Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 49432 times)

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Offline Rocky

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #825 on: August 28, 2019, 10:18:47 PM »
Nice! Downloaded. Hopefully I can play a game coming weekend.

I like the new changes. I'm a little bit sad about the Believers losing their +1 economy, but I do agree the Support bonus plays more to their strengths.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #826 on: August 29, 2019, 07:57:23 PM »
The change was more driven by toning down the Morganites.  I wanted Eudaimonia not to be this freakish +3 GROWTH thing.  So I decided it needed to go back to more like the original game where it gave you an ECONOMY bonus.  But if that was going to happen, you could get +4 from the SE table.  Morganites were at +2, so I couldn't have that.  Had to reduce them to +1, and I gave them a SUPPORT bonus since SUPPORT is considered a Build technology in my mod.  That left the Believers on the same economic footing as the Morganites.  That didn't seem right, and the Believers have had a confused identity for a long time now.  They've never been terribly successful businesspeople, certainly not like the Pirates with their vast oceanic Wealth.  So I decided the Believers needed to go back to being more of the historical stormtroopers they typically have been, just without the anti-Christian biases of the original game.

I'll be interested to hear what your experiences are.  My jury is still out on Needlejet costs.  I've made them more reasonable now, but they might still be too expensive.  I don't want the air spam of the original game, but I'd like the AI to actually build some kind of air force and attack with them.  I'm not sure if I've done that or not, because my testing iterations didn't often get to games of that length.  Also I'm good enough at playing my mod now, that I just tend to whip everyone's ass before they get an air force anyways.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #827 on: August 31, 2019, 05:22:22 AM »
- Cyborgs: added +1 PROBE bonus.  Lowered PROBECOST to 125.  Now starts the game with D1 Information Networks and a BONUS TECH.  They're cyborgs, they should be good at probe stuff.    They are a weak faction and need strengthening.

I said I wanted that...

shafted
shafted

MY 2142.  Our capitols are unusually close together for a Huge map with my land modifications.  I estimate she got 8-balled behind my expansion, up on this short peninsula, and probably lost one of her colony pods to mindworms.  She wasn't hostile initially, but she signed a Treaty and was running 2 Speeders all over my land.  She had the temerity to ignore my hails and take 3 of my supply pods in 1 turn!  So next turn I told her to get off my land.  She told me to **** myself.  So I killed her Speeders in short order.

That city she just took over, was my best minerals producing city though.  She also got some Clean Formers out of the deal.  I should still probably have her outclassed 4 cities to 2 though.  I'm surprised that these new PROBE advantages enabled her to do this.  I'm inclined to think it's because we're at such close range.  Well, there's nothing for it but to exterminate her.  Will I just kick her to another continent?  Or will I isolate her capitol and take her over after MY 2200, so that she can't escape by rocket?  We'll see.  I think I'll refrain from atrocities though.  Even if I wanted to, they aren't terribly effective without Lasers.

MY 2154.  After stealing tech and infiltrating, I liberate my base for about 200 credits.  It only costs me about 150 because I get about 50 as spoils from taking the base.  Another artifact of the enemy probably only having 2 cities.  The money for my buyback, came from fishing pods in the ocean.  I've actually been quite wealthy in that regard.  The Cyborgs are not surrendering so I'll be pushing northwards to bottle them up.

pricey
pricey

Taking back just 1 of the Clean Formers they stole from me, would cost 816 credits!  And they haven't even discovered Polymorphic Encryption.  Awhile back, I gave them free P.E. on all of their units when they discover Polymorphic Software.  They haven't yet.  At this kind of pricing it might be quite redundant.  Curious though, why are the units so expensive when the base only cost me 200 credits to buy?  Granted, it used to be my base, that might have something to do with it.

pathetic
pathetic

MY 2171.  She comes to her senses and surrenders, without me taking either of her 2 cities.  I think it was the intimidating pile of mindworms and Isles I captured.  I was just getting ready to start taking out her Sensor Arrays and trampling her.  Well that was easy, and a bit silly.  See, if only she had made the correct decision to respect the Treaty, she could have lived out her life as a completely useless but independent faction.

The Usurpers are on a continent to the east and require slaying.  If I can act quickly, it should be a cakewalk.  Their coastal cities are only barely settled and don't have any troops in them.

