Or something like that. For now a pirate hunt is probably still the best idea. Pirate attacks do happen, still.
First. At this time the 18.104.22.168 beta patch is available, which should have among other more AI construction yards on large spaceports. I am not patching for this AAR, and suffer the problem of spaceport capacity.
At the start it was very handy to show a screenshot of the "local area". the problem with expanding a bit, is that the local area becomes awfully large, and does not fit that well in an image in forum thread, if at all. And there is a limit to the zoom range on the map as well. So lets try a few shots of various areas.
There are no known pirate bases between the "core area" and Sipan/Atuuko as can be seen on the last galaxy map. Which does not rule out there being one. There is a few in the very north.
This is the SW part.
We can see the light long range scanner fields. The capital, and two above trying to cover some approaches. One left of the capital, trying to cover the gas fields to the west. That northernmost gas cloud not covered has no resource, anyways.
One in the south tries to watch a gas cloud where various empires have constructors roaming.
For the pirates, as numbered in the image.
1: Left. The pink Sinister Spaceways. The upper one is a large spaceport and a colony. Their home spaceport, however, is most likely the one at the left edge in the corner. 1 mine busted, probably by a single ship (or two) from that upper colony/spaceport system.
2: A small spaceport of the Talfagleu Army. I have not felt them in the south, they are from the North where we have had our battles. We have been more annoying to them than them to us though, taking Ecery from them.
3. A spaceport by Fire Bandits, they have core areas further east. I have not, as far as I know, ever noticed any ship of theirs.
4: Ikoriun Ravagers. They have been raiding Dhayhu 3 in the past. The right of the two is the large spaceport. They are a bit similar in logo to the 5s.
5: Sinister Outlaws. I recognize them as annoying. The left 5 is a colony, which is actually quite nice. 11M Sluken, 85%, nice strategic resources. A nice 27% development bonus from ruin.
None of these have been very annoying lately.
This shows the eastern area, Pantulumen is just off the screen next to Najarca, the blue fuel symbol (pantulumen system) can be seen at the edge of the image.
Writing an AAR can be nice in that there are notes in what pirate clans have been active...
1: In the north is a Najarcan colony, with a Sinister Spaceways (1s in the last image) small spaceport. Najarcans did visit the north a while ago. From here? The colony has a nice 88% quality, but only 767M inhabitants, mostly humans.
2: Sinister Invaders have 3 spaceports pretty close to each other. The left one is the large spaceport, and in the system they got a very poor quality mortalen colony (51%). They have in recent times attacked mining stations, and fielded a decent raid attempt at Pantulumen 2.
3: A mess of a system. It is owned by Securan Harmony, but the Tefnyl Bandits are building hidden network, and will take control if completed. The Tefnyl Bandits have been fought near Sapila, but are from further south. They have a small spaceport in the system.
Dread mining also has a small spaceport in the same system, we do not remember them as very annoying at all.
4: Fierce Moon Minerals. A colony near all the 2s, and some flags at the lower right. They have raided Pantulumen 2, and attacked mines in the capital system. The spaceports are far away, did they start out at that colony? Or another base? The colony is 70% with 874M mixed, majority Dhayut.
5: Hidden Claw Industries. Far away, not on my hit list, currently.
The south-eastern area. The green top left is in the first image as well. The Pink and blue colony at top is in the previous image.
1: The Najarca Council has a medium spaceport. This was our "home crew". It is 2 sectors from Mortalu, though, and we have only had visits in Arexxie some time ago. They did not come from here. We also saw them when conquering Mortalu, those may have come from here.
2: Cruel Claw Pillagers. The lower spaceport is large, the others small. A search in the AAR tells about them being present in Atuuko (Beate colony), and that we mopped a base of them closer to home at the time we hit the Lone Daggers. They probably don't bother us from here? Or?
3: Lone Trade Interstellar. We destroyed a spaceport attempt at them near Dhayu. They were the ones distracting us at our last pirate kill trip from Sipan by attacking a gas mine in Sipan. That is not anywhere near here.
4: Tefnyl bandits again, main area further south. Too far away to worry about.
I hope the pirate overview makes some sense to someone...
What to do?
