for Cluster Discovery 30 at RCWorld Universe
I had joined Cluster Discovery 30 at RCWorld for two reasons: I had grown fond of the Birds and their sneakyness in a game at Navgap and secondly, I had had a quarrel with "Jim Theguy" in the alt.games.vga-planets newsgroup, who had picked the Borg in that game.
As always, I used no other tools then Winplan and Tanascius, so this is all from my memory.
Addons in use were Starbase+ and Race+ and the winner should be the race with the hightest score at turn 80.
The game used the standard map and I started on planet #2, which is roughly in the middle in east-west direction and about 300 lys above the southern edge of the map.
Very early on (around turn 6 or 7) there were explosions in the middle of the map, with the Fascists blowing up Colony ships, which where soon after followed by Kitties/Novas and Golems/Automas, around 700 lys west of my HW.
Also in the first turns there was a visiting Empire Probe.
At that time I had just discovered a few artic planets with good natives and contacted them Tholians with an ingame message, asking for an Onyx.
His answer was in a way that suggested that an Onyx is by far the best ship in the known universe and should net him at least a mark8 Resolute. He signed the ingame message with his name and it rang a bell.
A short check showed him to be the Crystal from Lost Tribes II.
So I sent him this E-Mail:
hiho, still remember me? i was the obnoxious fed player in lost tribes of the echo cluster II at the lair.
i didnt like your attitude then and i still dislike it. you probably want 3 mark 8 darkwings and resolutes for a puny onxy, dont you?
so, if you want to keep your crystalline heads on your crystalline shoulders, better stay far away from anywhere near me.
Ah Mathias.....That is not a way to work on a ship deal..shame shame shame....That game is in the past, I am now playing my primary race...I think it is you that should probably tread lightly.
I replied to him that he should be the one treading lightly, this was his response:
HAHAHAHAHAHA, Big talk this early in the game....
Too bad that he flew a Ruby of his in the sensor range of a Swifty of mine a few turns after that...
I had also contacted the Fed player, asking for an alliance that would lead to me building huge numbers of darkwing hulls for him to refit, but he never responded positively.
Around turn 15, the Empire player dropped out, with one swifty already sensor sweeping his planets and two Resolutes and one Darkwing on their way.
So, my basic strategy for the midgame was more or less the following:
- Help the Robots to keep the Fed in check (a Resolute was just nearing the first robotic minefields).
- Make a borderline with the Fascists, help them where I can versus the Borg.
- Take the empire HW and settle the whole territory to the east.
- A NAP with the Borg until turn 45.
- Take out the Crystals.
A few turns before the Shiplimit hit (which was quite late) I captured a Empire Probe and decided to clone it as many times as possible. Since I taxed my natives to the verge of rioting, I had quite a lot of money leftover, which I donated to a good cause: The Bots got 10 000mc to slow down the Fed approach and the Fascists got 19 000 mc to use in their fight versus the Borg (they had killed the Colonies quite quickly, capturing two cobols and even a Virgo).
I destroyed the Empire HW at the cost of two Resolutes and surrendered a "HHH" Super Star Carrier I found nearby a few turns later. Two large deeps and quite a few good planets completed the Empire booty. Since those planets were really far off from my own HW, I traded a Swifty of mine and some (pretty useless) information about the Fascists to the Borg for 2600 clans (i.e. a super deep of mine that he filled up).
Friendly talking with the Fascists and sheer logic (if he didn't think a warp5 Cobol was worth cloning, why not give it to me?) reaped me a Cobol, which was moved into the direction of Crystal territory, where the first Resolute was stuck in webs. A second Resolute and the first
Darkwing to arrive could not prevent its complete draining, but the turn after it ran dry, two Darkwings made it through a few years of webs to the stranded Resolute and promtly destroyed the Diamond Flame that had come to get it.
Right at the borderline to the Crystals I had three fat fuel planets, which eased the task of supplying about a dozend Darkwings (most had mark8 and all had at least heavy blasters) and handfull of Resolutes quite a bit.
