Part 12: A Dastardly BetrayalA Dastardly Betrayal
The status of the empire on the eve of the invasion. All three primary worlds are set to optimal labor distribution with the most industry they can handle with minimal pollution. Only Sol Prime has any. The food is negative intentionally - Sol II has very slightly negative (-2k) growth and I don't want any more population right now, it would just suck more food out of the producer planets. So we're basically full-to-bursting right now and the main way to improve is to expand.
the Meklar 'buildings' count is down to just a hair above ours and our latest report is that their fleet was annihilated by the Klackons just before they sued for peace. Beats the heck out of me why the bugs didn't just finish the job, but this could be a perfect time for our attack.
This screen happens when you get past any defenses in orbit of a planet. Iras Prime, being a relatively new acquisition, doesn't have any. It looks ripe for the picking, so I Invade, aka send in the transports.
Invasion of Iras Prime
Their one defender took out half of our troops. Yikes. I don't know exactly how the math works for ground combat, but it looks like they had an 16-10? edge in bonuses. The +1 for AI Bonus is I think purely difficulty-based. I've always found it more difficult to see exactly what is going on here compared to the original. More of a flow to things with the troops rushing at each other, and perhaps it makes more sense than the 'one fights at a time' deal, I've just never gotten a clear handle on why stuff happens the way it does.
This is rather gruesome. Imagine our troops going through the Meklar cities, killing off a million Meklar every few weeks (a year divided by ten turns). Let's see, that's almost 27,400 of them a day - and that's just the work force. Gotta figuire about double that if your factor in the elderly, children, etc. The morgue would be rather ... busy. I go with no. They are likely to be better than our citizens, and in any case I should show the assimilation mechanic.
It'll be more so later, but this is a good example of how this stuff can get complicated. Nice Meklar boost, but then there's pollution, morale, and the general we-hate-you factor for being invaded. Also, they are eating half food and half industry and have built a hydroponics farm here. And they are weird yellowish guys with exosuits or what-have-you.
For now, this is all I'll build and it still means operating Iras Prime at a financial loss. With only 3 max population, not a whole lot we can do with it.
So now what? Obviously it's best if we can keep pushing the attack, but I don't what is at Meklon or Sulcus. At least at their homeworld they'll obviously have a starbase, and who knows what else. Given what happened with our troops this time, I think I need to go with three transports and another destroyer to fill out our remaining fleet openings. Dunno if that's enough, but it is what we can afford.
I don't want to give them our hard-earned. I also know that I don't really have a choice. I'm informed that K'kalak 'is pleased we saw the light' and that 'I/Ender have made a wise decision'. So about that trade proposal . ..
"We simply are not interested." We have met three races, are at war with two, and are buying the temporary good graces of the third with much-needed resources.
Here's our glorified candlestick, aka the Fusion Drive.
Advanced Magnetism is the last low-level field to consider. The Mass Driver is better than our Fusion Beam in that it doesn't lose damage with range, but if I was going to go that route I wouldn't have gotten Fusion to begin with. Class I Shield removes 1 damage per attack as you'd expect, though in MOO2 shields don't work forever - they can run out eventually though they do recharge. ECM Jammer increases missile evasion by 70%.
I hesistantly take the ECM.
The only thing in Galileo is a Medium Barren Poor. This is the part where I wonder if I should have at least put an outpost on it to keep them from taking it. It's too late now, and if I did I'm sure the Silicoids would have just smashed the outpost anyway.
Magistrate Vott puts his considerable skills to work on Sol, which will be research-focused from here on out. Rash-lki is banished to the hinterlands of Iras. Our annual research has been effectively doubled here.
This Just In ...
Pirates are back, in a system we've never heard of.
Also, the Klackons take Galileo and can now hit any of our systems whenever they feel like it. Super-great.
With this, we can consider possibly building different designs depending on how things go. More urgently, it's time to take a step up to more expensive toys.
It's time to look at some AI. I've neglected Computers for longer than I normally would. Probably too long.
** Neural Scanner - A near-perfect lie detector that improves all spies by +10.
** Scout Labs - These are put on ships, and increase research based on the size of the ship they are put on. They also improve attacks against space monsters and those things that shall not be mentioned because they aren't in this run.
** Security Stations - +20 to combat rolls defending against boarding actions; automated weapons systems for repelling them on board and the like.
I like the idea of Scout Labs, but it looks like we'll be needing every last ship for combat and won't have the luxury. So I elect Neural Scanners.
How about that. One citizen there is now working full-steam for us.
Blue good, yellow bad. Icon even has a hammer in his hand to indicate he is working dutifully.
Ignore the starvation message - that happens whenever even a partial population reduction happens. We aren't losing a citizen here. More important is the war here. Enemy of our enemy is our friend and all that, but if the bugs have a significant victory here they will become unstoppable.
The Meklar have a fighter garrison on Meklon III. That's their homeworld. But this would be a very nice planet as well. Let's walk before we run, and see if our destroyer quartet can handle a cybernetic Starbase.
The Battle of Meklon II
I assumed here that if I left the battle screen, the starbase would not be destroyed. We lost one Cheeseball but it was well worth it. Had to take out about half the planet from orbit to knock it down to size, but still overall a successful operation. Also, some of the troops apparently returned to one of the transports afterwards - I assume because too many survived the battle to remain on the planet?
The Neural Scanner I accidentally clicked through, but I'll come back to it at some point. It looks disturbingly like an electric chair.
Positronics is next.
** Holo Simulator is nice, boosting morale by 20% for an across-the-board planetary boost in production.
** Planetary Supercomputer is nicer. It improves on the research lab the way robo-miners did for industry. 10 research automatically, +2 per scientist.
** Positronic Computer is the latest word in beam weapon direction, boosting that bonus to +75%. We're not so worried about that this game.
Supercomputer it is.
Gotta hand it to the guy, he just won't give up.
So now what? I don't think we can handle their homeworld just yet. May want to take Sulcus and consolidate before I take the step of wiping them out. The Meklar campaign is going quite well. Whether it ultimately matters all that much though remains to be seen. I like the 'contested system' display here with the colors of both empires. Very cool. And I should also see about starting to put the Meklar to work in more optimal situations, as their abilities do differ from ours.
Query for the thread: how does population growth work with a mixed population? Is the new citizen randomly chosen from among the candidate races, or based on proportion, or ... ? Guess I'll find out soon enough, but it would still be cool to know.