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When to use other command centers seems at least partially obvious to me,

  • Scavenger - Fast upgrades, quick claims, plenty of carbon
  • Scientific - Plenty of low level water tiles, expensive food, etc
  • Robotics - Limited water, fuel, etc. Expensive electronics, Glass, silicon, etc.

Note - Don't read too much into these I super generalized and left out key parts for the sake of brevity.

But with Seneca and their +1 claim per upgrade and their 50% less steel used to upgrade I'm not entirely certain the best strategy to use here. The only thing I can come up with is when there's a limited supply of a single resource and you want to snatch it all up for yourself quickly, but that strategy typically backfires on me and I get bought out quickly those games.

Is Seneca just bad or is there some other strategy that they're good for that I'm not seeing?

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Everything you've said in your question is correct- there are obvious situations where you want to play one of the other HQ types. This is rarely the case for Expansive.

The advantage of Expansive is that they're extremely versatile and adaptive. Their faster, cheaper transports mean they can acquire raw resources from farther away than other factions.They get extra claims (for a total of 22 instead of 18 at level 5), which means they can invest in a wider array of buildings and/or use more specialist buildings. Their reduced steel costs make production buildings much cheaper to replace, so when a resource does spike/crash, they can be the first to profit from it.

The ideal map for Expansive is one with plenty of resources, with high deposits, that are reasonably spread out. Ideally you don't want Bribe a Claim available- it benefits your rivals more than you.

Alternatively, Expansive allows you to work with less specific starting locations, which can help if your first choice gets taken or you want to found with less debt. You don't need a massive amount of carbon like a Scavenger, a triple iron and large area of water/silicon like a Scientist, or close resources for your adjecency bonuses like a robot- just access to the resources you may want.

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  • The Bribe a Claim part is a great point, I did not think of that.
    – Shelby115
    Jan 25, 2018 at 18:51

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