Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade is almost here. The biggest, most complex space 4X ever.
Every game is different. This is my story. Your story will be different.
PART I: We are far away from Earth
There is no Earth here.
Earth is thousands of light years away.
The heroic Jenna Casey has settled a planet on the planet of Haven.
The last ship of the fleet, The Bounty, looks desperately for supplies.
The remainder of the once mighty fleet has been converted to a make-shift colony capital to provide the basis of industry for what they hope will become the Terran Resistance.
Where are we?
Space is big and Jenna's crew had reached beyond the Keyhole nebula. There was no telling who they would meet out here.
The surface of Haven was impressive. Placing the remaining computer core next to what appeared to be Arnor spice would greatly increase the research output of the science team.
Jenna had mixed feelings about the use of the strange narcotic that enhances intellect. But there didn't seem to be any ill effects from it. To the south there was a hive of Techapods. She had seen creatures similar to this on Isbin IV. More intelligent than horses and vastly stronger, they would be instrumental to quickly growing the colony.
Just outside Haven's solar system, near Nebula N-014 were the jettisoned cargo pods. Over the next week, the crew of the Bounty would collect what was within it.
But the crew knew they were running against the clock. Much of the equipment they had required advanced technology and thus required resources that were simply not going to be found on the planet. It was vital they find key resources.
Specifically they needed:
- Thulium. This hyper-dense material was only found near stars.
- Promethion. From failed stars, Promethion can only be found in tiny amounts but is critical for research.
- Elerium. A vital resource needed for beam energy applications.
- Anti-matter. Hopefully not needed but an important component for powerful weaponry.
And...of course, other planets.
The original fleet, including transports, had over 10 million people on it. Each planet would provide new resources.
The Pirzon Holdfast
On the third month, the Bounty entered a new area of space which became known as the Holdfast. This star incubator had created numerous resources. Haven would need to quickly begin mining this in order to bring its equipment fully back online.
The first debate
The priority for the Holdfast was clear. The question was, who would lead this effort. After much debate, it was decided that Ashley Towne would lead the effort. Her experience in manufacturing logistics would help get Haven industry up to speed.
The choice was well-made. Within a year, the Holdfast was being thoroughly mined.
Ashley's Shop and Ashley's View mined a slew of resources that would be critical to the ensuring that the Terran Resistance survived out here.
Ashley's Shop gained the attention of a species known as "The Krynn".
A devout species, they spoke to the crew of Ashley's Shop. They were unhappy with the the starbase parked near their homeworld. After some discussion, no agreement could be reached. We needed the resources, they wanted us to go away.
Back on Haven, Dominic Riley proposed a trade mission to their home world in the hopes that this might improve relations. However, Ashley Towne strongly urged we colonize the planet Kindar II which was located near Ashley's View.
However, colonizing a planet would be an immense effort. To that end a space elevator was constructed to help bring supplies and colonists to orbit quickly.
In record time Ashley got the Space Elevator up and running and soon the Colony ship left with 2,500 passengers.
As one of the colonist put it, Kindar III is fine. Not great. But fine. What it did have was a Thulium deposit.
With "Ashley's project" done, Dominic pressed for the trade mission to the Krynn.
He got his way.
When he returned, he was shaken.
The Krynn viewed us as a plague. A plague to be cleansed!
Realizing that the Terran Resistance was nearly defenseless, there was a great deal of bickering over whether to focus more on diplomatic efforts or to begin arming for war.
By the time Dominic had returned to Haven, the crew of The Bounty had made contact with 4 other species. Of those 4, two liked us and two were indifferent.
Against her better judgment, Jenna decided to provide a monthly tithe to the Krynn in the hope for better relations.
In the meantime, Jenna determined to begin a military build up.
This resulted in the creation of the TRS Deterrent.
Equipped with two of the scavenged stellar rocket packs and the newly manufactgured, anti-matter warhead Sparrow missile, the Deterrent was the first of the new Ranger class ships. At 233 meters long, she was a force to be reckoned with.
The Ithica Project
The chief diplomat of Colonel Casey's task force was the ironically named, Jessica War. She believed that we must be very strategic in picking and choosing our friends in this unknown area of the galaxy.
To that end, the miserable, uncolonized planet dubbed "Ithica" was chosen as a place to set up an embassy. Located on one of the outer planets of the Slynn's home system, the idea was to build a strong relationship with the Slyne.
However, this plan had a significant drawback. First of all, the planet, like mentioned, was awful. Second, the solar system was very commercialized already by the Slyne causing many of the colonists to simply want to leave the planet entirely and let the Slyne have it.
Jessica War knew only drastic action would save the planet and traveled the considerable distance between Haven and Ithica.
Would she get there before it was too late?
Upon arrival on the frozen world, Jesse set up an embassy and soon spirits began to rise.
Within two months, Ithica had carved out a small area of its own. Now, it was time to make good on the effort to make the Slynne an ally.
In short order, a treaty of friendship was established.
As Dominic had predicted, the Krynn intended to exterminate humanity like a plague. Unlike the Krynn, this area of space was not the home of mankind and thus operated at a substantial disadvantage.
