Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 01:51:22 AM

Title: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 01:51:22 AM
buying victory
buying victory

When humans commit atrocities on humans, Planet takes vengeance!  It cares so much.  Until one legalizes the atrocities in the Planetary Council.  Then Planet cares not at all.  Which makes game designers sad, and baffled, to experience.  It is so trivial to wipe everyone out with a legalized chemical weapon.

But we're not going to do that!  We're going to commit atrocities early and often.  We're going to keep it a heinous Crime against Humanity!  We'll take the Sanctions for doing it; how dare anyone trade with us and make money.  We'll deal with our Infamous reputation, and the inevitable Vendettas.  Many mindworms will come.  Many Isles, and many Locusts.  We will slaughter them all with the One True Weapons Platform: Air Superiority.

At least, once we get it.  Getting there could be a rough ride.

The Data Angels have the deck stacked in their favor.  In my mod, they have essentially a built-in Planetary Datalinks ability.  They get any tech that 3 factions already have, and they don't have to infiltrate anyone to get it.  A long time ago, I noticed the AI was pretty hopeless at infiltrating on Huge maps.  So I dropped that requirement, to make it easier on the AI.

Also in my mod the Data Angels have a pure Conquer research focus.  I will stick to that, to test what the game is like from the AI's perspective.  Hopefully I will get C5 Doctrine: Air Power real soon now.

In my last atrocity driven mindworm apocalypse, I did prevail.  But I had no idea what to do with the vast quantities of cash I made from killing mindworms.  I refrained from Mind Controlling enemy bases because it was excessively expensive for what I got.  I've cranked up the cost of Mind Control in my mod, quite deliberately, because probe teams in the original game are overpowered.  In my mod, the Data Angels "bonus" is just getting the base cost in the unmodded game.  The Hive and the Cyborgs are a little bit nerfed, that's their "bonus".  Everyone else gets kneecapped, and this regime makes those last minute AI takeovers of all your hard conquest work, pretty much a thing of the past!

Anyways the point is the Data Angels are now the best case for buying bases.  This game will be somewhat a test of whether those costs are "good enough", or whether I've broken the Datatech playstyle.

I'm putting the Pirates into the game 1) because someone deserves to do well in a waterworld, and 2) I'm testing whether I should remove the Clean Transport predefined unit from the game.  The Pirate AI obsesses about that, to the tune of hundreds built.  I want them to obsess about something else.  I hope they don't just obsess about building regular Transports, as paying SUPPORT on those would be failure.

Otherwise, there will be 5 other random human factions in the game.  No Aliens, as I don't want any "inconsequential" atrocities in the game.  Unlike my last game, I will try to get on the stick and inflict them early and often, rather than fearing the mindworm debacle.  However once Planet starts attacking, if I don't have enough tech, I may have to beg off until my situation stabilizes.  I don't think I have to commit suicide to prove a point.

I have done enough "nuke porn" in 2 previous After Action Reports to last me, well, forever.  Or at least quite a long time.  I'm going to refrain from obsessively documenting every nuke I drop.  The screenshots are fun, and the art of capturing them requires some manual finger dexterity in real time, but everyone's seen it all by now.  I will hardly refrain from using nukes, as my last game taught me that one can definitely get away with it.  If one has Air Superiority and enough units.  But I hope for more variety of operations this game, and less documenting of what has gotten old.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 02:11:33 AM
the human factions
the human factions

The Random Number Generator is kind to me, and I get all human factions on my 1st try.  I've attached a save of my initial game for posterity.

This reminds me that I didn't turn off Random Events for this game.  Last game, that was a real problem in a couple of instances, some really outrageous research losses and energy market crashes in late game.  I resorted to the Scenario Editor to suppress those totally irrational, unfair, and deeply irritating events.  Like a far flung lab in a remote corner of my empire can crash my whole research network, when I have such a strong economic core.  Like anyone could amass 200k credits for Economic Victory when it gets 'reset' to 2k credits.  Atrocious game design!  Unfortunately no one is around to eXterminate about this, and binary modding just isn't my bag.  So I get called a Cheater if these things come up, if it's too ridiculous to put up with.  I was so bored when my tech got dropped last game, I almost quit right then.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 02:33:06 AM
dryness
dryness

Mission Year 2101.  I'm sitting on unremarkable land.

the vast ocean
the vast ocean

The highest level of zoom, shows that I'm probably on a peninsula, protruding into part of a Planetwide ocean.  I could be on an island.  The Pirates are likely to be on the vast ocean, in which case we will be in contact, sooner or later.  They could also be caught in the maze of smaller lakes and fijords in the supercontinental land mass of Planet.  I've seen a Pirate faction be stillborn that way, and totally not a threat.  Time will tell.  I am unlikely to have to deal with any land based enemy.  In fact, it may be difficult to come into military contact with anyone.

This game is likely to be hyper-research and hyper-economic.  The 3 biggest research factions and the 2 biggest economic factions are all in the game!  Who's gonna get C5 Doctrine: Air Power first?  And also of importance, who will get nukes first?  I am the only pure Conquer faction of the game, so the honor could very well fall to me.

my arch rival
my arch rival

At least on paper, the Cyborgs are likely to be my nemesis.  They have a hybrid Discover and Conquer research focus, making it possible for them to gain 'my' military techs first.  In my mod their units all have Polymorphic Encryption, so I'm unlikely to be able to subvert them.  I'm not sure how the Mind Control cost formulas work on defense, but they are on the 2nd tier of Mind Control ability after myself.  They share that honor with the Hive, who is not in the game.

And finally, they were my actual nemesis in my last game.  Left alone on the other side of the map, their research gets 'scary', even with an island start!  Last game, they were producing new techs even as I was orbital inserting and infecting their bases with genetic plagues.  Half their empire was dead and still they kept at it.  They can get Nanohospitals fairly early, and those have a pretty noticeable effect on research speed.  They also somewhat protect against plagues.

Of course the University and the Gaians are also tech scary.  It's the combination of abilities, immunities, and threats that make it well advised to dispose of the Cyborgs first, with chemical attacks and Obliterations.  Logistics willing.  Thriving and evading destruction because a faction is on the exact opposite side of the map, is definitely a strategic pattern I've observed in many games.  SMAC could almost be described as a giant game of Whack-A-Mole, where the biggest mole always lives on the opposite side of the map from you.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 02:58:29 AM
opening gambit
opening gambit

I take a chance using a Colony Pod to pop the supply pod to the southwest.  I get a Nutrient Resource on Rocky terrain.  It's a little risky using a Colony Pod for this job, as one could get a mindworm.  However there's a grace period at the very beginning of the game, I think maybe 10 turns, where mindworms have almost no strength.  Usually they can't kill Colony Pods, they can only wound them.  That isn't a problem as long as you don't get attacked again.  You just settle a base somewhere and it doesn't matter if you were wounded when you do that.  Sometimes, however, a mindworm has managed to kill a Colonist though.  Maybe it depends on what terrain one is sitting on.  Rocky Terrain would have been in my favor, if one had come out.

I am not concerned about having immediate ocean access.  This peninsula looks well within the radius of my early spread, and I am unlikely to have land competition for sites.  I didn't think the depression north of me was likely to be ocean anyways, just an inland puddle.  Scouting with the Probe Team seemed to confirm this.  I move the 2nd colonist onto Flat Moist land.  That's where I'll put my capitol, to improve the mineral content of the land, and not waste it on a Rolling square that already had +1 mineral.  This is the same drill I use for planting Forests at the beginning of the game.  They always go on Flat Moist or Flat Arid land, to improve the minerals of the land.

The Scout prepares to pop a pod next year.  I often just keep it to defend my capitol, as a unit that doesn't require any SUPPORT is valuable at the beginning of the game.  But I feel some need to get these pods popped and get things underway.  The Scout can circle back once the closest pods are popped.

The real value of the Datatech's free Probe Team unit at the beginning of the game, is scouting.  It can do tons of scouting if one is careful with it.  Popping pods with it is a risk, and best refrained from.  It's better suited to finding the lay of the land, so that Scouts may be more accurately and efficiently sent to pop the pods.

The free Probe Team could be used for covert ops if I had a sufficiently close enemy, or for infiltration of a distant enemy if I was careful about walking the distance.  However, Probe Teams tend to die doing ops no matter how good they are, so one should seriously consider such use.

