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Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR

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Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 1/30/2012 4:34:55 AM   

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Crossroads Part 1 - How we got here?

Hello all, thought I'd try my hand at a Quasi-AAR. DW Legends kept me company (and awake) for a 13 hour flight, learning the game and keeping me entertained, and brought me to a decision point. While I didn't keep notes (or photos) during that session I figured I'd turn the decision process from this point on into a sort of AAR. This is my first real try of an AAR, at best I occasionally keep some notes for myself (learned from Civ IV). Anyways, this post will be Out Of Character but the remaining posts will be mostly In Character.

How did we get here?

Started an Irregular Galaxy, 6x6 with 400 Stars, random race and 11 other Empires. Drew the Zenox and away we went. The white rectangle represents peaceful expansion, noting that we were hemmed in between the Dhayut and Gizureans with (at the time) only the peace-loving but treaty avoiding Quameno on the far side of the Gizureans and the isolationist Mechanoids. The Dhayut got colony ships to the Zenox and surrounding systems (in the lower right dotted red circle) before my colony ships got there. Zenox, of course, had native Zenox population. Being hemmed in by two warlike races was not my idea of a long-term strategy so I struck against the Dhayut, figuring it would be good to have a clear "rear" area in the corner of the map.

Started by capturing the systems in the aforementioned red dotted circle. Of course I underestimated the number of troops needed on my first invasion but that lesson was quickly integrated into my battle plans. Zenox, Tanaa and Byss fell to me (and my Xeno-tech fleet, gathered from the "special locations" Zenox start with knowledge of). The Spaceport and Defenses at Sciidu fell to my Xeno fleet and the Dhayut were subjugated. [Side note: Had Diplomacy on "auto" so there were a few "peace treaties" accepted, changed to "suggest". Also, why can't you negotiate exchange of colonies / stations in exchange for peace?] Some of their 'integrated' colonies seemed to break appart so the Naxxilian native colonies were instead inegrated into the Zenox Ascendency (northern red dotted circle).

So here we are, the yellow dotted circles represent systems where colony ships are 'on their way' (mix of actually en route and under construction). These are the last of the "peaceful expansion" colonies I see at the moment. The Gizureans have been beating me to a few colonies to my galactic north, which brings us to this cross-roads.

The short version of the question is this: Build up troops for the final invasion of the Dhayut homeworld and secure "our corner" of the galaxy, or check Gizurean expansion with fleet battles and conquering the low hanging fruit of their recent acquisitions. Details on the situation in an IC fashion to follow.


< Message edited by mage007 -- 1/30/2012 4:54:59 AM >
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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 1/30/2012 7:36:07 AM   

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Crossroads Part 2 - The Fork in the Road

[2764.02.01] Alpha Randul Gachuz contemplated the starchart before him. The remainder of the high council, mostly, waited patiently. Governor Karg Okari and Intelligence Chief Wudri Noskiri were in physical attendance for the meeting; while Admiral Repta Ixito, Chief Scientist Randul Shokia, Ambassador Jindrak Woppit, and General Zacha Qytian reported remotely from their various posts.

"The Reunification War was a success," Alpha Gachuz began, "our long lost packmates in the Zenox system were rescued from the systematic extermination at the hands of the Sciibu Sovereignty. The Ascendency was able to reassert our rightful claim to the Tanaab system, and Byss was claimed to cement our borders. With the destruction of their port and defense bases in Sciibu by Admiral Ixito and our Xeno Tech Fleet," the Alpha paused to acknowledge the Admiral, "the Dhayut of Sciibu Sovereignty readily submit to our subjugation. We have ridden this tidal change in territory to new economic heights, but it has also brought us to this crossroads. How shall our glorious Ascendency advance from here, there are several paths before us and I would have your input to aid me in my decisions. The floor is open packmates."

Ambassador Woppit spoke first, diplomatically exposing his throat in deference to Alpha Gachuz. "The Reunification War was a great success militarily, and indeed the new territory has benefited the Ascendency economically, but there is a price yet to be paid." The Ambassador referenced the latest reports generated by his staff.

