Twilight Imperium: The Winnu

From the strategy guide written by Stefan Sasse

Racial Ability:

  • All planets containing GF are immune to “Local Unrest”
  • The influence value of Winnu counts for votes even when exhausted
  • You do not need a CC to execute the Secondary of Technology.

Starting Techs:

  • Antimass Deflectors
  • Enviro Compensator
  • Stasis Capsules

Leaders: Agent, Admiral, Scientist

Representative 1: Perdin Perdona (C) +2. If you vote “against”, gain +3 votes.

Representative 2: Menda Mendala (S) +0. Assassinate. Immune to other spies.

Representative 3: Berekar Berekon (C) +3. Gain a Cruiser if result of vote not the one you wanted.

Racial Tech 1: Bioptic Recyclers (3) Once per round, as an action, discard one AC to get a CC or 2TG.

Racial Tech 2: Lazax Gate Folding (4)  At the start of each Status Phase, you may place 1 GF on Mecatol Rex. You may only do this if the planet is uncontrolled or is under your control (discard any Domain Counter on the planet).

Starting Units:

  • 3 GF
  • 1 Carrier
  • 1 Cruiser
  • 2 Fighters
  • 1 PDS

Trade Agreements: 3,1

Homesystem:  Winnu (3/4), Yellow Discount

Flagship: Salai Sai Corian (10 / 7x? / 1 / 3)  ? is equal to the number of opposing non- Fighter ships present this round during Space Battle.

Like humanity, the Winnu are not so much determined in their play style as most other races. Their racial abilities seem like they’ve been shuffled together from a great salad bowl and then randomly drawn and attached to them. Let’s have a look:

First, your planets with one GF are immune to “Local Unrest”. This relieves you of a worry in your systems where the SD are positioned, since normally you want to have two GF on every such planet. In case of the Winnu, one suffices. You will agree when I tell you that you could live without that trait.

Secondly, the influence of Winnu (the planet) counts even if the planet is exhausted. Four influence is pretty decent, but the greatest worth of this is in the initial two rounds where you dominate the agendas. After that it is up to the planets you grab.

Third, you don’t need a CC from SA to execute the Secondary of the Technology SC. That’s just another ability that falls in the “nice to have, but not important” category.

So, the racial abilities of the Winnu are nothing to get excited about. Their HS isn’t either, except for the fact that you can use its influence for voting even if it’s exhausted and that it has a yellow tech specialty. It possesses only three resources, so it’s rather likely that it will be exhausted soon. Since it’s a single planet, you have a maximum build limit of six, which sucks. Get out and grab a decent system ASAP.

Where the Winnu really shine is with their starting techs and to an extent their first racial tech, “Bioptic Recyclers”. Let’s have a look. Your start with three basic techs, allowing you to go in virtually any direction. They are all useful in their own right, especially the Stasis Capsules which allow you to expand in two systems even if you have only one Carrier (which is the case). The Winnu additionally have three starting techs which gives them a headstart over most races. “Bioptic Recyclers” is a good one, too: not only is it a good option for stalling, it can also pump you full of CC or TG and allows you to get rid of bad AC for a good effect. The second racial tech, “Lazax Gate Folding”, however, doesn’t shine as much. It allows you to essentially conquer MR in the early game without going there and fighting the Guardians, but the cost are almost prohibitive. And placing one GF there every round if you control it…how many rounds do you plan on holding the planet, anyway?

Your priority should be to keep the AC flowing to maximize this effect once you’ve researched your racial tech. Take Assembly more often than most. If you go down this route, it might be a possibility to concentrate on influence-heavy planets in the expansion phase. Also, for this, Neural Motivator is nearly a no-brainer.

However, there is another excellent reason for taking Neural Motivator. Along with XRD Transporters (always a nice tech), it is one of the two prerequisites for the powerful Type IV Drive. Winnu is the only race that only needs to buy three techs in order to be able to move their Cruisers three spaces; you’ll also be able to move Dreadnoughts two, but you should not be focusing on DNs at all with Winnu. And if you’re feeling extra greedy, or you have some blue tech specialty planets, Advanced Fighters is only one more step away.

In all of this, though, you are a bit crippled from the start: you have a decent fleet, but only three GF. You can transport one of these with your Cruiser since you have Stasis Capsules, but especially when you play with Distant Suns three GF are not much. In the first round you should try to put out more of them. Unfortunately it is not possible to build a Carrier AND GF because Winnu only has three resources.

Another asset of the Winnu is their 3TA. It allows you to buy off one neighbor. Considering your initial weakness and need for consolidation and outlaying of a decent strategy, this can’t hurt. The first trade negotiations are no time to be greedy for Winnu. If you have two potentially aggressive neighbors, don’t trade with the Hacan across the board even if it is tempting to get a 3TA yourself. That’s not what it’s for. Secure your position and then begin to take out by using your superior management.

The Representatives of the Winnu aren’t really worth talking about. They can assassinate, they can gain some bonus votes, and they gain a bonus Cruiser if they don’t like the result, which is great in theory, but lacking a bodyguard with retaliation skills they are a good target for enemy spies anyway.

The Winnu flagshuo “Salai Sai Corian” is strange. You can gain many dice with it if you charge into big enemy fleets, but to what point? The ship is slow, can’t carry much and is expensive, and the hit number on that awful lot of dice is 7, which isn’t really something worth to brag over. This baby is best viewed in the garage and polished every now and then.

The Winnu leaders at last contain a Scientist, which is always good and allows you to capitalize on Winnu’s unique yellow discount to rapidly tech down the yellow tree and get a real headstart. The Admiral will improve your fleet a little bit, and the Agent might be helpful too.


1 thought on “Twilight Imperium: The Winnu

  1. Arborec and Winnu both start with Stasis Capsule and antimass deflectors, which means they both require the fewest prerequisites to acquire Type IV Hard Drive. Winnu are not the only race.

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