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

nuking the humans

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bvanevery:
DetailsData Angels plagued and gassedData Angels plagued and gassed
Mission Year 2356.  I am the Caretakers playing my SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37.  As an Alien faction, I have systematically eXploited the lack of any penalty for using chemical weapons against the humans.  They get a +50% attack bonus but count as an Atrocity.  This is expressly against the United Nations Charter, but as an Alien faction I'm not a member.  When used against cities, chemical weapons inflict mass casualties and soon wipe the city completely off the face of the map.  This is good if you're an Alien, because human cities will depopulate to 1 when you take them over anyways.  It seems we don't eat the same food, although oddly, we do use the same farmland, go figure!

In the early game I took on the Believers, the Pirates, and the Peacekeepers all at once.  I used mere Recon Rovers and Laser Skimships with Nerve Gas attachments, the weakest weapons of the game that still get the bonus.  The eXtermination of their cities was gradual but compelling.  I cleared out essentially a supercontinent for my own empire, keeping only the human cities that had built Secret Projects.

Oh, I wiped out the other Alien faction, the Usurpers, so long ago that I completely forgot about them!  Yes, I suppose the humans were untroubled for a short time.

This left only the University and the Data Angels.  The University managed to complete the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, as the powerful Secret Projects are quite expensive in my mod and one must choose what one is going after.  I've been unable to steal their tech, and consequently they've been ahead of me in tech the whole game.  I've left them alone to be my last victim.

The Data Angels were distant and not particularly strong.  I thought of sparing them in a brief period of post-genocidal peace, but they were soon up to their probe team hijacking antics!  They stole one of my ships, so I declared war and sealed their doom.  It's been a very slow process of merely using old units to clear out their few scattered sea bases.  I learned how to inflict Genetic Plagues meanwhile and have used them to good effect.  You are about to see the last of such tactics before the final showdown.

The main worry when nuking an opponent, is not what they're going to do about it.  It's the global warming, the flooding, and the vengeance of Planet itself for performing such a dastardly deed.  The piles of mindworms that show up can completely wipe you out.  The drownings aren't any fun either, in such a carefully crafted empire such as I have built.  The answer to these woes, is to wipe out everyone in one turn and achieve a Conquest Victory.  Can't suffer catastrophes when you've just declared yourself the winner!

It is easier and more impressive to do this with Singularity Reactors.  Their blast radius is so large, that it becomes a game of destroying 3 cities at a time!  But that's near the end of the tech tree and I have no interest in waiting that long.  Simple Fusion warheads will have to do.  I've used my productivity to prepare for this day for quite some time.  This is arguably a pretty short timeframe for me to have prepared such an apocalypse, at least in my mod, which doesn't allow factories until the late midgame.

Detailscompleted 31 Planet Busterscompleted 31 Planet Busters
This is a notable year!  I've completed my 2nd wave of Planet Busters, a quasi-nuclear weapon that leaves literal giant craters in Planet's surface.  The technical term for what you're about to see is NUKE PORN.  It's not quite enough to wipe out every University city, but it's probably enough if I attack outlying settlements with chemical weapons as well.  Certainly, the University has no chance of surviving my first strike.  They have 2 nukes to my 31.  I've also got 9 Orbital Defense Pods to their 2.

I've also completed the Space Elevator, which allows me to perform orbital insertions anywhere on Planet's Surface, should I want to keep the occasional human city.  I've already completed Genejack Factories in my major cities and am working on Robotic Assembly Plants.  This will allow me to quickly prepare a 3rd wave of Planet Busters if I think I need them.  Probably, I do not, but this is not a strategy of subtlety!

bvanevery:
Detailsstalking the Supercolliderstalking the Supercollider
MY 2357.  I land a Heavy Drop Fusion Hovertank Transport next to the one Data Angel city containing a Secret Project.  It's a nicety that I don't want these things falling into enemy hands or getting nuked, although I could do it.  I brought a modest older generation defensive unit and a Super Former.  I will build an Airbase so that my Drop Transport can jump back into orbit.  If anyone comes out on the fungal patch to bother me, I should be able to wipe them out with my air force already in theater.

