The Let's Play Archive

Sword of the Stars 1 & 2

by Veloxyll

Part 22: Turns 140-161

Memories of a better time - Let's Play Sword of the Stars as the Hiver Imperium.

Update 9. Turns 140-161

In which the simple things are often the best

So you all decided not to fight the space dolphin hordes just yet. Time will tell if that was a good choice.

I've been expanding to less favourable colony locations. Looks like the Dolphins had the same idea. But what, combat in Deep Space. What's that about?

Turns out that the Liir weren't content to let us go. They've sent a fleet of 40 ships to hunt down our retreating warfleet. The real threat they have here is the Anti-Matter projectors that fill space with lots of death shots. We've barely completed our first pass, and our ships are already getting brutalised.

Our cruisers just can't stand up to their projector fire.

We only inflict a single kill and minor damage before we're down to our support vessels.

I finally researched Deflectors, hoping for its energy deflecting brother. No such luck, unfortunately. We'll have to do this the old fashioned way.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I really wish my screenshots would stop hiding various windows on me. Anyhow. That's a ~40 ship fleet bearing down on our colony. I grab what ships I can and prepare to fight the dolphins. Knowing what happened to my last fleet, I am not confident. Maybe having them have to come to us will give us the advantage we need to inflict decent casualties, at least.

Meet the weakness of Projector sections - the turret is very vulnerable to being shot off. Once the turret is gone, the ship is severely undergunned.

Which would be more effective if their ships hadn't climbed to attack our gate.

I may have been too busy fighting the battle to get screenshots. We managed to take out the command ship and disarm the projector cruisers. Now it's the fun of the end of battle race to destroy their ships.

Still, Dead Dolphins are my favourite kind. Even if we are losing 2 Hiver ships for every 1 dolphin ship. I can't really sustain these losses. I'm down to about 10 cruisers total outside the Tisketis system.

Again the Dolphins come, and with only 2 warcruisers, we try and at least inflict some casualties. The important thing to note - this round they fielded no Projector cruisers.

Though they did bring beam cruisers. I also move my Refinery ship in the midst of them. If nothing else it can explode aggressively at them.

We are able to inflict damage to their ships at least, but we are rapidly running out of cruisers.

Our last cruiser falls. Now it's up to the defense platforms to control the skies.

They do manage to finish off one ship, and the beam cruiser at the bottom might be vulnerable too.

Without ships to distract the enemy, there is only so much platforms can actually do.

Still, they make the Liir pay for their victory.

If you don't count defense platforms, we managed to keep our 2 for 1 loss rate. Shame I don't have 60 more cruisers in the wings, really.

In hindsight, this may not have been the ideal ime for a colonial expansion. But I need more worlds, even before we started losing them.

AI gets close, and I risk dumping the budget into research. I say risk because AI research has the peril of rebelling. which is a negative breakthrough, and as I recall, the odds are increased with more funding to research. But something has to change to stop those dolphins!

The game makes fun of my efforts by letting AI go overbudget.

I've also maxed out trade. While I'd love to have cruiser freighters, I can't afford the research time or the money to build them.

In response to my blazers' poor performance, and the fact I'm a bit strapped for cash, I put together an Armoured Cruiser variant. It actually surprises me how much cheaper these are. I can practically build 2 for 1 compared to the old Zero equals Infinity Blazers.

While upgrading the orbital defenses, the defense fleet here is away, and the Liir hit it without warning. Luckily it's not their full fleet.

And the colony actually holds them off. I suspect the auto-resolve weights missiles more heavily than in reality. Or point defense lower. Either or.

Not only did I get the Core AI technology, but I got access to all three sub-technologies, as well as AI Virus, which will allow me to neutralise a rebellion.

Of course completing research in any of these technologies can cause a rebellion TOO, so it's not all safe yet.

First though, I'm going to get heavy drivers finally, to upgun the new ships a bit.

Once I get Heavy Drivers, I get access to one more technology. While these are super good, I am actually going to expand our command capacity.

We've been at 5 cruisers + command for a while, and my thinking is that expanding to 6 or 7 will give me more firepower than heavier rounds.

We've also terraformed away 20% of our development costs. Once those are gone the new worlds will start paying themselves off.

The Liir are back. But so are our ships. Including the new Heavy Driver armed ships.

While the screenshot doesn't show it well, they are actually attacking from off to one side. I guess their anti-matter drives let them race around there. Freaking Dolphins.

Once our new cruisers arrive, they are able to beat up the dolphin cruisers. While we take some losses, I'm less worried since my ships are a lot cheaper, and thus a bit more expendable.

The end result - 2:1 kills in our favour.

The rest of their ships should not pose a problem.

With no funny business, our cruisers ruin their day.

Then it's just a matter of shooting red balls at their support ships.

Turn 161 hits, and we get a warning of many vessels incoming.

And if we don't go over budget again, we should have slightly larger fleets available to meet them. I actually perhaps should've checked funding, it's likely that new ship orders pushed it to just past a turn. I could've tweaked the budget and already have it. Oh well.

That went a lot worse. I am tempted to switch back to regular drivers for the increased impact. I was bad at screenshotting this update, but knocking the dolphins off course led to a few misses with those combat lasers.
As is, I'll probably grab AI finance, AI factories, then Neutronium rounds next.
As much as I'd love DNs, they need a lot of research. AI and Neutronium should at least let me survive to get that. Assuming it doesn't betray me first!