New Unique Faction Traits

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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void
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New Unique Faction Traits

Post by void » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:04 pm

Hi guys,

A lot of feedback and reviews indicate our factions are not unique enough, so we've decided to give each faction a new mechanic that can't be aquired in any other way.

These are our current ideas:

Togra University
Research bonus reduced from 50% to 25%.
Creative: Whenever a new technology is researched, they get the cheapest researchable tech for free (randomly chosen if there exist multiple ones).

Noxium Corporation
Opportunists: Can acquire new territories for credits.

Imperium
Disciplined: Can mobilize population of a city into militia units (colonial troopers equipped with your best automatic weapons?), and back to population for the same city they were drafted from.

Terra Salvum
Pathfinders: No increased movement cost for infantry in forests/mountains, maybe even fungus?

Divine Ascension
Martyrs: Units can be equipped with a unique device that kills the unit after one battle but provides a strong combat bonus (50%?).

Solar Dynasty
Production bonus reduced from 50% to 25%.
?: Can sacrifice population to accelerate production.

Feedback/suggestions?
Lorenz Ruhmann
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Dr. Foo
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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by Dr. Foo » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:16 pm

I think giving Togra a free tech is going a bit too far. They already have a research advantage over the other factions. Rather, I would like them to be able to use their science to maybe get a mineral bonus on tiles with minerals.

Everyone should be able to buy territory that was something I was going to ask about since borders expand so slowly. Noxium should get a bonus from trade and banking.

Imperium, we all should be able to draft. I think lowering their unit upkeep cost and refit cost would help them.

Terra's trait is OK. Maybe adding increased alien conversion.

Divine...a martyr?. While it's a good idea as long as it's a cheap unit to produce, Generally, one use units don't interest me, unless they are very powerful and can take out a lot of units. Maybe they can have a unit (a very expensive unit) that can convert other units to their side. I know Alpha Centuari had this, but it was very cool and it used to drive me crazy watching my units go to the other side.

Solar...population is so hard to come by and it's super important. Unless you also up their per turn growth rate, I think this will hurt them rather than help them. Why not make their formers work 50% faster or something like that.

Traits are a good place to start with making factions unique, but what I really want to see is unique units.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by jdmillard » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:48 pm

What if you add 6 new operations, one for each faction exclusively? Perhaps along with new unique traits.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:52 pm

This is awesome. It could be the thing that differentiates Pandora from other "planetary" 4x games, none of which goes that far to differentiate its factions!
(a bit like Sword of the Stars does it for "space" 4x games with each race having a different method of propulsion)

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by jdmillard » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:56 pm

I think Terra Salvum should have a way to make their aliens more powerful so that they are formidable during later eras. It could be called "Symbiotic Relationship." There are a few ways to go about this. You could increase alien rank cap, you could create an operation that can be deployed on aliens, you could make aliens producible and give them armor, and I'm sure there are even better ideas out there.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by Dr. Foo » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:15 pm

jdmillard wrote:What if you add 6 new operations, one for each faction exclusively? Perhaps along with new unique traits.
Good idea.

Terra can have an operation that used the planet as a weapon. Causing natural disasters in enemy territory destroying building in a city.

Togra can crippled your research for a few turns.

Noxium can steal a tech, with corporate spies.

Imperium can lower a cities defenses through a sabotage operation..

Divine can lower unit efficiency through religious conversion.

Solar can lower the morale of a city through propaganda.

Any of these operations should have a chance of failing just to keep things interesting.

arraamis
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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by arraamis » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:00 pm

mjm800 wrote:
jdmillard wrote:What if you add 6 new operations, one for each faction exclusively? Perhaps along with new unique traits.
Good idea.

Terra can have an operation that used the planet as a weapon. Causing natural disasters in enemy territory destroying building in a city.

Togra can crippled your research for a few turns.

Noxium can steal a tech, with corporate spies.

Imperium can lower a cities defenses through a sabotage operation..

Divine can lower unit efficiency through religious conversion.

Solar can lower the morale of a city through propaganda.

