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  • #16
    Hm, interesting situation, Hydro. With some luck, you'll be able to get IndAuto from Aki. Let us know how it goes.
    I watched you fall. I think I pushed.

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    • #17
      I'm bad....

      After requesting your savegame, I haven't actually taken time to examine it, I'll do so at the earliest opportunity. However based on your last post, I _will_ say that subverting their laser infantry is certainly worth it, since stolen techology is automatically prototyped, in addition to whatever tactical benefits it offers. I'm not certain whether it allows you to build the unit type without the attendant technology, but at the very least, you will be able to crank out laser infantry once you discover/steal applied physics.

      Does anyone know if units with higher morale cost more EC's to subvert? Is there a formula out there?

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      • #18
        Yes, I'm quite happy with my new subverted 4-2-1 with very nice morale, thank you (much better than anything I could build). I also noticed, as you mentioned CEO Aaron, that I can build them without prototyping AND impact rovers, too! I'm not sure that's legal, though. I'll have to check to see if the impact rover needs to be prototyped or not. Regardless, the theft was worth EVERY bit of 169 energy since I just erased any military disparity, got a nice impact infantry, and was freed from prototyping. Sweet.

        The next question: take the war to Aki or not? Right now I think no, unless she has a base in revolt that is begging for new management. I will, however, steal her blind of cash and energy. That will be just deserts for her war mongering ways.

        PS - Just checked: impact rovers do NOT need to be prototyped. This means I don't get the morale boost with a prototype, but I also save a boatload of cash.
        Last edited by Hydro; April 4, 2003, 22:03.

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        • #19
          Well, I've opened your game, and to me your position looks very tenable. You don't share a landmass with Aki, so I don't recommend prosecuting a war with her, at least until you've settled that southern peninsula below you. Fill out your continent, and build up your infrastructure, and destroy her on your own terms.

          The fact that you remain in the front runners in overall rating, despite the other faction's tech lead bodes very well for you. With (as far as I can see) only 4 bases, Aki poses no significant threat, just go head and infiltrate her to keep an eye on her production for signs of an impending invasion, then you can build up until you get IA, at which time you can begin to contemplate a major offensive.

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          • #20
            Morgan update:

            My 2183. I now have 12 bases, and RC and RTs in almost all of them. Santiago (the other PBEM) bought my comm freq from Zak and called up. I bought Secrets, Plasma, and NonLin Math from her for 110 energy. I think that is a bargain, especially since Plasma and trance are key early defensive techs. It will save me 21 years of research at my current tech rate (breakthrough in 7 years).

            It turns out Aki isnít the pushover Iíd hoped. The AI has a defensive probe in nearby bases, and infantry all over, blocking probe landing. Grrr! Now my poor unarmored transport is plowing its way through endless sea fungus just waiting for an isle to show up, at which point it will die. This is not going as planned Ė lesson: donít assume the AI is totally stupid. If the transport lives Iíll infiltrate and maybe steel a tech or two, if she has one I donít have. If not, Iíll steal energy.

            My last few techs have STILL not been Ind Auto! Iím keeping my blind research on Build/Explore unit I get it (maybe switch to Build only?). Then, Iíll switch to Explore so I have a shot at the Empath Guild. Iíd really like to contact Lal (the largest faction with 60 pop to my 25, according to the Spartans), Dee, and Yang to trade tech and get a few friendship treaties.

            In the meantime Iím ripping out fungus to prepare my tightly packed base strategy, and build bases all through the unoccupied portion of the lower continent. It should go pretty fast with 3 formers working with the WP. Soon there will be at least 3 bases will be cranking out CPs, and hang the drones (although HGP helps a lot)! I want the base square energy! My target is still about 18 bases.

            Three core bases have or are building net nodes. One is accumulating minerals for projects, others building extra probes and some defenses. Worms have been a vexing problem Ė I canít wait to get trance!

            Formers to the west raised some land to expose an energy special (forest that puppy!), and I might have gotten a land bridge to a huge continent, too. Iíll find out soon!

