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Cluster Wars (formerly Empyrean Challenge)
There were dark times. Times none would want to ever remember, but they will sadly never forget.

Cold. Dark. Pain. Anguish.

In the Halls of Awaiting, The Elder dreamed of a Journey Unknown.....Across the Dark. But what did it mean? At the Gates of Sleep, it was always hard to think, hard to understand. But, he was not one to be Weighed Down with Sorrow any longer. There was a....a...hope, for a New Beginning.

Ruins. Stange objects washed away by rains Where the Last Wave Broke. Was there a Bitter End in The Groves of Death? The was the time that Death Walked the Earth. Men. Women. Old. Young. All wanted to Regain the Fire but did not know how. But they believed. They hoped. They dreamed. In one, The Elder, an Ill-Starred Son, they placed their trust, their dreams and hope.

Time passed. Ages. The Harrowing Years they called them. But in time, there was hope. Into the Woods and Through the Shadows they went in the name of The Elder, and the Daughter of the Moon.

Men became strong. Slowly. Men became many. Men became towns. Men became cities. Men became war. Men fell. Men became hopeless once more. But in The Elder, there was hope. Men listened. Men dreamed. Men grew strong. Men Men became....The Elder.

A proud and fierce people have they become. Always searching, always fighting, always learning, always dreaming, always....remembering. And there was hope. And they were ready.

But were 'they' ready for them? For The Elder?

I think not.

There are now TWO confirmed forum users who are in this game. (Another one still lurks.)

FYI, the moderators have issued an updated client tool to fix the problem with displaying mining info. I will download and test tonight. On the agenda for this upcoming turn:

- scout out the alien ruins on planet 1
- expand the orbiting colony to beef up production of 'light structural units' (which can only be built in space)
- design an in-system freighter and a starter colony for that habitable in-system world
- figure out how I let 20m unskilled workers lay around doing nothing
- send the other scout to the nearest star system
- build a new batch of scouts with extended range capabilities (to investigate these 40-odd systems)
Ixnay, I'm loving this info,

Thanks for doing it!
I'll give it some time if you Ned feedback. Let me know.
Hey, looks like this game just got its own sub-thread -- thanks Grim! I hope this will inspire other players to add threads and take their positions public on this forum, at least in some small way.

I have spoken with my brother, who has confirmed the existence of a 2nd habitable world in HIS home system, so I imagine it's standard to all home systems for this game.

In prepping for this turn, I read up on a new item/technology available in this game for the first time -- beamers. They are big, expensive devices you can install only in an orbiting colony. There, they can beam/teleport items directly to any other colony in the same system (but not to ships). The purpose is ostensibly to simplify and ease in-system economies -- instead of shuttling freighters back and forth to circulate supplies and raw materials, you can beam them over for about the same capital investment.

You'll still need planet-side transport capacity and an orbiter at each mining colony to make this work. But I find it opens up other possibilities, beyond mere logistics. If your system is under attack, you should be able to reinforce any colony quickly, for instance, from a single well-equipped orbiting fortress. And as with other technologies, the gear is heavy and clunky unless you invest a lot of research into it, thus creating another potentially lucrative distraction from core manufacturing/military research.

The next turn is due 7/7 and I hope to draft my orders up maybe 7/4 or 7/5, along with another post here.
"Sir, we've locked on to orbit one. Can we begin the Impulse Drive countdown now?" Tulane seemed on edge, particularly after the friendly scolding she received from Captain Jenkins for neglecting to include the customary two olives in his martini.

Jenkins sipped and paused, relishing in her suppressed frustration. "Now just hold on there, Two Lane. We've got a long flight ahead of us, and there's no reason to blast off before we've had a chance to grok things out a bit up here."

"Bob! I mean Captain! We have not one but TWO other Company Ships en route to planet one already! We might not arrive in time to be part of first contact with the alien relics we've detected on the surface! We might be needed in case there are hostilities! We might even (gulp) miss out on the bounty!" Tulane was visibly and uncharacteristically distressed.

Jenkins paused and considered whether other Company captains had set things up such that junior officers were required to serve drinks to senior officers. In the general absence of a strong military tradition, Company culture gave ship captains wide latitude in how they ran things on board their own ships.

"Two Lane, relax. There is no hurry. We already knew we'd have at least one other ship coming with us. Sure, the Company built a new fleet, and one of them new birds is flying high guard over this little operation. But all them others have been dispatched off to other orbits. And these other two captains we're competing with are cupcakes. They ain't likely to jump our claim. And if they do, good for them -- and us. Remember, the early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese..." Jenkins speared an olive before catching Tulane's eye and winking.

* * *

I submitted my orders yesterday, just under the wire. Thank goodness for those tutorials! I followed their basic gist in that I built the 10 new scout ships (cloned from the 2 existing ones in my fleet), and dispatched one to each orbit in my home system to begin planetary survey duty. However, I sent both my original scouts directly to the "alien ruins" world (along with one of the new ships) just to triple up for safety. The ruins might harbor hostiles, and these scouts carry a fairly moderate marine contingent -- 1k "assault craft" and accompanying soldiers, along with some energy weapons and shields for direct combat. My hope is that the "ruins" are uninhabited repositories of ancient high-tech items, which I will gleefully use as research prototypes. (If you can get your hands on items of a higher tech than you have -- be they a gift from an ally, loot from a conquest, or otherwise -- you can get up to 80% knocked off your research costs to attain that level.)

