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    Strategy Guide by JChamberlin / Velociryx

    Version: Final | Updated: 12/30/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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                  Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC)
                  System: Windows (PC)
                  Authors: Jim Chamberlin and
    	               Chris Hartpence (aka Velociryx)
                  Contact: Jim Chamberlin - red_phoenix_1@hotmail.com
                           Chris (Vel) - quazimojo1@aol.com
                  Version: Final (06/11/01)
      << Disclaimer >>
      This document is Copyright © 2001 Jim Chamberlin and Chris Hartpence.
      All Rights Reserved.
    Version -  0.1 - 3.3 - Made and updated the guide on a regular basis.
                     3.4 - Made the ASCII art and included a few little notes.
                     3.5 - Added more ASCII art and changed my name and email
                     3.6 - Minor Changes.
                     3.7 - Minor Changes.
                     3.8 - Added the URL of the HTML version of this FAQ.
                     3.9 - A minor change.
                     4.0 - All kinds of changes.
                           I've decided to take the Dialogue section out of this FAQ
                           and put it in a completely different FAQ.  In my opinion,
                           this will make it much easier to navigate this FAQ.
                           I've also rewritten a few sections to update what's going
                           on.  There were a few sections that haven't been updated
                           since last fall, so they certainly needed to be changed
                           in one way or another.
                           I even noticed a wrong email link.  I never had the email
                           address I had listed in here, heh.  That's why I haven't
                           received too many emails on SMAC.
                     4.1 - I like the fact that I took the Dialog out of this FAQ.
                           I also decided to take the Fictional Story out of here
                           and put it in a separate guide.  Afterall, I think this
                           will make is easier to navigate.
                           Would anyone care to comment on the "newer" look?
                     4.2 - A few minor changes.
                     4.3 - A few changes.
                     4.4 - A few changes.
                     4.5 - A few changes.
                     5.0 - Huge changes.  I basically made a whole new FAQ.
                     5.1 - Added a somewhat large list of tips/strategies
                     5.2 - A minor change.
       If you have questions, suggestions, comments or anything you'd like to 
       submit, email me at red_phoenix_1@hotmail.com.  If you submit something, and 
       I use it, you will be properly credited.  Also, if you send me something, 
       include your name in the body of the email.  I've received a few emails from 
       folks, who have submitted things to me that have had a sudden increase in 
       SPAM since their email address was put in my FAQs, so I will no longer be 
       doing that if I can help it.  Any email you send me for this game should 
       have "SMAC" of "Alpha Centauri" as the Subject.  This allows me to sort my 
       email better.
       The large part of this FAQ was written by Chris Hartpence (aka Velociryx).
       I thank him very much for his contributions!
                                    Table of Contents
      Changes in the Alien Crossfire Add-on Pack
      The Factions
      The Landmarks
      Special Projects
      Getting Started
        Military & War
      The Middle Game
        The Supply Crawler
      Late Game
      Final Thoughts
      Hot Keys
      Unit Design Info
      General Tips
    It is vitally important that you understand just what kind of game you're
    playing. I mean this on two different levels, and will take them one at a time.
    First and most basically, keep in mind the fact that Alpha Centauri is not a war
    game, but an empire-building game. War is, of course, a part of the process of
    creating an empire, but it is only a means to an end. This is not to say that
    you cannot enjoy the game if you treat it as a war game and nothing more. Many
    players do that, and they love the game. It is a perfectly valid approach to
    playing. In fact, there are factions which are specifically designed for this
    type of play-style. Bear in mind, however, that if you choose to play the game
    exclusively as a war game, you are denying yourself a significant and
    fascinating portion of the overall experience.
    The second thing I mean is that the game actually begins before your map screen
    comes up. Everything in Alpha Centauri is important, and if you want to excel at
    the game, then from the moment you begin setting up the parameters of your game
    world, you should be considering how they may impact your game.
    To that end, and in order to get your mind turning on the subject, we'll examine
    each of the options you can select from:
    Planet Size: This will impact how much time you will have to develop in
    isolation before other factions begin to find you. If you want to mix it up
    from the start, shrink your world size. If you're looking to explore the
    various "Builder" elements in the game, expand the world size.
    Oceans: Another factor that will impact how long it takes other factions to
    contact you. Oceans represent a pretty formidable obstacle. You've got to
    research two techs before you can even start building a boat, and then you must
    begin exploring the planet at the less-than-lightning-fast rate of three or four
    squares per turn. On the other hand, setting oceans to a minimum may well create
    a game where all the factions wind up starting on the same continent!
    Cloud Cover: A more subtle option. Impacts the amount of rainfall the planet
    receives. This, in turn, impacts the amount of green, nutrient rich squares the
    world contains. World with heavy rainfall are nutrient rich, allowing for easy
    growth and expansion. Worlds with minimal cloud cover are arid and dry, making
    each base a very big and important deal, especially in the early game. In a
    word: Rainy = Rapid Development. Aird = Slow Development.
    Native Life Forms: This will dramatically alter the flavor of your game, and it
    will do so in a number of ways. First, the higher the setting, the more fungus
    you will have to contend with, which will slow your development (as your scouts
    and colony pods will either have to spend several turns going through or around
    all the fungus, and your formers will need to spend several turns per square
    just clearing the fungus to make use of the underlying terrain. Second: More
    fungus = more chances to run into worms. This might be a good thing, if you're
    geared for combat, or if you are the Gaians, with their inherent ability to
    capture worms. On the other hand, if you are Morgan, intent on running a Free
    Market Economy, this could have some pretty serious implications for your game.
    (Note: If you're playing for score, then use Abundant Native Life forms, as you
    will receive a 25% bonus to your score).
    Optional Rules: Many of these are pretty self explanatory, and most do not need
    comment. However, there are a few….
    Blind or Directed Research: This is probably the most important choice you will
    make in the whole pre-game setup, as it will dramatically influence how you
    proceed from turn one. Blind research more or less leaves you in the hands of
    Fate. It makes for a very "realistic" game, but can also be immensely
    frustrating, if you suddenly find yourself neck deep in a war and have few if
    any combat-oriented techs. Directed research is the favored choice by the bulk
    of gamers, mostly for the control it gives over the game environment, but
    whichever you tend to favor, I strongly recommend trying the "other" choice out
    from time to time, just to give yourself a taste of some other perspective.
    Random Events on/off: These are mostly mild boons or minor irritants, but they
    can occasionally be really painful (Asteroid strike wipes out your biggest and
    best base, solar flares destroy all your Orbital Power Transmitters, etc)., so
    consider if you want to deal with that on top of the rival factions or not.
    Also, if you're planning to try for an economic win, you will probably want to
    turn this off!
    Unity Pod Scattering: I like to refer to this as the "Easter Egg Hunt." If you
    want to add a random element into the game, and generally make life a little
    easier for all players involved, then turn this option on. Otherwise, turn it
    off. You still may have a few pods, but they'll be isolated to your starting
    TechStag: Turning this option on will have an enormous impact on your game! It
    will slow you down immensely. This, in combination with a huge, high water level
    planet can mean a hundred years or more of isolation before some other faction
    finds you. Think carefully before you activate this! If you are a fairly passive
    player, this may be for you, otherwise, you might find yourself very bored!
    Spoils of War: A huge benefit to war-mongers, as it means you can get away with
    almost totally ignoring infrastructure development, and focus exclusively on
    building up your army!
    Ironman: Disallows use of the autosave feature. No going back to undo mistakes.
    Also, increases your score by 100%.
    Do or Die: If you're planning to win by conquest, this option could be your best
    Aggressive Opponents: The AI factions are already pretty aggressive, and this
    makes them doubly so. If you're going for a diplomatic win, you might want to
    leave this one off.
                       Changes in the Alien Crossfire Add-on Pack
    New kinds of worms:
    Yep....three of them, to be specific. First, Sealurks. Watch out for these
    guys....they're rather similar to IoD's, except they don't act as transports and
    tend to be "lone wolf" units. I've not had much luck in catching them (none,
    actually), so I can't say either way whether they're any good as an addition to
    your naval forces.
    Next, Fungal Towers: I've never captured these guys either, and frankly, I doubt
    it's possible. They get morale upgrades depending on how much fungus they're
    surrounded by, and tend to spawn worms fairly regularly.
    Finally, spore launchers: Artillery for worms, and they are annoying!
    Oftentimes, when and IoD comes to pay you a visit, the Spore Launcher will not
    land on the shore, but remain on the Isle, and snipe at your terrain
    enhancements, forcing you to build an empath foil to deal with the IoD in order
    to get rid of the sniper. UGH! (Alternate plan: Build an artillery unit of your
    own and duel with the sniper).
    Seven new factions:
    Five human, two alien. You'll find details on the new bunch a bit later in this
    New techs, weapons, facilities, and secret projects:
    About half a dozen new techs, spawning a variety of new weapons and abilities.
    I'll not go into specifics here, as all of this is covered elsewhere in the
    guide, but suffice it to say for the time being that there are a LOT of new
    capabilities you can give your troopers, opening up whole new vistas as far as
    exotic and special purpose troopers go! The new facilities are great as well,
    giving you base-specific probe modifiers, missile defense systems, additional
    defensive bonuses and ways of getting better still production out of sea
    Project-wise, it's a mixed bag, with far and away the most useful (overpowered!)
    project being the Cloudbase academy. One thing further, the Hunter-Seeker
    Algorithm has been weakened so that it's not quite the final word protection
    against probes that it once was. Nonetheless, it's still a crucial project to
    snag, but again, more on that later.
    Bug Fixes....LOTS of Bug Fixes: Most significantly, artillery now actually does
    something in the game, and on Transcend level, the maintenance cost bug has been
    fixed, meaning that Transcend level bases are only one third as profitable as
    they used to be, but that is as it should be.
                                      The Factions
    Once you get your game world set up, you will want to take a moment to really
    think about what faction you want to play. I say this because, while all the
    factions are quite good, if you select a faction that does not mesh well with
    your personal gaming style, you will probably not have a very good time. Are you
    an avid war-monger from the get-go? If so, don't play Morgan. And, speaking of
    play-styles, you will find three terms used throughout this guide, beginning
    here in the faction descriptions. Don't worry too much about the specifics, as
    we'll get to that later, but here's a general set of definitions to give you the
    gist of it for the time being:
    Builder-Style: Focuses on infrastructural development over military concerns.
    Hybrid-Style: Attempts to strike a balance between infrastructural development
    and military concerns.
    Momentum-Style: Largely ignores infrastructural development, in favor of
    military concerns.
    Below is a listing and brief overview of the original seven (7) SMAC factions.
    The information contained in this section will serve as one of the primary
    building blocks for sections to follow (including the section on combat).
    The Original Seven:
    You know them, and whether you love them or hate them, you need to be aware of
    each faction's inherent strengths and weaknesses so you'll understand how to
    exploit the one you're playing. It's also a good idea to know what to expect
    from the faction who just dropped a scout rover off in your territory.
    The Lord's Believers (Sister Miriam Godwinson):
    An odd faction (because it is exceedingly unbalanced....see below), but
    extremely powerful when played correctly. Sitting still with The Believers will
    get you killed very quickly. This group needs to be aggressive to survive, and
    they're quite well-suited to that. As you might expect, they are at their most
    powerful when played Momentum-Style, where their +25% bonus when attacking and
    their +2 Support (big army) really shines through. The Believers' main drawback
    is their lagging research capability, which is partially offset by having access
    to outstanding Probe Teams. Note that this is not a perfect solution, however.
    Research is a passive thing. You build a base and research just happens. To get
    anything out of your Probe Teams, you must take an active stance with them,
    sending them out regularly to infiltrate datalinks and steal that much-needed
    technology to keep your army up to date. Not that this will be any big deal for
    fans of the Lady Miriam....they're used to moving lots of units around the map
    every turn.
    Also, one hidden advantage of The Believers is a good amount of cash. This is
    actually an outgrowth of the poor research problem (why put money into your labs
    if they're not going to net you much of a benefit? You're better off adding to
    your cash pool so you'll have more funds to subvert enemy units and the like).
    I hope the fans of The Believers will forgive me for calling their faction an
    odd one, but when I clarify that statement, perhaps they will agree. If you
    imagine the three play-styles I mentioned earlier as being a continuum, with
    "Builder" on the extreme left and "Momentum" on the far right, then Miriam would
    be slammed all the way to the right. Play her pretty much any way but Momentum-
    Style, and you're asking to get hammered.
    A Builder she is not. Building Network Nodes and other Lab-enhancing facilities
    is impractical because of your inherent research penalty (made even worse
    if/when you switch to Fundamentalism). Why build a facility with a "per-turn"
    upkeep fee when you can just zap your current opponent with a probe team?
    Besides that, huddling in your bases as Builders are wont to do negates your
    +25% attack bonus. Drop into "Hermit-Mode" with this faction, and you're in for
    a tough game (Though it might make for an intriguing challenge sometime). She
    could be played as a Hybrid, but again, the primary function of Hybrid-Play is
    to give you sufficient infrastructure to do peace-time research, something
    Miriam just isn't very good at.
    Game notes: Play Miriam fast and hard, but pick your battles carefully. In the
    field, you're troops are very hard to beat, and when you switch to Fundy, you've
    effectively got your own little private "Hunter-Seeker Algorithm" running. A
    word of caution though: All these combat advantages can make you arrogant.
    Resist that! It's the one thing that can really get you in trouble quickly.
    Against a single faction of comparable size, you should have little or no
    trouble smashing through their defenses, but you must take care to only fight
    one war at a time. Take on too many opponents at once and you'll find yourself
    overextended and unable to crank out troops fast enough to support all your
    various campaigns. Also, you've got to remember that unless you find a rival
    faction in the very early part of the game, chances are good that your opponent
    will start with better technology than you. That being the case, your first
    skirmishes may or may not go your way, attack bonus or not.
    Recycling Tanks, Rec. Commons, and Energy Banks (when you get the techs for all 
    this stuff) are really about all you need before Hab-Complexes. Depending on 
    your strategy, you can either build Hologram Theaters in size 6-7 bases or 
    allocate 30-40% to Psych and forget the Theaters (you're probably not
    going put much effort into research anyway), so you can afford to dump some
    money into Psych), or, you can forego any of these once you get the ability to
    make police units, and simply solve your drone problems that way.
    Unlike most other factions, you can delay building Command Centers and still
    fight an even battle with the folks who have them (though a selective one here
    and there might be a good thing, enabling you to crank out an "elite core" to
    enhance your already amazing military apparatus. You also don't really need a
    perim defense, as your best defensive strategies tend to be counter-attacks or
    pre-emptive strikes.
    Once you find someone to smash, send feelers into their territory and find an
    easily accessible base, then start hitting them with probe teams to get up to
    their level of technology. Once you are at technological parity, you will almost
    certainly win the war with them (you can crank out the same types of units, plus
    you get the +25% bonus on your attacks). Just keep up the pressure and don't
    lose your focus, and you will almost certainly be around for the end-game.
    The Hive (Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang):
    A particularly nasty faction for a number of reasons, and another excellent
    Momentum-Style group. Unlike Miriam, you can afford to sit still during periods
    of the game, and you've got tons of safe places to do it, as your group begins
    with your own personal "Citizen's Defense Force" up and running, meaning that no
    matter where your troops go to rest and repair, they'll have the benefits of
    your Perimeter Defense.
    Chairman Yang's main strengths are impressive. Rapid population growth and
    excellent industrial production means that you can build colony pods quickly and
    expand rapidly (and relatively safely, thanks to your Perimeter Defenses), and
    if you had any money at all, this faction would be all but unbeatable, but this
    is the big equalizer. Where Miriam is lagging in research capability, you have a
    corresponding lag in Economy. Simply put, you're strapped for cash, so you're
    going to have to build everything you want (no rush building or buying much of
    anything). Also, without much energy, you've got limited research capability,
    which means you will need to make use of your Probe Teams nearly as much as
    Game notes: Make early use of your industrial capacity. Thanks to rapid
    population growth and the +1 Industry bonus, you can expand very quickly, and if
    you get the "Command Nexus" project, coupled with your inherent Perimeter
    Defenses, you become dangerous indeed (and while we're talking about it, if you
    happen to get the Planetary Transit System, the rest of the world is in a good
    bit of trouble). Even without the secret projects though, you will quickly find
    yourself with a sprawling empire very quickly (not much infrastructure
    development, but that's no big deal for you), which can support an immense army.
    You may not have Miriam's attack bonus or Santiago's morale, but you can almost
    always count on having more troops, and with your greater numbers, you can
    simply overwhelm your opponents, whomever they might be.
    Like Miriam, it is important to test your enemy's defenses before committing to
    full-scale war. Your lack of energy relative to the other factions really
    hampers your research efforts and makes it likely that in the early goings, you
    will have inferior technology. You can't subvert enemy troops as a rule, because
    again, that takes money, but you can have your Probe Teams zap enemy bases and
    pull techs down that way. And, like Miriam, once you've reached technological
    parity with your enemy, you can smash him hard.
    You might need to focus less on mineral production and more on energy
    production to even be able to afford many base facilities. Take care not to
    focus too heavily on energy (or at least not at the expense of minerals) lest
    you erode the advantage your +1 Industry bonus nets you. Any facility that has
    no upkeep cost is good for you! Unfortunately (fortunately?), you don't need
    Perim. Defenses, 'cause you have them already, and the only other "freebie" is
    the Recycling Tanks (which helps you even more than the others, thanks to your
    +1 Industry), and as such, it should be at the top of your list! After that,
    plan your builds carefully, checking your base's energy production against a
    given facility's upkeep. Morgan never has to worry about that kind of thing, but
    you do. Command centers everywhere would be great, but you'd probably be better
    off going for the command nexus project (which gives them to you free) than
    trying to support one at every base.
    With your enhanced Industrial output, it is not at all difficult for you to end
    the fight very quickly. Just amass so many troops and hit from so many different
    directions that your opponent can't stop them all. And once you get a toehold in
    his territory, that is the kiss of death, as now he has to contend with your
    enhanced production capability right there on his turf.
    It is possible to play The Hive as a Builder or a Hybrid, but you will suffer
    from chronic energy problems, which means you won't be as effective as some of
    the others. Still, if you find yourself with a bunch of allies and you're
    feeling honorable, you can do the Hybrid thing well enough to get by until
    someone picks a fight.
    The Spartan Federation (Colonel Corazon Santiago):
    Perhaps the most balanced of the "Momentum" factions, the Spartans achieve a
    good balance between solid, well-trained troops and the ability to do something
    other than fight. If any of the Momentum Factions can easily make the switch to
    Hybrid (and possibly Builder) play, The Spartans are it.
    Their advantages make them magnificent fighters, either offensively or
    defensively, (effectively a Command Center at every base, further enhanced by
    actually building a Command Center), they can research at normal rates, and have
    a decent amount of energy (unlike Miriam and Yang, respectively). That doesn't
    come free though, and they pay the price with a penalty to Industry. Where Yang
    can build things quickly, The Spartans are hampered by higher costs, which will
    slow their expansion in the early game.
    Game Notes: Slow and Steady. This may seem a contradiction to the Momentum style
    of play. What I mean by that is: Use the strengths of that style (as covered
    later), but take great care not to overextend yourself. Of all the Momentum
    factions, this is most dangerous for you. You have to be careful if you're the
    Spartans. Control is the Key to the Kingdom for you. Yes, you've got a wonderful
    army (In fact, you're the only faction in the game that can stare down the
    barrel of a Believer's gun and smile calmly). But it can all come apart for you
    if you get reckless.
    Recycling Tanks are a must, to help offset that -1 Industry, and after that 
    your builds will depend on your current situation. Spartans don't mind police, 
    which can delay the necessity of anti-drone facilities. If you're not close to 
    anybody who wants to fight, focus on energy and lab-enhancing stuff.  The 
    earlier you get them built the better, especially since they're more expensive 
    for you. If you ARE close to potential enemies, go for Command centers before 
    Perimeter defenses. For the Spartans (and in fact, for all of the Momentum 
    players), the best defense is a good offense.
    As mentioned above, your expansion will be slower than average, thanks to your
    higher build costs (and it will be significantly slower than Yang's), which
    means that each of your bases is a big deal. Yang can afford to lose a base or
    two. You cannot, so defend them carefully. The most successful Spartan players I
    have ever seen will expand slowly and carefully until they encounter another
    faction, and then attempt to make peace. If there is any resistance at all to
    the notion of peace, then (in the Spartan mindset), the faction is a potential
    threat and should be eliminated.
    When it comes to combat, the Believers will simply rush forward, relying on
    their factional attack bonus. The Hive will tend to simply use numbers to
    overrun, but in general, The Spartans do their damage with relatively few troops
    in the field (a good thing, since they take more time than usual to replace).
    Most people are frankly amazed when their bases begin falling to groups of two
    or three Spartans, where other factions might send in three to six.
    In times of peace, The Spartans can make the transition to Hybrid Play fairly
    well, though they will be hampered somewhat by their higher build costs. Still,
    once the infrastructure is in place, they do as well as the Peacekeepers or
    Gaians, with their better troops making up for the PK/Gaian special abilities.
    The Peace Keepers (Brother Pravin Lal):
    In a word, durability. The Peace Keepers are an exceedingly good faction for a
    number of reasons. You might not think so at first glance (after all, the only
    adjustment they've got to the Social Engineering table is a -1 on Efficiency,
    and what the Hell good is that?). Trust me, the Peace Keepers have more than
    enough of what it takes to overcome their one weakness.
    First and easiest to relate to is the double vote capacity. If you follow an
    average to brisk expansion policy, you can all but guarantee that you will be
    elected planetary governor, and once you are, you get Infiltrator access to all
    factions (as good as the Empath Guild, for free), and a big trade windfall. Not
    bad for doing what you would have been doing anyway.
    Second is the extra talent your bases attract per four citizens. This is like
    the Genome project on steroids, as it's impact on your bases is relative to the
    size of the base (as opposed to being constant, in the case of the Genome).
    Control will rarely be a problem for you, and can generally be nixed with the
    simplest of base facilities (Rec. Commons, or nothing at all if you get the
    Virtual World & build a Network Node).
    Third, bigger bases. Do not discount the ability to exceed Hab-complex limits!
    Especially if you're playing blind research, the extra time this gives you is
    extremely important!
    Finally, there are advantages to being, well....average. True, you don't get the
    vaunted Spartan Morale Bonus, and you don't get the Economic windfall of the
    Morgans, nor the Population and Industrial boost of Yang, but you don't get any
    of their penalties, either, and the Efficiency problem can be overcome with base
    facilities. All in all, this puts you in a very strong position.
    Game notes: The Peacekeeprs can do everything fairly well, but they don't really
    excel at anything. This is both a blessing and a curse. While they have no real
    weaknesses to exploit (ask anybody who's tried just how hard it is to increase
    drone activity in a PK base), and essentially, your lack of a truly pronounced
    strength is a strength in its own right, in the form of flexibility. Pay special
    attention to anything regarding Hybrid play as you make your way through this
    guide, as it will likely hold doubly true for you. Flexibility can be a
    dangerous thing if you make bad choices as the PeaceKeepers. If a Spartan or
    Gaian Hybrid makes a bad choice and gets into trouble, they can fall back on
    their army (of excellent soldiers or mindworms), but the Peace Keepers only have
    "average" soldiery, and may find themselves hard pressed if they get involved in
    a conflict they're not ready for.
    Still, there's an enormous amount to be said for the sheer durability of Lal's
    Peace Keepers, and no matter what the current game environment (war or peace),
    you will find that they will serve you well.
    After the requisite Recycling Tanks, go for the Children's Creche. Your bases
    can get to size 9 before you need a Hab-Complex anyway, and the efficiency kick 
    will offset your faction's only disadvantage, plus give you a boost in garrison 
    morale (making your average troops able to fight defensively and be on par with 
    any Momentum player who might find you). Perim. Defenses are free and should be 
    incorporated into your strategy if you're close to hostiles, otherwise drift 
    toward energy and lab enhancing goodies.
    Gaia's Stepdaughters (Lady Deidre Skye):
    An absolutely fabulous faction, especially in the early game! Their minor
    faction negatives are more than offset by the ability to capture mindworms at
    game start, and their ability to draw resources from fungal squares. These two
    advantages simply cannot be overstated! The fungal-resources ability will save
    your formers time in the early game, allowing you to draw resources from squares
    in their natural state, and the mindworm capture ability gives you the perfect
    "pod-popping" unit!
    Game notes: Your very first objective should be to catch a Mindworm. Fortunately
    this is not difficult to do. Just start trolling around in fungus, and before
    long, one will appear. In every game I have ever played the Gaians, I've
    captured my first worm on the first try, so I suspect that's a given, and as
    soon as you have your first worm, send him out hunting! Even if the pod in
    question unleashes more worms, they'll ignore your little critter, and he can
    either go about his business or kill/capture the newly spawned worms. Either
    way, it's a boon for you! Do the same thing as soon as you get a foil of some
    kind and you're set for the rest of the game. The goodies you can uncover by
    being the first player out the gate to do some serious pod-popping can quickly
    put you in a position of power, and while you're doing that, your empire is
    growing and expanding.
    Militarily, you're a little weak, but the right base facilities can help offset
    this (and, if you'd rather fight defensively, add a Children's Creche, and
    you'll be on par with most of your adversaries). Energy and Lab production are
    good, and when coupled with the results of your massive pod-popping campaign,
    can easily put you on par with the "Builder" factions.
    If you are feeling aggressive, you can easily shift the Gaians into a Momentum
    stance, using the worm rush strategy to augment your otherwise pretty average
    soldiery. On the other hand, if you find yourself getting hordes of alien
    artifacts and such, you can kick into builder mode and reap the benefits.
    The Mindworm advantage tends to wear down over the course of the game (when the
    productive capacity of your bases is such that you can simply build what you
    need in a single turn, so why bother trying to catch them), so if you're going
    to make use of it, then do it earlier, rather than later, and by late game,
    there aren't many un-popped pods (both of these reasons, I suspect, are why the
    Gaians tend to fade in the late game if controlled by the computer), but the
    ability to draw resources from fungus squares increases over time, until fungus
    squares are ultimately the most productive in the entire game.
    Guess what's first? If you said anything other than Recycling Tanks, smack 
    yourself! After that, your options are wide open, and dependent on your 
    proximity to hostiles. If you're near weak opponents, build a Command Center to
    give your average troops a boost and charge! (Average troops augmented by
    mindworms!). If you're near strong enemies, drop to the defensive, with
    Children's Creche and Perim. Defense, using Mind worms in harassment and
    delaying roles, and if you're not near anybody, go for energy and lab enhancing
    facilities per the PeaceKeepers.
    The University of Planet (Prokor Sartory Zakarov):
    Your labs are your life. They are your only advantage in the game, and if you
    don't use them well and wisely, you will find yourself in trouble very quickly.
    As such, you must focus the bulk of your efforts on increasing your energy
    output, as it is energy that drives your labs.
    Game notes: As the University, you've got four manageable problems, and one HUGE
    advantage. First, your troops are utterly average. Nothing at all to write home
    about. But, with technology as your ace in the hole, that need not frighten you.
    Play that card correctly and your average troops will outgun anything your
    opponents can bring to bear on you. Your second problem is a chronic difficulty
    with drones. The solution to this is a steady program of expansion (which can
    almost turn your problem into an advantage). Expansion is good for you for two
    reasons. First, it partially solves the drone problem you've got as your
    population is kept in check by the creation of new colony pods. And second,
    every time you make a new base, you're getting a network node for free in the
    bargain (and maybe a hologram theater!)....this is extremely efficient from a
    cost-per-facility-basis (for the price of one colony pod, you're getting a new
    base, a network node, and possibly a hologram theater....I think you will be
    hard pressed to find a better value for your money anywhere in the game), not to
    mention the effect it will have on the number of research points you can
    generate. Your third problem is Probe Teams. They generally have a really easy
    time infiltrating your datalinks, which, as you might expect, is bad for you.
    This can be overcome by posting your own Probe Teams around, but that is far
    from a perfect solution. Finally, you've got a less tangible problem I like to
    refer to as "CRS" (Chronic Researcher's Syndrome). What this means is that, yes,
    you're getting a bunch of technological advances, but until you turn those
    advances into tangible things for your empire, they don't do you any good, and
    they certainly won't stop Chairman Yang's forty-three Impact Rovers that just
    sauntered into your territory. As a University Player, you need to focus on
    turning your tech advances into things: base facilities, new weapons, and the
    like. Only then are you really getting the most out of your abilities.
    Since so many base facilities center around controlling drone problems or
    increasing Lab output (both of which should make a University Player salivate in
    Pavlovian style), this is an ideal faction for Builder-play, but some
    interesting variants crop up if you try the other styles.
    If you focus on increasing the overall energy output of your empire at all
    though, it is very easy for you to simply run away with the game, from a
    technological standpoint. You can do things that will make the other factions
    green with envy. Once you've infiltrated everybody's datalinks and have rendered
    yourself immune to their Probe Team actions (you DID get the Hunter-Seeker,
    yes?), you can monitor the production queues of all enemy bases, and if they
    start making something you don't care for, missile the base garrison to death
    and orbitally insert your own troops. Presto!
    Recycling tanks are first, but not by much. Recreation commons
    almost has to be second, and then you'll need an Energy bank to help pay
    maintenance. After that, go for any lab-enhancing facility (Research Hosp. Is
    the next one you'll have available) you can get your hands on, and defensive
    improvements as you can (keeping an eye on your drone situation and ready to
    drop a Hologram Theater (or use police units if not running Market) if needs
    Morgan Industries (CEO Nwabudike Morgan):
    Another odd (read: Unbalanced) faction, and quite possibly the most underrated
    of the bunch, the Morganites are structurally diametric to the Lord's Believers
    (where the Believers are really well designed to play Momentum style, the
    Morganites are likewise well designed for Builder Style, and both factions have
    a harder than average time getting out of their primary style). As a group, the
    Morganites are plagued by one minor disability and one really nasty one, but are
    blessed in more ways than imaginable with the lifeblood of the game.....energy.
    As an economist, this faction was my early favorite, and probably still is,
    overall, though I must say there are certain features I admire about all of the
    Game Notes: Your minor disability is the fact that your bases are stuck at size
    four (4) until you get the technology to build Hab-Complexes. That's easy to get
    around. A program of thin, rapid expansion will completely negate your "small
    city syndrome." Much more pervasive though, is the problem you have with
    support. This alone is what keeps you from playing too much like a Hybrid or
    Momentum player, at least until Clean reactors (mid-game).
    Face it, until you have Clean Reactors, you're not going to have a big army, and
    all of the social choices you are tempted to make only worsen your support
    problems. You'll almost certainly be tempted toward Democracy (once you get Hab-
    Complexes), which only magnifies your support problem, and your other tempting
    social choice in the early game actually worsens your military problems in the
    form of low morale (Wealth). Taken together, these are not ingredients which
    make you a military powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination.
    Having said that, you might be wondering what good they are, and my answer would
    be simple. Money. Specifically, one energy per square. That is the holy grail,
    and you can get to it much more easily than any other faction in the game
    (everybody else has to run Market, but you can do it with Wealth alone). Of
    course, a lot of new players take one look at Market's penalties and wonder what
    good it is, but think it through: +1 energy per square, times the number of
    bases you have, times their size-class, and that's BEFORE you take into account
    energy banks and other economy-enhancing facilities. That's not a one-time
    bonus, either. That's the amount of extra cash you're getting every turn. I'll
    give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor and get over the shock, and
    then we'll continue.
    In short, you can very easily make obscene amounts of cash (not to mention the
    fact that Wealth gives you a +1 Industry rating). What this means for you is
    that you can very quickly afford to do absolutely anything. Why worry about
    making much of an army when you can keep a couple Probe Teams scattered around
    your empire and simply subvert the would-be invasion force? Sure, keep a core
    group around, some sturdy garrison types, but the rest of the army is entirely
    optional for you, and when you DO subvert enemy troops, compare them to the ones
    you're using for garrison duty. If yours are better, disband his to speed up
    whatever secret project you're working on. If his are better, keep them and
    disband your obsolete troops.
