In which I play Realms Beyond Orion Imperium 28

Chapter 3: Pax Homo, in which the Human Starr Empyre rains Peace Love and Understanding down from Starshyps Disguysed Craftily as Fearsom War-boats


Good, I needed the new armor.

Now that events are on, I was preparing for the RNG to unleash its pent-up rage on me any moment now, and so it does:

So war with the shifters it is. Everybody hates them already, the only downside is that they are difficult to spy upon. Also this turn, the frustrated two-planet empire bears call me up to break their NAP. Good luck, Smokey.

A look at Darlok tech:

The Darloks have range 8, but the only worlds in that range are Helos (which has 29 missile bases, although is in a nebula), and possibly Collassa (14 missile bases and Class V Planetary Shields.) The only thing the Darlok are likely to do to me is sabotage the hell out of me and frame me. Although they can admittedly do that, they'd do the latter anyway, war or no war.

A spy report came in on the Psilon as well:

Oooh, that's lovely. I dial up ol' brainbox and receive IT+30 for Zortium armor, and I pick up Fusion Bombs for Battle Suits. Giving the Psilon Construction tech is kind of iffy, but look at that list: they'll have better versions of those same techs soon enough. Picking up a substantial terraforming tech and a bomb is good.

2453: I build another repulsor boat at Sol; this one is going to Helos. Yarrow (No Habitables) is scouted.

2454: 19 million colonists arrive at Crypto and 25 million arrive at Dunatis. Excellent. I dump credits from the planetary reserve into both colonies.

I note that the Darlok are allied with the Bulrathi. Irritating.


Really, now? Oh dear, I appear to have quaked right out of my space-boots.

They're still not over Collassa, are they? A decent size fleet, but Collassa is well defended by bases and in four (4!) more turns will be even more well defended, if you catch my drift.

This turn, 20 million colonists arrive at Draconis.

A tech trade with the Sakkra:

The AI sure likes that Zortium armor. While I'm at it, I trade for Ion Cannon (giving Battle Suits). Yes, the same two techs with which I just got Terraforming 30 and Fusion Bombs. The Sakkra are also at war with both the Bulrathi and Darlok, and I have no intention of fighting them any time soon. The Sakkra and the Psilon are duking it out too -- the lizards may very well capture both of those techs, anyway. Might as well pick up some missing pieces here and there when I can.

Hmm, I have Automated Repair and Repulsor Beam. I can fit an F-bomb on a small hull, as well. Hey, beaker boys, how are those Fusion Drives coming along? Ready anytime soon? Gee, if only I had some rich planets.


For the moment, anyway. Improved Robotic Controls IV is in the percentages.


Rotan (nothing) is scouted.


VGA SEAN CONNERY up there is concentrating, blowing up Darloks with the power of his mind. We may only have Range 7, but the psionic powers of VGA SEAN CONNERY rate comfortably at Propulsion tech level a billion.

Advanced Space Scanner is next. Fusion Drives are in the percentages!

Crypto builds its planetary shield and first missile base. Excellent, excellent. Back to factory building for you.


Look what has come to our doorstep at Collassa! A fleet of teddy bears!

Alas for them, their guns are just good enough to penetrate my shielding... but just barely. That means my scatter packs get to carve them up.

They manage to kill one missile base. I get all of their ships but six of their Warbears. Class X Planetaries are in the percentages... once installed those will completely negate their current fleets.

Well, to speak of the devil!


Cloaking Device is next.


Noise, noise, usual noise.

2464: Spies pick up Deep Space Scanner from the Bulrathi, and Crypto re-maxes on factories. I boost trade with the Psilons.

Here is a map of the galaxy as things currently stand:

2466: Dunatis maxes on factories. Fusion Drives are at 10%.

2467: Crypto has 10 missile bases now; I dial down defense spending there and start feeding the planetary reserve. This money will either go back into Crypto, or will be spread about my empire to double production wherever I please.

2468: A krafty tech steal from the Klackons!

Lovely tech. And a frame! Sorry Psilons.



Some good choices: Warp Dissipator, Range 9, Impulse Drives. I won't need the range to reach the Darlok if I take a bear world, so I take the engines for the next choice.

Draconis maxes on factories. Dunatis gets its planetary shield and first two missile bases.

The Psilons are willing to trade me Inertial Stabilizer or Class VI Deflectors but will only accept IRC 4 for either. I don't think so. The brains are doing just fine on the tech front with a small empire and default robotic controls; I'm not about to double their factory production.

I establish 325 BC of trade with the Klackons.

I create a couple of new ship designs:

I love ARS/repulsor huge ships in the mid-game. They make wonderful peacekeepers. I scrap my remaining warp 1 scouts and the radiated colony design to make room for these two.

Crypto, with reserve spending, can turn out 63 bombers in one turn or one heavy ion battleship in three turns. Excellent. A bombing run at Paranar should improve relations with everybody who isn't a bear or a formless mass of seething suck.

