Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: bvanevery on August 20, 2020, 08:03:28 PM

Title: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 20, 2020, 08:03:28 PM
I haven't done an After Action Report in awhile.  Version 1.46 of my mod (http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=20959.0) is a pretty stable release, involving only minimal changes from the previous version.  It's had a fair amount of playtesting, so is a good basis for showcasing "how to play the game".

A spammer recently caused an ancient 3.5 year old AAR to rise to the top of the stack.  Although its author never completed it, it contained at least one interesting idea.  Giving bases to other players, in the middle of your own empire.  The Aztecs kept the Tlaxcalans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlaxcala#Pre-Columbian) in this way, using them as a ready source of "flowery war" and ritual human sacrifices.  This worked out pretty well until the Spanish showed up!

Tlaxcala surrounded
Tlaxcala surrounded

I'm going to similarly invite disaster.  Uncharacteristically of me, I will pursue an "amoebic" or "swiss cheese" spread strategy.  Grow towards enemies, put tendrils into them, take over some bases and not others.  Fully integrate the materials of enemies into some kind of massive host structure.  It might look like the growth of a biological pathogen, or a fungus.  The former is COVID-19 inspired, and the latter is a yeast infection I've been fighting in my dog's feet for over a year.

So this is my source of inspiration!  And I will perform this feat with a RANDOM faction, against random opponents.   Let's see how easy or hard it turns out to be.

Global flooding would likely seriously disrupt my plans, so I will avoid that.  No gratuitous chemical attacks leading to planetary meltdown.  I've got other AARs for that sort of thing.  This is all about "benevolent suffocation" and displacement of local populations.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 20, 2020, 09:31:37 PM
Huge map, 30%..50% land mass with my mod's continent generation tweaks, average settings.  Transcend difficulty.

the charming cast
the charming cast

I draw the Morganites, who in my mod are not helpless slouches.  Notice that unlike the original game, my Morganites have +1 SUPPORT, do not get a Commerce bonus, and have no restrictions on what economic model they can choose.  I can be Socialist if I want to.  The main reason I allow this is it's not usually a good choice, and it's conceptually no crazier than Morgan going Green.  When the AI plays Morgan it will never do it, it'll always go Capitalist.  As a human player, I am not so restricted.  Think of it like an employee owned co-op, a Non-Profit, or a Benefits Corporation.  In this particular game, the extra JUSTICE afforded by Socialism might prove useful, as it would allow me more empire sprawl before I get unrest.  This game is going to be all about the sprawl!

unusual poppage
unusual poppage

I start on dry, fungus ridden land without good access to the prevailing land mass.  I was going to migrate elsewhere, but my Scout popped a pod that gave me instant farms.  That makes this land actually worth settling, so I accept my capitol here for now.

doing like the AI would do
doing like the AI would do

I take the default research focus that the AI would have.  There's no necessity in this, but I prefer to playtest my mod according to what the AI would experience as a strategy.  This helps me find out if I've crippled a faction in some way.  All of my factions have a unique combo of research foci.  The Morganites are the "pure Build" faction and there is no such other in the game.  The Cybernetic Consciousness is Discover, Build and unfortunately the one consistently weak performing faction in my mod, possibly due to this combination.  So this game will be a good test whether that's true.  The Data Angels are Discover, Build, Conquer.  The Free Drones are Explore, Build, Conquer.  Otherwise there are no Build factions.  I am not likely to have much competition in this tech area.  I can probably build the Merchant Exchange etc. without much issue.  And perhaps the Planetary Transit System will be more useful than I usually consider it to be.

possible island
possible island

I pop a minerals deposit but also a mindworm, interfering with my settlement.  It's not a great location anyways, as I very much prefer to settle on Flat terrain to improve its mineral quality with my base.  I proceed onwards and gain an Artifact for my effort.  I will settle near the minerals later.  I didn't entirely explore the north, but it looks like there's ocean up there.  I can't quite tell from the radar readout if land connects to the south.   If I'm not actually part of a land mass, this could complicate my amoebic strategy.  However it's nothing the Weather Paradigm couldn't fix, assuming I get it done first.

rising fortune
rising fortune

I trigger an earthquake!  The game knows I'm on a small land mass.  I wonder if it connected anything that wasn't previously?

Clean Reactors are available in my mod from the beginning of the game.  This helps the AI not run out of SUPPORT.  I can take advantage of it too: there's always a way to reinvest in your empire, even if you don't have any new facilities to build.  Here I was trying to set up a "Completion Exploit" with that pod I popped.  You often get Completion events when popping a pod, whatever the nearest city is.  Rather than completing a mere Scout, which isn't valuable, I was hoping to get a Clean Scout.  That's the most expensive unit I can complete right now.  A Colonist is more expensive, but can't be completed with a size 1 base.  When the base is size 2 I'd try to complete those.  When I learn more techs, I'll deliberately design the most expensive units possible, hoping to complete them.  Sometimes this will give you, for instance, a Clean Synthmetal Rover Former.  Completion Exploits are also extremely useful for finishing Recycling Tanks.  The basic idea is that as long as your minerals are 10 or under, you can switch your production back and forth without penalty.  So I'll set up the completion, pop the pod, then return the production to a simple Scout when I'm through.

I first started heavily using Completion Exploits to get Pirate sea bases built in a hurry.  From this I realized it's also useful on land.

fast construction
fast construction

I learned B1 Industrial Base, and I've got +1 SUPPORT, so it's time to rush some Formers.  The Morganites start with some extra money so it's good to use this up on judicious rushes as quickly as possible.  I also may not need any more Scouts at the rate I'm going.  I can hope for a land connection to the south but it's just not certain.

seaworthy
seaworthy

It's official, there's no land bridge to the north.  I've rushed Formers and am at the limit of my SUPPORT.  I learned Recycling Tanks so it's now good to rush those.  I've got enough money and 10 minerals in to do 1 this turn.

crap start
crap start

Mission Year 2118.  No land bridge to the south.  The east is certain ocean, a very large one.  I'm on a small island.  Getting E1 Doctrine: Flexibility isn't that difficult in my mod as it's only a Tier 1 tech, but it doesn't have any Build component to it and I am a pure Build faction.  So this will be a good test of whether I have a difficulty getting off the island.  Another major loss from a small island, is the gravy train of easy supply pods is over.  Clean Reactors will save my bacon though.  In the worst case, I will make a massive number of Clean Formers and remove all of this fungus.  I can also save up Clean Colony Pods if I end up with more population than I keep happy.  As a special exception, again to help the AI with SUPPORT, Clean Reactors don't cost extra on them.  So this is a mitigable mini-crisis, not any kind of dealbreaker.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 20, 2020, 10:00:46 PM
recycling tradeoff
recycling tradeoff

Completing a Recycling Tank in my capitol has caused a mild delay in making a Colonist.  I switch one of my workers to a Medic, preventing the disruption of a Drone Riot next year.  Usually I just obliviously wait for such problems to show up, then pay for solutions like a Rec Commons or whatever.  But at the very beginning of the game, anticipatory micromanagement is warranted.  Small decisions early on have large effects on the midgame.  I'm not going to be in some great position, with this small island start.  In fact, if one of the other factions takes root in the Monsoon Jungle, they could threaten to make the various Secret Projects that I thought would be easy for me to complete first.

scaling up
scaling up

In my new cities I invest in Recycling Tanks first, because those can't be built in some other city.  Whereas, Formers can always be built in another city and then re-homed.  I've done a little shuffling of that already.  Once my "mature" cities are nearing size 2 and ready to make Colonists, I put them to that task.  Sadly, I'm only going to get 7 cities out of this island.  I'm a "big pox" player and refuse to smallpox, especially in the vicinity of my capitol.  This island may be my vital economic core someday.  Of course, conditions on the mainland could change everything.

The power graph says I'm still doing better than 2 other factions, which I find a bit surprising.  I know my early spread strategy is good, but it would seem to be indicative of the Free Drones and the Cult of Planet having some bad initial luck.  Meanwhile the Cybernetic Consciousness, the expected weakest faction of the game, is doing substantially better than the rest.  Did they get the Monsoon Jungle?  If so, goodbye Secret Projects.  Their RESEARCH bonus will let them get started early, and their Build focus may help them finish them.  If they turn out to be far away from me on the map, I'll have a devil of a time ever catching them.  Then again, the Believers could smash them up, so who knows.

easy street
easy street

MY 2138.  Now I've got no issues.  With an entire ocean to the east, and no Pirates competing to fish for the sea supply pods, this is going to be cake!  Doesn't even matter what's on the land.  Watch Morgan get rich.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 20, 2020, 10:24:16 PM
flurry of speech
flurry of speech

I fish Roze's comm frequency out of the water.  She offers Domai's.  She's Solicitous but won't ally.  I ask about the Gaians before remembering I should focus on trading techs with her.  I get C1 Doctrine: Mobility in exchange for my map.  It's a small map, although of course it does reveal my location.  Why should I care, I've got a moat.

Socialists
Socialists

Domai signs a Treaty, but is otherwise of no use.  No techs, and I don't manage to get any comm frequencies out of him.

Happy Thoughts Police
Happy Thoughts Police

MY 2145.  I fish 100 credits out of the water, which could buy a tech from the Data Angels.  Unlike the original game, they don't have to infiltrate factions to gain techs that 3 factions have.  It just wasn't realistic for the AI to have to cross Huge maps to get all that done, it's not bright enough.   Unexpectedly, they're in the mood for an alliance.  I don't think I even asked them for that?  Can't remember.  Well, it's done.  I buy C1 High Energy Chemistry from them.

My Tlaxcalans!
My Tlaxcalans!

