The Shofixti Scout

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Draxas
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by Draxas » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:49 pm

The Troglodyte wrote:This match-up was reminiscent of a mission in Star Control 1 called… yep, you guessed it… ‘Exterminate!’ You were given the task of taking down a lone Ur-Quan Dreadnought with a small fleet of Shofixti Scouts before it destroys all Alliance colonies in the sector. You have a Starbase, and you can build mines to produce more scouts (the only ships you can buy in this mission) if you like, but that Dreadnought isn’t going to sit around and let you build up your defenses, so the soundest tactic was to combine your forces and hit it with everything you got! If not, even if you damaged it severely, it can retreat back to its only colony and replenish its crew, and then you’re probably toast with a slather of Shofixti jelly, which by the way makes this a fun mission for playing as the bad guys as well! You can take your Dreadnought and target the nearest colony and then… uh, what? Oh yeah, there’s a battle to analyze! Almost forgot!
Out of all of the stock scenarios in SC1, this is the only one I remember, mostly because the setup is both a challenge for which ever side you choose, and because the scenario is so evocative of the Ur-Quan mindset. Definitely a favorite of mine.

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:43 pm

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“Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
14 Shofixti Scouts (14 x 5 = 70 pts.)
VS.
14 Kohr-Ah Marauders
(14 x 30 = 420 pts.)
RESULTS: Kohr-Ah wins with 11 remaining Marauders! (Shofixti wins pointwise by 20 points)
Approximate battle time: 7 minutes
Glory Devices used: 13
Deaths caused by Divine Wind: 3

ANALYSIS: This is a tough match-up for the Shofixti right out the chute, but whereas a human pilot would undoubtedly try to make the most of the situation and rely on either hit-and-run tactics, a kamikaze strike, or a combination of the two, but unfortunately, it would seem that the computer can’t really make up its mind, darting in and out, yet hesitant to take the time to correctly line up their shots and inflict some damage, as miniscule as it may be, but also remaining equally as uncommitted to seizing the opportunity when an opening would’ve allowed for an ideal position for glory device usage. Surprisingly however, the Scouts actually did pretty well at dodging the Spinning Blades, but its’s not as if the computer is any better at properly handling a Marauder, spamming blade mines feverishly but innaccurately; they even used their F.R.I.E.D. plasma ring in more defensive manner, choosing to use the large portion of their energy required to shield themselves from those pesky darts!
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by The Troglodyte » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:46 pm

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Draxas wrote:Definitely a favorite of mine.
Oh man! I forgot I was going to bring something from home to work today that I was going to share with you, Draxas. Oh well, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow… if I can remember to bring it! Now that’s a tease, huh?
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“The Boov frowned. ‘Everybodies always is wanting to make a clone for to doing their work. If you are not wanting to do your work, why would a clone of you want to do your work?” ― Adam Rex, The True Meaning of Smekday
14 Shofixti Scouts (14 x 5 = 70 pts.)
VS.
14 Androsynth Guardians
(14 x 15 = 210 pts.)
RESULTS: Androsynth wins with 7 remaining Guardians! (Shofixti wins pointwise by 35 points)
Approximate battle time: ~4 minutes
Chaos Bubbles: 0
Blazer-form conversions: ~14
Glory Devices used: 14
Deaths caused by Divine Wind: 7

ANALYSIS: In a nutshell, had there been a fleet of 100 Shofixti Scouts, they would’ve killed 50 Androsynth Guardians. The Androsynth turned their bubble maker off and chose the comet approach, which of course fell right into the Shofixti’s strategy… After all, they’re focused on getting in close before blowing themselves up, and a Guardian zooming in at incredible speed assured those results. As I monitored the battle unfold and recorded the results, I’d mark a death for the Scout when they’d explode and severely damage the Guardian, diminishing its clone crew to less than half, and then, without fail, I’d mark another for the Scout, and also one for the Guardian, as the next Scout’s self-destruction finished off the wounded Guardian. Not the most interesting match-up.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by The Troglodyte » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:48 pm

As promised, Draxas, I finally remembered to bring it! “Bring what?”, you ask? Well, I knew I still had those old scenarios on my old Star Control disk: (old picture; too lazy to retake)

Image

On the old pc version, it had this really cool scenario editor, an ingenious addition which allowed you to create your own customized missions, but since I had wanted to keep the originals, I had copied it on to my hard drive a while back, but I knew I still had the old ones on the original disk, so I popped it in and loaded the scenario editor and copied the ‘Exterminate!’ mission description, just for grins:

Title: Exterminate!
Blurb: The Hierarchy must curb rampant Shofixti breeding!
1st Move: Hierarchy
Random Events: No
Description: Perhaps the bravest species in the Alliance is the marsupial Shofixti. Though young as a sentient species, and near feral in psychology, no other race in the Free Stars is so quick and efficient at exploring and exploiting an uncharted region of space. One such Shofixti-built zone has attracted the attention of the Hierarchy, in the form of an Ur-Quan Dreadnought. Its mission: a seek-and-destroy sortie to eliminate all Alliance colony worlds. The only way the Shofixti can emerge victorious is to destroy the Dreadnought before all their colony worlds are lost.

