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Galactic Civilizations:

 1 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 1:06:06 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
Anyone on this fine forum a Galactic Civilizations player? And if so, got any cool stories, memorable triumphs, or awesome failures?

I've been playing vanilla II a lot lately, and I managed to actually stumble into one of the best moves I've managed in a long time.

OK, so here's the scene. I'm at one end of a Gigantic map, playing a homemade empire. The Drengin have had no chance to expand beyond their first few systems and I'm in the middle of culturally subverting them. The Drath are cornered by the Thalans and similarly limited. A random event throws me into war with the Terrans, who are quite a long way away and who are located right next to the Yor. All-out war doesn't suit my playstyle, so I took a look at the relative military strengths and thought "hey, it'd be nice if someone else was doing this for me".

The nice thing about the Yor is that they're so refreshingly open on the subject of being paid to kill other people. One quick transaction, one lightning raid on a starbase, and the Terrans cheerfully accepted an offer of peace. What I wasn't expecting was that this would be the opening shot of the Yor Collective vs Everyone Else, especially when the Korx - the only real friends the Yor had - went down before my cultural subverters.

Over the next few years, the Yor were attacked by the Thalans, the Terrans, the Torians, the Arceans (who they managed to take down), the Altarians, and even the Paulos, a minor race. At least five times, a race made peace with the Yor, only to declare war the very next turn. Naturally, I had very good relations with the Yor because I was the only one who was not only not trying to kill them, but willing to throw them a fistful of cash whenever they came begging for help. And of course, when they eventually surrendered I was the main beneficiary.

Yes. I managed to produce this much chaos without actually planning anything beyond "hey, I don't want the Terrans to start destroying my stuff".

So. Anyone got a cool story of their own?
 2 Balmung, Thu, 13th Sep '12 1:09:00 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
Not off the top of my head. I'd play it again, but I'm on other things right now and installing Windows games in Linux is a pain in the ass.

edited 13th Sep '12 1:09:10 PM by Balmung

 3 Meta Skipper, Thu, 13th Sep '12 2:13:25 PM from right behind you.... Relationship Status: Hugging my pillow
Your argument is invalid
Got it recently, gonna play soon.
Artificial Inteligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

HvsME
 4 Evi I Paladin, Thu, 13th Sep '12 2:22:24 PM from Burlington, ON Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Some Guy Or Something
I love Gal Civ, although I haven't had a chance to play it recently. Creativity is the best thing ever; grabbing me so many huge projects really quick.

edited 13th Sep '12 2:22:34 PM by EviIPaladin

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" -Enlong

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" -Enlong again.
 5 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 2:33:57 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
[up] I tend to avoid Creativity, personally. It's because I know it's very powerful, and my economy has enough trouble keeping up with early game upgrades as it is.
 6 Tacitus, Thu, 13th Sep '12 3:10:56 PM from now and then and maybe Relationship Status: Crazy Cat Lady
I'm currently in the end stages(?) of an Altarian game, second-largest map type. Turned off capitulations to see how different the game is (answer: very).

I started out in a cluster along the map's edge, next to the Thalan's corner, with shallow gulfs separating me from the Torians and Iconians. The latter two have been very good neighbors, the Thalans less so - first they're asking for protection money, then they're colonizing my systems. It usually takes me some time to build any sort of military, so the Drengin decided to declare war very early in the game... but we were too far apart for our ships to reach each other, while my Iconian and Torian neighbors were all too happy to jump to my defense and do all the fighting.

So for most of the game I was just sitting quietly in my dozen-world empire, researching and being hippies. The Drengin and Korx and Yor were whittled down by the good guys, leaving the Terrans and Drath as the major powers, powers that aren't afraid to pick off the Arceans and try to extort "peacekeeping donations" from me. My most "aggressive" move was to colonize some extreme worlds in the Thalan home sector and build culture starbases, eventually taking their core worlds by insurrection.

