.  There's very little land they can do that from, but not zero.  It could be helpful for extending my attack range.  If it turns out to be way too effective, I'll need to consider whether I've created an exploit as opposed to an interesting unit.

[Limit reached]
I terminate another Morganic nuclear project.

I just realized that the Empath Guild gives me infiltration to all factions.  Perhaps it can be justified to have that Secret Project come so late in the game, given that I had failed to infiltrate four factions previously.  It's "only" a Huge map but it does take a long time to push Foil Probe Teams across that.  Then the geography and enemies were simply in the way.  Then we had the mindworm holocaust.  Now enemies are in the way again.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 03:47:22 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2331.  AAA Silksteel armor is tough enough to withstand a Conventional Missile strike.  I don't think the Aerospace Complex helps; at least, the docs don't say it helps.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 04:04:52 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2332.  Zhakarov nukes my capitol.  You know, I saw that he was building a nuke a few turns ago.  I tried to stay on top of things and shoot CMs to deter nuke production.  But it's morning, I'm not fully awake, I was trying to feed myself and my dog and get my day started.  I bumbled on this, because frankly, this game of CM whack-a-mole is boring.  And now I've paid the ultimate price.

[Limit reached]
So now there's a pariah worse than myself in the world, but that's small comfort!  I lost 5 Secret Projects from that.  No, there is no universe in which those projects were going to be spread out at multiple bases.  You may recall that the Maritime Control Center, lost earlier in the game, was the Secret Project spread out to a different base.  That just lets mindworms eat it.  You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.  If you go down the path of chemical warfare... in short you're ultimately damned.

After the mindworm holocaust, should I have attacked Morgan immediately and never taken time to rebuild?  Did I give everyone else too much breathing room?  To be honest I never expected Zhakarov to survive, let alone thrive.  The Usurpers were really clobbering him earlier.  I mean, they took his capitol and all of his lands!  But he held out in the ocean.  The world sunk and he was still there.  I guess there's a lesson in that.

It's tempting to quit the game.  I've done a lot of work in this game, to be summarily punished like this.  I will continue for now, but I'll be honest: my enthusiasm for this game is now low.  I don't want to play "whack-a-mole to keep from getting nuked" anymore.  It's not fun.  Even aside from having screwed it up from being half asleep, it's not fun.  You have to sit around with the security nexus all the time, looking for bases that are producing nukes.  Then you need enough CMs to do something about it, which holds up everything else you could be doing.  It's a drag.

In pretty much every other game where I've gotten to some juncture like this, I've always said the basic mistake is the same.  I've let the enemies grow.  I did not kill them early enough, often enough.  I've typically quit such games because I've realized the basic strategic mistake was made long ago.  I don't think this game is an exception, it's just a variation.  Chemical weapons look like they're doing you some good, but taking a mindworm apocalypse in the face, is only giving your enemies an opportunity to grow.

So the answer is clear enough.  I need to write a 4X TBS that doesn't have this griefing @!#$ in it.  So tired of "not allowed to win" game design.

Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 05:00:17 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2333.  I hijacked a University ship, giving me access to Silksteel Armor.  I also stole Advanced Spaceflight from the Cultists.  I don't think I'm going to propose launching a solar shade after all.  I've done a lot of work to adapt to the new oceanic environment, and perhaps I'm better adapted than my opponents now.

I have decided that after the current crop of Conventional Missiles, I'm terminating their production and will not play whack-a-mole with them anymore.  It is not fun.  If that causes other factions to wipe me out with nukes, so beit.  I'm tired of this game and I'm not going to do anything that feels tiring.  To be honest my last AAR had a similar problem: I said I was gonna plant fungus all over my enemies and things like that, and ultimately it turned out to be tiring.  So eventually I reversed course and just conquered Planet outright.  Which was still tiring, but not as bad as what I'd been doing.

I'm now building Network Nodes in distant bases that I never built before.  I'd like to think that one of these days, I will get around to taking over the Virtual World.  Wouldn't it be ironic if someone nukes it first?

