Silicoids, Impossible, Medium, 5 Opponents
The one Master of Orion race that I'd never felt that I had featured enough on my website was the Silicoids. The rocks are the game's most unique race, with a gameplay style significantly different from any of the others. As a quick refresher, the Silicoids have the advantage of spending nothing on waste cleanup costs (which will eat up about a third of everyone else's economy at the start of the game), and they can colonize all planets regardless of habitability level. The rocks are resistant to the harsh conditions of space, they will happily live on those Toxic and Radiated planets without complaint. These are humongous advantages, but they are traded away by equally massive penalties. The Silicoids have by far the worst population growth of any race in the game. It takes FOREVER for them to max out in population on their planets. They are also rated "Poor" in research for all fields other than Computers, therefore requiring more BC to research techs and having fewer tech choices to pick between. Furthermore, the Silicoid advantages disappear over the course of the game, as other races gain the ability to colonize hostile worlds and research more waste cleanup techs. Silicoids can never take advantage of Soil Enrichment, and they are probably the worst race in the lategame. However, just as in most other empire-building strategy games, the early game is what matters, and the Silicoids when played properly are one of the best races. Not in the class of the Psilons or Klackons, but certainly as good or better than everyone else. (They are even stronger on Large and Huge maps with lots of hostile worlds to colonize.)
I wanted to do a playthrough with the Silicoids on Livestream to demonstrate their unique gameplay style. Managing their pathetically slow population curve takes a lot of practice; I would argue that the rocks are the highest skillcap race in Master of Orion. (The Sakkra are the polar opposite, the low skillcap race where micromanagement yields few advantages.) This game wound up being relatively straightforward, with a lot of local room to expand and AI neighbors who kindly let me develop in peace. If you've ever wanted to see the unique Silicoid gameplay in real time, hopefully this is worth a watch. Enjoy.
Part One: Start
Part Eight: Final