Alpha Centauri 2

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire => After Action Reports => Topic started by: Earthmichael on November 18, 2012, 03:41:35 PM

Title: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Earthmichael on November 18, 2012, 03:41:35 PM
This thread is for me to share my strategy for approaching the Nomads game.  I hope it turns into a full AAR, but I am not sure I have time to get it all posted to be of help for those attempting the Nomads challenge, so I will post as a serial, so at least I can be of some help.

First, we need to analyze the new Nomads factions.  This faction is unlike any other faction, with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses.

+1 Planet: Can be helpful for mindworm capture/combat, especially when you switch to Green
+2 Efficiency: This is VERY useful, perhaps the strongest aspect of this faction
+25% attack: Useful, but not game changing

The profile does not say this, but Nomads cannot use Planned.  This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage of this faction!
Extra drone for every 4 citizens (like University).  Ouch!
Growth past 5 requires a Hab comples (like Morgan).  Double ouch!
-1 Police: No big deal, but will make things worse with free market
-1 Probe: I was never successfully probed, so no harm here

These are some nasty disadvantages.  I would never pick this faction in a multiplayer game, if it were available, due to so many disadvantages.  If that is not enough, the scenario imposes an additional very, very painful disadvantage:  no colony pods!

You do start with one great advantage: you have The Virtual World!  I think this is the best of the early secret projects, but this means building Network Nodes to take advantage of it.


Your starting position is shown below.


YEAR 2181
My first move, I moved my probe cruiser north, and saw a University unit.  I moved close enough to make contact, so that I could maybe trade tech with University, and maybe even get a treaty.  I want to switch to Wealth as soon as possible (since Planned was not available), and so I wanted to befriend University before I insulted them with my shameless pursuit of Wealth.  University loves to trade tech, so I traded as much as University wanted, then I went for a pact.  University accepted, which gave me the University world map!


Next, I contacted the Spartans, and again traded tech to enhance the relationship (again before my shameless pursuit of wealth).  I traded all of the tech Sparta wanted, and managed a treaty.  I saw that Sparta and University were at war, and these were the only neighbors close enough to worry about for now.  So since I had good relations with my neighbors, I decided to build up as much as a could first, rather than arm for war.  Might as well let University and Sparta fight it out for awhile.

Now I did switch to Wealth, because I wanted to visit with Morgan, who would welcome my visionary pursuit of wealth.  Again, traded tech as much as Morgan wanted, and then got a pact.

Research: Neural Grafting (30 years left  ;) )

Social Engineering: Wealth  50%E/50%L

West Winds - Recycling Tanks
Enchanted Herd - Recreation Commons
All other - Network Node

Terraformers making Forest in the most productive places
Sea Former making Kelp Farm
Supply Crawlers crawling from the most productive mines

This marks the end of the first year, a very good year indeed, especially from a diplomacy/tech standpoint.
Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Earthmichael on November 18, 2012, 10:56:40 PM
YEAR 2182
Used all but 1 energy to rush build Recycle Tanks
Cruiser Probe successfully infiltrated University at Monitoring Station

YEAR 2183
My foil probe made it to Ironhom, but Sparta had some defensive probe teams, so I did not attempt to infiltrate
West Wind: Recycling Tanks finished, now building Supply Crawler

YEAR 2184
My foil probe made it to Sparta Command, but Sparta had some defensive probe teams, so I did not attempt to infiltrate
My cruiser probe made it to Morgan Construction, but Morgan had some defensive probe teams, so I did not attempt to infiltrate
Beginning of Journey: Network Node finished, now building Supply Crawler
Enchanted Herd: Recreation Commons rush build
Formers building roads and forests in key places

Skipping to 2189, since I do not have any saves in between.  [I did not play this with the idea of doing an AAR, so saves are sporadic.]

