Part 7: Turns 36-39Turn 36
Contact! Our 2nd Survey Fleet, on approach to Dosadi, has identified the tell-tale EM signature of a Customer colony. We have also picked up the signature of a fleet in orbit - long-range scanners observe it in the process of constructing a starbase.
Our second construction fleet arises at Kaprica, led by the Agent Interrobang. The renowned architect, Master Rith the Herald (architect) leads the fleet. The new 'trading' system necessitates a network of slave breeding stations, and this fleet is intended to serve this purpose. Accordingly, it is dispatched to Aaryn, where the second world is now fully habitable.
A word on trade. Aaryn 1 is currently allocating all of its production to construction, while Aaryn 2 has a 50/50 split. This is because when a planet finishes terraforming & building infrastructure, it defaults to a 50/50 split even though this is never useful compared to one direction or the other. Each colony can produce a set number of goods indicated by the number of circles, and has demand corresponding to the imports below. The number of goods it can produce is determined by its population. However, the number of goods it actually produces is determined by the position of the slider between 'Construction' and 'Trade'. Despite this, the industrial output of a colony has no relation to the amount of goods it can produce, meaning that even a burned out hell-hole of a world with no resources can produce trade goods. You might think this is needlessly confusing. You'd be right.
Each trading station upgrade level can support three docks, each of which can support one freighter. One freighter can carry one good. We're going to build three freighters at Aaryn while the station is being built.
The Greatfather mandates the construction of the Empire's first dedicated combat fleet. Named for heroes from the farthest reaches of the universe, the 1st Awful Fleet will bathe in the blood of our enemies and then refuse to wash it off.
The 2nd Survey Fleet notes unusual activity at Dosadi, where the construction fleet appears to be retreating in the face of our approach. Well they might, but our inquisitors are puzzled at the fleet's apparent disarray in falling back when our vessels still have some way to travel.
Not sure what happened here. May have been a random, or some kind of support point confusion by the AI.
Dosadi is a small system, with a single planet orbiting a giant red star. Our vessels plot a course around the edges, circumnavigating the sun.
You can reorientate a fleet by holding down shift when issuing a move order. Very useful. Unguessable from the interface.
Rounding the star, our tactical scanners pick up the new star base in orbit around the colony, and a course is plotted for it. It is likely that the Customers have similar plans in mind to our own, and destroying their fleet support infrastructure will delay these considerably.
Unfortunately, the humans are not stupid enough to put a base of operations around a fledgling colony like Thundara. Many missiles shoot out from the planet, and the ballistic weapons of the 2nd Fleet are unable to shoot them down.
Our vulnerable supply ships take several missiles to the middle section. Their oxygen reserves are hit, and parts of the ships burst into flame.
Weathering the storm of missile fire, our fleet draws to within range of the starbase. As expected, it is a naval outpost, but its undeveloped state indicates that the humans have not had time to attach any useful modules before our fleet arrives.
The modules you build on a starbase are visible in combat. Nice touch.
Our command vessel takes a serious hit, and its middle section explodes. Luckily, our admiral avoids death through the cunning expedient of running into the engine section and cowering behind a crate. His females are not amused.
Snorting with laughter, the captain of one of the supply vessels directs his females into the boarding pods and launches them at the station.
The colony attempts to shoot down our pods, but only succeeds in damaging the station.
If you squint, you can see four boarding pods full of slavering Zuul females making life very unpleasant for the humans on board.
Their task complete, the boarding pods return to the supply ships. We know some lucky females who'll be getting dog biscuits tonight!
The station captured, our combat vessels turn their cannons onto the surface below. The mental screams of dying humans echo into orbit. The crew of the fleet yell in pleasure.
The pleasure is short-lived, when it becomes apparent that our vessels do not pack enough of a punch to do serious damage to the colony. The screams of humans rapidly become that of Zuul, as more ship sections explode.
Our fleet retreats to resupply and rearm, and the colony's missiles are restocked. It took serious damage, but took out vital human infrastructure. It retreats to Corvus.
At Aaryn, the first slave breeding station is completed. New pens are constructed, which our slave herders assure the Greatfather will result in slaves expiring less quickly.
Habitat modules decrease the death rate of slaves. The reference to 'Gate' in their description is a typo that should be in the Hiver station description. The love and care paid during this game's development is apparent.
I've allocated three goods' worth of production to trade on Aaryn 1, which will fill our newly built freighters. The large triangle is a freighter with a dock, which is now trading. The two small triangles are freighters without docks.