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Insecticide: A mid-game AAR

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Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 10:55:52 AM   


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I wasn't planning on doing another AAR but ended up with a situation that may prove interesting. I won't say too much yet and let the AAR do most of the talking. This game has been going for a while and I'm playing as the insectoid Sluken race with Hive Mind government. I've recently destroyed one of the weaker AI and ...
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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 11:01:41 AM   


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The recent wars of annihilation against the technocratic block of Kaidian scientists and their small Teekan worker base had left the insectoid Slukens the strongest of the known empires along the galactic rim. The Teekan desert world had fallen easily and these industrious but weak rontents had been put to work in mines across the empire. No point assimilating them as they would just weaken the gene pool. The intelligence of the Kaidian scientists, however, was another matter entirely. On Ulabrea 7, the Sluken home-world, insectoid geneticists developed a method of wiring the Kaidians into the Sluken hive-mind vastly boosting research and engineering.

Other races may have found the methods dubious and uncivilised, but the results were all that mattered. And the results were good. So good in fact that a Kaidian intelligence unit led by the master spy, Bhalod Jattub, intercepted the complete operational plans of the Dila Supremacy.

The reptilian race of Mortalen warriors from the Dila Supremacy had been largely unknown until recently and only one of their lesser planets had ever been located on the edge of the core. Scattered reports and rumours from the galactic core itself spoke of terror and unrelenting conquest as the reptiles took planet after planet.

Now all their planets and plans are laid bare and the true extent of their threat is revealed. Worryingly, our Sluken warships are dwarfed by the might of this reptilian juggernaut.

From the industrious Sluken home world of Ulabrea 7, our empire extends along the southern rim of the galaxy finishing on the western frontier (orange on the map). To the north is the weak and peaceful utopian paradise of the Free Vilabre Harmony (blue on the map). A group of free thinking Securans. They are annoyed with our scientific experiments on the Kaidians but pose no great threat. Further around the rim is a Teekan mercantile guild (brown on the map). More rodents but with the ability to build massive space-ships - although this ability hasn't translated into a fleet yet. And in the core reside the dangerous Dila Supremacy (red on the map). Somewhere else in the core is a race of Quameno amphibians already at war with the reptiles.

But the news is not all bad. Recently we have discovered an abandoned ancient project in the western frontier called a Devastation Moon. A planetoid with the ability to destroy whole worlds. Constructors are on their way to complete this before the other empires get wind.

And at the star system Dinnascar, the furthest extent of the empire, a desert moon called Korabbia was found to produce a rare spice that will give the empire massive development bonuses. A ship of Teekan slaves have been sent to start mining the spice but the distance is too great for freighters to reach. So outposts are urgently being built along the route but it will be quite some time before the first shipments will reach the rest of the empire.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:49:32 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 11:05:34 AM   


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Deciphering the Mortalen intel

Relations are strained between the Sluken insectoids and the Mortalen reptiles of the Dila Supremacy. The reptiles have instigated trade sanctions and war seems imminent. The decision is made to strike while the iron is hot and while the intel is still relevant.

Strategically, because we are much weaker and smaller than the Dila Supremacy, we will need to launch a surprise attack and capture as many of the highly populated planets as possible BEFORE war is declared. This will be the safest way to fly under the awesome fire-power of the Mortalen spaceports and defence bases in orbit around these planets. So we need to evaluate what we can capture in a single audacious attack. Only the highly populated planets are worth-while. The small outposts would be easy pickings but the true power and wealth comes from the handful of highly developed planets.

The situation as revealed in the reports is as follows:

A Mortalen invasion fleet (Fleet 1) prepares at Uttithan. It consists of 16 ships carrying 26 troops. The quality of the troops looks impressive - almost on the same scale as our Sluken warrior class. The orders of this fleet are to attack and bombard a planet called Kantreem 2 in an unknown system. No doubt this is a planet of the Quameno Empire. It doesn't look like Kantreem 2 will hold out for long.

The Uttithan system consists of two highly developed planets. Multiple planets to conquer within a system will be a problem because of rebellions and dissent. If both planets are not captured together the effort will most likely be wasted. Lets look closer...

The planet Uttithan 3 appears to be the muster point for Fleet 1. Interestingly this is a planet of Zenox felines. Most likely the remnants of a once proud empire that fell to the might of the reptiles. This planet has 9 troops on the ground and a large powerful Zenox spaceport in orbit. Looking too hard as a target.

The Ikkuro System has only one populated planet and is also highly developed. Looking more hopeful as a target for attack.

This planet holds Quameno amphibians and Ikkuro primates. Most likely a previous conquest again. 10 troops on the ground so for safety we should attack with about twice that number. Our total troop strength is about 40 so that would mean half our attack to take this planet. The spaceport is only medium size so would not be able to defend itself for long. It does however have two defence bases in orbit.

Too expensive in terms of resources for the gain.

On to the Dila System - home of the reptiles. This consists of three populated planets but the third is much less developed than the other two.

The Mortalen home-world, Dila 2 (with the star in the graphic), has four defence bases but no spaceport. Only seven troops guard the planet.

Dila 1 houses the large spaceport for the system and also has only seven troops on the ground.

The small desert planet Dila 3 only has one troop defending it but grabbing the other two planets will most likely lead to a rebellion on Dila 3 anyway.

