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Old November 2, 2000, 03:30   #1
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Latest Effective Tech in MP?
So, just fishing for cool MP stories, here.... I was wondering what's the longest anyone has played MP, in terms of the tech tree, when the game was still up in the air and the gaining of a certain tech really decided things. For instance, I'm certain no one's had Orbital Improvements matter much in an MP game, right? Otherwise we'd be hearing about the cool sattelite wars that happened, no? I'm sure everybody's had a game in which D:AP was the decisive tech.

The point is, it seems like MP games don't really "finish"--they usually just get played until it's obvious who's going to win. So, what's the latest tech that anyone's had decide the game? Has anyone had a game that was so neck-and-neck that the discovery of Quantum Chambers (reactor 3) turned the tide, (to mix metaphors)?
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Old November 2, 2000, 08:10   #2
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I remember reading one of the old threads on ACT003 (I think), where Misotu transcended - the factions were pretty much neck and neck up to that point, and it was touch and go, from the sounds of things....
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Old November 2, 2000, 12:11   #3
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You're right Mark - ACT003 was a neck-and-neck 3-way race to transcend. It was basically decided by who got the option to research Threshold first.

Better still from the point of view of deciding tech was AXT011 - Tig and Tau would be able to say how much difference, if any, their weapons techs made. I know Tau was dependent on blink to get through my defences so I would say that tachyons and antimatter saved my bacon there. But in that game, we did indeed build many satellites - a grand total of 50 were still up there by the final turn - and in fact Tig and Tau had quite a hard-fought ODP war for a few turns, Tig knocking them out to try to open up a way through for his buster, Tau throwing them up as fast as Tig could down them

N-Space for flechettes and Self-Aware Machines for ODPs were perhaps the deciding techs in that game. Tig busted me first, then turned to bust Tau. Tau was saved by the flechette in his HQ, but Tig had another coming and Tau didn't want to trust his luck on a 50-50 chance again The buster was one turn from completion and so was Tau's first ODP ... I had the turn, Tig was next and then Tau. So as things stood, it gave Tig a tiny window to drop the buster before Tau's ODP was launched.

At that point, I was in ruins. Just been busted, no HQ, no decent cities to speak of and a magnificent air force of two x choppers, one heavily damaged I sent them both against the base where Tig was building the buster - attacked it successfully, destroyed a borehole and pushed the buster back a turn so that it built after Tau's ODP. It was really touch and go - very high mineral-producing base with lots of pop, and I think he only needed something like 6 minerals to finish the buster. So it wasn't enough to attack once successfully - I needed several good hits to stop him. If Tig had dropped the buster successfully, he would have been in a very strong position to take the game militarily ... edge of the seat stuff

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Old November 2, 2000, 12:21   #4
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I have an unusual one too - Tree Farms as the deciding tech in a no-holds-barred bare-knuckle fight to the death

True. ACT018 - UoP were wiped out but, as their parting shot at the Believers sent me (PKs) tree farms.

Everyone had D:AP - I managed to get to MMI as well a little further on. But it was tree farms that took it - UoP had the chance to discover one more tech before the end, and were researching one I had already. I sent it to them, and begged them to do tree farms rather than some weapons tech the Believers would simply steal and use against both of us. They did, bless them. And my income almost doubled overnight. When you are bringing in around 100 EC/turn, and you have moderate mineral production, you can afford to get into a rhythm where you rush cheap little x air units every time they hit the 2 turns to completion mark. At the rate of 2 to 4 units per turn. Over a few MY, the impact of this is tremendous.
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Old November 2, 2000, 15:27   #5
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Wow, cool stories, y'alls! More, more! That PB game sounds like it was awesome. The tree-farm game shows quite good strategic thinking. It's interesting that in both cases it's a dying faction that makes the decisive move. Any more stories of decisive techs?
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Old November 2, 2000, 21:00   #6
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HP: I play LAN games with friends all the time, and we turn of all victories except Conquer to drag the game out, with a codicil that anyone using Nerve Gas can expect to be anihilated by all the other players (same for dropping PBs). We love the late game with hundreds of units and high tech. Most of the time, the final deciding factor is how fast you get the latest reactor compared to your opponents. This can and has happened very early (fusion), but sometimes even Singularity doesn't make the difference. Psi gates, Blink, gravships, and all the tech & abilities that everyone *****es are pointless come into play all the time. Fun as hell.