Well, it didn't go that way.  I deployed my captured mindworms piecemeal and they weren't all that effective.  Especially since the Usurpers no longer have a PLANET penalty.  Instead I settled into a pattern of competing for Secret Projects.  I was quite surprised when the Usurpers rushed the Citizens' Defense Force somehow.  I'm not sure how, and didn't bother to verify, but I found it odd that it happened.  They just upped and finished it.  I don't think they had a longstanding project in the works.

I did fine but at 3:45 AM I declared boredom and quit.  The Cyborgs did better at probe teams than I expected, and the Usurpers did better at medium distance early game defense than I expected.  I suppose that means my changes went in the correct direction.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 08:48:16 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #828 on: September 02, 2019, 03:11:26 AM »
I played as the Pirates.  I was in a narrow sea surrounded by enemies that didn't like my politics.  I didn't have any problem spreading out my sea bases, but the food drive kept me wanting to grow.  This interfered psychologically with me doing other tasks.  I was pretty much unable to build any meaningful Secret Projects, although I probably could have built 1 if I had struggled more for it.  The Morganites were my most immediate next door neighbor and they eventually turned on me, because I felt like being Green.  Which didn't work out that well as I didn't capture much of anything.  I did take the Manifold Nexus far in the north, only to have the Morganites mind probe one of my cities around it.  I didn't think about that problem.  Eventually I retook it.  Then the full brunt of the Monsoon Jungle driven Morganites marched north to crush my liberated city.  That was getting really annoying and looked like I might lose all 3 cities up there.  The final straw was when I sent a mere Probe Team to intervene in the conflict, forgetting that the Morganites had built the HSA.  At that point I quit.  I felt beleaguered, like I didn't know how to play my own mod.

I spent a lot of time getting drawn strategically into something I really couldn't defend, and not really gaining any benefit from it.  I tend to think that a high PLANET rating will make a faction deadly, but I almost feel like some factions are scripted to do poorly at it, until some threshold is reached.  Maybe certain technologies are needed to increase the rate of mindworm capture?  And some factions are going to get those later than others.  For instance, I played the Pirates according to the default AI research focus, a pure Build faction.  Not going to get mindworm techs quickly that way.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #829 on: September 02, 2019, 08:44:47 AM »
I played as the Peacekeepers until MY 2251.  I was consistently in 3rd place behind the University and the Gaians.  The former eventually went to war with me.  The latter was my ally but wouldn't trade anything reasonable with me.  I changed to Capitalist to tick them off.  Clean Reactors is definitely a tradeoff and no cakewalk.  You preserve your minerals, but it takes substantially longer to get an army going.  When a crisis happens, like the University is suddenly declaring war on you, you throw up the dirty version of stuff.  Like Impact Artillery to guard your shoreline.  Then everybody's got less minerals to work with.  I was doing ok at 3:30 AM but wasn't that interested in continuing.  I was unable to build much in the way of Secret Projects, just the Maritime Control Center.  Due to geography I was unable to find many Artifacts either.  The land was strangely arranged so that half of the map was completely inaccessible.   In the early to mid game when I'd try to get down there, the Spartans would kill me at this one bottleneck I had to pass through.



Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #830 on: September 02, 2019, 11:08:42 PM »
How goes the great clean reactor experiment?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #831 on: September 02, 2019, 11:34:46 PM »
I don't think I've turned the game into any kind of cakewalk, which is the main thing I was worried about.  I don't think I can seriously exploit Clean Reactors in the early game.  The bottom line is it takes me longer to build units that way.  I find myself building CRs when I've already completed other stuff and I don't have any new tech yet.  Then, kicking out another Clean Former or Clean Transport can incrementally add to the success of my empire.

I can't tell if the AI is made stronger for having CRs.  They don't seem to be made weaker, but I haven't played a game long enough to be sure.  For various reasons I've quit when midgame was getting started.

