Author Topic: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19  (Read 3044 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« on: September 06, 2018, 04:47:02 AM »
the extra terrestrial
the extra terrestrial

This sad sack is going to build Subspace Generators!  I've never won a game by Progenitor Victory before.  This After Action Report demonstrates the awesome capabilities of my SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.19.  This is played on a Huge map with average settings on Transcend difficulty.  My purpose is to test several factions for their robustness, and this alien ugly is just the excuse I need.

The Data Angels have been getting their butts kicked in various test games I've played.  I've realized they have no advantages in practice at the beginning of the game, which is when they usually get killed.  They can gain any tech known to 3 factions, but only if they've infiltrated them.  I've realized it's way too much to ask the AI to do that, especially on Huge maps or larger.  So the new Data Angels don't need to infiltrate!  They just sit back and let free tech roll in.  Problem solved?  We'll see.

In my last test game, the Morganites tried to corner the energy market and win Economic Victory!  They almost succeeded.  It only cost them 1000 credits to do it, which is egregiously cheap.  In version 1.18 I took away the easy money from Democratic politics, so I hope Morgan can't do this anymore.  I need to find out for sure.

A modder who precipitated a lot of the changes that are going into 1.19, complained that the Cybernetic Consciousness was getting its butt kicked in his games.  I've not seen that in my own games; they're typically a research powerhouse.  He didn't start his games in what I call "the usual way", so maybe that's the problem.  We'll see if some weakness has developed in Cybernetic play.

I've been worried that the Believers might be too vanilla and weak compared to other factions now.  However they do have a new ace up their sleeve: immunity to mind control.  That's not the same as immunity to all probe team actions, but it's very helpful when on the offensive.  Let's see if they can keep up!

The Usurpers are chosen to oppose me, and to provide another violent faction.  It should be noted that in my mod, the Aliens are no more powerful than other factions.  They don't get free recycling tanks and their armor has been stripped.  We get to direct our research, but we have social engineering penalties to offset that.  Mine is that I have -1 POLICE, the only faction in my mod with this liability.  Marr's is -1 PLANET, again the only such faction.

I round out the ensemble with the Pirates.  In my mod they are passive and their fixation is Wealth.  Don't let that fool you: with a minerals and energy rich moat all around them, they are a formidable foe!  They are destined to clash with the Usurpers whose fixation is Power.  They don't have an inherent beef with anyone else, and that's a deliberate choice on my part.

The Data Angels' fixation is Thought Control.  Thus they are destined to fight the Consciousness, but not until late midgame.  That's when Future Society choices become available in my mod.  They are not overpowered, and a large portion of the game is played with 4 social engineering choices.

my cute island
my cute island

Enough talk, now everyone dies!!  Actually I'm not likely to be as genocidal as last game.  The mindworm hordes that came to punish me for that, were not pretty.  They erased any advantage I hoped to gain from chemical weapons, and ultimately I quit that game out of sheer fatigue.  This time, I'm far more likely to sit back and egg others on.  Especially since my chosen victory condition doesn't require me to conquer anyone.

Mission Year 2106.  This island is large enough to build a modest civilization on.  I will want to know if the nearby land masses contain Usurpers or not.  I should get a boat into the water and start poking around for Isles of the Deep to capture.  I often forget to do sea capture when playing a PLANET friendly faction, but I won't forget this time.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 02:38:50 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 04:58:01 AM »
the new northwest river
the new northwest river

Mission Year 2107 and I'm already in a snit.  That river in the northwest corner of the island wasn't there last year, it just appeared.  Did someone pop a pod on my island?  Is it already inhabited?  Or is it just a reflection of some distant weather phenomenon, climate change from an earthquake perhaps?  I am inclined to assume immediate hostility.  What if some joker Random Number Generator put the Usurpers on my island??

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 05:02:21 AM »
insurance policy
insurance policy

MY 2109.  I gain a weapon from a pod.  I'm trying not to freak out about that river.  I've got a great setup for my capitol with a juicy mineral right there.  I'm researching Centauri Ecology to exploit it.  If I had to have a rockfight with someone, I could spam Trance Scouts and finish them off with the Battle Ogre.  So, not to worry.

It should be noted that in my mod, Aliens start the game with Trance capability, instead of Resonance armor.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 05:20:11 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 05:07:09 AM »
the bathing interloper
the bathing interloper

MY 2111.  You've gotta be kidding me.  Well, living symbiotically with the Pirates, what could possibly go wrong?  I will settle farther inland than originally planned.  Then I will blast sea colony pods out of my capitol, to assert control over my space.  Maybe I can use the Pirates as a human shield.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 05:16:34 AM »
trusting settlers
trusting settlers

MY 2114.  Sometimes the game gets cute with earthquakes next to Pirate bases, suddenly resulting in a land claim on my territory!  So I've taken the precaution of settling my 2 cities this turn, before popping that pod next to the Pirate base.  It merely ends up containing money though.  I'm walking my previously produced Trance Scouts to these bases instead of building garrison units there immediately.  I think if someone were wandering around on my land, they would have run into me by now.  Probably Pirate activity in the water caused the river change somehow.  I've completed Centauri Ecology and am working on Social Psych, so we can decide quickly whether we're friends or foes.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 02:10:46 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 05:33:50 AM »
juicy human puppet meat
juicy human puppet meat

MY 2122.  I complete Social Psych and start researching Doctrine: Flexibility.  If Svensgaard sells it to me this turn, then I'll immediately pick something else and no research wasted.

