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Cha Dawn - is there any hope?

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  • #16

    I guess the proof of Cha Dawn's weakness is evident from the lack of support for the faction in this forum. I have been perhaps the most ardent recent advocate but even I do not look at the cult as my favorite or the strongest. Perhaps I have a misplaced hope that they are all playable in MP.

    Even as I made the arguments for the Cult, I likewise was thinking that I would in many instances prefer Dee. They are much more versatile and in the long run can get just as formidable a worm army. Dee was the very first faction I ever played and remains as a favorite. Likewise my first game on SMAX was the cult.

    I have found that my SP victories are much easier and quicker with the cult. I found that an early worm and IOD rush results in tons of cash, lots of pods with really no bad outcomes, lots of free units and a lot of space where you can expand uncontested. Also I found AI factions submitted very early and provided so much cash and tech that I did not miss +2 ECON (well--I managed to live without it ) . In addition some base captures meant having 8-10 cities at a stage when a pure builder could only have 5-6. The obvious minuses of the Cult didn't seem that grave, based on this experience. Heck, even the cult can outbuild anyone controlled by the AI.

    I accept that in MP, none of this will be as near as easy. Mark13 has made some clear and convincing arguments as to the handicaps of Cha. If I went into a game seeking to win using more conventional tactics I would probably choose Dee over Cha. But I am thinking that I want to explore the unconventional.

    So, either out of a misplaced sense of loyalty (for my first SMAX victory at transcend), or a feeling that I just must try some of the alternative methods that the Cult forces you to use --- I will often choose the cult when I get into MP (in january I hope)-- I expect that I will take many trouncings either due to lack of my own skills or the faction's deficiencies but hey you learn more when you lose, right ??

    If I'm going to make this work (at least enough to make a respectable showing) I'm going to have to get cracking-- lets see .... 3 to 2 attack factor- get to + 4 Planet--Where's that infiltrator data ??-- uh-oh his units are trance -- dream Twister where are you?--



    • #17
      A couple of points on the Gaian/Cult debate. Both are great factions but they need to be played differently. cbn has already done a good job of exploring the Cult's advantages.

      Deirdre's lower chance of fielding a decent-sized free army, combined with her (unmodified) very green non-native units makes early warfare more difficult. She has a great all-round faction that should be better at building, though. As well, her minus on police is not as cumbersome as the Cult's minus on industry.

      But with the possible exception of the Pirates there is no better pod-popping faction in the game than the Cult with even average fungus. Not only does that mean additional pod goodies, it means additional encounters with native life and the inevitable cash or increased army that will result. That worm from day one should have multiplied to two or three by the time Dierdre makes her first capture. The extra cash should be used to rush builds to overcome the industry minus. My experience is that only Morgan and Sven rival the Cult in the early game for cash flow. No one better than the Cult for early game worm rushes resulting in submissive surrendered pactmates.

      Low tech in the early game? There are other ways of getting tech than researching. You have pretty much everything you need: formers, colony pods and the capacity for a free army/exploration force in the early game. I have had great success with the Cult in double blind games for this reason. The only real vulnerability is probe teams.

      So much of this game is about 'turn advantage' to use Vel's term. The challenge with the Cult is to exploit their natural advantages for the first 50 to 75 years to the fullest and establish an unsurmountable lead. Kind of opposite to Domai who has to hang in there for the first 50 to 75 turns until he gets some tech to make that industrial machine effective.


      • #18
        Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love planet bonuses, and I play the cult occaisionally.

        But here is the thing about native units: in the very early game even Deidre's bonus is enough against the *AI*.

        The AI is really really pathetic in this game. Lets face it. If it was a little bit better then maybe it could defend against worm cheeze from Deidre- but perhaps then Cha Dawn would be able to use that little extra to overcome the enemie's defenses. The problem is the AI isn't that smart. I find I am able to conquer the planet (on standard sized maps mind you) with Deidre just as easily as with Dawn, the problem is not what is going on on the *war* front, but the *home* front. Both factions have a lot of energy from pod popping and planet pearls, but Deidre can use it in a meaningful way with her efficiency bonus and normal industry/energy. Dawn has to spend more energy because of his industry penalty- and it does less because of his efficiency! Getting submissives is easy with Deidre- Dawn is not enough better with native life to make me want to play him.

        Adam Smith plays the cult a lot- especially since his favorite faction, the drones, is considered too powerful by many people. But he hasn't been cruising these forums as much recently...


        • #19
          Enigma, I am not disagreeing with your comments, however I think that you can find ways to make the AI opposition better than pathetic. You can do it by denying yourself certain advantages or by giving the AI certain advantages.