Bang for buck, the Dila System looks the juiciest target. We would capture the two most important planets and secure a bridge head in the heart of the enemy's empire.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:38:34 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 11:10:58 AM   


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Sluken logistics

Our 3rd Fleet consisting the bulk of the troop transports from the Kaidian war are now old and worn. Recent developments in both shielding and transporting dictate that this fleet should undergo a re-fit before any attack can be contemplated. The order is given and the fleet head toward the Umiga 1 Spaceport. Meanwhile, the heavily populated planets will be given instruction to start producing more troops.

The Sluken 2nd Fleet consists the most powerful of the ancient ships our explorers have been able to find. Two massive capital ships, one cruiser, and a destroyer for a combined firepower of 853. Not powerful enough to survive a sustained battle in the heart of the enemy territory, but enough to support the captured spaceport and defence bases.

The problem will be getting the fleet to the battle field. The core planets are more than a tankful of fuel away which would mean the ships would be out of fuel and energy for any fight. We can either send them anyway and refuel from the captured planets, or try and secure a refuelling point along the axis of attack. We don't want to declare war until we are ready to land the troops so we will need to build any refuelling points secretly.

Looking at the Design Screen of the various ships, most use Caslon as their fuel.

However, our Devastator flagship uses Hydrogen. This is the Sluken's most powerful ship so should be brought into the fray along with the other ships.

So it is vital to find sources of Caslon ...

... and Hydrogen.

The maps don't display the resources within the Dila Supremacy because the intel team only intercepted the operational data. Ideally we want sources of both these fuels within the targeted Dila System. The spy school is given the task of deciphering the galaxy map before the invasion takes place to see if important fuel sources can be discovered close to the action. But in the meantime, there are two gas clouds close to each other. One with Caslon and the other with Hydrogen.

The Quameno Empire already controls the more important Caslon gas mining operation and the blue fuel icon indicates we can buy fuel from them. That solves the Caslon question and should allow our fleets to arrive with some fuel in the tanks. The Hydrogen cloud, however, is being mined by the Mortalen reptiles. As we won't be declaring war until after the troops land on their home worlds and they have a trade sanction against us, we won't be able to use this a refuelling point for the Devastator flagship.

Nothing to do yet except wait while the transports refit and continue building more invasion troops.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:39:13 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 11:27:06 AM   


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I should point out that economically my Sluken empire has spent most of its income on building the outposts toward Korabbia. The projected income is in low triple digits and the available funds are in the red.

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 12:00:07 PM   


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12 months later

Much of the following makes reference to this galaxy map:

The transport fleet is still finishing its refit at Umiga 1 (G10 on the map). A low level bureaucrat stationed on the home world Ulabrea 7 (I8 on the map) deemed it prudent to keep the larger spaceports free to build new freighters so a production bottleneck occurred at Umiga 1 where only two ships could be refitted at any one time. The last of the transports is currently being refitted and should be ready in some short weeks. The hope is that the delay will not prove costly.

The desert moon Korabbia in the Dinnascar system (C10 on the map) is getting closer to the chain of outposts (D10 to G10 on the map) and it won't be long before the spice will run. A small spaceport is under construction on Korabbia itself now that some freighters can reach it with building materials. (Building a distant oupost can prove troublesome if freighters can't reach it and the game often just removes the unfinished port if too much time elapses)

Good news is that the Kaidian intel group this time led by Agent Dyr Varkiy has deciphered the Dila Supremacy galaxy map. Who said wiring Kaidian scientists to a mainframe was dubious?!

In pink on the map are the four systems controlled by the embattled Quameno Empire of amphibians (F5 & F6 on the map above). Of interest is the still intact Kantreem system. It would appear the reptilian assault faltered. The stronger the Quameno, the more likely the reptiles are to not declare war on us, and the more likely our invasion plans will succeed.

The new intel also allows us to make an evaluation on the fuel requirements of the fleet now that we can see all resources of the Dila Supremacy.

Unfortunately, neither Caslon or Hydrogen are available in the Dila System (E5 on the map). We will need to take over another nearby system to ensure our ships can sustain a long fight. Buying fuel from the Quameno will just make them more nervous bringing our capital ships into their planetary systems so it would be best to conquer our own supply. A desert world called Romulus looks promising (F5 on the map). It is well developed for a desert world but doesn't have a spaceport. It is unlikely to have many troops so can be attacked after the initial forces capture the Dila System.

So now the waiting game is nearly over. Nearly ready to mobilise forces and launch our surprise attack!

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:39:49 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 12:25:53 PM   


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Plans awry

The last troop transport has finished its refit and the 3rd Fleet starts to head back toward the heart of the Sluken empire and the cadres of waiting troops when a message is received by the Department of Foreign Opportunities.

The Sluken High Command are furious! Was there a breach of security? Is there a spy in our midst? The timing is all too perfect. Just when all the battle fleets are primed and ready for clandestine action this news hits like a thunderbolt.

Contingencies! If we can secure the hydrogen gas cloud and then try for peace - however unlikely considering the Mortalen-Quameno war has raged for years - we may yet bring about our plans of capturing the Dila System and shaking the reptilian empire to its core.

Fleet 2, the small but powerful fleet of capital ships, is dispatched to the hydrogen gas cloud to destroy the mining operation. Once destroyed we will send our own constructor. The distance between the rim and the core is our friend as the Mortalen attack ships are far more advanced in fire-power and numbers than our fleet. The best option is to choke their supply and keep their fleets inside the galactic core.

