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In my very first game of SC, I played the Yengii (because all the "novice" factions were already taken by other novices) and to my surprise I won rather handily (54 points). The general Yengii strategy of researching new converters early and selling tech licenses/having people help you pay to research the techs in advance of licenses worked well for me, of course, but after the play (and following a couple plays since as different races) I started to think more about which technologies the Yengii should prioritize researching. In the first turn of my Yengii game, for example, I traded for somebody else's research team for Ubiquitous Cultural Repository (because it can be used to upgrade the Work of Mules tech for the Yengii), and while I net-profited from that trade it was mostly because a lot of new players were willing to spend cubes for techs that they later admitted they didn't need.

Accordingly, I decided to try to weight the stage I and II technologies in a nine player game, which are the most important in the early game (and because the choice of III and IV technology research, I think, tends to be influenced by the progression of the game and which resources can be easily traded for). The results of that attempt can be found in this spreadsheet here. (If you're playing less-than-a-nine player game, you can simply manually calculate tech values yourself from this.)

"U-Value" is the total maximum value that all races can get from the tech as a result of upgrading. For example, Ubiquitous Cultural Repository upgrades techs for the Eni Et, Caylion and Yengii, and the total value of those upgrades are a difference of 5 (1.5 for the Eni Et, 1.5 for the Caylion and 2 for the Yengii) so it has a U-Value of 5. Some races can use the same tech to upgrade one of two different native techs (for example, two of the Eni Et's native techs can be potentially upgraded by Clinical Immortality); in these cases only the highest upgrade was used to calculate U-Value.

U-Value is obviously a rough calculation at best and there are clearly issues with it. I weighted Imdril upgrades which made their native techs cheaper to run vis-a-vis the Imdril fleet at 1 small cube per cost reduction and I'm not sure if that's correct. Also, I'm not sure that Eni Et share-techs (where there may be less incentive to upgrade) or Caylion/Yengii/Eni Et/Unity techs which can be upgraded without using a technology (and which can be a source of VP) should be weighted precisely the same as "regular" tech upgrades. Plus, there is the question of whether a Yengii player wants to upgrade their own techs with technology or if they want to simply upgrade for points, and if Yengii tech advances should be valued the same as trade opportunities with other players. However, for now I've decided to just run with it, partially because in practice sometimes players whose native techs can't be upgraded by a given tech will still want that tech anyway, and because math is hard.

What this system shows us is that in a nine-player game there are clearly some techs the Yengii should prioritize researching. Out of the Level 1 techs, Nanotechnology is clearly the best tech for the Yengii to research: six of the nine races can use it to upgrade their techs (and it's a self-use tech for the Eni Et rather than a sharing-tech). If three of those races give you the standard "two cubes for the license" trade described in the book, you'll effectively research the tech for free on turn two. It's also a great tech to trade to the Zeth early on in exchange for multiple turns' worth of protection from stealing. After Nanotechnology, Clinical Immortality and Genetic Engineering are the next best, but I have Clinical Immortality ranked higher than Genetic Engineering because Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology upgrade the same tech for the Kjas and the Kit, so researching one hurts the value of the other. Most of the rest of the Level 1 techs have relatively low value and should be accordingly low research priorities.

I've divided Level 2 techs into three tiers based on their research cost. Of the cheap 9-cost Level 2 techs, Antimatter Power is the best by far, as the Yengii can trade it to six other races and use it to upgrade Social Ecological Mutualism, their only tech that they can't upgrade by sacrificing a colony for VP. Interspecies Medical Exchange looks like the second best, but it's actually the worst of the 9-costers because every race the Yengii could trade it to for an upgrade could also upgrade their same tech with Cross Species Ethical Equality, which is just better research value (10.5 research cost for four VP rather than three) and which can also be traded to the Zeth.

Of the 12-cost Level 2 techs, Hyperspace Mining and Singularity Control are basically identical - Hyperspace Mining can be traded to more races to upgrade their techs, but Singularity Control gives the Yengii their single most effective tech upgrade. Also, the two techs upgrade the same native tech for five races, so in short you should only choose to research one of them.

In summary, in a nine-player game the Yengii's research priorities should be as follows:

1. Nanotechnology (or Genetic Engineering, if you can't bid for/trade for Nanotechnology)
2. Clinical Immortality
3. Antimatter Power
4. Cross Species Ethical Equality
5. One of Hyperspace Mining or Singularity Control

Having played the Yengii myself and watched them play in other games, I find successful Yengii players typically research 4-6 techs over the course of a game. If you research three or four of the above list and then conclude with a point-heavy Level 3/4 tech, you should be competitive.
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Joe McSteve
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mightygodking wrote:
What this system shows us is that in a nine-player game there are clearly some techs the Yengii should prioritize researching. In summary, in a nine-player game the Yengii's research priorities should be as follows:

1. Nanotechnology (or Genetic Engineering, if you can't bid for/trade for Nanotechnology)
2. Clinical Immortality
3. Antimatter Power
4. Cross Species Ethical Equality
5. One of Hyperspace Mining or Singularity Control

Having played the Yengii myself and watched them play in other games, I find successful Yengii players typically research 4-6 techs over the course of a game. If you research three or four of the above list and then conclude with a point-heavy Level 3/4 tech, you should be competitive.


Interesting analysis. I'd be interested to see how this plays out in the balance spreadsheets TauCeti discussed, as well as how other players react to this. Would they trade the Nanotechnology card to the Yengii for a higher price, knowing it would be more valuable to them?

Does this mean the Yengii should research some amount of these 5 to sell licenses for, and research other techs merely for points? It looks that way.

When I played the Yengii, it was for similar reasons - the other players were all novices and left me the "hard" race, and I won by a lot, even though I had trouble selling licenses since other players didn't see the value, possibly because they were new.
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