Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => The Theory of Everything => Topic started by: Hawke67 on September 13, 2019, 08:23:59 AM

Title: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Hawke67 on September 13, 2019, 08:23:59 AM
Hi there, new member here. I have a problem in alpha centauri. How do I get rid of unwanted colonies? I have tried the "starve them and build colony pods" method with no success. The colony just keeps spitting out colony pods but never goes below 2 population, I gave up after 5 pods or something like that. Some people have mentioned some "abandon colony" option but I havent been able to find that.

Is there any mod to fix this problem? Or perhaps even better, a mod to stop the AI from building bases with overlaping base grids? I did try to use the search funktion here to find an answer but couldnt find any solution to this.

Anyways, glad to be here and I hope to stay for a long time since my Alpha Centauri addiction doesnt show any signs to wear off.

Cheers
Tom
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 13, 2019, 08:24:38 PM
Just click on the workers to turn them into medical doctors.  Your city will starve.  Getting them down to size 1 isn't a problem this way.  Complete a colony pod when it's size 1 and you've got the option to abandon the base.

A .txt mod cannot fix this "problem".  There is no interface to control this at the .txt mod level.  A few rare souls hack the binary to add new capabilities to the game.  However I think you are unlikely to convince such people to work on this "problem", because it's a problem of your own creation, not the game per se.

There is no .txt mod variable for minimum distances between cities.  Some games in the 4X genre do have such a variable, but this one doesn't.  The effects of such a variable are knowable; for instance, Freeciv has this, and I've tried it.  It's not really some great or amazing improvement to the game.  What you should actually realize is twofold.  1) The city resource grid is deliberately imperfect as far as grabbing resources within its "radius".  This gives you the player something to do, something to worry yourself about.  2) You should quit worrying so much about it.  It's going to be mid to late game before you've used up the available squares for any given city.  By that late a time, other factors are going to be dominating whether you're winning or losing.

I do believe that cities would be "better" if they could swallow resources in arbitrary distances and directions, at some logistical cost.  If I write a 4X game, I'll implement a system more like that.  For instance, Los Angeles has tried to swallow water as far away as Colorado.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Hawke67 on September 13, 2019, 08:36:19 PM
Thx for the answer, I will try this.

Cheers
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 13, 2019, 09:15:23 PM
Starving /podshould work IF the city square isn't on a nutrient bonus, or Monsoon Jungle square - maybe rushing the colony pod enough turns would do it, then, if you had 400 ec, or so, to throw at it...
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 14, 2019, 12:46:55 AM
If you settled on a Nutrient bonus, it's your own damn fault.

If you captured a base, well you could just use this city as a permanent new source of Colonists.

Later in the game, I suppose you could Convoy all the Nutrients to somewhere else, using a Supply Crawler.

Distant conquered cities will never meaningfully contribute energy or labs to my empire.  If I'm not committing atrocities, I throw a Punishment Sphere on top of them and call it good.  If I'm committing atrocities, I Obliterate them.  Or I hit them with chemical weapons and gene warfare to begin with.  Obliteration is good to remember as the low tech atrocity.  Just round up all the citizens and shoot them.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 14, 2019, 03:17:41 AM
Convoying one or two nutrients away to another base in those situations ought to do the trick...
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Hawke67 on September 14, 2019, 10:00:51 AM
If you settled on a Nutrient bonus, it's your own damn fault.

Oh, Im sorry if I upset someone, I didnt realise this was in any way a sensitive subject. Anyways, the use of crawlers to speed up the starving rate worked and the base eventually dissapared, so problem solved. It didnt turn into the expected colony pod that I bought when the colony reached population 1, and I never got the "abandon base?" question, but that doesent really matter for me.

No, I never try to get rid of my own bases, simply because I dont need to. I take great care when placing them so that they dont overlap in any way. The AI on the other hand throws out its bases in the same careful manner as a toddler throwing around its toys, and its quite annoying when my carefully placed colonies suddenly get "suburbs" with just 2-3 squares of space in between. And just like you I dont like to commit atrocities, I try to play the way I would if I was acctually there, and commiting atrocities simply isnt "me".

Anyways, big thanks for the help, thanks to you (all) Alpha Centauri will be even better from now on.

Cheers
Tom
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 14, 2019, 02:00:39 PM
If you settled on a Nutrient bonus, it's your own damn fault.

Oh, Im sorry if I upset someone, I didnt realise this was in any way a sensitive subject.

It isn't.  There are just things in the game that would be dumb to do.  Like walking a Colony Pod on a fungus infested river square after about turn 20.  Not sure why those things like water, but they sure do.

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It didnt turn into the expected colony pod that I bought when the colony reached population 1,

That's odd.

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and I never got the "abandon base?" question,

So is that.  I wonder if a Convoy creates some kind of bug?

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The AI on the other hand throws out its bases in the same careful manner as a toddler throwing around its toys,

You should see how it moves those Colony Pods to get there.  It's terrible.  Like a squirrel trying to decide which way to dodge a car.

