Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri & Alien Crossfire > After Action Reports

Santiago the Builder

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Lal has begun The Supercollider.  I have moved my 3 less trained Foil Probe Teams in position to steal from his sea base next turn.  My Elite unit, I left behind to defend the base.  I kiled an interloping probe team only a couple of turns ago, so I know he will try.  His sea base isn't supporting any ships, and he's been fighting Miriam, so hopefully he doesn't have any in the water.  I've spread out my units as a precaution.  Lal has a probe team in the base, and unfortunately I don't have any ships to shell it with.  So I'll have to make do with the units I've got.

I'm not thrilled about tying up my own production to do The Supercollider.  It would have the effect of fixing my capitol's position at Sparta Command, or close by.  But I don't want either Lal or Zhakarov to get this either.  <sigh> This is blunting my offensive again.  I can't go Power if I intend to build this thing.  In fact I can't even build military units, I have to build speeder crawlers.  Everything gets put on hold to do this.  But if I don't do it, it has little to no value if I capture it later, as it'll be far from my ultimate capitol.

Next turn, I steal it without incident.  The theft is performed by my least trained Foil Probe Team, which is compromised upon completion of the mission.  Acceptable losses.

Deirdre contacts me about starting a war with Roze.  That has no strategic value to me so I blew her off.  I also asked her to stop warring with Miriam, and got an interesting reply.  "Never! etc."  I wonder what Miriam did to piss her off so much?  Oh wait, maybe it was my frame job! :lol:

Starting The Supercollider in my capitol, it would take a ridiculous amount of time to complete.  I need to go Planned.  Which means I can't stay Fundamentalist.  So I switch to Democratic.  Miriam might get pissed, but I can live with that.  She's moved her 2 garrison units back to the rock they first landed on, which makes blocking her up easier.  I will bring something tougher than a Rover Scout to do the guard duty.

Lal is using Crawlers as well.  He's Democratic Planned Power so has -1 Industry.  I'm Democratic Planned Knowledge so with my faction disadvantage I've got +0 Industry.  Lal's cash reserves aren't extensive, only 261 credits.  This is really going to suck if I can't complete this before Lal.  I have very little in the way of spare units to liquidate, although I could ditch the old Impact units.  I could bring Artifacts into the race, but I am unwilling as I will need those for tech jumps someday.  Sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't proposition.  Well, maybe I'd better bring them in case I really am pressed, and would rather lose 1 than lose The Supercollider.

<Phew!>  Looks like I've won this.  With all the speeder supplies I made, I've got 3 turns to completion and still have junk streaming into my capitol.  Lal's showing 7 turns.  Even if he rushed it next turn, I'd have it.  Long as he doesn't rush this turn, and if he can do that, I say it's cheating.  Still I will save my game in case he cheats.  I could finish it with cash this turn.

Well I pulled it off.  I beat Lal by 1 turn.  I also feel like I need to build a Research Hospital and a Fusion Lab to make good on the investment.  I'm on a wild ride with the population growth though.  I've switched my budget to 40-30-30 to compensate.

Well looky looky.  After my Network Nodes overloaded, I forgot I could even do research.  I'm the 1st one to get this in the game.  I hope I can make good on this advantage.  I've started an Aerospace Complex in a centrally located, high minerals city.  I will build another in a southeast high minerals city that faces Miriam, and another at my city which guards the land bridge to Lal.  More delays for going Power.  Although, soon I may go Democratic Green Power and forget about being Fundamentalist anymore.  With combat experience, or with a trip to my 1 Monolith, I can probably make my units Elite.

I just signed a Pact with Zhakarov, who is still at war with Lal.  Don't tell him about my plans.   :D  Zhakarov isn't trading techs right now though.

Ah heck, I finished my SP.  Let's get back to Green and make Deirdre happy.  My growth rate has become painful anyways.  I'm not going to go Power for a bit though, because I've still got a lot of infrastructure to complete.

Deirdre has started The Longevity Vaccine.  Zhakarov has already been working on it.  Really these 2 factions are both runaways.  It highlights that the AIs are given productivity and I am not.  At least it's 2 factions running away and competing with each other for the SPs, instead of only 1 faction getting them all.  Lal is a runaway as well, just one that I'm able to intervene on.  But I can't do anything about those other 2 factions until I settle Lal's hash, and my productivity hasn't been up to task yet.  Hopefully it's all coming together "soon" though, with that big population surge filling out the squares I already worked.

