Sister Miriam Godwinson
At a Glance:
- +2 Support
- +1 Probe
- -2 Research
- -1 Planet
- 25% attack bonus
A superb faction, helped greatly by the Support bonus. The Believers get off to a slow start, but this need not be a crippling disadvantage. One good thing about it is that your bases will be laid out better on your continent, as you will generally have more time to explore before you can start expanding. The planet negative puts you at a slight disadvantage when fighting the natives, unless you attack first, which more than negates your -10% penalty, and the Support boon lets you field more units per base in any event. Also, your attack bonus allows you to work your way to "Trans-elite" troopers, giving you an extra point of movement, and a 25% attack bonus above and beyond what everybody else gets too. Also, the ability to switch to Fundamentalism and render your bases and units immune to subversion is a huge advantage! Oh, and remember, Miriam is the only faction in the game that can run Democracy and still build a new base with free minerals! (The key advantage here being that you can have comparatively more bases before you start getting drone warnings due to size). A word of warning with this faction: If you are attacked by a psi-force, get as far away from Market as you can. In fact, it would be far and away in your best interest to run green when faced with such an attack, because if you are caught by the worms while running Market, even with trance or empath-assisted troopers, there's almost no way you can win, especially if those worms are being controlled by Cha'Dawn or Deirdre.
Miriam, the Builder
This might seem like a contradiction in terms, considering the slow start with research and the twenty percent higher tech costs, but in truth, you can offset both of these things with relative ease. Once you get Centauri Ecology, the boost in support enables you to crank out an obscene number of formers, very quickly moving to terraform the entire continent, and making all your bases that much more productive. Not to mention the fact that, as with the Spartans, most people will be content to leave you be if you play a Builder game, and odds are, they're just breathing a sigh of relief that you're not attacking them! If you ARE attacked however, your best chance at defending is with an active stance, using pre-emptive strikes to take advantage of your native 25% attack bonus and running Fundamentalism to prevent subversion. Research wise, even when you're running Fundamentalism, Network Nodes everywhere gives you a net gain of +10% to your research rates. Not nearly the boost it gives others, but then, you'll only be running Fundamentalism if there's trouble brewing, otherwise, you're better served by some other Social Engineering choice (Democratic springs immediately to mind here). Your cash is good (ability to run Market), your troops are good, and you can offset the research hit by a program of steady builds and active probe teams to keep up until your infrastructure is in place. The Miriam Builder game is by far the most active of the lot, as she must make early and regular use of probes to keep pace until the infrastructure is in place, but it's quite easily pulled off.
Also note here, that when you play the Builder's game with Miriam, you will want to be very careful and specific about when you run Fundamentalism. True, it gives you almost total immunity to enemy probe actions, but it utterly kills your research, regardless of your infrastructure, so use it only when pressed, or when pressing an attack against someone else.
Miriam, the Hybrid
Miriam's Builder game is so active that there really aren't many differences between it and the Hybrid game, except that, where the Builder will focus mostly on early game formers, the Hybrid player will take a few of those "free unit" slots and use them for the building of prototypes, sending them out hunting in much the same way that the Deirdre Hybrid player uses her native life forms.
Miriam, the Conqueror
Again, like the Spartans, this one's a no-brainer. Race for Doctrine: Flexibility and Planetary Networks, switch to Fundamentalism, save your money, find an opponent, infiltrate, Probe them to death to get their tech, steal a base and upgrade all the garrisons to best/best, using pre-emptive strikes to defeat the forces sent against you (and continue to subvert them all the while). Build cheap scouts or Recon Rovers every turn, upgrading them to whatever is needed (remembering that the newly captured base will get a larger than normal share of "free" units), and keep punching your opponent. In the field, with even tech, your forces are very hard to beat, especially if you're running Fundamentalism, as they cannot use Probe trickery against you, and you get a morale boost too!