Any of these operations should have a chance of failing just to keep things interesting.
I like what you stated there mjm800 ... I would change two of the factions for the reasons stated:

Divine would be better suited to affect "morale" in other factions cities because of its religious impact and the possibility to convert ideologies. (Ability to affect other factions city morale)

And Solar should have a greater chance of military unit conversion in the field. (Ability to convert other factions military units below a certain rank)

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by Dr. Foo » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:56 pm

arraamis wrote:
I like what you stated there mjm800 ... I would change two of the factions for the reasons stated:

Divine would be better suited to affect "morale" in other factions cities because of its religious impact and the possibility to convert ideologies. (Ability to affect other factions city morale)

And Solar should have a greater chance of military unit conversion in the field. (Ability to convert other factions military units below a certain rank)
Yes, I agree. Both work for me. My thinking was that Solar is more the cold war opponent and subversive they use propaganda as a weapon, while Solar uses religion impacting the soldiers will to fight. I would like unit conversion, it just adds another dimension to play and if it's happen to you in Alpha Centuari you know how much it hurts to lose a unit.

I would really like to see Faction unique operations no matter what they are. I hope to see these changes. Can this be modded through adding a new XML or (as I suspect) it is waaaaaaaaaay harder than that.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by boulugre » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:12 am

I like the idea of adding more unique habilities to each faction, the more the better.

I agree with you guys there could also be special ops, and I would push that further by giving to each faction a special terrain upgrade, a special unit device, and why not a special city building.

Here is my feedback on dev's proposal :
void wrote: Togra UniversityResearch bonus reduced from 50% to 25%.

Creative: Whenever a new technology is researched, they get the cheapest researchable tech for free (randomly chosen if there exist multiple ones).
Does that mean they get 2 tech instead of one each time they finish a research? If yes it seems really excessive to me, their tech rate will just be ridiculously faster than other faction, and I think the pop / production growth would not be able to follow up with the cost of buildings and units.

My suggestions :
Keep the research bonus at 50 % ( IMO The - 2 morale is more than enough to negate that)
Creative : Togra automatically get the benefit of advancement once researched, they do not need to produce them like other factions. They still keep the -25% cost of refit.
void wrote: Noxium Corporation
Opportunists: Can acquire new territories for credits.
I like the concept, but in effect there would not be so much situation where this trait would be really useful. Perhaps it could be made more powerful by also enabling Noxium to buy tiles tiles farther away than 3 tiles from their cities? (let say a range of 4 or even 5 tile)
That would go well with their greedy and extravagant personality while being quite powerful / useful / unique as they could get more special resources / quality tile in each city.
void wrote: Imperium
Disciplined: Can mobilize population of a city into militia units (colonial troopers equipped with your best automatic weapons?), and back to population for the same city they were drafted from.
Concept sounds great. Need to be balanced obviously in term of max number of unit you can get and how fast you can get them to avoid OP rush strategies. I think the units you can draft should be of a correct tech level or this feature would not be very useful other than the very start of the game. Colonial trooper, even with your best actual weapon would still be ridiculously outmatched during the mecha / transcendence era.

Perhaps you could use the 'buy unit' mechanism for giving more choice on which unit you can get. You could only buy infantry unit available in your workshop, at a cost of only 10% of normal price in credit and one population per unit. (or maybe if this is too powerful make colonial unit cost one pop, mecha inf 2 pop, transcendence 3 pop?)
void wrote: Terra Salvum
Pathfinders: No increased movement cost for infantry in forests/mountains, maybe even fungus?
I like it, would go well with the fact their territory are covered with forest, so their lands will be harder to conquer. Maybe could also negate the -25% attack malus terra salvium units gets when they fight in forest / fungus? I think fungus should be included and why not throw in immunity to fungus damage.
void wrote: Divine Ascension
Martyrs: Units can be equipped with a unique device that kills the unit after one battle but provides a strong combat bonus (50%?).
Don’t really know about that one. The concept is cool, but Divine ascension is already OP, and suicide unit to crack open cities defines makes them even more terrifying…. On the other hand would that unit systematically die after a fight, even if they win it? If yes that makes it a kind of clumsy double edge device.

alternative : I would love to see a ‘Crusade’ kind of thing with this faction as it would match them well. There are plenty of way this could be implemented, here is one I was thinking of :
- Make it a special diplo option, only declarable on a faction with which you are at war. Give it a long cool down and a limited time effect ( 5 or 10 turns )
- Divine unit in territory of targeted faction gets +10% combat strength and/or units heal even if moving / attacking / taking damage.
- declaring a crusade makes you take a hit in diplo relation with all factions and / or reduce research rate in all cities by -33%
void wrote: Solar Dynasty
Production bonus reduced from 50% to 25%.
?: Can sacrifice population to accelerate production.
Agreed with the production bonus nerf (50% is way too high) and actually the +25% growth is by itself soooo powerful you could even think of lowering the production bonus to 0% and still have a very powerful faction.

Sacrifice population for production why not, but it would need to be carefully balanced. Make it give not enough hammers and its a feature nobody will use as too costly, make it give too much productions and it could be overpowered.

I'll think over on the idea of factions unique special ops, terrain upgrade, buildings and unit device and post later.

jdmillard
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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by jdmillard » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:48 am

I think the game would benefit a lot if multiple traits were added for each faction along with operations. Obviously it would take some testing to balance things out, but I would love it. Some of these suggestions are stronger than others, but I'm just throwing out ideas here.

Togra
Trait Ideas:
- Educated Workforce: Ability to produce "Research" like the way Wealth and Growth work. (I guess that would be almost pointless because it would be more efficient to use the workers needed in mining and production as scientists, but I guess this allows the production-focused cities to contribute to tech if the player wished to rush to a needed tech).
- Reverse Engineering: Any undiscovered tech that has been discovered by another faction may be researched for a discounted number of research points. Perhaps this discount will be based on the number of other factions that have it. Icons will appear in the tech tree that show this. This way, Togra will always be on the cutting edge.
- Insider Information: Know what factions have discovered each tech by hovering cursor over each tech in the tech tree (add lines at the bottom of the tooltip that list the factions who have discovered it with text in the appropriate faction color).
Operation Ideas:
- +1 cripple enemy research for X turns.
- Live Satellite Surveillance: A different, separate satellite scan that keeps scanned area visible without fog of war for X turns.

Noxium
Trait Ideas:
- Trade Savvy: Noxium gets a better % rate of credits from trade pacts.
- Market Savvy: Perhaps some kind of bonus in the global food/mineral marketplace?
- Insider Information: Know the income and balance of each faction in the diplomacy window.
Operation Ideas:
- Economic Warfare (Market Manipulation): Choose an enemy city, it will have zero income for X turns and still have to pay the upkeep for buildings. (Since the logical response to this would be to drop tax to 0% to gain the morale bonus for those turns, tax rate at the targeted city is locked for those turns).
- +1 Steal research through corporate espionage
- Bribe: Ability to bribe any unit (big diplomatic repercussions if targeted on friendly or neutral faction)

Imperium
Trait ideas:
- Advanced Reconnaissance: Fog of war appears after two turns, not one. (If we wanted this to be more powerful, it could be 3).
- Tactical Advantage: Imperium may gain the flanking bonus if the two occupied hexes are touching (normally the two "flanking" hexes have to be two or more hexes away from each other).
- Insider Information: In the diplomacy screen next to military strength, Imperium can see quantitative information about the size of other factions' armies (perhaps just the number of units, or just the accumulative strength).
- All's Fair in Love and War: Before deploying aggressive operations, he has the choice to make them appear to come from another faction.
Operation Ideas:
- Minefields: Deploy on a hex and make it impassable by enemy ground units for X turns. Or maybe it's passable, but enemies take damage.
- Trenches: Units defending in this hex for the next X turns gain Y% defensive bonus.

Terra Salvum
Trait Ideas:
- Alien Harmony: Increases alien rank cap.
- We Ain't Scurred O' Fungus: Units don't take damage in fungus (but still can't heal) and all units get combat bonus in fungus. Maybe: All units are cloaked in fungus, but they still move slowly.
Operation Ideas:
- Spores Galores: Plant fungus in targeted hex. (this could be used strategically with the above traits)
- Alien Phero-explosion: Target a city, for the next X turns, waves of alien air units spawn nearby (underground elevator, lol) and attack it. I guess this would be weak later on in the game... unless the number of aliens was contingent on the strength in the city. This way, the city might fend off the attack, but at least the garrisons will be guaranteed to be weaker.

