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

Domai Dominates - SMACX AI Growth mod 80x160 map

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bvanevery:
Detailsbribery gets you everywherebribery gets you everywhere
This is a test of my SMACX AI Growth mod, version 1.10, on an "Enormous" 80x160 map.  I'm off to a good start!  As I have crushed many bugs and gameplay misfeatures in previous releases, I'm likely to finish this AAR.  The question is, how will I win?  There's no clear path to victory at present, but maybe I'll raise land and railhead other factions into oblivion.  I could do it on mindworm and industrial power alone at this point.  If I were connected to anybody, which I'm not.

Mission Year 2250.  I pay Miriam 300 credits the turn before the election, to secure her vote this turn.  I dislodge Cha Dawn as the Governor.  Everyone except Miriam is at war with me, and most have been for quite a long time.  That pretty much kept me from having any chance of winning the Governorship, as blocs would vote against me.  Miriam, however, has had her own issues.  So awhile ago she agreed to a Truce.  Now we have a Treaty, and we even made a tech trade.  Although she can't stand my liberal democracy, I think she knows I'm stronger than everyone else.

Detailsmah guvmintmah guvmint
Nowadays I'm a Democratic Planned Knowledge government.  That's because with all the Genejack Factories, I really couldn't afford the -2 PLANET penalty.  Way too much eco-damage.  I can't go Green but I can at least go Planned and not do gratuitous damage.  I was far richer as a Democratic Free Market Wealth society.  The early part of the game, I utterly dominated the graph readouts.  Nobody could even slightly touch me.

I was shocked when Cha Dawn, who had basically no showing at the beginning of the game, caught up and equalled me.  In this mod I've been trying to make them an actually threatening faction, instead of just being the butt of everyone's jokes.  I started by getting rid of all of their penalties, but that wasn't enough.  Then I gave them + 1 SUPPORT and they were still brain dead.  Perhaps giving them no penalty when choosing Fundamentalist politics finally did the trick.    I figure they are not deluded about how mindworms work, so they shouldn't be backwards at least in the biological sciences.  I wonder if there's a dialogue option I can change somewhere for Fundamentalist factions, so they aren't all talking about "the Good Lord" during diplomacy?  That's not what Cha Dawn believes in, nor various others when they opportunistically adopt Fundamentalist ways.

Detailsfewer bonuses and penaltiesfewer bonuses and penalties
In this mod, the Drones do not have any research penalty, but their INDUSTRY bonus is not as dramatic either.  Like all the other factions, they are better rounded.  I think the INDUSTRY bonus is quite powerful judging by how well I did at the beginning of the game.  I spread like wildfire, especially after I got a Planned government.  I had a starting position somewhat like "if Australia were a superpower".  The Pirates took over one of my sea bases once, that was my only mishap.  That simply became an excuse to infiltrate and steal from them, before taking my base right back.

Detailsthe knowable worldthe knowable world
I still don't know the extent of Cha Dawn's empire or what triggered his remarkable growth.  Perhaps he found the Monsoon Jungle.  The known world as it is seen, is the result of many many foil probe teams sulking through the water for a long time.  I managed not to run into too many enemy ships and most did not get killed.  I used a lot of spare Transports as sacrifices / bait to screen my foil probe teams.  Even with fairly good exploration and infiltration by foil, I still haven't infiltrated the Hive, nor stolen several important world maps.  If I don't get more map info soon, then I will finally send some land probe teams eastwards to Cha Dawn.

Detailsdemocracy of dronesdemocracy of drones
I've only recently completed a rail network linking all my cities.  I also just completed a land bridge to a seemingly empty western continent.  My 2nd western city will shortly have rail access.  I could have built the land bridge east instead of west, and invaded Cha Dawn directly, but this configuration is closer to my capitol.  Even without a research penalty, my research is slow enough that I really don't have anything useful to build anymore.  I'm waiting on hab complexes and the Ascetic Virtues, which come midgame in my mod.  Maybe the delay is still too long, I'm not sure.

Detailsadmire my bad builder selfadmire my bad builder self
I have dominated the Secret Project races.  The Planetary Transit System slipped past me, no doubt due to my earlier focus on Discover techs, and the exceedingly long distances to steal anything from anybody.  The exception is the Xenoempathy Dome, whose tech I stole from Cha Dawn and pretty much insta-completed with a pile of Artifacts.  I could cash my remaining 5 Artifacts any time now to pull ahead, as I think I have tech supremacy now.

bvanevery:
Detailscut me some treescut me some trees
Mission Year 2258.  I cash all my Artifacts and get a pile of technologies, including nukes and many Secret Projects.  Hab Complexes still elude me, making me think my mod still has them too late in the tech tree.  I got Digital Sentience and go Cybernetic.  That's considered anti-Planet in this mod.  Eudaimonic is the mildly "organic" future society.

Detailsmindworms for the stinking richmindworms for the stinking rich
MY 2266.  I decide, in characteristic Drone fashion, that I don't need new technology.  I need to bring what I've got to some victims.

Exploration of the western continent with Formers really isn't working out, due to the many "8 mindworm" rings that pop up.  I need to get other units out there, and a less negative -3 POLICE rating is helpful for that.  Eventually I end up using spare mindworms for the task, which were built for defense back when I was more of a polluter.  I can afford 1 exploring mindworm per city without unrest, essentially the style of a Civ II "Republic".

