Author Topic: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37  (Read 2248 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« on: November 25, 2019, 04:44:02 AM »
the tougher Morganites
the tougher Morganites

It has been 15 months and 20 releases of my SMACX AI Growth mod, since I last tried to win the game while committing massive atrocities.  Back then, I made the horrific mistake of simultaneously inflicting atrocities on several factions at once.  Planet took vengeance, the seas rose, bases became hard to reach, and that kept my enemies from dying.  As I struggled to recover, eventually they got around to nuking me.  At which point I resigned, situation hopeless.

The moral of that story is, you wipe out one faction at a time.

I've learned other things since then.  Like that Aliens can gas anybody and can themselves be gassed without consequences, because they are not part of the Planetary Council.  Like that it's fairly easy to legalize chemical warfare.  You just need a little luck at a Planetary Council meeting.  And that you can nuke everyone without consequences, if you do it in one turn.  I've done these things, and I've even written up a nuking.

But that's not what we're doing here!  We're doing it when it's illegal, and when Planet deeply cares about the illegality.  In a way they clearly don't care, when the Planetary Council approves.  Aren't you impressed that Planet has such "heart" ?  And that they're such an important party to the political discussion?

Well, my explanation is they designed the game badly.  Planet should always take vengeance, if chemicals and nukes irritate its delicate onion skin so much.  We're going to play the game as though it was correct, logical, and consistent.  No weasling out of Planet's vengeance!

I've never won that scenario, and I question whether it's winnable at all.  It would definitely help to wait as long as possible before triggering the vengeance, to get helpful techs and Secret Projects like the Neural Amplifier.

But we're not going to do that!  We're going to play as though Morgan is impatient to get on with executing some enemy of his.  He will need to build up some techs to do that, like C3 Applied Physics at a minimum, to make viable X Recon Rovers.  Other games have taught me that X Scouts don't do anything, you gotta have at least a strength 2 armament to do substantial nerve gas damage.

And to make things more Morganic, I'm never going to change his research focus.  His default is pure Build.  In principle, the AI could do what I'm about to do.  If it had the brains to do it, which it doesn't.

Furthermore I'm probably going to utilize the relatively new Extremist choice, once he's got the core world ending tech he needs, i.e. an X Recon Rover.  This isn't your grandpappy's Morgan, this is a tougher Morgan that has +1 SUPPORT, not -1.  Think more Halliburton than fatcat.  Extremist will put him to +3, which could give him some serious hordes if I can get his base sizes high enough.  Which admittedly, could be rather difficult on a flooding planet.  We shall see!

And we're going to go Capitalist, to do as much eco-damage to Planet as possible.  Which admittedly is less in my mod, only -2 PLANET.  It's still going to be a horror show.

We're not going to put any Aliens in this game, because it's too easy to gas them without consequences.  I've done it dozens of times now.  It's not even worth a writeup.

We're going to put the Pirates into the game.  Also a pure Build faction, and the most likely to inherit Planet when it floods.  My Pirates have potential political compatibility, as they fixate on Wealth.  However the Pirates are likely to become scary in such circumstances.  If Planet can't kill me, they might.  Especially because, if you commit enough atrocities, everyone reviles you and tries to kill you.

In short if I can win this one, I can probably win anything.  There's a slight possibility I may not have perfected my Pirate AI tweaks, and that's the real reason I want to include them.  Otherwise I'm happy with random human opponents, on a Huge map, that always has plenty of water in my mod.  Average settings and Transcend difficulty, of course.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 05:41:08 AM »
Luckily it only takes me 1 restart to get all human factions.  In play are: myself as the Morganites, the Pirates, the Gaians, the Hive, the Cyborgs, the Data Angels, and the Believers.  Of these, only the Cyborgs has shown questionable performance in my mod lately.  They could however turn out to be a research powerhouse, it's possible for them.  The Gaians are always a research powerhouse in my mod, unless they get a bad start condition.