Divine Ascension
Trait Ideas:
- Stubborn Defenders: When losing a city, the capturing unit and all other enemy units that enter that turn are damaged X%. This would increase their odds of retaking the city if the enemy came with an insufficient force.
- Zealous: Decreased unit upkeep?
Operation Ideas:
- +1 Morale attack on other factions/cities.
- Homing Device: Target any unit (regardless of faction, human, or alien) and gain that unit's sight for X turns. No diplomatic repercussions because nobody ever finds out. This is good for exploring in the beginning, tracking aliens, or just dispelling fog of war in enemy territory during a war.

Solar Dynasty
Trait Ideas:
- May choose to slaughter X% of captured city in order to force it into submission. +Y credits from this. Takeover morale penalty removed. (I know it's not amazing, but I couldn't think of anything very good for Solar Dynasty).
Operation Ideas:
- Immobilize: Target an enemy unit and eliminate all its movement points for X turns.
Last edited by jdmillard on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

void
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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by void » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:13 pm

Damn, these are some really awesome suggestions so far. I'm almost certain several of them will make it in.
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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by boulugre » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:32 am

Ok, coming back on my idea of faction unique tile improvement, here is a list of suggestion I think would add flavor to the game :

Terra Salvum : Agricultural forests. Provide +1 food to forests tile and negate the -1 pollution to that tile.

Togra : forward research outpost. Only build able on special resources tile (Alien tower, garden of eden, hot springs etc etc…) provide +10% to scientists in that city

Noxium Corporation : Corporate luxury estate. Provide +1 habitat and +1 credit to the city. Tile can’t be used by workers once this terraforming is finished

Divine Ascension : Holy pilgrimage site. Only build able on special resources tile (Alien tower, garden of eden, hot springs etc etc…) Tile provide an extra +1 morale to city

Solar Dynasty : Planetary crust Borehole. Provide + 2 mineral and +1 pollution to tile. Significantly raise Alien aggro

Imperium : Imperium Military base. Unit stationed on that tile may be refitted. Provide +75% power to defensive unit, +150% defence against enemy bombardment ops, +2 range of sight. Tile can’t be used by workers once this terraforming is finished.

All those tile improvement should be longer for formers to achieve, perhaps 8 turns or even 16. Obviously the value of each bonus should be tested and adjusted to avoid unbalanced situations.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by Rossthegreat » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:29 am

I'm not sure Militia is good idea because its more beneficial to let the enemy take the city for your counter attack force to take it back by force.... There's no population loss.
But I like a bunch of suggestions posted in this thread as well.

My suggestions:

Togra University
Battle Androids Stronger than contemporary Infantry but weaker than Tanks. And in addition, each single battle android has a perk of being always able to heal as long as they're in friendly territory. Which prevents them from being worn down by attrition if they get hit every turn while defending.

Noxium Corporation
Bribery is very obvious suggestion.... so I won't mention it because its common xD Hex buying is something that is uh available to all factions.... they're all smart enough to buy stuff to reach pandora. Noxium isn't easy to make a suggestion for. I'm trying to come up with a way to reflect the moneygrubbing nature of corporations but I can't. OH! Wait, maybe they can be able to buy the specials from other factions with their own money? Like if Terra Salvum has researched Drone Warrior of doom with 5+ needle guns, then that kind of design becomes available for Noxium to purchase. They can't build it but they can buy it.

Imperium
Militia can work but in the fluff you all mentioned that Imperiums created units called Legions.... care to expand on that idea? xD From the way I read it.... they're the elite of the elite infantry, no? If i remember correctly that is. And somehow, they're absent in pandora currently.

Terra Salvum
Terra Salvum should be fighting with Xenomorphs. And create them as well. Perhaps do Cybernetic upgrades to the bugs making them tough enough to survive in later eras.
I don't thinK I want to see a Transcedence era Aspidoh nomming ships.

Divine Ascension
I'm fine with martyrs. Although that makes me even more scared of their tendency to spam alot of soldiers, 50+ colonial troopers with martyr going off all the time xD
Actually.... AI might accidentally kill it's entire attack force occasionally if it had martyr when it would've had few survivors left in select scenarios.

Solar Dynasty
They should be able to create pollution then discharge them against a player to boost the alien aggression towards a player.
Still have uses even when xenomorphs is wiped out, they will raise the pollution of the cities until you clean the hexes up. Pollution should have limited range of spreading otherwise it'll probably be too strong. Otherwise creating a scenario where they fart in a general direction, everything in that direction dies. xD

Like the fallout that is generated when nukes and blackholes is used but instead, the pollution won't destroy the improvements but render it still usable however with the price of increasing the pollution in the city. Give it a range of single hex or same as blackhole. If workers work that hex, then the city that have workers working the polluted hex will be the one suffering the increased pollution.