"Starting with the smaller problem, the Dhayut of the Sciibu Sovereignty chafe under our subjugation, requests to return their independence have been increasing in the past months. Perhaps of more importance is their close ties to the Gizureans of the Tuydarea Conformity."

"The Conformity see our Reunification war as blatant aggression, using every rumor of 'colonization at gunpoint' to tarnish our reputation with other empires. In addition the territorial acquisitions of the war spurn them to covet our economic development. It is reasonable to conclude this is the drive behind their recent expansion, expansion that conceals our colonization targets behind the cloak of their territorial borders. My staff and I are focused on maintaining civil relations with the Conformity, but I see few opportunities to genuinely improve our relations. One cannot hold back a tide forever."

Leaning forward in the plush chair of his day cabin, Admiral Ixito pounced upon the Ambassadors closing remark. "If we cannot stop the steady deterioration in relations with the Conformity then we will have war, and if it is to be war then it is better that war be on our terms instead of theirs. The Conformity was able to colonize the Kolo Asogi system before us, we have increased our efforts to claim the vessels of the nearby debris field but some will still fall into Tuydarean possession."

"Furthermore, the Conformity also has nearly exclusive access to the Desolation Moon Project near the Jomos system to the Galactic North East of their colony at Gizurea. While no one is yet sure of it's capabilities, such a ship would undoubtedly turn the tide of any future war in their favor."

"Alpha, these factors call for swift action on our part. When our acquisitions from the Kolo Asogi debris field are online, they must be added to the mighty Xeno fleet. The fleet will be tasked with destroying any remaining debris field xeno tech ships and any xeno tech ships around the Desolation Moon Project, including the project itself. The Xeno fleet targets are indicated by the Red arrows." Admiral Ixito drew his claw along the lines of attack.

"If the Ambassadors fears are correct this may spark a war, so we should be ready. As part of our constant contingency planning we do have a plan of attack should the Conformity declare war. The Alpha Forward Operating Base is currently on station in the Holtumu system, it is the origination point for the Xeno fleet attack indication arrows. The Nebula Class Resupply ship can be deployed at the gas giant to collect both Caslon and Hydrogen. The current escorts (2 Destroyers and 4 Frigrates) can be detached as a Strike group for raids along the Conformity frontier to our Galactic North, as indicated by the Green arrows. Our current 1st Strike Force will be brought up to fleet strength from the fleet ready reserve on anti-piracy duty within our systems. With 5 Defense fleets and Alpha FOB fleet using 4 Frigates and 2 Destroyers each, there are 30 Frigates and 11 Destroyers in our fleet ready reserve unassigned to any fleet, many will of course require retrofit to ensure our latest technology is being fielded. The augmented 1st Strike Force will then face down the Conformity's 1st Fleet stationed at Tuydarea, as indicated by the Yellow arrows, intercepting it away from fixed defenses or aiding in defense of Ascendency systems as needed. Once space superiority is established, General Qytian and the 1st Marine Expeditionary should have no trouble overrunning the Conformity's developing colonies in the north." Admiral Ixito leaned back again in his char bringing his claws together beneath his chin.

General Qytian barely managed to clear his throat before he was interrupted by the spymaster Noskiri. "Alpha there is something to consider on the home front should there be war with the Conformity. Gizureans are the largest minority in the Ascendency, in fact they are the dominant race on 4 of our 10 colonies. The current diplomatic tension with the Conformity causes tension between the Gizurean population and the colonial authorities. It is estimated that these tensions undo the benefits we usually see from access to Bifurian Silk. It is likely that these tensions would escalate should there be open war with the Conformity. I would also stress that a large population of Gizureans provides ample opportunity to place foreign spies amongst us. The Dhayut are also the dominant race on 2 of our 10 colonies, they present similar tensions with the colonial authorities."