Hierarchy
StarBase: No
Ur-Quan: Near
To Win: Destroy All Colonies

Alliance
StarBase: Yes
StarBucks: 0
6 Shofixtis: All Near
To Win: None
Available for Purchase: Shofixti

Hierarchy
Dead: 4
Mineral: 6
Life: 1
Fort Colony: 1

Alliance
Dead: 6
Mineral: 6
Life: 6
Colony: 3

Then, I loaded the disk, looked up the wheel codes on-line for Professor Zorg, and then started the mission. I tried to use PrtScn like I usually would, but it didn’t work… I think it has something to do with it being an old game in a different format or something. Undeterred, I resorted to more drastic measures:

Image
Huh, it’s strange how taking a picture of the screen created a “double dot” effect on some of the lower section stars/planets. Weird.

Ok, so maybe the payoff was a little anticlimactic, but I just wanted to share that.

Anyways, as a special bonus, let’s see how the honorable Shofixti did against those cowardly clams:
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“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.” - Thucydides
14 Shofixti Scouts (14 x 50 = 70 pts.)
VS.
14 Spathi Eluders
(14 x 18 = 252 pts.)
RESULTS: Spathi wins with 9 remaining Eluders! (Shofixti wins pointwise by 20 points)
Glory Devices used: 13
Deaths caused by Divine Wind: 5

ANALYSIS: Lots of firing going on in this one, most of which was coming from the Eluder backside as they released tons of B.U.T.T.s as they darted in and out, occasionally offering a small spray of front missiles when they turned around outside of the Scout’s energy dart’s range. The Shofixti had to keep the pedal to the metal in order to find an opportunity to ignite themselves into a fireball; even decoy pods couldn’t hide from the planet-size blast! The fifth Eluder was destroyed by the last Scout, further contributing to the Shofixti’s favorable points differential.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Draxas
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by Draxas » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:18 pm

Man, that takes me back. SC1 was a friend's game, acquired after we had both played through SC2. I mostly liked it for the lore, it filled in a lot of the missing pieces of SC2 backstory that a 30 second blurb by Hayes simply couldn't do justice. My friend was totally into the strategic element, but I was pretty "meh" on that angle (I didn't start to enjoy tactical combat games until I played Ogre Battle for SNES, Final Fantasy Tactics for PS1, and XCom for PC, all years later), so the game kinda failed to resonate with me since I could just fire up SC2's supermelee and have more variety and a more polished experience.

So, as I said, this was the only scenario that was really memorable to me, and primarily because it tied (hard to say if it was retroactively, or if it was planned out all along) so well into the Ur-Quan's character as presented in SC2. The whole scenario still reminds me of the Kohr-Ah siege of the ZFP homeworld, with one warship laying siege to an entire occupied sector alone.

Those floppy disks sure bring back memories too. Somewhere, I still have a couple of shoeboxes filled with 3 1/2" and 5 1/4" disks containing some of my favorite games of yesteryear.

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Death 999
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by Death 999 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:07 am

As a total aside, Ogre Battle would have been way better if the enemy started deployed on the map and you didn't get to meet them halfway after taking most of the place over.

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Draxas
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by Draxas » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:39 am

While the way it is does lend the game a bit of a feeling of needing to predict where the enemy will approach from (and invariably, sneak around your forces to try to hit your HQ somehow) and racing to grab key cities before the AI does, I can't really argue that some predeployed, static enemy squads would make things quite a bit more challenging. Then again, the real foe is just as often your reputation meter and troop alignments as the actual enemy troops.

While I would love to continue discussing the game, I'd hate to derail this thread any further.

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by The Troglodyte » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:56 pm

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“It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are.” - Clive James
14 Shofixti Scouts (14 x 5 = 70 pts.)
VS.
14 Slylandro Probes
(14 x 17 = 238 pts.)
RESULTS: Slylandro wins with 5 Probes remaining! (Shofixti wins pointwise by 83 points!)
Approximate battle time: 4 minutes
Glory devices used: 14
Deaths caused by Divine Wind: 9

ANALYSIS: This battle was very similar to the Androsynth, whereas the Probe is sort of already in “comet-mode” to an extent, and its short-range weaponry requires it get close enough to attack, so it wasn’t long before each Shofixti in the fleet were sacrificing themselves to destroy the robotic aggressors, and often times a single detonation was enough to destroy a probe, even at full-strength, due to the probe having a smaller “crew”… but still, how empty it must’ve been to blow themselves up against an artificially-manufactured foe.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

krulle
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by krulle » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:19 am

Even worse, against self-replicating foes....

But then, every kill now means that next month there'll be one-hundred probes less, meaning that a lot less Shofixti will have their atoms dispersed by the divine wind then.

That death is not so empty.... Against the de-thawing Mycon which repair themselves once they are out of battle getting rid of these mal-programmed robots is much more satisfying.
(BTW, when they reproduce, do the Probes first repair themselves and then create new Probes, or do they just create new Probes without repairing themselves?)

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Draxas
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Re: The Shofixti Scout

Post by Draxas » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:44 pm

Presumably, the probes replicate based on a construction template, irrespective of the actual condition of the probe performing the construction. That said, self-repair doesn't have a priority assigned to it, so presumably it's somewhere in the Melnorme's hard-coded instructions.

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