Part 27: Turns 284-296Turn 284
Our War Astronomers pick up something very odd around Internet space. The tunnel we dug towards Madyha has apparently vanished. At the same time, a node tunnel has appeared between Trantor and Illona, a path down which no Zuul ship has ever tread.
I've noticed this on other Loa/Zuul games - for some reason, completed Loa gate networks look somewhat like node tunnels to the Zuul, while incomplete ones prevent you from making tunnels. I've no idea whether this is a bug, or - because it's Kerberos - FORESHADOWING.
The Ego Fleet has arrived at Madyha. Greatfather is pleased to note that the long-range missiles aboard the Ego actually outdistance those coming from the planet, allowing the fleet to engage with impunity. However, no slaves will be forthcoming that way, and Greatfather dearly wants a robotic slave.
You can sometimes arrange it so that long-range missiles like these don't pull you out of accelerated time, meaning that missile fleets can just sit at the edge of the system and destroy colonies by the dozen. FAIR AND BALANCED.
Unfortunately, approaching takes quite some time, and although the colony is reduced, we are unable to make orbit before pausing to resupply.
The Ego Fleet approaches the first planet more closely. The grotesque scars of the artificial life form that inhabits it are apparent, even from space.
One thing SOTS 2 did get right, despite not having such disparate planets as SOTS 1, is that each species paints a different pattern on the night skies of its worlds.
We destroy this first world without even firing a laser, such are the power of the Ego's missiles. Greatfather is pleased with its performance, and mandates the study of more advanced designs.
While the Ego Fleet busies itself at Madyha, a survey fleet is dispatched on a deep-space mission to remove the Internet Gate that is apparently preventing our ships from cutting a node tunnel.
With the destruction of the gate, our tunnel somehow appears out of the ether. Our Inquisitors profess themselves baffled.
At Madyha, our fleet's approach to within missile bombardment distance of the second colony limits the time available to us in combat, and while much damage is done, we are forced to pause to resupply.
There's an Internet fleet in this system, but it appears to be staying in Cube form for now. Great work, AI!
Our fleet closes in to the second colony, and spies a large station in orbit, most likely a naval base of some kind.
Missile fire is useless against this monstrosity, which is apparently capable of confusing our weapons and sending them in a spinning circle around itself.
Or - missile targeting occasionally bugs out.
Luckily the other weapons aboard the Ego are more than up to the task.
Finally, we take our first Chav slaves.
We also win some technology. Totally useless technology.
This would be handy for energy-intensive Loa ships, but useless to us in the AM age.
Bounty from the second colony comes in, as the fleet crawls across the system to the third.
Shields project a egg-shaped energy barrier around your ships which takes a certain amount of damage before failing and recharging. They can only be used on cruisers. They can be very handy, although we'd need a higher rank for them to be helpful at this stage.
The Internet begins to understand the full power of the first vessel of the Ego class.
Our victory brings an astonishing prize - a way of manufacturing artificial slaves with an approximation of the intelligence of the Chavs we have just taken.
For the Zuul, this is great - a massive industrial boost.
The observant will have noticed that my pace of updating has dropped. This is because I've been struggling with a potentially game-breaking bug. It's caused by this fleet here:
Every other Internet fleet, station or colony at Madyha is dead. This fleet contains cubes, but no ships. However, it still prompts a combat every turn, a combat which immediately ends. If it prompts a combat, I can't survey this system, which means I can't build a station to extend the range of my fleets. I can work around this, but it will take some time.
I'm going to report this on the Kerberos Forums, and then I'm off to a music festival until next Wednesday. Hopefully this will give them time to launch a new beta patch. Until then: