19 or 20. The days in my diary bled into each other a little.
Anyway, a hearty congratulations/you're welcome/I'll see you in hell to Khryses. And a sincere apology to liquorish. This was definitely an interesting game.
19 or 20. The days in my diary bled into each other a little.
Anyway, a hearty congratulations/you're welcome/I'll see you in hell to Khryses. And a sincere apology to liquorish. This was definitely an interesting game.
Yes, in that spirit my sincere apologies to anyone who feels I may have stabbed, betrayed or otherwise screwed them over somewhat. It is that kind of game, but that doesn't mean I enjoy that side of it.
And with a 12-player match it winds up more chaotic than most...
That actually ended quite anticlimactically. I got up in the morning and saw that the game was over!
Well I may as well get the ball rolling:
Oak, I'd love to see your daily diary - if you're willing, want to send me a copy or should we find somewhere to post our impressions?
Either way as the only one who stuck to 'daily', seems like yours should be the first to go in, so we can use it for a scaffolding for our serried notes...
I wrote something on set up; when compared to the way actual events turned out it reads like the deluded ravings of an utter madman. The next entry never actually got written, but could be summed up as "Rakysh got crushed".
So. I am in the green trunks, and Iíve spent early points on science (Is this a good idea? I donít know) and focused on the economy. To my north is target #1, The Traveller. This is for three main reasons. One, he didnít agree with my proposed boundary, and two, I later found out his proposal for the boundary gave him a very tasty planet, which I am now heading for, and three, heís the weakest player on the board so far. To the south is Mechimp, who I have allowed a passageway out of his block off; he will probably be the second to be crushed. Finally among my neighbours is Endelnurk, in yellow, who has been gracious so far in allowing me planets as well as apparently willing to provide military support. Iím also involved in a three way tech alliance with Wolfenswan in dark red and I think Legatus in the white, which is ok because they are months away. Long term strategy is make an early dash against TheTraveller and then play it cool and take his planets, then consolidate until someone else looks weak; maybe pink, I think. Long term psychological strategy is to appear like a foolish mewling babe, emphasise how little I know about the game, and hope I get underestimated. This is probably unlikely, seeing as the bar of my understanding is already set so low on the conga set up of gaming that a slightly squashed bumblebee would have difficulty forcing his way underneath.
2nd target :P
Everyone underestimates Pink!
Lessons I learnt and put into practice:
-Talk to EVERYone. I think I spoke to all but Vectron and Rakysh in the first day, and that was largely a matter of time than anything else.
-Use the spatial terrain - since I was lucky enough to start between two spacewalls and a chokepoint, while I did technically have other powers on all four sides I had a fairly large sphere of influence, which I promptly glomped.
-Don't lie to anyone - it's all very well to have new names, but if you're ever hoping to play with your friends again, they have to be able to trust your word. The letter of your word.
-Don't commit to a decisive war if a small war will do. When I attacked Rond (and Liquorish), in both cases it was more or less as a decoy. I seized a small bundle of fairly valuable stars and then 'let' my allies (yes, having allies is fairly important here too) expand past my territory and 'cut me off' from the wealth.
-Don't attack anyone who will come back to bite you. Over the course of the game I fought Mechimp (accidentally, sort of), Rond, EndelNurk, Legatus (sort of), Liquorish, Oak, Wolfenswan and Mechimp (less accidentally this time). With the sole exception of the 'agreed' skirmishes with Mechimp and Legatus early on, I tried to make sure there wasn't anyone left to carry a grudge.
-Don't commit to a decisive war unless you know all your neighbours are fighting elsewhere. When I attacked EndelNurk I knew that Oak and Legatus were fighting Rond (so he was busy) and Mechimp was killing Rakysh - so noone was in a position to invade me in turn. In counterpoint... poor Liquorish who in a fit of sleep debt attacked DaN and I simultaneously while the galaxy was at 'peace' and triggered a five-front war.
-Speed kills. There's nothing more irritating than a large fleet ricocheting around your home systems - with enough speed you can bring it to battle on your own terms. And stop said fleet from penetrating to your industrial heartland.