One reason early faction dominance doesn't tend to happen is we all four like playing builder style, and we all are approx the same skill level.
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Old November 2, 2000, 22:40   #7
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Hey Paul ... you're absolutely right of course. ACT018 is forever engraved on my mind as the game where I got nerve-gassed to the last man By (gnash) Pagan CyC IIRC.

The game I was talking about here was ACT017. Sorry

Edited to add that it was my first finished PBEM too. We're made of stern stuff you and I Paul. Nerve-gassed out of existence, and we come back for more
[This message has been edited by Misotu (edited November 02, 2000).]
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Old November 2, 2000, 22:43   #8
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quote:

Originally posted by Helium Pond on 11-02-2000 02:27 PM
It's interesting that in both cases it's a dying faction that makes the decisive move. Any more stories of decisive techs?


Oi! HP! No!

*Not* a dying faction (although it certainly felt that way at the time).

I won that game By transcending

The reason why I put all that effort in, and risked the only military units I had was because I *needed* an all-out war between the other two at that point. They thought I was finished - I knew I wasn't, and I knew all I needed was a 10-year breathing space. But to get that, I had to ensure that Tau was strong enough to fight Tig

Tau would confirm all this if he were reading the thread, because he'll remember our frantic email exchanges at the time

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Old November 2, 2000, 22:55   #9
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HP - and anyone looking for MP stories well told - try this:
http://apolyton.net/forums/Forum27/HTML/000154.html?297

OK, I know I was part of it but that's not the reason. We all posted in character and it was genuinely an excellent game. Anyone wondering about MP - just imagine playing a game like this. It was *splendid*

Now ... sign up for the tournament and get some of this for yourselves
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Old November 3, 2000, 01:03   #10
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Yes, ACT003 was certainly a close game. Misotu transcended first, but Enigma and I would both also have transcended in that same turn. It was certainly an unusual MP game. We were all pacted for most of the game and we were never were at vendetta.

Mis, are you sure it was ACT018 you were talking about? I thought ACT018 was the game where we got killed by ?? I don't remember his name, but he played UoP and he got to Air Power and MMI first. Lots of nerve gas in that game. It was also my first finished PBEM game.
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Old November 3, 2000, 09:34   #11
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Oh, wow, what a great game, from the sounds of things - are there any savegames available, out of interest? The only predictable part was the end, Misotu won....

I second Misotu's attempted recruitment, as it is a great way to not only play SMAC against real opponents, but also to interact properly with other factions, something not possible in SP.

Mis, were you not playing it as an SSC? How on earth did you manage to get the tech for the Ascent so quickly?
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Old November 3, 2000, 22:34   #12
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Fitz:

Your games sound great. How do you manage to play LAN games, though? Don't they take forever? You actually get people to commit that amount of time? To play a proper game, especially one that lasts as long as Psi Gates, it must take you... gee, at least 8 hours? No? And all that waiting while other people take their turns...

I'd love to hear the stories of some of these games. Like you said, everyone complains (byotches) about how those techs--Psi Gates, Blink, Gravships--are useless because they're so late-game. And do Gravships actually have tactical advantages over aircraft and Choppers? No one ever talks about using these techs, so I'm very curious.
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Old November 4, 2000, 01:50   #13
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Hmm, maybe my lazyness in deleting old games can come in handy. I have all AXT011 turns from 2101 to 2180 still lying around. The endgame was played while I was on holiday, so those files are not at my regular computer; still, if anyone is interested in the ones I have, send me an email.

