Grand Strategy Support Group

This forum is specifically for discussing non-Mafia games (board, card, video, we're not picky). Playing such games should happen in the Mish Mash forum, of course.
Lycanfire
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:38 pm

This thread is for people afflicted by paradoxvirus. Post strategy / 4X games.

Post AARs (After Action Reports) or if you're just in passing, consider following a GSP (Game, Situation, Plan) format when you post your empire.

This OP is going to be pretty bare. I'll put useful links in it at some point.
sugar cane

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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:39 pm

I'll kick off this thread with a Stellaris AAR.

I'm going to play a custom empire aptly named "Dark Forest Clique". Default human settings. Police state / Fanatic Purifier civics. Fanatic Xenophobe/Militarist Dictatorship ethics. As a fanatic purifier we are locked out of diplomacy with the Xenos with the exception of war declaration. Also, we receive -1000 relations with everyone. On the plus side our pops fight to the death and we defy the laws of physics by firing faster than everyone else.

It's going to be my first game as a Fanatic Purifier. The goal will be not to suffer Xenos to live before the 2.2 patch in December(?)

My last / second game I was on Commodore (medium difficulty). I ended up getting old gods'd and horizon signal'd as some materialist bugs and ended up terraforming all planets into tomb worlds as then-space cockroaches. I was the #1 power before and after I praised the worm, but roleplaying it properly started killing me in micro so I quit that game. What I did learn is that I can probably handle Admiral without a problem...

Deciding I that the little backstory/head-canon I wrote for this empire wouldn't make sense without strong Xenos, I've cranked it up to Grand Admiral (maximum) with 3X primitives and 5X endgame crisis strength. 10 standard AIs and 3 fallen empires. I'm going to want enough FEs so one can make it to endgame, as it'd be great if they could give me a hand with the crisis, but at the same time I don't want a bunch of unnecessary FEs that can randomly awake and kick my ass. AI aggressiveness on normal. 4 advanced AI starts, advanced neighbours is on.

DLC- Utopia and Synthetic Dawn. Ironman, no mods.

Species Bio

Code: Select all
In the year 2106 Humanity found themselves shaken by a discovery that they were not alone. Scientists at the SETI research facility in Mountain View, California discovered communications of intelligent life that lead to a brief and violent upheaval on the Human Homeworld of Earth.

At the same time, a Penal Colony was established on Mars. Dissatisfied with the rate of militarization of space, a faction of politicians and military personnel took control of the armed wing of the Sol Fleet along with the first Human generation ship. They freed the convicts on Mars, many of whom were placed there during the protests. They set off for their new Homeworld, Deliverance, where a fragment of Humanity prepares their best defense against the harshness of space: a great galactic offensive.


One of the possible explanations to the Fermi Paradox isn't a filter, but that a single predator species exists, or upholding a belief that one might exist could force any species intelligent enough to develop spaceflight into silence. We're going to be the villains boys and girls. The name is borrowed from Liu Cixin's fictional tale "The Dark Forest".

As a personal rule I'm going to try to ignore the United Nations of Earth / Commonwealth of Man if either spawns. I won't be able to vassalize them, so at some point I'll call it a win even if I can't reach my wincon. If the Earth Custodianship spawn, they will be purged as the scum that they are.

I'm going to get my ass kicked though

Spoiler: AAR image warning
Here's Deliverance

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That's not my bio dammit!

Our place in the galaxy (spiral 2 arms)

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This is a pretty bad spawn. There's some clear disadvantages in being close to the galactic center. You get the benefit of putting your back up against it while having none of the freedom you get at the edge. The ability to colonize key points is going to be questionable because the galactic arms are hard chokes. This isn't as bad as spawning dead in the middle of an arm, but I think this is useful information for anyone that hasn't played Stellaris.

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In the next system we find the first signs of organic life outside of Earth and Deliverance. There are two habitable planets in this system, both size 16. 16 is the smallest planet usually worth colonizing, but since they can be governed from the same system this makes them like a less-good size 32 planet (which is impossible to form naturally). The downside is that I'm quite certain that the second planet will incur tech penalties. It will be worth it in the long run, but Savannah worlds aren't as welcoming (25% vs 90% for the continental world) to humans as the name suggests.

It's going to be worth it to pick up some early planets and rush somebody. Ignoring tech we can get to a level where our naval cap is near the cheating bastard AIs, and because we were genocidal freaks our ships are better. It's the only time this bonus is really going to matter.

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We have enough spiral mana to unlock a tradition. Fanatic purifiers have Purity instead of Domination and Adapatability instead of Diplomacy.

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Our expansion to the galactic north is stopped by a giant megastructure. Supposedly, an AI guards an artificial habitat of pre-sapient life. This transmission is a clear lie, and these cowards will be cleansed at the earliest opportunity.

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We've encountered our first "intelligent" life in the galaxy. The High Command is going through their planetary invasion war plans. A cleansing operation will commence soon.

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Our worst fears have been realized. Not only are there advanced civilizations in the galaxy, but they have existed as a civilization seemingly for thousands of years. It appears the ancient empire has fallen into degeneracy and while their level of technology is great, they will never again rise to greatness.

