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Viable Life Forms (or not)


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On page 11-9, of the rules, Step 5:

 

"It is important to note that all six intelligence options will result in viable life forms."

 

Now should I take this literally, and paying particular attention to the meaning of the word "viable"? Or is this a murky part of the rules?

 

Since technological research is so slow any ways, this makes an attractive option, as intelligence options are very costly - or can give one a great deal of extra starting racial points.

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I'll sound off with my opinion.

 

I wouldn't recommend going below average Intelligence when starting a race. You get a lot of points to place elsewhere, but I've heard that for every step below (or above) average, your RC's operate at a 10% lower (or higher) rate.

 

For example, if you choose average intellegence, 1 research center provides 1 research point each turn (assumine each of the 25 RC's is assigned to different techs).

 

If you choose "Below Average" intelligence, 1 RC provides 0.9 research points each turn (same assumption as above). At the lowest intelligence level, you would only get 0.8 research points for each RC (same assumption as above). So a tech that would normally take 12 turns to develop at average int would take 13.333 turns (read 14) at "Below Average" and 15 turns at the lowest Int level.

 

In my opinion, it takes so long to get breakthroughs anyway (especially the higher you go) that delaying them even further is out of the question.

 

I have no way to confirm these numbers (only way would be to set up identical setups except for Int, then compare the time it takes to develop the exact same technology), but that is the general theory as I understand it.

 

Can anyone out there confirm that I'm correct in my understanding?

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Under no circumstances would I ever suggest to even a potential enemy that they take a lower than average intelligence. It's hard enough if you enter this game without any sort of alliance or friendly neighbor who can point some stuff out to you, but entering this game with a slower research rate could be considered suicide.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Oh, I don't know. 740 points will buy a lot of slot-1 techs. 0.2 * 25 = 5. 740 / 5 = 148 turns for the less productive RC's to exceed the lifeform points saved by taking "Slow" intelligence. Now it's true that you can only slot-1 techs up to a certain level, but a "Slow" race would have so many extra SRP's that they could afford to put multiple RC's on higher level techs to counter that. Overall I think a "Slow" intelligence race is quite viable.

 

Heck, if I had the time and money to play a 2nd position, I might even give it a try just prove it could be done.

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In my opinion I would play the race you want to play and not worry too much about the book when it comes to selecting racial qualities. Also, while SRPs are nice (and I certainly wish I had more of them), pick the characteristics that you think will give you the maximum fun.

 

Just be aware that there are a lot more cold worlds than hot ones but that lumber usually is found on your HW and hotter worlds. Also, inhabited worlds are pretty rare and space combat is in my opinion more important than ground combat. Finally your ability to grow your empire will be a function of how prolific your race is.

 

Just my 2 cents. I am sure other folks have a different opinion. :P

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Through general research and comparisons, if you take all 7 +s for Research for your race, your research will be about 50% greater than someone with no +s. A 50% bonus is pretty significant but so are the points you would have to spend to get all 7 +s. The choice is up to you.

 

Sakarissa :P

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The correlary to that is that if you take all the negative RB modifies you could be at a 50% penalty for research.

 

If you are interested in being a mega colonizer with lots of ground combat capabilities you could easily give up RB for SRP's and/or lifeform mods. While tech advances are a fun part of the game for many, they are not the end all of everything.

 

I should also point out that thos folks that take max RB's and then also get lots of SRP's by sacrificing of traits will only ever be successful on the ground against a similar lifeform. So if you are a good ground race you are about immune from the brain box take over. They can still nuke you back to the stone age, but they won't be able to capture you.

 

This also assumes that you actually build defenses and don't sit around with your starting 5 divisions. :P

 

:cheers::drunk:

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In the Trade Off between extra SRPs and better R&D is a question of time. A whole lot of SRPs at the beginning will allow you to jump ahead of races with fewer SRPs in the early part of the game. The better R&D races with few SRPs will eventually catch-up and by-pass the "less" intelligent race on the Tech Tree (probably 2-2.5 years, real time, depending on the RB differential). The longer the game lasts, the further ahead the R&D heavy race will pull ahead in the Tech Race.

 

The extremes I am comparing are the Phenomenally Intelligent and Perceptive (Sensory), Long Lived Race (Maximum Positive Modifier to Research Bonus [RB]) versus the Dumb-as-a-box-of-Rocks, Nearly Blind and Short Lived Race (Maximum Negative Modifier to Research Bonus). You can create the Brain-In-A-Jar [bIAJ] race which has maximum RB bonus and a goodly number of SRPs, which is usually very weak, frail, clumsy and small. The BIAJ race is smart but that's about it.

 

The key word in the original statement is viable, which means (to me) that the race can exist in the SN:ROTE universe, but not necessarily thrive. There are a lot of factors that went into the point values of each racial component. The point values are the only real indicators of how much influence any particular feature has in comparison to any other racial feature. That being said, the point values assume that all game components are up and running at greater than 90% of their intended effectiveness. Not all of the game components are, and not all of them are early game features, either. Espionage being a good example of a component that is niether fully realized nor an early game feature. So be cognizant of that fact when you are designing your race.

 

What did all that mean? I shall translate my ramblings ...

1. Make a race that you like and want to play. (Trust me when I say that during the frustrating times with some of the buggy components of the game, only your love for your race will keep you playing. :blink:)

 

2. Be aware of your races strengths and weaknesses. You can't "keep up with the Joneses" in every category, so don't try. Play to your strengths and try to get the other guy to play to his weaknesses.

 

3. The Rulebook(s) don't always give you the whole picture. Just keep asking around like you are doing and you'll get a better idea of the "reality" of SN:ROTE, especially where the play diverges from the text.

4. Remember that the point is to have FUN. Pretty much self-explanitory ... :D

 

M2CW,

-SK :blush:

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One word of warning:

 

Yes you should design and play the race you want so you can have fun. But be aware that not all bonuses or penalties are listed in the Lifeform development guide.

 

For example, Size, Strength, and Speed/Agility all simply list amounts for SRP to buy something. Nothing is listed as to +'s or -'s they may give you. It has been said that the SRP selections are balanced and you get what you pay for. The same applies to these items even if nothing is displayed in the guide. Taking Decripit for -480 may seem like a freebie with nothing listed. But such a low strength will impact combat abilities, defensive bonuses for the race, etcetera... This is implied in the descriptions for the life form choices .. but never clearly shown.

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One word of warning:

 

Yes you should design and play the race you want so you can have fun.  But be aware that not all bonuses or penalties are listed in the Lifeform development guide. 

 

For example, Size, Strength, and Speed/Agility all simply list amounts for SRP to buy something.  Nothing is listed as to +'s or -'s they may give you.  It has been said that the SRP selections are balanced and you get what you pay for.  The same applies to these items even if nothing is displayed in the guide.  Taking Decripit for -480 may seem like a freebie with nothing listed.  But such a low strength will impact combat abilities, defensive bonuses for the race, etcetera...  This is implied in the descriptions for the life form choices .. but never clearly shown.

 

An excellent example of my #3 point above. :blink:

 

-SK :blush:

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