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  • newbie plays deirdre

    OK, having finally got my fill of Imp2, Im taking SMAC out for a spin again.

    This time playing as Deirdre, emperor (oops - Thinker) level.

    Seems like this is the faction to play for massive peaceful (non ICS) expansion, my old winning Civ2 strat. Factions high efficiency means no real corruption (inefficiency?) problem. And i built Human Genome Project (nice touch that it has same impact as cure for cancer did in civ2) so that should deal with expansion related unhappiness, at least on this level.

    Soon i'll be bumping up against other factions, ( i cheated and resigned my last time, instead of quitting, so i got to see the whole map) and will need military techs. OTOH ive got mindworms, should i just focus on psi warfare?


    Any other BASIC thoughts on playing Deirdre? (Note, im less inclined now to try to discover everything myself - theres so much here, on the one hand, and im having just enough trouble getting into the game, on the other, i fear if i dont ask for help i'll burn out on the game before i get into the nuances)
    "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

  • #2
    If I go the peaceful route I generally try to harvest mindworms and use the captured as my main defense that I send to the frontiers in case someone gets uppity on me. If I manage to collect many mind worms early and have someone close I'll go in for an attack taking as much as I can before signing a peace when my army of worms gets too small. I try to aim for SPs I usually don't like the Dream Twister (essential) and any that gives lifecycle bonuses. Once I've gotten the thing that gives +50% PSI off I start cranking out Locusts and swarm my opponents (switch to green and cybernetic when you can). I've never witnessed anything rule the world so quickly as a swarm of locusts.

    The good thing about relying on worms is that Wealth holds almost no disadvantage and no need for command centers or weapon techs. The bad thing is that unless you have the +50% off and def SPs it's easy to defend against and attack you.

    You could play conventionally without a problem as well, using the efficiency bonus to get fast research and better expansion and use only the mindworms you can capture. The extra money you get from harvesting should give you another edge.

    Regarding your current situation, if you want to build peacefully I'd simply send my mindworms to the frontier and suck up to them. Getting a good defensive tech and prototype it wouldn't hurt of course.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you wish only to be peaceful, the few captured worms you have should be more than sufficient to deal with anything the AI will dribble toward you.

      I differ with Gufnork when he says that nothing rules the world as quickly as locusts. Choppers and drop units can be used to conquer the world long before locusts are even available. Choppers are the most powerful unit in the game due to their ability to attack mutiple times.

      If you want to have sufficient military in the mid game make sure to get airpower at least as soon as the AI does. My advice is to beeline to industrial auto for crawlers and then head for gene splicing and environmental economics and then go for airpower. I doubt the AI will bother you MUCH before you have a plane or two ready

      And against strong opposition ( like other humans) native forces get to be very weak as an offensive force by mid game for the following reasons

      1. Artillery just decimates native life, even locusts. The damage from a bombardment is incredible. I used to think IODs could be formidable until I used a ship to bombard it first before using a second ship to kill it. For this reason, stacking native units together is not advised(unless stacking with a strong artillery unit with chances to win the arty duel). I no longer fear the massive planet worm pops if I have 2 -3 arty rovers. I have routinely seen pops of 4-5 worms/locusts fall to 2 bombardments and a single attack by a empath rover . . The bombardment took all the worms to 20% and the collateral damage from the attack finisged them all off with minimal damage to anything of mine.

      2. Empath units generally kill natives-- your enemy can possibly go green to increase their attacking power as well while Planet rating is irrelevant to defense. The bottom line is that for land units, it is not possible to FORCE favorable odds when a native is defending against an empath attacker-- ( you may encounter favorable odds but you cannot guarantee them)

      3. Expense . . . the free early mindworm army can be formidable but locusts are a specialty item against intelligent opposition and not the main force. Locusts are incredibly expensive compared to the gun empath chopper that can kill them or the trance scout that they will spend their turn killing. For the mineral cost of the locust, your enemy can have multiple cheap empath and trance units and perhaps a few more expensive high attack weapons. Assuming comparable empires, you will be at a numerical disadvantage

