Twilight Imperium: The Mentak Coalition
From the strategy guide written by Stefan Sasse
- You start with one additional CC in FS
- During Strategy Phase, you may take 1TG from up to two players with 3+ TG
- Before Space Battles begin, you may take two pre-combat shots with Cruisers or Destroyers; casualties don’t return fire
- Hylar V Assault Laser
- Enviro Compensator
Leaders: Agent, Diplomat, Admiral
Representative 1: S’ula Mentarion (C) +4. After voting, look at the top card of the Political Deck and place it on top or bottom.
Representative 2: Cador Grim (S) +0. Assassinate. If your Spy is killed by an enemy Spy, the enemy Spy is also killed.
Representative 3: Orid Grim (B) +2. If this card is targeted by a Spy, the player controlling the Spy must give you 3TG or kill the spy.
Racial Tech 1: Salvage Operations (4) +2TG for every Space Battle. If victorious, you rebuild one ship that was destroyed.
Racial Tech 2: Mirror Computing (4) When you spend Trade Goods, each Trade Good counts as 2 resources instead of one.
- 1 Carrier
- 3 Cruisers
- 1 PDS
- 4 GF
Trade Agreements: 1,1
Homesystem: Moll Primus (4/1)
Flagship: Fourth Moon (8 / 5×2 / 2 / 2) Opposing ships may not use the Sustain Damage ability in this system.
The Mentak Coalition is a ragtag band of pirates. They roam the galaxy in search of easy game, take what they want and leave again. If it is a planet they want, they take it and stay there as long as they like. They are no easy neighbors, opportunistic in nature and selling themselves to the highest bidder. This is partially reflected by their racial abilities.
Your abilities allow you to take one TG from up to two players with three or more TG in the Strategy Phase. This ability is more a deterrent than a real stealing opportunity. Most players will try to spend all but two TG before Strategy Phase. You can hurt two races with this, though: first, the Letnev who want to stockpile TG for important battles, and second, the Hacan who generally acquire lots of TG. The problem is always that when you take them they will be mad at you. It is important that you convince the others that it is natural to use this ability because if you didn’t you would forego your racial ability, and the Sardakk N’orr wouldn’t abandon their racial, would they? If this argument is accepted, you have an easier time.
The second racial ability allows you to take up to two pre-combat shots with either your Destroyers or Cruisers. The worth of this ability is tremendous in the beginning and soon deteriorates towards the end when all the Fighters come up and cover the fleets. In the beginning, you can very aggressively snipe some unprotected Carriers, though. Especially the Federation of Sol is very vulnerable to this, but the Yssaril and other races starting with two Carriers are also likely victims.
The third racial ability is not really useful; an additional CC in Fleet Supply just allows you to sustain your starting fleet which is the numerically largest in the game.
The HS of the Mentak isn’t really strong. Moll Primus is a single planet with 4 resources and 1 influence, so you can pay stuff with it but it doesn’t give you the build limit you need for your fleet, so expand quickly and never waste a thought about scuttling the SD in your HS if a sweeter spot presents itself to you. Just don’t forget that your HS can be conquered easily if you don’t defend it.
The Mentak have a fairly decent set of starting techs, albeit not very impressive. Enviro Compensator and Hylar V Assault Laser allow you to quickly tech into the yellow and red techs and, most importantly, help you with your mediocre build limit. If you have a deep look at the two techs, however, they really hit you in the head. They cry “Tech for War Sun!” And really, the Mentak are a race suited naturally for War Suns. Just think of a band of pirates with its own Death Star! That’s the wet dream of every corsair. Another tech really worth considering are the Stasis Capsules. In combination with the War Sun, they make Carriers almost redundant for the Mentak who can then carry their GF in their Cruisers and their Fighter cover in the War Suns.
