Alpha Centauri..... Some pointers?

I just got the game, Sid Myers Alpha Centauri, and so far I really like it.

It looks like it breaks away from the Civ model by making it possible to persue lots of different techs.

My GQ is… 1. Is it best to go with a pre-made society, and 2. If so, which one?

I didn’t like it at all. I usually played as the scientist guy, though, when I did play it.

Oooh! One of my favorite games! Alpha Centauri could keep me in blissful rapt attention for hours at a time. On the pre-made societies, what matters is how you want to win your game–whether you want to go for a Conquest Victory, Economic Victory, Diplomatic Victory, or Transcendence. Conquest victories are best done through the Believers, The Hive, or by Santiago’s troops (the Militia). I actually like playing The Believers when I want to engage in a good bloody war (:))–they have a 25% “belief” bonus on offense, which makes them tougher to defend against. For cornering the World Market, it’s best to play Morgan’s faction. The Peacekeepers are best for the diplomatic victory (duh). For Human Transcendence, the Green faction and the University are the best.

Also, when you’re building your cities, don’t forget your people–make sure you have things like Recreation Commons, Children’s Creche, Tree Farms, etc. to keep them happy and from not rioting (which stops production). Happy Gaming and don’t let the Mind Worms bite!

Blah, CivII (heck, even CivI) were far superior to Alpha Centauri, at least in my opinion. 8^)

I recently have been playing an old favorite that I recently found out was abandonware now - Master of Magic. It’s by the same guys who did Master of Orion, and it’s amazingly fun and time-consuming. You create a wizard, using up your picks on 5 different schools of magic and special abilities, like Warlord (increases level of all units by 1) or Alchemy (can turn gold to mana and vice versa with no penalty). Then you choose what race you start off with from 14 fantasy races like elves, dark elves, dwarves, barbarians, etc. It plays a LOT like Civilization in that you start with one town which you can build improvements on, build military units and settlers with, etc. Instead of getting technological improvements you research spells, and which ones you can research depends on which kind and how many spell books you got at the beginning. The variety of spells is pretty damn cool, you get ones that enhance your units or your cities, spells to summon monsters to fight for you, global enchantments that effect all players, spells that can damage or otherwise negatively effect enemy units or cities, and even spells to create magic items for your heroes. The combat is more detailed than in Civilization, though, when you attack or are attacked it switches to a tactical combat screen and you maneuver your various armies and heroes around the battlefield.

Arrgh, I was going to try and find where you can download it but I can’t find the link now…I probably could when I get home, though. If you like Civilization and you can get past the 1995 graphics and sound effects, you’d love MoM.

Ah, found it!

I just wanted to second Badtz Maru. Master Of Magic is my all-time favorite game. I still play it occasionally!

Super game!

And here I thought this thread would be about some pointers to the actual star. Well, you’d have to go to the southern hemisphere, but Alpha Centauri is one of the brightest stars, very easy to see. But, back on topic.

I always play with the pre-existing factions, or the ones from Alien Crossfire. You can create your own, but it is very difficult to balance them. The ones available on the net tend to be very unbalanced and powerful. The factions can be divided into two categories…builders and attackers. Of course, any faction can be played with any style, but the Gaians, the University, the Peacekeepers, and Morgan Industries are builders. The Believers, the Hive, and the Spartans are attackers. Since I like to play as a builder, I prefer the university or gaians or morgans. Although Morgan industries is the weakest faction it is fun to play, and anyway a human can easily whip the snot out of any 6 computer controlled factions.

For diplomacy, remember that each faction has a social engineering agenda. If you match their agenda they will be friendly. If you have an agenda they oppose, they will hate you. For instance, the University will always pick “knowledge”. If you choose knowledge as well, they will like you. But if you choose “power” or “wealth”, they will start insulting you and become more and more unfriendly until they eventually declare vendetta.

The key to Alpha Centauri warfare is the Copter, but that comes fairly late in the game. You can attack earlier, but it is much more expensive and difficult. Once you have choppers you can cut anyone open. Just remember to have a few drop troops or locusts or rovers to take the cities your choppers decimate. And the computer controlled factions don’t understand chopper warfare, so they really aren’t able to blitzkreig you the same way. So even if they have technological parity, you can still mow them down like ripe wheat.

If you MUST attack earlier, your key technology is the impact rover, and your key attitude must be speed. At that stage there won’t be many perimeter defenses and most defenders will only be synthmetal. And don’t forget to include a few impact artillery units to soften up cities. These can make a huge difference. However the trouble at this stage is logistical. It is very difficult to get your impact rovers over to the other civilizations. Unless you are on the same continent, support is very difficult. If you are going for an early conquest victory, you must always attack, never let your opponent rest. Every turn that he keeps a city is one more turn that city is providing him with units and energy, and not providing you with units and energy. A half-hearted attack is just going to be repulsed and you will lose your force for no gain. If you attack you must hit hard and don’t stop until you’ve eradicated them. Never accept offers of truce, only abject surrender.

And don’t forget probe teams…these are very useful. You simply MUST always have superior technology. This shouldn’t be hard to do if you are a builder, but if you are a conquerer just steal everything you can.

Another neglected technology is the supply crawler, and the supply skimship. You can funnel food, minerals or energy to your cities with them. They can make the differnce between a half-starving city or a city that can’t build anything, and an expanding city.

You can also check out for some good forums about civ-type games, where you can ask lots of questions from die-hard Alpah Centuari veterans.