Author Topic: Transcendence in 60 turns  (Read 1722 times)

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Offline T-hawk

Transcendence in 60 turns
« on: July 03, 2019, 03:18:34 PM »
Some folks here might know of my old report for a speed-run to transcendence victory in 76 turns.  I did a new run and writeup to improve on that, and got it all the way down to 60.  Base unmodded SMAC, transcend difficulty.  It's posted on my site here: http://dos486.com/alpha/speed2/

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Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2019, 04:04:11 PM »
Impressive; I fancy myself quite the SP exploit master, but you used at least two cheats that are new by me.  ;b;  (I know one that makes Transcendence on the second turn possible, but few have the patience.  I, myself, have never actually bothered.)

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Offline Induktio

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 08:59:30 PM »
"But muh exploits, REEEEE"

Intuitively it's easy to see various loopholes in the game, but it seems a lot harder to picture how they will affect the game progression when you combine all of them into a single run. I'd guess it's the linear vs. exponential distinction. With multiple exploits, you gain a "multiplicative" benefit of all the effects they are individually able to produce.

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Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 09:46:03 PM »
Oh, the time warp cheat isn't even playing the game.  Respect for these speed runs.

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Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2019, 03:45:32 AM »
Small phenomena are impressive!  It makes me wonder if anything applies to a much larger map though.

Offline T-hawk

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2019, 05:59:55 AM »
There's another report on the site, 82 turns to transcendence on a standard size map also with the University.

The approach would scale to a big map just fine.  As long as there's more land, the Planetary Transit System will keep new bases expanding at a constant pace forever.  The limiting factor would be the distance at which all energy is lost to inefficiency (that formula does not scale up or down with map size), which would ultimately cap how fast you could reach the Cloning Vats.  There would exist some map size above which it would be faster to build creches and boom via SE methods instead of the Vats, or even just build crawlers for food and grow normally, either of which takes minimal tech.  Once you're at size 5 by any means, you have the good specialists and they aren't subject to inefficiency losses, so then there's no limiting factor related to map size, unless you hit whatever is the limit the program allows for number of bases or units (formers).

A huge map is 1.6x the tech cost of standard size, so the time is no more than that much above standard size, I could reach the Cloning Vats in 100 turns and then transcendence in 30ish from there.  A beyond huge map might at the most double those numbers.  I'd love to demonstrate all that, but it'd take me like a year to play a huge map's worth of micromanagement...

Offline Petek

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 06:27:10 AM »
This thread might be of interest to the "fast transcenders." Only 36 turns. Massive use of exploits, jury-rigged settings and maps, though.

Offline T-hawk

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2019, 04:06:31 PM »
Yeah, the differences from that to mine are difficulty level and reloading for luck abuse.  Besides that, we're doing basically the same thing of a micro size map and most exploits.

Offline clovenhoof

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2019, 05:31:58 PM »
There's another report on the site, 82 turns to transcendence on a standard size map also with the University.

The approach would scale to a big map just fine.  As long as there's more land, the Planetary Transit System will keep new bases expanding at a constant pace forever.  The limiting factor would be the distance at which all energy is lost to inefficiency (that formula does not scale up or down with map size), which would ultimately cap how fast you could reach the Cloning Vats.  There would exist some map size above which it would be faster to build creches and boom via SE methods instead of the Vats, or even just build crawlers for food and grow normally, either of which takes minimal tech.  Once you're at size 5 by any means, you have the good specialists and they aren't subject to inefficiency losses, so then there's no limiting factor related to map size, unless you hit whatever is the limit the program allows for number of bases or units (formers).

A huge map is 1.6x the tech cost of standard size, so the time is no more than that much above standard size, I could reach the Cloning Vats in 100 turns and then transcendence in 30ish from there.  A beyond huge map might at the most double those numbers.  I'd love to demonstrate all that, but it'd take me like a year to play a huge map's worth of micromanagement...

Using your approach on a huge planet would be very effective in pursuing a conquest victory.  The first few dozen bases are the core that produce the energy and technology, and the inefficient ones outside that would be your weapons producers.

When you play to pursue a Transcend victory, what is your ratio of games abandoned from hopelessness to games completed or abandoned from boredom?

Offline T-hawk

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2019, 07:39:01 PM »
Effective for a conquest victory... or any victory really, once you have 10x the bases and population of all the AIs, you can cash in the win however you want.  A Supreme Leader vote is probably the most direct way in most cases.