General Qytian jumped in the the breach of Noskiri's conclusion, "Alpha, you must also consider the steps needed to finally bring the Sciibu Sovereignty to an end. The Dhayut homeworld has en esitmated 30 troop battalions defending it. We would need some 120 troops to bring the planet to submission. The required army would also need an expanded Marine fleet, the current 4 troop transports of the 1st Marine Expeditionary would have to be increased to 10 ships providing the transport capacity for 140 troop battalions. Without being in firm control of the Sovereignty's territory we risk attacks from our rear in a war against the Conformity. Furthermore, conquering Sciibu will be excellent training for our troop battalions making any future conquest of Conformity colonies that much easier. Both Zenox and Elci colonies have robotic troop facilities, the BattleBots produced at these colonies would make excellent shock troops preserving the Zenox RoboGuard and Gizuerean WarSwarm units for future battles.

Governor Okari cautiously entered the silence that followed, "Alpha, you are right to note the economic boom our post-war expansion has brought. But, as with everything, there are limits. The state coffers are full to the tune of 137K credits, however our cash flow is merely 12K credits. It is early in the year, and with colony ships still en route to the frontier there is the potential for another wave of merchant ship production orders. I would be remiss if I did not point out that these as yet unfounded colonies would be the first targets in any conflict, and building the customary fleets to defend them would further eat into the state flow of funds. As for a ground troop buildup, our current ground forces number 126 battalions and require 39K in funding each year. Doubling the number of battalions in preparation for invasion of Sciibu would potentially double the maintenance costs, although I'm sure the robotic BattleBots would present noticeable savings over similar numbers of traditional troops. Put simply Alpha, while we may be able to afford a war on any one front a two front war would be very costly. The Bakuras Shipyards at Burlieas, truly a wonder to behold, can produce ships at a tremendous rate and can also eat through the state surplus just as quickly. Given the Ambassidor's notes on how close both the Conformity and Sovereignty are diplomatically, the two front war is a possibility that should not be overlooked."

The wise head scientist Shokia, never as good with words as with mathematics, spoke last. "Alpha, our researchers stand ready to support any path you may lead us. We have several promising projects currently in progress. As we have reach the limitations of our Maxos Blasters new Phasors are in development, while we have completed much of the required basic research we are still a ways off from a prototype or mass production. Meanwhile the basic theory of a new Hydrogen powered reactor is being worked out, theories for an overall improvement to our research protocols and procedures are also being formulated. While the amount of manpower and funding directed to purely military applications is smaller than Energy or HiTech branches, I am confident we could support the military with maintaining technology supremacy over our enemies. It is also possible to advance our colonization knowledge should further peaceful expansion be the Ascendency's goal."

Alpha Gachuz nodded absently, deep in thought. "I thank you all for your input, you have given me much to think on. I'll adjourn this meeting and inform you all when I have reached a decision. Bear in mind that whatever path is chosen it will require as much, if not more, dedication and thoroughness as you have all demonstrated thus far. Prepare yourselves, the Zenox Ascendency must rise ever upward."

[OOC] Any other input or advice is of course welcome.


(in reply to mage007)
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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/1/2012 3:45:36 AM   


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There is a ton of good stuff there. Very interesting. I'm just not sure what to make of it yet... It's almost overwhelming but very well done. A+ for style and effort.

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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/2/2012 5:18:55 AM   

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"Progress ," Alpha Gachuz began setting down his glass of Vodkol, "a year ago the Ascendency was at a crossroads and after deliberation with you, my packmates, we charted a course ever onwards to our inevitable ascension. In order to make our course clear and track our progress I establish a few nominal 5 year goals for the Ascendency, and we are well on our way to achieving them."

"Let me first again congratulate Intelligence Officer Noskiri, who's success in obtaining the latest Galaxy exploration map of the Conformity we celebrate tonight."  Glasses clinked around the room in a toast of achievement.  "With success comes expectation however, so when we are done with our revels there will a be a new more daunting task before you Noskiri … throwing the proverbial spanner in the Conformity's research capabilities.  Officer Noskiri's efforts are steps towards one of the 5 year goals: developing the intelligence corps of the Ascendency."