This is probably all a logical consequence of using the "straight cost increase of 50%" version of CRs, as in the original game.  I tried "varies with weapons and armor" but that made Gun Scout units essentially free to mass in large swarms.  That was clearly exploitable in the early game, so I had to do otherwise.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #832 on: September 03, 2019, 03:24:05 AM »
I tried it in my mod but removed it. I found it too easy to crank out formers and infantry. The problem is the AI doesn't seem to like using them unless you put the prototypes in.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #833 on: September 03, 2019, 04:45:51 AM »
That's the point of all those Clean predefined units in 1.34.  Getting the AI to actually save some costs.  For instance I think Clean Formers is overall a win for the AI.  On Transcend they bang out units a lot faster than the human player does, and Clean Formers keep them from depleting their minerals that way.  Clean armored transports are also a win.  The real trick is getting them to build clean defensive units.  I had some success with that, although it's not consistent.

I played another game as the Spartans.  Did fine but got bored and quit before midgame.  Too much time spent building, not enough killing.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #834 on: September 03, 2019, 02:14:25 PM »
I haven't tried your mod just yet I've been busy playing about with my own personal mod. I want to try yours for myself and see how it works.  :)

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #835 on: September 03, 2019, 03:41:36 PM »
The things I find myself doing differently:

  • I'll build a city next to a pile of minerals, put a Command Center on it, then cough out Clean Garrison units for all the other cities.  I've been designing various Synth Speeder units that are a good idea for costs, but I couldn't predefine those units because the AI will use them stupidly.
  • If I've got nothing else to do, like there's not even enough food for a Colony Pod yet, I'll build another Clean Former.
  • I tend to use 1 or 2 Clean Gun Foils and/or Clean Transports for any given ocean I'm next to.

These aren't proving to be any kind of big win.  The game just rolls along as before.  Saving on minerals here and there probably only amounts to a gradual change in the game's condition.

Part of me wonders if belting out a lot of Clean Laser Speeders would be powerful.  However in my mod, it takes a fair amount of time to get C3 Applied Physics anyways.  And you definitely don't need Clean Reactors to swamp an enemy with Laser Speeders.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #836 on: September 05, 2019, 07:21:07 AM »
Did you know that Conventional Missiles won't do jack squat against a Spore Launcher?  Personally I think that's wrong.  A CM should not be making a psi attack, it should just blow stuff up.  Wonder how I'd fix that.  Nothing is jumping out at me.

It's MY 2317.  I'm the Believers and I'm in the final stages of trampling Planet.  Basically made it to Hybrid Forests and Missiles, although I'm not using the latter, just my older Gatling Hovertank inventory.  Rails all the way across the world.  The last serious holdout is the Cult of Planet, but now they're going down.  Fission only game so far.  When I saw I pretty much had supremacy, I started building a lot of CMs.  I used them to pave my way easily through the Morganites.  They didn't have a pile of Spore Launchers to negate the CMs.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #837 on: September 05, 2019, 08:51:02 PM »
cooperation with sunspots
cooperation with sunspots

Victory in MY 2325.

Due to sunspots I had to eradicate the Cult of Planet and the Morganites.  I'm sure they would have surrendered if I could talk to them.  If I create a new game, I wouldn't include that play mechanic.  It's a long time to wait for communication to resume, and it doesn't make any basic sense.  So you've got sunspots, why not physically relay messages on the ground?  It's a contrivance and in recent years, I've found it more annoying than amusing, as it has gotten in the way of otherwise easy victories.  Literally hours of additional play time because of this mechanic, when the game is already long since decided.

It's a cooperative victory because the Usurpers allied with me the whole time.  They were feeble and a non-contributor to the cause.  Earlier they were a buffer state between myself and the Hive.  The Gaians started next to me and were immediately ornery, refusing to remove their troops in accord with our Treaty.  So I crushed them and they became my first vassal.  After building up for awhile, I crushed the Hive, leaving the 5 Usurper cities as a sort of "belt" in the middle of my empire.

More building up, and gradual wearing down of the Caretakers to the south.  I didn't want their cities, I wanted the Usurpers or the Hive to take over their cities.  So I'd wipe out all the defenders and hope my allies / vassals would get a walk-in.

Eventually I did enough terraforming of conquered Hive territory that I had a surplus of Formers.  So I built a rail westwards and connected to the other half of the megacontinent.  I all but wiped out the Morganites with a hovertank assault, gradually building in rails behind it.  After consolidating that, I took on the Cult of Planet, which was the only viable power of the game at that point.  Being opposite from me on the map, and sitting on the Monsoon Jungle, they had managed to build up a fair amount of stuff.  But compared to my tech and production at that late point in the game, they were nothing special.  It took awhile but I crushed them, without any real chance of them doing anything about it.