      Don't get me wrong, native forces are valuable and good in many ways-- I love locusts ability to hit from an unexpected direction and to capture bases when no drop units are in range . . . But in Smax there are ways to easily counter unidimensional threats.
      You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

      Comment


      • #4
        Other keys to the Gaians (my favorite faction):

        * You can expand more without drones due to +2 efficiency. These additional bases offset your lack of early FM and give you more vital production centers. You are also 'deeper' if things get nasty, and losing one or two bases isn't that critical.

        * You are the premier pod popper on land and do not forget the seas. You should shoot for Doct:Flex early, build a very cheap 1-2-4 foil, then start harvesting Isle of the Deep (IoDs) and pods. IoDs are wonderful transports and pod poppers bar none until late game. If you get Maritime Control Center you can control the seas, especially after you go Green.

        * Harvesting pods gets you more chance of valuable artifacts, which your worms and isles can shepherd home better than any other faction except the Cult. This gives you a big boost for early and mid game projects. After Ind Auto use artifacts for reasearch – link up those nodes. This will offset the extra energy nasty Free Marketeers invest in labs.

        * As Gufnork said, always have your worms and idle defenders plow into fungus to stir up worms. Get those planetpearls to augment your treasury, and if they like you then there are more troops – a no-lose situation. Be careful about building the Xenoempathy Dome. Once you do you will not stir up any more MWs, except from pods. This is a great project for combind MW and conventional attack/defense, though.

        * If things get nasty, don't forget the Worm Rush. Very early in the game 2 or 3 mindworms are huge. You might get a faction to surrender, or give you a critical early base to leave them alone. In one memorable game I started right next to Miriam. Ack! After 2 worms she became docile, and I demanded she give me her 2nd of 2 bases (MY 2120 or so). Needless to say she was not a problem after that.

        * As always, go with Psi if you are behind in tech. Otherwise get decent early offensive tech - Impact early, and defensive tech - plasma is good for a long time. I've always used a combined approach, with conventional units forward (since they are replaceable, and a good tripwire) and worms in the fungus to counterstrike. Don't rely on worms alone since they are very expensive to build, and you won't capture enough to fill out a later early game army. See my notes on the Worm Rush, above, for the early and mid early game.

        * You can't use FM, so (as mentioned) use wealth go bump energy and production. Who cares about the morale hit - a good part of your army is worm, which is unaffected.

        * Use Green with periods of Planned to population boom. I like to boom in stages, when 2 or 3 bases are ready. This boosts production nicely, even w/o FM.

        * Your efficiency is also wonderful for boosting your science allocation with a minimum of penalty. Early in the game I bump it to 60% or even 70%. When I go Planned I take it to 50% since the penalty becomes pretty steep.

        * By mid to late mid game (when all basic infrastructure is in place up to tree farm or hybrid forest) I'm Dem/Green-Planned/Wealth and I crank my allocation to 10 to 20% psych to get Golden Age, which with wealth gives me the magic +2 economy and +1 energy/square. Nirvana!! The Gaians can play with their energy allocation with more freedom than anyone except the Cyborgs, who are their equal.

        So, have fun being a granola munching, tree hugging, eco-weenie! Let the industrialists choke on their own filth. You'll be able to show them the light (or a bit of psi combat) until they re-evaluate their regressive, unenlightened opinions.

        Hydro

        Comment


        • #5
          Lots of good advice here already. My take:

          Raise you labs allocation at the start. Your tech will be almost as fast as Zak's in the early game, and you can count on cash from mindworm kills.

          Flubber's proposed beeline is a great basic strategy for any faction. OTOH, as Hydro says, it can make a lot of sense to go for Doc:Flex as the first beeline, especially if you raise your labs level a the start. Due to IoD captures, you can count on a dozen AAs and a boatload of cash on a huge map. (I would recommend using the AAs to rush SPs rather than techs, otherwise you will ruin your later tech paths.) I've found in MP that this strategy can make them particularly good from very bad starting positions.

