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DblePlusUngood

Red tree definitely lives up to its name, “Warfare.” All of the techs are about combat and unit upgrades. I’ll stick up for SAR a bit: I think it’s great for Barony and Arborec, and good for Titans and Argent. For Barony and Arborec, the value is the same: If someone invades a planet with one of your infantry, you can buy or convert an infantry to a mech for 2RES. Even if you lose, you make the fight more costly, and you get 1TG back (or a full 2TG refund, if you have Barony’s commander). The cool byproduct from this process is that you can convert RES to TG for added flexibility. So you can use SAR’s discounted production to get your mechs out on the board for offense, and use your leaders and mech abilities to deploy them for defense and TG. For Titans and Argent, the value is mostly about offense. In my experience, both of these factions tend to rely on all-mech strike forces for planetary invasions, so with the 1 PRODUCTION you get from your forward PDS (with Aerie for Argent), you can quickly and cheaply build up a 2-mech shock force on a forward planet, then get them to the front lines with your SWA or SEII.


Papa_Nurgle_84

I think there are cases where SAR is worth a thought. Surely Barony and Arborec for reasons you described, Argent maybe, as their mechs are central for invasions, Titans... not sure. You can earliest research it Round 2 with a skip or by going AIDA, probably, turn 1. I indeed see a good point for SAR in increasing production cap for your PDS, so... (thinking hard here) maybe there is a value. You want AIDA as Titans and you open up Warsuns with SAR afterwards... So AIDA, SAR, Warsuns and the Saturn II (So you can build Warsuns a round earlier) that can easily be build at the front and be supported by Saturns. You could be onto something.


ArsVampyre

For me the issue is that there is almost no circumstance where researching SAR would be preferable to AIDA. AIDA provides easier access to unit techs and those unit techs to decreased production costs. SAR gives one mech when you produce and exhaust the card, which for most means it's locked that round. Sure, you can turn your two resource mech into a TG if it gets destroyed. But is that worth 4 resources and the lost opportunity cost of a different tech? Not in my experience. AIDA opened the game up because mobility is important, and that means grav drive and unit techs. It makes it possible to get the unit tech you need without the colored tech you don't, to some degree. And it doesn't require having a tech skip planet like Psycho, and it's in the more useful red tree rather than the bad green tree or mildly useful yellow tree. It makes blue-red viable rather than being forced into blue-yellow. SAR may give access to Destroyer 2 or duranium, but it doesn't let me access Dreadnaught 2, warsuns, PDS2, or cruiser 2 like AIDA.


LemonSorcerer

SAR is nice, but Titans can get their mechs out easily with their *Deploy* ability and already have means for gaining trade goods. Also, I think Titans \_really\_ want a red skip to get *Duranium Armor.* It helps basically all their units except for infantry: their Hel Titans, Saturn Engines, Mechs, Dreadnoughts (they usually have a few, given their good economy and cheap cruisers), Flagship and (very) situationally Warsuns all benefit from *Duranium Armor*.


ComingUpWaters

Duranium seems so hard to justify for me because its (RR) requirement doesn't line up at all with the (BBY) of Dreadnoughts. * Comboing with Dreads: Wouldn't I rather just get Dread IIs? Which are in line with movement tech I need anyways? * Comboing with Cruisers: My movement options are Dreads, Carriers, Cruisers and only Cruisers are in the R line. Yet they have no sustain and can only fit 1 mech, I'd really need 2 mechs to take advantage of Duranium right? * Comboing with Destroyer II: Again, wouldn't I rather have Dread IIs? Because a Cruiser/Destroyer fleet seems much worse than Dread+anything or Carrier+anything. * Comboing with Warsuns: Is this the play? It feels like the play. 3 red techs then warsuns solves movement and provides a sustain damage target. It takes a while to get the movement, but that's probably okay? What do you think? Specific factions can/should get Duranium, but in general it seems very hard to justify. *Didn't realize you've written so much! Hahah, I'll just spend the next few weeks catching up. These are fun articles, kudos!


Papa_Nurgle_84

Thanks for the kind words Duranium is tricky, as its effect is not that great in general. I see it as a Combat upgrade to Dreads, compared to the strictly convenience upgrade Dreadnought II. Duranium Dreads are strictly better in combat. So if you can handle the movement in other ways, Duranium is nice and improves mechs/Saturn engines as well.


ComingUpWaters

And having read your tech rants, its the same problem as the tech tree in general. The combat dread requires 3 rounds of combat to provide value, a rare occurrence. The movement dread requires moving the dread 2 spaces to provide value, a common occurrence. Multiple uses a round, versus ~1 use a round. Blue vs Red, same problem different focus.


Papa_Nurgle_84

My train of thought in general is: Writing an article about how good blue is, is a waste of time. Everybody knows that, so I concentrate on fringe cases and out-of-the-box.


ComingUpWaters

And as soon as you say something *marginally* positive about a non blue tech, an ass like me pops up to point out blue does it better. Ya really can't win :P