I have a new After Action Report writing tool at my disposal: the Windows 10 "Snip & Sketch" tool.  It's way faster at taking cropped screenshots than other methods.  You simply set a timer to activate in 3 seconds, switch your context to the fullscreen game, and then wait for it to activate.  When it does, you can capture the full screen or just draw a rectangle around whatever you want to snip.  The benefit to reader is my screenshots are now the full resolution of the game and have no downfiltering.  If I'm cropping.  Sometimes I'll still want to show the whole screen.

your starting minigame concern
your starting minigame concern

I've started inland near the top of the map.

the radar at highest zoom
the radar at highest zoom

I am on a large island-shaped mass.   I bet you the Pirates will start in the equatorial southern waters somewhere.  They could be close to me or far away from me.

part of the northern supercontinent
part of the northern supercontinent

My land mass is part of the northern supercontinent.  It is clearly linked by land to the southwest.  It may also be linked to the southeast, or there may be a water channel.  A supply pod could trigger an earthquake and make a link if there isn't one already.  I am certain to have a land enemy coming from the southwest direction.  I may have one from the southeast.

perfunctory capitol
perfunctory capitol

I started on Flat Moist land, and none of the land around me looks particularly wetter or better.  I'm next to fungus but I'm not supposed to be afraid of that this game anyways.  I just took the square as my base, to get on with it.  I send my Colony Pod down river, as if nothing else it'll move faster, provided it isn't a fungus covered river.  Mindworms have an awfully high chance of showing up on fungal river squares in my experience.  I'll pop the pod once I've got an expendable Scout to throw at it, coming next turn.  I do have +1 SUPPORT so can spam Scouts better than other factions can at the beginning.

do like I do
do like I do

I crossed one of those nasty fungal river squares without incident.  My reasoning was, I had the moves to retreat if need be.  My base site is awful but I'm going to take it rather than going back.

I may need to add E3 Ecological Engineering and Fungicidal Tanks to my list of "required" techs for facing these adversities.  This makes me realize that I'd prefer Fungicidal Tanks to be part of the Build Tree, not the Explore tree.  Recently I changed Ecological Engineering to Explore although it's still heavily weighted in Build as well.  It lifts the nutrient restriction rather than the minerals restriction and also provides Aquafarm.  The minerals restriction is lifted by B3 Industrial Economics.  Well, we'll see if I have any problem getting Ecological Engineering in practice.  I may not.  That's the real reason for restricting myself to Build only research, to see what kinds of hangups the AI would run into.

it's no Nile
it's no Nile

The supply pod changed the course of the river.  Big wow.  No helpful Monolith, just ruining my land worse than it was.  My 2nd base now has complete garbage around it, near as I can tell.  I'll walk this fungus laden river just to be peevish about it.

typical
typical

Since it's early in the game, I'm going to win.  Not that many turns from now, this would be a death sentence.  I forget whether the threshold is 10 or 15 turns, or something else.

rockin' resources
rockin' resources

Mission Year 2110.  We're about to find out.  MY 2111, survived that hit just fine with hardly a scratch.



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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 06:05:08 AM »
the first truly helpful supply pop
the first truly helpful supply pop

MY 2120.  I've gotten a fair amount of annoying stuff like fungal pops out of the supply pods.  My home territory is fairly resource poor.  At least now I've got a boat.  In my mod they move a bit faster, and they all have Clean Reactors and Deep Radar on them.  Clean Reactors are also available from the beginning of the game, to help the AI out with SUPPORT problems.  They are more expensive to build though, so it's not a free lunch.  One of my early pod popping tricks, is to switch production to an expensive production like a unit with a Clean Reactor and armor on it, then pop the pod nearest a city, hoping that it will complete the production.  So far that trick hasn't worked, so I'm still just toodling along with 7 Scouts.  I haven't even produced my 1st Colony Pod yet, and I've not had the food to do it much sooner anyways.   I started the game with more money than other factions, but I didn't see a point in rushing to produce Scouts.

joy

Maybe I make him my 1st victim instead of my last?  In fairness I don't know how far away he is.  He could have slow boated himself a long ways across the map.  The AI is prone to do that.  We sign a Treaty.  He doesn't want a Pact.  I buy Doctrine: Flexibility and Doctrine: Mobility from him for 200 credits.  Maybe it won't be so hard to get to my chemical weapons threshold.  A little exploration and I might be able to just buy the techs from various people.

My capitol has finally grown to size 2, so I rush the Colony Pod.

crikey
crikey

He really does want to die, doesn't he?  Ideally I'd use X Marines for this sort of thing, but that requires 2 Tier 3 Conquer techs.  I suppose an X Laser Skimship would work fine.  At least he won't get any use of my land.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2019, 06:22:44 AM »
the purpose of clean units
the purpose of clean units

This is what having Clean Reactors available at the beginning of the game is good for.  This base won't be able to produce another Colony Pod for 21 turns.  I'm supporting 3 Scouts and that's the max I can do for free.  The Clean Scout is the cheapest unit I can make that doesn't cost support and is useful for something.  This sort of thing helps me, and it also helps the AI.  The AI has a very bad habit of running itself out of SUPPORT in various cities.  Getting it to build Clean Formers, especially, alleviates this.  Clean is really not something you need midgame, despite its appearance as some kind of "big reward" in the original game, for having researched a lot of tech.  By then, you're getting factories and forests and have built Mines and have a lot of minerals.  It's the beginning of the game when a Clean Reactor can do the most good, especially for the AI.

