Russia4Life

In depth strategy discussions

76 posts in this topic

I have noticed a lack of strategy threads here. I figure now that I am getting more involved in MP game that my made up on my own strategies will likely not work against some/most players. I would rather enjoy hearing ideas from the more experienced SMAC players.

 

I have read the faction profiles on Vel's guide. While most of that is helpful, it just doesn't go as in depth with some strategies as I was hoping. Please do not give me a link to something on 'Poly. If you do I will ask you why we have a forum here if you are just going to link me to relevant content on another site. I think this would be a good opportunity for me to maybe learn some new stuff as well as generate some content for the SMAC forum here.

 

As I stand now I really don't have much in the way of a set strategy when I start a game, as I usually just go with what I think will work the best at the given time. I do have factions that I do enjoy more than others, and feel I play them pretty well against the AI. I have recently though come to like the Consciousness, and with scient's patch the angels are looking tempting to have a go with. I am fairly new to both of these factions. For this thread I would like to focus on The Cybernetic Consciousness. Depending on how the responses go I may create others threads later on.

 

Here is my general game plan with the consciousness. I really dislike ICS, and as such will usually avoid it. If I get the weather paradigm I make condensors+farms and boreholes. I generally prefer this over forrests as I hate having the low food output of forests, as I find this combined with the factions already incredibly hard to popboom withs -1 growth really iritating. If I miss the WP I kinda just make a farm and forest mix farms so I can maintain some kinda growth and the forests for shields.

 

Since I usually play with blind research I do not have much experience with B-lining but I do have a fairly good grasp of it. I usually get centauri ecology as the first tech so I can get started on terraforming right away. I then usually make my way to IA switching to planned as soon as it is obtained. I then pickup ethical calc for the children's creche and democracy and work my way towards cyber ethics. after I have planned Democracy and creches in place I will attempt to do a GA pop boom, while doing this I work towards environmental economics to lift the resource restrictions. After this point I do not usually follow a set path except when I finish with the pop boom I switch to free market and knowledge.

 

I do not use crawlers that much if at all. Perhaps that is a flaw in my game play, what I do with other factions is rely on base size and terraforming improvements which works fairly well for me, and I do not see crawlers worth using except for rushing SP's.

 

...This is my normal order of things unless there is a need to get aggressive like when the Believers, Hive or Spartans starting uncomfortably close to my territory in which case, I will pick up non linear math before continuing on to IA. Since Consciousness start with both prereqs for Non linear math it is not that big a deal for me to do so, I may also get doc mobility as well. Plus taking the fight to them is more rewarding then letting them take the fight to you since The Consciousness has the ability to steal tech upon capturing a base.

 

So I guess what do people think I could do to improve my play with this faction? Is there anything I am doing that is viewed as a complete phail? What is the most logical next step for me after getting Environmental Economics? Doc Air or fusion is what I aim for more often then not.

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Feel free to start a similar thread in the MP forum. There are some differences in strategy when dealing with human players.

 

(BTW, feel free to start focused strategy threads; it would be nice if you would put "[strategy]" in the title.)

Edited by vyeh

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Strategy is part of the title... Just not in brackets. :)

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Questions: (more like WTF!!)

 

1) I wanted to prevent mindworms to appear in my base vicinity, so I covered every tile with empath scouts. No mind worms appeared but...fungal towers and spore launchers did! And the fungal tower stayed hidden until I discovered it with one of my planes. It could have been here forever wreacking havoc and causing fungal booms.

Any means to prevent that or just the need to patrol every tile in a planified pattern?

 

2) I wanted to destroy the fungal tower with one of my empath scout nearby and IT ATTACKED MY OWN SCOUT ON THE TILE INSTEAD!!! Any explanation?

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1) I take it you are talking about fungal <pop>s? You cannot prevent them that way. A horde of clean singularity patrols would make you immune to pops on your continent.

 

2) Probably engine works like this - is there an enemy unit on that tile - yes - are select the strongest defender from that tile - is it other faction unit - no. According to design enemy units should not coexist with your friendly ones so it takes for granted that any units in an enemy tile not belonging to other factions are enemy.

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Questions: (more like WTF!!)

 

1) I wanted to prevent mindworms to appear in my base vicinity, so I covered every tile with empath scouts. No mind worms appeared but...fungal towers and spore launchers did! And the fungal tower stayed hidden until I discovered it with one of my planes. It could have been here forever wreacking havoc and causing fungal booms.

Any means to prevent that or just the need to patrol every tile in a planified pattern?

 

If you terraform an observation tower around your city (within 2 squares) then you will see any native life in the fungus within 2 square radius, so I would definitely recommend that if you are worried about them popping up. OTOH, I would not waste the resources to make so many empath scouts. Instead, station one empath rover in the city (or maybe 2 if you anticipate multiple pops), ready to strike. If you have roads in 4 directions, then the rover will be able to strike any tile within city radius.

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I do not use crawlers that much if at all.

 

:eek:

 

If you're already using farm + condenser on a flat square, that's a great place to crawl for food. Additionally, if in a BFC, you free up a citizen to work a forest or borehole. A high rocky mine is a place to crawl for minerals (or rocky mine outside BFC) - big bonus if you have a rocky mineral resource.