[Limit reached]
It turns out my capitol was worth a lot of money.  I didn't realize my net income had dropped to 4.  I've only got 14 credits left due to that ship subversion.  I hope that building a new capitol will get my money back up, but it may not.  Just more reasons to hate this game.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 07:36:05 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2334.  I'm not happy.  If this is a widespread occurrence I swear I'll quit.  It has taken me forever to build the subsea trunklines and genejack factories, with a lot of real world hours spent making it happen.  I'm not going to play the same game where I have to build the damn things all over again.  I will just write the game off as tedious beyond playability, going down this path.  Fortunately, this seems to be an isolated incident, at present.

Just realized that with my theft of Advanced Spaceflight, Flechette Defense Systems are now available.  Hmm come to think of it, Orbital Defense Pods too.  But who has time to build such things?  I've also gotten into long term ODP spam games with enemy factions before.  It's extremely tedious.  The AI will never tire of sending more ODPs up to bother you.  I will stick to my ground, er, water focus.  Ok ok, I will build one ODP and see how it goes.  I've only got one Aerospace Complex and honestly, it doesn't need to produce planes.  This is a naval war, although I guess I could make some Carriers.

[Limit reached]
2 probe teams inflicted my first genetic atrocities.  They were only good for 4 dead civilians, so I'm not that impressed with the results.  The cumulative effect on a stack of non-native lifeform defenders is pretty bad though.  So they have their use, but they're not a replacement for X ships.  I need both to take down the cities.

Will I ever nuke anyone?  They seem like such excessively expensive weapons.  Maybe one day I'll have Robotic Assembly Plants and just cough such things out for breakfast.  Right now though, I feel minerals poor.  Well the whole world turned into an ocean, whaddya expect??!
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 10:04:56 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2336.  Cha Dawn nukes me.  That was also the city I was making my prototype Planet Buster in.  Cha Dawn was another one of those factions that I thought Marr was going to completely wipe out.  Indeed, earlier in the game, he was all but dead.  But great floods slow all warfare down, it seems.  Now I really don't care what happens in this game.  I think the only reason I don't quit now, is the graph still says I'm more powerful than others.  Well, tied with Morgan at this point.  Small consolation, as I'm not willing to defend myself from nukes.  It's too boring.  The real defense against them, is to be so much better than everyone else that they never get a shot off.  I think I've proven that chemical weapons make that difficult, maybe even impossible.

So Cha Dawn is in the pariah club too.  I don't know that that's going to help me, but at least Morgan's big alliance will gradually break up.  I only have to take, what 4 more nukes in the face?

[Limit reached]
Every single one of my cities had drone riots.  That can only mean one thing: the Ascetic Virtues was in that city.  So was the Neural Amplifier, so I won't want a mindworm apocalypse any time soon.

[Limit reached]
This gives me the excuse to stop pursuing Knowledge.  I need to get my POLICE back up to +3, and I want the full +2 PROBE benefit from Thought Control.  I don't have the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm anymore and that will make it harder for my units and bases to be subverted.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2018, 11:44:19 PM
You know what?  Eating dinner, putting a beer in me, I can't even pretend to be interested in this game any longer.  It's a farce!  Game over.  Complete piece of crap.  Not going to waste my real life bothering with this.

I think I will release the few changes I've come up with for version 1.18 of my mod and call it a day.

I'm also realizing, the whole game might have been determined by, the ease with which Morgan was able to corner the energy market.  That suggests a rematch.  Against Morgan at least; I don't want to play Yang again.
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: ih8regin on January 14, 2020, 03:37:13 PM
You likely did ONE serious mistake here: You didn't raise land while there was land and no mind worms, AND WP at hand. After that, you might be able to drown EVERYONE with increased atrocities, ticking Planet off its mind and into more global warming. Then, once everyone would be sitting in deep trenches, you would still have some land above water. They would starve, there goes your Final Solution. :D
Title: Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
Post by: bvanevery on January 15, 2020, 04:48:27 AM
In a subsequent game I have found that land sinks alarmingly fast, to the point that it's debatable whether using Super Formers can raise it fast enough to keep up.  It is certainly very tedious and unfun, of that much I'm sure.

Any method that requires more preparation before finally engaging in atrocities, is on some kind of sliding scale of cheating or not really dealing with the problem / facing the scenario.  I didn't feel good about how long I waited the last time.  Did I write that one up?  Think I did.