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


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Detailsbehold the mask of doombehold the mask of doom
It's time for midterm elections in the United States!  In a bright dystopian future somewhere far away, Commissioner Pravin Lal is thinking similarly.  How can I get the People to accept nerve gas?  It is so useful, in so many ways.  If only Planet understood that it's a human thing.  We want to do this to each other, it's nothing personal.  Please just grow your fungal stalks as always and leave us to our war.

Detailsgas early and oftengas early and often
In version 1.25 of my SMACX AI Growth mod, nerve gas is available almost immediately at the start of the game.  That's because the consequences of using nerve gas so early are horrific!  Planet throws a fit.  Deluges and mindworms everywhere.  Low chance of survival, and even if you do, likely to be nuked by an angry faction midgame.  My last attempt at this was a complete debacle.  I am hoping this time to deploy a new secret weapon: voting.

Detailsnormalizing genocidenormalizing genocide
See, for reasons that only the Firaxis expansion pack authors can fathom, you get a free pass using chemical weapons against Alien factions.  Possibly because they don't engage in Commerce with humans, so you can't impose Sanctions on them.  Nor can they participate in the Planetary Council.  Gasification without representation: that's not fair!  We don't happen to have that issue in this game, it's an all human cohort.  Random opponents, Transcend difficulty, on a Standard size map.

Detailsthe Governatorthe Governator
My plan is to mollycoddle and horswoggle the other factions into accepting my Planetary lead.  Becoming Governor won't get me any more votes for a Council proposal, that will probably take outright bribery.  But it will get me Veto power, which can help me keep my proposal in place once I've attained it.

DetailsI propose you all dieI propose you all die
That last measure, "Repeal UN Charter" is the one I'm interested in.  In my mod it is available early in the game, from Doctrine: Loyalty.  Same tech that offers Fundamentalist politics.  The counterpart, "Reinstate UN Charter", is available with Ethical Calculus.  Same tech that offers Democratic politics.  I think if real world humans could make these kinds of decisions post WW I, we shouldn't have to wait a long time to ponder weighty matters in space.

Detailsbetween a rock and a hard ridgebetween a rock and a hard ridge
Mission Year 2101.  I've started amidst a profitable river system.  I don't have any supply pods adjacent so I will settle my capitol immediately.

Worth noting: for version 1.25 I have increased the penalty for a defending Noncombat unit to 100%.  That means colony pods will die when attacked by mindworm larvae, even on Turn 1.  Combat units don't have this problem, they can survive early mindworm hits.  So, immediate settlement of the 1st colonist, and escort of the 2nd, is a very good idea.

[After completing this AAR, I decided this Noncombat penalty wasn't a necessary feature for version 1.25 of my mod.  Mainly because it doesn't solve the "armored probe team exploit" problem, which you'll see examples of later.  So version 1.25 has the same setting as the original game, 50% penalty.]

DetailsPlanet has an inniePlanet has an innie
Especially on a Standard size map.  I'm pretty much guaranteed a competitor in this immediate area.  The Garland Crater is to the east, and the Pholus Ridge is to the west.  The Crater is more valuable so I will head east.

Detailsfocus on the basics exploring and killingfocus on the basics exploring and killing
MY 2102.  I am asked how I want to direct my research.  In my mod, the AI plays Lal as a Passive leader, not much disposed to making war.  I keep the AI defaults, because that helps me playtest how the AI might do in the game.

With Lal's factional advantages, he can afford to sit back and make bigger cities.  "Explore" really means colonization and growth technologies, which is what he needs to get votes.  He can expect to have some rough customers opposing his Democratic politics though, so he stays well armed.  My mod is overwhelmingly dominated by Conquer techs, because that's what Firaxis actually put into the game.  I sorted everything out into different categories, so all the armors and weapons etc. are in Conquer techs, not Explore, Discover, or Build techs.  Some categories do overlap, but it's still mostly a Conquer show. 

Detailsit is not about the mindworms anymoreit is not about the mindworms anymore
The Empath Guild comes late in my mod, and is also deemed a Conquer tech.  In my view, Diplomatic Victory is just an abbreviated form of conquest.  Homo Superior is a Tier 6 tech that also makes Thought Control available.  That's a long time away, late midgame at the earliest.  I am guaranteed 2x votes over anyone else for at least half the game, so all I have to do is make sure I get big.

Detailsunwanted guestsunwanted guests
MY 2111.  A mindworm appears unbidded to the west, indicating the presence of a near neighbor in that direction.  Simultaneously, an unmet Cybernetic Consciousness settles a city on the Crater to the east.  I have not yet managed to make an additional colony pod, as I didn't have much food to start with.  In my mod, Lal does get a hefty +2 GROWTH bonus at least though.  I did pop a Nutrient next to my capitol, and in 3 turns I will grow to size 2.  However I don't know if I'll have the cash to rush production.  Even then, I'll have to travel along the admittedly wonderful river system to get to the Crater.  And not make contact with the Cyborgs meanwhile, so that I can intrude innocently on Cyborg land.

Detailsthe other orange haired world leaderthe other orange haired world leader
MY 2112.  I think I can presume the mindworm to the west was generated by Miriam.  Unless this part of the world is really crowded.  TBH I could totally see a Fundamentalist government working for me.  In my mod it's very similar to Police State.

Detailsin the words of the late Charlton Hestonin the words of the late Charlton Heston
However it won't be to please her!  Now the "good" news is, in version 1.25 nobody gets a real weapon at the beginning of the game.  Even strength 2 and 3 lasers are Tier 3 techs.  We can definitely have a rockfight.  I'm good at rockfighting.  It may interfere with my settlement plans depending on how close she is though.  I don't think I'll change my research focus as I'm already doing Explore, Conquer.

Detailsstomping through the tulipsstomping through the tulips
Timely!  R-Lasers are only strength 2 in my mod, but it's still enough to wipe out Miriam's Scouts and destroy her bases.  I have a lot less to worry about now.


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