    The majority of the base facilities you can build do one of three things:
    Control your drones, boost your labs, or boost your cash. All three of these
    things are important to you, so Morgan almost always draws Builder types. Every
    once in a while, someone comes along to play Morgan as a Hybrid, but he's a
    merchant at heart, and merchants do not profit by killing their customers, so of
    all the factions, Morgan tends to be the most steadfastly peaceful.
    Not to say they can't fight, mind you. There is nothing more humiliating than
    unleashing a big attack force only to have it subverted out from under you and
    then turned back in your face! And the Morganites have enough money to fight a
    very long attrition war. They don't need great troops, because they can crank an
    endless supply of average ones. Kill one, and two more appear. Sooner or later,
    you'll either give up the fight or be crushed by the weight of them.
    One hidden disadvantage of the Morganites, though, is that all that money tends
    to breed complacency when it comes to building military units, and also, there
    is a risk that you will become haughty and assume you are untouchable. Avoid
    this! About the time you think that, the guy with the Hunter-Seeker algorithm
    (or, just as bad, Sister Miriam) will come looking to pick a fight with you!
    If I said Recycling Tanks, would you be surprised? Followed closely by the
    Energy Bank (to enhance your cash and make it easier to rush-build everything 
    else), Recreation Commons, and Network Node. If you're not close to anybody, 
    then don't even bother with offensive/defensive builds, focusing entirely on 
    infrastructure. This will put you on par or better than the University, and 
    should see you taking the tech lead in short order.
    One final note: Morgan is a LOUSY choice if you want to play Momentum style. The
    support costs limit the size of your army, and your troops are only average to
    start with.....if you want to play Momentum style, find a different faction
    unless you're just looking for a way to challenge yourself.
    And those, in a nutshell, are the factions that make up the game. Think about
    which one(s) mesh the best with your personal style and play them relentlessly
    until you feel you've perfected your style with that group, and then move on to
    another. Within each faction, you will find a staggering number of nuiances,
    which will translate into an almost limitless number of game variations to play
                                     The Landmarks
    There are several landmarks on Planet.  Most of the landmarks give you
    extra resources.
    FRESHWATER SEA: The richest aquatic region of Planet which provides +1
    Nutrients per square.
    GARLAND CRATER: Made by a comet or another flying object, this crater
    produces an extra +1 Mineral bonus.
    GEOTHERMAL SHALLOWS: Many underwater geysers provide +1 Energy per square.
    GREAT DUNES: A desert which provides no bonus resources.  It is a rather
    inhospitable place to live.
    MONSOON JUNGLE: A vast rainforest- like area which produces +1 Nutrients
    per square.
    MOUNT PLANET: An enormous active volcano, which produces a +1 bonus of
    both Minerals and Energy per square on its slopes.
    NEW SARGASSO: A large growth of underwater fungus.  If provides no bonus
    resources; however, you can harvest the fungus.
    PHOLUS RIDGE: The geothermal energy produced here, produces +1 Energy per
    SUNNY MESA: It provides no resource bonuses, but due to its elevation, it
    is a good spot for solar collectors and Echelon Mirrors.
    THE RUINS: A ring of monoliths, which provide no bonuses, other than the
    monoliths themselves.
    URANIUM FLATS: A location with many elements, which provide +1 Energy per
                                    Secret Projects
    ASCETIC VIRTUES: Population limit relaxed; +1 Police
    BULK MATTER TRANSMITTER: +2 Minerals at each base
    CITIZENS' DEFENSE FORCE: Perimeter Defense at each base
    CLINICAL IMMORTALITY: Extra talent at each base
    CLONING VATS: Population boom at all the bases
    COMMAND NEXUS: Command Center at each base
    CYBORG FACTORY: Bioenhancement Center at each base
    DREAM TWISTER: Psi Attack +50%
    EMPATH GUILD: Commlink for every faction
    HUMAN GENOME PROJECT: +1 Talent at each base
    HUNTER- SEEKER ALGORITHM: Immunity to Probe Teams
    LIVING REFINERY: +2 Support
    LONGEVITY VACCINE: Fewer drones/ more profits
    MARITIME CONTROL CENTER: Naval Movement +2; naval bases
    MERCHANT EXCHANGE: +1 Energy each square at the base
    NANO FACTORY: Repair units; low upgrade costs
    NETWORK BACKBONE: +1 Lab per commerce/ net node
    NEURAL AMPLIFIER: Psi Defense +50%
    PHOLUS MUTAGEN: Ecology Bonus; Lifecycle bonus
    PLANETARY DATALINKS: Any tech known to three others
    PLANETARY TRANSIT SYSTEM: New bases begin at size three
    SELF- AWARE COLONY: Maintenance halve; Extra police
    SINGULARITY INDUCTOR: Quantum Converter at each base
    SPACE ELEVATOR: Energy +100%/ Orbital cost halved
    SUPERCOLLIDER: Labs +100% at the base
    TELEPATHIC MATRIX: No more drone riots; +2 Probe
    THEORY OF EVERYTHING: Labs +100% at the base
    Virtual World: Network Nodes help drones
    VOICE OF PLANET: Begins Ascent to Transcendence
    WEATHER PARADIGM: Terraform +50%
    XENOEMPATHY DOME: Fungus movement bonus
    (#)= Maintenance
    - AEROSPACE COMPLEX- +2 Morale: Air; Air defense +100%;(2)
    - BIOENHANCEMENT CENTER- +2 Morale: Air; (2)
    - BIOLOGY LAB- Research and Psi; (1)
    - CENTAURI PRESERVE- Ecology Bonus; (2)
    - CHILDREN'S CRECHE- Growth/ Effic/ Morale;(1)
    - COMMAND CENTER- +2 Morale: Land; (Varies)
    - ENERGY BANK- Economy Bonus; (1)
    - FUSION LAB- Economy and Labs Bonus; (3)
    - GENEJACK FACTORY- Minerals; More Drones; (2)
    - HAB COMPLEX- Increase Population Limit; (2)
    - HABITATION DOME- Increase Population Limit; (4)
    - HEADQUARTERS- Efficiency; (0)
    - HOLOGRAM THEATRE- Psych; Fewer Drones;(3)
    - HYBRID FOREST- Economy/ Psych/ Forest;(4)
    - NANOHOSPITAL- Labs and Psych Bonus; (4)
    - NANOREPLICATOR- Minerals Bonus;(6)
    - NAVAL YARD- +2 Morale: Sea; Sea Defense +100%; (2)
    - NESSUS MINING STATION- +1 Minerals ALL Bases; (0)
    - NETWORK NODE- Labs Bonus; (1)
    - ORBITAL DEFENSE POD- Missile Defense; (0)
    - ORBITAL POWER TRANSMITTER- +1 Energy ALL Bases; (0)
    - PARADISE GARDEN- +2 Talents; (4)
    - PERIMETER DEFENSE- Defense +100%; (0)
    - PRESSURE DOME- Submersion/ Resources; (0)
    - PSI GATE- Teleport; (2)
    - PUNISHMENT SPHERE- No Drones; -50% Tech; (2)
    - QUANTUM CONVERTER- Minerals Bonus; (5)
    - QUANTUM LAB- Economy and Labs bonus; (4)
    - RECREATION COMMONS- Fewer Drones; (1)
    - RECYCLING TANKS- Bonus Resources; (0)
    - RESEARCH HOSPITAL- Labs and Psych bonus; (3)
    - ROBOTIC ASSEMBLY PLANT- Minerals Bonus; (4)
    - SKUNKWORKS- Prototypes are Free; (1)
    - SKY HYDROPONICS LAB- +1 Nutrient ALL Bases; (0)
    - STOCKPILE ENERGY- Minerals to Energy; (0)
    - TACHYON FIELD- ALL Defense +100%; (2)
    - TEMPLE OF PLANET- Ecology Bonus; (3)
    - TREE FARM- Economy/ Psych/ Forest; (3)
    The alien environment on Planet brought a host of unforseen
    health problems for the colonists. Early inquiries into
    {Biogenetics} center on the prevention and treatment
    of these problems. Researchers in this discipline seek
    an understanding of the entire human genetic code.
    Industrial Base
    The first colonies lack any kind of factories or heavy
    industry, so the creation of an {Industrial Base} becomes
    a high priority for economic growth. This Industrial Base
    emphasizes small-scale manufacturing with primitive assembly
    lines and simple currency instruments.
    Information Networks
    Survival equipment from the [Unity] contained a variety
    of computers purpose-built for the needs of a frontier
    society. However, they must first be connected into
    {Information Networks} before scientists can utilize
    their power.
    Applied Physics
    The colonists must create new tools from the wreckage of
    the [Unity] to survive and expand. Early inquiries into
    {Applied Physics} emphasize this adaptation of existing
    technology for the new environment.
    Social Psych
    The overcrowding aboard the [Unity] following the premature
    wakeup caused terrible conditions for the crew, but also
    generated valuable data concerning humans under extreme
    environmental stresses. Analysis of this data provides
    the first comprehensive, mathematical insight into the
    {Social Psychology} of humans.
    Doctrine: Mobility
    The early colonists quickly learned the importance of
    reconnaissance and self-defense in this most alien
    of environments. {Doctrine: Mobility} formalizes
    these cornerstones of military might, representing
    the first attempts at an organized defense policy
    on Planet.
    Centauri Ecology
    Finding adequate sources of nutrients, energy, and
    minerals is the most immediate problem facing the
    colonists after Planetfall. An
    understanding of the basics of {Centauri Ecology}
    provides humans with the tools they need to begin
    shaping the world around them-how plants grow, what
    geological structures exist, and how natural energy
    sources may be exploited on Planet.
    The power requirements of [Optical Computers (D3)]
    and the nascent [Industrial Base (B1)] stimulate
    research into high-temperature {Superconductors},
    an advance long considered a ‘holy Grail’ by physical
    chemists. A {Superconductor} is a material
    that does not resist a flow of electrons. Using a
    {Superconductor}, power can be transmitted at incredible
    speeds over vast distances with no degradation. Bulky
    and expensive cooling equipment for high-powered
    machinery or weaponry becomes unnecessary, because these
    materials remain cool and efficient as electricity passes
    through them.
    Nonlinear Mathematics
    By using the power of [Information Networks (D1)] to speed
    calculations and encourage collaborations, researchers
    make giant strides in the field of {Nonlinear Mathematics},
    with significant military applications.
    Applied Relativity
    Albert Einstein developed his theories of relativity between
    1905 and 1916; complete explanations of his work may be found
    in a number of sources. Later research into [Advanced Subatomic
    Theory (B3)] and [Superconductors (C4)] demonstrated that his
    postulates, though innovative for his time, were incomplete. {Applied
    Relativity} takes Einstein's basic theories and updates them to
    encompass an understanding of newly-discovered phenomena.
    Fusion Power
    An extremely clean, powerful, and efficient source of energy,
    {Fusion Power} was known on Earth for decades as the reaction
    that powered the stars. However, scientists could not control
    the huge magnitude of released energy, so the only practical
    application for {Fusion Power} was in bombs of enormous destructive
    power. With the advent of [Superconductors (C4)], and by using
    [Pre-sentient Algorithms (D5)] to monitor and control the released
    energy, humanity finally has access to cheap, abundant, and
    reusable power.
    Silksteel Alloys
    The growing field of [Industrial Automation (B3)] causes
    increased demand for new kinds of material that can withstand
    the incredible stresses of the robotic factories. Discoveries
    in [Advanced Subatomic Theory (B3)] provide engineers with
    these materials, dubbed {Silksteel Alloys} for their
    extraordinary tensile strength and flexibility.
    Advanced Subatomic Theory
    Discoveries in [High Energy Chemistry (C2)] point the way
    to a new {Advanced Subatomic Theory} that tries to detect
    and quantify the smallest possible underlying particles of
    matter. Using self-modifying [Polymorphic Software (D2)],
    the physicists developing this theory give mankind a window
    on the infinitesimal building blocks of the universe.
    High Energy Chemistry
    Breakthroughs in [Applied Physics (C1)] and [Industrial Base
    (B1)] lead to an understanding of {High Energy Chemistry}.
    This discipline seeks to understand the properties and
    behavior of matter at very high temperatures, and results
    in new types of materials that remain in a stable plasma
    state even when superheated by intense laser stimulation.
    Frictionless Surfaces
    Discovery of the [Unified Field Theory (D10)] allowed
    scientists to alter the fundamental properties of matter
    itself. The discovery of {Frictionless Surfaces} proves
    the most useful application of these techniques. As the
    name implies, {Frictionless Surfaces} consist of materials
    that remain unaffected by friction, a force that slows
    down motion by changing kinetic energy into heat energy.
    Moving objects made of these materials do not slow down
    as they come into contact with other matter.
    Driven by the requirements of [Doctrine: Initiative (E5)]
    and the mathematical models behind [Probability Mechanics
    (B7)],  {Nanometallurgy} techniques allow engineers to
    manipulate metals at the molecular level.
    Superstring Theory
    One of the more contentious debates that ran through the
    physics community of 20th century Earth centered on the
    viability of {Superstring Theory}. This theory attempts
    to unify the theory of gravity and other fundamental forces,
    and posits that all characteristics exhibited by subatomic
    particles, such as protons and neutrons, may be described as
    vibrations of fundamental, one-dimensional ‘strings’. This
    concept had been abandoned as untestable, until the development
    of [Nonlinear Mathematics (C2)], which offers mathematical
    models supporting {Superstring Theory}.
    Advanced Military Algorithms
    Military requirements have historically pushed technology
    forward, and no better example can be found than sophisticated
    software development. From the first computers, designed to
    calculate artillery shell trajectories, to {Advanced Military
    Algorithms} developed from [Polymorphic Software (D2)] and
    [Doctrine: Flexibility (E2)], mankind has worked to extend
    warfare into the digital world.
    Monopole Magnets
    Magnetism, like electricity and gravity, is one of the
    fundamental forces of the universe. Prior to research
    in [Superstring Theory (C5)] and [Silksteel Alloys (E4)],
    all known magnets were dipolar, with a north and a south
    pole. Development of a {Monopole Magnet} permits radical
    new applications for science and industry.
    Matter Compression
    Breakthroughs in [Nanominiaturization (B8)] and
    [Nanometallurgy (E8)] lead to complex {Matter
    Compression} techniques. Using these techniques,
    scientists can create materials as dense as the
    inside of a star, with significant military and
    industrial applications.
    Unified Field Theory
    Scientists have long worked towards a single theory
    that explains all fundamental forces in
    nature (gravity, magnetism, etc.)-a {Unified Field
    Theory}. Advances in [Monopole Magnets (B6)] and
    [Applied Relativity (D5)] help reveal these fundamental
    mechanics of the universe.
    Graviton Theory
    [Quantum Machinery (D12)] and [Mind\Machine Interface
    (B6)] pave the way for an understanding of gravity-the
    weakest fundamental force in the universe, but one that
    acts at infinite distances. With {Graviton Theory},
    physicists can detect and measure the long-predicted
    gravitons-particle strings that ‘carry’ gravitational force.
    Polymorphic Software
    On Earth, only theoretical mathematicians and entertainment
    software programmers used {Polymorphic Software}--self-modifying
    code--to any success. On Planet, the requirements of the budding
    [Industrial Base (B1)] and [Information Networks (D1)]
    spur widespread development of neural net applications that rewrite
    themselves in response to data inputs.
    Applied Gravitonics
    Once physicists discover [Graviton Theory (E13)], they
    turn their attention to {Applied Gravitonics}--the control
    of gravity itself. By controlling and manipulating the
    graviton strings that carry gravitational force, mankind
    can levitate objects regardless of mass or proximity to
    other objects.
    Quantum Power
    Earth scientist Max Planck first coined the term "quantum"
    to describe an individual particle of light. Planck though
    each quantum was indivisible, so that a fraction of a
    quantum could not exist. One of the more startling
    discoveries arising from [Unified Field Theory] was
    that individual quantum actually could be split into
    component sub-particles, much like atoms may be split
    through fission. The energy released by {Quantum Power}
    is several orders of magnitude greater than ordinary [Fusion Power].
    Singularity Mechanics
    Knowledge of [The Secrets of Creation (D11)] paved the
    way for understanding {Singularity Mechanics}. This
    technology seeks the physical causes and composition
    of black holes-phenomena produced by points of infinitely
    dense matter that warp the fabric of space and time
    itself. Probes guided by onboard [Self-aware Machines
    (B11)] transmit the data necessary to replicate this
    natural occurrence in controlled laboratory conditions.
    Controlled Singularity
    As engineers quickly discovered, it’s one thing to
    understand [Singularity Mechanics (D12)] and another
    thing entirely to attempt {Controlled Singularity}--harnessing
    and directing the powers of a black hole. Breakthroughs in
    [Applied Gravitronics (E14)] finally make this technology
    possible, with a host of amazing and potent applications,
    from radical new types of weaponry to global power sources.
    Temporal Mechanics
    Breakthroughs in [Eudaimonia (E12)] and [Matter
    Transmission (B17)] lead to the last great discovery
    of the physical universe: {Temporal Mechanics}, the
    manipulation of time itself.
    Probability Mechanics
    With operating systems powered by [Pre-sentient Algorithms
    (D5)], computers finally gain sufficient processing power
    to unravel the mysteries of {Probability Mechanics}. With
    this breakthrough, humans can accurately predict many
    seemingly random events.
    Pre-Sentient Algorithms
    The philosophy of [Cyberethics (B4)] and the technology of
    [Advanced Military Algorithms (E3)] pave the way for
    development of {Pre-sentient Algorithms}. These open-ended
    neural net programs can sort and process exebytes of data,
    ‘learning’ as they do so and adapting to the world they observe.
    Super Tensile Solids
    The requirements of [Advanced Spaceflight (E8)] and
    the possibilities inherent in [Matter Compression
    (C9)] lead to research in {Super Tensile Solids}. These
    materials possess such strength as to be functionally
    unbreakable in a natural environment.
    Planetary Networks
    Once the colonists discovered how to survive, they focus on recreating
    some of the organizational tools left behind on Earth.
    Following the implementation of simple [Information
    Networks (D1)], the creation of a standard for {Planetary
    Networks} emerges as a high priority for the scientific community.
    Digital Sentience
    When utilized as part of [Industrial Nanorobotics
    (B9)], the [Mind\Machine Interface (B6)] provides
    the key spark needed by computers to at last achieve
    {Digital Sentience}. These new artificial intelligences
    have all the hallmarks of an individual organism:
    they respond to their environment, adapt to stimuli,
    and even exhibit advanced ‘personalities’ based on
    their respective abilities and  preferences.
    Self-Aware Machines
    Following the advent of [Digital Sentience (D10)],
    computers have only one great leap left: the evolution
    to {Self-Aware Machines}. These machines are capable
    of complex, higher-order thinking, and value the experience
    of existence as much as any human. As with other living
    organisms, self-preservation is paramount for these specimens.
    Doctrine: Initiative
    The slow moving foils and transports developed under
    [Doctrine: Flexibility (E2)] provided an adequate early
    naval force. However, materials and manufacturing
    advances resulting from [Industrial Automation (B3)]
    make possible new classes of powerful ships developed
    as part of {Doctrine: Initiative}, which stresses the
    importance of global naval superiority.
    Doctrine: Flexibility
    Many radical young military officers felt that [Doctrine:
    Mobility (E1)] did not go far enough in the development
    of fast attacks and quick reconnaissance, because Mobility
    only takes land forces into account. These leaders work
    to create the first navies on Planet,  based on {Doctrine:
    Flexibility}--co-ordination and co-operation between forces
    made possible by control of the sea.
    Intellectual Integrity
    The search for {Intellectual Integrity} arises from
    questions posed by [Ethical Calculus (E2)] and [Doctrine:
    Loyalty (C2)]. According to this philosophy, valid
    wisdom comes merely from asking questions unburdened
    by prejudices. Only by shedding those pre-conceived
    notions can we achieve the clarity of undistorted knowledge.
    Synthetic Fossil Fuels
    The extreme efficiency with which the neural net
    fungus managed Planet's vast ecosystem kept extensive
    deposits of organic material from forming over the epochs.
    Because of this lack, the fossil fuels known on Earth
    never developed, forcing early colonists to rely on less
    efficient alternative sources of energy. However, advances
    in [Advanced Subatomic Theory (B3)] and [Gene Splicing (B3)]
    finally allow humans to short-circuit the eons-long process,
    providing them with the {Synthetic Fossil Fuels} needed
    to build advanced vehicles and machinery.
    Doctrine: Air Power
    Mankind had brought the knowledge of atmospheric flight
    to Planet, but not the materials to build and maintain
    large quantities of aircraft in Planet's harsh conditions.
    With the discovery of [Synthetic Fossil Fuels (E4)]  for
    materials and a renewed emphasis on [Doctrine: Flexibility (E2)],
    humans can again make the leap into the clouds.
    Photon/Wave Mechanics
    Physicists had puzzled over the mystery of light for
    centuries: Why does light exhibit properties characteristic
    of both a wave and a particle? In 1924, Prince Louis-Victor
    de Broglie, a French scientist, proved that all particles
    actually possess a wave aspect, which explained how light
    can act as a wave even though it does consist of
    particles, called photons. Following breakthroughs
    in [Silksteel Alloys (E4)] and [Applied Relativity
    (D5)], subsequent scientific inquiry focuses on the
    manipulation of {Photon\Wave Mechanics} so that light,
    even powerful laser beams or intense solar emissions,
    can be diffused and warped as needed.
    Mind/Machine Interface
    Research into [Neural Grafting (C4)] demonstrated that
    direct communications between the human brain and a
    digital counterpart are theoretically possible. This
    {Mind\Machine Interface}, requested by leaders
    implementing [Doctrine: Air Power (E5)] for a new
    generation of aircraft, bridges the gap between the
    mechanical and the biological.
    [Monopole Magnets (B6)] and [Organic Superlubricants
    (C7)] lead to a revolution in engineering: {Nanominiaturization}.
    With this technology, which emphasizes new assembly methods
    and high-tensile strength materials, microscopic machine
    components can be constructed and all manner of bulky,
    heavy equipment can be shrunk to a fraction of its original size.
    Doctrine: Loyalty
    [Doctrine: Mobility (E1)] proved a sound dogma for the
    early years on Planet. However, as the struggle for
    survival against native Mind Worms and rival factions
    intensifies, many younger officers repudiate the old
    guard’s emphasis on Mobility as the dominant military
    policy. Based also on the revelations of [Social Psych
    (B1)], the new {Doctrine: Loyalty} stresses extensive
    training, defensive facilities, and zealous dedication
    to faction leaders as the foundation for survival and
    success in combat. {Doctrine: Loyalty} emphasizes a
    two-way fealty--soldiers are expected to lay down their
    lives without question, but in return they receive
    respect, power, and positions of authority in the new
    social hierarchy.
    Ethical Calculus
    Throughout the history of mankind, philosophers have
    grappled with the question: ‘How shall we then live?’
    {Ethical Calculus} lays down mathematical principles
    uncovered by [Social Psych (B1)] to address this question,
    essentially providing calculations and functions that
    determine appropriate human behavior.
    Industrial Economics
    Early industry on Planet centered on the creation
    of a frontier [Industrial Base (B1)] featuring primitive
    assembly lines and simple currency instruments. Soon,
    leaders in the financial sectors push for a more
    comprehensive {Industrial Economics} policy to accommodate
    free trade and other strategies for multiplying capital.
    Industrial Automation
    The creation of [Planetary Networks (D2)] and
    widespread adoption of [Industrial Economics
    (B2)] lead to rapid industrialization of the
    virgin Planet. Lacking the traditional masses
    of Earth’s working class, leaders must now develop
    complete {Industrial Automation} for production
    and assembly , building modest factories where
    all repetitive nonskilled jobs, from janitor to
    VP of Sales, are handled by sophisticated robotics.
    Centauri Meditation
    [Centauri Empathy (E3)] and [Ecological Engineering
    (E4)] reveal the vastness and complexity of the
    ecosystem on Planet. Research into {Centauri
    Meditation} illuminates the next, almost terrifying
    step-the attempt to communicate directly with
    Planet itself.
    Secrets of the Human Brain
    All past research on memory, learning, the senses,
    and other aspects of the human brain did not answer
    one basic question: what is the biological mechanism
    of self-awareness? Research into [Biogenetics (D1)]
    and [Social Psych (B1)] finally resolves the last of
    the {Secrets of the Human Brain}, providing mankind
    with understanding of the fundamentals of consciousness.
    Gene Splicing
    Widespread adoption of the philosophy of [Ethical
    Calculus (E2)] removes opposition to genetic
    experimentation in plant and animal DNA, while
    advances in [Biogenetics (D1)] provide techniques
    for the incipient field of {Gene Splicing}. This
    technology allows researchers to insert new DNA
    coding into existing genetic material so that
    entire traits, from disease resistance to a stable
    personality, can be copied from one organism and
    transferred to any number of others.
    [Gene Splicing (B3)] and [Neural Grafting (C4)]
    exemplify crude and invasive techniques for modifying
    an organism. The more refined {Bio-engineering}
    method arranges a desired genetic code directly
    from the component compounds, enabling widespread
    and economical cellular transplants for an entire
    Early experiments in [Retroviral Engineering (C5)]
    and the [Mind\Machine Interface (B6)] paved the way
    for true {Biomachinery}--the full integration of
    man and machine at the cellular level.
    Neural Grafting
    The insatiable drive for efficiency spawned by
    [Industrial Automation (B3)] drives the development
    of {Neural Grafting}. This new technology, based
    on [Secrets of the Human Brain (D2)], allows
    attachment of  digital circuitry directly to
    the neural cortex. With these implants, humans
    willing to undergo {Neural Grafting} can enhance
    many aspects of their physical being, from heightened
    senses to faster reaction times.
    Widespread adoption of [Planetary Networks (D2)]
    and the philosophy of [Intellectual Integrity (E3)]
    allows for a coherent system of {Cyberethics},
    outlining the proper relationship of computers
    to society.
    {Eudaimonia} is a philosophical system that takes
    its name from an ancient Greek word for fulfillment
    and happiness. Based on economic equity made
    possible by [Sentient Econometrics (E11)] and
    rooted in opposition to the excesses of [The
    Will to Power (E8)], {Eudaimonia} encourages
    each citizen to achieve happiness through striving
    to fulfill completely his or her potential;
    freedom, creativity, and individuality flourish
    in governments that adopt this philosophy.
    The Will to Power
    Following the development of [Homo Superior (E7)], many
    advocated a return to Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy
    of {The Will To Power}. This philosophy stresses
    the importance of strength, asceticism, and
    resolute action, often at the cost of compassion,
    charity, and other traditionally religious
    Threshold of Transcendence
    The [Secrets of Creation (D11)] and [Temporal
    Mechanics (B18)] brought humanity to the brink
    of a new era--the {Threshold of Transcendence}.
    In this transitional state, people begin preparations
    for the final stage of human evolution, selling
    possessions, cleansing their bodies according to
    a new code of asceticism, and meditating alone
    and unprotected in the remote regions of Planet.
    Matter Transmission
    [Matter Editation (B16)] and the [Secrets of
    Alpha Centauri (D12)] point the way to one of
    the most celebrated concepts in science
    fiction--{Matter Transmission}. Transmitters
    based on this technology disassemble objects
    into the smallest component sub-particles, then
    transmits those particles and their underlying
    structural blueprint to a receiver. The
    receiver reassembles these objects according to
    the blueprint, recreating the original in
    every nuance and detail.
    Centauri Empathy
    Based on [Secrets of the Human Brain (D2)] and
    [Centauri Ecology (E1)], {Centauri Empathy}
    espouses a philosophy of environmental harmony,
    emphasizing the search for mankind’s proper niche
    in the global ecosystem.
    Environmental Economics
    Industrial expansion often comes at the cost of
    ecological stability. The business practice of
    {Environmental Economics} addresses this problem
    by finding and exploiting areas where
    environmental and industrial concerns overlap,
    such as sustainable resource use, eco-tourism,
    and organic product development. By combining
    the principles of [Industrial Economics (B2)]
    and [Ecological Engineering (E4)] in this new
    business model, ecological stability becomes
    a profitable endeavor.
    Ecological Engineering
    Humans have always shown remarkable skill at
    innovation and ingenuity in the face of environmental
    hurdles. Expansion on a new Planet highlights
    these traits once again in the form of {Ecological
    Engineering}. Based on the discoveries of [Centauri
    Ecology (E1)] and [Gene Splicing (B3)], this research
    leads to new ways of thriving within the existing
    ecosystem, rather than competing with it.
    Planetary Economics
    Early industrial policy on Planet centered on
    individual markets and sectors, such as
    [Environmental Economics (B5)], but these
    separate sectors create inefficiencies. Proponents
    of [Intellectual Integrity (E3)] insist that these
    inefficiencies are unnecessary, and work to create
    a system of {Planetary Economics} where goods and
    services can flow freely.
    Adv. Ecological Engineering
    The discovery of [Fusion Power (D6)] opened up
    staggering possibilities in a number of endeavors,
    including the field of [Environmental Economics
    (B5)]. Based on the cumulative experience from
    thousands of construction projects undertaken
    since Planetfall, {Advanced Ecological Engineering}
    marks a new milestone in man’s ability to manipulate
    his environment.
    Centauri Psi
    [Centauri Genetics (E6)] and [Advanced Ecological
    Engineering (B10)] revealed the physical composition
    of native life forms, but did not explain the
    mysterious and terrifying psionic attacks these
    creatures employ. Unlocking the mechanics of
    this directed, psychic assault requires intense
    investigation of {Centauri Psi}--the method used
    by the Mind Worms to communicate and co-ordinate
    their assaults.
    Secrets of Alpha Centauri
    Some digital sentiences churn through exebytes
    of Planet-related data in their never-ending quest
    to untangle [Sentient Econometrics (E11)]. The
    best of these sentiences do not stop at sorting
    economic data, but extend their inquiries into
    [Centauri Psi (E11)] and other Planetary phenomena.
    They work to reveal these {Secrets of Alpha Centauri}
    as a kind of personal challenge, to prove themselves
    as machines that can not only conquer the intricacies
    of human society, but also the magnificent complexities
    of a Planet-wide ecosystem.
    Secrets of Creation
    Those who embrace [The Will To Power (E8)] must
    eventually confront the ultimate philosophical
    question: What is the purpose and order of the
    universe? Confirmation of the [Unified Field
    Theory (C7)] finally gives mankind the tools to
    answer this question in the search for the
    {Secrets of Creation}.
    Advanced Spaceflight
    Resumption of {Advanced Spaceflight} begins
    shortly after mankind begins [Orbital Spaceflight
    (E7)]. With this technology, spacecraft can once
    again reach the moons orbiting Planet and,
    eventually, the stars themselves.
    Homo Superior
    Breakthroughs in [Biomachinery (B9)] and [Doctrine:
    Initiative (E5)] paved the way for a new kind of organism
    that is equal parts human and computer. The human
    aspect thrives at physical manipulation and emotional
    experience, while the digital aspect excels at
    calculation and data processing. This {Homo Superior}
    integrates the best of man and machine.
    Organic Superlubricant
    Machines with moving parts have long been subject
    to wear and tear as the parts grind against one
    another. On Earth, traditional lubricants such
    as oil were used to minimize these effects.
    Planet lacks large reserves of such materials,
    until the invention of [Synthetic Fossil Fuels
    (E4)]. With {Organic Superlubricant}, scientists
    can create lubricating compounds that act like
    simple life forms, seeking out areas where they
    do the most good.
    Quantum Machinery
    The discovery of [Quantum Power (B11)] ushers in
    a new industrial revolution. In factories across
    Planet, tiny {Quantum Machinery} built using
    [Nanometallurgy (E8)] techniques provide amazingly
    powerful and efficient labor for every imaginable
    type of production and service.
    Matter Editation
    Not long after the breakthroughs in [Super Tensile
    Solids (B10)] and [Self-aware Machines (B11)],
    engineers clamor to research the last major hurdle
    in physical manipulation--{Matter Editation}. This
    technique actually changes the physical structure of
    individual atoms, altering characteristics like
    energy states, spin, atomic weight, and the number
    of protons as though they were entries in a database.
