Master of Orion III
By: Mark Horseman
Races: Human, Evon, Psilon
The Humanoid population has a general dislike for oppression
and war. This is offset by a boost in research efficiency,
senate effectiveness, initial relations and Casus Belli. Being
that they are small, quick and crafty, they get a little bit
of an initiative bonus in ground combat.
The Psilons get a further research bonus on top of the regular
humanoids that is offset by a significant population growth
Do not take this to mean that the Humans and Evon are identical
as they are not. There are slight differences in terraforming
circles as well as other unmentioned bonuses.
Humans cannot select superior toughness. Diplomacy picks are
1/2 price. They cannot select poor diplomacy and they cannot
select Antaran Background.
Evon get Economics: Investors for 1/2 price, cannot select
superior diplomacy and they can't select original creativity.
Psilons cannot select superior toughness.
Customizing Humanoids is fun. They get that sweet Representative
Government pick for a total of zero points. The representative
government series is hands and feet above the other non collectivist,
government types. When customizing Humanoids, I usually go
for the trade/diplomacy/spy type races. My favorite Humanoid
race is one designed to get that `X' win (I like the X win).
Try this puppy on for size:
Trade: Average (-20) Environmental: Good (+20)
Accuracy: Poor (-10) Diplomacy: Good (-20)
Starting Senate Member: No (+10)
Citizenship: Duty (+20) Starting Biodiversity: Diverse (+10)
Cunning: Sharp (-20) Anataran Background (+10)
The idea behind this races is to grab as many reasonable
worlds as you can on the fringe of the galaxy and research
like mad. In the mid game, you'll have to venture into the
galactic core to stop those pesky senate victories. The diplomacy
is knocked down just a touch because if you run into others
in the fringe, you'll want to be friends and not enemies.
Diverse biodiversity (whoa, that's a mouthful) is nice so
that you can deal with the inevitable food shortages you will
have while expanding quickly in the early game. By the tenth
turn you should be able to build a colony ship every four
turns. Leave no green world un-marked for colonization for
the first fifty turns, unless it's a frontier with a possible
One final note, switch your government to Republic on the
first turn and adjust your oppressometer. The Republic government
has the highest oppressometer tolerance out of all the representative
government types. Corporate also has a high oppressometer
tolerance, but reduces research and recreation.
Humanoids are incredibly sensitive to enemy spies, especially
in the early game. Picking Republic or Corporate governments
is a way to combat this a little, but may cause a disruption
in your general strategy. I prefer to deal with enemy spies
by raising the oppressometer a couple notches and offset the
unrest by spending additional money in unrest reduction and
having a fair amount of Recreation and Military DEA's on most
This really depends on what you want your Humanoids to do.
I like having the following development plan "All Planets:
Research Primary, Trade Secondary, Recreation Tertiary".
With this base plan, most of your worlds will have one Recreation
DEA, and most will have a plethora of Research DEA's. Having
Government as a tertiary priority on "New Planets"
will put one Government DEA on most worlds as well.
It is important to fill out "Mineral Rich", and
"New Planets". I like to define a `player defined'
plan that focuses on Manufacturing, Infrastructure, and Military
(in that order), for worlds that I feel should be building
most of my Military (like Magnate Civilizations.)
Research is very important for Humanoids. Typically you should
be leaps and bounds over everyone save that crafty Trilarian
player. If I am away from the senate I like to put 30% into
Economics and Sociology and do an even split across the other
schools. If I start in the senate or finally reach that other
empire, I'll typically drop economics and sociology down to
20% and split evenly amongst the rest.
The reason for doing this is the combination of economics
and sociology go a long way towards making your research engine
even stronger. Sociology also has many advances in it to help
you deal with spies. Dealing with spies in the mid to late
game is EXTREMELY important to stop those vile enemies from
stealing an Antaran X from you while you are researching it.
Once you've gotten an X, especially the second X (my favorite),
beefing up research in weapons is a good plan. People will
start to declare war on you. Unless you're Evon, in which
case you are likely already at war!
Game Play Strategy:
Over extension is a mild problem with Humanoids. Expand at
a comfortable pace in the early game, if you manage to find
a biodiverse world then it may be safe to expand a little
faster. I prefer to capitalize on research whilst playing
Humanoids, but building a strategy based on light warfare
supplemented by spying works okay also.
Try not to be at war with too many empires at once, your people
will not approve.
Races: Meklar, Cynoid
The key thing to note with the Cybernetik hardwiring is that
they eat half food and half minerals. This is both a blessing
and a curse. Your early game expansion will be seriously hurt
when you do not have the ability to freight excess minerals
to newer worlds. You have to be very crafty with what you
Cybernetiks enjoy a HUGE bonus to manufacturing, the largest
manufacturing bonus in the game. They also enjoy an accuracy
and initiative bonus. Cybernetiks are also privy to a very
high oppressometer tolerance.
Meklar cannot select the following: superior bioharvesting,
superior trade, economic investors, superior diplomacy, or
fantastic traders. Meklar get tolerant and natural engineers
for ten points each.
Cynoids cannot select poor manufacturing, or empathic. Economic
investors is half price, natural engineers and tolerant are
ten points each.
Cybernetiks are the second most hated race in the game. Guess
who's number one.
Customizing Cybernetiks requires some thought. You have to
remember the half and half food verses minerals hardwiring.
