Latest test game using my "knife fight" scenario, CU v5 Beta 2B. Large/~120 planets/10 players/Painful, with "scattered" stars to try to even out the starting positions a bit.
Moreso than other test games I've played so far, the galaxy got very violent very early. About 70 turns in, several wars were started in quick succession:
* the Krynn declared on the Yor
* the Torian declared on the Korx
* I declared on the Terrans
* the Torian declare on the Yor
* the Altarians declared on the Korath
* the Iconians declared on the Korath
* the Drath declared on the Korath
By 100 weeks I'd taken a nice bite out of the Terrans and sued successfully for peace. About the same time the Krynn and Yor kissed and made up as well. But the Krynn and Terrans must have got bored, because a few weeks later:
* the Terrans declared on the Korath
* the Krynn declared on the Korx
As of week 115, all civs are at war except me. I'm not sure what to make of this except that my MMR might be high enough to keep the friskier civs from attacking, and I haven't been ignoring trade and diplomacy so much this game.
With that in mind, here's the civ breakdown:
Krynn - 800 bc income (8% trade, 25% econ treaty), 8 colonies. Must have been feeling pretty good when they declared on the Yor, but the Yor absolutely punished them, taking their HW and a couple minor colonies before peace broke out. I'm guessing that this might be a direct result of the early Iconian/Yor Seeker missile fix (they're now appropriately cheap, as their description would suggest) -- from the looks of things it is allowing the Yor to leverage their early (lousy) economy to actually field a decent fleet early game if need be -- note that the Krynn attacked the Yor, not the other way around. Tech-wise, the Krynn had grabbed most of their special tech aside from The Way and Krynnian Disciples, were up to Ion Drive, had ignored X-Col so far, and had a good mix of econ techs (Xeno Fac, Academies, Xeno Econ). They had Small hulls, Logistics I, Stinger II, Planet Invasion, and Mil. Starbase Construction. Excellent early research mix.
Yor - 1527 bc income (5% trade), 15 colonies. Were weaker militarily when the Krynn attacked, but leveraged Seeker missiles, logistics I, and a nearby Military resource to spew out tons of relatively cheap 5-0-8 fighters in fleets of three. After war broke out, the Yor MMR increased at least twice as fast as the Krynn.. and then the Krynn MMR started to fall. Quickly. Tech: Trade, good selection of econ tech (Mfr II, Synthetic Ingenuity, Charging Stalks, Eff. Studies V). They finished Barren world X-Col but did not grab X-Col itself. Had Small hulls, Harpoon I, Planetary Invasion, Mil. Starbase Construction. Like the Krynn, I'd give them a gold star for early research.
Iconian - 1053 bc income (15% trade), 10 colonies. Kind of hemmed in by Arcaen and Drath but did well considering. Having a quiet game so far but jumped on the Korath dogpile with everyone else. Tech: have Merchant Trade Complexes and Xeno Ethics already, plus Xeno Business, Molecular Fabs, and Hyper Mainframes. No Research Centers yet but it isn't hurting them. Have Small ships, Logistics I, Mini 2 (plus Org Materials.. nice!), Harpoon II, Planetary Invasion, and Mil. Starbase Construction. Finished Toxic X-Col but haven't touched X-Col itself yet. Their Heavy Fighters are 6-0-8 and they're fielding fleets of 4.
Drath - 2000 bc income (6% trade, 50% War Profit), 12 colonies. With 10k BC in the bank they could probably start buying colonies. I know they're buying ships from the Krynn and Terrans. They have the 3rd biggest military in the game at present, just behind the Yor and Torians, but their best fleet is 12-0-20; they have not as yet been able to turn their humongous econ into a tech advantage. They have Interstellar Republic, War Profiteering, a good mix of econ tech (Xeno Facs, Research Centers, Hyper Mainframes, Xeno Trade), Tiny Hulls, Harpoon I, Planetary Invasion, Mil. Starbase Construction. Except for the glaring lack of Small hulls, they're golden.
Korx - 1200 bc income (25% trade, 10% econ treaty), 10 colonies. Started in the corner in a humongous void. Spewed colony ships everywhere and have a very spread out empire. Good for trading, not so good for defending. Holding their own against the Torian so far, and the Krynn are too far away to be much of a threat. Tech: Super Trade Starbases, Impulse I, smattering of econ techs (Xeno Industrial Theory, Xeno Research, Hyper Mainframes, Xeno Entertaimnet, Soil Enhancement, full Barren world col (a good investment, it netted them two class 10s early on). They have Small hulls, logistics I, Stinger II, Planetary Invasion, Military Starbase Construction. Doing quite well I'd say.
