Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: lolada on April 29, 2020, 09:05:25 PM

Title: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on April 29, 2020, 09:05:25 PM
Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power

This game is played with Will to power mod with integrated Thinker AI mod and PRACX graphics mod. AI is much improved and WTP mod introduces many balance changes, that in general make stomping AI quite harder. Secret projects are more expensive, terraforming is different, forests nerfed, fungus buffed, rushing changed, weapons and armors rebalanced as well as social engineering policies.  Combat is a lot different both conventional and PSI variants, mainly the defender is given 50% edge in own territory and base has 50% instead of 25% bonus defense. I've already played two games with the mod, with Deirdre and Miriam vs. original factions so i got a bit of feeling how the mod is working. Its my fifth or sixth game with improved AI mod.

This game I randomed every faction including my own. Difficulty is set to Transcend - so maximum there. Even though AI is quite tough, especially early, it feels like on higher difficulties AI will in general anyway fall behind player by late-game - at which point it is possible to build every secret project and then game quickly becomes a breeze (and boring).
Tech is set to blind research, i like to role-play a bit and it feels quite unique concept for Alpha Centauri.  I'll leave default focus tech of any faction I got – role-play again. Slower tech research set - as its going quick anyway on this difficulty, no pods scattering. Other than that everything is set to middle value – planet size is standard, to avoid too much micro.

So let’s start, hope you enjoy, i am certainly enjoying playing and writing this.

"Mankind has been blind for thousands of years-for all of its history. We have come to a place whose wonders are a hundred-fold more amazing than anything on Earth. Around us is clear evidence of the will of a higher power. I bring the Vision to the blind eyes of men. I bring the Word to the deaf ears of men. I will make them see it. I will make them hear it." -- Prophet Cha Dawn, "Planet Rising"

(https://i.imgur.com/KCs7KUM.png)

Cha Dawn came to power when terrible mindworm creatures overran first human colony on Chiron. Seeing his parents die little frail kid with sheer power of his mind somehow stopped and controlled the creature. With colonist unable to approach the mindworm, let alone kill him that day, Cha Dawn quickly rose to godhood status and soon was renounced as prophet and prodigy. His followers grew in number and formed a cult, know known as The Cult of Planet. The Cult raised Cha Dawn to power and thus his Chiron adventure began.

(https://i.imgur.com/tqezIO4.png)

Dawn of Planet was settled on slopes on a river that helped colonists with initial energy needs. Under Cha Dawn's influence this group of colonists was planet-aware and typical human rampant energy production was recognized as dangerous. That is what drawn native life into initial attack, now the Planet comes first. Luckily this didn't affect industry much as people in this enlightened age new importance of clean energy.

(https://i.imgur.com/9dwv4qz.png)

First colonist found enough food and material near river slopes. Exploration didn't reveal any more plentiful sources so that was first concern. Plans were made to cultivate farms and build energy collectors north on mineral deposit hills – that should make the area sustain itself. What’s the use of minerals after all if people have nothing to eat? Eastern windy hills seem to have potential for great energy production, but area was covered by native fungus terrain. That energy would have to wait.

Order was placed to produce first Formers in colony at initial cost of 40 minerals – large expensive machines that will be able to terraform alien planet. Its currently the most important invention in the world. It is of vital importance to extract resources from surrounding lands if colonists are to survive. Attempts were made to rush build the Former, and all quickly failed, as rushing units costs 4 energy credits per mineral and that’s way too much for an undeveloped colony with limited workforce.

Cha Dawn's then sent Mindworm and Scout to explore surrounding lands while Former was being built. Scientists took first samples of fungus materials to improvised labs. Anything that could give colonists the edge would be a boon, weapons, armors, even just better understanding of new terrain and life forms.

First steps

Huge barren and wasted lands were spotted to the north, there Scouts found site of U.N.S. Unity crash. Nothing of use survived, destruction was total and fire ravaged the lands afterwards.  Group of cultist settles new base down the river on coast, using prepared Unity colony pod that survived Planetfall. Initial observations are that Dawn of Planet is placed far on northern hemisphere.  If Chiron is anything like Earth, more fertile lands are to be found in that direction, scouts correct their course.

New base, designated as Concordat of Worms in honor of Cha Dawn and his mindworm, in its first months reports seeing two fireballs in skies. Paths were apparently erratic raising doubts someone else has landed to Chiron. And not too long after terrible explosions loomed through atmosphere – We are not alone! Its crushing, but not unexpected news – humans have already found new life forms and even control one and its certainly intelligent to extent. Even scarier it appears to have some kind of telepathic powers.  Besides, even ordinary cultist figured out all Earth humans had to land earlier when Unity broke down. We have yet to find any and whatever was in fireballs could be dead now.

(https://i.imgur.com/JhjA4xt.png)

Concordat of Worms found more energy resources on the seas prompting cultist to consider settling more coast in the future. Second Former was ordered in the base and Cha Dawn issued a decree to build new colony pods as soon as Formers are built.
Exploring south inexperienced Cultist trainers try to use mindworm to fight native one and lose the fight. Cha Dawn was quick to punish fools and word of events never gotten to base. This did prompt  young prodigy leader to double the efforts to catch more native life forms, in which he succeeded in the following years.  Scouts quickly learned under his instructions and those who didn't, didn't tend to survive for long.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on April 29, 2020, 09:31:48 PM
M.Y. 2119.

Chiron certainly seems to revolve faster around its sun than Earth. Scientists report a breakthrough; they now understand Social psych much better in alien environment. Designs for efficient Recreation commons were made to increase productivity and help people that struggle with harsh life conditions. Not what Cha Dawn had in mind, he's after all comfortable even in fungus.

(https://i.imgur.com/w2CltKG.png)

Reading through Unity Datalinks, he already knew about many old Earth failures, one being destruction of Earth's ecosystem. So called Earth green corrupt protectors were more interested in their comfort and beautiful villas on top of mountains than in planet, all the while pretending they actually cared for nature. Earth is likely on brink of destruction this moment. Angrily, Cha Dawn made sure everyone would know consequences of such transgressions. And that worked as soon after Synthmetal armors were designed from native Chiron minerals, followed by simple Laser weapons.

(https://i.imgur.com/1SPEZhf.png)

First manufactories and Industry base was forming in Dawn of Planet.  At a time some advisors presented the option of building infrastructure of The Merchant Exchange – huge undertake that capitalist societies on Earth had perfected. The Merchant Exchange would cost as much as 3 or 4 of already expensive Colony pods.  The idea was gone as quickly as it appeared; many planet-aware cultists already opposed it and decision was easy – more Colony pods were in order. Cha Dawn would never allow such greedy enterprises anyway.
Peaceful expansion and exploration continued, broken only by rare encounters with mindworms. Under pressure that was enough - new secrets of human brain came to light, especially brain interaction with fungus and native life.  By using Hypnotic trance ability it was possible to train Scout (and other) units to resist mindworm attacks, something that would prove important in coming years. This training only slightly prolongs recruitment and 1-1t-1 Trance Scouts cost the same as armored 1-2-1 Synthmetal Sentinels. Trance scouts are much stronger vs. native worms which made them primary defenders.
After some setbacks, scouts managed to capture a mindworm and Spore launcher. The latter seemed to be much smaller and simpler creature, yet capable of attacking from distance. It even managed to capture and control another mindworm eventually.

PSI Combat interlude

(https://i.imgur.com/G1PbE6c.png)

Cultist learned that discipline is the most important factor in PSI combat, and that it does NOT matter if they attack or defend.  Advanced weapons and armors proved ineffective as mindworms move through terrain and paralyze victims with telepathic terror. Flamethrowers are weapon of choice, even unarmored Colony pods and Formers are equipped with not-a-flamethrower prototypes that give them a survival chance.  Native life also appears to have varying psi power abilities... even the most disciplined units could be overwhelmed on bad days. There was certain unpredictability in outcome of fights. Defending prepared in base showed as big advantage and Trance units were able to stop a mindworm or two if lucky. Cultist planet expertise also showed as important factor in combat.

Unlucky:
(https://i.imgur.com/KCm3suE.png)

Social movements – glimpse of the future

Harsh reality turned some colonists to Fundamentalist views. Such views have many survival advantages, especially in times of war, but one important drawback – drawing ever more resources to defense. As a result primarily research would suffer; Cha Dawn was aware of it. He didn't endorse the movement, nor did he try to quell it, it might yet come useful.

(https://i.imgur.com/YSrHo2z.png)

Other branch turned to more restricting measure – advocating for state-organized control. Third branch fought for old Democratic values.

(https://i.imgur.com/UCZaokG.png)

Cha Dawn ignored both at a time. Police-state was attractive for a period, but reducing freedom would hurt both efficiency and planet exploration, while benefits were limited with such low population and production. The attractive part came from exceptional influence of mindworm on public unrest – but controlling them is still a challenge. Democratic was, as Datalinks suggested, bureaucracy hell that somehow worked for large and rich populations of Earth. Young prodigy knew better than to allow ordinary people to decide matters of survival.

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on April 29, 2020, 09:38:26 PM
Progenitors, fungus fields and Biology Labs

Exploration relentlessly continued though rough fungus terrain, continent is almost mapped. Fungus is found in every corner and it spreads further under the ocean. It was likely planet wide phenomenon. There are patterns in it, scientists are sure, but they have yet to understand the meaning. Hypothetical race that might have lived here is being now called Progenitors and prevalent theory is that they used fungus as resource source.
By now it was possible to extract some nutrient value for fungus, but 1-0-0 fields are impractical for use. That sprung extra efforts to build first real state-of-the-art Biology lab in Dawn of planet capital base. 

(https://i.imgur.com/6s1PS8c.png) 

Practical applications followed enthusiasm: extraction of building materials from fungus terrain was improved, making it into almost usable 1-1-0 fields.
Most unexpected, Biology Labs turned out to be very easy to build and maintain. Mere 40 minerals for important early science boost, a cost of single Former unit, or total of 80 energy credits to rush buy. Due to complicated machinery Former cost 160 energy credits to rush. And it doesn't really cost anything to maintain them once built – fungus is present everywhere. There might yet one another benefit to them, Cha Dawn hoped, Biology labs could be crucial in efforts to breed elusive mindworms. Preliminary research shows that it should be possible.


Map of the known world – M.Y. 2173.


Bases kept building colony pods after formers and  The Cult is now four bases large, with more on the way. Explorers found out that no other factions have bases on our quite a large landmass. Infrastructure is basic, even in Dawn of Planet – but thats was going to change. It already set Recreation Commons and Biology Lab in build order - funds are prepared for hurrying up the projects.

(https://i.imgur.com/obrUC7k.png)
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on April 30, 2020, 02:25:05 AM
Unlucky:
(https://i.imgur.com/KCm3suE.png)

This is what caused me to stop my own AAR / evaluation of Will To Power mod.  Look at defender!  All factors in its favor "to the gills" yet still gets trashed.  Not just trashed but trashed badly, only 50% damage to attacker.  That IMO means Psi combat is broken.  When odds are that strong the results should be fairly certain.  Otherwise why am I bothering to invest in defensive capabilities?  Game is wasting my time that way.

Interested to see how you end up using your time, and for how long.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: dino on April 30, 2020, 12:02:33 PM
I doubt it's PSI combat specific "issue", but all combat issue, if you consider it an issue not a feature that is.
He added a huge level of randomness to individual battle result, so even with great odds you have a small chance of loosing.
If a unit wins a combat round the looser strenght for the next round is divided by a value.

With alternative_combat_mechanics_loss_divider=3.0 the combat is mostly determined by the first round.
While vanilla rules has an issue with even slight strenght difference making win an almost 100% with only how much HP it'll cost being a small factor.

alternative_combat_mechanics_loss_divider=1.0 is vanilla behaviour
alternative_combat_mechanics_loss_divider=1.5, or 2.0 is what I personally use currently, still undecided what feels best for me.

Here is detailed explanation of the feature, with the graph being the most relevant:
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=21359.msg122935#msg122935

As you can see with 3:1 strenght in your favor, you would have practically zero loosing chance in vanilla, while with the modded rules and 3.0 divider it's a 17% loosing chance.

>Otherwise why am I bothering to invest in defensive capabilities?  Game is wasting my time that way. Interested to see how you end up using your time, and for how long.

Actually it's vanilla that makes anything above 50% strenght advantage almost irrelevant and with attack being double of defense, who attacks first is the only thing that matters.
Even attacking comparable tech and morale unit behid perimeter defense doesn't give defender an advantage in vanilla.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on April 30, 2020, 03:03:38 PM
He added a huge level of randomness to individual battle result, so even with great odds you have a small chance of loosing.

In my playtesting it wasn't empirically small at all.  It was consistent and extremely random, like 50% coin toss no matter how you prepared for combat.  Which is pointless because the only skill becomes attrition, building many more units with the expectation you'll lose half of them.  It makes mindworm defense in the early game exceedingly expensive and frustrating.  Mindworms plow through your units like butter even when you give them every possible defensive advantage.  And you can't just attack them first because Tim nuked that play mechanic.  It's basically an adversary you can't stop or hold, except by building tons and tons of units, which IMO is a complete waste of player's time.

Quote
Even attacking comparable tech and morale unit behid perimeter defense doesn't give defender an advantage in vanilla.

Defense actually works in my mod, which uses only the stock game binary.  Beefed up Sensor Arrays, removed infantry base attack bonus, etc.  Don't need some crazy new combat formula to solve a defense problem, I solved it.

Will To Power explores "combat is more dangerous and volatile" but it has gone too far.  IMO it's broken.  Anyways back to the AAR.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: dino on April 30, 2020, 03:19:40 PM
> Will To Power explores "combat is more dangerous and volatile" but it has gone too far.  IMO it's broken.

I agree the divisor value 3.0 is too much, but the graph shows what you are getting into and you can adjust it to your liking, disabling the feature included.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on April 30, 2020, 04:44:56 PM
I actually don't mind that case - i singled out one where worm killed trance scout. I had 10 other fights where scouts won. Native worms are a threat - managable one, where its hard to be 100% safe from them. I place my bases usually 4 tiles apart - so if defender ever dies i can just move in another one. And occasional rover is very helpful. Its actually extremely useful to have  several empath scout rovers on hold around continent - had that in two of my games. When ecological damage is huge up to 8 worms i think spawn - and i managed to handle that many times. Once or twice when i failed worms destroyed a facility or two.. its nothing for large empire. But for example its real difference to play Miriam and Deirdre.. Miriam struggles while Deirdre goes on just fine. In this current AAR i lost 2 scouts and 2 worms maybe while killing a dozen and capturing 4-5.

I also watched that Sid Meier's GDC talk - and its really funny. Players expect 3:1 to win 90+% of time.. not 75%. And its a disaster if they lose twice in a row  :danc:. The chance for that is 1:16.. 6% so realistic. Then 2:1 is not the same as 20:10.. apparently 20 is big.. and so combat odds are skewed in civ games to make player feel good. Sid says it himself.

--
PSI combat issue is that its a bit weirdly specific in this mod. It works well most of the time - as intended - worms are dangerous, do not need upgrades,  and can kill even the most advanced defenders behind perimeter defenses. But they do cost 92 minerals i think, cheaper by 25% with late Brood pit, move only 3 tiles and attack only once. All fine - ups and downs.

Issue i had so far, i play around it, is that they are not good at attacking non-combat units. Attacking Former, Probe unit or Colony pod is dice roll - as its impossible to get 90+% odds. 8-1-2 rover gets 8:2 (former on forest in its land) and it will kill Former cca 80% of time.. not exact numbers. Few of these rovers melt formers 2 a turn and need to heal.
Worm can't do it.. +3 planet worm gets 45% bonus and with some morale edge it has for example 1.5:1 and will die 33% of  time. Its even worse because Former in  base gets +50% and territory is +50% - so Worm is actually losing that fight most of the time. Conventional attackers with decent tech win most of the time - attack 6 or 8 which is not late at all in the mod).

So in that way mindworms are weak. The trick, at least for me is to use the mix, Worms attack in favorable terrain and vs top-tier defenders while Rovers and Infantry attackers mop up less armored targets. Worked well so far.
And they are excellent vs -Planet factions - i really ruined Morgain with worms. In one fight he lost 5 interceptors attacking my 50% HP Locus and finally killed him with 6th attack. Its fun when RNG is on my side ^^. He had big negative planet rating and some bad RNG. I also lost with Miriam two full hp units attacking 10%HP mindworm.. that can happen anyone who played Diablo 2 should know  ;lol.




Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 01, 2020, 01:35:08 AM
Its actually extremely useful to have  several empath scout rovers on hold around continent

Does WTP give that tech away at the beginning of the game? Because all of my mindworm gross unfairness problems occurred at the very beginning of the game.  It is not natural for me to think in terms of building Empath Song units to solve mindworm problems.  In the normal game, and in my mod, that's a Tier 4 tech that you only get by focusing on Explore.

I also may not have had the productivity for it anyways.  It was the beginning of the freakin' game, I wasn't awash in all kinds of excess minerals.  Tim is very tightfisted about allowing you to have any productivity.  I was barely getting anything together, barely getting those Command Center Trance units out to my bases.  And then the mindworm squashes me anyways, like I didn't even struggle mightily to get prepared.  It's ridiculous.  Total gaslighting.

Don't see why +50% attack would be any better than Hypnotic Trance +50% defend anyways.  Well maybe he changed them to +25% anyways.  Whatever the going rate is.  If they're the same, I don't see why it would help.

Quote
Players expect 3:1 to win 90+% of time.. not 75%.

How much real fighting have you studied?  You should die if 3 equally skilled attackers attack you.  You get surrounded and killed.  Have you been watching too many TV shows, with gunfights where the hero has plot armor and all these people shooting at them can't hit?

If you're in a duel, what does it mean to be "3X as good" as your opponent?  What do you think it means in the Ultimate Fighting Championship?  Know what?  It never happens.  Those duels are between closely matched fighters as otherwise the fights would not be interesting.  You don't put the world champion in with some rookie, because the rookie would be taken out in about 1 minute.

The expectations communicated to players are bollocks.  I'm 3X as good as this mindworm, yet it trashes me and it's merely breathing heavy, it wasn't that much of a struggle.  In fact I've seen combats where the mindworm took me out unwounded even with odds grossly in my favor.  That means the odds system communicates nothing about what to expect from the fight.  It's random attrition.  Am I going to have to throw 9 guys at this jerk?  I don't have that kind of early game productivity to spend.  So I quit playing, because clearly the combat system hasn't survived playtesting reality.

Quote
And they are excellent vs -Planet factions - i really ruined Morgain with worms. In one fight he lost 5 interceptors attacking my 50% HP Locus and finally killed him with 6th attack. Its fun when RNG is on my side ^^. He had big negative planet rating and some bad RNG.

Unless Morgan had infinitely many cheap interceptors to lose, that's bad AI.  The AI should be aware of its odds penalties.  If the AI can't be made aware of its penalties, that's a really serious problem.  Because fiddling combat systems, would change everything an AI knows how to do.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 01, 2020, 03:07:24 PM
Well i understand what you say - its the way it is - i played thousands of hours of various games and mods  i like can be counted on fingers of one hand. I presume there were 100s of good mods.. i just didn't find appeal in them. This mod defy your expectations and you likely will never  like it.  :D

Alpha Centauri always inspired my imagination - i know combat rules make little sense and i don't mind. Vanilla combat doesn't make sense 4-1-1 unit stomping other 4-1-1 unit 100% of the time. Yet somehow 1-4-1 armored unit with worst weapons in the game fare much better in that fight. You can find flows in any game system, there are things i don't like as well, but its better than vanilla in my opinion.

That said if worm kills my unit with 1:3 odds it is what it is. I'll likely win following two fights. What's 3:1 its up to anyone's imagination..  How many humans are needed to kill a lion.. 1, 10, 20, 100? I presume alien telepathic mindworm has a chance to kill any humans regardless of any weaponry and armors. Hypnotic trance comes in nicely to boost the odds.
They are not overpowered certainly - PSI combat is 1:1.. its just different and cannot be 100% safely countered. Rest is statistics..

I'll try to post continuation tonight - i played quite a bit more but need time to prepare story and images.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 01, 2020, 04:12:48 PM
I presume there were 100s of good mods..

Why would you presume that?  Most modders completely lack discipline, don't playtest their work in front of real audiences, and their QA is abysmal.  They don't have a professional attitude towards game development.  I've put 2 years into my modding project, so it's higher quality than the vast majority of mods out there.  That doesn't mean my decisions have to be to your taste, but it does mean I'm not in remotely the same league as all the amateurs.

Quote
This mod defy your expectations and you likely will never  like it.  :D

If you mean Will To Power, Tim is a good designer but he hasn't finished his work yet.  In fact he seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, which is a bit concerning.

Quote
Vanilla combat doesn't make sense 4-1-1 unit stomping other 4-1-1 unit 100% of the time.

At first I thought you were writing about stomping "all the other units", not an identical unit.  SMAC has an offense vs. defense combat system.  The result makes perfect sense within that system.  4-1-1 is a glass cannon.  Whoever attacks first, wins.  It's like if 2 unarmored people face off with gatling guns.  First shot wins.

I personally would not implement an offense vs. defense system, because I don't like silly things like AAA armor magically shooting planes out of the sky.  I would have simultaneous attacks vs. defensive armors that mitigate damage.  The armor wouldn't be fighting back, you'd just be failing to wound your opponent.  Combats also wouldn't go on for unlimited time, only a fixed time.  Standoffs would be a possible result, and quite likely in some matchups.

Quote
but its better than vanilla in my opinion.

I disagree.  It's currently awful, and it's a different kind of awful.  Vanilla is a rather low bar for claiming an improvement, but at least vanilla combat is predictable.

A substantive measure of awful, is what new players on r/4Xgaming think of something.  Not what "old hands" who are bored out of their minds think.  Your basic issue is you're starved for challenge.  So you'll grasp at anything that feels like a challenge for a change.

I don't think Tim's work has been in front of r/4Xgaming long enough to have a verdict on it.  Nor would I expect his current version to be his last release, "done with any tweaking".

Even with my own work, after 2 years, I don't feel I've received all that much feedback from r/4Xgaming.  It takes a long time to get players to lift a finger, let alone talk about what they experienced.

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 01, 2020, 07:48:41 PM
I suppose you are with lots of stuff there. "Better" is ambiguous word - more challenging for me, thats the right description. Thats what i was looking for in a mod. And its fresh experience so its fun and here i am writing AAR. Basically thats it, I won't pretend that i know much about design. I didn't have the chance to try your mod - I'll gladly give it a chance once i get bored with this one. This one had catchier name  :danc:. I usually move on for awhile once i explore something to my liking.

On to Part II:

Contact

M.Y. 2160 was historical year - first contact! Scouts from Consecration Pit base, settled on northern side of the continent, were astonished by advancing Sea Transport Foils. Aliens! Big green aliens – there was no doubt! Cha Dawn was immediately notified and scouts remained hidden. News was surprisingly accepted; inner circles apparently had been preparing for the possibility ever since the discovery of Progenitor psych. Delegation consisted of four experts, including leading biologist from Dawn of Planet.
(https://i.imgur.com/5bXsV4W.png)

Details were never revealed to public; delegation made contact and soon afterwards large amounts of energy credits were transferred from Dawn of Planet. Celebrations followed. Rejoice! Aliens recognized humans as equals. And life continued, a little bit different, still mostly unchanged.
Stories in inner circles spread over time – delegation somehow arranged a trade for Sea Foil designs. No treaties were signed, no maps exchanged, no contacts promised – aliens were interested only in energy. From descriptions Cha Dawn gathered they were few in numbers, arrogant, even proud, but not strong as they seem to be presenting themselves. Clearly they were in need of resources, yet uninterested for diplomacy. And he felt, as he only could, they were not here to bargain.

(https://i.imgur.com/vxUYv2N.png)

Concordat of Worms received new orders – assembling the first Gun Skimship (1)-1t-4 prototype. Urgent priority. Trance trained crew will be well prepared for voyage into uncharted Chiron oceans. Techs assured leadership that mounting weapons on ship won’t be an issue. At this time Cultist had perfected design for Impact Particle weapons (3) – but decision was made to produce Skimship with basic weapons only. It could be upgraded if need arises. There was still no mass weapon production in colonies, except those of flamethrowers.

In Dawn of Planet experiments were ongoing on Superconductors applications – electronic systems were foundation of both Earth and Chiron technology. Combined with knowledge acquired on Earth microbes interaction with Chiron ecosystems and coupled with genetic engineering techniques – scientists insisted – it was possible to create The Living Rafinery. Project would manipulate microbes into production of useful materials that would significantly increase SUPPORT and logistics of cultist’s bases. The only real suitable place for such a project was Dawn of Planet.

(https://i.imgur.com/rUbkOYC.png)

Few years into project communications with aliens worsened. Skimship encountered alien Foils; this time talks went quickly downhill. Apparently Cha Dawn was called “manipulative demagogue” by their leader. He calls himself Conqueror Marr – communication was hard but linguists were sure that much. Cha Dawn didn’t look kindly to being conquered, gravity of threat was real; northern bases had only basic defenses from native wildlife and couldn’t withstand serious attack.

(https://i.imgur.com/FNEvp3y.png)

He took a deep breath. The Living Rafinery would be a dream come through, reality is, it was not going to happen. Dawn of Planet did not have good industrial capabilities and no obvious ways to improve it significantly. If mine would have been built on northern mineral resources then food would be lacking. More workforce would help, yet it was unrealistic – growth was slow and space limited – productivity would be low and even rebellions possible. If only infrastructure could be improved, yet that was another dream. Cultists were no experts in infrastructure building and research was slow in the field. Hard decision had to be made – defense is priority and project was canceled.

