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

Mind Controlling Worms - SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.37

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Detailswill I get nukedwill I get nuked
MY 2279.  Ok why continue this game?  I think the runaway tech trajectory the University is on, is interesting.  Partly it's because they're on the Monsoon Jungle.  Partly it's because I deliberately accelerated the Discover part of the tech tree.  A Discover oriented faction should be able to achieve a breakaway speed of tech, if they're left alone.  It didn't happen for the Cyborgs, they got squeezed between powerful factions.  It could have happened for the Gaians but didn't.  Perhaps the Cult of Planet provided enough pressure to keep it from happening, although not enough to overcome the Gaians.

Detailsfinishing the jobfinishing the job
Morgan Metagenics is defended by a nearly dead Clean Trance Scout.  I could destroy the city if I could just get units down there to do it.  It's just barely out of Needlejet range.  I suppose I could build a Carrier and move in and out of port to slightly extend my range, but sending my existing X units is faster.  I tried to ride the rail lines this turn, but enemy units were in the way, so I got back on my boat.

DetailsPirate watersPirate waters
The Pirates have experienced huge growth, 3X what I've managed.  I've never infiltrated them because they've been too far away.  I don't actually know if they're doing interesting things with tech or not.  Recently they've established some sea bases just beyond the Morganic west coast.  I bet I can sneak some Cruiser Probe Teams down there, particularly after those 2 Morganic cities are gone.  Finally, for AI testing purposes, I should find out what they've built in the absence of Clean Transports.  I could do that using the Scenario Editor, but doing it in-game preserves my options.

Detailsmild poppagemild poppage
MY 2280.  I get 2 fungal pops.  The western clump has a stack.  The eastern one doesn't.  I start the year with 1301 credits and 18 eco-damage in my capitol.  After killing the mindworms I have 1901 credits.  Perhaps I don't need much of an ECONOMY right now.  However, changing to Police State or Extremist drops my income from 50 to 21, without obviously providing much advantage.  I stay Democratic.

Detailsnot this timenot this time
The Manifold Nexus is sinking!  If it goes underwater, it doesn't work anymore.  And as far as I've seen in any game, raising it back up again doesn't fix it.  So this is going to have to become high ground.

Pirate ships milling about the coast, keep my Cruiser Transport from reaching its target.  I retreat and cover it with an Interceptor.  I do have 2 planes to do a continuous rotation with, so long as my ship is within 9 squares of my southern tip city.  I make a conventional attack on the coastal defender sitting on open terrain and kill it.  The one in the forest is too tough for me to take out conventionally, and is not worth a chemical attack.  The purpose is accomplished however: I am able to ride the rail down to Morgan Metagenics.

Detailsavoiding responsibilityavoiding responsibility
Now here's a conundrum: is it better to make a conventional attack and then Obliterate a medium sized base, or to depopulate it with a chemical attack and then Obliterate it?  The last time I did a 40k Obliteration the eco-damage was completely awful, so I'm going to try a chemical attack this time.

Detailsexotic action at a distanceexotic action at a distance
My attack drops the base from size 6 to size 2.  Eco-damage in my capitol climbs to 28 and affects most of my other cities as well.  Well that's better than the 40k Obliteration was, but I'm also at +3 PLANET this time so I'm not sure if circumstances are equal.

I take the base and its population drops to 1.  I scrap a Naval Yard, an odd thing to find in an inland Morganic city.  My Elite unit is healed from taking the base and has 1 move remaining.  I ride back up to my Transport and get on the ship.  I send a Unity Rover from the ship to perform the final Obliteration, as it is less valuable than the X Recon Rover.

Detailscan I please kill just a few of themcan I please kill just a few of them
Eco-damage in my capitol rises to 34.  Acceptable.

DetailsPlanet Pearl bonanzaPlanet Pearl bonanza
With all the money I've made killing mindworms, I rush 2 Pressure Domes and the rest of the Research Hospitals.  I still have 953 credits.

Detailsa Truce with Infamya Truce with Infamy
Belatedly I realize that the Cyborgs are close enough now to infiltrate by land.  I have extra AAA Trance 3-Res units, so I send one of them into the fungus to prepare the way for a probe team.  It encounters a Morganic speeder, which I have to take out with a mindworm.  And it stirs up a native mindworm, so again another mindworm.  Finally I run into a Cyborg Scout.  This is a busy patch of fungus!  It seems that minor atrocities aren't so implacable to the unaggrieved after all.  It'll last until, presumably, my next chemical attack.