I hope my suggestions isn't horrible lol

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by Sapiento » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:53 am

void wrote:Damn, these are some really awesome suggestions so far. I'm almost certain several of them will make it in.
Indeed, excellent ideas.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by MagpieX » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:16 pm

Giving Divine Ascension the equivalent of a suicide belt and calling that one martyr is exposing a blatant misunderstanding of martyrdom. It is a bit more complex than blowing yourself up. Since the leader is supposed to be the equivalent of pharaonic figure - a living self-proclaimed god I figure it would make sense to allow that faction to erect holy sites or temples as tile improvements which give defensive - not as strong as a fort - as well as economical bonuses - most likely just wealth but if resources then not as strong as a specialized improvement - as well. This would also allow for some fanatic defenders theme without having it available as generic faction bonus.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:47 pm

Ascension is a faction focused on attack, not on defense...

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by ErissN6 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:12 pm

For Terra Salvum, yup all that increase symbiosis with natives.

Okay:
. "Maybe adding increased alien conversion."
. "a way to make their aliens more powerful so that they are formidable during later eras. It could be called 'Symbiotic Relationship'. You could increase alien rank cap, you could create an operation that can be deployed on aliens, you could make aliens producible and give them armor,"
. "an operation that used the planet as a weapon. Causing natural disasters in enemy territory", but not "destroying building in a city.": destroying terrain features okay (mines, road).
. "Maybe could also negate the -25% attack malus terra salvium units gets when they fight in forest/fungus? I think fungus should be included and why not throw in immunity to fungus damage."
. "- Spores Galores: Plant fungus in targeted hex."
. "Pathfinders: No increased movement cost for infantry in forests/mountains, maybe even fungus?", or maybe ability to build a road in Fungus. Something like elven secret path lol.

I don't believe so:
. "Maybe: All units are cloaked in fungus,"
. "- Alien Phero-explosion: Target a city, for the next X turns, waves of alien air units spawn nearby and attack it."
. "Perhaps do Cybernetic upgrades to the bugs making them tough enough to survive in later eras."

No:
. "Agricultural forests. Provide +1 food to forests tile and negate the -1 pollution to that tile.":
Terra is not productivist, but bewares about nature.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by jamoecw » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:37 pm

well in general the issue with the factions is that their bonuses tend to get diluted during the game, so i would give bonuses to each faction when they research certain faction related techs, like when terra salvum researches fungus cultivation they stop taking damage from fungus, when they research planetary awareness they lose the move penalty for moving through fungus, and when they research fungal hormones the fungus loses its pollution penalty. the loss of damage allows them to plant fungus without killing themselves. planetary awareness is generally useless for them due to their affinity to forests, so adding something that they should get to something they should research lore wise means that they will research that stuff and perform closer to their lore at the same time. the loss of the pollution from fungus helps in late game when your super cities can be super pollution creators with workers alone, let alone surrounded by massive fungal farms.

given how weak TS is, i think adding no move penalty to forests from the start wouldn't be a bad idea anyway.

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by Rossthegreat » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:17 am

How is TS weak? They tend to rush through mechanization era like madmen until they get their nukes built and set up very fast. They're always at 4-5 dots like divine ascendant for military.

If anything, Noxium and Torga tend to be weak and sit around with 1-2 star military with me at 3 very often xD

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Re: New Unique Faction Traits

Post by jdmillard » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:58 pm

Rossthegreat wrote:How is TS weak? They tend to rush through mechanization era like madmen until they get their nukes built and set up very fast. They're always at 4-5 dots like divine ascendant for military.

If anything, Noxium and Torga tend to be weak and sit around with 1-2 star military with me at 3 very often xD
My thoughts exactly. In every game I've played TS has always been a strong opponent. She typically has a solid military and is never behind in tech. Noxium and Togra tend to struggle pretty consistently (with occasional exceptions). In my most recent game, (I was Imperium) I put Solar Dynasty, Divine Ascension, and Terra Salvum were on Hard. I put Noxium and Togra on Very Hard just to see how things go, It's been crazy so far.

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