            Signed Ė CEO Morgan

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Hydro
              Morgan update:

              Santiago (the other PBEM) bought my comm freq from Zak and called up. I bought Secrets, Plasma, and NonLin Math from her for 110 energy. I think that is a bargain, especially since Plasma and trance are key early defensive techs. It will save me 21 years of research at my current tech rate (breakthrough in 7 years).

              Thats a good deal-- I am suprised at your opponent for trading you HEC although if the AI has it they may want to get something for it before the AI trades with you . . . Generally I don't like trading the prereqs to airpower .

              AS for the research savings, yes and no. Acquiring additional techs will slow your research by increaasing the lab cost of the next tech you start researching. Therefore your next tech may take 10 years to research ( assuming no change in labs production) instead of the 7 it might have taken otherwise. The tech cost is a function of how many techs you have compared with the other factions and I have seen quite significant jumps in this cost from tech to tech.

              Also, in directed research games, I often skip non-linear and secrets for quite some time since obtaining them will slow reseach on paths you consider to be more important-- Playing blind though, I will grab any tech available.
              You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

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              • #22
                For Morgan, Secrets of the Human brain is _VITALLY_ important since it immediately affords Trance, useful for more efficiently using crawler upgrade tricks after IA, and it is a pre-requisite tech for Neural grafting, which you need to get one of Morgan's holy-grail techs: Bio-Engineering and the attendant Clean Reactor. Typically these are techs I'll grab shortly after IA, on my way toward tree farms. Non-linear mathematics is eminently skippable, though sometimes depending on the map I'll postpone Air power til after I get Fusion reactors, which means skipping synthetic fossil fuels in lieu of Non-math and Superconductor.

                As for getting IA, once I have all the pre-requisites out of the discover tree, you'll find me on PURE build tech research until I get it. Don't get me wrong, explore techs are grand, but I'm of the opinion that tech is only as useful as you infrastructure's ability to implement it, which is why IA is such a priority for me.

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                • #23
                  Semi-blind research is like a pod lottery for Forrest Gump: you never know what youíre going to get. As such, I am pleased to get any tech, particularly when they are directly beneficial to me. Plasma armor if just fine, thank you, against early rover weenie rushes. Likewise, trance is invaluable for anyone, particularly those who are experiencing the joys of Ė3 Planet when under free market (reduces attack to a coin flip, almost, and your defense is the same; the result is severely degraded worm defense).

                  As to tech trading, Santiago had already drained the AIs dry. She had traded two techs and gotten five in return from Aki and Zak. Santiago is now the tech leader on Chiron. Imagine that? Santiago securing a significant tech lead through diplomacy of all things! At least when this trade is done Iíll be closer to even.

                  Santiago is now clearly #1 in the power charts. I need to do something to goose Morgan soon or I may start falling seriously behind. And, of course, that means infrastructure and expansion!!

                  BTW Ė my valiant transport with two probes is about to get killed. Aki pulled up a foil in the fungus. I may get the two probes out before she strikes, but it will be a near thing. Infiltrating her is a prime objective, plus stealing what I can is good too (tech or energy if she has no tech I care about Ė Iím not picky). I may have to build a foil to counter her foil. Having her bombard my terraforming is not acceptable.

                  Right now IA is the target. You donít see the value in Empath Guild? If not then b-line (such as it is with blind research) seems to be the order of the day after IA.

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                  • #24
                    It's not that I don't think the Empath Guild is a worthwhile, it's that your ability to crank it out in short order is MUCH greater when you're running weath and upgrading crawlers with cash. EG cost 200 minerals. You can either spend 25 turns putting 8 minerals per turn into it, OR you can spend 32 credits to switch to wealth, pop out 2 supply crawlers for a mere 60 minerals, then upgrade them for 90 credits each, finishing the project in about 1/5th the time. To say nothing of the additional production that getting a few forests crawled for minerals while you're waiting for Centauri Empathy to get researched.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by CEO Aaron
                      tech is only as useful as you infrastructure's ability to implement it
                      A concept never stressed enough.
                      To be engraved on every SMACer's mouse!
                      I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

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                      • #26
                        Perhaps I wasn't clear: the tech goal is IA. The question was what to do AFTER that tech is acquired.