Cybernetiks could become a very powerful war race, a very
strong research race, and a very strong senate race, just
to mention a few. Cybernetiks enjoy cheap toughness picks,
Meklar enjoy some other cheap picks, but are penalized by
not being able to select superior Bioharvesting or fantastic
Here is a custom race that many of the Beta Testers have
enjoyed. I first came up with the idea of recreating a Collectivist
Cyborg empire (guess where that idea came from). My first
shot at this put a strong emphasis on ground combat. Several
of the Beta Testers commented on the slowness of research.
I agreed and I put more of an emphasis on research while sacrificing
ground combat skills.
Trade: Average (-40) Accuracy: Average (-10)
Reflexes: Average (-10)
Toughness: Average (-10) Government: Collectivist (+60)
Citizenship: Loyalty (+40) Starting Minerals: Rich (+10)
Cunning: Slow (-40) Creativity: Normal (-20)
Natural Engineers (+10) (Cybernetiks get this 10 points cheaper)
The main idea here is to customize a race that will have
the highest manufacturing capabilities of any race in the
game. I don't know how you could create a more manufacturing
savvy race. Citizen Cain claims that his Raas custom race
can out perform this race in manufacturing. I disagree, the
hardwiring numbers show otherwise. Raas have other benefits
though; we'll get into that later. Hopefully CK will grace
me with a copy of his Raas race.
The half-and-half rule significantly slows down your expansion
speed. This is a very difficult thing to offset. You have
to really stress mining, even on worlds where mining isn't
necessarily a wise thing to do.
Most races will hate you or be indifferent. While you have
a chance to make friends with Ichthytosians or Geodics, to
others you will be a tough sell.
To offset these issues I like to put a slight research emphasis
on physical sciences, sociology, and occasionally economics.
Development plans are crucial to the Cybernetiks. I typically
do the following for my All Planets strategy: Primary Manufacturing,
Secondary Mining, and Tertiary Military, assuming I'm going
on the warpath. With Meklar, doing something research related
is quite strong. Primary Research, Secondary Mining, and Tertiary
Manufacturing makes a very effective strategy.
Other plans you'll want to fill out are mineral rich (you
want to mine there) and mineral poor. Setting Mining as primary
for new planets is wise. Secondary and tertiary priorities
should be assigned according to your general strategy. For
Cynoids, Trade is an excellent choice. There is nothing wrong
Physical sciences should be the focal point of your research.
Cybernetiks need to have that mining edge so you have the
hope of keeping up any sort of expansion. How much extra you
want to put in is up to you. I'll go as high as 40%, but not
any higher. And I'd only recommend that if you're very hurting
for mineral resources. The nice thing about physical sciences
is that it has a lot of cool missile technologies in it, so
you won't be hurting in the weapons category.
Realistically, you'll likely only want to slightly favor
physical sciences and keep up with a reasonable amount of
research in all of the other schools.
Game Play Strategy:
When playing Cynoids, a good plan is to search out Itchthytosian
and Geodic races and make trade agreements. Once you've got
income coming in, you'll be able to start exploiting your
natural abilities. Going it alone with no friends is a difficult
prospect when the effectiveness of your empire relies on trade
Playing Meklar is a bit of a different story. Meklar have
really good spies. With Meklar, you've got "war supplements".
Spies help you damage the enemy's
infrastructure or steal Deep Extraction Mining from that slightly
better research race. Meklar have a shot of getting along
with Insectoid races. Meklar can't support many wars, but
they can support multiple wars without any allies. Effective
spying makes a huge difference.
Races: Sakkra, Raas, Grendarl
The Saurians are a fairly robust species. They are fairly
militaristic in nature, and thus enjoy some ground combat
initiative and strength bonuses, as well as a despotic/tribal
society that lends itself to oppression. Saurians enjoy an
increased pollution tolerance, as well as a population growth
bonus. The Grendarl have a slightly higher growth rate than
the other Saurians. I typically favor the Grendarl for this
reason, but their economic and research suffers more than
the other Saurians.
A wider range of planets is available to the lizards, and
this plays well with their hardwiring.
Sakkra get bioharvest picks for half price, they cannot select
superior diplomacy or empathic.
Raas cannot select poor bioharvesting.
Grendarl get mining picks for half price, cannot select economic
investors, and get the Citizenship: Loyalty pick for half
Saurians will almost always be at war with Ichthytosians wherever
they exist in the galaxy.
Customizing Saurians, in my opinion, isn't necessary. The
stocks Saurians are all quite formidable. However, there is
nothing wrong with making the Saurians jive well with your
playing style. While I do enjoy the production savvy races,
I typically enjoy them in the form of Cybernetiks. The nice
thing about Saurians though is their wide terraforming rings
allows them to conquer Magnate civilizations easily and their
stock picks are fairly average in nature (favoring military
over research though). All these things are key when customizing
your Saurian race.
Base Race: Raas
Mining: Superior (+40) Economics: Monetarists (+20)
Accuracy: Poor (-20)
Reflexes: Poor (-20) Diplomacy: Average (-20)
The main idea behind this race is to have stronger mining
and economics skills to further overdrive industry. With the
higher mining ability, you'll have less of a need for Mining
DEA's to run your industry. This frees up more space on your
worlds for Industry DEA's. Now that you have an increased
amount of Industry, it's time to drive that industry with
your stronger-than-average economy.
The thing that makes this race strong is the base race. Raas
have the largest terraforming circles out of the entire Saurian
species. This allows them to colonize more worlds and acquire
Magnate civilizations. Magnate civilizations are incredibly
important to this race because of its lackluster ground combat
The base picks for all three of the Saurian races aren't
anything to write home about. They are all tweaked towards
Military supremacy type games. Their research skills are below
average and it is quite expensive to increase them. Saurian
spies are also quite average. Any war that the Saurians are
a part of needs to be won by the strength of their military.