We're neighbors.  Gosh I wasn't quite expecting that.  Taking bases off their hands is going to be, um, a bit weird.  Well let's see what the rest of the world is like before jumping to conclusions.

industrial monsters
industrial monsters

Weird to see someone occupying the Monsoon Jungle, doing the poorest on the graph.  Wonder what caused that?  Scient added a nifty feature recently, permanent autosave every 10 turns.  I can go back and look at the causes eventually.  Right now I'm playing.  Anyways if they take proper root, they can definitely build all the Secret Projects rather fast.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 20, 2020, 11:48:23 PM
splitting the Angels
splitting the Angels

MY 2150.  I'm naming my "infectious" cities after the small places of Old Earth.  This is a dangerous game to be playing with the Data Angels, and I'd lose heart if they were my enemy.  At this distance from my capitol, they could mind control my city in a heartbeat!  Depending on where the critical mass of settlements really turns out to be, I may have to relocate my capitol.  I'm also going to have to be very nice to the Data Angels for quite awhile, even if they steal techs from me.  I might have to swallow all sorts of guff I usually wouldn't, just to make this strategy work!

useful idiot
useful idiot

Somehow Domai changed his attitude towards me to Magnanimous.  He signs a Pact.  Now I'll have to be nice to him too, as I infiltrate his lands.  Socialist may be in my future, because I'm going to need pretty high JUSTICE to keep this far flung empire together.  Also, he goes to war with pretty much anybody that doesn't tow the Workers' party line.  Better with me than against me.  When I imagined this scenario, I was expecting enemies next to me, that I'd put lots of Clean Synthmetal Garrisons around and so forth.  Really didn't anticipate having to swiss cheese my allies.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 12:01:44 AM
completion exploited!
completion exploited!

Finally one of my Completion setups paid off!  This will be useful for driving roads rapidly through my frenemies' heartlands.  I also complete a Speeder prototype.  Prototypes are very expensive in my mod, so when to go through the effort of completing them, is a bit of a decision.  A Skunkworks won't be available until I learn Optical Computers and it's an expensive facility, as much as a Research Hospital.  Completion Exploits are one of the tried and true ways of getting a prototype done.  Another way is sometimes a predefined unit will become available 1 tech after the current tech.  That doesn't happen to be true for a Speeder chassis though.  One would be waiting all the way until C4 Nonlinear Mathematics to get a Cloaked Recon Rover predefined unit.  In my case, that means I'd never get it.

My mod also doesn't do Rover Probe Teams by default, you have to design them yourself.  Instead, all the default probe teams are armored.  They move slowly, but also surely.  Especially in the case of the Data Angels with their +2 PROBE, they have a big Morale bonus that will keep them from being easily killed.  Foil Probe Teams also come with Synthmetal armor on them, at not much additional cost compared to "bare" units.  In the early game, enemy ships tend to just sacrifice themselves trying to take them out, bouncing against the armor.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 12:30:22 AM
Angel wedge
Angel wedge

MY 2157.  I establish my next Old Earth style exploitation.  If the AIs were only historically literate, they'd have an idea what I had in store for them!  My capitol island is unlikely to provide me any economy, as I simply won't develop it until I know where the center of my empire is really going to be.  But at least I have the +1 SUPPORT to make moving units to my new holdings pretty easy.

feisty Deirdre
feisty Deirdre

MY 2161.  The north holds nothing of value.  However, I've run into one of Deirdre's mindworms.  Ordinarily I'd blow off her threats and kill her, but I'm determined to pursue this "amoebic" strategy.  I need to see what her disposition is, before deciding how to infiltrate her.  For now the peace shall be kept.  However I'm realizing I can't please the Free Drones and the Gaians at the same time.  Meanwhile, neither the Free Drones nor the Data Angels like me as much as they used to.  The Gaians have the Cybernetic Consciousness comm frequency, but they won't sell it to me.

well bleh
well bleh

MY 2162.  The Data Angels tell me to take a hike!  And here I am with cities exposed to their depredations.  This is going to me more work than I expected.  I don't even have C2 Planetary Networks yet, no probe teams to defend myself with.  I might have to really snivel.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 01:02:37 AM
still useful idiot
still useful idiot

I sell Deidre's comm frequency to Domai.  Hopefully this will get them into a war eventually, but I don't think either has learned Socialist or Green yet.  In the short term, it gets me a map.  Turns out there's lots of "Deirdre stuff" north of me.  It was just invisible to my initial shore surveys.  My island is more central than I expected.  I will dutifully colonize into the middle of them, just like I'm doing with the Data Angels.  And just as dangerous to me, if I had the temerity to go Capitalist.  I might be having to play it Deidre's way.

tech friends
tech friends

MY 2164.  I encounter Aki Zeta5 wandering around in Deirdre's territory.  She's friendly, and even signs a Pact with me.  She has the C2 Planetary Networks I need!  I try to ask her about it, but thinking me primitive, she gifts me with B2 Ethical Calculus.  Well I guess I can wait a little on the probe team defenses.  For now I'll make some Democratic money.  I suppose I could please Domai and Deidre at the same time, if I stuck to Simple economics.  I'm now at +2 ECONOMY, so it could work.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 01:19:38 AM
small places of Europe
small places of Europe

MY 2168.  The Gaian tendril shall be named after principalities, not colonies.  The postage stamp countries!

look who's in the bush
look who's in the bush

Cha Dawn isn't useful, but in my mod he pursues Eudaimonia, so he'll probably be non-conflictual for awhile.  The one I'm going to have a problem with, is the Believers.  No evidence of them yet.  Maybe they vanished in a puff of faith?
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 01:34:02 AM
fungal inroads
fungal inroads

Aki Zeta5 keeps giving me tech, and avoiding giving me C2 Planetary Networks.  She handed me E2 Centauri Empathy.  I think it's rational to go Green.  I can butter up Deidre as an ally, and make inroads into Domai's territory through conquest.

here she is Ms. America
here she is Ms. America

How well could I reasonably expect this to go?  Surprisingly, I got a Treaty and Lasers out of it.  She's Seething.  Won't talk to her again for awhile!
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 01:49:29 AM
linkage
linkage

MY 2170.  Well I was right after all.  Not that much competition for Build techs.  I can probably get the Weather Paradigm done before anyone else.  Fungicidal Tanks will also be immediately useful in my new settlements.

fickle frenemy
fickle frenemy

I go looking to sell my commlink frequencies to my allies, before contemplating a run at the Governorship.  I'll wait until all my colonies are settled.  Surprisingly, Roze wants to be an ally again.  She also sells me the sorely needed C2 Planetary Networks.  I'm probe team capable now.  Of course I'm too busy right now to build any, moving all my Artifacts to one spot to get the Weather Paradigm started and completed quickly.  Secret Projects are expensive in my mod, and this one is a 400 minerals project.

the New Riviera
the New Riviera

Morgan Industries turns out to be more centrally located than I expected.  Still not sure it's optimal.

Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 01:57:44 AM
thickest slate evah!
thickest slate evah!

MY 2171.  Deidre calls an election and surprisingly, votes for me.  Guess that Green decision paid off!  I've never seen a 4-way election before.

be my cheese
be my cheese

This is not going to be that easy of a position to hold onto.  I need to grow and consolidate what I've got.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 02:27:14 AM
Domai blows me off
Domai blows me off

MY 2175.  He wanted money.  Does he think I'm made of money??  I've got a Weather Paradigm to rush.

like so
like so

This will take all my Artifacts, but it's gonna work!  Land bridge begins next year.

bridge over the river why
bridge over the river why

MY 2176.  Slight fib, building "a" land bridge this year instead of "the" bridge, but it'll all get done soon enough.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 03:32:06 AM
shakedown
shakedown

MY 2184.  I really don't want my Transports sunk.  They're out doing important Artifact scooping work.  I suppose I am rich.  Ordinarily I would never tolerate this kind of guff from any faction, but I have my strategy to implement.

I don't know why she swallowed the fly
I don't know why she swallowed the fly

MY 2185.  She was useful while she lasted.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 03:43:08 AM
eat it Cyborgs
eat it Cyborgs

MY 2188.  I complete the Planetary Datalinks, which the Cyborgs were working on.  Unfortunately they just switch to the Merchant Exchange, which I was also working on.  Possibly I can make money faster than them, and complete them both.  In which case they'll just switch to the Virtual World.

no such luck
no such luck

MY 2189.  They complete it and start working on the Planetary Transit System.  They're doing well!  I thought the Planetary Datalinks was more important though.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 03:51:17 AM
the inevitable theft
the inevitable theft

MY 2190.  Can't say I didn't see this coming.  The irony is they probably would have learned it through their own faction ability anyways.  Much as I hate it, I'm not objecting.  I need to build up my infrastructure.

performant cyberneticism
performant cyberneticism

MY 2191.  So much for worrying about the "weakest faction" not doing well!
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 04:22:35 AM
finally
finally

MY 2195.  A spore launcher quite randomly shows up next to my most productive city.  I think it just emerged from nearby fungus spontaneously.  I capture it.  First time.  I've been Green a very long time.  Sometimes I wonder if you need a certain tech to ease the strain of capturing, or if certain factions have hidden penalties for capturing.  The factions that start with a positive PLANET rating, always get scripted events for their first indigenous life form encounters.  They are guaranteed to capture the 1st one they touch.

a creep at sea
a creep at sea

MY 2197.  Oh joy.  This is sure to end in extortion.  I've been saving lots of money to try to rush the Virtual World, if I get it through the Planetary Datalinks.  Can I placate her before she leans on me?  Is that cheaper than getting jacked?  Good grief, she wants 500 credits!  No way.  She's far away and I'd only lose a Transport over this.  That Transport could make some money back being out in the field, but it's not worth 500.  I counter with 250.

I didn't say she was a freak
I didn't say she was a freak

My mod is much more polite to Christians.  Well I know who's butt I'm kicking when it's time.  Democratic is gonna remain the thing that makes me money.

I had to fish this in her presence
I had to fish this in her presence

Great.  After that shakedown, I find out I've scooped up an Artifact worth protecting.  The Artifact doesn't have any movement points remaining, so I can't dump it onto shore.  Looks like I'm target practice next year.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 04:48:13 AM
defeated
defeated

MY 2199.  Domai's finally gotten the Monsoon Jungle together.  I didn't even think about bribing anyone to hold onto the Governorship, because I just got the plans for the Virtual World through the Planetary Datalinks.  Just in time too, as Cha Dawn is threatening to complete it next year.  I fire up 3 copies of it (it's virtual!) and rush one of them with cash.  The other 2 plod onwards to be "something later".
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 05:09:33 AM
blown off again
blown off again

MY 2203.  What a flake!  I'm just about to seal her into my personal lake too.  She really hasn't expanded for some reason.  If it weren't for her probe teams, I'd say she's the primary candidate for vacuolization.

