His Will Be Done (Human AAR)

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His Will Be Done (Human AAR)

Post by Meshakhad » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:27 pm

So, on a whim, I’ve decided to do a Sword of the Stars Let’s Play. Now, I do have something of a history of rigging this game in my favor – that is, playing on settings that give me an advantage. Well, this time I won’t! I will set it up to make things easier on myself at the beginning, but the AI will have EXACTLY the same advantages that I do.

The Scenario
I like long, slow games that give me time to build up my technology. For this game, we will be playing on a Mini Clusters map with 100 stars. With six factions, that comes to three clusters apiece, with two more up for grabs. As usual, I’ve set the Size and Resources sliders to max, because I like having bigger planets. It makes exploration more valuable – if they were set too low, you’d never find a planet that came even close to matching your homeworld. Distances between the stars are set to 5, since it sucks when your ships juust can’t make a jump. Random Encounters is set to 25%, since I’d like this to be focused on battles between players, not a slog to blow through the random encounters.
Each faction will begin with a starting warchest of one million credits, but no technologies. Presumably, we all only just developed FTL capability. I will also give each player 3 starting worlds – those they reached STL. To make the game go faster, research and economic efficiency are at maximum.

The Factions
My two favorite factions in Sword of the Stars are the Humans and the Liir, with the Morrigi in third. The Liir have faster tech, are unlimited in where they can go, and are more likely to get quite a few specific techs (like cloaking and advanced energy weapons). Humans, on the other hand, move faster between the stars, get a more balanced tech distribution… and roleplaying them just comes easier. My concept for this game works more for humans anyway.
My own Humans will be known as the Kingdom of Heaven, the reasons for which will become apparent soon. All other factions will be completely randomized, aside from having Normal difficulty.

The Rule
I love roleplaying, and I always insert a little of it into my games. Here, my humans will be a kingdom of religious zealots. Names will either be religious in nature, or be taken from locations in the Middle East. And I will have one rule – heretics may not be allied with, whether human or alien. I can form non-aggression treaties, but that is it. One by one, they will all perish in the name of G-d.
His Will Be Done!

Turn 001
Today, I received word that our prototype ship had returned from Gaia, proving the new Node Drive technology as workable. Tonight, when I went out to look at the stars, something was different. No longer were they merely lights in the sky – they were real places, places we now could go to. No longer were we confined to this world – now, the universe was open to us.
Personal journal entry by Dr. Amanda Paige, research director, Department of Astrophysics, Royal Academy of the Sciences. Dated January 1st, 2401.

For RP purposes, I will be counting each turn as a single month.

We find ourselves in a fairly decent starting position – out on the edge of the map, with three clusters close by. I intend to claim all three as soon as possible. Our homeworld is named Mira, and the other two worlds are Gaia (size 6, with 6,465 resources), and Serpens (size 4, with 4,320 resources). Serpens has node links to two other clusters.

A scan of the tech tree indicates that we got fairly lucky – available tech includes plenty of propulsion stuff, plus light emitters. Fusion is only 13 turns away with the research slider at 75%, so I decide not to bother with upgrading my fission drives unless I find a pressing need to. A quick check of known and probable node lines indicates that I should be able to scout my immediate vicinity with ordinary fission drives. Instead, I go for FTL Broadband – getting trade ships ASAP will be a significant boon, and they don’t care about what drives I use.

Now that that’s done, it’s time to begin exploration. For that, I will need ships. I pop over to the Design menu, and do what I do at the start of every game – delete all the starting blueprints. Because I like naming things, dammit! I design two ships to start: the Seeker-class Extended Range ship, and the Nomad-class Tanker.
With the designs complete, I head over to the Build menu. I order up five of each class, one each in Gaia and Serpens, and three in Mira – all I can get in one turn.

Turn 002
My dearest sister,
I write to you with both joy and sadness. Joy, that I have been honored to command one of our first starships; sadness, that it is possible – even likely – that I may never see you again. Our journey will be long and perilous, and I fear I may not return. Do not weep for me, sister. I have chosen this path. Even if I die, the information my ship transmits back home will help our people plot their path to the future.
Your brother, Henry

Personal letter from Commander Henry Britton, CO, 1st Scout Squadron, Navy of Heaven, to his sister, Commodore Rachel Britton, Head of Ballistics Research, Bureau of Weapons Research, Navy of Heaven. Written February 15th, 2401.

My ships are completed. I divide them up into squadrons, named the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Scout Squadrons, and send them out to the neighboring stars. The 1st is bound for Down, in a neighboring cluster. The 2nd and 3rd will hit Fort and Beta Hydri, the two unexplored stars in my home cluster. The 4th will go to Serpens, so it can follow the 1st into the new cluster. The 5th will go to Gaia, and serve as my reserve – I will send it where it is needed. As Commander Britton’s letter implied, it is unlikely any of them will ever return home.

