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GotM 2010 06 "Market Forces"

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The restaurant was expensive, possibly the most expensive on Planet, but in an extravagant, rather than exclusive, way. The cutlery was heavy with precious metals; the meals were large, even ones made up of genuine, non-vat grown, meat and rare spices. The room was bright with harnessed solar energy, leaving the dark Chiron night to those of lesser means.

In Jeneba's mind, though, the primary source of light seemed to be the smile of the man sitting opposite her, lighting a fine cigar.

"This, in fact", CEO Nwabudike Morgan said, indicating the cigar, "is a good example of what I was talking about. If some other faction leader, Lal for example, was to smoke one of these in public, there would be talk of the leader setting a bad example by smoking unhealthy cigars before the eyes of those poor helpless drones who can't think for themselves. We, however, would think of it as inspirational. 'Look, he is rich enough to smoke expensive cigars'! Then we leave it to the individual drone to pursue his or her happiness in order to be able to smoke one of these one day.

“Or, for that matter, buy a restaurant and turn it into a non-smoking area.

“The point is that we don't demand a certain behavior - all we demand is that you work hard, by hand or by brain, whatever your assets are, to be able to afford the behavior of your choice! And we don't need an army of bureaucrats to make sure you don't put in more than you take out - because you can't! That's the power of the Market!"

Morgan leaned back, obviously pleased with his speech, cheerfully slapping the bottom of the waitress who had just brought him a glass of brandy and laughing loudly at her wide-eyed surprise. He leaned forward and winked at Jeneba.

"That would have been called 'sexual harassment', or perhaps 'adultery', in several other factions; indeed it would have in much of our own. However, in this restaurant, 'brief body contact with serving personnel' is part of the deal we made when having this table reserved for us. We paid good money for it and so it's ours!"

"And does the girl get extra money for providing this - service? ," Jeneba asked. Morgan raised his eyebrows.

"Why, if she was smart enough to negotiate for it! Her body is, of course, protected as her private property under our property laws - the only kind of laws you need - and may be sold or leased as she likes. It's all a matter of supply and demand! It's all in her contract; signed by her out of her own free will!"

"You see", Morgan continued, "the Market is good not only for organizing the distribution of energy, minerals and other limited resources, but also for organizing most human relationships. 'Human behavior is economic behavior', to quote my own greatest role model. And it's not just crude egotism, either. By striving to accomplish wealth for yourself, you inevitably create a better life for everyone around you, from the scientist getting rich from patenting a medical drug which helps ill people all over Planet, to the actor earning sweet credits pursuing his dream while at the same time entertaining his audience."

Jeneba considered her next move. Her boss had asked her to question The Morganite lifestyle, so that he could defend it as a sort of intellectual pastime.

"Well, but what about inherited wealth? Might that not be construed as unjust? Didn't you - "

"Yes, there's a point right there", Morgan interrupted. "We all know that some - not all - who inherit wealth become lazy and passive. However, the urge to provide for your offspring is such a strong driving force that the benefits are greater than the costs. Market forces gain their strength because they are tied to the deepest evolutionary drives imprinted in our very genes. When you mess with the Market, you're messing with a force of nature, which is why the non-market economies are like people thinking they've grown wings when they're really plain-old people in a plane that's about to run out of fuel."

Jeneba spread her hands, "Well, that's plain to see. But the elites of the other factions have invested huge resources and much prestige in their systems. They are not likely to listen to reason and some of them are heavily armed, you know..."

Morgan leaned forward, lowered his voice and put on the let's-get-down-to-business face that Jeneba had come to admire and fear through the years of working for Morgan.

"Ah, this brings us to the reason we're here tonight. You see, I have a plan..."


--- Quote ---And when at last it is time for the transition from megacorporation to planetary government, from entrepreneur to emperor, it is then that the true genius of our strategy shall become apparent, for energy is the lifeblood of this society and when the chips are down he who controls the energy supply controls Planet. In former times the energy monopoly was called "The Power Company"; we intend to give this name an entirely new meaning.

CEO Nwabudike Morgan
"The Centauri Monopoly"
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Wars, diplomacy and technology are all vehicles driven by the fuel of money. Economic forces have been hard to control or predict, with many notable failures in human history. In the years to come, we shall harness discoveries in areas such as sociology, psychology and artificial intelligence to finally tame the systems. In the end, it will become possible to gain a monopoly on energy currency, and gain permanent, unassailable control over the world. Not one transaction shall pass between any two people without our approval.
--- End quote ---

For GotM 1006 you will have to corner the global energy market.

The GotM scoring system will be used:

--- Quote from: bdanv ---Scoring
Ingame score (Aplha Centauri score) divided by the number of turns it took for victory divided by 2 equals the GOTM score.

'GOTM score' = S / (.5 * V)
S - Ingame score
V - number of turns it took for victory

It the event of a tie the game's end date is used to determine the winner.

--- End quote ---

You can send your files (last save before game ends) by submissions [ AT ] alphacentauri2 [ DOT ] info or post them in this thread.
Don't forget to inform us on the moves needed to complete the last turn (if any).

1) Download the zip file:
-for Transcend difficulty download the file: 1006 Market
-for Librarian difficulty download the file: 1006 Market
2)Place the archive into the scenarios directory. Usually you can find it here: C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri\scenarios
3) Unzip it there.
4) Start up SMAX, then select "Scenario", "Play Scenario", and then go to the subdirectory "1006 Market Forces" and choose the scenario.


