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

The Obnoxious Factory - SMACX AI Growth mod 1.27

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Playing another mod recently, I had to suffer through global flooding most of the game.  It was triggered by factions other than myself, getting access to factory technology fairly early, and going crazy Free Market with it.  It makes me wonder, can this happen in my mod as well?  Usually I don't think the AI will ever get there, because I've delayed factory technology quite a bit.  As a player I myself have avoided factories, because the minerals I gain just from the terrain has generally been enough to clobber the AI factions.  The consequences of flooding can be pretty severe, at least when triggered by chemical warfare or using Planet Busters.  How about just from factories?  Is it all as bad as I remember and fear, or is it mitigable?

This will be a "cheap" AAR.  Probably a lot more text than screenshots, and I'm going to try to stick to talking only about factories, instead of other things going on.  It's not really intended to be some big deal, widely circulated AAR.  Rather, it's a test of my upcoming 1.27 release of SMACX AI Growth mod.  The main features of 1.27 are longer range ships and aircraft, missiles with unlimited flight time, earlier orbital insertion combat, and earlier hab domes.  Copters are also removed from the game, except for the Unity Chopper which is made into a supply unit and unable to attack anything.  I might change some rules midgame, depending on what I find.

Huge map, 30%..50% land, otherwise average settings, Transcend.  I will take random opponents and a random faction, provided it's "acceptable" for Free Market and building factories.  I draw the Hive, which is definitely an acceptable Free Market Wealth faction in my mod.

6:30 PM.  I begin the game.

I colonize an ominous 10 meter flat river site, next to a 1 square inland lake.  A foreshadowing??  It's not quick to get the Weather Paradigm in my mod, and raising land isn't available until Advanced Ecological Engineering, later still.

As I am not trying to test how the AI experiences the Hive, but rather what it's like to build factories quickly and do eco-damage, I switch from the default research focus of {Explore, Conquer} to {Explore}.  Police State is awarded with E3 Intellectual Integrity, and of course since I have Impunity to its use, I want that.  I suppose this is a 1st lesson, that choosing a non-Build faction is probably going to slow down my acquisition of factories.

MY 2118.  The Caretakers, Usurpers, Gaians, Pirates, Cybernetic Consciousness, and Free Drones are in the game.  Nobody is immediately near me.  I pop pods and have good future city sites.  I haven't completed a Colony Pod yet but I have a lot of minerals in my capitol, which is mainly why this land has been easy to scout.

I gain the commlink frequency for the Pirates from a pod.  They sell me the frequency for the Consciousness for 5 credits.  We sign a Treaty, but he declines an alliance.  I exchange my map for Doctrine: Flexibility.  I pay 100 for Doctrine: Mobility.  He doesn't sell me anything else.

The Consciousness trades me High Energy Chemistry for my Progenitor Psych.  We also trade maps and sign a Treaty.  She won't ally.  She doesn't know where the other 2 human factions are.

Both factions are a substantial distance to the east, and I seriously doubt there's any ocean connecting me to the Pirates in that direction.  They are not neighbors.

MY 2122.  I contact Svensgaard looking for tech, before I research a new one next year.  He signs a Pact, making my beliefs about the ocean topology more likely.  He sells me Social Psych for 100 credits.  I contact Aki Zeta5 but she's getting snippy.  We don't trade anything.  I begin a Command Center in my capitol because I have such a large mineral supply there, and not much food.

MY 2127.  I acquire the comm frequency for the Caretakers from the Pirates.  The Pirates also trade me Field Modulation.  I buy the comm frequency of the Usurpers from the Caretakers.  I don't get anything else out of them before they sign off.  They turn out to be my neighbors, immediately to the west, and I can see their green border.  However there is at least some fungus between us.

The Usurpers sign a Treaty with me, but I don't get anything else out of them.

I've acquired 2 'Slow' Transports from pods.  I forgot that version 1.27 of my mod increases the speed of the Foil chassis, so 'Slow' means they have movement 3.

DetailsThe Border RuinsThe Border Ruins
MY 2129.  The Ruins are on our border.  I might like to have this myself, but my colonization rate is whatever it is.  I'm realizing that since my plan is to go Free Market and build factories, the Caretakers will inevitably go to war with me, because their fixation is Planned economy.

MY 2131.  I trade with the Cyborgs and gain Planetary Networks.  We sign a Pact.  They are occupying the Garland Crater.

MY 2134.  The Cyborgs have gone to war with the Caretakers.  We are still in a Truce.  I'm working on a Synthmetal armor prototype.  Prototypes are expensive in my mod, a real difficulty to get done.  So it is not in my interest to make waves right now.

MY 2141.  The Usurpers have declared war on the Pirates.  I decline to back Svensgaard up on this.  We do trade tech, I gain Centauri Empathy.  I'd have to talk to Marr to get the war to stop, and I'm not willing to do that yet.  Better to see what happens with the Caretakers.

MY 2143.  I have researched Synthmetal Armor.  I also seem to have finished a Speeder chassis somehow, not sure how.  Did the Probe Team give me that?  Whatever.  Oh wait, I know what it was!  It was the Rover Former predefined unit.  Well, ok, I got the prototype by doing a lot of trading.  I don't think that's illegitimate.

Detailssorry tusk facesorry tusk face
MY 2147.  I encounter the Caretakers at sea.  They threaten me, and as I always do, I refuse them.

Detailspusilanimous wimppusilanimous wimp
Surprisingly, they back off.  Maybe my Synthmetal armor is something they don't have yet.  I get them to end their war with the Consciousness, because that will give me more time to build up an empire before going to war with them.  I also seriously doubt that the Consciousness can make a substantial military contribution this early, so no point being dragged into their problems.

Just in time to contact the Cyborgs for a tech trade.  I trade for Industrial Base.  I loan them money.  I also gain Domai's commlink frequency.  I accidentally pay 10 credits for it because I thought I was giving it to them!  Habits from my last game.

Domai tries to extort me.  I refuse, and he declares war.  What a jerk!

MY 2151.  I run into the Pirates at sea.  He wants war with Marr again.  I refuse.  I ask him to knock it off, and for some reason, this time he can and does so.  Whatever.

MY 2160.  I trade techs with the Pirates.  They're at war with the Caretakers, but I refuse to get involved.  They give me the commlink to the Gaians.  I trade a lot of tech with them, and now I've got the prereqs for Intellectual Integrity.  I'm realizing just how long it takes to get to these Tier 3 techs, it's not easy.  I wonder if it's a mistake to delay government choices this long.  For factions whose power is supposed to rely on a government choice, it puts them at a disadvantage.  The Cult of Planet has +2 PLANET, so they have an immediate advantage at the beginning of the game.  The Hive gets a Perimeter Defense, that's about it.

I've been resisting building any Recreation Commons, thinking I'll get Police State any time now.  Police State now also comes with Non-Lethal Methods at the same time, which feels a bit weird. 

MY 2166.  I gain Synthetic Fossil Fuels from the Pirates, and sign a Pact with the Gaians.

MY 2167.  Svensgaard is elected Governor.  He gets tired of my unwillingness to fight the Caretakers and renounces our Pact.  I contact Domai, who is also fighting the Caretakers.  He is Seething, but he signs a Truce.

MY 2168.  I decide that in version 1.26 when I moved Police State to Tier 3, I really broke the Hive.  I need to fix this somehow and start over.  I shouldn't be stressing about "should I build a Rec Commons?" this late in the turns.  What's the point of being a despot if first and foremost I have to make people happy?  I need to think about whether I've broken or weakened other factions as well.


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