Part 15: Humanity Strikes Back or Dies Trying. Probably the Second OneHumanity Strikes Back ... or Dies Trying. Probably the Second One
Sol Prime Defense
This barely fighting off Klackon battleships thing is getting old hat. Prior to this a Meklar destroyer was chased off. We need to rebuild the fighter garrison on the homeworld. Meanwhile the supercomputers are going up to increase our research capacity, and we are trying to counterattack in what limited capacity we may. Can't even reach Meklon so we need a stepping-stone first.
Galileo is nearby and is held by the Klackons. Maybe by taking it we can annoy them into peace. Probably not, but whatever. It's something. First try has us losing three Cheeseballs, while they lose two destroyers. They have a Starbase as well that survives the encounter. It appears to be better than the Meklars, which suprises nobody. I'm not sure if we can take it anyway, but it seemed best to clear out the escorts first.
3522.6 - Meklar dorks destroy the minor research world at Sol II. I'm still aggravated. The next year they attack our homeworld, losing three destroyers in the process - but we lose one as well. This is really looking like we are going to be stuck on the defensive.
So Xeno Psychology is symbolized by ... a chrome hubcap? I mean, a cool-looking one, but still.
Oh let's see ... Gravitic Fields.
** Anti-Grav Harness frees ground troops from terra firma. Or as the game says, 'allows them to fly'. +10 ground combat.
** Gyro Destabilizer spins enemy ships from a range of up to 15. Damage is 1-4x the ship's size class, but having it end up facing a random direction is probably more valuable?
** Inertial Stabilizer is a partial warp field that can operate in normal space. In other words, we didn't even try with this description and just went full space magic. +50 beam defense and halves the movement cost for turning. Well I can run away faster with this and not get hit by as many beam weapons.
I think the inertial stabilizer is better if I want to keep doing the hit-and-run tactics. Long-term though, I probably don't. Gyro Destabilizer is a new mechanic so I go with that. Who knows, maybe I'll even live long enough to build one.
Trilarians are a thing in this game. We're getting a lot of 2 or 3-turn wars, so I don't take much notice of the actual conflict. It's more just telling me they exist. Personally, I'd prefer not knowing about a war with an enemy we haven't met yet, but that probably goes along with the whole deal of it being super-easy to know info about a rival empire.
SD 3523.0 - The Klackons show up and bomb Callisto II, our Meklar-pop world. And damage nothing. But still, the onslaught continues.
Cool. They can go die in a fire. Oh wait, that's our fate. NVM then.
3523.3 - Trading destroyers with the Klackons in Callisto. Efforts at securing peace continue to be rebuffed.
How nice. We chased them off, but the Meklar have a Graviton Beam that can hit our planet from the starting position. I hate them even more. Then we chase off a bug cruiser, and blow up another one of their battleships. As the tech gap grows though, I know this can only last for a limited time. I'm not sure I have a viable long-term strategy beyond 'blow up a bunch more ships and make them earn their human genocide'.
Normally I'd consider Planetary Stock Exchange, which doubles income on a planet. Or combining Shield Capacitors with Class III Shields and actually building a large carrier-type ship. But right now we are in desperation survival mode. So Pulson Missile it is. Iridium Fuel Cells increase range to 8, and the Atmospheric Renewer builds on the pollution processor to quarter the amount of industry that counts towards pollution. All of which is a luxury right now.
3523.7 - The Klackons have some new toys, but three more destroyers go down at Sol Prime. Still, I have a feeling the end is nigh.
New Klackon Battleship
They ran away this time, but their ships are getting pretty scary. There is literally nothing I can think of to do but keep defending, research to try and up our firepower, and wait to get smashed. We're in a corner, so I can't go another direction - there's no other direction to go.
I did scrap two of our three Transports, because we're not going to be invading anyone anytime soon, and hesitantly designed this. It's a switch from hit-and-run to stay-and-fight tactics. Anything bigger would take a long time to build. I have noticed our fighters from the garrisons do seem to do a good amount of damage to enemy designs though, once they get there.
The boringly, purpose-named Fusion Carrier has fusion everything. Fusion beam-powered Interceptors. Fusion drives. Fusion Beams of it's own, PD ones, for handling incoming ordnance or strike craft. Reinforced Hull and ECM Jammer for survivability. It's vulnerable to beam weapons, but we don't really have a good option for that so I'll just hope to out damage the enemy before that becomes too much of an issue. Which may very well not work, but let's at least try out the darned interceptors before we go down in flames? I have nothing better. I think for now, I want to get rid of that last transport and try to field four of these. That would mean paying an extra maintenance cost for the last one, but it's a cost we can afford.
