Part 27: Turns 250-290
Memories of a better time - Let's Play Sword of the Stars as the Hiver Imperium.
Update 13. Turns 250-290
Attack, and damn the torpedoes!
So, we're starting off with a screen I haven't shown yet, the Launch screen. This gives a rough idea of how strong everyone is.
Especially early in the game, where you don't have a great feel for how everyone is expanding.
Since I'm pretty sure the Tarka got the lion's share of Zuul space, it's not that big a surprise. Nice to see the Dolphins are deader than I am though!
In even more good news, only 3 more turns till funtime happens.
The Tarka aren't willing to wait
The Tarkans have been winning their war of Dolphin murder. I can't disapprove too much, because fuck Dolphins.
I may have over-reacted.
The Dolphins actually use mining ships too!
Overkill is the best kind of kill.
Everyone wants a piece of this starsystem.
A new salvage project, and 1 turn till I start rolling projectors out of my naval yards and finally reclaim the starcluster.
Despite the fact that I have no freighters in the sector, both our neighbours raid us. I respond with an older DN.
My squadron that is sent to establish a presence in the former Zuul cluster locates a Tarkan Colony.
Yayyyy. Time to get some new starships and kill us some durn lizards!
Our new projector Dreads, mounting 4 Anti-Matter projectors in 2 batteries, so they should do well.
The Liir are pretty mad, and some over-harvesting lets us produce one for their arrival.
The Tarkans, meanwhile, deployed fleets to Peck and Chozanti. Andor, Ozhyk and Silvaril are all unguarded gates that got jumped, so that hurts, but it's not that hard to rebuild them.
The deep space battle, meanwhile, is us testing some ships against a dolphin DN that's loitering.
The battle of Chozanti is where our projectors first appear, pouring antimatter into a Tarkan ship that's been knocked around by our Impactors.
The Impactors claim the first kill, while our projector ship tries to run interference for the command ship, and grab a second DN kill.
I think we made em mad. But that is ideal positioning for the Projector dread. It can fire at multiple targets there.
Not mad enough to save our command ship though. The battle will pretty much be decided by who gets the next kill. If we get it, we can win. If not, We're in trouble.
We keep the fire up.
But it's not enough. Though we do take out their flagship later.
Next up, Ymar! 6 Dolphin DNs v 5 of ours + supporting light warships.
It's been so long, I can't even remember what the enemy ships are. I guess it's a War and Projector or Armour section.
We destroy one before it gets properly in range. I may also attempt to board one.
Point defense phasers say no!
We do decent damage to them though, without taking any warship losses. So I don't get to field Ymar's newly minted projector.
In deep space, we resort to the only tactic destroyers have against dreads. BEEEEEEESSSS.
Also draw fire with a slightly less squishy cruiser.
Our command ship finishes things up.
I ordered the remenants of the fleet that engaged the Tarka to withdraw, since it had lost so many of its ships and the colony was gone. The Tarka respond by glassing ANOTHER colony.
And then they follow up with Naltor in a 1-turn strike. I really have to reclaim the starcluster to stop this.
Why so much point defense! It is so rude.
Speaking of point defense, since torpedoes are the only real trouble for our Dreads, I grabbed this. Missiles are the natural enemy of torpedoes.
Looks like the Tarkans are settling in in the ex-Zuul quarter. It's going to be hard to find a place to establish a gate.
We engage the Tarkans in the skies over another of our colonies. We do have a slight numbers advantage. No-one told their missile crews though.
Or their beam crews. I do have spares, before you ask.
I suspect I am going to use the phrase Pouring on the <x> a lot for file names this update.
I also may have commissioned a cruiser variant of projector ships.
Projectors granted us a victory against their fleet. I approve of this change wholeheartedly. Time to go on the offensive, since most of what we lost were cruisers and stuff.
The Tarka are sick of my spying via my reconnisance group. If these were super-strong CRs, I'd say they had a chance. But they were cheap ones thrown together to take on Zuul, who explode in a strong wind.
In other news, the Tarka are back. I must have been amassing a fleet here because why else would I have 12 DNs in one system. Hopefully I remembered a stargate this time.
Welp, that's a siege driver on their side!
They also brought a set of battle riders. I thought they were meant to be destroyers, but those are clearly cruiser sized.