-Money buys everything else - so buy money first.
Most of that's pretty obvious in hindsight - and the rest is highly debatable - but it wound up being the philosophy I used.
Good philosophy/plan of attack khryses, but now everyone knows your plans... But I'd have to agree.
My recipe of success was my starting position, nothing more really!
Here it is. Lightly edited for readability, but there was only so much I could do. Anyway:
ROCK, PAPER, SPACESHIP
A Record of the Neapolitan Wars
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So, I'm not in the best of positions. Plum in the middle of the galaxy, as it happens. The center of a hexagon of other players. A hexagon of intrigue, no doubt.
Khryses reaches out for advice, Wolfenswan tells me that Vectron and Liquorish are already planning against me, and Liquorish tells me that Vectron wants him to plan against Wolfenswan. Wolfenswan wants Liquorish gone first, while Liquorish wants Vectron gone first. Wolfenswan seems on the up and up, though I don't think Liquorish will try anything until I attack Vectron. Liquenswantron. Liquorish wants a tech trade agreement, which means he's either NOT attacking me, as Wolfenswan suggested he wanted to, or he's...living recklessly? I don't know.
I send welcome messages to Rond, EndelNurk, and The Traveler. I do not get responses.
I'm fairly certain that Vectron is Alex Bakke, whom I've played with previously and who admitted after our last game to plotting against me in secret. I will remember to trust him even less than everyone else, in the event that he even tries to talk to me before attacking.
Expanding healthily, but the free stars are running out already.
DaN contacts me about ganging up on Liquorish. I've decided at this point to side with Liquorish if it comes to blows; Wolfenswan seems nice, but Liquorish got the ball rolling on a tech deal and that's what counts.
Share pleasantries with Vectron/Alex Bakke. We negotiate borders, and he's taking a lot. He brings up our previous alliance and later asks for speed tech. Boy howdy, do I ever not trust him. Hoping Rond, who still hasn't responded (nor has The Traveler) will trouble him soon. Nor have I heard from anyone on the farther reaches of the galaxy. I'll meet them if I survive the coming week.
Khryses is very open about everything. I trust him, but I'm also stupid. He could be a good ally if I need one, especially since he's far enough away.
Wolfenswan says he wrote Rond, and that we wants an "honest war". Me too! However...
Khryses has a significant lead at 25 stars. He's also on the level. That or an excellent con artist. I'm a bad judge of character, but the information is flowing freely back and forth and with none of the usual moustache twirls.
Rond proposes that Wolfenswan and I join him in attacking Bakke. I think we can pull it off, but it'll inevitably lead to a new fight over territory so I'm going to try to get Rond attacked while it happens. 30+ fleet on its way to collect more. Bakke, later on, mentions being attacked by Rond, and I promise to help. Is he really being attacked by Rond? Dunno, Rond didn't say so. Does this provide a good excuse to have a massive fleet on a border planet? You bet!
The Traveler accidentally lands on a planet right after me. We fight, I keep it, he doesn't respond afterwards. That's two one-way messages.
Liquorish asked about my dealings with Rond last night. Liquorish asked about my dealings with Rond this morning. A fellow could get the impression that Liquorish has an interest in my dealings with Rond. Rond doesn't trust me, wants Liq to stab me in the back, I don't know.
Gathering fleet to head to Sheraton, border with Bakke.
Ask Khryses to attack Rond. Complies.
Liquorish in scuffle with Traveler. Nobody seems to like that guy.
Wolf asks about plans, calls me trustworthy. Suspicious?
Mechimp wants a tech deal. I give him the runaround, but mostly because I can get scan from Khryses.
The ploy worked: Bakke bought my story and sent me scan tech on the promise of speed when I got the money to send it. I had the money, Alex. I had the money. A big honking fleet took his border star Izar with little resistance, and my membership in the war became official. I'm hoping (as is Khryses) that this and EndelNurk's attacks will wear Rond down enough to be taken out, I'm hoping to not have to do much of the work myself, and I'm hoping that whatever lie I eventually cook up will convince Wolfenswan that Rond was the bad guy all along. In the meantime, I'm letting everyone else plan. The less I have to contribute, the better.
