The Data Angels
The Data Angels
|Probe||+2 (Probe Cost 75%)|
|Starting tech||Information Networks, Planetary Networks|
|Covert Ops Center|
|Starting unit||Probe Team|
|ShareTech (with infiltrator)||3|
Datajack Sinder Roze
Shortly after Planetfall, the colonists struggled to build information networks in support of research and base administration. The situation was much like the early days of the Internet, in which networks were designed to be immediately useful, not rigorously secure. Inevitably, administrators across Planet became aware of hackers in the net. Within a few years, there were widespread rumors about a "network underground," led by a mysterious figure known only by the alias of Sinder Roze.
For a long time, no one took the so-called "Data Angels" seriously. System administrators worked to secure their networks and trap the hackers, but without much success. Finally, in one of Planet's earliest inter-factional crises, the Angels revealed their hand. Dozens of computer experts and hundreds of their friends and supporters vanished from their bases around Planet overnight. Among these was the head of Quality Assurance for MorganNet, a woman who turned out to be Sinder Roze herself.
The Angels soon reappeared with their own bases and territory. The established factions (especially the Morganites and University) reacted with outrage, but the Angels had prepared their move well. Logic bombs and trojans, placed within their enemies' networks long before the schism, disrupted attempts at action against them. Whether the other factions liked it or not, the Angels and their anarchistic crusade for information freedom would be a lasting factor in Planet's development.
A faction not given much consideration, in general, because unlike the others, they lack a well-founded ideological base, however, a closer look reveals that this group plays borrows heavily from Lal's Peacekeepers, Morgan, and the Nautilus Pirates in terms of playstyle….admittedly without any of their advantages, but that's okay, as they've got numerous advantages of their own.
Roze's singular negative is practically meaningless, while her other abilities are quite useful. +2 Probe effectively gives every unit you have the “Polymorphic Encryption” enhancement (for free!), further enhanced by actually giving that ability to your units if you feel the need to. Essentially this makes it almost ruinously expensive to steal bases or units away from you, enabling you to leave your units single stacked far more often than your opposition (which is great from a combat perspective). That, combined with your own, correspondingly cheaper probe actions puts you firmly in the driver's seat where Covert Ops are concerned. Add that to your sharetech3 ability (gives you the same effect as the Planetary Datalinks for free!), and what you have is a faction that is quite capable of defending itself from a variety of attacks, and able to zero in on specific areas of the tech tree, relying on the fact that your sharetech will enable you to pick up new technological advances from areas outside of what you are pursuing as those techs are traded and passed around the other factions. In fact, to make the most of your sharetech ability, you should play this group as a synthesis of Morgan, Lal, and Svensgaard. Seeing that the other factions are in contact with each other is very important to you, as it increases the likelihood of techs being traded around, which gives you direct benefits (and, if no one seems willing to trade tech with you in the game, you've got your probe teams to get them anyway!).
Your only SESocial Engineering aversion is power, and that's one that doesn't really work well with this group in any case, so even if you could pick it, odds are good that you wouldn't. You're not hampered by a lack of energy, or any research or drone penalties, and that, combined with your probes, will very quickly put you in a position of dominance.
Morgan must rely on his additional cash windfall to subvert enemy troops that land, but you (with your cheaper cover ops rates) can accomplish the same ends with less money, putting you in the same or better position as Morgan, probe-wise.
Combatively, your troops are only average, but with your probe teams, it is entirely possible to stay in Free Market for the entire game and simply steal your opponents' bases one at a time, buying them out from under him, and stealing enemy troops as they drive up to try and get the base back.
Later in the game, the presence of a Covert Ops Center in each base, you've effectively got a +4 Probe rating, rendering you immune to probe actions a la Miriam, without any of her disadvantages! (Effectively giving you your own private “Hunter-Seeker Algorithm!”)
Regardless of your style of play, Probe Teams will play heavily into your overall strategy, and the Builder's game is no exception. As you've read before though, anybody who relies heavily on Probe Teams (Domai, Miriam, Yang, Cha'Dawn, and You especially), must play a fairly active Builder's game. Thus, your goal in the DataAngel Builder game is to mind your own business, building probes anytime you get a few free turns in a base's build queue, sending out the probe foils to go find the others, and keeping the rover and infantry based ones milling about your empire (or sneaking across a rival's border, if you've got company on your continent). If the badguys come calling, a little bit of cash will net you with a bigger army, a weaker opponent, and fewer worries. Also, if one of your neighbors decides to continue to raise a fuss, drive a few probe foils over to his infrastructure poor (and thus, relatively inexpensive) bases and simply buy his empire away from him one piece at a time.
Played this way, it's all about getting out and meeting people. Your favored SE settings will tend to put you in good standing with both Lal and Morgan (and sometimes, with fickle Sven), and these are the more commerce-oriented factions, generally eager to trade and make treaties, so go out, meet interesting people from exotic, far-off lands, and infiltrate them, relying on your Builderesque approach to warfare. With Roze, you can run your entire exploration effort via probe teams and transport foils, which means you can stick to Market in all but the more dire circumstances.
Run a brief, early period of Market to get yourself built up to a position of power, making use of Market's energy boon to give you the important early game mobility and combat techs relatively quickly, then, construct a medium-sized force, augmented with money and probes and go hunting! If you come across a base that looks like it might be a tough fight, fine. Buy it, add the garrison to your strike force, and keep moving. It is entirely possible for you to buy even a base with a number of secret projects in it on the cheap, something even Morgan is hard-pressed to do at times!
|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|