Alien surprise


Freshly built Gun Skimship breezed along the coast of nearby eastern landmass. That is where nearest landmass was located, it was possible after all that aliens settled there. Then there is still a hope of finding other humans. And it happened as expected – armored Synthmetal Rover was driving along the coast; crew surprised when they were hailed.

(https://i.imgur.com/W4rYCf4.png)

On contact, aliens cautiously greeted the crew with, what seemed to be, friendly phrases. Something felt very different about them – further communication revealed it – they never met human race before. Their leader, Guardian H’minee engaged in diplomacy. Prophet Cha Dawn and Guardian H’minee assured each other on the mission to protect the planet. The result – first treaty between aliens and humans. No trades were agreed that day. These particular aliens had cautious attitude to pretty much everything.
Cha Dawn meditated long on it. There was little reason to believe these particular aliens were settled on the planet for long. It was plausible that Guardian H’minee overpowered arrogant Conqueror Marr in battle – his faction seemed to be doing well. They probably both landed at the same time in fireballs spotted years ago from Concordat of Worms. The fact that H’minee is unaware of Cultists previous contacts with their race is telling. Furthermore H’minee was interested in Planet well being, while Marr cared more about extracting energy from it. Finally, they had opposite communication approach, even their titles seem to clash. There was no hard proof to any of this, but the reasoning was sound.

New players and floating cities

Sometimes in 2170s, during first encounters with aliens, scouts reported seeing distant floating cities on far southern top of the continent. Idea was ridiculed, at first – prescribed to traumatic aftereffect of psi terrors. Several mindworm creatures were spotted south; they seemed to aggregate there. Then came another report, and visual proof, and finally delegation was sent on long voyage. Whoever it is they must have sophisticated technology. Cultists Foil designs, traded from aliens, showed potential for creation of Sea Colony pods. If scaled well, coupled with some physics knowledge and uniqueness of Chiron seas, possibility of building floating cities was there. Cultist were at a time even worse in advanced physics than in infrastructure designs so at a time nothing came out if it.
In M.Y. 2189. contact was established. Foreman Domai, ex Unity Assistant Jobtech 3rd Class, was leading the faction that called itself Drones. Apparently Foreman organized disgruntled workers into big industrial syndicate and 90 Chiron years later he is here overseering floating cities.

(https://i.imgur.com/POBQ0yQ.png)

Foreman was big on Industry, his workers muscular and busy, machines hummed all the time. Water was awfully oily and polluted around city’s metal appendages, Planet sure did not appreciate such invasion nor did the delegation. Foreman himself was quite busy and conversion falsely polite, it was not possible to find real common cause. Welfare of Humanity is overvalued, on Chiron everyone was on its own. Fake treaty was signed, both sides knew it, yet they still went with it. On question of trade exchange Foreman was not interested, but he didn’t shy away from 60 energy credits; in return he provided communications to Provost Zakharov.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 01, 2020, 08:00:41 PM
Provost was refreshingly honest and forthcoming.

(https://i.imgur.com/Qz8lDK6.png)

He couldn’t suppress his delight with Planet and all of its unending research opportunities. Eager talks about tech development followed. Highlight being Provost expertise in particle physics; University produced viable miniature Fusion reactors on Chiron, something that eluded Earth scientists forever. They could be used to power everything, from combat suits to rovers and formers. And they gladly traded it for knowledge of Secrets of Human Brain – the only technology that cultists had over University. Even Universities best scientists couldn’t tap into connection with Planet in the way Prophet could.

(https://i.imgur.com/qR6hz6T.png)

Map of planet was exchanged for second tech – Synthetic fossil fuels. Happy with trade, delegations agreed on formal Treaty of friendship paving the way for future cooperation.

Synthetic Fossil fuels

Biology Lab in Dawn of Planet was working in full capacity. Rediscovery of such powerful energy source turned into wave of enthusiasm.  It would have to be manually produced on Chiron, but none the less it signified a great leap forward. With fossil fuels came new rocket weapon systems (5), stronger than both Particle Weapons (3) and Gatling Lasers (4). Armor technology was lacking comparatively, Synthmetal (2) being the peak advancement so far.

Fossil fuels had destructive effect on fungus – no wonder there – and possible practical applications followed in terraforming. Fungicidal Formers are able to clear fungus field in half the time – but it was to be used only with special approval of Cha Dawn. Only a few of such formers were ever produced.

Dawn of Planet was promptly instructed to build first Missile Speeder 5-1-2*2, perfect greeting for Conqueror Marr, if he dares to land near north bases. It was the right time for prototype development – The Cult spread over large area and security started to become an issue.  This speeder was later supported and stationed in northern bases.

(https://i.imgur.com/XyKxdFG.png)

Fusion Reactor

Fusion reactors reduced cost of all units by about 20%.

(https://i.imgur.com/nIEjvBt.png)
Speeder production required 60 minerals compared to 80 with old Fission reactor. Formers were down to 30 mineral (from 40) and Colony pods to 50 (down from 60). Advanced variants, like Rover Formers, exceptional road builders, are now cheaper as well. Fusion powered fueled new wave of expansion of the Cult.

M.Y. 2181 Tau Ceti Mantle – HQ of Conqueror Marr

(https://i.imgur.com/P722mv6.png)

M.Y. 2181 Drones floating cities

(https://i.imgur.com/9mIDNRT.png)

Provost Zakharov informed us that Human Genome Project was nearing completion in one of Drones bases – apparently Foreman Domai hosted the project using Universities expertise. Apparently Provost didn’t mind that control of the project was not in his hands as long as science was done.

(https://i.imgur.com/ZMDzPRe.png)

The project was completed in M.Y. 2182. Domai also earlier completed The Merchant Exchange – his faction was real industrial powerhouse. He was not the only one with sea bases though, Guardian H’minee settled one on the east coast. Colonization of Chiron was in full swing.


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 01, 2020, 10:25:54 PM
This one had catchier name  :danc:.

Tim solicited suggestions.  Mine was Thought Control Mod.  Will To Power isn't that far off, just a different quote.  Personally I thought Thought Control was less obscure.

I notice Living Refinery costs half of what Command Nexus costs.  I don't think +2 SUPPORT is that useless.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 02, 2020, 11:15:31 AM
I was also surprised with The Command Nexus cost, i left some feedback in mod thread earlier, i think he overvalued it somewhat. I had some thought about this and its complicated issue - i think i might have rough idea how he calculated the cost.

First, there's a grand scheme - design goal was to make conquest hard - in vanilla its kind of easiest way to win. Tim said so in his thread i read that somewhere. So he went to great lengths to make combat deadly for attacker - primarily player i suppose, and he wanted the to have tripple the force to guarantee base conquest. I think he roughly succeeded in that goal. Big factor is 50% territory defense that causes some other weird outcomes though, but main goal works.

Its complicated - even though the attack is harder - defender can't heal fast. Attacker is usually stronger anyway and in SMAC and from what i could observe so far AI can eradicate each other effectively. Now, he also flattened morale a lot - Command Centers cost 80 minerals and 2 maintenance, Children's Creches do not improve morale - SE choices are somewhat morale starved. He removed bonusus to Very Green units - and moved away Bioench. centers for example. All of this increases casualties.

This makes staking morale very valuable and its main source of his reasoning. I played the game with Miriam where i built Command Nexus and in midgame i actually could produce Elite units directly out of bases. You have to pick Fundamentalism, but future SE choices are available earlier in the mod. They seem ok balanced, i don't have much playing xp yet. Picking Fundy is no issue at all - because probes - that are overpowered as  hell in SMAC.  Elite units are so strong that i plowed through AIs no problem - double attack is really op. With Elite status and movement boost infantry attackers are much more useful as well. Extra 25% really matters.

Another thing about game dynamics in the mod is weapon scaling. Mainly its about equal up to point, factions tech at roughly same rate, but that changes mid game. Weapons of strength 10, 13, 16 overpower armor and many defending units are not up to date. Percentage bonuses are stronger on high base... Mobility and bombardment come into place as well and conquest really speeds up.

Anyway back to price. So I thought - projects that give facility in each base are OP. Weaker bases get it when they couldn't and there's no maintenance. For example Virtual world is so strong project partly because Network nodes cost 3 maintenance per base. But The Command Nexus is a waste in all bases - i thoght - i kind of need early midgame for example, 3-4-5 max bases to produce units. These can get Command centers, other bases are busy with sciency and energy.. formers etc.
By late midgame i might want another production center - maybe on end of big continent (tho mag tubes eliminate the need). Or maybe on another continent, thats reasonable. And that turns the number of Command centers to roughly 10.
Tim might have used something like that for cost: he wrote in readme 10 x faciliy cost(80) = 800 command nexus.

I think its overvalued - because it only affects ground units and its not really that useful in all bases. Take this AAR for example, its clear that bulk of fighting will be naval and air based. Then project is available early at enormous cost. Its expected of project of this cost to be available in midgame when bases churn out 20-30 minerals.. and that would take 25-30ish turns.
One good important sideeffect of large cost of this project is that its safe fallback SP. Minerals can be invested in it if AI builds other projects so its rare to waste ton of production due to no available projects. Another good thing with more expensive projects is that usually one AI can't gobble them all up quickly. Nor the player.

All this said, The Command Nexus should probably be not valued more than 500 minerals, even 600 looks taking it over the top. I might mod that out if i continue playing the mod a lot in the future. I don't mind Command centers at 80 mins and 2 maintenance - they are strong.
Regarding The Living Rafinery - its quite good project and its expensive - 400 minerals so he values it a lot. +2 support is not that great per se, but it allows much more options during SE changes - and its awesome just for that. Only cheaper projects are The Merchant Exchange at 200 (rightly so) and science doublers at 300. Those should be likely more expensive.
Many secret projects look to expensive in my opinion, i think he designed them with Crawlers in mind. Single Crawler is 120 minerals and can't get cheaper with reactors.. so a couple of them reduce the cost significantly. I avoid using Crawlers for SP, but in this mod is expected. Later SP cost as much as 2000 minerals and even 50 mineral base takes 40 turns to build that. My expectations is (might be unjustified) 10-30 turns for SP.. anything below too cheap, above too expensive.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 02, 2020, 06:48:00 PM
Think you meant Hologram Theater costs 3 maintenance.  I changed that in my mod to 1 and also cheapened HT to 50 minerals.  So Virtual World is not as valuable in my mod.  I actually changed AI's rating of the SP so that it won't go after that if better SPs are available.

SPs all start at 300 minerals in my mod.  "Expensive midgame" in my mod is 500 minerals, like the Planetary Energy Grid.  No supply crawlers, no factories, no thermal boreholes, no condensers.  Those come late game.  Well, Genejack Factory might come late midgame if one is Build focused.  It's Tier 5, other ones are Tier 6.




Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 03, 2020, 09:26:12 PM
Part 3

The Cult infrastructure


The Cult had a number of issues in first century on Chiron that were difficult to solve. Expansion was relatively slow, defense inadequate and attempts to build larger so called secret projects failed. Main culprit was low population limited by infrastructure if not by food access. This was about to change in following decades.
In M.Y. 2182. while researching Polymorphic software applications for distracting enemies, military researchers created something unintentionally much more valuable. Holograms intended for military purposes could be modified for general purpose use – specifically, for entertainment and population control. Facility, in its final form represented futuristic Hologram Theater. It was quite expensive maintenance-wise (3 energy credits), but the boost to colonist psych was amazing – estimates predicted that base populations could be increased by 40% after Recreation Commons. Construction costs were relatively low and amounted to 60 minerals or 120 energy credits.

(https://i.imgur.com/Mj0MvR3.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/sVdss45.png)

Then in M.Y. 2189. Children's Creches finally became a reality on Chiron. Colonists accustomed to life in new environment and life slowly got better in all aspects. People started to devote more to larger families and organized approach to child care was necessary. The Cult sponsored education – so called Ethical Calculus was applied. Parents were instructed to produce many children, a system of incentives developed, and Children's Creche was afterwards mandatory for every child. There children would receive the best care and education possible in ideas promoted by The Cult. Meanwhile the parents would still have enough time to efficiently work.  System proved excellent, family people were more happy and content with accommodations and even rebellious incidents slightly decreased.
In this system Ethical Calculus and Children's Creches produced sustained increased growth while happiness and entertainment was handled with Recreation Commons and Hologram Theaters. Exactly what Cha Dawn wanted for a long time – increased productivity and more workforce. Soon, large Secret projects like The Living Refinery will be possible.

As usual Dawn of Planet was first to lead.
(https://i.imgur.com/gWtbckC.png)
Children's Creche was built in record time. Hologram theater followed next while the population grew faster than ever.

Cold dead fingers

M.Y. 2195. Cultists Trance Gun Skimship was cruising near fourth! Drones sea base when contact was made with Conquerors Marr Transport Foils. Arrogant aliens had one request and they didn't ask politely:

(https://i.imgur.com/pxAofWi.png)

There was only one possible answer crew could give, others would lead to explaining cowardice to Prophet, and fight broke out.
(https://i.imgur.com/RWyyLU0.png)

The odds were not on side of Gun Skimship, but the crew managed to prevail. Usurpers Transport Foil sank to bottom of the ocean. Good riddance, it could have been used for potential invasion. Cha Dawn and Inner circle considered battle plans.

(https://i.imgur.com/7PHQnys.png)

The Cult had 10 operation bases in M.Y. 2195. Two northernmost, Seers of Chiron and Consecration Pits, were closest to Tau Ceti Mantle and most likely to be attacked. Missile speeder 5-1-2 was dispatched to bolster defense. One captured mindworm also was kept in nearby fungus in case aliens landed. On potential of attack, circle concluded, that it was unrealistic. Tau Ceti Mantle defenses were unknown – base was clearly significantly larger than even Dawn of Planet. Possible attacking force would include minimum 4 strong attackers, likely 6, supported by 1-2 strong defenders and transport logistics. The Cult had no any Transport Foils nor Gun Skimships to protect them. Additionally, bases on Chiron were mostly automated, it was logical to presume aliens ones as well, and there was real danger that Probe teams could take back control of the base even if conquered. The Cult had access to Probe technology and knew potential danger of Probe teams.

War in South


M.Y. 2197 Provost Zakharov voice was breaking on communication channel – he was betrayed by Foreman Domai and University Base under surprise attack. Unprepared, base quickly fell followed by fall of Baikonour base. Naive Provost was in huge trouble. He practically come begging for help to wise Cha Dawn. Cha Dawn could have no worse opinion of greedy Foreman and Pact of brotherhood with Provost was agreed. Provost would share technology with The Cult who would declare vendetta and joined the war. High Energy Chemistry technology was transferred to Cult Datalinks – that upgraded Cult armories with Plasma Steel Armor (3). Significant upgrade over now obsolete Synthmetal armor. The Cult was officially in war with the Drones. Provost was kind to share his maps to help war effort.

(https://i.imgur.com/VtSczBT.png)

Provost had one significant edge – technology edge, which was coincidentally Foreman's biggest weakness. Foreman was friendly with Provost while naive Provost shared technology – the moment Provost refused to share, Foreman decided to take it by force. Foreman's strength was in surprise attack and huge industrial production. He also exploited well University's weakness to Probe teams and stole all the technology he could. Hardworking drones were favorites to win the war.

(https://i.imgur.com/Cb3O87G.png)

Provost bases were at a time in disarray – losing headquarters caused huge inefficiency problems. Luckily, Provost had sturdy defense in Photon-Wall (5) armored defenders that were two generations ahead of the armor The Cult just got from University. High-tech defenders should be able to hold aggressive drones at bay for awhile. Zarya-Sunrise was trying also to organize defense versus Probe team incursions.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 03, 2020, 09:40:48 PM
Foreman's secret and the fifth faction

University's map reveal source of power of industrial might of the Drones. Lucky Foreman could not crash-landed better, next to Borehole Cluster, the best mineral and energy resource producer known to men.  Foreman used it well to build multiple secret projects and expand his empire to 20 bases, double of what The Cult had.

(https://i.imgur.com/8CiHEk6.png)

Single thermal borehole produces 6 minerals and 6 energy. Typical productive early tile produced 2-1-2 of resources, mines produce 0-4-0, while for example productive Garland Crater tiles produce up to 2-4-0,  if supported by Condenser. Condenser technology was not yet developed on Chiron, but it was known from Earth. Boreholes had two downsides, they produce no food and cause big ecological damage. It was known that mindworms aggregate and attack human settlements when fungus fields are under significant stress.

(https://i.imgur.com/00ytE8J.png)
Maps also revealed fifth faction west of the Foreman's domain. Provost didn't manage to establish communication with them. Cha Dawn dispatched single gun skimpship to make contact.

Centauri Empathy

M.Y. 2200 marked the year of significant progress, secrets of Centauri Empathy were revealed – Biologist announced success in effort to finally breed Mindworms in captivity. Cha Dawn already had plans for personal bodyguard and much more beyond that. Mindworms could became the key behind The Cult military power, fearless and without mercy, creatures could overcome even perimeter defenses without issues, where ordinary soldiers were doomed to fail.

(https://i.imgur.com/KOwwHnC.png)

Centauri empathy opened path to many applications. One was in infrastructure building, allowing roads to be built through fungus fields. Earlier, invasive builders would put fungus fields under stress and it would unstoppably spread and ruin any roads within days.

(https://i.imgur.com/ItbjOhM.png)

Economy of the Cult was  still Simple – with more options appearing as The Cult spread. Newest one was ideal of even more dedication to the Planet at great cost of industry and growth. Some deluded fools might consider Cha Dawn eco-lunatic and expected him to adopt Green economy, but in reality he was visionary and pragmatic. There would come time when Green economy will be the best choice, for now growth of The Cult was priority.

And last gift of the Centauri Empathy was insight into telepathic communications. It would be possible to train special humans talents into „Empaths“, capable of communacating maybe even with the planet mind itself. Secret Projects, Empath Guild was initiated in Dawn of Planet:

(https://i.imgur.com/Ji6qxmw.png)

Formers were on the way to build mines on nearby rocky hills and more workforce was on the way. Hologram theaters and Recreation common attracted people and held productivity high. It didn't take long to up the production to he point of causing some serious ecological damage around the base. Cha Dawn monitored situation carefully, he wanted to know how long would it take planet to recoil and react.

(https://i.imgur.com/CKWPzN9.png)

First Planetary Council

M.Y. 2012: Damaged Gun Skimship made contact with Datajack Rose of the Data Angles, another faction survived from the U.N.S. Unity. Provosts map were as accurate as his technology discoveries.

(https://i.imgur.com/deOhH5D.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/FGfI9RX.png)
Data angels appeared to be doing well on Chiron, they were busy meddling with cybernetic augments in their own world. Not much came out of the first meeting – large distances between factions certainly didn't help.

Three years later, in M.Y. 2105 first Planetry Council was organized by Deirdre Sky.
(https://i.imgur.com/f7K7ow0.png)

Deirdre was convincing with flattery backed up by real goods. Cha Dawn voted in Deidre's favor for large sum of 275 energy credits and one technological advancement. It was the vote against Foremai Domai, double win in, Cha Dawn thought. Money will be well used to speed up works needed to complete special project in Dawn of Planet.

(https://i.imgur.com/Cn2XcJS.png)

Elected as the President of Planetary Council Deirdre was going to get the most out of trading deals between factions and she would have a veto on any future Council decisions. The real power of Council was not yet clear, Aliens were significant force on the Chiron and they didn't attend. Furthermore humans were already clashing over resources and ideologies killing each other.
Post council, Cultists and Gaians signed a Treaty of friendship. New era on Chiron started, things were going to get much more interesting soon.

Map of the world


Deirdre traded her world maps which gave Cha Dawn new insights into Chiron and state of diplomacy.
(https://i.imgur.com/fMiJCoN.png)

Apparently, Gaians were already fighting versus Caretaker Aliens. Decision: Manifold base was under Gaians control, while Caretakers controlled Autumn Grove in far south. Did the aliens surprise attack Gaians? Its inconceivable how they managed to conquer that specific base. Eastern part of the continent was weirdly uninhabited, likely the war broke out and stopped colonization efforts.

The Ruins were located there as well.
(https://i.imgur.com/7ydBwaI.png)
These alien Monoliths were placed in a pattern, covered by fungus fields. Strangely , in between the Monoliths, fungus was not to be found – almost like it evaded the  focal point. Cha Dawn didn't yet understand the mysteries of The Ruins, but he was sure all of it tied somehow with fungus, Progenitor race and Planet. Planet itself appeared to be reacting to intrusion, almost as alive, but perhaps unconscious,  and its dormant defense mechanism might be native mindworms. Cha Dawn couldn't wait to discover more.

The map of The Cult – M.Y. 2105.

First Colony pods were headed for Garland crater edges. Engineers found a new way to significantly reuse resources and Recycling tanks were in order in every base. They would increase the base yield by 1-1-1, doubling its productivity and speeding up both growth and productivity.
Each base would build first Recycling tanks, followed by Recreation Commons – which would be enough to support 3 citizens with police unit. Then Children's Creches and Hologram Theaters were enough to support the population up to 5 citizens - Dawn of Planet current stage. Inner bases started to upgrade its infrastructure while the outer had extra task of preparing new colony pods and formers. Headquarters, Dawn of Planet, was deep into its secret project, Empath Guild.

(https://i.imgur.com/zLZvrPf.png)

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 03, 2020, 10:26:59 PM
Haha Drones are gonna keel yew.
 ;domai; :stickpoke: :help:
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 04, 2020, 03:17:13 PM
 :D Gww they got airforce way faster than me. Not a pretty sight  :mad:. Gonna be tough game.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 05, 2020, 03:14:12 PM
Part 4

Rushing facilities was cheap compared to training  units, for mere 60 credits 30 turns of work was overcome.
(https://i.imgur.com/u6bg6x7.png)

The Cult had over 10 bases and credits were becoming readily available. Recycling tanks would double productivity of Concordat of Worms and following that Recreation Commons would turn rebellious citizen into productive ones.  Recreation Commons was usually rush built as well. Size 3 base gather enough food to be able to work a mine for 4 extra minerals of production, typical base having not less than 6-7 minerals per turn. That was plenty of production to invest in Children's Creches, Biology Labs and formers.

On southern front good news! Provost announces liberation of University base.
(https://i.imgur.com/g6VpnNq.png)
Intelligence reports that as only a minor setback, Foreman's power charts are going through the roof. Several more sea bases were established around cultists continent and Drones likely stole all the technology they could from poor Provost. Reports also account a new Caretakers sea base to east.

The Advent of Supply Crawlers

(https://i.imgur.com/m94RD28.png)

Supply Crawlers were the colonists way to gather extra resources in the field in harsh environment and the lack of workforce. The machines were huge, clumsy and slow, but could sometimes withstand an attack from mindworms. Their use was mainly efficient for extracting resource from mines – which were mono-resource tiles as Crawler could only be built to extract one type of resource at a time. Rarely they could also be used to deliver nutrients or energy from bonus resource tiles. With current technology, it would take 30 Chiron years to pay off the Crawler due to its prohibitive cost of 120 minerals – most base governors rather built infrastructure. Usually Crawler would have been built after key infrastructure.
It was also realized by engineers that supplies and crawler itself could be well used for hurrying big secret project, like The Empath Guild that was in the works in headquarters. First Supply Crawler had exactly that one purpose – to deliver 120 minerals to the ongoing Secret project. Secret projects known to The Cult costed between 400 and 800 minerals and completing them was rather painful and slow. The advent of Supply Crawlers meant that The Cult could at least somewhat compete with industrial power of the Drones. Time showed that the Drones still managed to build most of Secret Projects anyway.

Pact of Brotherhood


Provost was mostly on his own in the war versus Foreman Domai, The Cultists had a few naval skirmishes only:  Gun Skimship was subverted by unsuspected Probe Foil  and later even Domai’s sailors managed to find and destroy the only Cultists Sea Former in far north. Nothing could be really done at a time as Domai had clear naval supremacy. Even creating ports for The Cult was difficult due to possible Probe team attacks. Cha Dawn still regularly contacted Provost to confirm their friendship.
(https://i.imgur.com/umtfWAX.png)

Typical base and the elusive Isle of the Deep

In far north new guest arrived for the first time. Aliens, on the same shore as Conqueror Marr’s Transport Foils, but this time they were native. Isle of the Deep was a kind of sea-base mindworm creature that apparently could transport mindworms. It would be intriguing the capture one, but The Cult had no nearby ships at a time. Subsequent effort to capture one in the wild unfortunately failed. Mindworms landed intelligently spread apart, because if stacked – it was known, when losing battle they would both died – presumably it had to do something with their psi-connections.

(https://i.imgur.com/3qFx3DU.png)
Missile Rover attacked and luckily capture the worm, then got stuck in fungus field. Captured worm was also unable to act immediately and 1-1t-1 trance defender moved in to protect both. Attacking worm had no edge over Scout due to  trance training, even though the battle happened in fungus field, and whole episode was successfully executed.
Consecration Pit was typical 3-sized base in the Cult. Thanks to Recycling tanks base square was strong resource produces and base could grow quicker and build Recreation Commons. Later as population grew in number it was even harder to have two citizens productive, but then energy credits were more plentiful for rushing infrastructure. Even not too far from Dawn of Planet slight inefficiencies lead to energy loss – something that would be usually patched by Children’s Creches positive influence.

Biodaptive resonance – Spore Launchers!

