Author Topic: Thinker mod military capability  (Read 201 times)

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Online bvanevery

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Thinker mod military capability
« on: March 06, 2019, 10:21:32 PM »
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  • My last test game leads me to believe that Thinker mod is strong at terraforming, but weak at fighting.  My late game against my nemesis the Pirates, turned into a complete cakewalk.  He just didn't have any defense at all.

    This time, I'm playing Thinker mod combined with my SMACX AI Growth mod, using Thinker mod's default cost_factor settings.  So, it's going to be given a massive 30% nutrient and production advantage from the beginning of the game.  I think what I've learned from my other games is, to mess up the AI's production and terraforming advantage, don't sit back and play the same kind of game it's playing.  Charge forwards and mess with it.  I predict it'll crumple like a house of cards.

    I also predict that a Huge map will be large enough, that some AI faction somewhere will get more entrenched.  It's usually the one that's farthest away on the map.  I've seen this phenomenon in many 4X TBS games.  I call it the "spawning" or "whack-a-mole" effect.  Yes you can clobber anything near you, but the game spams all kinds of stuff all over the map, and you can't get to it all.  Even with aggressive forward projection strategies, with foreknowledge of how the AI will do its deed, stuff tends to get through.  It's not really about the AI being smart, it's about the AI having a lot of space to take root in.

    Huge map, 30%..50% land mass, using my world generation settings which ensure sizable continents and large oceans.  Average settings.  Transcend difficulty.  Random factions.  I draw the Data Angels.  I will not have to worry about falling terribly far behind in tech for quite some time.  Hive, Morganites, Planet Cult, Free Drones, Believers, and University also in the game.

    In my mod the default research foci for the Data Angels are Explore, Build.  However I choose just Explore, thinking I'll want to find other factions and mess them up quickly.

    I also learned last game, that I should not hoard Artifacts.  One of the AIs is probably going to get way ahead of me on tech anyways, so I will probably never be in a position where I've stolen everything there is to steal.  I should just use Artifacts to make my own tech go faster, even if I could have stolen some stuff.  On the other hand, maybe this also implies that I shouldn't be nice, refraining from stealing stuff.  Last game as the Spartans, I tried to be a good ally to the Pirates for a long time.  That turns out to be a form of long term suicide.

    toying with Yang
    toying with Yang

    MY 2110.  I sign a Treaty with Yang.  I forgot that I was the Data Angels and bought a tech from him out of habit.  I won't make that mistake again.  I need to get my unescorted Artifact away from him.  I popped a pod with my probe team that resulted in a mindworm.  I moved around behind his Speeder, hoping it'll force him towards the fungus and injury.
    « Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 10:41:09 PM by bvanevery »

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #1 on: March 06, 2019, 10:40:31 PM »
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  • Believer pest
    Believer pest

    MY 2126.  A Believer Scout shows up in my home territory and declares war.  This demonstrates the importance of continuing to scout in an even circle from one's territory.  Intrinsic base defenses are tougher in my mod than the regular game, so she might not be able to harm my base.  However I'm not entirely certain of that.  She doesn't get any Fanatic bonus in my mod, but she does get +1 MORALE.

    the other warmonger
    the other warmonger

    I also found the Hive with my probe team and infiltrated it.  Yang declared war on me as I did so, since I didn't give him tech.  So, I wanted a military test game... I got it!

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 11:45:52 PM »
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  • MY 2127.  I research E2 Centauri Empathy and go Green.  It's easier to get Green economy in my mod, but this tech doesn't give mindworms.  It does give the Biology Lab.  The Empath Guild is way later in the game.  Going Green might enable me to capture some mindworms to use against these nearby enemies.  The cost is my GROWTH is now -2.  -1 for going Green, -1 for still being a Frontier society.  Simple economy gives +1 GROWTH to even that out, but I just went Green.  I don't think it'll be a problem because 3 of my 4 cities are already sitting on nutrient bonuses.