The moral of this story is if land powers are left to sit around and do their own buildup thing, I clearly understand all of this better than the AI and I will win.  That is unfortunately not something I can mod my way out of.

I don't know if the Pirates are capable of being fierce or not.  They weren't in this game.  They used to be quite a challenge, but I don't know about nowadays.

This was a slow research game.  The pinnacle of tech was the availability of Genetic Warfare, which I never actually used.  A fairly substantial continent of supply pods never got popped by anybody.  I had this 1 Artifact that I was trying to get home for forever, but I couldn't due to enemy ships in the way.  I made my own ships but I had very few sea ports and they took a long time to arrive.  By the time they did get down there, I had wiped everybody out.  So, didn't need the tech from that Artifact really.

I wonder if a faster researching faction, located on the opposite side of the map, could have provided more credible opposition?  The Cult of Planet at least doesn't suffer any research penalties, but they didn't research as well as I did.  The Morganites were doing slightly better than myself at research up to C5 Centauri Psi, but then I invaded and that was the end of that.

I would say that 4 factions started too close to me to have the slightest chance of staying alive.  That left 2 on the opposite side of the map, and they did go to war with each other.  The Cult definitely did a better job than the Morganites.  The latter has +1 SUPPORT now, so maybe the Monsoon Jungle was to blame?  The Cult definitely made effective use of Clean Formers.  I slaughtered piles of them when I finally got into the area.  The Morganites did not do as excellent a job connecting its empire.  Maybe that was due to the pressure of war.

I think if you have the luxury of sitting around making Hybrid Forests, time is on your side.

Although I used a bunch of Conventional Missiles to assist with my invasion of the Morganites, in hindsight it was unnecessary and not cost effective.  I could have put the production into more hovertanks.  Or made some artillery, which I really didn't bother to do.  Or used the piles of surplus probe teams I had after completing the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.

By the end of the game I had piles of money that I had no use for.  Like 4K credits.  However I changed Economic Victory to require some rather advanced tech, Global Energy Theory, due to some pathological stuff I saw the Morganic AI doing in my playtesting.  That was before I demoted them to only +1 ECONOMY though.  Maybe I should change it back now.  I don't know if it would have actually made my game go any faster though.  You still have to wait 20 turns to Corner The Energy Market, and that's comparable to amount of time sunspots can last.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #838 on: September 06, 2019, 03:53:49 AM »
crap start
crap start

Wow, what the hell am I supposed to do with this?

I decided to play a game with the Pirates in it as an opponent, to see if they're still fierce or not.  Everyone else is random including me.  I'm sticking with the AI's default research foci of Explore, Build, to see what it's like for the AI.  Unless the land snakes around to the south, I'm going to need ships fast.  Well, that's why Doctrine: Flexibility is a Tier 1 tech in my mod.  It shouldn't take that long to get.

The fungal bloom came from popping a supply pod with my 2nd colonist.  Recently I've realized that's a bit risky, as a mindworm can in fact kill you.  I think you have to be on flat terrain though.  If you're on something with some cover, I think they typically injure you rather than kill you.  I played for quite a long time with seeming invulnerability to being killed by mindworms in the first few turns of the game.  Not sure what changed.  Don't think anything did.

I'm going to try to kill the fungal tower immediately.  In the first few turns of the game, that often seems to be doable.  However that looks like a pretty big tower for only being Turn 4.

After that, well I don't know where that 2nd colony pod is ending up, because it sure doesn't have any good land or resources that I'm looking at.

I wonder if any AI factions will get crippled starts like mine?  If not, maybe this'll be a rough game for me.

MY 2105.  Odds against the tower were given as 14 to 9, and it did die.  So far so good. 

MY 2109.  I took the risk of popping the pod south of me with my 2nd colony pod, because it took awhile to get my nearly dead Scout back to base, and my production is super low.  For my trouble I was given a Unity Transport.  I'd like to think that's the game looking after me, but I have not consistently observed such awards for dire circumstances.  At least in this case, I've been paid out.

