Part 53: Monster-HuntingMonster-Hunting
It seemed wise to secure our current position a bit first, adding a Missile Base on the homeworld and building the Supercomputer. All of that would add to how tight the finances are, but it can't be helped and the way out of that is simply growing the population anyway.
I forget if this is the second or third one ... second I think ... but we're the first choice, then Balrkozor. So other races may have more systems, but as long as our population and technology keeps up, I'm not sure that I particularly care.
Gnolams and Trilarians, both also with three votes, abstained ... but we have a supporter!
What? I thought you were my friends?? Not really. The Meklar are also abstaining with just two, along with the Darloks (three). The way this run is shaping up there may be more political intrigue than before here, and I'm totally fine with a diplomatic win if I can swing it.
The two nominees are barely that, both having three votes each as well. Nobody is even close ... I vote for the Bulrathi to mollify them.
That would be nice, but it's expensive. Screw the expense though - military leaders of quality aren't easy to come by. Welcome aboard, Captain Sparky!
The new frigates cost 60 BC to refit ... with a new one coming in at 69 BC. They're still cheaper, but not by much. Hiring our new cybernetic friend means we won't be able to afford an outsized fleet anytime soon either.
SD 3509.4 - Gnolam-Darlok war. Keep em busy. I'm fine with the two 'large' powers of the galactic right feuding.
You're welcome - and don't you dare forget it. Say, that reminds me ... how about signing a trade deal with the great leader who had the foresight to vote for you in the High Council?
"Your proposal is declined, Emperor Overmind".
SD 3509.6 - Gnolam-Darlok peace. That was useless.
I think we need a diplomatic boost. Maybe this will convince the less friendly fellows to accept our offers.
SD 3509.8 - Bulrathi-Silicoid peace. Looks like the Bulrathi won this one, as the Malec system was owned by the rocks, and now it is a disputed one.
The Nir system is now fully colonized. Our budding industrial center there can now focus on optional infrastructure (i.e. research buidings), defenses, and boosting the freighter count.
SD 3510.0 - Bulrathi-Trilarian war. I doubt it accomplishes anything, but a Trilarian task group immediately heads for Ursa. Hard to keep up with all this chaos, but at least none of it involves us. Yet. Also, the Darloks pop in to thank us for our tribute.
*clapclap* As you can see, he's responsible for a non-trivial amount of our imperial research output still.
SD 3510.6 - We now have six refitted frigates. How many more do we need? By my calculations, eight should just do the job. So, nine it is. Supporting that many, including travel time, figures to just about drain the treasury, but I think we can manage it. I'll do extra trade goods investment if necessary. The space crystal must be destroyed.
Space Crystal Again (1:58)
Whee! Also I just realized that I had previously been only firing the first volley of missile from my frigates, because I guess I just forgot how to fight or something? Making it harder on myself FTW!! And Xeno-Psych at the same time.
Of course it was not yet over. I needed to get a Colony Ship there before anyone else got any bright ideas.
The Stock Exchange would help fuel our expansion, but so would the Cloning Center. When we claim Bethmoora we're going to need citizens. That's cheaper, and just as important.
Anyway, a single frigate was lost in the fight, so I could with a trade goods focus support all of them. Keeping that going, Char III poured everything into getting a colony ship out here.
SD 3511.4 - Meklar-Alkari peace, in what seems to have been an inconsequential if fairly lengthy war. Good news for our long-term plans of having cybernetic 'assistants'.
I've decided Biology is where it's at. Just got the cloning centers in, we'll get even more population growth from this, and with the hostile planets we have and will be acquiring, Terraforming is the tier after it. A golden age of growth for the Klackons, dutiful minions of the Overmind, is coming and we need the technology to maximize it.
The third (??) meeting of the High Council has the Alkari opposing us. Immediately the Bulrathi choose the side of the birds, while the Trilarians vote for us. Everyone else abstains though, which makes it rather boring. However, we are now the only empire with a whopping FOUR votes.