I can do it too
I can do it too

MY 2206.  I obtain the plans for the Human Genome Project from the Planetary Datalinks.  It was a good decision, building that earlier.  I rush it with cash.  I now only have 1 Secret Project city left.  Hopefully I'll manage the Planetary Energy Grid with that.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 05:53:26 AM
connecting the tendrils
connecting the tendrils

MY 2207.  Mag tubes come relatively early in my mod.  Now I have a key component needed to smother my enemies.  If only the Data Angels were my allies.  My territory is not contiguous.

stop pay troll
stop pay troll

MY 2208.  I've put a large barrier in the ocean!  There's actually a strange little water passage between Free Drone and Cultish territory to the west.  The Believers also have some twisty passage ocean access.  But it will sure cut down on the AI's ability to find a path.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 06:10:05 AM
a gaggle 'o' worms
a gaggle 'o' worms

MY 2209.  I finally capture something more substantial.  2 mindworms and a spore launcher in 1 stack.

big business
big business

MY 2211.  Gonna be hard to stop me now.  I have enough cash and Artifacts to rush this.  I'm not really fighting anyone, and nobody cares about Values choices, so I switch to Wealth.  I make even more money.

Planet's down with that
Planet's down with that

Global trade will make us rich!  Myself more than them.  I don't think the AI realizes what my income will be next turn.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 06:37:02 AM
dividends
dividends

MY 2215.  I'm making a lot of money.  I complete all of my Network Nodes.  My conventional units are wimps, so I do the "mindworm Wealth" thing.  The Believers came to pester my northeastmost city with a single Rover.  Fortunately my Synthmetal Garrison barely held up.

scary money
scary money

MY 2217.  I use my last Artifact and a pile of cash to rush the Command Nexus.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 06:44:14 AM
I have mindworms too you know
I have mindworms too you know

MY 2218.  Cha Dawn decides to get gratuitously uppity with me.  Deirdre wanted a Pact with me, and my Treaty with the Cult was the only thing stopping them.  So this is convenient!

Well, except for that Deirdre is also at war with the Data Angels.  I'm not touching that one.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 07:00:06 AM
unneighborliness
unneighborliness

MY 2219.  The Cult squashes a Gaian city pretty near to my own.  I'll have to fight soon.

undermined
undermined

MY 2222.  I stuff Domai's production of the Citizens' Defense Force just as he's about to complete it.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 21, 2020, 07:36:33 AM
sneaky money
sneaky money

MY 2228.  We're in sunspots.  I rush the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm with cash.  This will make it a lot easier to surround distant cities with my own.

buy one get one free
buy one get one free

MY 2229.  Only the Longevity Vaccine remains out of my grasp.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 22, 2020, 06:58:08 AM
so violent
so violent

MY 2238.  I've been uneventfully building nothing but Clean Formers.  With these I'm adding Forests everywhere and have been gradually trying to bridge the halves of my empire in a non-violent manner.  Roze decided she wanted to kill one of my mindworms out in the bush though.  We're still in sunspots.  I think it's time to take out Data DeCentral, so that I can have a clear path between the halves of my empire.  I switch unit production accordingly.  Huge piles of mindworms ought to do it, without disrupting my money flow.  I also steal D5 Applied Relativity from them, which for some reason I haven't gotten through the Planetary Datalinks yet.

same enemies
same enemies

MY 2243.  Sunspots end.  Roze and Cha Dawn have stuff worth stealing, so I don't try to make peace.  I have not managed to threaten Data DeCentral yet.  I'm skirmishing with the Cult in the north, without really having a good strategy for it.  Finally getting an alliance out of Deirdre, may make that easier.  I'd say my military output is not yet impressive, and I've got a lot of Clean Formers I don't want to put on my front lines yet.

bypass
bypass

MY 2247.  I have completed a causeway to the western portion of my empire.  I've made Morgan Construction my capitol, to exert greater happiness in the west.  I've got a wall of troops and spore launchers coming, but they haven't been as fast as my Clean Formers in this theater.  That's saying something because raising land takes twice as long in my mod.  The land remains under my ownership, so I don't need to take over Data DeCentral.  I've stolen Doctrine: Air Power from the Data Angels, so I offer a Truce.  However they're ignoring my transmissions.

going long
going long

I will probably need to take a city to get the Data Angels' attention.  I build a rail to Moonshadow, as that will allow me to interfere with the Free Drones.  Next year when my empire wide rail is complete, I can actually assault it.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2020, 05:39:21 AM
different progress
different progress

MY 2254.  I never did attack.  The Free Drones declared war on me a few years ago, and they took over the Data Angel bases between us.  I was finally able to infiltrate them, and they had 1 tech I didn't.

I've been more interested in building new cities around my capitol to form an economic core, than expanding outwards.  It hasn't been exactly clear to me how I'm supposed to implement my "vacuole" strategy, when other empires consolidate their holdings rather than leave pockets.  For instance, the Gaians finally retook their city from the Cultists, with my assistance.  So now I will have no Cultist pocket city in that direction.  I'm thinking I'll have to physically interpose a lot of ground units to "weird out" the AI.  To this end, I've started building Clean AAA 3-Pulse units.  They're Fusion units, but they only come out Disciplined as I'm pursuing Wealth.  So it is not certain that they'll actually hold up in the field.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 26, 2020, 06:26:25 AM
cyborg drama queen
cyborg drama queen

MY 2256.  I didn't even realize the Gaians were at war with the Cyborgs.  Nor do I care, as we aren't even in land contact with each other yet.  I could steal at least D6 Digital Sentience from them if I could get near them, but presently, I can't be bothered.  They completed the Network Backbone recently.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2020, 04:05:07 AM
irresolute defense
irresolute defense

MY 2262.  I finally take Moonshadow.  It came to be a target of convenience.  The Free Drones wasted numerous units outside its walls, stopping just short of my ECM 3-Pulse pickets.  I killed so many units that way.  Eventually they only had 1 unit in there, so I just flew a plane up and killed it.  The point is to get Domai's attention to give me a Truce.  It works.  I also tell them to knock it off with the Gaians.

I've settled on the provisional goal of surrounding enemy capitols with my own cities.  These shall form my "Tlascalans".  Data DeCentral is first on my list.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 27, 2020, 05:19:27 AM
because you suck
because you suck

MY 2266.  Cha Dawn is getting the snot kicked out of him by the Cyborgs.  Currently there's nothing of him for me to surround, as the Cyborgs have taken his cities closest to me.  I take the opportunity to get him to see reason.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2020, 04:20:03 AM
gentle garrote
gentle garrote

MY 2268.  Taking a base south of Data DeCentral, got Roze's attention.  Technically her capitol is now completely surrounded by my territory, albeit by only 1 square in one place.  If she gives me any more trouble, I'll tighten my grip further.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2020, 05:40:17 AM
neighborliness
neighborliness

MY 2272.  I've linked up to the Cybernetic rail system.  They have 5 techs I don't.  That's not terribly surprising since I chose to pursue Wealth, and have deliberately not built Industrial Labs outside of the immediate proximity of my capitol.  Currently I have all cities working on Hybrid Forests, and I'm not bothering to rush any of them.  I just don't think anyone can do anything to me.  I have enough of an air force and mindworms harassing the Cyborgs, that I think their role is merely to die trying to get at me.  I won't sign a Truce until I've stolen their techs.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2020, 06:01:33 AM
wealth is power
wealth is power

MY 2273.  The Cyborgs spent way too long working on the Nano Factory.  They had the tech ages ago and should have finished building it by now.  They're trying to rush this turn, but I've got so much money that I only had to cash in 2 Formers to beat them to it.

reprisals
reprisals

The Cyborgs have a fairly large air force.  They attacked a fair number of my Clean Formers, and jammed up my rails so that I can't bring in more probe teams this turn.  I've considered my current Formers to be completely disposable.  They're not Super Former units.  I've had that tech for awhile now, but I haven't made any land Super Formers and only a couple of sea ones.  To be honest I expect Hybrid Forests to be responsible for all my growth in the immediate future.  I didn't need any new Formers to get all my terraforming done, I had so many of the old Clean Formers.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2020, 08:22:46 AM
religiously researched
religiously researched

MY 2276.  Finally I get around to infiltrating the Believers.  They don't have any new tech.  Theocratic doesn't have a research penalty in my mod, but Thought Control does.  Seems like an appropriate thing for them to fixate on.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2020, 07:39:29 PM
scorn this
scorn this

MY 2277.  The Cyborgs are made to understand that if they keep this up, they're going to be destroyed by mindworms.  Let's see if they have any integrity to their word.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2020, 09:21:03 PM
what a maroon
what a maroon

MY 2278.  Shortly after completing a land bridge to the northern half of Domai's empire, he gets uppity with me.

socialize this
socialize this

I take a city near Free Drone Central.  After that, he still wants to keep fighting.  The incident happened after I'd already committed most of my Formers elsewhere, and I'm out of mindworms, so I'll await his counterattack.  Ferret's Lair is my obvious target next year.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 28, 2020, 09:39:53 PM
rail power
rail power

MY 2279.  Using my prodigious fleet of Formers, I build a rail straight to Ferrett's Lair and take it.  Domai still won't knock it off!  At this rate, Free Drone Central is going to be vacuolized sooner rather than later.  But once again I'm out of armaments, so I'll await the counterattack.  They got some Formers last time, big deal.

naval reminder
naval reminder

I've had 2 Isles sitting next to a remote Believer sea base for a long time.  I finally got 1 of 'em healed up enough to attack.  Although the odds calculator said it was 2 to 1 in their favor, they were lying.  I took the port, healing my 2nd Isle in the process.  This was enough to get the Believers to stop fighting me.  I've been working on a land bridge to them, but my Truce with the Cyborgs forced me to reroute it.  I've otherwise thrown a fair number of planes away foolishly blowing up their Sensor Arrays, as they actually have a fair number of Interceptors to respond with.  I figured it wouldn't matter as long as I got into ground contact with them.

I forgot to steal a tech from them.  I didn't think they'd be able to research anything I hadn't, but their foci are different and they managed to get E5 Centauri Psi.  Meanwhile the Cyborgs have researched C5 Silksteel Alloys.  I will run some ops against them when I've got more forces built up.  Some of my cities have completed their Hybrid Forests and are starting to cough out defensive police units, to hold my conquests.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2020, 03:14:52 AM
nearly surrounded
nearly surrounded

MY 2280.  All but cutting off Free Drone Central, hasn't caused Domai to relax. 

