The Let's Play Archive

Sword of the Stars 1 & 2

by Veloxyll

Part 1: Turns 1-21

An endless sea of bugs (spawning inside the sun) Lets Play Sword of the Stars 2: Hiver Imperium

Update 1. Turns 1-21

So, y'all picked the Hivers. I am okay with this because the Hivers are actually the race that works 'best' with the fleet system. Hiver vessels are slow as molasses, but they make up for it by having the highest hitpoints of any race in the game.
And guns. Lots of guns. Hivers saw lasers, and went fuck that. We want the biggest cannons possible.
While they're not BAD at research, like the Zuul, they're not great at it, either. It is not uncommon to be fighting at a technological disadvantage against your foes.

So why are they my favourites?
Well. Hivers have one thing that offsets their slow starships - their ships can instantly (well. it takes 1 turn) move between any two deployed gates in their network. This means that Hivers can dogpile you with their entire navy, and their systems are all 1 turn apart, unless you destroy the gate.

This also means that Construction and Colonial fleets don't need supplies. So lets get to it.

Turn 1

We rename our Homeworld Colony appropriately.

Just like the Zuul, we also fix our Security Slider, boost taxes a little (We do suffer from morale, so we can't go all out) and cut research while we expand.

Now, lets get to the first annoying thing as Hivers. There are 4 systems about the same distance away from the Imperium. In a decent game, I'd be able to select move, and see how far away they are. But we're not playing that game. I have to go into the mission screen to send fleets. For each world.
Then go back to find the fastest ones.

Hivers also have a special mission type.. Gate. This is what you will literally always be sending your fleets to non-controlled systems under. Because Gates are Life for the Hivers. Any Gated system is a system you can hold against the universe.
This does reduce your need for endurance on your ships, since you can let them go home to refuel after setting up a gate. Though you still need enough range to arrive.

So lets set up a mission.

Wait what game. Augh. This guy is not someone you want controlling a survey fleet. Especially early game when we REALLY want money.
My other Admiral is equally useless. So step 1 is actually reforming the fleets to change Admirals. Because Mercon doesn't believe in letting you just change commands on the fly.

The other thing is the game 'helpfully' gives us two gatefleets and two survey fleets. This is dumb, although it does mean that Hivers start with twice the naval power of the other races. It is 6 Command Points to turn any fleet into a Gate Fleet. And since my Gatefleets each start with 2 Gateships...

I now have FOUR fleets, so I avoid having to actually measure distances this time. Thank fuck.
Also want to point out Deployed Gates, despite being immovable, show up in the fleets tab. :gamedesign:

I also want to comment on the default formation. It is DUMB. the most valuable ship in the fleet (the command ship) is on point, escorted by both supply ships. You know. The opposite of what you want.

I fix it for all four fleets and put the Armours in front.

We also come close to using up our Gate Limit. This is a limit that will quickly become irrelevant, and basically controls how many ships we can send through our gate network per turn. As a holdover from SOTS1, each cruiser has 2 weight on our Gate Network. Each gate we deploy gives an additional 6 capacity. So our launch of 4 gate fleets will add 24 capacity to the network when they deploy.

But there's more to do on Turn 1. Lets look at our ship designs as Hivers!

Armour - Mass drivers is fine. But we have NO USE for a powerplant. I'll retrofit it later since we can change modules in refit. As soon as we get point defense, or more interesting mass drivers, this design will be obsolete.

I'm actually going to stick with missiles on supply ships, since we're generally going to be fighting within easy range of our bases. And this means they don't get in and brawly with the enemy fleet. When they get refitted, they are going to fight at missile range.
Then I notice we can have Long Range Fusion, which is 200 supplies more, so submit a new design for the Purple Placeholder on the free prototype turn 1.

Oh, and these.

Both of these used to require fusion level research. You wouldn't know they existed if you hadn't played SOTS1 though. And no other race has multiple drive sections at the start of SOTS2. :mercon:

The rest of our ships are reasonable. Since you can't switch lasers to point defense last time I tried anyhow, I'll resist remaking our other ships until we have point defense.
There IS a class missing though. A few actually.

Notably, Repair and salvage ships. Though due to how fleets work now, they're a lot less useful, since a Repair ship is a warship you don't field. But everyone not Suul'ka needs to bring them along to get salvage projects. Meet the Divide by Zero class.

We also have the Attached to Enemies Now class Boarding cruiser

The Unending Rebellions class Assault Shuttle Transport. The game wonders: Should avoid direct combat?

And the Fire While Docked Drone carrier.

With that out of the way, we can get to playing the game. Which involves ordering another exploration fleet, and then ships to reach the Command limit for our explorers when they come back.
Also we get this helpful message. Since I don't have farcasting yet, I'd HOPE a gate to gate jump was accurate.

Hivers are pretty sweet for quickly making ships. They can build the various vessels at their colonies, then caravan them to a mustering point and make the fleet there.
Of course, this is SOTS2, so it is as obnoxious as possible. To do so, you have to select and right click the target system, then the relocate mission, then reserve transfer. Then drag and drop the ships. And assemble each system's caravan individually. Of course.

I don't know why there is an Admiral listed, since that guy is commanding our construction fleet.
Also, note that the Mission UI has glitched because I deigned to confirm because I had another set of ships to send to Homeworld.

So nothing happens for about 8 turns after that. Then our first gate fleet arrives, hooray! It immediately tries to come home now it's completed its mission. Naturally.

So you have to issue it a Survey mission manually. It used to be that you'd have to wait till they came back. Send them (or another fleet) to survey the system, then wrangle them into whatever mission you wanted to do next. Why I can't Gate and Survey, I'll never know.

Anyhow! Actual gameplay! I did have one 30k terraform cost world I could've colonised while I waited, but I would rather spend the money on ships. One of my Survey fleets found a good world though. A good system actually, we'll eventually colonise all of those. Nothing amazing from the mission system here. You pick colonise, select your colony fleet, and zoom, it supplies the colony every 2 turns because Hivers. This is why Hivers don't need supply ships on their colony fleets. They just gate to wherever you want them to.

We also find another quick colony to set up. Which gives me the opportunity to talk about how dumb the mission system is some more. So, once a colony is self-sustaining, you can cancel the mission, and the fleet will report it's free next turn.

But where does the fleet ask this? You'd think, especially because you can't order a new colonise mission immediately, it asks from in orbit of the colony.

And you'd be wrong.

If we cancel the fleet's mission, we can send it off to colonise a turn earlier than if we just waited.

Also, we have enough income to turn research back on! Huzzah.

Still might take a while.

Just gonna leave this here for you to think over.