Part 23: The Antarans are Coming!The Antarans are Coming!
We begin this session with 52M citizens. I think we topped out at about 48M or so last run, so we already have more. Here's what's going on in the various systems:
** Mentar - Mentar II is still our main production planet, and is currently spitting out a new scout to replace the one the guardian took down. I think I only want one right now, to save command point space for more Raiders. Mentar I is our best incubator planet.
** Alaozar - Alaozar III is just slightly behind, with 174k growth. We get better than a citizen every three years between the two of them, and right now the natural growth between the other planets we hold combined in almost another 500k. So it's nearly at a citizen a turn (total of roughly 835k aggregate) overall. Alaozar II is trying to get defenses going, but the important economic developments are coming out too fast for a poor system to keep up. At least we have a Starbase there.
** Bogina - Bogina IV was just settled and will be building an automated factory, ignore the production there. Bogina III has a couple more colony bases to spit out to finish settling the system.
** Pund - Pund II is going to try to keep some balance in the food situation.
** Sagan - Sagan I is gradually building infrastructure, alternating between that and adding more spies.
** Vela - Vela I is just stockpiling with that Battlestation. I'm keeping all but one citizen on farming, so adding new infrastructure there is slow.
As much as I'd like to do more research, I think I need to keep most of the labor in production for now to get the stuff we've already researched built. This is so different, at least right now, from the MOO1 way of build factories and then shove everything into tech. The land-grab push has slowed down for now. There's more that we want, but nothing that seems as important as building up what we have.
SD 3512.9. The Neural Scanner chair thingy we saw last time, but that has arrived. Now I'm going for Soil Enrichment to free up some farming labor. Positronics would be huge and I don't want to wait too much longer before getting it, but this will give us more workers to build all that stuff and I probably want to grab some more low-level fields first as well.
Six spies out now and none deployed against us. I'm going to keep adding to them but things don't seem as disastrous at the moment. We appear to have had half of our tech lead stolen from us.
This is why I'm not that ticked off about it right now. Our economy is increasingly roasting that of the Darloks, so if we can even slow down their espionage much at all we should maintain a tech lead and then be able to eventually dominate them through sheer numbers. We have a 74% profit margin still as well, so while I don't like dumping more of our hard-earned into spies we can definitely afford to support them.
The next turn we get a Missile Base up on Mentar II, our first of those. I feel it's time to be gradually upgrading our defenses in between everything else. We also got a fourth frigate out, and then it's back to more colony ship fun.
A major goal is wrapped up as the Bogina system is now fully colonized!
Near Orion, right smack dab in the middle of the galaxy. With lots of unusable (for now) 'raw material' in the form of two gas giants and an asteroid belt.
SD 3513.8. Looks like these guys are back with a vengeance. We only outnumber them 7-6 right now. Time to invest more in this, even though they all disappeared the next turn. The AI seems very capricious with this kind of thing.
Why hello there. When you want money, send a Gnolam. We're basically swimming in it, but you can always use more. We now have a full set of 'domestic' Colony Leaders. Grogg will replace Crassis at Bogina, allowing him to extract more tax income while maintaining the production bonus there. For now, Crassis will go to Alaozar. Don't really have a good spot for him at the moment. I'd like somebody who boosts research or farming - I've really get Yota and three production governors. That's good to start, but I'm getting to the point where I'd like to balance things out more.
IT.HAS.BEGUN. That brief cinematic will show up every time the Anatarans attack. This was the first one, but they will come every so often until the end of the game. As far as I know, they attack a random occupied system in the galaxy. Since we didn't see them anywhere and have no further info, it appears they attacked someone else. Which was nice of them. But I'm sure we'll get our share of their 'attentions'.
Also, I think it's really weird that something of this magnitude - a raid by a previously-unseen, exogalactic race - doesn't even merit a GNN story. Once the random events start picking up it appears that GNN is concerned with everything more important than the arrival of Tuesday, and yet here it's crickets. I'm calling a conspiracy here - that GNN robot is in cahoots with the Antarans.
Lucky jerks. Ultra-Rich homeworld.
Mostly I'm taking this for the range at the moment, it's the only thing useful pushing our empire to the right. But two Large Radiated planets will eventually be a significant addition once we get the ability to improve them.
As you might expect, these planets look decidedly inhospitable.
SD 3514.6. Took the maximum amount of time for Advanced Biology to come in, which balances out our earlier luck but was still annoying. We have had a few more research labs come online in the recent years, including pretty much all of the Bogina system. That'll boost our efforts in the short-term. Meanwhile it's time to fill in.
Everyone's so kind around here.
The cat-people just settled Anchat this turn, a cycle after we claimed Lerion. That meeting of territory facilitated first contact. Those two yellow stars below their territory are interesting to me. We may well head there next if they are useful and unoccupied, to try and head them off and maybe even swing around their holdings.
They actually have better tech than we do, though they are no better off the Darlok in the buildings category. Which seems odd to me. It does appear that they started expanding more quickly though. They just didn't get any further.
So yeah, their fleet can kill things. Aggressive Militarists, which is as classic Mrrshan as it gets. No current alliances/wars. Emperor Torfang is their leader. I offer a couple of crap techs to boost relations to calm, but he still refuses any trade deals.
The next turn. I found it amusing. Meanwhile they are sending an escorted colony ship to Lerion, presumably to take the other planet there. That could potentially get ... interesting.
Progression through the turns is definitely starting to take a lot longer now. I find it difficult to keep track of everything and avoid at least minor mistakes with the micromanagement, but I think I'm gradually getting better at keeping a handle on it. If you're wondering why I haven't gone for Quercia I sort of cheated. I would have lost more frigates there just like in the first game, but I looked it up and read that 10-12 of them were recommended for the Hydra - or else a bigger ship to soak up damage. We aren't there yet.