M.Y. 2213 new dots about the planet and aliens came to light. Chiron was home to strange special effect, a field that somehow resonated with living creatures and the most sensitive ones could even feel its presence.
(https://i.imgur.com/px68udQ.png)
It was proven that this field had stronger interaction near fungus fields and with lots of knowledge, training and luck talented individuals could describe it and eventually the way to precisely measure it was found. New ways of detecting and  extraction energy in fungus led to breakthrough and fungus was almost good resource source with its 1-1-1 yield. Some bases started first fungus resource extraction operations over working plain 1-1-0 grass fields.
Matching patters with alien’s bioligy revealed new information as well – aliens on Chiron were able to manipulate the fields in quite unique way. Conqueror Marr used it aggressively to increase strength of his attacks by 25%, while Guardian H’minee bolstered his defense by same amount. Any war versus aliens would be that much harder.

Humans could be trained as well in manipulating the field; the ability was called Empath Song and it was offensive in nature; these units would gain significant advantage over native lifeforms. Lastly, maybe the most important revelation was successful breeding of Spore Launcher creatures. Cha Dawn knew about great police effect of mindworms, but real-world application was lacking as those were very expensive to breed. Spore Launcher was much simpler creature and breeding it costed only 40 minerals compared to 90 of mindworm.
The things went even better from there – thanks to their range attack Spore Launchers could harass and sink enemy ships and they were very sturdy when attacked. There was still no aviation on Chiron, but breeders were sure one could even down the aircraft with its spores. Perfect defense for every base.


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 05, 2020, 03:22:26 PM
Probe team troubles

These were the first of tens of armored probes that passed though the channel.
(https://i.imgur.com/rahq2zZ.png)

These ones belong to Caretakes aliens to west, luckily, as red colorings was at first wrongly mixed up with enemy Drone units. Caretakes were on the way to harass Conqueror Marr. The Cult started to organize its own probe defense using mostly cheap infantry chasis 0-1-1, but it was too late.

(https://i.imgur.com/PZWKn5i.png)

Cha Dawn instinct was to refuse – yet probes were there maybe minutes away and nothing could be done about stopping them stealing the tech and more. This won’t be forgotten. Order was immediately given, every coastal base must have protection from probe incursions.
Naturally, Cha Dawn contacted Provost to talk about Probe team issues and Provost was again generous.
(https://i.imgur.com/vYi7UkW.png)
And generosity never forgotten.

M.Y. 2223. The map of The Cult

Decade after alien threat went relativelly peacefully and The Cult prospered.
(https://i.imgur.com/7hy8LHt.png)

Garland Crater was terraformed, with farms at first. Each inner farmed tile turned to 2-2-0 tile, if mined it would turn to 1-4-0; loss of food made mines unsustainable at time. Cha Dawn and inner circle made plans to fully colonize continent and get close to Drones sea bases – at which point effective warfare could be led.
Deirdre complete The Empath Guild project and her having now monopoly on it forced Dawn of Temple to redirect resource to The Command Nexus. Command center in each base would be a great boon to The Cult army. Supply Crawler, worth 120 minerals, was being assembled in Remain in Light base, next to Dawn of Planet. Intelligence reports that other factions also redirected their resources to remaining available secret projects.

M.Y.2227 – Field Modulation and fungus resource extraction

Improvement over findings on Biodapative Resonance brought in new fruits – energy extraction from funguls field is improved and fields are now of 1-1-2 yield. Another Secret project becomes a possibility, manipulation of Resonance field opens up the option of Climate control. The project is expensive at 600 minerals, but it is possible alternative to currently built Command Nexus in Dawn of Planet.
(https://i.imgur.com/TJ8v8Zf.png)

Then Deirdre came in with trade request. President of Planetary Council was accustomed to favorable deals already, but Cha Dawn accepted it anyway. The Cultist’s were backward in Discovery technologies and Cha Dawn knew what those lead into. The Internet on Earth was huge encyclopedia of knowledge that propelled humans to Chiron. Information Networks (D3) would lead to first Network Nodes in The Cult.

(https://i.imgur.com/5rPO33R.png)

Talks didn’t end there and Dreidre offers another unrefusable offer.

(https://i.imgur.com/26EYePU.png)
The promise of Centauri Psi could not be ignored. Any Centauri technology revealed mind boggling new secrets about the Planet and Cha Dawn himself had great interest in it. Guardian H’minee was no friend and the Prophet remembered his threats too well. Deirdre also claimed Guardian H’minee care for the Planet involved removal of human race, by force, and Cha Dawn had enough reasons to believe so.
It would be a war on two fronts, but war it is, Chad Dawn decided. Delaying it, afterall. could be even worse; if Gaians actually lose the war, The Cult would be in real trouble. Provost Zakharov wasn’t doing well in his war and it was just a matter of time when Drones would turn to north.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 06, 2020, 12:35:29 AM
Did you lose Reputation, making that Pact?  I forget what the rules are on that sort of thing.  You definitely lose Reputation if you don't make a Pact, if you simply agree to go wail on someone you have a Treaty with.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 06, 2020, 11:31:21 AM
Oh i have no idea - i'll see if i can come back to this, i should have saves before and after the war. Likely i did.

In general i care about Reputation a bit early in the game, but not too much. - Alpha Centauri diplomacy and its options are quite limited. There are no casus belli and its usually the best thing to provoke AI to attack instead - and when thats not possible you have to break truce or treaty. I am not clear of lengths of truces/treaties and the ways to break them - something to explore as i play more.

Another thing i found in all previous games is that AI just doesn't care - once player get strong enough - they won't share techs with you because player is "too advanced" and they won't even make pacts/treaties same as in early game. Then they always find some reason to declare vendetta - or they maybe get bought in a war. Even if you ally one AI, its just a matter of question when they would request to aid them in their war  - and then you again have same issues. The best diplomacy seem to be to ally some AIs when they ask for it and fight others with opposing ideologies. Staying neutral usually leads to war with everyone  :danc:. AI hates it when you befriend their enemies and it leads inevitably to conflict.

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 06, 2020, 03:13:49 PM
Being stronger than an AI faction can shut it up.  But if that's the case, who needs diplomacy?
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 07, 2020, 08:19:10 PM
I checked integrity in saves and i appear to be "Faithful" level all the time. Levels are:   Noble, Faithful,  Scrupulous, Dependable, Ruthless, Treacherous, Wicked, Infamous. Looks like that war declaration didn't knock down a level.

Part 5

Centauri PSI


Centauri Psi technology opened up new important insights into Chiron mysteries. New understandings first lead to key breakthrough, increased nutrient extraction from fungus field. This discovery,founded on top of previous Centauri technologies, made it possible to fully sustain humans in fungus fields. Current yield of 2-1-2 was comparable with rainy river tile with built in solar collector.

(https://i.imgur.com/M1UMWYr.png)
From this point on new sustainable bases could be built near fungus fields with zero terraforming investment; settling and development process sped up significantly. Fungus had its limitations, growth was not fast and mineral income low,but energy extracted at this point was actually quite significant. Bases relied on bonus nutrient resource and mines to increase growth and production.

Sealurks

(https://i.imgur.com/hI6MKWQ.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/UtZOhDN.png)

Deirdre and Gaians found out about another elusive sea native lifeform – Sealurk. Even better they provided Cha Dawn with living specimens and The Cult can now breed Sealurks in captivity. Sealurk appears to be predator, unlike Isle of the Deep creature that was not aggressive by itself. It could move quickly through fungus sea patches  and its as terrifying as better known land mindworms. They will be great weapon of The Cult in war versus aliens and Drones. Sealurks soon proved to have one big advantage over conventional ships – they are immune to probe teams! They are also as good in offense as in defense, something that usually was not the case with ships. Defense mattered in these wars as enemies had naval supremacy.

Manifold Nexus

Caretakers map was on the screen in the front of Cha Dawn: the seat of power of Guardian H'minee was in the Monsoon jungle, near equator region. Northern part of the continent was sparsely populated, but Guardian had also significant naval power through several sea bases. That was the main threat to The Cult.

(https://i.imgur.com/Go3m6OU.png)

In far north Deirdre mapped the location of Manifold Nexus.
(https://i.imgur.com/4PRC8Cg.png)

Deirdre intel suggests Manifold Nexus is one of focus points of Chiron Resonance field. Caretakers settled a base nearby - it is believed that aliens study of Nexus significantly improve their research and planet capabilities. That was of great significance to Cha Dawn – he could learn a lot if could get hold of Manifold Nexus.
Caretakers proved very adaptable in combat and their understanding of The Planet (+30% due to +2 Planet rating) and manipulation of resonance fields (+25%) made them very resilient in combat.Prototyping of new weaponry was ordered. First 1-4-1 Silksteel defenders and Chaos speeders 6-1-2 were trained in The Cult. Probe teams were also in positions in coastal cities ready to counter incursions. Cha Dawn was looking further into the options of taking Manifold Nexus under its own control.

Prometheus virus

Soon after the war declaration intel reported huge outbreak of deadly virus in monsoon jungles. Somewhat good news, several alien bases were severely affected and their population halved.
(https://i.imgur.com/TqaXqGN.png)
But the fear of disease spread to The Cult’s inner circles as well, what if it spreads?! Medical care was still after so many years mostly improvised. This worry had its place as the future will inevitable show. As for aliens, they will likely renew their population quick enough thanks to plentiful food sources in the monsoon area. It is the most fertile land on the planet afterall. 

The Weather Paradigm

Few years before the war start Guardian H’minee first completed The Command Nexus project – great military operation that through distributed Command Centers boosted the morale and training of all Caretaker’s units. Dawn of Planet was forced one more time to change its priorities, this time to The Weather Paradigm project – theorized about in newest discovery of Resonance field manipulation.
Decision was made to rush hurry the project with Supply Crawler resources and all of the energy The Cult had at a time. Hopefully that would be enough before the Drones build the project and monopolize Chiron’s climate.

(https://i.imgur.com/y3sKF0V.png)
And soon after Cha Dawn and The Cult had completed first Secret Project.
(https://i.imgur.com/v3Hsn89.png)

The Weather Paradigm improved productivity of cultist’s bases through significantly faster land terraforming. Engineers also have done their job well on advanced terraforming techniques: Thermal Boreholes, Condensers and Solar Echelons were finally available for buildings. These resource extractors caused significant ecological damage, but that was something Cha Dawn was already studying for some time.

(https://i.imgur.com/as5peo2.png)

While building The Weather Paradigm, Dawn of Planet was already causing stress on nearby fungus fields. Cha Dawn made it his own experimental project. The ecological damage grew slowly up to a point, until years later – after Network Node was fully operational, one of the fungus field uncontrollably bursted into growth and destroyed nearby farm and solar collector field. Fungus itself spread to a tile and stayed rooted there – and ecosystem near Dawn of Planet appeared to recover.

Experiment showed to Cha Dawn that resources could be extracted to a point, scientists marked it as “clean mineral point”, where The Planet itself wouldn’t react back. Pragmatically, both thermal boreholes and condensers could be exploited, augmented by resources from fungus fields, and all this while carefully monitoring the stress on fungus fields. Any earlier, now wasteful unneeded terraforming done, could be removed to reduce eco-damage. And thus, the plan was made to allow each base to work on one thermal borehole and when possible, one condenser field.Rest of the resources mostly came from fungus fields. Garland crater was made an exception as it was to be used for its remarkable mineral deposits.

Secret Project overview


Reports on secret projects witnessed Foreman Domai industrial supremacy. He managed to complete most of the projects. Notably he was now also in possession of unknown Manifold technologies and was on the way to build The Manifold Harmonics project. Cha Dawn was certain it is the project of great value, that Foreman likely won’t even fully understand or be able to use.

(https://i.imgur.com/6JuUclL.png)
Caretakers had two important secret project completed, both boosting their army capabilities; and Deirdre used The Empath Guild to control Planetary Council.

Nothing could be done more about secret projects at a time and Cha Dawn turned to domestic issues. First Spore Launce was bred in a biology lab – great achievement! That was Mankind’s first successful breeding of native life form. Fully grown Mindworm was also bred in Dawn of Planet now, this one would be more mature, due to Biology lab improvements, and even more terrifying. First Sealurks would also soon be ready to patrol the seas.

(https://i.imgur.com/JVL7xqs.png)

On intel side probe teams finally manage to break Conqueror Marr’s protection and infiltrate alien datalinks in newly built base. Tau Ceti Mantle was well protected and previous Probe team was executed there. Marr was surprisingly in a pact of brotherhood with Data angels, but the purpose of that unholy alliance was never understood. His constant war versus Caretakers probably one of the reasons The Cult had no issues with his attacks. The Cult and The Usurpers were at war for quite some already.

(https://i.imgur.com/OtOBur4.png)

Intel also managed to spy one interesting battle between Conqueror Marr and mindworms. Marr was paying the price to his planet exploitation.
(https://i.imgur.com/6L3Yl3V.png)


Efforts to infiltrate Guardian H’minee and Foreman Domai were also in the process – but both had naval supremacy over Cult as well as good Probe base protection.






Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 08, 2020, 09:09:48 PM
Part 6

Native police


First bred Spore Launcher was sent to base that was known to have rebellious drones.

(https://i.imgur.com/1ldJKm9.png)

The Cult's Police rating allowed only one unit to quell unrest, but fearsome effect of Cha Dawn's native guard was double. Each Spore Launcher, or mindworm for that matter, could quell up to two drones. That was the one advantage that cultists had even over Gaians – nobody could use native mindworms to such effect. Every base was ordered to breed at least one Spore Launcher police creature; plans were to increase police powers even more in the future – that way all cultist bases could grow up to size 7 and bigger without unrest.

Garland Crater – M.Y. 2245.

(https://i.imgur.com/7JbUDRp.png)
Terraforming was in full swing in Garland Crater, where convoy of Formers quickly farmed whole crater. In the middle of the crater Condenser was already completed and climate started to shift – the full power of The Weather Paradigm was in use. Condenser increased rainfall and crater tiles were now producing 3 nutrients and 2 minerals. Colony pods with settlers were on the way to settle Crater edges, it would be a waste to settle in crater.

It was planned afterwards to mine each Crater field turning them into productive 2-4-0 tiles. Condenser tile itself produced 4 turns and 2 minerals. The area had one downside, it was close to Drones sea bases – Domai for some reason settled almost all of his bases very close to the coast. At least drones now couldn't gather the resources from the nearby land. Sea bases had one big weakness – their mineral production was lacking, not that this would slow industrious Drones much.

Channel skirmishes

Concordat of Worms and Trance of Purity coastal bases had already trouble with Caretakers naval power. Attempts to counter alien probe teams with own probes utterly failed. Foil probes were quite hard to produce and overtaking alien ships expensive enterprise. The Cult didn't yet strong economy needed for extensive probe team actions. For that reason coastal bases raced to finish Biology Labs and produce Sealurk creatures – they will be the antidote to Guardian H'minee harassment. 

(https://i.imgur.com/ECFWYLQ.png)
Northern bases focused their production on colony pods – Prophet orders were to finish colonization of the continent. At a time Cha Dawn was planning to allow a variant of democratic society, naturally with him still in power behind scenes,  to promote population growth. But that plan never came to fruition as democratic society was vulnerable to probe attacks and the wars didn't seem to come to an end.

Several years later, when first Sealurks were ready for battle, power balance started to shift slowly.
(https://i.imgur.com/p9RcufW.png)

Sealurks had significant advantage in own territory, especially in fungus fields, but Caretaker's planet expertise and defensiveness always assured them some chances of victory.  Sealurks also were fewer in number and some died during attacks, but Channel was eventually secured.

Southern front – Provost troubles


Provost was not in the best mood in last talks with the Prophet. Foreman conquered three of his eastern bases and was further advancing. Cultists couldn't really cross the seas and help in battle, but they could offer some energy credits. Provost was kind enough once again to trade his technology in return.

(https://i.imgur.com/ZZ4NZ2A.png)

Photon-wall  armor (5) was 25% upgrade over latest Silksteel armor (4) that cultist experts developed on its own.  Provost used his advanced particle physics expertise to augment Silksteel armor with type of stealth technology, making Photon-wall armored troops significantly harder to target. A worthy upgrade indeed, even tho it didn't seem to cut it in his own war. Technology is worth it only so much without means of production.

In Channel, skirmishes continued – coastal bases were now guarded by Spore launchers. Between Spore Launchers and Sealurks Caretakers ships couldn't freely terrorize coasts anymore. Spore Launchers also were very effective in stopping base bombardments. They did have one important downside – bombardment of enemy probes were quite ineffective. Probes were very disciplined units resistant to native attacks.
(https://i.imgur.com/HzbyxAt.png)

This was the end of the last Gun Skimship of The Cult:
(https://i.imgur.com/wywBBml.png)

Sealurks were immune to such manipulations. Good news came from research labs – Fusion laser applications passed practical tests and first prototypes are in production. Fusion laser (8) is significant upgrade over Chaos Guns (6).  It was still mainly used for mobile counterattacks and mounted on Rovers as cultists could not really invade enemies.

(https://i.imgur.com/jp0EjS0.png)

Cha Dawn was looking at a way to attack many coastal bases near cultists continent. Drones had several and Caretakers had two to the east – but technology wasn't available on Chiron. Any unit trying to cross the sea and attack would practically drawn before it could break the base defenses. „Marine detachment“ ability developed with latest tech allowed effective ship boarding, but it was of little use as Sealurks were going to be used instead. Ships with Marine Detachment were vulnerable to enemy foil probes, there was no use in giving enemies control of even better ships to strike back.

M.Y. 2254 Map of The Cult

(https://i.imgur.com/VoPO1rv.png)

U.N.S. Unity wreckage sight was colonized in the middle of 23rd century. The land was barren, but it had some access to fungus fields that, now, could be used to sustain the bases. Quite the remarkable progress compared to first days on the Chiron.
To south Garland crater was colonized and mining operations progressed quickly. Each mine only took 4 years to build – thanks to The Weather paradigm climate manipulations.  East, west peninsulas were settled as well and colony pod was prepared to settle last north site near Fungus tower fields.

First blood – University demise


M.Y.2256: It all went quickly after University lost eastern bases – Domai's power overwhelming. University Base and Baikonour fell once again and Provost was captured, never to be seen again.

(https://i.imgur.com/rQdJawc.png)

Drones will hopefully need some time to contain University drones in conquered bases; infrastructure was destroyed as well. Still, with University out of the way they will be able to fully concentrate on The Cult. Their research  did not show signs of slowing, new bases would produce plenty of energy as Provost bases were partly settled on very valuable Uranium fields.


Thermal boreholes and condensers


(https://i.imgur.com/oHqKEGm.png)

Newly settled bases developed quite quickly. Typical base could would work a food tile, usually fungus and work one citizen on thermal borehole producing lots of minerals. There was one flow in the system: terrain wasn't really fertile causing growth to be relatively slow. In need of nutrients citizens would have to move away from working thermal borehole if the base was to grow. Bases with bonus nutrient resources could use utility of Condensers to avoid these problems.

Drones incursions – M.Y. 2266

(https://i.imgur.com/Pa55X6Q.png)

In M.Y. 2266 Drones landed its first unit on continent – single Chaos Drone Battery. It first retreated when attacked, but mindworm moved quickly through fungus and finished the job. In own territory mindworms had significant edge and could usually win battles regardless of Drones technology. It was first of many incursion that became larger and larger. Drones were targeting newly settled southern bases; The Cult built soon after two more bases to control the land. No bases were settled on coast to avoid potential ship and probe attacks.

Next incursion in M.Y. 2271 caught The Cult by surprise. This was the first real loss in the war. Luckily Colony pod and defenders were on the way to resettle the base and secure the area.
(https://i.imgur.com/XzR3NwB.png)

North also had its share of problems, every now and then Caretakers probe teams threatened to break the defenses.

(https://i.imgur.com/VEU08LA.png)
The Cult was fighting very cost effective in this attrition war. Alien 0-4-4 Foil Probe team was much more expensive than cheap 0-1-2 or 0-1-1 Probe defender, who else had 3:2 odds to win the battle. Territory bonus proved to be very strong factor. Defenders in time learned its best to have two defender probe teams per base as aliens attacked sometimes with several probes at a time.

Aliens also used territory bonus to its own advantage well. Sealurks trainersem emboldened by victories in Channel proceeded to harass aliens in their waters and they all died in fail attacks or counterattacks. Fungus terrain on sea didn't provide combat protection for Sealurks so attacks were ineffective unless coordinated with larger number of units. At 80 minerals per Sealurk The Cult couldn't do yet much in offensive war.






Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 10, 2020, 11:38:13 AM
Part 7

M.Y. 2272


Those pesky Drones had even more to attack – some of the units hid in fungus field. Cultist poured defenders to area and invasion was cleared. Colony pod arrive soon after to fortify area. To the north Garland crater was fully operational and formers moved to terraform newly settled southern bases.

(https://i.imgur.com/981wsC4.png)

To the north surprise!  Defenders weren’t able to control the channel and Domai decided to hit Usurper aliens instead – they were in war with pretty much everyone at some point. Conqueror Marr can't seem to stop making enemies. This made situation even more difficult. Newly taken base was well defended and it immediately start producing new units.

(https://i.imgur.com/sbO13fw.png)

In the same period one of Cha Dawn's ecological experiments produce fungus growth again. Planet reacts, now the mine was destroyed. Dawn of Planet had Thermal Borehole nearby built. Prophet was curios that The Planet didn't react with worm attacks yet as he was fully expecting it.

(https://i.imgur.com/XZahC6r.png)

Next in domestic news military scientists announce invention of ever better armor suits for cultist soldiers. The Cult was getting used to military operations all the time in second half of 2200s. Probability sheath (6) was designed with the help of escaped University scientists. Scientists somehow found a way to manipulate fundamental particles to arrange its structure on impact. Pretty much nobody understand physics of how the armor worked, but soldiers sure liked it.

(https://i.imgur.com/SfZyTFD.png)

That was not all – Cha Dawn used his diplomatic skill and great relations with Lady Deirdre to get new military technology.

(https://i.imgur.com/9FpLp6O.png)

Advanced military algorithms brought in SAM (surface-to-air missile) weaponry and deep radar abilities that allowed units to scan the area 2 tiles around them.  Deep radars were useful in ship applications and base defenses, as for SAM – The Cult was not aware that anyone on Chiron were close to air force. It seemed that Gaians prepared ahead of time.

(https://i.imgur.com/DEorxPV.png)

Full-scale advanced military operations could be now led from command centers of the cult including refitting industry for military purposes. The measures were reminiscent of full mobilizations during Earth World Wars. The cost for civil industry was great so Cha Dawn restrained from it for now.

After 4 years of fighting Domai's invasion was finally fully eradicated.
(https://i.imgur.com/fNkife4.png)

M.Y. 2278 The Cult – Core cities

(https://i.imgur.com/7Eyxbwr.png)

Core cultist cities at M.Y. 2278 had developed basic infrastructure and population of 4, 5 or 6 citizens and often were working on one thermal borehole. Careful measures were made to preserve planet's ecology and so far only transgression was made in Cha Dawn's personal experiments. Cities with finished infrastructure built military units. Those working on thermal boreholes and several fungus fields produced lots of energy would also build advanced infrastructure like Network Nodes. Cultist researchers were becoming equal to best on Chiron.

Air terror

M.Y. 2278. was the year when first Needlejets were spotted. Badly damaged Chaos Speeder was blown up to pieces in an instant.
Fusion powered Needlejets 8-1-12*2 had huge range of 12 tiles and could quickly travel across sea and any land terrain. Cha Dawn was now grateful to Gaians who provided him with <AAA> SAM units capable of shooting down needlejets. Domai refrained from attacking bases directly as expensive needlejets could be brought down, but in following decades many formers, probes and weak units were blown up.. For a long time southern part of the continent was poorly developed due to constant air threat.

(https://i.imgur.com/wfi5uwp.png)

Drones were also developing their sea operations – first Cruiser type ships were operational. Intel reported that the Drones were also attempting to coordinate their efforts to build „The maritime control center“ – that would make their ships even stronger. The Cult nowhere near had these capabilities and couldn't even start working on such a project. Talks with Gaians later revealed they had Cruiser capabilities as well, but they were unwilling to give up the technology as they were also interested in building this secret project.

(https://i.imgur.com/NAqeUWt.png)

Skirmishes

North had seen its fair share of small fights. Spore launcher and Sealurks mostly manage control threats to its bases. Guardian H'minee didn't have the numbers nor the technology of Drones. Artillery didn't require expensive armors and it significantly increased chance of winning naval fights.

(https://i.imgur.com/n4TfKHz.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/3R2QStj.png)

Artillery worked as well vs. Drones ships; land artillery had extra advantage in fights. The problem was that Drones controlled the seas and Sealurk trainers were in real danger, outnumbered every time when they dared to trespass near Drones sea bases. Drones had large number of now obsolete Plasma Steel Armor ships that counter more expensive Sealurks.

(https://i.imgur.com/NOYawEp.png)


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 11, 2020, 09:36:14 PM
Part 8

M.Y. 2281.


The Cult probe teams finally find a crack in Drones defenses and infiltrated their datalinks. Probe teams were killed on their way out – Foreman fundamentalist politics makes him tough opponentr, but his research will be slowed. He relies on his immense energy production and it worked well for him as he later adopted Knowledge value to counter lack of research focus.
Intel reveled that Domai was busy building Aerospace Complexes in most of his bases. His Needlejets will be even more powerful soon;  Aerospace Complexes also function as 100% defense bonus vs. air units so any idea of winning the war through air force attacks was already given up.

