No announcement yet.

Quick Summary of an Average Game?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Quick Summary of an Average Game?

    Hello, I've been reading several strategy guides and such and have found them very helpful, but none have answered my main questions. In your games can you please outline a brief summary of what you do? I like to play Hybrid as the Peacekeepers. Normally in the beginning I find my first opponent. As soon as I have found them I wipe them out or enslave them for their money and votes in the councils. If there is another faction nearby I will also enslave them. After I have finished my quick early game wars I move into my developmental stage. I have recently begun beelining for industrial automation to get crawlers and then pump them out. How long do you make crawlers for? I make crawlers until I fill my entire continent. As I fight my first wars I like to reserve one city that makes the Weather Paradigm. Once I finish my war and my crawlers are being made, I begin making boreholes and condensors. While the war was being fought I was foresting everything. After that I don't know how to continue. I've been experimenting with my game opening so I haven't figured out how to spend my time in the middle to late game. What do you do? Looking forward to your replies, Thanks!

  • #2
    Jer - one quick observation: it looks to me like you're playing a Conquer strategy, not a hybrid, if you wipe out your nearby 'opponents' to the exception of (almost) everything else in the early game. My understanding is that a hybrid will build with enough military to defend themselves or, if necessary, pursue an aggressive enemy. This is in contrast with a perfectionist Builder strat, which neglects defense and banks on mid and late game uber-superiority to completely overwhelm opponents. Remember the Conqueror motto: blood makes grass grow. If there is lots of grass in your territory in the early game, you’re a Conqueror.

    Also, not all neighbors need to be wiped out. Some will live with you if you have SE that is similar. In fact, I've had many games where and AI was friendly or allied for almost an entire game. The key for a hybrid, and also a builder, is to select SE carefully so that you can avoid expensive and wasteful early wars (know the AI’s aversions). Early wars can cripple your development (eg - an impact rover costs the same as a recycling tank, but which will give you the best long term returns?).

    Another hybrid tactic I like is to define choke points, and defend these rigorously. This lets a hybrid get a solid defense on the cheap, and contain an unfriendly neighbor or a friendly neighbor you don’t trust. Then squish them in the early mid game (missile and fusion, in my book) when your production is peaking and the AI is hamstrung with lots of obsolete units.

    I play Hybrid a lot as the Gaians, who are in my book the best Hybrid since they get some free worms to pair up with decent defenders and a few offensive military units. They have great efficiency, giving them terrific swing in SE and balancing military vs development.

    Consider another tactic vs the AI: ignore them. If they are a separate land mass, they really can't hurt you. Even if they are on the same landmass you can use tactics (vs brute force) to shape a strategic situation to your advantage.

    Just some thoughts.



    • #3
      As Hydro pointed out, your game seems primarily driven by conquest, whereas most of my games have a pure builder focus. Nevertheless, I can give you an outline of my overall strategy, with building and tech choices, and you can take from that what you like.

      Initial priorities are to expand to fill all available space with bases, until I have hit the base cap, and begin terraforming to optimize my early pod production. To this end, my first techs will include Centauri Ecology and Biogenics, and a straight shot to Industrial Automation. Typically I'll build 2 formers in my first 2 bases, and 1 in each of the others. Formers will prioritize roading to new base sites, then commence seeding forests.

      Base production will be limited exclusively to colony pods, formers and scout patrols, and the occasional recycling tanks until I'm well past the first bureaucracy limit. By that time, I should have researched Industrial Automation, and have seen one or two Secret Projects initiated by the AI. Now I'll begin crash-building SPs, with a particulalr eye toward getting the Weather Paradigm and Human Genome Project. I'll try to clean up on every SP I can, however, before resuming base expansion. Typically expansion will continue until I'm just shy of the second bureaucracy warning, though by this time I'll also divert production to include the construction of probe foils to tech rape my neighbors, and I'll pick one or two core bases for Network Nodes. Meanwhile, my tech tree is a general beeline for Environment Economics, with detours for Secrets of the Human Brain, and Neural Grafting, my long aim being directed at Clean Reactors and Genejack Factories. On the ground, I'll build one or two condensers per base, and crawl them for nutrients, then once I get Tree Farms, build them and commence my Population Boom in earnest.