    I save my game just in case the Believers wipe the floor with my base.

    MY 2128.  Dang, they do.  I save scum it to see if this was to be expected, or a fluke.  One the 2nd try, I only took 50% injury, so I keep it.  If it was definitely going to kill me and I was just an idiot, then I would have accepted it.

    sneaky rotten Hive bastard
    sneaky rotten Hive bastard

    MY 2129.  Where the hell did he come from?  I know I don't have any Sensor Arrays built yet, but he's in between 3 cities and had movement remaining to Pillage.  Maybe the AI gets to cheat when it Pillages?

    If the AI can pull stuff like this, I feel like I might be in danger of being wiped out.  Switching to Conquer.

    My 2130.  I capture a Spore Launcher.

    MY 2135.  I capture a mindworm.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #3 on: March 07, 2019, 01:33:20 AM »
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  • MY 2142.  Miraim offers a Truce.  She doesn't know it was my plan to kill my neighbors, and that she just made it easier to get started.  Last year I spent a lot of money to get a Synthmetal Skirmisher prototype completed.

    MY 2172.  I research Doctrine: Loyalty, which gives Fundamentalist.  I switch to it.  I haven't gotten an offensive weapon yet, other than mindworm capture.  I've been building a rail network and occasionally making new cities.  I'm hassling the Believers in their homeland, tearing up Sensor Arrays with my Scouts wherever I can.  I destroy a size 1 Believer city with my 1 big mindworm.  I am pretty much done building Formers and am now starting to build Command Centers in almost all cities. 

    MY 2184.  I capture my 1st Isle.  I also get a Bureaucracy warning for my 10th city.  My JUSTICE is 0.

    MY 2185.  I research C3 Applied Physics.  In my mod Lasers are strength 3.  Time to start rushing my builds I think.
    « Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 03:00:59 AM by bvanevery »

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #4 on: March 07, 2019, 03:00:11 AM »
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  • MY 2192.  I get the comm frequency of Cha Dawn from a supply pod at sea.  In my mod, his compulsion is Fundamentalist.  That happens to be my Politics right now, so I hope we get along!  They are the weakest faction on the graph and I am 2nd weakest, although everyone but Morgan is doing about the same.  I'll hazard a guess that they're sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.

    Cha Dawn wants war with Morgan.  Sounds good to me!  I trade for E3 Centauri Genetics, which in my mod gives mindworms and Spore Launchers.  I loan him money. 

    I'm now remembering the part about cashing Artifacts instead of hoarding them.  I have not built any Network Nodes though, nor would it be advisable at this time.

    MY 2194.  I completed a Probe Team prototype.

    MY 2196.  I complete my 1st Laser Speeder.

    invading the Believers
    invading the Believers

    MY 2200.  I link a road and partial rail to the Believers.  My probe teams are messing up their Perimeter Defenses.  I think they are going to be toast, because they are not obviously making enough military units to deal with me.  They don't have any better technology than I do either.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #5 on: March 07, 2019, 05:18:50 AM »
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  • belief and despair
    belief and despair

    MY 2205.  I have devastated the Believers.  I am wondering when they plan to surrender, because they don't have a chance.

    Morgan of the Jungle
    Morgan of the Jungle

    MY 2209.  I was correct about Morgan sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.  My ally the Cult of Planet is nevertheless doing a good job of hassling him to the west.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #6 on: March 07, 2019, 07:34:17 AM »
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  • I believe you will drown
    I believe you will drown

    MY 2211.  I have knocked the Believers completely off the land, but they still want to keep fighting.  Eventually I'll make a navy to deal with them.  Right now I'm shifting my mindworms towards the front with Yang, and building Network Nodes to cash my Artifacts.

    MY 2232.  I've been consolidating my empire.  We passed through a period of sunspots.  I've got Plasma armor, Impact weapons, and Hovertanks, but not that much productivity.  I'm still garrisoning my captured bases, and only skirmishing with Yang on our fungus border.  Morgan is starting to rout Cha Dawn.