(https://i.imgur.com/kotzcj3.png)

Probe teams didn't give up that easily, but attempts to mind control any bases turned to failure anyway.
(https://i.imgur.com/0HwxIkv.png)

Free Drone Central was really weird place – with only 3 citizens huge production was mostly automated. Use of supply crawlers and thermal boreholes produced more minerals than Cult had in any of its bases. Luckily, The Maritime Control Center was slowly built, because the base supported lots of units. Foreman might have gone overboard with military production at expense to his secret projects capabilities. The city did grow large later when supply crawlers brought in plenty of food.

(https://i.imgur.com/MuAvj0F.png)

M.Y. 2282 Gaians lose Forest Primeval – they seem to be in big trouble. Counterattack were to na avail, Guardian H'minee defense is superb.
(https://i.imgur.com/4AkzPXl.png)

Same year was followed by more bad news – Drones started to build The Xenoempathy Dome, secret project that delve into secrets of Planet. Chad Dawn could follow the progress thanks to recent infiltration; it will take a long time to complete such project. Orders were given for producing Supply Crawlers in preparation to building one such project – if The Cult manage to learn technologies needed. It was worth a try; probe teams will also try to steal technology from its enemies, including Caretaker aliens.

(https://i.imgur.com/YxH6Cd9.png)

Then followed new invasion smaller invasion. The Cult also had ready Probability Sheath (6) armors and defenders could be equipped in time. Drones had no luck breaking the base defenses.
(https://i.imgur.com/gTfimXw.png)

Social changes


(https://i.imgur.com/v8j2VnT.png)

Cha Dawn after long thought decided to support fundamentalist movement in The Cult in these troubling times. The key decision that led to this change was adaptation of Knowledge values that significantly boosted research and efficiency at expense of economy and probe capabilities. Probe vulnerability was especially worrisome as Drones could steal entire bases together with supported units. Fundamentalist had two other advantages, Morale and Industry boost, latter being especially valuable.  The Cult's industry was not yet strong enough and army couldn't rely only on mindworms and sealurks. Cha Dawn wanted to adopt Green economics as well, but industry hit was simply too hard at a time. Planned economy was considered as well, but ultimately due to sheer size of The Cult and possible efficiency loss it was decided against it. Loss of efficiency would also cause more drones in the empire and that was unacceptable.

Centauri Meditation

When in need good friends come indeed. Deirdre proved once again a valuable ally.
(https://i.imgur.com/y3AXSma.png)

Gaians were once again step ahead of The Cult in Planet understanding. Centauri meditation gave further insight into native life and PSI powers. The Cult could now attempt to breed first Isle of the Deep lifeforms – though passive in nature, these creatures could fight as well as Sealurks and transports up to 4 units. Remarkable achievement of native life – it was also that harder to breed.
Second breakthrough was in Chiron Ecology, Gaians developed Centauri Preserves. These facilities had significant positive impact on Planet and could counter ecological damage by humans. Native lifeform breeding could be as well done in Preserves making them even stronger in battles.
Trained empaths also became a reality – large scale training was developed to turn groups of citizens in Empath teams. Using telepathic powers Empaths could help the psych of colonies and in time they completely replaced medical personnel. It didn't look impossible that in future every cultist could become an empath - Chiron was making impossible things look natural and normal in mere 200 years.
Last, and most importantly for Prophet – new knowledge opened up option of completing The Xenoempathy Dome project – developing better understanding between humans and Planet.

(https://i.imgur.com/o4hzpFV.png)

The Edicts base was selected as production site and first supply crawlers delivered resources. Concentrated effort should surely be enough to complete the project before Drones.
Probe teams to south crack down drones defenses again – tech is stolen. Domai sure knows how to engineer his way to success – even through genetic engineering.

(https://i.imgur.com/w4kC3q6.png)

Cha Dawn wasn't a stranger to tinkering with life and The Cult soon started to build first Genejack factories in its bases. Production increase was immense and it was exactly what was missing all these years. Some people won't be happy, but measures will have to be found if the wars are to be won.






Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 11, 2020, 09:50:31 PM
Gaian fail

Intel caught up on one of the battles in Gaian territories. Deirdre tried to counter attack and liberate fallen bases with Fusion rovers. But Gaians weren't accustomed to battling yet and aliens easily won most skirmishes. If she's to survive Deirdre will have to up her training skills.

(https://i.imgur.com/97ogZ5d.png)

Few years later – she loses  another base.

(https://i.imgur.com/Xjj9ZgY.png)

M.Y. 2290. The Xenoempathy Dome


Relatively quickly after starting on project, The Edicts base, with some energy credit rushing managed to complete The Xenoempathy Dome.
(https://imgur.com/11KLHPo)

Thanks to Dome The Cult's native life forms became even stronger. Now, with Biology Lab, Centauri Preserve and Dome any native units were bred with +3 lifecycles. Not every bad had Centauri Preserves, those were quite complicated and expensive facilities. Another unexpected benefit came in fungus understanding – double speed of planting fungus was very valuable. Once barren U.N.S wreckage site was turning into resourceful fungus oasis, each tile producing 2-1-3 yield. Last fungus energy extraction upgrade was the result of Centauri Meditation discoveries.

(https://i.imgur.com/NnknUEu.png)

Air power


M.Y. 2290 Gaians prove a good friend once more – for 150 energy credits they trade away Doctrine: Air Power. That seems to scare away Guardian H'minee who likely was fed up of naval loses. To Cha Dawns best knowledge, Caretakers didn't even manage once to succeed in attempts to infiltrate The Cult's datalinks. Fragile truce was made – Cha Dawn didn't expect much of it, but it will allow war effort to concentrate more to south front.

(https://i.imgur.com/97ogZ5d.png)

The Cult ordered first needlejets productions. Interceptors with SAM attack would hopefully be able to suppress Drones air attacks in south. As for Penetrators, they could be used to primarily sink enemy ships; Drone bases were protected with Aerospace Complexes and air attacks would be most often suicidal.

(https://i.imgur.com/f2KC1OK.png)

M.Y. 2294 Drones invaders this time are equipped with new generation of reactors! That makes their units 20% cheaper and they did soon started to invade in greater numbers. Invasions also include armored probe teams. Defenders were ready this time.

(https://i.imgur.com/qWAl9TR.png)

Cultist also develeop new technology, Cha Dawn hoped for new reactors as well, but under guidance of Universities talents – Unified field theory - Theory of everything was announced. It was the holy grail of Earth physics attempt, never proven.

(https://i.imgur.com/qIyLyYW.png)

Military applications of tachyons was in new Tachyon (10) bolts weapon systems. They would quickly become new weapon of choice in The Cult.

(https://i.imgur.com/GBKVUqH.png)

Cybernetics in future society was electronic dream well integrated with planet, but suffered from one great weakness – its freedom and technology wouldn't tolerate policing. It was impossible to adopt in The Cult as lack of Police discipline would lead to very problematic drone rebellions intolerable in times of war.
Dawn of Planet was already having trouble policing its citizens. It unfortunately slowed The Theory of everything completion. The project would be of great value in 25 energy production city.

(https://i.imgur.com/sBRF3lB.png)

Gaians were at same tech level – their first Tachyon units soon ready. Hopefully that would help them stop Caretakers  advance;  they already lost all of their northern bases. Last Rose of Summer was quite a stronghold and good production center.

(https://i.imgur.com/rXcrD10.png)

M.Y. 2302. Thought Control

Beginning of new century brought a revolution to the world of cultists.

(https://i.imgur.com/W5eGGg7.png)

Advances in matter compressions made it possible to create densest ans smallest material ever – obvious application being in new impenetrable Neutronium armor. But Cha Dawn went a step further.

(https://i.imgur.com/0IAE0cB.png)

Combination of psi telepathy and matter manipulation through new technologies made it possible to direct one's thoughts. Once deemed unthinkable and impossible, thought control became reality. Benefits were significant: army discipline and police methods vastly improved, probe protections as well – everything that The Cult needed in these troubling war times. Population wide thought control required a lot of support resources, but that was acceptable price. Bases were ordered to produce second Spore launcher police guard – thoughts needed a nod in right direction after all.
To Cha Dawn's knowledge Deirdre, Domain and Guardian H'minee preferred Eudamonic society – and he didn't mind that; pleasure and comfort would make them only weak and Chiron is not the place for such. Roze of Data Angels will surely adopt Cybernetic society. As for Conqueror Marr, he was a mystery.





Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 12, 2020, 09:59:07 PM
Part 9

M.Y. 2293


Cultists in Trial of Fire stare in awe of magnificent Locusts in nearby fungus field – first ever observed.  Fungus has seen strange changes recently - native life creatures are stronger and scarier, and there are even fliers now. Unfortunately Locust swarm was aggressive and quick to attack and prepared Trance Scout had to kill it to save the base.

(https://i.imgur.com/x4dfN7U.png)

Air skirmishes continue with Drones doing lots of damage. The Cult's Tachyon Tacticals retaliate, but get destroyed quickly in following fights. Several formers were destroyed and terraforming of south completely stopped.

(https://i.imgur.com/LOQ1uT4.png)

The Drones ended up with air supremacy for quite a long time thanks to their superior production and morale. They used airforce as cover up for invasion attacks. Their airforce did not risk attacking The Cult native defenders and when they did they lost the fights.

(https://i.imgur.com/WQkBwhP.png)

First conquest – M.Y. 2305

Cha Dawn decided to abandon effort to win war in south for now, Domai had simply too many bases around. Efforts were made to attack northern ex-Usurpers base that Domai's probe teams infiltrated.
First attack with several Sealurks already failed by killing one or two defenders for three or four Sealurks and rest of attackers stayed back in bases to heal. Next attack was  initiated soon after, this time with support of single Tachion Penetrator 10-1-12*2 as well. Penetrator made a great deal of damage, but got destroyed in process.

(https://i.imgur.com/SuGgGzr.png)

The effort was not in vain as Sealurks strike all the way from Consecration Pit killing Probability Sentinels together with two armored probes.

(https://i.imgur.com/sLf9hEq.png)

Unfortunately victorious Sealurk submerged in triumph and photographers missed the exact moment of victory.  With defenders dead Sealurk captured the base. First cultists conquest!

(https://i.imgur.com/BZMsX38.png)

Foreman Domai finally lost north stronghold and The Cult could now concentrate forces to the south. Other Usurpers base to north, Scorch Island, was also under Drones control for a while. Aliens probe teams managed to infiltrate and liberate it after brief fights.

Guardian H'minee

With north front finished  for now, Cha Dawn turned his attention for a moment to east – Guardian H'minee domain.

(https://i.imgur.com/S95ncBQ.png)

Intel reported aliens as curious society focused on industry and growth and form of idealistic comfortable eudaimonic lifestyle. No wonder they were allied with Drones! They sure had a lot in common, Domai likely detest Planned economy, but he's opportunist and is likely using aliens for his benefit. This kind of alien society had one important downside, their efficiency and research skills are subpar. And it was observable in war, they couldn't innovate as well as The Cult and Drones and their units started to lose skirmishes. Eudaimonic lifestyle also wasn't adopted to war environment, but they seemed unable to change their nature. Conqueror Marr wouldn't have that issue, Cha Dawn thought. Nevertheless, Caretakers Planet and defense expertise made them tough opponnent.

Heroic mindworm

Drones are becoming increasingly dangerous in attacking efforts in south. Latest attack consist of multiple infantry units and Neutronium armored probes.

(https://i.imgur.com/r0W7kIb.png)

Luckily, heroic mindworm kills 3 units in a single year and stops attack while more defenders came to help. Gamma Sector was also fortified, but The Cult lost  units trying to kill armored probes. Neutronium (10) is really tough to crack even with Fusion (10) lasers and territory bonus. Gamma Sector scrambled to rush build extra Probe team to protect itself.

Doctrine:  Initiave – M.Y. 2309.

Doctrine: Initiative marks very significant moment in The Cult's wars. It finally opens up the attacking prospects for cultists: advances in sea-based warfare allowed Amphibious attacks from ships to sea-bases, but as well from land to sea bases. The latter was very significant as Cha Dawn ordered joyously training of first Amphibious Shard Invaders.

(https://i.imgur.com/YJLqyvv.png)

Unfortunatelly Shard (13) weapon technology was new and very expensive, especially coupled with Neutronium armor. Cheaper option was to build unarmored Shard Invaders and upgrade their armor afterwards – but that was at considerable energy credit expense.  Equipping cheaper weapons was out of question as Drones also fielded their first Neutronium units – and even Shard (13 ) Invader could easily fail to destroy Neutronium (10) Sentinel behind Perimeter Defense.  Cha Dawn also prepared several Shard Artillery units 13-1-1*2 to soften up defenders when attacks begin.

Unarmored units were in mortal danger of Drones air attacks as well. Another advantage of Neutronium armor would be, if Invaders would capture the base, they could act as powerful defender.  The Cult bases were at a time in process of building Energy Banks in and fungus energy extraction was in advanced stage.  That helped, but without advanced reactors – that Drones had for some time now, Shard Invaders were hard to train and ultimately few in numbers.

(https://i.imgur.com/aeN9SMl.png)

Doctrine: Initiative also made it possible to initiate The Maritime Control Center secret project to upgrade naval capabilities, but The Cult was already way too late to start it. Surprisingly, Gaians were the ones to complete it and Drones failed. It was happy day for The Cult – upgraded Drones ship would fight toe-to-toe with Sealurks. This gives The Cult better chances to eventually win naval supremacy.
In following years cultists got their hands on more technology, this time by Probe team infiltrators. After successful steal of Matter Compression, Planetary Networks and Eudaimonia were downloaded from „secure“ enemy datalinks.

(https://i.imgur.com/GrDE8Af.png)

Eudaimoniac lifestyle was already known from Alien observations, nothing that Cha Dawn would allow in The Cult. The Virtual World was certainly useful project designed for controlling the masses though Internet, but Cultists were more of the outer fungus field wandering type. And besides Cha Dawn had best police methods on Chiron to quell any rebellions. Greedy Drones were of course the ones to build The Virtual World. Theory of Everything, secret project that Dawn on Planet was keen to build, ended up in Data Angels hands.

Rare mistreat

M.Y. 2311. Terror's Delight at the edge of Garland Crater makes a rare mistake.

(https://i.imgur.com/8i5hScY.png)

Due to overzealous resource extractions fungus bursted around the base and unaware  miners didn't notice lifeforms hidden in fungus field. Attack was strong and decisive, defenders killed and Mindworms rampaged through the Terror's Delight destroying Children's Creche and Genejack Factory. Cha Dawn at least didn't have to punish anyone, as offenders already died in PSI terror. A delight.

Attack preparation

M.Y. 2311. Cultist start to amass units near Staples of Life. Bombardments begin, Sealurk is close.  More are being trained, Shard Invaders should be available soon enough. Lots of logistics is needed, there's also issue of protecting conquered base from Probe teams counterattacks.

(https://i.imgur.com/Vn9qmnC.png)

To north a funny sight: Aliens are scared of giant Sealurk and unable to cruise through Channel. Their target likely freshly conquered Hornbill's point - ex-Usurper, ex-Drones base.

(https://i.imgur.com/HDOpmrI.png)




Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 15, 2020, 10:02:25 PM
Helping Deirdre

Troubled Deirdre calls Cha Dawn with technology exchange proposals. Gaians  have been losing the war vs. aliens and now seek any edge they can get. Gaian scientist are more of experts in environment matters, unfit for military science applications and they do not excel in fighting; yet that does not stop them to get weapons for their somewhat extremist tendencies. Deirdre wants Plasma Shard (13) weaponry and offers  Quantum Chamber Reactor in exchange. Quantum powered suits and vehicles are up to 20% more efficient than Fusion reactors making that much units more affordable – the offer Cha Dawn can't refuse. Shard Invaders, Penetrators and Speeders are now faster to produce.

(https://i.imgur.com/B1sRo8y.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/B7bgbUr.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/rQAFFD5.png)

Next, Planetary Networks are exchanged for Environmental Economics – Deirdre gets required technology to develop Gaians version of Internet and in turn they offer insights into Environmental Economics. It is new experimental way into developing sustainable resources production through nurture and adaptation of Earth based plants on Chiron. Gaians developed Tree Farm cultures that made sustainable 2-2-0 yields of Earths forest on Chiron. Cha Dawn wasn't really interested in forests on Chiron, he much preferred fungus fields, but he wanted to help friend in need - especially the one who was in war vs. Guardian H'minee. It would be really bad if aliens conquer entire continent for themselves and double their land. And besides Environmental Economics is one more step to human survival on Chiron.

The talks concluded with exchange of Cultist Neutronium Armor, a significant upgrade over Probability Sheath, for Gaian world map. It was another favor for Deirdre who proved as valuable ally when The Cult needed help.

(https://i.imgur.com/qCqidti.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/4dchZRA.png)

Later it turned out that files on Environmental Economics Gaians revealed inner workings of interactions between alien Manifolds, Chiron's Bioresonance field and fungus. Apparently, using progenitor artifacts it was possible to extract resources through Monoliths and fungus fields. Drones got to them first! Now the only way to acquire same capabilities was to take it all by force. It was going to be long term Cha Dawn's goal. Difficulty being – The Manifold Harmonics – as this project was called, was located in Drones HQ, Free Drones Central. The good news was that Drones were unlikely to know how to tap into this resource pool. They were in business of ruining the Planet ecosystems, not coexisting with it.

(https://i.imgur.com/dnMSkBo.png)

Data Angels map revealed that their faction was isolated on its own landmass similar to the Cult. Initial observations concluded that Data Angels are not really better developed than The Cult or Drones. They were somewhat isolated and busy with their virtual worlds all this time.

(https://i.imgur.com/sAtwoZ5.png)

Conqueror Marr's faction, The Usurpers, were located north on its own smaller landmass. Conqueror was unfit to develop economically strong faction on its own. To his detriment, survival on Chiron demanded much more than tactical war skills.

(https://i.imgur.com/kVOizkf.png)

M.Y. 2314. Shard Invaders attacks

First Shard invaders using amphibious technology attack surprised aliens. Aliens are only having Plasma Steel (3) armored defenders – that was not gonna cut it vs. high-tech Shard (13) weaponry. Aliens seemed to underestimated their defense capabilities. They have Probability Sheath (6) armors, but they didn't bother to upgrade all their defenders.

(https://i.imgur.com/gfqLRrM.png)

Cultist tried to recruit some more Shard Invaders units – now surplus Trance Scout infantry could be retrained for the purpose. Training was quite expensive, but it was done on several occasions none the less.

(https://i.imgur.com/of1qrnE.png)

Similar attacks were performed on Drones Staples of Life sea base. Base was exposed so it was easier to overwhelm defenders. Cultist made one big logistic mistake and after heavy fighting and killing defenders, they failed to occupy undefended base. Prior to amphibious attacks Drones heavily raided The Cult's terraformers as deep as in Garland Crater! Big part of that airforce retreated in time to Staples of Life to bolster defense.

(https://i.imgur.com/LiwnOHF.png)

But that was perhaps blessing in disguise. Shard Artillery (13)-1-1 was in range to bombard unarmored Needlejets and Shard Invaders attacked again as soon as they could. Needlejets crew didn't stand a chance and were being picked off one by one. Foolish Drones were better to let the base fall.

(https://i.imgur.com/SEHPWhx.png)

The Cult couldn't mass attack due to equipment lack, but Drones airforce was stuck and destined to be wiped.

(https://i.imgur.com/ec1JVon.png)

Tech espionage and Industrial Nanorobotics

On other side of continent, far from major battles covert probe teams twice infiltrated Drones datalinks. Drones were technologically ahead of The Cult, especially in engineering.  Cha Dawn learns about The Citizens Defense Force project – the system Foreman Domai developed to protected every Drones base. Each Drones base had Perimeter Defense prepared doubling their defense against conventional attacks, like those of Shard Invaders. Good news was that Perimeter Defense had nothing to counter PSI attacks so Cha Dawn could effectively use Mindworms and Sealurks to attack their bases.
As for Advanced Ecological Engineering secrets, The Cult had already good fundamentals in the field thanks to The Weather Paradigm project. New tech did allow construction of even more efficient Super Formers that were put to good use in following years.

(https://i.imgur.com/5fj2oVn.png)

A bit later cultists scientist on its own, in effort to increase war production, develop industry to new level.

(https://i.imgur.com/Hxa4Z4w.png)

Technology on Chiron was finally catching up with that on Earth, prior to space flight. Developed industrial base allowed for first Robotic Assembly Plants, which also solved workforce issues present on Chiron. Robotic plants were expensive to establish and maintain, but in combination with Genejack Factory workers could double the base mineral output!
Efforts didn't stop there – path was open to nano-machines, Earth had it, so can Chiron. First step that could be done is developing of Secret project, The Nano Factory.  Nano-robots could help with synthesis of complex materials and designs – first use being in advanced military technology – primarily keeping The Cult's army in the state-of-art protection. Applications were endless, one other significant was in medicine – nano-probes that could heal and patch up soldiers quickly anywhere on the field. Dawn of Planet production centers immediately engaged works on the project. Intel was sure that Drones didn't yet have the technology for such project and that The Cult could gain significant edge by first completing it.

Conquest of Carapace Point – M.Y. 2316

Continued attacks on unprepared Carapace Point are fruitful. The base falls in M.Y. 2316.

(https://i.imgur.com/03NlLCD.png)

Automated evacuation system was activated – aliens flee in prebuilt colony pods; one gets stuck on mainland. Good, Cha Dawn, thought afterwards, at least we won't have to contend with managing discontent alien population. Cha Dawn would likely destroy the cowards, but there was no way to sink Sea Colony pods and Gurdian H'minee was quick to intervene. Guardian demands truce and compensation of 175 energy credits – a relatively insignificant sum for now developed cultist economy.

(https://i.imgur.com/k1Z5On8.png)

Cha Dawn carefully weights the situation. This was not the first time H'minee offered truce – last time she was quick to betray the deal. She, yes Guardian was a female - much more was known about the aliens, also refused to barter - once she sets mind to something she was determined to get it. Aliens clearly could not be trusted, but then, even short truce would be beneficial to The Cult, especially in matters of strengthening its naval and probe team power. Cha Dawn orders fortifying the conquered alien base, more Sealurks were in breeding as well; and truce offer accepted. Maybe the energy credits will satisfy H'minee for a while – she was losing more than The Cult in this war. It was also the experiment in alien behavior, there was much to learn about them. Do they really thinks Humans are this stupid to fall on same trick twice?





Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 15, 2020, 11:10:45 PM
Why accept someone's extortion / demand for tribute, ever?  You can just fight them.  Not like you were losing, or had no army.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 16, 2020, 11:08:53 AM
Mostly because i was unprepared for longer conflict on sea - i made a few mistakes. I used Sealurks well in my territory and then went in stupidly trying to harrass aliens, but when i sank one of their ships they countered and kill my Sealurk. Then i also lost another due to RNG. I also tried several times to smuggle probe foils - but AI really considers them a threat and attack escort.. so i lost both escort and probe. Then i lost another probe foil that managed to reach their city - they had defensive one in - that one was before i manage to infiltrate datalinks  :mad:
For example i wanted to use Transport foil to reinforce the city but i couldn't  be sure if it will survive. The pain is that i had to go through their territory and i didn't have high enough armor to be safe.  Also sending anything alone without PSI escort - AI usually mindprobe it. Once i placed hurt Sealurk in sea fungus in their territory - expecting it to have fungus bonus eghm  :-\ it got killed, no fungus bonus on sea tile.

I was basically worried that they will attack the city with 2-3 probes and just mind-probe it back. It wouldn't be expensive because its their ex city.  Thats the main reason. I just went in and checked the save - i can't see any probes around  they will build two in 6 turns. But one might be somewhere in fog i had to check all the cities and didn't. Then also Drones could come and cause troubles. The only defender in city is 13-10-1 Shard Invader that they can't kill. Thats why i had them armored - but darn probes. I went in thinking screw it even if i lose the city its already ruined.. but i forgot they will get those Sea colony pods - crap now they will have even more sea bases. I learned eventually from my stupidity - i had some more fails - but eventually i had invasions much better prepared.

I kind of split my forces attacking both Drones and Caretakers, maybe i shouldn't have. One thing why i did it is because they had weak defense their and those Infantry invaders move sooooo slow. But aliens had high industry (6 minerals per row.. i am at 9, fundamentalist has +1 IND) so they spammed lots of weaker units and probes. It was a pain because they also had +2 planet rating. But it was tempting so i went in - and now i have trouble to reinforce the city. I have to hurry transport foil just to be able to move units inside (its 4 credits per mineral - same as secret project). Peace allows me few extra turns to get more units in around the city. Sealurks are also expensive at 80 minerals - my coastal cities were producing 6-7 mineras.. with one at 11 minerals and just finishing Genejack.. so thats 16. Still takes it 5 turns to build a Sealurk.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 16, 2020, 04:37:32 PM
Would you now agree that taking sea bases basically isn't worth it at all?  As you said, the AI just mind controls them, undoing anything you thought you were accomplishing.  I doubled mind control costs in my mod, to try to curb this problem.

You could gas the sea base...
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 16, 2020, 07:44:39 PM
No, I disagree there certainly. Sea bases are excellent energy producers. They are excellent energy producers in vanilla as well, but there forest and tree/hybrid forests are better - so people prefer land bases. In this mod forest is 1-2-0, Tree farm is 2-2-0 and its kind of bad for energy. Hybrid forest comes late and its 3-2-1 tile. So you are meant to rely on some solar collectors or sea squares for energy. Fungus is actually good energy source in the mod - its low on minerals, but can sustain itself with 2 food once you are in midgame (Centauri Psi makes fungus 2 food i think). Fungus is 2-1-3 currently for me, Drones have it at 2-1-4. One must have positive planet rating to get resources from fungus as far as i know. For example Miriam cant get resources from fungus - i found it a bit weird how great is to actually go to +planet even with Miriam and use fungus tiles until you can terraform everything with condensers for example.