MY 2124.  I rush my 2nd colony pod.

a hazard
a hazard

MY 2126.  I was right about earthquakes going off, but I doubt this bridged any new land.

chicken!
chicken!

MY 2128.  I found the Ruins, which I suspected was there because I'd walked all around it.  However I had to retreat, because I was near death from a previous mindworm encounter.  One of those infamous river mindworms.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2019, 06:50:24 AM »
mobility
mobility

MY 2129.  I found my first Unity Rover at sea.  This can solve the mindworm problem in the Ruins.  I think I'll let my near dead unit stand still and heal, while the Rover does all the work.

introducing the Unity Lifter
introducing the Unity Lifter

MY 2130.  I've found the Hive, and they may have found the Unity crash site.  Although, they could have possibly popped a Unity Lifter from a supply pod.  This is my replacement for a Unity Scout Chopper in version 1.37 of my mod.  It's much faster than a regular chopper.  It moves 12 even with a Transport module on it.  It has a Range of 2, so it doesn't take damage the 1st time it lands somewhere.  However it's the only Copter chassis unit available in the game.  You have to pull these things out of supply pods or the Unity crash site.  I wanted to prevent anyone using the copter chassis' multi-fire capability, as it is seriously overpowered.  This was the only way to make sure that no one could design a unit with a weapon.

divide and conquer
divide and conquer

MY 2131.  Mindworms from 1 Isle land in 2 different places next to my base, making it impossible to defend myself.  This is unusual, to the point that nobody would ever plan for such a thing this early in the game.  What am I to do?  I save the game and consider save scumming it.  The start of my game was fairly bad and I don't think having 1/3rd of my cities eliminated is fair.  I don't think rushing the unit production ever works for a human player.  It seems to work for the AI, but I will just spend resources and still have my city wiped out before the new unit comes online.

After seeing the results of an attack, I load the save game and do choose to rush the unit.  For some reason although my defender dies, the base doesn't get wiped out along with it.  I would have expected a size 1 base to depopulate and die, but it didn't happen.  This maneuver costs me 11 credits.  Oddly enough, the 2nd time the mindworms don't manage to kill my defender anyways.  Well, I'm not really invested in the details of this, as it was basically an unfair move on the part of the game anyways.

Now that I know this can happen in this geographic configuration, I suppose I will just leave that new Clean Scout right where it is, instead of marching it off to garrison a new city as I'd originally intended.

what makes them pirates
what makes them pirates

MY 2132.  The Pirates sign a Pact.  I find out where they came from.  Looks like I'm not connected to the supercontinent to the southeast, and the Pirates desired to move up the sea channel there.  I'm barely connected to the southwest and I expect Yang is that way.


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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 07:06:02 AM »
!###!!!!#!
!###!!!!#!

MY 2133.  I was escorting an Artifact home with a Scout as cover, to keep anyone from stealing it.  Then this mindworm came out of nowhere and destroyed them both.  I was walking overland because that supply pod was blocking the channel for my Transport.  It could have popped an Isle of the Deep, and I don't want to lose my only ship, let alone a Clean Reactor Deep Radar ship.  I've had a lot of fungus creating choke points on my land.  It's not as bad as some games I've played where the fungus totally overwhelmed my starting position, but this isn't good land.  It'll get better eventually but this isn't some accelerated starting position.

more slaughter
more slaughter

Mindworms up north waylaid me too.  Settling my colonist where it is, hasn't felt like the greatest idea, but I'm getting impatient about this game.  I don't like getting jerked around this much.  I make a precautionary save before founding my base, in case there's yet another one out there.  It's 2 AM and I really can't be bothered to tiptoe around this game anymore.  It's going to get dangerous enough anyways and I don't need this early junk.  Crabbiness and a desire to end a number of nights of sleep deprivation, is imminent.  I did at least kill that offending mindworm with that barely alive Scout.

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 07:31:26 AM »
here he is, Mr America! look at him go
here he is, Mr America! look at him go

Hi Yang!  Haven't seen you since we were snuggling in cryoslumber near a Unity escape pod.

wtf

This is a bug.  I don't know what's causing it, but I've seen it happen in quite a number of my games recently.  I wonder if it's stale files in my game directory, old data from previous games somehow?  The last time I looked into this bug, I believe it was present from the very beginning of the game.  So loading an autosaved game and playing something over, isn't going to fix anything.  We have now unscientifically determined my first atrocity victim.  The one for whom in his deranged mind, it has already happened!  Let us not disappoint him, especially since he'll nuke us if we let him get around to it.