New orders given. Ships leaving space-dock. When another message is received.

Those do-gooder Securans of the Free Vilabre Harmony and their placards of 'Free the Kaidians'. So they have decided to act after all. Little do they know that the very Kaidians they wish to release are being used against them. Years ago now, even as the first Kaidian scientists were wired to the collective, the environment selected for initial testing was the Securans themselves. Their every move has been monitored and they have been deemed a low threat.

It is unlikely the Mortalen reptiles will make their way across the void in meaningful numbers given the fuel constraints so even before the 2nd Fleet has left the Ulabrea Home System, the directive from High Command echoes throughout the hive mind, 'Crush the Securans!'

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:40:19 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 1:02:36 PM   


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Securan timing

In the Sluken High Command War Room the various officers and advisors stare at the maps of Securan theatre of operation in disbelief. If the Securans had waited until the 2nd Fleet was committed in the void they would have only had the weaker 1st fleet and a collection of antiquated system ships to contend with. As it stands now, the rally point for preparing the Mortalen invasion was the Sluken home system of Ulabrea - right on the border with the Securans Free Vilabre Harmony. The two attack fleets are fully fuelled and armed while the troop transports of 3rd Fleet are on their way to Ulabrea 7. The Securans will be facing the full might of the Sluken Ulabrea Sovereignty from the very start of the war!

The area of operations is clearly divided into two distinct theatres.

The southern theatre

This consists of the core Sluken worlds in the south of the sector comprising the Ulabrea, Slukis, Memban and Betilosi systems - all churning out troops for the planned Mortalen war. To the north is the Sluken stronghold of Urtu with the research base monitoring the black hole, Devouring Chasm. Above Urtu is the important mining system of Kurrubah which supplies important gasses to the empire. Stuck right in the middle is the lone Securan system of Adare and its single desert world.

The Securan 1st Fleet is in deep space but infiltrators show its orders are to attack the Kurrubah 2 Gas Mining Station. It has a fairly impressive fire-power of 408.

The task for our 2nd Fleet withs its fire-power of 853 will be to intercept and destroy the Securan fleet at Kurrubah. As all ships in the fleet are fully fuelled and have barely left the Ulabrea System the new plans are easy to implement. Cancel the orders to attack the Hydrogen cloud mining operation and switch to protection of Kurrubah 2.

The desert planet Adare 1 only has a single troop defending it. Our 1st Fleet consisting of some destroyers and frigates with a combined fire-power of 297 is too weak to take on the superior Securan fleet but it does carry two Sluken attack troops. They can easily deal with the Adare System while the capital ships fight the real battle.

The northern theatre

The northern theatre of operations is almost the inverse of the southern theatre. At the top is the Securan home system of Vilabre while at the bottom are the two minor Securan systems of Pudires and Almanea. In the middle of this is the extended and weak Sluken outpost in the Yaga System.

After the southern theatre is secure, the action will move into the northern theatre and the fight will be taken to the Securan home world.

The main prize in the Sluken-Securan war will be to capture as many of their planets before they surrender. If their home worlds are taken there is a strong likelyhood that they will appoint us as their overlords - but that isn't enough now! We want it all.

The home system for the Securans is Vilabre with its two developed planets.

Vilabre 1, the lush continental world, has a garrison of ten troops with another three under construction. Even though these are likely to be mediocre Securan Assassin units, they may still put up a fight to protect their homeworld.

Orbiting Vilabre 1 are two troop transports carrying another 5 troops each.

The Securan government is on the Vilabre desert moon of CP397. Only a garrison of three troops here and no orbitals to contend with.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:40:48 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 1:16:57 PM   
Erik Rutins


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Great to see an AAR with some developed empires taking each other on. Slukens vs. Mortalens is a great fight, with a Securan side show to make things really interesting. I hope the Mortalens don't hit you while you're busy teaching the Securans to mind their own business.


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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 7:27:41 PM   


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ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

I hope the Mortalens don't hit you while you're busy teaching the Securans to mind their own business.

They will struggle crossing the void, just like I'm going to have a difficult time getting to them (unless their ships use Hydrogen and can refuel at the gas cloud).

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 8:17:47 PM   


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Ducks on a pond

A week after the Securans made their futile declaration of war, the Sluken High Command review the situation in the southern theatre.

The Sluken 1st Fleet is nearly at Adare. Adare is completely defenceless and so will fall easily. The 2nd Fleet is in deep space moving at full speed toward Kurrubah 2. The Securan 1st Fleet is moving slowly toward its target and it looks as though the 2nd Fleet may even arrive in time to save the mining station. The seven transport ships of the 3rd Fleet are mere days away now from docking at Ulabrea and collecting more troops. These will only be needed for the second phase, the attack on the Securan home worlds.

Days pass and the Sluken destroyers arrive in the Adare System. Land the troops!

The news of the capture of Adare 1 is greeted throughout the empire with pride and joy. The first blow has been struck!

Meanwhile, in space above Kurrubah, the Sluken capital ships of the 2nd Fleet speed past the the unsuspecting Securan 1st Fleet. The insectoids will reach the mining station first and can lay an ambush!

And back on Ulabrea 7 the 3rd fleet has arrived and starts loading more troops.