YEAR 2189
Sometime between 2184 and 2189 I switched to Free Market and Democratic (still using Wealth)
Social Engineering:  100% Economy (+4 efficiency allows this setting with no energy loss) -
Every base has built a Network Node, Recreation Commons, and Recycling Tanks.  I rush built a lot of facilities (always making sure I had at least 10 minerals already accumulated, to maximize the value of the energy used).
Begining of Journey also has a Command Center and The Virtual World (and is the Headquaters)
Every base is either producing Formers or Supply Crawlers
All pacts and treaties still intact
Cruiser Probe found Peacekeepers UN Equality Village.  Traded some tech and got a treaty with Peacekeepers.  Then I successfully infiltrated Peacekeepers.
Foil Probe exploring to the NorthEast

YEAR 2193
I discovered the Believers.  No reasoning with them, just instant Vendetta.
I also discovered Gaia.  We traded some tech, but they would not go for a treaty, so we just have a Truce.
Not a bad overall total: 2 pacts, 2 treaties, 1 truce, and 1 vendetta.
Had a few mindworm attacks, but nothing major.  With a Planet rating of -2 (due to Free Market) it is to be expected.
Social Engineering:  100% Labs (+4 efficiency allows this setting with no energy loss), just 3 years left for Neural Grafting.
Every base now shifted to Supply Crawlers.
There were at least 4 forest expansions, which is a nice bonus of forest, since those are 4 squares that I don't have to terraform.
Formers are still building nothing but roads and forests.
My sea former is at the nutrient bonus near West Winds, and planting Kelp.

YEAR 2196
Neural Grafting finished, so I am now researching Bio-Engineering.  (7 years, 100% energy to Research)
I built my first mine!  All bases have sufficient Forest to work. 
The sea former has built the Kelp farm, and now working on the Tidal harness.
I had a deliberate mineral overload at Beginning of Journey (30 Eco-damage), deliberately trying to cause a fungal pop, which has happened right on my Nutrient Forest.  I now have to task some formers to remove the fungus and rebuild the Forest.

YEAR 2197
I built The Planetary Datalinks at Begining of Journey (using a bunch of Supply Crawlers).  I got an immediate inrush of knowledge, including AMA, Cyberethics, PSA, Ecological Engineering, and Environmental Economics.

YEAR 2202
My Cruise Probe had the misfortune of coming in contact with a Spartan transport.  Sparta took that opportunity to threaten me for some technology; when I refused, they declared Vendetta.  I do not expect any real consequenses here, other than the loss of the trade energy.  Sparta is being destroyed by University; I doubt that they can spare any forces to send my way.

Bio-Engineering research is now completed.  Clean reactors, here we come!  Now researching Planetary Economics; not my first choice, but sometimes you have to take the best from what is offered.

The Datalinks gave me Fusion Power, Doctrine: Initiative, and Doctrine: Air Power.  I am leading in tech, surprise, surprise!  That was really a worthwhile SP to build!

Social Engineering set to 90% economy, 10% psych.  This provides 120 net income per turn.

City Builds:
Beginning of Journey, Enchanted Herd, West Winds: Hab Complex
Valley of Acridients, Warrior's Camp: Tree Farm

University built the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, so no probing them, not that I would want to risk vendetta anyway.

My sea former finished his job, giving me a square with 5N/0M/4E!

My 11 formers are building mostly roads, a few forests, and a couple of mines.

I have 16 supply crawlers, mostly working mines, with a couple bringing back energy to my HQ.

YEAR 2207
Spartans destroyed my foil probe.

All bases now have a Hab Complex and a Tree Farm.  They are now all building Children's Creche.

435 energy accumulated; still on 90% economy.

All Formers converted to clean.
Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Earthmichael on November 19, 2012, 02:55:59 AM
YEAR 2211

30 fun-filled years have passed!  To recap:

Social: Democratic, Free Market, Wealth; 90% research, 10% psych

University - Pact
Morgan - Pact
Peacekeeprs - Treaty
Gaia - Truce
Believers - Vendetta
Santiago - Vendetta

Energy Bank: 1224 Energy Reserves

Tech: Currently researching MMI (3 years)
In addition to all prerequisites for MMI, I also have (thanks to Datalinks SP):
Polymorphic Software
Advanced Subatomic Theory
Optical Computers
Fusion Power
Silksteel Alloys
Planetary Economics
Superstring Theory
Monopole Magnets

There may be some techs I missed, but I think I got them.

