Twilight Imperium: The Emirates of Hacan

From the strategy guide written by Stefan Sasse

Racial Ability:

  • In Status Phase, you may trade Action Cards with other players.
  • You receive one additional Trade Good per Trade Agreement.
  • Your trades don’t need approval; other players may never break a Trade Agreement with you except for war or the Trade Strategy Card (not Trade II).

Starting Techs:

  • Enviro Compensator
  • Sarween Tools

Leaders: General, Scientist, Diplomat

Representative 1:   Alrung (S, B)   +0. Assassinate.

Representative 2:   Huldran (C)    +2. When voting, each player who didn’t receive a Promissory Note must give you 1 Trade Good or abstain.

Representative 3: Garrus (C)    +4.  If any player gives you a Trade Good during the Bargaining step, gain one additional Trade Good from the supply (once per round).

Racial Tech 1:   Production Centers (3)    Once per round, spend a Command Counter from Supply Allocation to receive 4 Trade Goods and give 2 Trade Goods to any other player(s), but only if you have less than 6 Trade Goods.

Racial Tech 2:   Quantum Datahub Node (5)    At the end of your Strategy Phase, you may trade one of your Strategy Cards with a Strategy Card of one of your trading partners. The other player doesn’t need to agree to the trade.

Starting Units:

  • 2 Carriers
  • 4 Ground Forces
  • 1 Cruiser
  • 2 Fighters

Trade Agreements:   3,3

Home system:

  • Arretze (2/0)
  • Hercant (1/1)
  • Kamdorn (0/1)

Flagship: Wrath of Kenara (10 / 7×3 / 2 / 4)     When this ship is present, up to two times each combat round, you may spend 1TG to reroll one of your dice.

The Emirates of Hacan are the trading power of the universe. They are an ideal race for those who like to play on the diplomatic stage as well as being able to deliver some punishment if necessary. Their racial abilities allow them to stockpile resources in the form of the valuable trade goods, but unlike the races made out for war they possess no abilities to help them with it, so they have to compensate for their shortcomings with money. Same goes for the stage of diplomacy: they have no powers that allow them to interfere with the course of politics, so they have to buy their enemies and votes alike. That being said, if the Emirates of Hacan still appeal to you, we will take a look at their racial abilities.

The most obvious is the bonus in trade goods. Trading is your friend. Even with the worst Trade Agreement – the one worth just 1  Trade Good – you still get moreTrade Good with Trade than most other players do in any game. That means, you can afford being generous and buying your neighbors off with good Trade Agreements or making friends otherwise. You are the Trademaster, in various ways. The Hacan giveth, and the Hacan taketh away. When someone who has a 3 Trade Agreement with you pisses you off, cancel the Trade Agreement and give it to someone more loyal. You can never get at the short end of Trade negotiations because the bonus always pays you off.

The second and often underestimated ability of the Hacan is that they are the only ones able to trade Action Cards. That’s a valuable asset. Offer your services to the others, either for a small fee or entirely for free. This is invaluable. People tend to trade good Action Cards, so you will gain precious knowledge that can be sold otherwise. Plus, you never have to trade cards that are bad for you since you see them beforehand. You can even punish someone who sought to cheat you that way by keeping the cards. They are legally in your possession before you deal them out again. But be warned: if you make it a habit to cheat people of their Action Cards, they’ll make it a habit not to trade with you. And then your racial isn’t worth shit.

The third racial ability you possess is that your Trade Agreement may not be broken except for war. That means players cannot voluntarily break Trade Agreements with you even if they wanted to, which makes trading with you especially safe. Your Trade Agreements are totally depending on you. That gives your trading partner security in planning, but it’s like a drug. You don’t want to miss such a valuable asset like a Trade Agreement with Hacan, so you try to do anything to keep it and to avoid trouble with them. Exploit this fact! Be the Trading Master. Everyone who wants to play Trading Master himself by the use of the Trade Strategy Card needs to be shown how little interest the Hacan have in that petty game. Your trades don’t need approval by a self-appointed Trade Master.

Another asset in the hands of the Hacan is, like with the Barony of Letnev, their Home System. It is the only one in the game featuring three planets, and that can’t be coincidence since there are three Space Docks to build for every race. Except for having Abyz/Fria or Bereg/Lirta IV in direct proximity there is no excuse not to throw down all Space Docks in the Home System to be able to build enormous fleets. The charm with this is that it is a permanent deterrent: nobody has so many resources to spend on a single build like the Hacan do, and combined with the excessive build limit this provides it can always be done. Hacan can arm up especially fast if need be, compared to other races. It’s a more subtle threat than others, to be sure, but a threat nonetheless.