      Once my bases are all at maximum population, I'll be switching gears toward a military buildup. Choppers and Interceptors will comprise the majority of my home defense, backed up my a small amount of rovers and artillery. Any inconveniently aggressive neigbors will be subjugated shortly thereafter, turning them into profitable trading partners. Friendly powers will receive regular financial and technological aid to keep them friendly.

      Once the conquest of rival powers is assured and the outcome of the game is all but assured, I typically stop playing, but I'll occasionally play through to transcendence. If so, my next technological goal is the acquisition of spaceflight techs allowing the construction of nutrient, mineral and energy satellites, as my formers convert the majority of available territory to soil enriched condenser farms, interspersed with the occasional worked borehole. This brings in ludicrous amounts of minerals and energy, as well as supporting an unbelievable population, so my other goal is to keep abreast of my massive pollution problem, through repeated construction and demolition of Centauri Preserves.


      • #4
        Thanks for the tips Hydro! I would consider my game style as hybrid. I start the game with an attack, which sets my boundaries, and does not let the AI cut off my expansion (I played Civ 3 a lot until recently). Then I switch over to builder mode and don't plan to fight anymore wars for the whole game, unless necessary for the win. Since I move into builder mode, I don't consider myself a warmongerer or a pure builder, a mixture of the two. This leads me once more to my initial question. Once I have finished my wars, and I tune into "Builder" mode, What do I do? I guess I'm asking how to be a builder. Normally I make improvements in all of my bases, and make satellites, is there anything else to it? Thanks!


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply CEO Aaron, it was very useful! I didn't see it before because it was posted while I was writing my first reply. So from what I gather, I should be setting myself up for a pop boom after my conquer stage. I should also be speeding towards enviromental economics in order to make my forests more productive.

          When you get industrial automation how many crawlers do you make? You say that you start making SP's. Do you make SP's and crwalers at the same time? Is there anyway to make a crawler in one base and make it send minerals to another?

          Thanks, Jerh9e1k5


          • #6
            I also forgot to mention. What governments are standard for a game? I've been using my own mixes but I never use Free Market, and everyone seems to use it here on Apolyton so I figure that I'm missing something? Please outline the "staple" governments and maybe suggest a few for my play style? Thanks



            • #7
              Your SE depends on your style, and objectives.

              Fundamentalism (Conquer)
              Demo (Any, but mainly Hybrid and Builder)
              Police (Conquer)

              Planned (Any)
              Green (Any)
              Free Market (Builder or Hybrid, until late game when there are lots of tricks)

              Advanced society:
              Wealth (Any, but mainly Builder of Hybrid)
              Knowledge (Any, but mainly Builder of Hybrid)
              Power (Conquer)

              Future: Not really relevant, since the game is over before you get these
              Thought Control

              Common Conquer Combos:
              Fundi/Green or Planned
              Dem/Green/Power (I don’t like this one, btw)
              Police/Planned (only Yang can pull this one off)

              Hybrid Combos:
              Demo/(any)/(any except Power)

              Builder Combos:
              Demo/FM/Wealth (until middle mid game)
              Demo/Green/Wealth (mid to late game)

              If you are a builder or peaceful hybrid, nothing is better than democracy for efficiency and growth. FM is wonderful if you can get it going early as a hybrid since it massively gooses production of your industry and minerals. Drones can be a real issue, and attacking an opponent is (almost) out of the question in the early game. Rioting bases are no fun, and most of the mid and late game tricks aren’t available to you.

              In mid and late early game I stay demo, and switch for period of demo/planned + crèche to pop boom in phases (until I run out of nutrients, or drone riots get out of control). If I’m a non-Gaian I will go FM as much as possible. When I am Gaian I switch from planned (for pop boom) to green in late mid game to capture worms and to crank my research up to 80% (which I can do without penalty thanks to +6 efficiency). This lets my non-FM research stay competitive with the free marketers out there. I also can develop a truly huge isle and worm brigade, harvesting tons of pods, artifacts, and killing more worms for oodles of planet pearls energy (making up for raw FM cash, btw).

