Twilight Imperium: The Arborec
From the strategy guide written by Stefan Sasse
- You may not build GF with your Space Docks.
- Your GF have a build capacity of 1. You may not build units with Ground Forces that have moved during the same activation.
- At the start of the Status Phase, place 1GF on one planet you control.
- Antimass Deflectors
- Stasis Capsules
Leaders: Admiral, Diplomat, General
Representative 1: Dirzuga Ohao (C) +3. If killed, this Representative returns to your hand after voting.
Representative 2: Dirzuga Mantasa (C) +4. Other Councilors do not receive bonus votes when voting.
Representative 3: Letani Miasmiala (S) +0. Choose another player. If he chose a Councilor, you may kill this spy to control his councilor during voting.
- Racial Tech 1: Bioplasmosis (3) At the beginning of the round, you may move one of your GF from one planet you control to another planet you control in an adjacent system.
- Racial Tech 2: Spore Acceleration (5) Increase the Build Capacity for your GF by one.
- 4 GF
- 1 Cruiser
- 1 Carrier
- 2 Fighters
- 1 PDS
Trade Agreements: 2,1
Homesystem: Nestphar (3/2), Green Discount
Flagship: Duha Menaimon (10/6×2 / 1 / 5) Build Capacity 5. You may not build units with this ship if it has moved during the same activation.
The Arborec are a race of plants, constantly growing and expanding throughout the known universe. They are unique in their way of looking towards not only the worlds themselves, but also in the way they procreate and build their things. Playing the Arborec means to adjust to these circumstances and abilities since playing them is like no other race in the game. They may share most of the mechanisms, but their racial abilities allow them for priorities no other race may set, and it allows them to boldly go where no other race may walk.
The most important aspect about this are their racial abilities. The first of these forbids to them to build GF with their Space Docks. The only ability for them to gain additional GF is to procreate from existing GF.
This is due to their second racial ability. All GF have a production capacity of one with which they may build all units available to the Arborec. It is important to note that the production capacity may not be pooled – producing new GF that way is double as expensive as with the other races, since you need to buy them one by one for a price of one resource each. You are not limited to the resource value on any planet, however – even a single, crappy planet like Tar’man may have a build capacity of twenty-three for the Arborec, provided they have enough GF stacked in it. And it’s a pretty good deterrent against any invasion attempts, too.
The third racial ability essentially ensures that you are never completely eliminated from the game, granting you one new GF on any one planet you control. This can be the basis to produce new GF there, perhaps with use of the Secondary of Production, and quickly bolster up a new force on any planet you control.
A downside for the Arborec surely is their HS. It only sports three resources and two influence, which makes it even worse than Sol’s HS, and the green discount for technology makes in no way up for it (given you don’t plan to research a green tech every round of the game, of course). Luckily for you, you don’t need production capacity on the planet itself, so you have to go for juicy stuff in other places.
The starting units of the Arborec are kind of a letdown, too – only one Carrier and four GF. With the Cruiser and Stasis Capsules you may reach another planet, of course, but it’s dangerous when playing with Distant Suns. Worse, while four GF are reasonably much for most races, the Arborec need them for production. That means, if they don’t hold the Production SC themselves, they need to postpone expansion until someone plays it – which won’t be possible most of the times. If the GF moves in the round, however, they may not produce, which makes the initial Arborec rounds awfully slow and painful.
Their starting techs, on the other hand, are good. With Antimass Deflectors, they can quickly access the important XRD Drives and other blue techs, and Stasis Capsules allow them to fly around with Cruisers and dump GF everywhere – which becomes much more powerful than with other races because if you don’t get rid of Arborec GF in your backyard quickly, they might soon grow into a numerable force. The Arborec have a bit of a harder time getting the red techs, granted, but in the middle game they will have to acquire some basics like the Hylar V Laser anyway. The most unique position for them is that they don’t need to research any yellow tech, at all. Enviro Compensators are totally useless for them, Sarween Tools too, and all the other stuff would require them to get these two. Since the Arborec will most likely produce with their GF anyway there is no reason to ever even look at the yellow techs. All other races need them, though – this gives them a nice advantage by concentrating on the juicy other techs.
The first racial tech of the Arborec, the “Bioplasmosis”, allows you to shift around GF between neighboring systems without actually sending ships in and without them to fall under the “no building after movement” clause. I’m not really sure whether this ability is worth the three resources and teching, though. I can say for sure, however, that the second racial tech “Spore Acceleration”, is a must buy. The Arborec need this tech asap. I can’t stress this point enough. Not even “Mirror Computing” for the Mentak is as important as this one. It will double the Production Capacity of the GF. That means that one GF can spawn two (not at the regular price) and that two GF on any planet will create a perpetuum mobile (since they can easily produce two new GF plus a ship or PDS or what-have-you with the Secondary of Production). This tech is awesome and makes production limits in the twenties easily possible for the Arborec, allowing them to build absurd masses of cheap units like Fighters, new GF and Destroyers.
Their Leader combination is decent, although not too useful. Exploiting the ridiculous building limits the Arborec can muster, the need for an Admiral is not really there. Given the sheer mass of GF, a General is also not a thing you really need. The Diplomat is better, best left on the HS to prevent enemy surprise landings and relieving you from the need to station a large force there. In the end, the Arborec don’t really need their leaders, and should you ever forget to use them, it will not be such a big deal as with other races.
The Representatives speak a different language. First, the Arborec have an undying Councilor, which allows them to use the bonus votes he offers more freely than most other races. Another Councilor grants bonus votes and cuts the ones of the others off, and the Spy allows for one crucial vote to control the vote from another player – you only need to hit a Councilor.
The Arborec flagship sounds nice in theory, allowing you a build limit of five with the ability to produce GF, too – but the money is better invested in “Spore Acceleration”, which relieves you from the need for such a ship entirely. Its lousy speed and mediocre fighting abilities make the choice easy.
In a game with the Arborec, you need to keep in mind that you will be ridiculously slow and weak in the beginning. Getting Production fast is a number one priority. Don’t hesitate to make good promises for it or bribe other players to use it in the second round – in the first one, they will want to move their ships out anyway. You don’t, since you will simply produce three GF for your three resources in the HS anyway. Exploit the fact that you later can build up large and larger fleets. You don’t need that many resources, but time. A long game is the Arborec’s friend. Plan accordingly and use your diplomatic skills to create a balance of power. Everything that prevents everyone from getting points early on is useful.