This is the best energy production Drone base in M.Y. 2309.

(https://i.imgur.com/NTiVjyE.png)

This is my cap - its my best base:

(https://i.imgur.com/BucobAz.png)

You can see that energy wise its comparable to my best city. It does take a bit longer to setup but these sea bases become huge energy producers mid to lategame.

This is Staple of Life before conquest. It already has 8 minerals and 12 energy. AI likes to waste lots of production on support.  But its easy to sea that for example after getting Network Node, Energy Bank and maybe Fusion Lab.. one can convert mines to energy (or use fungus here) and produce say 30 energy *2  (from facilities). Its a lot.

(https://i.imgur.com/HXVdsaa.png)

Basically what needs to be done is stack 2 defensive probes in there (i used lots of cheap 0-1-1 designs) and its ok. I had up to 4-5 for a time in this base when AI focused it a lot. Later 1 per base is enough and rest is handled by naval units.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 16, 2020, 09:33:47 PM
Well admittedly in my mod I don't offer easy energy bonanzas.  Forests are normal, and pretty much the expected means of early productivity expansion.  I don't see much point in picking on forests, yet making other things a giveaway.  I notice you have the Manifold Harmonics as of 2312 and to me that's quite a giveaway.  In my mod version 1.42 it already comes later than that, and I'm pushing it much later than that for 1.43.  In general all the Explore secret projects keep getting pushed later, because they really are that powerful and shouldn't be so easy to get.  My M.H. also costs 800 when you get it, not 540.  I should probably bump that up to 1000, because I did just move it to Tier 10.

I also am made to wonder if "producing energy" even works as a strategy.  In my recent 1.43 mod test, it didn't work!  The AI factions just kept even with me the whole time.

I would be concerned about conquering any Alien base.  They depopulate to 1.  A lot of facilities get destroyed when conquering.  So it's not likely to produce a lot of energy any time soon.  If the geography is valuable, it would probably be better to wipe out the base and build my own base in the same place.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on May 16, 2020, 10:39:35 PM
Whew, man, just finished to read it through.
Amazing work. Just amazing. I always love AAR. Especially so well composed: with a nice evolution story with sci-fi elements, maps, technical blueprints and description. Feels like a real historical empire development scriptures. Pretty talented. Enjoyed it very much.
😊
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 17, 2020, 12:09:21 AM
Welcome back, Tim!  I assume not from the dead, but I was beginning to wonder.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on May 17, 2020, 02:40:12 AM
Eh. What is three months? In my life I used to abandon some games for decade before I returned to them.
😋
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 17, 2020, 03:35:39 AM
Games, sure, but mods, well unless you thought you were done and that's your final release...
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on May 17, 2020, 04:25:15 AM
I am done with this one. There is nothing left that gives me programming itch to correct it. I played my mod like 20 times and got very satisfied. That's it for big idea. Everything else is just adjusting here and there for followers pleasure which can last forever.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 17, 2020, 05:22:20 PM
@bvanevery

You are right about that - i could have gassed the aliens, there's no real diplomatic consequences for it. I am not used to x-weapons, my bad, maybe lost opportunity for nice story ^^. I played lots of games with just basic factions - for long time i didn't like expansion features and factions. Bonus attack would be a big help. Ah well next time, poor aliens.
About forests - they kind of feel a bit meh without energy, but at the same time its nice to move from stale forest-all meta. Having fungus as 2-1-2 and 2-1-3 is nice temporary alternative.. like fungus is ok but its never great (without Manifold Harmonics). Growth is slow, minerals are low - buts its self sustainable with 2 food and doesn't require facilities. Fungus with Gaians +1 food thats strong.  Vanilla forests for example with Tree Forests and Hybrid later are quite awesome.. good food good minerals.

Btw I don't have Manifold Harmonics, Drones got it, i didn't even have the chance to start the project. The thing is Tim placed it as a build-type tech but it does come early (B4 or B5) and its overpowered.  It looks like someone like Morgan or Hive with build focus usually get it - i didn't play enough games yet. Its a bit weird, Explore factions like Gaians just don't go deep into build tech. Maybe if they trade or steal the tech.. but AI usually won't trade techs with special projects. I managed to build Manifold Harmonics in my Gaian game (barely.. turns before Morgan) and it was quite easy from there - resource yields are so strong. In any case I'd move this secret project to lategame and doubled it in cost (its 600 minerals now).

@tnevolin

Thank you for kind comments, glad you like the story. I kind of struggle a bit with language, English is not my native language ^^ Gotta read some Shakespeare for richer vocabulary, but i wanted to start an AAR anyway. Can't get better if you never write.  :danc:  And in the same time i try not to write too much - today nobody has time to read wall of texts.
Glad to have you back. I see that you are mostly done with the mod - if you need some feedback i can try to help. Induktio just put out newer version of Thinker AI so there's maybe one reason for update.


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on May 17, 2020, 05:32:19 PM
Thank you for kind comments, glad you like the story. I kind of struggle a bit with language

What are you talking about? You make quite a smooth story there. Very nice!
🤩

Glad to have you back. I see that you are mostly done with the mod - if you need some feedback i can try to help. Induktio just put out newer version of Thinker AI so there's maybe one reason for update.

You've already left pretty thoughtful feedback in my thread. I've released version 45 changes thanks to them!
😆

Definitely, feel free to suggest changes. I'm always open.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 17, 2020, 09:16:46 PM
M.Y. 2319 - Carapace Point aftermath

With truce in place defenses are being set up in Carapace Point. Two probe teams, one Neutronium armored defender and one Spore Launcher are enough to stop a smaller attacking force. Perimeter Defense protection is also in the works. One Transport Foil ship in base allow easy support from mainland as Foil can transport nearby non-amphibious units into the base.

(https://i.imgur.com/o3lgPiz.png)

Shard Invaders move out of the base and will either go to attack Drone nearby cities or Echo Bay base soon enough. Experience taught Cha Dawn not to relax – aliens will likely attack again.

In other affairs intelligence gathers comprehensive report on completed Secret Projects. Dawn of Planet is currently the only known base thats developing The Nano Factory. Data Angels are working on Ascetic Virtues project – Cha Dawn had special interest in it. Ascetic Virtues teaches mass population virtues of mind control, meditation and self-discipline, skills that are crucial for an Empath.  Potential benefit would lead to ordered and even better organized society on Chiron. The Cult and Cha Dawn, preoccupied with war, did not have yet time nor resources to develop such large scale project.

Most finished projects were of in firm hands of Foreman Domai. Notable Domai had completed Citizens Defense Force, which prepares Perimeter Defenses in each of his bases.  He's also in possession of The Manifold Harmonics project that delves into secrets of Monoliths and fungus production.  Gaians surprisingly managed to build three secret projects, including The Empath Guild,  that was instrumental in electing Deirdre as Planetary Governor. Guardian H'minee built The Command Nexus –  making her troops very strong in combat. Its one of the reasons why both The Cult and Gaians are having a tough time against alien threat. Data Angles completed The Theory of Everything – science boosting secret project.

(https://i.imgur.com/8zk1k95.png)

On matters of science – probe teams steal yet another technology from Drones Datalinks. They were studying Chiron disease outbreaks, most notably Prometheus Virus. This deadly virus has so far two known outbreaks to the Cult, one in Caretakers monsoon jungle and the other in The Cultists eastern cities. Mortality rate is very high, estimated at 50%, but luckily virus do not spread too far from the source. Drones found a way to treat it, but base has to rely on Research Hospital. It is quite expensive facility to build and maintain. The Cult planned to eventually have Research  Hospital in all larger population centers.

(https://i.imgur.com/2NbYk12.png)

M.Y. 2322 Guardian H'minee tests Cultists defenses. Factions are heaving fragile truce for the time being, but covert ops teams never stopped espionage activities.

(https://i.imgur.com/fnrhD3a.png)

Logistics were ready, nearby Transport Foil will quickly move in troops to defend the base. Control of this base was of paramount importance as The Cult can now much better control the waters around. Most importantly, this time Cha Dawn strictly ordered Probe teams to be ready to defend conquered base.  This victory significantly increase chance of The Cult to establish naval presence and win future skirmishes in the area.  Spore Launcher will also have more range from the sea base – they proved effective in harassing Drones Skimships.
Foreman predictably comes knocking on Communication channel – he asks for immediate cease fire. Deja vu, we've seen this before, Cha Dawn thought. The truce would come in handy, again, as in case with Caretaker allies, but expectations are close to none. There's no way its honest offer. Cha Dawn starts another experiment – the offer accepted - truce it is.

(https://i.imgur.com/h4iR9nc.png)

And indeed, on the first chance Foreman shows his face, surprise attack! Guardian H'minee attacks as well, but defense was always  in place. Fool me once.. Lady Deirdre proves her loyalty and restarts a war versus aliens. They had also signed a truce after long fights. The Cult didn't need this truce anyway, the first one with aliens was somewhat useful. And this time Domai didn't request any compensation.

Spore Launchers in The Cult

M.Y. 2323. Drones air force performs a rare attack on Spore Launcher. There's a good reason why they never dared to attack fortified Spore Launcher in the base. Tachyon tactical barely wounded the creature.

(https://i.imgur.com/gGFdKUm.png)

Spore Launchers served both as great defenders and quite effective peacekeepers as well. Due to its social norms The Cult had good public order (+2 Police rating). This discipline allowed Spore Launchers to quell up to four discontent citizen, quite the feat – worth as two drone quelling facilities. Keeping population in order was of vital importance – especially when considered that Genejack Factories were not exactly popular – each Genejack factory created one angry drone citizen in its base. It was impossible to please everyone, but the majority agreed on the need for efficient production systems in this harsh environment.

(https://i.imgur.com/DG2UTj2.png)

Destruction of The Command Nexus

M.Y. 2323 was they year of big loss for the Gurdian H'minee. Distracted in the west, aliens neglected defense of its backward cities. Data Angels surprise attack force captures the Greater Harmonics base.

(https://i.imgur.com/0dCM2g9.png)

It was a huge loss – aliens have about 10 strong bases and this one was the location of coveted Command Nexus project. The Command Nexus provided Command Center in each alien base effectively making their land troops 25% stronger – the bonus they might not have in the future. They still could build Command Centers in each base, but facility is expensive at 80 minerals and it costs maintenance as well. Even worse for them, once they reconquered the city – The Command Nexus was permanently destroyed.

It was unknown to The Cult why Data Angels were in the war versus Guardian H'minee, but they sure had their reasons, alien arrogance for one. Aliens likely tried blackmail tactics on wrong faction.

Continuous attacks – Echo Bay

M.Y. 2325 Shard Invaders were in the midst of attacks on Echo Bay sea base. Echo bay was next to Carapace Point and aliens had trouble reinforcing it.

(https://i.imgur.com/jatzgxk.png)

The base falls while alien navy is on the wrong side of peninsula, north of Carapace Point. Unable to perform amphibious attack they attempted landing with Empath trained attackers.
Guardian H'minee proves she understands PSI combat – Empath units are great counter to native life forms and pack +50% stronger offense. But lack of amphibious technology is hurting her efforts; cultists have already terraformed much of a terrain to fungus fields and are adopt in moving through it thanks to The Xenoempathy Dome project.  Invasions of this kind are doomed to fail.
Mindworms naturally move quickly through fungus fields and they also get +50% combat bonuses – invaders never stood a chance.

Liberty plant

To the east, following similar attack patterns, Shard Invaders pummel Liberty Plant sea base.

(https://i.imgur.com/Ur299qv.png)

The base falls, but Drones are completely controlling the sea. Unlike aliens, Drones are swarming the area with swift Cruiser Probe teams and they are attacking bases in waves. The Cult might have overextended - it will be tough to control the bases. Each base had two probe teams in defense  and more were on the way. Cultists also possessed Cruiser designs and used it well – Cruiser Transport, unlike Foil one, could move defenders between bases without threat of dying. For next decade the area was bloody battlefield of probe team infiltrators – luckily defending teams had +50% territory bonus advantage.

The Nano Factory - update

Meanwhile in Dawn of Planet first Supply Crawler arrives full of resources. Another one will be ready soon. The Cult had plenty of reasonably productive bases in M.Y. 2326 – Cha Dawn ordered Supply Crawlers in two of them – not too big diversion of resources.  Dawn of Planet was quite productive on its own as well. Other factions seem not to have the technology for the project, Cha Dawn was happy with this one. Not everything has to be a struggle on Chiron.

(https://i.imgur.com/6vyaFE1.png)

Operation Manifold Nexus - M.Y. 2329.


North, super secret long term plan was finally coming to fruition. Mildly frustrated with alien resistance and how tough was to conquer and hold single base, Cha Dawn changed priorities. One base was ordered to halt infrastructure projects and train first Isle of the Deep creature; the other to build single Colony pod – and inner bases were to build several Probe teams. It was tempting to build up infrastructure, but war required sacrifices and there was no other way. There's always some infrastructure to be built and nothing would ever be done on war front with that attitude. Governors swiftly and efficiently executed the orders; once young prodigy was now mature and well-respected, and well-feared to that - not only due to his empath abilities.

M.Y. 2329. Isle of the Deep was transporting the colony pod to The Manifold Nexus location. Settling a base in another faction's territory would usually be a declaration of war and dishonest move – but treacherous Guardian H'minee already declared a surprise war. Its only fair to return the favor.

(https://i.imgur.com/e3LUxsM.png)

Guardian H'minee objected - to no avail. Gine Sector base took control of vital location – Manifold location is now secured in The Cult's hands.  A result – The Cult is getting access to improved capabilities of manipulation Chiron Bioresonance fields at the expense of Caretaker aliens. This alone will swing PSI combat by 30% in cultist favor. Aliens also lose the chance to use Manifolds for their research benefits. As if that was not enough, luck favors the bold; the base was settled near unscouted Great Intertwining thermal borehole.

(https://i.imgur.com/k60aapP.png)

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 17, 2020, 09:33:06 PM
Ha ha ha hee ha ha!  AI is stuu-pid!  It's this way in stock too.  Doesn't know the value of the Manifold Nexus, or how to protect it from encroachment.  Some games, it was in reach of one of the AI factions, but they never even bothered to colonize it.  So I orbital insert a Drop Colony Pod and voila!  If I'm smart enough to remember to do it.  Sometimes I'm stupid too.

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 17, 2020, 11:06:22 PM
Ha ha ha hee ha ha!  AI is stuu-pid!  It's this way in stock too.  Doesn't know the value of the Manifold Nexus, or how to protect it from encroachment.  Some games, it was in reach of one of the AI factions, but they never even bothered to colonize it.  So I orbital insert a Drop Colony Pod and voila!  If I'm smart enough to remember to do it.  Sometimes I'm stupid too.

Ah drop colony pod i didn't even think of it.. darn Alpha Centauri and the options. I did remember and used Drop Probe teams to great effect in this game - shame that you can't drop in sea bases for some reason. But you can drop nearby and move in if the base has transport in the base.
I also tried air transports - but thats so restricted its unusable :( Maybe with higher reactor and extra fuel lategame could be a thing ^^ gotta try that once.

About stupid AI there are a few things i noticed in this game that would be nice if anyone could fix:

- AI using all or almost all minerals on support
- AI using SE that has high inefficiency wasting tons of energy - this is complicated issue of selecting SE choices from what i gathered in posts about modding; so its .exe modding or tailoring SE so that AI somehow chooses "right" options
- AI working for example 1 food ocean tiles - when it can use advanced specialist citizens
- AI building way too many overpriced probe teams when it would be way better to build real attacking units and smash the base
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 20, 2020, 07:10:15 PM
M.Y. 2327  Chiron rages

War all over the Chiron did not leave much place for peacetime science and non-essential research. It was all about survival. Still, as its so happens always, rare scientist warned about planetary pollution, and warning was forgotten as soon as it appeared. Nobody believed things could go wrong so quickly on new planet, but signs were already there. Both humans and aliens quickly terraformed the terrain into unrecognizable shape.
Chiron is smaller planet than Earth, its ecosystem more fragile, and even now coasts are being slowly flooded. No doubt planet is warming. The Cult certainly didn't cause it, but it hardly matters, everyone is in the same boat. To Cha Dawn - this only reiterated the importance of taking control over planet handling. This madness will have to stop or everyone is doomed. Reports comes from all parts of the continent, lowest lands are now more often under water than not.  Experts estimated The Cult's bases won't be affected for now, but if the trend continues anything is possible.

(https://i.imgur.com/C3osOQW.png)

Trouble never comes alone.

(https://i.imgur.com/1Qgqhb4.png)

Second outbreak of Prometheus virus hits The Edicts base; three surrounding bases are affected as well. Thousands die in first wave and more will follow – nothing can be done; The Cult only recently realized how to fight the virus and needed infrastructure could not be in place.

And then amids disease panic – enormous seismic event! But luckily it happens near south pole.

(https://i.imgur.com/8FM2uIh.png)

In the aftermath Data Angels claim the new land for themselves.


Nano factory and the good news


Completion of The Nano Factory came in perfect time to lift the spirits. The project will increase combat capabilities of armed forces. Other big infrastructural project, The Planetary Energy Grid, is started in Well of Souls base.  Most cultist bases already have Energy grids so the project is of lower significance, but when completed it will reduce maintenance cost significantly.

(https://i.imgur.com/Nald1T6.png)

More good news arrive from eastern front. Deirdre is advancing using newly equipped troops – The Cult has earned a lifetime friend.

(https://i.imgur.com/ieRkstg.png)

Operation:  Channel

M.Y. 2330 Continuation to Operation Manifold Nexus is executed. Timing was brilliant – as Caretakers fleet was crossing The Channel.

(https://i.imgur.com/mCAuFYi.png)

Hours later:

(https://i.imgur.com/lgW0ugg.png)

Terraformers raise the land and channel is no more, Caretakers fleet dead. How exactly this would affect climate no one could predict; planet appeared to already rearrange continents on its own. Cha Dawn ordered it knowingly that, if he  does not take control over the Planet, it wouldn't matter anyway. Troops are being prepared and soon will storm over the newly formed land bridge to Caretakers land.

There was a good reason why larger army was not already ready for attack. Drones kept invading south and distracting the army. Their attacks grew in size and could not be easily deflected anymore. Larger defending force had to be stationed in the area – but this time, nanotechnology was making things easier. In matter of minutes freshly delivered Nano-tech probes did its magic – efficiently, in unimaginably precise invisible small steps, Sheath armored suits were transformed into familiar Neutronium shade. Perfect design, no waste, old scratches gone,  immediately ready for battle conditions. Soldiers didn't like no scratches so they made new ones.

(https://i.imgur.com/O6RCxAR.png)

Invading force could not break the armored soldiers and tried to circumvent and outstrategize the defenders. Mindworms weren't fooled, but distraction worked well enough to allow single Probe team to penetrate defense s for the first time. Drones steal the technology they can – The Cult managed to get ahead in recent years. For long time cultists were trying to steal from Drones.

(https://i.imgur.com/fwHyysH.png)

Breaking the way in

In  M.Y. 2339 combined army was around the alien M'Dar Holding base. Shard Invaders, Shard Artillery and Mindworms were ready to attack; Shard Speeders soon to arrive as well. Bombardment was initiated – alien armor technology is still subpar.

(https://i.imgur.com/UmVE6Kt.png)

Attacks are well executed and despite superb defensive skill defenders fail and the base falls. Casualties didn't slow progress too much at this point – intel was reporting that The Cult has largest army on the Chiron. The aliens likely won't be able to stop the invasion - the path to alien heartland is open.

(https://i.imgur.com/WaEiSZM.png)

By M.Y. 2344 alien Resonant Node base east of M'Dar Holding Bay was obliterated completely. The fights moved to eastern fields - cultists advanced quickly through fungus fields with mindworm support. Soon, the siege of two bigger alien cities will follow.

(https://i.imgur.com/MCPL0KL.png)



Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on May 21, 2020, 05:44:39 AM
Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red
(they'll be orange)
Crying's not for me
'Cuz
I'm not gonna stop the raindrops from falling
Because I'm free a horrible murdering cult

 ;cha; ;stupid
 :adore:

A volcano going off is never good
 ;aaa ;aaa ;aaa
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 23, 2020, 12:52:51 PM
The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm

While Cha Dawn and The Cult were busy with military operations on alien continent, Foreman Domai advanced with his own plans. Using his industrial might he was quick to engineer so called Hunter-Seeker Algorithm Project; using artificial intelligence Drones were creating perfect algorithm for discovering and countering probe team intrusions to their datalinks. Designs also included weaponizing the system so that infiltrating team would be automatically located and killed on input terminal. Scary application of modern Chiron technology. The Cultist observed the completion - afterwards it was not possible to infiltrate Domai's networks. Several accidental misguided attempts were made in following years and every team was reported killed.

(https://i.imgur.com/3mvpPjA.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/L3ATelG.png)

Advanced infrastructure

Cultist also completed their works on Planetary Energy Grid project - unification of continental energy grid. The project was rushed in the end using almost 400 energy credits. The cult has grown big and powerful and resources were available – even the project itself wasn't completely necessary as Energy Banks were already present in 22 cities. Still, unifying complex infrastructure and reducing maintenance significantly was great step forward. Old Energy Bank facilities could be scrapped and recycled and their resources reused. Additionally, every new base, freshly settled or conquered, would be automatically connected to the grid.

During 2340s first Hab Complexes and Robotic Assembly Plants marked transition into Chiron's advanced industrial age. Habitation complexes represented Chiron's equivalent of dense Earth's residential neighborhood, way more claustrophobic, but efficient space-wise. Hab Complexes were much more comfortable than anything its inhabitants were used to earlier. New generations didn't even care much for now practically forgotten rare green gardens; they got used to familiar orange fungal bloom sights through those huge reinforced wall-windows.

Robotic Assembly Plants significantly improved manufacturing process of all kinds – the base with Genejack engineered workers and Robotic Plant could double its mineral output. These weren't pretty places - but they made it possible to build those Hab Complexes.

(https://i.imgur.com/dpHfW15.png)


M.Y. 2346

In far south Deirdre reports the loss of second sea base. Foreman's Cruiser Probe teams are everywhere.

(https://i.imgur.com/0MvHLkK.png)

Then she loses her Garden of The Deep mega-base few years after as well. Gaians were fighting at two fronts and their military prowess was not nearly as good as that of The Cult. There was no reason not to believe that Drones rampage on the seas is going to continue in near future.

(https://i.imgur.com/EErecTm.png)

Cultists have done good job at killing large number of probes, but there seemed to be no end to them. Even Shard Invaders are now having trouble to destroy Neutronium Armored Probe teams. Sealurks are fighting as much as they can as well. Drone Probe teams had to slow down a bit as they could not penetrate and kill defending Probe teams in Liberty Plan base. Cha Dawn stacked heavy defenses there in effort to amass naval presence and take over the seas.

M.Y. 2347 The Welder Shipyard base

(https://i.imgur.com/PwhNeMp.png)

The fighting lasted a long time at Welder Shipyard base – it was a powerhouse and stronghold at southern coast of the cultist continent. Drones had logistics problems as sea bases next to coast were hard to defend without forces on land. So it was the battle they were slowly, surely losing.

(https://i.imgur.com/pqVWKUp.png)

Once this war of attrition neared its end Liberty Plant army was ready to seize and hold the base. Quick moving cruiser transport loaded with Probe teams were waiting for the order. Once conquered, even despite significant damage and destruction, Welders Shipyards was great and strong base that will serve The Cult to wrestle away the Drones from their northern seas.

(https://i.imgur.com/UkE93Xn.png)

Cha Dawn knew how to control large rebelling population – Spore Launchers were on the way. Drones would tremble in fear on their sight – it is even thought that mindworms know what certain humans have done to them; and Drones knew well what they were doing to planet and native life. It was almost like mindworms have shared consciousness, yet they are clearly individual creatures. The theory of larger  consciousness  couldn't be denied nor confirmed;  Cha Dawn believed there's something to it, but couldn't grasp it just yet. Researchers were working on these secrets - lately they seem to can't discover anything. Gaians were first to Centauri technologies several times.

Foreman Domai wouldn't certainly give up yet – Drones actually spiked in power even more by conquering Deidre's large sea bases in the south. They came up with even stronger weapons now – the one that The Cult can't match. It appeared to be be Quantum version of known Laser weaponry – The Cult knew about Quantum reactors, but efforts to weaponize it properly had not been fruitful yet. In most cases the weapons would be used against Cha Dawn mindworms and he wasn't worried about that; native creatures didn't care for conventional weaponry - it was the same to them.

(https://i.imgur.com/JY5FDIW.png)

A sad fate of alien bases

As the fights raged in fungus fields at Caretaker's borders The Planet silently strikes. Practically over night the water rose yet once more  – the phenomenon observed earlier likely due to global warming – and already damaged and broken alien base went to the ocean's bottom together with its poor population. Once big city was no more.. corpses submerged beneath waves.

(https://i.imgur.com/NDW1pGk.png)

Fungus fields were gory site as well – Caretakers defended with everything they had. Casualties were high on both sides, but ultimately The Cult artillery started the bombardment of aliens bases.

(https://i.imgur.com/ziGXCXd.png)

By M.Y. 2349 Great Intertwining base was conquered with significant loses on both sides. The Cult had made severe mistake and missed to annihilate one hidden Probe team in fungus fields – resulting in mind-probe hacking of the freshly conquered base. Several defenders and mindworms were lost. The forces stormed the base again losing yet more units. As a final result once well populated base was completely obliterated. It all happened in hectic environment and sensor data was unfortunately completely lost.