"Four new colonies were established this year, most the fruit of months of planning.  Well on our way towards the goal of adding 5 new colonies this year.  Spaceports are under construction, and additional merchant shipping is being constructed.  This surge of construction presents us with a challenge for this year and likely next; a shortage of Steel.  We have 7 mining outposts producing Steel, but as we allow the Sovereignty to prosper under our subjugation they purchased a majority of our reserves of the material.  This has swelled our coffers but left our stores bare.  Merchant shipping is already reacting so meet the excess demand, but the shipyards are noticeably slowed.  Two new construction ships received priority to the last of our Steel stores and they have been tasked with establishing addition Mining stations to supplement our Steel production."

"Another 5 year goal was to establish Mutual Defense pacts with 2 races that are on uneasy terms with the Conformity.  To this end Ambassador Woppit has been treating with the Securan's to help then understand our seeming strange cultural ways.  En route the Ambassador received good fortune, in a way, as a pirate band offered to harass the Conformity for a token 'donation'.  Ambassador Woppit seized the opportunity and the ships of the Conformity had a new distraction for some time.  In addition to Ambassador Woppit's efforts, monetary gifts were extended to the Wekkarus as they also border Conformity space, the amphibians are an odd lot but every race appreciates the value of credits.  Our national pride in knowledge has swelled as galaxy exploration maps from other friendly nations busy our researchers and historians with hundreds of new worlds."

"Admiral Ixito and the Xeno fleet destroyed the base of operations for two pirate factions harassing our newly expanded borders.  This also works towards our goal of maintaining our image to the other races.  Two additional Xeno tech cruisers were added to the Xeno fleet from the Kologari Debris fields.  1st Fleet was formed from the fleet ready reserve, however the Steel shortage required the postponement of additional ships to form the defense fleets for our new colonies.  Through shifting the operation regions of our current fleets Admiral Ixito was able to maintain proper defensive coverage, and new ships will be brought online once our resource bottleneck has been rectified."

"Chief Scientist Shokia oversaw the breakthrough on Phasor technology, ensuring we maintain our military superiority over the Conformity; another of our 5 year goals.  Fusion Reactor technology was also refined enough to begin full production, the critical first step in our goal of shifting the military over to Hydrogen fuel.  We don't want a shortage of a single fuel source to bring the entire Ascendency to a halt."

"Lastly, and certainly not least, the biggest of the 5 year goals is to bring the Dayhut firmly under our governance.  General Qytian and Governer Okari worked together to bring our two robotic troop facilities online.  The planets Zenox and Elci have begun construction of the supplemental robotic shock troops that will enable the conquest of Sciibu.  It is my understanding that other developing colonies are being considered for these facilities to ensure the 5 year timeline is met."

"Progress towards our goals has been impressive this year.  With your continued support and dedication we will see the Ascendency rise above our short term issues and achieve our goals on the path to ascension."  Alpha Gachuz raised his glass to the rousing chorus of, "Ascension!" from the room.

[OOC]  One year updates seem a bit more manageable, maybe a bit more "big picture" stuff at the 5 year marks.

< Message edited by mage007 -- 2/14/2012 3:43:15 AM >

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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/6/2012 9:24:01 PM   


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Good stuff, keep up the good work.

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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/7/2012 4:54:25 AM   

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[OOC:] Experimenting with write-up styles. Only partly because after looking at the Races game file I discovered the Zenox speak like Yoda by default, and I just can't keep a straight face while writing that way. =P Also, shifting to a 5-year report format.

The Path To War
Excerpt from Compendium of Conquest

While the Technocrat Cabal of the Ascendancy had defined reasonable goals for the coming war with the Sciibu Sovereignty, the age old adage 'everything takes longer than you think' would prove true here as well. It didn't help that other affairs of state commanded the attention of the Cabal. The first task was solving the Steel shortage. The Cabal had increased their Diplomatic overtures with much success, which lead to increased trade. As a large supplier of Steel many new trading partners had placed orders. In addition, lax oversight of the subjugated Sovereignty led to the Ascendancy supplying their past and future enemies with large quantities of the important resource. In the highest traditions of our race, the proper application of intelligence and willpower saw the Ascendancy through this minor setback.