          Play dem/planned virtually the whole game through, with green reserved for warfare. Use the 'disadvantage' of not having FM to boom all the time - you can continually found new bases and have them hit a pop boom fairly fast.

          Tell Planet to get stuffed. Crawl nutrients from condesor/farm tiles to support specialists and work mainly boreholes. Avoid competing on a raw-energy basis with other factions, except in squares which produce enough energy that FM's +1 bonus is not very significant.

          Comment


          • #6
            A word on mind worm troops... I believe that there is a bug in the game that puts natives at a disadvantage against higher reactor conventional weapons. So you will need a conventional army, particularly if the AI gets close to researching R2.

            Comment


            • #7
              Don't forget that Golden Ages are a real possibility for the Gaians as well. You don't need them to pop boom, but along with wealth you can get to +2 econ and that bonus energy on every tile. This faction is actually very strong IMO because there are so many ways it can be played well.
              He's got the Midas touch.
              But he touched it too much!
              Hey Goldmember, Hey Goldmember!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RedFred
                A word on mind worm troops... I believe that there is a bug in the game that puts natives at a disadvantage against higher reactor conventional weapons. So you will need a conventional army, particularly if the AI gets close to researching R2.
                Actually IIRC the bug is in the odds displayed rather than the combat outcomes. The bottom line is that natives and psi units ignore reactor types, and have the same odds against a veteran scout patrol with a fission reactor as a veteran scout patrol with a singularity reactor. The bug is in the odds displayed before combat (if you have that feature turned on). It calculates the odds as though the reactor counts in the equation, which of course it does for conventional combat.
                He's got the Midas touch.
                But he touched it too much!
                Hey Goldmember, Hey Goldmember!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sikander


                  Actually IIRC the bug is in the odds displayed rather than the combat outcomes. The bottom line is that natives and psi units ignore reactor types, and have the same odds against a veteran scout patrol with a fission reactor as a veteran scout patrol with a singularity reactor. The bug is in the odds displayed before combat (if you have that feature turned on). It calculates the odds as though the reactor counts in the equation, which of course it does for conventional combat.
                  Thats my understanding as well. Usually I will look at the odds and divide my odds by the reactor value to get a better sense. If I had a fusion unit with 5:2 odds of winning, the " real" odds would be 2.5 to 2
                  You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks to all

                    playing deirdre is quite fun, and has made me think more highly of this game once again.

                    its lots of fun building lots of mindworms, sending them out into the distant fungus, and then killing lots of wild mind worms, to bring in abundant funds. while also moving my own mind worms toward boil status. and sometimes capturing mindworms. and popping lots of pods, for more money.

                    I havent yet gotten industrial automation, so ive swtiched to green - even more money. when i get IA, and thus hab complexes, i will switch back to planned. (also with pop limits, im using lots of specialists, mainly librarians)

                    I had reached number one, than slowed expansion to perfect my cities and build worms. Miriam, who is expanding, and who wiped out Zak, passed me as number one and went to war with me. We are seperated by water, so built naval units, and held her off, even coming to dominate the sea. When i reached IOD's she asked for truce, which i granted. Im still in Vendetta with Santiago, but thats bloodless. I have a pact with tiny, weak Yang, and peace with everyone else. I have several SP's. By shifting back to expansion, I have reached number one again.

                    The game once again has that "one more turn" feeling.