(https://i.imgur.com/WPcKNvx.png)

This event coupled with flooding of M'dar Holding base significantly slowed cultist advance and made it possible for Guardian H'minee to fight for truce. Cha Dawn already refused several offers and eventually Guardian H'minee offered 1175 energy credits to boost the offer.

Cha Dawn reluctantly accepted – regrouping was after all in order and energy could be well spent. The Cult still had plenty of forces in the area, but obliteration of bases made logistics harder. It was decided to produce several Colony pods and establish firm presence in the area. Then no doubt war will erupt again – it never took more than a few years for fights to escalate. Cha Dawn had bigger plans in the mind – Guardian H'minee was in possession of Living Refinery secret project – but it was well defended in Monsoon Jungle area. That will be the ultimate goal in future war, once proper preparations were made. Technology would solve army support problems and could be of great benefits in the war against Foreman Domai.


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 28, 2020, 08:39:56 PM
Technological leap

At the end of very successful war campaign in the east on alien territory forces fortified to hold territory and attention inevitably focused to long-fought war against Foreman Domai industrial machine. Foreman was starting to lose large sea bases near the coast, but both air and naval supremacy were still under his firm control. Later attempt of The Cult to control the air led to development Mind-Machine interface and Copter Chasis – flexible and agile Chiron Copters could devastate multiple unarmored opponents. Potentially they could fight versus Needlejets as well, but they lack Needlejet range and were no stronger in that department.

(https://i.imgur.com/7gJYTNe.png)

While Copters were equivalent of Earth’s invention, advanced Mind-Machine interface allowed military applications of jet-pack systems never seen on Earth. Suited to use by individuals, jet-packs led to development of special drop forces in The Cult. Drop Shard Shock Troopers and Drop Probe Teams could reinforce isolated battlefields quickly or invade other continents without air support. Unlike paratroopers they could retreat back if the odds were against them.
That was just the beginning. Consultation with Deirdre also led to large technology exchange. Deirdre likely has stolen lots of technology in her own wars. Cha Dawn was surprised by technological edge she held, because The Cult was for a time clearly ahead of Gains both in economical development and scientific research. That was of lesser important, in any case, what mattered is that long-term allies were ready to help each other again. In this endeavor that recent truce bribe from Guardian H’minee was exceptionally well used.

(https://i.imgur.com/WFefIcz.png)

In exchange cultists learned more about Hunter-Seeker Algorithm and newest advances in high-tech infiltration fields. State of the art Covert Ops centers were invention of isolationists Data Angels, The Cult had very few contacts with them so far. Gaians didn’t have a way to break Hunter-Seeker protection systems, but they did come up with Polymorphic Encryption ability that made units exceptionally hard to mind-probe by Probe teams.
Second interesting infrastructure invention that came in this exchange was groundbreaking Mag Tube system. Mag Tube system was based on Monopole Magnets; these were deemed impossible by Earth scientists 200 years ago. On Chiron it will lead to near instantaneous continental travel and huge logistic advantage to those who employ it.

(https://i.imgur.com/Ihv26Mf.png)

Lastly, Quantum weaponry (16) technology was bought from Deirdre – The Cult is now equal to Drones in weapon race.

(https://i.imgur.com/XE2rOWg.png)

M.Y. 2360 Prometheus virus

Decades after last epidemic Prometheus virus strikes again in once barren U.N.S Wreckage site. The area was covered with planted fungus fields and quite densely populated. Unfortunately that meant once again a huge death toll. Baix base was located in the central part of site and virus quickly spread to five surrounding bases killing no less than 150.000 cultists. Sporerunner Sanctum base was the only one with Research Hospital ready to fight epidemic and death toll there was magnitudes smaller. Dawn of Planet was slightly out of the reach of devastating virus, but it was also well-prepared to deal with it. Around the continent efforts were made to complete Research Hospitals before next wave of this deadly virus.

(https://i.imgur.com/me5uZey.png)

Combat edge

Cha Dawn in this period decides to push the necessary levers to maintain Green economics in The Cult.  It was always logical step for The Cult, but delayed multiple times due to insufficiently developed industrial production and the effect on population growth. It places yet unprecedented importance on Planet understanding and its protection, with great positive effect on native life forms. Cha Dawn was well aware of this fact, in fact he counted on it. His attunement to PSI communication with mindworms was exceptional and mindworms felt the changes, soon they will fight even harder for Cha Dawn.

(https://i.imgur.com/MRqJujb.png)

Cha Dawn counted especially on Sealurks who were now 30% stronger – they could usually sink Drones ships in cultist territory without sustaining life-threatening injuries. They were also safer in attacking sea bases and units in Drones territory, but casualty rate was higher. Still it was worth the risk as Sealurks managed to multiple times sink fleets of expensive Drones ships on its own.

(https://i.imgur.com/njyVv4f.png)

They were also immune to Probe teams infiltrations – just one of the reasons Cha Dawn liked them. For conventional ships, some of them were upgraded with Polymorphic Encryption ability. It made them safer from Probe team attacks. In case the Probe teams breach the base defenses, such units could stop mind-probe infiltrations or at least make them prohibitively expensive.

(https://i.imgur.com/aZRxQkS.png)

Some sentinel defenders were also equipped with Polymorphic Encryption protection. For the time being these precautions were just that, precautions. Cultist defending Probe teams were doing excellent jobs over and over; latest they got another boost in drop teams force and Covert Ops Center support.

(https://i.imgur.com/JS5wZJS.png)

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on May 28, 2020, 08:50:36 PM
Unexpected help

M.Y. 2364 scanner catch Caretaker AAA Fusion Foil destroying Drones Sea Formers, a surprising help. Caretakers sent one more ship to harass Drones; that was the extent of their aggression.

(https://i.imgur.com/XZ4ugut.png)

First Shard Copter was put in service, immediately attacking enemy ships. It unfortunately got quickly destroyed by armored cruiser probes. Military ships often had AAA protection versus air units – it seemed that Copters would not have large success in this war. Few more were in production queues. In coastal and sea bases Biology Labs and Sealurks were bred – Cha Dawn ordered attacking force to be assembled. Target – slightly isolated Domai Dome stronghold base.

(https://i.imgur.com/1hHgwxI.png)

Then first Covert Ops Center followed – the base proceeded to build experienced Probe team. On top of already positive odds in combat these extra trained Probe teams will be 25% stronger in combat.

(https://i.imgur.com/1yO9uRy.png)

Plan for land forces is to try to weaken southern Chainlink Break base. Aptly named, Chainlink Break, had key position controlling the access to eastern seas. Drones had multiple sea bases to the west and cruisers were all passing through the base on the way to battlefield. The problem was that it was heavily defended by more than ten defenders.

(https://i.imgur.com/kQbXKss.png)

In M.Y. 2361 cultist forces were surrounding Domai Dome base. Air support and Sealurk reinforcement from nearby base were plenty enough to secure the base. By M.Y. 2163 Domai lost control of crucial base and of northern seas – the defense for The Cult was much simplified from this moment on.

(https://i.imgur.com/mSaaZp1.png)

Drones did immediately return the favor in the east by liberating Freedom’s Foundry. The Cult had recently taken the base by limited force.

(https://i.imgur.com/mKoDMBH.png)

The victory was bitter, there was no way Domai could hope to keep those north-eastern sea bases now when The Cult’s coastal cities were in full military mode. Cha Dawn already had plans to this time take both Freedom’s Foundry and Longshorman’s Quay.

The map of the Cult M.Y. 2363. - Southwest

(https://i.imgur.com/zYaRqhi.png)

The map of the Cult M.Y. 2363. – East

The Cult settled three new bases in newly conquered territory.

(https://i.imgur.com/IUT6DS8.png)



Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on June 02, 2020, 08:10:08 PM
Worm attack and Secrets of Alpha Centauri

It took 50 years for history to repeat itself. Terror's delight causes another Chiron's reaction in M.Y. 2361. The last time mindworms ravaged the base and completely destroyed Children's Creche and Genejack Factory while also killing all defenders. This time The Cult reacted better and extensive damage was prevented – magtube were crucial to quickly reinforce the base.
(https://i.imgur.com/pYD7vn9.png)

The event was key learning experience for Cha Dawn.  The attack was focused and mindworms highly developed, Cha Dawn was witnessing the site himself. He tried to capture the creatures, but surprisingly, it failed. He tried again, harder – failed, again. Once more, and mindworms resisted the attempt of control effortlessly... Something was not right and the Prophet felt it; almost if something or someone was controlling them and completely blocking his influence. It was no even the fight of wills, just unbreakable wall he bumped into. A psi wall.

It was the moment when Cha Dawn realized that Deirdre is actually communicating with planet-mind through her dreams, or rather visions. Deirdre mentioned her dreams once to him, incoherent, confusing, even poems, then it got dark, threats of end. Cha Dawn considered it, but could not take it for truth. More like, he thought, Deirdre might have gone half-crazy under alien pressure and war and death. Like he almost expected that the planet should have talked to him.. how presumptuous of him.  Realization shook him – planet would going to kill the human race and Deirdre was the one who was warned.

(https://i.imgur.com/vTgE3Xx.png)

Chiron bio-field strongly strengthened at a time. Once inexperienced Empaths – psi–trained humans increased their abilities two-fold, exhibiting inhuman powers. They were called Transcends now. Cha Dawn also grew ever stronger in his capabilities.

(https://i.imgur.com/t2gcIxA.png)

It didn't take long for many humans to catch up to strengthening Chiron bio-fields. Transcends were every growing and already using its potential - new secret project was in the works: The Dream Twister. It was terrifying project aimed to amplify deadly psi effects on unsuspecting victims - perfect military add-on to The Cult. Drones were on it as well, but intel suggested that The Cult will be faster to use it for its benefit.

(https://i.imgur.com/Kuek733.png)

The era also marks the capture of Chiron flying native life forms – The Locusts. The nature was going wild and unpredictable.

(https://i.imgur.com/xRTyIvi.png)

Recapturing western sea-bases


With stronger powers than ever Sealurks attack Drones sea bases, the attack was 75% stronger. Bombard support and Shard Invaders join as well and both bases quickly fall. This time attacking army brings in Probe Teams on time – no mind-probe retribution anymore. Approaching Drones Cruiser Probes were sunk by Sealurks.

(https://i.imgur.com/v6q3Z0W.png)

Conventional weapon technology was closely following; Graviton (20) guns were entering the warfare. The counter to it, Antimatter Plate (16) armor first prototypes, were also in production.

(https://i.imgur.com/kx9eqPm.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/PsVGUms.png)

The Gaians were following the latest technological improvements – Deirdre may be talking to the planet, but her industry could not follow The Cult's. She offered, likely stolen Nanominiaturization technology, in exchange for details on Secrets of Alpha Centauri. Tha Gaians could learn a lot about transcendance from Cha Dawn. The Prophet obliged, partnership with Deirdre was flawless all these years, and she was one of the keys to human understanding of the Planet.

(https://i.imgur.com/7gXP3X2.png)


Momentum switch


Cultists scouts reports first Drones Trance defenders – Foreman Domai realized he was in trouble, he needs to defend. Military estimations seem to be undoubtedly correct now, The Cult is having both technological and military edge. Sealurks started to dominate home seas winning the battles with 3:1 odds. And that was not all, with Dream Twister project soon to be complete, Sealurks will gain additional attack power – enough to fully swarm those large steel sea-bases.

(https://i.imgur.com/Zf9XyJv.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/Zzjra76.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/C9yaJcp.png)

Foreman really went hard on defense preparations – Miner's Freehold is the base where he is controlling The Manifold Harmonics secrets.

(https://i.imgur.com/arq9heg.png)

The Dream Twister – M.Y. 2372.


On the date of completion of The Dream Twister both Freedom's Foundry and Longshoreman's Quay fall to cultists forces. Data Angels come with Treaty of friendship offer – they appear to have been monitoring conflicts all this time – they recognize the power of The Cult. It appears Roze has overcome her critique of Fundamentalists in power in The Cult. She either was afraid or she realized it was Cha Dawn pulling the strings all along and that fundamentalism in The Cult was not what it seemed to be from outside. Regardless, Cha Dawn didn't really care – he had his eyes on Drones and the Planet, the treaty was convenient.

(https://i.imgur.com/VUrXKat.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/hTbiNyM.png)

Quantum Lab

Following the completion of The Dream Twister the cultist build  another landmark facility, first ever Quantum Lab. The facility was built upon knowledge of many successful Fusion Labs in the empire now, bringing labs and energy levels in Dawn of Planet to impressive heights. Feat was that much more impressive as all of energy was extracted from fungus fields.

(https://i.imgur.com/pPvOSm9.png)

Fall of Stevedore Dock

Southern relatively small attacking force did not take yet real loses conquering Foreman's two sea bases so it continued its push. Stevedore Dock was lightly defended as well – Foreman concentrated his forces in the east to defend more important bases. Defenders didn't stand a chance – under heavy bombardment and Dream Twister attacks Stevedore Dock fell to The Cult.

(https://i.imgur.com/zb8BpuD.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/tDnlf9L.png)

Unfortunate loss of the conquest was Cultist's only Locusts of Chiron. The creature downed two Graviton Interceptors before dying to third attack.

(https://i.imgur.com/jWLzumH.png)


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on June 07, 2020, 10:44:50 AM
Native special abilities

Following the fall of Salvadore Dock base and completion of Dream Twister Sealurks started to be real threat to Foreman's units, including land ones. Sealurks are able to use its psi power over distances and even the units on coast were not out of their reach. One of the brave, unsuspected empath drone attackers learned this on his own
fate.

(https://i.imgur.com/yVFzAGE.png)

Sealurks would also ignore Perimeter defenses at bases. Other native creatures had similar abilities as well. For example flying Locust did not have to rebase as Needlejets and they could capture and hold the base on its own.
The Cult unfortunately lost its only Locust and could not yet breed more of these rare creatures. The least airforce could do is to take revenge hit on drone who blown up the Locust.

(https://i.imgur.com/BdfhXkd.png)

Singularity Inductor

In M.Y. 2374 scientist in Quantum Lab in Dawn of Planet report their first significant breakthrough: creation of first artificial singularities, Earth's famous miniature black holes. Technology was weaponized into terrific Singularity Lasers(24) that could disintegrate everything on its path. Hitting the target and collateral was issue on its own, but weapon's power was immense.

(https://i.imgur.com/5vWtGzf.png)

The more interesting possibility was not in weaponizing this discovery, not that anybody had objections, but in possibility of creating matter out of energy of space. Star trek replicators a reality? It might be possible, but the project would be very expensive and long, estimates are around 2200 minerals. Huge undertake, but Cha Dawn was not expecting anything less than the best. One of the bases will soon start the project and The Cult had enough Supply Crawlers to help deliver immense quantity of resources needed for its completion.

(https://i.imgur.com/lLJQGjM.png)

Conquest spree – M.Y. 2375

In south-east the army continued its relentless attacks and, after Salvadore's Dock, Tanker's Rest base fell quickly. Foreman ran out of steam, his bases could not anymore produce enough cruisers to stop Sealurk advances and even his air superiority was  in question.

(https://i.imgur.com/8azAzOr.png)

In south-west large Assembly Hall sea base was about to be conquered, all its defenders died trying to defend it. Assembly Hall base was strategically important as it controlled south entrance to The Cult waters. With it under control defending was simple and forces could easily focus and plan future attacks. Up to ten cultist's bases were producing Sealurks at a time on this front – they have become military machine that Drones could not match anymore. Soon their shores would be completely overrun. Foreman seems to concentrate most of his forces in Chainlink Break base – it was the one base where very little progress was made, partly because of inability to bombard it. Drones stationed there multiple Cruisers and bombardment could not focus and isolate single units to destroy them before they repair. But other eastern sea bases had much lighter defenses, a possible weakness to explout.

Planetary Council

With matter of wars under firm control, now mature and experienced Cha Dawn turned his attention to diplomacy. His faction was the most powerful on Chiron now, beating both aliens and Drones. Current Planetary Governor, Deirdre, lost several wars and it was obvious that she could not unite nor govern human relations; the need for change was in air for a long time. Cha Dawn used his opportunity, where Deirdre failed, he could rule with his immense power – he called on immediate Planetary Council meeting and nobody dared to truly object.

Foreman had to appear or he would lost what power he had left and Deirdre was aware the moment would come. Deirdre and Cha Dawn had a long friendly relationship – he knew she was losing interest in mundane politics for quite some time now, likely ever since she started to converse with the planet though her visions. She may not fully liked it, but in her own way both her and Cha Dawn knew she wanted more time for herself to explore connection to Planet-mind. This presidency wasn't going well for her afterall, who better to take it over than trusted ally.

On the day of voting, Roze smartly used the opportunity to barter for its own gains, extorting some valuables for her vote. She didn't dare to be too demanding at least so Cha Dawn did the pragmatic thing and said goodbye to 1000 energy credit.

(https://i.imgur.com/81ykstH.png)

Elected as new Planetary Governor his first move to enact Global Trade Pact. The Cult had great relations with everyone, but Domai, and could boost its power even more through commerce deals. The move pleased both Gaians and Data Angels as well.
Some bases, like Sporunner Sanctum produced significant amounts of energy just through commerce.

(https://i.imgur.com/7kEfgqO.png)

Floods and viruses – M.Y. 2375

In M.Y. 2375 sea levels rose once again – The Cult got some new lakes in the midst of its continent and some coastal land was gone for good. No bases were in danger. Prometheus Virus hit again in north but with lesser effect this time, thanks to Research Hospitals. The frequency of natural disasters appears to have increased.

(https://i.imgur.com/LBFxUcP.png)

It was the same year when aliens came back with threats. They did not attend Planetary Council, which was strictly human affair, but they sure wanted to make their presence notable. Guardian H'minee started with boasting about his Shard empath troops armored with Neutronium plates. Cha Dawn wasn't impressed.

(https://i.imgur.com/SEbsf09.png)

That might led to more aggressive posture – probe team attacks. This time aliens learned from their attacks and they coordinated better. It was clear that Carapace Point could not protect from new waves of probe team incursions so Cha Dawn ordered maximum security measures to remove the chance of mind-controlling the base. It would be an act of war, but on Chiron probe team incursions were always a gray area – technically illegal, but everyone was scheming anyway.

(https://i.imgur.com/wutmRfS.png)

Cha Dawn sternly warned Guardian H'minee to retreat back from cultists waters. It was the only option left to prevent probe incursion. Unsurprisingly, H'minee considered the warning an insult and recognized these waters as rightfully her own. Her ultimate solution was a new war... predictable. Cha Dawn was happy to oblige, he was interested in The Living Refinery for quite some time now.

(https://i.imgur.com/31cXuo3.png)

The army was already present on borders – newly settled bases in once alien territory were developed  enough as well and ready to support the advance. Furthermore continental mag tube network was mostly functional and could support stream of reinforcements.
In other news, Gaians and Angels made a pact to attack weakened Drones. Everything was going according to plan.

Breaking the Caretakers

Probe teams stroke first – they killed last defender and stole Quantum Machinery technology. Sealurks were on the way trying to protect the base from new attacks.

(https://i.imgur.com/JsGwdUi.png)

To the east cultist attacks were in full swing. Guardian H'minee also showed that his threats were not empty – empath attackers killed several mindworms, but not without taking loses themselves.

(https://i.imgur.com/PR6x1sU.png)

The base falls by M.Y.2379 and army turns to Thought: Seed. The Guardian might counter mindworms with empath attackers, but he did not have adequate answer for Graviton (20) and Singularity (24) weapons.

(https://i.imgur.com/24gpDXY.png)

On southern front things heat up. Either Gaians or Drones raised land bridge between factions – similar to one that The Cult use to attack aliens. Drones were in war with everyone, but even weakened that much they started to pressure Gaian bases already. Guardian H'minee used the oportunity to conquer one more base in south.

(https://i.imgur.com/3ACs1WH.png)

Fights continued – even Supply Crawlers defend well, but Singularity troops are well equipped and very experienced. New reinforcements also arrive regularly by mag tube network.

(https://i.imgur.com/1eVGYQj.png)

By M.Y. 2385 Vision: Sound was about to be conquered and The Cult gained the foothold in Monsoon Jungle.

(https://i.imgur.com/kyswDE8.png)

Foreman and Drones could not anymore coordinate strong defense. M.Y. 2378 Seawork Cavern was conquered, but The Cult badly failed in attacks on Chalinlink Break base. Drones decided to heavily fortify that base – it was the last sea base stronghold to protect Miner's Freehold base.  Several Sealurks died in attacks and survivors had to satisfy with controlling the waters around while waiting for reinforcements. Cha Dawn was starting to look at alternatives, even creating a land bridge with Superformers could be an option.

(https://i.imgur.com/s74Lf42.png)





Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on June 12, 2020, 09:37:05 PM
Singularity Inductor

To speed up completion of revolutionary secret project The Cult introduced faction wide industry changes. Singularity Inductor was promising to create materials practically out of thin air – the possibilities were endless and any effort to bring it to completion justified. At +2 Industry even temporary Planned economy was acceptable. Efficiency and research suffered, but the project was cheaper for more than 400 minerals or 1600 energy credits. This change reduced the cost of rushing the remaining investement to slightly more than 2040 credits, a significant sum worth 5 year of The Cult’s income.

(https://i.imgur.com/0oykXiy.png)

And finally, in M.Y. 2390, the project was completed – effectively increasing mineral production of every cultist base by 50%. With addition of Genejack Factories and Robotic Assembly Plants many bases were producing 20-30 minerals per turn, turning them into serious production centers for both military and civilian purposes.

(https://i.imgur.com/xVCKAwU.png)

At the same time first Sky Hydroponics facilities in orbit were completed. Revolutionary in its own sense, Sky Hydroponics pods marked the era of moving Chiron’s resource production into orbit. The Cult planned to make at least a dozen of these facilities and use the food to supply all of its bases across the world. The food from orbit would relieve the pressure and need of extracting it from planet’s fragile ecosystem.

(https://i.imgur.com/5MoqHEj.png)

Simultaneously to Singularity Inductor project, another base was working on developing Longevity Vaccine. Breakthroughs in biology and medicine, as well as many failures in handling Prometheus virus, opened up possibilities of significantly prolonging human life spans. It was estimated that, combined with gene therapy, humans could live at least up to 500 Chiron years. Faction leaders and governing elite had access to gene therapies for many years now and were in good health, certainly able to live much longer. The vaccine promised to expand the privilege to the rest of humanity as well.

(https://i.imgur.com/VcJHBGT.png)

The Cloudbase Academy project, systematic integration of Aerospace Complexes with orbital facilities, was the third one started in recent years. It was significant enterprise and built somewhat slower due to war effort and massive resources poured into Signularity Inductor. The initiative for the project was actually started by Roze and Data Angels who were now happy to sell their ideas and inventions and try to befriend Cha Dawn. They likely also realized they could not complete the project of this size themselves. That didn’t stop them to try to complete other projects, one such was Nethack Terminus project, that strengthened their probe teams.

(https://i.imgur.com/eosePm9.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/IJeziph.png)

War front

In south Drones lost one more base to Sealurk attacks. In late 2380s years they started to train their crews Trance abilities to fight off Sealurks. Even though Trance Cruisers fared better in combat, Sealurks could still sink them with intensified dream twister attacks. Needlejets also proved effective in dealing with these lesser armored variant of Cruisers.

(https://i.imgur.com/OAYTEbX.png)

For a time it seemed that strong attacks in the north helped Gaians as they managed to liberate two of their bases from Caretakers.

(https://i.imgur.com/8osRavb.png)

But their success was short lived – Drones swooped in with Probe teams and superior troops from the west. Gaians quickly started to lose bases one by one.
By M.Y. 2391. The Cult had conquered four monsoon jungle bases and The Caretaker’s resistance was waning. Balance of nature base, last of alien strongholds, held The Living Refinery – the ultimate goal of the war. It was also more and more likely that fight versus Drones in south is unavoidable.

(https://i.imgur.com/lbDo11r.png)

To prepare for expanded south front formers were hastily expanding mag tube network. Monsoon jungle bases rushed basic facilities and defenses in efforts to support troops. Development was blazingly quick between abundant food production of monsoon terrain and large energy reserves poured into rushing infrastructure. Some of the alien facilities could also be repurposed, although in most cases aliens were thorough at scrapping and destroying everything that was remotely valuable.

(https://i.imgur.com/ABXZpKj.png)

Gaians also lost Vale of Winds base to probe team infiltrations, fourth of their western bases fell to Drones.

(https://i.imgur.com/rcukD4N.png)

M.Y. 2393. Fall of Freedman’s Park and The Neural Amplifier

Foreman had one more ace in his sleeve – intel reported that The Miner’s Freehold is nearing the completion of The Neural Amplifier project. The project boosted Drones defenses against psi attacks effectively nullifying Dream Twister of The Cult. But there was still a way to act and counter Foreman’s new weapon: Miner’s Freehold base is located on northern coast, now accessible to The Cult. Cultist could not conquer Chainlink Break base, but other bases around like Freedman’s Park could not stand attacks. Miner’s Freehold was no exception – its defenses consisted of four defenders, thirds or fourth of those in Chainlink Break.

(https://i.imgur.com/BIEt1Br.png)

Cha Dawn construed the plan: Foreman will be allowed to complete the project, while The Cult prepares invasion. Upon completion, the forces will invade the base and capture The Neural Amplifier, as well as other secret projects located in the base. From that point The Cult can invade Drones mainland.








Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on June 18, 2020, 08:06:47 PM
Centauri Genetics

In M.Y. 2393, during heavy psi warfare operations against the aliens, cultist researchers make a new significant breakthrough in modifying native life genetic code. Experiments on live specimens and testing in battlefield eliminated many research dead ends. Finally, recent appearances and capture of Locusts of Chiron added final piece of the puzzle – The Cult had practically gained full capabilities of genetic engineering on native life organisms

(https://i.imgur.com/IMI1QhZ.png)

Locusts of Chiron are deciphered and understood completely, they can be both bred and enhanced. Furthermore, natural environment facilities – Brood Pits - for genetic experiments on native lifeforms are built on Cha Dawn orders in every cultists city. Brood Pits incorporate all acquired knowledge on native life flourishing and engineer environment to breed all kinds of native life forms in exceptionally efficient ways.

(https://i.imgur.com/waQmVmy.png)

Applications were numerous, one also led to improved fungus resource extractions. Mining minerals was the hardest tasks of all and with some clever engineering even that was possible. The Cult's fungus resources extractions were developed to such high level that there was no real need to extract resources from anywhere else. Mines and boreholes still provided higher mineral outputs, but at a cost of nutrients, which in turn meant less working population – and likely less resource production in long term.

(https://i.imgur.com/LpCgwqW.png)

Another wondrous effect of Brood Pits and Centauri Genetics was strengthening police effect of native life forms. Three easily bred Spore Launchers could quell total of nine drones.

(https://i.imgur.com/sqxqGxl.png)


The Pholus Mutagen project


The next logical step of application was in human cell engineering:  human genetic engineering was no taboo on Chiron for hundreds of years already. It was only natural to assume that at one point humans could be improved with Chiron native lifeform genetic material – that was The Pholus Mutagen project in essence.

(https://i.imgur.com/X2nzzhu.png)

Developing safe mutagen on humans was a huge task, but in theory it was possible to enhance humans to attune to fungus terrain and gain similar combat edge as mindworms  had. Worthy improvement for cultists who practically lived in fungus fields for last 100 years. Mutagen could also be used in various other application, one being to enhance bred life forms to even stronger levels. The Cult had the capability at this point to breed Demon Boil mindworms.

Cha Dawn ordered Terror's Delight to divert resources accumulated for Cloudbase Academy to The Pholus Mutagen Project.

(https://i.imgur.com/XmVC1Op.png)

Overrunning the aliens

Native life armada was now bred faster than ever with addition of Brood Pits. Multiple Sealurks and Mindworms were approaching Guardian H'minee's bases. Soon all the sea bases and monsoon jungle will fall to The Cult.

(https://i.imgur.com/BKNCVFW.png)

Intel also reports at this time that The Cult is superior to other human and alien faction in every possible field, from economy to military, wealth, population, technology, pretty much in every imaginable worthy field.
But when everything is going perfect, there's always that something to sting, at least a bit. This time its one cultists inherent weakness. Economy „experts“ managed to mishandle such paradigm economy and lose a few thousands energy credits. A minor setback.

(https://i.imgur.com/EqOAQuC.png)

Foreman Domai mistaken this slight mishandling with weakness, trying to organize council meeting to elect himself as Planetary governor. Maybe it was a try out of desperation, maybe a miscalculation, whatever the case, Cha Dawn on its own had enough votes to guarantee victory. With faithful Deirdre support there was no ever chance that Foreman could be elected, even if Roze would sell her votes as she did last time.

(https://i.imgur.com/gNtwWZ5.png)

World: Within Worlds

M.Y. 2394: While sieging Phantom Forces and Sea: Wind bases the opportunity present itself for mindful cultist commanders. World: Within Worlds, most western alien base, was under attacks from Drones aviation and at the moment defenseless. Sealurks were ready and the base conquered – Guardian H'minee had only two sea bases left. His most norther sea base was conquered recently as well.

(https://i.imgur.com/zB043N5.png)

At the same time Prometheus virus strikes again. Was it really alien design, bio-weapon? This time The Cult was finally ready, The Longevity Vaccine completely negated viruses deadly effects. This will be the end of alien mischief on Chiron, its most likely them who engineered the virus in the first place. The first outbreak known to The Cult was in Monsoon Jungle - likely one of their first experiments with this bio weapon.

(https://i.imgur.com/F5Rc3Y9.png)

Terror's Delight finishes The Pholus Mutagen Project, making cultist troops stronger than ever.

(https://i.imgur.com/raQZu9w.png)

And then produces first scary Demon Boil Spore Launcher for police duties.

(https://i.imgur.com/zVaVffd.png)

The fall of Balance of Nature: The Living Refinery

M.Y. 2395. Balance of Nature, last alien stronghold in monsoon jungle falls to relentless attacks. In aftermath aliens try to flee the base in panic. Cha Dawn gives the order to kill or capture every alien on this continent. Guardian H'minee empire was clinging on only 5 bases.

(https://i.imgur.com/QAQiPnt.png)

The base was also the sight of famed Living Refinery, unique project that uses microbes to engineer and support military industry. Cultist military commanders wanted this project under their control for a long time – military support was lacking all this time due to huge requirements of Thought Control engineering (-3 Support).

(https://i.imgur.com/9u9VukA.png)

Troops advanced quickly, already by M.Y. 2396. Aliens had only two bases left. First clashes on continent were also initiated against Drones, who conquered all western Deirdre bases. Cha Dawn coordinated plans with Deirdre, it was decided that at least for awhile any captured bases by The Cult will stay in their protection. Deirdre could not defend on its own against Drones, losing to both advanced military and probe teams. Both agreed to completely eliminate Guardian H'minee from Chiron once for all otherwise she would expand and plot again. Whatever the plan aliens are having for Chiron, it was certain now, it wasn't in best interest of any human.

(https://i.imgur.com/b3yUM2T.png)
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on June 19, 2020, 12:21:36 AM
Awesome story, man! I enjoyed it like a book. Actually, it is better than the book to live this game.
😆

You definitely have a talent. Don't deny it.
😉
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on June 23, 2020, 05:45:47 PM
Quote
Awesome story, man! I enjoyed it like a book. Actually, it is better than the book to live this game.
😆

You definitely have a talent. Don't deny it.
😉

Thanks man! : )  :danc: :danc: :danc:

M.Y. 2396

Near the final days of Guaridan H'minee on Chiron, Conqueror Marr strikes a deal with Foreman Domai to attack The Cult. It looked like that his everlasting war with H'minee had no point anymore, he won't be able to even deal the final blow. The news comes as northern part of the continent was in full military production mode; the troops trained there were sent all the way to east to fight H'minee's defenders. As response to declaration of war small token force was sent to northern coastal cities.

(https://i.imgur.com/v4yFuYz.png)

Conqueror's Marr faction was situated near northern pole. After early wars versus The Cult, Marr continued with many escalations over the Chiron with other factions, attacking mostly without success. He even lost some sea bases temporarily to probe team attacks. All this fighting and focus on war by the end of 2390s meant that Usurpers were firmly behind strongest factions on the planet in economy and technology.

(https://i.imgur.com/fEy89T1.png)

There was no need for immediate action by The Cult, priority was on other fronts. Marr threatened a few times, surprise attacking into monsoon jungle.

(https://i.imgur.com/lq0EOJe.png)

Drones Power switch

In south, Foreman was as always going reckless on ecology. His bases were producing huge amounts of minerals, but intel reports that he recently changed his Social Engineering to more military Power values, taking a hit in his capacities. Certainly that loss of several large sea bases caused disarray among The Drones, turning them to Power to strengthen military. As result their Industry production is more expensive, but it can be expected that their units will fight somewhat better.

(https://i.imgur.com/b8xh3uI.png)

Drones certainly needed to focus on military more as their insistence on Eudaimonic society made them soft and complacent. Eudaimonia proved ill fit for Chiron hostile environment once more in Gaian example. If Cha Dawn didn't intervene in their wars Gaians would have likely lost all their bases by M.Y. 2400.

(https://i.imgur.com/JlwpRXE.png)

Increasingly more of The Cult's unit was promoted to deadly Elite status. Singularity Choppers were in recent years able to down even once superior Drone airforce.

(https://i.imgur.com/7eHMwTV.png)

Liberation of Garden of Paradise

Main attacking south force cut through alien territory and was now engaged in siege of former Deirdre's base: Garden of Paradise. The base was still heavily populated by Gaians, although now controlled by Drone military. Mindworms ferociously attacked Neutronium defenders situated there. Battle hardened creatures did not have too many problems overrunning defenders, Power focus did not made much impact to their combat abilities afterall.

(https://i.imgur.com/8Le3XN4.png)

In M.Y. 2397. Garden of Paradise falls to focused attack. Large attacking force proceeded to attack next nearest base. Little further in the north, alien Sea: Wind base was defending with last of what it had left. Guardian H'minee was in base organizing defense, but he could not match the force of Sealurks and Singularity Needlejets.

Guardian H'minee demise

Two years later, M.Y. 2399 Sea: Wind falls and alien leader is captured together with last free remaining Caretaker aliens.

(https://i.imgur.com/7TtKBK1.png)

Cha Dawn planned special treatment for new guests. Psi strengthened probes and interrogation techniques will try to dig out whatever the aliens have been hiding about their plans. Caretakers seem to have history with this place, secrets of Manifolds and fungus origin seem to be connected with their race. Cha Dawn was determined to get to the bottom of it.




Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on June 29, 2020, 04:46:52 PM
Breaking the Drones

With the Guardian H'minee out of the picture full military might of The Cult could focus on overrunning key Drones bases. Foreman's troops were not as numerous as in earlier years due to loss of many large sea-bases. They also lost both naval and air supremacy and cultists were able to now consider invasions. One such was in preparation for some time on  his mainland. Second vector of attack from the east, battle-hardened troops passing through monsoon jungle were already attacking Drones positions.

Foreman had two last novelties in the war. First was accidentally spotted Hover Tank Enchanced Singularity Probe team, armored with no less than state of the art Antimatter armor. This one was probably heading to one of last alien bases as Drones were clashing with them as well. Conventional units had real problems breaking antimatter armors (16), but The Cult had large mindworm force ready to deal with them. They were still very dangerous as they could faster than rover probe teams and also easily go through rough terrain.

(https://i.imgur.com/lfe2orb.png)

Second ace in Foreman's sleeve was Neural Amplifier project that cultist spies discovered few years earlier. By M.Y. 2399 the project was completed.

(https://i.imgur.com/hj9i1ur.png)

Drones now have +50% defense against any PSI attacks, practically negating Dream Twister enhanced attacks.

(https://i.imgur.com/H2cDrKa.png)

This project eliminated one of the greatest cultist advantages in the war, but the response was in preparation for a time already. Miner's Freehold is located on the coast and defended currently with only 3 anti-air defenders. Foreman upgraded his units to anti-air weaponry, possibly expecting Locusts of Chiron attacks (which was good presumption as many were in breeding process), but making them weaker versus Sealurks and Mindworms.
Still Neural Amplifier was not final answer by any means, mindworms were ferocious attackers and they could still overwhelm defenders consistently and from the east The Cult had quite a few experienced conventional troops.

(https://i.imgur.com/Fmv6Efc.png)

Besides Cha Dawn had prepared surprise of his own. Singularity powered long-range conventional missiles! These could easily fly over continents and annihilate unprotected units in an instant.

(https://i.imgur.com/b0ZLR91.png)

Locusts of Chiron were already nearby as well dealing with what little air force Foreman had left. Two tiles north of Miner's Freehold Singularity artillery as in position and started shelling of the base.

(https://i.imgur.com/orzc3Or.png)

Fall of Chiron Preserve

Under relentless attacks Chiron preserves fall in M.Y. 2400. Not even Neural Amplifier was enough to stop attackers.

(https://i.imgur.com/nltvVEu.png)

Sealurks used their maneuverability to intercept many reinforcements on coasts. It was one of their unique ability to annihilate units on coast, making them superior to conventional ships. Conventional ships could bombard the units, but against heavy armor inflicted damage was most often minimal.

Miner's Freehold attack


M.Y. 2400 marked the beginning of the invasion on Drones continent. Several years of preparation and attacks on nearby sea bases culminated with attack on Miner's Freehold.

(https://i.imgur.com/h4126nP.png)

Near Chainlink Break base, which proved quite unbreakable, large force was ready to amphibiously attack the base. Gamma Sector base had prepared several Drop Pod Probe Teams ready to reinforce the base the second it was conquered. Defenders were already somewhat battered from artillery attacks.

(https://i.imgur.com/CZXjkT1.png)

Intel reported that Miner's Freehold was also developing new kind of even stronger defensive armor – the time to attack was perfect. The attack force was unstoppable and Miner's Freehold base conquered in M.Y. 2400. Sealurks proceeded to lay waste to nearby units while the Probe Teams reinforced the base.

(https://i.imgur.com/51oT4m0.png)

Locusts cleaned up the airforce in the area.

(https://i.imgur.com/UekvRTO.png)

Secret projects

The first step in new foothold on the continent was to pacify local population. The base had huge mineral production, but the population needed to be controlled and put to work. Spore launchers were perfect guards, each could control up to three drones for total of 9 drones. Cultists were also careful not to create too much collateral damage and the base had many facilities preserved.

(https://i.imgur.com/12o1LIL.png)

Most importantly it was the sight of many secret projects. The famous Human Genome project databases were here – allowing the holder of the project to spot and nurture the talents from birth.  Human Genome project had population-wide impact making every citizen and every base in The Cult that much better.

(https://i.imgur.com/2U4DAGJ.png)

The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm project headquarters were also captured. Now it was the Foreman's Probe Teams who would have to try to break through this terrific weapon. HSA was 100% efficient in killing conventional probe teams and Enhanced Probe teams, that Foreman had access to, had only at most 50% chance to survive the attack. Although not a full protection HSA was great deterrent to  Probe team attacks as these Enhanced Probe teams were 50% more expensive to produce and still were not guaranteed to succeed in their actions. And lastly, The Neural Amplifier was in firm control of The Cult now. Foreman had no chance to mount a counter attack against such large force in Miner's Freehold.
The plans were made to attack both Chainlink Break and the capital, Free Drone Central. Both still had more than a dozen defenders, but The Cult at this point had even more troops to attack. Furthermore, military production in the Cult was rampant, now boosted with Brood Pits facilities.

(https://i.imgur.com/BIwbx5O.png)

Logistics was somewhat of the issue as transporting psi units over the sea was inefficient, but Sealurks could do the fighting as well.  In meantime the attacks from the east were becoming even stronger as mag tube network secured steady supply of reinforcements.




Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: bvanevery on June 29, 2020, 06:56:57 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/nltvVEu.png)

Sealurks used their maneuverability to intercept many reinforcements on coasts. It was one of their unique ability to annihilate units on coast, making them superior to conventional ships.

I never knew that!  Of course I've been attacked by wild ones plenty of times, but it's unusual to capture one, or have it live long enough to do much good.  By the time they become available in the game, particularly in my mod which puts them a bit later, lots of other things have typically already determined how the game is going to go.  "Coastal denuding" is not usually the thing to do.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on July 08, 2020, 10:13:17 PM
Quote
I never knew that!  Of course I've been attacked by wild ones plenty of times, but it's unusual to capture one, or have it live long enough to do much good.  By the time they become available in the game, particularly in my mod which puts them a bit later, lots of other things have typically already determined how the game is going to go.  "Coastal denuding" is not usually the thing to do.

Hehe I was surprised when i realized this first time ^^ Its quite fun and unique ability, was useful here as well. Missiles were fun as well for example, they were effective at killing units outside of bases. Inside bases there are def facilities so it was not as effective.

Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on July 08, 2020, 10:26:35 PM
M.Y. 2402

War versus the Conqueror Marr in the north was becoming intensive in 25th century. Mid sized force of Sealurks and Locusts of Chiron surrounded alien base and easily conquered it. Conqueror Marr, unlike his rival Guardian H’minee, relied on brute force attacks and that approach was ineffective against native units. As with Caretakers, Usurpers had evacuation Colony pods prepared in case of losing the base, but survivors could not really get away to safety from mobile psi units.

(https://i.imgur.com/LOsPzsv.png)

Attacking force continue to advance and two years later foothold on the continent is secured with minimal losses. Terrain had been favorable foo native units. Apparently, due to ecological damage fungus spread through their terrain and could be now used by cultist's troops.

(https://i.imgur.com/C3C7wd6.png)

Planetmind

At the beginning of 2400s The Cultist learn new secrets about the Chiron native dominant life form – fungus. Knowledge extraction methods performed on Guardian H'minee and his followers revealed that aliens came to the planet shortly after the humans to follow the blooming process of the fungus. Every 100 million years or so, the fungus network becomes sentient, but as aliens describe it, for only very brief period, before it destroys itself and everything on the planet, effectively restarting the cycle. There were many cycles, but little is known how they change, and what would happen in the following one.

(https://i.imgur.com/sTOHf5E.png)

Hard questions were left for later times, meanwhile Invictus base invests a large amount of energy to complete last thirds of The Cloudbase Academy Project. It effectively serves as Aerospace Complex in each base giving the base full benefits of cultist satellite network. In 2400s The Cult had several Skyhidroponics Labs operational, each giving 1 nutrient to each cultist base at the time The Cult had more than 50 bases.

(https://i.imgur.com/gNQ8X7R.png)

Chains broken

In M.Y. 2403 after years of bombardment, siege, countless casualties and finally isolation, when surrounded bases fell, Chainlink Break was conquered. Numerous Sealurks swarmed the base and with increasing support of Locusts of Chiron Drones had no more defense. Even southern Anvil of Man sea base fell before Chainlink break.

(https://i.imgur.com/UG3W0nQ.png)

Attacking force was overwhelming and Foreman headquarter base, Free Drone Central, was in immediate danger. With the loss of Neural Amplifier and low morale in general Foreman could not defended efficiently anymore.  His forces were also drained far in the east, where Gaians and Cultist land troops were advancing as well.

Foreman's once reliable Probe team attack tactic was not nearly efficient anymore as Hunter-Seeker algorithm proved very efficient in stopping the threats in its tracks. Even super advanced Datatech probe teams were getting caught regularly.

(https://i.imgur.com/P7SfJZs.png)

Attack on Headquarters

By M.Y. 2405. Free Drone Central was already under heavy bombardment and surrounded by huge attacking force. Several years ago Drones upgraded most of their troops to SAM Antimatter armored troops making them effective versus air and missile attacks, but in turn they now did not have as many trance units to counter psi attacks.

(https://i.imgur.com/k2Zu9mF.png)

That didn't fare well for Free Drone central as a dozen of Sealurks were in striking range.

(https://i.imgur.com/xfx5HnF.png)

It was the year Drones lost their capital and most of the rest of their secret projects. Foreman was not caught as he escaped deeper into his territory. Cha Dawn was not actually anymore interested in destroying The Drones, as he had larger picture in the mind, and tried to contact Foreman, but the latter was not ready to talk. Rare occasions of chances to try to broker the peace failed as Foreman wanted his large cities back. That was not going to happen.

The Manifold Nexus

Free Drone Central, now renamed to Fatima Garden in honor of one of heroic transcend commanders, was badly ruined after the invasion, but some if its infrastructure, and most importantly, its secret projects survived the attack.

(https://i.imgur.com/L7S1qMm.png)

Cha Dawn was personally interested in Manifold Harmonics for a long time and he was quick to get to the side even if it was in the danger zone. The project delved into secrets of alien Monoliths, fungus nexus points and their relation. Aliens, who had prior knowledge of fungus phenomena, apparently long time ago found out the way to tune to fungus neural network and probe it for their benefits. It is not known what exactly they knew or wanted, or was this some kind of bio-engineering project, but Cha Dawn was now aware that these nexus points were building block of sleeping planetary life form.
Drones were just the first to engineer forgotten alien knowledge and use it to extract material benefits. With high understanding of planet working, something Drones were not good in, fungus ecosystem could be manipulated to deliver ever more resources.

(https://i.imgur.com/4odvpkS.png)

The Cult already had +5 or higher Planet rating and thus could easily reap the benefits. But even though Manifold Harmonics approach to dealing with fungus system was ingenious, such high extraction rates were still dangerous. Cha Dawn instructed governors to practice caution – but for the most part The Cult now relied on fungus for resources. Last mines, boreholes and other obsolete terraforming improvements were systematically removed from land and replaced with fungus strains.

(https://i.imgur.com/HHUzZW9.png)

Additionally, most bases were building Centauri facilities, like Temple of Planet, to adapt to Chiron ecosystem better.

Democracy

The war continued, but the threat was barely existent now. It was certain that The Drones will quickly lost most, if not all of their bases, in following decade unless they beg for peace. Cha Dawn decided to retreat from hands-on leadership approach as day-to-day tasks were wasting his attention. He could control key transcends from afar now, if needs be, and could let the people govern themselves more. Cultists transcends were now far more advanced compared to early humans, or even someone like modern Drones. The time would be used on trying to deal with Planetmind threat.

(https://i.imgur.com/FbU54uO.png)

Data Angels

Other factions continued with its business as well. Data Angels were now friendly with The Cult, and were attacking The Drones. They also continued their technological advancement, building up in its strengths.

(https://i.imgur.com/hdvBA3D.png)

They were the second to orbital facilities as well, building up their first Sky Hydroponics Lab. At this point of time The Cult already had first outer space mining and energy stations and dozen of Hydroponics Labs.

(https://i.imgur.com/nzsxdMI.png)

Technology rate was so advanced that even the most wildest secrets were being broken for first time ever. Even the dream of locally manipulating the gravity has become reality. It was no wormholes or interstellar travel, yet, but Gravships were able to easily travel around the planet without the need for refuel or land, making the Needlejets obsolete. They would make pretty much most every other transport means obsolete, but its building costs were relatively high, so efficient cultists were still often using traditional rover and hovertank vehicles.

(https://i.imgur.com/uUF0HHW.png)
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on July 16, 2020, 07:20:18 PM
Conquering the mainland

War activities in the south continues as Foreman stubbornly denied his defeat. The Cult's troops were becoming ever more hardened, while the Drones in several cities had to resort to defending bases with non-combat units.

(https://i.imgur.com/o3p0prH.png)

It was desperate and futile defense. Numerous Sealurks picked off coastline units, including many Supply Crawlers that powered Drone's industry. Conventional missiles were used to disintegrate astray units, usually outside of the bases. Usually, the bases had Aerospace Complexes and could defend well versus missile attacks, but every now and then missiles strikes were deadly.

(https://i.imgur.com/iRPFeUa.png)


The east was falling down now as well. Old Provost Zakharov bases were retrofitted to Drone's industrial standards. Nearby fungus terrain was used by mindworms to intercept reinforcements while incoming Locusts cleared the enemies.

(https://i.imgur.com/8WR8Kmt.png)

As if that was not enough Drone's also struggled with native outbreaks. The Cultist wisely waited for native units to deal with Baikonour base defenders before attacking it. The city was in panic, lack of food and minerals led to starvation and desertion. Perfect timing for The Cult.

(https://i.imgur.com/qIxpyZm.png)

Research breakthrough

In M.Y. 2410. Immensely productive research labs get another breakthrough discovery.

(https://i.imgur.com/f9TXws4.png)

Physics understanding was developed to incredible heights, partly thanks to access to alien research. Latest was build upon recent gravity secret discoveries on ways to bend space itself. Matter transmission, or once popular science fiction teleports, are looking actually possible now. In one way or another it seems its possible to transmit matter over distance. Its just a matter of time while one of advanced transcend teams engineer such device.

(https://i.imgur.com/l3F0SwG.png)

Another discovery was inspired by Data Angels who were happy to trade their knowledge for large amount of energy credits.

(https://i.imgur.com/AxDKpUT.png)

All the inventions led to remarkable nano probe technology merge with biological systems. Nanohospital were rapidly replacing conventional old medical facilities and human life-span was never longer. Cloning was understood well for over a century now and the science of consciousness was maturing. It was one of the missing link in understanding the Planetmind – but maybe even on engineering humans or transferring the person, to maybe another body. Cha Dawn was certainly interested in that. Cyborgs were another option, with implanted consciousness – something that was not yet successfully done, but humans were never really fond of it. There was something cold about machines, maybe Drones would choose that way if they would ever reach the level of The Cult.

Conquering spree


It was never to happen on Chiron as Foreman refused peace talks once more. His army lost Craftemans Keep and Hammer and Tongs bases by M.Y. 2410. Western sea bases also fell to Sealurk attacks.

(https://i.imgur.com/xp4OgRT.png)

In east Baikonour base was conquered after it had to deal with native outbreak. University Base fell soon after it. At this point Cha Dawn decided he would wipe the Drones completely from the continent and maybe even from Chiron if Foreman Domai refuses to talk. Drones had several more sea bases in far south, but at this advanced age, it sure would not take much to conquer every one of their bases wherever they are on the planet.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on July 29, 2020, 07:38:40 PM
Waning resistance

Drones were very scattered and disorganized near the end of war. Their AAA Antimatter Garrison 3-<16>-1*4 were formidable defenders soundly beating Cult's Grav Singularity Squads 24-16-2*4, but there was not enough of them now, and with onslaught of native units from the east, the bases were falling quickly. Locusts also moved in quicky to exploit any weak spots in the defense, sometimes conquering badly defended backward bases.

On the sea side Sealurks cut quickly through the channel conquering several sea bases. Drones had more in the far south – it was thought Foreman was hiding there as intel could not spot him anymore on the mainland.