The core of the latest pirate issues is the 3 Sinister Claw spaceports and the Fierce Moon colony to the east. The issue here is that it is quite a bit away, and do we really want a colony here? More than 2 sectors from Sollost, repair there would be a long trip, and repairs will in particular be needed if we run into railguns. Maybe build a spaceport in Mortalu? Kind of near the capital. Build a spaceport on the eastern 875M colony of dubious quality? It can be done, it may be a good idea, but it is a location ruling, not a colony in need of a spaceport.
The juicy colony south is quite of near home? The Dhayut would jump at it, I think I give the AI a chance to jump, at least for a while. Unless those guys suddenly attack something of ours.
The one at the left? It can wait. I am tired of trying to AAR simultaneous attacks on pirate spaceports. They always end up fighting at the same time.
Battle fleets are:
Battle 3 in the north. A proper fleet in the north is nice.
Crusher 6 is at Dila, the new colony near Sipan.
Battle 2 watches Pantulumen 2
Battle 4 watches Najarca 1
Crusher 1 is at Mortalu, with one damaged and reduced fuel levels.
Of course, there are those 10-15 ship destroyers and frigates fleets, but they are not going to stop a proper raid. We feel the strain. And we got 272K cash and 159K cashflow. And some steady bonus income.
A battle fleet of 14/4 costs 120k and has 17.5k maintenance. Lets take two! One to meet up at Sipan (to release Crusher 6), one to meet at the capital.
Soon we can say hello to Battle 5 and Battle 7. No specific care is taken about who is built where. They are based in the systems (capital and Sipan), and I make the fleet leaders a cruiser built in the target system. They won't be around for a while, though.
In another area? Colonize? Not just yet, pirates are still annoying, the capital is not full. And the targets are in our territory, so no one else will grab them.
Crusher 1 repair and refuel at the capital. Battle 2 move from Najarca (hopefully the less likely to be raided) to Grau in the Mortalu System. Grau was independent apart from a few seconds while the invasion raged. Edop was the Supremacy capital. Grau is likely to have some pirate influence on it, Edop not, and we assume pirate influence to increase the pirates eagerness to raid. Also, the Edop defensive base is much closer to completion.
Invasion fleet just started loading troops. The leader is moved to mortalu (if he ever had time to leave), since we are thinking of an eastwards motion for the colony of the annoying pirates.
And just as Crusher 1 left, the Fire Moon minerals drop by Grau with 3 ships. Crusher 1 is told to turn, battle 2 is not far off. The defensive base is just in its infancy as a build project. We have to micro manage to not have leader and transports of invasion fleet play heroes. They are manually sent towards a system a bit to the west.
The fire moon minerals, the spaceport with a construction ship retiring (like the former mortalen explorers also are), the too brave invasion members before leaving.
We had this idea "bust the spaceports of those other guys, then maybe invade". We are not sure about that order of action right now.
Soon they have visitors in the form of Battle 2 and Crusher 1. Crusher 1 is again told to repair and refuel. Or, they refuel at grau, and the damaged cruiser flies to repair all alone. We just have to make sure he is caught in the spaceport yards before bossing Crusher 1 with a fleet order again.
With a najarcan escort also visiting, it is clear that Grau will benefit from fleet presence. Luckily Grau has a healty 63K caslon supply, and casually refuel a couple of fleets just fine.
2168.05.14 And while a najarcan is shot at at grau, we see the alert of an attack at Dachsii 1 mining station. That is the Ecery system at the far north. This is the Phantom Fleet leader, the single capital ship (who's phantom base wer pretend to never have seen in a systems overview). Battle 3 is at guard in this system, and happened to be at the mine after a refuel. Bad circumstances for the pirate capital ship. It seems to have arrived at half shields as well.
The phantom fleet capital ship is no more.
2168.05.24 Then the sinister invaders attacks a mine in the Dhayu system. The strength of the defense fleet (10 ships) is not ideal at this time, it s not of Battle 3 quality. Those eastern pirate crews are really competing for our attention.
X Dhayu kill some, lose two and has 1 damaged. We transfer two healthy guys from Construction Fleet and send the single ship for repairs.