The strongest of this average racial ability collection is the racial tech, however: the 2TG disbursement every time you’re in a battle. You attack someone? 2TG. Someone attacks you? 2TG. That way you have an easier time fulfilling economic objectives requiring TG or compensating the losses, especially since you won’t get too much TG from Trade. Combined with the ability to rebuild a ship destroyed in a Space Battle if victorious, whether it previously belonged to friend or foe, this makes the Mentak a race thriving on combat and fast-paced battles. You don’t want to let fleets become too big, because battles involving such fleets tend to be decisive and rare, and to exploit your abilities you need to use them often. Their second racial technology however, “Mirror Computing”, really shines. Every TG you spend counts as two. Speak with me: every TG you spend counts as two. When the Mentak gain this tech, every TG they gain boosts them more than the Hacan! Combine that with the “Transfabrication” tech and produce Destroyers, scuttling them in the same moment. Talk about doubling your income!
The starting units of the Mentak represent just that ability to attack quickly and aggressively. You have three Cruisers which, remember, can take pre-combat shots. Should your neighbor be so unwise as to prowl your space in reach of the Cruisers with poorly defended Carriers, don’t hesitate to take them out. You will slow down the progress of this player very heavily. Don’t expect to be loved for such actions, though; nobody loves pirates. Your own expansion really needs some boost, on the other hand, as you start with only 3GF and one Carrier.
This leads to the first SC you have to get. This should be Production, to bolster up the small landing forces you have with an additional Carrier, Cruiser, two GF and two Fighters. This is a build that maximizes the resources and build limit with the Production Primary. Another tasty option for your first round is Warfare II, greatly increasing the range of your Cruisers and therefore allowing you to snipe off the enemy’s expansion force deep in the space he regards as his own, the fool.
Like all aggressive races, your TAs suck. Both are rated “1″, and combined with the ability to steal TG you are not exactly high on the list of trading partners one could wish for, so you need to take refuge in blackmailing. Make sure the poor bastard neighboring you knows about your abilities to attack him quickly, and blackmail him into giving you a juicy TA. The Federation of Sol would be a likely partner for a scam like this, but others are well suited too. Perhaps some will even come voluntarily to get rid of the constant nuisance at their borders the Mentak provide so willingly.
On the other hand, the Mentak do possess a good set of Leaders. The Admiral boosts up one of the Cruisers, the Diplomat protects vital planets (like the HS that you leave nearly defenseless) and the Agent can help you along storming planets if need be or to defend against nasty AC that threaten to overthrow your plans.
The Mentak representatives give them another strong hand. Two of them are strong deterrents, targeting them resulting in the loss of the attacker or TG, while the third may negate one of the best effects of the “Political” SC.
Their Flagship also ranks among the top ones and contests with the L1z1x. Losing the sustain damage ability really diminishes enemy fleets relying heavily on Warsuns and Dreadnoughts. It may not seem much, but it really, really hurts in the actual battle. Purchasing this ship is almost a no-brainer for the Mentak, given the Firepower and speed it can muster, too.
In general, put a price tag on everything you’re doing. You’re a heartless rogue, so act the part. You have no natural enemies and no natural friends, you can sell every action you do. You want to expand aggressively? Ask who wants to pay you to attack either neighbor, or to not attack a certain player. You have an AC like Plague on your hand you don’t really need? Offer to play it on any target when paid. Playing like this and really selling yourself to anybody like a good whore, you’re the teflon bitch. Nothing will stick with you, because they will always blame the one paying you and not yourself. And why should they do otherwise? You are merely providing a service. If anyone takes it, well, that’s their responsibility, isn’t it? You’re a pirate. Act like it! Pity and remorse are nothing that comes into the play of the Mentak. They are designed to make use of every weakness they sense, so if you don’t have the guts to kick your fellow players in their metaphorical crotches, don’t play Mentak. Exploit every opportunity you get, and never ever hang on such things as honor when it doesn’t benefit you. And never forget to end all your sentences with a deep, growling “Arrrrrrrr!”