Detailsjust barelyjust barely
I make it to the Cyborg base with 1/3 move remaining.  The Xenoempathy Dome is pretty useful!  Most of my missions would have been blocked if I hadn't had it.  Since the Cyborgs are Pathetic, they don't have any techs.  This is more about being able to see what I'm invading someday.

DetailsI like your drowningI like your drowning
MY 2281.  I get 2 pops with stacks of Locusts in them.  I have to kill them all individually because an Interceptor with Air Superiority does not kill a whole stack.  I wonder if a SAM ground unit would?  SAM naval units would definitely kill entire stacks last game if they were over water.  I also find that Hardened units are ineffective against Locusts.  They will wound them, but the Hardened unit will die.  Only Veteran or better will kill them, and they'll only just barely live through it.  My Interceptors were quite disappointing and I lost 2 of them.  This is all with a +3 PLANET rating.  I don't have enough expendable units, so 3 Locusts are left at full strength, and 1 more is nearly dead.  I rise to 2065 credits from killing them.  My capitol is now doing 28 eco-damage.

Detailsassured defenseassured defense
I start building a SAM Gatling Artillery in my capitol, which I know can harm entire stacks of Locusts.  The downside is I don't get Planet Pearls from any units I kill that way.  In other cities, I stubbornly build more Research Hospitals and Industrial lads.  I don't like being pushed around by Planet, and this money should have a use.  I made very poor use of it last game.  I'm able to build 8 such labs and I still have 305 credits left.

Detailslimited projectslimited projects
MY 2282.  The Pirates start building the Longevity Vaccine, giving me more motive to steal from them.  I get 2 pops but thankfully they're the ground stack kind.  I rise to 1472 credits killing them.  I rush 3 more labs, leaving me with 812 credits.  My capitol is still doing 28 eco-damage.  Once I've got troops, if the mindworms are still at it I'll build Centauri Preserves.

MY 2283.  No pops this year.  I design a ground unit to take out Locusts.  Is this the key to killing a whole stack of them and getting the money?  I don't know.  I need to make some appear, so I can find out!  My capitol is still doing 28 eco-damage.

Detailsdamned if you do, damned if you don'tdamned if you do, damned if you don't
A mere 75 meters before it was going to sink, I raise the Manifold Nexus.  Only to discover... it gets destroyed by raising it too!  I'm down to +2 PLANET now.  I don't know if my Farm helped it disappear or not.  I suspect the Nexus is a terrain feature rather much like the Monsoon Jungle, capable of going <poof> if the land is raised.  Which is, like, completely and utterly stupid.  I thought having it drown was bad enough, but this, this is ridiculous.

Detailsoh fickle Uoh fickle U
I notice the University is not making a Planet Buster anymore.  Their Monsoon Jungle homeland is also getting pretty trashed out by the flooding.  I think this answers my question: no, I'm not going to get nuked.  The AI isn't going to manage enough concentration to get the job done.  Yes, they'll have a productivity increase and yes, they could build a Skunkworks somewhere to speed a nuke along.  But what's really going to happen, is they're going to sink into the water, and the Pirates are going to bother them.  They're not friendly anymore, they went to war again some time ago.

I'm officially tired of this game and pulling the plug on it.  The gratuitous loss of the Manifold Nexus was the last straw.

Would the Pirates nuke me?  Let's take a look in the Scenario Editor and find out.

DetailsUlrik's secret toyUlrik's secret toy
50 turns?  I think the answer is no, they will not nuke me.  Not before I realistically did whatever I wanted to do to them.  At a minimum, infiltration and intervention.  The AI can't focus that well, and, I haven't fully solved the Pirates' SUPPORT problem.

Detailslife without Cleanlinesslife without Cleanliness
At least they didn't build excessive numbers of Transports.  22 doesn't seem unreasonable for an empire as large as theirs, and they haven't lost that many of them either.  I suspect that without the Clean Transport fixation goading it on, the Pirate AI decides that Isles of the Deep are a better option once they become available.  I've definitely seen Isle obsession later in the game.  Whether that's good or not is debatable, because they can be a darned nuisance as base defenders.


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