A good 20 turns of hitting webs, sweeping in warpwells and towing ships from orbit to their death later, I had split his empire apart and was just in the last web before his HW.
A few turns earlier two unlucky Privateer ships had hit webs and two more had arrived in orbit of planets of mine. I was at my friendliest, negotiated a borderline (which was pretty favourable for the Privs, considering that I had done all the work in dimishing the Crystals) and even refuelled his ships for free.
I had brought a Darkwing to the Robot HW and with the smallest bit of cooperation, the Bots could have saved their HW from Fed forces, but instead he just ignored my E-Mails, skipped a few turns and dropped out shortly after.
At this time of the game, there were three huge ion storms drifting around, one in the Lizard/Borg/Fascist area, one covering what the Fed had gained from the Bots and one which had formed in my territory. The latter one moved north, thus right towards the Crystals.
I had negotiated 20 more turns of peace with the Borg, until I had finished the Crystals off and could more clearly assert the threat that came from the Feds.
My economy was in excellent shape, thanks to my Probes, a generous amount of Bovinoids throughout my whole empire and a fleet of medium deeps supplying every base within three turns of my hw with tech 10 components for Darkwings. I had also seized control of the queue and built shitloads of Swifties with transwarps and good beams. At some time I had even surpassed the Borgs in bases and things promised the become interesting in the endgame.
And by god, I got a lot more than I had hoped for:
Suddenly, several Fed fleets with together 40-50 ships (a mix of Kitties, Thors, Missouris and a few Novas) popped up, the Privs attacked me and of course I had to attack the Borgs myself in the east, to keep him occupied and from building too many bases.
The whole battleground with the Fed and Privs was covered by an ion storm, which was pretty good for me, since the Privs were absolute helpless in that and I blew up MBR after MBR with cloaked Darkwings set to pe Privs.
I drew back my whole fleet of Darkwings and gave the FCs of my minefields to the Crystals. The Darkwings were all resupplied with torps, supplies and fuel and some 15 of them waited in orbit of my best base, while the Resolutes were spying on the Fed battlegroups or moving into place for some nice overlapping minefields. At turn 63 a group of about 20 Fed ships had assembled and I trusted the feeling in my gut that they would move this very turn. I laid some 200 mark8 with a Resolute and the Base and all the Darkwings intercepted different
Fed ships. I really would have liked to see the Fed player's face, when he got his rst. He had lost a few ships in my minefields, his Nova had hit two mines and I blew his whole fleet up, without losing a single ship. I even captured myself a Kitty and a Loki, which were fuelless.
With special emphasis on this tactic (i.e. using cloaked intercept at its fullest) i will soon write a Romulan guide and post it here. [=at alt.games.vga-planets (Cornrelius)]
The Fed moved in another 15 ships, which I destroyed with the same means. In the West in the area below the former Robot HW I delayed another big Fed fleet with my Resolute and my Darkwing and two carriers I had surrendered from the Robots. Maxed out starbases there also cost him heavily in ships and finally brought him to an acceptance of the status quo there around turn 70.
In the east the Borg flung some four cubes at me, not daring to bring in any Fireclouds. I let him gain some ground until I had enough darkwings to kill all the cubes and retook all the planets he had taken. I also took a few of his planets, but both of us seemed content with killing other races and I had accepted pretty early in the game that he would win, especially with the long time it took to get the shiplimit filled.
In the very last turn I lost my first two Darkwings to the Feds, since the ion storm there increased its level and took my shields down. In the whole game, I had lost 9 Darkwings (2 to the Fed at turn 80, 6 to Borg cubes in order to destroy them and one in turn 79 to a Borg cube when I tried to take out a planet) and 2 Automas (due to the fact that I didnt get any supplies or fighters from the Bots) and some smaller vessels, but had managed to sink 12161 kts (with ships that is, my bases took out a lot more Fed ships).
At turn 80 I had 102 planets, 77 bases and 207 ships.
I just viewed the movie for the game and it seems that I had somewhat false memories about the ion storms - there was only one big one, that affected the fed frontier, the priv frontier and the crystal area all on its own.
Game details and movie at RCWorld page