              By mid game FM loses its luster. I will general switch to Dem/Green/Wealth or Dem/Green/Knowledge. At this point I have a lot of well-developed bases, and the efficiency losses in other economic systems can be crushing. High efficiency helps retain energy (otherwise lost to graft) and fewer drones – a good combo for a growing empire, hybrid or otherwise. After you add golden age, which isn’t too much of a problem with a good infrastructure and a 10% to 20% allocation to psych, you can get the FM’s +1 energy/square (known as NIRVANA to the free marketers out there).

              My tech objectives are pretty much the same as CEO’s, although I’ll detour for Nonlinear Math if I have a nasty neighbor nearby and am happy to trade for better armor (plasma is good for a long time). In my games I really like Doctrine: Flex since I like exploring the seas (particularly profitable for the Gaians, btw), and Centauri Empathy (gotta love the Empath Guild!).

              Note that I do not play directed research. I either play blind (or random) or semi-directed (Conquer/Build/Discover/Explore – and hope you get what you want). Never did like directed research since I know science does NOT produce on demand: You can suggest, but as Forrest Gump said: You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get.

              Regardless, Industrial Automation is key to any strategy. Get this and life will be a whole lot easier, since you get crawlers and Wealth. Conquerors might not like Wealth due to the morale hit, but I say who cares: you can build faster, and get a huge energy boost. This can be the deciding factor in a game. Play with it – I recommend it highly.

              For a Conqueror, all you really need for 50+ years is Nonlinear Mathematics, and Planetary Networks (for probes). With enough impact rovers, the AI is toast (unless it’s Yang – the perimeter defenses are killer so attack with great care). Probes are less obvious, but no less critical. This is the great tech and energy equalizer, and can punish an unwary hybrid or builder, stealing that tech he is hoping to hose you with later in the game. Stealing energy is great, too – nothing torks off a builder than to see his hard-earned bankroll swiped by a lowbrow conqueror. Later, missile tech is great, and then even Yang is toast. Remember that combined arms are key – mix up your infantry, with a few armored units. I like unarmored attack rovers, armored defensive rovers, and a few best weapon/best armor infantry in an assault. Take an artillery or two and you are set (and don’t forget the probes!!!!).

              Lastly – read Vel’s masterful manual, if you haven’t. You’ll see very little here that he hasn’t touched on in some to great detail.



              • #8
                Originally posted by Jerh9e1k5
                I also forgot to mention. What governments are standard for a game? I've been using my own mixes but I never use Free Market, and everyone seems to use it here on Apolyton so I figure that I'm missing something? Please outline the "staple" governments and maybe suggest a few for my play style? Thanks

                Heah Jerh9e1k5,

                not everyone thinks Free Market (i.e. FM) is the best option. Check out The SMAC Academy for early game combat, as well as the best Social Engineering settings for each Faction.



                • #9
                  WOW, thank you for the very thorough reply, I really appreciate it! I have one last question: How many crawlers do you make? How long do you make them for? I always find it tempting to make incredibly large amounts of crawlers and neglect other things. Also, is it possible to build a crawler in one base and make it convoy resources to another? Thanks alot!



                  • #10
                    I checked out the SE thread and it seems a little one dimensional, since I view SE as changing continually throughout a game to adjust to changing conditions, needs, and state your empire is in.

                    For instance, I noticed that Mark doesn't seem to care much for Green, which I think is critical to maintaining a larger mid game empire. Likewise, I dislike Planned for more than pop-booming since the efficiency hit takes away options in energy allocation w/o losses and generates lots of bureaucracy drones wrt higher efficiencies.

                    Likewise, I'm not a big fan of Knowledge since Wealth just seems so much better. I could care less about the morale hit, especially if I'm defending and crèches cancel out any morale penalty. If I'm going for +2 economy, then wealth plus golden age is the key. The +1 industry of wealth is a significant added bonus.

                    The main gripe with FM is the drones. But, after a few turns the energy will allow rush building of rec commons, and after that it is smooth sailing to holo theatres (or nodes+VW). Every builder I've played will go FM ASAP, and hang the drones - that what doctors are for. In short order I'll have these problems under control and even more glorious energy will start rolling in.