And I can confirm everything Mis has said about the game. For the next 15 turns at least after the attempted nuking, I spent all my resources on building ODPs, AAA 8-Res Sentinels and X Shard Choppers. I even ran 80% Econ for a while to get enough money to buy the 5-6 ODPs I needed every turn.
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Old November 6, 2000, 16:00   #14
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Wow, 20+ hours, my eyes are already sore, and I've only been on here for one hour....

The furthest I've ever played an IP game is about 2200, and that was two nights work, so I haven't really gotten any late game MP experience.....but it sounds like it should be a lot of fun...
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Old November 6, 2000, 17:52   #15
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quote:

Originally posted by mark13 on 11-03-2000 08:34 AM Oh, wow, what a great game, from the sounds of things - are there any savegames available, out of interest? The only predictable part was the end, Misotu won....


No, not at all. I was *extremely* lucky to win that game - seriously. See the next bit

quote:

Mis, were you not playing it as an SSC? How on earth did you manage to get the tech for the Ascent so quickly?


Yes, I played it as an SSC. Only one decent city - the rest were very poor. But my SSC had both the Supercollider and ToE, plus maybe 20 crawlers pulling in energy. I built a little energy park on the highest point on my island, and also built a number of aquifers. So the energy going into that SSC was pretty serious, and then I was running 70% or 80% labs for most of the mid game onwards. Quite a number of sky hydroponics, so a lot of specialists too.

Several reasons why we got to the Ascent tech so fast: first, we agreed on a builder game, so we were all researching like crazy. When you have UoP, CyC and Morgan all running somewhere around 80% labs for a quite a while, the techs come thick and fast.

Second reason was that Morgan (Tau) was looking very serious around the early part of the mid-game. So serious, in fact, that Tig and I agreed to exchange techs exclusively with each other, in order to hold him up. Then we downgraded our pacts with him to treaties, while maintaining pacts with each other. That broke down eventually of course (about the time Tig dropped the buster actually ) but it really helped mid-game.

Third reason was the commerce income - we were all pacted/treatied for most of the game and getting serious energy from commerce.

Mark, you'll be pleased to hear that I ran FM/Wealth almost all the game No psych allocation of course. Then you add the CyC +2 research and +2 efficiency and ... you're at the Ascent before you know it
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Old November 6, 2000, 18:37   #16
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Wow - I have had a look at the save game, you say you were playing it as an SSC - even when the SSC got nuked, the techs were still coming in every three turns! There's backup for you....

To be honest though, I, for one, would find a 'pure' builder game quite dull, mainly because it limits your options so much. A game without so much as the threat of an invasion would be dull to me - you have to prepare for the unexpected.....it just seems silly to look at Misotu's coastline bases defended by a single scout patrol

You say you were running no psych allocation, well WHY ON EARTH NOT?????? From the sounds of things, with even 10% psych allocation, your bases would have gone into a golden age and you'd have been positively raking in the energy, what with the commerce boost...

But no, it still sounds like a fascinating game to be involved in - a scramble for the Ascent, not something I have experienced before...

All I need to do now is to wait six months for the other PBEMs to get into a similar situation....
[This message has been edited by mark13 (edited November 06, 2000).]
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Old November 6, 2000, 20:42   #17
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Well, there was the threat of an invasion from the Aliens of course. I was pretty much spared most of that because of my pathetic position on the power graph and because Tig was in all-out war with them, so I guess they focused on him.

I'm not sure which year you're looking at, but in the MY immediately after the buster, I think my research rate dropped to 1 every 7 turns or similar. Panic! I had managed to move most of my crawlers out of the blast range, then rehomed them to better bases and threw up an HQ somewhere so it did indeed improve again pretty rapidly.

The builder game was pretty intense - very exacting in terms of making the right decisions about SE, facilities and energy. I've never thought so hard about strategy before, it was fascinating. I certainly found out a lot of stuff. The hard way And then once the war started ... it was such a blast just seeing what was possible in terms of switching from one footing to the other as fast as possible. You might enjoy this kind of game more than you think ...