Unity Transports in my mod have Deep Radar.  The radar scope shows this to be a little tiny piece of crap, with seemingly more dry scrub and fungus to the south, and no immediately visible supply pods.  I wonder if the world generator has given us all an uncharacteristically watery world?  Checking on that now, by zooming out and looking at the radar contours.  Nope, there seems to be a supercontinent north of me, spanning the whole globe.

I switch production from a Scout Patrol to a Colony Pod.  I've got abundant food, no production, and I seriously doubt I need more than 1 Scout to finish off this island.  As I'm the Morganites, I do have my 100 credit extra starting money, and my current worth is 159 credits from having destroyed the stalk.  I can rush the Colony Pod as soon as minerals get up to 10, which will be next turn.

MY 2113.  I have 2 cities on the supercontinent now.  1 of them, I'm rushing a 2nd Scout for 38 credits to make up for lost time.  It's got a supply pod next to the city and I need resource bonuses that ordinarily I would have had by now.  I'll do the same thing in the 2nd city next turn.

MY 2114.  I pop the comm frequency of Chairman Yang.  We trade techs, giving me C1 Doctrine: Flexibility.  We trade maps and...

claustrophobia
claustrophobia

...oh good grief, he's my immediate neighbor!  Well I've spread a little faster than him, despite my bad start.  I'm pretty good at out-colonizing people's asses, and I forgot that the new Morgan has +1 SUPPORT.  I can make more Scout Patrols.

MY 2117.  A Sealurk, which of course I can't see and have no way of knowing where it came from, kills my Unity Transport.  So now I have a shipping problem again.

pod popping master's course
pod popping master's course

BUT, I change production to a Speeder based Clean Rover before popping a pod.  Lo and behold, the prototype completes!  I've noticed this seems to be rather likely to happen, if you set up a prototype.  I could have had a Clean Transport instead, it would have been the same cost, although it may not have been as likely to complete.  I had already popped a couple of pods and hadn't gotten one.  Anyways this start is not looking so bad anymore.  I just have to compete with Yang now, and I've got tricks the AI doesn't have.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 04:32:26 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #839 on: September 06, 2019, 05:17:06 AM »
armored clean speeder former
armored clean speeder former

MY 2142.  I pulled the same trick with synthmetal, resulting in a ridiculously expensive Former.  I'm spreading like wildfire and Yang is standing still by comparison.  We're allied.  He did build 1 Clean Former, saving him 1 mineral in SUPPORT.  I think building 4 Scouts in 1 city wasn't a good move on his part though.  Wonder if I should include a Clean Scout unit, even if they cost twice as much?

Also allied with the Peacekeepers, and they're doing poorly as well with only 2 cities.  U.N. Headquarters built 2 Colony Pods which they haven't settled, so their SUPPORT is exhausted.  They're trying to build a Clean Formers and can't.  Their 2nd city has completed the minerals for a Colony Pod, but hasn't gotten to size 2 to make it.  9 more turns before it does.  Not even a Scout in that city.  In short, the Peacekeeper AI is a complete moron!  I don't think it's due to my Clean Reactors, I think it just didn't handle the map successfully.

I quit in MY 2191, at 2 AM.  I have a 5:30 AM wakeup call for something.  I did fine but I couldn't help the feeling that several factions had started really badly.  I need to look into Clean Scouts or other clean scouting units.

The immediate trigger for quitting was the Pirates declaring war on me.  I was preparing for a land war with the Hive, building several Command Centers.  To keep the peace I never went Democratic, even with Lal as my distant ally.  Nor did I go Capitalist, because I was so deeply surrounded by fungus that it took a long time to cut it away from my cities.  Couldn't go Green for a long time either, because I didn't discover it and others wouldn't trade it to me.  When the Pirates declared war I went for Police State, figuring it would help with taking over their interloping units.  I found Police State Green to be a really irritating choice for my faction though.  I felt like my agenda was being continuously subverted.  It was irritating enough to use the excuse of needing to look at the AI Scouts problem, to beg off.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 07:16:26 AM by bvanevery »

 

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It will happen, and it will happen in our lifetimes. Fusion Power isn't just the future. Fusion Power is now.
~ T. M. Morgan-Reilly, Morgan Metagenics

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