I'm not sure who my 1st victim will be, but I'm making a bridge to the northern continent.  There are plenty of pods to pop and I know the Hive is up there.  They are the only faction whose territory I've not managed to map out, they are so remote.  I've been using a Conventional Missile to scout the unexplored areas, using its very long movement range to cover lots of territory.

Detailswondrous wondermentswondrous wonderments
MY 2267.  I complete The Pholus Mutagen.  Witness my Secret Project authoriah!  My Planetary Energy Grid is not shown, it's on the next scrolling screen.  Yep I've got them outnumbered 16 to 1.  I guess this game is not that hard, or else the Drones are near optimal for an Enormous map.

Detailsjust a few detoursjust a few detours
MY 2271.  I finally complete the northern land bridge.  I simply couldn't drive straight north without creating resources I didn't want to ruin.  I've got Super Former capability now but I don't want to upgrade my units yet.  I'd rather spend the money on Hybrid Forests and Hab Complexes.

Detailsmissile flights revealmissile flights reveal
MY 2273.  Witness the disposition of my nearest competitors, the Cultists.  Making a land bridge would be the most straightforward way to invade.  It's not that much more of a project than bridges I've already built, considering how off-course they went.  On the other hand, I could initiate the spendy gambit of a forward sea base, some drop troops, and a lot of Conventional Missiles.  However that's probably more mouse clicking tedium than just building a land bridge.  The advantage of a bridge is ultimately one can move troops by rail, which is way easier on the mouseclicks than any other form of movement.  Even orbital insertions have so much hit-and-miss with enemy Aerospace Complexes getting in the way, that rails are often strategically easier.

bvanevery:
Detailsshiny happy people holding handsshiny happy people holding hands
Mission Year 2278.  Having gone Eudaimonic, I have a frightening level of industrial productivity.  Also piles of money, so much that I've changed my budget to 30-40-30, giving the profits to the People.  With the extra cash I've upgraded my 1-movement Formers to 1-movement Super Formers.  I have taken a circuitous northern route to get to Cha Dawn, because it's faster to push rails across existing land than to raise land.  It also brings me nearer to the Pirates.

Detailsyou want how much for the halfling childyou want how much for the halfling child
MY 2279.  I ran into an unexpected difficulty.  Raising distant land is exceedingly expensive!  I'll have to put a base there.

Details800 credits to raise this dump800 credits to raise this dump
MY 2282.  I've bridged to Cha Dawn's continent, but I'm not near her main cities yet.  I wanted to raise this one out of the water, but it's too expensive, so I will bypass it for now.  I sent ships to take it over.  I've stopped making Mindworms and am instead making more Super Rover Formers to speed up my rail laying.  I'm also upgrading my old Rover Formers.

bvanevery:
Mission Year 2286.  The battle is joined.  I have connected my civilization to the Cultists.  They had 2 planes which killed a couple of my units, but then I destroyed them on the ground.  No need to build an air force, I will overrun them.  I stole an Artifact while I was at it.  I'm advancing with mixed forces now.  Despite my productivity I don't have enough offensive units.  Probably building too many Foil Supply units to harvest energy from the oceans, but eh.

Detailsmindwormapaloozamindwormapalooza
I want to grow more and fight better, two things that Wealth hinders.  So I've changed to Fundamentalist Simple Power Eudaimonic.  With +4 Growth and Children's Creches, I should start pop booming now.  My Efficiency is 0 but my people are so happy with the 30-40-30 budget, nobody cares.

I just remembered that switching to Simple, I get no benefit from The Longevity Vaccine at all.  ;lol

bvanevery:
DetailsI am the Donald Trump of this worldI am the Donald Trump of this world
Mission Year 2288.  Sunspots end.  They thought they could outvote me.  You can't outvote me!  I haven't even discovered the Empath Guild yet. 

Detailsyou are so cute I want to squeeze your cheeky cheeksyou are so cute I want to squeeze your cheeky cheeks
Maybe my Fundamentalist charm brings this response from the boy.  I admit, I'm a softie for resolving things peacefully.  My cities are growing so fast, nobody can even hope to stand against me.  I can destroy Cha Dawn at any time now.  I'll go build a rail to my next victim.

Detailswell I did want your other sea basewell I did want your other sea base
What a weenie!  Dude, free clue.  If you're going to make a surprise attack, wait until it's actually going to be a surprise.  Attacking right now, you're only doing exactly what I expected you to do this turn anyways.  We could have skipped that whole diplomatic sequence, I wouldn't have known any better.  All you've done is throw away your reputation.

Detailsyou are pretty when beaten and bruisedyou are pretty when beaten and bruised
MY 2289.  Santiago doesn't wanna get whupped anymore.  Ok, I'll try the Believers.

Detailsa bushel of carrots for your kingdoma bushel of carrots for your kingdom
Miriam is intimidated too.  Good.  What about the Pirates?

Detailsyou thought I would pay you to grovelyou thought I would pay you to grovel
I declined to pay him 325 credits for the privilege of not crushing him like a bug.  Having called his bluff, he capitulates.

DetailsI knew you could figure it outI knew you could figure it out
The Consciousness rationalizes a Truce.  Then they engage in special whinging:

Detailscyborg blah blah blah stuff it up a treecyborg blah blah blah stuff it up a tree
How often have you heard a factional complaint about a Eudaimonic society?  I love having the future societies available much earlier in the game!  So I can hear this.

Detailstroops donated by the Hivetroops donated by the Hive
Yang isn't talking and still wants to be clobbered.  I keep mind controlling his units as I find them in the fungus.  Eventually my probe teams, mindworms, and captured units will reach his distant bases.

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