Alright, so here it is. Some things are fuzzy since it's been a while with so much going on. Just have to rely on the notes.
The first factory on Hestia II is complete. It was built on the site of a precursor mine, allowing for amazing output (+700%). The Innovation Complex was then built on Hestia on a site rich with precursor artifacts, allowing increased research output and boosting our influence (+300% res).
We also received a freighter from the Terrans this month, which we expect to provide a modest boost to our economy.
Impulse Drive->Sensors II->Sensors III. Our own freighters will make good time with improved engines. Now we've decided to pursue the bonuses available through advanced sensors technology, which will also allow us to improved the Explorators for more efficient exploration.
Sensors III->Sensors IV. Nano Recorders ordered to be built upon Alenil Forge.
Our dealings with the Torians have paid off well this month. We claimed 3 aquatic worlds in our sphere of influence. Acelloria I (PQ8->9), which housed a precursor workshop that we chose to utilize sparingly. The planets also had a number of other significant advantages - +300% man, +300% res, +100% farming and approval.
Also colonized was the second planet in the Acelloria system (PQ12->14), which had no noteworthy features. Acelloria I was designated a laboratory planet, while Acelloria II was slated for market use.
Sollis I came under our control as well (PQ 7->8, +300% & +100% farm, + 100% influence). Survey teams found an abandoned weapons plant once used to manufacture an illegal type of weapon. We wouldn't make use of banned technology, but reconfigured the plant for our own purposes.
Very tempting, but we're at least trying to keep ourselves firmly in the middle of the road.
We received another Terran freighter and completed a freighter of our own. The new freighter was upgraded with the newest engines and sent off to bolster our growing trade with the Terrans.
Finally, we encountered the Drath Legion. No significant dealings as of yet.
We're rated quite low in the galaxy. We're well positioned to develop strongly, but our weak military artificially deflates our true prowess. Our low standing in the galaxy fuelled a close senate election, with my Federalists claiming only 54 seats despite approval ratings in the low 70% range.
Other reports have our economy ranked #3 in the galaxy. We're still expanding and are confident that we can become #1. A challenge to this is that the Terrans have built an economic capital. We have yet to designate a planet as such.
We added another aquatic world to the Expedition, this one on the eastern edge of our domain, near the barren planet Cygni. Holmes I (PQ14->16, no bonuses). We located a scientist who had split off from the Cygni group, but left her to her own affairs.
Sensors IV-> Beam Weapon Theory. We've ordered construction of a massive sensor complex on Hestia Forge. Dubbed the Eyes of the Galaxy, it will aid our ships greatly. We then moved to improve our military by researching the beam weapons that our agents reported the Drengin using. To further enhance our ships, we traded the Snathi the appropriate protocols to establish a Republic in exchange for Enhanced Deflectors, Fleet Warp Bubbles III, and 95bc.
Our engineers designed the Exporator 2 class of ships to utilize the latest Impulse Drive and Sensors MkIII. The new ships go faster and see farther. Our existing fleet of 3 Explorators was ordered upgraded. One of our newly upgraded Explorators found a prize orbiting a rare purple star.
A PQ29 world! With some skilled tending our colonists should see a PQ34 planet! Mamba III would make an ideal technological capital, and Mamba II is PQ14. The PQ12 radioactive world orbiting Tacitus is a bonus if we get around to it. All efforts go to claiming Mamba II and III.
Another Explorator found 2 barren worlds NE of Terran space.
Another barren world was found NE of these two, making an attractive base to explore and colonize the galactic NW.
Hestia Forge began building colony ships in preparation to claim the Mamba worlds. Another Impulse Freighter was launched and sent to the Altarian home world. The Terrans built a manufacturing capital, and our Nano Recorders were completed.
Finally, we had enough money to spend on espionage efforts. Our first agent was sent to gather information on the warlike Drengin.