--- Quote from: civac ---Wanting to play this scenario was the final incentive for me to order the expansion pack. :)
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: Imagine A Cool Name ---I dislike Morgan :( and this scenario doesn't fit the way I like playing at all, but I am ready to give it a try. I do not think I have ever even tried to win a game by Cornering the energy market before, so this should be interesting.
--- End quote ---

Good luck! :)

A note: As far as I can remember, this is a very difficult scenario. You will have to master Morgan's faction, which requires a different approach than many other facs. In short: If you complete this scenario and submit proof of it you will officially be the Big Cheese of Awesome Awesomeness!

Looking forward to your reports and submissions!  ;popcorn

Hello guys, I played the scenario twice and I’d like to share some thoughts and maybe tips. I don’t know how much I can disclose not spoil fun for anyone, so if I say too much please somebody let me know and I’ll delete it.

At my first attempt, my idea was to keep my head down, appease every faction and go straight to builder techs, largely ignoring conquer. This proved to be a serious mistake. :) It is not possible to avoid conflicts and you’ll end up in one always sooner than you wanted and expected. For a while the AIs kept me on my toes, but with BioEng and MMI I was able to strike back and invade. Unfortunately, I was using a lot of mind control (figuring it will decrease the price of cornering, when in fact it does the opposite, see thread here):

As the price went up to 250k, I figured I’d have to capture all but one base and corner the market only then. This was a boring perspective, so I left.

My second attempt was quickly over as I got too cocky and got sneak attacked from 3 factions at once. Quick reload.

At my third attempt I was smarter, but unfortunately proportionally less lucky. I lost a base to MW, then another to a sneak attack, and then in the midgame I lost my HQ (and EG, PEG and PDF) to a nuke. Way before ODP, so I couldn’t possibly counter it. For a moment I was just staring at the lake Morgan Industries once was… It hurt. I did manage to finish that game, but it took me a while – I cornered the market in 2345 and finished in 2365.

That’s a short description of my games, now on to comments:

- let me start with saying that this scenario is difficult. I mean it. Maybe it’s because I haven’t played Morgan so much, but I found this game very challenging. AIs have good starting positions, they use air units and sea probe teams, they like each other and they trade and they don’t like you and usually won’t trade with you. You start on a small island which needs a lot of terraforming, but going straight to EcoEng/EnvEcon is a bad idea;

- I believe it’s important to impose some sort of a house rule on yourself that you don’t go on a killing spree and corner the market when the AIs are out anyway. This way it will be much more fun and way more difficult. I did capture some bases in my vicinity, but I didn’t use them as launching pads for assault, but rather starved them down by using engineers and I was ready to trade them for peace. Once you get involved in the chop&drop strategy, you’ll manage to finish the scenario in the old-fashioned way, but in my opinion contrary to its spirit; so try to limit your empire to what you have been given, maybe raising terrain in the process;

- don’t even think you’ll manage through the game without vendettas. The AIs are both touchy and trigger-happy. I experienced only short periods without any fight going on. I did manage to get some pacts, but usually short-lived and not really profitable (in terms of tech trading, for instance);

- don’t put all your SPs in one basket; seriously, don’t; the nukes will fly and although I’m not saying you’ll get hit, I can say that I was received a nuke straight into my HQ. And this was in my second game, where I wasn’t even that aggressive towards that faction. In my first game many many nukes were exchanged, but I got spared somehow. In the next game – the first nuke came straight to me; I lost my best base and PEG in the process;

- as I didn’t want to maintain regular army, I had some probe teams ready for subversion; however, it’s important to have some cash reserves and be prepared to selling your facilities; at one moment I had to scrap my newly-built research hospital; it was a sad moment but if not for its sacrifice, I could have lost;

- once you secure Planetary Economy, check the price of cornering every turn; it may quite literally change by 20.000 ec from turn to turn, I have no idea why; just remember not to mind control any bases unless you have to (and I had to);

- as in my second game I didn’t go offensive, I didn’t have too many choppers throughout the game, which is why I almost got overrun during the final 20 turns; I was quite sure that the AIs don’t get more aggressive after you announce your attempt to corner the market; I was wrong; get ready for the final act, which stars actors like 30-12-1*4 units

- in my tech paths, many times I didn’t have the option I wanted thanks to that feature that you don’t get all the options available; it was so massive (more than a dozen times) that I suspected the scenario author of some meddling; anyhow, I recommend that you use the excel spreadsheet SMAC(X)_Technology_Choices_v1.07 by Minute Mirage and plan your research accordingly (your starting position is 4)

- I think it would be extremely difficult to corner the market before 2300 (and without conquering the map) and if anybody manages just that, please keep your saves as I want to compare notes;

- I don’t know what the scenario setting are and if the AI can transcend, but VoP was built in my game; scary!

Good luck and have fun with the scenario! :) I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Too hard for me.
I never player Morgan (and Im still stacked with Miriam on Nomads...:) )

I agree that Morgan is quite demanding, he may be well the most difficult faction to play of the original seven; however if played well he can be very powerful, nearly as much as Zak or Hive. This scenario teaches some lessons on playing Morgan, although it does deliver them in a brutal way. ;)


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