Detailsoverindustrializationoverindustrialization
I've not built more Drop Transports because I've now got a bit of an eco-damage problem.  I have a +4 PLANET rating, the maximum possible with my faction, and the Pholus Mutagen, but Genejack Factories + Robotic Assembly Plants will still do some damage.  In most games I typically forego the latter for that very reason.  I don't really need my plan going south prematurely, so I'm implementing an obligatory round of Centauri Preserves.  It's ok, I haven't finished wiping the Data Angels anyways.

bvanevery:
Detailshigh tech defensehigh tech defense
MY 2358.  The University got rid of the 3-Pulse Probe Teams defending the large Data Angel sea base.  However I've only brought my old X Fission Impact Needlejets, preferring to keep anything vaguely modern in reserve for the University.  Even with wounds, a Fusion Probability Garrison can shoot that down.  I have a remedy though: plagues from my waiting Fusion 3-Pulse Cruiser Probe Teams!

Detailspustules in the canalspustules in the canals
Just look at the horrific damage that plague did!  Those units are now barely alive, and the population dropped by 10.  Dropping population isn't so exciting when you're Aliens fighting humans or vice versa, because the opposing side is going to drop to 1 on your victory anyways.  But it's still impressive to contemplate the level of damage these things do.  In human vs. human warfare, legalizing chemical weapons is one of the easiest paths through the game.  And with Aliens, it isn't even necessary.

Detailscough syrupcough syrup
Even on its last legs, the difference in tech is so large that it could conceivably have a chance to live through this.  Sometimes the odds calculator lies, or just isn't accurate.  We'll see!  Damn.  I actually lost the plane.

Detailsexpectorate thisexpectorate this
I bring up the one and only X Gatling Battleship, expensive and mighty scourge of the erstwhile Pirate empire.  I was really parsimonious about my units earlier in the game, just waiting for them to gradually wear inferior forces out.  Had better things to do, like beat the Peacekeepers and terraform everything.  No grand navy for me!  Did build some Isles that I'm still using.  They have a nice way of shocking their way through anything without explicit Trance defense.  Anyways, this shouldn't pose any further problem, and it'll reduce the base size yet again.  I take some wounds and drop it to size 2, leaving only that almost dead Transport for their final defense.

Detailstake it with a full glass of watertake it with a full glass of water
I have 1 non-wounded plane left.  It reduces the base to size 1.  I have no units left in range to finish off the base, as my Isles are sloooooow.  It might actually live until next turn as they're rushing a Clean Trance Scout.  The University might decide to pick it off though.  At least I've accomplished the primary purpose: preventing the University from taking it over, so that I won't have yet another sea base to clean out when the time comes.

Detailsa rousing tribute to Davy Jonesa rousing tribute to Davy Jones
A Carrier functions as a mobile airbase.  I wanted to know if I could launch my Drop Transport off of one.  When I first moved onto the Carrier, it did (L)oad and seemed to be working!  However when I tried to move the Carrier 1 square to get a slightly better position, it didn't move with the Carrier the way a plane would.  Moving the Carrier back to the original square, the Drop Transport isn't (L)oading on it anymore.  I fear it may sink next turn.  However it may have worked fine if I just hadn't tried to move again.

bvanevery:
Detailsnukes can prevent eco damagenukes can prevent eco damage
MY 2359.  The University is not being a good Eco Citizen.  I'm going to have to terminate them soon with eXtreme prejudice, if I want to prevent my nice empire from getting flooded.  In the worst case, in 4 more years I'll have Algorithmic Enhancement capability.  No more Hunter-Seeker Algorithm to stop my probe teams!  You just saw what my plagues can do to human cities, and I've got a team in every base.  All I'd need is a rail connection and it's goodbye University.

