Hmm... After a couple of playthru's. Strategy Layer concerns

I have now done at least a few campaigns (not all the way through all of them mind you, but late enough to form solid opinions) with allying with each of the factions. And I couldn’t help but notice a huge imbalance strategically. Mostly looking at the relative military strength between each of the factions.

I have around 5 campaigns running, each of them the strategy layer tends to play out as follows, I ally with one of the factions fairly quickly all the while during that time run a couple of raids (tech & stealing an aircraft) against another faction… not enough to engage in a war but enough to piss them off to a point where there is little to none possibility of repairing relations. during this I gain slight favor with the 3rd wild card faction who can end up being a potential 2nd ally. Now in 4 out of 5 of my campaigns I make it to late game with 2 allied factions and one I’m at war with.

Something I’ve noticed in each of all of my playthru’s thus far, is the military strength of the factions seems extremely weighted against Synedrion in particular. New Jericho tends to have the higher number of 30+ military strength haven’s with a bunch of other weaker ones that fall during the faction war. And the Disciples have more haven’s sitting between 21-27 Strength with less overall weaker haven’s but rarely have ones hit above 30.

But Synedrion however… Just… is terrible when it comes to it’s military strength. I think the max haven was at maybe 23, but it doesn’t sit there for very long & the highest they tend to be able to hit typically is ~18 maybe 19 strength. Even in the area where they have a lot of haven’s in a cluster! Strategically speaking, they always get absolutely destroyed by everyone during the faction war! They simply cannot go toe-to-toe with the other factions. Makes allying with them a big handicap in a way.

Now they do have the mist repeller’s which is terrific against the pandoran’s strategically, but getting to them takes a good while as the 2nd diplomacy mission is a 2 part (different locations) mission to complete, which no other faction has a 2 part diplomacy mission btw! All I’m gonna say is Synedrion seems very weak on the strategy layer. In every campaign so far, they just get annihilated! If you’re their enemy! Fantastic! but if you’re their ally… better be prepared to be in 10 places at once!


Mmm, Syn second mission part is gain a Phoenix base, it’s not a penalty in relationship with player.

For Military Strength NJ is largely dominant, then it’s Anu and yes at end it’s Syn. But there’s no point to erase a faction.

I have yet to steal stuff to factions, and I know it’s slower and less efficient to not do it, so I can’t really comment such approach, but I don’t think the player perspective is war but more development.

On this perspective I have doubts that it’s slower development to choose Synedrion as first ally.

For me the real problem is the evil path has no real penalties and is effectively the most efficient. The second problem is campaigns look too much the same on some factions perspective as you describe but it even go further like first war seems be always Syn attacking first, that no matter the number of Haven NJ is war dominant, and more.

The design is clearly looking at a different perspective, factions are more a different morale path for each, and offer different player development perspective.

The error in my opinion is the design underestimate the number of players that will choose naturally a non evil path.

I never said the reward isn’t worth the effort from the player, Synedrion certainly does have strong rewards for the player but attaining them can be much more of a struggle depending upon rng versus the other 2 factions. Now, I’ve only allied with Synedrion in 2 of my campaigns. But so far the level 2 Diplomacy mission (the 2 part) has had it’s separate missions spawn fairly far away from one another. Most of the time having the 2nd mission spawn in unreachable territory without extreme exploration. Now if Synedrion is one of the only factions that you have direct access too & is the 1st faction you’re attempting to ally with… the amount of time & effort spent into gaining the “alligned” status and thus access to their tech can really hamstring a player. Whereas getting to “alligned” with other factions has been far easier.

Having access to at least one factions tech is quite crucial.

Not sure I’d go as far as to say that playing the game the way it was intended is the “evil” way of playing. I mean I know it’s possible to play the peacekeeper & avoid going to war with any faction and such but I presume that this will change in the coming future. Pre-release of the game the devs always said in multiple occasions/interviews that allying with all factions will not be possible or at the very least extremely difficult. I feel they did not intend it to be as simple as it actually is in practice.

And this is exactly it, the design behind the strategy layer assumes the player will be at war with one of the factions, at least. Which is why it’s more efficient to do so.

And it seems they gave up because it’s not that difficult, just probably less efficient for a rush, and my guess is it’s because the choices involves too much morale which is a problem with a majority of players.

For me the game should not have allow ally with all factions. I suspect they didn’t realized the morale problem for many players, and when they realized it, they changed it, but it’s not fully coherent. To solve it, this would be with a large rewriting, so certainly too late.

Your campaigns sound a lot like my campaigns. I’ve noticed the same about Synedrion being weaker in generally every sense on the AI side. However I consider their Ally buffs to be pretty powerful though if playing like the way we do:

  • Get the extra research early for a faster tech game, need to keep up with story-priorities though (certainly offsets whatever difficulties in doing those two missions)
  • The Infiltrator is an amazing Elite Class that barely relies on anything else (if anything) unlike the other factions with zerker/priests and technicians/stuff
  • Easier time paralyzing enemies earlier, making each capture objective a cinch (usually waiting for these missions to continue progressing, and unless Synedrion is ally, I don’t have their paralyze weapons for the Siren)
  • You get directions towards a base (or a 9th base if you already have 8, but this comes as more of a 2nd ally thing than a first)
  • Really easy missions for the most part except maybe the Moon launch one (mostly because of how buggy it was, not sure if this is fixed yet)

Now I’m not particularly sure of how useful the Mist Repellers are, but if rushed, those circles can get pretty big and encompass quite a bit.

Second Ally as Synedrion can easily be either Anu or NJ, whereas with the other two it’s usually obvious who your enemy is going to be (not that you can’t try to fight against and beat the odds).

I’ve been marking the Faction War part of the game as the end of the game. That’s around when I usually unlock the research for the final mission.