PP HP: Buyer Beware, by Jason Cawley

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PP HP: Buyer Beware

By Jason Cawley (jasoncawley@worldnet.att.net)


In another thread I mentioned the idea of a one-immune two narrow PP race design, to use the fact that the PPs will want the energy for the temp terraforming anyway. The idea is to be able to remote mine too, so that the narrow hab doesn't limit the mineral-gathering. Here's what I came up with.

Fair warning - I have not put this race through a full-dress test yet, just some simple "start up" consideration quick-looks (without colonizing, etc). It isn't a super-strong race or anything, but it's kind of quirky and might be fun to play in the right game for it. :-)

The Dwarves

  • Packet Physics
  • Grav Immune, Temp 24/144 C, Rad 14/44 mR;1/10 overall, centered enough to keep almost all of the yellows (about 1/3 will be yellow or green with full terraforming tech)
  • 19% pop growth
  • 1/2500 pop efficiency; 15/8/20 factories, G box checked; 10/3/15 mines
  • Wpns cheap, energy and construction normal, rest expensive; start at 3 box *not* checked.
  • 8 points leftover spent on mineral concentrations.

This race is meant for standard starts only (LSP, not a lot of starting tech, more time for packet-based scouting). Also, as with most one-immune two narrows, it is meant for a larger universe with a fair amount of room (like medium dense 8 player, or large/huge with more players, say).

Not a terribly strong HP, but a decent one. 3400 max planet size, only cost 8 factories. But high pop growth and high planet values from the one immunity and large terraforming effect on the yellows for each point.

The yellows ought to be easier to work up, too, because you can always "soften them up" with packets :-) Only 15 mines might seem low for an HP, but since the race has no OBRM and normal construction expense, ought to be able to remote mine fairly well. The tech fields should get you all your terraforming pretty fast, decent dp systems, good weapons, and the better remotes - all for a reasonable bill. For prop just use the fuel mizers, then buy up to level 12 and forget about it. Bio only really need 4 (maybe 7 if you really want the organic armor). Elec just get 11. So the expensive fields are ones you won't need too much of in the long run.

The war-machine idea is to use the fairly large and high value producing planets to assemble remote-mined minerals into the heavier and better BBs, with good dp systems. Packets can help on the attack of course, and may let you capture factories intact, which is nice for HPs. With lots of time at the start (std) and the two throwers to scout with in addition to standard scouts, ought to be able to find your good worlds fairly quickly. IFE gets you to them. Yellows as mentioned can be prepped via packet (though first will want to go the the greens-breeders - each initial green will eventually be 100% hab value - then use those to settle all the yellows and help fill them when they turn green).

Will probably want to stay allied to a wider-hab and quicker ramping up race for the midgame period, as you can use the shield while your factories finish and remote mining ops gear up. Intersettling ought to be easy. You are a good partner, with the decent con and energy fields for tech trading and the remote mining and throwing abilities.

Some other minor points about the design. The immunity helps out the likely value on the secondary world. With high pop growth too and time to make up the LSP (from standard start), should be able to upgrade the secondary planet to full starbase and have it help with the colony drive before too long.

The starting tech is practically non-existent, another reason to only try this in standard starts. But you don't need too much. Just get prop 2 for the fuel mizer then con to 4 for privateers - after your planets get to decent size though. Your HW will grow 50,000 pop near 1/3rd of cap (330,000 pop) - two privateers. The secondary ought to be able to add another 1/year soon enough. Can use both to contribute to research for the initial, essential levels, dialing the research up enough to get what you need in a couple years (or could spread it out over 5 years I guess).

Not gonna set any records, but might be fun to play.

For what it is worth...

Sincerely, Jason Cawley


On second thought, probably ought to switch the narrow fields around, making the temp below average and the rad above average - -144/-24 C, 56/86 mR. After all, Dwarves shouldn't mind the cold, nor a little uranium or radon in the environment :-)

Purely cosmetic change of course...

Addendum 2:

Well, took 'em out for a spin, and they did rather well :-)

The test game was alone in small packed, no random events. Standard start since that is what they are designed for. I gave myself an extra few years to colonize and such, compared to the year 30 cut off I use for Acc BBS tests; in the event, last ships sent out around year 37.

The packet scouting is superb. Found tons of good greens quickly, before pressure to move. Getting the tech for privateers was a little dicier, since the low starting germ on both worlds kept the econ fairly small at first, but a few turns "crash" on it and then everything was fine. Hold levels were 337,000 (or 333,000; just happened to stop at 337,000 in the test) on the HW until mines line went green, then up to 500,000 and continued sending colonizers. Secondary finally got in the act in the early 30's (low minerals delayed the full base there), and sent out 1 privateer a year after that, until the cut-off.

The HW mineral concentrations were poor - 46 iron and only 32 germ (lowest possible with 8 points spent on mine cons). That has to hurt with an HP. The secondary was good hab, poor minerals - 74 hab, 13 iron con, 26 G con. Started near the west edge, centered north to south with the secondary south of the HW - not all the way to the edge but close to it. All in all, not great conditions, though of course it is alone in small packed and all - just a testbed.

I used two of the near and better yellows after trying out packeting them first - which worked like a charm :-) Shouldn't have any trouble using the yellows, then, which were quite numerous with many good ones, what with the immunity and centered narrow ranges. For settlement, I just used one colonizing privateer - with the high hab and high pop growth, that's enough. Didn't pay any attention to germ and such.

Here's how they did (remember this is std start) -

  • year 40 5939 resources
  • year 50 16 k with jihad cruisers
    • went linear in mid 50's, rather like what one sees for TT HPs actually.
    • Slope was +2.5 k per year about.
  • year 60 37 k with jug BBs, ultra miners
  • year 70 62 k with weapons 22 (could have had the arms then but went for the energy 16 first)
    • Arm BBs year 72
  • year 80 85 k tech 22-26-12-16-11-7
  • slowed 85-90, peaking out a little over 100k with all tech but the trans-star.

Not any sort of record of course, but solid enough to play, it seems to me. You'll be somewhat weak until the mid 50's, maybe a bit longer under real game conditions. But the later growth is good, and the tech arrives; have the remote mining and yellow-using tricks, etc. So, if you can stand narrow hab HPs and want to try out PP races, I recommend them. Just be sure you only go for standard starts, and look for a roomier universe (preferably with higher density - dense or packed - too).

Have fun.