    This technology is the modern embodiment of the ancient
    quest to turn lead into gold-transmutation of elements
    made possible by atomic manipulation.
    Optical Computers
    The widespread adoption of [Polymorphic Software
    (D2)] increased demand for faster computers. The
    revolutionary {Optical Computers}, which use photons
    traveling at the speed of light for binary
    calculations,  prove nearly 70% faster than old
    electron-based devices. Based on successes in
    [Applied Physics (C1)], {Optical Computers} also
    exponentially improve storage capacities and access
    Industrial Nanorobotics
    The business leaders of Planet quickly perceived
    the commercial potential of [Nanominiaturizion
    (B8)], and constructed factories based around
    {Industrial Nanorobotics}. These factories
    utilize traditional [Industrial Automation
    (B3)], but at a fraction of the size and cost.
    Productivity skyrockets along with profitability,
    as tiny robots churn out new products for consumption.
    Centauri Genetics
    The first contacts with Planetary sentience during
    research on [Centauri Meditation (E5)] caused widespread
    excitement among the scientific community. They propose
    using new [Retroviral Engineering (C5)] techniques to
    unravel {Centauri Genetics}--the structural blueprint
    of native organisms.
    Sentient Econometrics
    For all the sophistication of its mathematical models,
    [Planetary Economics (E6)] proved no better at
    predicting the actions of markets and populations
    than Wall Street prognosticators of 20th Century
    Earth-there are too many unknown variables with
    unforeseeable consequences. Proponents of {Sentient
    Econometrics} take the best ‘intelligent computers’
    developed under [Digital Sentience (D10)] and set
    them to identifying these variables and predicting
    their consequences. Under their diligent efforts,
    economics finally becomes a true science.
    Retroviral Engineering
    {Retroviral Engineering}, a specialized branch of
    [Bio-engineering (B4)], uses engineered viruses to
    deliver genetic alterations. This application can
    be used for peaceful, healing purposes, but can also
    be twisted by the same militant researchers behind
    [Advanced Military Algorithms (E3)] into a weapon
    of terrible destruction.
    Orbital Spaceflight
    The early colonists certainly bring the technical
    understanding of spaceflight with them, but they
    lack the materials and infrastructure necessary
    to construct spacecraft. Eventually, implementation
    of [Doctrine: Air Power (E5)] furnishes the
    infrastructure, while advanced [Pre-sentient
    Algorithms (D5)] provide the tools for mankind’s
    return to {Orbital Spaceflight}.
    Transcendent Thought
    Based on [Controlled Singularity (C16)] and
    [Threshold of Transcendence (E19)], humanity
    finally unlocks the keys to the final stage of
    human evolution with {Transcendent Thought}--the
    ability to contain a self-awareness, or ‘soul’,
    outside the bounds of a corporeal form. Those
    who so choose may now complete the Ascent to
    Transcendence, joining their consciousness with
    the Planetary mind in ageless immortality.
                                    Getting Started
    You've got your planet the way you want it, picked out a faction that fits "you"
    pretty well, and now you're looking at the map. Not that there's much to see
    just yet, amounting to all of about ten squares, but….it's a beginning., and at
    this point, the game is fairly intuitive. Obviously, you need to found some
    bases and start building stuff in order to advance the game, but once you get
    the ball rolling, and your research efforts start to generate a few
    technological breakthroughs, you will very quickly find yourself with a
    staggering array of different things to build, and this has a tendency to throw
    off the novice player. What to build and when? A very good question indeed, and
    hopefully this section will help to shed some light on things.
    Expansion and Growth:
    With all of two colony pods and a scout patrol, it's a little early yet to be
    thinking in stylistic terms. Right now, survival is the priority, and ensuring
    your survival means having a good number of bases to work with. Regardless of
    what kind of game you're playing, you're not going to get very far without a
    solid foundation. Having said that, getting your empire up to a "critical mass"
    with regards to overall number of bases is vitally important. Opinions vary and
    differ about what exact number this "critical mass" is, but you could almost
    universally ballpark it in the 10-15 range.
    So, what's the best way to get to that number of bases in a hurry? Well, there
    is no one "best way," but there are a number of pretty interesting approaches,
    each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. (Again: Remember that
    during this phase of the game, your Empire is embryonic....it is not really
    large enough to have a set "playing style." That is to say that any of these
    early game strategies can be pursued by equally well, regardless of the play
    style you eventually wish to fall into (Builder, Momentum, or Hybrid).
    Early Game Paradigm #1: Monster Terraforming Avantage
    Unless you're running democracy, each new base you found gets 10 free minerals.
    This means you can get your token scout patrol guard for that base for free the
    turn after you build the base in question. It also means you can add 25 energy
    credits to it (before considering industry bonuses or penalties), and get a
    former the turn after the base build, and THEN start work on your scout patrol.
    Depending on what you do with your former at that point (and to that end, if
    you're going to uses this approach, pay very close attention to the Basic
    Terraforming section on the pages that follow), you can net yourself a powerful
    advantage indeed. The simple fact is this: you are competing in time with one or
    more opposing factions. The faster you can get your formers out and improving
    things relative to your opponents, the better off you will be, as it will give
    you the opportunity to make use of those improved production squares while your
    opponent is not, netting you a mineral, energy, and/or nutrient advantage over
    your opponent for each and every turn you are able to maintain that advantage.
    Keep doing that with every base you found, and over the course of the game this
    will net you a HUGE advantage, as each base's former will gain somewhere between
    6-10 turns of terraforming activity over and above what your opponent is
    getting. That's six to ten turns per former you have out terraforming. To give
    that advantage some kind of tangible reference point, make the blanket
    assumption that an improved (terraformed) piece of real estate will net you 2
    FOP's (factors of production - energy, nutrient, or mineral) over and above what
    a non-improved land square will net you. Multiply that by 6-10 (from above - the
    number of "free" terraforming turns you can expect to get over and above your
    opponent, and we will assume ten, for simplicity's sake), and further multiply
    that by the number of bases (formers, specifically) you've got. Whatever number
    you get is a fairly good estimate of the total advantage you've netted yourself
    (ie., If you have ten bases, each with a rushed former, your estimated advantage
    using the formula above would be (2*10) * 10 = 200 FOP's. If you consider that a
    Trance Scout Patrol costs you 10 FOP's (10 minerals, specifically), you begin to
    put the advantage in perspective. Of course, not all 200 of your FOP's will be
    in the form of minerals. Likely, they will be a mixed bag of all three, but
    that's okay too, because what it really means is that, relative to your
    opponent, your bases will produce more minerals more quickly, give you more
    money, and grow faster (which will enable you to make even MORE bases!). Keep
    this theory in mind for later, when we get to the economy section….we will build
    on it significantly.
    For the moment, simply understand that taking this approach will help you grow
    your empire more quickly than the norm, and it will also give you a viable
    intra-base infrastructure more quickly than your opposition can put together.
    Intra-base infrastructures consists of things like roads, bunkers, airfields,
    and sensor arrays.
    The beauty of this approach is that if you want to get a veritable HORDE of
    bases up and running quickly (sans infrastructure, but that will come later),
    then this is bar none, the best way to go about it. Build your formers first,
    and while your base is working on it's token scout patrol, you can be
    terraforming as mentioned above, and finish your first square at about the same
    time your scout is done....then get to work on those colony pods!
    The only infrastructure you will want to focus on with this style is Rec.
    Commons (and only then if it looks like your base will grow to size three before
    you could complete another colony pod at that base). The rest of your
    infrastructure will come after you've reached critical mass, or covered your
    entire continent in bases, whichever you choose.
    The number of your bases will grow exponentially, and you'll fill up the
    continent VERY quickly! (And, even though they will all be small, this will give
    you an ENORMOUS pool of resources to work with. You can visually divide up your
    empire in regions, and pick a certain base in each region for rapid development
    via rush building, to give each region a strong point). The exponential growth
    can be seen thusly: You begin with two bases, build two pods to get
    four....everybody builds pods (after the former/scout thing), and you've got
    eight before you know it.....16....32.....repeat as needed.
    Main weakness of this style: If you get unlucky, and the worms come calling in
    the few turns it takes to build the scout patrol after your former is out and
    working, you lose the base. It's an exceedingly fast style, but not without
    Early Game paradigm #2: Security Over Speed:
    The basic assumption here is that, the world is a dangerous place, and you'd
    better be prepared for that. To that end, the build order is similar, but the
    timing is fundamentally different.
    Build your two bases. Keep your freebie scout patrol in one of them.
    The base containing the freebie scout starts working on a former first (and then
    builds a scout of its own). The empty base builds a scout first and then a
    former ((Stylistic Note!!: If you compare these two styles in play, you will see
    that the first style nets you about 8-10 turns of additional former operation,
    but does so at the expense of leaving the bases vulnerable for approximately 4
    Terraform as mentioned in the next few pages, and the next build your bases will
    do will be another scout (which will eventually perform escort duty). In the
    meantime, your freebie scout is now available for exploration, and the bases are
    After the second scout is built, they can accompany the formers if they want to
    do some exploring, or hang around in the bases until the colony pods are done.
    When the pod is done, the "extra" scout moves to the new site with the pod, so
    that from the get-go, the new base is protected (and you can change ownership of
    the scout to the new base by using Ctrl-H, when the scout is in the base
    square). The new base then builds a former/scout/pod and repeats the process.
    Main weaknesses: Overall, this is a good deal slower than the first method, both
    in terms of how quickly you get the pods cranked out, and in terms of how much
    terraforming you get done, but the trade-off is safety. If you're on a landmass
    with company, or are worried about worms, this is probably your best bet.
    Expansion Paradigm #3: Specialized Base Expansion
    This is great for people on small landmasses and for Marketeers. It's also great
    for multiplayer games at it increases your overall flexibility (at the expense
    of speed of colonization)
    The initial scheme runs pretty similar to #2 (above), keeping your freebie scout
    at home for a few turns until you build base guards, then, the focus turns
    immediately to Rec. Tanks (for the additional +1/+1/+1 kick per turn. Then build
    a pod, then a rec. common, and then back over to any one of the following: more
    pods, guards, prototypes, or secret projects (depending on your needs at the
    The big strength of this paradigm is the fact that your bases will be
    exceedingly stable. You will only rarely experience riots, because your
    infrastructural development will be kept pretty well in time with your base's
    growth cycles. This style also facilitates an early switch to Market, and that's
    a HUGE boon! However, it is not without its drawbacks.
    The drawback here is a lack of speed. All that focus on base facilities means a
    slower rate of expansion. Yes, you will have stable, profitable bases, but you
    will also have fewer production centers. Depending on how your game developes,
    (and on local geography)that could be anything from a minor irrtation to a
    crippling disability.
    Expansion Paradigm #4: A Focus on factors of Efficiency.
    This focuses on the specific points in the game when extra drones are created by
    the growth of your empire. Here are the threshold points you need to remember:
    Huge Planet: 11 Bases
    Large Planet: 9 Bases
    Standard Planet: 6 Bases
    Small Planet: 5 Bases
    Tiny Planet: 3 Bases
    Go above any of these numbers on the planet of size 'x' and you get drones.
    Therefore, the idea here is to grow your empire in "spurts." Let's assume you're
    on a standard planet. Your first goal then, is to get yourself to six bases as
    quickly as you can. Use the methodologies in Paradigm #1 to do this.
    Once you are up to six bases, build a Rec. Tanks & a Rec. Commons, and then
    switch to Market and start cranking out pods again….you next goal being twelve
    (12) bases.
    Once you get to twelve, stop again, and build the Rec. Tanks and Rec. Commons at
    your newest bases, while your original bases go to work on more advanced
    facilities, then move to the next "tier," of eighteen (18). Repeat until you
    have filled up the continent.
    The advantage here is that you solve the extra drone problem due to size, you
    blend speedy expansion with infrastructure builds, and you do it in relative
    safety. The drawback though, once again, is raw speed. This is still not as fast
    an approach as paradigm 1, but it is probably the most balanced of the lot.
    A quick note about SE choices in the Early game: You will find both Planned and
    Wealth hard to beat in the early game, and both of them together are powerful
    Both Planned and Wealth confer a +1 Industry, with Wealth adding an Economy
    kick, and Planned giving you a Growth bonus, and the good news is that a single
    facility (the Children's Creche) can overcome the disadvantages of both of these
    SE choices!
    So, if you have Children's Creche's in all your bases, you're looking at nothing
    but positives for running Planned/Wealth, and your bonuses (before you even
    consider faction-specific bonuses) amount to:
    +2 Industry (20% discount on all builds)
    +1 Economy (+1 Energy per base)
    +4 Growth (40% faster growth in all your bases, half coming from Planned, and
    half coming from the Children's Creches themselves)
    Terraforming 101:
    Now that you've got a few different ideas to play with regarding how to pursue
    expansion, it's time to take a closer look at the very best, most versatile unit
    in the entire game: Meet "The Former."
    Take a look at the good ol' Former. Get to know him very well indeed. Smart use
    of this little unit will be instrumental in winning the bulk of your games, and
    even in the mid and late game (after most of the really important terraforming
    has already been done), you will find this unit to be surprisingly useful, and
    always valuable.
    The biggest thing to remember about terraforming in the early game is that you
    are under some pretty tight restrictions until you reach certain key
    technologies. Effectively, no square (unless it contains a resource bonus) can
    produce more than two FOP's, regardless of type. Nutrient restrictions are the
    first to be relaxed, then mineral, and last, energy.
    Because of these relatively tight restrictions, and because of game mechanics
    (ie., each citizen requires 2 units of food), growing big bases in the early
    game just isn't very practical. In truth, getting big bases in the early game
    really isn't al that important. There will be time for that later. The most
    important thing to consider about early game bases is getting a base from size
    one to size two, and then being able to build a colony pod or basic piece of
    infrastructre fairly quickly (decent minerals).
    To that end, the Monolith is the very best friend you've got in the early game.
    The square gives you two of each, minerals, nutrients, and energy, plus it will
    net your fledgling scouts a much needed morale boost to help battle the worms.
    There's no such thing as too many monoliths in your territory!
    Not far behind the monolith are rolling and rainy squares. These little guys
    give you two nutrients and a mineral. Not bad, and it will help you grow quite
    nicely, no terraforming at all needed. Later, a farm/solar collector can be
    added to the square to heighten its natural advantages, and these squares are
    even nicer if they happen to have a river running through them as well, as that
    will give you an energy kick, on top of the food!
    In third place would be any square containing a forest. A forest generates
    (regardless of the underlying terrain) 1 nutrient, 2 minerals, and 1 energy.
    Plant a forest in any resource bonus square and you've got a productive square
    indeed! Just as monoliths and rolling/rainy squares are instrumental in getting
    size one bases up to size two bases as quickly as possible, a couple of forest
    squares in each base's production radius are instrumental in providing the base
    enough mineral output to build more pods or early game infrastructure fairly
    Of course, I am unfairly biased. I am very fond of forests, both for their
    efficiency and for their impact on eco-damage (which you won't have to worry
    about until much later in the game). But because I am so partial to forests,
    here's what I would recommend to any new player when your former is built at a
    given base:
    Scope out an area of flat terrain just outside your base, move the former there
    and build a road. Exception to this rule: If there is a mineral or energy
    resources square in the production radius of the base, and that resource is NOT
    on a rocky terrain square, proceed to that square, build your road, then drop a
    The road finishes in one turn on flat terrain. Start work on a forest (3 turns
    to complete, in a flat terrain square)
    When the forest is completed, take a peek at the production radius of the base
    in question. If there is a nutrient resource square in the base's production
    radius, move there and road + forest it. These two squares will provide you all
    the raw materials you need to keep that base productive for the opening gambit
    (and besides that, the forests will likely expand a bit on their own).
    If there is no nutrient resources square, find the highest rolling/rainy or
    rolling/moist elevation square in the base-production radius and build a
    road/farm/solar collector there (if the square is rainy, then the farm won't
    give you any immediate benefit, but will be in place for when those nutrient
    restrictions are lifted) This will be the base's main square to springboard it
    from size one to size two for pod building.
    Once the former has done his two-square duty, he's off to do other stuff. How
    you use the extra time you have with him is up to you, but here are some pretty
    solid suggestions:
    (My personal favorite): Scope out some places you want to build new bases, and
    operate your formers in teams. One former builds a road out toward the new site,
    and the other moves ahead to plop a sensor array down on the build location.
    Make a road network which connects all your existing bases to facilitate defense
    Don't let the former leave its base of origin at all....leave it nearby to
    finish terraforming all squares in the production radius of the base. That way,
    if the base is attacked, the former can scamper back inside base, get an armor
    upgrade, and help defend it.
    Considering the heavy restrictions you are under in the very early game, that's
    about all you need to get started, terraforming wise. If you follow a smart
    schedule of terraforming, providing each of your bases with a good mix of
    forests and farms in rainy squares (where available), they will server you well
    as the game progresses, new technologies are discovered, and those restrictions
    begin to come off. The productivity of those squares will grow in time with your
    empire, and you will find yourself well positioned to step into the much more
    advanced Mid-game.
    At this point (specifically, at the point when you find yourself with Industrial
    Automation, the ability to change to Wealth on the SE table, and the ability to
    create Supply Crawlers), there are few things you could do which will have a
    greater impact on your game than this. Simply put, you are ready to do this. If
    you delay, you will find yourself floundering. If you act decisively, you will
    find yourself leaping far ahead of the pack. Also keep in mind that the things
    touched on here will come back to visit you again later in the section called
    "Studying the Metagame." This is the foundation of the Metagame.
    We'll talk a great deal more about Supply Crawlers later on, but for now, just
    realize that the Supply Crawler is the unit which makes it possible to define
    your focus. They have a ton of other uses besides, but you've got to grow into
    those uses. When you first get the ability to make them, using them to define
    your focus is the very best move you can make. To define your focus, you simply
    have your bases begin making supply crawlers whenever the opportunity presents
    itself. You move the crawlers out to a resource square that is not currently
    being utilized, and you begin harvesting one of the FOP's from that square for
    the base that it is assigned to. Whatever factor of production you spend the
    greatest amount of overall effort harvesting, that is your focus.
    SMAC is all about efficiency. The more efficient you are at managing the factors
    of production, the better off you will be. There are three factors of production
    to manage in the framework of the game, and they must be managed over time
    (which makes up a "fourth," albiet intangible factor).
    You have seen the three factors, and will be spending quite a lot of time with
    them in future sections, but for now, allow me to formally introduce them, and
    the three possible focuses you can select:
    Nutrient Focus
    Mineral Focus
    Energy Focus
    When you put these three possible focuses together with the three possible play
    styles, you get a much better sense for the type of game you will be playing.
    For the time being, we will take a look at the focuses themselves, independent
    of your particular playing style.
    Nutrient focus: Your crawlers are out there harvesting lots of food. This has
    the advantage that your bases are growing much more rapidly than they normally
    would, and every time they grow, the number of squares each base works increases
    accordingly, however, this does not come without drawbacks. More citizens means
    more drones, and if you select this as your primary focus, you will need to
    devote some time to pumping up your psych allocation, or building police
    garrisons, or drone controlling facilities (or some combination of all three).
    Note that due to base-size limitations, this is probably the weakest of the
    three approaches, but it may have value in certain situations, and, it has the
    advantage that, once your bases are of maximum possible size, you can simply
    shift to a different focus. If you are isolated or at peace, and you cannot
    execute a "Population Boom" (covered later in this guide), then this is a pretty
    good approach to take as it will give you more citizens to work with, a good
    number of specialists, and force you to spend time learning to cope with the
    unruly elements of your Empire.
    Much more interesting, however, are the choices of Mineral or Energy as your
    primary focus.
    Mineral Focus: Your crawlers are out there harvesting lots of minerals for each
    of your bases. This does a number of things for you: First, it increases the
    number of troops you can field per base. Eventually, no matter what your support
    rating, the troops you create will begin to cost you an upkeep cost, amounting
    to one mineral per unit, after a certain point (determined by that
    aforementioned Support rating). Second, more minerals allows you to build things
    in your production queue more quickly (troops, facilities, or what have you).
    This is vitally important if you wish to put an infrastructure together quickly,
    and one of the reasons it is such a strong, viable focus. Thirdly, it can give
    you a decent income in the sense that if you do not need anything from a given
    base, you can set that base to stockpiling energy, and reap the monetary
    benefits of that base's enhanced mineral output.
    It is not, however, without its drawbacks. Namely, it suffers from something of
    a lack of flexibility. That is to say, mineral production is tied to each
    particular base independently. If you want to boost mineral production at a
    given base, you must build an additional crawler, and send it out to a new
    location to harvest minerals. If you set up a given base to harvest minerals to
    be your primary troop training center because of its favorable strategic
    location, and the strategic situation changes, your base may suddenly be not
    nearly as useful to you for the purpose you designed it. Then, you will need to
    begin prepping a new base for that same role, which of course, takes time.
    Therefore, a mineral focus works best when you are able to control the gaming
    environment, and if at any point you lose control of the game environment, you
    will find yourself scrambling to re-allocate your production.
    Energy Focus: Your crawlers are out harvesting lots of energy. Again, this has a
    number of effects: First, both per turn income and research rates increase. Both
    of these are energy driven, and you attack two problems at once with this
    approach. Second, it provides a great deal of fluidity, in the sense that your
    income is not tied to a particular base, but may be "spent" anywhere you like,
    and you can shift it from base to base as the situation warrants. This gives you
    the maximum amount of flexibility possible, enabling you to shift as the game
    shifts. Finally, it allows you to select bases on an individual basis and "rush-
    build" whatever that base is currently building in order to finish it quickly,
    leading to very rapid infrastructure development in selected bases.
    It too, however, has drawbacks. First and foremost, an energy focus is at the
    expense of minerals, meaning that each of your bases will be able to support a
    relatively smaller number of troops, and that facility builds (unless you rush
    them) will be comparatively slower than at bases with a mineral focus. Secondly,
    an energy focus surrenders initiative to those with a mineral focus. With an
    energy focus, you are essentially saying that you are willing to simply react to
    changing game conditions rather than attempting to control them, and will rely
    on your income's greater flexibility to be able to successfully react. It is the
    tradeoff you make for faster research times.
    Let me stress again that by defining your focus into one of these three areas,
    that certainly does not mean that you cannot or will not build crawlers that
    will harvest things outside your focus, it is merely a statement of where the
    majority of your resource harvesting efforts are being directed, so think
    carefully before committing yourself to one of the three. It is a tedious
    process to change once you begin (especially when you get a great number of
    Supply Crawlers out and working for you), and your focus will have a great
    amount of impact on how your game continues to develop.
    Once you settle on a focus, however, it is time to take a closer look at the
    next stepping stone along the path to victory, and that would be your Empire's
    Economic Theory - SMAC Style: - Creating Comparative Turn Advantage
    Having already said that you can play the game without paying much attention at
    all to your economy, the question above is a fair one, and to answer it, I would
    say this: At the very heart and soul of Empire is the Economy. It supersedes the
    army, and even technological research and innovation. Do not misunderstand me on
    this. The production of war materials and research are vitally important to your
    survival and eventual dominance, but an Empire's ability to produce quantities
    of either is driven by the force and stability of that Empire's Economy. You
    must understand that players who use a strictly militaristic focus are playing
    the game from the previously discussed "Momentum" standpoint. Their key hope is
    that their program of relentless assault can end the game before some Builder or
    Hybrid player can build up a strong enough economy to stand against them.
    Never forget these three facts:
    Your Economy is the most versatile tool you have. In times of crisis, you can
    configure it to crank out massive amounts of cash to fund your war effort (or
    whatever), and in times of peace you can ratchet your research up through the
    Contrast that to military units, which are actually only useful in three very
    specific situations: If you are attacked, if you launch an attack, or if you can
    make your opponent believe you are about to launch an attack (i.e. feint) (see
    below on creating turn advantage). Otherwise, they simply take up space on the
    board. They represent a certain amount of "potential energy." That is to say,
    the potential to cause harm to another Empire or to defend your holdings.
    Technological advances are likewise "potential energy." By themselves they do
    nothing for you. You have to actually build something to get anything useful out
    of them (a new prototype, base facility, secret project....something).
    Factors of Production on Chiron:
    You've already been introduced to them, and here they are again, this time, with
    a slightly different treatment:
    Nutrients: Enables your population to expand.
    Minerals: Allows you to build stuff.
    Energy: Drives your research efforts and puts cash in your pocket.
    In order to build a healthy economy, attention must be paid to all three.
    Your economy is driven by the function of the passage of Time acting against the
    three factors of production listed above. It's like plate tectonics, with time
    on one side and your productive factors on the other. You can vary your
    economy's effectiveness versus Time (bigger or smaller "quakes" = speeding up or
    slowing down) by adjusting your three factors of production.
    Basic Economic Theory: The basics of Economic Theory are intuitive, but are
    outlined below:
    Makin' Big Cities: Maximize Nutrient output over time. Note that without
    controls on growth (i.e., sufficient mineral production to produce anti-drone
    facilities), your base will suffer chronic rioting.
    Makin' Productive Cities: Maximize Mineral output over time. Lets you build
    stuff very quickly. Too much mineral production leads to eco-damage, which in
    turn, leads to worm rape....something you don't want to see. ;-)
    Makin' Bill Gates Cities (Lots of Tech and Cash): Maximize energy output over
    time. Generates money and research points very quickly, but comes with the ill-
    effect that it takes a long time to build all the base facilities you need to
    get to this point (i.e., it will take even longer if you don't balance this with
    mineral production).
    Intermediate Economic theory:
    As I said above, basic management of the factors of productive is intuitive (if
    you want the base to grow, give them lots of food....how hard is that?), but
    since it is clear that taking any of the factors of production to their extreme
    is probably detrimental in some way (to say nothing of the inefficiency it
    creates), it becomes obvious that some balance needs to be struck. He who has a
    clearer understanding of when to focus on which of the factors of production
    will almost always be able to create a stronger economy than he who is content
    to let the computer make production decisions.
    Early game Economics: Energy production is basically unimportant in the early
    game. You are starting from scratch. You have nothing. No infrastructure at all.
    What you need is a good balance of Nutrients (to grow your population pretty
    rapidly), and minerals (to build your first, most basic facilities fairly
    quickly). Only when that has been accomplished should you begin to worry much
    over energy production or enhancement. For this reason, planting forests is
    probably the most important early-game terrain enhancing you can do. Due to
    mineral and energy restrictions, early forests will produce as much as early
    mines (and mines take 6-8 turns to build). Two forests (which tend to expand on
    their own), or one mine? You don't have to be a student of economics to see
    which is more efficient, and efficiency is the name of the game (and this
    provides something in the way of a specific explanation of the terraforming
    choices mentioned earlier in this guide).
    Once you get your most essential base facilities constructed you should probably
    shift into a more balanced mineral/nutrient mix (still not paying terribly much
    attention to energy) in order to facilitate population growth, while using your
    selected "focus" to heighten each base's per turn output of one of the factors
    of production in particular. Here though, certain base facilities can make this
    more efficient (don't kick up your nutrient harvesting until you finish your
    children's creche, otherwise you're just spinning your wheels). Also, monitor
    your growth constantly as your bases creep up on their maximum size, and adjust
    your nutrient output accordingly. You don't want any wasted effort if you can
    help it. Wasted effort and resource is an opportunity for your opponent to close
    the gap on you and possibly overtake you.
    Mid Game Economics (a look ahead): Energy begins to become important and
    nutrients become secondary. Even with a purely nutrient focus, your bases will
    still take a long time to grow, and by the mid-game, you've got other things to
    worry about (like jacking your tech advances down to four turns or less), so you
    might as well just accept that it'll be a while before your bases grow, and
    focus on more immediate and pressing concerns. Pick a strategy, stick with it,
    and give it time to bear itself out, building what facilities are needed to
    enhance your overall strategy. (Gaians will probably want Bio-Labs to build
    better mind worms, Hive will definitely want Robotic Assembly plants, everybody
    will probably be gunning for Tree Farms). The key to mid-game development is to
    build on your successes in the early game and enhance them with builds in the
    mid-game, and increase your energy output as you can. At this point too,
    facilities which reduce eco-damage are very important, because the last thing
    you want to run into is a massive worm-rape when you've got your forces pressing
    hard into enemy territory someplace. One ill-timed attack like that can really
    set you back.
    Late Game Economics (a look further ahead): By the late game, it's generally too
    late to make radical changes to your strategy (which is why the "Future Society"
    entries on the SE table really cannot be considered when formulating your
    factional strategy--they come too late in the game for that, and by the time you
    get them, you already have a pretty good idea what your standing in the game
    will be....they are more designed to enhance and build on what you've already
    done). Like the mid-game, your purpose here is to build on your previous
    successes, but in the late game you get a bigger suite of tools to do this
    (Future society choices, more exotic facilities, etc.) This brings to light a
    good point: More often than not, you will win or lose the game based on the
    choices you make over the first hundred turns or so. You are almost always more
    effective by focusing on your successes in the early game and building them,
    using them to launch you toward whichever victory condition is closest at
    hand....just run like hell for it! (keeping your eye on a second victory
    condition, just in case somebody bloodies your nose).
    Advanced Economic Theory:
    Advanced Economic Theory is all about creating Turn and Resource Advantage. What
    you will learn below will help you understand how to use your Empire's economy
    as a weapon against your opponents, and as an incredibly flexible tool for you
    and your allies, boosting your cash and research abilities to nearly
    unbelievable heights.
    Turn Advantage: Building stuff more quickly than your opponents (rush-building).
    Because your bases can only work on one thing at a time, the quicker you can
    finish each thing, relative to your opponents, the greater advantage you will
    gain over them.
    Resource Advantage: Having more nutrients, minerals, and energy than your
    opponents. This is primarily done by making intelligent terraforming choices,
    and optimizing the outputs of the various factors of production for each of your
    bases, dependent on your current needs and goals.
    Winning with your Economy:
    If you want to use your economy as a weapon, then you must do more than
    intuitively understand the three factors of production, you must master and
    control them. You must make them sing, and if you do, your economy will hum like
    you have never seen, and might have never thought possible.
    The key to using your economy as a weapon is to create a turn (or Time)
    advantage. The bigger the turn advantage you can create over your opponent, the
    easier it will be to defeat him. As you begin to take the steps necessary in
    creating Turn Advantage, you may find yourself wondering if what you are doing
    is having any impact on the game at large, but trust me, your doubts will be
    washed away when your Shard Garrisons are defending against his Missile Marines.
    Then you will understand and fully appreciate what turn advantage has done for
    As previously stated, Time is the engine that powers all the economies of
    Chiron. It is the catalyst, and the ultimate "limited resource," and he who
    makes the most efficient use of time will almost always win the game. There are
    several very specific things you can do to create turn advantage for yourself,
    and they are outlined below: The essential element of creating Turn Advantage is
    energy, for it is energy which allows for rush-building, which is the chief way
    you create turn advantage. The second way you create Turn Advantage is to build
    new bases. If you have more bases than your opponent, you can accomplish more
    things more quickly than he. Even if you only have one or two more bases, over
    time, the difference can be devastating. Expansion and Rush-building. Those are
    your tools.
    The first, best thing you can do for yourself is to always, always, always rush-
    build your formers and Recycling Tanks (unless you're already cranking them out
    in one turn, of course). The reason for this is as simple as it is elegant: The
    game is about resource management. Because of that, Formers are the most
    important units in the game. They can turn a completely average land square into
    an amazingly productive piece of property, which in turn gives you more
    resources to work with. In the case of Recycling Tanks, consider what you are
    doing: Essentially you are turning your base into a "Former" for the duration of
    the build time of the Tanks, and the end result in a +1/+1/+1 enhancement to the
    base terrain square.
    Let us say, for sake of comparison that you and a computer opponent have both
    just founded a base with exactly the same amount of productive capacity (built
    on the same kind of land, and working the same kind of land). The square your
    citizens are working is currently generating 1-1(food/mineral). It will take you
    both 5 turns (about the average for a size 1 base) to build the former you're
    working on, but you have the cash to rush-build it, so you do. Watch what
    Turn 1- You issue the rush-build order. Opponent starts building his former.
