Author Topic: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17  (Read 3996 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« on: August 26, 2018, 09:53:24 PM »
Gas Them All
Gas Them All

Chairman Yang will endeavor to commit minor and major atrocities early and often, exterminating all sentient life.  Global warming and floods are a given.  Hordes of mindworms are expected as Planet retalliates.

This After Action Report demonstrates the awesome capabilities of my SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.17.  It is mature, well playtested, and unlikely to be changed much in the future.  That said, sometimes another modder comes along and shows me something I want to have too.  For instance, 1.17 has somewhat cheaper mindworms / PSI units than the unmodded game.  This may help the Cult of Planet avoid being gassed by the Hive - not!

Note that this Hive doesn't get an INDUSTRY bonus, nor any ECONOMY penalties.  Instead of immunity to negative EFFICIENCY, Yang gets to use Police State with no penalties at all.  Anything else, he takes penalties same as any other faction.  This means he has a more interesting range of economic choices.  It's not a given that he'll choose a Planned economy; going Free Market or Green are perfectly reasonable things to do.  Note that all the social engineering choices are different from the unmodded game, although they are thematically similar.

I'm using a Huge map.  Usually I test with Enormous maps.  Technology will go faster, and enemies will be in crushing range sooner.  Average terrain settings, Transcend difficulty, random opponents.

In play are the Caretakers, Usurpers, Morganites, Cult of Planet, the Data Angels, and the University.  The Alien factions have been defanged and are no stronger than ordinary factions now.  In particular, they do not start with any special armor.  All the other factions are far more dangerous than their unmodded counterparts, because they've been freed of their crippling limitations.  For instance, Zhakarov doesn't have anyone unhappy with his regime.  Morgan has the same SUPPORT as anyone else.  The Data Angels aren't Democratic, their hangup is now Thought Control.  Cha Dawn is the Fundamentalist counterpart to Yang, having no penalty with that political choice.  Fundamentalist is very simliar to Police State in this mod, basically six of one, a half dozen of the other.  That's because all real world police states have used fundamentalist cults of personality to deify their leaders.  Do what Chairman Yang says!

humble beginnings
humble beginnings

Here is what I have to work with.

island fortress
island fortress

I am on an island on the southern end of the map.  That will make invasions somewhat more difficult.  Land raising capability comes much later in this mod, so I might want to get The Weather Paradigm.  That's easier said than done though, because all Secret Projects come later in this mod.  Nobody starts with the ability to make any of them.  No Command Nexus for me right away.  In fact it'll take awhile just to learn Police State.  I'm not really terrifying until I get that, so maybe a large island start is just as well.

crunchy mineral goodness
crunchy mineral goodness

I use one of my Colony Pods to pop a pod on a river square.  I do this because if it's a mindworm, at the very beginning it's not going to be able to kill my Colony Pod.  It may wound it, or it may even barely scratch it.  Depending on where a mindworm larva appears, I may be able to kill it immediately with my Scout, or capture it if I'm playing a faction with a PLANET bonus.  In this case I get a mineral deposit on flat terrain.  I'll want to plant a forest on that, as that gives a better total yield on a flat square than a mine would. 

foot draggers will be shot at dawn
foot draggers will be shot at dawn

I'm not completely happy about the location of those minerals.  They're too far inland to be reached from a coastal city, and I know I'm on a big island.  Getting off an island is not a big difficulty in my mod, as Doctrine: Flexibility is now a C1 tech with no prereqs.  But it still has to be researched and Transports still have to be built, so having a coastal capitol is useful.  I hedge my bets and attempt to pop another pod with my Scout.  However I don't manage to move to the pod square.

the flatland shuffle
the flatland shuffle

If I thought I was going to be in a crowded neighborhood, I'd settle my capitol immediately, to get production and research started.  I think I'm likely to have this island all to myself, so I can afford to be more picky.  An Alien faction could land in a few turns and share the island with me, but that would be bad luck.  And even so, the Aliens aren't any special difficulty now.  I have defensive walls, and I'd simply kill them in not too much time.  So I endeavor to predict where I'll want my capitol.  I think I'll want access to that sea nutrient, and one of the nearest pods might yield a Monolith or other valuable resource.  I always settle on Flat terrain, so that the city's inherent minerals are an improvement rather than a redundant waste.  So I move within settlement range of the southern pod.  If the northern one yields a good resource, then I'll accept 1 more turn of delay and move north next turn.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 05:09:05 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 10:05:07 PM »
bigger tastier minerals
bigger tastier minerals