Due to the lack of economic and research skills, this military
tends to be lower in quality. Hardwiring offsets this a little.
Grendarl and Sakkra have no problem with troops, they have
the second most powerful troops in the game. Sakkra have a
slight research boost, Raas make up the difference with increased
numbers, Grendarl have a bit of a trade bonus.
Development plans for the Saurians should revolve around
military. Military is an odd thing to add to any development
plan. Military DEA's are important to keep down unrest (for
when you backstab that empire right next to you), and to train
your ground troops faster. I prefer the following development
plan for all three Saurian races, All Planets: Manufacturing
primary, Mining Secondary, Military Tertiary.
Using Player Defined category, Mineral Poor, or Low Biodiversity
for Primary Research is a good plan. I like to place Core
worlds on research as well.
For the first hundred turns, I prefer to place 30% in both
the Physical Sciences and Energy Schools. I'll typically take
this away from Social Sciences (who need society?) and Biology
(The Saurians are all decent bioharvesters). Putting Mathematics
between 17-20% is a good idea too; it is an important supplement
to your weapons research.
The point behind this research strategy is that Energy and
Physical Sciences is the core of most weapon technologies.
Staying competitive with your military technologies is very
crucial to your success as a Saurian player. This research
strategy allows you to quickly crush your near by neighbors
and have an empire that has a respectable presence in the
Game Play Strategy:
Saurian strategy is all warfare related. The three base races
treat warfare a little differently, so I'll break them up
and discuss them each on their own.
Sakkra: The Sakkra should attempt the X victory, it's a little
harder than the Orion Senate victory, but it is significantly
more rewarding. Your early game should be crushing your neighbors
with your superior military and making strong allies with
any Ethereans you come across. An Antaran X victory should
take you somewhere between 300-500 turns. If you start outside
of the Senate, it is EXTREMELY important to fight your way
into the core of the galaxy and hunt down all reasonable sized
empires that are senate members. If you cannot contain the
Senate members, you will lose.
Raas: Raas should go for a sole survivor victory. Your manufacturing
capabilities allow you to build a large fleet, and in the
mid game you should have a large enough empire to support
a large number of ships economically. Again, if you are outside
of the senate you must kill the stronger senate members. Raas
empires can go for the X win, but you'll probably be able
to win by sole survivor much sooner (depending on Galaxy size).
Grendarl: There is a lot to be said for diplomacy by force.
Grendarl enjoy the highest growth of any Saurian species,
thus the Senate victory is a good option for them.
They key is that you MUST hunt down and DESTROY COMPLETELY
all Insectoid members of the senate. They have a higher population
growth rate than you do.
Grendarl are the second best ground troops in the game. Policing
the senate should not be an issue for them. Once you've nailed
the Insectoids, with the help of your trusty Etherean friends,
a Senate victory should be in the bag by turn 120-200. If
you don't start in the Senate, one of the other two victory
conditions will have to suffice (unless you can worm your
way into the senate). The non-senate victories are fairly
difficult for the Grendarl to achieve. That being said, Grendarl
are my third favorite race in the game to play. I have a soft
spot for beefy ground troops.
Races: Trilarian, Nommo
The highlight of Ichthytosian hardwiring is their oppressometer
tolerance. They have the highest oppression tolerance of any
species in the game, including the Magnate civilizations.
Their watery heritage gives the Ichthytosians keen senses,
thus giving them a respectable bonus to ground combat Initiative
and Evade skills.
Ichthytosians have a reasonable amount of choice when it
comes to planets. They like the thicker atmosphere worlds
that have cooler temperatures. Cooler and denser worlds are
preferred over their Saurian descendants predilection.
Ichthytosians are guaranteed to be at war with Saurians,
they almost have more distaste for Saurians than they do for
Harvesters. As an Ichthytosian player, you'll be fairly good
buds with any other species. Trilarian and Nommo have Good
and Superior diplomacy respectively, thus making your stay
in the galaxy reasonably pleasant.
Ichthytosians cannot select superior toughness. Nommo cannot
select slow cunning. Nommo get Citizenship picks for half
The biggest choice you have to make for your custom Ichthytosian
is the base race.
If you plan on customizing something with strong citizenship,
Nommo are an excellent starting block, they only have to pay
30 points for loyalty. Trilarians start with loyalty, but
because they didn't pay half price for their Citizenship picks,
they gain 20 points per level of Citizenship they drop. Here
is a custom race for you Ichthytosian fans to try out. It's
designed to get that Antaran X win, my favorite sort of win.
Base Race: Trilarian
Trade: Good (+20)
Starting Member of Orion Senate: Yes (+10) Citizenship: Association
(-40) Antaran Background (+10)
This isn't much of a change from the standard Trilarian Empire;
the extra trade is nice to overdrive your industry with. You
will not be short of money with this race.
Antaran Background is like having free research labs on all
your ships (kinda sorta), this will come in handy when you're
sending out Antaran eXpeditions. Starting in the senate will
be a load off your chest. Fighting your way into the senate
with the weaker Ichthytosian military is not fun. So this
way, you can win by senate, or vote for the New Orions to
stop the Insectoids from winning (accursed bugs). You'll want
to sign trade agreements with everyone you meet, save those
evil Saurians. Be careful whom you ally with, you don't want
to be dragged into some psycho war with your allies. Humanoids
and Ethereans make good friends though.
