Part 14: A Grave MistakeThanks all for your patience. Even those of you who like the game more than me. I do agree with wedgekree's point about the UI - I've seen a lot more recent games that do worse in that aspect.
A Grave Mistake
Here's what we know about the three races we have thus encountered. The Klackons being Uncreative is basically our only ray of hope with them right now - hopefully their massive tech lead will be minimized by having suboptimal selections. Meanwhile in terms of building stuff, the Meklar are second to none. Our citizens aren't better than them at anything, and they are FAR better at Industry while also superior in Farming.
At the moment, we have 44M citizens. Only 5M, or basically one out of nine, is Meklar. My goal is to increase that percentage somewhat, and as much as possible, keep the Humans working in research. Science is the only thing we do as well as our new cybernetics do. One of the Meklar is moving to Callisto II as we speak. That and Iras I will be our incubator worlds to grow their numbers. We also have a more clearly defined role for each system now.
** Sol - Under the leadership of Magistrate Vott, their job is to keep the treasury filled and research going. Accordingly, I'm going to slowly fill up Sol II for purposes of research.
** Callisto - Supplies food for the empire from the fourth planet, and the third planet is our primary shipbuilding facility. I shifted labor on Callisto III after this, leaving only one in research and moving a few of them to the factories - gives us 60 Industry per turn there to speed things along.
** Meklon - Magistrate Rash-lki has been transferred here. I'll have two productive planets here, which I would like to make our primary industrial/shipbuilding center down the road. Once the fleet is ready again I want to take down the Meklar homeworld. That'll probably take two attacks to make happen.
I thought of designing a new ship, but I don't think we have anything in yet that will aid the hit-and-run tactic.
Nearby Sulcus, the last remaining Meklar system. Two Huge Toxic worlds. They have the Rich one, the other one is standard/abundant. And they've built a cruiser as well, apparently starting to reconstitute their fleet. I just sent in one destroyer to scout it out, and now they'll be returning to Meklon. I don't think either one of these are as valuable as the cybernetic homeworld.
'Battle' at Sulcus
We get a look at the Destructor III, then retreat.
I'm saying no this time. That's hazardous, but handing over such a powerful production-boosting tech would be as well. K'kalak responds with a declaration of war. Superb. I thought we could get away with saying no due to our tribute deal and positive relations.
They aren't sending in any transports - but a Battleship is coming. I think our homeworld is in danger, but the fleet is too far away to do anything about this.
It was close, but we fought off the Klackon Battleship + Frigate combo with our defenses at the homeworld. Note the amateur screwing around with firing the various weapons and finally figuring out how to do a partial salvo again.
We aren't done yet though. They have a battleship of different configuration heading to Iras. I don't have enough ships to stop them and hold the line in Meklon against the cybernetics, who have moved their cruiser there. Meklon being clearly the more valuable system, I abandon Iras to its fate.
I'd been annoyed by this for a few years. Tried sending the fleet to Meklon II (just told me you can't attack your own colony). I didn't want to attack Meklon III yet, just the enemy ship. Unfortunately, the game won't let me do that. I can't attack their fleet without attacking the colony. But if their ships are staying at their colony, how are they blockading my completely different planet in the system? That just doesn't make sense.
Another destroyer is now headed to the Sol system. With our fleet tied down in Meklon there is nothing I can do to defend our unfortified planets.
And so it continues.
Perhaps seeing that we have one more frigate incoming, the Meklar decide to strike first. We fight them off, but they still have one cruiser guarding their homeworld. Also, I turn on the grid/legal moves stuff.
So now what? I head for Xeno Relations. Alien Management Center would be nice, halving assimilation time and revolt chance while increasing the productivity of captured pops - not sure by how much though. Xeno Psychology boosts all diplomatic offers by +30. I decide we need that more - I want to get back in the Klackon's good graces ASAP, if possible, and at some point I'm going to want to stop ticking off the entirety of the galaxy.
After another low-level leader applies and is rejected, we meet the felines.
Trapped in the corner, they will have to expand through either us or the bugs. And will probably choose us. The Mrrshan are:
* +50 pop growth
* +0.5 BC tax
* +50 ship offense
* Rich Home World
So the usual stuff but it looks like they added pop growth and tax income with their 'extra' points.
They join the group of milling-about, not-Klackon races. I bribe them with a couple of low-level techs, but they still refuse to enter any agreements. Also, I note that the Klackons have deployed four spies against us, the first such activity we've seen. I switch some production from trade goods to building more so that we can match them, or at least come close.
It's time to deal with the Meklar homeworld. First things first - this strike will hit their Starbase.
Assault on Meklon II
Well ... that could have gone better. I think maybe I retreated one turn too late? Should have been able to save some of the ships I think. Now their Starbase is gone, but we're pretty much screwed.
Of course it is. Rash-lki was among the dead.
You don't say.
Rebuilding the fleet allows us to destroy an incoming Klackon transport group at Sol and one of their destroyers at Callisto II. The cruiser is more than we can bite off without multiple ships though.
The Fighting Continues
More are - barely - fought off the next turn. We are hanging on, but not by much. I bribe the Klackons and offer peace. They refuse. Shocker there. We're surviving for now ... but taking a beating.