The free Probe Team is meant to tide the Data Angels over until they learn how to make their own Probe Teams.  They don't start with this ability.  They have to learn C2 Polymorphic Software just like everyone else.  It's a pure Conquer tech, so as it happens in this game, only the Cyborgs have any realistic chance of researching it.  It won't come through the Data Angels' tech acquisition ability.  Probably I'll have to research it myself.  Fortunately, with a pure Conquer focus it shouldn't take all that long, but I've noticed that it can often take longer than is comfortable.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 03:07:39 AM
dry as bone
dry as bone

MY 2105.  My 2nd base site isn't some great location.  It's just the first viable spot in that direction, that doesn't overlap with my capitol's radius.  I believe I could wander quite a ways and not do any better.  These portions of continents tend to have dry interiors like that.  Working on more Scouts to do the scouting is a better plan in this case.

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 03:22:57 AM
land raising
land raising

MY 2108.  I wonder if this has made a peninsula out of an island?  I could only know by looking at my saved game in the Scenario Editor.  By the time it's ok for me to do that, I will have long since forgotten about this detail of the game.  This sort of thing is why weasel words like 'probably' get used in initial terrain descriptions.  The game has some algorithms that actively subvert coastal channel boundaries at times.  One of the most insidious is when encountering the Monsoon Jungle with Pirates camped just offshore.  Not only are earthquakes common in such instances, but they will ruin the Jungle and suddenly give the Pirates a land base, ruining your claim on it!
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 03:29:27 AM
long distance phone call
long distance phone call

MY 2112.  I find the commlink for the Cyborgs in a supply pod.  They sign a Treaty.  They're not interested in a Pact.  They don't have any new techs.  I ask them for commlink frequencies of the University and the Gaians, but they don't have them.  They sign off.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 03:46:11 AM
set up a completion
set up a completion

MY 2114.  One of the early game tricks of the trade, is to change one's production just before popping a supply pod.  Make it something expensive, like a prototype (which cost 3X in my mod), or a unit with all the chassis, armor, and ability bells and whistles.  You might get a completion event, and now you'll have this great unit!  Prototypes are the most likely to be completed in this fashion, but as you can see, it works for units you already know how to build as well.  A completion event affects the nearest city, so you don't have to change production in all your cities, just the ones nearest the pod to be popped.

At the beginning of the game you are probably making a lot of Scouts.  Changing the production of those to something else, doesn't have any penalty as it's under 10 minerals.  Change it back when you don't get a completion, so that you don't get stuck producing an expensive unit forever.  This trick may seem like a bit of an exploit, but it's within the rules, and you do take penalties switching production over 10 minerals.  So, don't do that.  It's a Scout thing.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 03:51:40 AM
Clean Reactor available at start
Clean Reactor available at start

In my mod, Clean Reactors are available from the start of the game.  This is to help the AI not run out of SUPPORT.  You can use it too, and it's not cheating because the AI is doing it as well.  Clean Reactor units take longer to make than regular units.  It's a tradeoff of production speed vs. conserving your production rate.  When a base doesn't have much food, and a Colony Pod would complete before enough food is available for it, a Clean Scout is the best cheapest thing to produce instead.  I just finished one and it's ready to move.  Note that my base supports 1 Clean Scout and 2 regular Scouts, exhausting my free support.

Similarly, a Clean Former can be a good early thing to build when SUPPORT runs out.  However it costs more than a Clean Scout.  The AI builds plenty of Clean Formers.  Don't feel guilty about building your own.  If you are experienced with the original game, this may feel like cheating to you.  But once you're at midgame and have all sorts of minerals output, you don't even need Clean units.  They're really only a help at the beginning of the game, when nobody has many minerals.  That's the math.

In my mod, Fission Colony Pods and Sea Colony Pods are Clean, at no extra cost compared to the original game.  This again is to help the AI keep its SUPPORT.  You get to benefit from this too.  The AI has a nasty tendency to produce more Colony Pods than it makes judicious use of.  It will also get a fair number of them killed.  Better not to have its SUPPORT drained out for its stupidity.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 04:03:51 AM
the world as we know it
the world as we know it

MY 2123.  Long range scans say I'm on an island.  It's not possible for these last little unexplored bits to connect to anything else.  At least I won't have to deal with land enemies if I don't want to.  Heck, I don't necessarily have to deal with anybody!  I could sit back and wait for the techs needed to nuke everyone.  I'll probably want to steal stuff though.  Got 3 advanced research factions after all.  They won't discover exactly the same things as they all have somewhat different research foci.  Plus I'll need to steal techs from the 2 pure Build factions in the game.

The Cyborgs won't talk to me.  The graph shows them to be stillborn.  I wouldn't be surprised to get a Faction Eradicated message soon.  I've lessened the chances of it happening, but any AI faction is capable of making extremely dumb early moves that get things killed, or just don't result in viable early settlement.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 04:15:22 AM
fishing for completion
fishing for completion

MY 2123.  I rush my Transport because I have the money and it has over 10 minerals produced.  Next year a Scout is going to pop a pod on land that is within range of the base.  I don't want it to complete the Transport when I can do that myself.  I'd like it to complete something much more expensive.  I will also get a 2nd chance at completion since I'll pop that pod at sea as well.

MY 2124.  I don't get a completion, but I lost nothing trying to set it up.  I have a Transport on the sea.

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 04:21:51 AM
empty ocean
empty ocean

MY 2130.  I've navigated around the Sargasso Sea.  There will be a core of several supply pods at its center.  However, popping them early is typically a suicide mission.  The ideal vehicle to pop them with is an Isle of the Deep.  Second best would be a Trance Transport.  Third best is a Transport unit I can afford to lose.  That's not true right now.  I'd much rather get supply pods that I can safely veer away from, like the one I've just stopped next to.  I had to sail for a fair number of turns to find one of those, which is odd, but not inexplicable.  I'm clearly going to be spending a lot of time, pre-atrocity, fishing pods out of the sea.

MY 2131.  My nearest city is about to complete a Colony Pod on its own, so I do not pop the pod.  If I got a completion, it would be completely wasted.  Instead I scout a little and end my turn next to the pod again.  Having complete movement available is vital for veering away from the Isles that can rise out of a pod when popped.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 04:41:53 AM
makin' with the mindworms
makin' with the mindworms

MY 2133.  3 factions have learned Progenitor Psych.  I can tell when it's due to 3 other factions and not myself, by how quickly the dialogue box pops up on the screen.  Very quick and snappy is other factions figuring it out.  In my mod, Hypnotic Trance is attributed to the insight of the Progenitors who have long dominated the mindworms, rather than innate human abilities.  That's a bit of narrative flavor, but is more driven by wanting to spread out the mindworm oriented benefits among various early techs.  I will now make Trance Scouts even if it costs me more support.  It's really useful to be cheaply defended against mindworm attacks.  The regular Scouts become expendable supply pod poppers, or fungal tower killers.  I don't have either on my island, so I need to get a boat going east to the mainland.  Or south.  Just not north or west, like I've been traveling.  Nothing but deep empty ocean in those directions.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 04:43:32 AM
someone is south
someone is south

MY 2137.  A Monolith is a telltale sign of a visitor.  Could be someone settled right here.  Could be the Cult of Planet or the Gaians tromping exploratory mindworms far and wide.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 04:51:16 AM
wimp

MY 2138.  It's the Morganites.  I don't consider them to be a real threat, and they could be a good source of Build tech trade, for whatever I'm missing.  That said, my mod's Morganites aren't anything like the weaklings of the original game.  They have +1 SUPPORT, not -1.  They're capable of being scary if unconstrained, but that works better for them at a great distance.  At this range, I'll just finish them any time I want.  Which is unlikely to be any time soon.

We sign a Treaty.  He doesn't have any new techs.  He is Ambivalent so I don't offer a Pact.  I ask for commlink frequencies of the Gains, the University, and the Cult of Planet, but he doesn't have any.  He signs off.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 04:58:12 AM
intrinsic light bulb
intrinsic light bulb

MY 2139.  I fish my first Alien Artifact out of the water.  This is a major reason to be out here.  I usually use them to build Secret Projects, as they're very expensive in my mod.  Sometimes I hoard Artifacts until after I've stolen every tech possible from other factions, then cash them in to get a big midgame tech boost.  That's unlikely to happen this game because 3 factions should always out-research me, and I've stated my intent to commit atrocities early and often.  Production will probably go into eXtermination rather than eXploration.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 05:12:11 AM
major find
major find

MY 2144.  I discover the Manifold Nexus on the mainland just east of me.  Probably I have no competition for it.  Having to defend it, will slightly entangle me in Continental politics, but a +1 PLANET bonus is worth it.  Very useful when the mindworms come.  It could also get me an Isle right now.  Going Green is pretty easy in my mod.  I had to make it without penalties to entice the AI to use it, particularly the Gaians.  Any penalty at all, there's a bug in the original game where the AI won't touch it, even when it can.  Until at last it learns how to make Locusts, which is pretty late even in my mod.  The way I have it, it's easy to do and the AI won't avoid it.  It does make capturing mindworms pretty cush in the early game though.  If you know E2 Centauri Empathy, which currently I don't.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 05:30:02 AM
wassup!
wassup!