The Traveler, ostensibly weary of being early-game target practice, announced in chat that he was being attacked, and by whom.
Khryses and I continued our long chat. I think I have yet to lie to him.
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Wolf and I are heading north to kick Bakke's corpse around while Rond heads south to fend off his growing number of attackers.
Killing Rond has become the hot new thing amongst the other players, and I flatter myself in thinking I had something to do with that. A quick email letting my new pal Legatus know that times were rough in the north and no one would stop him from taking free stars turned into a tech deal and him sending fleets into Rond's territory. EndelNurk and, bless his heart, Khryses are doing a number on him as well. In fact, Wolfenswan asked me to see if I could get EndelNurk to lay off him. Not likely, my friend. My only regrets are that I can't think of how to attack Rond myself without setting off any alarms, and that I can't somehow revive Bakke so that he can kill the now-vulnerable Rond for me and then meet his own, second end at the hands of my gigantic eastern acquaintances. Rereading that, there doesn't seem to be as much method to my machinations as I'd previously thought.
Khryses and Wolf both gave me some unsolicited information about my western neighbors. According to Khryses, Dan and Liquorish are now partnered. According to Wolf, Dan and Liquorish both have sizeable fleets on the border he shares with them. They don't appear to be sharing tech, but they've both been silent for a while and I'm stupid enough to suspect anything. Further in his email, Wolf mentioned growing bored of the game. I genuinely hate to see people turn AI, but it'd free me from obligations to Rond and almost certainly keep the aforementioned duo busy while I think of a way to defend against a hypothetical attack.
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Very quiet day. No plotting, no gossip. Just waiting for my fleet to arrive on Alfirk for the killing blow against Bakke.
Ate a whole bag of sour cream & onion chips. What's wrong with me?
Bakke launched his remaining fleet from his home base right before Wolf took it. If his last star is taken before it lands, it might die in the air.
Wolf said, without naming a source, that Khryses sent Bakke the speed tech to outrun Wolf's fleet. Realistically, this is the casual, almost prosaic double-dealing that gives the game its spark. Yet I'd be unhappy to find out it's true, even if it was done without malice, since Khryses is something of an in-game confidante. I won't bring it up.
I convinced Wolf that securing Rond's remaining stars was in our interest. Rond would understand. Wolf's doing the legwork. Following that, some mildly tense border negotiations with Legatus.
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Khryses admitted to sending the tech, without prompting. Might be a good sign. Whatever.
War, Endel, Liq conspiring, etc.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: What this entry should have done was explain that EndelNurk asked Liq and I for help against a surprise attack by Khryses. I lied and said I'd help, but Liq was serious and interested in countering any of Khryses' imperial ambitions. It was in my interest that he stayed out of Khryses's way.]
EndelNurk is basically dead. Khryses and, presumably, Mechimp cleaned up what was left of him. I sent a massive fleet to take one of his tiny stars, understandably but inadvertantly rousing suspicion from Khryses. Further proof that I am no strategic genius: I brought a tank to a fistfight.
Small talk with Liquorish continued. He's serious about attacking Khryses.
Liq seems to have launched a proper attack on Khryses. He'll expect me to join soon. I need to think of a way out of that.
I ended the day by sending a couple of letters off: one to mechimp, imploring him not to trust Liq and using Dan's recent capture of a nearby (to mechimp) star as proof of a future allied attack, and one to Wolfenswan, telling him that Legatus built industry up along our freshly-minted border. Legatus is being phenomenally suspicious. Giving his carriers names like Tyrant and Conquest does nothing to help his case.
Is the Great War starting now? Part of me hopes so: I do love the opportunity to be dramatic.
War were declared.
Liquorish has attacked Dan, Mechimp has attacked Liquorish, Khryses is helping, and Wolf & I are on our way. Then there's Legatus. Legatus emailed to say he's concerned about my fleet build-up on our border, and thinks Khryses will attack him tomorrow. I promised to help.
