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Old August 3, 2001, 16:00   #1
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Terror Forming – The Art of War, Former-Style

The sea former has long gotten a bad rap….they’re vulnerable, and they have a tough, unforgiving job, but in the end, they’re the units responsible for cranking out some of the most productive food and energy enhancing terraforming in the whole game! It is my hope that the earlier essays on a synergistic defense will help the poor sea-slug’s reputation….after all, with such an umbrella of safety ringing your empire in, surely the poor sea former will have a longer life span thanks to the protection provided by all those “wolf packs” of constantly patrolling destroyers.

And of course, assuming that to be true, then after you’ve gone ahead and made a ton or three of tidal harnesses, after you’ve planted several hundred tons of kelp all around the coast (so much for swimming at the beach, eh?), what’s a poor, over-worked sea former to do?

This is a topic that has been covered many times before, but not recently, so I thought I’d bring it back into the fore, especially in light of the recent posts on the synergistic defense, planning for the day when you DO take the fight to the enemy.

One of the mainstays of battle….one of the best tricks in the book as far as throwing your enemy off balance and forcing him to divert resources elsewhere is the notion of creating a diversion, and what could be a better diversion than driving 3 heavily armored AAA cruisers up near the coast to cover 3-4 super-sea-slugs who then proceed to sink a goodish portion of your enemy’s continent!

And, to make the threat all the more menacing, park an “Air Superiority” chopper right on top of the stack, or a whole mess of Interceptors.

This will send your opponent not only scurrying to deal with the threat your formers are now posing, but he’ll also be changing things around in his building plan (in all probability, losing minerals as he switches from whatever he was building to Pressure Domes in order to keep from losing half the population in his one or more threatened bases). Thus, the lowliest and least appreciated of all units actually can be made to pack quite a wallop!

Conversely, if you know that your opponent has a largish naval squadron in yonder sea base, how ‘bout doing the same thing in reverse? Raise land to create a tiny island nearby, and then drop off a few formers (or, build Drop-Formers and get them there that much quicker), set them to the task of raising the land, and if you do it quickly enough, you’ll dry dock the whole fleet! Even if your opponent moves said fleet and you miss the opportunity to strand them, you’ve still won, in the sense that your opponent is now forced into moving his forces until the pesky formers are dealt with.

And, while not an actual “attack” in its own right, it certainly is distracting….which is precisely what you want, because it gives your “real” attack force a window of opportunity to jump in and cause some real mayhem.

So many folks have become huge fans of the farm/condenser combo that the ol’ “raise a mountain range if your opponent lies to the east of you” trick doesn’t work as well as it once did, but it’s still something to consider if you notice that your opponent doesn’t have any or many condensers in place yet….turning most of his lands into dry steppe is a pretty good way to FORCE your opponent to pay attention to his terraforming, unless he’s a diehard “forest and forget” type, in which case, you’ll help more than hurt.

And while we’re on the topic of terraforming, don’t make the mistake of thinking that formers are the only unit in the game (SMAX) that are capable of terraforming!

Thanks to the ED thread, it’s now entirely possible to safely use tectonic missiles on your own land to raise a mountain for an energy park, or to rapidly construct a land bridge, even if you’ve got no formers in the area.

Likewise, missiles armed with fungal payloads can be spewed out in quantity to blanket key points of your continent with fungus (or all of it, if you’ve got those spiffy SP’s that increase the productivity of fungus, and the Xeno-Dome to help you move through the stuff like greased lightning while your opponent bumbles around blindly in it.

PB’s a pretty good at terraforming too (especially if you’re looking to make a series of smallish lakes all through your opponent’s territory), but so terribly expensive that it’s not really worth the bother….and besides, that’s much more a direct attack than any of the other stuff here….::shrug:: still, terraforming is terraforming!

Anyway, all that to say….don’t discount the poor, unloved sea-slug….even after he’s done his “regular” terraforming duties, he can still play an important role in your armed forces….

The list of published books grows. If you're curious to see what sort of stories I weave out, head to and do an author search for "Christopher Hartpence." Help support Candle'Bre, a game created by gamers FOR gamers. All proceeds from my published works go directly to the project.
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Old August 3, 2001, 16:39   #2
Black Sunrise
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Thanks tentirely possible to safely use tectonic missiles
Remember they cause MASSIVE eco damage.
So they can be handy to drown the world.

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Old August 3, 2001, 17:41   #3
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I have used this tactic. Its very entertaining.

This is also my 100 post and I wanted to make it on-topic.
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