The Let's Play Archive

Sword of the Stars 2

by Aethernet

Part 11: Turns 60-71

Turn 60

Following the capture and slaughter of millions of humans at Dosadi, their petty enclave of decision-makers has responded by demanding that we turn over millions in Imperial funding to them. All Zuul look at this behaviour with glee, knowing that it demonstrates the Customers are clearly far too stupid to live.

The AI loves making demands like this. It's difficult to tell whether ignoring them makes a difference as the diplomacy interface is so opaque.

Here we can see some very limited intelligence on the customers, and also a line chart indicating the progress of their attitude towards us. Unaccountably they're not fans. This line is based on this screen:

You'd think that kidnapping tens of millions of their citizens and laying waste to a colony world would impact on relations, but apparently not.

Turn 61

The heroes from the raid at Dosadi have returned, and bring with them a fine prize indeed.

Discussions about the scale of slave disks versus slaves contained may wish to note the size of the humans here. I envision every one as resembling the Black Hole of Calcutta.

The millions of slaves now living on its surface have given Corvus the greatest industrial output in the entire Empire. These slaves will be turned into more ships, to pursue our victory further.

The Awful Fleet returns to Dosadi to properly survey the scene of our victory. In all the excitement of killing humans, insufficient supplies were left to survey the system the first time round.

Turn 62

Our slaves are immediately put to use expanding our raiding fleets to take advantage of the new PainSys 9000 CNC technology.

This allows two extra ships in every fleet. The Awful Fleet and our Scavenger Fleet will be expanded thus:

News of the new repair ships is greeted with consternation by Fleet Command. Zuul are normally expected to through their vessels into the fray with abandon, and not consider patching up any combat hits until back home with their prizes. It is agreed that the existence of such vessels might cause the weaker-willed captains to hang back from the fight, and so the word will be put about that the various cranes & welding torches festooning the ships are intended for interstellar-scale coward torture.

Elsewhere, the Greatfather momentarily rises from his beating of an underling who suggested that perhaps getting ships into orbit by assembling an entire planet's females for one big throw was not entirely practical to order the development of shipyards in space.

This tech allows refitting of ships and starbases. To refit either, right-click them on the Fleets tab and select refit. Ships need to be refitted in design mode first, which I'll discuss later on. Starbases can be refitted to any large weapon tech you have.

The Publisher Defence Fleet is completed at Kaprica, and moved towards the known Mother territory at Xanthu. Father Ashva is particularly adept at getting the most out of missile crews, using his time-honoured method of rhythmic whipping to keep up the firing rate.

Turn 63

A survey fleet pushing past Thundara encounters Publisher vessels on the far side of Customer territory. It immediately leaps forward for our first proper combat with Mother. She has apparently grown weak and stupid. Our ships are able to sneak up on hers completely undetected.

However, she continues to enjoy using her tiny death robots to the exclusion of actual combat. Without proper defences, these terrible little machines may exact a heavy toll on our ships.

Fortunately, she has yet to learn that ships should be built to sustain damage, rather than look pretty. In a matter of moments, her two combat ships are destroyed and we send our females to take possession of her command vessel.

Remaining resistance is brutally crushed.

Turn 64

Returning to the scene of victory, the Awful Fleet discovers humans in the process of attempting to recolonise Dosadi. We barely bother to fire a shot. The Awful Fleet unleashes its women.

Every human vessel is taken without losses.

The four ships on the right of the screen used to be the Human colony fleet. No Human ships were harmed during the writing of this post. Their crews were less fortunate.

Turn 66

In an astonishing turnaround, a human vessel is detected less than a light year away from our colony on Hydra, the next system along from Thundara. The fleet patrolling at Thundara is forced to divest itself of its Boreship in order to reach the fight in time.

Turn 67

The Greatfather is forced to break away from the ritual disembowelment of the human known as Tom Chick in order to plan the defence of Hydra.

The Battle Manager allows you to place fleets & defences before an attack. It's very handy, but eminently exploitable. This is because you always know where a fleet is going to arrive from in almost every case.

In his wisdom, the Greatfather positions our defensive fleet next to the Human arrival point.

Opposing ships don't arrive at the edge, but rather in the outermost square. Placing our fleet here will allow us to intercept more easily.

The humans come out of node space in extremely convenient positions. Our gunners thank them for their consideration.

But then the humans do something odd. Rather than stay and engage us in glorious combat to their obvious deaths, their fleet splits. The combat vessels head towards our colony while the non-combats run away. Cursing their cowardice, the Greatfather orders the destruction of the combat ships first.

I pursued the combat ships here because keeping your enemy within range prevents them from going into Accelerated Time and getting to your colony before you can stop them

Unfortunately, they are too quick. While they are unable to reach the colony before being forced to retreat to resupply, they successfully stay out of the range of our guns, resulting in only minimal human deaths.

This cowardice will not be forgotten.

Turn 68

In a further astonishing turnaround, our colony at Hyperion is assaulted by other Zuul ships, apparently attempting to take slaves.

Fortunately, Hyperion is also the location of our Publisher Defence fleet.

While the assault is easily beaten off, the motivation of these renegade Zuul is puzzling. After some reflection, it is pointed out that the Tribute Station we constructed at Medea is becoming home to a range of Zuul freebooters looking to make money by selling slaves back to us. Some raise queries about the intelligence of raiders who would attempt to sell our own people back to us, but are put down by the Greatfather very reasonably pointing out that any Zuul stupid enough to be captured is fit only to be a slave.

Turn 70

Two recent incursions into our territory is too many. Having successfully figured out how to wrench old turrets from our ships and put marginally newer ones in their stead, our Inquisitors are tasked with replicating Mother's death robots on a stationary platform.