But an hour or so of playtime ago, I got a mega-event: the Torians poked a precursor artifact, and suddenly every uninhabitable planet in a 2-parsec radius turned into a beautiful quality 15 world. And hey, everyone else is busy building fleets to smash the Drengin. And it just so happens my ships are the fastest in the galaxy. And most of my worlds can pop out a Colony Ship in two turns.

So my empire has quadrupled in size over the past year, after I snatched up a bunch of thickly-clustered new planets in the galactic core, including some in the Torian and Drengin home systems. I'm abruptly interposing myself in the major battlezone, and now that the last of the new worlds have been settled, things my get a little tense.

Good thing I'm fielding 250/0/0 76/75/75 battleships these days.

edited 13th Sep '12 3:12:18 PM by Tacitus

Current earworm: "Eclipse of the Moon"
 7 Evi I Paladin, Thu, 13th Sep '12 3:11:30 PM from Burlington, ON Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Some Guy Or Something
[up][up]The thing is I'm really bad at the game. I've done a few rouds without Creativity but I get crushed technologically quickly, due to me not really running after weapons straight out the gate.

To my credit, I don't abuse Diplomacy though, so I'm not a total gamebreaker abuser.

edited 13th Sep '12 3:13:01 PM by EviIPaladin

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" -Enlong

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" -Enlong again.
 8 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 3:29:48 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
[up][up] Nice.

Personally, I don't usually run battleships with "a bit of everything" defences. I tend to go for heavy specialised protection, because that way if I come up against a pair of 150 raw damage missile-death doom-engines (it's more common than you'd think), only two ships in three get one-shotted, rather than all of them taking 75 damage in one hit and going down in flames.

I may modify that policy in my current game, though. I've grabbed a surprising number of military resources, mainly by culture-blasting the Korx into oblivion and grabbing any unoccupied resources while everyone else was looking the other way, meaning that each of my ships is running 150-200% hotter militarily than they appear on the blueprints.

edited 13th Sep '12 3:31:01 PM by CountDorku

 9 Balmung, Thu, 13th Sep '12 3:40:59 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
How many times have you guys had an AI surrender to you? I've only had it happen once with the AI surrendering to other AIs out of pure spite every single other time.
 10 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 3:47:06 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
[up] Twice, maybe three times. Usually they seem to prefer surrendering to hostile AI's than to the human player.
 11 Balmung, Thu, 13th Sep '12 3:57:15 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
I think that next time it happens, I'll just keep on rolling through. What's that? Surrender to my ally/enemy? Not my friend anymore/whatevs, this war just got a bit simpler.

This, of course, relies on the fact that I don't go to war until I have a huge technological and manufacturing advantage such that I can steamroll any opposition.

edited 13th Sep '12 3:58:59 PM by Balmung

 12 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 3:58:46 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
Don't bother breaking off the friendship, just culture-bomb them into oblivion.

Really, I don't know why cultural subversion isn't Go-To Tactic #1 for everyone. It's so inexpensive compared to getting lots of your ships blown up.

edited 13th Sep '12 3:59:26 PM by CountDorku

 13 Balmung, Thu, 13th Sep '12 4:00:15 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
Screw that. The entire point is to punish the worlds that got out of the way of my conquest/annihilation.

Also, I don't think you understand how big of a technological advantage I aim for.

edited 13th Sep '12 4:01:02 PM by Balmung

 14 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 4:02:53 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
I punish them by conquering them culturally, then taxing them at 80% for the rest of their existences.
 15 Night, Thu, 13th Sep '12 4:05:07 PM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
It helps immensely if they're your friends. Or they hate the other guy's guts. I've had it happen five or six times, primarily after I worked out a strategy that didn't go "no standing military until attacked" because everyone and their dog picks on you and gets murderer and hates you forever and ever amen.

Granted the game's inability to account for wartime production was a fascinating and ridiculous aspect.
"Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other...and rise."
 16 Balmung, Thu, 13th Sep '12 4:06:02 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
I don't think there's per planet tax rates.