I call up my Pirate buddy.  All I really feel from this interaction is how succulent he looks.  He wanted my C3 Field Modulation which of course is an expensive tech he's not going to get.  Almost forgot that my C2 Progenitor Psych gives Soporific Gas Pods, which might be too much for Aliens to start the game with.  Not something one notices when playing a human faction; hey, this is what test games are for!  We sign a Treaty and he sells me Doctrine: Flexibility as expected.  I switch research to Doctrine: Mobility so I can get to Planetary Networks quickly and infiltrate him.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 05:58:21 AM »
late mindworm
late mindworm

MY 2144.  I finally capture my first mindworm.  I couldn't stir one out of the fungus.  Eventually I popped a pod that had a mindworm in it, killing my first Independent Scout.  This is really behind the curve for a usual PLANET friendly faction start.  Oh well.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2018, 03:10:37 PM »
such a trader
such a trader

MY 2148.  I run into Svensgaard in open water.  Previously the faction readout said he was Seething but he turned out to be Noncommittal.  He sells me yet another tech.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2018, 03:18:17 PM »
keeping people in line
keeping people in line

MY 2149.  In my mod, Planetary Networks is how you get Police State, probe teams, and Command Centers.  I'm after the probe teams as my faction cannot use Police State.  I start working on a Foil Probe Team to infiltrate Svensgaard with.  That's a predesigned unit now, so the AI does use them to take over sea bases.

The police and probe thing is left over from a time when I was trying to have Police State be the politics that was about snooping on people and mind controlling them.  It didn't work out because +2 POLICE was really needed to be worth choosing Police State.  I don't like that one gets "so much stuff" from this tech, but there aren't enough C2 techs to put Command Center anywhere else.  Nor do I want it moved to C3, as it already takes factions quite awhile to get Planetary Networks.  I have the benefit of directed research; other factions have to swim through a sea of Conquer techs to finally get it.

To make sure the Pirates can be good and dead if I want them to be, I start researching Nonlinear Mathematics.  It also gives Heavy Artillery, a useful anti-Pirate tool.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 04:02:54 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 03:57:32 PM »
you can be happy by being cheap
you can be happy by being cheap

MY 2150.  I have run out of island space to put cities on, so most of my cities have started to build Recreation Commons.  It only costs 30 instead of 40 in my mod.  Hologram Theaters are also cheapened: they only cost 50 and the maintenance is reduced from 3 to 2.  These improvements are new in 1.19, the idea being to make unhappiness less painful and tedious at the beginning of the game.  I didn't change the price of Recycling Tanks though, as I think getting 1 food 1 mineral 1 energy is pretty valuable.

kill the bureaucrats
kill the bureaucrats

I experience Bureaucracy.  I can get more EFFICIENCY from Democratic, Free Market, or Green, but I don't have any of those yet.  In my mod, Free Market only has -1 POLICE and -1 PLANET penalties.  It's not anti-war or anti-environment, it just contributes to those problems.  Nor is Green about capturing the most mindworms, it's an economic model.  Its penalties are -1 GROWTH and -1 SUPPORT.

I have some money so I try to buy some more tech from Svensgaard.  But his price is ridiculous, 200 credits.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 04:50:42 AM »
some whiner
some whiner

MY 2156.  I meet Morgan in open water.  He wants me to go war with Svensgaard, a generous opportunity I decline.  He won't sign a Treaty with me.  I tried to get a commlink out of him, but he didn't have one and signed off quickly.  He wasn't of any use.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 05:13:47 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 05:13:28 AM »
tasty twisted metal
tasty twisted metal

My 2159.  I discover the USS Unity crash site!

you and what army of nutcrackers
you and what army of nutcrackers

Not only has the engine core already been cleaned out, Datajack Roze has got a city sitting on top of the crash site.  She has the temerity to threaten me.  Well I guess I'm going to discover what techs she has to steal, aren't I?  This is a good thing in the short term.  Both Morgan and Svensgaard have techs I want, but I'm not willing to pay for them.  Maybe the new, powerful, all-acquiring Roze has already got them for me.

cute defenders
cute defenders

Coder's Pit is a sad little city.  Maybe I can get that Artifact!  Problem is, this is only a Scout Rover and I'm wounded.  I'd better retreat, scout around, and come back with more of an attack force.  Bring a probe team too.  I shouldn't laugh too hard, all of my cities are defended by Scouts too.  I need to change that now.  Well I'll have Nonlinear Mathematics in 4 more years, so my offensive situation is well in hand.  A good offense is the best defense...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 05:24:29 AM »
howdy neighbor
howdy neighbor

MY 2166.  I discover Data DeCentral and steal Information Networks.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2018, 05:33:16 AM »
pretty sneaky sis
pretty sneaky sis

MY 2170.  I infiltrate Roze's datalinks, forgetting that I could have stolen a tech.  Except it turns out she didn't have anything to steal.  I will come back for her map though.  It seems her tech gaining ability hasn't turned her into some amazing powerhouse.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: ET Phone Home - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.19
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2018, 05:39:57 AM »
a nosy neighbor
a nosy neighbor

MY 2172.  I infiltrate the Pirates.  They have 3 techs I don't have.

 

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