Why not go even bigger with Battleships? They would just take too long to build. Which may not be a good enough reason, but it's what I'm going with. That would be on the order of 1200 or more in terms of price. In other words, 20 turns on our best planets. Each carrier has 16 interceptors, compared to 10 for a fighter garrison. So a few of them grouped together gives me a whole bunch of small ships to swarm the enemy and overwhelm their PD. In theory.
3524.0 - Another Klackon battleship goes boom at Callisto IV, but not before doing heavy damage to our Starbase. Without the fighters we would not be winning these battles. I'm sold on them at least as an early-game defensive option - the fighter garrisons at least. Meanwhile Psilons-Klackons are at war. Go fight the eggheads and leave us alone for a bit?
Nah. And that fleet had 8 transports with them. We're losing a planet if we lose any of these fights.
It was the only one left. Now we just have the big defended ones; Sol Prime, Callisto III, and Callisto IV. Until we can push out and counterattack - so never, in other words - there's little point in reconstituting the smaller systems. Meanwhile the umpteenth attack by the Meklar at Sol was repulsed. They like to attack with lone cruisers and run away before we can destroy them. Meanwhile I'm constantly having to switch around labor due to this or that blockade being lifted or enacted.
Behold - the Fusion Carrier!
The first deployment of our carrier. Chasing off a destroyer with a cruiser is no great development. And in this case, the bugs were well-equipped to damage us. But we would have made short work of them with our interceptors, and they knew it.
Once nice thing here is that Sol, Callisto, and Galileo form an isosceles triangle. Each of them are a two-year journey away from the other two for our current ships. That means I can have some defending each system, and they can rendezvous for an attack like this together. I have no intention of capturing the system, I just want to remove the Klackon presence if we can. Push them back away from our territory.
The 'Battle' of Galileo
That definitely sucked. Try Massacre of Galileo. It would appear Klackon technology is now good enough that attacking them is not a real good idea. Ok then. If we can't attack them, and can't make peace with them, I see my choices as follows:
** Wait to be destroyed. Nah, that's boring. Let's find some way to pointlessly flail about.
** Outpost on Hera, then go for Meklon again.
** Defeat the Crystal on Rav.
Rav does not require our fleet to be in two places at once. Meklon does. Now of course there's the possiblity that the Crystal kicks our butt again, and also that we take the system and then get it stole from us, but we're not exactly in a position to be choosy. So I elect to return to Rav, with maximum Cheeseballs.
Yay, the Pulson Missile. Of course we can't MIRV them yet but they will help our Starbases.
Once again it's all about survival here. I'd like to get mods for those new missiles, but I think getting some shielding for less than half the price is more vital. So Magneto Gravitics draws my attention.
** Class III Shield - Absorbs 3 points of damage from any attack. We're getting hits of up to the low 40s, so that won't mean much to the high end. It'll mean more to the low-end though, some is better than nothing, protection against the more equal races, etc.
** Planetary Radiation Shield - Radiated planets are upgraded to Barren, reduces damage to planets by 5 points.
** Warp Dissipator - Misspelled here. Also, prevents any ship in a large radius from retreating. Not important enough in our present situation.
So yeah, Class III Shield for a bit of protection it is.
The one time I don't record - I'd replay it if this game wasn't pretty hopeless. Next Klackon attack, their battleship blows up a destroyer in the first round. Which blows up a second one in the explosion radius. Which badly damages the Starbase. Which is soon finished off. Our fighters still won the day, but the planet had considerable damage inflicted. In other words, the day of doom has nearly come, and our ships are pretty much irrelevant to them now.
3525.3 - Meklar cruiser knocks out our fighter garrison at Callisto IV before we can take it down. There's a pattern here. A bad one.
Well you better hurry. There's not much time for profit - or anything else. We're about to be incinerated.
Well hello to you too.
Psilon look quality, Alkari have only one system?!
Based on this, they must be sharing at least one with someone else. More notably, the Psilons appear to be a real threat to the bugs. Trade deals are immediately struck with both. If we could gain a powerful friend ...
We will almost certainly still lose. But we will know that we tried to find a last desperate way out of it ... or something? Both races are Honorable. Psilons are Technologists because of course they are, Alkari are uncharacteristically Diplomats.