FTL Broadband is completed. I next research FTL Economics, so I can get freighters soon.

We have an encounter with the Swarm at Beta Hydri!
Unsurprisingly, the 3rd Scout Squadron is massacred.

Turn 003
…Queen Esther declared a national day of mourning for the crew of the 3rd Scout Squadron, who were killed yesterday by aliens identified only as “the Swarm” while scouting the Beta Hydri system. She has also charged our military with finding a way to defeat the Swarm…
Article in the Mira Tribune, March 7th, 2401

While I do intend to destroy the Swarm ASAP, I will not halt my research. I plan to finish FTL Economics, then get Battle Computers and Light Emitters.
On the bright side, Fort has proven to be a good planet to colonize. I use a formula I found on the wiki, which goes (Size*10 – Hazard Rating/10 + Resources/1000 = Planet Rating). 60 is the usual margin. Fort rates a 105, which is pretty high. I decide wait a bit to colonize it – colonizing too early would be a drain on my economy. In the meantime, I notice that Fort has node lines to two clusters. I could potentially snap up four clusters, which would put me at a huge advantage. I send the 2nd Scout Squadron off to Midway, in the next cluster.

Turn 004
“It’s not that bad. I’ve seen apartments that were less habitable.”
Comments by Commander Henry Britton, CO 1st Scout Squadron, Navy of Heaven, on the environment of the planet Down. Dated April 22, 2401.

Down is also pretty good, rating a 107. It also links to the Midway cluster. Unfortunately, the system it links to is called Ke’Trath, indicating that that cluster is probably adjacent to the Tarkas. I send more ships into the Down cluster.

Turn 005
“You’d THINK that economists would be better at staying within a budget…”
Comments by Queen Esther I of the Kingdom of Heaven, regarding some of her scientists, May 18,2401.

FTL Economics is behind. And the 2nd Scout Squadron has reached Midway, which is a 400+ hazard planet. It does manage to score a 70 on the desirability scale, but only a 70. The 1st reached Achenar, which is an uninhabitable lump of rock.

Turn 006
“Are you CERTAIN I can’t have one of them executed to encourage the others?”
Comments by Queen Esther I of the Kingdom of Heaven, regarding some of her scientists, June 24,2401.

FTL Economics is STILL overbudget. But at least I reached the planet Kor’Kora, a massive planet near Midway. It’ll be a priority for colonization. Chi Draconis, in the Down cluster, isn’t as big, but it’s extremely strategic.

Turn 007
“The stock market spiked today with the news that our kingdom’s best economists have finally developed a system for properly organizing interstellar trade. Already, major corporations are making reservations for cargo runs on ships that have yet to make it off the drawing board…”
Article in the Heaven Financial Times, July 9, 2404.

Well, I finally got FTL Economics. I push out a design for the new Progress-class freighter, and start building them… or I would, if the sector were secure. Which it isn’t. Oh, well. I start work on Light Emitters, and push the research slider to full. I need to get some warships to clear out Beta Hydri and secure the sector ASAP.
On the exploration side, there’s one decent planet (Foundation), one crappy one (Kor’Hakaan), and one that may be off the network entirely.

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Re: His Will Be Done (Human AAR)

Post by Meshakhad » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:02 pm

Turn 007 – Cont.
Well, seems I should actually end my turns before I save, since we now have an Encounter at Terra!
And it’s the Swarm, with the predictable loss of the 4th Scout Squadron. Also, Terra appears to be a worthless ball of rock.

Turn 008
“Folsom Studios released a new trailer today for Swarm, an action/horror film about a Swarm invasion of Serpens. Set to release next month, the film will star Conrad DeMarsh as a retired military operative, and Virginia Meers as his estranged wife. Reactions have been mixed, with some calling the film an attempt to cash in on fears of the alien threat, especially after the loss of the 4th Scout Squadron in Terra. Others, including director Nigel Cranson, have called it a warning, noting the government’s apparent inaction against the Swarm. Folsom Studios has promised to donate a percentage of the film’s profits to the families of servicemen killed in action against the Swarm…”
Article on entertainment website Entertainment Now, published August 22, 2404

Nothing really happened this turn. Light Emitters is projected to finish next turn…

Turn 009
Swarm released today, shattering box-office records despite only fair reviews. Many are attributing the film’s success to fears of the threat posed by the Swarm…”
Article on entertainment website Entertainment Now, published September 19, 2404

…and Light Emitters is overbudget. Also, Ke’Trath is a useless world, and with no other planets in range, I’m sending the 5th Scout Squadron to join the 1st in Ophiuchi. I also really wish I could rename systems…

Turn 010
“We are not calling it a ‘Bug Zapper’!”
Commodore Fatima Al-Hambra, Head of High-Energy Research, Bureau of Weapons Research, Navy of Heaven, to colleagues, October 9, 2404

I’ve developed Light Emitters. I decide to get Waldo Units next, since I’m going to want Hammerhead command sections before I build any actual ships, and the industrial bonus will be good for my economy anyway.

