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

Continental Consciousness - 256x128 map

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bvanevery:
I think at the beginning of the game, that would be a tradeoff.  You do have to pay minerals support on those trucks, you don't get them for free.  By the time I could make Clean units, nothing would have mattered anymore.  I made vast quantities of stuff that didn't get used very well, truck or no truck.  I already had cheap Rover Former units by then, due to Fusion Power.

In my current game as Miriam, I've started making fission Rover Former units even though they're expensive.  Even with Miriam's +2 Support, I'm at the limit of my support and now am motivated to economize on the number of support minerals I pay.  Generally speaking, Rover Formers lay roads on flat or rolling ground, as they can move and lay in 1 turn.  Ordinarly 1-movement Formers come in behind them to do the terraforming.

A similar issue occurs at sea.  When does one start making Cruiser Formers?  Sometimes, before one has Fusion Power, because one has the productivity and needs the faster unit movement.  Some coasts don't need Cruiser Formers to get to them, others do.  On a Giant map, it's far more likely that some coast will be remote from centers of production and then Cruiser Formers are helpful.

Another penalty to consider when using trucks, or air cargo, or drop transports, is all the extra mouseclicking you have to do.  Putting stuff on Transports and taking them off again isn't basically fun.  Pandora, notably, "solved" the problem by making all units amphibious.  I don't think I like that idea either, but I sure could use a way to move units around that doesn't require me manually loading and unloading them.  At a small scale, it may not seem like a big deal to you.  At the scale of units I finally ended up with in this game, that's a drag.

I'm not seeing why trucks are especially helpful for the Pirates.  Transports are necessary to get units out of sea bases onto land.  Am I going to put something inside a truck, then put the truck on a Transport?  I'm wondering if that can even be done.  At any rate, more unit support, and a Matryoshka doll creates more mouseclicks.

I don't really "prepare for" Ecological Engineering by making Mines.  I do Mines when I've completely run out of other things to do with my Formers.  Similarly, I make Supply Crawlers when I've completely run out of things to make in my cities.  There's often something better to do.  Tree Farms and Hybrid Forests come along soon enough and then I don't need to crawl anything.  I just work the Mines as they exist around the cities.  It's easy on the mouseclicks, and I've never seen one of my games "skyrocket" for having crawled minerals.  More likely I get eco-damage, fungal pops, and spend all this time repairing the damage.  Why bother?

Finally I will note that half of the scenarios you mentioned are for pod popping.  There were no pods to pop in this game.  If I did have pods, to be honest I wouldn't need any help popping them.  The AI is bad at grabbing all the pods, I'm extremely good at it, and victory is a foregone conclusion if I've got access to pods.  Typically what happens is midgame I reach "tech parity" and then I jump 10..20 techs ahead all at once by popping numerous Artifacts.  Who is supposed to compete with that?  It's fun, it's amusing, but it's also a game breaker.

If I come up with a situation where "a truck would be useful here", then I'll try it.  But for terraforming, I've probably got it solved well enough by massive numbers of Rover Formers.

The single biggest thing that would have sped Terraforming along, would have been to build The Weather Paradigm instead of letting others get it.  But I was limited in my choices as I needed to colonize the Monsoon Jungle fast.  Other factions did rather well at cranking out Secret Projects early.  In my current game, they're not doing nearly as well.  So Miriam has got The Weather Paradigm and The Human Genome Project.  She may not be able to get much else for awhile, although I think I've got good odds on The Empath Guild.  I wonder if the Caretakers and Usurpers are close enough to be fighting each other?  It would explain their relative lack of performance.

bvanevery:
A month later, I'm in the middle of a massive reshuffling of the tech tree.  I've redundantly disgorged a lot of stuff about what I'm up to in other posts, so I'll refrain from doing it again here.  This is an excuse to bump my epic AAR to the top of the heap again.   8)  But to be conscientious in response, I am trying to put a predefined Truck unit into the mod.  I've made the Transport "weapon" dependent on Doctrine:Mobility, not Doctrine:Flexibility.  I have not playtested the mod yet.  It remains to be seen if the AI will try to make use of a Truck, or become terribly confused and dysfunctional because of Trucks.

Or other weird units.  Someone said if I predefine a Foil Probe Team, the AI will use them, so I'll try that out.  Much as I hate the idea, as Probe Teams are overpowered and I enjoyed not having to worry about them at sea.

Someone also wrote about Air Colony Pods, which I think I've never used.  Guess I'll have to try that out too.

Air Transports, I did try once upon a time.  Because they move so slowly, they are useless except in exceptional circumstances (redundant much?) like a particularly vicious "English Channel" situation where the water is impassable to ships.

bvanevery:

--- Quote from: bvanevery on March 14, 2018, 12:07:13 AM ---Well you know, given that I've conquered zir, there might be very little reason to talk about zir anymore.  I wonder what "Cha Dawn transgendered" reveals on the internet?  Looking... err, nothing.  I did find it listed as an example of the trope, Viewer Gender Confusion.   Looking to see if SMACX has any canon materials, like books.  Seems Mike Ely wrote Centauri: Arrival and Cha Dawn is "he" in there.  I guess I have to concede defeat.  He has ambiguous portrait art and a horrible choice for a voice actor.  Totally sounds like a girl or woman.

--- End quote ---


While modding, I had to concede defeat on a point all the more obvious.  The Cult of Planet's faction file is FUNGBOY.TXT.

spacedust:
Just wanted to say that I enjoyed this AAR a lot!

bvanevery:
Cool, glad someone did.  I'm likely to write another "epic" one to test the extensive tech tree mod I'm making.  Do you have any preferred factions to see tested?  A few of them, I probably want to see how the computer handles them, but I'm open to suggestions.

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