Other distractions soon replaced the infamous "Steel crunch". The Cabal itself became divided over the issue of further colonies. Continuous exploration had revealed potential colony sites that were located well outside of the Ascendancy's sphere of influence; but very close to others. While colonization was possible without violating any existing treaties or territory understandings, it was ultimately decided that such far flung colonies could not be adequately defended and so colonization was to be deferred until the ability to project power increased significantly. This plan lasted until a long lost Zenox colony was discovered clear across the galaxy. As word spread throughout the Ascendancy not ever the Cabal could council against the massive public outcry for reunification. The Zenox at Dillatt 2 were welcomed back to the Ascendancy as soon as communications could be established.

The discovery of the Dillatt colony was the best recruitment tool the Exploration Corps could ever ask for. With the increase of not only exploration pilots, but stellar cartographers, xeno-anthropologists, geologists,and biologists, the remaining star systems in the galaxy were finally mapped and cataloged. One monumental goal of the Ascendancy had been achieved, complete knowledge of the stars in our galaxy.

The Exploration Corps were not the only ones to make great strides in the lull before the war. The tireless Zenox researches came through on a major military breakthrough. Advances in materials science and zero-g construction techniques allowed the construction of specialized starship hulls built around star fighter bays. These durable yet cavernous hulls allowed larger ships to be constructed at Ascendancy spaceports as long as they capitalized on the use of fighter bays. Military designers eagerly took advantage of this breakthrough and the Galactica class Carrier was born.

To many these distractions appear to take away from the Cabal's goal of conquest against the Sciibu Sovereignty. However, the combined effects of exploration, technological discovery, and introspection over the Dillatt discovery lead to a rare state of enlightenment amongst the Cabal towards the end of the year 2769. This would prove to be a distinct advantage in the war coming just on the horizon ...

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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/7/2012 3:39:13 PM   


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awesome sauce.... great effort and work...

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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/7/2012 6:34:23 PM   

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Yeah I especially like the little details about Zenox culture Thought I was the only one that thinks about such things while playing.

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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/14/2012 2:59:34 AM   

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" … I swear the pod was going to shake itself to pieces, I thought I could feel the heat seeping through the skin, and then there was the landing. Back during training all of us hated 'The Hammer', the Command Pod landing simulator, but nothing can really prepare you for the real thing. … Then I started worrying about the bots, with all the pounding I was taking I was sure those things would end up as junk on the surface, leaving me stranded and surrounded by Spiders. Just like the drill sergeants said the pod made it through, and so did the bots. I was on the surface of an alien world ready to command my bots into battle …" - Interview with Tech Sergeant Osiris, 3rd BattleBot landing group.

Some would come to criticize the long build-up to the war with the Sciibu Sovereignty. Massing the needed troops, even mixing the easy to produce BattleBots amongst the traditional RoboGuard Battalions, took time. As soon as the Cabal had deemed 'critical mass' had been achieved the attack was launched, in 2770. The famed Xeno Fleet once again spearheaded the attack, smashing the rebuilt defenses at Sciibu. The 1st and 2nd Marine Expeditionary fleets followed closely on their heels bringing the largest ground army the Ascendancy, and the Sciibu Sovereignty, had ever seen. On 2770.08 Sciibu was conquered by the Ascendancy.

With their home world conquered the remaining demoralized Dahyut colonies were conquered. The 1st and 2nd Marine Expeditionary fleets split up along with the Xeno Fleet and 1st Fleet to speed the conquest. 2770 also saw the fall of Sciibu 3, Shanaud was conquered in 2771, and the conquest of Garn cemented the ultimate defeat of the Sovereignty in 2771. It was this speed of conquest that lead to much of the criticism, could the attack have been launched sooner? Perhaps to distract the nay-sayers, or perhaps because the entirety of the Ascendancy was firmly on a war footing, but towards the end of 2771 the Xeno Fleet was dispatched to destroy the Desolation Moon Project denying it from the Conformity.