Our agents brought back a good deal of interesting information this month. First, it seems the Altarians are researching Extreme Colonization technologies. We'll have to be careful that they don't steal our prize from us. The Dominion of Korx built an Orbital Command Center, and the Thalans built an economic capital. We sent another agent to gather information on the Drengin and have a Low level of knowledge on them. We were also able to establish contact with the Thalans.
We were finally able to upgrade our research mining base, and should be able to upgrade all of our mining bases in the future. Cheli Forge was fully developed and switched to military production. To increase our manufacturing might, we traded the Drath Legion Alliances for their Xeno Industrial Theory and 81bc. None too soon, either. The Yor Collective came calling and demanded that we relinquish Alenil Forge to their control. We suspect they fear our potential and want to deprive us of a critical manufacturing world. We refused their demand without discussion and ended communications. Relations with the Yor will be cool for a while, but we feel they aren't currently a threat to us.
We toss the Star Faring Tax right back at the Altarians and manage to strike it down! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Eleys!
Foreign relations were interesting this month.
First, the Torians declared war on the Dominion of Korx. Then we contacted the Dominion. Then the Yor Collective came back and demanded Ares - as if! Then the Torians declared war on the Yor. Guess we won't worry too much about the toasters for the time being. By the time they get themselves out from their war with the Torians, we'll be ready for them. As a first measure, we begin work to fortify our starbases against raiders. A minimum of offensive capability should be enough to prevent small ships from inflicting heavy losses on us.
We decided to make the most of our contact with the Thalans and worked out a trade with them. Our Space Weapons, Interstellar Warfare, Alliances, and Interstellar Republic for their Planetary Adaptation, Remedial Engineering, Xeno Anthropology, and 227bc. Their technologies provided us a significant boost (+25% morale, +5% research, and +20% influence overall.)
Despite turbulent times, the galactic populous is out and about. We'll put the extra revenues to good use.
We established trade with the Altarians. We also send a colony ship from out easternmost colony Cygni I to claim an aquatic world in the Otho system. It's encroaching on Altarian space, but things are rough all over.
Our Explorators brought in meteorites that provided bonuses of +1% in defense and weapons. They also made a fascinating find.
A microscopic civilization that we have named the Micronians. We decide that the potential gain doesn't justify defiling their remains and leave them in peace.
We established a trade route to Earth, noting an economic mining base nearby. The Eyes of the Universe were completed on Hestia and work continued on additional factories.
An Explorator found documents of an ancient society and its foreign relations. Studying them brought us a +1% diplomatic bonus.
We colonized Otho IV and found yet another reclusive scientist.
I guess it has something to do with the whole "slavery" issue. Why is it that scientists can be so dumb? We're going to set an example with this one and put him to work in the Otho labs. Show him the real meaning of slavery . . .
With a +100% research tile and overall 18% bonus, I guess Otho is now a lab planet.
We received a freighter from the Drengin Empire. They have interesting exports, to say the least, but as long as the credits flow we'll allow them limited access to our markets. We send out a freighter of our own to the Altarians to make some money and hopefully ease tensions between our governments.
Our agents now have a High level of access to the Drengin government and Low level contacts inside the Yor collective.
Beam Weapon Theory->Lasers I -> Advanced Colonization. We need to develop the Toxic Atmosphere Reductor ASAP.
The Phoenix Mk3. We spent very little time considering the design and rushed right into production to form at least a minimal defensive fleet.
We purchased a Space Miner to take advantage of the 4 asteroid fields immediately adjacent to Cygni I.
The Dominion of Korx built a manufacturing capital.
Altarians built Orbital Command Center and Dominion built economic capital.
Our first starbase received Battlestations Mk I this month.
Our agents gained a Medium level of access to the Yor Collective.
Advanced Colonization->Toxic Atmostphere Reductor (finished early on creativity)->Advanced Hulls. Bigger ships=more prestige in galaxy.
