Part 28: Turns 297-342Turn 297
The Internet cube morass that impeded the progress of the glorious Ego suddenly forms into a fleet of combat capable vessels, and roars towards our ships.
For all the good that it does them.
ddub recommended switching to Loa in order to get the impeding fleet to move, which is what I did here. It required letting the AI run the empire for a turn. It made bad choices. None of my cruiser designs survived, although it didn't touch my DN or LV designs. It built a whole bunch of Fusion supply ships too; almost every system was building a bunch of pointless crap, including defences they didn't need. To build this, almost all trade was disabled - the AI applies the same kind of 1/3 approach to allocating construction budgets it does to empire-wide budgets, which I had to manually reset for. every. system. GOOD GOING MECRON.
The Greatfather wishes to step into battle personally, in the manner of Martin Cirulis himself. Such is the terror inspired by such a prospect that ever more vessels may be placed in his command.
In a momentary lapse of judgement, a portion of funds directed for a consignment of new toe-plucking devices is given to a collection of young Zuul enamoured of notions like property ownership separate from that of Greatfather. They use it to aid commerce networks, and are sentenced to death by Dropping A Freighter On Them when Greatfather hears about it.
The AI also used stimulus, thus producing a freighter for a system that already had its full complement of freighters. I can't say it enough: stimulus is useless.
A Publisher incursion provides a fine prize:
These guys might actually provide a challenge when I get round to fighting them. Haha, who am I kidding?
Our Inquisitors hit upon a means of making the worlds of the Empire even more despoiled than before. Greatfather praises this ingenuity; with the worlds taken from the Internet ad Madyha having already been scoured of life, some question how Zuul can continue their divine mission to eat everything in their path.
Finally, after years of preparation at Madyha, the path is open for our final crusade against the Internet. No opinion shall survive Greatfather's coming. The five world system of Barrett will be the first to feel our wrath.
They can only hope to put up a cursory resistance to the might of the Keisari.
The Empire continues to expand, and much to his frustration Greatfather is forced to turn his hand to minor issues of management, such as ensuring that work is completed on time. His Inquisitors propose a range of novel solutions to the problem.
One of the more pointless features in SOTS 2 is that of provinces, which allows you to specify several star systems as being part of the same province. It provides some trade bonuses, but I have literally not done it at all until this point in the game. This should give you an indication of how useful it is. I've partly not done it because you can't modify provinces once they're in place. Apparently this is because in the MecronWorld countries never reorganise themselves internally and this random MecronFact which bears no relation to our reality is an excuse to not make this system actually useful.
The Keisari continues to burn Barrett to the ground.
Prizes are won. Prizes that explode.
Prizes that envelop.
Prizes that electrify.
And prizes that burst.
While Barrett is surveyed, Greatfather wearies of the tedium of waiting, which so much modern war seems to involve. He orders research into methods by which smaller fleets may weaken the Publishers while the Internet is scoured from the galaxy. Technologies necessary for this to work prove easy and natural for our Inquisitors.
Primitive technologies that we had previously passed over acquire a new importance in light of our plans for stealing ships and funds away from our enemies.
Meanwhile, following the fall of Barrett, the Ego Fleet busies itself destroying the Internet homeworld of Karugar.
A side benefit of our piracy research has been a new generation of ships designed to remain in system and fend off assaults. Our Inquisitors are astonished that they never came up with this idea before.
The tech chain for system defence boats is ridiculous, although they are very helpful.