In the Cabal it was feared that they were already too late. Intelligence reports indicated that active shields had been seen surrounding the Moon under construction. More troubling were the reports of massive weapons systems functional and undergoing testing. The estimated firepower the Ascendancy military analysts were calculating was truly staggering. When Admiral Ixito arrived with the Xeno Fleet they braced themselves for the fight of their lives … only to wear down the massive construction project without any retaliation. Admiral Ixito would later theorize that since the shielding was indeed active, the command and control functions of the formidable weaponry was still under repair.

The diplomatic corps had estimated the most likely response of the Conformity would be militaristic. The Cabal left the current fleets on patrol, delaying upgrades in order to assure the fleet would be deployed to meet the expected response. None came … none against the Ascendancy that is. As 2772 came to a close the Conformity set it's sights on the Quameno Technocracy. The Cabal had previously offered the Quameno official Protectorate status, however they had declined. With the attention of the Conformity elsewhere the retrofit and augmentation of the fleet was prioritized.

The Blackbird class exploration ship was devised. While initially intended for use on star bases the same Long Range Scanner equipment was built into the Blackbird allowing for mobile observation bases to be easily scattered around the borders of the Conformity.

The battle tested Antofagasta class Destroyer saw a redesign focusing it's role as a capital ship killer. Equiped with HyperDeny systems it could pin down it's prey while it came in close to blast it to pieces with the powerful, but short ranged, Shockwave Torpedoes.

The Sarmiento class Troop Transports received similar upgrades, further specializing it to it's role. The latest troop compartments allowed for greater transport capacity and the increased armor and shielding ensure the 16 Battalions on board would reach their targets.

A new class of ship was also developed, the Yamamoto class Cruiser. Designed as a 'ship of the line', wading into battle Phasors slicing a path of destruction before it. The Yamamoto was envisioned as a compliment to the Antofagasta Destroyer providing cover fire while the Destroyers swept in for the kill, as such speed was sacrificed for raw firepower.

By 2773 the upgraded fleet was fully deployed and ready for action. The Quameno were contacted and the Ascendancy offered it's assistance in the war against the Conformity in exchange for Quamneo technology and money to offset the Ascendancies war costs in 2773.05. Grand Admiral Ixito drew up the Ascendancy's battle plan. Xeno Fleet, 1st Fleet, and 2nd Fleet were each assigned an area of operations. Their orders were to engage targets of opportunity, prioritizing enemy fleets in an effort to keep the Conformity's military response contained. Meanwhile the 1st and 2nd Marine Expeditionary fleets would begin the methodical roll-up of Conformity colonies, starting with their recent acquisitions and culminating in the conquest of their home world Tuyadera.

Grand Admiral Ixito's plan proceeded apace. Dayhu 4 was conquered in 2774.11, with Alpha Kasseida following a month later. However, battlefield intelligence soon showed an adjustment was in order. Analysis of ship traffic, both civilian and military, convinced the intelligence arm that the Conformity was spread thin on Infantry Battalions. Overextending on their attack against the Quameno had left the Conformity poorly protect at home, their best defended planets boasted only 20-25 Battalions the analysts estimated. Target priorities were quickly rearranged. In 2775.07 Erboot was conquered, removing the largest collection of Conformity troops from the equation.

With defenders estimated at roughly a third of what was present at Sciibu, the home world of Tuyadera was the next target. Decending Ascendancy forces meant less than expected resistance often facing Battalions fresh from training as the Conformity frantically pressed it's citizens into military duty. The capital of the Conformity fell in 2775.10

As with the Sovereignty the shattered remains of the Conformity were mopped up. With significantly more colonies though the final stage of conquest took some time. Alirice, Jirejadur 1, Eharp, and Alpea were all conquered during 2776. While Villaceya 4, 5 and Tuyadera 4 held out through 2777. The last stand of the Conformity was at Osmoid in 2777.08.