Khryses is hitting Liq's thin eastern border. Dan is in bad shape already. Wolf hasn't told me what he's doing, exactly, but I saw his fleet a-flying in a westerly direction.
Dan managed to take Mizar, one of Liq's stars near our NW border, but Liq is about to hit it with a big fleet and almost certainly move on into my territory. I think I underestimated him. Yeah, I underestimated him.
Ah, the friction of war. Due to a little miscommunication, I got the idea that Wolfenswan would be helping in the fight against Liq. No, no, nothing so silly as that. He meant he expected me to join him and Legatus in attacking Khryses. Won't think of attacking Liq, of course. Why didn't I expect that they were buddy-buddy? Maybe I did. I'm losing track of the possible conspiracies that have run through my mind.
A day having passed, and even in light of this knee-slapper of a mistake, this whole thing doesn't seem to be the disaster that the paranoiac corners of my lizard-brain anticipated it would. Liq, certainly not dead, *is* ailing, and - surprisingly - has yet to counterattack. I've captured seven of his stars. Wolf agreed to attack Dan, which...doesn't help at all, but at least he's still with me in spirit. Shame I might be forced to kill him soon.
He mentioned wanting an honest war at the start, and I wonder if his objection to the war on Liq is an ethical one. Perhaps he promised he'd never attack him. That'd be awfully noble. I'm still willing to kill him, mind you.
War going very well. Liq on the ropes. Write more later.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Did not write more later.]
I said I love the opportunity to be dramatic. I must be careful what I wish for.
I left for work this morning with my and mechimp's fleets surrounding Liquorish's last redoubt, ready to strike a killing blow. I came home from work this afternoon to find that Khryses had launched an all-out attack on me. 3 stars down, more fleets - bigger fleets - on the way. Honestly, it was really clever. He caught me with my fleets in all the wrong places, and in the war with Liq I'd allowed him to create a border that spanned a whole side of my empire. It's perfect: I'm going to die, and quickly. It's funny, I'd never actually been betrayed before. I'd lost a few games, been attacked indiscriminately, been attacked by openly hostile players, but never been stabbed in the back by an ally. Done it to others, though, so I don't think I'm really allowed to feel bad. But I do.
Anyway, fighting back still won out against pleading and nonviolent resistance. Three new carriers were hastily assembled, christened, and scrambled to evacuate stars in his crosshairs. If I'm to survive for longer than a smoke break I'll need to protect Sabik, my home star, against this initial flood. I pledged allegiance to Wolf, sending him (and Leg) tech, and offering him Sasin as a forward base.
At the end of the day, Legatus began attacking me too. Vulture.
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I guess I deserve this. I'm not the good guy.
Dying quickly. Mechimp is taking the stars I took from Liq, Legatus is moving through my eastern border, Khryses is doing whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Single-ship garrisons don't make much of a dent in him. I wonder if begging for mercy would have helped. He's unstoppable.
$80 income. This'll be my last big payday. I send $100 to Wolf.
13 stars to 2 stars in a day. Sabik gone. I'm homeless. It's amazing how little effort it seems to be taking him.
Alfirk taken. 0 stars. $24. Vulture.
EndelNurk points out in chat that the galaxy looks like Neapolitan ice cream now.
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I died for a good cause.
Re: Day 10, I wasn't asking for help, I knew I was already dead. I was inviting you two to take the western part of my empire so that Khryses would not be left too powerful after killing me.
Glad I could donate a name to the war, even if I contributed little else.
That was a brilliant diary Oak, but I must say that me and liq were only in cahoots in that we didn't attack each other, apart from that we wern't in any kind of alliance sharing anything really. Although that's part of the fun as well! Being paranoid about other people is great, and I must say I did like the attacks in liq after he started attacking me, made me feel a little better, so up for the next one.
I wasn't grumbling :(
Wow excellent commentary! However I object to being called a vulture, although I can see how it appeared that way from where you were sitting. Khryses and I had been planning for quite a while to attack you, but he launched the attack earlier than I expected and I wasn't in position. That's why it appeared that I showed up late to the fight, but more on that later. :)
Maybe vulture was a little harsh, but your joining in dashed what already meager hope I had of hanging on to a couple of northern stars in Wolf's vicinity.