Yay go team.
We vote Voreet Zry, who still has less than half of the total. More importantly ...
Mwahahahaha!!! Bethmoora IV is soon to be our new center of ... everything, pretty much. It'll be better at anything than even our homeworld in Char. Two citizens are sent out immediately to bolster the startup, with more to follow.
The natives will ensure that everyone on the hostile worlds has plenty of food. That was starting to become an issue -- past tense.
Only the Trilarians, who have shown no signs of aggression and are embroiled in their conflict with the Bulrathi, can even reach our new remote acquisition. The Overmind orders the fleet to travel to umm ... well, to Umm. Yes, obvious and bad joke is obvious and bad. They refuse, on the flimsy evidence that the system is a parsec out of range. We need an outpost on one of the gas giants in Trilar.
The Darloks finally relent, as do the Bulrathi. I guess a little xeno-psychology does the trick.
Bulrathi-Trilarian peace, with the bears acquiring the minimally useful Ecu system. No sooner is the ink dry than the Trilars declare war on Altair. Sheesh. The more I think about it, with this kind of chaos I don't want any allies. Just friends, and to stay out of the fighting.
Amoeba Attack (1:51)
It is not without casualties, but we take down the Space Amoeba as well. And a promotion for Rash-lki!! More good omens
SD 3512.6 - Same year. Bulrathi-Gnolam war. I'm feeling very good about things, but at the same time I know the ONLY reason for this is that we have remained at peace. We will eventually have to fight. Seemed to me it was time to reconsider the overall situation.
Apparently I lied earlier in the LP, because I was sure the Population comparison wasn't working. But ... it is. Not that we didn't really already have this information from the council voting of course. Bottom line is that there are more Klackons by a good margin now than anybody else. You can also see that budget remains tight. We have seven spies right now - this is why I don't have like a dozen or so.
Lots of ups and downs here with the fighting everyone's engaged in. Seems like only the Darloks have been immune.
Ok so this has gotten worse. You can see that the last time I looked at this was when it was best for us. We flattened out ... and the rest of the galaxy did the opposite.
When considering militarizing here I notice a few things.
** We are probably going to fall behind further in research if I don't make that a priority.
** I haven't seen anything larger than a cruiser and no bunches of them, most task groups floating around have been a few frigates/destroyers. Our fleet of five frigates isn't all that much smaller than most. The current Starbase/Missile Base combo is sufficient for now for defending our core planets, and we can get the Fighter Garrison if it looks like we need a bit more.
** We can't do everything we need to do right now - expand, invest in research, and militarize. And we are still at peace. So I think continuing the Farmer's Gambit is the move, while still maintaining as respectable an anti-monster/deterrent frigate group as possible without crippling the economy.
** For all of our planets, productivity-wise we basically have Char III (best for research) and the moderate-sized industrial center of Nir III. And that's really it - Bethmoora's only about halfway through its development cycle and after that we can do whatever with it, but still a bit down the road there.
** I need to keep a closer eye on this.
Expansion-wise, we need to claim the three habitable rich worlds of varying quality - including one with natives - in Umm. There's also a meh planet in Moro and a subpar one in Ecu that are probably worth snagging.
Further down - reachable if we put up an outpost in Achir - is the most valuable Arkab. That would give us another high-quality planet. As in really high quality - 25 pop, Gaia, Ultra Rich, Gem Deposits ... it's practically an Orion+ without the Guardian around. And then it puts us in range of the Meklar, which optimally speaking would be our first war to staff us up with a top-quality work force, after which we'd just go smash things.
So putting all this together, I think research on Char, building Colony Ships/Worker Ants on Nir, and continuing to throw population at Bethmoora and later Umm is the best plan. Let's keep growing while we're allowed to. If war does come, so long as rival fleets don't appear to be overwhelming I think we can hold our key planets and frankly I don't care a whole lot about the others.