                    Also it feels more in line with the backstory. When i was playing as Zak it felt kinda gamey. Now i can really feel that my strategy works with the back story - we've landed and dont want to repeat the mistakes of earth, so we're being green, expanding ( to spread a civ over the planet) being as peaceful as possible, perfecting our cities, and researching useful and especially "green" technologies. Only conflict with that is my terraforming strategy - im doing lots of terraforming, including borehols, which works with my high planet rating. I guess my interpretation would have to be that im so green i can even build low polluting boreholes, etc. Also that i havent called Planetary council yet, despite having contact with everyone (through empath guild) While it strikes me that Deirdre would call the council, im not doing it for the gamey reason that i dont want the others in contact with each other. I guess the interpretation would have to be that Deirdre, burned by her contacts with Santiago and Miriam, is reluctant to let them meet and possibly influence the others.
                    "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      lotm - I think you hit what for me keeps the game fresh. I can easily 'see' my place in the flow of SMAC history, and how my actions influence how history unfolds. This is allowed by the rich character of the game and its primary elements (faction leaders).

                      This does not appeal to everyone, however. If you dislike SF then this game is not for you. If you are a twitchy first person shooter then this game, and all TBS, are not for you. For the rest of us there is SMACX!

                      Hydro

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sikander


                        Actually IIRC the bug is in the odds displayed rather than the combat outcomes. The bottom line is that natives and psi units ignore reactor types, and have the same odds against a veteran scout patrol with a fission reactor as a veteran scout patrol with a singularity reactor. The bug is in the odds displayed before combat (if you have that feature turned on). It calculates the odds as though the reactor counts in the equation, which of course it does for conventional combat.
                        One exception to this was singularity reactor units in unpatched early and patches yielded units with 30 hps (same as quantum reactor) as a consequence when resolving native combats singularity units would recieve damage at 4/3's the normal rate thus putting them at a disadvantage in native combat.

                        The bug was subsequently finally fixed in patch 3 or 4 IIRC.
                        "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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Last night i continued my strat, restarting expanision, focusing on research, beelining toward IA (which im now researching) Lent a bunch of money to Zak, in return for some advanced military technology.

                          Called the council to run for planet governor. Was troubled to see Miriam still has more votes that I and my pact allie Yang combined, so had to bribe Lal to win. (my daughter asked me "would deirdre really do that" "well." i replied, "to stop miriam, yes")
                          With continued pod popping and worm killing im still in pretty good shape for funds though.
                          "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My thoughts on Gaia:

                            1. Best map for Gaia is Arid, Strong tides, lots of ocean, and lots of fungus. On such a map, Gaia is the easyist faction to win on any given difficulty level.

                            2. Social Choices: Knowelge actually gives you more energy than Wealth as Gaia provided you have more than a handful of cities regardless of if your economic choice is Green or Planned. (Mostly because +1 Wealth only yields 1 energy per city while efficency can be worth more)

                            My own Gaian social choice plan is:

                            Pre-Cloning Vacts: Democracy + Planned + Knowlege. Constant pop boom once Childrens Creche in place while still gradually capturing native life forms.

                            Post-Cloning Vacts: Democracy + Green + Knowlege. This further increases income.
                            1st C3DG Term 7 Science Advisor 1st C3DG Term 8 Domestic Minister
                            Templar Science Minister
                            AI: I sure wish Jon would hurry up and complete his turn, he's been at it for over 1,200,000 milliseconds now. :mad:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by joncnunn
                              My thoughts on Gaia:

                              1. Best map for Gaia is Arid, Strong tides, lots of ocean, and lots of fungus. On such a map, Gaia is the easyist faction to win on any given difficulty level.

                              2. Social Choices: Knowelge actually gives you more energy than Wealth as Gaia provided you have more than a handful of cities regardless of if your economic choice is Green or Planned. (Mostly because +1 Wealth only yields 1 energy per city while efficency can be worth more)

                              My own Gaian social choice plan is:

                              Pre-Cloning Vacts: Democracy + Planned + Knowlege. Constant pop boom once Childrens Creche in place while still gradually capturing native life forms.

                              Post-Cloning Vacts: Democracy + Green + Knowlege. This further increases income.

                              I just got access to Knowledge, but im reluctant to go for that until i get the SP that stops probe attacks. Especially with my big tech lead, theres a lot worth stealing. I could build probe teams at every base, I suppose.
                              "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

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