The war against the Conformity was ended with the full conquest of the Gizureans. Initially hemmed in between two fundamentally alien species the Ascendancy rose to conquer both of her inherently aggressive neighbors. A new age has dawned not just for the Ascendancy but for the whole galaxy as well.

< Message edited by mage007 -- 2/14/2012 3:44:11 AM >

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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/14/2012 3:34:40 AM   

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With the Gizureans conquered I sort of lost interest in the game. It felt like I had run away with it. Even at the peak of war weariness my economy was humming along ...

I clearly outstripped any of the other starting races ...

Especially in military strength ...

But I was still reasonably far from the official Victory Conditions I had set ...

I know there are the remaining story elements left to deal with. I only had limited exposure to the Legendary Pirates that had started to appear. The ****** had yet to reveal themselves, and I had no run ins with the infamous Silver Mist. Still I don't have much motivation to continue just for these elements. I'll have the save game if I feel the urge to return, but I already have "the next game" in mind.

One thing I did want to share was a bit of "behind the scenes" war management. Since I tend to play during my train commute to work I can't really do the video AARs that Das123 and idjester do (so very well I might add). But this is the sort of thing I enjoy when they share in their commentary so I thought I'd attempt something similar. In the previous post I showed the war plans for the Conformity ...

I actually do that for my benefit. Actually drawing it out and walking myself through it helps me see if I overlooked something. However you may be wondering how I actually turned that plan into ship orders etc. I'm generally a critic of micro-management, one of the reasons DW has replaced Civ 4 as my commute game, and I really like the concept of the fleet postures / stances that Gelatinous Cube has laid out so well here. At the start of the Conformity war I was micro-managing, I had the attacking fleets hotkeyed and would cycle through them periodically assigning orders as needed. Then I remembered GC's advice ...

There you can see the blue AOs for the defending fleets. Throughout the game I had been establishing these fleets, 2 Destroyers and 4 Frigates, to ensure defenders at the key systems. If a pirate base ever popped up nearby I'd manual order the nearest to attack then activate automation as soon as the order 'stuck'. They'd attack, and then return to their post with no problems. As I built up 'normal' fleets I started with 2 merged defensive fleets, 4 Destoryers and 8 Firgates. As technology advanced I added the other classes. By the Conformity war the self built fleets were sporting 1 Carrier, 2 Cruisers, 4 Destroyers, 8 Frigates and a Refueling ship (which I horribly misused and have a different plan for next game). I assigned an attack target (a little trial and error taught me to use colonies as the target) for each attack fleet (Xeno Fleet, 1st Fleet, and 2nd Fleet) and set the area to Sector. The AI would often suggest targets for each fleet, and the targets always seemed to fall in the AO I had assigned. That may have been a fluke, or me just not paying close enough attention but it worked well for me.

For the invasions I had 2 Transport fleets (eventually a third although it only partook in one invasion) each with 2 Destroyers and 5 Transports (needed during the Sciibu war to get the 120 Battalions onto the planet). I was using the "clear then land" approach which was probably a waste. With properly designed transports you should be able to drop the troops off under fire and capture the defenses / star base intact, real D-Day type stuff. Regardless, for the transports I still used the fleet posturing assigning the target colony as the attack target and the range to 'target only'. After each conquest I'd issue the 'load from nearest' command and then assign a new invasion target and the AI took care of the rest. This approach probably sacrificed in-game time but was worth it for me.

I'll be starting a new game and a new AAR, but as I'm still learning I'd love to hear what you all liked / disliked about this report. I'm striving to get across the decision process since that always seems the most interesting to me, although I'm not quite sure I've succeeded. Too much information? Not enough information? Less fluff, more decisions -> results? Less pictures more info summaries?

Anyway, hope you enjoyed.


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RE: Zenox Ascendency QuasiAAR - 2/14/2012 3:11:21 PM   

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I liked your layout a lot. Good combo of text and pictures. Went from 1st to 3rd person perspective half way through. Prob should stick with 3rd unless you have meaningful characters your audience can bond with. Maybe throw in a screen shot of what your fleet makeups are.

Good read!


"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" - Ronald Reagan

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