The dreadnaughts will be useful defensive boats should a certain somebody go buggin' on me.


I accept peace with the shifters. I'm a lover, not a fighter. And they're kind of cuddly formless masses of seething suck.

Besides, their nearest world is still 8 parsecs away; I have neither researched range 8, nor have their planets moved closer to me.

I give them a trade agreement and a pat on the head.

2471: Spies steal the Battle Computer Mark IV from the krazy Klackon. The Darloks and Bulrathi are allies once again. Hmph.

2472: Draconis builds its Class X Planetary Shield.

2474: What is this, a prank phone call? I seem to recall having this conversation before. Is that you, Emperor Darquan?

I reject this offer hoping for tribute. None was forthcoming. Oh well, Operation Bomb-A-Bear is still on, then.

Relations with the Darlok are up to Neutral. We'll see how long that lasts, as they are allies with our brawny-but-brainless enemies.

2476: I steal Controlled Tundra from the Klackon.

2478: After dumping planetary reserve into several planets I am able to double my trade agreement with the lizards.

2479: An unknown spy destroys 6 factories on Crypto, which are immediately rebuilt. I wonder if it might have possibly maybe been the Darlok?

I'm headed for Paranar. For reference, the bears have no planetaries, Hyper-X rockets, and Class III deflectors. Their best engines are warp 2 and their best guns are neutron blasters. They're at war with everybody except the Darlok.

Relations are pretty sunny across the board -- even the shifters and bugs don't hate me -- but this should put things even further into Happytown. Always a good thing as I am pretty big.

2480: A space battle! How exciting! I documented this one with several screenshots, since I doubt there will be very much fighting in this game for me:

Also, Cloning comes in this turn, I go for Advanced Soil Enrichment next. Cloning will come in quite handy; I intend to take Paranar on the ground -- maybe netting Inertial Stabilizer, perhaps? -- and those bears will put a hurting on my invaders.

2481: Well, shoot!

My bombers retreat, and the ships come after my repulsor/ARS battleship. Now we get to try this design by fire!

The ion guns are predictably a little weak, but the bears can't do anything to this ship, even if I let them surround it.

It's a long war of attrition (all of it on the bear side), but the single battleship destroys the Bulrathi stacks one by one, soaking up the damage from their neutron blasters like a sponge. Once the bears are down to the last stack, they chicken out and retreat. Above there's the rear ends of the last Bulrathi fighters, fleeing from the single gunboat. Lovely defensive or support ships in the early/mid game, these are, and one goes a surprisingly long way.

2482: IIT 6 pops this turn, IIT 5 is the only choice.

This turn I sign a NAP with the bugs, boost our trade considerably, and trade Improved Space Scanner for Ion Rifles. There, another 5 points to my ground combat rolls. Every little bit helps, especially against those not-so-cuddly bruins. Next turn nearly 90 million of my ground troops arrive at Paranar. (This was hardly an attractive trade -- tech trades with the MoO AI rarely are -- but it's one of the last useful things the bugs have that I don't, and accordingly spending resources on espionage against the bugs is a very low benefit/cost activity. Also, even if we manage to steal the Ion Rifles, it won't help me after we've invaded. This gets me a tech I want when I want it.)

2483: Hard Beam pops. Fusion Rifle is the way forward.

The bears hold because they're bears. There are more troops coming in, however.

The Psilons are allied with the Klackons again. That is irritating.


This reduces our psychotic friends the Bulrathi to the lone planet at Ursa. Well, gee, Baloo, that's what you get for being stupid enough to start next to me.

Bingo. That is what I wanted.

Also in the plunder: Class III Deflector Shields, Neutron Blasters, Improved Terraforming +20. Not bad at all!

I accept the peace treaty. With the human flag flying over Paranar, that gives me 12 worlds and a quarter of the galaxy. Any further expansion would just slowly tick everybody off. I fully intend the next world I settle to be Orion. And I'm certainly not going to genocide the bears and take the diplo and score penalty. This war got me exactly what I was looking for: another nice planet, the Inertial Stabilizer, an even more irrelevant erratic opponent, and a quick diplomatic boost.

To prove my sincerity, I dial the Bulrathi back up again immediately and give them IIT 6 as tribute (not going to help their OPE very much, but it sure makes them happy!) Then I sign a 100 BC/year trade contract.

I transfer a couple thousand BC from the planetary reserve into Paranar.

The Hard Beam is a good enough gun to take on the Guardian, but I can't fit them on a small hull yet! I need more weapons tech. So, with that in mind, I make a quick swap:

Fusion Beam (level 20) for Hard Beam (level 19), straight up. Not at all bad. Interesting trade. Fusion beams also work against the Guardian, but barely; you need more of them than hard beams. I can't fit a fusion beam with an IS on a small hull yet, either. Still need more weapons, construction and propulsion tech. I'm also working on Advanced Soil Enrichment, which will be a nice boost in productivity. So I allocate more spending on Weapons and Planetology spending, at the expense of Force Fields.

