Alpha Centauri: Part 1: Choosing a Prom Date for the Apocalypse

This is part one of my recent game of Alpha Centauri. You can read my post explaining the game here.

OK, let’s get started. You’ll notice the opening screen says Alien Crossfire instead of Alpha Centauri. For some reason they tried to treat the expansion like it was a sequel or something and changed the title screen. Pretty dumb but nothing we can do about it.

Always reassuring to see Sid’s name on there.  But, wait a second…something odd here…

Uhhhhhh, what? It’s Sid’s game but it was designed by Brian Reynolds? This makes me think of Meier giggling maniacally lighting cigars with 100 dollar bills in his corner office while poor Brian is chained to a PC coding away in the basement.

Firaxis Studios, circa 1998: No, Brian, NO. My name goes on top. THE TOP. Make the font bigger, CHRIST. I have to go, my Tamagotchi needs fed. Don’t even think about leaving until you’re done coding in hovertanks.

So I go on to pick my map (Random, Map of Planet, or Huge Map of Planet). As I said in my previous post, I love their design of Planet so I go with the Huge. Next up is the difficulty setting. I’m a librarian, so Librarian seems fitting. It’s somewhere between Average and Hard, a good way to ease back in the game after a few years away.

I’ve customized the rules to slow the game down (tech stagnation) and randomize my research (blind research) so I don’t rush the best military tech. Now it’s time to separate the men from the boys. Time to pick a faction.

The seven original factions in Alpha Centauri are so perfectly balanced most serious players only use them. Alien Crossfire adds seven more but they are wildly imbalanced (seriously, one faction only builds sea bases effectively insulating you from any attack for like the first 50 turns of the game. Yeah, that’s not overpowered or anything. Good job, BRIAN. Sid must have slept in that day.) So this play-through we’ll be using the original seven.  But which one?

Look at that hippie. If I’m on a hostile planet with no hope of rescue in humanity’s last stand, I’m not being led by a nudist.  Next.

Oh, boy. Is he just a head? I think he’s just a head. I’m not living on that guy’s base. How many human centipedes you think he’s made? Yeah, I don’t want to think about that either.  Next.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaa, no.  Next.

Mathematics and guns, they always go together. But I’m bad at math and I’ve never shot a gun so I guess that makes me one of the Lesser Brethren I guess. Next.

That’s quite a name she’s got there. God Wins, get it? Oh Sid Brian, you so funny. As much fun as it would be to crucify my enemies and hang out with JC in space, this lady makes my skin crawl. Next.

I agree with everything this guy just said. Man, now I’m bummed out. You seem like a solid dude, Commisioner, but I’m going to pick someone else. Good luck. I’ll be sure to kill you last. Next.

Let’s see here. CEO of his own company. Likes wealth. Likes exploiting people to get it. Sound familiar? This must have been the only day Sid Meier actually showed up to work to code something and it’s to put himself in the game. This is too good. I’m rolling with this guy.

Next stop, PLANETFALL.  Let’s exploit some desperate people, earn some spacebux, and rule Alpha Centauri!


About Stylist

Poet, librarian, and video game enthusiast.
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One Response to Alpha Centauri: Part 1: Choosing a Prom Date for the Apocalypse

  1. BLINKY says:

    I hope Pravin Lal kicks your ass.

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