More days pass and the ambush at Kurrubah 2 is set. The printine captial ships along with a ragged assortment of old frigates and destroyers greet the Securans as they leave hyperspace. This is going to be a massacre!

One by one the Securan ships are destroyed.

Until only three remain. The stragglers who didn't reach Kurrubah with the main group.

But what's this? The fire-power of these three ships is still 252! They must have a capital ship!

A quick scan reveals it is still a long way off in the void west of Pudires. The Sly Liberty, flagship of the Securans. And it still has orders to attack Kurrubah.

Even though the Securan fleet is mainly space debris floating in low orbit around the gas giant, Kurrubah 2, the Sluken High Command keeps the capital ships there in case the Securan flag ship continues its attack trajectory.

The 1st and 3rd Fleets will be sent to the Yaga outpost for refuelling, to prepare for the final attack on the Securan home worlds.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:41:22 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 10:16:45 PM   


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Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy...

With orders given to all the fleets it is time to use the breathing space and quickly review the situation within the empire.

The galaxy map is brought up at High Command and focus is dragged from the Securan war in the east to the frontier in the west.

"What are these red dots and squares near Korabbia?" asks a low ranking Sluken officer.

A minor bureaucrat from the Korabbian Spice Ministry smugly answers, "We've been monitoring these for the past few months. The Mortalens have been sending construction ships to mine resources. Nothing to worry about. They haven't encroached on the Dinnascar System or its precious moon Korabbia and none of their diabolical military ships have arrived."

The bureaucrat continues, "As you can see from this sector, Korabbia is entirely safe with only a small handful of reptilian mining stations in the surrounds."

"And, the best news of all, Korabbia Spaceport has been completed and even as we speak the first shipments of spice are being loaded onto the waiting freighter, Regal Rebel." The bureaucrat crosses his multiple arms across his chest waiting for the adoration of the High Command.

Tensions rise as a crusty old general turns on the bureaucrat. "What protection do we have on the frontier?"

"There is no threat. We have no ships other than two destroyers and two frigates."

The general turns to a subordinate. "Form those four ships into a fleet and destroy all the mining bases." Then he growls, pointing at the bureaucrat, "And dispose of that garbage!"

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:42:12 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 10:29:23 PM   


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Mortalen attack

In the Undirun Region of the void (Sector G4) the Sluken had won a back-water outpost in a long past battle with pirates. The outpost holds no real strategic value and was very nearly scrapped to save the maintenance cost. Now it seems the Mortalen have decided the issue for us. Their 2nd Fleet move in and quickly destroy the outpost.

So the reptiles are moving eastward. At this stage they pose no immediate threat but this is the first real aggression of the war between the insectoids and the reptilians.

To cap things off, a Kaidian intel squad led by the impressive Mavoq Yurkan have infiltrated deep within the Mortalen hierarchy. All their ship movements and ground forces can now be seen.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:42:46 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 10:57:49 PM   


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A question of timing

Some months pass and finally the 1st and 3rd fleets arrive at moon outpost AC833 of the Yaga System. The 3rd fleet is given the order to refuel and its seven ships are full to the brim of highly trained Sluken troops. 42 of them in fact. This will be a good trial in preparation for the future Mortalen attack.

The pieces are ready. All fleets are in position. It is time to take the Securan war to its final conclusion. But first the High Command request a strategic appraisal so the final tactical dispositions can be worked out.

In deep space, the Securan flagship Sly Liberty has changed course. It has stopped its attack on Kurrubah and is now looking to refuel at the Pudires System moon of WP764. But it is a long way off and travelling slowly.

On Vilabre 1 there are now eleven ground troops guarding the planet.

In each Sluken transport are 6 troops. As this is the most important planet to take four of the seven transports will be dispatched to take this planet.

That leaves three transports left. One will be sent to capture the Securan government on the desert moon CP397 also within the Vilabre System. Another will be sent to the moon WP764 in the Pudires System. And the last will be sent to take the planet Almanea 4.

Timing will be critical as we need to ensure that all four planets are attacked simultaneously. We don't want the Securans surrendering until after they have lost everything!

The five ships are sent to the Vilabre System, then a week later another is dispatched to Pudires. Finally, after a few days the last transport is dispatched to Almanea. They should all arrive at about the same time.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:43:16 AM >

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/14/2010 11:44:54 PM   


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Securan swan song

The last transport to leave is the first to arrive at the largely undefended planet, Almanea 4.

WP764 is more heavily defended but the transport with its improved shielding should have no trouble getting the troops to land.

The Securan government is entirely defenceless.

But Vilabre 1 has heavy fire-power with its large spaceport. The fleet flagship moves in too early without the support of the other three ships.

All four ships should be moving in together to help draw fire away from each other. The shielding should protect it long enough to land the troops.

Nooooo! The large spaceport rips through the shielding and before troops can be landed the hull is breached. The captain frantically tries to take the transport out of orbit but it is too late.

The flagship is destroyed along with its full contingent of highly trained Sluken troops. These are the cream of the empire having become veterans in the Kaidian wars. A massive loss.

The three remaining transports dive at the planet using the destruction of the flagship as cover. In the end 18 of the planned 24 troops are on the ground. Perhaps it will be enough.

Another of the transports limps away from the battle barely functional but successful in dropping its cargo of troops. It is now the new fleet flagship. The shielding on the other two ships are tested but manage to hold.

