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What early secret projects are worth getting?

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  • What early secret projects are worth getting?

    Skanderbegs recent thread has got me thinking, what early Secret Project do you consider worth building in the single player game?

    At the moment I consider Human Genome, Virtual World, and Weather Paradigm the only three worth trying for, and you can consistently pick up 2 of these 3 on transcend level. As useful as some of the other early projects are, I don't think its worth slowing your vital early expansion in order to build them. Theres so much to do in the early game, there are better ways to use your finite resources than to build lots of secret projects. Its possible to build more but in my opinion not optimal.

    Besides the big 3, I'll only pick up the other early projects if for some reason no-one else builds them for ages and I can pick them up easily in the mid game.

    So what do you think? Which projects are worth slowing your growth in order to obtain?


  • #2
    Hi Tony!

    I agree, that Weather Paradigm, Human Genome and Virtual world are the most essential secret projects.

    But under normal circumstances, for me it is not the question, what SP's I would like to build, but which I can get. Most times, I get only on of the big three.

    I think, the least essential SP is the command nexus. Command Centres are cheap to build, and You don't need them in every city.

    But never underestimate the Merchants exchange! Those few additionally bucks, especially in the early game, don't seem to be much, but if You make the ME base your special science base with science and energy enhancement, it can make Your day! The first game I ever won on transcendent level, I won because I lost the race to the weather paradigm and got "ONLY" the Merchants exchange.

    And if you are a warmonger, then the defense perimeter secret project is a real goodie. Getting a free, undestroyable defense perimeter a once in every conquered base can give You are strong protection against counterattacks!


    • #3

      I agree with you that on Transcend, those are probably my three favorite early SPs. My least favorite is probably the Merchant Exchange, though this can be a crucial benefit to a Super Science City (which is most critical for an energy / research challenged faction). Even so, when I play the University I usually can get all but one of the SPs throughout the entire game. In fact I have been able to get them all in two of my last three games, and lost the Empath Guild to Deirdre in the other game.

      I don't feel that my expansion is in any way curtailed by the building of the SPs. I shoot for 9 bases early on unless I am sharing a medium to small continent with another faction, in which case I will build more bases to get the upper hand. Thus my first two bases build two colony pods each, then start cranking infrastructure to prepare for the SP builds. Fairly quickly I will have all of my bases laid down, and all of my bases will be building infrastructure or SPs. I beeline for crawlers, so it doesn't take long to get there. I lay crawlers on forests until a base is producing about 16 minerals, and then start cranking crawlers for the SPs proper. If Morgan or someone is getting close to an SP I want, I will rush it by cashing in some of those mineral crawlers. As every base is pretty much building crawlers, these can be fairly quickly replaced. Once the early SPs are up, I can concentrate on building my treefarms etc., as there seems to be a lag where I have pulled away from the AI in tech, and most of them have not yet contacted each other to trade techs.

      If I had to only choose three early SPs to take, I would have to say that my choices would depend upon the faction that I was playing, and the general situation. I like the weather paradigm for instance in my good science big builder games, but would probably not have that great of a chance at it playing Miriam, and wouldn't miss it as much due to her high support (for more formers). If she could get it, the Merchant Exchange is probably a better choice for her. If I was playing Lal, the Empath Guild would be an obvious favorite. Morgan can really make hay with the PTS, which helps him overcome his difficulty pop booming and his hab limits by giving him instant size three bases.

      The free facility in every base SPs are of particular interest to the ICS type player, and anyone with a long unfriendly border is going to look longingly at free perimeter defenses and free command centers. If I had to choose one essential SP which almost every faction in every situation would love to have, I would have to choose the Hermann Goering Project (in Transcend Games). This puppy gives you that early edge to either grow 50% larger vertically, or 100% larger horizontally, and it's the gift that keeps on giving, by putting you over the top for those GAs later in the game.
      He's got the Midas touch.
      But he touched it too much!
      Hey Goldmember, Hey Goldmember!


      • #4
        I find Command Nexus to be the third most critical sp in my new playstyle. I am trying to better my war abilities, and thus have taken on the smaller maps more often. (And not with factions such as hive, but rather peacekeepers etc.)

        For early conquest I must say that 1 turn heals for all land units is VERY good. It makes taking tech slaves early and totally eradicating factions such as miriam alot easier. Each new base is immedieately, with no rush build, a base of operations for the next step of conquest.


        • #5
          I like to get WP, Command Nexus, and Human Genome. (Virtual World if I am playing University.) And after that, I try to plan my conquests around what SP's the AI builds. I think that letting the AI build the SP's and then taking them away by force is the way to go. It seems a little bit more fun and challenging to go after those SP bases, rather than just attacking the AI randomly at the weakest points. Maybe its not the "best" strategy, but it is fun. And that is the idea, for me.
          "Nine out of ten voices in my head CAN'T be wrong, can they?"