Mission Year 2102.  Bingo!  I pop an even bigger minerals deposit on Rocky terrain.  Now I don't just want that sea nutrient, I actually need it.  I will make my capitol this turn.  Even if a mindworm or a fungal bloom comes out of the next pod, it won't be able to affect my capitol.

mindworm salad
mindworm salad

It's always good to wrap yourself in green leafy vegetables when mindworms are trying to eat you.  I heard that's a Gaian thing... or is it more Cult of Planet?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2018, 10:11:20 PM »
researching the obvious
researching the obvious

MY 2103.  I need both Formers and ships, so I stick with the Hive's default foci of Build and Conquer.  Doctrine: Flexibility is a Conquer 1 tech in this mod, with no prerequs.  I'll be eating giant kelp topped with boulders in no time.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 10:13:54 PM »
evolve with minerals
evolve with minerals

MY 2105.  I gain a Monolith.  My Colony Pod is on flat terrain at the time and there is no better square in range of both resources, so I accept a slight overlap with my capitol's city footprint.  I don't like to do that, but I accept the imperfection as expedient.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 10:18:25 PM »
get yer very own free steenkin aliens
get yer very own free steenkin aliens

MY 2106.  The Aliens have landed... somewhere.

tiptoe through the tulips
tiptoe through the tulips

I've put my Independent Scout into the base.  I'm sending a Supported Scout to pop that pod.  If it dies, my support is freed up, instead of losing an independent unit.  That pod is on a fungus patch, so I will first move to the river square to get faster access.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2018, 10:34:41 PM »
stirring the oceans
stirring the oceans

MY 2108.  I think someone relatively nearby, popped a pod at sea.  An Isle of the Deep rose up, and made its way to my fair shores. 
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 11:11:24 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2018, 10:36:33 PM »
its mine
its mine

MY 2110.  I rush my 1st Former, to get my Mine built that much sooner.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2018, 10:42:09 PM »
protecting the useless
protecting the useless

MY 2114.  I am in possession of the Borehole Complex.  This is actually a burden until midgame, as mindworms will attempt to destroy it.  In the real world I may not be able to protect it fast enough to extract any benefit from it.  If you ever find this thing, don't claim it in your own territory too quickly.  Being within your own territory, seems to make the mindworms go after it much more aggressively.

I've also popped yet more minerals, will probably get killed by a mindworm, and researched Doctrine: Flexibility.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 11:11:29 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2018, 10:45:35 PM »
lucky number 13
lucky number 13

MY 2116.  I don't have much money, but saving 2 turns is worth something at the beginning of the game.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2018, 10:49:22 PM »
I so kill you
I so kill you

MY 2120.  The mindworm zigs when it should have zagged.  Thank you for leaving my Former alone!  With the proceeds I rush my other Colony Pod.

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2018, 10:52:42 PM »
mine mine
mine mine

MY 2121.  My mine is operational, although it still needs a road to reach full output.

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2018, 10:55:36 PM »
mine mine mine
mine mine mine

MY 2124.  My mine reaches full capacity.

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2018, 11:04:16 PM »
sail softly round the Island
sail softly round the Island

MY 2127.  I prepare to "fish" the sea pod next turn by stopping next to it this turn.  That way, if an Isle of the Deep surfaces, I'll get to move 1 square away from it.  There's a good chance of surviving the encounter that way.  Isles move fairly predictably, always heading towards cities to unload their destructive cargo.  Sometimes unfortunately one gets jammed up by terrain, or they move on a row or column rather than a diagonal, but the odds are much better with this technique.  It's one of the basic reasons that pods are more of an advantage to a human player than the AI.  The AI doesn't know how to do these survival tricks, which are similar for speeders on land.  They don't work if the pod is covered in fungus, on either sea or land.  You'll need mindworms, Isles, or the Xenoempathy Dome for that.  Failing those, send sacrificial units.  Scouts are cheapest to replace, if slow.

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2018, 11:09:28 PM »
sink me
sink me

MY 2128.  I got a free slow ship.  Unfortunately I gained it within my city's perimeter, so it is costing me support.  This is the working definition of a sacrificial ship.  First sea pod I see on fungus, it's going in.

Why pop with Transports and not Foils?  Because you won't pick up an Artifact with a Foil.  It's better to grab all the pods near you with Transports.  Save Foils for distant areas, or for areas your opponents are going to empty out and you simply need to beat them to the punch.

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Re: The Final Solution - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.17
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2018, 11:14:41 PM »
case in point
case in point

MY 2133.  See what good advice I give you, hmm hmm hmm??!

 

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