    Turn 2 - You move your former into position, and start working on your Recycling
    Tanks (20 turns to build). Opponent gets his former in four turns.
    Turn 3- Former begins to cultivate a forest (3 to go). Rec. Tanks in 19.
    Opponent gets former in three turns.
    Turn 4 - Former continues forestry mission (2 to go). Rec Tanks in 18. Opponent
    former in 2.
    Turn 5 - Former continues forming (1 to go). Rec Tanks in 17. Opponent former
    next turn.
    Turn 6 - Former is done! You get +1 Mineral and +1 energy from that square. Rec.
    Tanks is now to be completed in 12 turns! Opponent moves former into position
    and begins constructing Rec. Tanks (in 20 turns)
    Turn 7 - Your former moves again - RT in 11 - Opponent forest in 3 turns. RT in
    Turn 8 - Forest #2 in 3 turns - RT in 10 - Opponent forest in 2. RT in 19
    Turn 9 - Forest #2 in 2 turns - RT in 9 - Opponent forest in 1. RT in 18
    Turn 10 - Forest #2 in 1 turn - RT in 8 - Opponent forest done! RT in 12
    Turn 11 - Forest #2 done! - RT in 6 (rush build for 60) - Opponent moves former
    - RT in 11
    Turn 12 - You get +1/+1/+1 for the tanks. Your former moves again - Begin work
    on Rec. Commons. - Opponent starts work on 2nd forest square (RT in 10)
    Okay, let's take a look at what just happened here: You spent 25 energy credits
    (the average cost of rush building a former from a new base), and later spent
    another 60 to finish your recycling tanks early. Effectively, you used cash (85
    energy credits, in this example) to speed up your economy relative to your
    opponent's, and here's what you got for your money:
    You created a four turn former advantage over your opponent (you got four free
    turns of former activity that your opponent did not get, which translates into
    +4 minerals and +4 Energy)
    You created a total of 10 turns of base turn advantage, netting you +10
    Nutrients/+10 Minerals/+10 Energy over your opponent.
    For a grand total of +14 energy/+10 Nutrients/+14 Energy. That's only a total of
    38 (valuing them all at the same rate for simplicity), and you spent 85, so you
    may be wondering where the advantage is in that, but if you are looking at it in
    that way, you are missing the point. It's called Turn Advantage because it give
    you extra turns of production at the base in question. Turns that your
    opponent's base does not get. This is a good thing for you (assuming you are
    able to leverage that turn advantage to do something to further the ends of your
    own empire or something nasty to the detriment of your opponent) and
    correspondingly bad for your foe. The mineral, nutrient, and energy savings are
    only a bonus, the primary advantage is that your base is now freed up to begin
    work on other things, and his base is and will be tied up for next ten turns
    cranking out the stuff you're already done with. And how much did this wind up
    costing you? Again, valuing all the factors of production equally: You spent 85
    credits, got 38 back, which means that your net cost for the turn advantage was
    46, or 4.6 (round to 5) energy credits per turn's worth of advantage you got. If
    5 bucks a turn isn't a bargain, I don't know what is.
    Now that you have a ten turn base advantage, the question is: What are you going
    to do with it? There are a number of directions you could take your advantage,
    in order to magnify it:
    Research - Begin working on a network node or somesuch, and rush-build when it
    gets cheap enough for your liking. Every turn you have a network node and your
    opponent, that's x number of research points you get over and above your
    Cash - Do the above with an energy bank to magnify your cash advantage over your
    Control - If your base is verging on growing to a point where Drones will be a
    problem, you can head that off by rush-building an anti-drone facility thus
    keeping your base more productive relative to your opponent's base.
    Turn - If you want to magnify your raw turn advantage, rather than focus in on
    some specific factor in your economy, you can do that by forcing your opponent
    to change his mind about what he is doing (and by forcing him to change his
    mind, he may lose minerals, and in any case will be slowed down)
    Going back to our previous example: You finished your Recycling Tanks a full ten
    turns earlier than your opponent, and after taking a look at your options, you
    decide that it's in your best interest to build a couple of those spiffy plasma
    rovers you finished prototyping not long ago. Each will take you four turns to
    crank out, so you set about doing it.
    By the time your first one is done, your opponent is six turns from finishing
    his rec. Tanks and you decide to see if you can spook him, so your rover drives
    over toward his base.
    Now the ball is in your opponent's court: If his base is lightly defended, he
    just might switch his production to a Plasma Rover of his own. If he does, then
    you've just magnified your turn advantage over him, because he probably lost a
    few minerals to make the switch, and besides that, when he does get back to
    building his Recycling Tanks, he'll be starting from scratch, and in the
    meantime your base is getting +1/+1/+1 over his base every turn. That is how you
    use your economy as a weapon.
    You never attacked him. Your troops never drew or fired. There was no loss of
    life. No battle. But you just won an important victory.
    The lesson learned here: A given base can only work on one thing at a time. The
    primary way to create turn advantage over your opponent is to rush-build things,
    especially formers (so they can start improving your land more quickly) and base
    facilities which will provide you with a calculable benefit (i.e., you can say
    to yourself: If I finish this quickly, it will allow my base to begin working on
    something else, and net me +4 energy (or whatever) per turn).
    Once you have a turn advantage, the you can magnify it by either running through
    another rushed facility (furthering your control, energy, or research edge
    relative to your opponent), or to throw your opponent off balance via feint (if
    you actually attack then it becomes a skirmish, a separate issue from the
    Economic Turn Advantage). You can do this by creating a military unit and
    sending it toward one of his bases or otherwise "bluffing" him into thinking
    that you are doing something he will not like. Depending on his situation, he
    may abandon his current project in order to respond to your perceived threat.
    You might not yet be convinced that turn advantage is all that big a deal. After
    all, the gain in energy, minerals, and nutrients is relatively small, and if you
    don't have anything in particular you need to work on next, you may not believe
    turn advantage is all that important, and if that's the case, I'll volunteer to
    play you absolutely anytime you want!
    Seriously, if you multiply your turn advantage energy/mineral/nutrient gain out
    over the total number of bases you have, the numbers begin to look more
    impressive, and if you multiply the number of "free" turns you gain in this way
    out over the number of bases you're doing this in, you'll quickly realize that
    you now have a large "window" of opportunity you can exploit in any number of
    ways, with your opponent being unable to respond (or, as mentioned above, if he
    does respond, then it will be at the expense of the projects he is currently
    working on, which will further enhance your turn advantage), and suddenly the
    benefits of turn advantage begin to crystallize.
    Practice, practice, practice:
    The fastest way to get better at the whole "Turn Advantage" concept is to put
    this article down and go play a Hotseat game against yourself. Study the time
    differences in various approaches. You will very quickly get better at
    determining exactly when to execute the rush order, and how to customize the
    general principles to your particular style of play. The whole really is greater
    than the sum of its parts, and your personal style, no matter what it is, has
    its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, and when properly meshed with
    the principles you've read about in here, it will create for you a stronger,
    better playing style.
    Resource Advantage:
    Terraforming is essentially a game within a game, and can be as simple or as
    complex as you'd care to make it. I will not devote much time to this subject,
    because there are too many variables and too many differing opinions on what to
    do and how to do it when it comes to terraforming, so I will simply say this:
    Find a set of "rules of thumb" that work for you, and stick with them until such
    time as someone comes along who is capable of proving to you that they have a
    better way.
    Rules of thumb that I use in my games:
    Rocky terrain is a bad thing: I will leave some in strategic places for the
    defensive bonus, but I nearly always level it out and plant a forest if I'm
    looking for mineral production from a square. As you might imagine, I make
    little use of mines. If I'm going to build a mine, I'd rather have a borehole.
    Forests are a good source of minerals: True, they don't net you as much as a
    mine, but what of that? They give you both nutrients and energy, making forest
    squares very well balanced. Almost always a good choice in my book.
    Sea bases = Rapid growth and lots of energy. If you're looking to boost your
    research, expand into the sea and build LOTS of tidal harnesses. You will be
    pleasantly surprised at how much your energy production spikes up.
    Minimize your use of mining stations for sea colonies. A better choice is to
    supply crawl your minerals from a mainland borehole, and focus your sea squares
    on energy and food production.
    At elevations of 3000 meters or so, solar panels become VERY good energy
                                     Military & War
    First understand that there are only two types of warfare you can possibly enter
    into: An offensive action, or a defensive action. Beneath those two types of
    warfare are a number of "tools" you can make use of, and I'll cover the basics
    The Basics:
    So, you went and picked a fight with somebody? Or, someone decided to pick a
    fight with you? That's okay, and it's all part of the game, but like anything
    else in SMAC, if you're going to fight, you're better off having a plan of
    action, and it is my hope that this section will give you just that.
    The first and most important thing to discern when preparing for war is: Who is
    my enemy? In most cases, that's a pretty obvious thing, but sometimes it can be
    trickier than you might first realize. True, your immediate enemy is the guy who
    just dropped half a dozen missile rovers in your territory, but you have to ask
    yourself: Did he do it because I made him mad, or did somebody else put him up
    to it?
    Before you can coordinate a worthy defense, you need to know the answer to that
    question. If you got framed for someone else's probe team action, you might be
    able to end the fight with a bribe and get back to doing whatever you were doing
    before you got interrupted. Then again, maybe not.
    The second most important thing you need to determine is: How many enemies am I
    fighting? Nothing is worse than being forced to fight a war on multiple fronts,
    or take on several different opponents at the same time, so if you are suddenly
    confronted by a new and powerful adversary and you're neck deep in another war
    which is taking up large amounts of your Empire's resources, then sue for peace
    somewhere, or see to it you bring the war you're already in to a very rapid
    conclusion, so you can focus on the new problem that just got tossed in your
    Specifics: Fighting a Defensive War:
    The overriding purpose of fighting a defensive action is to preserve your bases
    and make sure they do not fall into enemy hands. Builders, you'll want to read
    this. The best way to fight a defensive war is to be ready for it at any moment.
    This means prototyping regularly and often. It means making sure that all your
    bases have garrisons with the best available armor (and AAA capability, as soon
    as you get it). It means making sure that your frontier bases have at least
    twice the garrison strength of the bases in your interior, and it means making
    damned sure you've got a core of attack-capable troops (probably the guys you
    still have hanging around from weapons prototyping). It would also be helpful if
    you had some artillery units handy, so as to shell damaged units until your
    attackers can get in to finish them off.
    To fight a defensive war, about all you need is up to date garrisons, a small
    standing army, and some probe teams. If you have those things, your opponent
    will need a truly large force to successfully invade.
    When faced with an attacking army, here's what you do:
    Look at how your enemy is approaching. Try to figure out which bases are most
    threatened, and consolidate your defenses there.
    Move probe teams up to take advantage of any misstep by your opponent. If you
    can find a single unit in a square and subvert it, you've just made yourself
    stronger and your opponent weaker, and time is on your side. Your opponent has
    to bring reinforcements in from some distance, while yours are arriving right at
    the scene of the battle.
    Upgrade any formers you have in the area to armored variants and use them to
    mess up his Zones of Control. This will stall his advance, and armored formers
    in the forest or on rocky terrain are very hard to take out.
    Fight from your bases as much as possible, or, barring that, make sure your best
    attack-troops can end their turns back inside a base so as to decrease their
    Defend any Monoliths close to the battleground with the best garrison forces you
    can get there, to deny your opponent that resource to heal damaged troops.
    Use armored formers and crawlers to envelope or cut off a part of the enemy's
    army. Once it's isolated, you can deal with the smaller elements of the force
    one at a time, smashing one while the other tries to get through and rescue it.
    This will take pressure off of your bases and give them more time to crank out
    Attrition is your friend, when you are fighting a defensive action. Your
    reinforcements are close at hand, and it's likely that his are not. Grind your
    opponent down slowly. Make every square he advances into a very expensive
    proposition. If you make the advance expensive enough, he'll either give up and
    go home, or you'll wipe out the entire army. Either way, he'll likely find
    someone less-prepared to pick on, which is exactly what you want.
    If it appears likely that you cannot hold a base, then burn it down. Adopt a
    scorched earth policy and retreat back to the next line of your bases. Leave
    your opponent nothing to work with. You can rebuild later, once the threat is
    Take note of the composition of your enemy's army: Is he using lots of
    artillery? If so, crank out the best attack rovers (no armor) you can get to the
    field quickly, and wipe them out. Is he using lots of rovers? Great! Upgrade
    your garrisons to Comm-Jammers and laugh at him as he tries in vain to take your
    bases. Is he infantry-heavy? Again, build fast-attack rovers and meet him in the
    field. (This is the main reason that Momentum Players get beaten. They tend to
    focus on very narrow army construction....most often, they make LOTS of rovers
    with little to no armor and the best weapons they can afford. That's okay, but
    the first time they take their all-rover force into a prepared opponent's
    territory will be the last they see of their much cherished army.)
    Destroy anything that might be of value if it seems likely that your opponent
    will take a given position. Deny him access to your bunkers, sensor arrays, and
    even forests. Again, once he is gone, you can rebuild all that.
    If your enemy brings a colony pod with him, do everything you can to take it out
    before he builds a base. If it's too late to prevent that, try and slip an
    armored probe team in to subvert it, or, use a foil probe team, as the base will
    often be coastal, and therefore vulnerable to that.
    Build one or two transports and drop off some sturdy defenders (and one or two
    decent attackers) behind your enemy. This will give him something else to focus
    on besides the bases you're trying to defend, and, if he doesn't focus on them,
    it will give you a new direction from which to strike. Either way, it will help
    your cause. Put probe teams in all your bases, and more than one in your exposed
    bases. Count on your opponent trying to infiltrate you, and if he does, he'll
    have to contend with one or more probe teams first. Do not make that an easy
    thing for him, and if you have technological superiority, you will want to
    preserve that at all costs. Probe teams can do that for you.
    One final note about fighting a defensive war is this: Best of all is if you can
    stop your opponent before he even lands his troops. To that end, when you get
    missile techs, build a few and put them on your borders in "patrol mode." Any
    unfriendly ships come toward your territory, the missiles will take them out,
    saving you a whole lot of time and trouble.
    Fighting an Offensive War:
    If you want to take the fight to your opponent, there are several things you can
    do to make your life easier. First, and by far most important, is to infiltrate
    his datalinks (assuming you're not planetary governor). You need to know what
    kind of defenses your opponent has at the ready, and what's in his production
    queues. Information is the most powerful weapon you have.
    When preparing to fight, you need to make sure you don't bite off more than you
    can chew. Start small. Select one, maybe two objectives and bring sufficient
    force to secure those objectives.
    The most important thing you will need in order to fight an extended action on
    someone else's soil (outside of an army, of course) is a base of operation. That
    could be a coastal monolith, or perhaps an isolated base. Either way, before you
    proceed with a general invasion, you will want to make sure you have a place to
    bring your battered forces to get them combat ready again.
    Your best bet is to subvert one of your opponent's small border outposts and use
    that as your staging point. You take the base without fighting, you preserve
    that base's garrison, and you give yourself a staging ground.
    Second best is to bring a colony pod with you when you land the attack force.
    Just be sure your army contains some covert operatives, so your newly founded
    base does not get subverted out from under you!
    Last, would be to make use of a Monolith in the area as your staging ground. If
    you can take one easily, it gives you a place to repair your units quickly, but
    it still does not solve the reinforcement problem if things get dicey. Still,
    it's better than nothing, and if it's what you have to work with, then it's what
    you have to work with.
    Construct a well-balanced attack force. Mix it up to confuse your opponent.
    Don't rely exclusively on infantry or rovers, because there's an easy counter to
    that. A mixed force is significantly harder to defend against.
    Make sure you have enough cash to support the war. Nothing is worse than going
    off to fight only to find out you can't support your army with covert ops
    because you're strapped for cash. You must balance your rush building program
    with saving cash if you know you will be going to war soon, because it's an
    expensive proposition. You need funds to rush build garrison troops in conquered
    bases, and rebuild infrastructure (especially anti-drone facilities). You'll
    also need funds for troop subversions and such, so make sure you have the
    bankroll to support your war effort (I'd recommend at least 1500 energy credits
    per base on your "hit list.")
    Create a diversion. If your plan is to take two coastal bases on the eastern
    side of your enemy's empire, then start your war by subverting a base on the
    western side to get his army off balance (or, land some troops on the western
    side to start making trouble). If you're really devious, create a number of
    diversions so that your opponent will pull himself apart trying to deal with the
    various threats you've created (additionally, the more diversions you set up,
    the more difficult it will be for your opponent to discern your true objective).
    Make use of artillery to take out sensor arrays and to hammer beleaguered
    defenders in the base you're after. Never give your enemy the chance to rest his
    troops. If your goal is conquest, do as little damage to the infrastructure as
    you can get away with. If your goal is to simply hurt your opponent for some
    larger purpose (i.e., an ally of yours is on the way with the real invasion
    force), then do as much damage as you can before your forces get whacked.
    If you're not at technological parity, use your probe teams to get you there. If
    you already are, use them (your probe teams) to stall his production or destroy
    infrastructure. Anything to give you an edge.
    The quicker you can secure your objectives, the better off you will be. You
    don't have a ready supply of reinforcements (unless you've planned very far
    ahead), and even if you do, your opponent can get reinforcements more quickly
    than you can, so win your initial battles quickly, then drop to a defensive
    stance to protect your newly acquired holdings. Once you are entrenched on your
    opponent's land, you are MUCH harder to deal with than if you're simply a
    marauding force.
    Never miss an opportunity to subvert enemy troops, formers, crawlers, or
    whathaveyou. Every unit you subvert can be put to some kind of use (even if all
    you do is upgrade the former to an armored variant and use it to make sure your
    units are at least double-stacked).
    To Psi, or not to Psi?:
    Lots of people love the mindworms, and I have to admit, I'm a pretty big fan of
    them, but there's a time and a place for their use.
    Specifically, if you know your opponent has a negative planet rating (which you
    can keep track of after you've infiltrated his datalinks), by all means, bring
    out the worms. Likewise, if you are weaker in technology than your opponent,
    switch to Green and go with a worm-force. But, if you have technological
    superiority, you're probably better off making use of it than using native life
    forms. Still, adding a few worms to your attack force (for balance sake) is
    probably not a bad idea, just don't go overboard unless you know it will net you
    a big advantage (like if your opponent is fighting on the defensive and
    maintaining his Market Economy, or again, if you're down in the tech race).
    Advanced Combat Tips and Strategies:
    Combat is the epitome of chaos and unpredictability. When armies clash, even if
    differences in technology make it clear from the outset who the eventual victor
    will be, there is absolutely no accounting or predicting what will occur between
    here and there. If you think you can predict the subtle nuances, ebbs and flows
    of a combat situation with any degree of certainty at all, my recommendation
    would be to open up your own psychic hotline.
    Having said that, let me stress from the beginning that this article will not
    even attempt to cover every conceivable combat situation you might find yourself
    in. Simply put, I'm not that good. Not even close. What I **DO** hope to
    accomplish with the writing of this article is to stretch your mind a bit. To
    perhaps change the way you look at both tactical and strategic situations and
    provide some tools for judging the overall effects of choices made by both you
    and your opponent. If these tools are applied correctly, then you need not worry
    if you encounter an unexpected situation in combat, as you will feel more than
    comfortable improvising your way out of it.
    Early on in the Strategy Guide, we touched on the first two principles of battle
    Know Thyself, And Know Thine Enemy
    That is the foundation for what lies ahead, and you can rely on those principles
    with absolute certainty. If you do not know yourself, you have no way of
    assessing your own capabilities, and if you do not know your enemy, you have no
    way of understanding what you are up against. If you have neither of these, how
    can you hope to fight a war?
    If you're fairly new to the game of warfare, you might ask: "How exactly, do you
    "know yourself?"" Specifically, you should know things such as:
    How big is your army, including garrison forces?
    If you were to launch an attack right now, this turn, how many units would you
    have available, and what would they be?
    Do you have a means of getting your forces to an enemy's homeland (transports,
    landbridge, psi-gates, drops, or some combination of all of the above)
    How many bases can you afford to commit to the war effort to replace lost
    How long can you afford to fight a war?
    What is my level of technology, relative to my opponent?
    How many total bases do I have, relative to my opponent?
    What are you hoping to accomplish by entering into this war?
    If you cannot answer at least these questions, then you're probably not yet
    ready to fight, and if you DO fight, you will likely be fighting an uphill
    Likewise, initiates to the arts of war might ask "How exactly, do you know your
    enemy?" And I would say, specifically, you should know or do these things at a
    INFILTRATE YOUR OPPONENT!!! (Nothing is more important than this!)
    How many bases does my enemy have? Is it more bases than I have?
    How large of an army can my opponent bring to bear on me? If he is attacking,
    how will they be arriving (drop, psi-gate, transport, as above), if he is
    defending, how good is his infrastructure?
    How long can my opponent afford to fight a war?
    What is my opponent hoping to accomplish by going to war with me, or, how will
    my opponent likely react to my attack? (is he likely to hit back hard, or does
    he have a tendency to shrivel up and surrender quickly)
    Again, if you can't answer all of these questions at a minimum (and there are
    plenty of others), then you're not ready yet.
    Let's take a quick look at the seven original factions and see where their
    battle strengths and weaknesses lie. This is fairly generic of course, but it is
    enough to get your mind turning on the subject:
    The Hive
    Strengths: LOTS of troops & quick replacement times (+1 growth and industry)
    Weaknesses: Possible lagging research (lack of energy), and limited probe team
    actions (again, lack of energy)
    The Morganites
    Strengths: LOTS of probe actions (good money), likely to have technological
    superiority (good research)
    Weaknesses: Small army (support problems), likely to have lower morale (probably
    running wealth)
    The University
    Strengths: Likely to have the best tech-level in the game (GREAT research)
    Weaknesses: Probe vulnerability
    The Gaians
    Strengths: Best Psi-force on Chiron
    Weaknesses: likely to lag in techs (can't run Market, can't get +1 energy per
    square until late game)
    The Believers
    Strengths: Strongest attackers on Chiron & Superb Probe Teams
    Weaknesses: Lousy Tech means initial skirmishes (pre-probe ops) will likely be
    lost, regardless of fanatic bonus
    The PeaceKeepers
    Strengths: Baseline. Peacekeeper troops have no notable strengths or weaknesses.
    I suspect they were the baseline faction
    Weaknesses: (see above)
    The Spartans
    Strengths: Magnificent fighters, either offensively or defensively. The best,
    most well-rounded fighting force in the whole game
    Weaknesses: Harder to train replacements (industry penalty)
    Building on those basic concepts, we find the first principle of victory:
    Use your native strengths in battle
    Thinking along those lines, it is easy to look down the list, and come up with
    some basic strategies with each faction, and they'd probably look a lot like
    The Hive: Use superior numbers to overwhelm your opponent. Don't give him time
    to do anything cute or subtle with his greater energy reserves.
    The Morganites: Buy his empire out from under him, one piece at a time.
    The University: Strength through superior firepower.
    The Gaians: Strength through little squggily worms
    The Believers: Attack relentlessly. Never let your opponent breathe, and allow
    any enemy base to escape the wrath of your hungry probe teams.
    The Peacekeepers: Chuckle while your opponent tries to figure out how the hell
    to attack you, and chip away at him all the while, looking for the opening to
    drive the stake through his heart.
    The Spartans: Meet your opponent in the field with care and cunning. Kill him
    and dance away before he can return the favor. Nobody can do that particular
    dance better than you.
    Of course, there is another way of looking at the same equation, and that brings
    us to the second principle of victory: Exploit the weaknesses of the enemy to
    defeat him.
    On the surface, that seems easy enough, but you will find that it is far easier
    to say it than to do it.
    Thinking in terms of the "second principle of victory," it's pretty easy to
    glance down the list, zero in on the weaknesses of the different factions, and
    devise a method of beating them. If you do that, you will likely wind up with a
    list that looks something like this (Keep in mind that, at this point, we're
    still talking in pretty generic terms, and that these particular strategies are
    drawn from the notion of using each faction's weaknesses against itself):
    The Hive: Wear him out with Probe Teams. Drain what energy he has to keep him
    utterly helpless in that regard and eliminate what rush-build capability he has.
    Defend your bases with multiple probes to prevent him from stealing techs.
    Subvert his troops to even out the numbers and fight him with his own forces.
    The Morganites: Use raw numbers to overrun the smaller Morganite army. Simply
    sweep them off the map.
    The University: Subvert their bases whenever possible to get a foothold. Steal
    techs with your probe teams to get technological parity, then blast them off the
    The Gaians: Probe-guard your bases to keep your techs safe and crush the Gaians
    with superior technology and money (something you will likely have in greater
    supply than they will)
    The Believers: Kill ANY Probe-team you see, even if you have to leave a unit
    exposed to attack to do it. In a fight with your probes, they'll win and grab
    tech, and if they do that, you lose.
    The Peacekeepers: See how they're being played. The troops themselves don't have
    any real weaknesses to exploit, so you will have to wait on their commander to
    make a mistake, if you're looking for something to take advantage of. In the
    absence of that, play to your own strengths, and hit him hard and often in the
    The Spartans: Use attrition. Likely, you will be replacing your troops a good
    bit faster than he'll be replacing his.
    Taken together, these two lists should give you a pretty solid foundation upon
    which to build your attack and defense strategies. That's not to say that you
    won't ever encounter oddities, or things that won't fit into these
    generalizations. You might find a Hive player who's got money coming out of his
    ears, or a Morganite with a massive, clean, elite army, or….the list goes on and
    on. Keep in mind that the lists above are not, and were not meant to be
    ironclad, but I feel certain you will find that they hold true far more often
    than not, and they will serve you well as a beginning point to devising your
    battle strategies. If you study these lists diligently, and find ways of
    executing the ideas they contain, you will win a great many more games than you
    lose. You will, in short, be a very good, solid player.
    You will not, however, be a great player.
    In order to be a great player, you must strive to consistently achieve the third
    principle of victory:
    Best and hardest of all, is to use the enemy's own strengths as weapons against
    If you can learn to do this consistently, you will be all but unbeatable, and in
    time, I will attempt to teach you what I know about it. I am certainly not
    saying that I'm the most qualified person for the job. I don't even begin to
    know everything about strategy and tactics. In fact, the only thing I can point
    to on my "resume" that might make me even remotely qualified to talk about this
    particular subject is the fact that I win a good many more games than I lose. At
    any rate, it is my hope that you will be able to take what I know about the
    subject and incorporate it into your own unique playing style, and from that,
    come up with a solid, reliable set of battle principles that serve you well. But
    there are other things which must be discussed before we get to the specifics of
    the third principle of victory. It is enough for the moment that you are aware
    it is out there.
    Before we start discussing exactly how to execute a battle plan (and eventually,
    how to use your enemy's strengths against him), some common understanding of
    terminology seems in order. What follows is a list of specific, named tactics,
    and notes on how, when, and where to apply them. I have included a "Baker's
    Dozen" of these strategies for your enjoyment. There are literally hundreds, if
    not thousands more, but part of the fun of practicing to be a good general is
    uncovering new strategies for yourself, and learning to blend their execution in
    perfectly with your particular style of play. Note that there are no "bad"
    tactics or styles of battle listed here. All of these are exceedingly powerful
    and have been time-tested and proven. It falls to each of us, students of
    battle, to learn the best times and situations to use these different approaches
    in, and when we arrive at an intimate understanding of how to best use these
    attacks, we approach that previously mentioned level of greatness.
    Demonstration: A show of force against an enemy in the field. A demonstration
    can consist of any number of units, in any configuration. It is one of the
    mainstays of battle. The main uses of a demonstration are two-fold: First, to
    intercept an invading army before your infrastructure and bases come under fire,
    and second, to wear down enemy forces as a set-up for a future siege or another
    attack made by one of your allies.
    Siege: An attack on an enemy base. Like a demonstration, a siege can consist of
    any number of units (but the numbers tend to be larger for sieges than for
    demonstrations for strategic reasons), and the units might be made up of any
    number of chassis-types and capabilities
    Feint: A "fake" siege or demonstration. The point of a Feint is to make your
    opponent believe you are going to launch an attack someplace, draw a portion of
    his army toward the site of the perceived threat, and then hit him somewhere
    else, unexpectedly.
    Overrun: A specific type of attack, aimed at pushing deeply into enemy
    territory. Where a demonstration tends to be rather akin to a parry in a duel,
    an overrun is a stab toward the soft underbelly of the enemy. It's intention is
    to deny your enemy the use of specific terrain features that are inside his
    territory (a borehole, a valuable nutrient square, a monolith, or some landmark
    such as that, or, to isolate an enemy base and make it more vulnerable to a
    Roverrun: An overrun attack composed of a "Rover-Only" force. Unlike the
    overrun, which tends to emphasize a well-balanced attack force to kill the enemy
    and hold off any possible counter-attack, the Rover-Run's goal is to wipe the
    enemy force out and use speed and maneuverability to avoid any possible
    counterstroke the enemy might have planned.
    Underrun: An overrun with a small number of ground troops, supported by large
    numbers of probe teams. The goal of the underrun is to slip a small number of
    troops into enemy territory to cover the vulnerable probe teams and steal your
    way to the biggest force you can, using the subverted enemy troops to occupy
    enemy territory and putting the enemy in an interesting predicament. Does he
    attempt to steal the troops back and drain his energy reserves? Or, does he
    attack his own men, effectively working against himself? Either way, it is one
    of the hardest attacks to pull off, and also one of the most potentially
    Rolling line: A subset of the siege or demonstration. The rolling-line technique
    involves relatively large numbers of units and implies an extended campaign. The
    idea of the rolling line is to have enough units to be able to attack enemy
    positions every turn, and at the same time, be able to pull your damaged units
    back to some safe zone to recover, then rotate them back to the front lines
    again. In this way, you could conceivably keep the attack running forever. It's
    most practical use is in sieges of Hive bases, where the good chairman is likely
    to have upwards of thirty units in his most forward positions. You can take a
    base like that, but you'd better use a rolling line to do it, or he'll attack
    you on his turn, and wipe you out completely.
    Scorched Earth Retreat: A desperate defensive gambit. When you know you cannot
    win the day, and you cannot hold your positions, destroy EVERYTHING that might
    be even remotely useful to your enemy and pull back to a stronger position.
    Scorched Earth Overrun: Similar in its execution to an overrun, but your
    objective here is not to occupy enemy territory. In this case, all you want to
    do is deny your enemy resources. Most often, this is used when your opponent is
    significantly larger than you are, and you are attempting to even things out
    (you know you are not strong enough to hold any bases that you might take, so
    you are not even going to try….you're just out to hurt your enemy's ability to
    produce war materials).
    Drop and Chop: So named by Korn469, who is a fine gamer by any definition. The
    basic strategy calls for breaking the enemy's empire up into zones, isolating
    those zones with drop troops, and attacking bases in each zone with a mixed
    force of choppers and your drop forces. It is a somewhat risky attack, in the
    sense that your drop troops take damage on landing, and you will generally use
    this to attack into the core of an enemy's empire, but when executed correctly,
    it can be every bit as dazzling as a well-played Underrun.
    Stonewall: A "Rolling-Line" in reverse. Your objective here is to hold the enemy
    at bay indefinitely by positioning your troops in such a way that troops on the
    front line can pull back to a safe zone to recover, and then come back to the
    front to continue the defense.
    Nettle\Skirmish: A sneaky, limited form of a demonstration. Your main goal here
    is to prompt the enemy to do something drastic and rash. Generally, you only
    need a few units with good movement rates (needlejets, hovertanks, and rovers)
    to nettle your opponent, and the goal is to prompt him into action before he is
    truly ready. Annoy him so bad that he'll come after you not fully prepared, and
    then you can smash him hard for his impatience.