2nd Tlaxcalan
2nd Tlaxcalan

Wiping out another city isn't hard.  He doesn't have a lot of garrison strength everywhere.  He's still wound up though!  What's it gonna take to beat sense into this guy?

tech vendor
tech vendor

I buy the missing techs from Deidre.  I might have been about to acquire them from the Planetary Datalinks, but I research a new tech in 2 years and I don't want it to be a repeat.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2020, 05:26:41 AM
bliss out
bliss out

MY 2282.  Well I guess I have been playing Green the whole game, due to Deidre.  The Xenoempathy Dome comes late in my mod, because in my opinion it's pretty powerful.  Also, to require factions to explicitly focus on Explore techs to get it, rather than just picking it up as general research.  I've definitely done my part, if only by trade and theft.  I have a couple of Supply Crawlers harvesting energy for my capitol.  I will use one of them to get the 40+ minerals necessary to avoid the hurrying penalty, and then use my massive bank balance to complete the project.

makin' babies in the fungus
makin' babies in the fungus

If I go Eudaimonic, my mindworms will kick even more butt, and I can pop boom in all my major cities.  I'll earn Cha Dawn's undying devotion, and Roze and Aki Zeta5's eternal emmnity.  That suits me fine!  All it costs me is my POLICE.  Well I think I can handle that, I've got piles of happiness infrastructure that I'm barely taxing in the name of making money.

bow down
bow down

Yeah I modded Cha Dawn to utter such things.  I didn't change the dialogue, it's hardwired for Eudaimonic.  But now he has these lines.  It almost works.  Did you know that the Cult was so positive about the human condition?  So aspirational?  It might seem rather odd and nonsensical, unless you think these guys are like the Moonies or the Scientologists.  Then you might think of it as a way to stick their fingers into your bank account!

It's not really up to me to decide whether Cha Dawn is genuine or not.  I only want his lines to be passable, and they're close enough.  The reality is that Eudaimonic evolved in my mod to be the pro-Planet social choice, and Cybernetic the do-evil-to-Planet choice.  I mean, why should living a machine existence, get you more in touch with the Planet mind?  It shouldn't.  I see Cybernetic as a dystopian corporate future.  Oh, wait, I'm supposed to want to be doing that!  Well I do, but I don't want to suffer any penalties for it.  Someday I'll take the Network Backbone away from the Cyborgs, and then we'll talk business.

I got Cha Dawn to sign a Treaty with Deidre.  Couldn't get them to budge on the Cyborgs though.  It was probably unreasonable of me to ask, given that they're natural enemies.  Well, when the Cyborgs finally get uppity with me, perhaps I can get an Alliance out of the deal.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2020, 06:46:55 AM
to choke or not to choke
to choke or not to choke

MY 2283.  In a surprising turn of events, Miriam proposes that we all stew in nerve gas.  And almost everyone is on board with it!  If I wanted to defeat this measure, I'd have to go through extreme heroics, and it may not even be possible.  Now to be honest I thought about proposing this myself a number of years ago, but I decided my vacuole strategy is about preserving cities, not liquidating them.  Before thinking further about how I really feel about this, will enough faction leaders even give me the time of day? 

Domai won't speak to me.  I can't afford Miriam's vote because I rushed the Xenoempathy Dome last year.  The Cyborg vote costs 966 credits, and the Cult vote costs 810.  Those are the 2 cheapest votes and I don't have the money.  So this discussion is academic!

if you can't beat 'em, join 'em
if you can't beat 'em, join 'em

I can't say I ever remember the AI forcing something on me like that before.  Usually when someone wants to repeal atrocity prohibitions, they're widely regarded as a crank.  I'll have to check on why Miriam is the Governor and I'm not.  Historically, it's because everybody hated me.  More recently, I've wormed Truces out of everyone but Domai, so maybe the votes aren't so stacked up now.  It may also be that Miriam's been sitting in her corner of the world, surrounded by a moat, out of direct military contact with anyone.  I will soon undo that with a land bridge, but I kept on having to divert my Formers to work the terrain around my conquered cities.  When I made a Truce with her, I had far less motivation to get the job done quickly.

I don't think this measure does me any good at all.  I can't even nerve staple my people, as I have a -3 POLICE rating.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2020, 07:17:15 AM
the dystopian Roze
the dystopian Roze

MY 2284.  In my mod I made a darker interpretation of Roze, where all the mind controlling has gone to her head.  She almost got uppity with me, but I think she realized she's too weak to do a darned thing to me.  I got her to make peace with the Gaians.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 29, 2020, 08:02:30 AM
walkabout
walkabout

MY 2285.  Using a single probe team as an escort to bypass zones of control, I walked several AAA ECM Silksteel infantry units into the Monsoon Jungle.  The objectives were to destroy Sensor Arrays and kill off Formers so that Domai can't replace them.  I'm not sure what his level of response will be to this intrusion, but it's gotta be confusing for him.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2020, 06:17:45 AM
useless bribery
useless bribery

MY 2286.  The infantry distraction campaign was fairly successful.  I only lost 1 unit.  Domai threw away at least 6 units trying to kill it and other units.

Cha Dawn is jamming up my rail routes, and even the alternate route I cooked up.  Technically I can get past him with probe team escorts, but he's a PITA.  I'd much rather have him as an ally so I wouldn't have to deal with these obstructions, but I'm not moving against the Cyborgs until I've brought Domai to heel.  Which is a Catch-22 as I need to get past Cha Dawn to take Domai's northern city.

I try bribing the city, not really expecting much.  It's cost prohibitive.  More money that I've had this game, even rich as I've been.  I suppose my adjustments to mind control costs are working, as I don't want this to be easy, but 4k is pretty spendy.  Is it justified?  Domai is a Theocratic Socialist, giving him a +3 JUSTICE rating with his faction bonus.  His capitol is 19 squares away as the crow flies.  The city has a Children's Creche.  Ok whatever.  I suppose he's not the poster child for miserable despotism waiting to be picked off.

baby Domai
baby Domai

This state of affairs causes me to bite the bullet and throw 2 Gatling Hovertanks at the 3 defenders.  I already had them waiting at Invictus and don't have to do any tedious probe team shuffling to use them.  I have more reserves elsewhere in my empire if I move them far enough.  None of the defenders are ECM or 3-Pulse units, and they're all Fission units.  They do much better against the armored defenders than I was expecting them to.  I use an Interceptor to pick off the Speeder, then I heal my Elite unit by taking the city.  Domai comes online and still wants to fight.  The nerve of this guy!  Can't he see how beaten he is?

I'm the hammer you're the nail
I'm the hammer you're the nail

The defense of Hammer and Tongs, the next city up the rail from the south, is not what it used to be.  There's an ECM unit in there, but given my last battle, I'd say that will result in at most 1 casualty.  If only I hadn't sent my Demon Boils wandering uselessly into the bush.  At the time, I thought I was flushing out wandering annoying units, but it was overkill.  I just remembered that 2 Independent Demon Boils recently made it back to another part of my empire, so I send them up the rail.  These blow away 2 of the defenders easily.  The remaining is a mere Synth unit and is summarily executed by wounded Gatling Hovertank.  It takes the base and heals.  Moving forwards, Domai still wants to keep fighting!  He's gonna lose most of the Monsoon Jungle at this rate.

isolation
isolation

I decide that landlocked cities make good vacuoles.  I'll take the coastal cities first.  With my latest acquisition, Domai still won't let up.  I had switched a fair amount of my production to mindworms earlier this turn, since I didn't think I had as much offensive oomph as I needed.  That didn't turn out to be true though, and I actually need lots of garrison units to cover my tracks.  So I switched them all back to AAA ECM Silksteel units.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2020, 07:02:59 AM
loser
loser

MY 2287.  Taking 1 more city on the northern coast, Domai finally gets the memo that he sucks.  Enforcement action over.  I can't get him to stop fighting Deirdre or Aki Zeta5 though.

coveted
coveted

Now I turn my attention to the Data Angels, who do not have a formal diplomatic status with me.  I want the Manifold Nexus.  First I'm going to build a rail to it, which will take some turns because my Formers aren't quite what they used to be.  Domai kept hammering them with a couple of planes I never got rid of.  Once I'm in a position to take it instantly, I'll announce to Roze that she's giving it to me.  If she doesn't comply, then I'll just take it.  Then she'll comply, sooner or later, same as Domai did.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2020, 10:42:21 AM
mildly surprised
mildly surprised

MY 2290.  I really didn't expect them to draw first blood.  It's not like I put troops on their border, just some Formers.  I didn't think that sort of thing typically triggered the AI's BS-o-Meter.  Maybe I just got in the way of some movement it wanted to do.  Don't really care.  This skips the formalities of threatening them.  We'll proceed straight to taking what I want.  I've had plenty of time to allocate 1 offensive unit per city, my reserves are huge.

subterfuge
subterfuge

One thing I did not have in the region, was any kind of Air Superiority unit.  That made their plane rather a nuisance.  Using a probe team to defeat zones of control, I just routed a rail around it.  Their base falls trivially to my mindworms.  I bring up a wounded hovertank for the take-and-heal.  I embark upon a policy of eliminating units in the field elsewhere before doing so.  They might give me a Truce without further fighting, and I'd like to discourage them from further 'surprise' attacks.  They really can't stand up to my mindworms, the slaughter is kind of a joke.

max green Morgan!
max green Morgan!

Heck I'm so PLANET friendly now I could go Capitalist if I wanted to.  How much money would it make me?  Hm, only a pittance more.  I guess JUSTICE is important, and I lose 1 point if I ditch Green.  Oh well, we'll keep the mindworms tough and invincible.  In the excitement I forgot to kill a couple of Roze's units.  I dial her up with an acoustic modem, just to razz her.  BEEEEyong-BONG.  CSSSSSHhhhSSSSSHHhhhh.

you fried your own brain
you fried your own brain

I think she lost her mind somewhere.  I'm Eudaimonic and her compulsion is Thought Control.  I guess she feels really weak.  Well that's how I like my Tlaxcalans.  Helpless and dependent.  If only I could get some human sacrifices out of the deal.  Wrong game, would have to go back to Civ IV.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2020, 08:58:29 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2291.  The Free Drones lose a city that was surrounded by enemies.  Granted, it's only the Data Angels liberating what was once theirs.  But it's a reminder that if I want "divide and conquer" relations to stay permanent, I have to completely surround cities.  Now that I have a Treaty with the Data Angels, they shouldn't be able to attack Free Drone Central.  However my allies the Gaians attack it all the time. 