The Hacan also boast good starting units. Four Ground Forces and two Carriers guarantee a quick expansion in the beginning, adding even more to the economic advantage. With additional two Fighters and a Cruiser you are also prepared to do some fighting in the beginning. This fleet relieves you of the necessity to get the Production Strategy Card in the first Strategy Phase. Just build two additional Ground Forces and perhaps a Destroyer with the Secondary, and you’re fine. You don’t need the Trade Strategy Card, too, since you can participate in it for free. In the beginning, you can grab more than your fair share of planets with the two Carriers you start with. Since you lack XRD Transporters, it makes no sense to purchase a third, even if you could, in most cases.

Hacan’s starting techs satisfy most economic needs from the outset. From there, several options are open. The route to War Suns is already done half, and you’ll never lack the resources for it. War Suns and Hacan match. This is especially good because you get Hylar V Assault Lasers on the way that deal with a disadvantage in your initial setup. After that, the Hacan have a hard road regarding techs, because nearly everything has to be made up from scratch at a slow pace. You need Antimass for XRD, you don’t get to Cybernetics easily, and the real juicy techs are way down the path. If you’re still not filled up with trade goods and greedy, go for Micro Technology and boost your trade income to hilarious + 2 trade goods per trade agreement to a maximum of ten. Ouch! You can then fast tech to Integrated Economy, which basically makes you an economic monster with a low-standard fleet. You are then the Russians of the Twilight Imperium 3 universe, building up masses of mediocre ships and overrunning the enemy just because you can. Your enemies will try not to let you get Technology too often since you can easily afford to use the Secondary too and so compensate this disadvantage at least to a degree.

Your first racial tech is another example of the give-and-take-away mentality of the Hacan. It quickly pays for itself, and everytime you use it you not only gain a vital element of stalling (if only once per round), but also you can make friends easily and pay debts with this. No one can hope for such high briberies like the Hacan are forced to pay by the use of this one! You can bribe someone for 2 trade goods every round with this, which is very valuable. Use it as often as possible. The second racial tech is very mighty, but a two-edged sword. It can be used to take the victory off the hands of a trading partner by securing that vital strategy card for yourself, or for elaborate tactics with an ally. Resist the hesitation to use it for every advantage you can get, however. If you regularly piss off your trading partners, you will soon find yourself without friends in a war on multiple fronts.

Your leaders offer a fair variety. The Diplomat will secure a key asset like Mecatol Rex when needed – since you build in your Home System and always protect it your Diplomat won’t be needed to secure a production site, so use him where you need him to. The General can reinforce any Ground Forces, but don’t hang too tight on him. The Hacan always can afford more Ground Forces, so don’t think he’s invaluable and take unworthy risks or costs just to save the guy. And last, the Admiral will improve one of your ships a bit. You can tell by my explanation that the Hacan don’t really rely on their leaders. They are a nice bonus and may come in handy from time to time, but they are not essential.

The Hacan representatives offer a good combination. Your Spy is also a Bodyguard, making him nigh invulnerable, while he himself is able to assassinate people. The focus here lies on “is able”, since it’s not mandatory that you kill someone. This is a perfect ability to offer for sale if you have no one to kill this round dictated by circumstance. The two Councilors offer nice bonuses alongside the votes, so if you feel comfortable for the vote, use them for the benefits.

Let’s talk about the Hacan Flagship. It’s mediocre at best. For ten resources, you gain a very expensive reroll ability (which might be crucial, granted), the firepower of three Cruisers without Hylar V and the capacity of a crippled Carrier. Lucky for the Hacan, the price doesn’t matter so much, so you can afford the ship most of the times. It bolsters your fleet additionally, but it won’t change the game massively. Regard it as another plastic piece on the board, but don’t overestimate its capabilities.

In the late game build your fleets – you will have the money for several – according to your techs, but you can afford to be sloppy. Build everything there is as long as money and build limit don’t stop you. It will look mighty, even if it isn’t. Deter who you cannot buy. That’s the way of the Emirates of Hacan.

3 thoughts on “Twilight Imperium: The Emirates of Hacan

  1. There is no Admiral for the hacan.

  2. These guys get my vote for 2nd craziest race after Yssaril. Unless they get bumrushed by an extremely aggressive rush race (Muaat, Mentak, Nekkro) neighbor, they always turn into a powerhouse. I’ve yet to see a single game where they don’t end up being a serious contender to winning.

    Production is king, and Hacan are king of production. Production Centers just puts them insanely over the top in that area. With the ability to easily afford massive fleets and lots of tech, there is rarely any victory condition they can’t handle.

    Also over the top are their leaders. On top of their amazing abilities, they just had to get a scientist and diplomat (easily the two best types of leaders) instead of a crappy admiral like everyone else? A general isn’t quite as good as an agent, but he’s still better than an admiral.

  3. Wait what? Generals are by far the most useless Leader in a game where ground combat rarely involves more than a few units, unless you’re fighting against the Federation. Admirals, on the other hand, turn Dreadnoughts into an extremely capable ship that can anchor a fleet.

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