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The Skullchalice Battalion landed on this miserable rock closest to the star Lytrin. It had been infested with bug-like creatures that have fashioned themselves metal tools. These "Tchaaskerans" were overgrown ants, more bestial in appearance than anything we've seen before. As our forces landed on this planet, to our utter shock, we were welcomed, offered food and drink, and told of their God.

These savages were told of their impending death and given time to perform their last rites. Our forces met their own outside of the largest city we could find. Some ugly red thing - draped in earthy fibers issued us a communique which we translated as being a royal decree issuing an unconditional surrender, swearing fealty to our General, Rodriguez. We sent a message back informing them to reincarnate as a Human next time.

We completed our purge of this planet a year later. If not by us, some other being would have enslaved or killed these bugs. They were weak and ignorant. A slimy, nasty world, we quickly found it rife with disease. Our scientist, Solano, came up with a quick and effective treatment for the maladies that had befallen our soldiers. This planet now carries her name as an ultimate triumph over this evil.

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In the year 2211 we experienced the first power struggle in our nation. A former General - Doreen Graves - challenged Grand-General Omnes for Command of the Fleet only 18 years ago. Support for Omnes was unanimous. Disgraced, Graves went into hiding. In that time defectors slowly filled her ranks and aided by smugglers she managed to build a fleet best described as "beat to hell". Upon hearing of the project to colonize the Nomotar system, she warped into Home Space and attacked the GA Potential. Our strike force led by Admiral Ekwensi fought her to a stalemate. As our forces retreated, Graves was struck by our starbase batteries, leaving no trace of the rebel scum.

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We've met our third horrid Xeno which we will just refer to as Bad Rats. These pests appear to be warlike and will undoubtedly destroy themselves before our ships have a chance to rain death upon their worlds. Their power is comparable to their own, although because the computer is a cheating bastard, they have many more ships than we do. They don't appear to be an advanced start empire.

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We've engineered our society to feel tasked with the need of expanding into the cosmos. Since our expansion is now limited by threats on all sides, and we don't have much of a use for influence mana anyway, Mastery of Nature will ensure steady population growth until we can punch through the galactic north or purge the Rats to our south.
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Not much has been happening. We've built up our industry where we have begun to overtake the cost of construction, but the threat of the Bad Rats has been constant. At the same time we've come across yet more awful Xenos. We'll call them Birdmerica.

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Xeno Declaration of War

We knew from the moment we sent our first object into space that if we were capable of such a feat, other lifeforms may be as well. The Xeno is a threat to all of what is good. A threat to all Mankind. In the academy of the state capital - Nu York - Grand-General Omnes gave a speech to the students about to be conscripted as pilots, soldiers, mechanics, and medics.

"Under no circumstances must the Xeno to be trusted. It will lie, it will cheat, and it will do anything in its power to undermine the efforts of those who, in truth, are its superiors."

Everybody clapped for an hour. Dissidents were shot.

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First Battle of Enif

Our Meridian-class corvettes proved to be a mismatch to the Xeno. Having seen the enemy coming we discovered they relied entirely upon laser weaponry. With the fleet crashing through disputed space we had time to create one Archer-class vessel. Our engineers marvel at our own advances in laser technology, and our superior shields will be what sees us through this war. The winds of war proved to be advantagous to our cause, as our cause is just one. The Xeno failed to bring their combined fleet in their assault upon Enif. What ships they brought found themselves smashed to pieces while the Enif Starbase - the greatest fortress Man has ever built - towers over its star as a giant.

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End of part 1


I might end up losing early on, but the thing I like the most with games like Crusader Kings 2 or Stellaris is emergent gameplay. You have to be okay with everything going completely wrong to build up the story. Unfortunately due to being a fanatic purifier everybody gets a casus belli on me that claims everything I own. If I get completely wiped I intend to start over with a new galaxy.
sugar cane

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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:28 pm

I used to play crusader kings, was fun.
if you die in in a mafia game you die in real life

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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:28 pm

Part 2

Spoiler: AAR images
Second Battle of Enif

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The enemy quickly reinforced and made a second assault on the Enif station. It was a complete failure leading to the loss of the starbase and the retreat of the fleet to the Lytrin system. Had our starbase managed to complete its latest defense platform, we may have held the line. By the time our ships left hyperspace from its emergency FTL jump we quickly garrisoned in the nearby Chox system. In the two months time since our battle, swarms of Xeno ships made a determined push just outside of this star system. Realizing the futility in holding the line, our fleet retreated all the way back to Fury to reinforce. After the Chox starbase fell we heard nothing of the Xeno for an entire Earth year. With our fleet reinforced, we looked to make a jump to Lytrin, a system of one of our home worlds - and now the new front of the war. During this jump the Xeno reappeared, stronger than ever, and once again our fleet docked at Fury. Solano was cruelly bombarded for several years-our propaganda networks were now able to aptly call the Xeno "baby killers" and "space Huns" which did much to bolster our ranks with new recruits.