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                        • #27
                          Ooooh. Sorry, I misunderstood your post. In that case, Centauri Empathy is one of the tech's I normally get soon after getting IA. I'm too lazy to recall whether you're playing Alien Crossfire or not, but one Secret Project that can _really_ help Morgan is the Planetary Energy Grid. Once you've picked up IA, it's a quick pair of techs: Progenitor Psych and Adaptive Economics, and getting free Energy Banks everywhere will only magnify Morgan's signature quality, namely being hip deep in energy. I find that the extra ECs I get every turn from having completed this project is significantly helpful in keeping my cashflow going to finish rush building all the others.

                          Nevertheless, the Empath Guild is a very good SP as well, I often use it to save me the hassle of infiltrating every single faction, though usually by the time I've built it, I've infiltrated all my immediate neighbors. And of course, if you win the governor election, the extra commerce doesn't hurt at all. There's really not a single early game SP I would consider bad, or not worth taking. The one I wind up sacrificing to the AI most often is the Command Nexxus, simply because my wartime strategy is to fight defensively until I can get the Chop n' Drop going, where morale on my infantry isn't really relevant.

                          The first tech I recommend going after once IA's under your belt is Environmental Economics, so there's lots of reasons to stay on the 'Explore/Build' tree. Side techs to be gotten include Synthetic Fossil Feuls (provided you've grabbed High Energy Chemistry at some point) and thence to Doctrine:Air Power.

                          Alternatively you may find it profitable to trade for a few weapon techs and get ready to stage a ground invasion of Aki's territory, with the goal of subjugating her and getting all her tech, then returning her bases and getting yourself a nice submissive for future trade income.

                          Which brings up this idea: Crank out one or two sea formers at some point soon, and start seeding kelp in that morass of sea fungus off your western shore. Once it has a few turns to take root and spread, you'll have much less trouble navigating out to her island for any mischief you might have planned.

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                          • #28
                            In MY 2186 I finally got AI, and it has already made a huge difference. So, with that out of the way I now have my tech set to Explore (from Build/Explore). I have made the strategic decision to try for Centauri Empathy, and also potentially for Ecological Engineering (mineral restrictions lifted) and Enviro Eco. Tech advances went from 7 to 14 turns (5 new techs: 3 from Spartans, 1 from Cyborgs, and IA), then to 11 when I went wealth. That will decrease when I get the last RCs up, and one more planned NN completed next turn. After that I will have to rely on new bases (which will produce awesome amounts of energy thanks to +4 economy) and pop growth.

                            I have one sea former working for a few decades, and youíre right that I need one in my western sea. First, however, I need an impact foil to kill the Cyborg foil. It would not do to have my former slaughtered. Due to stealing impact I will NOT have to prototype my 4-2-4 foil, which is a good thing (looks like that ~170 energy was well invested). It will stay in port and be supported by sensors and the base. Iíll keep an eye on the Cyborg foil, too.

                            Good point on Adaptive Eco. That could also come from my Explore tech, although that isnít clear in Alien Crossfire. I got Prog Psych a while ago, so I think I have all the prerequisites. First, however, is cranking out supply crawlers to spike mineral production, get a couple of blooms, clean up the mess, and repeat. Extra crawlers will be used to finish SPs, with cash used to fill in holes.

                            It is unlikely Iíll get to infiltrate more than my immediate neighbors. It seems that other factions are widely separated, and transports take a long time to get anywhere. This would be different if I were Gaian Ė IoDs are wonderful for exploration. I canít do this as Morgan, though (until I go Dem/Green/Wealth, at least). Iíd like to say Hi to the Hive, Gaians, and especially Peacekeepers.

                            An invasion of the Evil Cyborgs will have to wait until my industrial abilities are better (meaning lots of crawlers, at least 2 per base). Then making an army will not be so expensive. Until then Iíll make a few transports and ferry over probes to drain her of tech (she has 3 I donít have) and energy.