[Limit reached]
Now with this, and all the pop booming I've undergone, I should be able to wrest the Governorship away from Miriam.  Then I can Reinstate the U.N. Charter, as casual atrocities are of no help to my Pax Tlaxcalan agenda at all.  I want factions to make peace and make me money though trade, not suffer permanent war and grievances with each other.  I've seen Miriam working on some kind of X unit, but I haven't really seen anyone else doing so.  She doesn't even have any land adjacency to anyone.  I never did get the land bridge completed, due to the ongoing Truces with her and Aki Zeta5.  And nowadays, it seems like keeping Miriam "off the continent" is a better idea than not.  At least, I should probably settle the Cyborgs' hash first.  They owe me a Treaty.

[Limit reached]
Deidre gave me a large number of offensive military units this year, divesting herself of far-flung adventures.  I've already got 1 offensive unit per city, so I'll need to be careful about distributing these and minding my POLICE rating.  I ran into her in the field while trying to re-home them appropriately.  She wanted me to resume the war with Domai.  Of course I'm not going to do that, I've spent a lot of time pacifying him.  Before I could ask her to beg off, she cancelled our Pact!  Well gee, she's showing a lot of trust that I won't just use all these donated units on her.  Considering that she just split my empire in half, it's a real inconvenience.  Can't exactly go after the Cyborgs or Believers up north, with Deidre's peaceful lands in the way.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2020, 09:26:24 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2292.  It occurs to me that I could solve my "travel corridor" problem by establishing more bases.  I can certainly cut the Gaians in half, instead of vice versa.  However I've lacked a supply of unhappy colonists.  Far to the north, the answer has presented itself.  All the usual amenities and a Tree Farm haven't been enough to placate this crowd.  So rather than build a Hab Complex and an expensive Hybrid Forest, which will hardly make me any money anyways up there, let's pack 'em off to greener pastures!

[Limit reached]
It occurs to me that in my mod, the Cyborgs and the Believers are natural enemies.  The Believers want Theocratic and cannot choose Cybernetic.  The Cyborgs want Cybernetic and cannot choose Theocratic.  Why are they allied?  It shouldn't take much to get them to fight.  On the diplomatic screen, you can actually inspect what other factions think about each other.  I rarely remember to do this, and it's not the greatest UI compared to other games I've seen.  But this screen seems to say, the Cyborgs know that Miriam is Seething at them.

[Limit reached]
The feeling is not mutual.  This screen says the Believers know that Aki Zeta-5 is Noncommittal towards them.  This is probably because Miriam's personality is Aggressive and Aki's is merely Erratic.

[Limit reached]
I need to get these 2 love birds in land contact with each other!  Sparks will probably fly.  Unfortunately I'm not seeing any way to do that that isn't a treaty violation.  Mind controlling a base is also a treaty violation, which brings the other ally into the scuffle.

Perhaps when I make my corridor through Gaian territory, I'll gain enough influence over the land, that I can make my bridge.  That Cultist Speeder is sitting on the place where I originally intended to bridge, as the Believers don't control the water at that point.  However the Gaians control the land just south of it, so it didn't work.  If I controlled that land by exerting influence from far away, then I could do my bridging project and get out of the way.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 30, 2020, 10:08:55 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2293.  I've been moving my Scouts around to escort a bunch of Cyborg troops off my property.  They've almost left, but suddenly this turn, Aki Zeta-5 wants to have a chin wag.  How well is this going to go?  Actually not that badly.  She begs, she admonishes, but she doesn't threaten.  She doesn't sell me a tech.  I get her to leave Domai alone, which will make my pacification of the region a bit easier.  Then she signs off.  And now I see why she was gabbing at me: our Truce has expired.

[Limit reached]
Deirdre is impeding my Colonist.  I want to settle my city south of Song of Planet, securing my hold over that branch of my rail lines.  More to come afterwards as more citizens up north become unhappy.  I could use a probe team to slip past interfering Cultists and go all the way through Domai's territory, to bring my Colonist up from the other direction.

[Limit reached]
Unfortunately, Domai is obstructing my rail link to the south.  I need to build an alternate route.

[Limit reached]
Mischief managed!

[Limit reached]
The corridor is opening.  I just need more unhappy colonists.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2020, 02:09:58 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2295.  I think the Believers and Gaians are fighting again.  I run into a Believer probe team in my backyard.  How much of a joy is this going to be?  Yeah, a Seething Theocrat, wonderful.  She declares war.  Well if only I had a clear corridor and enough Formers to make the land bridge in 1 turn.  I had that capability once upon a time, but I conquered so much other stuff, and got so many Formers killed putting them into battle zones, that I'm relatively lean on the whole thing right now.  At least I don't have the Cyborgs declaring war on me at the same time, which is what would have happened if I had done this.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2020, 02:50:26 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2297.  My capitol maxed its size, providing me with another Colonist.  With respect to the Gaians, I now have full control of my rail line.  Of course there are these wide corridors for the Believers to come down, and I wouldn't want to get in the way of them fighting the Gaians.  The Cyborgs are a wildcard as they could declare war on me at any moment.  I'm not sure how soon I'll get to do a land bridge with so many units milling around.  Also, my Formers are all busy.  I generally don't build Mines until I've got Hybrid Forests and my cities get large.  Now it's time.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2020, 06:00:24 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2298.  For once I'd just like to ignore these people.  But that usually starts a war, and there's a chance in talking, that it won't happen.  So I accept the hail.  She wants Invictus back.  Of course I tell her to suck it, so she declares war.  She kills a Fungicidal Former, big deal.  She's not gonna like the retaliation.

[Limit reached]
The Believers sign a Treaty with the Gaians, and tear up some of my rail lines to her.  Both acts are irritating.

[Limit reached]
My citizens are about to become happier!  Time to pop boom.

[Limit reached]
I'd like Cha Dawn to not be in my way anymore, seeing as how we have the same Future Society.  I see that he's at war with Domai, so I go to talk to him about it.  However, I can't ask him to knock it off with Cha Dawn, because Cha Dawn actually has no diplomatic status with me and is not my "friend".  I do manage to get him to stop fighting the Gaians, which might reduce some of the foot traffic.  Mostly though he's fighting the Data Angels and he says I've got to go talk to them.  He signs off.  When I go to talk to Cha Dawn, I get nowhere.  And after the conversation, I still have no diplomatic relation.  I think this means I'm in a Catch-22 that I can't resolve!

[Limit reached]
I don't want to push piles of military units through Domai's territory.  It's godawful tedious.  That said, I could make a continuous line of units if I really had to, instead of escorting stuff one unit at a time.  Still it is better to swallow my wounded pride and get Deirdre on board again.  I don't know why she jilted me in the 1st place.  I'm as Green as all get!  Miriam is our mutual enemy, so this is not a hard decision.  She's allied with Roze so I'll go talk to her now.

[Limit reached]
I get her to stop bothering the Drones.  I really don't need all these units tromping around on my land.  Since we have the same enemies right now, and the same common ally, I propose an Alliance.

[Limit reached]
She pretends she didn't surprise attack me.  Well, I don't need her compliance or help.  Just stop stirring the pot in my backyard.

[Limit reached]
Last year I killed a defending Believer probe foil with my probe cruiser.  An Isle kept it safe from counterattack, and this year I steal some military hardware.  I won't take a Believer base until I've built a land bridge, so my Isle just leaves.

[Limit reached]
Reasserting control over my rail network is trivial.  Previously I upgraded all those Fission units Deidre gave me to proper Missile Fusion units.  The Cyborgs had a little bit of armor that could stand up to them, but it was nothing an opening mindworm hit couldn't fix.

[Limit reached]
I need a lot of AAA units to cover these offensive moves.  I finally upgrade all the old Clean but feeble armored units to something a bit tougher and more disposable.  This is the end of the line for this weapon series because with Photon armor, a Laser isn't free anymore.  These will become my "battlefield impediments", and I'll make a new round of Photon units to garrison cities with.  I throw the Disciplined units out into the field, as I don't think anyone's in range to hit me on the ground.  The AAA will be good enough for air attacks.  It will at least make it expensive for them, even if they do succeed.

[Limit reached]
The nearest Cyborg city has already been stolen from, so I have to send my hovertank probe team farther into enemy territory.  The Xenoempathy Dome makes that quite doable.  I gain D8 Sentient Econometrics, the last tech anyone had that I didn't know.  The Cyborgs have had it for quite awhile and surprisingly, in all this time they have not completed the Self-Aware Colony.  I can't rush it because I've had way too many things to spend money on.  And if I were going to rush something, I'm not done with the Empath Guild yet.  I won't bother to pop my 7 Artifacts until those 2 Secret Projects are completed.  That said, Miriam is readying a Conventional Missile prototype, so I'll have to watch out for her wiping out my cities with Artifacts in them.

[Limit reached]
I send some mindworms to trash the Cyborg city.  The combat is easy, even though the odds calculator said they would win.  It's bugged like that, with mindworms.  I'm not sure anything can stop my mindworms.  I've not bothered to make anymore because Deidre gave me so many offensive weapons.  It really wasn't smart for the Cyborgs to pick a fight with me.  My conquest gets their attention and they call a Truce.  I get them to stop messing with the Data Angels.  Still can't butt in about the Cultists because of my lack of diplomatic relation with them.  That's a weird circumstance.

[Limit reached]
I decide to place my Colonist conservatively, back from the Believers' coastline.  I considered asserting myself up there, but this leaves room for the Believers and Cyborgs to go fight each other.  This will probably be my last new city for awhile as it's time to make everyone grow.

[Limit reached]
My JUSTICE rating is higher than I thought, but I can't have any budget I want without penalty.  Switching to 30-40-30 does not trigger any pop booming.  I may need to get to +4 JUSTICE and budget much more drastic happiness.  Picking either Socialist or Knowledge seems to lose me 100 credits / year.  Socialist might Domai up, and will frost Deirdre.  It also reduces my mindworm oomph, so it's not ideal.  You might notice that I'm allowed to pick it, unlike the stock game where a Planned economy is forbidden to Morgan.  This is because it isn't that great a choice.  It's not any crazier than Morgan going Green, so why not allow it?  Anyways I'm not there yet.  I consider Knowledge but it'll put my POLICE rating at -5.  I have very few units in enemy territory right now, but I might as well pull them all back before bothering with this.  Status quo maintained for now.  I need money to complete my Secret Projects, and I haven't built Hab Domes yet anyways.