Ichthytosians have some of the worst ground troops in the
game. They get a spiffy hardwiring bonus to their ground troops,
but it's not enough, they start with poor toughness, and the
Nommo have poor accuracy and reflexes. Nommo are easily the
worst ground troops in the game. Nommo also have the liberty
pick to start with, this makes them very vulnerable to Social
spies that can sneak past their borders.
Other than their strong research abilities and beefy oppressometer,
they really have nothing going for them.
Your development plans should be focused on research. Ichthytosians
have a strong oppressometer and that will save your research
engine from any mishaps. ANY game where you play Ichthytosians
you should have research with a primary emphasis. If you are
playing Nommo, recreation should make it in as a tertiary,
or even secondary, plan. If recreation is secondary, make
trade your tertiary, Spaceport DEA's and Recreation DEA's
get along quite well. When you are playing Trilarians you
don't have to worry about moral, so Recreation can be omitted
from your general strategy.
A Player Defined category is a wise thing to set up for worlds
that you think should be manufacturing worlds. I typically
prefer larger worlds with poor minerals, and Magnate civilizations
to do manufacturing for my Ichthytosians. Even Gnolams fight
better than Ichthytosians. However, you'd want to emphasize
trade on any Gnolam world.
Research strategy for Ichthytosians is fairly simple. This
will be familiar to you MoO2 veterans: get research techs,
and go nuts! To do this, I put 20% on both Economics and Sociology,
then an even 15% amongst the remaining four schools. This
gives the Ichthytosians a massive research boost while keeping
them on the cutting edge of military technology.
Game Play Strategy:
Ichthytosians have a hard time fighting their way into the
galactic core to stop possible Senate victories. If you want
a challenge, play on Hard or Impossible and keep re-starting
until you aren't in the Senate, and good luck. If you do start
in the Senate, you have a reasonable shot at a Senate victory.
It depends what other races are in the senate at the start
of the game. I strongly recommend going for the Antaran X
victory every time you play Itcthytosians. Sole Survivor is
possible with Trilarians and Nommo, but very long and difficult,
especially when you run across more militarily savvy races.
Research is the key for both Itcthytosian races. Your success
or failure as an empire is based entirely on your research
ability when you are an Itcthytosian.
If you are an Ichthytosian fan, and it's your first time
playing the game, if you don't start in the senate, don't
expect to win.
Another important thing for your Ichthytosian Empire is acquiring
ANY other race to do your ground combat for you. Ichthytosian
troops are terrible. Because both Itcthytosian races are very
diplo-savvy you may be able to trade some high technology
for a world. Your best chance would be with an Evon empire,
Ichthytosians have a good relationship with Humanoids, and
Evon are quite respectable ground troops. Magnates are nice
if you can find them as well.
Races: Imsaeis, Eoladi
The most important thing to remember with Etherean hardwiring
is the planets they prefer. Not just the fact that they prefer
gaseous worlds, but the fact that they prefer gas GIANTS.
You can fit a heck of a lot of people on a gas giant. Those
very rich, size twelve, extreme gravity planets that have
a classification of "Red 2" for most races can very
well be "Green 1" for our Etherean pals, not to
mention that these planets can hold a good 130+ pop points
worth of people, and Ethereans like extreme gravity.
The Ethereans sport a mediocre oppressometer tolerance, so
switching from a Corporate Monarchy over to Despotism will
take you several turns to adjust. If you start in the Senate,
it's a worthwhile switch.
The Ethereans' airborne nature confers a respectable Ground
Combat Initiative bonus. The Ethereans also sport many tentacles,
thus providing them with an extra Ground Combat Attack. The
difference between Etherean hardwiring and Ichthytosian hardwiring,
with respect to ground combat, is Ethereans get an extra attack,
while Ichthytosians get a sizeable evade bonus. In my opinion,
the ability to shoot twice is better than the ability to dodge
half the time (simple example: in game mechanics are WAY-
Ethereans cannot select superior toughness or mining. Eoladi
cannot select poor Bioharvesting. Imsaeis get cunning picks
for half price. Ethereans have an efficiency bonus to both
research and manufacturing (less test tubes and minerals required,
Ethereans don't get along with Cybernetiks or (*gasp*) Harvesters.
Everyone else is your friend.
Ethereans lend themselves well to expansion. Imsaeis and Eoladi
both have superior bioharvesting, thus allowing them to more
easily feed their ever-growing population.
When customizing Ethereans, it's best to stick with a peaceful
approach. You may have better troops than the Ichthytosians,
but that doesn't mean you're the king of town (see the Ichthytosian
guide). I prefer to base my customizations off of Imsaeis
because I'm `very very sneaky'. Stock Eoladi start with original
creativity, so if your looking for a lax research race, start
with Eoladi and get your 60 points for knocking that down
Base Race: Imsaeis
Starting Member of Orion Senate: Yes (+10) Citizenship: Duty
Cunning: Dangerous (+30) Creativity: Normal (-20)
There's a long story behind this seemingly simple race. I
first tried it in an MP game against Kebzero. The idea here
is to win by Senate. Ethereans can expand like mad because
of their bioharvesting skills. Imsaeis superior diplomacy
keeps the AI from interfering with your plans, and keeps the
New Orions happier with you. The spies are meant to fight
wars for you, and steal tech that you cannot research.
