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Old July 8, 2001, 13:55   #1
Ned
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Great Green War Machine
I have argued here before that Wealth + GA is an ideal War Setting b/c it allows you to stay in +2 economy while sending troups forth to fight and/or to pop pods. The push back is that morale suffers horribly with this setting: -2.

However!

The morale penalty does NOT apply to native life forms. One can produce Demon Boils with Wealth + GA. If one also runs GREEN, Demon Boils are very effective on offense and typically can kill any non elite trance unit in a base without a sensor. (Adding

Also, and this is something I had never appreciated before, Sealurks, while slow, are simply the best naval power going due to their ability to kill units on land and in a base - power we have not seen since CIV's battleships.

The strategy takes a Green beeline to

- Nural Grafting for the Nural Amplifier
- Centauri Genetics for the Pholus Mutagen, Brood Pits and Locusts of Chiron
- Centauri Psi for Sealurks, Psi weapon and Dissacociative Wave (which leads to Sentient Resonance and 12r offense and 8r defense).

One can research all these techs before having to research Synthetic Fossil fuels.

Obviously, this strategy is best employed by Diedre, Fungboy or the Caretakers. It cannot be used by Morgan, Dee or the Drones because they cannot run Green.

Have any of you MP player run up against anyone playing this strategy in MP?

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Old July 8, 2001, 16:44   #2
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Correction: Morgan can STILL run Green (if he's not AI controlled). Also what do you mean Deidre can't run Green?!? It's her predisposition!

Hmm... A nice strategy! Maybe also add the Police State into the mix to have +2 SUPPORT, so you could sent more of your home-bred demons out to fight.

IF, and I say if since you would soon crush everyone, you get far into the tech ends of the game, you could also run Eudaimonic and get away with -4 MORALE!!! Not the mention the benefits of Eudaimonic!
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Old July 8, 2001, 16:56   #3
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-Of course Support and Natives are an interesting mix. On a largely fungified planet the support problem might never ever come up!
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Old July 8, 2001, 17:09   #4
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I always maintain that a green Morgan is the way to go. Demo/Green/Wealth gives a paradigm economy, with +2 econ settings, which makes for a ton of energy. The Mind Worm army will be a useful addtion.
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Old July 8, 2001, 18:32   #5
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A quite bizzare property of Children Creches is they also boost the morale of native units (in base only), the effect of CC's is dependent on morale rating, basically the lower your SE morale the more a boost the CC gives, normally this boost is cancelled by the low unit morale, so the net effect is hardened morale, or better.

The bizzare thing is that the lower your morale setting, the more native life gets a boost from CC's, so with -3 morale you get something like +4 morale, this means demon boils can attack/defend with +90% (or so) morale . (Makes worms excellent defense against X aircraft, especially if you use locusts rather than mindworms)

In short, the lower your SE morale, the better your worms are in bases with CC's.

This makes Wealth an especially nice choice for players who use native life a lot, a +40% (or so) boost to attack/defense of worms in bases can never be a bad thing. The factions in the best position to exploit this are Gaian, with the -1 morale, and possibly morgan, who can do quite well with a green+wealth approach.
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Old July 9, 2001, 17:16   #6
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The problem with such a restricted array of offensive and defensive weaponry is that it's so easily countered with the trance, and or, empath special abilities making the Nueral Amplifier essential to keeping any of your worms alive on defense, not to mention the resonance abilities.

Considering the cost of a trance scout (9 minerals) vs. a mindworm of any life cycle (35-45 minerals, I forget) you can see that your opponent would easily nullify any type of offense that solely depends on psi warfare by quicly stocking up on cheap trance and empath defenders. Throw in resonance armor, and a few sensors, and your looking at needing the Dream Twister AND the Neural Amplifier to mount any kind of sustained offense.