And so ends a whirlwind turn of action.  I don't have any more Formers to move around, so that's it for now.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2020, 03:51:18 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2299.  Miriam decides that she was stupid.  Everyone agrees that she was stupid.  Everyone!

[Limit reached]
I pull all my military units back to my home territory.  The Believers don't have anything to kill on the ground anyways.  That will have to wait until my Formers are finally ready to make a land bridge.  Right now they're too busy making Mines.  And there won't be any more of them for awhile, as I'm working on Hab Domes.  With my units at home, a -5 POLICE rating is of no consequence.  I am now quite just, I can do any budget I want.  My troops will also fight better.

Hm, it seems I completely forgot to hit the OK button on this change.  So next year, I'm still doing Wealth.  The money's good and nobody's particularly upset, so I stick with it.  Justice can wait!
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2020, 04:35:11 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2302.  I finally complete the Empath Guild.  The Cyborgs simultaneously complete the Self-Aware Colony.  It's not easy getting every Secret Project done in my mod.  I could have done it if I'd wanted to divert my happiness and Hab Dome projects, but the Self-Aware Colony actually ruins POLICE rating in some cases.  It doesn't account for Non-Lethal Methods.  I keep thinking that one of these days, I'm going to conquer the Cyborgs and take all their Secret Projects, but I never get around to it.  I'm like a big mushroom that only grows in one spot.

[Limit reached]
I tell everyone I'm in charge now.  Note that if I didn't have 2x votes, they would have barely beaten me.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on August 31, 2020, 10:39:23 PM
[Limit reached]
Look at those puckered lips, smoochy smoochy.  This guy's so ugly he crashed my browser trying to upload him.  Who says I want to be talking to his dozen units milling around??  I can totally see the engame of this Tlaxcalan idea as complete genocide, when you finally get sick of all their BS.  It's an expensive way to conquer, and getting the empire to the point where the vanquished are not irritating takes some serious doing.  I'd cough up a bunch of clean border guards but now I've got a Space Elevator to build.

[Limit reached]
He declares war.  Because he's as stupid as he looks.  I begin summarily crushing him, starting with his silly people in the field.  How did he think it was a good idea to put a giant pile of unarmored units next to my border, and then declare war?  AI doesn't know what the rules of the game are.  I swear one of these days I'll write a game with better AI.  On my 2nd attack, 8 units die at once.  Taking a city doesn't settle him down though.

[Limit reached]
Roze has got quite a number of units on my land, getting in the way of me moving my stuff around.  We've got a Treaty, so there's no basic reason I should be putting up with this.  Recently I noticed that the Commlink menu entries can be right-clicked on, and that a "Demand Withdrawl" option is available.  I try it out, and it works about as well as I expected!  So, how shall I cut Roze off further?

[Limit reached]
Taking this city, is about as irritating as I can be to her.  It also happens to be the most vulnerable.    I don't have any "victim" cities attached by rail, and no Formers free to make attachments, so this is strictly a Speeder / Hovertank operation.  After conquest, Roze still wants to fight.

[Limit reached]
I'm almost out of offensive units.  I take Domai's last coastal base in the Monsoon Jungle to hopefully get his attention.  It works, he begs off.  I've now got my own continuous corridor through the region.  Domai will still jam it up anyways though, as he wouldn't sign a Treaty.  Plus if Roze is any indication, Treaties won't make the AI behave itself.  But hey, at least Domai has to think harder before using my land as his travel corridor.

[Limit reached]
I have some ancient boats near my capitol, that I used to bring my last 2 hovertanks against 2 Disciplined Silksteel defenders.  The Elite one barely survives.  Lacking Marines or any more Speeders, I use an Elite Scout to take the base.  An AAA unit covers the nearly dead hovertank.  This conquest continues the policy of taking every other Data Angel city, creating the maximum hassle for them.  It's enough to get Roze to sign a Truce, but not a Treaty.  Whatever.  She didn't act like she had a Treaty with me anyways.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2020, 01:41:25 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2304.  I can't find a UI readout for another faction's Reputation rating.  Roze's can't be good.  She's stabbed me twice now.  Her "big win" this time was killing a hovertank former.  I am running out of cities to "honeycomb" her with, and may soon have to start reducing her to a few enclaves / ghettos.  For now I will go through the motions though.

[Limit reached]
I continue my irritating pattern of taking every other city.  Roze now only has 2 cities that aren't landlocked, and they are on an inland sea.  She's not going anywhere and I suppose I could let her stay at war with me if I want.  I don't actually, but I've got other priorities than coughing up enough units to completely suppress her.  She signs a Truce again, but I have no reason to believe it will hold.

[Limit reached]
The Believers have learned C7 Probability Mechanics, so I set out to steal it.  They have conveniently left me a new, weak sea base to do that at.  They can make Planet Busters now, and I see 1 city that's working on one.  However it'll take 26 turns to complete a prototype.  Letting an Aggressive faction complete one is problematic though, because they do tend to use them.  Now with luck, they just nuke the Gaians.  But even that can be suboptimal, if they nuke the city with the Ascetic Virtues in it.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2020, 02:35:11 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2305.  The annoying Believers are patrolling the waters.  They sunk my cruiser probe team.  I send out my own ship and sink their foil for spite.  My capitol is historically where I put my Covert Ops Center, but it's been way too busy to make another ship.  I do have 6 other Covert Ops Centers in various Data Angel cities I've conquered, but they're typically busy as well.  It's not really that important to me as there's a huge jump in expense from Missile to Chaos weapons in my mod.  Missiles are the last viable weapons for a Fission reactor.  To afford Chaos, you need to have figured out Fusion reactors.  Even then, Missiles are a much better deal if you don't need the pinnacle of firepower.

[Limit reached]
I've got another Colonist.  I'm reluctant to put it anywhere near the Believers or the Cyborgs, because the distance from my capitol makes the cities hard to keep happy.  With my current society I will keep having these unhappy citizens out west, even building expensive facilities like Hybrid Forests.  I think it's time to try some different choices.  I still have some units in foreign lands though, so I'll take this up again next year.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2020, 03:39:50 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2306.  It seems I won't need to make a probe ship after all.  Saved by the Datalinks.  I wonder who researched it other than the Cyborgs and the Believers?  And if I've got it, the Data Angels now have it too.  Maybe I should build Flechette Defense Systems everywhere, as various factions will have their Conventional Missile prototypes done soon.  It's probably also about time to cash my Artifacts, as I think I have tech parity with everyone.

[Limit reached]
I have new tools for conquering distant enemies.  I'm also now at a crossroads where strictly speaking, this game is a sandbox.  If I wanted to win quickly, I'd build lots of Sky Hydroponics Labs, grow my population quickly, and vote myself Supreme Leader.  But I embarked upon this After Action Report with a specific premise.  My enemies are certainly not surrounded and made helpless yet!

[Limit reached]
I finally make the switch to Knowledge.  The money hit isn't that bad.  Not having lousy MORALE will also help the new corps of Drop Missile Interceptors I'm cooking up.  With orbital insertion these are extremely useful for blowing enemy planes out of the sky, wherever it's needed.  Attacking right after a drop has a penalty, but the Air Superiority bonus is so overwhelming that I doubt it'll matter.  My few remaining Gatling Needlejets are making people miserable so I disband them.  I was sorry to lose the one historic specimen of a Fission Laser Needlejet as well.  I couldn't upgrade any of those to be Interceptors.

I find that even a 70% PSYCH budget will not get people to celebrate.  20-70-10 is the maximum I'm willing to do, so short of micromanaging Specialists, I guess I'm not pop booming.  I switch back to 40-30-30.

[Limit reached]
I start cashing Artifacts.  Another terribly Morganic thing to do would be to amass the money necessary for Economic Victory.  That's a lot of dough though, 78.5k credits with my current ECONOMY rating.  Doable with Orbital Power Transmitters and the Space Elevator, but I've gotta go make some vacuoles!

I start on the Neural Amplifier, the Nethack Terminus, the Cyborg Factory, and the Cloning Vats.  I also learn Phasers, Nanohospitals and Paradise Gardens.  So much for Flechettes, I think I need some supply crawlers!
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2020, 08:54:46 AM
[Limit reached]
[Limit reached]
MY 2309.  I complete 2 Secret Projects simultaneously.  I've also started the Pholus Mutagen and the Manifold Harmonics.  I've stopped making so many Supply Crawlers though, in favor of Paradise Gardens.  These projects are all extremely expensive and I don't want to get too fixated on them.  I've also begun a Tectonic Missile prototype, which would finally solve my Believer land bridging problem that I never get around to.  I could finally put the Believers and the Cyborgs right at each other's throats.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2020, 09:36:09 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2310.  Miriam lobs her first Conventional Missile at the distant sea base I took from her, killing an Isle.  One remains.  My Formers have also finally attracted a substantial contingent of Needlejets.  I won the air battles but my planes are pretty beat up.  I do have a few of the Drop Interceptors but I didn't make many because suddenly I had all these Secret Projects to complete.  I'm not sure how much more terraforming I can push north.

[Limit reached]
The odds for drop combat are interesting.  Orbital Insertion and Air-to-Air cancel each other out, as predicted.  But I did not expect my Missile Launcher to be shooting against "No Armor".  I thought it was supposed to be weapon-to-weapon combat.  If the plane had had armor, would it defend better against an Air Superiority attack?  A mystery.  For now, I'm killing the thing!

Watching an air-to-air battle the next turn, I see that weapon values are used between Air Superiority units.  This still leaves the question of an Air Superiority unit attacking a plain Needlejet with no such ability.  Would armor help its defense?
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2020, 10:30:37 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2311.  If I ever get around to making new military units, they will be tougher.

This game is feeling most unnatural.  Of course in a regular game I would have forced the surrender or destruction of the Data Angels, Free Drones, and Cult of Planet long ago.  Possibly the Gaians as well.  In the late game I nevertheless find myself following traditional imperatives, rather than the vacuole strategy.  There's just too much stuff I'm not willing to cede to the enemy.  Once I've got the Cloning Vats, if my population rises high enough, I'm just going to declare myself the winner.  I don't think I can justify sandboxing.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 01, 2020, 10:28:56 PM
[Limit reached]
MY 2312.  If I ever get around to making more units, they'll be tougher.  It'll be awhile before I have any cash to upgrade anything, with these 3 very expensive Secret Projects I'm working on.  Perhaps I should cut my research budget, as I definitely don't need any more right now.  I need the money!  Since I'm so just, I shift my budget to 60-30-10 and suffer no penalty.  This doubles my income to 1411 credits/year.