Psych allocation. Yes, well ... Now that I almost understand the commerce formula thanks to you guys it seems clear that the +1 energy from GA is not so dramatic, necessarily, and especially not if the majority of your energy is derived from crawlers. I don't know - it'd be interesting to go back and experiment ...

quote:

All I need to do now is to wait six months for the other PBEMs to get into a similar situation....


Are you playing any games on the tourny map, or are all of yours random map starts? The tourny map really gets the game going very rapidly, things get pretty interesting in not many turns at all. Quite a few of them end in transcend - or feature transcend attempts at least. If you haven't tried it yet, I'd recommend giving it a whirl.


[This message has been edited by Misotu (edited November 06, 2000).]
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Old November 6, 2000, 21:30   #18
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Mark: 10% Psych would not have been enough to get Golden Ages. I know, as I consistently used that setting , and I had the HGP too. I did get GAs in one or two cities (those that had Hybrid Forests, I think); still, the additional 1 or 2 commerce income is not very significant, percentage-wise, when commerce is already at the 16 to 20 level (Global trade pact, pact, and +4 Econ from FM/Wealth/Morgan makes trade profitable!). I doubt it would have been worth a 10-20% reduction of the research rate, and econ was generally set as low as possible anyway.

And you should not knock the builder game until you have tried it. There may not be much military warfare (though there WAS quite a lot of it at the end), but there is certainly enough economic and diplomatic warfare to make up for it! And there is something pleasing about having games end in something other than one player presiding over a nerve gassed wasteland...

Mis: He has my 2171 turn (two years before the buster) and 2180. By that time you had recovered quite well, I must say...

Both: Mark has only random map games, but I have a tournament map game waiting for him, as soon as my email comes back up (see my latest thread in the multiplaying forum).
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Old November 6, 2000, 23:19   #19
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The tournament map sounds like a lot of fun. I can only afford to play one tournament game at a time right now, and the current one is on a random map--it's going pretty slowly. I'm really tempted to request another game, but I'm already spending too much time on SMAC.

Fitz:
I'm guessing you're using a campus LAN, or something like that, and you're students, right? All in the same computer lab or something? That sounds like a blast, wish I was still young... And the Airborne Pod/rush-built Psi Gate strategy sounds like a killer. What a cool idea!
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Old November 7, 2000, 00:33   #20
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The more MP you play, the less SP you play ... it's a sliding scale
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Old November 7, 2000, 01:41   #21
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We play LAN games by getting together four people, with their computers, for a whole ****ing weekend. That's usually 20+ hours total including friday night. Waste of time really, but a lot of fun.

All the final techs are very important if you cann't transcend and everyone is close in military/economic power. The two most usefull militarily tend to be psi gates, and to a lesser degree, gravships. Gravships are the best air power for a reason. They only get one attack, but they can conquer bases, which can be a godsend with their range. Psi gates allow for a common tactic of an airborne colony pod, followed by a rush build of the gate. Then you can start funneling troops through them. I've never personally used that tactic, (since I'm not the best of us, I tend to be defending like mad), but I've been on the recieving end of it enough times.
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Old November 7, 2000, 08:26   #22
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I can't wait to play the tournament map - I have had a look at it, I've also heard you start with extra units (I hope so, transcending in 2180-odd, or I'm doing something very wrong ), which sounds like it should be a lot of fun....

Give the random games a couple of months, though, and I'm sure they will liven up pretty quickly - I tried to get into a good game quickly with ACT21, but, erm, well....

Believe me, Tau, I am not knocking the builder game, I am just saying that from the sounds of things, it would be quite dull. I had, of course, as Misotu pointed out, factored out the threat of alien invasion....but weren't you just an eensy weensy bit tempted to throw an army at your opponents?

I can't wait, I just can't wait!!!!

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Old November 7, 2000, 14:05   #23
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HP: No, we just move four computers to the same house and set up our own LAN. Simple, but it means committing a large part of a weekend. We even did it for a whole week once.
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