Part 1 - The Beginning: Flirting with Economic Meltdown
This race was created with one overall goal in mind: Expand, expand, and expand some more. So my first turn is spent toward those aims. Since I'm using the Altarian tech tree, my first priority is to beat any true Altarians that might be on the map to getting the Social Matrix galactic achievement, so that's the first thing I set on my homeworld to build.
Toying with the idea of buying the social matrix outright, I decide against it and instead purchase a colony ship outright. This may hurt my home planet's population somewhat, but given their 50% total population growth bonus, I don't think it's going to matter much in the long run. It will give me the ability to colonize 2 planets early, as well, capitalizing on my race's strength of population growth over all else.
Taking advantage of my 'naturally joyous' people, I raise the tax rate to 49% and set production to 100%, and to further get an early technological edge over the computer opponents, I set research to 40% and split the other 60% between social and military production. At this point, I'm making a profit per turn of 16bc. Knowing my empire is going to quickly be on the fast track to economic meltdown, I throw my first research at Planetary Improvements, with the plan to head down the Economic and Morale research paths as soon as possible. It has a long research time (41 weeks), but if I'm lucky I'll have a Creative event happen to cut that time down significantly.
I landed on the edge of a star cluster, with a smaller cluster to the south and the main cluster of star clusters to the north. It will be necessary to absorb my star cluster as soon as possible to make sure nobody else gets a foothold in it. I'll also have to see if the smaller cluster to the south is occupied. If it is, that just makes it even more necessary to get a foothold in it quickly and weaken whoever's already there.
I set my space miner to automated, send the scout ship toward the nearest star in my cluster, and send my first colony ship (after landing to fill up the rest of its hold with colonists) in its wake. Nothing really left to do, so I end my turn here.
Current approval: 61%. Treasury: 1654bc
Not much to report here, I had my bought colony ship come off the assembly line and sent it toward another nearby star.
Nothing happened. The colony and scout ships are en route.
The scout ship got a good look at the Thuban star system. A class 10 and a class 11 planet waiting to be colonized, and I point my closest colony ship toward the class 11. There are a couple of anomolies nearby, which my scout ship snatches up before heading off to scout the next star.
My colony ship arrives and colonizes Thuban V. This turned out to have a nice +100% manufacturing tile, which I immediately put to use. The scout ship arrived at the next star, Migor. Migor I turned out to be a habitable class 14, but the class 11 Migor II is, disappointingly, a barren planet. I diverted my remaining colony ship from its path to colonize Migor I.
On its way through the Spica system headed toward Migor I, the colony ship spotted Spica II, which turned out to be class 17. It was immediately colonized. It will still be some dozen turns before the next colony ship comes off the production line, but I'm in no hurry; Migor I isn't going anywhere soon. My home planet finished its social matrix on this turn, allaying any worries I had about not being able to finish it before the Altarians.
My colony ship came off the production line, 5 turns earlier than expected. It seems my home planet finished its first factory on the 100% tile, and that just about halved the time until the next ship was finished. I sent it off after Migor I
Planetary Improvements finished researching. My next research will be Xeno Economics. I'm not in any economic danger right now, but I'm already taking a loss per turn of 20bc, with the newly colonized Migor I. My next colony ship has come off the assembly line, and I steered it toward the Class 11 Spica III
At this point, I think to myself that stopping the production of new colony ships would perhaps be in my best interests, to avoid economic meltdown. Then I laugh at myself and call myself a wuss for even entertaining the thought of slowing down my colonization. Let the space bunnies spread and grow!
Current approval: 66%. Treasury: 1654bc
My scout ship spots another class 17 planet, Altros V. It's a little ways away, but I divert my most recent colony ship away from its path toward Spica III to go colonize it instead. Another ship off the line can get Spica III.
Another ship has since come off the line, and colonized Spica III. It turned out to have natives, which I resettled (neutral) not wanting the population penalty. What the planet lacks in PQ, it turned out to more than make up for in specials, having a 300% manufacturing, a 100% and a 300% research, a 100% Influence, and a 100% Food production bonus tile. NICE.
I'm taking a per-turn loss of 46bc now, and I haven't even begun to slow down building colony ships. In fact, I've started to speed up, they're coming off the line faster.
Current Approval: 69%. Treasury: 1386bc
Finally finished researching Xeno Economics. I set the Adv. Market Center to build next in all of my colonies. That part of my mind that's screaming at me that I need to do something about the impending economic crash is somewhat mollified by this. Next: Temples.
Me: Er, why are we researching a propulsion upgrade?
Me: So I can make faster colony ships.
Me: Why do we want faster colony ships? We're already having an economic crisis from how fast we're colonizing.
Me: It is NOT an economic crisis.
Me: We're losing 39bc per turn now, even after all our colonies built their adv. market centers.
Me: We're down to less than 1000 in our treasury!
Me: So do something about this!
Me: Ok, fine. We'll raise taxes some more.
Me: Wait, what? No! That's not going to solve the problem!
Current Approval: 51%. Treasury: 855bc. Net Income: -8bc
Me: See! It didn't fix the problem!
Me: Oh, pipe down, will ya? It was enough for now.
Me: What? What happened?
Me: We're STILL colonizing!
Me: Of course. We don't want to slow down our expansion.
Me: We're going into economic meltdown!
Me: No we're not.
Me: We're in denial.
Me: No we're not.
Me: We HAVE to fix this! We're losing...
Current Approval: 51%. Treasury: 776bc. Net Income: 14bc
Me: See? We're doing fine. Don't worry so much.
Me: Oh, grow up.
Ok, so how did this happen? A combination of factors, really. I've been building Temples in place of the entertainment network on all my planets, and some of my less populated planets have started to reach a high enough population that their higher morale started to count more heavily against my home planet's overcrowding morale. A second temple at my home planet also offset this, so I was able to tax my people more heavily. That made the difference between losing income per turn and gaining income per turn, and I'm happy enough as long as the current approval rating is 51% or higher.
With the economy well in hand, the next few dozen turns will be more of the same, colonizing and expanding at an unwise pace.