Also, I’ve found some ehh worlds. Not worth a screenshot.

I’ve encountered Morrigi ships. I decide to try for peace – even though I’m xenophobic, I don’t want to provoke an actual war until I’m ready. Although with a name like “Atreus the Bloody” I’m not hopeful.

Turn 011
“Breaking news: the Ministry of War just announced that they have made contact with another alien species in the Uaxhaktos system. No shots were fired – indeed, the alien ship sought to avoid action, as did our own ships. More details as they emerge…”
News report on Heaven Broadcasting Station, 1024 hrs, November 10, 2404

Fortunately, the Morrigi have chosen not to fight me. I order the 2nd Scout Squadron to depart. And, as it happens, I just finished Waldo Units, so I have the opportunity to begin Morrigi xenotech research.
Also, the 1st Scout Squadron has found a very nice (if small) planet.

And now I’ve encountered the Tarka. I do the same thing as before.

Turn 012
“First, they’re called ‘Morrigi’. Second, yes, we believe we can speak to them. Third, we’re aware of the other aliens, and we’re studying their language as well.”
Professor Bianca Rose, Research Director, Department of Xenology, Royal Academy of Sciences, speaking to reporters, December 8, 2404

I’ve researched the first level of Morrigi xenotech. I immediately send Atreus the Bloody a request for a cease-fire, which he accepts.
I move on to Tarka xenotech, since it’s more important to get ceasefires with everyone quickly than it is to upgrade to non-aggression pacts. Oh, and Tars Tarkas also chose not to fight.

Turn 013
“Aye, let us be neutral in the dark.”
Tars Tarkas diplomat, speaking with representatives of the Kingdom of Heaven, January 20, 2405

The Tarkas have accepted my ceasefire. I’ve met two alien factions, and have yet to exchange fire with them. This is good.
Having completed the first level of Tarka xenotech, I decide to return to industrial concerns. I really need to secure my home cluster, so I next research Battle Computers. With command ships, I will be able to field proper fleets, and I can start clearing out Swarm bases.
However, I decide to wait on building ships until I also get F-Node drives.

Turn 014
“The first edition of the Urdu Kai-English Dictionary, published by the Royal Academy Press, topped the Mira Tribune’s nonfiction bestseller list, pushing the first edition of the Trade Creole-English Dictionary into the number two spot…”
Article on HBS website, February 14, 2405

Battle Computers is over budget. My ships continue to scout, although many of these systems are a little far for me to colonize.
I change my mind regarding waiting to build ships, and design my first proper warship, the Valiant-class destroyer.
I order up nine at Mira. Only six will be built next turn, but that’s OK. I’ll have finished Battle Computers, so I can build a command ship as well.

We have an Encounter at Garnet!
And another scout fleet falls to the Swarm.

Turn 015
“Now this is a proper warship!”
Lieutenant William Harris, tactical officer aboard Valiant-class destroyer assigned to 1st Battle Squadron, Navy of Heaven, March 16, 2405

I’ve completed the first six Valiants, and Battle Computers. I design the Ephraim-class command destroyer, and order one at Mira, along with a Nomad tanker. This will complete the 1st Battle Squadron, which I will be sending to clear out the Beta Hydri system.
And while I’m at it, I redesign the Progress freighters to include light emitters, creating the Progress Mk 2 class.
I next research Gene Modification – it’s a prereq for all biotech, particularly Suspended Animation.

Turn 016
“The genie is out of the bottle”
Title of editorial by Peter Wilkins regarding the dangers of genetic engineering, published in Gaia Times, April 17, 2405

I’ve researched Gene Modification, and completed the 1st Battle Squadron. As they are heading to fight the Swarm, I put them into a formation with the command ship in front, since the Swarm always appears to the rear of your ships. I cluster them to maximize shared point defense, and send them off to war.
I begin research of Suspended Animation – I plan to colonize Fort soon.
And of course, we have an encounter at Beta Hydri. Well, this one is more of a proper battle.
Unfortunately, my ships fail to destroy the Silicoid Queen. And I forgot to actually take screencaps. Oh well.

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Re: His Will Be Done (Human AAR)

Post by ZedF » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:14 pm

Looks like fun so far :)
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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Re: His Will Be Done (Human AAR)

Post by Meshakhad » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:02 am

Turn 017
“The lesson from Beta Hydri is not that the threat of the Swarm is gone. Rather, it is that the Swarm is not invincible – it can be defeated. We should be on guard for them, but we no longer need to fear them.”
Quote from Captain Vladimir Reznov (ret.), military consultant to HBC News, broadcast May 11, 2402

Well, that battle didn’t go so well. The data says that their missiles did little damage. I’ll give them a second chance, but I may need to design new ships. I decide to research Mass Drivers next, as it’ll probably be more effective. Also, it’s a tech I intend to develop for later use, and it’ll only take one turn.
Suspended Animation is done, by the way. So I go and design some colony ships: the Pioneer class.
I then notice that simply exploring Beta Hydri has made the sector secure. Time for freighters! I build five Progresses for each planet, which nets me plenty of income while not cutting too heavily into planetary production.