MY 2148.  I ring up the Morganites to see what gives.  They sign a Pact.  They don't have any useful tech or contacts, but they do have a map of Cyborg territory.  They're straight south of the Morganites.  If I ever want to trash them it'll be pretty easy, provided I retain the Morganites as allies.  But for now, it's difficult to see the Cyborgs as a credible threat.  They have only settled 3 bases.  The Morganites have settled 6 and I have settled 7.  Maybe they got their 2nd colonist killed at the beginning.

good green land
good green land

The Morganites are nearing at least a portion of the Monsoon Jungle.  How much is unclear.  Sometimes it splits over an intervening body of water.  It's too far away to be of any use to me.

landlubbers
landlubbers

The Pirates have established an unusual land base next to the Cyborgs.  Could it have been a Cyborg city that they took over, and then renamed it?  That would explain the Cyborgs' weakness on the graph.  Well, maybe not.  It has the artwork of a Pirate base, not a Cyborg base, and it hasn't been enough turns in the game for a captured base to 'naturalize'.

Let's see if the Cyborgs want to talk to me.  Nope!  They're still refusing my hails.  Well at least I know the Pirates are some kind of near neighbor, more than likely.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 05:40:46 AM
get my Green thing rolling
get my Green thing rolling

MY 2150.  I go Green.  Morgan isn't going to like that, but I have no reason to care.  I will be at +2 PLANET shortly.  Good for clearing out both the Sargasso Sea, and the supercontinent!

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 05:49:33 AM
on top of it
on top of it

MY 2151.  I take control of the Manifold Nexus.  The fungal patch in front of it would be a threat, but I have a Trance Scout, so I'm not worried.

seeking the Police State
seeking the Police State

I'm at +2 PLANET.  In my mod, Police State gives a +1 PROBE bonus.  I'm totally seeing myself doing the Green Police State thing for the duration.  That will make Morgan and Cha Dawn hate me.  No one else will mind.  The Gaians might actually like me, if they can get over me being better than them!

I really am mind controlling worms
I really am mind controlling worms

I capture my first mindworm.  Feel the betterness!
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:04:12 AM
Hi Deirdre
Hi Deirdre

MY 2154.  I meet the Gaians.  They are near neighbors to the east.  I did well to grab the Manifold Nexus before they could work their way down to it.  They sell me the comm frequency of the Cult of Planet.  They sign a Treaty.  They are Ambivalent despite our shared economic ideology.  They don't have any new techs or other comm frequencies.  They sign off.

until you hate me
until you hate me

The Cult of Planet signs a Treaty.  In my mod they are compelled to be Extremist.  They will hate my Police State once I eventually get it, but I'm just a Frontier society right now.  They're at war with my allies the Morganites, but I don't have a reason to care as that alliance won't last.  I ask them about comm frequencies but they don't have any.  I don't care about their tech, and they didn't have any anyways.  I sign off before I even have to.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:19:27 AM
operation
operation

MY 2159.  I infiltrate the Gaians using my original starting probe team.  It survives the mission, so next I'll do it to the Morganites.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:22:17 AM
grow a beard
grow a beard

MY 2160.  I meet Zhakarov trapsing around Morganite territory.  He doesn't want to trade me Neural Grafting, which is understandable as it provides the Command Nexus.  He signs a Treaty.  He's not selling any tech and doesn't know the Pirates, so I sign off.

an oddly open input loop
an oddly open input loop

I contact Morgan, hoping to sell him Zhakarov's comm frequency.  Maybe Morgan can get a map out of Zhakarov?  Actually that wasn't a well thought out idea, since Zhakarov has more tech than Morgan.  Anyways, Morgan isn't interested and just wants to yabber about how much he hates Cha Dawn.  I rebuff him.  Out of curiosity, I contact Morgan over and over again, and each time I rebuff his attitude towards me gets worse!  He rapidly goes from Ambivalent to Obstinate to Quarrelsome to Seething.  I hit him like this 10 times in a row at least, then I stop bothering.  I would have thought our interaction would be terminated, and it would have been more sensible for my refusal this turn to count as 1 ding against me, not an infinite number of them.  But pissing him off does have its uses.  By the time I get my probe team down there, perhaps he'll be in a mood for war and I can just steal tech from him.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:39:03 AM
money hungry
money hungry

MY 2161.  I learn Ethical Calculus, I think from my faction ability.  I know the Morganites have it already.  I go Democratic, because it raises my income from 11 to 16 without having any drawback right now.

my contemplation
my contemplation

I thought perhaps I researched this myself, but I didn't.  2 years until my own research completes.  I've now got the minimum weapon necessary for effective chemical attacks.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:45:05 AM
step away
step away

MY 2163.  I stir up a mindworm on a river square next to my 'ally'.  I step back and let it do its work!  I can always try to capture it afterwards, no rush.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:07:43 AM
plug it in
plug it in

MY 2164.  This I think I gained from others.  I have 3 Artifacts saved and like 500 cash, so I'm going to rush it instantly.

Sinder Roze is Watching You
Sinder Roze is Watching You

This I think I researched myself.  The Police State cometh!

full metal probe team
full metal probe team

Nobody can mind control me now.  Not that they were trying.

diplomatic dickery
diplomatic dickery

With my probe team about to infiltrate, Morgan of course stops to chat.  I don't do what he wants, and he ends our Pact, sending my probe team home.  No matter, home is quite nearby.

heck why not
heck why not

The Cyborgs wanna make friendlys.  Okays.  It'll be awhile before they can't stand me.  I get the Pirates' commlink frequency out of them.

bravely met
bravely met

Really!  Don't you know that I've achieved the minimum platform necessary to liquidate you?  X Laser Skimships work real good.  If you have a ship to ship artillery duel with a ship in a sea base, and they lose, the base depopulates!  Nasty little trick.  Good time to do it to them too, before they gain Doctrine: Initiative and get Naval Yards in all of their bases.  I have my marching swimming orders.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:21:48 AM
Artifact Power
Artifact Power

MY 2166.  eXploring is actually a pretty good way to complete Secret Projects.  You get a fair number of Artifacts, and lots of cash from popped pods and dead mindworms.  Until Planet runs out of pods.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:40:52 AM
unplanned completion
unplanned completion

MY 2171.  This is awfully convenient.  I just started working on this and it was going to take 12 turns.  Now I can go scare up some Isles.  And I can go kill Svensgaard, production willing.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:06:11 AM
I was being a little cheap
I was being a little cheap

MY 2174.  I was working on this too, but I wanted to wait until next year, so I could use 1 less Artifact.  I didn't especially want this, I just was going to block others.  Now my capitol is working on an outdated Secret Project.

not as cheap
not as cheap

MY 2179?  With tech acquired from my faction ability, I complete the Human Genome Project.  I can now also make mindworms.

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:13:19 AM
their insouciant boldness
their insouciant boldness

MY 2182.  As I near Svensgaard's presumed home waters, I run into one of his ships.  He declares to murder me.  I don't think he understands how willing I am to take eXtermination to a whole new level.  He won't be inheriting a waterworld this time!  My only regret is it may not be a fair test of having eliminated the Clean Transport.

my first atrocity
my first atrocity

I don't like wasting atrocities on mere ships instead of cities, but I need to actually get to his cities, before I can destroy them.

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:23:47 AM
sure!
sure!

MY 2185.  I run into the Gaians at sea near the Manifold Nexus.  They want to borrow money.  I decline, because I expect everyone to hate me before long.  They want a Pact, and I agree on that for now.  How soon until they become squeamish about my atrocities?
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:37:21 AM
land bridging
land bridging

MY 2186.  Using 5 Artifacts and some cash, I complete the Weather Paradigm.  It's expensive in my mod.  I will be able to make a causeway to the Manifold Nexus, although that will likely sink once Planet gets outraged enough.

shifting priorities
shifting priorities

I've decided to stop producing my current generation of X ships.  Plasma armor is available to some factions now.  I haven't even found Svensgaard's home waters yet, and I might exhaust myself sending too many feeble ships his way.  I just killed another one of his ships and committed my 2nd atrocity.  I will make Clean Formers and raise land to try to prepare myself for future problems.