Torian - 825 bc income (8% trade), 9 colonies. Odd to see the Torians do only moderately well in the colony rush, but they started next to the Korath who had quite a good position and aggressively colonized it. They also lost a few to the Korx diaspora (probably why they declared war on them early). Tech: Wellness Falls, a few econ techs (Sci. Method, Xeno Econ). Kind of concerned that they hadn't grabbed Xeno Industrial yet. They hadn't started on Aquatic X-Col but had finished Barren (seemed to be lots of Barren planets on this map). Stinger II, Medium hulls, no logistics meant their "fleets" were single Frigates plus a Heavy Fighter for 12-0-32. Not too bad, not great. They had researched Defensive Trance but had no defense techs. At least 15 turns of early research wasted.
You know what, I hadn't realized the Torians start with 16 logistics. That seems high for a non-militarily inclined race, equal to the Arcaen and Drath. Does that seem odd to anyone else? Is it necessary to make them not completely pathetic in the early game?
Korath - 921 bc income (7% trade, 15% econ treaty). 12 colonies. Despite being at war with 4 other civs, the only one closeby that is going to hurt is the Altarians. Korath light fighters are 6-0-7 and with three per fleet they're better than anything anyone else is fielding except for the Iconians and Altarians. 62% Weapons will do that. They also have 62% soldiering which is going to make their planets awfully hard to invade.. and they have already built dozens of spore ships. Critically, instead of grabbing Xeno Ethics, Evil, and Psi weapons, they're pushing ahead into Pulse Cannons at 3x the TP. DOH!! Other tech of note: Administrative Slavelings, Xeno Intimidation, Trade, Slave Pits, Cut Throat Trading. No PI but I don't think they care too much with all those Spore ships.
Altarian - 790 bc income (12% trade, 8% econ treaty). 8 colonies. Started in a huge void in the SW, did fairly well considering. Quiet except for their recent addition to the Korath dogpile. Tech: Xeno Ethics, Impulse Drive I, good econ (Xeno Facs, Research Centers, Xeno Trade, and of course Dark Energy Research). Had Small Hulls, logistics II, Mini I, Harpoon II, Mil. Starbase Construction, no PI yet. Interestingly enough they'd researched... Deflectors. Even though nobody had built a single laser yet. Odd. Because of the Logistics it meant they were fielding 24-0-32 fleets of Heavy Fighters, right up there with the Iconians, and several of them were headed into Korath space.
Terran - had a good start but ran afoul of the Arcaen early on and lost 5 planets. 550 bc income, 6 planets. They had researched Interstellar Republic, Impulse Drive III, Manufacturing Centers, Research Academies, Xeno Trade, and had grabbed X-Col. The Terrans, more than any other civ, seem to LOVE econ techs. They had Small hulls, Stinger III, Planetary Invasion, Mil. Starbase Construction, and Interstellar War Colleges.
Arcaen - me. Getting better at tech pacing, order, planetary building, diplomacy, and most importantly figuring out how long an early war can go before I mangle my economy. 19 planets and 1300 bc a turn, I'm not in the lead but I've got quite a solid empire going, and have cordial enough relationships with my immediate neighbors that I'm not worried everything is going to collapse. I daresay looking at AI development and playing all these test games is actually making me a better player. For comparison with the AI, I have Interstellar Republic, Xeno Ethics, Subspace Drive, Space Mining I, Soil Enhancement, Xeno Industry, Research Centers/Hyper Mainframe, Xeno Econ, Xeno Entertainment, and Xeno Medicine (good for growing troops!). I have Small hulls and Singularity Driver III, plus Cathedral of Valor, which I have built. <Best Al Pacino voice>Say hello to my 76% Soldiering! </Best Al Pacino Voice>
It's time to play test again and I'd liketo ask all of you to keep an eye on the following:
Terran/Drath/Thalan/Krynn hull progression. Are they stuck too long on tiny?
No, I think they're more or less OK. When they do sit on Tiny ships for a while, they are at least making decent fleets of them. In this game, only the Drath still had tiny hulls by turn 115.
Krynn unique research. I forced them to grab their unique tech asap but multiple reports show they lag behind in everything else. I'd like to know if these were isolated incidents or a problem so please include the Krynn in your games.
I thought the Krynn had an excellent research mix this game. They bit off more than they could chew when they attacked the Yor, but that's another matter.
Altarian/Torian/Arcean/Korx factory progression. AIP11 runs these civs and it's known to leave manufacturing by the way side. The Iconians have are on AIP11 as well but their unique factories allow for high AIValue's since they are untradable. Ideally I'd like to leave the "standard" manufacturing tech tradable as well but not if it's means these civs severely lag behind in industry.
The Altarian and Korx both grabbed Xeno Facs early. Torians.. not so much. The Torians had a pretty lame start compared to their usual explosive expansion, though.
Do the Drath ALWAYS get War Profiteering and Invisible Hand? War Profiteering is on AIValue -10 now.
The last several games I've played, they have never not researched it.