    Flank: The oldest trick in the book, and still popular because it can be
    devastating when done correctly. The flank is another subset of a demonstration,
    or rather, it is two demonstrations occurring at the same place, at the same
    time. The goal is to make your first demonstration against enemy forces to tie
    them down while your second demonstration force moves up from a different
    direction to seal off all chance of retreat (see the upcoming discussion on zone
    of control) Flanks are not used to simply hurt your enemy, they are used to
    crush his field army entirely. You should not be using flanking maneuvers if you
    want to leave any survivors, because you'll be hard pressed to find any after a
    properly executed flank.
    So that's enough to get you started. I've kept the specifics of each attack
    intentionally vague, because there are so many variations on each one that you
    could literally write a book on each attack-type. And, as much as I enjoy
    writing, I think I'll steer clear of all that.
    One final bit of discussion needs to occur at this point, and make no mistake:
    If you want to win and win consistently, if you want to do things with your
    army, and win battles that you really have no business winning, then you'd
    better learn how to do this, and learn well. I'm talking about Zones of Control.
    If you learn how to influence and control the battle by tinkering with Zones of
    Control, you will be able to fluster, frustrate, and frankly amaze your
    opponents. This is quite possibly the best way to unbalance a battle in your
    favor, and once you understand the concepts and what they can do for you, you'll
    wonder how the Hell you ever got along without it.
                                    The Middle Game
    This is the heart and soul of Alpha Centauri, and if you've run a good, strong
    opening gambit, you will be well prepared to reap the benefits of it in the mid-
    game, but don't dispair. If you suffered some unexpected setbacks in the early
    game, there is yet time to put things right and rescue the game. Just understand
    that if you have not built a solid foundation by now, the road ahead will be
    tougher for you, relatively speaking.
    By now, you will likely have made contact (and perhaps repeated contact) with
    most of the other factions, and your initial bases are all up and humming along
    quite nicely. Now you're probably itching to expand again, either by conquest,
    or by building more colony pods to finish filling up your continent. Either way,
    the stronger your early game was, the easier you will find things now.
    Expansion in the Mid Game:
    You can certainly choose to go back to the section on expansion in the early
    game and simply use those ideas to continue expansion across the continent. The
    expansion paradigms listed there are all quite strong, and any of them would
    serve you well. Keep in mind though, at this point, you are likely to encounter
    a rising drone problem as your expansion efforts continue, and this will only
    worsen with each additional base you build. Not that it should stop you from
    doing so, but it is something to be mindful of as you continue to increase your
    Empire's holdings.
    One of the centerpieces to strategy in the Middle-Game is getting yourself ready
    to execute a population boom, and a bit should be said about that right up
    front, because it is such a powerful thing to do. It will, over the course of 7-
    10 turns of game play, take you from being an average power, to rocketing ahead
    of everyone else on the chart.
    Myth: Not everyone can Pop-Boom. People point to Yang (who cannot use Democracy)
    and Morgan (who cannot use Planned) and declare them weaker factions because
    they cannot execute a pop-boom. I have played both, and successfully run Pop-
    Booms with both, so I am here to tell you that it can be done, and fairly
    easily, at that.
    What is it, and where do I sign up?:
    As to what it is, the answer is simple: Game mechanics dictate that a base will
    grow every turn (provided that nutrient output is sufficient) if your SE growth
    rate is +6. So, to do a Pop-Boom, all you have to do is engineer a setting where
    your growth rate is +6. For most factions, that's easy. Run Democracy, Planned,
    and make sure all your bases have Children's Creches in them, and....Poof! Giant
    bases, in a matter of turns!
    For the two factions mentioned above (Yang and Morgan), it's a little harder,
    but still possible. Simply make sure all of your Children's Creches are in
    place, run either Planned or Democracy, and jack your Psych Allocation up
    through the roof until all your bases are in a Golden Age. Once there, sit back
    for a few turns (checking your Psych Allocation from time to time to make sure
    you've got nothing but happy bases), and watch them grow like weeds.
    The main strength of the Population Boom is that it can triple, or quadruple
    your Empire's population in VERY short order, suddenly making you capable of
    doing things you never even dreamed of, and that is why it is mentioned here, as
    the very first point of the Middle-Game.
    One common strategy is to Boom all your initial bases to maximum size, then
    crank out another slew of bases, get them built up to the point that they can
    handle the influx, and then Boom again. Do that, and you will find yourself with
    an absolutely gigantic empire!
    More Expansion Paradigms:
    Many of these ideas share things in common with what you've read in the earlier
    section, and there are a few new ideas tossed in as well. Browse them over,
    select one that is to your liking, and that meshes well with your particular
    playing style, and run with it! You will soon find yourself with bases from
    coast to coast (if you're alone on your continent - if you're not, you might
    want to skip this section and read more on making war, as that will likely be
    what you are facing).
    Bear in mind that expansion is not necessary to win the game. You need but check
    out the results in the OCC Hall of Fame to discover that it is quite possible to
    Transcend on the hardest possible settings with a single, size seven base, but
    expansion DOES give you more flexibility and options, and it is the natural
    inclination of a thriving empire to expand, so most likely you will be doing
    just that. When you do, your expansion will work better for you if you go into
    it with a plan, rather than take a haphazard approach.
    There are a number of perfectly valid expansion strategies in the game, and the
    list below is by no means exhaustive. These are, however, the ones I've seen
    most commonly employed. I'll list them out, and make notes about each one. Here
    Thin Expansion: This policy is very closely related to "Expansion Paradigm #1"
    listed in the early game section. It basically says: "Now that I am up and
    running good, I want as many bases as I can get, and I want them as quickly as
    possible." Likely, if you are going with a thin-expansion scheme, you are
    foregoing the building of scout patrols to escort your colony pods, and just
    focusing on the pods themselves. A sometimes risky move, true, but, the
    advantage to it is the fact that you can get a great number of bases established
    in relatively short order, and set them all about the task of building a viable
    infrastructure. A purely thin expansion program will have you building your
    newest bases four squares apart from each other. Yes, there will be some
    overlap, but how often is it that you actually make use of all 20 of a base's
    productive squares anyway? Thin expansion trades a little bit of late-game
    productivity for the speedy construction of new bases.
    Thin Expansion works best for Builders and Hybrid players. A momentum player
    will lose too much time in building mass numbers of colony pods. Besides, from
    the mindset of a momentum player, why build a new base when you can conquer one
    that's already up and running? A very good point, if you're playing the game
    that way.
    The Rover Defense Model: This plan (which may or may not be incorporated into a
    thin-expansion scheme) says that you want all your newer bases spaced exactly
    five squares apart, to facilitate their defense with Rovers serving as
    garrisons. This also works out quite nicely, as there will be no overlap between
    bases, meaning that eventually (sometime in the Late Game), each base will be
    able to make use of all 20 squares of production. Keep in mind, however, that
    rovers are significantly more expensive than Infantry, and pursuing this model
    will make your garrisons much more expensive. Still, if you are running a
    classic Builder Game, the added expense won't really be that noticeable.
    The Yang Model: So named because the AI generally plays Yang in this very
    fashion. It runs similar to the Rover Defense Model, but the bases are stacked
    even more closely together: Specifically, three spaces apart. This has a number
    of Mid-Game advantages, and only one (relatively minor) Late-Game drawback.
    There is significant overlap in all your bases (as with the Thin Model, above),
    but again, how often is it that you actually make use of all your squares of
    production anyway? And, this model has the advantage of allowing you to make use
    of the "Rover Defense" thinking with much more cost-effective Infantry units.
    Under this approach, none of your units ever need end their turn outside the
    safety of a base, unless you are scouting, or moving to make a pre-emptive
    strike. One other very strong selling point to this style is that you get so
    many bases up and running on your starting continent that you become very hard
    to damage. When you're running the "Yang Model," it's simply not going to hurt
    you much if you happen to lose a single base, and if that base is taken over by
    an opponent, he will find keeping the base (which is undoubtedly surrounded by a
    good number of your other bases) a very difficult proposition.
    The Optimize First Model: This says that before you build any additional colony
    pods, you want to make all the improvements you can in the bases you already
    have. This is a classic builder scheme. Expand slowly, but make each base a
    wonder. It probably means that you won't be expanding until well into the Middle
    Game, so even builders tend only to use this approach if they find themselves
    alone on a relatively small landmass.
    Thick Expansion: The opposite of thin expansion (go figure), this approach says
    that the building of colony pods is important, but of equal importance is seeing
    that it gets to wherever it's going, and making sure that you can rapidly create
    an infrastructure for the new base when you get it there. Likely, this means
    building an escort for the pod (which becomes the garrison, once the base is set
    up, saving the new base time), a former (so terraforming can begin immediately,
    if not before the base is established), and perhaps one or two supply crawlers
    to enhance the output of the new base's production (generally mineral
    production, but I've seen nutrient production enhanced as well). This has the
    advantage of making use of your existing bases' strong infrastructure to build
    the stuff that a fledgling base would have to spend a number of turns working on
    before it could even start it's infrastructural development, saving the new
    bases time, but it is slower than a "Thin Expansion" plan, as it ties up your
    bigger bases building more units.
    More on Combat:
    Organizing your offense/defense on Chiron:
    There are at least some would-be generals out there who are itching to get
    started causing trouble, but they're not quite sure how to make sure they've got
    their bases covered when it comes to defense, and they're not 100% comfortable
    with the notion of designing an adequate attack force. It is my hope that this
    section will help. This is by no means the only way to go about it, and I am
    quite sure that there will be some major disagreement in the particulars laid
    out here, but that's okay too, I have found that these principles work very well
    for me. Not to say they're the only way to run a war, but I have tested them
    exhaustively, and I know they will serve you well, so here goes:
    When planning the defenses of your empire, there are really only four things you
    need to take into consideration. If you are attacked, you will either be
    attacked by:
    Stuff from the sky (missiles, choppers, and needlejets, planet busters)
    Sea bases also need to worry about attacks by ship, but for purposes of
    examining sea bases, we'll treat ship assaults of them like infantry attacks.
    And of course, any base may come under fire by artillery (which cannot kill any
    of your units, except in the case of an artillery duel), but it CAN prevent your
    units from healing up.
    When planning the defense of your empire, the very first thing you need to take
    a look at is: What play-style am I running? Momentum players will likely want to
    minimize base defenses so they can put more units in the field. Hybrid players
    will probably want to have units that are both armored AND have good weapons so
    they can switch gears when the need (or opportunity) arises, and Builders will
    want to cover all their defensive bases, and they can afford to do this, as
    their attack force will likely be quite small.....at least until later in the
    Momentum-Style Base Defense:
    These guys generally use the "attack to defend" approach (and the Believers are
    the very best of all at this), which further develops the Momentum theme that
    the best defense is a good offense. In general terms, base defenses will be
    sparse, consisting of one or two units (probably a mixed bag, one infantry and
    one rover or older needlejet, depending on the timeframe of the game and the
    available technology). Momentum players tend to recycle their units with
    obsolete technology by upgrading the units with the highest morale to newer
    technology, and pushing the rest back to their bases to "trade up" to better
    base defense (disbanding the original scout patrols or what have you to help
    build newer, meaner units). For the most part, Momentum players cannot afford to
    continually upgrade their entire army, because they do not have sufficient
    infrastructural development to bring in the kind of cash it would take, but this
    "recycling scheme" is a pretty fair substitute.
    Despite the fact that each base tends to have only light defenses, the presence
    of such a mixed bag of forces can create quite a potent set of defenders.
    Interceptors, old or not, have sufficient range that several can be brought up
    to beleaguered areas in a very short time. And Momentum bases tend to be pretty
    close together, facilitating the Rover Defense Model, which means that every
    base which has a speeder assigned to it (generally every third base or so), then
    several speeders could be in the embattled base in just a turn or two.
    Here's a pretty standard Momentum-Defensive Net Layout:
    1 Infantry unit per base (armor and weapon depending on when you check)
    1 Speeder per 3 bases (armor and weapon varies)
    1 Interceptor per 4 bases (armor and weapon varies)
    One final note about Momentum-Style defense is this: Attack to Defend strategies
    tend to work better than "sitting still" strategies because of your lack of
    infrastructure. Likely, you've not invested in Children's Creches, Perimeter
    Defenses, or Tachyon Fields, so you won't get the benefits of those structures.
    Summary: One or two of your older units (pulled off of the front line) per base.
    Note that this is an average, and you certainly don't need to keep two units in
    every base. If you feel your interior bases are secure, by all means, just leave
    one unit in those bases and shuffle the rest toward the periphery of your
    empire. You'll likely have a mixed bag of infantry, rovers, and needlejets
    making up your defense, and your best bet is to strike your enemy before he
    strikes you.
    Hybrid-Style Defense: Since there is no way to tell in advance what situations
    might develop, you must attempt to strike a balance between meeting your
    defensive needs, and being able to put together a good attack army fairly
    quickly. Since it would be far too expensive to create ironclad defenses
    everywhere AND build a massive invasion army, your forces should be designed for
    both roles. This has the advantage of greater flexibility (which the Hybrid
    Play-Style is famous for anyway), but it means that your army will likely be
    more expensive on a "per unit" basis than your opponent's force. Something to be
    mindful of when you start taking losses. Your troops will likely take longer to
    replace, and you probably won't have as many to begin with, so you need to
    conduct your war with care and forethought.
    The Hybrid's opponents will be Momentum players for the most part, and maybe
    other Hybrids (Builders seldom attack until late game, so you generally need not
    worry about them....don't let your guard down, but don't fret too much over it),
    and Momentum players LOVE Speeders. Since you know that, Comjamming troops
    should be VERY high on your list.
    When determining what level of armor to provide to my garrison forces, my rule
    of thumb is this: If I'm playing Hybrid style, I like to have one AAA Garrison
    with the very best armor available and "hand weapons" only. After I've got
    Neural Grafting, I will generally give this defender Trance ability to cover two
    of my defensive bets with that one unit.
    My secondary base defender will generally be another infantry, with one
    generation obsolete armor and the best weapon I have available. This unit
    generally comes equipped with commjamming ability (and, post-Neural Grafting),
    he gets AAA capability as well. This is my "detachable" unit. The one I pull out
    of the base when I want to go start trouble.
    Also, for every two bases I have, I'll create a rover with one less than the
    best armor, and the best, or second best weapon I can afford. Generally I'll
    make these guys AAA/Clean and use them to augment my base defense or add them to
    my attack force when I'm ready to rock and roll.
    For every three bases I have, I'll drop in an Interceptor, generally going with
    no armor and the best or second best weapons I can afford. I'll also drop in one
    Artillery unit per three bases or so (again, going with light or no armor) Using
    this as a general guide, if I've got fifteen bases by the time I decide to go
    mix things up a bit, my "offensive force pool" consists of something like:
    15 Infantry units
    7-8 Rovers
    5 Interceptors
    5 Field Guns
    That is sufficient force to do all sorts of nasty things to someone, but more on
    that when we actually get to offense....for the moment, take a look at the
    defensive capability this army has. Defensively, I've got:
    30 Infantry Units
    7-8 Rovers
    5 Interceptors
    5 Field Guns
    And more than half my force is mobile....able to move to embattled areas and
    support my threatened bases.
    If I'm playing Hybrid style, then it's a given that I've got a good
    infrastructure in place. My defenders have the benefits of Perimeter Defenses
    and Children's Creches, at the very least (and probably selective Command
    Centers, and other defenses as well, depending on the technology available). All
    my bases are connected by roads, and I've got good, clean lines and multiple
    routes to each base in the event that some of my roads are destroyed by
    attacking units. At this point, a Momentum Player will be hard pressed to do a
    whole lot to me, and will probably find somebody less well-prepared to pick
    on....of course, if he insists on starting trouble, I'm more than happy to
    finish the fight he starts.
    One final note about Hybrid Defense: Because you've got a good, solid
    infrastructure, you can count on having a pretty good income coming in every
    turn. This will allow for selective upgrades to better armor for your key
    defenders, and it will allow for the selective use of armored formers and
    crawlers in defensive roles, which will add to your defensive force pool, and
    complicate your enemy's attack. Keep in mind though, that this must be balanced
    against the need to keep some money available to subvert enemy troops. If your
    opponent's force is particularly large and threatening, there is no better way
    to quickly equalize things than to subvert a portion of his army and use it
    against him.
    Summary: Hybrid players who construct their defense scheme to be consistent with
    their greatest strength (flexibility) will find themselves with a vast number of
    options available to them at any given point in the game. Depending on your
    opponent, you can structure your defense to be aggressive ("attack to defend")
    or passive (let them come to you)....whichever will net you the greater
    advantage against that particular opponent. (note that the defensive scheme I
    outlined above works out to about 2.5 defenders per base, as compared with about
    1.5 units per base for Momentum players)
    Builder Defense: Builders have two important defensive advantages: They have the
    best infrastructure in the game, and they have cash coming out of their ears.
    This makes assaulting a Builder faction in anything other than the very early
    game a dangerous proposition indeed. As a Builder, you can afford to lavishly
    defend all your bases, since your core attack group will likely be quite small,
    and I'd recommend doing it to the hilt. If you get attacked by a Momentum
    Player, you'll need it, and, when you decide to take the fight to your enemy,
    you can scale down your base defenses and have a truly massive army.
    General scheme: I usually only give each of my "Builder Defenders" one special
    ability and reserve the other one to be "Clean" as soon as I get the tech for
    it. This means that, in general, each of my bases has quite a number of
    defenders, and I don't skimp at all if I'm in a Builder game. There's no point
    in skimping....I've got plenty of money.
    Each Base is ultimately responsible for maintaining the following troops (and
    not necessarily in the base of origin):
    1 Trance/AAA Defender (Infantry) (best armor, hand weapon)
    1 Commjammer/Clean Defender (Infantry) (best armor, best weapon)
    Every other base is responsible for either:
    1 Rover or (best armor, second best weapon)
    1 Field Gun (Rover Chassis) (best weapon, second or third best armor)
    Every third base is responsible for either:
    1 Interceptor (second or third best armor, best weapon)
    1 Penetrator (as above)
    1 Chopper (as above)
    Every base is responsible for maintaining at least two missiles.
    Of course, it's important to know WHEN to build your units, too. I will
    generally run my Builder Defense in two phases: Pre-Hybrid Forest and Post-
    Hybrid Forest. In pre-hybrid forest times, I run my bases with one infantry
    defender (best armor and hand weapons, giving him AAA/Trance as soon as they
    become available). Every base also gets the benefits of a probe team, and, if I
    can support the additional unit without eating into base productivity too much
    (ie, I like to keep my bases churning out at least six minerals per turn), I'll
    add either a second infantry (best armor and best weapon) or Rover (best armor,
    second best weapon) to my force pool. Pre-Hybrid forests, my plan is to rely
    heavily on the selective armoring of the formers I have out in operation to
    support my defenders (and this can easily give me 2.5-3 units per base, counting
    formers for defense. Also, again, pre-hybrid forest, my probe teams take a very
    active stance. The general scheme is this:
    If a single attacker comes up to the base, he gets subverted. If they're double
    stacked, the rover hits the stack to kill one unit, and the other one gets
    subverted. If they're triple (or more) stacked, I attack as I can, wait for
    developments and bring up reinforcements.
    Post Hybrid forests, my bases are growing so rapidly, and have so many minerals
    that support costs cease to become much of an issue, and I generally run the
    entire scheme outlined above. Counting missiles, this gives me an average of six
    defenders per base (after Hybrid forests), and 2-3 before Hybrid forests are in
    place. This makes a Builder Player a very tough customer indeed, as all of the
    bases are interlocking, providing an almost fool proof defensive network. It
    takes a determined attacker indeed to crack those kinds of defenses.
    A breakdown of the defensive schemes by playing style: Momentum style: 1-1.5
    units per base Hybrid style: 2.5 units per base Builder style (early) 3 units
    per base (including formers) Builder style (mid) 6 units per base (excluding
    Taking the offensive (or, being offensive in general):
    If you want to start a war, here's what I recommend: Again, the first thing you
    need to ask yourself is: What is my play style? A very close second is: Have I
    (or can I) infiltrate this opponent's datalinks? If you have, you will fight a
    very different sort of war than if you have not or cannot infiltrate his
    datalinks (and that is why the question is so important).
    Some notes on infiltrating datalinks:
    The reason this is so important is because once you've infiltrated your
    opponent, you have perfect knowledge of his defenses, even to the point of
    knowing what he's currently working on in every base, and if he's making use of
    his build queues. This is such a powerful advantage that if you cannot
    infiltrate your opponent, you might be wise to simply leave that faction alone
    until it's just the two of you (unless you KNOW you have technological
    superiority, then run over them just as quickly as possible). Making war, broken
    out by Play-Styles:
    Momentum-Style: Fast and loose. Crank out the best units you can (best weapon,
    light or no armor), in a mixture of infantry and rover combinations, and turn
    them loose! As new chassis types become available, sprinkle them into the mix as
    A note to momentum players: I know you will want to make an all-rover force for
    greater maneuverability, and you'll likely win a good number of games that way,
    but trust me, the first time you meet a well-prepared opponent, you will change
    your mind, as you watch every one of your elite rovers burn and die at the hands
    of a relatively few sturdy garrisons and support troops. Take the time to build
    a balanced force, and use that to attack with. At least that way, you won't be
    taken down by one of the "easy counters."
    Make use of mindworms! Chances are good that at certain points in any given war,
    you'll be at a technological disadvantage, and worms are the big equalizer, so
    use the hell out of them!
    One of the best investments you can make when you're off on enemy soil is to
    subvert one of his formers. You can armor it up, and use it to make bunkers and
    such for yourself, which could be the very thing that turns the tide of battle
    in your favor! If you take my advice and go with a balanced force composition,
    then take care not to mess up the enemy's infrastructure too badly. You need
    roads intact to move your infantry through his territory quickly, so don't bust
    them up, and if your opponent has busted up the roads, this makes capturing one
    or more of his formers even more important!
    Numbers - How many troops do I need?:
    Consider your objectives carefully. Think about what you want to accomplish in
    your invasion, and plan to bring more troops than you need to accomplish that
    objective (to compensate for the unexpected, and to prepare for the inevitable
    counterattack). Having said that, if you're a Momentum player, if you've
    infiltrated your opponent's datalinks, and if you're at or near technological
    parity (or have lots of worms at the ready), I would recommend 2 units over and
    above whatever your opponent is holding the base you want to take with. Repeat
    that same formula out over the number of bases on your "hit list," and you'll
    come up with the total number of units you will need for this particular
    If you are attacking blind (without the benefits of infiltration), then I would
    use six (6) units as a rule of thumb. Six units per base (not counting the probe
    team, which requires no support).
    Army composition:
    Here are some of the more effective unit types you can crank out for the attack,
    and this is a pretty typical force I'd take against a single base:
    1 AAA/ECM Infantry (best weapon, light armor)
    1 SAM/AAA Rover (best weapon, light or no armor)
    1 Probe Team
    1 Mindworm
    1 Artillery units on Rover Chassis (best weapon, second or third best armor)
    (might switch out for another infantry or attack rover, depending on my survey
    of the forces standing against me)
    1 Garrison unit (Infantry)(to hold the base once taken) (best armor, hand
    weapon) AAA/Trance
    *1 Needlejet or Chopper for support (optional, depending on defensive forces
    arrayed against you)
    Faction specific notes:
    Believers: I'd forget the air support and add another rover.
    Hive: Add one more to this total (you choose), just to make sure you've got the
    numerical advantage.
    Spartans: Take out the garrison unit and bulk up the armor on your lead infantry
    unit (more like a hybrid player).
    Of course, if your objective is larger than just a single base, then you begin
    to see the scope of planning required. You'll need the troops themselves, of
    course. You'll need enough transports to haul them across to the battle, and
    then you'll need escorts for the transports, at a minimum. All in all, making
    war is a VERY expensive proposition, but there aren't too many bases around that
    can hold out against a properly executed attack with the force outlined above.
    Taking them through their paces:
    The force outlined above against the typical defenses you would find at a
    Momentum Base: No contest. If you've done your approach correctly, your opponent
    has no idea which base you plan to hit, and you can take out the one or two
    defenders, probably with the rover alone.
    Against a Hybrid Base:
    A tougher fight, and you'll probably need to augment that basic force with some
    air cover. Start shelling the base early to keep the defenders worn down. Use
    your needlejet support to weaken or pick off defenders, and use the first of
    your "rover attacks" to kill, but use the second move to retreat and heal until
    you are sure the base can be taken.
    Against a Builder Base:
    Bring in a chopper for additional support and you should be fine. The multiple
    attacks of the chopper should nicely offset the Builder's relatively large
    number of defenders. If he's got stacks of AAA guys, then send in infantry and
    rovers. Infiltrating a Builder to determine exactly what kind of defenders he is
    using is vitally important, and plan your attacks around where he is weakest. If
    he's been slacking in making commjammers, hit him with your rovers every turn.
    If he's low on AAA guys, your chopper will make short work of him. If nothing
    else, bring out the worms. The only way to beat a builder is to find a weakness,
    no matter how small or insignificant, and exploit the hell out of it.
    The Hybrid General: Flexibility
    The Momentum Player needs to think in terms of expecting a counterstrike, and
    either heading that off or taking it on the chin, but your army is already
    geared to that, which takes at least one element out of the equation for you.
    From the get-go, you've been making your army a versatile tool, and each unit is
    an able attacker and a sturdy defender, which simplifies your planning when you
    go off to war. To that end, here's a pretty typical example of what a Hybrid
    attack force would look like, against a single base:
    1 AAA/ECM Infantry (second best armor/best weapon)
    1 AAA/Trance Infantry (as above)
    1 SAM/AAA or AAA/Clean Rover (second best armor/second best weapon)
    1 Probe Team
    1 Mindworm (might sub a second rover in, if I have the tech lead)
    1 Artillery unit (Rover Chassis) (Second or third best armor, best weapon)
    * 1 Air support unit (optional, depending on enemy force disposition)
    Faction specific notes:
    Peacekeepers: No notes. Adjust your forces per opponent.
    Gaians: Use your psi bonus! Take out one of the Infantry and sub a worm in his
    place! A quick comparison of the two forces (Momentum and Hybrid) will reveal
    that the Hybrids are better armored across the board, making the act of re-
    taking the base from a Hybrid player a pretty daunting task.
    Taking them through their paces:
    Against a Momentum Base: Again, their weak defenses will not be able to stand
    against you, and you should be able to take them out quickly and easily. The
    expected counterstrike will be easily dealt with too, as your troops have good
    armor. This can further be augmented by rushing a perim. defense in the base as
    soon as you occupy it.
    Against another Hybrid: Jack up all your weapons to best, to counter their
    massive amounts of armor. Scout the defenses, and if they have artillery, you
    might want to pack in two arty units. One to duel him with to eliminate his, and
    a second one to keep his troops weakened.
    Against a Builder: Again, study their defenses carefully and compose your force
    where they are weakest. Bring in 1-2 more units than you think you'll need.
    The Builder General:
    Chances are good that when you attack, if you attack anybody except another
    Builder, you'll have at least one generation's worth of technology over your
    opponents (as a rule of thumb, you can expect to be one generation ahead of a
    competent Hybrid, and two ahead of a competent Momentum, by the time you take to
    the field). This gives you all sorts of advantages, and makes conquesting a
    pretty easy thing.
    As a Builder, you have the cash to conduct the kinds of warfare that make the
    other factions green with envy. In fact, you need not mobilize the army at all.
    Instead of pulling out your army you can:
    Missile your opponent to death, and use drop troops or orbitally inserted
    Build enough planet busters to knock out every one of his bases in the same turn
    (and expect to get worm-raped)
    Conduct an entirely covert war. Subvert his bases, keep his energy reserves
    drained, and cackle that he cannot do the same.
    Ensure that no one but you and your allies has orbital defense pods by building
    so many of them that you simply cannot countered, then use them to wipe out
    everybody else's satellite capability, period.
    Of course, if you like you can always take the more traditional approach, and if
    you do, your force might look something like this:
    1 AAA/ECM Infantry (best weapon, best armor)
    2 SAM/AAA Rover (best, 2nd best)
    1 Artillery unit (Rover chassis) (best, 2nd best)
    1 Probe Team
    1 Infantry (AAA/Clean) (best, best)
    1 Air Support Unit (best, 2nd or 3rd best)
    This will have you fighting at more than parity with your opponents, and you'll
    have plenty of money to subvert enemy units that get caught out alone. As
    mentioned before, when a Builder player moves in for the kill, you're likely
    dead already and don't realize it yet, so if the technological gap I mentioned
    previously is present, expect that a Builder who is on the attack will pretty
    much blow your doors off....the end game belongs to the Builder, hands down. If
    a Momentum player can't beat him by the early or mid game, chances are very good
    indeed that he won't beat him at all. Likewise, Hybrids can compete with
    Builders for longer, but time does favor the Builder, and if the Hybrid player
    waits too long, he may find himself in trouble.
    Money in wartime:
    I mentioned earlier in the strategy guide that I'd recommend somewhere in the
    neighborhood of 1500 credits in your bankroll per base you plan to hit before
    you begin your attack, but I did not really outline why you'd need all that
    money, so I will do that now, for those of you who might be newer to the game:
    First and foremost, you should be on the lookout for any attempt to subvert
    enemy units! Subversion is one of the most powerful battle strategies you can
    implement. Consider: If you do battle with an enemy unit, you may or may not
    destroy it, but you will surely weaken your own forces (at least temporarily,
    until your unit is repaired), but if you subvert an enemy unit, you get
    stronger, while your opponent grows weaker. Keep that up, and you'll be so
    strong eventually, that your opponent cannot hope to stand against you. Of
    course subversion need not be on the individual unit level....if you can bring
    an entire base under your sway for a bit of cash, so much the better!
    Second, you need money if you intend to turn the base you just took over into a
    halfway productive center for you. Chances are good that when you move into a
    newly occupied base, there will be rioting. If you don't mind being a bad guy,
    you can just nerve staple them and have done with it, but I have never been
    happy with that solution. I LIKE being the good guy, so when I take over a base,
    generally the first thing I do is drop down a rec. commons to get the drone
    problem solved. It's expensive, sure, but the advantage is that I get the base
    healthy and productive very quickly, and then I've got a productive center right
    there on my enemy's soil, which is a very bad thing from his point of view. (If
    the battle was a very near thing, or if my troops are battered, I'll probably
    delay the Rec. Commons for a turn in favor of a Perim. Defense, but again, this
    depends on the situation at hand).
    Third, you need money to rush build replacement troops, get garrisons in newly
    conquered bases, and money to throw around in feint efforts or other things to
    try to throw your opponent off balance. (If you are worried that you might not
    be able to hold the base you just took for very long, for example, send a foil
    probe team to the other side of your opponent's holdings and subvert one of his
    fringe bases out from under him. Now he's got a choice to make, because chances
    are good he can't deal with both losses at the same time, and you'll be able to
    fortify your position around whichever one he decides to leave alone for a
    bit....either way, you win.)
    I must close this section by stressing again that the ideas outlined above are
    by no means the only way, or even the best way to conduct a war, but they work
    very well for me, and I win more games than I lose, so I believe that adds to
    the validity of the approaches outlined here. Still, the bottom line is: "do
    what works best for you." If these ideas don't mesh well with your current
    playing style, then feel free to ignore them. If nothing else though, keep them
    in your mind as possible things you might expect when you square off against
    someone in the PBEM arena.....you never know, it might be *me* over there in
                                   The Supply Crawler
    By now, you've probably got quite a number of supply crawlers floating about in
    your empire, adding to your base's native ability to harvest nutrients,
    minerals, and/or energy. You have seen first hand the benefits of building them,
    and are probably quite a fan. It should not be difficult to convince you then,
    that Supply Crawlers are the second most useful unit in the entire game, but it
    has been my experience (from watching and playing against many of the members
    here in the War College), that supply crawlers don't get utilized nearly as much
    as they should. This section then, provides some additional notes to get your
    mind turning on the subject of the Supply Crawler, in hopes of demonstrating a
    few uses for the sturdy little units that you might not have already thought of.