    Going to bed.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #7 on: March 07, 2019, 02:27:10 PM »
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  • MY 2238.  I am beginning to drive a rail head towards Yang.  I steal Doctrine: Air Power from the Morganites.  Despite what I said about popping Artifacts, I really don't see the point when Morgan's tech is so far beyond my own.  So for now I'm still trying to get probe teams out there and steal stuff.  I already thought Yang was going to suffer grievously at my hands, but getting planes, he doesn't stand a chance.

    the fall of Yang
    the fall of Yang

    MY 2242.  I have linked a road and partial rail to Hive territory.  I'm only waiting on some more Sensor Arrays to go down before I overwhelm the 2 cities in front of me.  Not even using Impact, Hovertanks, or Needlejets yet.  Even my mindworms are doing picket duty at the moment, making sure my Formers don'[t get attacked.  It's just gonna be a Laser rush, then cover with Synthmetal Skirmishers.  It's gonna be like routing Germans in Western Europe in WW II, just no Battle of the Bulge is ever gonna happen.  They're so dead.

    After writing that, I moved many of my mindworms onto my rail network, just because I can.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #8 on: March 07, 2019, 04:24:09 PM »
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  • slow but certain death
    slow but certain death

    MY 2247.  I continue to trash Yang's cities.  He's finally figured out Impact weapons, but it's going to be too little, too late for him.  For one thing, my mindworms are probably stronger.  And also, he favors Synthmetal armored versions of Speeders.  Impact weapons aren't cheap to begin with in my mod, and he's made them more expensive by armoring them.  That armor doesn't even matter to mindworms, and it can't stand up to my Elite Laser units either.  Even against a Veteran Laser on open ground, it won't protect you, although it can help if you sit on some rocks.  It's really just the wrong tool for defending against me.  It's a much better idea when picking on an impoverished faction that doesn't have much in the way of offensive resources to fight back with.

    That's not even counting my planes.  I'm only using 2 Gun Needlejets right now, but they have a serious effect.  Control of the skies, means I can escort units to any Sensor Array I like and destroy it.  I can also cover units and make them invulnerable to ground troops if I like, but I haven't needed to.  I lose the occasional mindworm but it doesn't matter, I make replacements plenty fast enough.

    February development build
    February development build

    Thinker mod AI is not capable of outproducing a competent human neighbor.  It is clearly spending way too many resources on forests and roads.  That could mean, it simply makes too many Formers when it should make something else.  It could mean, it doesn't make enough rolling moist farmland with solar collectors on it, the way I do.  2-1-1 is a good balance of resources gained, IMO.  The excess of roads also creates extreme tactical liability for the AI.  It's not quite as much freedom of movement as being on water, but it's close.

    Thinker mod might be capable of outproducing a distant human.  We shall see.


    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #9 on: March 07, 2019, 07:20:57 PM »
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  • MY 2248.  I had to replay my previous turn due to a Firefox lockup.  Game didn't get saved.

    Sea Formers as a probe defense
    Sea Formers as a probe defense

    Morgan threatens to complete the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm next turn.  I could complete it myself if I can steal the tech, as I have many Artifacts and have been working on the Neural Amplifier for a long time.  This stupid Sea Former is in my way though!  It will cost me 200 credits to subvert it.  Grudgingly, considering my options, I do it.  Morgan only has 2 techs I don't have, so I have a 50% chance of getting the tech I need.  If I don't get it, I could cash Artifacts hoping to get what I need.  I could also buy Optical Computers from Zhakarov, and maybe some other things.

    Success!  I get a Covert Ops Center in every base.  I need 812 credits to rush.  I have 472, so I throw 2 Artifacts at it.