12 Clean Formers
1 Sea Former
21 Supply Crawlers
1 Cruiser Probe team
3 Probe team MK2
8 ECM Silksteel Sentinels

All 5 bases now have:
Recycling tanks
Children's Creche
Hab Complex
Network Node
Recreation Commons
Tree Farm

My HQ additionally has:
Command Center
The Virtual World
The Planetary Datalinks

One of the extra goals I set for myself (not required for the contest) was that I personally wanted to take the last base of each faction myself.  University has very nearly wiped out Sparta; Sparta has only 3 bases left.  So if I want to stick with this goal, I will need to make my move soon.  Copters will be available in 3 years, so I will want to be prepared to put them into action.

Most formers are still making road and forest, with an occasional mine.
All supply crawlers are crawling a productive spot, mostly mines.

Every base is building supply crawlers

YEAR 2215

MMI researched!  Now researching Advanced Ecological Engineering.

Building Cyborg Factory at HQ, supply crawlers everywhere else.  (I would start with CBA instead of Cyborg Factory, but this is a SMAC scenario, not SMACX, so there is no CBA.)

YEAR 2217

Cyborg Factory built (with help from some supply crawlers)

YEAR 2220

All 5 bases now have:
Children's Creche
Recycling tanks
Recreation Commons
Energy Bank
Network Node
Tree Farm
Hybrid Forest
Hab Complex
(and a free Bioenhancement Center)

HQ additionally has:
Command Center
The Virtual World
The Planetary Datalinks
The Cyborg Factory

Two bases are size 7, one is size 8, and two are size 9.

Formers are mostly building mag tubes, roads, and forests.  Cities are linked by mag tubes.

Most cities have 31 incoming minerals; all cities have ZERO ecodamage.

YEAR 2225

University cancelled the Pact, and we are now down to Treaty.  Normally, I would first build some Aerospace complexes, but I felt some defensive copters needed to be built right away.  I now have 10 choppers 10/1/12 (*2), and 3 choppers 8/1/12 (*2).

I had to go back to simple economics, since the drone penalty for Free Market would have killed me.  (I really don't like that fact that ALL aircraft create a drone penalty, even if they are well within your borders at all times.)  Since I have not yet researched CE, and surprisingly the Datalinks has not given it to me, I cannot go Green (which otherwise I would certainly do). 

But since I am no longer in Free Market, I built a Clean Police at every city, which suppresses two drones.

I don't feel the research priorities are that important, so I am back to 90E/10P for energy.  I have 4116 energy in the bank, so I can rush build pretty freely (but I still don't waste my energy at much more than 2 energy per mineral).

Sparta made a bit of a comeback against University, taking back 3 bases from University.  However, now Morgan is pressing Sparta from the north.

My formers built an Air Base 4 squares directly north of Enchanted Herd to facilitate my choppers, and I moved most of my choppers to the Air Base.

YEAR 2228

At this point, all cities now also have Fusion Labs.  HQ additionally has a Skunkworks (free prototypes).

I am sure this is what you have all been waiting for: WAR!!!

As I suspect would happen soon, University declared vendetta this turn, with the pretext of the Wealth society choice.  No matter, I was ready with 18 copters built.  They have no idea how much pain they are in for!

I built magtube up to the university road network, and linked it with a road of my own.  I took out the two defenders in Academgorodok with a single chopper, and moved in a defender that I had protecting the former.  I then landed the chopper in the city.  First city taken!

All cities are building choppers.

Is that enough for this year?  Of course not!  My choppers wiped out all of the defenders in Sparta Command, and another defender ran down the road and took Sparta Command (which has the Planetary Transit System, which is nice, but of no real value to me).  I start an Aerospace Complex, which I will rush build next turn to help my choppers recover damage faster.  The rest of my choppers are wiping out anything they can find, including wiping out all defenders at University Base. 

Meanwhile, my formers are busy building mag tubes to my newly acquired cities.

All my original bases have 34 minerals, and are building a chopper every turn.  I upgraded all of my Silksteel garrisons to Clean, to reduce support.