Abandoned games... I've never had a hopeless one at all.  I don't really abandon from boredom either.  I only stop in order to restart, if I see some better way to do whatever I was trying to do in that particular game.  (Which can include a map layout that just doesn't turn out as well as I hoped.)  That happens often, typically 1-3 times per published report on my site, for SMAC and all of the Civ games.

Technically I do abandon hundreds of games on the first turn while seeking a good starting position, however you want to count that.

Offline clovenhoof

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2019, 05:29:30 PM »
Effective for a conquest victory... or any victory really, once you have 10x the bases and population of all the AIs, you can cash in the win however you want.  A Supreme Leader vote is probably the most direct way in most cases.

Abandoned games... I've never had a hopeless one at all.  I don't really abandon from boredom either.  I only stop in order to restart, if I see some better way to do whatever I was trying to do in that particular game.  (Which can include a map layout that just doesn't turn out as well as I hoped.)  That happens often, typically 1-3 times per published report on my site, for SMAC and all of the Civ games.

Technically I do abandon hundreds of games on the first turn while seeking a good starting position, however you want to count that.

I really appreciate all the work you put in to those game summaries on your website.  They show that a lot of what I believed about the game was just wrong, in particular the spacing of the bases.  It's obvious once you think about it a bit - it is a game of resource production, which first and foremost means getting tiles in play, then developing them.  Bases grow fast at first, and slow down as they get bigger.  With one base you get 21 tiles in play in something like 200 years.  Your way, with PTS, you get 20 tiles in play in a couple of turns - just however long it takes to build and deploy four colony pods.

One thing I'm having trouble with is nerve stapling.  I get the UN Charter revoked, then swap out from Free Market to Planned, but the game tells me that "the people will never stand for it, you have to increase your police rating" or something like that.  I switch to police state and power, and still the same message.  What am I missing here?

Offline T-hawk

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2019, 07:15:49 PM »
Nerve stapling: you must have a Police rating of 0 or better at the start of the turn.  It doesn't work for switching within a turn like you can for diplomacy.  If you're in Free Market, you need to switch out of it, then end turn, before you can nerve staple.  (Planet rating for psi combat works the same way, locked in at the start of a turn, so not subject to fake-switching.)

Police State doesn't matter for nerve stapling unless you're Gaia or Data Angels with the inherent -1, there's no other negatives that would prevent it until Cybernetic.  Power is unrelated, no effect on Police rating; it's just mentioned at the same time in the report because Power and the charter repeal happen to come at the same tech.

Offline Hans Lemurson

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2020, 09:24:48 PM »
"But muh exploits, REEEEE"

Intuitively it's easy to see various loopholes in the game, but it seems a lot harder to picture how they will affect the game progression when you combine all of them into a single run. I'd guess it's the linear vs. exponential distinction. With multiple exploits, you gain a "multiplicative" benefit of all the effects they are individually able to produce.
Would you go so far as to say that...
"Superior micro and superior exploits have, when taken together, a geometric effect on overall economic strength. Well-optimized, well-researched exploits can create a growth-rate many more times mere standard play than linear arithmetic would seem to indicate."
;)
Termination of specimen advised.

Offline Nexii

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2020, 11:07:31 PM »
Impressive run! I wonder if CyCon or PKs overtake University on bigger maps..

9 SPs is also notable. This is why I kind of mod many SPs and facilities to be lower in cost, the late game ones are in the game for such a short time. Much like you noted about formers payoff time. A lot of interesting things I take from this for modding myself. One is that they probably never intended for specialists to produce in a rioting base, or ignore -EFFIC

Also notable how few crawlers were used, I always considered them a bit broken...buying a population for 30? minerals that doesn't require drone control. But I guess properly managed bases are better, 2 nutrients is a much cheaper cost. And there's such limited land on a small map anyways

Offline T-hawk

Re: Transcendence in 60 turns
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2020, 04:55:58 PM »
Yup, crawlers aren't broken enough.  Besides pop-booming, PTS colony pods are also better, 3 new population for the same 30 minerals.  Then orbital food and hab complexes are also better.  And those don't require drone control either, with PTS + VW + Uni network nodes at size 3, then nerve stapling.

The PKs wouldn't overtake University because of the Efficiency penalty, they would lose too much to the unbalanced slider penalty at 100% labs.  I've never tried CyCon to say, maybe it's possible thanks to the Efficiency, though needing to build the network nodes is a big cost that probably isn't ever really paid back before transcendence.

 

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