    The number one best use of Supply Crawlers is obvious: To boost the nutrient,
    energy, or mineral production of a given base. Generally, I go for increasing
    energy output, and if you do so with a vengeance, multiplied out over several
    turns, you will find your energy reserves spiking up two or three hundred energy
    credits per turn.....multiplied out by your energy banks and such, they tend to
    pay for themselves VERY quickly. Some notes here: Keep in mind that if you have
    a base with the Merchant Exchange in it, and that base builds a supply crawler,
    the unit will get the +1 energy bonus in the square he is harvesting from,
    making the ME base a VERY attractive one to build crawlers from. And, if the ME
    base also happens to be your Headquarters, then that base will not suffer any
    inefficiency, which means that you get to keep 100% of the energy harvested.
    This can set you up quite nicely to turn your HQ base into your primary research
    place (build the supercollider and theory of everything there, and you've got a
    positively EVIL amount of research. Add the network backbone, and the base can
    probably net you a tech all by itself every turn).
    The second best use I have come up with (and this frustrates the HELL out of my
    opponents here at the college, though strangely, I have not seen them copying
    the idea) is to make an armored crawler, drop him down on a "choke point"
    (narrow strip of land leading to a rival's territory) to harvest energy from a
    forest (on a sensor array). Now you're getting 3 or more energy per turn, and
    keeping the bad guys at bay at the same time, and an armored crawler in the
    woods on a sensor array is a pretty tough cookie. Give him Trance ability to
    defend against worms, and he'll probably be there for a good long time.
    Third thing: I generally build my initial boreholes coastally, and the reason
    for that is as follows: If I'm on a landmass by myself (and that's generally my
    favorite, being a builder at heart), then the only way that forces can even get
    to me easily is to land troops on my coast, which is impossible thanks to my
    ring of boreholes and crawlers. There's simply no way the invasion can even get
    started (unless they come at me early....it DOES take quite a while to crank
    that many crawlers out). True, the units could air drop in, but they take fifty
    percent damage on landing, and then be munched by my rover units, or subverted
    by my probe teams.
    If the bad guys DO get through though, crawlers are excellent units for messing
    up the invasion force's zones of control, because in addition to doing that,
    they're also harvesting resources for you.
    Another good idea would be to make the choice NOT to work the square in your
    base's production radius containing your sensor array, putting a cheap armored
    crawler on that square to draw resources for you. Protection from sniping.....
                                     The Late Game
    Long before you get here (and generally, the Late Game is defined by the arrival
    of Habitation Domes), you have either won or lost the game, so there is little
    you can do at this point to save yourself if you're losing ground. You get some
    attractive "Future Society" choices on the SE table, but these additional
    advantages will likely not be enough to turn the tide for you if you find
    yourself slipping. Chances are very good though, if you have followed the
    suggestions laid out in this guide, that it will be all over but the cleanup.
    If you are losing though, don't dispair. Take a look at your game and try to
    identify where you went wrong. A loss is but an opportunity for improvement.
    Simply locate the specific things you did to allow yourself to get beaten and
    change those behaviors in your next game.
    Locking Things Down:
    Assuming you have not encountered any bizarre or unexpected problems though,
    chances are quite good that all that remains in the late game is the mop-up.
    Even if there are some big Empires out there sabre-rattling, the game is over
    and they don't yet realize it.
    If you're playing Momentum-Style, now is when you want to end whatever war
    you're involved in currently as fast as you can, and go pick a fight with the
    biggest Empire still in the game. Hammer him relentlessly until he's dead or
    submits, and then take out the next biggest. Your army is likely composed of
    nothing but Elite troopers at this point, and you can simply overwhelm your
    opponents with wave after wave of troops.
    Hybrid or Builder Players: If you can keep the peace, you will likely be well
    set up to run for a Transcendence victory, but if someone wants to pick a fight,
    now is the time to carry it to them. Do not be intimidated! The late game
    belongs to Builders (and Hybrids, to a lesser degree), so you will likely have
    all the important advantages on your side if you choose to fight, and these
    advantages, combined with the vast efficiency of your Empire, will be more than
    enough to end the fight very quickly indeed, and at this point too, your
    infrastructure will be sufficiently developed that you can literally fight the
    war with "one hand tied behind your back." That is to say, at this stage in the
    game, you need not scrap your plans to go for a Transcendent victory if someone
    wants a fight. You will, more often than not, be able to use less than half your
    bases for cranking out war materials, leaving the other half to focus on
    continuing the buildup and preparation for Transcendence. This is the true
    strength of Builder style. It is the moment you have been playing toward for the
    whole game. Make the most of it.
                                     Final Thoughts
    Against The Hive: Let the good chairman build sea bases for you. He generally
    LOVES to surround factions with sea bases, and they're almost laughingly easy to
    subvert. So, let him use his industry and growth bonuses to your advantage!
    Against The Morganites: Bully them! They make a lot of money, but under computer
    guidance, they're wimps! Bully and badger them til you break the bank! If he
    get's rowdy with probe teams, send him a little present in the form of about
    three dozen mediocre troops with polymorphic encryption and LET him subvert
    them. He'll blow all his money grabbing your average troops, and then you can
    send in the real invasion force. Even the Morganites have their limits, and
    without any money, he's a pushover. Alternately, keep taking the same base with
    your units and LET him steal it back. Repeat til he's broke, and unable to cause
    you further grief. Morgan without money is like a tiger without teeth. Big cat,
    but not particularly threatening.
    Against the Gaians: Their main strength is Psi combat, and their ability to cozy
    up to planet. Most obviously, build lots of trance and empath guys to even
    yourself out with them, but also, send armored formers into their territory and
    strip out their worm-farms. Likely, they'll be relying heavily on those in the
    early game to augment their otherwise average troops, and that heavy reliance
    can easily be their undoing. Besides, in a lot of cases, a former in enemy
    territory is more threatening than a shard invader!
    Against the Believers: She wants to attack first....ok. Let the wench. Bulk up
    your garrisons in embattled bases, use lots of ECM troops mixed with AAA guys,
    keep TONS of probe teams handy to counter her attempts at getting decent tech,
    rush perim defenses and tachyon fields wherever she attacks and THEN see how her
    vaunted 25% attack bonus fares. But, more often than not, she'll attack anyway,
    and quickly be out of your hair.
    Against the University: Ahhhhh technology. The pride and joy of the good
    Professor. But they don't do him any good unless he can turn them into THINGS,
    so don't let him. Feint him to death, and bleed his energy reserves per Morgan
    to keep him broke and unable to rush build. Keep him so busy wondering what
    you're up to that, techs or no, he won't be able to react. It's very easy to
    paralyze this faction with an aggressive stance, and lots of nettles and feints.
    Even human players who favor the University tend to fall for this more often
    than you'd expect. It's strange, and rather amusing at times.
    Against the Spartans: Subversion. Their units are awesome! And wasn't it nice of
    Santiago to deliver a whole bunch of them right to your door!
    Against the Peacekeepers: Ahhhh, but here's the crux of it. Nothing in the game
    mechanics to exploit, so you'll have to study whoever is PLAYING the
    Peacekeeping forces and use the PLAYER'S strengths against him. Is he
    aggressive? Is he the consummate peace-keeper? You'll have to get a bit creative
    here, but you'll find the strengths and weaknesses of his style, and you'll be
    able to use both of them against him.
    The Fifth Thing: A small, but important thing. Don't sit in a comfortable chair!
    Don't allow yourself the luxury of comfort. It will relax your mind and take
    away from your focus. I play all my games in a straight-backed, wooden chair.
    Yes, I get stiff and sore, but it is an important reminder.
                                        Hot Keys
    Move units/ View Map- [V]
    Zoom in- [Z]
    Zoom Out- [X]
    Standard zoom in- [Shift][Z]
    Standard zoom out- [Shift][X]
    Full zoom in- [Ctrl][Z]
    Full zoom out- [Ctrl][X]
    Toggle flattened terrain- [Ctrl][Shift][X]
    Toggle map & Grid- [Ctrl][G]
    Toggle base grid- [Ctrl][Shift][G]
    Show autoforward routes- [Ctrl][Shift][B]
    Show patrol orders- [Shift][P]
    Terrain Survey- [T]
    Hide/ Show Names Et Production- [Ctrl][N]
    Name Landmark- [Shift][N]
    Erase Landmark- [Ctrl][Shift][N]
    Locate Base- [Ctrl][B]
    Previous Cursor Position- [Backspace]
    Next Cursor Position- [Shift][Backspace]
    Center screen- [C]
    Construct Base [Colony Pod]- [B]
    Join Base [Colony Pod]- [B]
    Obliterate Base [Any Unit in Base]- [B]
    Long Range Fire- [F]
    Airdrop- [I]
    Activate Special Ability- [I]
    Psi Gate- [Shift][I]
    Convoy Resources- [O]
    Destroy Enhancements- [D]
    Disband Unit- [Shift][D]
    Automate Unit- [Shift][A]
    Explore Automatically- [/]
    Patrol- [P]
    Designate Bombing Run- [B]
    Automate Air Defense- [Ctrl][Shift][B]
    Go to Base...- [G]
    Group go to...- [J]
    Assemble Group- [Shift][J]
    Go to Home Base- [Shift][G]
    Set Home Base- [Ctrl][H]
    Activate (Move Now)- [A]
    Wait (Move Later)- [W]
    Unload Transport- [Shift][U]
    Upgrade Unit- [Ctrl][U]
    Turn Over Unit Control- [Ctrl][Shift][U]
    Designate Defender- [Ctrl][D]
    Sentry/Board Transport- [L]
    Place Unit "On Alert"- [Shift][L]
    Hold 10 Turns- [Shift][H]
    Hold This Position- [H]
    Skip Turn- [Spacebar]
    Cultivate Farm/Kelp Farm- [F]
    Construct Soil Enricher (Over Farm)- [F]
    Construct Mine/Mining Platform- [M]
    Construct Solar Collector/Tidal Harness- [S]
    Plant Forest- [Shift][F]
    Build Road- [R]
    Build Mag Tube (Over Road)- [R]
    Construct Bunker- [K]
    Construct Airbase- [.]
    Construct Sensory Array- [O]
    Remove Fungus- [F]
    Plant Fungus- [Ctrl][F]
    Construct Condenser- [N]
    Construct Echelon Mirror- [Shift][E]
    Construct Thermal Borehole [Shift][B]
    Drill to Aquifier- [Q]
    Terraform Up- (])
    Terraform Down- ([)
    Terraform Level- [_]
    Farm+Solar+Road- [Ctrl][Shift][S]
    Farm+Mine+Road- [Ctrl][Shift][M]
    Construct Road To- [Ctrl][R]
    Construct Tube To- [Ctrl][T]
    Automatic Roads- [Ctrl][Shift][R]
    Automatic Tubes- [Ctrl][Shift][T]
    Automatic Sensors- [Ctrl][Shift][O]
    Automatic Fungus Removal- [Ctrl][Shift][F]
    Autoimprove Home Base- [Ctrl][Shift][A]
    Fully Automate Former- [Shift][A]
    Switch To Detailed Menus- [F11]
    Switch To Simple Menus- [F11]
    Preferences- [Ctrl][P]
    Warning Preferences- [Ctrl][W]
    Advanced Preferences- [Ctrl][O]
    Automation Preferences- [Ctrl][A]
    Audio/Visual Preferences- [Ctrl][I]
    Map Display Preferences- [Ctrl][M]
    Save Game- [Ctrl][S]
    Load Game- [Ctrl][L]
    Resign- [Ctrl][Q]
    Start New Game- [Ctrl][Shift][Q]
    Quit- [Q]
    Speed Up Game during AI turn- Hold [Shift]
    Chat- [Ctrl][C]
    Voice Transmission- Hold [\]
    Pause- [Backspace]
    Alter Time Controls- [Shift][T]
    Zoom to Base Messages- [*]
    Use Time Bonus- [Ctrl][Spacebar]
    End Turn- [Ctrl][Enter]
    Resume Turn- [Ctrl][Enter]
    Social Engineering- [E]
    Set Research Priorities (with Blind Research)- [Shift][R]
    Change Research Goal- [Shift][R]
    Design Workshop- [U]
    Datalinks- [F1]
    Laboratories Status- [F2]
    Energy Banks- [F3]
    Base Operations Status- [F4]
    Secret Project Data- [F5]
    Orbital and Space Status- [F6]
    Military Command Nexus- [F7]
    Alpha Centauri Score- [F8]
    View Monuments- [F9]
    View Hall of Fame- [F10]
    Communications and Protocol- [F12]
    Corner Global Energy Market- [,]
    Review Scenario Objectives- [=]
                                   Unit Design Info.
    Domain: Land
    Speed: 8km\hr
    Modality: Manual\Tracked
    Dimensions: N\A
    Modifiers: +25% vs. base
    Domain:  Land
    Speed: 102km\hr
    Modality: Wheeled
    Dimensions: 7.7x3.6x2.9m
    Modifiers: +25% in open
    Domain: Land
    Speed: 227 km\hr
    Modality: Aircushion
    Dimensions: 6.9x3x3m
    Modifiers: +25% in open
    Domain: Sea
    Speed: 62 km\hr
    Modality: Airfoil
    Dimensions: 162x24.25x17.5m
    Modifiers: None
    Domain: Sea
    Speed: 115 km\hr
    Modality: Naval Keel
    Dimensions: 200x50.5x20m
    Modifiers: None
    Domain: Air
    Speed: 766 km\hr
    Modality: Fixed-wing aircraft
    Dimensions: 18.6x12.5x4.4m
    Modifiers: Require refuel every 2 turns
    Domain: Air
    Speed: 523 km\hr
    Modality: Rotary
    Dimensions: 15.5x6x4m
    Modifiers: Range unaffected by fuel
    Domain: Air
    Speed: 1021 km\hr
    Modality: Gravitron booster
    Dimensions: 22x8x6m
    Modifiers: Range unaffected by fuel
    Domain: Air
    Speed: 232.5 km\hr
    Modality: Assisted airflow
    Dimensions: 15.5x.5x.5m
    Modifiers: Destroyed on impact
    Rating: 32655 kw
    Throughput: 29377 kw
    Efficiency: 89.99%
    Discharge: 52 r
    Fuel source: U-235
    Rating: 68003 kw
    Throughput: 62821 kw
    Efficiency: 92.38%
    Discharge: 67 r
    Fuel source: Ionized deuterium
    Rating: 147893 kw
    Throughput: 141977 kw
    Efficiency: 96.01%
    Discharge: 21 r
    Fuel source: Deuterium-tritium mix
    Rating: >4000000 kw
    Throughput: Var
    Efficiency: Var
    Discharge: N\A
    Fuel source: Vizorium-5
    Ammo: 7.62mm UN standard
    Muzzle velocity: 1100 mps
    Rate of fire: Var; max 120\min
    Max range: 550 m
    Target acquistion: Visual
    Active medium: Diode
    Type: Fiber-coupled
    Pulse duration: 5 nsec
    Wavelength: 193 nm
    Peak power: .84 gw
    Burn rate (1m steel): .76 sec
    Ammo: 10mm caseless Kinetic Energy
    Muzzle velocity: 2500 mps
    Rate of fire: 1100\min
    Max range: 2700 m
    Target acquistion: Optical
    Ammo: Mk. 12(t) 'Sabre' missile
    Velocity: Mach 2.2
    Rate of fire: 6\min
    Max range: 90 km
    Target acquistion: IR signature
    Active medium: Neodymium-glass
    Type: Conductively cooled stacked array
    Pulse duration: 2 nsec
    Wavelength: 107 nm
    Peak power: .96 gw
    Burn rate (1m steel): .52 sec
    Ammo: 9mm caseless Field Disruptor
    Muzzle velocity: 3000 mps
    Rate of fire: 10\min
    Max range: 11 km
    Target acquistion: Field Differential
    Active medium: Neodymium-YAG
    Type: Actively cooled stacked array
    Pulse duration: 15 nsec
    Wavelength: 573 nm
    Peak power: 2.4 gw
    Burn rate (1m steel): .14 sec
    Active medium: Molecular hydrogen
    Type: Active liquid coolant
    Pulse duration: 1 usec
    Wavelength: 680 nm
    Peak power: 5 gw
    Burn rate (1m steel): .07 sec
    Ammo: 15 mm Mass-energy shell
    Muzzle velocity: Var; max 4000 mps
    Rate of fire: 160\min
    Max range: 16 km
    Target acquistion: Charged particle
    Active medium: Temporal field distortion
    Type: Crystal diffusion
    Pulse duration: N\A
    Wavelength: .005 nm
    Peak power: Var.
    Burn rate (1m steel): N\A
    Ammo: 2mm 3-stage particle-accelerated
    Muzzle velocity: 9800 mps
    Rate of fire: 2000\min
    Max range: 1.4 km
    Target acquistion: Nanoremote
    Active medium: Temporal boundary
    Type: Singularity induction
    Pulse duration: Relative
    Wavelength: .001 nm
    Peak power: N\A (approach inf.)
    Burn rate (1m steel): Relative
    Active medium: Patterened energy
    Type: Compelled dissociative
    Range: Line of sight
    Peak power: Inverse to distance
    Target acquisition: Psi lock
    Designation: Mk. 714 Plasma bomb
    Active kill radius: 2000 km
    Explosve force: 296 gt TNT
    Target acquistion: Charged particle
    Complement: 1000+
    Composition: Prefab plastic
    Hydroponics rating: indef.
    Armament: Sidearms only
    Armor: Passive (Applique)
    Crew: 367
    Composition: Bonded steel\ceramic
    Armament: Sidearms only
    Armor: Passive (Applique)
    Capacity: 500 troops + support
    Composition: Hardened plasteel
    Hydroponics rating: ST
    Armor: Passive (Applique)
    Capacity: 2575 mt
    Composition: reinforced plasteel
    Armament: Sidearms only
    Armor: Passive (Applique)
    Complement: 16
    Counterintel suite: ShieldSafe V 6.0
    Armament: Cyberlinks\mind control
    Armor: Passive (Applique)
    Type: N\A
    Tensile strength: N\A
    Density: N\A
    Thickness: N\A
    Type: Chobham (modified)
    Tensile strength: Base
    Density: 2.3 kg\l
    Thickness: 250mm
    Type: Mass-energy composite
    Tensile strength: 5X base
    Density: 2.5 kg\l
    Thickness: 520mm
    Type: Bonded
    Tensile strength: 23X base
    Density: 2.5 kg\l
    Thickness: 520mm
    Type: Refractive field
    Tensile strength: 46X base
    Density: N\A
    Thickness: 2m
    Type: Phase adjustment
    Tensile strength: 97X base
    Density: N\A
    Thickness: N\A
    Type: Kinetic diffusion
    Tensile strength: 198X base
    Density: 4kg\l
    Thickness: 755mm
    Type: Reactive
    Tensile strength: 560X base
    Density  -4 kg\l
    Thickness: Var.
    Type: Temporal field distortion
    Tensile strength: N\A
    Density: N\A
    Thickness: N\A
    Type: Pattern refraction
    Resistance: Proportional to distance
    Density: N\A
    Thickness: N\A
    Desc.: SmartSettler V2.0 s\w upgrade
    Effect: Terraform rate doubled
    Limits: Terraformer unit only
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Mk. 45 Sensor array upgrade
    Effect: Sees 2 spaces
    Limits: None
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Type IV Refraction\diffusion shield
    Effect: Invisible; Ignores ZOCs
    Limits: Not for use in Probe Teams
    Domain: Land
    Desc.: Hoverpod LCs
    Effect: Attacks from ships
    Limits: Combat units only
    Domain: Land
    Desc.: Aircushion LCs
    Effect: Can make airdrops
    Limits: None
    Domain: Land
    Desc.: Mk. 66 fire control sensor
    Effect: Attacks air units
    Limits: Combat units only
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Reinforced Silksteel chassis
    Effect: Operates underwater
    Limits: Combat units only
    Domain: Sea
    Desc.: Bonded alloy flight deck
    Effect: Mobile Airbase
    Limits: Not for use in Probe Teams
    Domain: Sea
    Desc.: Mk. 190 FUBR fire control system
    Effect: x2 vs. air attacks
    Limits: Not for use with Psi or air units
    Domain: Land, Sea
    Desc.: Type IX ECTS EMP pulse generator
    Effect: +50% vs. fast units
    Limits: Combat, non-Psi units only
    Domain: Land
    Desc.: Gravitron repulsor pylons
    Effect: +1 movement rate
    Limits: None
    Domain: Land
    Desc.: Psi lock s\w upgrade
    Effect: +50% attack vs. Psi
    Limits: Non-psi combat units only
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Boron defoilant system
    Effect: Clear fungus at double speed
    Limits: Terraformer units only
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Advanced Warfare Training
    Effect: Gains morale upgrade
    Limits: Combat units only
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Reactor chamber upgrade
    Effect: Bombards; -50% armor & move
    Limits: Non-psi units only
    Domain: Land
    Desc.: Reactor emission containment system
    Effect: Requires no support
    Limits: None
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Temporal distortion field
    Effect: Bypass base defenses
    Limits: Combat units only
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Psychic amplification module
    Effect: +50% defense vs. PSI
    Limits: Non-psi combat units only
    Domain: All
    Desc.: Mk. 1 VX delivery system
    Effect: Can +50% offense (Atrocity)
    Limits: Non-psi combat units only
    Domain: Land, air
    Desc.: Modified Supply Transport module
    Effect: Repairs ground units on board
    Limits: Transport units only
    Domain: Air, sea
    Desc.: Stunjack cannon & training for police
    Effect: x2 Police powers
    Limits: Combat units only
    Domain: Land
                                      General Tips
    If you've got a tip of strategy, email me at red_phoenix_1@hotmail.com.
    The Early Game
    In the early game, don't waste industry on well-armed or armored military 
    units; instead, keep about 100 energy credits on hand and garrison cities with 
    cheap Rovers (hand weapons / no armor) or Scouts (before Doctrine: Mobility). 
    Since worms are almost always your only concern for the first 40 turns or so, 
    more-expensive units are useless anyway.
    When suddenly faced with a conventional force, you can upgrade 1 unit at the 
    cost of its turn, or upgrade them all in the Workshop and they all still get to
    take their turns.
    The risk is in prototyping -- if you haven't prototyped, say, Impact weapons, 
    and a conventional force suddenly lands next to your capital, you won't have 
    time to build the prototype and upgrade. When and how often to prototype is your
    job to figure out.
    By G. Derrick Jones
    Air Defense
    There is a slight problem with using Needlejets as interceptors -they can then 
    get shot down too. Besides they can only take down one enemy each turn and they
    are expensive. The best and cheapest method to defend your skies is to create 
    rovers with a decent weapon (tachyon, chaos, even missiles - doesn't have to be
    the best), air superiority and no armour. By the time the air war heats up all 
    of your cities should be connected with mag-tubes. Leaving a couple of anti-air 
    rovers in your bases will not only keep them safe and hidden but enable them to
    zip out and defend any of your cities that gets attacked. When an anemy flies 
    in, race out, shoot it down and nip back to safety in a far away city. If you 
    have an elite then you can take down two in one go. The enemy will have a hard 
    time getting rid of your little menaces. Needlejets are expensive and rovers 
    are cheap. Although his (no offense to any girl players) bombers may do some 
    damage, in the long run he will realise that it's a far to costly way to wage 
    war and divert to some other strategy. Cruisers can be used at sea if necessary.
    And I am by no means saying don't build interceptors at all, they can still be 
    useful. If you can use a rover then do so first.
    By Caleb
    War: Mobility
    Mobility is a key when launching an attack. To have some strong mobile units, 
    stick a big gun, medium armor, drop pods and a blink displacer on a hovertank. 
    With the space elevator, they are almost unbeatable. Land on sensor arrays and 
    instead of moving, destroy it. Land all the others on forests or rocky squares,
    which grant a +50% defense bonus. Whe you attack next turn, the only bonuses the
    defenders can get are from tachyon fields, which the computer rarely builds.
    By Grigger
    Secret Projects and Science
    To gain huge lab outputs from a base, make sure you build the Merchant Exchange,
    Supercollider, Theory of Everything and the Network Backbone. Try and place 
    this city near the Pholus Ridge or Uranium Flats, even the Geothermal Shallows 
    and make it your capital to get rid of inefficiency. Surround it with Forests 
    if you have a hybrid forest there and are on low terrain, or solar collectors. 
    Gain additional energy from supply crawlers. Give it an Aerospace Complex to get
    maximum energy from orbital power transmitters. Make sure that you are stocked 
    up on the lab enhancing improvements and build network nodes in all your other 
    cities to help the network backbone. This super science city should be able to 
    get a tech every other turn by itself if done properly.
    By Grigger
    This and That
    * Manipulate build queue -- often the game won't allow to build something until 
    another structure has been built. For example the pleasure dome can't be built 
    until you have the recreation commons. However, you can put the recreation 
    commons in the build queue, add the pleasure dome after it, and then delete the 
    recreation commons from the build queue. Then the pleasure dome can be built 
    first (yeah I know, limited usefulness).
    * Free support off pact brother -- build up a little base in a corner near your
    own bases, and give the little base to a pact brother, then send all of your 
    own units there, open the city screen and change the unit's ownership. Nobody 
    ends up supporting the unit. Not only that, but those units can now be freely 
    sent out of the city for battle duty, and they won't create unhappiness since
    they don't belong to any of your cities.
    * Free support + Ascend to transcendence -- build and save up heaps of military 
    units, sending them to a pact brother city to get the free support as necessary.
    When the transcendence project becomes available, you can scrap your units in 
    the base that's building the secret project, meaning that you effectively 
    started to build the project as soon as you started building up the units.
    * Catching up in the race to transcend - if you're falling behind in industrial 
    capability compared to a competitor building the transcendence secret project, 
    it is better to catch up by building units and sending them to be scrapped, 
    rather than stockpiling energy and then buying partial production. When you 
    build and scrap, the industry input from other bases is basically halved (as 
    well as a bit of wastage depending on the build schedule). However when you 
    stockpile energy, you lose 3 quarters of it when you try to rush the secret 
    project because it costs 4 credits to buy each unit f a secret project. 
    Therefore it is twice as economical to build and scrap than it is to stockpile 
    and buy. (Q: when you stockpile you get 1 production = 1 energy don't you? If it
    was 2 production = 1 energy then you'd lose 7 eighths of the input rather than 3
    * Plasma Hoverboats (2-3-4) rule the water world -- On a world which is 
    predominantly water, the plasma hoverboat rule because they are so cheap (same 
    low price as a plasma sentinel) yet can bombard the enemy's terrain improvements
    every bit as well as a stronger ship. They are also great naval city defenders.
    * Inland sea - the best bases are usually ones next to water because of the 
    excellent food and energy income from water tiles, while forests and occasional 
    boreholes on just a couple of land tiles will make up for production. The only 
    problem with this is that coastal cities can be attacked by enemy ships. So what
    do you do? build on an inland sea. None nearby? Then create one. Get a mid sized
    island, populate it, then get a bunch of formers and proceed to build a thin 
    "ring" of land just a couple of tiles off the coast of the entire island. If the
    enemy tries to take a foothold on the outer land ring, you can send your entire 
    navy from your core bases to wipe them out without worrying about being attacked
    from a different direction. I doubt the AI will ever figure out it needs to 
    lower the land to turn your land ring into sea (but in that case you can just 
    build it right back, or go out there and destroy their sea formers enmass). Most
    likely the AI will just build a small land bridge towards one part of your 
    protective ring, which means you have them controlled at a chokepoint. If you
    build air defense units all around the protective ring you might even stop the 
    enemy being able to scout you, so they'd not be able to find out what you have 
    in the "core".
    By Marty Party
    War, Aliens, and Terraforming
    First thing you do before even making the game is crank the alien abundancy to 
    abundant. This gives you more mind worms to try and control, if you fail to 
    control them it will give more energy or increase the morale of your mind worms.
    This will also give you a bonus to your Alpha Centauri score. Another side 
    effect to this is the act the aliens slow down and harrass the other 
    To keep your planet ecology in balance terraform the surrounding terrain into 
    forests. Build Tree Farms and Hybird Forests as soon as posible if you do 
    otherwise you might get your population stagnated. Once those improvements are 
    built the bonuses will raise the nutrients and population fairly fast. Once the 
    fungus starts growing and tearing up the forest let it, go build improvements on
    the fungus if able to.
    All the forests do two thing. It keeps your ecology in balance better and 
    sometimes the aliens leave you alone. The second thing is it makes it harder for
    enemy units to get to your cities because most units can only move through one 
    square of forest. To make the second part work you only want to make roads or 
    mag tubes in a straight line to your other cities. The amount of roads and mag 
    tubes you have affects your cities ecology rating.
    Also forget technology units until you are forced to use them. If you build the 
    biology labs and secret projects that increase life cycles or morale this will 
    allow you to pick the governments styles that have a morale penalty. Or if you 
    want pick all the government styles that give a morale bonus.
    By Elvis Fett
    Diplomacy and War
    When you have a chance to force your opponent to surrender, do so. For example, 
    if you're playing the Spartans, forcing the University faction to surrender and
    allowing them to expand and do their research will free up your own resources. 
    You can then churn out a large invasion force and choose social patterns suited 
    for invasion and still keep up with the technology race by bullying the 
    surrendered University faction into giving you all their research knowledge.
    Surrendered factions and their benefits:
    1) Hive - Keep them in check
    2) Believers - Warmongers, use them against all your enemies
    3) University - Knowledge, pure knowledge
    4) Morganites - Cold hard cash
    5) Gaians - Will provide you with necessary means to rear "pets" for invasion
    6) Spartans - Use their large invasion force against your toughest foes
    7) U.N. - Their votes count double. Useful when you need the extra votes in a 
    Besides the above benefits, surrendered factions cannot take offence when you
    choose social patterns that contradict their own beliefs. For example, if the 
    Hive have surrendered to you, you do not have to worry about them complaining 
    when you choose a Fundamental or a Democratic political structure.
    Surrendered factions will, however, still declare vendetta on you if you commit 
    a major atrocity like using the Planet Buster.
    Remember that you want to keep the factions alive. If they grow too big and 
    powerful, either force them to fight against other factions or deceitfully set 
    your pact brothers/sisters against each other.
    Surrendered factions count as a conquered factions towards a conquest victory.
    By Theophilus
    Combined Arms
    I usually play an Ascendence game, building as many bases as possible, getting 
    as many techs and SP's as possible, and maintaining Pacts and Treaties with most
    of the other factions. I keep my reputation clean (Noble or Faithful) to keep 
    from being back-stabbed by an ally. I usually wage a war of conquest in mid-game
    (Tachyon or Shard weapons) to take over a neighbor and keep expanding. And then 
    I sit back.
    Once I have Graviton or Singularity weapons, I clean up and take over all but 
    one other faction. And the key to doing this is COMBINED ARMS. I use Hovertanks 
    with Grav pods (5 moves when Elite), Drop Squads with lots of armor, and 
    souped-up Copters.
    Because Copters can attack once for each movement point, they can really do a 
    lot of damage. Each Copter can take out all of a base's defenders, no problem. 
    Once the Copters have done their work, send in Hovertanks or Drop Squads to 
    secure the bases, and then land the Copters in your newly-acquired bases to 
    refuel. And repeat.
    By using combined arms like this, you can sweep through your opponents quickly
    and efficiently. They won't have much time to either mount a counter-offensive 
    or adapt to your troops.
    And once you control 95% of Planet, you can really crank that score up.
    Once I have the "Non-Lethal Methods" unit ability (x2 Police), I always design 
    a "Police Sentinel" unit. You can keep a few of these ready for drone hotspots, 
    as needed. Also, you can upgrade old garrison units to the Police version at 
    any time.
    Keep in mind that Transcendent techs are worth MUCH more than regular techs when
    it comes to your final score. Even though you get a bonus for winning the game 
    earlier, I think it's much better to take your time.
    By the end of the game, I usually have 100+ bases, with an average size of at 
    least 20. Once you have the Cloning Vats, the Space Elevator, and plenty of Sky
    Hydroponics Labs, your population will skyrocket. High population equates to 
    high Econ and high Lab output, so you'll have plenty of credits and plenty of 
    techs rolling in.
    While you "lose" 2 points for every extra turn, you more than make up for it 
    with more citizens and more transcendent tech.
