The promise of a new theater of capitalism has brought new competitors with it. The first of these is The Penrose Collective (also known as "Nomads"), a ragtag community brought together under the unifying leadership of Ezra Hoang. This group’s atypical practices have allowed them to find a place in the still young solar economy.
Much like our other abnormal corporation - the outcast Scavengers - the Nomads don’t rely on steel to form the foundation of their structures. Instead, they look to exploit the often underused silicon on Mars and Io as a base for their buildings and headquarters. This opens up new opportunities for players in regions that are flush with silicon, and alleviates the race to get the best iron on maps that have few metal deposits. Also like the Scavengers, using such an easily quarried material allows the Nomads to hit the ground running, moving through headquarters upgrades very quickly, despite having to rely on electronics rather than the standard glass. These quick Nomad starts are only enhanced by their remaining abilities.
Once you know what you’ll need to found a Nomadic corporation offworld, it will be time to start looking for those spots. However, there’s one more detail you will need to consider before you get started. Because of their ability to coordinate and cooperate with each other, the Nomads are able to maintain two headquarters in the same region. Once the first is placed, a second will also need to planted anywhere else on the map. Both of these headquarters function just as any other faction’s would, able to collect resources and send out buildings or MULEs. Nomadic headquarters also share one resource pool, so securing silicon near one and aluminum near another typically allows them to begin additional development while everyone else is still waiting for their shipments to arrive. Be warned though, Nomad headquarters are small and have no space to bring any resources along to the start of a match.
The final bonus Nomads bring with them only enhances their ability to exploit quick starts. Each time you upgrade your headquarters as a Nomad you receive two “return a claim” actions, which are stored in your Black Market tray until they are used. This can allow you to be more reckless with claims early, either flooding yourself with upgrade materials then returning the land later or claiming high value resources to make a quick buck before transitioning to strong late game production. You can even use the action to return an auctioned tile, so any and all scraps of land have value to you as long you still have a claim return.
Nomads are always quick off the block, but converting their fast start into a win isn’t usually a simple matter. Oftentimes you’ll be looking to pick off a weaker opponent, and use the profits from acquiring them to stay competitive in the late game. If you’re up for the challenge of relying on fast, early decisions to carry you through a match, The Penrose Collective is the faction you’ve been waiting for.
Next week we’ll move on to the other new competitor, the Diadem Trust, a bold faction that embodies everything the Collective is not.
Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge is now available on Steam!