2168.08.07 Sinister Invaders also attack a mine in Jintawoe, SW of pantulumen. Moving up on the hit list.
We need more build capacity in central areas. A large spaceport is started at Edop in the Mortalu system. This spaceport will shine much more brightly than the puny one that was there while under Mortalen Supremacy rule. For now, the two damaged ships of crusher 1 and invasion are in the capital shipyards, after some finished cruises and stuff have been completed.
We notice the Sinister Invader at Jintawoe appear to aim for the closest colony/spaceport in the east. And we notice that a Najarcan destroyer does not last long under the combined fighter force of battle 2 and crusher 1 in Mortalu.
2168.09.01 Anyways. With 1 cruiser being repaired, Crusher 1 launches at Kurilea Outpust, the large spaceport of the Sinister Invaders. In a system with a crap mortalen inhabited colony. This will be a proper test for the crusher fleet setup of 25, eh 24 cruisers and 6 carriers (1 cruiser is in the shipyards at the capital).
At the same time, a Najarcan cruiser provides a target for Battle 2 gunnery practice at Grau. We can see its doom incoming (actually it took one more salvo, jumped a few ship lengths, and were finished by fighters).
With most of the ships for battle 5 and 7 built, Crusher 6 moves to Ecery to refuel and prepare to bust the local, northern, pirate presence.
Crusher 1 circles and begins to work on the Sinister Invader spaceport. The days of the fierce frigate assaults on such targets are over.
We see a hail of torpedoes and lots of fighters surround the spaceport, which has low shields considering that it is "large" (2900). They are indeed very low in that picture (0).
The station explodes, and we register Crusher 1 with 30 ships and 1 damaged. One cruiser lost? The damage is not that significant with 4/16 enhanced armor for the one hurt.
16 armor? did they not have 19? We have not retrofitted cruisers, new stuff is researched, they are not of identical designs. The "old" ones probably lack enhanced armor, for instance.
There is a poor colony in the system, but if we want to push the pirates back, we got to take it. There is also the one mentioned a bit further east. If we keep taking pirate colonies because we want to stop them from raiding us. Will we stop before reaching all map edges? Time will show. Invasion fleet has been told to move in.
And if we want battle fleets for:
1 at home
2 in the north (Sapila, Ercery)
2 to guard some near home (Pantulumen, Grau).
2 to guard two new colonies in the east (the two crap ones)
Our current 5 won't reach far. Not if we ignore the crushers.
204k credits, 145k cashflow. Lets spend 120K on Battle 8, and add an additional cruiser to refill crusher 1.
2168.12.03. the sinister invaders raid another mine near home.
Since they are so annoying, Crusher 1 decides it has time to bust a small spaceport, and still be back before Invasion's arrival. They just started from Mortalu (on the left). That may be a bit optimistc, but...
2169.01.10 Sinister Spaceways arrives to raid a mine at the capital system with an alien capital ship. That bumps that western colony/spaceport on the hit list. The new battle 5 were in attendance with local ships to finish it off. Battle 5 is all built, but maybe not all present. Battle 7 still lacks 3 ships.
Battle 5 is told to move to the soon to be captured colony in the east.
Crusher 1 is quick, but not that quick. As invasion lands with not a pirate in sight, and the small spaceport is dead, Crusher 1 moves to the Fierce Moon colony nearby to await for invasion fleet (after it has dropped some troops).
This shot, however has some bonus info. Light blue ships near Mortalu. Najarcan council, 7 ship fleet revealed on some clicking. Where do they come from? They are at a line from that spaceport flagged down right. The scanner revealing it is a sign that the new LSP at Edop is getting at least some systems online.
Battle 2 (who should watch Grau), gets a move order to the colony to help them recover from any unfortunate events that may have made them drift away.
We hope the pirates got some fuel on some of these colonies, because Crusher 1 needs fuel in order to bust that Najarcan spaceport in particular, and spaceports in general in that area. There are a few to pick from (two in the colony system NW of Crusher), for instance.
In other news, there are two green independents below Mortalu. There was only one at the pirate update at start. The AI empires struggle mightly with pirates, and the pirates has taken another one. That orange colony with the two pirate bases will probably turn pirate in some time too (the network is under construction).
Invasion fleet can see 1 troop, but more is needed to bust the pirate structures as well. 3 transports with about 10 troops and 3 armor attack, invasion leader moves to the same target as Crusher 1 fleet.