That friendship with the Slyne was about to be tested.
The Slyne were not as advanced as the Terran Resistance (none of them were). But a sharing of valuable technology would open the way to get some badly needed ships, even if they were...unpleasant to serve on.
It also helped that the Slyne were already at war with the Krynn.
The Krynn strike force that they called "The Purging" headed straight towards Haven. The purchased Slyne ships were far away. However, the Krynn's weaponry was still relatively primitive
The TRS Deterrent would be tested in battle.
The Krynn's flag ship, The Chaste, was faster, more maneuverable but only equipped with 3 primitive laser cannons.
However, unlike the Deterrent, it wasn't alone.
In the end, the Deterrent and here 305 crew lost the battle. But not without giving a bloody nose to the Krynn.
Meanwhile, Jenna's lead Engineer, Argos Cue had designed a new, more powerful ship called the Expedition.
The Expedition would be the most powerful ship in the sector. However, it was immensely expensive.
And the Krynn's Purge now orbited Kindar III. The planet was completely defenseless.
There was, however...and option...
Remember planet Ithica?
...Ithica has Precursor Nanites on it.
Argos explained that with those Nanites, he could create a brain-AI interface that would vastly increase the speed in which the ship was constructed.
However...There was a tradeoff. The procedure was lethal.
There were now half a million people living on Kindar III.
Before Jenna could object, Argos injected himself with the Nanites.
The next morning, the Expedition class ship was finished and so was Argos.
The ship was named the TRS Argos in his honor.
It made short work of The Purge (so short they died before I could get a screenshot!)
Argos and her sister ship, War (named in honor of the diplomat Jessica War whose efforts resulted on the delivery of Precursor Nanites -- she was not amused at having the ship named simply "War") ripped through the less advanced Krynn ships. While the Krynn had upgraded to Particle beams, the Argos and War had Disruptors and shields.
PART 2: Man/Krynn wars
140 weeks have passed and the war with the Krynn continues. The Slyne friendship has paid dividends. Our combined forces have brought the Krynn down low.
The TRS Argos and TRS War have returned to Haven for repairs.
Colonel Jenna Casey's government is well diversified.
On paper, the Krynn were still more powerful than the TR. However, most of this power came from their much larger population. They were, by comparison, a primitive people.
After much debate, it was decided the time had come to raise 5 legions of soldiers to invade Krynn territory.
The massive transport was dubbed "The Dominic" in honor of Dominic Riley who had first tried to build a peaceful relationship with the Krynn three years prior.
Put in charge of the ground forces was General Tillis who had settled on the continent of Mu on Haven.
The question was, where should the attack go?
Agent Capspian was the agent assigned to gather intelligence on the Krynn.
The most logical place was Scorpio III. It was located near a major Altarian mining base which could cause some problem with the Altarians.
The intelligence report on the planet indicated that it was dedicated to farming with two large cities.
With only a single garrison for the planet, the invasion was a swift success.
The easy victory made the military anxious to take the war to the inner Krynn worlds.
But even as the fleet approached the heart of Krynn space, it became clear that the Krynn were sending in reinforcements to their worlds. The battle would be fierce...
The Krynn homeworld looked like an angry nest [Partly because of the AI update that intelligently fortifies planets that have generals on them].
Despite having a lot of defenses, it would not be enough.
The Krynn were just too primitive to fight off the Argos, War, and Dominic. It was starting to look like the Xendar war all over again.
Because the Dominic transport was re-usable, the 201st legion could be quickly sent from planet to planet.
With Krynn occupied, the remaining Krynn forces quickly reinforced Krynn Beta. But even their massive fleet was no match. (though awesome to watch them try).
Just watching their dance made the TR battle analysts wonder, where did they go so wrong. The answer really was that the Krynn just couldn't penetrate the defenses of the TR. They just didn't have the technology. [and defense modules were OP..]
Surrender and aftermath
Facing destruction at the hands of the Slyne and the Terran Resistance, the Krynn surrendered. This put several billion civilians and the entire Krynn military under our control.
There was a great deal of concern over what to do next. The Terran resistance itself had only around 10 million humans in it. The Krynn brought in several billion into to the fold along with their disturbing extremist ideology.
In the near term, their people would not be allowed to become galactic citizens or immigrate to Haven. But this was only a temporary solution.
Plus, with so many new planets and shipyards to deal with the existing government was overwhelmed.
To cope with this sudden onslaught of new planets and shipyards, it was decided to open them up to the private sector to use.
Many different proposals were put forward. In short order, several different private ventures were approved that would leave the Shipyards busy for many months while the government focused on organizing itself with a much bigger space.
The TR navy suddenly found itself with a nearly equally large fleet of hopelessly outdated Krynn vessels.
Was it worth upgrading them?
Ultimately, it was decided they would handle local patrolling in their own space.
The Torians & Altarians
While the fleet was busy cleaning up various pirate forces that had cropped up from the destruction of various governments in the sector, the Torians and Altarians had no use for us.
This wasn't helped by the alliance we established with the Irridium corporation who the Torians considered little more than pirates themselves.