This custom race can win the game, in the larger galaxies,
as early as turn 120. My quickest victory was a Senate victory
on turn 125 (depends when the Senate convenes). If you don't
find many magnate races, your victory won't be as quick as
that, but it's definitely possible to win by turn 200 without
Just don't fight any wars. Your spies should be able to keep
everyone's economy at bay.
Etherean troops are not that great. You'll beat the sushi
out of Ichthytosians, but that's about it. In every other
case, you'll want some extra numbers to make up the difference.
If you can take another races world through diplomacy, or
a magnate civilization, you'll be fine for ground troops for
the rest of the game.
Ethereans don't have much oppressometer tolerance.
If you expand like crazy with the Ethereans, as you should,
you will have trouble defending many of your worlds from possible
enemies. Signing defensive alliances with many computer opponents
is a wise plan.
As an Etherean player, you have to carefully plan your overall
strategy, whether you're going to capitalize on research,
or manufacturing. I myself prefer playing Imsaeis, who don't
have strong research skills, but are endowed with good mining.
A manufacturing based strategy that is designed for insane
early game expansion is a very good idea.
If you're playing Eoladi, a research heavy set of development
plans is a very good idea.
All Etherean players should be defining mining as primary
on mineral rich worlds. ____________________________________________________________
A general research strategy is effective for Ethereans, favoring
no school over any other. Let the viceroys handle it. In the
case of the custom race supplied, putting an emphasis on sociology
is a wise plan, to make your spies quicker to build and more
effective. Eoladi are very fast researchers, and can typically
stay only a few steps behind Ichthytosian or Humanoid players.
Imsaeis don't research nearly as well, and have to rely on
their slightly better diplomacy skills to get them their technological
Game Play Strategy:
Kebzero and Deb Durham play Eoladi almost exclusively. When
switching to other races, the first thing they notice is that
they run out of food. Etherean empires can build quite a large
and effective empire out of only a handful of good systems.
In a recent game, I found three size eleven and twelve gas
giant worlds that were all green class in one system. That
is a little on the lucky side, but you'll find that most solar
systems have a gas giant in it that is worth colonizing. Colonizing
yellow class planets is wise if they have rich minerals and
Etherean players should avoid war whenever possible. Armed
with enough allies or superior technology, you should be able
to trounce an empire or two at a time. You won't likely have
the ability to defend your empire from multiple opponents;
Ethereans don't work that way. You'll have to make friends.
Keep diplomatic channels open whenever possible. Ask for trade
agreements, if no more non-intelligence agreements are available,
trade for technology. Be sure to put the right emphasis on
your diplomatic communications; this is more crucial for Ethereans
than any other race. Sakkra respond well to demands from larger
empires, Grendarl like to be treated honorably. Make sure
you pay attention to the foreign matrix. Breaking a non-aggression
pact with someone who is at war with an ally of yours is better
than cheesing your ally off. Chances are that you'll still
have a friendly relationship with the empire you had the non-aggression
If you do not start in the senate, you should try to peacefully
get a foothold in the Galactic core in hopes that you will
be given Senate membership. It doesn't hurt to butter up the
New Orions either. Give them a world that doesn't matter or
something. Anything to get positive relations with them so
they are more likely to support your senate membership that
one of your allies likely proposed.
Winning by Antaran X's or sole survivor is tougher with the
Ethereans because both options require more of a militaristic
approach. If you start in the senate, you should go for the
Senate win, thus Antaran X's and Sole Survivor should be your
strategy ONLY if a senate win is unavailable to you (can't
get into the senate, or senate victory turned off). An Antaran
X's win will be easier and quicker than a Sole Survivor win.
Geodic are, again, a very unique race in the Master of Orion
universe. The previous games in the genre had Silicoids thriving
on any world, hindered only by population maximums. In Master
of Orion III, Silicoids received a very similar treatment,
except they get a further population growth penalty on worlds
Geodics have a mediocre oppressometer tolerance, much like
the Ethereans. Starting off with an Oligarchy or Monarchy
is usually the standard way to go with Silicoids, switching
to Despotism can be a touch rough.
Geodics are hindered by a substantial population growth penalty.
This is offset by an HUGE mining efficiency bonus, a ground
combat armour bonus (rocks are really hard), a couple extra
hit points in ground combat, and the fact that they use minerals
for food instead of bioharvest units. This does not mean Bioharvesting
is unimportant though; we'll get to that later.
Silicoids cannot select superior bioharvesting, poor mining
(don't know why you'd want- to), or superior reflexes.
Silicoids pay 50% more for Research, Trade, Diplomacy, and
Creativity picks. Natural Engineers is free, Tolerant costs
an extra ten points.
Most races are indifferent towards Geodics, except for Humanoids,
Insectoids, and Harvesters, all of whom dislike Geodics.
Geodics are very fun to customize. One thing you must keep
in mind at all times is the fact that your people eat minerals.
If you have any hope of expanding at any speed, you need very
good mining skills. Geodics are my personal favourite species
in Master of Orion III. This custom race was designed with
the movie "Galaxy Quest" in mind.
Base Race: Silicoid
Bioharvesting: Poor (-20)
Manufacturing: Good (+20) Environment: Good (-20)
Economics: Specie (-20)
Accuracy: Average (+10) Reflexes: Average (+10)
Government: Collectivist (+60) Citizenship: Association (-20)
Starting Planet Mineral Richness: Rich (+10) Starting Planet
Biodiversity: Similar (-10)
Creativity: Normal (-20)
The idea behind this race is to give it a sizeable mining
bonus so expansion isn't slowed down by the Silicoids need
for minerals. Either collectivist government supplies a very
nice bonus to both mining and bioharvesting. The slight bump
in combat values is for flavour, "It doesn't have any
weak spots, it's a ROCK!"