          • #6
            Weather Paradigm is the one I usually go for first, then Human Genome and then Virtual world. I don't usually get all three though. Getting SPs by conquest is fun. I just like hogging all the SPs.
            Which side are we on? We're on the side of the demons, Chief. We are evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I'm surprised you didn't know that. --Saul Tigh


            • #7
              I always go for the Merchant Exchange and the Supercollider. Since most of the time I am just playing around trying the "only prototypes challenge" or something to that effect on Librarian level, these two are a priority so that I can place them in the same base (which obviously is a base near the center of my empire at high altitude). Everything else is good, but let's be real, folks. No matter what challenge, the rest are realy easy to capture back later. (Although, I admit that not getting the Virtual World is a MAJOR pain.)


              • #8
                A puzzling question and one that almost always gets answered with the predictable "It depends"

                My personal preferences regardless of game settings and/or factions chosen are normally

                Command Nexxus
                Empath Guild

                Now if I consider some specific situations the order changes quite a bit. Say I'm playing UoP then it looks like:

                .... others


                .... others


                ..... others

                But also game conditions play into my thinking
                A very slow research game (i.e. one that makes the ability to lift restrictions something that could happen in the mid 2200's) makes my preference for WP a must have. In fact this can be the One and only One SP you need to win the game. I relate a game where I was trying to play Miriam as a builder (part of the rules as layed out was Miriam was not allowed to conquer a base and must win via Transcendance) playing in a tech stag Huge world, double blind game. Fortunately I was able to get the WP special project. By using Miriam's support adavantage to the fullest in terms of formers I was able to t-form my continent into a beautiful continent full of condensor/farms (remember condensor/farms combos are one quirk of the game that doesn't require restriction lifting i.e. gene splicing to exceed the 2 resource limit) thereby allowing my self sustainable population growth (nicely turned into a number of specialists). If I had not pursued this gambit undoubtedly I would have been mired in the tech doldrums. This alone meant the difference from my bases at max populations 100's of years earlier then what I would have otherwise expected if not for this one SP.

                Like I said a long winded answer for "It depends"


                "Just puttin on the foil" - Jeff Hanson

                “In a democracy, I realize you don’t need to talk to the top leader to know how the country feels. When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that’s the dictator, because he speaks for all the people.” - Jimmy Carter


                • #9
                  Og et al,

                  Great explanation - although the circumstances can vary things somewhat.

                  I hark back to an MP game I played, several months ago now, where the Empath Guild won me the game. Playing the PKs, and pretty much controlling the large northern continent, I set about building the WP nice and early in my HQ. I met the drones to the east, and established a treaty. Up until around 2160 or so, I didn't have any other neighbours - and the other two human players were trading techs like anything, and had a comprehensive tech lead.

                  However, with a rare brainwave on my part, I managed to switch to the EG, within 3 turns of completion. I had banked on the fact that the AI factions hadn't been given too many techs by the other humans, and that I had some techs they didn't. The EG effectively gave me first refusal on all AI tech trades - I acquired eight from them, and managed to share the tech lead. With my superior infrastructure, and newly-found technology, I managed to become Planetary Governor, race away from everyone in the tech race, and eventually win the game.

                  Other SPs played their part, of course, but it was primarily the EG which did the job that day. The other human players said they couldn't work out where I was getting all my tech from - they were somewhat surprised when I said it was all down to the EG.

                  Conversely, I have had instances in which the PTS played a similar role, in a mid-game expansion spree - gives me the pop lead, thus becoming Planetary Governor, and going on to win the game.

                  Like Og stated so clearly: it depends.
                  [This message has been edited by mark13 (edited January 06, 2001).]
                  We're back!


                  • #10
                    My "must have" SP is the WP, because I love condensors, with the WP you can weather the worst blind research can throw at you. I like the HGP, if only because the extra talent per base means that if a city has no drones the act of growing and gaining an extra population point wont throw it into riots.

                    I find Yang has different requirements in SP to the others, if any faction can survive on transcend without SP's it is the Hive, with his great police the HGP and VW are unnessecary (in fact hardly usful), and his crap economy ensures that a GA pop-boom isn't going to happen, HGP or not. Not to mention he gets the CDF for free.
                    The "big" SP's for Yang are the WP and Asetic Virtues, the latter usful in wartime when capturing large cities, as 3 military units quell 6 drones, making available large numbers of workers. Ironically despite being the faction which needs SP's the least yang also has the best chance of getting them, and his "free" +2 support just about puts him on a par with Domai.

                    Much of the above can also hold for Cha Dawn, with his worm police and later in the game free brood pits, altough the subject is somewhat less academic for Cha Dawn seeing he doesn't have much of a chance of getting the SP's, in fact everything is against Cha dawn, with the -1 industry, compounded by not being able to run Wealth, and the -1 econ making it harder to get to the techs in time to build the project.