I still don't know how to make probe teams, which is a bit odd.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:46:17 AM
local gas dealer
local gas dealer

MY 2187.  The Cyborgs demand war with the Morganites, and I oblige.  There goes my Clean Former production though.

the Ruins hold Wonders
the Ruins hold Wonders

I need to take Morgan Interstellar conventionally, as it holds the Merchant Exchange and the Planetary Transit system.  I can trash the rest.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 09:07:48 AM
yeah sure trade yeah right
yeah sure trade yeah right

MY 2191.  It didn't take a revelation to know he'd declare war.  I only attacked his Transport conventionally though, since I wasn't facing any armor.  No need to spread hatred farther than necessary too quickly.  Going after the Pirates with X ships may have been a mistake.  I haven't even gotten into their home waters so far.  Their capacity for ship spam may be higher than mine.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 09:24:12 AM
got plasma
got plasma

MY 2193.  I made the right call on cutting ship production.  I'm currently building X Recon Rovers and Children's Creches.  I forgot that the latter only provides a defensive combat bonus, something I won't actually need right now.  Still, if Planet's vengeance comes faster than expected, it will be good to have those already done.

watch this
watch this

The Morganites have left a ship in their port for me to gas!  This will be good.

shrunk
shrunk

I didn't expect my ships to be useful against them.  One run with an X Recon Rover and this city will be gone.

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 09:41:55 AM
need Polymorphic Software
need Polymorphic Software

MY 2194.  The Morganites know how to make probe teams and I don't.  I'm still using my 1 starting probe team!  It survived the mission.

probe teams galore
probe teams galore

MY 2197.  I steal it!
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 10:13:08 AM
I love this project
I love this project

MY 2203.  I was just getting ready to rush the Citizens' Defense Force with a big pile of cash, but I'd rather have the Ascetic Virtues!  It would give me +3 POLICE and I'd be quasi-Hive-like.

give the fist
give the fist

MY 2204.  You can call me The Brain.  Sounds better than Chairwoman.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 10:21:51 AM
Deirdre blows me off
Deirdre blows me off

MY 2205.  The love that we shared, was precious while it lasted.  Why no more??
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 10:34:52 AM
unexpected guests
unexpected guests

MY 2206.  It's a strange place to land.  How far did they go to get here?  I don't have any armor, and my best units against mere Scouts are only coming sporadically.  I'm mostly making Tree Farms.  Well, Scouts in cities should hold, right???

MY 2207.  My defenders held.  The attackers foolishly split their forces, allowing me to kill the mindworm easily.

It's 5:30 AM.  I'm going to bed.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:13:54 PM
MY 2208.  Although I did kill a city or two, the Morganites have repelled my initial flurry of units.  I did not land them in an organized fashion, and terrain was disfavorably arranged in horizontal bands along my line of advance from the beach.  Morganite Rovers spammed me and picked me off.  I will either need to operate much more amphibiously to not have to deal with this, or I'll have to make a more armored incursion inland.  I suppose I should be glad that my mod is capable of putting up some resistance.

well that doesn't work
well that doesn't work

I currently have a bunch of probe teams and not much else.  I was trying to go down Morganic roads to sabotage stuff, but there's a Former in the way.  What's with its godawful expense level?  Yes I know this is my mod, but this is pretty ridiculous.  Ok, yes, a stone's throw from the Morganic capitol.  Still that price is insane.  Morganic government is a Capitalist Police State so they do have +1 PROBE.  Well I suppose I meant to test the playability of all of this.  I can't go back to the bad old days of the AI taking over invader hordes for next to nothing though.

unionized work crews
unionized work crews

The cost of subverting a Recon Rover is not nearly so outrageous, although it's still bad and not worth doing.  Those must be some awfully happy highway workers in the Morganic Empire!
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:28:46 PM
saved by the competition
saved by the competition

MY 2211.  This is actually helpful to me.  The Morganites were threatening to finish it in their capitol.  I've run 4 sabotage missions against their capitol, none specifically focused on the Secret Project.  I've destroyed all kinds of stuff, but I couldn't manage to take out the SP.  Now I'm saved the bother.  The CDF is very annoying from a saboteur's standpoint, because you cannot take down the Perimeter Defense created by it.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 06:35:39 PM
a walk in
a walk in

MY 2212.  The Morganic possession of the Planetary Transit System is proving to be annoying.  Whenever I spend my "atrocity budget" to destroy a base, they just pop a new one back up again at size 3.  Morganic spam is even sufficient to regarrison them in many cases.  I suppose that's a consequence of giving them +1 SUPPORT.  In this case though, they just gave the base to me.  I'm going to need a bit "slower and steadier" base of operations than just trying to blitz them.  It does solve my "wrong terrain on the beachhead" problem.

such a rep
such a rep

Interestingly, I notice that I'm already Infamous for my chemical attacks.  It hasn't caused me any diplomatic grief though, and Planet hasn't become outraged yet.  Does my +2 PLANET rating have something to do with this?

money can't buy happiness
money can't buy happiness

820 years of Sanctions have been imposed.  This must be close to a maximum limit, as I've not seen higher than 840.  Granted, I wasn't meticulously looking over and over again, but the point is academic anyways.  I will never trade!
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:00:49 PM
thin causeway
thin causeway

MY 2215.  I complete a land bridge to the mainland and the Manifold Nexus.  It will last about 5 seconds if Planet floods.  Thickening the bridge would seem to be a priority.  However, wiping out the Morganites is a higher priority.

I am feeling dumb that I went after the Pirates with chemical weapons.  It was imprudent to do so without first probing their location and disposition.  I had no military effect on them at all, and I made them mad enough to throw a nuke at me.  Nukes in my mod can hit anywhere on Planet, they stay aloft indefinitely and don't use fuel, so that's no small matter.  Hopefully I get nukes first and destroy the Pirates before they can trouble me, but putting a ticking timer on this wasn't smart.  In a previous game it actually cost me my existence, but I wanted to believe that I know much more now about how to deal with Planet, than I did then.  Do I?
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:12:27 PM
irritation of reinforcement
irritation of reinforcement

MY 2216.  They can't mind control my base, but they can sure damage it.  I have piles of probe teams to defend with... they're just not where they need to be!  I've been cheap and doing my sealift with only 1 Transport this whole time.  I also forgot that they started working on the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm and I need to steal C4 Advanced Military Algorithms from them.  It's difficult to remember everything one needs to do, when a game is split across a day.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:25:15 PM
crowded thoroughfares
crowded thoroughfares

MY 2218.  I've reinforced with probe teams, so my covert defenses are secure.  However now I'm going to lose a team, due to unjustified optimism that I'd find a clear road to a theftable city.  I think the AI has some intelligence for blocking routes of approach, but I doubt this instance is actually deliberate.  Rather, the AI is spamming and there's just too much of it in the way.  Of course everything is too expensive to consider subverting it.

or is it
or is it

I try to spend my last move to hide in some fungus, only to find there's an enemy unit in it.  I'm surprised the price is more reasonable than before.  What gives?  Is the falloff from distance to the capitol that dramatic?  180 credits is still better spent on the Xenoempathy Dome than trying to rescue my unit, so I accept my fate.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:32:30 PM
finally captured an Isle
finally captured an Isle

MY 2219.  This has taken forever.  I've played games where I've had a vast fleet of Isles by now.  I'm complaining to the PLANET friendliness authorities!
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 07:46:38 PM
no need for theft
no need for theft

MY 2220.  Unfortunately I think I may have just researched this on my own, instead of being able to steal it.  I don't get another tech for 33 years, because I haven't built squat for research infrastructure.  No need so far.

coordinated shelling
coordinated shelling

Pirates suddenly and simultaneously show up in force in different locations.  They sink my 1 Transport that I was supplying my beachhead with.  It has enough to defend itself for awhile, but that's the end of offensive operations down there.  I will need my land rail more than I expected.  I sink the southernmost interloper with a reserve X ship, but the northern 2 will probably get a number of potshots on my shore before I can intervene.  Heavy Artillery doesn't come until C4 Nonlinear Mathematics and I don't think anyone knows it yet.  I suppose I do know how to make Spore Launchers.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:23:44 PM
it slips by
it slips by

MY 2221.  They have been working on it for awhile.  It wasn't my highest priority and I was short on cash to rush it anyways.

more valuable to me
more valuable to me

A choice between the HSA and the PEG is pretty typical in my mod, because they both cost 500 minerals.  At this point in the game, that's not easy to come up with.  The AI factions tend to build whatever I don't.

better for conquest
better for conquest

This is what I rushed last year.  It took almost all of my cash and my last Artifact.  It'll make it really easy to do probe team incursions.  It also makes my Spore Launchers more able to hold up to shore bombardments as a home defense.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:34:16 PM
well supported spam
well supported spam

MY 2222.  I'm being overrun.  I'm actually surprised that the AI is fighting ok, even though this is my mod.  I guess I can't take the production disparity between us for granted.  It's an advantage they have that I don't.  Still, many of my cities have built Tree Farms, so my output is going to get better.  I'm finding though, that I definitely didn't have the productivity to quickly rush Chemical Death on much of anyone.  Nerve Gas Pods themselves aren't a free lunch.  They change the cost of a Recon Rover from 20 to 30.