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And just like you I dont like to commit atrocities,

For me it's situational.  Lately if I'm doing it, I've gotten them legalized.  Or it's Aliens.  Or I'm the Aliens and it's Humans.  Although oddly, using an interspecies chemical weapon isn't an atrocity, but Obliterating a base is an atrocity.  Go figure.  And Planet cares.  Planet really, really cares.  Unless it's legalized.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 14, 2019, 02:18:06 PM
That last has to be a psychic phenomenon.  Planet cares because the people doing it know it's wrong - that's crap, but I got nothing better...
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 14, 2019, 04:05:08 PM
It's tempting to blame the Aliens for the problem.  But I believe even in original SMAC without Aliens, Planet punishes chemical attacks... unless they've been legalized by the U.N.  If they really did mean for this to be a "psychic" disturbance rather than an environmental disturbance, well they made a really poor game design choice.  Why wouldn't people be disturbed by conventional bombings and artillery shellings?  People don't get especially wound up just because they're dying of chemicals.  Generally speaking they just don't like dying.

I think they just screwed up, it's a bug, that's the real explanation.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 14, 2019, 04:15:43 PM
It's a fan-handwave, man.  Roll with it.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 14, 2019, 04:22:14 PM
I can't stand the kinds of arguments about Civ II, where the Phalanx that survives the tank attack, is because the Phalanx upgraded with RPGs in the interim.

Planet's punishment may not actually be a bug.  It may be a deliberate game mechanical contrivance.  You get the option to use powerful chemical weapons, to really wipe everyone out.  But that has serious negative repercussions for you, making it a "press your luck" mechanic.  After 25 chemical attacks Planet will destroy you.  We know that's intentional.  The contrivance is, "if you go to the U.N. and get it legalized, you're off the hook."  Whether Planet is the big bad cop or not is deemed irrelevant, game mechanically speaking.  Suffer consequences or off the hook.

It's very poorly thought out, but it may not be a bug.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 14, 2019, 04:49:58 PM
Why Planet would care what the people carrying out the atrocities think about it over any other doubts they may have about soldiering/killing, I cannot explain.  Likewise, why it being legal and not a war crime would actually concern a soldier in the life-or-death of war all that much, when Basic trained him to be more afraid of Sarge than dying - well.  Thing is, talking about the realities of the comic book business during a Thor-Hulk whoodwin conversation is just a buzzkill.  Planet cares, and mind-reading the soldiers is my best shot, if a weak one.  I'm playing the time-honored Trying To Make Sense Of It game, and challenge you to come up with something better, or at least a better handwave/rationale.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 14, 2019, 09:01:27 PM
I can't get a buzz from a bug.  Or a completely sloppy design.  I envision Brian Reynolds and company running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  Sleep deprived, too much caffeine, doughnut sugar spilled on keyboards.

Perhaps because Planet is German, it is trying to atone for the Holocaust.

Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Buster's Uncle on September 14, 2019, 09:19:18 PM
-sigghh-
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 15, 2019, 06:20:16 AM
Hey I'm a modder, I don't accept this game as it is.  Redoing certain things is way past my point of diminishing returns though.

When I read a book or watch a TV show which does something that I think sucks, sometimes I undertake the exercise of rewriting part of it.  At least to the point of a conceptual synopsis.  Not usually the exact dialogue and so forth, because that's typically just a lot of polishing and won't ever make me a dime.  The real point is to answer the question, "If you think it's so bad, how would you do it better?"

I think it would be more interesting if Planet adapted to the use of chemical weapons.  Maybe at first it would respond violently, as an antibody would.  But maybe after enough usage, it would start using those very same chemicals itself in its attacks.  So you've got a sticky wicket.  Sure you're harming your enemies with the chemicals now, but your cities might all get depopulated later.

I think it would be more interesting if some chemicals were irritants to Planet, and other chemicals were enjoyable.  Like more mindworms show up because they like the stuff.
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: Geo on September 15, 2019, 09:27:33 AM
Its an endless discussion, isn't it? :D
Title: Re: Getting rid of unwanted colonies
Post by: bvanevery on September 16, 2019, 01:02:28 AM
When contemplating making a commercial title "like SMAC", I have trouble with some of the things in the game.  Some ideas, like mindworms or a sentient planet, I personally would never bother with.  They provide some good game mechanics though, so there's a partial struggle to think of something "somewhat like" that.  Yet, I can't get enthusiasm for just anything.

I think Miriam's character, at least as expressed through the Secret Project videos rather than her one dimensional "Church Chat Lady" dialogue, adds a fair amount to the game.  But I don't find myself particularly wanting to do much about religion in my own work.

I suppose what's good about mindworms and Planet, is that it makes the planet "different".  It's not just another rock in space.  It's a different reality for human beings to try to deal with and participate in.  But, it's also kinda over the top.  Various critiques made of the game over the years, have a noticeable number of people who are not exactly turned on by the mindworm and sentient planet stuff.  The game has a lot of hard science sensibility to it, except to the degree that it doesn't.

The "not caring about Planet" sentiment was expressed recently by this fellow who did a 1 hour Rumination Analysis on Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNRjDRVbwyM).  I did make it a point to listen to the whole thing, although he didn't get my undivided attention.  As I have "hardcore" knowledge of the game, I don't think I'm his target audience.  Maybe he's after people who are "passingly familiar" to "mildly interested" in the game?