                    In my book the key is flexibility, and not getting locked into a particular SE mindset. For instance, there is something to be said for a Gaian PS/Grn/Wealth when at war (the morale hit doesn't apply to worms, which you'll have plenty of when Green).

                    In the end it is personal taste. So, experiment and see what you like best.



                    • #11
                      Hydro’s view on crawlers (based on Vel’s guidance):

                      First, you need to produce crawlers to up your mineral production so that you are at or above ~14, which should start producing eco damage. This will allow you to build things quickly. Early you’ll have mainly infantry (move 1) crawlers, but convert to rover-based crawlers when they become economical after fusion. Mines on rocky terrain with a road are key here with +4 minerals/turn, but forests will do nicely.

                      Second, crawl nutrients to ‘poor’ bases to get max population. This is particularly useful before you get tree farms and hybrid forests up, or if you simply don’t have many nutrient-rich sectors to harvest (eg – lots of trees).

                      Third, start making crawlers and harvest energy at selected bases to goose labs and raw energy production. Energy can be crawled to every base, but this is a little wasteful and neglects the ‘multiplier effect’ of specialist bases. But if in doubt, crawl energy.

                      By mid game, I love to crawl with sea crawlers after I get fusion and sea crawlers on a foil hull are cheap. Fit these puppies with +2 range sensors (for free!!) and you’ve got an instant detection force (a trip-wire, to detect enemies coming and get energy/nutrients in the process). Sea bases are very vulnerable to amphib attack, so be careful.

                      By mid and late game continue making crawlers, and crawl all the energy you can. You’ll never run out of things to build since you can always build crawlers. Even if you run out of room for crawlers to harvest, stockpile these gems to cash in on a secret project, building it in one turn without rushing.

                      Other sneaky tactics: armored crawlers (which don’t cost anything to support – free ‘clean’ defenders), trance crawlers (defending the empire’s perimeter against roving MWs), sensor crawlers (see the bad guys coming). NEVER build ‘clean’ crawlers since they are clean to start with.

                      Sneaky tricks: all specialist bases, which are supplied with nutrients and energy and minerals by crawlers – you can field an army from this base in FM since if there are no citizens there can be no drones!!

                      Nice trick: super lab bases – build lots of lab enhancements, throw in some specialists, build all the science SPs you can, and crawl tons of energy. This will produce huge amounts of labs due to the multiplier effect.

                      Use crawlers aggressively. You’ll be amazed what it does for your empire.


                      • #12
                        Thank you very much, your advise is VERY helpful! The link that Darsnan suggested also has many good articles on subjects similar to these for anyone interested. Thank you very much everyone, soon I hope to be at the playing level that you have achieved!

                        P.S. Is there any way to make a crawler in one base but then make it supply resources to another base? So that I could make 1 or 2 crawler factories.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jerh9e1k5
                          P.S. Is there any way to make a crawler in one base but then make it supply resources to another base? So that I could make 1 or 2 crawler factories.
                          Yes. Build the crawler in one base and move it to another one. If memory serves, you'll be prompted to convey a single factor of production (FOP-nut, min or energy) from the source base to the target (if not, press the "O" key). The source base loses the FOP that is added to the target base. The consensus on the forum has been that this is inefficient. You can only convey a single FOP with a crawler that is used this way. Instead, rehome the crawler to the target base and then use it to crawl several FOPs (all the same type, of course). The base that built the crawler doesn't lose an FOP this way.

                          The idea of creating "crawler factories", however, sounds like a useful idea. I often do this to feed crawlers to my SSC (to crawl energy) or to rush SPs.
                          "The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."
                          -- Kosh


                          • #14
                            Thank you for the response Petek! Yes, I believe that making my best bases pump out crawlers (1 a turn) would be te most productive. That way I can develop some SP's or, if needed, military. Thank you everyone for all of your help, now that my questions have been answered I'll be playtesting a lot to really get a feel forthe game.
                            Thanks a lot!



                            • #15
                              Jer - another idea is to re-home the crawler to a base that needs one. To do this, move a crawler to the base that needs one, press Control H (re-home) while the crawler still has some movement left, and then move the crawler to the tile with resources you need. Then hit “O” on the keyboard and you’ll be prompted to select what resources you want to extract.

                              Good luck!