I am not quite sure what happened here. It LOOKS like it's firing projectors, but surely not, those gun arrays are clearly Impactors. Either that or we just fed it so much energy, that the bridge section is an energy absorber and that is how many shots we gave its plasma guns I guess.
That's what ganging up is for though!
Time to go on the offensive.
We aren't the only ones, of course. I don't have the ships spare, so I just abandon the colony. Since it's not terraformed, it's only a few thousand citizens.
One turn striking - the best way to face no defenders! And we have a fleet to clean up.
Destroyers allow you to field a lot of torpedoes.
Planets die to torpedoes pretty well, I must say.
Damn it! Overbudget only goes to 150%
The Tarka bring a cruiser heavy fleet against our projector DNs. They don't have a good time.
Though it does let them get their siege driver close to the planet.
And this is how you make cruisers viable in the DN era. I did not expect to see it!
The Tarka continue to send ships to our worlds. The main problem is that I'm still gate limited, I can only really attack OR move a fleet around for defense, not both. Especially when a target is actually defended, so I can't just drop destroyers on it.
Why yes, I do use Impactors to shove enemy ships towards planets.
Also, you know, to kill them. I put the deflector shields on my command ship to stop Impactors getting hits with their guns or missile spam early on.
We are getting much better at holding colonies when we contest the orbital space.
They are also pretty handy on offense.
As the Tarka can agree.
Interceptor missiles are also really good at sweeping drones.
On another front, I didn't build a fleet of torpedo destroyers just for offense.
I built them because they can do this. 24 torpedoes a salvo is nothing to sneeze at.
Suck it, Tarka! We do actually hold them off here. Even if it does take around 60 torpedo hits to break a DN. I must've been busy fighting, because I don't have screenshots after this.
We do finish salvaging some of the wrecks, and get dirsuptors' big brother.
Of course, we still seem to be fighting defensively a lot.
Though at least now we're generally winning.
For a comparison of ship strengths, note that it takes us 3 or 4 broadsides to bring down their Dreads. Compared to the one or two ours survived earlier against the Liir. I'm unsure if their energy absorbers are affecting this though.
Overall, we export more Anti-matter than we bring in, regardless.
Our destroyers are again called to battle. This time the Tarka get a lot closer.
The problem is, while they can't stop them all. Neither can we.
Destroyers are REALLY GOOD at getting range on DNs though.
That doesn't save Tully though.
The Tarka are fielding AM projectors too now.
And Pulsar torpedoes, to reset the timer on my AM projectors.
We still get hits in, mind you.
Now I KNOW it's getting desperate out there.
Not that this phases the Tarka.
See the other two battles there? Those are both colonies. Or, were.
at least we held ONE world. That was turn 279. Its not looking quite as good as I hoped.
Damn it Liir! The last thing we need are your
I'm kind of throwing everything I have spare at them. Even my mining ships might have to join in the battle at Izokot.
Unfortunately against the Tarka, stormers have a nasty habit of bouncing off.
Even though they're scraping the bottom of their barrel (those are regular heavy combat lasers, not cutting beams), their barrel is a little deeper than ours.
They also bought bursters along. They are the natural enemy of Destroyer zerging. Thankfully in this fight we have DNs, so bursters are fairly ineffective.
The same cannot be said for the rest of their armaments.
On turn 281, another two colonies fall.
And then another falls unopposed.
Then two more.
They throw more ships at our navy, tying us down.
Even when we break them.
They just send more.
And eventually, our ships die.
Our citizens want the slaughter to end.
All we have left to fight with are freighters.
So we fight.
The crows circle.
As our children die.
Only the enemy remain in our skies.
We rally every ship we have for one last battle.
But it is not enough.
The Tarkans fill the skies over our last colony.
And all we can do is ensure we go out with a bang.
We have almost nothing left. Our last few worlds have only one option left.
So yeah. I got way outproduced. The only thing I can think of that I should've done is sent fleets at the Zuul as soon as I knew where they were. They are generally a softer target, especially in the Cruiser era. Everyone having Phaser PD and me not getting Heavy Cutting Beams didn't help any, but it was the Tarka having two starclusters to everyone else's one that gave them the real advantage. Once that happened, they just had the tax income to build as many ships as they wanted.
Going offensive against the Liir early didn't help, either, as I didn't gain territory and lost some worlds in response.