So could people who actually want to play again, take the list with two names and add theirs in a reply here so we have a firmer idea of numbers?
Man, I'd almost be up for the next game if this wasn't a really, really bad time. Ya'll have fun, though.
Good diary, Oak. I don't remember my last (only) game being anywhere near that interesting.
No apology needed Oak, I screwed myself over. Having not slept for three days for reasons not related to the game, I ended up sending an attack towards Khryses with no intention of following it up, since I was attacking DaN. No politicking, no preperation, just a single measly fleet.
After that blunder my fate was sealed.
I'll just dump my diary in another post, might add pictures later on.
Here is my diary. It get's a bit sparse later on, account of not sleeping and gaining apathy, but hopefully it'll be interesting to someone.
The game started a few hours ago. have been having interesting conversation with the australian. we're both researching speed now, so no initial tech trades, but we might work something out later on. (Khryses)
Sent a message to bakke, but i suppose he's not awake yet. he seemed rather fervent in his politicking, so it might be an idea to turn people against him. Hopefully I'll be able to get at least weapons tech off of him.
Nothing new to report. Khryses seems to be very willing to share information with me, which is indicative of quite a useful mindset. I should keep him around until much later on. I think he'll be a much better ally than bakke would be.
Nothing new happening. A little bit more contact with the australian. People are posting in the forum thread now. Must maintain an air of silliness. I have named all of fleets after lost cosmonauts.
DaN responded to my message Re: him being hemmed in by me. It appears he's going to be totally passive, and basically screw himself! This is excellent. Once I'm in a position of power, I should be able to sieze his core stars without much resistance.
Bakke wants to invade wolfenswan, and has already threatened him. I'm working on turning everyone else against him, so he wilts alone and without allies.
Apparently wolfenswan won't tech trade with bakke, but he has agreed to invade oak together with him. Should be interesting to see how this turns out.
Around half of the players still haven't taken any new stars, which is strange/reassuring. Maybe simply being better at the game will give me an edge.
My positioning is still kind of awkward, but it doesn't seem like DaN is up to much, and oak very passive. I'll just have to wait and see how things go.
I invested in science earlier, and plan on investing in economy as this production cycle draws to a close. Not sure what I'll do after that. There doesn't seem to be much chance of war just yet, so I might put off industry further still.
Almost a new production cycle. Going to go out for a smoke first. Some people are barely siezing any stars - the traveler is still at 4.
30 minutes until payday. I need to stay awake. My borders are becoming much more defined. I should be able to take mirzam before wolfenswan, especially as keid seems like a much more logical place for him to put his ships. Mesarthim is definitely mine, but i think I'll stop southwest expansion there, unless DaN turns out to be even more passive than I thought. Scheat is mine too, but that trinity of stars is weird overall. If I'm luck I'll get Albiero too. Although, the traveler still hasn't taken any stars. I might be able to get that entire consetellation.
I seem to have managed to turn at least Khryses against Bakke. This is good. Wolfenswan should already be against him, since he says that Bakke threatened him, but he might already be playing mindgames. Oak was also 'warned' of Bakke, and seems to have taken the message to heart. We are tech trading in a bit.
The detail screen says that traveler has won a game, but he still hasn't done anything. Odd.
I have now sent messages to every single other player. I won't have much to do with most of them, but it's good to know what's up.
If I do grab the entire constellation near the traveler, and build up enough industry there, it'll be a nice power base, since it should protect my entire south eastern flank.
Oh dear, I overslept. I'm sending a fleet to ALbiero, Hopefully it doesn't tourn out to be too unwise. I'd say something about fortune favouring the bold, but fortune tends to favour those that know what they're doing.
Oak has the next level in weapons and I sent him speed, hopefully when he's around I'll get those weapons.