Maybe Planet isn't mad because I just didn't do that well.  Maybe I got killed more than I gassed.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 08:47:01 PM
the new supply line
the new supply line

MY 2223.  I've completed a rail network connecting all of my cities.  It's probably best not to drive this towards the Morganites, but rather to use my Xenoempathy Dome ability to skirmish across the fungus on their frontier.  I also need to produce more plain Recon Rovers to screen my more deadly chemical units.  A really major change in warfare is going to occur once I get Doctrine: Air Power.  I'm in the perfect position to make air attacks on Morgan, with a moat to keep him from getting at me.  The main problem will be the expense of Needlejets.  In my mod they're not cheap, and adding chemical weapons will make them more expensive still.

My beachhead is doing poorly against Morgan militarily, but I sure have destroyed a lot of infrastructure with my probe teams!  That may be a pattern to continue.  It fits well with my intent of completely destroying bases.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 12, 2019, 09:01:09 PM
think Haliburton
think Haliburton

MY 2224.  The Morganites have gone Democratic Capitalist Power.  That would explain why fights have gotten more difficult with them.  Despite this, my Plasma Garrison and Mindworm managed to heal up and hold on.  I'm still running sabotage missions out of my beachhead, completely unimpeded.  They'll have to kill me to stop me!

a tooth pull to get here
a tooth pull to get here

A number of years ago, I figured the University had gotten closer to my border, so I set out to infiltrate them.  My probe team got sent back by an armored Rover that happened to be milling about unexpectedly.  Then they threatened to complete the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  Surprisingly, they didn't.  I don't know what happened, but now I've got infiltration.  That's better than being blind over the long term.

infinite sanction
infinite sanction

Ok for fun I checked how many years of Sanctions have been imposed upon me.  That's way longer than the Longevity Vaccine is going to keep me alive!  There must be no upper limit to it.  I wonder if I can get the number high enough to cause bugs?  I'm definitely living up to the ideal of a regressive, barbaric society with no respect for human rights.  The University is like 10 techs ahead of me.  I'm doing fine compared to the Morganites though.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 02:44:07 AM
not my greatest city
not my greatest city

MY 2228.  The Morganites liberate what's left of their city.  Perhaps I should have built Plasma units instead of a Children's Creche.  The bias of thinking you're superior can be hard to overcome.  The reality is that X Recon Rovers are easily killed by plain Recon Rovers, and they're 50% more expensive to build.

I want the money
I want the money

The University finally finished the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.   Unfortunately now everyone wants to build the Planetary Energy Grid, same as me.  I'm not really making any money from exploration anymore.  My economy isn't that strong, only 18 credits / year.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 03:19:09 AM
I love you Aki
I love you Aki

MY 2229.  My ally tells me to get lost.  I wonder if everyone declaring war on me, is a prelude to Planet doing so?  Or do I have to see some fungal pops?  What is the causality?

removing the Sensor Array
removing the Sensor Array

My plain Recon Rover has an important job to do: getting rid of the Sensor Array that provides extra defense to the base.  While writing this up, I actually forget to destroy it.  One of my X Recon Rovers has to take out a Rover and a Former that are blocking the approach to the base.  The other could attack the base, but the odds are reported 8 to 9 in their favor, so I back off.

MY 2230.  I destroy the base.  I can really only engage in hit-and-run tactics against weak targets with these X Recon Rovers though.  I don't have enough of them to take out larger bases, and I'm lacking probe team support to take out Perimeter Defenses.

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 03:25:09 AM
struggling to get to target
struggling to get to target

MY 2234.  I have plenty of units to liquefy Morgan Biochemical, but all these neutral University units are marching around in front of me for some reason.  Perhaps they want to get to the Monolith?  It's annoying.  Fighting the University isn't very worthwhile either as they have the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  Since I have enough units for my objective, I've started building Network Nodes in my home cities.  This is not so much to catch up on tech, as to avoid a network overload.  And who knows, it might get me something sometime.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 03:58:09 AM
doesn't really matter
doesn't really matter

MY 2236.  We enter a solar flare.  In a previous game, this became a great excuse to get started on chemical attacks without penalty.  But I am long since past that.  I am also guessing a solar flair wouldn't hide a nuke going off?  Geez I would hope not, they're so big it would defy common sense.

unpleasant enemy
unpleasant enemy

MY 2237.  I restrict Zhakarov's units in the fungus, trying to force a path to the Morganites.  Zhakarov reacts by attacking me.  I had a feeling that might happen, but I didn't do anything to prevent it.  I opened up on him with the chemicals, because my units aren't tough enough to prevail otherwise.  Even still I lost half of them.  Offensives in this game are starting to really annoy me.  I've only managed to nip at the Morganites and curtail their expansion.  I haven't done them any serious damage to put them out of commission.  And now I'm facing off with a 2nd power in the region, who has superior tech and is unaffected by my probe teams.  If he nukes me, well, I guess it will have been all about elbows thrown in the fungus just to move around.  That's a pretty stupid thing to lose a game for.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 04:18:14 AM
my priority
my priority

MY 2239.  I complete the Planetary Energy Grid.  It takes all my cash and my last Artifact.  I don't think I'll be able to manage another Secret Project for awhile.  I could start on the Maritime Control Center somewhere, but I don't think I'll actually get that one.  It would turn into something else.

At least the University is fighting the Morganites.  What a waste.  Another problem is every time I try to deploy my own troops that way, wild mindworms pop up.  You'd think with +2 PLANET I'd capture more of them, but nope!  Typically I just get torn up.

I'll go trash a couple of small cities east of me, that the University never should have bothered to settle.  I think they mostly occupy the Monsoon Jungle, but I have no map of it.  I can see its western edge of settlement.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 05:00:41 AM
repetitive
repetitive

MY 2245.  I wiped out the 2 isolated University cities without problem.  That left me with feelings of "what now?"  I thought perhaps I'd encroach west along the Morganite coast, so that they can keep sending troops at the University without interference.  However as I advance, I realize I'm going after ground I can't really hold.  I've destroyed the city at Morgan Trade Center twice already.  I've captured Morgan Pharmaceuticals once.  This is a bad adventure.  I'm also missing the support of plain Recon Rovers and probe teams to take out fortifications.  I think I'm probably better off wearing out incidental targets at the Morganite / University border.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 05:39:40 AM
the bigger gun
the bigger gun

MY 2248.  It sure has taken a long time to get this!  Maybe it's better to just do one's own research earlier in the game.  I can't say that all my chemical attacks have amounted to anything decisive.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 05:53:14 AM
talk to me
talk to me

MY 2251.  The solar flare is over.  I met the Gaians at sea and they didn't declare war on me, so I guess Infamy isn't everything.  I've had like 1 fungal pop, a fair number of turns ago.

coastal terror
coastal terror

I stole C5 Superconductor from the Morganites.  Marine attacks with bigger guns are probably the key to breaking Morgan's back.  The sea hasn't been contested much, perhaps because the Pirates, the Morganites, and the University are all at war with each other.  The Pirates did complete the Maritime Control Center.  I couldn't afford to go for it.  I'm pretty happy with what the Xenoempathy Dome has been buying me on land, and the money from the Planetary Energy Grid is handy.

