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Mongols - sample easy start WM HGAuthor: Jason Cawley
Date: 7th February 2000
Another plain vanilla race living on my hard drive that I thought some might be interested in, especially newer players. This race isn't pulling out the stops to do weird and wonderful things, like some advanced races do - and it isn't optimized for a particular game set-up like tiny blitzes. It is just a simple HG style WM race, designed to get going easily and quickly, to handle early pressure or war-demands well, with livable weaknesses to pay for it all. It ought to show you themes of HG play generally, like quick spreading and early war to get more than your share of space, and the like.
Without more ado, the race -
The Mongols (download race file for Jrc3/4)
IFE, ISB, OBRM, RS
Hab 0.20/4.88 g, -148/148 C, 64/96 mR
1/5 overall, almost 1/4
19% pop growth, 1/1000 pop efficiency
12/9/12 factories, no G box
weapons cheap, rest expensive and start at 3 tech
1 point left - surface minerals.
The Mongols are meant to fight early, using the "Barbarian Horde" war-economy strategy. Meaning, use lots of lighter, cheap ships built everywhere and keep them rolling forward, while going light on the tech spending. You want to seize about 50% more space than your "share", preferably by killing one neighbor and taking his space - with help if necessary, alone if possible. Perhaps after, perhaps during that first war (depending on how well it goes, obviously) you transition to a battle-cruiser based fleet, using the cheaper ramscoop engines and shields not armors. Eventually you will move on to BBs and DNs, but hopefully after getting some of the tech from killing things with just battlecruisers :-)
Some points about the race design. With IFE, ISB, and start at 3 tech, no LSP and 19% OBRM pop growth, you have lots of things to help you get going and spread out early on. You can also use the "DE" early destroyer with 2 fuel pods, and 2 yakamoras, fuel mizer engine - as a booster rocket for your fleets, and (with your speed bonus) as an interceptor and escort vessel for your pop fleets. Between those, the WM invasion bonus in ground combat, and quick docks on even small worlds to gas up, defend, and later add gates - you should be able to fight well at the edges of your space before most races can do so. Starting tech is 3-6-4-3-3-3, 22 levels. 6-10-5-5-3-3 gives you decent early fighting ability and can all be bought by the mid 20s, just using "spare" resources.
The relatively few and cheap facilities to build go along with the same idea - to finish the (modest) development rapidly, especially on the few initial high-value worlds and the HW of course. By the 20s, you should have bazooka or collidial DDs or FFs with wolverine shields (just tech 3 ones on the earliest bazooka ships is ok, though), gates, mini-bombers, privateers. That gives you a working war machine early - not great at taking on bases, to be sure, but able to handle most opposition off of HWs until you start seeing jihad bases, certainly.
The hab scheme is designed to give you ~1/4 livable early, counting the best yellows (especially those just-out in rad), and 1/2 eventually with all yellows. You start with 13 points of terraforming do-able, and can raise that to 25 points by the early 20s (5-10-5 tech). Each point of terra gives high habitat improvements in the narrow rad field, and good ones near the edges of the other two if the remaining fields are good - but mediocre improvements to hab for the rest, more centered portion, of the first two fields. The way to use that is the improve worlds / do terra when there is high-impact terraforming to do, when the world has decent value to start with (35+ say) and good final value when the terra will be done. And you can also coordinate it with germ shipments and concentrations, building mines on high G worlds / not terraforming rapidly there, while terraforming poor G places until a shipment arrives.
The 12/9 factories should compound about 10% rates with G mined at middling Gcons, and 13.3% when it is abundant / imported. A world can be done with its factories and mines about 10 years after landing - though when the pop is growing, it will be a bit longer to put up the facilities for the newly grown pop too.
The G situation is also improved by the ISB trait - only 20 G per world for the base you want, plus another modest amount for a gate later. Not the 200-250 for a starbase. With only 12 operated and that going for you, living without the G box will be fine. The early "horde" DDs are also inexpensive in G terms, as of course are FM privateers for moving.
For trading, you have penscans to offer in return for the minelayers you'll need.
The resource capacity per full world is 2684, lower than many HGs take (by about 10%). But it develops fast, and your expenses are somewhat lower (for fewer facilities, ramscoop engines, extra RS shielding as a sort of bargain, -25% weapons cost as WM) especially when buying fighting power. To match what other races can get in resource capacity, though, you will need to use your speed and early warfighting abilities to get about 50% more space than most races. That will put your capacity up into competitive ranges (compared to HPs, or wider hab HGs with full planet sizes).
Longer term, your minerals are a weakness - OBRM and only 1/2 of all worlds eventually lived on. More space can make some difference there, but you will still have to economize somewhat. Do so by using a beam-heavy fleet mix and skipping armors, using your RS and the strengths of your special WM hulls. Also, naturally, try to capture and loot salvage and razed worlds - that is after all the WM way. Tech likewise isn't great, but you can live with middling levels in most fields besides weapons (e.g. midgame 10/high/12/10/11/4 and BCs, later 18/high/16/16/19/4 and DNs).
Some may think with the lower planet factory capacity, that these guys might be comparatively slow. Not so - speed on the map goes a long way for early development (it is later, after spreading is no longer possible, that more powerful factory settings come into their own). In a sample test alone in tiny dense (40 planets), here is how the Mongols developed -
Year 20 - 3000 resources Year 30 - 6800 resources Year 40 - 14000 resources Year 50 - 25000 resources.
Only on the benchmark because of capacity reasons at year 50. But reasonably ahead of the "standard track" down to year 40 (~5 years, often 50% above it), like most HGs in that respect. They had their first secondary "breeder" on-line with space dock at year 20, exporting - the HW was at its 1/2 hold the same year. Bazooka DDs would have been possible right then; waiting, by year 26 they had docks up on most greens and the tech for collidial-wolverine DDs and gates to gather them. They could have made ~225 of them by year 30 if desired (not as fast as blitz races, to be sure - but these guys have the hab width. spreading ability, and capacity for a long term PBEM in any size galaxy).
When it comes time to build the horde, you have every LRT that could be desired. Docks to build everywhere, ramscoops for cheap engine cost (with mizers on the earliest types), RS for boosted shielding, WM for the weapon cost bonus (and later, BC hulls).
When playing them, you will probably notice a period from the mid 20s to the mid 30s, in which the "free resources" are decent but the tech costs for the next levels seem dauntingly high, with the expensive tech settings. That is a time not to buy that tech, but to get the horde going using those free resources ;-) The econ will grow in the next decade or so, and make those con 10, prop 9 etc targets look at lot easier to hit. Don't throw away the early "free" resources in those years on that expensive tech - that is "backing a weakness" and will dissipate your attacking chances.
You don't need Wpn 16 BCs with all the trimmings, or BCs at all, to start getting in someone's hair. Let them roll out the cruisers to try to stop you, and overwhelm them with numbers here or there. Use your speed edge to deny battle when it isn't a win. The only thing you should be adding to in that period is your fleet strength and maybe your weapons (certainly, get tech 10 - that is fast, the early 20s in fact - but maybe higher if you need it).
When you see jihad docks or stacks of jihad cruisers, then yes you want BCs. In the meantime, continue the harassment but go after softer targets - shipping in space or smaller outlying worlds, not the capital worlds.
The idea is to shut down the first victim's pop movements in the 30s or so, to wreck his economic growth. If you can't finish him then but can contain him, then your "horizontal" spread and internal growth (with proper pop movements and such), while he is contained, should let you overwhelm him once you have BCs.
An easy race to play, and fun against the AIs to get use to them, if you like that sort of thing.