Part 16: Turns 21-41
Memories of a better time - Let's Play Sword of the Stars as the Hiver Imperium.
Update 2. Turns 21-41
In which I get fucked by the RNG.
Right. So we're still scouting. Also, the SOTS1 random map generator actually just selects from the list of map types, of which there are about 20. It expands reasonably well though, so it is essentially the same as fully random. We got a Clusters style of map, so we're not likely to encounter aliens until later than normal.
Still, we start the update in a better position than our OTHER game.
While things are quiet, I'll go into another important information screen. The Explored Systems screen.
This screen is super important for planning your colonial efforts, and is accessed by clicking its tab in the Empire management screen (which, I forgot to say, is accessed by clicking on the coloured pie chart).
Anyhow, to sort with it so that it tells you something useful, you click the value you want to sort by. In this shot, Climate hazard. You actually have to click twice because it sorts by largest first, and we want to know where is easiest to colonise.
Generally, early colonies want to have a cost of around 25k or less. Much more means they'll be draining your fledgling treasury severely for many turns to come. I've actually had a pretty poor start in this regard, and my first colony was more expensive than I would have preferred. So I'll be looking to research terraforming technologies sooner rather than later, since they tend to drop the terraforming cost and/or speed the process up.
A couple of turns later, one of our gate fleets finds a Swarm colony. I possibly should've fought the encounter so I could see if the planet is any good, since their starmap and battle screen appearances are mostly similar, but I figure with more exploration I'll turn up something good soon.
I do have to be a bit cautious, because the Swarm lives in asteroid fields, and will periodically send a Queen to nearby systems with them...like our Homeworld.
My scouts also reach a familiar world...
It's a bit of a shithole.
On Turn 29, we get a vital technology for future operations.
We'll be putting these on practically every ship we build from here on in. Point Defense is also incredibly effective against the Swarm. For reasons you'll see when I fight them.
Since I haven't uncovered any worlds that are particularly good yet, I start opening up Terraforming technologies. This one just boosts our population growth by 10%
While we're on the subject of research, something generally worth doing early on is optimising the research time. I generally aim, early on, for about 75% of budget spent. When I start a new project, I grab the slider, and turn it up, to find out where I save a turn, and turn it back to see where I'll lose a turn. Either way, you want it just past the point where it reduces another turn. That way you're not wasting much of the budget when things go according to plan. Projects do get breakthroughs and go over budget occasionally, but this generally keeps things working well enough.
After we end that turn, we get this pop up. Our homeworld is getting hit by some random event. It's probably just asteroids, maybe slavers, so I just auto-resolve. A gateship and a Tanker aren't stopping anything either way.
That was about the worst thing that could happen. We go from 75 morale down to 14. And we've reached the population cap, so we're losing 1 morale a turn.
This seriously reduces the Taxbux we get, and is dangerously close to rebellion.
I should talk about the Herald. The Herald is a Menace that was introduced in the last patch before SOTS2 stole the last developers. It visits worlds and tells them about the impending horror of the sequel. It will cheerfully clear the skies above your worlds of shipping, but doesn't bomb the planet with all manner of weapons. It just tells them they're all screwed. As I recall, even if you blow the damn thing up (which requires amazing cruisers or dreadnaughts) it still applies a hefty morale hit to the planet below. Though by then you usually have enough spacebux to encourage positive morale amongst the citizens, so it's not quite as bad. This early, it's devestating.
Then I do something dumb. Instead of waiting until the bank account breaks 1 Million Spacebux, so we get a +1 morale event each turn to counter the population loss, I order a squad of destroyers, since ships in orbit can suppress planetary rebellions.
Predictably, morale continues to fall, and I've only got 750k money. I don't recognise the impending doom, and continue to build gateships.
I get Gene modification, and go "Well, if I research Atmospheric Adaption, that'll get me a ton more viable colony sites, and colonies are +2 pop, as well as removing the -1 for a turn when you build colony ships."
While Atmospheric Adaption is a high priority technology right now because we have shitty colony options, I should've cut research for a turn to break the precious 1 million target.
We also find some independents. I do a first turn ceasefire to check out their planet, but it's not worth taking at the moment since we can't assimilate Tarkans and their climate is at about 500 hazard rating for us.
Turn 38 rolls around, and the predictable happens.
The dumbest part is I am 32k away from my treasury requirement. Damn it.
Next turn, they start wrecking stuff.
The worst part of this is that homeworlds get a massive boost, in that a colonised world with these stats would only get 1,000,000,000 pop and 100 infrastructure. Even when the rebellion ends, I am not sure that I'll be able to rebuild the damaged facilities.
My first colony has grown enough, and I set up another one, but it's all too late to boost the morale on Rapatic.
I slowly order new ships at Izokot, and send them on, but it's going to take a while before we're back on our feet. We're now DEFINITELY going to be at a severe disadvantage in any war with other races.