Part 24: A Whole Lotta Micro Goin' OnI'm definitely not going to be picking a fight with them anytime soon, so I don't think there's much danger of that.
A Whole Lotta Micro Goin' On
SD 3514.7 to start this session. We're up to a dozen planets, so the ledger will increasingly not be able to show everything at once. I probably won't be using it as much in terms of the screenshots, but it is useful here to note a couple points.
** We are really socking away the funding in the treasury. I'm going to start getting more aggressive with buying stuff early, and may consider an extra ship or two above our command limit, just to put the money to work. For now at least, I don't see any reason why something close to a thousand isn't enough as a rainy-day fund.
** Lots of Robo-Miner planets and Soil Enrichment, because everywhere swamp/terran or better that doesn't have the latter is getting it to boost our food production. I considered getting Cloning Centers (+100k annual pop growth) on the incubator planets but frankly I don't think it's necessary - we're got enough population growing right now that it won't take long to fill up our systems, and the land-grab phase is going to be slowing down soon.
I'm going to tabulate how many citizens we have in each sector as a general picture of the imperial economy from here on out. For present purposes, it should be useful as an accounting of just how helpful Soil Enrichment is.
** Total: 74M(includes 3M Natives)
** Farming: 34M - 45.9%
** Industry: 37M - 50%
** Research: 3M - 4.1%
** Profit Margin: 73.8%
So right now, almost half are required to feed everyone which isn't great. I've been more troubled of late that we aren't spending more on research, but it still seems more important to build the infrastructure that we do have access to than it does to acquire more and increase the backlog. As we run out of new places to colonize though, that will change. And the finances remain very healthy.
Seems certain that the Mrrshan will snag Lerion III, which leaves Unuk and Wolf as the only good options for us that we've explored. Lots of other ok-ish ones that I will want to take eventually on a when-it's-convenient basis, but the prime real estate is pretty much gone now.
Well, that's a nice little shipbuilding center for the Mrrshan on our border.
Hmm. Our first three of these come in, and the food balance jumps by over 20 per turn. After making appropriate adjustments, 9M citizens were freed to work in production, reducing the farming labor to 25M, or just over a third of the total at 33.8%. That's a major long-term gain for the economy already.
I want to knock out the three equally-inexpensive research options next, as we just got Fusion Beam in. Overall, Tachyon Physics gives the best overall set of improvements I think. Better scanning range, reduced enemy missile evasion, increased command points from our bases.
SD 3515.0 - Interestingly, the Mrrshan fleet has left Lerion, and did not take the remaining planet there. So that makes another target I'm definitely going to want to try to acquire. Perhaps the fact that it is Radiated scared them off.
A Mrrshan destroyer is close behind coming here. The other two are gas giants. This would definitely be a good one to get for the purpose of restricting their expansion, but they are much closer to it.
SD 3515.3 - Just because we can basically, and colony bases are relatively cheap. Might as well fill out the whole system with taxpayers. I also send our latest colony ship off to Lerion, which is in a direct line to Tah - I'm basically buying time to see if the Mrrshan go there instead of committing to the full 8-turn journey. And the shift to research begins on Vela, which now has soil enrichment and enough labor that not all of them are needed to build things.
SD 3515.4 - The Darlok and Sakkra war, which lasted quite a while, is over with a peace treaty. From what I can tell of Darlok territory, nothing changed.
Our latest investigation in Madira, yellow star out Mrrshan way at the very bottom of the galaxy, runs into a second Space Hydra. This time it failed its initiative roll or whatever and we got a scan of it. 500 structure points, vulnerable to missiles, three of whatever 'Plasma Breaths' are ... and I have no clue what the Energy Absorber does. So I look it up. Apparently it's a fairly high-level Power tech that takes a quarter of all damage inflicted on a ship, and allows it to be fired back in some manner at the enemy the next turn. How dastardly.
Our Recon is destroyed of course while trying to retreat.
This is what it's hiding. A lot like Quercia, although even more industrial value. Meanwhile, Bogina III finishes up a Starbase, and is going to do secondary industrial tasks like replacing the lost Recon, adding Raider frigates, etc. so Mentar II doesn't have to lose time working on that. And the Mrrshan have claimed Tah, so we'll leave that to them and take the second planet in Lerion so they can't get any closer to our core worlds. I'm ok with that trade. If we eventually get Madira, they will be well and truly cut off.
SD 3515.6 - I go for faster drives next. And having had more time to consider the matter, Emperor Torfang of the Mrrshan agrees to a trade deal.
SD 3515.7 - Unless they want to go through a Space Hydra or significantly increase their range, this is the only way for the Mrrshan to get to us.
We also got a research deal, but going for a Non-Aggression Pact was a bridge too far for the cats. So Torfang and Kelvan still stare at each other across the stars in an arrangement of uneasy peace, neither confident the other isn't about to rip it into shreds.
Mentar II, relieved of research duty by small investments in Alaozar and Vela, is going full-bore except for a few farmers on building more colony ships. Expanding our borders and increasing our fleet size are the primary initiatives right now. Willow, Yarrow, and Irra are the expansion targets. Unuk and Wolf will come eventually, but I think they can wait until we see just how big a chunk of the galaxy we can claim. You'd be able to see all of that better if I wasn't an idiot and made the map demonstrating this the one screenshot I forgot to save. So I'll try to remember to do the galaxy view thing at the start of the next session. But basically, Willow is up towards the galactic center, Yarrow is the nebula one to the upper left of our territory in the Darlok direction, Irra lower-left pushing towards that edge. Right is of course the Mrrshan so that's pretty closed off.
SD 3516.2 - Time for our last project as this general tier. More expensive choices will be considered after this.
Not long ago, Kher got a promotion as well which helps our trade deals.
SD 3516.6 - So now what? Everything costs several hundred RPs now, requiring more significant investment. Not that we aren't fully capable of that if needed. I think it's time for Positronics. The top two items will produce a significant economic boost, esp. in research.
It looks like the Darloks have stopped stealing from us because they've found someone easier to steal from. You can see how their gains flattened out and then went almost vertical again. And the Mrrshan are expanding their tech lead. That would normally bother me, but the only reason we aren't advancing faster is that we have more important things to do.
So long as our economy continues to spit on the pathetic attempts of our competition, I know I can catch up in research basically whenever I feel like it. Their fleet is still much bigger than ours, but in the combined rating we have a small, expanding edge.
SD 3516.8 - A big year for the TechnoGeek empire. We could just have done an outpost in this nebula system, but I'd prefer to make it defensible and no matter what else it can't do, more taxpayers. The expensive of getting ships is no longer prohibitive, six turns even if I don't buy them early which I'm consistently doing now. So now we'll get to see what's out more the in left-middle of the galaxy.
And also in the centre, as we expanded further that way past Pund and Orion with this the same year.
Here's where some of the mindless micro comes in. This is my starting build order on most planets these days. It's just so fun to plop the same things down repeatedly, and this will get worse late-game.
I am shocked to not get a single new first contact greeting after pushing further in multiple directions.
These black holes are at least part of why. There are four of them in this galaxy, and three in this vicinity, one not that far away up by Darlok territory. So coming from above into the galactic middle pretty much doesn't happen. I can angle from Willow to that yellow star just beside the fleet pop-up, in-between two of the singularities, and I probably will - but a lot of potential travel paths are just not possible.
Only about 20 turns or so, but a lot of stuff happened. Recons are on station at the new colonies, which get us within range of several unexplored systems. I have the sense here that the game is already strategically won. I don't want to get too cocky, but we really ought to be able to stay technologically comparable to anyone - I'd think we'd have met any major threats by now that mighit be out there - and hammer any particularly thorny issues just by building more of whatever than they can produce. Our sphere of influence is now at almost a third of the galaxy, and it doesn't appear to have stopped growing.