It's 1 AM and I'm going to bed.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 04:09:16 PM
first attack with X Gatling Marine
first attack with X Gatling Marine

jumping on the bandwagon
jumping on the bandwagon

MY 2255.  The moment I actually use my new terror weapon, 2 factions declare war on me.  Is it coincidence?  Or does the perception of atrocity depend on the strength of the weapon?  Maybe I've been flying under the radar all this time because I was only using X Recon Rovers.  If so, that's a good trick!  It would explain the lack of fungal pops.  Well, now I'll be watching for Planet's anger.  No question that these weapons work better than the old stuff, so I am going to keep using them.  But, I'm going to stop manufacturing new ones, because this could be my undoing.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 04:30:59 PM
gratuitous eco damage
gratuitous eco damage

MY 2256.  Two X Gatling Marines and a probe team did a beautiful job of completely destroying a big Morganite coastal city.  It took 2 turns.  Even with wounds and an inland Sensor Array that I hadn't previously seen, it was a bloodbath!  However I've now got gratuitous eco-damage in all my cities.  15 is the lowest, 26 is the highest.

pea shooter victim
pea shooter victim

I want to know if the damage rises when I use the X Recon Rover units.  I did decide on the "sweep the coast" strategy, since the X Gatling Marines make it possible to permanently destroy the region.

one hit to the body
one hit to the body

I used my toughest X Recon Rover to blow away their 1 armored defender.

6 point rise in eco damage
6 point rise in eco damage

That's a big jump!  And it's everywhere, not just 1 base.  My highest eco-damage is now 32, consistent with a 6 point jump across the board.  If X Recon Rovers were ever free in the past, they're certainly not free now.  I don't know whether I happened to cross a threshold when I first used my X Gatling Marines, or if the bigger weapon started these events because it's bigger, but the damage is done.  I have to stop using chemical attacks and wait for this to settle.  Well I don't have to, but I don't want to drown!

[Limit reached]
I finish off the base with conventional attacks.  Getting the teeth of my offensive taken out, isn't fun.  I suppose I'll need to wait until I've got C5 Doctrine: Air Power to begin serious operations again.  I suppose this is a good time to scientifically determine whether Obliterations cause eco-damage or not.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 05:03:03 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2257.  Svensgaard decides he wants to be Goveronr, deposing Zhakarov.  My vote really doesn't matter.  I'm not sure why it isn't displayed, but I contributed 81 votes to the tally.  Svensgaard has 232 votes so clearly he's been growing a lot, in that fat nutrient rich ocean of his.  This is the guy I thought I'd throw a few ineffective chemical weapons at!  At least when I ticked off Zhakarov, it was an accident, but I chose to bother the Pirates.  Logistically and strategically, it was an extremely bad move.  We'll see if I pay consequences for it.

[Limit reached]
How many am I going to get?  How big are the mindworm stacks going to be?  Unlike my last game, I don't even have 3-Res armor yet.  Zhakarov's got it, behind the protection of the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  No Neural Amplifier and certainly no Dream Twister.  Did I stop using my chemical weapons in time?

[Limit reached]
Well, only 1 pop, and no indigenous life forms to go with it.  I'm off the hook.  Just do this 20 more times and I'm good, right?

[Limit reached]
I'm starting to question my decision to choose the Planetary Energy Grid over the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  I was thinking that I could just nuke the HSA eventually.  But what if Zhakarov causes a big problem for me before "eventually" comes?  At least I have strong mindworms.  +3 PLANET and the lifecycle bonus of the Xenoempathy Dome.  I really don't have anything to fear from a conventional defensive war, particularly with all this fungus in the way.

[Limit reached]
The Pirates have decided to join the party.  Without the use of chemicals, my ships have no punch!  They are probably going to be target practice.  I send my Cruiser Transport back into port and put my 2 probe teams on defensive duty out east.  It's time to hunker down and weather storms.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 05:56:39 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2258.  I keep forgetting that Pirates capture your ships.  Now that he knows this unit design, he could in theory make more of them.  I suppose he won't do it unless atrocities legalized, and I'm not going to do that.

[Limit reached]
Air Superiority is the fundamental tool necessary to survive a Planet uprising.  3 other factions have researched this.  So, that's how long it takes to get the tech, just waiting with the Data Angels' faction ability.  Now, how many excuses do I want to make to avoid mindworm apocalypse?  My current one is "let's see eco-damage go back to zero".

[Limit reached]
4 fungal pops this year, and 2 patches of mindworms, although no stacks of them.  Got an interlude about wiping drool from my chin.

[Limit reached]
So far so good.  But, my income is -2 / year, and I have a lot of Hybrid Forests I need to complete.  I'm not trying to hold any bases in enemy territory, so the mind control immunity granted by +3 PROBE isn't important right now.  I could do without the Police State.  I might go Capitalist, just to see if kowtowing to Planet is strictly necessary for survival.  But before making such changes, I think I will let my eco-damage drop some more.

[Limit reached]
I go Democratic.  That bumps my income to 8 / year.  Not impressive but better than losing money.  I really need to get to +2 ECONOMY, but which method will I choose?  I lose the use of police.  I've built sufficient happiness facilities that this isn't a problem and I don't have to change my budget.  The increase in JUSTICE probably helped too.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 06:41:14 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2259.  This is a nonsensical sign of global warming.  Chemical attacks and surface heat shouldn't be triggering subsurface volcanic processes.  Only thing I can think of is a "Planetary zit" theory, due to the sentience of Planet.

[Limit reached]
I got 3 pops but no big stacks yet.  Just 2 on a square at most.  4 Locusts, 3 of which I can hit on the ground.  The 1 over water, I'll just have to take the hit.

[Limit reached]
I think I made 500 credits killing mindworms.  If it kept up, I wouldn't need a +2 ECONOMY after all.  I lost 1 speeder to foolishness killing a University speeder.  I'll lose another speeder to the Locust.  I could try defending it with a Trance Scout, but I think the Locust would just kill both of them.  Then again, it's a worthwhile experiment, so I'll try it.  On second thought, no, as all my Trance Scouts are Green.  Better train those up!

Coder's Pit, my designated metric of eco-damage, has dropped to 10.  Every city is working on a Hybrid Forest.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 07:11:23 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2260.  3-Res armor and the Neural Amplifier are important tools for mindworm defense.

[Limit reached]
Unless I get a lot of money from killing mindworms this year, the University has got this one.  No fungal pops at all, so that's that.  Coder's Pit is still at 10 eco-damage.

[Limit reached]
My income dropped to -4 credits / year.  Not sure why.  I clicked on all my cities to make sure the workers were out doing what they're supposed to be doing.  I clearly need more money, and I clearly can't handle more eco-damage right now, so I wimped out and chose Wealth.  At least I get to use police units again.

So, I feel comfortable saying that at this point in the game, my chemical attacks haven't made any difference in my power or safety at all.  I could definitely have taken out the nearest cities on the Morganic coast by conventional means.  I could not have held them, but I could have Obliterated them.  I still don't know whether Obliterations make Planet mad or not.

[Limit reached]
Drat.  Morgan, Svensgaard, and Zhakarov are allied now.  That's a pretty serious turnabout.  Am I going to be left alone long enough to complete Hybrid Forests?  Morgan is building planes, and the others could fly their planes up to his land to clobber me.

[Limit reached]
And, Extremist-incapable Zhakarov is best buddies with Power-hungry Cha Dawn.  Their politics are completely incompatible and yet they do it.  Have I united Planet?  Well at least Cha Dawn wants to kill 2 of Zhakarov's other buddies.  Strange times.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 07:27:24 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2261.  At least 66 meters isn't much.  If it stays there.  I get 1 fungal pop.  Coder's Pit is down to 9 eco-damage.

[Limit reached]
I think I found the USS Unity crash site.  I wonder if anyone has been here already?  It's in a pretty remote part of the map.  Svensgaard only has a coastal presence.  I have amassed 1067 credits from killing mindworms so it's time to rush some of those Hybrid Forests.  I need to get an air defense going.

[Limit reached]
The Pirates are starting to bother my southern tip in force, so this is where I'll build an Aerospace Complex.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 07:57:38 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2262.  I get 2 fungal pops.  My cash is back up to 1144 from killing them.  That was easy, but Zhakarov is going to be more of a pain.  I can't just use mindworms to kill him, because he's got the Neural Amplifier.  Even his probe teams have that benefit, which puts a serious cramp in the traditional use of mindworms to eliminate them.  My X Gatling Marines get used in their conventional capacity to deal with these jobs.  They fight fine as long as I've got a rail.  In fact, a single Marine killed 4 3-Pulse Probe Teams foolishly stacked together!

Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 08:03:58 PM
MY 2263.  No fungal pops this year.  Coder's Pit is down to 7 eco-damage and my highest city is doing 18.