During this time an advanced fleet crashed into Home Space, taking most, but not all, of our mining stations. Deciding now was the time, Admiral Reginald Brown of the GA Forger was sent to stop the alien menace in Nomotar.

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The cruel bombardment of Solano reached its third year. The standing armies were destroyed. The orbital strikes were not limited to military targets. Once proud manufactories and hydroponic farms laid in ruin and covered in ash. The population was nearly entirely destroyed. The Nu York Times broke from the state narrative with a front-page article entitled "Genocide might be wrong".

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Fury Extinguished

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Shortly into the Grand Xeno War we realized military might alone would not win this battle. This war would be fought not just at the edges of our controlled space, but also in our home territory. War strategy dictated a swift turn into a battle of attrition as we hoped the Xeno fleet would thin as it crashed against each of our starbases. Most of our territory laid under Xeno control, and while it had seemed that for a time the fleets had been stopped, they came with renewed rigor, and fanatical spirit as it entered Home Space. It had been hoped that our planets may be spared from the worst of the war, but the extermination of Solano proved the Xeno would move with determination to extinguish the great light of the Human race.

During the next three years Admiral Grishin led raids on the Fury system as Deliverance laid helpless under siege. Our new war plan necessitated small engagements to inflict significant loss to enemy morale. We, the true masters of this galaxy, would prove with ferocious might that there would be no peace for the Xeno fleet, for at any time it may be subjected to a Human raid. In time, and with enough ships laid broken in the Fury system, we believed we could force the enemy into a peace treaty before Deliverance fell to Xeno control. While we obtained an end to the war, the losses proved to be substantial. We had lost the great capital of our empire.

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With the end of our 10-year war we saw significant upheaval in our remaining colonies. Much debate took place over whether we should leave this region of space. Others countered by stating the coming war would be won, for the Xeno were many, and would begin to fight between themselves should we persevere. We now stood with a fraction of our initial territory, and limited resources. A choice needed to be made, and the decision the Grand-General made was to fight.

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Highlighted on map: the location of the Enif system.

A massive military buildup took place. Our remaining starbases became great star fortresses. Our fleet, by comparison, was a far cry from the strength it once moved with. It had been believed the Bad Rats would find themselves in combat with Birdmerica during the time of our peace treaty, but it would not come to pass. In 2257, a year after our peace treaty expired, we were once again at war with the Xeno.

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The Xeno fleet was busy in transit from the far side of its territory, and during this time it was believed we could retake a chunk of our original territory. This plan was flawed, as alien-occupied Fury was shielded by a grand fortress, with its weapons systems aimed at the slave population of Deliverance. Instead, our fleets began to retake minor mining systems to once again begin the war of attrition.

In time the Xeno appeared in the Nomotar system. ADM Reginald Brown, a veteran of the Grand War, had a devious plan that would mark the greatest victory we would have over the Xeno.

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We managed to draw the Xeno into the batteries of our star fortress as our fleet manuevered behind them. Surrounded, and fired upon by all sides, the Xeno fleet was destroyed.

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However, the Xeno filth were not only cunning schemers, but cowards. They used a transport fleet as bait after the first decisive battle, and our home fleet found itself warped on by another Xeno fleet.

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Months later, in broken spirit, Grand-General Omnes passed away. His name was cursed among his staff and humanity lay broken under the power of the Xeno. It was the beginning of the end.

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Admiral Grishin's Last Raid

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Any goodness left in the galaxy would soon die in the coldness of space. The Xeno, the threat we were preparing for before we had the misfortune of meeting them, would exterminate us all. The last of the humans could no longer mark a defense, and resorted to a series of suicide attacks, and acts of terrorism on our occupied planets.

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The End

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Woopsie I got all humans killed.

I feel like I made some questionable decisions. For instance Solano was a giant drain on resources. It was a size 12 world with only research tiles. So it was only ever going to offset the penalties of owning it. The mineral cost raising the army to conquer it could have been used to colonize Bounty a lot sooner. I could have had three times my mineral production from early on in the game. There isn't much to say beyond that I was roleplaying and hoping to get away with it.

My big blunder was a mix of getting screwed by RNG and not realizing that the Bad Rats decided to settle in my direction when they had four other clusters they could have gone to (apparently the other side of the Ringworld was connected to them as well). I suppose I could have stopped at the sector that had the terraforming fluids and tried to path around the hostiles outside of the Fallen Empire or the Ringworld, but the problem with this what-if is that I wanted to settle near an AI... but I needed either a lot less time so I could have cut production or more time to get my starbase online. I didn't expect the AI to rival me the same month they formed a border with me, which puts the AI in war plan mode.

I'll give this another go sometime next week. Currently I'm playing a practice game as some slaving ocean mollusks on admiral. ~60 years in I'm doing well, nothing decisive because I'm stuck in the middle of what seems like every civ in the galaxy and can't risk war. My greatest adversary is a machine hivemind that rivaled me and constantly hovers from overwhelming power to superior, so just surviving makes me happy. Here's a pic of some primo chokepoints.

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