    I can choose Power now, which in my mod gives +1 PROBE among other things.  That would bring me to +3 PROBE, making me immune to mind control.  Worth doing.  But it also costs -2 GROWTH and -2 JUSTICE in my mod, so I don't feel good about doing this and staying Green.  I'm switching to Socialist to offset this.  I'll just accept that my mindworms won't be quite as tough.  Not like I'm going Capitalist.

    the choice of conquerors
    the choice of conquerors

    MY 2249.  I am now Fundamentalist Socialist Power.  I will stop making new units for now.  I need some Energy Banks and Tree Farms to compete with Morgan.  My mindworms are still sufficient to tear up Yang's bases, if I've knocked out the Sensor Arrays and Perimeter Defense.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 01:33:38 AM »
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  • Morganite malarky
    Morganite malarky

    MY 2256.  Oddly enough, I've actually achieved technical parity with the Morganites, even though I am Fundamentalist.  I think the fact that they're pursuing Wealth and not Knowledge has something to do with it.  Still, with cities that big, you'd think they'd be farther ahead on research.  My allies the Free Drones also have Build techs that the Morganites do not have yet, such as Industrial Automation.  So here we see the pinnacle of a non-Borehole civilization, sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.  Maybe fighting Cha Dawn has kept Morgan busy?  As well as the Free Drones.

    The Free Drones had me go to war with the University, but they're nowhere near me.  I don't even have a sea route to them.  I suppose I could send Hovertank Probe Teams over land through Free Drone territory.  Without a rail, it's a bit of a hike.  I've been far more concerned with getting the Believers to surrender, so that I don't have that thorn in my underbelly.

    MY 2257.  I rationalized the SUPPORT of my units, particularly my Formers and mindworms, since I can have 4 free units per base.  Many of my cities in my conquered territories were only supporting 2 units.  I've pretty much run out of squares that need terraforming, so I've actually started a rail into Free Drone territory.  Invading the University would be far more profitable and strategic than mopping up the Hive, as they have completed a number of Secret Projects.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 04:36:57 AM »
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  • calming the southern sea
    calming the southern sea

    MY 2262.  I finally remove the Believers from my southern waters.  There is no access to this water other than a long narrow channel leading to the wider world ocean, so nothing in the real world is ever going to get to these sea bases.  Excepting a global flood, which would open this body of water in the vicinity of that Believer base.  They have 5 sea bases remaining in the other body of water, and they still won't surrender.

    MY 2263.  I steal Centauri Psi, which makes the Pholus Mutagen available to me.  I had an old copy of the Neural Amplifier still being worked on, so I rushed the Mutagen.

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability
    « Reply #12 on: March 08, 2019, 06:24:21 AM »
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  • MY 2273.  I steal Eudaimonia from the Morganites.  In my mod the combo of Socialist and Eudaimonia gives +4 GROWTH, triggering a pop boom if one also has a Children's Creche.  However my choice of Power gives -2 GROWTH.  I think it's time to give that up.  I've got all these forests and a lot of Tree Farms completed now, but my cities are not filled out.

    MY 2274.  I acquire the tech for the Empath Guild from my faction ability.  I disband every Trance Scout that's not in use to make the down payment on it, then use cash to rush it.

    Going to bed.

    Actually no, I'm quitting this particular game.  I think it's quite winnable, and somehow we haven't even experienced Global Warming yet.  But I also think I wasted a lot of time changing to Power and then completely stopping my offensive.  I was worrying that if I changed to a less violent government, that Yang would "come back" somehow.  But he's incompetent, he never made a move on me the whole time.  I need to stop overestimating the competence of nearby enemies I've thoroughly trounced.

    The main lesson is that immediate neighbors aren't a threat.  They're incompetent at fighting, and their early terraforming strategy isn't optimal either.  Just go whack 'em and get big.

    It remains to be seen if reaching all the way across the map, to deal with a borehole spewing enemy, is difficult or not. 
    « Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 06:51:13 AM by bvanevery »

     

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