At a Glance:
- +2 Planet
- -1 Industry
- -1 Economy
- Brood Pit at each base (with Centauri Genetics)
- Mind Worms are counted twice for police duty
- Aversion Wealth
Widely considered to be the weakest faction in the game, the Cult is still quite fun to play! Their planet bonus and lack of industrial might and cash make it imperative that you play to this group's natural strengths, and that means going native with a vengeance! The Cult "out-greens" even Deirdre, able to catch more worms more quickly. This in turn (if you have pod scattering on) enables you to go pod-popping early on, which increases your chance of catching still more worms and that can very rapidly put you in a position to launch an early-game worm rush.
The vast majority of the factions in the game have no trouble with getting to +1 energy per square, which means they'll have no trouble out-teching you. Because of this, and because of your native strengths, you must play to the metagame and become the spoiler. Specifically, this means doing everything you can to enhance the power of your native life, attacking rivals who are running Market in order to deny them access to their much-cherished money. Simply put, you can win the battle and the war by taking the fight to a Marketeer. If they drop out of Market to fight you, you win by forcing them away from their principal source of money and tech (exception: Morgan!), and if not, you will run over them, given their –3 Planet Rating!
Cha'Dawn, the Builder
It's not that you don't build well...you do okay at that, at least as well as the Spartans, but the trouble is, without some serious crawlers to augment your lagging energy production, lab enhancers just aren't going to benefit you as much as some of the other factions. This is not to say that you should avoid them, only to point out that you will need to augment your infrastructure with a bit of an energy kick in order to get yourself up to something near parity with your Market-loving rivals (and, set up this way, when you succeed in driving your rivals away from Market, you will actually be out-producing them!) Nonetheless, pure Builder Style is a difficult game for Cha'Dawn, as you must be active if you hope to exploit your position relative to Marketeers. Also, as with the other technologically lagging factions, you must take an active stance with your Probe Teams, though, like Yang, you will seldom be in a cash-rich enough position to make use of many of the covert ops requiring you to spend credits. Still, as a means of keeping tech parity, Probe Teams should play an integral part of your strategy.
Cha'Dawn, the Hybrid
Much more natural a style with this faction. In times of peace, you can devote yourself to the creating of fungal barriers and fungal farms, and building up your mineral and energy position via crawlers (both of which will help you offset your starting negatives), all the while searching out your rival factions. Once you find someone, infiltrate, and as soon as you see them making a switch to Market, hammer them hard with your captured worm force!
Cha'Dawn, the Conqueror
Sleek and fast, and...pure native! This is actually one of the simplest and most different ways of playing the game.
The first thing you need to do is catch a worm. Just send your scout out to play in the fungus, and before long, you'll be all set. Send your worm out to pop some serious pods, and try to catch another worm. Essentially, this means more playing in the fungus for you (and all the while, your bases are slowly but steadily working on Colony Pods to continue your expansion). Once you've got two worms, you're really rolling, because now the first can continue the pod-popping crusade (which will go far in keeping you in the ballpark, tech-wise), and the other can begin some serious worm farming (getting three chances per turn, unlike your scout's one) to stir up some native life. At this point, you're in prime position to get ready to do a big worm rush (and it generally only takes 4-6 worms in the early game).
If you're alone on your continent, then your next two overriding goals ought to be Planetary Networks (for Probe Teams) and Doctrine: Flexibility (for transports) so you can go make some greedy Marketeer pay!