                            One new development: the Spartans found the huge Peacekeepers. Theyíre licking their chops to absorb the 70-pop PKs, who are 3x bigger than any other empire in this game. This is bad. Iím not sure what to do about this except drive my strengths (industry, economy) through the roof and expand like mad. A GA pop boom would be good, too, as would Planetary Transit System (stability of small bases, plus a SP-driven pop boom of all those small bases Iím planning).

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                            • #29
                              Here is a PEBM Morgan update. It is MY2193. My pop is 35 with 12 bases, and my energy surplus is 50 with about 90 tech points (11 yrs/breakthrough). I got IA (yeh!) about 10 years ago and my bases have been cranking out crawlers, which harvest minerals, mostly in forest (min restrictions arenít lifted yet; I'm building mines where I can). I have a total or 18 techs and am set to Build/Explore, which should give me good chance of Env Eng, Env Eco, and other key building techs. Iím running frontier/FM/wealth. Now that crawlers are cranking up the minerals Iíll go Dem very soon to boost efficiency and growth. Who cares if I have Ė3 support Ė crawlers will make up for it easily.

                              Attempts to do nasty things to the Cyborgs have not been terribly fruitful. My second swarm of probes-by-transport stole Polymorphic Software (the other probe failed), then the transport died when a Cyborg foil killed it. So, Iíve gotten 2 Cyborg techs now, but it has been expensive since it cost me 2 transports. Cyborg territory is swarming with troops so I am happy to leave them alone, for now. Iíll be able to overwhelm them when my productive base peaks.

                              The other significant item is that I built the Empath Build. It is amazing what a few well placed crawlers will do! I havenít been able to use it since we have been in sunspots for a long time. When that is over Iíll have a nice long chat with Lal, Dee, and Yang. Iíd LOVE to get a nice, lucrative trade agreement with all of Lalís huge juicy cities.

                              I raised some land to get a energy special out of the sea, and get a nearby base off the coast (amphib attacks are bad). After exploring a bit with formers (preparing for a new base) I saw someone elseís boundary color! It looks like Gaians, but I donít know since it is SMAX (the other border is green; my boundary color is Drone red, go figure). Iím building more trance scouts and an impact rover and probes plus sensors just in case. I do not want to be swarmed with mindworms right now. An empath scout rover sounds good, too.

                              Base expansion slowed to a halt while Iím cranking out crawlers. Iím still planning on lots of new little bases (maybe 4 more with extra land for resource harvesting in the middle), and maybe the Transit System project to keep them big and stable (-1 drone for size 3 or less bases is very nice for Morgan) while I get RCs and RTs done.

                              Lastly, the Spartans have had some significant setbacks. Santiago ended up at war with Lal after stealing tech. Shortly thereafter Lal bribed away 2 of Santiagoís forward bases, including one with her rover teams. Theyíre scrambling right now to make up for the loss, and it will be tough. The really bad thing is that now Lal has impact and plasma armor due to subverted units Ė that was the Spartanís main strength since the PKs had nice, big bases with scouts as defenders and laser for offense. In a side note to the Spartan PBEM player I recommended cheap infantry probes to stop Lalís espionage blitz.

                              If anyoneís interested I can post my latest turn. I would enjoy any feedback!

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                              • #30
                                Don't bother with building transports and probe teams, just go to the design workshop and make a probe team on a foil chassis instead of a rover chassis. Then when you run into Aki's impact foil, you can just subvert it and be on your way. She's got 4 coastal bases you can probe right from the water.

                                One other thing: When you're ready to take on Aki in an assault, don't bother building transports, just raise up a land bridge for your ground forces to walk over. Note that you'll probably want to build up some good defensive points behind the land bridge, with bunkers and sensor beacons, then let Aki break herself on your fortifications, before going in to clear out her bases. One bunker, one sensor beacon, 2-3 artillery 2-3 rovers and 2 highest armor garrisons should do the trick.

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