I have completed a Research Hospital and a Fusion Lab in my capitol.  I've started on a Hybrid Forest.

Lal is starting to bring units up to my guard city to commit suicide.

Eventually I built my 1st plane, but it turns out Roze had already done that.  I guess I wasn't 1st to get Doctrine:Air Power after all.  Either that or she got the tech after I did, then built a plane faster than I did.  Possible, if she didn't build an Aerospace Complex first.

There's a lot less to comment on between turns now, because I'm still waiting for stuff to complete.  Lal keeps suiciding units.  The sum total damage he's done against me, is killing 1 Foil Probe Team.  I'm not quite sure why it was defending instead of the piles of older generation fission land probe teams in the city.  He had to wear it down over many probe team attacks.  The rest of my cities, have been nearly all garrisoned with a newer model of Fusion ECM Silksteel probe team.  They're not intended to move around, but to just sit there and prevent interlopers.

Lal has acquired Neural Grafting, so it is time to steal it.  Sending out a Foil Probe Team.  The bastard cheated and attacked it with a Crusier, even though I was hiding in fungus and he didn't have any Sensor Array to spot me with.  I guess I'll do an air escort next time.

Do I care about this game anymore?  Nope.  I'm quitting.  It takes a lot of time to do these writeups, and I'm not interested in doing the work.

I know exactly how it's going to go.  "Soon" I will invade Lal.  I will win.  Zhakarov will come to hate me and will go to war with me.  I'll be in a period of consolidation where I garrison The Monsoon Jungle.  Then I'll build a land bridge to Zhakarov and take him over, since he's only 1 square away.  Then I'll find an excuse to invade Deirdre, possibly by sea using The Maritime Control Center.  That will finally put all the runaway factions out of the game and give me the SPs I wanted to build in the 1st place.

That is a lot of work compared to being ahead of everyone in tech to begin with, starting SPs early, and having enough production to complete them.  i.e. Aki Zeta-5 can run circles around everyone this way.  Santiago, in contrast, has no tech advantage and a significant productivity penalty.  Santiago has to conquer, or she won't get anywhere.  I never wanted to play a conquest game.

I'm also now realizing that being forced to conquer on a Huge map, is a seriously losing proposition.  Nobody can make enough units to conquer all the factions at all the distances from one's starting point.  Some AI is going to be left with a free hand and get very powerful.  If one is lucky, it will be a research retarded faction like the Believers, and thus not a serious long term threat to tech and SP dominance.  But that may be the only faction one can get lucky with.  I still think Domai cheats about his -2 Research penalty.

When the AI plays Santiago, I've seen her get very powerful if she sits on the Monsoon Jungle.  Or if she's gifted a lot of good land and has a lot of time to expand into it.  Under certain circumstances, Santiago doesn't develop a crippled empire.  However it is far more typical for Santiago to flounder with a marginal start.  Like a small island with few resources for instance.

Strategically, I don't think there's anything I could have done about how this game went.  I didn't have the ability to intervene in anyone else's affairs for quite a long time.  When I became capable of affecting other players, I found that my nearest runaway neighbor was sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.  So I planned to go after him, and it took a long time, because I didn't have the productivity.  The only other option I see would have been a naval invasion of Deirdre, without the benefit of Cruiser Transports.  I would have gotten a foothold, but that would have been a productively feeble effort as well.  Either way, 1 of those factions would have been left alone, to spew SPs and techs endlessly.

Nevermind Zhakarov, whom I was never going to reach in the early to midgame era.

The only other potential I'm seeing is if I had spent more time as Democratic Planned early on.  I have my doubts it would have worked out.  It merely puts me at Industrial parity with other factions, it doesn't make me more productive than them.

Ok, next game I'm not interested in playing Santiago.  If I get her, I'll reroll.  I'm also not interested in "tiny island" starts or close combat with Aliens.  Those all amount to "Here's your @#@# sandwich.  Why don't you start dozens of turns behind everyone else?"  No thanks.


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