Meanwwhile Crusher 6 is ready and fueled at Ecery, and impatient to go. They get no orders, we blame AAR writing for their lack of attention.
Hm, the Najarcan appears to move very slowly towards Mortalu. Out of fuel? Or are their drives that slow?
The sorry excuse of a colony called Netoa. The troops immediately starts dismantling pirate structure, and we recruit some new mortalen troops to have as garrisons. It is a waste to garrison that junk with more than 1 troop, but we can't hand it to the pirates, right?
We spot 126k credits, and book another Battle fleet. Battle, eh 9? Cost up to 121.2K. Based at Edop to gather there, no construction yet at the spaceport, so a lead ship is made at random from one built at Sollost. It is named Dark Master. Fitting.
Crusher 1 find 2 sorry pirate ships as it lands at Sloen Van. Invasion arrives, and tell two transports of about 5 troops and 3 armor to attack. Invasion leader is heard asking headquarters "Any more pirate colonies around!?".
A sinister invader parks on top of netoa. battle 5 is incoming from various direction (some were on their way to the capital from the north).
We notice crusher 6 heading back to Sipan to refuel. We wonder of it was lack of fuel, or an old feature on what is calculated as "closest" fuel source when queuing orders. Fuel situation at Ecery seems OK, and there is also lots of fuel on the gas mine.
Invasion leader back to Mortalu system.
Sloes van 6 is mediocre or worse at 70% quality, but a 17% colony development bonus and nice resources makes it respectable. The population is way low, but maybe some peace and quiet under Dhayut rule will help it attract migrants? We are not picky, our enslavement can handle any alien visitors.
Crusher 1 wants to go all back to Mortalu for fuel. We choose to stay to guard a new medium spaceport build at Sloes Van 6. It will help as an operational stop away from home, but the build could take a while unless the pirates stockpiled more other resources than fuel. (130 caslon, 357 steel, 9 lead - they did not).
Kurilea, where Netoa is, has two good gas giants for fuel, but how to keep the mines alive? Sloes Van has many resources and is a nice mining system, but no caslon. There are a couple of caslon sources in our new territory though, one of them has a pirate base on top of it.
Najarca system seems quiet enough, and we hit the pirates hard with the last attacks, we send Battle 4 sitting there to Sloes Van 6. Or was it battle 4? That will soon do something else starting from Pantulumen. Confusion rages as the army press office.
2159.06.03 Meanwhile, in the north. We get messages about ships wanting to refuel, and discover 6 new ships from Ecery spaceport out of fuel heading south. We tell them to refuel, and they head for the single caslon source mine the system. This makes us hunt for further fuel locations (and poke the civilians for more caslon transport). We only find caslon at a star to the south, marked with the selection circle. No less than 3 caslon sources. And a system overview that hints at this being the Phantom Pirate Base (the fleet is dead, though). I guess we will spot them after all, as a construction ship heads there.
We can see crusher 6 heading north, reserving lots of fuel (all 9k reserved) sending the new ships away on empty stomachs. The light blue ships seen crossing the scanner are stressful, but they are not Najarcan pirates, they are Free Talfegleu Utopia ships travelling to and from their regional capital system to the left.
And at the same time, in our south, Battle 4 figures that with all the pirate bashing, Pantulumen is maybe OK? At least we can figure out if the defensive fleet is up to the task. And the defensive base. But we won't learn that if Battle 4 kill all that get close, do we?
They head for a pirate colony to the south. When we over extend by grabbing crap ones in the east, we can grab a nice one in the south too. The one just south of it is not bad either, actually. Apart from Mortalu, maybe we can conquer most of the galaxy just by chasing pirates?
We can see a string of invasion fleet ships heading for Mortalu. A couple of ships are told to drive-by-load at Netoa as the pirate battle there ends.
We see cruel claw pillagers flying over the scanners around the capital, heading SE. Where are they travelling from? They have not bothered us, whatever they did. The most likely candidate is a hydrogen source in a system NW of Atuuko. But that does not fit all their trajectories, some appear to come from systems in an area where we have mines in all of the systems? Confusing. The candidate system for a base at a hydrogen source is circled at the top. It fits the two to the right, but the two two lower ones moving to the SE?
Their destinations could be their bases that are south of our new colonies.
