|Starting tech||Centauri Ecology|
Lady Deirdre Skye
The Gaians, led by Lady Deirdre Skye, are the original "green" faction included in vanilla Alpha Centauri. Perhaps they were inspired by real life militant activists groups that were making headlines at the time such as the Earth Liberation Front or Greenpeace.
The Gaians are a pretty potent faction. They begin with Centuri Ecology which allows terraforming right off the bat. The bonus to Planet rating means that they can attempt to capture mindworms and other native life much sooner than many of the other factions. Fungus is not as big of an issue like some of the other leaders must go through in that they also can get bonus nutrients from fungus.
As an AI, Deirdre tends to expand quickly on large, abundant lifeform maps. She also tends to develop really good infrastructure. She will go crazy if you happen to run Free Market, though, which puts her at odds with factions like the Morganites that seem to prefer that social engineering choice.
For multiplayer, the Gaians are prefered over Planet Cult because of fewer weaknesses.
The efficiency boon is terrific, and if you had a good way to rake in the energy (Free Market), your faction would be almost unbeatable. As it stands, about the only way you can do it is via Golden Ages, which, while workable, is far from being as good, since the money invested in Psych detracts from the total cash earned. Still, you've other important advantages that make up for your lack of raw energy. Specifically, you are good at "channeling" what energy you do get. Run either Dem or Green and you have a paradigm economy, allowing you to run either 100% cash or labs and rake in a respectable amount. Again, the drawback is that you can either have good income or good labs, but only average both if you keep your allocation at 50/50. The trick then, is knowing when to do which, and the approaches will vary (see below). Regardless of your playstyle though, you have two other important advantages which will serve you well. The first is the ability to draw resources from fungus squares. This helps your early game immensely, and means you have to spend comparatively less time terraforming (and you get Centauri Ecology at game start), to get your bases productive. The second is the ability to catch mind worms, with the added bonus that your first worm capture attempt is always successful. Goal number one then, is to send your scout patrol out trolling for worms! When you find one and catch it, you have the perfect pod-popping unit (assuming pod scattering is on), because even if the pod in question unleashes more worms, they will ignore your native life form, leaving it to you to either try to catch them and add them to your force, or move on to the next pod. Repeat this process when you get Doctrine: Flex and gun skimships, and you're pretty much set for the whole game, as IoDIsle of the Deep's (Isles of the Deep) make tremendously good pod-poppers, scouts, and transports....very versatile units!
Forget the money. Beeline for Dem, and make the switch as soon as you can, netting you a paradigm economy, and +4 growth (when you build creches). At this point, you can slam your labs to 100% and keep pace with the best researchers in the game. True, your income suffers, but you can ease back from 100% periodically to save up more cash, and once you arrive at restriction lifting techs, you can reverse that for a time, effectively turning labs off to help you rush through infrastructure builds. Also, when you're ready to boom, you merely add Planned to what you've already got and giant bases are yours! Again, your research efforts are helped, if pod-scattering is on, by the presence of your mindworms, and, since you cannot run Market, you will be spending the whole game actively exploring, so if you find others who are running Builder or Hybrid styles (and making regular use of Market), a few probes into their territory with your mindworm force just might be sufficient to scare them away for Market (to avoid fighting a losing battle with your worms). Of course, this is an early game advantage, rendered much less effective once Secrets of the Human Brain are discovered, but the implications are that, if you spend a bit of time focused on catching 3-4 worms, you can keep your builder stance and put together enough of a force to effectively worm rush someone. Your troops aren't great, but Children’s Creches are an excellent build for you, as it helps with both troop morale and further enhances your Empire's efficiency.
As with the Builder Game, capturing worms is important, and even moreso for the Hybrid game. You will definitely want to make early use of the worm rush if at all possible. Essentially, this is a denial strategy, added to the usual Hybrid mix. The goal is not so much to succeed in taking out an empire (though by all means, do so if you can), but to force them away from a Market Stance and slow them down, enabling your 100% lab focus to blow past them, tech wise (Note: The reason it is important to force your opponents away from Market is simply that, Dem/Market at 70%, despite the inefficiency, can out-tech Dem/Green at 100%). You'll probably be stuck using your probes defensively, unless you pull back from your lab focus in advance to horde cash, and again, with the Gaians, it is almost always more productive to run either 100% labs or 100% economy. To keep a 50/50 stance with this faction undoes one of your chief advantages. The real trick to playing this faction is in knowing when to run which setting, and that is determined by prevailing game conditions. Hybrids will probably want to run both Dem and Green unless game conditions turn nasty, in which case, the Hybrid player will likely drop Dem to go on more of a war footing, again, relying heavily on Native life forms to offset your otherwise less-than-remarkable troops.
Go Native! Forget Dem. Beeline for Flex and Planetary networks (Probes and boats), then to Green, catch as many worms as you can, run Econ. at 100% and build lots of probes. The probes will make up for your lack of research, infiltrate enemy datalinks, and augment your native attack force with captured enemy troops caught alone and in the open. Plus, the worms don't care what techs your opponents have and you're the best Psi-fighter in the game, especially if you zero in on Market-loving Builders (who probably also have a lot of nice techs you want). Again, the worm rush is vital to your success, so do not delay in building up your native attack force and constantly be scouting for opponents! And, once your attack force is on its way, focus on spreading your empire, growing lots of small bases to offset Green's growth penalty (you hardly feel it from size 1-2 bases)
|Classic Factions||•Gaia’s Stepdaughters •Human Hive •University of Planet •Morgan Industries •Spartan Federation •The Lord’s Believers •Peacekeeping Forces|
|Alien Crossfire Factions||•The Cybernetic Consciousness •The Data Angels •The Free Drones •The Cult of Planet •Nautilus Pirates|
|Progenitor Factions||•Manifold Caretakers •Manifold Usurpers|