And we go to battle!

This time, the Silicoid Queen begins outside her protective asteroid, and turns to run. My ships engage in pursuit, and fire missiles.

Another good sign – the Queen is damaged from before.

Volley after volley streaks towards the Silicoid Queen, as she runs in terror from the unstoppable might of the Navy of Heaven!

Sadly, the Queen makes it out of sensor range before I can destroy her.

Turn 018
“She’s running! She’s running!”
Lieutenant William Harris, tactical officer aboard Valiant-class destroyer assigned to 1st Battle Squadron, during Second Battle of Beta Hydri, June 1, 2403

Our Valiants are clearly insufficient for future battles. However, I decide to hold off replacing them until I get some decent engines – the Queen also outran them. Hopefully, I can whittle down the Queen over several battles. Also, Mass Drivers went over budget.

And we are victorious!

Turn 019
Reported to be the first words of Queen Esther upon hearing that the Silicoid Queen had been destroyed, July 4, 2402

We have destroyed the Silicoid Queen, pacifying the cluster. I begin research on Node Focusing, and order up a slew of Pioneers to colonize Beta Hydri.

Turn 020
“Hundreds turned out to watch the launch of the colony fleet bound for the recently pacified Beta Hydri system. Already, the Beta Hydri Colonial Authority has confirmed that they will be naming their capital city ‘Queensgrave’ after the slain Silicoid Queen.”
Article in the Mira Tribune, August 24, 2402

I complete my first colony fleet, and dispatch it to Beta Hydri. They’ll be joined next turn by a second fleet – I want to go big on Beta Hydri.

Turn 021
“We will listen, if you will talk.”
Diplomatic communiqué, sent from Tars Tarkas to the Kingdom of Heaven, September 7, 2402

Nothing to report. The first colony fleet arrived. The second is on its way.

Turn 022
“I don’t care that the planet is unexplored, or that we don’t have names yet for most of the wildlife. This planet is our home.”
The Honorable Reginald Houseman, Mayor of Queensgrave, speaking to reporters, October 26, 2402

I have colonized Beta Hydri. I set the slider to maximize terraforming, so we get that climate hazard out of the way. The second fleet arrives to join the first.
The time has come to research Fusion.
Oh, and Node Missiles will be in our future.

Turn 023
“We just got settled, and already there’s an immigrant problem!”
From a skit by local comedian Frank Ball, broadcast on Queensgrave radio network, November 11, 2402

Nothing during the turn, but lots at the end! I try for peace with Serapion the Bold, and go automatic with the Unknown Menace in Iszm and the raiders in Serpens.

Turn 024
“This is wise. Deep space belongs to both our peoples.”
Serapion the Bold, Morrigi leader, December 15, 2402
The second Morrigi faction did not attack me, and accepted my ceasefire proposal. Iszm turned out to host an Asteroid Monitor, which is cool, since you can take control of them. And the raiders at Serpens took out three freighters, although the planetary defenses took out the raiders.

Turn 025
“When this year began, we lived in fear. Now, we have real hope for the future…”
Excerpt from New Years’ Speech given by Queen Esther, January 1, 2403

Nothing much this turn. I order three new freighters to replace those lost at Serpens. The 2nd Scout Squadron is stranded, so I have her hold until I can get out a refueling ship.

Turn 26
“Ah, breathe that non-processed air!”
Reginald Houseman, Mayor of Queensgrave, Beta Hydri, February 20, 2403

Beta Hydri has finished terraforming.

Turn 027
“Rise, Dame Amanda Paige.”
Queen Esther to Dame Amanda Paige, Research Director, Department of Astrophysics, Royal Academy of Sciences, at the latter’s knighthood, March 8, 2403

Fusion has been developed early (hence why the research director got knighted)! I first order the research of Cybernetic Interface, which is long overdue.
Then, I design a new set of scout ships – the Visitor-class extended range and the Wanderer-class tanker. I build two, to go where my older ships couldn’t go before. And I order the scuttling of the 2nd Scout Squadron.

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Re: His Will Be Done (Human AAR)

Post by The_Unificator » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:18 pm

well done my friend, i will follow your progress :)
An Argentinian SolForce Captain awaiting new orders

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Re: His Will Be Done (Human AAR)

Post by BlueTemplar » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:27 pm

The fictional press article quotes are a nice touch!

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