The joy of watching scanners. Too bad the game is to busy to have fun watching civilian traffic. We blame the pirates for that! And with 150k cash we feel the urge for another Battle fleet. 10 battle fleets? Are you crazy? No way, we only have 9 letters for them (0 is invasion fleet).
2169.07.26 Edop Spaceport is ready to serve the empire. Maybe this may draw some load from the fuel mines in the north? By building less ships there? Since we refuse to buy another battle fleet, this may be a minor point.
As Battle 4 is near its southern target system, invasion is told to refuel, and the leader (with good fuel levels) heads to the colony as well.
Phew, with Crusher 6 refueled there is (some) fuel at Ecery. Fuel for the next cruisers and carriers being completed.
On Arrival, Battle 4 finds the usual weakly defended pirate colony, but also a small spaceport of the Hidden Claw Industries on a gas giant in the system. First, it proves that pirates set up on hydrogen sources (which the possible pirate site north of Atuuko also was), and secondly, they may not have bothered us, but a pirate spaceport in our future system? For real?
They tried to be nasty with something looking like gravtion beams, but no damage taken. On our guys, that is.
"What? Can't queue gas mine in the system? What you mean other empire's territory?". The game has no ability to predict the short term future, most if not all of invasion fleet is just outside.
And: "Hello? Research department? One more improvement in resource sensors? Our two explorers stopped doing anything _years_ ago". (it leads to ship scanning, though).
2169.10.07: the joy of building structures at the frontier worlds. The photo shoot alerts us to a pirate facility being built, and the busters are summoned. A quick check of the colony list give show no signs of other pirate structures at this time.
Hello? Invasion fleet? Why are you not at the leader, but busy capturing a hapless pirate at Mortalu? A short delay in the plans of conquering that colony.
Why is Crusher 6 moving south? To Sloes Van 6? Probably because Crusher 1 is there and we fumbled. Noticing a construction ship heading to Ecery to pick up stuff to build a mining station in Thyfirra system, we ask them to refuel (default sipan), since we have a hunch we will discover a bowl of goodies rather soon.
2169.12.18: How long does a pirate escort attacking Netoa last vs the fighters of Battle 5? Nope, it doesn't.
As the transports of invasion has arrived in the south. Two are told to attack (5-6 troops and 3 armor), and Battle 4 heads one step south to the next colony.
It appears the phantoms have found themselves an alien capital. It is powerful, and leader of Phantom Fleet. Powerful alien ships are not what they once were, though. At least not in the Presence of Battle 3. Alien capital dead, the mine takes some shield damage.
Battle 4 are almost happy to find a medium spaceport to attack as they land in the next system, but appear a tad disorganized. They landed at the star, and had attack order, and should do better than this at circling the target. Two ships lightly damaged.
Invasion is not far behind, 3 partly full transports drop their goods. Battle 9 (new) moves to the previous colony taken. When troops have landed, Invasion gets load order and leader moves to mortalu. They won't load at the new colonies in the south, though, since there is a pirate battle raging at both of them. And with the leader move, will the transports manage to follow him this time, or find some other stupid ship to try to capture on own initiative?
Again fighting pirates. Low population, a couple of luxuries, OK quality. An ice world, but the population minority is mostly Dhayut. The natives are probably Naxxilian but it is only 50M of them working in our icy mines. Why "only 50", because if the population was significant (over 100M or 500M), we could use them to colonize ice worlds. Not that we are colonizing anything, but...
2170.04.20: With invasion just having launched to load troops, Crusher 1 babysitting a medium spaceport build while lowish on fuel, and Crusher 6 being impatient to bust some powerful ass, it is time for status.
I find invasion sprees like this one rather tiresome and after a while one gets a bit disorganized. With pirate enemies, there is no peace to be had, though. At war, I typically end up with grabbing 3-5 colonies at a time due to this. Unless I decide to clear a "distinct area" or an entire empire.
The southern move was totally optional, they have not bothered us for quite a while. But after grabbing the questionable stuff in the east to push pirates back, getting a good one was just fair.
I started a medium spaceport in the far east, I am a bit afraid it could bite me in having the build order screen ask it to build a cruiser it struggles with completing due to lacking resources. I hope the spaceport will be some extra draw for fuel for my fleets there, and I have a couple of damaged cruisers in the area that could use a repair. I expect more eastern damage in the future as well, as we are probably not done bashing pirates. There is a couple of fuel sources in our small, new, territory there. One of them has a pirate base on top of it.