The pirate clean up allowed for the Krynn and TR forces to learn to work together.
After 230 weeks in this sector, the Terran Resistance had become a major power.
The government had evolved from focusing on individual planets in the early days to growing a galactic government dealing with many planets.
Nearly 3 out of 4 inhabitants were pleased but that was not distributed equally.
The Iridium Corporation was the most powerful civilization in the sector thanks mostly to its vast trading empire. This suited us fine since they were our allies.
Argos would remain the only fallen Citizen whose sacrifice saved the lives of millions.
With the Irridium corporation as our ally, there was little chance anything could stop us.
PART 3: Victory or Death
The Altarians and the Yor wanted us dead. But everyone else was good with us.
The question, 230 weeks [and 7 real world hours] into the sector, was what was the end game for the Terran Resistance?
The Slyme could probably be brought into the fold. The Onyx as well.
And while we were reaffirming friendships, Jenna called on the leader of the Iridium Corporation.
For the moment, the TR was at peace even as the rest of the powers were at war.
The shipyards were opened to private ventures who sent out their own missions (which we took our piece of when they succeeded).
The Onyx and Slyne were both at war with the Yor. The debate over whether to intervene was lengthy but ultimately, the Yor was slowly losing. Why should human (or Krynn) lives be spent needlessly?
On the other hand, 6,565 credits?
The Argos would return to war. Now a Level 8 ship, it had nearly twice as many HP as a newly built ship and was, easily, the most powerful ship in the sector.
But the war would turn out to be bloodless. The TR's entry into the war prompted the Yor to surrender to the Slyne.
Despite having 3 diplomats assigned to the Slyne, relations were not yet sufficient to become allies. Ironically, they held us going to war against the Yor against them [which makes my AI coding tingle a little, I think I'll revisit that].
In the meantime, Ambassador Mentz recommended that we spend time to upgrade our starbases, especially our influence ones (naturally) to have a stronger position in the sector.
The massive starbases were upgraded to give the TR a full view of the sector while. He also reported that there was no way the Slyne would every ally with us but there might be another way.
The Slynne were too powerful to fight head on. But they might be able to be conquered through the TR's more alluring culture.
Our story returns to Ithica.
The miserable planet of Ithica. Home to our old friend Jessie War.
Now at Level 6, she had made the planet the most popular destination for those seeking prestige in the sector.
So popular had Ithica become that even the Slyne homeworld was in its thrall despite having build its own cultural starbase on its doorstep.
This had happened because not only had Jesse arrived just in time to save it from becoming part of the Slyne dominion, but she had constructed the TR's Embassy there along with 3 cultural centers.
To assimilate the Slyne Jesse suggested bringing the Eiggen sisters to the planet.
Thus, while the Slyne were destroying the Altarians, the Slyne people were increasingly becoming enamored with the Terran Resistance.
But cultural conquest wasn't the only option the the table. A group of scientists approached with an alternate plan: Let's build an asension gate!
As crazy as that sounds, it was quite doable. While normally it would take many years to research this, they believed that with the right...ingredients, they could see beyond the normal limits of research. By this stage, the TR had amassed 127 promethion.
Jessie Leesh agreed to use the Arnor Spice and 20 Promethion to construct a device that would allow her to see the solution to the current research project.
In her brief moment of near infinite understanding, she saw the solution to Integrated Research. Later that year, she retired to write a book on her experience.
Promethion was difficult to come by. Arnorian Spice was exceptionally rare and in fact, the spice existed on only one planet: Haven [yea, seriously, talk about a sweet start!].
Unlike Argos who died, Jessie did not:
However, she was retired which meant that instead of producing 33% research per turn she only produced 2% [yea, we actually didn't want to simply have promotions "kill" everyone so we created a "retired" state where they're still alive but not quite as useful and can't be promoted or recalled].
Jealous of the powers given to the scientists, Jessie War argued that Diplomats should have an award path as well [hint hint...fine. we'll talk more about that soon].
24 turns? No. I don't think so.
The race was on. Ascension gates vs. Diplomatic victory vs. Cultural victory.
The Spy Service didn't care which path would result in TR dominance of the sector. But they did believe they could cripple the cultural output of Slyne Omega...quietly.
As close as we appeared to be to reaching a technological victory, that tech was still beyond our grasp. We were still in the age of ascension. We needed 8 more technologies (any technologies) to cross the threshold.
Moreover, we had run short on Promethion. We would need...to trade.
Haven had become a scientist retirement community. And while we had reached near the end of the technology tree, we weren't...quite...there.
All the technologies at this stage were costing 20 weeks to research (mostly due to the TR's greatly reduces research capacity due to all the retirements). If there was only some way to get a bunch of technologies.
That's when Jenna Casey remembered: She was the chair of the United Planets!
At the next meeting she proposed that there be a sharing of technology! The vote was unanimous. They were no just one technology away.
And there it was! We were as aroused as Harondin was.
Normally this would take 100 weeks to get. But we had a considerably supply of Kwisatz Haderachs!
And just like that...
Next up: The race is on!
[[to be continued..]]