    Copter Assault
    I've been refining my COMBINED ARMS strategy, with devastating results. When 
    it's time to kick butt, I build a couple of Copters with the biggest guns 
    available, and a bunch of hovertanks with the best armor available. The Copter 
    is now officially my favorite unit. After they wipe out the opposition, I send 
    in the hovertanks for defense.
    Never overlook the benefits of carriers. With a cruiser chassis and good power
    plant, they can carry 12 units. Equip the carrier deck on a transport, add in 
    some armor for safety, and load it up with 12 Copters. Sail the carrier right 
    next to an enemy city, and you have the potential for 144 separate attacks (12 
    Copters x 12 moves each, assuming fusion reactor). As the reactor improves in 
    the Copter, so does its lethality--more attacks per turn. Airdrop in some 
    defenders and reap the rewards.
    By Matt
    Use of Formers and Supply Crawlers for Defense
    In the event that you have opponents attacking you with needle jets, try this 
    strategy: create formers or supply crawlers with armor either medium strength 
    or strongest armor type you can produce and position them along your borders 
    where they will most likely be attacked. The AI will most likely, and many human
    players will, attack the crawlers or formers. The Former often times will 
    survive and the opposing needlejet will be destroyed. However, if you lose the 
    former or crawler, well too bad, but you damage the needlejet some, and will 
    make it easy to counter attack with a cheaply produced SAM unit. I suggest you 
    make the cheapest units possible that have 2 moves and position them 
    strategically for a counter attack. Do not bother to make SAM units with the 
    highest attack values. An attack value of say 2, 3 or 4 is sufficient and very 
    inexpensive toward the middle-end game because most of the attacking needlejets 
    will have no armor at all. One other note: If you use the design workshop screen
    I often find that you can choose a medium attack weapon and it will cost the 
    same as a weapon of the least strength. Finally don't forget that you can use 
    the former or supply crawler as a defender in a base under attack. When opposing
    troops march toward your cities, reign in your armored units as extra defenders.
    By John Doe
    New Colonies, New Methods!
    I have found two units to be extremely usefully in expansion of terriotory:
    Drop Colony Pod: This is your basic colony pod with drop jets(See the uses) It
    really comes in handy if you get The Space Elevator Secret Project which allows 
    for dropping units to any point on the map.
    Hover Terraformer: This is a combe of the terraform tool and the hover chassi 
    (not the hover tank, though it might work havent tried it).. then the usaul 
    terraform special abilities(double removal and terraform rates) and you highest 
    engine and sheilding if you want. How is this useful, you ask. With those flying
    colony pods these can get to them fast, do to there ~16 square movement 
    regardless of terran, and help the colony get going.
    By Anex
    Sleeping Demons
    This is my favorite strategy. It is a conquering strategy based around building
    up your defenses quickly (armor, perimeter defenses, etc,) and "sleeping" 
    behind them. Then once your defenses are build up enough, (usually after 
    Probability Mechanics, with level 6 armor and Tachyon Fields,) release an army 
    of high-powered minions. Yang is best for this strategy by far. Morgan works 
    well also. Miriam works well, but I hate wasting her faction's attack bonus. 
    Santiago and Zakharov are fair at best, while Dierdre and Lal stink at this 
    You'll want to avoid combat at first. Research Industrial Base, then go for High
    Energy Chemistry. Go for Doctrine: Loyalty next, followed by Intellectual 
    Integrity, (for the Citizens' Defense Force.) Even if you are playing Yang, 
    you'll need these later, so it's your choice whether to go for them or wait till
    Now for the big armor. Go for Silksteel , Photon/Wave Mechanics, and Probability
    Mechanics. Build a Tachyon Field, then start researching weaponry and attacking 
    people, and winning.
    Since you aren't going to be researching things like Centauri Ecology and
    Biogenetics, it's manditory that you trade for these, just be careful what you 
    By K. Sharp
    Cuban Missile Crisis
    Make planet busters and quickly hand them over to your allies who are in war 
    with other factions. They'll use them and your reputation will not suffer!
    By TOO
    Skiguy500's Favorite Units
    Empath Plasma Sentinels: 1e-3t-1
    good at getting rid of those pesky mindworms and can take almost any other 
    attack on (can be a scout rover)
    Trance Plasma Sentinels: 1p-3t-1
    can take on those mindworms and can take on the drones (Trance,Police)
    AAA Recon Rover: 2aaa-1-2
    being cheap to build makes it easy to "Mass-Produce" these Needlejet defenders
    Police Recon Rover: 2p-1-2
    easy to make, it's a police car!
    Secure Recon Rover: 2-1-2
    one of the best rovers or weapons that are cheap to make and can take out Miriam
    and her probe teams
    Tachyon Tank: 12-8-3
    Any one of these can take out anything that gets in it's way. these are on my 
    front lines against Yang or the Spartans. They may be a little expensive but if 
    you can get these things out there and Elite, then you can seriously pound their
    teeth in.
    Destroyer Transport: 1-5-6 Carrier/Repair
    These thing you can send out to become moble air bases.(you can take out the 
    repair bay and put in a clean reactor if you want a good air transport that can 
    support itself, works best with singularity engine)
    Navy Seals: 10-6-1 Amphibious
    Can go from water base tio land with out need of transport, that is if it is a 
    coastal base, and can take on allot of pressure from most of the other weapons
    Mindworms: these babies can take out a whole base and then take out a whole 
    another. Works best as locusts of chiron
    Singularity Copter: 24-3-8
    These things are great for base hopping. they can attack using their singularity
    lasers as much as 16 times per turn (Think 2x16=32, 32 attacks per turn, with 
    singularity lasers!)
    Drop Supply: 1-1-1 Supply/Drop
    These things are cheap to bulid and can reach far off islands that are rich in 
    resources and dont need support.
    Drop Colony Pod: 1-1-1 CPod/Drop
    This can reach those islands intent for those explorers tring to get key areas 
    for airbases and naval bases
    Gravship Formers: 1-2-8 Super/Fungicidal
    These are the best formers that you can make, the can terraform both sea and 
    land and have no range that is affected by fuel
    These are some units that I found either good or extraordinary none the less. 
    My basic Unit for garrison is a Police Probability garrison. (1p-6t-1) they can 
    take out any attack. i also build the special garrison with AAA or SAM or 
    Secure, what ever is needed. I know that I couldn't get them all in but I will 
    try to find more as I go so tell me if you find any good garrison units or any 
    others and I will relay them to others so that they can get the picture. These 
    uints are things that I tried to make different so that they would be used by 
    many people. Feel free to try different types of weapons on each thing.(I know 
    that the recon rover is so 2200s but they are really cheap, and I kinda like the
    name.)I will try to keep all the people who actually read this and think I am 
    weird know that i am only trying to help their game out.
    By Skiguy500
    Hiding fungus is the best way to win a war. If you find yourself struggling to 
    survive constant attacks on your terratory hide your best and brightest 
    infantry in the fungus. Your opponent will go straight for your outlying bases 
    'cos tey won't see you, and they'll avoid the fungus to reach your bases 
    quicker, so your zone of control won't give the game away. When they've gone
    past come up behind and whoop their asses. However, make sure your infantry are 
    elite, because those two squares in one turn will be a real boost. Also if 
    you're the defender they'll need to be good to defeat the opponents. The 
    xenoempathy dome is also quite essential, since you'll want to reach your enemy 
    quick before they get to your base.
    The xenoempathy dome is also essential for quick sneak attacks on your enemy. 
    They won't see your troops who are stealthily racing towards their vulnerable 
    bases. This tactic is invaluable for eliminating sensor arrays and capturing 
    strongpoints like barracks. The final winning strategy runs like this:
    - get the xenoempathy dome (very important)
    - Send one or two fast elite infantry units through the fungus between you and 
      your target base
    - before they exit the fungus start bringing up the rest of your invasion force
    - while the bulk of your army is on its way get your fast elite infantry to 
    reach that damned sensor and destroy it.
    - Quickly get to that nearby bunker. If there isn't one (there usually is 
    though) return to the fungus
    - The rest of your forces should be leaving the fungus now. Here comes the easy
    bit- simply push all your forces forward to the base. Without the sensor the 
    defenders will be easy prey to those elite infantry, and should they succumb 
    you've got plenty more in reserve. The shear speed at which your army appears 
    infront of the enemy base will mean that reinforcements will not arrive in time 
    for you to have conquered the base.
    This tactic will defeat even the strongest bases. Thank you Sun Tzu.
    If you keep finding your units are not strong enough, even with superior 
    weaponry then try this: be the spartans (+2 morale), build the command nexus 
    project (+1) and the cyborg factory project (+1). Now go to the social 
    engineering screen and use Fundamentalism with Knowledge. The two will cancel 
    out but leave you +1 morale. Thats five morale-boosters!Now you will often find
    yourself producing commando or elite units straight off. With this you can 
    produce a small yet cheap and well-trained army. A bit like the british army of
    the 19th century that conquered a good third of the world then...
    By Bobsy
    Now I'm a Believer!
    I used a strategy for AC awhile back that I thought was good. I couldn't beat 
    the Believers with the limited units I had, so I terraformed a bunch of channels
    through their territory. It took awhile, but I was able to divide their forces 
    and win. The computer is not very good at moving units across water to reinforce
    other areas (atleast it didn't seem to do that with me). So, you only have to 
    deal with half of an empire instead of all of it.
    Also, if you sink their bases, you can use boats to conquer a city.
    By Chad R. Collins
    Always maintain a standing army...not necessarily a big one, just enough for 
    Don't automate every terraformer. Have at least one off auto at each base, and 
    then two on auto. Auto formers don't always do what's needed.
    Extreme terraforming (raising and lowering terrain) can be VERY profitable. 
    Rather than putting pods on a transport, build the Weather Paradigm and raise a 
    bridge to the new continent. If you're extremely strong, you can influence the 
    importance of naval power by restricting boat range with artificial ithmuses. 
    When a single continent stretches around the globe, it cuts the oceans into two 
    parts, which can be good if you want isolation.
    Don't build your cities too far apart; let them overlap a little. I know it 
    looks ugly on the city layout, but you can deal with it. You don't need to make 
    size 63 cities everywhere- they just take too long to get to that size even with
    the Cloning Vats. City population is counted different in SMAC than in CivII, 
    where you wanted the city to be as big as possible. In SMAC, each number is
    10,000 people and only goes up by 10,000 when population is added. The same 
    land area will still support the same number of people. Rather than 12 size 31 
    cities than six size 62 cities in the same area. This is especially important 
    in the very beginning of the game, more cities means more military units 
    produced per turn. You're going to need the extra military to battle for a big 
    enough chunk of land to grow on to make it into the middle and end game.
    So far I finished with four factions at Transcend level: Gaians, The Hive, 
    Morgans, and the UoP.
    The strategy for each faction is quite straight forward.
    For Gaians, I used Police State/Green/Knowledge combo and built tons of 
    mindworms. Starting in 2230, I pounded everyone into submission by 2303. Now I 
    can persue any of the victory conditions.
    As The Hive, I just built base facilities and units en masse. By 2257, all major
    oppositions are defeated, leaving the tedious task of mopping up.
    Morgan is probably the easiest faction to play. Switch to Police/Free 
    Market/Wealth early and you can conquer the world with probe teams. However, 
    you need conventional units to overwhelm the Gaians because of their high 
    efficiency rating and mindworms.
    If you play UoP, use the Police State/Free Market/Knowledge combo to 
    outresearch everyone else. Then build up your military as soon as you 
    discovered Air Power. You can achieve a quick conquest. Don't forget to build 
    Hunter-Seeker Algorithm to protect you from probing.
    If you find someone blocking your expansion, destroy them as quickly as you can.
    But, don't eradicate them too soon, because they will get a chance to start 
    somewhere else, and this is a long game.
    Infiltrate the datalinks of all factions. This will give you the individual base
    Always attack enemy bases with the most mobile offensive units (copters,
    needlejets, rovers...), this will take away the enemy's offensive capabilities, 
    giving you time to recover your worn-out units and to build defenses.
    If you mount an attack against a more powerful enemy, raid them first. That 
    means you will conduct wars on enemy teritory, wreck their infrastructure, 
    pillaging energy reserves, and take away Secret Projects.
    Don't always go for conquest victories. A good way to achieve victory is to go 
    for a diplomatic victory. The key to this is eradicating factions that you know
    won't vote. This includes: Believers, Hive, and maybe Peacekeepers (unless you 
    have the Empath Guild Secret Project, which is strongly recommended for this 
    type of victory). The best race to be is the University, because you will 
    become the personal techno slave of every faction. Research as fast as you can. 
    Colonize quickly. Eradicate the enemy factions when they only have a few cities 
    (allowing Mirian to grow is NOT an option). Give everyone tech gifts to keep 
    them placated (especially the Spartans; renew your pact with them every 25 
    years with a "give all tech" gift. When you've been assured that 3/4 of the 
    vote are for Supreme Leader, chance it.
    Never underestimate the power of conventional missiles. A few may not seem to 
    do much and may not even seem to be worth while building. I never thought they 
    were. So, I tried lots of missiles just to be different. Man, was that nasty! 
    Send 20-30 missiles at a time at an enemy, and it's amazing how fast the mighty 
    can fall. Once the defenders are gone, just walk right in and take control of 
    their city. No more slugging it out for years to take over a single base. For 
    sea bases, kill the defenders with missiles and just fly in a graveship- easier 
    than pie. I did this to Yang in my present game, and took out 95 of his military
    in one turn, (he still had a dozen and a half sea bases left scattered across 
    Planet). Half of his cities are in revolt (big cities w/ no police)- so he can't
    create new units there until he stops the revolts, and the other half are too 
    small to build a unit any time soon- by the time those cities do, I'll have 
    another 20-30 cigars to jam down Yang's throat, and graveships knocking on the
    door. Actually, it seems a little unfair that there is nothing he can do about 
    it anymore, so much for fighting fair.
    Starting- if you find the Monsoon Jungle while exploring, focus your
    colonization efforts there. Your bases can grow really fast and then you get 
    techs faster.
    The Borehold Cluster is good to grab if you can find it. It is a good area to 
    build Special Projects.
    I don't like to build many sea bases. They take more resources to build and are
    harder to get units in and out (unless you are only using drop pods).
    Unit design- make sure to design your own AAA garrison unit. The default choices
    don't include a cheap AAA unit.
    Another good unit to design is a probe team with drop pods, especially if you
    build the Space Elevator. It's great to drop in and disrupt/subvert a few key 
    bases (like those with Secret Projects you want to capture).
    Land vs Sea- I find it easier to terraform a land bridge to a new continent 
    than to build a fleet, if you keep up with your mag tube building you can 
    redeploy your whole force in one turn.
    All Secret Projects are good, but I think that Weather Paradigm is the one you 
    want to build first if you have a choice (try to build four first base next to 
    a mineral resource and use it to build your first Secret Project).
    Tactics- use fungus to approach enemy bases if you are springing a surprise 
    attack. Destroy sensory arrays with air units in advance of assaulting nearby 
    bases (defenders get 25 from nearby sensors). Use the "V" command to switch to 
    view mode and see if a unit in the open is ECM or AAA before deciding which 
    units to attack first. Capture as many bases in one puch as possible (3-5) and 
    then go for blood truce if you find yourself over-extended by the assault. If 
    not, keep attacking in following turns.
    In a word: Infrastructure.
    This comes in two flavors: Infrastructure external to your base, in the form of 
    a road network (and later Mag Tubes) that makes sense and facilitates troop 
    movement within your borders, and terrain enhancements which increase the
    productivity of each square your people are working.
    In the case of terrain enhancements, the goal is to figure out what type of 
    improvement will net you the greatest benefit, given your current level of
    technology, and let that determine how the squre is developed. I agree with the 
    "Forests Everywhere" approach, but not for the early game. You simply don't have
    the technology or access to the base facilities to make full use of the forests,
    so there are often better choices available, but (and this will keep your 
    formers busy), as new techs/facilities become available, you should begin to 
    replace your other enhancements with forests.
    Enhancements internal to your bases are, well....facilities. Some of the most 
    important basic facilities are those with no upkeep costs, such as the Recycling
    Tanks and Permieter Defenses, and these should be built at every base you have 
    (but most people don't have to be convinced of that). After that, you should not
    just blindly build a facility because it is available, rather, you should look 
    not at individual bases, but at the empire as a whole, and devise a system of 
    specialization for certain regions (groups of bases) within your territory.
    An Empire with a solid, stable infrastructure can carry on a successful war 
    effort for a far longer time, and with far fewer adverse effects than an empire 
    which has let the development of its infrastructure lag, plus, your 
    well-developed territory is quite easy to defend.
    Added to that, would be simply to Know Your Faction!! That seems obvious, but 
    it's amazing to me to watch people's play styles develop, and discover that 
    they're attempting to force a faction to do something they're just not natively 
    very good at. Not that it's impossible to do (I've played The Bel ievers on 
    "Thinker" level, and was getting Techs every four turns (have yet to try that 
    on Transcend)....but....the effort involved in getting to that point was 
    obscene. Play to your faction's natural strengths and devise your strategy 
    around minimizing the impact of your negatives and you will almost always do 
    Where units are concerned, if you're serious about winning the game, take the 
    time to look at unit construction. Yes, you can roll over your enemy with a
    horde of Shard Rovers or what-have-you, but a well-prepared enemy will eat you 
    alive if you try something so basic as that. Design and build a variety of units
    with overlapping functions and use them to create a force which can deal with 
    any threat it encounters in a variety of ways. Then, if your opponent throws you
    a curve, chances are good you'll be able to cope with it.
    Finally: Always remember that it is your right and duty to blatantly ignore or 
    ruthlessly violate any principle or strategy you read here or anyplace else, 
    and take all accumulated wisdom with a grain of salt....in the end, the only 
    real test is battle, and the only trials that produce a lasting impression are
    those by fire....
    As always, the key to winning the game is early expansion. Use early transports 
    to move your colony pods. If you find a unity transport, immediately upgrade 
    it(you'll get 1 move & 1 cargo capacity at least). If you have mindworms, use 
    them to escort your colony pod & former thru the fungus to their destination
    (wild worms won't attack your worms), and to escort artifacts back to your 
    cities. Build toward your enemies to cut off their expansion. If you find the 
    monsoon jungle, colonize it ASAP! Forest everything even if you don't have tree 
    farms, you'll still get 1 food from the squares. Forest squares with nutrient 
    bonuses from the beginning. When you do get tree farms, forest everything in 
    those cities(with the possible exceptions of rolling/rainy & rocky minerals).
    Later (as mentioned by Imran) use air units as colony pods. Heliocopter pods 
    have an even farther range than fighters.
    When building a city, 1st put down a sensor array on the spot you will settle.
    This will give you a +25% bonus to defense that cannot be destroyed unless the 
    city is. Aerospace complexes add 100% defense vs. air attacks, so build them 
    once the enemy has air units. Build 1e-1-1 x2 empathy police (a cop who feels 
    for you as he clubs you?), a cheap unit that works great for unrest and to 
    attack worms. They are cheapest with fission reactors, so don't plan on using 
    them to defend against other factions. Build them in new cities & newly 
    conquered cities. Another good combo is the AAA/ECM infantry. Learn what 
    combinations of armor/weapons/specials are cheapest yet still effective.
    Terraforming is key to winning; therefore the Weather Paradigm is a must-have 
    project. It will greatly increase your terraforming speed & allow you options
    normally unavailable until later. Use them!
    No matter what faction you play, you can create a powerful army early. Command 
    centers & bioenhancement centers are not the only things capable of modifying 
    the morale of your army. Monoliths obviously, but also children's creches IN 
    THE CITY T HAT SUPPORTS THE UNIT will add 1 to the unit morale. Other 
    structures have the same effect (ones that affect pysche, I believe. Research 
    hospitals?). So a unit built in a city with a command center, sent to a 
    monolith, and supported by a city with a children's creche will receive 4 morale
    upgrades. Even the Gaians can build veteran troops from the get-go. The
    Spartans could build elite infantry from the start.
    I play mainly as Zakharov, and act like the Mafia with a research grant. While 
    pod-popping, the free nodes are invaluable.
    Of course, build early and often. Fortify your frontier towns and let your 
    inner core of cities work on prototypes and Projects. Buddy up to Dierdre and 
    Morgan. Your early goal should be to become Planetary Guv and you'll need their
    votes. Plus trading for Gaian tech gives a nice advantage. If Yang, Miriam or 
    Santiago are nearby, crush them early. If they all are, get Yang first. His 
    growth rate usually has him in the running for Guv, and Santiago can be relied 
    on to attack anyone. Have a treaty with her, kill Yang and let her beat on her 
    neighbors for you.
    Don't be afraid to beat up Lal, either. No one else can stand his namby-pamby 
    UN. Don't be afraid of stabbing Miriam, Santiago or Yang in the back if needed. 
    This is a Looooong game and your reputation can recuperate.
    Miriam can be taken anytime into mid-game. She defends lightly. Santiago 
    overextends herself via conquest and her cities are easy to bribe. So are her 
    units, so if she's driving on you, a few well placed shekels can gain you some
    cannon fodder.
    Once you're guv and the more belligerent neighbors are cowed, consolidate, 
    research and expand. Now is a good time to build a sea colony or two while 
    letting the others forget your past transgressions.
    It's now time to guage your strength and choose your mode of victory.
    Don't worry about taking territory. Slash and burn.
    When you feel strong enough, whack Lal if he's within your reach.
    Assuming that all the totalitarians are no longer a threat, plan for a big 
    showdown with Morgan. His resources are the only thing that challenge your 
    eventual dominance.
    Kill Gaia last.
    Kill Morgan, Kill Morgan, Kill Morgan! (or start as Morgan). Make peace with 
    everone else. Make money.
    Kill Miriam, Santiago and Yang. Kiss up to two of the other three.
    Win with 3 of only 4 votes.
    Strike allian ces as necessary, whack anyone who gets too big. This may be when 
    you want to take Dierdre and the Gaians for a ride.
    Remember...your goal is to Capo di Tutti Capi, not to be loved. Play 
    If you don't take care to expand quickly right from the start, you'll get 
    yourself in trouble later. Having just a couple of big and well-developed bases 
    won't cut it - you'll be outdone by anyone who's got more bases to work with in
    doing just about everything.
    Expand, expand, expand, therefore. Don't stop until you start getting the 
    efficiency warnings; maybe not even then - go on until you're sure you're by 
    far the biggest faction.
    At the start, use the scout to explore. Don't worry about leaving your home 
    base undefended - you can gamble on the restart if something should happen.
    If you don't already have one, build a colony pod - but make sure that the 
    build time is longer than the base's growth time. If it isn't, build another 
    scout after all, to defend the base.
    Get formers as soon as you can - always one per base. Have them build roads 
    first, then forests.
    Make sure every second item you build is a colony pod, though!
    Your first improvement should either be the tanks (if drones are not a problem 
    yet) or the rec comm (if they are).
    After that, nodes - also for cashing in the artifacts as you find them while 
    pod popping all the time.
    Keep pod popping! You may lose (a lot) of units to worms (less if you"re Gaian 
    and can convert a few), but the free techs and the artifacts and the bonuses 
    are vital.
    Never use artifacts to further wonders, if you can avoid it. Link them to your 
    nodes, and get the tech.
    Conquer tactics - as Gaian, go for the mindworm rush. Collect as many worms as 
    you can, gather them, and go for the nearest rival. Get them to go Corleone on 
    you first by demanding withdrawal, or threatening to crush them if they don't 
    surrender a nice fat base.
    If not Gaian, it pays to go for tech advance and get to air units before the 
    others. Choppers can chew up a base or two per turn, ground forces or drop units
    can come in after.
    Accept total surrender when offered, but then demand they give up all their 
    bases but one. If they won't, cancel the pact and go have war again.
    Don't strive for individual base expansion too much - keep it down by building 
    pods, a lot of size-sevens can stay very effective for a long time with 
    relatively little drone trouble.
    Special Projects: Human Genome is an early boon, for the extra talent in every 
    base. Later, feed SPs in small bases with supply crawlers from big bases; that 
    way you can spread your SPs around in case of Planet Buster trouble later on. 
    Build all the science wonders in one base, though (cumulative effect).
    Try and keep a building rhythm of improvement / unit / improvement / unit / etc.
    Units can be pods, formers, crawlers, spies, orbitals, as well as combat units.
    Never stop terraforming, never forget new bases might be useful (if only as PB 
    launch pads).
    I have seen too many people say that they are able to get 1 or 2 of the 200 cost
    secret projects, 1 or 2 of the 300 cost secret projects, etc.
    I play on Librarian because I am just not ready for the higher levels, I usually
    miss getting only 1 or 2 of the 200 cost secret projects and I get all but 1 or 
    2 of the entire list of the rest of the secret projects. The way I do this is to
    capitalize on the incredible strength of Supply Crawlers. I play UofP so I start
    with a free Tech. I always choose the tech that allows Terraformers. That way, 
    I can set my build order to be scout, Former, colony pod, former, colony pod,...
    I then go for Secrets of Alpha Centauri (getting the required techs for that 
    along the way, of course!) for the free tech and the required Trance special 
    ability. I then go for the industrial techs so that I can switch to Free Market 
    and Wealth. Since I am now raking in money and science hand over fist, I can 
    concentrate on my industry. I don't improve my production by putting my workers
    on mines. Instead, I build supply crawlers and sit them on mines. With Supply 
    crawlers, a city can be producing 15-20 minerals per turn and still only be 
    size 3. This is important because large cities are less productive (you get a 
    free worker for your base square) more unhappy (as UoP on Librarian, I get 0 
    drones at size 3 and 2 drones at size 4) and generally a pain to work with. 
    Instead, grow like mad. You will have more territory and you will be much more 
    productive. Using Supply Crawlers means that you can have high production cities
    that are still manageable. Now, go build those secret projects!
    For Social Engineering, the combo I use most often is democracy, green 
    economics, knowledge, and then cybernetic. This gives you a remarkable advantage
    on planets with lots of fungus and life forms, giving you a mindworm capture 
    rate of 75% if I remember correctly. This will also basically have the Gaians 
    eating out of your hand due to your 'love for planet' although you probably 
    terraform like mad. The Hive and Morgans will be mortal enemies under this 
    social arrangement, and often stronger than you starting out. It is best you 
    learn how to compromise, knowing when to say when, but also when to give in and
    The University's strength is obvious: knowledge. When done right, you can have 
    Tachyon bolts and photon armor when other factiions are still using particle 
    impactors and plasma steel armor. Using your technological advantage is 
    critical. You can also use knowledge brokering as leverage for diplomacy.
    As with all factions, you MUST expand and expand like crazy if you wish to 
    survive. Your only hope of winning is to become as massive as possible, 
    generating large cash flow and quick research. A large faction size is also 
    good for supporting large numbers of units without causing rioting. You 
    absolutely must grow if you hope to survive. If you stay small, you will easily 
    be overwhelmed by factions like the Hive and Spartans, who can produce large 
    quantities of units fairly cheaply. They will overwhelme you with shear numbers 
    unless you can fight back with superior units.
    As far as secret projects go, all are good, but some are just better: Citizens 
    Defense Force, Command Nexus, Maritime Control Center, among others are good 
    choices. My personaly opinion is don't waste your time on the Ascetic Virtues
    because it just isn't worth wasting the production time on it. You will want to 
    build any wonders that give you base improvements, for a couple of reasons:1. 
    You don't have to build those improvements in your city. 2. Reduced maintenance 
    costs. 3. And of course the benefits of the improvments.
    Not sure if he's off the scene now so here goes (some strategies may've been 
    reported by other people already):
    * Manipulate build queue -- often the game won't allow to build something until
    another structure has been built. For example the pleasure dome can't be built 
    until you have the recreation commons. However, you can put the recreation 
    commons in the build queue, add the pleasure dome after it, and then delete the
    recreation commons from the build queue. Then the pleasure dome can be built 
    first (yeah I know, limited usefulness).
    * Free support off pact brother -- build up a little base in a corner near your 
    own bases, and give the little base to a pact brother, then send all of your own
    units there, open the city screen and change the unit's ownership. Nobody ends
    up supporting the unit. Not only that, but those units can now be freely sent 
    out of the city for battle duty, and they won't create unhappiness since they
    don't belong to any of your cities.
    * Free support + Ascend to transcendence -- build and save up heaps of military 
    units, sending them to a pact brother city to get the free support as necessary.
    When the transcendence project becomes available, you can scrap your units in 
    the base that's building the secret project, meaning that you effectively 
    started to build the project as soon as you started building up the units.
    * Catching up in the race to transcend - if you're falling behind in industrial 
    capability compared to a competitor building the transcendence secret project, 
    it is better to catch up by building units and sending them to be scrapped, 
    rather than stockpiling energy and then buying partial production. When you
    build and scrap, the industry input from other bases is basically halved (as 
    well as a bit of wastage depending on the build schedule). However when you 
    stockpile energy, you lose 3 quarters of it when you try to rush the secret 
    project because it costs 4 credits to buy each unit of a secret project. 
    Therefore it is twice as economical to build and scrap than it is to stockpile 
    and buy. (Q: when you stockpile you get 1 production = 1 energy don't you? If it
    was 2 production = 1 energy then you'd lose 7 eighths of the input rather than 3
    * Plasma Hoverboats (2-3-4) rule the water world -- On a world which is 
    predominantly water, the plasma hoverboat rule because they are so cheap (same 
    low price as a plasma sentinel) yet can bombard the enemy's terrain improvements
    every bit as well as a stronger ship. They are also great naval city defenders.
    * Inland sea - the best bases are usually ones next to water because of the 
    excellent food and energy income from water tiles, while forests and occasional
    boreholes on just a couple of land tiles will make up for production. The only 
    problem with this is that coastal cities can be attacked by enemy ships. So what
    do you do? build on an inland sea. None nearby? Then create one. Get a mid sized
    island, populate it, then get a bunch of formers and proceed to build a thin 
    "ring" of land just a couple of tiles off the coast of the entire island. If the
    enemy tries to take a foothold on the outer land ring, you can send your entire
    navy from your core bases to wipe them out without worrying about being attacked
    from a different direction. I doubt the AI will ever figure out it needs to 
    lower the land to turn your land ring into sea (but in that case you can just 
    build it right back, or go out there and destroy their sea formers enmass). Most
    likely the AI will just build a small land bridge towards one part of your 
    protective ring, which means you have them controlled at a chokepoint. If you 
    build air defense units all around the protective ring you might even stop the 
    enemy being able to scout you, so they'd not be able to find out what you have 
    in the "core".
    I have here detailed some salient points of my Gain strategy.
    Gains have the best planet rating so use this to your advantage:pollute.But 
    don't build mines or condensers or farms, they merely make squares where enemy 
    units can move easily, build fungus and boreholes ONLY. This simplest if you get
    the weather paradigm and begin borehole production early in the game, not more 
    than 1 former for 2 bases. Don't build your boreholes beside your base squares, 
    only fungus, to give your worms the advantage.Always station a mind worm on a 
    borehole.The first base facility you build should always be a biology lab: more
    research more lifecycle. Go straight for the Centauri-techs & Secret projects as
    they will allow your bases to produce more with fungus.Never trade these techs 
    as a matter of forcing high-science players to research them, something often 
    neglected till post Quantum. Be sure that no one gets the xenoempathy dome and 
    nulliffies your fungus advantages.Be SURE no one gets the neural-amplifier as 
    this is a major asset if gained and a major pain if lost.All research towards 
    neural grafting is my top priority until I have the amp secured which 
    effectivly defends against the spartan-elite-rush.Make sure you expand 
    frequently and remain democratic/green/wealth. Always build preserves and 
    things to give lifecycles. Once the Dream twister is secured send a plague of 
    demon-boil locusts to any near bases/pesky rival.If you are still alive this far
    into the game your island should be a carpet of fungus and boreholes.I have 
    found many players die simply to the plague but if it seems to be a long game 
    Save up ALL your artifacts in a well protected inland base and build the 
    Universal translator.Trade tech with the other factions until you have roughly 
    all the tech up till discover level 10 then rocket ahead to acheive 
    transcendance when the world is sitting at digital sentience!