Since the spaceport build was likely to struggle, I have not booked at defensive base for the other colony over there (netoa). I don't want to start that build until after the spaceport is complete, at least, there is no use in spamming builds in an area with a local resource shortage.
In the north, if the Thirfyrra system contains what I think it does, the constructor aiming for Thyrfirrra 8 may be happy that the one heading for no 9 is a bit ahead. The base is probably at Thyrfirra 8, a nice dual fuel gas giant.
Oh, and I noticed that there is no fleet at Dila system. 17 ships formerly of Sipan fleet was at Sipan, and was told to be X Dila and to move there. 17 ships is maybe a bit too many, but whatever.
Again, pirates shown. The Thirfyrra system where the possibly doomed constructor is heading, is right south of the northern (red) circle of influence. The closest site with some caslon sources to that colony, and there is a lot of fuel to be had in that system.
We can see that Edop is now the hub in an empire that it never was in incompetent Mortalen Supremacy hands. Two new colonies to the south, two new to the east. The two eastern ones does not exactly bring in a lot of systems (with resources) to our control. The pirates in the eastern red is the last of the 3 bases of the annoying Sinister Invaders. But we struggle a bit with fuel over there.
Hm, order the new Battle 8 at the capital to move to Netoa, the left of the two western, where battle 5 sit with 1 damaged at decent fuel. That colony needs some cover, and battle 5 could bust that base. Or battle 8 could, or something.
The days when the capital, Arexxie (north of it) and Dhayu 3 (SE linked to Etau) was the empire seems so far away. We were poor, and struggling to raise ships for a fightback. Now it is "another powerful fleet maybe? Nah, we have no shortcut key for them". These "many" pirates lead to a lot of protection need if one wants to limit raids, though. And they may have screwed the AI empires quite badly as they fail a lot in keeping control of their small ones. And in busting pirate bases, even if I think one northern one may have disappeared.
We have found a new pirate base south of Sipan. B'cnus Network, they have one known base at the eastern quameno areas, and are probably from that part. They have not bothered us.
I am still not paying attention to diplomacy, and fail to pay notice to some suggestions involving free trade, trade sanctions, or whatever. We took over some sluken though, we are getting closer to the potentially friendly tefnyl hive.
I think the Free Talfagleu Utopia used to look strong, not so much now, and not just because we dominate. The Xanath are on the rise, I think.
Securan Harmony is at war with Haakonish and Mortalen. They appear to spank the space defenses of the Mortalen Capital, which lacks a spaceport. The Mortalen are weak, hurt by our "many pirates, nearby", meaning many started nearby them as well?
The Mortalen are not fond of us, envying and complaining of us trespassing. Our mine is not trespassing in their system, it is their influence circle trespassing on our mine. Silly reptiles.
Hm, why has Ecery dropped from 135 development? It got Loros, so a shortage of luxuries? The civilians need to get their act together.
Edop and Grau lacks Loros fruit, but they are getting there. Dila 3, the former pirate colony SE of Sipan, is well into "profitable" territory.
Astermai will be really nice (but not Sipan 4 nice), Murlilea 2 needs population. Sloes Van 6 needs population and will give some small income. And say hello to Netoa, if we get one more colony you are unlikely to ever see it on this screen again.
12 construction ships, means two former Mortalen ones fled when heading for retirement. We had 10. And should probably get a few more since the AI is not too efficient at deploying them.
Lots of cruisers... And we can afford them.
We could of course make a custom trading port for the colonies of no spaceport to bring the now available resort and medical components. Which would boost happiness, allowing us to tax a bit harder. But why bother?
With the 17 frigates/destroyers heading off to be the Dila defense for just now, we actually need some ships to defend our new stuff in the south. Unless we intend to keep battle fleets parked there into eternity. The 17 ship or whatever construction fleet is handy as pirates do drop by the capital system mines now and then, and the local defense fleet can use the help.
We have the two pirate capital ships, we could probably just retire them. But their hyper denys are nice in making sure the annoying pirates that attack capital system mines get nowhere and dies.