I pass Yang's commlink frequency to Svensgaard.  I didn't ask for a war.  I was hoping he'd get a map out of Yang, but he didn't.

useful
useful

I fish Roze's commlink frequency out of a sea supply pod.  She tells me all about Yang's lands.  We sign a Treaty but she doesn't want a Pact.

very!
very!

She sells me C2 Applied Physics!  I've got the minimum I need to make chemical warfare now.  Probe teams would be nice.

not quite the production or logistics
not quite the production or logistics

It's not a lot of targets right now, but they're scattered and not all that near to me.  I've only got 4 cities myself and they're all size 1.  It isn't time to attack yet, but I know what I have to work towards.

data mining
data mining

I pass Roze's comm frequency to Svensgaard.  This time he does come back with a map.  Roze is sitting next to the Monsoon Jungle and will surely colonize it.

march of progress
march of progress

The land corridor on the way to Yang is long and empty.  I need to expand in this direction.  Gaining mag tubes would be good.

Time for bed!

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 03:31:02 PM »
best option when surrounded by fungus
best option when surrounded by fungus

MY 2139.  Svensgaard sells me B2 Industrial Base, which makes Recycling Tanks and Capitalist available.  I'd switch to it but funds prevent me.  I said I would do it though.  None of this weenie Green stuff!

proper money grubber
proper money grubber

MY 2141.  I switch to Capitalist.  It doesn't actually make me more money right now, but it does speed up my research a bit.  It'll start to matter more and more as I get more cities and they grow in size.  It's going to be a PITA for mindworms though.  Ordinarily this would be a premature decision, but I'm determined to roleplay Morgan properly.

my utter lack of convictions
my utter lack of convictions

MY 2148.  I learn B2 Ethical Calculus and go Democratic.  I know I talked about Extremist but there's nothing helpful about that at this stage of the game.  It was not meant to be a good choice, in fact it was meant to get the AI to stop obsessing about Fundamentalist.  I had to take stuff away and make it more useless to get that to happen.  It's still good for some factions though, like the Cult of Planet who is immune to its negative effects.  It could be useful to me later when I have bigger cities, as +3 SUPPORT would give me free units up to the size of the city.  I could try to pump up a single city by adding Colonists to it, but I don't have the food or production for that yet.

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2019, 04:14:53 PM »
you sank my battleship!
you sank my battleship!

MY 2152.  Yang sinks my Transport.  At least I happened to have my Rover off of it at the time, due to fighting a mindworm last turn.  I thought I was going to zip backup to that Monolith of his to heal.

security posture
security posture

MY 2159.  Now I can have probe teams!  Buying my tech from others has been going rather well.  The best thing I could get next would be E3 Monopole Magnets.  It's cross-listed as a Build tech so I might get it sometime.

diplomatic nonsense
diplomatic nonsense

MY 2163.  Svensgaard declares war on Roze.  I've gotten far more tech out of her than out of him!  That's because she starts the game with what amounts to the Planetary Datalinks already in her pocket.  That's a feature of my mod, that the Data Angels don't actually have to infiltrate to get the free techs from other factions.  It was way too much to expect the poor hapless AI to get probe teams all the way across the map to infiltrate.

I have to take out Yang first.  I don't want to be in a war with Roze, there's no value in it for me at all.  So I will try to stop it and keep Svensgaard as an ally.

who am I to believe
who am I to believe

He points the finger at her.

I am a tech pest
I am a tech pest

Roze blows me off!  I think I bothered her about stuff last year though.  Maybe it'll pass soon.

the love between us just isn't there anymore
the love between us just isn't there anymore

MY 2166.  Roze finally starts talking again and acquiesces to my desire.


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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2019, 05:10:13 PM »
borgs
borgs

MY 2172.  Svensgaard get's Aki Zeta5's phone number off of a bathroom wall, out on some buoy somewhere.  Hey it's the 70s.  She wants nothing but sweet war between us.  She's the most distant faction, according to Yang's map from the Unity crash site.  On the graph she's also supposedly the most powerful, with the Data Angels close behind.

interloper
interloper

MY 2173.  Not sure how Yang got a Scout all the way up behind me.  I suppose he took a boat.  I haven't had a ship out that way in a long time.  I rush a 2nd Scout to deal with it.