Here is the current situation:


Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Earthmichael on November 19, 2012, 01:13:17 PM
YEAR 2229

This is a consolidation turn.  All choppers are moved into one of the two newly captured cities.  The Aresospace complex is completed at Sparta Command.  Formers continue to build mag tubes.  Healthy copters attack anything in range.

University brings out his air force to kill a couple of my units, and to slow my advance with ZOC.  I will use probe teams to bypass the ZOC, and will kill the needlejets when they land.

Before I end the turn, I move my defender in Acaderngorodok NE 3 square to be in striking range of University Base.

Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Earthmichael on November 19, 2012, 01:27:22 PM
YEAR 2230

I take University Base with the defender I positioned last turn.  I now have Hunter Seeker Algorithm and HGP.  I can probe with impunity, and proceed to do so in the subsequent turns, taking every tech that University has.

All defenders have been eliminated in Monitoring Station, my next target.

Formers are continuing with mag tubs.

My choppers are also wiping out all defenders in sea bases.  I start building a cruiser to begin taking the defenseless sea bases.

At this point, I have surpassed University on the power graph.  Only Morgan is higher (but not for long).  After almost 50 years of preparation, I will acheive total conquest in 2257, just 27 more years!

Alas, Monday is here, real life intrudes, work for 3 days this week, then camping until next Monday, so updates to this AAR will be slow or suspended for a week or so.  But frankly, from this point, I suspect that any experienced SMAC player could push on to victory!

Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Kirov on November 19, 2012, 04:24:44 PM
It seems the Planetary Datalinks was a bull's eye! I keep forgetting how much this SP can be useful in preset scenarios, given as it sucks in regular single player games.  :)

All in all, well done!  ;b;
Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Earthmichael on December 08, 2012, 01:49:23 PM
Should I provide any further updates to this AAR?  Or did I take it far enough to make it obvious how to do the mop up?  Updates take time, so I want to weigh any time spent on further updates to the value to other players.

For that matter, does anyone have any constructive advice for further updates?  Too detailed?  Too boring?  It would be good to know how many people were interested in reading the AAR, and whether they thought it was helpful.  I thought it would stimulate more entries for Nomads, but I have not seen any new entries posted.
Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Green1 on December 09, 2012, 02:34:08 AM
Remind me not to meet you in a dark, multiplayer alley.

You are destroying them.

I always read AARs for any game I play. I suspect most of the lurkers that come to these sites are looking at them, too.

I have found with an AAR, there is never a such thing as being too detailed. Readers want to have that detail. They are trying to learn. I also find that forum AARs are much better than even YouTube Let's Plays. Most can read faster than watch hours of videos. Not to mention, most smart phone plans have trouble buffering video. Web pages load up better.
Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Buster's Uncle on December 09, 2012, 03:31:03 AM
I'd like to see more.  I think I'll link this on a couple of forums tomorrow.
Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Rockisx on April 17, 2018, 05:16:42 AM
I like the story that you bring to talk very much. Because it made me find more information to talk to you.
Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: bvanevery on April 17, 2018, 05:18:12 PM
Took me a few minutes to realize this is a 6 year old AAR.  Looks like the unique base artwork went away during gameplay for some reason, changing to Hive artwork.

A scenario with no Colony Pods sounds a bit rough, and contradictory to the idea of a nomadic society as well.  I get the idea of not having a bunch of cities but that doesn't seem to be the way to solve it.  Being expected to invade everyone else's cities doesn't sound terribly nomadic either.  I think ideally once a city got to be a certain size, it would disband into colony pods.

I'm not in favor of giving factions +2 Efficiency because it just allows them to buy Police State or Planned.  Granted, this faction wasn't allowed to do Planned.  Perhaps if it had also been prevented from doing Police State, it would be more nomadic in flavor.  I'm not sure if you can prevent a faction from doing 2 social engineering choices though.

Title: Re: Nomads Earthmichael AAR - Spoilers inside !!!!
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 17, 2018, 05:29:30 PM
I was really happy about those bases, too.  I don't remember where I got them, but they looked great.