First of all this game started on the 9.November 2000. During the playing time of over 13 month my harddisc got formatted three times, and on some of these occasions my planets directory got erased as well, so my report will be kind of patchy and on some occasions may be a little inacurate or vague.
This game was played on the standard map with homeworlds in a long circle around the center. My starting position was Karelia (ID 497), I had only two planets in warp 9 reach (1 in the north, 1 south), but 5 planets in HYP range. I do not remember the first builds, but after I found amorphous in the north and no natives in the south, but the next planet in the north I found, had bovinoids on them, with a 85degree climate, but I unloaded as many colonists as I had even though they were dying every turn. The Falcons found three native worlds in the south and the cluster in the north, consiting of 5 planets, also had one planets with natives (bovinoids). After my second base was build on the first bovi world I found in the north (supported by 3 planets), I saw a (IIRC) Medium Deep Space Freighter belonging to the Lizards coming my way from Memory Alpha (ID 37) via the two 90something LY jumps toward my second base cluster. I decided to send my fighter building Gemini to kill it, to lead the player into thinking I was to dumb to actually capture it (I do not know if it worked, but I was fond of the idea). Straight after the Lizards ship was sighted I build a transwarp Rush at my homeworld with money and ressources that were HYPed in by my colonizing falcons. This Rush immediately was dispatched to take on the Lizards, with the hope to catch him unaware (or at least unprepared). By the time the the MDSF was killed by the gemini, the Rush was at the same planet (Kumar ID63) and filled up with about 120 fighters. Then this Rush (inappropiately named Welcome Committee, which, by the way, lived to fight theBirds in the hands of the Crystals…) started the the journey towards the Lizards HW and had to become visible. The Rush did not stop on the world inbetween the starting point of the journey and the Liz HW, thus limiting the time to react to the threat to 2 turns (basically one as the Rush arrived on the 2nd turn). I got lucky as I destroyed an unarmed Madonzilla or T-Rex (I do not remember…) and then the starbase with just minor damage, which could be repaired by the supplies lying around. The fighters got restocked, and this Rush continued to wipe out the Lizards and their hissing Eroses and Serpent Class ships until they were completely wiped out a few turns later (helped by the Borg who where on the other side of the Lizards).
Meanwhile on the other side of my empire…..
One of the worlds in the south, the destination of my HYPing Falcons was attacked by the Robots, and I decided I would try to kill them as early as I could. I also saw some Empire Probes in that area, and I asked the Empire to help attack the Robot together, which led to a game-long alliance. I started to RGA all planets I could reach and we both moved the warships to attack. This attack led to some small misunderstandings, as I was not able to supply as many Rushes as I promised, which led to some more destroyed Empire ships than was planned (I am sorry Patrick). After some turn the Robot HW was the only one still intact. Eventually it was captured. From this point on the Empire and I had the whole “north-east” cluster to expand, which we did.
Back to the west front….
Now that the Lizards were history I started going after the Borg, a few more ships were send his way, and after a long time chasing FCCs around, with the occaional wait until they left the warp well ( my tactic, if he is hiding in the warpwell, have a ship on the planets trying to intercept it at warp 9 and if he flys away he will be intercepted, and he does not know if it is still there waiting for him, works only if you have the ships at disposal…). The Borg were wide spread and it took very long to get all worlds. During this campaign it met the Crystals, and we decided to a non agression pact, at least until the Borg were finished. This pact stayed intact until the final battle started, but more about that later…
While going after the Borg the former mentioned Rush “Welcome Committee” accidenly stumbeled into a web mine field, and was captured, and I allowed the Crystals to keep it, as I had no ships or bases in that area to retake it.
During this time the Privateers got nearly killed by the Colonies (?) (I assume this as I saw some grav ships in the hands of the Colonies), and the Birds got very strong. The mistake the Birds made (In my opinion) was that he attacked to many races at the same time. He did really hurt my expansion southwards, and killed some ships and lots of planets, but as the Empire, Fed, Crystal (?), Colonies (?) and me started attacking him, and laying minefields all over the place life got very difficult for him. One maneuvre that still is fresh in my mind, is a SSD that I stupidly unloaded of fuel to give back to my ally, and that was captured by the Birds. He then started doing the cloaker/SSD maneuvre. I like to think that my transfer of minerals to the SSD made it to heavy to be towed far enough to be save from my interceptors (but to be true I do not know, but I captured it back after 2 lost bases…) As my economy was really booming at that time the losses did not really bother me, except I was shut of in the middle of the map (southwards).
After the ship-limit hit my priority was to build as many starbases as possible and have build (if possible all tech 10 Rushes) queued in all of them.
As I had the most planets by that time, it really was “just “ a logistics thing, to get colonists (lot of ‘em) to all good planets, and then distribute them accordingly, build bases, some Merlins and then Rushes….
Back to main plot…
My Alliance now consisted of the Empire the Fed (who were allied to the Fascists). The “other” Alliance was Crystal and Colonies. The Bird were on their own, and the other race were dead.
The earlier mention non-agression pact with the Crystals was cancelled and we all prepared for a final battle ( for the record it was about turn 120, and everybody was having lots of bases and build queued, tons of minerals and so on…
The alliance of Crystal and Colonies, had a few strong points, with their web mine covers and the capability to sweep all counter mines easily, but at first we did some (small) progress, until the “bad guys” started attacking in points were only a few Rushes were stationed.
This is where my turns started to get very long, I had to manage 150+bases, 170+planets and about 100 ships to coordinate, and now I had to start learning for my exams, damn!!!!
So this is why I asked if we should continue this game, and the majority agreed to end it. I guess it could have gone on for a long time without a lot of progress (either way).
Finally I like to point to a things I think are neccesary to be succesful in such a long game:
* Build a strong economy (lot of colonists on all major worlds (easy with falcons))
* Have a reliable ally
* If you have to fight, do it with all ships/ressources you can spare
And at last I like to thank Pick for hosting this game, and all players for playing (and allowing me to study now ;) )