The last hope now is that the ten Securan troops in orbit will not reinforce Vilabre 1. They would surely tip the balance if they entered the fray.

Meanwhile Almanea 4 has sucumbed.

And after dropping troops on WP764 that transport makes its escape under fire.

So with the ground battle raging across the devastation that was the Free Vilabre Harmony, two enemy fleets enter the theatre.

The Securan 1st Fleet is still desperately looking for fuel. It will be too late to use the moon WP764 as the Pudires System has days left before it succumbs to the superior Sluken troops.

Of greater concern is the Mortalen 2nd Fleet assembling to attack the Kurrubah system. Their 16 ships have a fire-power of 482 but they are low on fuel. They will bare watching but the void will most likely prove our best defence as it is unlikely they will reach Kurrabah with any fuel reserves.

The Securan capital falls.

And the troop transport is ordered to quickly reload the troops. They may be needed to boost the attack on Vilabre 1.

WP764 also falls.

But on Vilabre 1 the battle rages on. The Sluken troops slowly drive back the Securan assassins. One Sluken troop has been destroyed for three of the enemy.

The writing is on the wall. Vilabre 1 collapses after weeks of fighting and the Sluken troops quickly take control of the powerful spaceport, turning its fire-power on the Securans in orbit.

The butchers bill is not too high. Only two Sluken troops were lost and many have gained crucial battle experience.

A quick glance at the small galaxy map will show the only remaining Securan planet coloured blue in the top right.

This is Yenhurr 2 and houses a motley collection of refugees.

They still boast a fairly impressive military strength for an empire without any spaceports. And they have not surrendered yet.

Our choices are to ignore them as they are a long way away. Or we can take the last planet and gain control of their remaining ships. Their capital ship would be a worthy prize which is still limping around in the remnants of their old empire searching for fuel.

Yes. Dispatch one of the transports to take the last Securan world.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:43:46 AM >

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Post #: 15
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/15/2010 12:27:20 AM   

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Hey dude!  Awesome description of the war so far.  I like the way you write it and your Sluken have great personality.  Also, this is a much bigger war than anything I've ever fought yet in DW

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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/15/2010 3:08:21 AM   

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Cool AAR there - I was engrossed!

You're right - those Securan troop transports should have reinforced their planet Vilabre 1. I'll put that on the list for the AI...


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RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/15/2010 10:21:07 AM   


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Thanks for your comments guys.  And thanks for making this awesome game Elliot. I've noticed that quite often the AI will not use their transports effectively. Not sure if the Securan transport that escaped will launch an attack or not. We'll see I guess.

One aspect of the game I have kept 'vanilla' up until now is ship design. I like the range limitation on freighters in particular that slow down rampant colonisation. You really need to build a full infrastructure to support distant worlds (pun intended) like Korabbia in this instance and it would be a shame if you could easily strap on fuel cells and get around these limitations.

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Post #: 18
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/15/2010 10:21:38 AM   


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High Command

In the war hall of the Sluken High Command, deep beneath the surface of the home world Ulabrea 7, a mixed group of the empire's military, intelligence and scientific leaders stand watching the massive floor to ceiling screen where various maps and reports are shown. Currently on the screen is footage of a powerful yet cumbersome Sluken troop transport approaching a blue-green world. Streams of missiles and beams bombard the transport from a large spaceport in orbit over the planet. The transport enters the atmosphere and heads toward the surface but is not going to make it. It veers away but the damage is too great. Finally, in a fireball above the planet, the transport blows apart.

"Enough!" commands one of the generals. He turns to a group of scientists and says angrily, "You said the refit would strengthen the shielding! You said the plating would hold! Yet a lone Securan spaceport destroyed our best troops before they could land."

One of the scientists, a hunched and discoloured Sluken with a sickly disposition showing not the slightest fear growls back at the general, "You call the battle for Vilabre 1 a failure! It showed us the way forward."

The general, not used to his authority being challenged, turns abruptly toward the scientist, "Our strongest ships cannot withstand a single Securan spaceport. How are they to survive an attack on the Mortalen home-world with defences four times as powerful? Vilabre 1 showed us the way forward alright! The way to our destruction!"

A cloaked figure moves forward. One of the Sluken intelligence officers. "The general is right. Our original plans for a surprise attack are no longer valid. The Mortalen have not responded to our attempts to end the war. This will drag on until we are ultimately destroyed. Their military might is three times the size of ours and their capacity to wage war is stronger. If we cannot strike decisively and gain a defensible position in the core we will eventually succumb. Even now the reptiles are colonising parts of the rim and have recently discovered a fruit to rival our Korabbian spice! The only thing holding the reptiles back is the resistance of the amphibians in the core. But they are sorely pressed so will not be a buffer for us for long."

The general interjects, "The war has gone on for two years with only minor skirmishes. Reports now show that the weak Teekan empire to our north is allowing the reptilian ships to refuel. It won't be long before the storm clouds break." He turns to the scientists and snarls, "And your incompetence has left us with no options!"

The crooked scientist raises a gnarled hand, "Yes. Yes, your plans are futile. At Vilabre 1 you lost a ship. At Dila you would have lost it all. That was the true value of Vilabre 1. The ability to learn from small losses." He turns to the large screen and nods. A new image appears. Thousands of zombie-like humanoids are strapped to hard slabs. Machinery and wiring is connected to their bulbous heads. This is the Kaidian Research Facility on the old Kaidian swamp moon of YX999 in the Uphediraan System. Sluken scientists wander through the scene checking connections here and there. A figure appears in the foreground. The lead doctor of the facility.

