We ought to have a patch soon (in the next week or two) so if you want to give the pre-patch version a last hurrah, now's your chance.
What, no takers?
Ok, not that surprising after all...
Anyway, the game is not turning out the way I had envisioned it would. I will probably keep playing it off and on but will can it once the code patch is out. I decided that since this is not a competition game and since I expect there to be a significant chance of my not completing the game before the code patch arrives, I wanted to publish my results to date.
Here's the skinny -- the player is playing a crippled silicoid race. I set every possible attribute at the minimum values and sold off all freebies, including setting the home planet at poor/unfertile. Another unintended challenge that I realized after posting the game is that these Silicoids have basically no level 5 weapons in their tree visible at the start (no Quark cannon, Fusion cannon, nada) and no bioharvest/mining DEA improvements. Still, as of ~turn 80 I am #2 in the powergraph behind the NOs, and though I am way behind in tech I have the pop power to expect to be able to catch up eventually. Not what I had in mind to start with; I was expecting to have to climb out of a deep hole, but it turns out that there was a ladder handy.
Here's how that happened:
- early on, I found a wormhole chokepoint, and scouted out Eoladi and Klackon empires near there. Built a couple transport CLs and some infantry (corps-size formations)
- captured a defenseless early Eoladi colony at the wormhole chokepoint, made friends with them thereafter, am now good buddies
- foresaw bad relations with the Klackons, captured a couple of their defenseless early expansion colonies on the other side of the wormhole
- eventually captured a 3rd Klackon defenseless expansion colony, despite having basically no fleet other than my system ships at the wormhole chokepoint & a few scout/blockade LR ships
- settled colonies on 3 magnates so far, working on a 4th
- all of these have given me a ton of free resettlement outposts which are slowly growing into productive colonies. I have basically 3 planets that are useful silicoid colonies, including the home planet -- I have just sent out my first 3 colony starships to non-magnate planets since my free starting one -- but I have over five times that many non-silicoid planets.
- I am at war with the Klackons but the best they have been able to do was blockade a couple of the colonies I took from them, one of which was reasonably well-developed and I have been able to keep, the other of which was indefensible and I have given away to the NOs. They have lost a number of ships attacking my wormhole defenses and my viable blockaded colony; right now they can outproduce me militarily speaking, but the balance of power should be shifting over the next 20-40 turns or so, though of course they will still have the tech edge at that point.
I will say that without magnates and ability to quickly absorb a couple of early enemy colonies with basically no cost, this could have been a very different game. Initial expansion was not just slow, it was glacial, and my 3 earliest planets are still not what I would call powerhouses -- they have both just recently finished building all their DEAs, as I diverted significant production to piracy-suppression from these planets in part because their pop growth rate was just too slow to support faster economic development. The piracy suppression was needed mainly due to the developing Eoladi colonies in my home system...
If I were to re-attempt this scenario, I would have to make some changes. I might cripple the player race a bit less but put more restrictions on player expansion via capturing AI colonies in the first 100 turns or so. I expect/hope the magnate spreading problem will probably be resolved by the code patch so I'd give it a try before putting more rules in on that.