This race is most effective when it takes over other races.
This is true for most Geodic games, but even more so for this
race. You need the research abilities that other species have
Geodics have many major problems they have to solve every
game. You have to make up for your bad research, your terrible
diplomacy, and your slow population growth.
Luckily for us, Geodics start with a fairly high Creativity
pick, thus saving their research engine a bit. Diplomacy though
will always be a problem, people will be very indifferent
towards you and you will not be able to count on diplomacy
as a strategy. As a Geodic player, you will never be able
to overcome your population growth issues. You must conquer
another race, or find a magnate race to conquer.
Thankfully you have some very competitive ground troops,
and are able to manufacture a fleet very early in the game.
Geodics can do amazing things with manufacturing, so it's
a good idea to design a development plan that will yield a
large military. I prefer the following for the "All Planets"
plan, Primary Manufacturing, Secondary Research, Tertiary
Military. You don't want military any higher than tertiary
because you don't want more than one (maybe two) military
DEA's on any given planet. Research is important to keep your
empires equipment up to par.
Mining is very important to Geodics; in the early game you
will likely have mineral problems. I suggest setting Mineral
rich worlds to, Mining Primary, Mining
Secondary, and Mining Tertiary. You want those rich worlds
to mine like there was no tomorrow. Also setting up mining
as primary on new worlds is nice.
As always, having Government as Tertiary on new planets is
a good as it encourages viceroys to build a government DEA
on each new world.
Physical sciences are very important to Geodics. Much of your
game you will be waiting for Deep Extraction Mining, Full
Crust Mining, or their ilk. Sometimes these techs get pushed
back the tree a bit. There is nothing like striking up a conversation
with some local Ethereans to get that Mining DEA enhancement.
I'd recommend pushing your Physical Sciences school as high
as 40% and then spread the remaining 60% equally amongst the
remaining five schools. Realistically, you'll likely only
feel comfortable with 30% in physical sciences. This emphasis
on Physical Sciences will yield missile technologies, mining
DEA enhancements, and new ship hull technologies.
Game Play Strategy:
Over expansion rears its ugly head when playing Geodics. In
the early game, you can typically only support one or two
additional worlds without fear of starvation. I'll typically
let some of my Geodics starve so I can expand at a much more
reasonable pace. It is very critical to take over another
race early in the game. This is for two reasons: you want
population that doesn't eat minerals and you want slaves.
Slaves work hard and generally do good things for your empire.
Crank that FLU meter as high as it'll go every game you play
with Silicoids, milk those softies for all they're worth.
If you decide to follow that strategy, building a single Bioharvest
DEA on your homeworld (or first colony) is a very wise idea,
so you can freight food to a newly found Magnate civilization,
or that race you just conquered.
Due to the toughness of Silicoid ground troops, a single
troop transport containing three units (infantry or marines)
can easily be enough to take a world of respectable population.
If you have fewer troops than the enemy, using bio or chemical
weapons is an option worth thinking about.
Silicoids, because of their growth issue, will have a tough
time winning the game by the Orion Senate. Silicoids should
not have any problems with the other two victory conditions
Races: Klackon, Tachidi
The best thing about the Insecta species is they get the
best government series for free. Collectivist governments
give you a lot of good bonuses, with very few, or negligible,
minuses. Hive governments have an aversion to recreation,
other than that; there aren't any notable pitfalls.
Insecta have a mediocre oppressometer tolerance, the largest
growth rates in the game, the Tachidi have a slightly higher
growth rate than the Klackons. The Insecta enjoy a slight
bonus to ground combat initiative.
The Insecta species cannot select citizenship: liberty. Tachidi
get superior manufacturing for half price (Klackons start
with superior manufacturing). Tachidi are the "everyone's
bugs", basically they specialize in no specific area
and are quite average across the board. Insecta species can
downgrade their government, but they don't get many points
back for doing so.
Klackons, on the other hand, are extremely specialized. Klackons
get superior bioharvesting for half price, pay 50% more for
Research picks, pay 50% more for Creativity picks, and get
environmental picks for half price.
Insecta species don't get along with Geodics and Harvesters.
Insecta are one of the most fun species to customize. Tachidi
are fun because they start quite average, therefore you can
go in several directions with them. Klackons can be specialized
towards environmental options, or towards farming, or towards
combat. The tough decision is what to take away from them
when specializing them. Lets give it a crack though. I call
these babies the "Army Ants".
Base Race: Klackon
Bioharvesting: Superior (+10)
Environmental: Superior (+20) Toughness: Average(+10)
Diplomacy: Poor (-20)
Citizenship: Duty (-20)
This race beefs up the Klackons combat ability from average
to almost competitive. The key with these Klackons is their
environmental bonus and the bioharvesting bonus. Both Collectivist
governments grant a sizeable bonus to bioharvesting, so food
won't be a problem for these bugs. What these guys won't be
doing is researching. You have to expand, and then expand
some more, and when you're done expanding, do some more expanding.
These Klackons want to conquer using their vast fleets (from
their insane manufacturing). Citizenship: Duty is a huge hit.
Not having to worry about unrest is really nice, but there
isn't much else to take a hit on.
Insecta ground troops chime in as average. They are better
than Psilons, Ethereans, and Ichthytosians. Tachidi are slightly
better than Klackons (slower but tougher).