[Limit reached]
I start digging a canal to the other side of my isthmus.  The Cyborgs will probably exterminate the Cultists shortly, and I might want to invade by sea at some point too.  I could go the long way around, but it will take a lot more time, and the Believers might shoot a number of my Cruiser Formers as they pass.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2020, 04:34:56 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2312.  All she actually had to say is what a wretched Democrat I am, before she blew up my Cruiser Former.  That had taken that base a rather long time to build.  I suppose I should send the new Probability armored version up there.  I've only got 1 of those though, made as a prototype to finish the armor.  And it's on the wrong side of the world right now.

[Limit reached]
We're having an air war near New Eden.  I've given better than I've gotten, killing 2 of her planes to my 1.  But I'm not replacing my Interceptors and suspect that she'll wear me down with spam soon enough.  Nevertheless, stacking a city with a lot of Interceptors is an effective defense for Formers on the ground.  If you have enough Formers and can complete your jobs quickly enough, you could just move on to the next city and do the same thing with your Former and Interceptor fleet.  It's definitely less mouse pushing hassle than putting AAA units all over the ground to defend the Formers.  I've never used this technique before this game.  It arose from having spare Interceptors and figuring hey, let's mass 'em near the enemy!  This tends to draw out the enemy's air corps, and I'm giving better than I get.  Historically I've avoided Interceptor strategies because there was a pretty amazing bug for a long time, where getting your Interceptor triggered would crash the game.  But it all seems to be stable on Windows 10 nowadays, so I can do this sort of thing now.

[Limit reached]
Sadly I must sacrifice 3 squares of perfectly good Soil Enriched farmland to make this canal.  There's no other way.  That probe foil better not try to block up my channel when I'm done either.  It's a Cultist unit so it should be dead soon anyways.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2020, 05:15:39 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2313.  I complete my Tectonic Quantum Missile prototype.  Where can I make the most trouble between the Cyborgs and the Believers?  Or are they going to keep up this charade of being such eternal close friends?  Missiles in my mod stay aloft a very long time and can hit anything on even a Giant map, but it does take time to get there.  This turn, I can only hit the point of land just southwest of Godwinson's Hope.  I believe hitting just south of that base, would landlock both the Cyborg base Gamma Flats and the Believer base Consecrated Waters.  On the other hand, it would also create direct rail access straight to Morgan Chickenscratch.  That's not actually what I had in mind.  I want Miriam to go fight the Cyborgs, not me.  So I will grudgingly wait until next turn to fire this thing off at closer range.

[Limit reached]
Did that foil probe know a canal was just about to open up?  Does the AI have some internal map?  That unit hasn't moved in forever, far as I remember, and now it's just miraculously in the way.  Well fine, next year you'd better be outta there.  Or I'll cry.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2020, 05:48:53 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2314.  Last year I decided to finish the Manifold Harmonics first.  Fungus is now valuable!  Pity I spent the whole game preparing to go Capitalist by stripping fungus away from my cities.  I didn't really expect to reach the Manifold Harmonics in a timeframe where it would be useful.  Now I see that I didn't have much long term vision in that regard.  Golden Ages don't work either, people have too many drones for it.  I'm only going to get pop booming by finishing the Cloning Vats.

[Limit reached]
After contemplating all sorts of trajectories and rebound angles, I calculate the one spot that seems like it will do maximum political harm, while shielding me from the general movement of Miriam's forces.  I could create an inland sea out of them.  However I don't want global warming or flooding, as that's contrary to my landlocking agenda.  In fact launching a Solar Shade might be a decent idea, but I don't like how it tends to destabilize stuff I've already built.  I'll just hope their alliance wears thin.

This is weird.  I keep thinking my year counter is off.  I go back and edit my screenshots according to what seems correct, and things don't end up being in synch.  Looking at the autosave files, which I thought I had hacked to save every 10 years forever, I'm not sure I've got the files I would expect either.  I need to monitor this.  Right now I'm definitely in MY 2314 though.  Hitting TURN COMPLETE.

Hm, I guess I really did start playing this AAR on August 20th.  This game has gone on a lot longer than I realized.  I guess there's no problem with the "save every 10 turns forever" mechanism.  I just need to watch the turn counter and see if there's some irregularity.  The other possibility is I just get distracted by something when typing things up, and lose track of whether I've actually entered a new year.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2020, 07:14:10 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2315.  I get the bug where someone tries to contact you 3 times in a row, can't talk to you, and then declares war on you.  It can be a bit difficult to escape.  Best chance is to take a city and make sure there are no units anywhere next to your conquering unit, so that you don't have to talk immediately upon taking the city.  Otherwise you'll just get the 3 times in a row bug all over again.

[Limit reached]
Some of my cities are finishing their Flechette Defense Systems.  It's time to upgrade my defense.  Fiddling with unit designs, I see that for a Quantum unit, a Speeder doesn't cost anything extra over an Infantry chassis.  However in my mod you can't have ECM on a Speeder.  Usually I combine AAA and ECM for defense.  Since I can't do that, and having free wheels seems marginally kewl, I make this a Cloaked unit.  I thought about giving it Air Superiority but I don't know that a strength 1 handgun is going to be that good against enemy planes.

[Limit reached]
I eliminate all of Roze's units in the field that I can find.  She doesn't take Truces seriously, so I'd like her to have the minimum amount of offensive capability.  I take her city without triggering the bug again.  I summon her using 2 Campbell's soup cans, and she makes a most remarkable claim.

[Limit reached]
I'm sorry dear, but in my mod, having a blueprint and having a completed prototype are quite different things.  Huh, but I'll be darned, she really does have one.  Well she does sign my Truce.  If she backstabs me next year, her Planet Buster is going bye-bye.  Pity it would be so expensive to capture the city it's in.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 02, 2020, 08:01:54 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2316.  I hate these conversations.  She declares war.  But, good news: a message goes by that Miriam has declared war on her!  My plan worked.

[Limit reached]
There's all kinds of damage I could be doing to everyone with Locusts, that I'm not doing.

[Limit reached]
Domai is blocking up my rail, so I finish a loop to the west, to have a way of going around him.  I didn't really want to link with that Datatech city, but it was the cheapest way to get the job done.

[Limit reached]
I haven't made new offensive weapons in quite some time, but the Cyborgs' armor is old and is easily blown to bits.  My object lesson is enough to get a Truce.  I also get her to make peace with the Drones.  As usual I can't chime in about the Cult of Planet because of my lack of a diplomatic relation with them.

I could go conquer a Believer city to get them to beg off, but by deliberate stratagem, I have no rail link with them.  Nor have I had time to build ships.  I'm still busy trying to build old Secret Projects and garrison my cities with modern AAA units.  I've been completely gunshy about building bigger factories because I don't like my land ending up underwater.  Even with the Pholus Mutagen completed I feel it's a risk.  It just has a way of becoming a pain.

Perhaps I should have tried to contact the Believers while I was still at war with the Cyborgs.  I'll try now anyways.  Well, so much for that.  They're ignoring me.

[Limit reached]
With 1 city left, I finally get Cha Dawn to sign a Treaty.  I can't get him to stop his wars.  He says I have to talk to the others.  I get Domai to beg off; they sign a Treaty.  Aki Zeta-5, I already finished talking to this year.  If she wipes out Dawn of Planet next year, then that'll be that.

[Limit reached]
To prevent that from happening, I interpose a single Scout.  Cha Dawn may tell me to get lost 2 years from now, but for right now, it'll stop any ground attacks next year.  He could in principle be attacked by air or sea, such as with Marines or Drop troops.  But I doubt it'll happen.  The Cyborgs are mostly interested in shelling the city with a few feeble Spore Launchers.  I think I wiped out all their ground troops in the region.  The ones they have left in the cities they took over, are still pretty beaten up.  Plus they've got the Believers to go fight.

[Limit reached]
I will have enough money next year to complete the Cloning Vats.  With the Cyborg Factory and Quantum reactors, I don't need a lot of expertise for my new AAA garrisons.  Frankly, even the old ones have never been attacked.  I change back to Wealth and adjust my budget to avoid penalties.  Now I can freely move 1 military unit per city out of my territory.  I'm gonna send all my Isles to mess with the Believers.

It's funny, I just realized for the longest time, I've been playing as though I have 0 SUPPORT.  Really my faction has +1.  Sometime during the AAA ECM Silksteel Garrison era, I plumb forgot!
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 03, 2020, 02:09:08 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2318.  Boy the Believers really have it in for the Cyborgs!  I presume this was a probe team action.  Wonder if they'll hold it?  In my mod the Believers are immune to mind control, so the Cyborgs won't be mind controlling it back.  I find that over time, the Believers do tend to hold their ground and advance, because they can't be subverted.

[Limit reached]
I'm seeing a Diplomatic Victory in my near future.  It's a bit leveling to realize I've been playing this game since August 20th.  I don't consider it to be one of my better games.  The vacuolization idea is nice, but, impractical.  Completely victimizing a faction and leaving them only 1 city, completely surrounded, would make a lot more sense.  Even then, taking the time to surround a city rather than outright conquering it, is an odd aesthetic.  Then again I guess the Aztecs were odd.

[Limit reached]
With the completion of the Cloning Vats, Power no longer has any disadvantage.  I'd say it's an overpowered Secret Project, except for the fact that I clearly would have won this game by conventional means long before now.  I've at least made it a late, expensive project.  I'm just that good!

I keep forgetting to talk to Cha Dawn again.  Deirdre is attacking him again.  I really don't feel like bothering to straighten this out between them.  The game is almost over anyways.  It can't be that much longer before I have the votes to win.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 03, 2020, 05:10:29 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2319.  I thought I was building quantum versions of these things all along.  How did I manage to not do that?  Sometimes I think these mistakes are because these AARs get so long.  I get interrupted by real life, or the need to sleep.  Probably when I put games down and pick them back up again, this is how these things happen.

[Limit reached]
Look how much faster and better armed I was able to make the things with a proper quantum reactor on them.  No cloak because having 2 abilities doesn't come for free in this configuration.

[Limit reached]
3 times bug again.  That's the other thing about my style this game.  I never actually pacify anyone.  X turns later, someone's getting uppity again.  Or my ally the Gaians starts attacking someone again, freely moving through my territory.

