The Let's Play Archive

Sword of the Stars 2

by Aethernet

Part 2: Turns 2-6

Turn 2

The first Scout Command ship rolls out of the docks at Mogo. In thanks for his kindness, it is named the Lord Windy.

Note the way Kerberos have designed this display to deal really well with maintenance costs that are fractions of construction costs. You can name pretty much anything in SOTS 2, so if you'd like to be shipped (albeit not in a fanfic way) just say what kind of ship you'd like to be, and where possible you can have a new life as thousands of tonnes of death and steel bent on destruction.

Turn 4 (nothing happened on 3 except ships being built)

Kaprica finishes its colonisers, and they're merged into the 1st Colonization Fleet. This is sent off to Aaryn to colonise the planet, now that it won't take quite so long. The 2nd Survey Fleet arrives at Salusa.

Turn 5

The fleet arrives at Aaryn and founds the colony. We immediately have a whole bunch of options to go through:

The construction/trade slider is irrelevant for new colonies so we'll discuss it later on. It just needs to be 100% construction, which is the default. We don't yet have any slaves (YET) so the Work Rate slider is irrelevant too. However, the Terraforming & Infrastructure sliders are very relevant indeed, because this colony is costing us nearly a quarter million credits every turn and has pushed us into debt already. Terraforming reduces colony cost, which infrastructure increases industrial output. Zuul are ridiculously good at terraforming, so the right thing for any new colony is to maximise terraforming right off the bat and build infrastructure later. The 'Climate Hazard' number in the top left is reduced every turn by the amount above the terraforming slider, and it's this number being so high (>500 is high, even for Zuul) that creates such a large cost. Maximising terraforming will reduce this by about 38 units of planet-shit every turn. Alongside this, our colony fleet doesn't instantly vanish as soon as it's arrived, unlike most 4x games, but rather will continue to make runs back to Kaprica to deliver more infrastructure and hazard reduction until the colony becomes developed.

We've also received our first new admiral as a result of the new colony:

Admirals are important for creating fleets and will be discussed when we do so. The 1st Survey Fleet arrives at Zoroaster.

Turn 6
Survey results from Salusa and Zoroaster are in. Both systems contain habitable planets, but only the lower-hazard planet in Zoroaster will be worth colonising until Aaryn stops draining our finances. This won't take long; with any other race colonising a world like Aaryn right off the bat would screw your early game, but the Zuul can get away with it.

The two survey fleets will now return to Kaprica. However, in the biggest change to the game (and arguably one that makes it actually playable) we can tell these returning fleets to go on a new mission if they have enough supplies. This revolutionary concept took around a year of Mecron-lobbying to get into the game, but makes a massive difference. You still can't queue these up front, because . Regardless, the fleet currently at Salusa will head to Hyperion and the fleet at Zoroaster heads to Medea.

In the mean time, Mogo has completed its order, and the Lord Windy is about to lead a scouting fleet towards Dorsai. First of all we'll need to actually put the fleet together, which you achieve by selecting the system, selecting the 'Fleets' tab and clicking the button with three chevrons and a plus sign on. You're then prompted to auto-select an admiral or manually select one. We'll manually select our first admiral, who will command the Lord Windy.

Admirals in SOTS 2 are complex entities with multiple stats, all of which are totally irrelevant because Kerberos failed to make them interesting. As a run down:

Loyalty: Determines whether a captured (capturing never happens) admiral will become a turncoat and go into service for another empire, providing them with an intelligence boost (meaningless because intelligence is barely implemented).

Reaction: Determines whether an admiral will get a 'reaction move' and be able to respond to enemy fleet movement. In practice this means occasionally you'll get a pop-up that asks you whether you want to send this one fleet containing the admiral to attack a construction fleet at the enemy home world, surrounded by thirty other fleets. A total waste of time.

Evasion: Determines whether an enemy fleet's attempt at an Intercept mission will succeed. I have never seen the AI try this, and in any case Zuul fleets can't be intercepted because Kerberos haven't implemented node space interceptions in SOTS 2.

Age: Determines when the admiral will retire. This would be meaningful if we gave a shit about admirals at all; when one retires you automatically get a new one.

The only meaningful thing admirals possess are Traits, which provide minor bonuses for particular tasks. They provide a useful boost at the start of the game, but after a certain point we'll ignore them. The ideal trait for a scout fleet is Pathfinder, which reduces the time it takes to survey systems. Unfortunately our only two Pathfinder admirals are already attached to our two survey fleets. Instead, the Lord Windy is now home to this guy:

'Slippery' means he has a chance to evade capture or death if the Lord Windy happens to blow up or be boarded. The 3rd Survey Fleet is assembled and is sent off to bore a tunnel to Pentacon.