The hunched scientist talks loudly to the doctor, "It is time doctor. Tell the High Command of your progress."

The voice from the speakers crackles and the doctor nods, "Gentlemen. We stand on the verge of great advances in our knowledge of construction and shielding. Within weeks we will be able to build transports that are much larger, stronger and faster. And we will be able to build a new fleet of cruisers designed to reach and fight in the galactic core itself!"

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:44:26 AM >

(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 19
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/15/2010 12:20:27 PM   


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A new design

Three months later the doctor in charge of the Kaidian Research Facility in the Uphediraan System addresses the assembled High Command once again shown on the large screen. This time the setting behind him is different. He is inside a large construction bay where the skeleton of some monstrous ship is in the first stages of construction.

He speaks over the machinery around him, "Gentlemen! Behold our glorious future!" He points to a portion being fitted to the skeleton that looks like a large scoop or cone, "That is the new energy collector that will allow our ships to re-energise without fuel."

"Not perfect but will help in an emergency. And the ship itself is possible because of the new improved yard."

"Finally, the ship will be protected by the newly developed shields."

"And armed with the same weaponry as the Mortalen ships."

One of the generals at High Command asks, "Doctor, the ship behind you doesn't look like a troop transport."

The doctor nods, "That is because it isn't. It is the first of the new fleet of cruisers."

There is general approval from the assembly. The general states, "Timely indeed. Recently on the frontier a lone Mortalen destroyer single-handedly defeated a fleet of four of our ships."

One of the black cloaked intelligence officers adds, "And the Teekans have welcomed the Mortalens with open arms and are allowing their fleet to refuel at their home-world. It is only days or weeks before this fleet is used against us."

"And the Securans have bowed to our demands and become subjugated to us so we will not get the use of their ships in the coming battle."

The general smiles with a snarl, "No matter now that we have this fleet at our disposal. The reptiles will dread the day they declared war. Doctor. How many cruisers will comprise this wondrous fleet of yours?"

The doctor hesitates then says, "Um. Two."

"Two?! What good is two against hundreds?"

The doctor hastily adds, "General. We ran out of funding. All we could afford was two."

"How could you have run out of funding? That is impossible. The spice tax should have covered a fleet of at least twelve ships."

The doctor moves toward the screen and says, "General. It did! Look at this." The doctor pushes a button and the screen flickers to a different ship design.

"General, this is your new troop transport. This is the Revenge.", the doctor states proudly. "More than double the shield capacity of the old design. Double the fuel capacity. Much higher speed. And vastly improved armour. And to top if off, when it reaches the atmosphere it homes in on the target and will not deviate no matter what instruction the captain gives it. We have studied the footage of the Vilabre 1 attack and the captain of the flagship could have reached land if he had kept his head. The ship would still have been destroyed but the troops could have been deployed on the surface. His moment of hesitation cost us our best troops because he had discretion to retreat once his shields reached 50%. Now that decision has been taken from the captain and once the ship is committed it will continue regardless of what is thrown at it."

The doctor waits a moment. "The six remaining ships of the transport fleet are being retrofitted to this new design. And a further eight transports are currently under construction!"

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:44:52 AM >

(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 20
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/15/2010 3:53:08 PM   

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Awesome AAR!


(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 21
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/16/2010 1:45:44 PM   


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The buildup

Throughout the Sluken empire the various shipyards are actively employed building the new fleet. As funds become available they are immediately invested back into the insectoid war machine.

The reptilians have already a strong presence in the northern rim where they have control over the rare and valuable Loros Fruit. And they have taken their first foothold on the western frontier sending a small group of the feline Zenox to inhabit a continental moon in the Trandusha System.

Sluken military is mainly centred around the home systems in the south east with only light forces on the frontier. All three Sluken attack fleets are located on the far eastern rim after the war with the Securans.

The only ship on the frontier is an old Imperia IV model destroyer from the long-gone Kaidian wars.

Through sheer good luck, the destroyer still carries its contingent of Sluken Terminator troops in stasis. While the ship itself would be no match for any Mortalen vessel the contingent of soldiers should be able to defeat the felines in the Trandusha System and re-secure the frontier.

The spice mining operation on Korabbia takes a leap forward with the construction of a powerful new spaceport. In future, ships can be built here to protect the valuable frontier.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy...

The capital ships of Fleet 2 are in transit to the Vilabre System to protect the refitting of the transports of Fleet 3 on Vilabre 1. This is to counter any move from the Mortalen 2nd Fleet finishing their refuelling in the nearby Teekan systems.

The first of the refitted ships is completed and troops reload onto the improved transports.

Once the capital ships move away from Kurrubah a disgruntled Securan destroyer captain decides to finish off what they attempted at the start of the war and destroy the Kurrubah 2 mining station.

A frigate on escort duties is given new orders to intercept the wayward Securan.

The skirmish doesn't last long and the Securan destroyer is defeated over the gas giant and mining station he was intent on attacking.

Before long the first of the Judgement class cruisers leave space-dock from the Kaidian Research Facility on the swamp moon of YX999.

Its range can now take the fight into the galactic core (cruiser selected at the base of the map and white arc shows its range reaching the Dila Supremacy systems).