(https://i.imgur.com/dgmDcUt.png)

At the same time in the north The Usurpers lost their Headquarters, Tau Ceti Mantle. Bulk of their forces was annihilated in the hills above Fear Song, stuck in fungus fields, aliens were of little threat. Their planet ineptitude made them fight at -45% penalty - their forces were easy targets for native units. Even Chiron Locusts had good chances versus their counter AAA units.

(https://i.imgur.com/RJYMMBL.png)

Slightly to the south, last Free Drone bastion in the sea in northern hemisphere was conquered as well. Destroyer base was now used to stage further attacks on aliens.

(https://i.imgur.com/WFzhX8l.png)

To finish up war efforts one last military technology was discovered by transcend scientists.

(https://i.imgur.com/rSZG1Tf.png)

String Resonance explains fundamental nature of space, matter and energy. It represents pinnacle of physics, explaining everything that Earth's humans tried to understand for centuries. Naturally, engineering side of the things led to terrible weapons that could disintegrate any matter on contact. Mounted, scaled version for field battlefield was known as String Disruptor.

M.Y. 2411.

Attacks continue on aliens: Fear Song and Evil Eye fell to Locusts Swarms. Satiation base was defended by Singularity Jets and non-combat units. Reinforcement were rare and The Cult actually lost sometimes more time on disintegrating numerous Supply Crawler than on base defenders.

(https://i.imgur.com/FlTHRBh.png)

Back in Free Drones territory Foreman loses Relativity School base, once one of Provost leading scientist bases. It was the hub of The Citizens Network Defense, giving important defense bonuses for every base. Another resource lost to Foreman, making his defense even harder.

(https://i.imgur.com/nYYhYbU.png)

Secrets of the Manifolds

In M.Y. 2413. The Cult finally learns the most dear secret of the aliens from Conqueror Marr. His minions fought as well as they could, but strong decisive attacks left little chance to hide and destroy everything they could as they used to do.

(https://i.imgur.com/jPlEmsP.png)

Conqueror Marr was in a hurry after the demise oh his rival, Guardian H'minee, to construct several Subspace Generators. Subspace physics had only recently become known to humans and aliens had difficulties understanding it as well, even with their prior knowledge. Apparently, as its now known, they were trying to contact their brethren on another planets, Manifold words, as they call it. Cha Dawn understood Chiron was one of their worlds, others were probably similar, maybe even with Planetmind experiment as well.

(https://i.imgur.com/8nAw2Ji.png)

Guardian Marr had specific plan in mind, calling for reinforcement to wipe out everything on the planet, including humans, unless they, aliens, could control the incoming awakening of the Planetmind. Cha Dawn detested this thought, their understanding of Chiron and Planetmind was so pathetic and their only instinct to exploit and destroy. Barbaric aliens were like the worst of human kind. And for this they were going to be wiped from the face of the planet as they could only make the damage if they are left to themselves. Luckily, they were nowhere near the stage they could be dangerous as constructing Subspace Generators was quite the engineering task.

Guardian H'minee could actually be quite closer to the goal if she still had his bases. She and her followers were much more advanced and actually knew what they were doing. Cha Dawn was sure thanks to H'minee that there was another way to deal with Planetmind besides ultimate destruction. But will the Humans be able to to do the right steps when the moment comes?

The Telepathic Matrix

Secrets of Manifolds revealed yet another new possibilities that transcends could now grasp. With Cha Dawn they could collectively faintly feel those other distant Manifolds, they were there, almost in reach, but still strange, unknown and mysterious. If there was a way to communicate with other worlds, or somehow teleport there, physically, or only consciousness, it was yet unknown.

(https://i.imgur.com/2G1ongU.png)

But there was maybe a way if human transcends could develop collective consciousness, through the project named The Telepathic Matrix. In theory human race could act as strong single mind, bust also with strength and innovativeness of its individual units. In sense human race could be planet mind of its own, maybe even capable of rivaling Chiron's prime inhabitant.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on August 25, 2020, 06:46:24 PM
M.Y. 2414. The pirate king

The last significant resistance in centuries long war between The Cult and The Drones was broken in M.Y. 2414. when Drones last continental base got conquered. Old University bases already initiated rebuilding efforts and the southern part of continent saw its last fights. Odd Drone units on continent were being swept away and for the moment there was a feeling of finality in this part of the world. Plans were being made to transfer reconquered Gaian's bases back to their control and to terraform ruined improvements. 

(https://i.imgur.com/nt0BDAh.png)

Foreman Domai was last spotted in Great Lagoon hiding from advancing Sealurk forces. His bases to the west were quickly conquered and it was just a matter of time before he's done once and for all. He also lost all of his diplomatic power in last years of wars be stubborn peace refusals. Even Rose of the Data Angels has given up on him as they were at war due to several sea base disputes and illegal Probe Team actions. Foreman became mocked in diplomatic circles as mad pirate king – as that’s what the remnants of the Drones practically became. In this futuristic trascend age there was simply no place to hide for such people anymore, and for all the practical terms, this was the final nail to his meddling in Chiron's future.

Usurpers usurped

One final thing for Cha Dawn to solve has left. Alien threat on small continent, which was thoroughly invaded and ripped apart by Locusts. Conqueror Marr lost some backward weakly defended bases to unpredictable Locusts attacks and his front collapsed. Majority of alien forces died stopping the initial invasion of the continent and their industrial capacity was, best said, unimpressive.

(https://i.imgur.com/fq1dvUW.png)

Two Chiron years later it was all over for Conqueror. Unlike Foreman Domai he had not even escape route, or maybe he was after all too arrogant to escape. Cha Dawn knew everything he wanted from the aliens already, but capturing Conqueror Marr was still a sweet victory. This alien menace was removed from Chiron for time being. There are likely other of their races out there in the stars, but that would be the problem for another day.

(https://i.imgur.com/9TnHGVv.png)
 
Planetary Council  - M.Y. 2415.

Fall of the Usurpers marked a historic year on Chiron. Left between themselves, final three factions, had one more planetary threat to deal with. Enlightenment through transcendence in one way or the another, (there were some difference between factions here), was on horizon and there was no more time for petty squabbles between humans. Cha Dawn, Deirdre and Roze agreed to meet up and discuss the human future together one more time.

(https://i.imgur.com/AgLJqhm.png)

Deirdre and Cha Dawn were one vote, wanting to finalize Telepathic Matrix project and unite human kind into single PSI mind capable of rivaling fungus Planetmind. Roze was reserved, although not skeptical, as she saw what was coming. Still she would not want to get rid any part of its cyber freedom and individuality – so ideologically she had desired different kind of solutions. She was outvoted, and as usual, bargained for what she could. The deal was struck to have Angels help finish Telepathic Matrix project and in the aftermath every individual will have the choice (as it should) to join the Matrix or continue to live outside of it. This presented no weakness as Cha Dawn and Deirdre knew that 99% of the the The Cult and Gaians will join, as well as likely most of the Data Angels, making the Matrix the strongest force on the planet.

In final voting for Supreme Planetary leader, the one directing the future of human kind, Roze for the record voted against uniting. It was a way of keeping a semblence of autonomy for her faction, although in practical terms, most of humanity was now working on  single goal. Ageless leaders knew well enough that differences and variety were the strength of the human kind; maybe the strength of Data Angels cyborg and technological approach prove in the end needed, if telepathic matrix fail to deal with Planetmind. Transcends have become so powerful that deep inside Cha Dawn believed that was the future and that the humans will prevail in the end.

There were some ideas and calls for orbital settlements as satellites and planetary system mining were in full effort for some years now. But leaving the planet would be big blow for humans who were not ready yet. Then there was always the last option of nuking the fungus and Chiron to stone age if everything else fails. Singularity Planet Busters could certainly do that.

(https://i.imgur.com/6Ep0A2s.png)

Elected as Supreme Leader, Cha Dawn, started coordinating plans with Deirdre and Roze for final confrontation with wakening Planetmind. Whatever the future holds he was sure now that human race will have all its resources and power available to face whatever was coming.

(https://i.imgur.com/TpuxOgb.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/PYw2iIf.png)




Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Tayta Malikai on August 27, 2020, 02:00:29 PM
Jeeeezus, 300+ turns and over 700 pop? That's a massive game, I commend your patience in slogging your way through it all.

Congratulations on killing everyone important in Will to Power, too. Certainly it's no piece of cake, albeit more tedious than it is difficult.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on August 27, 2020, 02:58:14 PM
There are still some more or less strong factions out there. Did you just let them live or they put up a fight to the level when it is economically ineffective to conquer them?
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on August 27, 2020, 08:50:20 PM
Thanks  :danc:

Quote
Jeeeezus, 300+ turns and over 700 pop? That's a massive game, I commend your patience in slogging your way through it all.

Congratulations on killing everyone important in Will to Power, too. Certainly it's no piece of cake, albeit more tedious than it is difficult.


Yeah its ton of turns : ) i turned on tech stagnation before in earlier games tech went too quickly, but maybe due to land configuration this one turned to quite a drag. I had ton of issues defeating Drones due to massive Probe team spam and Special project spam. Drones are like toughest faction outhere with their bonuses.

And then another was was a drag too - Caretaker aliens had both planet bonus and +25% defense ^^. Their economy was way weaker, but they ended up in Monsoon jungle. In later games I actually started to turn off Monsoon Jungle - someone like Lal is real monster if starts near one.

Another thing - its probably smarter to play on smaller than standard map for AARs. I actually finished the game like two months ago, but with vacation and some private work - had to finish important  project - AAR writing was slow.

Quote
There are still some more or less strong factions out there. Did you just let them live or they put up a fight to the level when it is economically ineffective to conquer them?

No really not anymore - I was lazy to do screenshots of everyone's land, but at this point i think I could overrun them in like 10 years its just tedious. From 1410-1415 i probably conquered 15+ bases or something like that - it really speeds up due to massive bonuses and movement - Locusts, grav units, drop pods, mag tubes and i had tons of bases (likely 50+) spamming these units in 2-3-4 turns. Gaians would be killed by Drones if i had not swooped them from north - through alien land. The last were Data Angels on their mid-sized continent - but they were not really strong - AI couldn't handle fungus mid to late game - their terrain improvements are awful. Then there's also that snowball of me having almost all secret projects at the end.

So i considered how to end the game - and this kind of ending seemed suiting. I didn't really want to kill everyone or to go transcendence - its kind of basic/standard Alpha Centauri story. In a way this story is unique a bit due to its different ending that could turn out somewhat different; depending on everyone's imaginations ^^.

I really had a blast playing this game - kudos for great mod  ;b;. This was version 43 i think - for anyone reading this later. I checked the  mod thread i see we have now version 100+ : ). I'd like to try it, so I'll see to start new AAR, smaller in size, simpler, likely faster game with normal tech and smaller map - and hopefully have a great game again. GG


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on August 27, 2020, 10:34:03 PM
Let me rephrase it then. At which point you achieved economical superiority big enough to conquer anyone you like not being afraid of consequences? I mean all possible consequences like delay in development, combined retaliation of other factions, etc. In other words, when the game was won for you and you just ran to finish line?
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on August 28, 2020, 09:48:15 AM
Hm let me think its actually tough question. Longer answer incoming..

- I expected that things will go easier when i get Air units.. i was totally wrong - Drones got them several years before and could spam them so it turned out to be worse for me. So I had around 30 cities on my continent, but they were not developed at the time and I could not develop terrain because they wrecked my Formers. I also could not move around unarmored units. So.. thats slow start - i may have gone too wide and AI got most important secret projects. They also started to invade with transports and probes - so i had to keep token defender forces. I was confused for a time - I thought +3 Probe was bugged (that AI can subvert bases even though tooltip says it can't because it happened to me on the year i switched to +3).. had i knew that from beginning the game would go smoother.

- For long time I did not have enough mineral/cash production to build needed infrastructure and both units to conquer bases and probe teams - because probe attacks were so annoying that anything i do AI could easily ruin by one of my mistakes or bad RNG. So i was quite stuck until my cities grew to 5-6-7 pop and I could actually amass many units in a place to crack their defenses. So I'd say things started moving faster a bit once in later midgame - once I had Energy banks, Hologram Theatres, Network Nodes  and bases grew so I had lots of cash to rush buy infrastructure everywhere. I could not get that project that turns NN into Hologram Theatres - that would speed up things significantly.

What matters here are also techs - since i relied a lot on fungus (and somewhat on boreholes) - those +energy techs were super important.

- Things really start rolling  smooth late midgame - once I picked up that +50% minerals everywhere project (by that time my bases were bigger and fungus gave some minerals) - it turned out most of my bases to 20-30+ mineral factories and with so many of them I started to overwhelm AIs. Drones had so many units that it was really tough to conquer some bases - there are screenshots where there's slider in bases because interface can't show all the defenders.

- Major turning point was once i got Brood Pits and Locusts - thats I think what you look for (so level 10 tech i think). After that i just steamrolled everyone because I could build worms/locusts in 3-4 turns from 30+ bases and I could afford to have +5 planet rating for huge attacking bonus. I overrun Drones continent so quickly that even I was surprised - this lategame everything snowball so I had like Demon Boils from get go. Also AI liked to picked Eudaimonia and ruin their morale, that helped a lot.
For example I  overrun whole Usurper AI continent with like 10-15% of my army I causally produced in short period of 5-10 years because they had negative planet rating and crap morale. In the end i even spammed conventional missiles for fun because I could - and it saves travel time - and I could just conquer some faraway sea bases with one attacker and few missiles. Quite cool ^^ - one can also this way just annihilate any AI units in open terrain which is super convenient.

What really speeds up things is mobility - Locusts are not such great attackers combat-wise, but they can travel quickly and attack backward bases - so if you spot bases with 2 defenders its gg for that base and it really ruins AI. Its almost comparable to mag tubes - which are obviously awesome as well. Earlier in the game its hard to get to places. Then it just takes time to amass enough units, critical quantity to keep rolling - sporadic attacks mostly fail - took me awhile to realize that. Another major factor is SE settings - once you grow enough you can pick SE you really want - for long time I could not pick Green for example because it had that -2 industry which was really killing my production.
Same would go for non-PSI faction - basically you would need to grow enough to be able to pick +high morale to cut your loses a lot. But in this version it was way easier to get +morale than +planet. Its also easier to build strong attacking units with low armor than worms - problem with worms is that they have fixed price.. which is not cheap.. and they can die to weak units. Brood Pits are really really nice here because they lower the cost by 25% so that helps a lot.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on August 28, 2020, 02:52:27 PM
Which version were you playing?

- I expected that things will go easier when i get Air units.. i was totally wrong - Drones got them several years before and could spam them so it turned out to be worse for me. So I had around 30 cities on my continent, but they were not developed at the time and I could not develop terrain because they wrecked my Formers. I also could not move around unarmored units.

Yep. They are not single best conquest units in WTP due to armor/weapon ratio equalized. They are still good for formers harassment. Which, apparently, what Drones did to you.

I thought +3 Probe was bugged (that AI can subvert bases even though tooltip says it can't because it happened to me on the year i switched to +3).. had i knew that from beginning the game would go smoother.

I'm sorry. Are you saying +3 PROBE is or is not bugged in this version? I thought somebody fixed this and WTP inherited this fix.

- Things really start rolling  smooth late midgame - once I picked up that +50% minerals everywhere project

Is it The Bulk Matter Transmitter? It comes with Matter Transmission which is kinda end game technology well past the mid game. It varies per version but, I believe, it usually somewhere at 80-90% of the tech tree. Do you have save game for this time?

(by that time my bases were bigger and fungus gave some minerals)

That is why I asked about version. In different versions it give 0,1,2 minerals. Tends to give less toward later version.

- Major turning point was once i got Brood Pits and Locusts - thats I think what you look for (so level 10 tech i think). After that i just steamrolled everyone because I could build worms/locusts in 3-4 turns from 30+ bases and I could afford to have +5 planet rating for huge attacking bonus. I overrun Drones continent so quickly that even I was surprised - this lategame everything snowball so I had like Demon Boils from get go. Also AI liked to picked Eudaimonia and ruin their morale, that helped a lot.
For example I  overrun whole Usurper AI continent with like 10-15% of my army I causally produced in short period of 5-10 years because they had negative planet rating and crap morale. In the end i even spammed conventional missiles for fun because I could - and it saves travel time - and I could just conquer some faraway sea bases with one attacker and few missiles. Quite cool ^^ - one can also this way just annihilate any AI units in open terrain which is super convenient.

Yep. That is exactly what I was asking for. Looks like the combination of above effects made your army unstoppable. However, at level 10 it is about time someone would win the game. So I don't consider this a major imbalance. However, it is still very useful info for further game tuning. Thank you for feedback.

What really speeds up things is mobility - Locusts are not such great attackers combat-wise, but they can travel quickly and attack backward bases - so if you spot bases with 2 defenders its gg for that base and it really ruins AI. Its almost comparable to mag tubes - which are obviously awesome as well. Earlier in the game its hard to get to places. Then it just takes time to amass enough units, critical quantity to keep rolling - sporadic attacks mostly fail - took me awhile to realize that. Another major factor is SE settings - once you grow enough you can pick SE you really want - for long time I could not pick Green for example because it had that -2 industry which was really killing my production.
Same would go for non-PSI faction - basically you would need to grow enough to be able to pick +high morale to cut your loses a lot. But in this version it was way easier to get +morale than +planet. Its also easier to build strong attacking units with low armor than worms - problem with worms is that they have fixed price.. which is not cheap.. and they can die to weak units. Brood Pits are really really nice here because they lower the cost by 25% so that helps a lot.

I guess Brood Pits are really nice regardless of initial native cost. They cut same percentage of whatever it was. Did you find BP expensive in cost or maintenance? I mean comparing to their effect?
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on August 28, 2020, 06:08:59 PM
It was v43 i think - i have quite a few saves i can maybe zip them if you want to take a look.

- Regarding airplanes - they are quite fine out in the field. AI loved to spam AAA and attacking cities even without AAA is really no go - i remember you changed something about that in some later version but i am not sure anymore. Anyway - airplanes could not attack city at all - AI also didn't even try maybe once or twice. So one thing maybe to improve there is to give some chance to airplanes to attack cities. They are way overpowered in vanilla game to the point one can only builds airplanes and its gg. So you could maybe try to improve their usage a bit.

- +3 Probe: It is NOT bugged. I had a question in your mod thread i think so we discussed that a bit - (most?) SE changes do NOT work on same turn. So if you turn on +3 Probe and click end turn AI will still subvert your bases. On following turn it can't. Its a small thing.. confused me so i avoided +3 Probe.. when it would be way easier for me to actually use immunity.

- The Singularity Inductor - that thing costed 2200 minerals and it gives  Quantum Converter (+50% min in each base).. but i finished it around M.Y. 2390 so quite late. By that point i broke most of the Drones sea resistance and aliens as well. Afterwards i overran their continent when all the bonuses kicked in. Picking up The Manifold harmonics was also huge but that was in 24xx - but then i finished the game in next 10-15 turns due to snowball. If I had Manifold earlier the game would be way easier - I know it because I got it earlier in another Gaians game.

- I found Worms too expensive for long time - i really struggled to get a decent number of them - and when i could they would be countered by worms or crawlers :)). It was also hard to build Sealurks which are cheaper (60 minerals i think) because sea/coastal bases are weaker in general - or get settled a bit later. Then when Brood Pits came and all the +cycle bonuses due to other fascilties and secret projects they were OP. So native units start too weak (compared to their cost) and end up too strong - thats a generalization. Very lategame my Singularity (24 attack) and string (30) units were way worse attackers than worms - because AI had Anitmatter (16) armor. Convetional units were great  to kill weakly armored units... its kind of logical and ok but its maybe a bit too much skewed in effectiveness over time

So anyway you changed a lot - so I can't  really tell now, lots of gameplay/mechanics here might not be relevant anymore to latest version.. so it might not be good base for changing balance.


Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on August 28, 2020, 08:00:42 PM
It was v43 i think - i have quite a few saves i can maybe zip them if you want to take a look.

Quite an old one. So some of my comments may be incorrect about it. However, by all means, please share your saves. I always appreciate it.

- Regarding airplanes - they are quite fine out in the field. AI loved to spam AAA and attacking cities even without AAA is really no go - i remember you changed something about that in some later version but i am not sure anymore. Anyway - airplanes could not attack city at all - AI also didn't even try maybe once or twice. So one thing maybe to improve there is to give some chance to airplanes to attack cities. They are way overpowered in vanilla game to the point one can only builds airplanes and its gg. So you could maybe try to improve their usage a bit.

I am not sure what are you asking about here. They have all the same weapon installed on them as on other land and naval units. They were overpowered in vanilla not because they are airplanes (😂) but because overall vanilla weapon over armor superiority and lack of defensive bonuses to offset it. So airplanes were as overpowered as any other attacker they just could reach farther and, therefore, were more effective in speed conquest.

In fact infantry is even better equipped to storm bases with their +25% bonus. So it is completely natural that airplanes are worse in base attack. If we give them power to attack bases (or units in general) better than infantry then we fall back into "all airplanes" scenario that I tried to avoid. They are already quite useful as scout, harassing, and supporting units due to their far reach range and immunity to from the ground attack without air superiority. Due to that they should not be stronger in direct combat than infantry. The AAA ability helps to defend against them but it also cost. One can slap it on all combat units and even give armor + AAA to all formers but this would be economically stupid.

I'm not really sure what can be done there except maybe reduce AAA bonus to 50% or even less. Let me know if you think it would be helpful.

- +3 Probe: It is NOT bugged. I had a question in your mod thread i think so we discussed that a bit - (most?) SE changes do NOT work on same turn. So if you turn on +3 Probe and click end turn AI will still subvert your bases. On following turn it can't. Its a small thing.. confused me so i avoided +3 Probe.. when it would be way easier for me to actually use immunity.

Ah. Got it. Thank you for clarification. Yes SE changes kicks in before your next turn.

- The Singularity Inductor - that thing costed 2200 minerals and it gives  Quantum Converter (+50% min in each base).. but i finished it around M.Y. 2390 so quite late. By that point i broke most of the Drones sea resistance and aliens as well. Afterwards i overran their continent when all the bonuses kicked in. Picking up The Manifold harmonics was also huge but that was in 24xx - but then i finished the game in next 10-15 turns due to snowball. If I had Manifold earlier the game would be way easier - I know it because I got it earlier in another Gaians game.

The Singularity Inductor is enabled by Controlled Singularity which also happens somewhere after 80% of tech tree - pretty late in the game. It is completely fine to get such economical boost that late in the game. Someone should win it at this point. Thank you for clarifying this.

- I found Worms too expensive for long time - i really struggled to get a decent number of them - and when i could they would be countered by worms or crawlers :)). It was also hard to build Sealurks which are cheaper (60 minerals i think) because sea/coastal bases are weaker in general - or get settled a bit later. Then when Brood Pits came and all the +cycle bonuses due to other fascilties and secret projects they were OP. So native units start too weak (compared to their cost) and end up too strong - thats a generalization. Very lategame my Singularity (24 attack) and string (30) units were way worse attackers than worms - because AI had Anitmatter (16) armor. Convetional units were great  to kill weakly armored units... its kind of logical and ok but its maybe a bit too much skewed in effectiveness over time

Yep. This is common problem (feature?) of all natives with their fixed cost. They are perceived expensive early and cheap later. I don't think we can do anything about this on a large scale as this is set like that by designers on purpose: fixed cost and fixed combat odds for psi units. This has to be different as this is an alternative combat! I think this is good when you felt them expensive and then cheap as the game progressed. That means I set their cost about right. Otherwise, if their price would be affordable at the very beginning they would become insanely cheap at the end which would make end game psi even more snowballing than you have experienced.

I don't really know what can be done with them. This is like a SMACX foundation that is impossible to get rid of. I'd welcome any suggestions.

I also modified their cost to balance their combat effectiveness against anti-psi units (trance, empath) to be about the same as for same era conventional units. So that native would be as good/bad in base assault against prepared defense as conventional units. Of course, change in morale, planet and other factors tilt this balance and force player to change tactics from conventional units to psi and vice versa. That was whole idea to make strategy choice dependent on variable factors rather than make them a single ultimate choice regardless of anything else.
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: lolada on August 28, 2020, 11:28:53 PM
It may be interesting experimenting with maybe 50% AAA bonus because its really hard counter - it shuts down the play probably too much. I did actually use lots of infantry - that +25% bonus is really important. Infantry in WTP is way more important than in vanilla - Rovers just do not cut it for base attacks.

I don't know about worms now, they are mostly ok, so probably no need to touch that aspect atm. There's actually one problem - worm artillery is really useless as artillery. But they are excellent cheap defender, maybe way too good unless you have negative planet. Not sure what to do about that - it would be nice if they would be better in attack - and probably weaker in defense.

Saves are in attachment  ;)
Title: Re: AAR: Cha Dawn and The Cult of Planet - Will to power
Post by: Alpha Centauri Bear on August 29, 2020, 01:43:27 AM
I agree that any bonus in WTP should not exceed 50%. Otherwise, it is just excessive. I was about to change it long time ago just didn't do it yet.

Good point about worm artillery being cheap defender. I didn't thing about it in this angle. However, I don't think it sucks in general. Due to 1:1 odds it is firepower comparable to any contemporary strongest weapon artillery. So the further game progress the relatively more cost effective it is. And on the top of that it is also not that bad in defense against rover counterattack comparing to these wimpy 30-1-1 conventional artillery. So, generally it is even better. Maybe I need to raise its cost too.
Again it can be countered by trance artillery later in the game when opponent can slap two abilities on the unit. Same exactly story as with other psi units.