This isn't to say I don't use worms at all as more often than not I play Deidre. I just find the captured worms far more cost effective. The cost of a native army is just too steep especially after fusion power and Bio Engineering with the clean ability. For the price of one worm I can usually afford to build two, maybe three, "regular" units.
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Old July 9, 2001, 20:27   #7
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Mindworms are actually quite cheap once you have Broodpits, altough I agree that generally mindworm offenses are easily nullified by trance units. The exceptional psi units are the locusts and isles, both of these generally defend with 1:1 odds (rather than 2:3) which makes them quite usfull at defense, but probably only cost effective if you have Neural Amp. Locusts could provide a handy X defense, as when in a base they can defend with something like 2:1 odds against standard aircraft, and with fairly good odds vs empath aircraft. If your enemy is using X-empath aircraft then quite likely they are costing as much as your locusts (with broodpit ofcourse).

The main problem is that the enemy can concentrate air attacks against one base.

I find that locusts are still of limited use on offense, more suited to cover friendly units (they work better than standard aircraft due to high defense, and no need to refuel)
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Old July 17, 2001, 14:11   #8
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Guys, I think the advantage here is that the natives are "elite." I find that they can kill most average-morale, trance and -tr units in a base so long as you first remove sensors. Removing sensors is easy with Locusts. And as always, the trick is to swarm a base with enough firepower to clean out its defenders and take it in the same turn.

I just finished a SP game employing this strategy. I exclusively used locusts, lurks and worms and easily overwhelmed all defenders.

Regardless, for SP players, it provides an interesting alternative strategy.

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Old July 23, 2001, 16:08   #9
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Blake or anyone,

Do you have a list of all the facilities/SPs that enhance native lifecyles? From memory, I believe the follow do

- Bio Labs
- Centauri Preserves
- Temples of Planet
- Xenopathy Dome
- Pholus Mutagen

But what about

- Brood Pits?
- Bioenhancement Center?
- Naval Yard for Ilses and Sealurks?
- Aerospace for Locusts?

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Old July 23, 2001, 17:19   #10
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This is an excellent Cha Dawn strategy. He can easily attain +4 planet, and worry about other things while he destroys all...
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Old July 23, 2001, 17:43   #11
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I can't prove it, but I could almost swear that the children's creche added a life cycle bonus to worms or added a (+). I won't bet on it though.
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Old July 23, 2001, 17:47   #12
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Ned, I am dead certain that Bioenh. Centres give your worms extra morale (since I micromanage my bases and watch effects), well at least in SMAC. As I remember when I had SMAX, Brood pits give all your native units +1 lifecycle bonus but Naval yards and Aero. don't.
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Old July 23, 2001, 17:50   #13
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I haven't built Brood Pits in forever, so could somebody remind me if they give you a police bonus or not?
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Old July 23, 2001, 18:09   #14
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death_head, Brood Pits give +2 police, +1 lifecyle, and -25% cost to native units. Plus they cancel negative morale effects on natives.
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Old August 9, 2001, 02:01   #15
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I bump this thread as the dicussion were kindled in another thread.
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Old August 9, 2001, 04:29   #16
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It's quite possible to add your own Psi-units to the game, and one can give them multiple abilities. I havn't seen the AI then build them as 'native' units, but I havn't looked that far. Also, it's pretty simple to change the unit costs in the same area of the alpha-text. In a scenario you can turn over any 'standard' unit to the natives, a sort of fallback to the old barbarian CIV days.

Darn Worms,

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Old August 9, 2001, 15:09   #17
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An all green army is only viable in the very early game (before trance and empath and when captured worms are a big percentage of your army). Later in the game you can only win with all green against idiots (such as the AI) or with an extremely big tech/economy/industry lead. This basically means that all green is simply a bad strategy in the mid game. Just look at the numbers. The "green war machine" consists of 1 mindworm (lets assume demon boil, +4 planet, and dream twister/neural amp) against 2 trance scouts and 1 empath rover with likely a +2 planet. The mindworms are simply not cost efficient. If you throw in brood pits (-25% cost) you get closer to breaking even. In order to be an effective strategy you need to add at least 20% conventional units to the mix, especially 1-bestAAA-1 defenders and a few Best-1-1 choppers. These will prevent the opponent from using cheap 1-1-1 empath and trance units. Probe teams are also an important addition to the mix. Rather than an all green army (2 spore launcher, 2 locusts, 2 isles, 6 mindworms) a mixed group (5 mindworms, 2 conventional defenders, 2 choppers, 1 probe team) while heavy on the native can be much more powerful.