The months roll by and before long Korabbian Spice has finally reached the Sluken home world of Ulabrea 7.

And back on the frontier, that lone antiquated destroyer and its single contingent of attack troops closes in on the Mortalen planet.

Taking it easily.

The frontier has finally been cleansed of all reptilian presence!

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:45:28 AM >

(in reply to Grotius)
Post #: 22
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/16/2010 1:53:26 PM   


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Battle at Yaga

While the Sluken refitting and construction of the new fleets continues with the new design cruisers being commissioned from Korabbia in the west to the home systems in the east, at the Teekan Dandalas System the fully fuelled Mortalen 2nd Fleet silently and ominously slips anchor. Their new target - to intercept and destroy the weaker Sluken 1st Fleet refuelling at the Yaga System.

We are about to witness the first major engagement of the five-year old war against the Mortalens!

The Sluken capital fleet of its four most powerful ships is protecting the refitting taking place at Vilabre, but it has not had time to refuel. Both Sluken attack fleets will be needed to face the Mortalens. The order is given. "Move back to Yaga and refuel before the reptiles arrive!" (Image below shows the Sluken 2nd Fleet low on fuel moving from Vilabre to Yaga.)

The capital ships arrive and immediately head to refuel at the small spaceport on the desert moon, AC833, where the targeted 1st Fleet awaits the coming battle.

The refuelling operation is complete before the first of the Mortalen ships enters the system.

The 1st Fleet is also primed and fuelled for the reptilians.

The reptilians leave hyperspace, fully surrounding the combined Sluken fleets at the desert moon AC833.

The thirteen Sluken ships take on the sixteen Mortalen. But the massive fire-power of the two Sluken battleships places the odds with the insectoids.

The first frantic attack wave is met with much confusion and heavy weapon fire from all quarters.

Reptilian orders are intercepted. All Mortalen ships in range are ordered to attack the largest of the Sluken capital ships, the battleship Crushing Action.

The initial attack vector of the Mortalen fleet has left their ships strung out across the battlefield. A collection of Sluken destroyers and frigates combine in the space above the desert moon while the two Sluken battleships take the main battle westward. After the initial attack the Slukens are all still intact but the sixteen original Mortalen ships now number ten.

The superior fire-power of the battleships rips through the shielding of the reptilians like a hot knife through butter. But the Mortalen continue their futile efforts.

By now, most of the action has moved away from the moon.

Ship after reptilian ship is chased down by the battleships are destroyed. The Sluken destroyers mopping up the debris left behind from the battleships.

The last Mortalen destroyer is blown apart leaving just two empty troop transports from the original fleet of sixteen.

These are quickly chased down...

... and obliterated!

The battle of Yaga is over. Not a single Mortalen ship from their proud battle fleet remains. And thanks to the overwhelming fire-power of the Sluken battleships who arrived to save the day, not a single insectoid ship was damaged.

A resounding victory!

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:46:10 AM >

(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 23
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/16/2010 11:27:25 PM   


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Final plans

At the Sluken High Command, a top level bureaucrat flicks through a stack of reports and addresses the war council, "It would seem that the spice has had a dramatic effect on the empire. For the first time the strategic value of our colonies surpasses that of the reptilians. Our planets now earn the same so can match their war-time spending on that front, but the good news is that our private sector has outstripped that of the Mortalen and we take much more in taxes."

A gruff general shakes his head, "But even after the battle of Yaga their military is still twice as powerful as ours. And the new ships are unlikely to have much energy left to fight in the core by the time they get there."

There is a collective snarl of agreement amongst the military personnel.

The gnarled old scientist once again raises his twisted hand and the large screen flickers to life. "The cruisers and troop transports were merely designed to get you to the core." After a short pause he looks at the screen. The shot is from space of the unmistakable insectoid ancestral home of Slukis 1. A massive ship slowly lumbers into the vision on the screen. Much bigger than any ship ever built - even by the ancients. It is the scale of a large spaceport but with banks of engines.

The scientist hisses, "This is the Majestic Anarchy! Get this to a gas giant in the core that holds both Caslon and Hydrogen and your fuel issues will be over."

The general assembly rise from their positions to look closer at the screen. Another of the general staff says, "Troops are in stasis on many of the transports. Cruisers are leaving space-dock on a monthly basis. Now with this leviathan surely it is time to take the war to the core worlds."

A black-clad intelligence officer nods, "The time is indeed right - for a number of reasons. It is common knowledge that the core worlds are amongst the richest and most developed planets in the galaxy."

He continues, "In fact, the Mortalens control six of the top ten colonies. These will be your prime targets."

"The Uttithan worlds are rich ..."

"... but well defended. You would need all our available troops to take this system - and even then victory would not be assured. This is a collection point for Mortalen war ships."

"Two of the Dila System worlds are amongst the richest in the galaxy but this system has no fuel reserves ..."

"... but the planets are lightly defended and we estimate that if we can land troops on the ground we will still have reserves for other operations. This system must be the main objective!"

"The Ikkuro System has a strong garrison and would take three or four transports to conquer."

"The Mortaj System could be captured with three transports but this is another collection point for Mortalen destroyers and frigates."

"The Dimuphun System can be taken with two transports."

"In summary, the rich Dila System, containing the important home world of the Mortalens, must be the prime objective. Capture this System and their resolve will crumble. We estimate it will take five transports to achieve this. The Dimuphun System can also be considered a relatively safe target to capture. The other worlds may prove too costly in terms of troops."