Insecta can use their good manufacturing to overcome this
penalty. It doesn't take long for Insecta planets to be in
full operational mode either.
Klackons chime in as the worst researchers in the game. Tachidi
are slightly better, but still pretty bad. Spying to make
up the difference is also not an option, Insecta sport the
worst spies in the game also. The Insecta also don't have
good diplomacy skills. You're going to have trouble with technology
all game. One way to offset this is to have many research
Insecta have a lot of disadvantages that they need to make
up for with their development plans. What you have to decide,
first and foremost, is what kind of
worlds you want to do research on. I like to research on mineral
poor worlds, but that's just my preference. Other players
like to do industry on poor worlds. One thing you can do is
set up a player defined plan that has research, research,
and more research. Once this plan is defined you can apply
it to specific worlds right after you colonize it. I'd recommend
applying it as the secondary plan though, so if the planet
falls prey to unrest or starvation you can have a development
plan automatically deal with it for you. The nice thing about
this approach is you can have planets with rare plants, petrochemicals,
animals, or metals defined as research worlds.
Another thing you want to do with development plans is emphasis
manufacturing so you can expand. Stock Klackons are capable
of building a colony ship every other turn in the early game
(turn 30ish). You should always strive to achieve that goal.
Insecta don't just make a footprint on the galaxy, they ARE
Research Strategy: Talking about research in an Insecta guide
is an oxymoron. Regardless, you want to slightly favour biological
sciences so you have technology that supports your expansion.
Physical sciences are nice to favour also, to support your
manufacturing. All other technologies are just nice to have.
When you enter some system with ten times more ships than
the enemy, it doesn't matter that you have light armour on
all your ships and everything shoots fusion beams.
Game Play Strategy:
The stock Insecta are some of the best races in the game.
If you start in the senate, you should have no trouble winning.
Your fast expansion and quick growth rates mean victory. You
may have to compete with the Ethereans for that senate victory,
but you can squash them like .... ... bugs.
If you don't start in the Senate, your race to the center
should not be that challenging. Don't expect to get into the
senate, but you can remove possible senate victors with no
Going for a sole survivor victory is likely much quicker in
small to large galaxies than an X victory. In larger and huge
galaxies, X victories are much more viable.
I strongly recommend that you play an Insecta race for your
first Master of Orion III game. It's a great way to ease into
the game, if you start in the Senate, you may even win your
first game, if you're playing on easy.
Ithkul are subject to a significant amount of hardwiring.
They enjoy a high oppressometer tolerance, a ground combat
initiative bonus, a ground combat rally and route bonus (less
running, more fighting).
Harvesters can't stand being at peace, and its citizens demand
war with other empires and other empires are more likely to
declare war on them. Harvesters also have a dramatically reduced
senate effectiveness (less likely to garner support from the
New Orions). Harvesters when sharing a planet with another
race, will consume that race, including Magnate Civilizations.
Harvesters pay 50% more for economic picks. They cannot select
superior diplomacy, random senate membership, or senate membership.
government only costs 40 points. Tolerant and Antaran Background
Harvesters are fun to customize. You don't have to worry
about talking with anyone in the early game, and because of
this, you get a bunch of fun little bonuses. Being able to
drop the oppressometer and raise the taxes for example. One
thing to remember when customizing your Harvesters is that
they eat other species. You will have a tough time taking
advantage of Magnate Civilizations with a Harvester empire,
so dropping the ground combat skills isn't that wise. This
example of a custom race does drop ground combat skills, but
not so much so that we'll have significant troubles taking
worlds. This idea is a modified version of a Harvester race
given to me by Herknav.
Base Race: Ithkul
Mining: Superior (+40)
Research: Superior (+20) Environmental: Average (-20)
Accuracy: Average (-10) Reflexes: Average (-20)
Toughness: Good (-10) Government: Collectivist (+40)
Citizenship: Duty (-20) Cunning: Sharp (-20)
The idea behind this race is to expand and envelop everyone
in your path. The bonus to mining skills pairs up well with
the high manufacturing and the Collectivist government. This
race should colonize every solar system they come across,
using colony or outpost ships. This race will have to bring
a few extra troops compared to the standard Ithkul and they
won't be able to support their wars with the excellent spies
that Ithkul have.
Everyone hates Harvesters. Everyone you meet will be at war
with you. It will be very hard to not be at war with anyone.
In MP games, people who ally with you will suffer large unrest
penalties, as will you. While warmongers will think this is
just their cup of tea, they are going to be in for quite a
shock. Being at war with eight enemies and having no allies
is difficult. That and every game you play is a race against
the senate victory clock, and every race is road block slowing
you down from stopping the would-be senate victor.
There are many things you can do with development plans for
Harvesters. I prefer to favour a research strategy, but also
putting a strong emphasis on planetary defense. As a harvester
player, you'll want to define worlds that will do manufacturing
for your military, farming to support your large empire, research
to support your war time technologies, and mining to support
your infrastructure. What worlds you do these on are up to
As a Harvester player, you will not be trading technology
with anyone. This means you'll want an even spread across
the board for research. Leave your research categories unlocked
so that the AI can modify something for you slightly if your
empire needs a particular breakthrough.
Game Play Strategy:
Harvesters are one of the most fun species to play in Master
of Orion III. They have very good skills in every area of
warfare. The successful Harvester player will use their spies,
fleet, ground troops, and strong economy to overcome their
Early expansion is the key to playing Harvesters, setting
up that empire that you will stage your assaults from is the
most important part of your game. Ithkul have the strongest
ground troops of any playable race. Ithkul spies are more
than competitive, and are capable of getting through the strong
The Ithkul economy is very capable of outperforming most in
The Ithkul need every advantage they can get. In Master of
Orion III, everyone a Harvester meets is an enemy.