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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 06:32:05 PM »
cyborg island
cyborg island

MY 2179.  Svensgaard got ahold of a Cyborg map.  They don't have great land, but they're benefiting from their isolation.  I'm pleased that my modding has caused them to make some sea bases.

capitalist problems
capitalist problems

MY 2180.  A mindworm spawns from the Ruins and assaults one of my bases.  I can move a Unity Rover in there to defend it, which I was trying to use to clear out Yang's scout.  Yang retreated deeper into the fungus and rocks, making it harder to get to him.  I still don't have Fungicidal Tanks, and I'm still only producing Hardened Scouts from 1 Command Center.  Fungal Towers, at least I'll eventually be able to kill with untrained Scouts, but the Ruins is a special difficulty.  I've settled all around it, but even then, the Flat terrain squares haven't been totally cooperative for good base sites.  I need to remove some fungus to get at the Monoliths in the center.  I don't want to just plop a city in the middle, as I've already got some Monoliths in use by other cities.  I've planted many Forests to gradually undermine the fungus, and that is gradually working elsewhere, but it hasn't done much against the Ruins yet.

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2019, 06:54:50 PM »
what happened to our love
what happened to our love

MY 2183.  Roze declares war on me.  Why did I bother to try to stop this earlier?  It didn't matter.   She could manage to get some probe teams my way, so I'll have to make a defense.  At least there's only 1 city she can reach without an ocean voyage.
The logistics of trying to get to any of my enemies - Yang, Roze, and Aki - are not convincing right now.  And I can count on Deirdre to hate me when I finally meet her.  She's quite far across the southern waters.

north pole access
north pole access

MY 2186.  While doing the "Rover off a Transport" trick to avoid fungal entanglement on a coastal supply pod, I set off an earthquake.  This isn't important, it's just a mild geographic curiosity.  I've often wondered whether the earthquake play mechanic was implemented exactly to punish me for using this tactic.  It happens often enough, that if I'm really serious about preserving my Transport, I'll get to a safe distance before the Rover pops the pod.  But that doesn't work when the pod is on fungus.

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2019, 07:11:52 PM »
pest

MY 2187.  Yang starts shelling me.  I suppose I'll have to deal with him.  What a bore!  I haven't made so much as a Laser in all this time.  Everyone's too far away to make war.  I suppose an X Laser Skimship would be appropriate.  Gotta start committing atrocities sometime.  Sunspots sure would be useful, so I could get away with it without repercussions.

Svensgaard offers Deirdre's commlink frequency, but I decline.  I know how she's gonna react.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2019, 07:25:06 PM »
let's try the redhead
let's try the redhead

MY 2190.  I deliberately meet Miriam of the Believers.  In my mod they don't have any political compulsion at all, i.e. they are not inherently Fundamentalist or Extremist.  They could choose Extremist, but they could just as easily choose Democratic or Police State.  The good news is that means she won't be automatically enemies with me for being Democratic.  The bad news is that she's still Aggressive and there's no way to butter her up by picking her politics! I am hoping that her geopolitical situation with the Gaians, will make her favorably disposed to me.  Unfortunately if she's allied with the Gaians, we're probably toast.

We sign a Treaty.  She sells me Plasma Armor tech.  Pretty productive trip!

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Re: Morgan Biochemical - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2019, 01:47:09 AM »
rational governance
rational governance

MY 2191.  Someone calls an election.  I'm nominally at war with both candidates, although we haven't had any actual fighting.  I am leery of fueling Aki's research, but I will be in a ground war with the Data Angels real soon now.  It'll take me forever to get to Aki, so I might as well have my actual opponent be weaker rather than stronger.  I'd rather have peace with the Data Angels so I can be left alone to wipe out the Hive, but I'll do what I must.

This split circumstance also makes me realize I should consider my chemical weapons policy.  I'm not going to use chemical weapons against multiple factions at the same time.  Past experience has taught me that's stupid to the point of being suicidal.  That means I do need conventional units, as long as I'm fighting multiple front wars.  That could be a hand wavy justification for delaying chemical atrocities.  I'd rather not be doing it against some mere sea units of Yang, as I'm going to get sanctions for it.  I'd like to save it for when I'm actually obliterating his bases.

And if I could just get some sunspots.  Never before have I felt such a need for them.

I'm not currently building new bases.  I've completed Recreation Commons everywhere.  I have a good number of Rover Formers in the field completing my road networks.  I could really use E3 Monopole Magnets.  I have a Foil Probe Team slowly making its way south, but distances are vast, and it could easily be killed.  I am currently building Biology Labs everywhere.  There's no point building a strong military until I have the ability to connect with my enemies.

 

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