[Limit reached]
I don't remember having an Artifact in my home territory, but it started flashing in one of my cities.  I put it in my capitol for safekeeping.  No point cashing it for tech when other factions have better tech than I do.  I have 2 Artifacts on a large continent I can't get to.  The ocean isn't safe with all the Pirates milling about.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 09:59:22 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2264.  Ok, last year at the last minute I switched to Capitalist, because, reasons.  So I get 266 meters of flooding as a result.  None of my cities are currently in danger at least.  4 fungal pops, but no big stacks, just 4 at a time in a few cases.  Coder's Pit now does 0 eco-damage.  My capitol is now doing 55 eco-damage, so I have to proceed with the next phase of the plan.

[Limit reached]
Now I can have nukes.  Maybe make a few to pop Zhakarov in the face?  So far the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm is by itself in Baikonur, which I can't even see on my map.  I'll need to launch a Sky Hydroponics Lab to get some intel on Planet's surface.

[Limit reached]
I switch to Knowledge.  I'm more interested in my troops being tough than my mindworms.  I won't be capturing mindworms anymore but that's ok, I wasn't usually capturing any anyways.  I lose the use of police once again.  Everyone is happy though.  Eco-damage in my capitol drops to 41.  That's not a big change but I'll take what I can get.  Now I farm the mindworms, repair my coast, and wait for Planet to calm down.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 10:19:59 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2265.  The Locusts all decide to fly at my capitol.  They kill all the defenders, just barely leaving an Artifact intact.  I'm not sure why it didn't die along with all the rest.  A long time ago I thought about giving them Trance 3-Res armor as a defense, but I didn't follow through on it.  They are unchanged from the original game.  The rules on capture or destruction of an Artifact, are not at all clear.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 11:01:39 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2267.  My mindworms finally heal up enough to uncover the wreckage of the USS Unity.  Even with my modding of the Chopper to have greater speed and range, I don't think it can make it back to base though.

Data DeCentral is down to 13 eco-damage.  One other base is doing 4.  The rest are doing none.  Does that mean I can afford a chemical attack now?  How many?
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 13, 2019, 11:15:52 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2268.  My Transport Chopper crashed here, at the end of its 2nd turn of movement.  That's not what's supposed to happen.  I changed the Copter chassis, which is only used for this unit, to Range=2.  I thought that would make it move 2 turns, then start to take damage when landing on the ground the way a Copter chassis usually does.  Well that doesn't seem to be the case.  Seems I've made it behave like a Needlejet, which indicates that the Range values 0, 1, and 2 probably hardcode different behaviors.  I'll need to alter this, as a Chopper that dies that fast isn't going to be much use when discovered on a Huge map.  Maybe I'll just let it stay aloft forever and call it a day.  Or I could give it a range of 4, which is pretty much how long you got with a regular Chopper chassis before it died.  Or higher, if I want to ensure it can get from the boonies to somewhere safe.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 04:11:15 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2269.  I forgot who proposed this, but I think it was Zhakarov.  I'm surprised that Svensgaard didn't go along with it.  It seems the AI doesn't know what's best for the Pirates!  My vote would not matter in either case.  Since Svensgaard voted NAY and has Executive Veto, his will prevails on a divided council.  If he had voted YEA, he would have had the votes regardless of mine.  And I have no ability to influence anyone, because nobody will speak to me.

[Limit reached]
I don't mind making some extra cash.  I've certainly walked / crawled far enough for it.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 04:21:59 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2272.  Now I can see Planet!

[Limit reached]
Now I know how the University is disposed.  What a pretty jungle.  Doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to invade conventionally, but he does have Fusion Photonic defenders.  I don't have the weapons yet.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 04:36:31 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2273.  None of my cities are doing eco-damage.  I've got a special surprise for the poorly defended Morgan Industries!  I just realized I don't have air cover the whole way though, so this could be a suicide mission.  Also I have neglected to bring a probe team to steal E5 Centauri Psi, Morgan's one great advancement in the meantime.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 04:54:09 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2274.  Zhakarov has had it for awhile.  Don't know how long Morgan has had it. 

[Limit reached]
It was a size 2 base.  I'm surprised Zhakarov didn't build a Pressure Dome.

[Limit reached]
It only took 1 chemical attack to knock out Morgan's 1 Plasma defender.  I attacked a hapless Former conventionally and then took the base.  My Transport sailed into safety from the Pirates, and I killed an unarmored Impact Squad next to the base.  I'm totally vulnerable to counterattack on land.  If Morgan doesn't end this now, then that's probably it for his west coast.

[Limit reached]
Data DeCentral jumped from zero to 18 eco-damage because of this one attack.  I suppose I wait to see what mindworms show up.  I might also have trouble fighting my way out of here, if I'm unwilling to use chemicals again.  What a war style!  It's like constantly running out of ammo, or supply.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 05:34:43 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2275.  I refrained from chemical attacks this turn.  That cost me 1 Marine outright and left a 2nd all but dead.  Despite my kindness, Data DeCentral climbed to 26 eco-damage, and my southern tip city is doing 9.  Otherwise no eco-damage, go figure.

[Limit reached]
My Transport ran home empty, under cover of my Needlejet.

[Limit reached]
My southern tip city jumped from 9 to 53 eco-damage!!!
  Planet not only hates Obliterations, it probably counts how many citizens were killed.  40k citizens = MASSIVE eco-damage.  Data DeCentral similarly jumped to 70.  Many other bases are doing various levels of eco-damage now.  It's widespread but not quite ubiquitous.  I'm in for serious hell next year.

[Limit reached]
Think I'd better try to mitigate this by going Green.  That cuts my income in half.  My southern tip city drops to 18 eco-damage.  My capitol to 23 eco-damage.  Some other cities have various lesser amounts.  I'm still gonna get wormed but that doesn't sound nearly as frightening.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 05:53:28 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2276.  Now the funny thing is, I didn't get any fungal pops at all this year.  Go figure.  I lost 3 of my Marines.  I've got 3 more X units to bring in, and that'll be "it" for the old school units.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 06:16:38 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2277.  It seems that others have been learning hovertanks.  My own next research is next year.  Have I been neglecting tech theft elsewhere?  Well, I never did infiltrate the Pirates.  Too far away, too difficult to reach safely.

[Limit reached]
I lost all my Marines that went inland.  Not surprising considering they were unarmored.  I made them when I thought I had naval control of the region.  I didn't think I'd have to scoot around dodging Pirate ships.  I'm preparing for payback with a 3 unit X contingent.

[Limit reached]
The 1st chemical attack jumps my eco-damage to 39.  The 2nd raises it to 54.  That rise is widespread through many of my cities, not just my capitol.  Is there a point at which one declares, this game is ridiculous?  What phenomenon is this supposed to be modeling?  And don't forget: it all goes away if we legalize it in the Planetary Council!  Dumb.  Just.  Dumb.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 06:57:15 AM
[Limit reached]
This is just bogus.  30k people dying shouldn't be making the planet fall off its freakin' axis.  If this had anything resembling truth to it, humanity would have died out in the time of Ghengis Khan.  Ok ok, this is the 'truth' of a sentient planet.  And it's complete BS.  If it were easy to get into the game binary to fix this, I would.

I had 1 fungal pop this year.  It only brings 1 mindworm and 1 Locust.  That doesn't make much sense, if I'm supposed to be doing such bad things.  And if what I'm doing is trivial, why the flooding?

[Limit reached]
I completed this with a lot of cash and my 1 Artifact in my homeland.  My capitol is now down to 21 eco-damage.  I'm not sure how much is due to this secret project.

[Limit reached]
I sent an R-Laser Interceptor against the Locust, and my plane just died.  I recall that being a pattern in past games, and a reason why I don't typically send planes to deal with Locusts.  In my last game, I had the Dream Twister giving me a big offensive bonus.  I also found that Air Superiority was not needed to attack a Locust, that being able to fly was sufficient to attack a Locust on the water.  I wonder if my odds improve with a plain R-Laser Needlejet, no Air Superiority?  I will make one and find out.

[Limit reached]
I figured out the mystery of whether my eco-damage is 'serious' or not.  I couldn't see the bulk of the mindworms until I moved around some.  I've got a couple of stacks of 9 units.  Ok gimme money.  I end up with 1142 credits.

[Limit reached]
I'm making a bunch of Research Hospitals to keep my growing population happy.  That's pretty dull compared to my earlier visions of blitzing everyone with chemical weapons, or nuking them!  It's 2 AM and I find myself rather bored with this game.  Chemical weapons haven't gained me any advantage compared to conventional ones.  I'm quite sure I could have taken out the Morganic west coast.  Getting into chemicals, makes me fearful of Planet's retaliation.  Which ironically, sends me scrambling to produce "eco appeasing" stuff, that keeps me from producing combat stuff.