I dislike cultural subversion because I don't get the kind of control of when a planet joins that I'd like. I often want to turn down planets because I don't feel like spending the resources to improve them at that time, whereas when I go to war, my economy can usually absorb a few extra planets pretty easily.
 17 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 4:19:28 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
[up] Oh, I tax everyone at 80%. Subjugated planets just haven't got used to it yet.

Also, you can just turn off Automatic Upgrades in the options menu, then build new things at your leisure.

Although I find the economy is always at its strongest during times of peace. No idea why; probably something to do with trade.
 18 Balmung, Thu, 13th Sep '12 4:22:47 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
I do run them manually. The fact of the matter is that when I want a planet, cultural subversion always seems to slow, and when I don't want it, it tends to get me planets I don't want or can't eat the administrative costs for.

The economy size has more to do with what it's ready to handle, and there is an intermediate period of course.

I normally try to keep taxes at the most I can take and maintain a 100% Adoration Rating.

edited 13th Sep '12 4:23:41 PM by Balmung

 19 Count Dorku, Thu, 13th Sep '12 4:27:59 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
[up] So do I, but I've found that by building a couple of "breadbasket" planets that exist solely to churn out money, I can basically run ahead of the economic catastrophe curve indefinitely.
 20 Tacitus, Thu, 13th Sep '12 10:29:23 PM from now and then and maybe Relationship Status: Crazy Cat Lady
So the AI watches me enjoy a year of peace and unparalleled prosperity and expansion, and sees me sign alliances with the much-reduced Torians, Thalans and Iconians, and it says "That'sss a very nice international sssituation you have there. Ssshame if anything were to happen to it..." And then Thalan Gavrilo Princip goes and blows up Alan Bradley, and the new Terran president declares war on the Thalans, and suddenly I'm committed to a conflict with my largest rival with exactly six warships anywhere near the battlezone.

The good news is that each of those warships is so obscenely well-armed and -armored that God hides behind His couch when they fly past His house. They can probably take out entire Terran fleets on their own. Which is good, because that's what they're going to have to do until I muster reinforcements.

On the upside, this means that the enormous Thalan and Torian fleets will finally stop loitering around their systems that defected to my side. Which include Toria and the Thalans' second capital. Man, that never gets old.
Current earworm: "Eclipse of the Moon"
 21 Count Dorku, Fri, 14th Sep '12 1:29:28 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
Yeah, there's no feeling more hilarious than watching the enemy's government run all over the sector because wherever they set up shop there's suddenly an influence starbase hanging over it and the revolution is looking less and less bloodless every day.
 22 Tacitus, Fri, 14th Sep '12 1:56:55 PM from now and then and maybe Relationship Status: Crazy Cat Lady
You said you're still playing on vanilla? You might want to upgrade to at least Dark Avatar, it introduces the Krynn who are all about cultural conversion. Twilight of the Arnor makes them even better at it with unique techs and structures. I'll probably be giving them a shot in my next game, since I seem to be favoring their tactics anyway.
Current earworm: "Eclipse of the Moon"
 23 Count Dorku, Fri, 14th Sep '12 2:23:45 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
[up] I've got Dark Avatar, I just haven't really done much with it. Not sure why.
 24 Balmung, Fri, 14th Sep '12 2:30:31 PM from Omaha, Nebraska Relationship Status: GAR for Archer
Cosmic Star Troper
I actually make influence starbases and give them to other races just to try to influence when (or if) things flip. If I'm looking to absorb a few planets in one place, I might not want to eat the administrative costs of that class 4 rock my neighbours colonized near my turf that I can't even turn a decent profit on at this time, while at the same time acknowledging that at some future point I can make it profitable with better technology than I have now. Or to make it harder for myself. You know, whichever.
 25 Count Dorku, Fri, 14th Sep '12 2:32:26 PM from Sharn, the City of Towers Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Under the light of the sun I shall slay giants
I generally build Class 4 rocks, whenever I have to take one, with two economic buildings and a morale one. While they're certainly not hugely profitable in the early stages, once you ride that part out they become mildly useful.
Total posts: 78
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