I figured out how the "space navigator" tool works, and found that of the 40-some systems within 10 light years of home, only one is within single jump distance. So I am sending one scout thataway. At some point I will have to boost my Hyper Engine tech, but my first priority is fleshing out the home system and securing a basic supply chain.

The tutorial alerted me that food supplies have disappeared. This was a surprise to me -- I had done some rough calculations on turn one and thought I was generating slightly more food per turn than my people eat. Clearly I miscalculated! So I almost doubled the number of farms in operation. I also broke with the tutorial in that I kept all 3m Mine units in operation. I believe I have enough professional labor to run everything, but it is just as possible I forgot something and will get a warning of a "pro shortage" in my turn results.

(This is another UI issue I would like to see addressed -- tell me how many professionals, unskilleds, etc, I am currently using, and how many I'd be using with my draft orders in place.)

I also did the doubling-in-size of the orbiting colony described in the tutorial. It's not strictly necessary according to my plans -- the orbiter mainly produces Light Structure, which I have stockpiled in sufficient abundance for the moment. But I'd like to stay relatively close to the tutorial blueprint, in case something in turn 3, 4, or 7 depends on this doubled orbiter thing.

As for tech -- my laboratories produced the basic 2m research points. I could have bumped two technologies up from level 1 to 2, or one from level 2 to 3, but I am stockpiling instead. I want to put an early focus on boosting laboratory and factory tech, to improve the efficiency of my limited population of pros. Next turn I'll have 4m research, which should be enough to bump Factories or Labs up to level 5.

No major changes to my production lines -- just added another 600k factories to the Consumer Goods line. Hopefully I have enough people to run all this...
I am surprised at how cautious you are about the alien ruins. You usually play things loosey goosey. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
(07-08-2013, 07:03 PM)Pool Boy Wrote: I am surprised at how cautious you are about the alien ruins. You usually play things loosey goosey. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Indeed. I actually did go a little too loosey goosey this turn, as we shall see when I get around to drafting an update.

Turn 3 came out today -- multiple new shockers! Watch this space for further developments...
I cannot download my turn. GAH!
Another turn, another set of shocking revelations...

First and foremost, I have a gigantic food crisis. The tutorials cleverly neglected to warn of this, ostensibly to teach us all a lesson early in the game while there's still time to recover. Ugh.

On turn 1 I saw that "food produced" exceeded "food consumed" and thought I was fine. On turn 2 I saw that my stockpile of 23m food units had vanished. I had intended to alert the moderators, thinking this might be a bug, but forgot about it. "food produced" still exceeded "food consumed". This turn, I nearly doubled my farms and am producing far more food than I consume, yet food is still absent from my inventory. Upon reading the rules, it looks like my population is attempting to stockpile a 4-turn supply, and is thus grabbing up every morsel my farms produce. Even with doubled farms, it will take several more turns for their stockpile to reach this target.

Which would be fine, except that now all ten of my new scouts have not one box of corn flakes in their holds. And they have departed my home planet -- one even departed my home system. While I will take this as a lesson learned, I do think that we benevolent despots ought to be able to secure some portion of the harvest before our countless minions get their grubby paws on it. I will fly my scouts back immediately and attempt to rescue their crews from creeping starvation, but it would seem that I will be unable to send anyone back out into deep space until I have sated my gluttons.

(I will try to get clarity from the rules and/or moderators on this in the next few days -- I imagine I'm not the only one in this predicament.)

Second on the list of shockers: those "alien ruins" on planet 1 are populated! My "intensive probe" results show a population somewhere around 5k. I have 3 scouts with a total of about 4.5k soldiers armed with 3k assault craft and some transports (which can bring soldiers to battle, though they are unarmed.) I suspect this colony is at least half civilian, so I feel daring enough to attempt an invasion, perhaps with a round of bombardment from 300 shipboard blasters to soften them up. It should be enough to carry the day UNLESS they have some tech advantage.

Third shocker -- the one scout I sent off to the nearest star system reports another alien colony. This one is far larger, at a logarithmic mass count of 8.4. (Probe reports generally show the mass of ship/colonies as a logarithm, to preserve some vagueness. So a mass-4 colony would have 10^4 or 10k mass units, while a mass-5 one would have 10^5 or 100k mass units. A probe report of 8.4 means this thing is less than 10% the size of my home colony (a hefty 9.7), but still about 10x the size of my orbiting colony. It's somewhere around 300m mass units.)

This is the only star system within a single hyper jump from my home. This alien world is habitable -- fresh air and victory points. I need to conquer it, but it will take far more than my measly 12 scout ships can muster (even if they all had food). I have a million each "assault craft" and "assault weapons" (think howitzers) at home, along with some 6m soldiers, but nowhere NEAR the ship capacity to haul them all out, a pittance in ship-based weapons/shields, and no advanced weapons tech.

There is clearly much to consider in plotting these next orders. I will post again before the next due date -- probably once I get clarity on the food crisis...

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