- 90 stars, alliances on, 1 Liir (player) vs. 5 Zuul (Normal AI)
Before starting, it might be useful to reflect on some lessons learned from last game:
- Failure to launch = an early grave. Expansion is key in any SotS game, and especially in a close quarters match against aggressive opponents such as this. To quote various politicians over the years, "It's the economy, stupid!" This means technology must take a back seat to ship production for scouting/picketing and colonization. Liir biotech is wonderful and they are the race most likely to benefit from an early rush to biomes instead of freighters, but having more colonies developing sooner is better still, in all but the most exceptional of circumstances involving bad planet luck.
- Pickets matter. They are often your only way of knowing of enemy ship movements prior to Deep Scan, and in the earliest portions of the game deep scan is often a luxury. This is important because...
- Killing bore ships is vital. The Zuul can't attack or expand anywhere they haven't bored a line to, and boreships are expensive. The Zuul can only replace them slowly, both from a replacement cost point of view and a time to get them to the front point of view. Sitting back and watching while the Zuul build up their bore network is as bad a policy as allowing the Hivers to build up their gate network, and should be thought of in the same terms! Bore fleets can take out any single picket, so it's important to make an effort to have reaction forces of around a half-dozen destroyers available (with superior tech) to prosecute any boreship sightings possible.
- Never forget you are in a race to develop your economy and prevent your rivals from developing theirs, before they can do the same to you, so act accordingly! A half-dozen superior-tech destroyers makes a good garrison force for a new colony in areas where an enemy exploratory bore fleet may be likely to show up. If you get your colonies founded and defended before the Zuul get a boreship there, you win the race to that planet and have a good chance of being able to stand up a colony there. Taking a few risks on outlying worlds is often a good thing if you do it quickly enough and aggressively enough!
Keep these principles in mind and with any luck this game will fare much better than its precursor!
Also, if anyone from last game has further comments, acquired through bitter experience, that they would like to add, please feel free to add your thoughts.
Otherwise, the save is attached, and Torezu is up, unless you wish to change the turn order, which you are of course free to do; just let me know and I will update the initial post in this thread. Every player should take 10 turns before passing off to the next player, except the first player may take 20 turns if so desired since there is usually a bit less to do in the first 10. Good luck!