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Old August 9, 2001, 19:49   #18
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Re: Great Green War Machine
Quote:
Originally posted by Ned
The strategy takes a Green beeline to

- Nural Grafting for the Nural Amplifier
- Centauri Genetics for the Pholus Mutagen, Brood Pits and Locusts of Chiron
- Centauri Psi for Sealurks, Psi weapon and Dissacociative Wave (which leads to Sentient Resonance and 12r offense and 8r defense).
what about putting the psi attack on a rover or a chopper or (gasp) a boat making you own home-made IOD(minus the transport capability) fast worms, and locusts (kinda) and adding WAVE to counter trance. does that work? never tried it, but since you get both from centaur psi, why not? although, it might get kinda expensive. oh nevermind. this whole idea just defeats the purpose of the green/wealth thing. . damn i really thought i was on to something
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Old August 9, 2001, 21:46   #19
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Nexander, Good observation about mixing good defensive units and choppers in the green army. You should realize that I normally use Locusts, which defend at 1:1, not 2:3. Thus a demon boil locust with the Nural Amplifier should be even up with an elite empath anything. If the attacking unit is not elite, it loses.

Trance by itself does not beat an attacking locust. The Locust will attack a ground unit at 3:2, IIRC, which evens the odds. If the Locust is demon and the defending unit is not, the Locust wins. Add in the Dream Twister, the Locust will still win against elite trance defenders.

Units defending against locusts get a +25% for being in a base, +25% for a sensor, +100 % for AA or an Aerospace complex (from memory). However they do not get any bonus from a perimeter defense. So it is possible to defeat invading locusts using trance AA in a base with an aerospace complex. This is where one rolls out the WAVE copters.

BTW, I have not tried using WAVE Psi attack units. These might be very good against trance AA.

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Old August 10, 2001, 00:57   #20
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I'd say that native strategy might work well in mid game too. What you need to do is to capture those worms until you get enough industry and Brood pits to breed your own.
Of course native rush in the very beginning is often more efficient simply because you capture your army.

Although everybody knows this very well...I would still have you remembered that you can have up to +5 Planet in the mid game with Green, Manifold Nexus and playing Cult, and then comes the Cybernetic. This is 50% bonus, and considering attack and defense proveness which is heavily on the side of the Planet as Ned and others have pointed out...Green strategy can be very, very deadly. Especially in case your opponent haven't done everything he can to counter your PSI offense.
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Old August 10, 2001, 02:10   #21
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The problem with green attackers is that they are slow, and thus unlikely to be able to move from safety into an attack like a chopper can. This means that they must defend themselves adequately or get cut down in no-worm's land by an active defense of empath choppers or the like. Locusts are the fastest of the green troops, but they are quite expensive and very vulnerable to a wave of ever cheaper impact empath choppers or the like. The Green army is a viable tactic like many others, but it suffers from forcing it's proponent to make a vast investment in order to utilize it, while his opponent is able to use significantly cheaper, more mobile and more flexible conventional units to counter it.
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Old August 10, 2001, 07:53   #22
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I know your mother always told you not to put armour on aircraft
Unfortunately (or is that fortunately?) there are still some REALLY cheap defenses against worms, which the AI doesn't use, a couple of examples:

4e-1-10, empath noodle/chopper, at 3 rows these can be thrown away at offensive isles / locusts etc.

1-2t-10, trance, clean noodle (3 rows!), this thing defends against worms 1.5:1, even if the psi unit has dream twister it is going to crash and burn once sensor/base/CC bonuses have been factored in. The improved psi defense of locusts/isles is equally appliciable for convential defenders vs psi attack. Indeed, with base+sensor (or geo-sync) even with WAVE psi units will be attacking at poorer than 1:1 odds, considering the defender costs 3 rows and is clean, this is really bad economics.

Best-1-6*best, the infamous exploding cruiser (chopper works well too), park it next to the offending locusts/isles and self destruct. With a decent weapon (shard) expect 50% damage per exploding unit, unless the locust swarm is very spread out about 3-5 should be caught per explosion, making it a good value for the defender.

Add to that the extreme vunerability of psi units to arty fire, and I dont consider psi units to be much of a threat. That is against a player which knows a few tricks (like arty, AAA vs locusts, flying defenders...) and has sufficent warning that a native attack is coming (ie infiltration).
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Old August 10, 2001, 12:02   #23
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Blake, Another real problem with Natives units is that you actually have to brood them in your brood pits to get them to demon boil status, and then transport them to the scene of the battle. In contrast, conventional units can be upgraded from 1-1 units rush built in captured bases. No transport is needed, and the cost is considerable cheaper than rush building native units in the same captured base.

Due to this factor, I rarely ever brood worms - just Locusts and Sealurks. The former cannot be touched by Artillery.

As I normally play SP, I do not see the really sophisiticated AI psi defenses you lay out in your post. Perhaps that is something Sid can work on in SMAC II.

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Old August 13, 2001, 20:11   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ned
...Due to this factor, I rarely ever brood worms - just Locusts and Sealurks. The former cannot be touched by Artillery....
I'm pretty sure I've seen it claimed that (SAM) Artillery was quite effective against Locusts; while I've built them, I don't believe I've had the pleasure of using them against a Locust as yet.
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Old August 13, 2001, 20:54   #25
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SAM arty works very well. I used it after reading about it here-- On shot took a stack of locusts to less than 50%before the actual attack so it was pretty easy to take out the stack.
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Old August 13, 2001, 22:07   #26
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SAM arty may not work as well in SMAC as SMAX, but in SMAX it is nothing short of brutal vs locusts.

If your bothered by the non-cleanness of SAM-arty-infantry use a clean SAM foil instead, if it is in a base you get +25% altitude bonus (a SAM ship also has the obvious merit of being able to pop out and snipe at stacks of locusts incoming to rape your bases/terraforming).

Personally I like it that there are an abundance of effective and cheap methods to dispose of natives, mainly because they are creative solutions (rather than obvious ones like Trance). I find the idea of artillary vs Psi quite realistic. The realism of defending with aircraft is slightly more dubious, I always like to think of my worm hunter aircraft as carrying loads of fungicide (or wormicide) which they dump onto the offending Psi unit, the mindworm can attempt to convince the pilot to crash his aircraft (prehaps by killing or stunning him with a psi attack). So I guess a Trance aircraft is shielded against Psi attacks and loaded with a heap of worm killer*.

One thing which I would like is Spore Launchers being SAM, I love the idea of dozens of them launching clouds of toxic spores into the flightpath of aircraft (with a mighty *PHUD* sound), if the pilot fails to dodge the toxic clouds the spores start eating away at his jet, and holes in aircraft aren't good . If a native unit had AAA wonder if it defends double vs aircraft... like AAA units vs locusts...

* I prefer chemical mindwormicides, altough Napalm bombs are also effective at destroying worms. For obvious reasons Napalm bombs shouldn't be used to destroy mindworms which are attacking civilian populations.
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Old August 13, 2001, 23:26   #27
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Blake, How many glasses of wine did you have when you wrote that last post? Ned
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Old August 14, 2001, 00:59   #28
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None! , see? Mr Sperm head says it's true!


I imagine I was merely procrastinating. {wanders off muttering about impending deadlines}


Say what Mr Sperm head? I should go and do work and leave the poor denizens of Apolyton in peace?


Now a message from our sponser:
If you drink and post, you'll look like a bloody idiot.



(For the record I was not posting drunk, altough caffiene overdose can not be ruled out)

I should go and do something productive?! Now?! , well, okay, Mr Sperm head.

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Old August 14, 2001, 06:28   #29
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only quasi-conscious poster. I think red spermhead is mindcontrolling us.

Anyways, I'd like to continue down my tangent here...has anyone made additional native units and seen the game use them? I suspect the game only calls the unit-slots where worms-locusts-IODs reside and won't call other psi-units for native use. I suppose I should go test this, but if anyone knows post your results.

I had fun making a Psi unit with a chopper chassis (It used the IOD graphic though), but the natives never created it, though the AI did...quite scary.

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