    The Spartans are an interesting choice as a faction. Their morale starts at +2 
    in the society window and their prototypes cost the same as the regular unit. 
    The only problem with the Spartans is their -1 industry. A little social
    engineering will take car of that. In the early came or when you're not at war 
    your social choices should be Fundamentalist, Green or Planned, and Knowledge. 
    Future society is not really that important until later in the game. By chosing 
    both Fundamentalist and Knowledge you cancel out the major benifits of both 
    along with your own -1 industry. Growth be high whenever you gain empty 
    territory. But in this time of expansion planet should be high too. Hence you 
    alternate between Planned and Green as needed. When you do go to war chosing 
    power instead of knowledge is okay if you think you can wipe out your opponent 
    with relative speed.
    Now, on to military developement. When you start the game research Applied 
    Physics and then Centauri Ecology. Each of your bases hould build two scout 
    patrols, one scout rover, and one former. As you gain technological advantages 
    just upgrade the units that you have already built. (remember that with the 
    Spartans you don't have to prototype.) Be as aggressive as you can in the early 
    game. Laser and Impact rovers should be your staple military unit against your 
    opposition. Rovers are better than infantry because early in the game you need 
    their speed and flexibility. Armorless foils are not an uncommon choice on a 
    water orinted map either. Infantry should serve no other purpose than to 
    garrison your bases so upgrade both scout patrols as you reasearch new armor 
    Once you have established Sparta Command's garrison and terriforming units 
    begin to build the Command Nexus. You should be the first faction to build a 
    secret project unless another faction is feeling aggressive. Also build the 
    Merchant Exchange if you have the time since you'll need lots of energy to 
    upgrade your units.
    Other secret projects should include the Cyborg Factory and the Cloning Vats. 
    If you encounter a faction with a greater number of military units and a well 
    established defensive network (usually Yang) try to make friends and limit their
    expansion. When you have sufficient strength go in for the kill.
    The overall goal of this strategy is to produce a large number of well trained, 
    fast, and technologically advanced units. Don't be affraid to give your rovers 
    armor if your having trouble researching Nanometalurgy.
    One trouble area is the transition of your forces from primarily speeder to 
    primarily tank. Don't do it while your at war. Wait until you're not fighting 
    anybody and quietly begin to replace your rover's with tanks like this. Sent a 
    rover home and disband it. Build an armorless tank with a decent weapon from the
    recycled rover. Upgrade it as soon as posible and circulate it into service. Do 
    not do this with more than two rovers at a time or you'll find yourself with 
    half the army you used to have and very little cash.
    Another thing to beware is enemy airpower. If you move quickly enough you won't 
    need to worry. But if you start seeing needle jets come midgame: don't worry. 
    Design a radar with AAA and SAM special abilities and go after them. Try not to 
    over extend yourself though or you won't be able to support these anti-air 
    units. Speaking of support, as soon as you develope the clean reactor, use it.
    Other special abilities to monopolize on should be deep radar and drop pods. The
    Space Elevator can be useful in that respect but you really don't need it.
    Tectonic missiles ensure that your continent remains above the sea level, 
    making it obsolete to employ sea formers to raise your terrain, and are very 
    useful in initiating global warming, since they are cheap and generate a huge 
    amount pollution.
    Fungal payloads can help spread the fingus at your continent. The fungal towers
    should be easy to control. Furthermore, the Manifold Harmonics project can 
    extend your fungus production to gigantic levels.
    Choppers are very versitile units. Not only can they travel long distances 
    without refueling, but they can also attack multiple times within one turn. One 
    good strategy for quickly taking over bases uses choppers. Build up a number of 
    these aircraft and give them your best weaponry and offensive special abilities,
    and a few ground units as well. Attack the target base with your choppers, and 
    if your choppers are superior in strength, they can keep attacking the defenders
    until there are none left. They simply move one of your ground units into the 
    base. This sort of attack can come as a surprise and overwhelm your opponent 
    when he can start producing defensive units that are effective against aircraft.
    Therefore, use this strategy when your opponent does not have a force of 
    anti-air units and keep puching forwards once you have started the attack so as 
    not to let your enemy rebuild and upgrade.
    Be sure to use the best terrain improvement for each square: farms in rainy 
    squares, forests in arid or moist, and mines in rocky.
    I recommend to build at least two military units at each base to start off with.
    After your military units are built, build some formers.
    I recommend that you build recycling tanks and supply pods next. This will 
    increase efficiency and expansion.
    If you want, build Mind Worms. However, you must build these nasty critters 
    early in the game. They won't be as useful later in the game, because the 
    factions will have sufficiently developed their Psi defenses.
    Don't forget to build things like the Children's Creche, Biology Lab, and Hab 
    I recommend signing treaties or pacts with some or most of the other factions 
    for a short time, at least.
    Don't forget that units can hide in the fungus.
    Boreholes are very important in the production of resources at your bases. I 
    recommend having at least one borehole for every four bases.
    Remember to scout for the landmarks. They will provide extra resources.
    Build sensory arrays as you explore to watch for mind worms.
    Send Supply Crawlers to retrieve far away resource deposits.
    Naval Bases and Aerospace Complexes add to your faction's dominance and 
    Remember to build kelp farms, tidal harnesses, and mining platforms for bases
    near an ocean.
    You can defend your borders by planting a line of fungus and hiding units in it.
    Remember to make some sensors near there as well. This will prevent the other 
    factions from doing the same.
    If you're located on the western side of a long landmass that you share with 
    other factions, you must define the eastern edge of your territory by raising a 
    ridge line. You can settle the green exposure, while the barren, eastern 
    exposure will create a no- man's land that the enemy will be reluctant to 
    expand into.
    To invade a nearby landmass which isn't connected by land, consider raising a 
    land bridge. You can also use transport boats.
    If your land is arid, build a condenser to make it more moist.
    Build solar collectors adjacent to Echelon Mirrors in high elevation locations.
    Forests are easy to produce and provide sufficient resources, so plant several 
    forests near your bases.
    Upgrade your units in the field by pressing [Ctrl][U].
    If possible, get the Weather Paradigm. You will be able to do the other types 
    of terraforming that requires Ecological Engineering, without actually having 
    that technology.
    You should upgrade to Mag Tubes when you get the Monopole Magnets Technology. 
    You will be able to move a little quicker. Unfortunately, the other factions can
    still use them.
    To soften up a unit prior to final attack, complete a bombarding run.
    I have noticed that is another faction declares a vendetta upon you, and 
    they're not on the same continent, they won't attack you. Because they swore a 
    vendetta upon you, you do not have to attack them, if they don't attack you.
    I noticed that not many people use diplomacy in this game. It is one of your 
    most useful tools. If you are playing single player, make your allies stop 
    vendettas as soon as possible. If the factions don't fight, they grow slowly; 
    on the other hand, if you allow one faction to assimilate two or three others, 
    they will become those strong powerhouses that take ages to destroy. Even in 
    Multiplayer, an inventive person can cause all sorts of havoc with the right 
    moves, especially with probe teams.
    This strategy is best used early in the game, but not too early - when you are 
    the second or third most powerfu faction. It also helps to the the Spartans. 
    Try to make a pact of brotherhood with the most powerful faction, or if you are 
    the most powerful faction, your strongest rival. Them, somehow, get your pact 
    brother (or sister) to attract your next biggest rival. When he has been 
    eradicated, heal all of your damaged units in your pact brothers cities, and 
    keep them all in near his cities. Then break your pact and crush him swiftly 
    and mercilessly. After this, no one will probably trust you, but it doesn't 
    matter because from your conquests, you are probably superior in tech and 
    faction size.
    In Alien Crossfire, if you are the Cult (or Caretaker), it's a great idea to
    use GREEN CYBERNETIC and employ mind worms only, because of special bonus 
    (PLANET * 10) in the attack. If you can get the Neural Amplifier and Dream 
    Twister (you get 50 to attack and 50 to defense), your mind worms become almost 
    unbeatable in attack. Mind worms are also easy to build, and you get them also 
    free, when you capture wild mind worms. Walk with the Planet!
    If you are the Peacekeepers, and you have not acquired Eudamonia, the best 
    social engineering is: Fundamentalist, Simple, and Knowledge. This will end up
    giving you all 0's and a single 1 in Economy. It pleases the UoP because of the 
    Fundamentalist, and it pleases the Gaians because of the 0 in Planet.
    I think there are only two points that really matter: Growth and Research. It's 
    absolutely necessary to have large growth and research. So, first obtain the 
    democracy and planned economy (free market is terrible because of riots). It's 
    necessary also to acquire the Virtual World, Citizen Defense Firce, and in the 
    classic SMAC, the Hunter S. Algorithm.
    If you have a big country, large output and fast research, are "musts" to win!
    A small tip: Towards the beginning of the game, especialls as the Gaians, set 
    your planet rating high and get the Centauri secret projects. Then, get rid of 
    all of your sea improvements (I mean ALL), and plant sea fungus instead. If you 
    have lots of tech, it wil give you tons of resources. This is especially good 
    if you have SMACX, because the Manifold Harmonics makes fungus squares. If you 
    are Gaian/Cult, and have green ec and/or cybern. society, it gives you even more
    resources. If you do this, you can spread fungus in your land as well, and it'll
    give you more than farms, sc's, mines, etc. Enemies can't invade you, because 
    they get stuck in fingus. With sensors, pholus mutagen, and xenoempathy dome, 
    you can sneak up on them and wipe them out easily. Also, if they capture a city 
    w/o tech, it'll starve.
    Use chains of transport foils to create temporary bridges so that the bridge is 
    one way with you holding the key. There is almost always a site where only two 
    squares separate your continent from that of your nearest enemy. Put two foils 
    in thse squares and let your armies march across. Then move one foild away to 
    close the bridge until you need it again. I tend to build roads or mag tubes to
    my bridge site and let my armies flow across into enemy territory. Later in the 
    game, clean reactors, maritime control centers, and carrier decks make these 
    foils mobile bridge/airbases that are cheap to keep around and can move anywhere
    else on the sea map quickly. Even later in the game, submarine transports could
    be used to have a bdidge that can "disappear" without having to move. I have 
    found this srategy to definitely bolster my war efforts on some maps. It
    obviously depends on the terrain and how the islands are spaced. On the map of 
    planet, it works great if you have started on the L-shaped continent to the left
    and want to get to the central continent.
    Hans van Pelt
    The idea is to get your hands n as many alien artifacts as you possibly can and 
    taget your research for this, and ultimately the Universal Translator. This will
    make you practically invincible, so you can teach those other pesky factions a 
    Target your research at knowledge, at Secrets of the Human Brain, to be exact. 
    This will speed up your research rate. Make your scout patrols check the terrain
    for unity pods (and mind worms). Remember: you're after the alien artifacts. 
    Guard them back to one city carefully; don't let them wander the fungus alone!
    After you've discovered Secrets of the Human Brain, go for Doctrine: 
    Flexability, which allows you to build boats, then for Doctrine: Initiative. 
    Don't waste too much time on any other, especially weapons or shielding 
    research. Use diplomacy to settle conflicts, even try to negotiate in conflicts 
    between other factions.
    If you're not Gaian, build a lot of transports and offensive ships to escort 
    them. Put some scout patrols and rovers on the transports, and go get those sea 
    pods. Use the scouts and rovers to explore uninhabited islands. Move all the 
    alien artifacts you come across to the city where you do your piling up.
    If you're Gaian, build only a few offensive ships (like gun foils), and have 
    them move about through sea fungus. Do it for some time, and you'll end up with 
    your own fleet of isles of the deep, some carrying mind worms. These are even 
    better than transports because they can defend themselves.
    Don't link alien artifacts to network nodes unless you're desperate for new 
    techs (powerful faction attacks), but pile them up.
    Mid Game
    After having discovered Doctrine: Initiative, have one of your bases (you should
    have size 10's or more by now) build the maritime control center project. Speed 
    it up if you have the cash. This project enables you to move your ships yp to
    twice as fast. Continue to bring those artifacts in. Now focus your research on 
    Homo Superior. It will take a series of different discoveries, and quite a long 
    time before you get there, but when you have it, have one of your biggest bases,
    preferrably close to the city where you are collecting your artifacts, build the
    Universal Translator Project. Hurry it up if you can. The next neato project you
    can focus on is the Hunter-seeker Algorithm, which will protect your techs 
    against theft.
    When you have the Universal Translator project and a nice collection of alien 
    artifacts (normal numbers are 15 to 25, but 30 is possible), you are all set for
    hard times. Wait until you're in a pickle (vendetta with a multitude of other 
    factions), or try to maneuver yourself into one by clumsy diplomacy, but DON'T
    do this when things are peaceful and quiet: Rush all collected alien artifacts 
    to the Universal Translator at once, and hook 'em up. This will give you a surge
    in tech level. All of a sudden, you will have weapons, defenses, and unit 
    technologies way ahead of the other guys and gals.
    End game
    Use your rediculous tech level to build many heavily armed choppers (about 20). 
    Also build some drop troops (2 to 5) and some fast ships (maybe you have some 
    left from your expedition forces?). Now target an enemy faction. Send your ships
    there if they have any sea bases, and most important of all: get the choppers 
    there. Maybe you had planned for this, and you already have bases at flyable 
    intervals towards the enemy faction, maybe you'll need to build an aircraft 
    carrier (design workshop: if you design a transport vessel, one available 
    special ability is "carrier deck". Check that, and you will have designed an 
    aircraft carrier; Very hard to spot for the opposition).
    Le's hope your victim doesn't have aerospace complexes, they make this tactic 
    pretty hard to carry out. Use the choppers to clear out big enemy cities. 
    Choppers can attack and destroy multiple targets iside one turn. Beware of fuel 
    limits, but if you're sure that a base is going to be captured within the same 
    turn, fire away until you have only one movement point left, and select another 
    chopper to pick up where the previous one left off. Use this tactic also if a 
    chopper is too banged up to continue with a next target: simply select another 
    chopper, you should have enough of 'em. When a base is empty, airdrop a drop 
    unit into it. Now all wounded and amost-out-of-fuel choppers may rest there too.
    DON'T, however, skip the turn for the drop squad! Select another chopper and do
    another city, reactivating the drop squad for that decisive airdrop.
    It works the same on the sea. Clear those bases with choppers, take 'em with 
    boats. This way, you can sweep the enemy off his'her feet. Wipe 'em out before 
    they can say "planetbuster"! Yep, you can do 7, 8 bases in ONE turn EASY...
    Select one small base and attack it last. While the attack is still in progress,
    your opponent may come begging for mercy (the story about granting you all 
    their energy credits (0) and all their new techs (0 too)). Accept that is you 
    want to be known as "noble," otherwise KERSPLAT!
    Next faction, please!?
    When you have subdued all hostile factions, apply for the job of supreme leader.
    You will have achieved diplomatic victory.
    Expansion is definitely key to a quicker and easier victory. But if you're like 
    me, and you prefer small empires (9-12 cities) of well-developed cities, try 
    Play as the Cult, the Gaians, or the University. Build 9-12 cities in 
    fairly-close proximity. They can be VERY close together if at least half of 
    them are coastal (and can therefore expand into ocean shelves). Terraform all 
    the surrounding landscape as quickly as possible and build lots of facilities 
    and secret projects. Your cities will soon be the envy of the planet, pumping 
    out lots of energy reserves, psych and research points, and minerals.
    While you're doing this, however, the other factions will be plastering the map 
    with their cities and building up arsenals. Your better-developed cities should
    be keeping you ahead in the technology race, but you won't be in a position to 
    directly challenge these other large empires. And you WILL be attacked.
    Fortunately, you have a relatively-small area to defend. A few defensive units 
    squatting on sensors (and maybe bunkers) can keep land units out, especially if 
    you have an island (the computer isn't very good at amphibious assaults). Air 
    units are more of a worry, but AAA seems to keep them away. Your biggest 
    problem is probably missiles, but if you can survive those . . .
    Pick an enemy and take out all his terraforming. I mean ALL of it. If you're 
    geared for conventional warfare, use well-armored ships to bombard coastlines 
    and bombers to lay waste to the interior. Better yet, "go native" (be sure to 
    have built biology labs, centauri preserves, and the "centauri" projects to 
    boost life cycle bonuses). Once you get the Locusts of Chiron, you're on your 
    way to victory. The locusts can go anywhere on the map and don't have to refuel,
    so even a few of them can decimate an enemy's continent.
    Don't bother attacking cities (or units, unless they're guarding improvements 
    you want to destroy). Sit back and watch the enemy's empire starve. As his 
    cities shrink, paralysis sets in, because what little mineral production he has
    left goes to supporting his bloated military.
    Soon those cities will be ripe for the picking. But you're a "small empire" 
    player, so you want to take them over only long enough to destroy them (besides,
    your military isn't capable of holding onto lots of cities beyond your borders).
    Problem is, obliterating a base is an atrocity, which you may not want to 
    commit. However, nothing stops you from doing this: (1) take all workers off 
    production, and wait for the city to starve down to size 1; (2) build a colony 
    pod, abandon the base, then disband the pod. Bye-bye city. If you have ample 
    energy reserves (and you should), you can hasten this process by hurrying 
    production of pods. This is advisable where you might not be able to hold onto 
    the base long enough for it to die a slow death.
    Alright, I'm probably the odd guy out here but...
    I never play as the hive. To tell the truth I always thought of them as the 
    "badguys". Same with Santiago. Instead I usually go for the peaceful game 
    ending. But if you're going for that there are strategies too!
    Each ending has a "best" faction you should go for it with.
    If you want to corner the Global Energy Market play as Morgan and get as many 
    pacts as possible. Also build "energy farms" with long rows of echelon mirrors 
    and solar collectors in the following fashion:
    Also be sure to build as many energy banks and secret projects as possible. And 
    if there is huge energy deposit far away from you send out upply transports to 
    go get it!
    If you are going for transcendance use the University. Also build as many bases 
    as possible and turn the governor on in each of them and set it to: Discover. 
    Trade techs as much as possible and make pacts not vendettas that way you won't 
    waste time building your military instead of your knowledge. Set your social 
    engineering screen to democracy and knowledge. (note: this usually gets more 
    than a few people mad at you including: yang, lal, miriam, and santiago) Build 
    as many secret projects as possible and also DON'T HURRY ANYTHING UNLESS 
    ABSOLUTELY NECCESSARY! If you do the above thewn by the time you start building 
    "Ascent to Transcendance" you should be able to rush buy it.
    If you are going to try and get elected supreme leader use Lal because he gets 
    x2 votes. Then build the "Empath Guild" secret project to get x2 votes again. 
    That means you will have x4 votes. Then build as many bases as you can (the 
    more voters you have the easier it will be) Then get elected planetary governor.
    Next, go for supreme leader. You should be able to vote yourself in but if you 
    just want to be cautios you can bribe a few votes. ( n ote: I forgot to tell 
    you to make pacts. Your pact brothers and sisters will almost ALWAYS vote for 
    Martin Eggers
    Play with the Gaians on a custom large/huge flat map with no cloud cover and 
    lots of oceans so you'll have an island on your own.
    Build about 10 bases, protect them with a few defensive units and builc 
    children's creche in every single one.
    Now switch to democracy and planned, and you will get a population boom 
    everywhere, while using only forest(with tree farms) and fungus squares for 
    food (yes, you should actually plant fungus). When your Bases have grown to a 
    strong size, build a few Boreholes to get minerals and keep on researching until
    you have got fusion planet busters (yeah!). Fire about 10-15 Busters in all
    directions at your enemies (even in transcend they should not have orbital pods 
    at this time) and ensure you are working the borehole squares and have a lot of
    trance and empath garrisons.
    The following ecological destruction will result in approximately 2000 metres 
    of sea-level rising, which means that there should be only sea bases by this 
    Keep the terrain around your bases ocean shelf so you can plant fungus squares 
    everywhere, and it should be easy to destroy the remeining factions, as the AI 
    is catastrophic in sea warfare and even in multiplayer you will have an 
    advandtage since no one can cultivate sea squares comparable to your fungus. If 
    you build Xenoempathy, it will even help to kee other ships out of your 
    territory while allowing yours to pass for 1 MP.
    This strategy should work on all levels of difficulty, it has been tested under
    thiner but transcend should be possible, too.
    Tip: If you're going for an especially high score or if you want to train for 
    multiplayer, go for IRON MAN Settings, it will give you a 100 bonus.
    Provost Mark
    My strategy works regardless of who I start as, though I prefer to start as 
    Gaia, UoP, or Hive.
    My order of precedence at a base is:
    1) Guard unit (high defense, trance (if avail), and police (if avail)). Updating
     these is your highest priority. Designate this unit as a primary defender 
     (Ctrl-D), then Hold them (H).
    2) An attack unit. Make this unit a high movement rate unit. Give it AAA (if 
    avail), and the BEST attack strength you've got, but keep the defense level at 
    1 (keeps the unit affordable). Station this unit with the L command.
    3) Build a Former. Make this former the BASIC former. Upgrade it using funds to 
    a better armored super-former after it has been built.
    4) Build Recycling Tanks.
    5) Build another former.
    Now at this point, I diverge depending on where the city is:
    If this city is on a front:
    *) Crank out Air, Sea, or Attack units. Make them CLEAN!! Crank them out 
    endlessly and station them near the front-line in some fungus. As soon as you 
    see an enemy, attack with the mongolian horde.
    If this is a city to the rear:
    1) Children's Creche.
    2) Recreation Facility.
    3) Energy Bank.
    4) Network Node.
    NEVER build the following unless someone has beaten you to the punch: Perimeter
    defense (use the Citizens' defense), Hologram Theatres (use Virtual), etc.
    Designate a few VERY well defended cities to be your SECRET PROJECT sites. 
    Rapidly produce quick moving rovers in the neighboring cities to move to these 
    project-building cities and sacrifice. This takes almost no time and rapidly 
    advances the production of your secret projects. The basic projects that are a
    MUST are:
    1) Weather Paradigm
    2) Citizen's Defense
    I usually go for most of them, as they all seem to have serious advantages to 
    having them.
    Wim Tavenier
    If you are only interested in getting the highest score, then play with the 
    Gaians on the biggest possible map with abundant native life forms. It also has 
    to have the biggest landmass. Then build a lot of mindworms and dito 
    improvements (Biology Lab). Don't mind the secret projects, because the first
    time you will meet an opponent, you will have more mindworms then there are 
    bricks in the Great Wall! For even more mindworms turn to green economics asap. 
    Then you will have enough mindworms to conquer every opponent with ease. I once
    played like this and started with 2 recon speeders and that was all I build as 
    an attack force, because the rest was only captured mindworms. My bases could 
    only concentrate on building improvements and garrisons!
    Mark Davison
    This the most Revolutionary strategy that will ever hit the scene. Basically 
    you start of by establishing 4 bases fairly close together linked by roads, 
    obviously being sure to fully exploit the terrain.Build a single scout vehicle 
    in each of your four cities. Then send a Seperate scout vehicle to find other 
    factions. Make a treaty with them And then a brotherhood pact, trading as much 
    technology as possible.All the while build up a huge military force on the sly.
    Move in your forces to surround the capital and other cities of military 
    importance and then strike breaking all treaties and unleashing mass death and 
    destruction to your opponents granted through the element of surprise.Once you 
    have drained the putrid filth for what they have,feast on the soft goey 
    substance in their brain.The result liquid will send you insane,allowing you to 
    return all your troops to their home cities and destroy them all thus commiting 
    suicide.Ingenious eh?
    I dunno who reads these but it's kinda cool that i can post something. These are
    only a few tricks that I use, and I know they work because I beat the shit out 
    of the game on transcend. The Hive is invincible. If you don't realize this 
    play some more. Conquer everyone as fast as you can. Go police state and 
    planned immediately (no negative consequences). Expand as much as possible also
    Other little things -
    If everyone hates the aliens then nuke the aliens, no one will care.
    Build skimship and cruiser probe teams (use the workshop!!).
    Free market is almost always the best. Especially if you have the Ascetic
    Virtues (unless you're the Data Angels and then that won't help you)
    Always trade tech unless it's really gonna fuck you up.
    Finally, if you are playing correctly by 150 to 180 turns into the game 
    everyone should vendetta you unless you've made them your bitch. I haven't
    tested this with the aliens in yet so that might change things. Normally I have 
    almost every wonder and so much power the comp always hates me.
    Finally, if your morgan and you start next to the believers or aliens on any 
    decent skill level your normally fucked.
    I play huge maps so the game doesn't end before anyone gets half way through the
    tech tree.
    This strategy is for those of you who want to beat the game on as high a level 
    as you can. i have ussed this strategy to beat the game on transcend. I played 
    as the spartans, and they would be best, but in the situation I will describe, 
    the hive, the believers, and even the gains could pull it off. Customize your 
    world for large landmasses, small map, lots of native life (especially if your 
    gaians) and no cloud cover. Don't panick when you se a map without any green on
    it. Start by expanding as fast as possible. kill anything that gets in your way 
    (it actually helps to turn on the animosity option; that way they won't work 
    together). Don't accept anything less than wiping them out; you need the 
    realestate. take their bases and their tech, you need both. as soon as a base 
    has cranked out a colony pod or two, start build formers to make forests. Go 
    for only the basic improvements, you need tanks first, then creches and command 
    centers. if you feel you have a city that's already developed and you have the 
    resources to start a war without that city 9and that should be a neat trick on 
    transcend) build the command nexus and citizen's defense force. the only other 
    improvements you want will be naval yards and aerospace complexs, if you get 
    that far. set out in all directions, find the enemy, and take a base as fast as
    possible. Consolidate quickly, buy units to defend those bases, keep moving with
    your attck units. the longer you take, the harder it will b to kill your 
    enemies. kill yang and miriam asap, they are hard to wipe out the later it gets.
    sea bases aren't as important, it takes to many resources to transport units.
    The important thing is to get to your opponents quickly, if you haven't wiped 
    out a faction within the first 10-25 turns, start over, you won't win. Tech, 
    economy, population, and psych are all secondary to the war ef fort. every base 
    must be defended, new bases must be held, and you must explore for new ways to
    reach your enemy. keep the pressure up, your population barely content (so keep 
    those bases small!), your bases connected by roads, your weapons cutting edge 
    (love the needlejet. good needlejet) and your wits about you, and you can have 
    the game rapt up in under a hundred turns. and just look at your score!
    My strategy centers around economic, technological, and military powers. Early 
    in the game, I tend to make alliances with anyone who'll cooperate and gang up 
    on Yang, the Believers, or, in some cases, the Spartans. I've played everyone, 
    but the UN, the Gaians, and the Morganites are the best for this form of 
    strategy. The University tends to be too weak for military actions, ao what's 
    the point in advanced weapons? The UN is by far the best, as one can expand 
    quickly and grab tons of land. I tend to have NO overlap early in the game; I 
    fill in spaces later with tiny bases that stay tiny. My advantages come in 
    early Tech advancement, so while the other factions are destroying one-another 
    (my allies do the early fighting for me) I develope powerful weapons. I love 
    naval power and tend to concentrate on sea bases. The basic strategy here is 
    that the seas are all interconnected so one can go anywhere. I try to develope 
    air power early so I can strike out from centraly located sea bases and then 
    use drop-pod-equipped units (usually hovertanks) to take over with only a few 
    units. It takes me a few hundred turns to really crank up the power; other civs
    grow and expand, ussually becoming the most powerful first. Meanwhile, I bide 
    my time and get the others to fight useless wars. At the right time, I emerge 
    from my isolation and conquer the most powerful faction first with lightning 
    fast strikes that roll over the enemy in one or two turns. I kind of go overkill
    on the military at this point. I have hundreds of units all just tooling around.
    This is when I get really tough. If anyone left crosses me the wrong way, I 
    invade mercilessly until they either sign a pact forever, or until they are 
    dead. I don't like killing factions; I tend to leave one isolated city with no 
    defenses surrounded by 20 or thirty units. More on this later!! Bye
    I like to build 10-15 "core" bases during the early expansion phase. Site 
    selection isn't that big of a deal, but I do try to minimize overlap in order 
    to leave some buffer squares for supply crawlers between the cities. Terrain 
    can be a big factor in the early game so i find it's always a good idea to get
    2-3 rocky mined per city, enough farms to ensure steady growth, and get forests 
    started early enough that they'll be good size when i'm ready for them. I 
    generally don't spend too much time on economy, but more on that later.
    The first thing to do is find your neighbor and take him out, expanding right 
    into his territory in the process (if it's worthwhile). Once you have a few of 
    their bases, use them to fuel your war/expansion machine while your core bases 
    continue to grow/build SPs/research/etc. Some civs such as yang always seem to 
    pose a serious threat unless dealt with early. Once I have the continent to 
    myself, planetary governor is within reach. I use the intel this provides along 
    with the state of my armies to determine whether conquest is an option.
    Meanwhile back at home, I'll have 2-4 bases always building SPs, with the other 
    cites alternating between facitlies, the occasional prototype, and supply 
    crawlers. Send the crawlers to your project bases and home them there (CTRL-H), 
    then send them out to some mine your formers have prepared in the wilderness 
    near a secure border to build even faster! Typically during this phase i'll have
    a number of border cities pop 3-5 that are building units and expanding while 
    my core cities are pop 7-9. I like to stay democracy/planned/knowledge or wealth
    if at all possible.
    It may take a few games to get used to the tech tree (don't use blind research 
    unless you like a challenging, looong game), but once you are good enough to
    survive the early catfights, do your fighting on the enemies' soil, and keep 
    your core bases kranking out SPs and new techs, you will roll over Planet with 
    little opposition.
    Alpha Transcend
    Using the University, I can research tech so fast that none of the fractions
    can catch up.
    Select the free tech as Formers. Find good starting location with at least 2
    mineral resouces. Build formers and start terraforming the surrounding to
    increase your population.
    Build 1 colony pod and then start to enhance your city.
    Start to build mines.
    Research as follows :
    1) Recycling centres
    2) Secrets of the Human Brain
    3) Fundamentalism (change society to Planned)
    4) Democracy (change to democracy)
    With Democracy and Planned, you gain population explosion, so
    by this time, you should be closed to completing the Virtual World and the Huma
    Management Centre.
    Build armies to keep the people happy when necessary.
    Use money to buy facilities like recycling centre.
    The trick is to build the starting secret projects fast so that the other
    factions cannot catch up.
    - Firaxis Games (especially for the story)
    - Electronic Arts
    - PC Gamer
    - Prima
    - SMAC game manual
    - Everyone for their Tips/Strategies
    - Jeff "CJayC" Veasey and GameFAQs -- http://www.gamefaqs.com
    - Al Amaloo and Game Winners -- http://www.gamewinners.com
    - Dave and Cheat Code Central -- http://www.cheatcc.com
    - http://www.alphacentauri.com/
    - http://alphazone.cjb.net/
    - http://civilization.gamestats.com/smac
       The large part of this FAQ was written by Chris Hartpence (aka Velociryx).
       I thank him very much for his contributions!
      ASCII Art created using SigZag by James Dill:   (freeware!)
      This FAQ was writen entirely using the GWD Text Editor:  (shareware)
        - There are many, many text editors out there (even completely free), but
          this is certainly one of the absolute best editors out there.  Also,
          be sure to support the software developer(s); they did a lot of hard
          work on this.
      << Disclaimer >>
             This Document is Copyright 2001 Jim Chamberlin.  All Rights Reserved.
    	 This guide can be FREELY distributed as long as you agree to a few
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              - You give me credit.
              - Visit GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com) on a regular basis and
                download any updates to the guide.  Authors hate responding to
                questions that were answered in newer versions of the guide.
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                                           - (C)Jim Chamberlin        \_  /_/   /.
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       /  __ \__________   /  __ \___ _  _____  _________ _  ____  __  /<<< \_\_
      /  / / /  ___/ __ \ /  / / /  // \/  __ \/  ___/   Y \/__/ \/ / /,)^>>_._ \
     /  /_/ /  _/_/ /_/ //  /_/ /  _~  /  /_/ /  _/_/  \   /  />   <  (/   \\ /\\\
    /__/ \  >____/_____//  ____/__//__/\_____/_____/__//__/\_//__/\_\      // ````

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