Species: Metashifters, Non-Corporeal, Protoplasmic, Plant,
Fungal, Avian, Gargantua, Bulrathi, Mrrshan, Elerian, Gnolam
Races: Darlock, Brye Ehts, Ajadar, Audrieh, Phaigour, Alkari,
Mrrshan, Elerian, Gnolam
Metashifters, Darlock: High Gravity World Preference: 105
Pressure, 83 Temperature.
World Summary: Similar to Ethereans in planet preference,
except they prefer significantly hotter worlds. Metashifters
have a very respectable oppressometer tolerance, they also
enjoy a ground combat initiative bonus and a ground combat
strength bonus. They have an average ground combat rating.
The Darlock race suffers from a slight senate effectiveness
penalty. It takes 100 Darlocks to receive 85 votes in the
Non-Corporeal, Brye Ehts: Average Gravity World Preference:
76 Pressure, 26 Temperature
World Summary: Similar to Harvesters in planet preference,
except they prefer a much more pressurized atmosphere. The
key feature of the Brye Ehts is their self sufficiency. Brye
Ehts only eat one unit of Bioharvesting for each five units
of population. They also enjoy a very high oppressometer tolerance.
Brye Ehts have a significant ground combat initiative, and
a large evade bonus. They're base ground combat skills are
slightly above average.
Protoplasmic, Ajadar: Average Gravity World Preference: 38
Pressure, 65 Temperature World Summery: Similar to Cybernetiks
in planet preference, except they prefer slightly hotter worlds.
Ajadar are less efficient than Brye Ehts, requiring four units
of food for five population points. They have an oppressometer
tolerance similar to that of the Ethereans. They are average
ground combatants, but they receive an extra four hit points
in ground combat.
Plant, Audrieh: Average Gravity World Preference: 70 Pressure,
76 Temperature World Summary: Similar to Humanoids in planet
preference, except they prefer significantly hotter worlds.
Audrieh are another efficient race, only requiring one food
for each two population points. They have a low oppressometer
tolerance. The Audrieh only generate a quarter of the pollution
that other races do. Their base ground combat skills are very
competitive, and on top of that, they receive a sizeable evade
Fungal, Phaigour: Average Gravity World Preference: 54 Pressure,
67 Temperature World Summary: Similar to Geodic in planet
preference, except they prefer slighty cooler worlds. The
Phaigour have an average oppressometer tolerance. They only
pay 85% of the normal costs to maintain their military units.
They have a 15% population growth bonus. Phaigour base combat
skills are average, they however receive an extremely large
evade bonus, and an initiative bonus.
Avian, Alkari: Low Gravity World Preference: 38 Pressure,
38 Temperature World Summary: Similar to Humanoids in planet
preference, except they prefer a
much thinner atmosphere. The Alkari sport an average oppressometer
tolerance, and an average ground combat skill. They are the
beneficiaries of a huge initiative bonus, as well as a large
Gargantua, Rhea: High Gravity World Preference: 105 Pressure,
World Summary: Similar to Ethereans in planet preference,
except they prefer significantly cooler worlds. The Rhea have
an average oppressometer tolerance. They are the best ground
troops in the game (Superior Toughness, Accuracy, and Reflexes).
On top of their formidable ground combat skill, they receive
an attack strength bonus, an armour bonus, and two extra hit
points. Unfortunately they generate twice the normal amount
Bulrathi: Average Gravity World Preference: 86 Pressure,
21 Temperature World Summary: Similar to Saurians in planet
preference, except they prefer
significantly cooler worlds. The Bulrathi enjoy a higher than
average oppressometer tolerance. They also are efficient miners.
Bulrathi have a host of ground combat bonuses, superior toughness,
good reflexes, good accuracy, an initiative bonus, an attack
strength bonus, an armour bonus, two extra hit points, a moral
bonus, and a rally bonus (everyone fights, no one quits).
Mrrshan: Average Gravity World Preference: 68 Pressure, 32
World Summary: Similar to Humanoids in planet preference,
except they prefer slightly warmer worlds. The Mrrshan have
a high oppressometer tolerance, they have extremely efficient
military DEA's. Their base ground combat skills are slightly
above average (superior accuracy, but poor toughness). Mrrshan
receive the following bonuses to ground combat, a sizeable
initiative bonus, a large accuracy bonus, an evade bonus,
and a substantial moral bonus.
Elerian: Average Gravity World Preference: 43 Pressure, 72
World Summary: Similar to Saurians in planet preference, except
they prefer a drastically thinner atmosphere. Elerians have
a better than average oppressometer tolerance. They get an
unrest reduction bonus that is two times better than loyal
citizenship. They are average ground combatants that receive
the following bonuses, an initiative bonus, an accuracy bonus,
an evasion bonus, and a substantial rally bonus.
Gnolam: Average Gravity
World Preference: 67 Pressure, 53 Temperature
World Summary: Similar to Humanoids in planet preference,
except they prefer a more toasty environment. The Gnolam have
a higher than average oppressometer tolerance. They receive
the following trade bonuses, an extra trade level, space ports
20% more efficient, and trade is 20% more efficient. They
are average ground combatants that receive an initiative bonus.
They are more likely to flee from a ground combat.