Detailswell at least I eat betterwell at least I eat better
The University has also suddenly and surprisingly pulled a lot of Orbital Defense Pods out of its hindquarters.  I can probably outproduce them, as the Space Elevator lets me build them twice as fast, and I've got plenty of industrial capacity.  It's going to prevent me from making any new nukes though.  ODP warfare is horrible attrition, sometimes taking as many as 3 attackers to bring down 1 defending satellite.  It's actually a much better bet to just fire Conventional Missiles and make the enemy expend ODPs on them, then follow up with nukes when they've exhausted their supply of ODPs.  However again with the Space Elevator I can produce these things even more cheaply than CMs, so from an attrition perspective, a pure ODP fleet may be the way for me to go.

The AI can be downright obsessive about ODPs if it makes it to this point in the game though.  In the past I've often had to intervene on the ground to stop it.  I suppose the turning point in the University's capabilities, is they recently completed the Cloudbase Academy.  That means they can build satellites in any base they want.  I have that capability too, courtesy of the Space Elevator.  Only recently did I realize that's one of its capabilities.  The reason the University got one Secret Project and I got the other, is we're pursuing different research paths, and SPs are exceedingly expensive in my mod.

Detailsan A for effortan A for effort
Good news is my Drop Transport didn't sink!  Bad news is a carrier deck isn't good enough to do an orbital insertion from.  Bet I can't do paradrops off a carrier deck either, which is a pity.  I've almost never needed carrier tactics over the years, since I'm a fan of rails and raising land to link continents together.

Detailsthe finest logicsticians that Aliens can buythe finest logicsticians that Aliens can buy
Oh well, next turn I'll just launch from my newly completed Airbase.  Problem is, it's gonna sink!  Thank you University.  I really didn't have "University are a bunch eco-Morons" on my planning ledger.  Seriously, aside from a volcano going off a n umber of years ago, it's the first I've heard of their coal burning proclivities.

Detailsnever heard of guided bombsnever heard of guided bombs
The base I want to take is guarded by 2 Sensor Arrays.  They put up a big defensive penalty in my mod, so it's worth getting rid of them before trying to take a city intact.  Of course, both my planes miss their bombing runs.  I didn't get the memo on how I'm still fighting WW II.

Although I could try to take down the Perimeter Defense with my few remaining probe teams, the attrition rate for targeted probe team actions is horrific.  I'm likely to get them all killed without actually doing the job.  "Just stirring things up in there" is much less risky, but not helpful for taking bases intact.  All the bases I've liquidated and obliterated in this game, have generally been preceded by probe teams blowing up everything in them, eventually taking out the Perimeter Defense.  It will require more delay and cleverness to get past things this time.

I've completed another Drop Transport, so I bring up 2 mindworms to help break down the gates.  It won't be enough, unless the University weakens the base first.  I've got 2 more Drop Transports completing next turn, so I'll be able to bring in 4 more units.  If my patch of land doesn't sink before I launch my strike, it should be enough.

I have an uneasy feeling that I should keep my navy where it is, even though there are no Data Angel sea bases to liquidate anymore.  I don't know how the University's behavior is going to change once I eradicate the Data Angels.  I've have sucked up to them with the choice of Knowledge all this time, which is actually helpful to me as in my mod it gives +1 PLANET.  But who knows how the AI thinks, especially when I have so many nukes.

Detailsfluids are awesome responsibilityfluids are awesome responsibility
Thinking more about floods, I check if any of my cities are threatened.  Some are, so I rush their build queues to finish up the factories they were working on.  Pressure Domes begin next year.  This interferes with my ability to rush the Living Refinery, although I don't really need more SUPPORT.

bvanevery:
Detailsthe prudently obsessive AIthe prudently obsessive AI
MY 2360.  The University added a lot more ODPs, gaining an almost 2:1 advantage over me.  I've got 9 in production myself, and I'd like to believe they'll complete faster than the enemy's, due to my Space Elevator advantage.  However I haven't actually surveyed their industrial capacity, nor considered the AI's inherent +3 INDUSTRY advantage.  I really didn't expect this After Action Report to be something I'd have to fight for.  I thought I was just summarily ending the game.

Well, if it comes to that, I've got some Drop X Chaos Needlejets in production.  Plenty of Amphibious Hovertank Probe Teams once I get Sentient Machines and complete the Nethack Terminus.  I'm also ready to storm the Data Angels' last worthwhile city next year, then liquidate the rest.

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