[Limit reached]
I don't need GROWTH, nor do I need my PLANET rating stellar high for combat.  Thought Control has no downsides anymore, and it's definitely in-character for Morgan, if he's not money grubbing too hard.  Hm, why does my income say 3991 credits/turn ?  That seems improbably high compared to previous norms.  Have the Cloning Vats been responsible for that much increase in wealth so quickly?  At that kind of rate, even Economic Victory is a possibility.  Although, the current price on that with my choices is 112k credits.  That's 28 turns assuming no change, and I think I'll have Diplomatic Victory a lot sooner than that.  Upon further investigation, we're having a solar flare and it won't last.

The Data Angels won't even talk to me.  So for now, the sucking up idea is for naught.

[Limit reached]
A quick slam into a Believer sea base earns me no credit with Miriam at all.  The war continues.

[Limit reached]
I kill all of Domai's units in the field, to deter him from surprise attacking me once we've got a Truce again.  Also because many of my ancient units aren't strong enough to penetrate a base with Probability defenders, but they can kill the stuff Domai's had milling around in the open.  Mindworms are needed to take out a base, and I've never built new ones.  I actually take a couple of losses, but Craftsman Keep falls readily enough.  Domai accepts his weakness, and I get him to make peace with the Data Angels as well.

[Limit reached]
MY 2320.  With the massive number of credits gained from the solar flare, I rush all kinds of stuff.  Mature bases are either working on valuable sea stuff or AAA garrison units if they're landlocked.

I think this entry was another one of those got interrupted by real life, lost track of the year sorts of things.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 03, 2020, 06:10:03 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2321.  Hard to get excited about this one, as my SUPPORT was already +3 from social engineering choices.  Now it's +5, which confers no additional benefit.  Game mechanically, it would be logical for this Secret Project to come earlier in the game.  However its video is of asteroid colonization.  Narratively, I just can't abide having it come before orbital construction facilities are available.

This is reminding me that minerals from a Nessus Mining Station are 'clean'.  They don't do eco-damage.  That feels to me like a cheat or exploit though.

[Limit reached]
I want to dig a canal to The Jeneba Complex so that I can improve the sea squares of the 2 bases up there.  I start using excess land Formers to lower the land south of it, while my Sea Formers dig the canal.  I tried to dig at the Energy special, but bizarrely, the game told me that would mess up Gaian territory.  That doesn't make any sense as they don't own that water, it's international.  Nor do they own the coastal land, it's mine.  Well whatever.  That entire coast, gave me the same error message.  So I had to dig on the other side of the peninsula, and part of the Unity wreckage was a casualty that.  Guess any school field trips are gonna need scuba gear!

[Limit reached]
I really don't like the AI throwing Conventional Missiles at my bases.  I'm going to extraordinary lengths to prevent it from ever happening again.  In reality they've only done it twice, to some distant sea bases I conquered, to take out a couple of Isles.  My approach is like spending trillions of dollars to prevent 2 million dollars of damage.  But hey, isn't this whole game about being silly?  I've blown almost all my money this year on this stuff.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 03, 2020, 07:16:34 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2323.  The Believer air force has been rather quiet as of late.  I think if there's anything left, it's busy with the Cyborgs.  I've completed all my terraforming elsewhere, so now I'm attaching these far flung conquests to my empire.  I'm going to take over the land by raising the sea bases onto it.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 03, 2020, 07:53:56 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2324.  I assert myself on the land, and I take another Believer sea base.  They're still riled up and won't let it go.  I will end up with the whole subcontinent at this rate.

[Limit reached]
The Unity-Jeneba Canal is open for business!
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 03, 2020, 08:38:21 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2325.  I'm starting to have extra cash again as my Hab Domes complete.  For a modest cost, I correct the mistake I made earlier with making a Fusion unit design.

I take another Believer base and they still want to fight.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 03, 2020, 09:46:56 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2326.  I'm rich enough to pay this exorbitant price for raising land in enemy territory, but I still don't like it.  It's important for my takeover of the subcontinent though.  I want to lessen Deidre's ownership of the land.  Once raised, I trash Miriam and she still wants to fight.

Almost 5 AM.  Is this game worth it?
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 04, 2020, 04:40:55 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2327.  Miriam drops a Conventional Missile on top of one of my Isles.  That will limit how much I can take over by water.  I also don't like paying a lot of money to raise an enemy base onto land.  It's more cost effective to take over the base first, then raise the land.  Miriam shows no likeliness of being easily cowed, considering how many bases she has and how peripheral the ones I've taken over are.  I expect to be doing a lot of coastal invasion before ever getting to her mainland.  Consequently, it's more economically practical to use my new, greatest weapons, instead of the old ones for this job.  I'm also incurring gradual attrition with the old weapons.  They do work well against weak foes in the field, but I tend to lose a number of them when throwing them at walled bases.

[Limit reached]
These are gonna be great for blasting coastal defenders to smithereens.  They come off my assembly lines as Elite units.  They're cheap!  This is not because of unarmored units being cheap, that's a thing of the past.  Weapons are exorbitant in my mod and there's no bargain loophole for being unarmored.  Rather, this is cheap because I've got a "Fusion class" weapon mounted on a Quantum reactor core.  With this kind of platform, I'm supposed to be using a Plasma Shard.  I don't have that, or need it, because I'm way ahead in tech.  Most of it non-military tech, but way ahead.

I mean, if I really wanted this game over, it should be over.  There are all kinds of ways I could win now.  I will keep up the vacuolizing stuff, but let's face it, Miriam's Planet Buster capability is a nominal threat.  I think if I were going to play this style of game over again, I'd focus less on the happiness of my own citizens.  That just causes them to grow, which tends to become its own end.  Leading to Diplomatic Victory, because let's face it, I've got massive votes.  Why should I keep playing when I've actually won?  Whatever excuse is devised for that, it resembles sandboxing.  And more to the point, why should I keep playing when I've been at this since August 20th?  That was 2 weeks ago.

[Limit reached]
A hovertank configuration costs more to build, but a speeder does not.  I won't want to use only speeders because the defenders may have 3-Pulse armor and ECM.  However when I can use speeders, I'll be able to do more damage more quickly, or the same damage with less of a rail completed first.

[Limit reached]
Nobody's launched a satellite yet, let alone an Orbital Defense Pod.  I think I am first with these capabilities.  I will build a few, since there are some Planet Busters floating around Planet.  I still haven't even bothered to figure out how to make a Planet Buster, because why would I use one?  It can only ruin what I've spent time building.  I could have committed innumerable atrocities by now if I'd wanted to.  Miriam had them legal for years!

I decide I'd rather have ODPs than any new offensive toys.  I change my production orders and start building 8 of them.  With the Space Elevator they'll all be done in 2 years.  The reality is I can raise bases out of the water first, if I really feel I have to, because I am rich.  I've got 4374 credits as I write this, and I'm making 2047 credits / year.  You could say that earlier, I was whining.  "247 credits??  For crying out loud...."

[Limit reached]
There sure is a lot of funny residue on the bottoms of these ships!  Maybe they're toilet scrubbing bubbles.  Sailing halfway around the world to improve my conquered waters is old fashioned.  I'm gonna jump through the stratosphere.  I upgrade 13 of my ships for the low low price of 910 credits.  None of them started in a city so none of them can drop this turn though.  I move half of them into a base for use next year.  I spend some more money to upgrade some slightly different designs as well.  I have 3134 credits when I'm done, so this was about a 1200 credit refurbishment.

[Limit reached]
Not a lot of military action this year.  I fried a couple of defending artillery pieces with my spore launchers.  I don't think Miriam is capable of air combat in the region.  I've focused this year on using my Formers with perfect efficiency, given they are a mixed fleet of normal and Super Former designs.  Next year I'll raise at least one of those cities and take it with old troops.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 04, 2020, 07:46:50 AM
[Limit reached]
MY 2328.  My next victim costs a pittance to raise out of the water.  It is only defended by a battleship.  Those unfortunately have rather impressive resistance to land attacks in my mod, because I removed the "ship in port" defense penalty.  It was affecting ships in sea bases and that makes no sense at all, especially if you're the Pirates.  So fixing sea base problems, makes land ship defenders awfully tough.  In fact, my new drop ships are something like ideal land defenders if I wanted to exploit them like that.  I'll refrain.

[Limit reached]
I don't feel like fooling around with it.  The battleship is just 1 unit lacking any particular psi defense, so I blow it up with a Demon Boil.  Miriam slightly surprises me by signing a Truce, ending my rampage.  Looks like I don't need those new Marine units after all.  I'll switch this turn's production yet again.  I get her to knock it off with Deirdre, but she's at war with everyone else.

[Limit reached]
This shall be the One True Unit from now on.  I'm really tired of other factions milling around my land.  Maybe I'll finally start making some Treaty threats, now that I don't have a real enemy to go conquer.  Like how long until Domai caves in?  I make the diplomatic rounds and actually talk to him.  I get him to knock it off with Deirdre.  I tell Deirdre to knock it off with the Cult of Planet.  Cha Dawn says others have to cease and desist, and he foolishly ignores my generous offer of an alliance.

Vote check: Believers 247 +  Cyborgs 183 + Drones 94 + Angels 70 = 594.  I have 1630 votes.  I think I can count on Deirdre, and I don't think Cha Dawn is significant.  I suppose whatever I am doing, I don't need any big plan.  This should be over soon, if not the way I originally had in mind.  I sure would need to do something different about all this milling around.  Maybe lots and lots of Clean Synth Garrisons instead of whatever else I thought was important to build?  But if you don't get the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, how would you keep anyone in check?

3:30 AM.  Another feeling of bleh.
Title: Re: The Tlaxcalan Hegemony - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.46
Post by: bvanevery on September 04, 2020, 09:05:36 AM
You know what?  This is 2 nights in a row where this AAR is just feeling like work.  I'm already so dissatisfied with how it has gone, that I have no intention of publishing it on r/4Xgaming.  I thought about whether someone might be interested in it anyways, but on further contemplation I decided no, this is not a very interesting game.  And it's probably not my best work as an AAR author either.  Comes from the meandering lack of point to the game itself, I think.  I think it's an exercise in sheer tedium to reach Diplomatic Victory.  If I had intended to win that way, I think I could have gotten there faster and more succinctly.

I'm done.  This is not worth completing.  Or mentioning.  It's a train wreck.