Claimed Mamba III for the Expedition! (PQ29->34)
What is it with all these idyllic preindustiral aliens? Well, someone will need to build the labs on our future technological capital. If the bleeding hearts want to cry about slavery they can spend some time in the Drengin Empire. You wouldn't believe half of what goes on there . . .
Bought recruitment center on Mamba III.
The GEF Expedition has been racing the Altarian survey ship for prizes and finally beat them to one. Seems we'll get a +1% diplomatic bonus.
The Altarians decide to inform us that they're researching Toxic Atmosphere Reductor. Good for them. It's too late for them to claim Mamba III, but there are many other toxic worlds in our mutual spheres of influence. We must do everything to claim them before the Altarians. A quick check shows us that the Altarians also have Radioactive World Colonization. Looks like another race for planets has begun. We begin to send out a swarm of colony ships to claim the formerly uninhabitable planets. We claim Mamba II (PQ14->16, no bonuses) right away.
Advanced Hulls->Xeno Farm Construction->Soill Enhancement. Larger populations mean more tax income, and higher PQ planets means more research and production. All critical to our advancement. The Gaian economy maintains only a very slight surplus (10-40bc usually). We need to expand our economic prowess through technology and market utilization if we are to continue expanding. A Terran Freighter established another trade route, which helps, and we raised the taxes from 45->50% (approval 93->88%). Very good, for now.
We encountered the Scotlingas.
A major development took place this month. A United Planets technological forum was convened with the keynote being extreme environment colonization. It was basically a huge technology exchange with a focus on providing all the races equal access to the remaining uncolonized planets in the galaxy. The Expedition took the lead, trading technologies with a number of civilizations and gifting colonization technology to almost all of them. A summary of exchanges:
Dominion of Korx: Traded Alliances for Advanced Trade and 179bc. Gifted Toxic Atmosphere Reductor.
Drengin Empire: Traded Advance Colonization, Planetary Improvements, Laser I, Interstellar Republic, and Xeno Economics for Unconventional Warfare, Xeno Slavery (we're already taking heat for slavery, may as well get the benefit!), Arena of Agony, and 67bc. Gifted them Barren World Colonization and Toxic Atmosphere Reductor.
Yor Collective: Gifted Advanced Colonization and Toxic Atmosphere Reductor.
Thalan Empire: Gifted Barren World Colonization and Toxic Atmosphere Reductor.
Altarian Resistance: Traded Interstellar Republic and Beam Weapon Theory for Radioactive World Colonization, Starship Defenses, and 142bc.
Torian Confederation: Gifted Barren World Colonization and Toxic Atmosphere Reductor.
Drath Legion: Traded Advanced Colonization for Fusion Power Plant and 355bc. Gifted Barren and Toxic world colonization.
Terran Alliance: Traded Advanced Colonization for Advanced Diplomacy and 106bc. Gifted Barren and Toxic world colonization.
Everyone left satisfied and galactic relations got a boost as the Gaian Expediton was viewed as a great benefactor to all.
Out of character: So, here's the deal. First, I wanted to do some big trades. It was just that time. Second, I could see a bad thing starting to happen. I was starting a big-time colony rush with the Altarians, but nobody else was participating. I really didn't think it would be any fun to just spam colony ships and claim half the galaxy while the other civs just spun their wheels. I gave everyone a chance to get some more planets and make the game a little more interesting, and tried to help out some races, like the Drengin, who are pretty hopelessly behind with only their 2 planets. I realize now that frequent extreme planets is a little much. The AI doesn't really handle it too well, in that some AI will go nuts and grab them all and others won't grab any until it's too late. Common is a much better setting, I think, and that's what I'm using in my other game that I play while waiting to post here. Besides, the technology forum was just a fun idea and I enjoyed the relations boost I got from some civs for gifting the techs. This covers 4.5 pages of the 6 pages I had but I'll stop here for now and let you digest while I play a little more and prepare for another post.
Oh yeah, and of course here's the galactic map:
You'll notice a pretty big change when I post the next map. There's a colony rush on!