 

I also use crawlers on forests for minerals, especially if it frees up pop for a kelp farm/ tidal harness.

 

If you have time and production capacity, send out crawlers from HQ for energy, especially to a high area with solar collectors and echelon mirrors.

 

If necessary, stick a little bit of armor on a crawler, and it's a defensive unit as well (I like 3-res + trance to fight off those pesky mindworms).

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Despite what is depicted in the little movie of the Citizen Defense Force, it always irked me that Defence Perimeter doesn't help your base units when defending against indigenous lifeforms. (it's not listed where the unit bonuses are displayed).

Does someone knows why?

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probably a balancing issue. Perimeter defenses giving a bonus vs psi units would make psi almost completely useless - and make the hive even more broken than it already is.

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The Hive is the easiest faction to play at a high level, practically braindead in fact.

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Well, yeah, but that's more because they're exactly the same sort of ICS routine that Civ 1 and 2 supported.

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probably a balancing issue. Perimeter defenses giving a bonus vs psi units would make psi almost completely useless - and make the hive even more broken than it already is.

 

Exactly the reason, I think also. Non-psi fight is based on a series of attack values 1-30 and armor 1-12, iirc. There is quite wide range of ratios available and then max is 30/12 = 2.5. Plus any morale modifiers. Psi fights range only by morale, they are more "flat" if one can say this, the basic ratio is set in alphax.txt rules, in standard game 3:2. A base does not give perimeter and tachyon field defensive bonuses, but still gives intrinsic base defense of 25%, that is the one when base has no perimeter yet. So such fight is 3:2.5 and +50% would make it 3:3, tachyon field even more. Then I guess a demon boil mind worm in a base with tachyon force field would be extremely difficult to defeat. So game designers probably here decided to skip perimeter and tachyon field bonuses for psi fight.

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The irony is that the video for the Citizen's Defense Force, which provides perimeter defenses (and therefore no new defenses against psi units) features an incident where mind worms overwhelmed a community's perimeter.

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At some point in SP games, it happens that what the computer tells you about your economy is just false!!

It can tell you are at Economy: (-25/turn) but in fact you see your credit reserves going up like +50/turn !!

 

So, how do I know what's real?

What is the problem, computer speaking of credit directly gained but not bonuses (energy banks, tree farms,...) ?

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Vishniac,

 

Can you post a save of a turn where this happened?

 

Thanks.

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I've noticed the same phenomenon. I think that the Economy display doesn't take into account the "stockpile energy bug/exploit". That could account for receiving more ECs than it shows.

 

Petek

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Unfortunately, I didn't save when I noticed it and it was some days ago (impossible to retrieve in autosaves).

I'll watch to see whether it will happen again in my current SP game (should be similar: these days, I'm training for our Battle Royale SP game with Pirates, map of planet and so on...).

 

What I can say is:

- Opening the Social Engineering window, the value indicated was the same as the one displayed at the bottom of the main window.

- I don't know the "Stockpile bug/exploit" but the phenomenon happened multiple turns in a row, not just one. Was somewhere in mid-game with lots of bases and facilities, and I don't always check or micromanage everything. But reading "Economy: -27/turn" in exemple is sufficient to make one attentive, then I saw my credits were keeping on going up so I went on with my game and thought "Nevermind!"

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Stockpile energy "bug": On the turn when any base completes a facility (as opposed to a unit), you receive an amount of extra ECs as if you stockpiled energy. This bug affects both human and AI players.

 

Stockpile energy "exploit": When building a unit, you place stockpile energy as the next item in the build queue. On the same turn that the unit is built, you again receive an amount of ECs as if you stockpiled energy. This is considered an exploit, since the AI never adds stockpile energy to the build queue in this situation.

 

Since you didn't know of the exploit, you're probably getting the extra ECs when your bases complete facilities. It can really add up with large bases producing lots of mins.

 

Petek

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Ah, thanks! That explains why, in the MP rules, they say it's ok to put Stockpile Energy in the queue. I shall see if the phenomenon happens again.

 

That said, if you queue Stockpile after your unit, and you get those extra-credits, then reverse to building something else, don't you loose some minerals or you get the extra-credits and keep the 'extra'-minerals in the queue?

(by extraminerals, I mean you need 5 minerals to finish the unit but your base produces 8 in exemple)

If your answer is that I loose the minerals, then it would mean it's almost always better to hurry the last turn?

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In your example, the next turn you would see 3 accumulated minerals in your production queue and you would have an extra 4 credits in your treasury.

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Ok, here is a save about it.

 

Playing Pirates. I've got Merchant Exchange and Planetary Energy Grid.

Display says Economy: -24/turn, but next turn you'll have jumped from 1305 to 1400 EC: +95/turn!!

 

To be sure that it wasn't the Stockpile bug/exploit, I made sure no base will complete neither unit nor facility at the end of the turn.

Svensgaard of the Pirates, 2295.SAV

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just loaded the save. for me it was 1305-24=1281EC. :confused:

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I played your save file several times. Each time, I ended up with 1281 ECs on MY 2296. That's a loss of 24 ECs. I played another turn and lost about 13 ECs. That's consistent with the stockpile energy bug, since two bases completed facilities that turn. So, I can't reproduce your problem.

 

Are you patched to version 2.0?

 

Petek

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