Fuck fuck fuck. The traveler has taken at least one star, meaning he's probably got a ship headed for the ALbireo-Dschubba-Scheat constellation. Hopefully it'll be Dschubba, but still, this is really unfortunate. Five total fleets, headed to five different locations unless he's strange.
I need those weapons before I accidentally make contact with the traveler.
Welp, the fleet Ivan Kachur is now headed to Albireo. Hopefully this will work out, despite being stupidly ballsy.
SHIT. The Traveler has Dschubba. Fuck fuck fuck. I can't pull my ship heading for Albiero back, either.
Five hours and I'll know how screwed I am.
Sent a message to him, asking him to not send ships to Albiero or Scheat. Hopefully it gets through.
This is so incredibly inconvenient.
I'm speaking with Khryses a lot, although we don't seem to have agreed to anything solid yet.
Talking with bakke on mumble. He wants to set up a deal with him, rakysh and I, with me teching speed, bakke teching weapons, and rakysh doing range/scanning. Not sure what I think of this. I'm going to wait it out a bit more, and hopefully get weapons from Oak.
Received weapons from Oak. Khryses is research range, which doesn't really help me immediately, so I think I'll also keep trading with Oak for weapons.
One my fleets (Ivan Kachur) is going to crash into The Traveler's at Albireo. He has taken Dschubba and built an industry and science on it. I am sending Pyotr Dolgov with eight ships to take Dschubba, initiating a minor border skirmish that should be over without too many losses on either side. I need to set up heavy industry in the area, the check that's coming in 12 hours should help. I'll actually be able to take Dschubba before payday too, so that's a bit more than ten space dollars just wasted for him, and ten space dollars for me. Also, a free point of industry in an important location.
I plan on resolving this conflict quickly, suing for peace as soon as the constellation is mine, and before he arrives with reenforcements.
I have taken Dschubba from The Traveler, and one of my fleets was detroyed fighting ALbireo. I am going to send a fleet of five ships from Dschubba to Albireo, since if he techs up he an take out 4 ships in one go. This leaves Dschubba momentarily without defenses, but in less than twelve hours a ship will spawn there.
Oak sends word that DaN is plotting against me, which is reasonable.
I've sent a message to The Traveler asking for peace, hopefully he won't try and take the stars back.
DaN has taken Furud, but I don't think he's ready to do anything to me yet.
1 day 9 hours until the next speed upgrade. Not sure what I'm doing after that. Oak also switched to range, god knows why. Maybe nobody else actually wants to attack people. I'm contemplating switching to weapons, but I fear I might already have invested too much into speed.
Best not. Hopefully I'll have no fighting any time soon anyway, after I've taken Albiero.
I need to invest more into science, but it's expensive, so I think I'll be better of waiting another 24 hours and instead investing in more industry around my borders, and economy with what's left over.
Got my money, spent half of it on industry around my borders, the other half being saved for economy or something unforeseen. Oak is letting me take Mizar and is being generall reasonable.
Khryses is getting way too many stars. Hopefully his neighbours will do something about him. Heh. He still only has 13 economy and 7 industry. How absurd.
The Traveler says that I'm too close to his home star and that he can't let those stars go. He doesn't seem to be a very rational player.
I might have to hold off on building science further still while I deal with this.
The good thing is that he doesn't seem to be that good at politics, so there's a chance he won't get the next weapons upgrade any time soon, which would make defending the constellation much much easier.
I'm sending Aleksei Ledovsky on its way with 31 ships, but it'll take a while before it reaches the border area.
Apparently both Rakysh and Oak have had problems with The Traveler. Hopefully nobody on the other side of the map realizes that supporting him would be a detriment to everyone around him.
Rakysh has agreed to trade scanning for speed, which will be marginally useful. MOstly I just don't want him getting deals from anyone else.
We are also sharing information on The Traveler, talking about invading him from both sides. This could be very good, and put both Rakysh and I in a position of power.
If I am lucky, I'll even be able to snag Phad, The Traveler's home star.
Excellent, Oak agreed to let me have Zuben-el-Akrab.
Things are very quiet, nothing new to report.
I am just about to take Zuben-el-Akrab. Will be able to add a bunch of economy.