The most substantial thing I've accomplished, is making the Copter chassis longer range.  I'll sleep on this game tonight, but come tomorrow, I may call it quits and find something better to do with my Life.

I can't tell whether the AI really fought better this game, or I just shot myself in the foot, wasting resources on more expensive chemical weapons that don't really do any good.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 06:13:25 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2279.  Ok why continue this game?  I think the runaway tech trajectory the University is on, is interesting.  Partly it's because they're on the Monsoon Jungle.  Partly it's because I deliberately accelerated the Discover part of the tech tree.  A Discover oriented faction should be able to achieve a breakaway speed of tech, if they're left alone.  It didn't happen for the Cyborgs, they got squeezed between powerful factions.  It could have happened for the Gaians but didn't.  Perhaps the Cult of Planet provided enough pressure to keep it from happening, although not enough to overcome the Gaians.

[Limit reached]
Morgan Metagenics is defended by a nearly dead Clean Trance Scout.  I could destroy the city if I could just get units down there to do it.  It's just barely out of Needlejet range.  I suppose I could build a Carrier and move in and out of port to slightly extend my range, but sending my existing X units is faster.  I tried to ride the rail lines this turn, but enemy units were in the way, so I got back on my boat.

[Limit reached]
The Pirates have experienced huge growth, 3X what I've managed.  I've never infiltrated them because they've been too far away.  I don't actually know if they're doing interesting things with tech or not.  Recently they've established some sea bases just beyond the Morganic west coast.  I bet I can sneak some Cruiser Probe Teams down there, particularly after those 2 Morganic cities are gone.  Finally, for AI testing purposes, I should find out what they've built in the absence of Clean Transports.  I could do that using the Scenario Editor, but doing it in-game preserves my options.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 14, 2019, 07:14:11 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2280.  I get 2 fungal pops.  The western clump has a stack.  The eastern one doesn't.  I start the year with 1301 credits and 18 eco-damage in my capitol.  After killing the mindworms I have 1901 credits.  Perhaps I don't need much of an ECONOMY right now.  However, changing to Police State or Extremist drops my income from 50 to 21, without obviously providing much advantage.  I stay Democratic.

[Limit reached]
The Manifold Nexus is sinking!  If it goes underwater, it doesn't work anymore.  And as far as I've seen in any game, raising it back up again doesn't fix it.  So this is going to have to become high ground.

[Limit reached]
Pirate ships milling about the coast, keep my Cruiser Transport from reaching its target.  I retreat and cover it with an Interceptor.  I do have 2 planes to do a continuous rotation with, so long as my ship is within 9 squares of my southern tip city.  I make a conventional attack on the coastal defender sitting on open terrain and kill it.  The one in the forest is too tough for me to take out conventionally, and is not worth a chemical attack.  The purpose is accomplished however: I am able to ride the rail down to Morgan Metagenics.

[Limit reached]
Now here's a conundrum: is it better to make a conventional attack and then Obliterate a medium sized base, or to depopulate it with a chemical attack and then Obliterate it?  The last time I did a 40k Obliteration the eco-damage was completely awful, so I'm going to try a chemical attack this time.

[Limit reached]
My attack drops the base from size 6 to size 2.  Eco-damage in my capitol climbs to 28 and affects most of my other cities as well.  Well that's better than the 40k Obliteration was, but I'm also at +3 PLANET this time so I'm not sure if circumstances are equal.

I take the base and its population drops to 1.  I scrap a Naval Yard, an odd thing to find in an inland Morganic city.  My Elite unit is healed from taking the base and has 1 move remaining.  I ride back up to my Transport and get on the ship.  I send a Unity Rover from the ship to perform the final Obliteration, as it is less valuable than the X Recon Rover.

[Limit reached]
Eco-damage in my capitol rises to 34.  Acceptable.

[Limit reached]
With all the money I've made killing mindworms, I rush 2 Pressure Domes and the rest of the Research Hospitals.  I still have 953 credits.

[Limit reached]
Belatedly I realize that the Cyborgs are close enough now to infiltrate by land.  I have extra AAA Trance 3-Res units, so I send one of them into the fungus to prepare the way for a probe team.  It encounters a Morganic speeder, which I have to take out with a mindworm.  And it stirs up a native mindworm, so again another mindworm.  Finally I run into a Cyborg Scout.  This is a busy patch of fungus!  It seems that minor atrocities aren't so implacable to the unaggrieved after all.  It'll last until, presumably, my next chemical attack.

[Limit reached]
I make it to the Cyborg base with 1/3 move remaining.  The Xenoempathy Dome is pretty useful!  Most of my missions would have been blocked if I hadn't had it.  Since the Cyborgs are Pathetic, they don't have any techs.  This is more about being able to see what I'm invading someday.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 15, 2019, 04:13:28 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2281.  I get 2 pops with stacks of Locusts in them.  I have to kill them all individually because an Interceptor with Air Superiority does not kill a whole stack.  I wonder if a SAM ground unit would?  SAM naval units would definitely kill entire stacks last game if they were over water.  I also find that Hardened units are ineffective against Locusts.  They will wound them, but the Hardened unit will die.  Only Veteran or better will kill them, and they'll only just barely live through it.  My Interceptors were quite disappointing and I lost 2 of them.  This is all with a +3 PLANET rating.  I don't have enough expendable units, so 3 Locusts are left at full strength, and 1 more is nearly dead.  I rise to 2065 credits from killing them.  My capitol is now doing 28 eco-damage.

[Limit reached]
I start building a SAM Gatling Artillery in my capitol, which I know can harm entire stacks of Locusts.  The downside is I don't get Planet Pearls from any units I kill that way.  In other cities, I stubbornly build more Research Hospitals and Industrial lads.  I don't like being pushed around by Planet, and this money should have a use.  I made very poor use of it last game.  I'm able to build 8 such labs and I still have 305 credits left.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 15, 2019, 04:34:18 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2282.  The Pirates start building the Longevity Vaccine, giving me more motive to steal from them.  I get 2 pops but thankfully they're the ground stack kind.  I rise to 1472 credits killing them.  I rush 3 more labs, leaving me with 812 credits.  My capitol is still doing 28 eco-damage.  Once I've got troops, if the mindworms are still at it I'll build Centauri Preserves.
Title: Re: Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
Post by: bvanevery on December 15, 2019, 04:52:15 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2283.  No pops this year.  I design a ground unit to take out Locusts.  Is this the key to killing a whole stack of them and getting the money?  I don't know.  I need to make some appear, so I can find out!  My capitol is still doing 28 eco-damage.

[Limit reached]
A mere 75 meters before it was going to sink, I raise the Manifold Nexus.  Only to discover... it gets destroyed by raising it too!  I'm down to +2 PLANET now.  I don't know if my Farm helped it disappear or not.  I suspect the Nexus is a terrain feature rather much like the Monsoon Jungle, capable of going <poof> if the land is raised.  Which is, like, completely and utterly stupid.  I thought having it drown was bad enough, but this, this is ridiculous.

[Limit reached]
I notice the University is not making a Planet Buster anymore.  Their Monsoon Jungle homeland is also getting pretty trashed out by the flooding.  I think this answers my question: no, I'm not going to get nuked.  The AI isn't going to manage enough concentration to get the job done.  Yes, they'll have a productivity increase and yes, they could build a Skunkworks somewhere to speed a nuke along.  But what's really going to happen, is they're going to sink into the water, and the Pirates are going to bother them.  They're not friendly anymore, they went to war again some time ago.

I'm officially tired of this game and pulling the plug on it.  The gratuitous loss of the Manifold Nexus was the last straw.

Would the Pirates nuke me?  Let's take a look in the Scenario Editor and find out.

[Limit reached]
50 turns?  I think the answer is no, they will not nuke me.  Not before I realistically did whatever I wanted to do to them.  At a minimum, infiltration and intervention.  The AI can't focus that well, and, I haven't fully solved the Pirates' SUPPORT problem.

[Limit reached]
At least they didn't build excessive numbers of Transports.  22 doesn't seem unreasonable for an empire as large as theirs, and they haven't lost that many of them either.  I suspect that without the Clean Transport fixation goading it on, the Pirate AI decides that Isles of the Deep are a better option once they become available.  I've definitely seen Isle obsession later in the game.  Whether that's good or not is debatable, because they can be a darned nuisance as base defenders.