2486: A snapshot of the Human empire:

Twelve planets nicely fill up the screen.

Denubius has been off factory building for a long time, I'm surprised we have as many as 99 factories there. Collassa and Primodius are cloning their way back up after invading and seeding Paranar. Ryoun still hasn't re-maxed? I got IRC 4 over twenty turns ago! I boost industrial spending there.

Looking at the base size of the non-hostiles, Advanced Soil Enrichment will get me almost 300 million new humans. Yeah, that's a huge priority. I'll want to make sure the non-erratic races get these techs, too, just in case the Klackon declare at a goofy time. I should be able to maintain peaceful happy relations with everybody except the erratic bears and bugs without difficulty. I don't think the bugs have a council veto, but I really don't want to settle Orion and not win immediately.

Speaking of that, there are a few faraway worlds I haven't scouted yet. If there's a Radiated or something like that hiding there, I should settle that just before taking on the Guardian as well. I'm working on Advanced Space Scanner, that should do most or all of the work for me when it finishes.

I go ahead and sign a NAP with the Darloks and one with the Bulrathi, for what that's worth.

What faction am I playing as, again? The Humans, right?

2490: Lots of "Next Turn" all of a sudden. The lightbulb on ASS is nearly full.

I notice the Psilons have researched Hercular Missiles, which allows me to trade for their next-best weapon:

Level 30, very nice. I got this for Cloning. With this trade I take most of my Weapons research and pour it into Planetology. Thanks, brains.

The Guardian has Class IX shielding, which means that a lot of hits with the Tachyon beam do no damage at all. The expected damage per hit with a Tachyon beam is only about 5.4. Against the hard beam, however, the Guardian's shielding is effectively only Class IV, which means one hard beam does 4-8 damage with every hit; that's an average of 6. So lowly level 19 hard beams are still a better bet against the Impossible Guardian. The advantage this trade gives me is a nice tech level boost, meaning a bunch of miniaturization and more research options.

You still need good battle computers to take advantage of this, however, as the guardian also has 9 beam defense. My best battle computer is still only Mark IV. I'll get the minimum 5% chance to hit with those, not good enough. I need much better battle computers as well before I'm ready to fight. Good thing I'm about to finish my new scanners...

Megabolt Cannon would help, having intrinsic +3 levels to hit. It does 2-20 though and does not pierce shields (unless you slap on an Oracle Interface, but that's a very late tech), so the expected damage is only 3.47 per hit.

2491: My Weapons tech level just went from 27 to 36. That means a fusion beam on a small hull requires 6 less space. I still, however, can't fit a hard beam on a small hull. My construction tech level is 22, with IIT 6 the top of the line. IIT 5 is in progress. The bugs have RIW 40%, which would be an improvement over both, although it's their best (which usually means off the table in trade.) I resume espionage on the bugs.

2492: Aw, come on.

Why are you smirking? Are you trying to hold back a laugh, VGA SEAN CONNERY?

Battle Computer Mark VII is next. That will be sufficient.

Ooh, I want to go over there.

Good. Everything is either colonized, Orion, or asteroids. Fine.

I also note, with some glee, that I have all of the Rich and Ultra Rich planets on the map. Very nice.

2493: Paranar maxes, begins work on its defenses.

2496: Cloaking Device comes in. No Zyro Shield in the tree. Class XV Planetary Shield is the next choice.

GNN reports on space fleet strength: Klackon, Psilon, Sakkra, Darlok, Human, Bulrathi in that order. I'm number five! I'm number five!

This looks like bad news:

I don't think my ships will shoot down their troops if I go into Ursa's orbit.

I trade RIW 80% to the Bulrathi for Duralloy armor, then gift them Cloning to allow them to regrow their population should they survive this attack.

2497: The bears have built a ship and put it in orbit! It's... a colship. Oh that's sad, bears.

Ursa's population is 75 million.

2498: Ursa's population is 84 million. Yay, go bears!

Two colships in orbit. What the hell, Bullox? I hope you have put pure concentrated doom on those colony ships.

I try to gift the bears something to help them survive, but they won't accept any ground or armor techs. Again: What the hell, Bullox?

2499: The bears win! In fact, they slaughtered the Sakkra by building up extra missile bases. They still have over 70 million bruins. Hooray!

2500: That's the second and hopefully the last full century of this game. Here's how things stand:

Bears are up to "Peaceful" too. I mean, I only conquered half of their empire and all a few years back.

Despite the fact that they all love me, they absolutely hate each other. The Psilons are allied with the bugs, love me, and are at war with everybody else. The Sakkra are allied with the Darloks (!), love me, and are... at war with everybody else. The bears are at war with everybody except me. Thanks to their alliances, the shifters and bugs are at war with everybody except their ally and me.

Advanced Soil Enrichment is due any turn now. Impuse drives and IIT 5 are also in the percentages.

Atmospheric Terraforming isn't in my tree, which is a real shame. Nobody else seems to have it, either.

Continue to Chapter 4