CEO Nwabudike Morgan
At a Glance:
- +1 Economy
- -1 Support
- Extra Commerce income
- Severe population limits (smaller bases)
- Starts with 100 extra energy credits
Probably the most underrated faction of the original seven, Morgan is terrific if played correctly, but a novice will probably have to work a bit to get the faction humming. This is mainly due to the fact that Morgan's style of play is somewhat different from the others. The Morganite player must make the most of the faction's one big advantage: money. Morgan is the only faction in the early game that can go to war and still maintain a highly profitable economy. Selecting Values: Wealth, the faction receives +1 energy per square and gets an industry bonus to boot, strong advantages which can negate the Morale hit. Many players regard Morgan as incredibly weak because of the base size limitation, but this need not be a significant obstacle. Wealth is an integral part of almost any Morganite strategy, and Wealth comes with Industrial Automation, which also allows Supply Crawlers, a terrific Secret Project (The Planetary Transit System), and Hab Complexes, which allow Morganite bases to grow to size 11 without stopping. A more pervasive problem for the faction is the support hit, which tends to reduce the total size of the army it can raise (until the discovery of Clean Reactors, at least). However, this is largely offset by the acquisition of Supply Crawlers via Industrial Automation. Building additional bases and Crawlers can render the support issue moot. Granted, most Morganite players will tend to keep expanding a bit longer than the other factions to keep pace with overall population numbers, but in truth, another 1-2 bases will generally produce population parity. Further, The Ascetic Virtues will largely remove the small base issue, and The Living Refinery undoes the support problem once and for all (though by this point in the game, Clean Reactors will have long since come into play).
Morgan, the Builder
This approach to the Morgan game takes his mercantile nature to heart. You don't profit by killing off your customers, and Morganite Builders can make utterly obscene amounts of cash. The commerce bonus gives you the kind of windfall normally reserved for the Planetary Governor (magnified further still if you are the Planetary Governor), and by running Free Market, Wealth, and "doping" your citizens into a Golden Age, you not only achieve pop-boom status (if you're running Democratic too), but also get +4 Economy, which does amazing things to the energy you get from your base squares! A Builder game, Morgan style revolves around defending all your bases with Trance Scouts until you get Clean Reactors, and catching up on all your prototyping or building a defense force at that point. In the meantime, all the money you're making each turn, combined with the industry bonus from wealth, enables you to rush-build your infrastructure with a speed that will make the other factions green with envy. It's all too easy to beat out even Domai's vaunted industrial capacity with Morgan's cash. As much as possible, the Morganite Builder will want to run Democratic, Free Market, and Wealth (while building and enjoying the benefits of many pacts or treaties), or Knowledge if an extra bit of research boost and efficiency is needed. If you need to go on the offensive, your Social Engineering settings of choice will be Wealth/Green, with or without Democratic (mostly depending on if you have clean reactors or not yet), and if you want to push your labs up to 100%, run Democratic, Green, Wealth (+4 efficiency), make your +1 energy per square, and dump it all into your labs. In this manner, you can out-tech even Zakharov, despite his research bonus!
Even if you've got your heart set on playing the Builder game, you need to be prepared for war, but the good news is that you start with Synthmetal armor, and will find yourself only a few steps from Silksteel once all the early game resource restrictions are lifted (though in most case, getting to Bio-Engineering first, for Clean Reactors, will serve you better). Still, Morganite defenses revolve first and foremost around covert ops. If an opponent builds a base too close to you for comfort, either buy it and burn it down, or stack so many clean defenders in it that, regardless of your almost guaranteed lower morale, your enemies will have a hard time taking it back, and when fighting a defensive campaign, the presence of Children's Creches everywhere will offset Wealth's only minus, putting you in reasonably good shape.
Morgan, the Hybrid
Industrial Automation is crucial for this style of play, as some portion of your industrial capacity will be tied up in the maintenance of a standing force, and if you have to make use of that force to launch an attack, simply drop out of Market in preference for Green, keep Wealth unless you just really need the extra morale percentages, and use Wealth's industry bonus and your inherent cash to replace lost troops at a faster clip than your opponents can kill them. Morgan excels at the art of attrition warfare. It does not matter if your first unit makes a kill, because one of the four of five coming right behind surely will, and you'll wind up with a core force of elites (survivors of the many battles) in the end! Remember, it applies to all the factions to a degree, but even more so with Morgan: You should never actually build the kind of unit you want! Build Laser Scouts or Rovers, and selectively upgrade your way to the kind of force you need, and don't worry about ignoring the weapons techs in the early game. If you're behind militarily, just make it a point to capture an enemy unit with whatever weapon you're looking for, and you can start building them as well, even if you don't yet have the tech for it!
All the basic fighting strategies for Morgan's Momentum game work just as well for the Hybrid game, and unlike most other factions playing a Hybrid scheme, your cash position will be so good that you can almost always make offensive use of your probes. Do so!
Morgan, the Conqueror
Again, put your eyes, mind and heart firmly on the goal of acquiring Industrial Automation. Crawlers, coupled with the building of new bases, will quickly put you in a position where you will be able to crank out as many if not more troops than your opponents!
Two basic ways you can go about this are: Beeline for the Command Nexus to offset Wealth's Morale hit, and rake in the cash while beating your opponents with average to slightly above average troops, or, forget the money, run Green (still beelining for Doctrine: Loyalty) and beat on them with better than average troops. Either way works, but running Wealth opens up more options for you with Morgan, enabling you to offset your average troops with regular and very active offensive probe teams, subverting a base or two to establish a foothold, and then pouring your troops into it (and, if you really want to get mean, run Fundamentalism and Wealth to make it harder for your opponents to run probe actions against you). The Support problem is offset by an early emphasis on crawler production at all bases to spike up mineral outputs, and troops can be easily reinforced by rushing selective defensive structures in captured bases and by upgrading scouts produced to best/best configurations. Remember, as Morgan, you have a far easier time at paying for a war effort as you go, because you can get that magical +1 energy per square and still fight before Punishment Spheres. Everybody else has to either wait until they get higher up on the tech tree, or save for the invasion in advance. Use that to your advantage and attack earlier rather than later. Also, make active use of your probe teams to subvert enemy troops, adding them to your available force pool. Best of all, you can compare morale levels, and make suicide attacks with the worst of the lot, keeping the best for "sure kills" and consistently raise the morale of an elite core of your army, which will soon have you fighting on "Morale parity" with whatever enemy you are attacking, even if they began with an advantage in that department. About the only person you'll be hampered against in the early game is Miriam running Fundamentalism, as that will shut down your probe actions, but even then, with your better research rates, you should be at a higher tech level when you begin your attacks, and a series of swift, hard, unexpected blows (and who the heck expects Morgan to come out fighting?!) will give you all the edge you need.