The intelligence officer strolls before the assembly, "Which brings us to logistics. Fuel to be specific. Our original attack plans were drafter six years ago and the Romulus System was selected as the bridge-head for refuelling the ships."

"It was close to the rich Dila System but recently this has been reinforced and other planets colonised. We will lose some troops taking this system and the Mortalen mining operations would need to be destroyed before we can secure the resources. If we have no fuel when we arrive our fleets will not be able to easily secure this system. A lot has changed in six years!"

Another pause while the logistic situation is absorbed by the High Command. The intelligence officer continues, "This is why we have chosen another system to secure first." He points to the map, "Here. The Mortalu system."

"It contains a single desert world with minimal defences. One transport can easily take this."

"And both Caslon and Hydrogen are available on one of the un-mined gas giants." With that, the intelligence officer takes his seat again.

The gruff general rises, "One transport to secure the bridge-head. Five to secure the reptilian home world. Our transport fleet called 1st Wave has seven fully stocked transports!"

His voice gets louder, "Behind this we have another fleet of three transports nearly ready called 2nd Wave."

"Five of the new cruisers are ready for action to establish the initial beach-head."

He thumps a fist into the air and shouts, "Launch the fleets. The invasion of the core commences as of now!"

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:46:47 AM >

(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 24
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/17/2010 2:15:50 AM   
Erik Rutins


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Outstanding, can't wait for the next installment.


Erik Rutins
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For official support, please use our Help Desk:

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(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 25
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/17/2010 5:34:59 AM   

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well he may struggle if he wants to upgrade... save games...

Excellent effort. Very impressed with how you manage to keep on top of borders. I might try a ring galaxy just so I can make sense of where I start and finish.


Image courtesy of Divepac

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 26
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/17/2010 8:23:51 AM   


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ORIGINAL: aprezto

well he may struggle if he wants to upgrade... save games...

Excellent effort. Very impressed with how you manage to keep on top of borders. I might try a ring galaxy just so I can make sense of where I start and finish.

I must admit, when I saw the release was delayed I was actually relieved. I really like the ring galaxies with low numbers of planets because distance starts to play an important role.

(in reply to aprezto)
Post #: 27
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/17/2010 8:27:52 AM   


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Trade wars

Korabbian Spice saved the Sluken empire! It is rarely stated aloud but without the flow of spice back through the chain of ports and colonies the development of the empire would have waned. Without the profits from spice the empire would not have been able to afford the new fleets preparing to leave for the Mortalen core worlds. Not that any credit was given to the department responsible, the Sluken Ministry of Trade and Resources. But the ministers in this secretive and sly enclave are comfortable to remain in the shadows, pulling strings where they need to be pulled.

With the upgrade of the Korabbian Spaceport, the ministry moved their headquarters there. The reason given was to be close to the important trade routes. But the reality was to operate outside the gaze of the Sluken High Command. First they controlled just the trade. Then they regulated the frontier worlds. After that they successfully argued that the fleet of exploration ships should fall under their jurisdiction - after all, they are exploring the frontier. This allowed them to become an autonomous force working behind the scenes of the western reaches of the galaxy.

So while the small rodent Teekan slave miners worked the hot surface of the desert moon, the ministers plotted in their comfortable halls, safely in orbit in the latest model spaceport of the Sluken empire.

They secretly commissioned two of the new cruiser designs and when the other fleets were called for service, these two ships did not join the others. Protecting the spice flow is too important.

But spice isn't the only unique commodity with the ability to shape empires. In the northern rim of the galaxy the Mortalen reptiles have colonised a world where Loros Fruit grows.

The distance between the rim and the core has kept this farming operation low-key but with other Mortalen colonies growing in the portion of the rim it won't be long before their empire receives an important boost in development. Unfortunately this is too far away to control so at some point in the near future the Mortalens will receive a massive boost to their planetary value.

Closer to the frontier on the volcanic planet Paakri 1, located in the western void of the galaxy mid way between the core and the rim, rare Zentabia Fluid was found to collect in magma pools. Luckily Paakri 2 was colonisable so the ministry designated this planet for priority colonisation. The plan was that once a colony was established the fluid could be collected at its sister planet.

However, as the Slukens colonised Paakri 2, the Mortalens had just finished constructing their own mining operation on Paakri 1. They had control of the Zentabia Fluid!

If the Mortalens controlled two of these rare resources (Loros Fruit and Zentabia Fluid) they would regain their previous galactic domination.

With one of the secretly constructed cruisers kept back at Korabbia to protect the spice trade, the other cruiser is dispatched to the Paakri System to destroy the reptilian mining operation.

Some weeks pass and then a monumental discovery is made. Deep in the northern rim, just to the west of the Mortalen planets and their Loros Fruit plant in the Udus System, a lone exploration ships stumbles across a debris field in the Urd Wylan System.

And that is not the only news. A number of the ships are fully operational.

The minsters above Korabbia quickly confer. The ships, by right, should be handed over to the Sluken High Command for use in the war. Collectively they are the most powerful fleet yet seen in the galaxy. And the remaining debris should be catalogued and reserved to resurrect as many of these ancient ships as possible. That would be the honest and open decision.

But on the other hand, the fleet could be used to stop the trade of Loros Fruit at the nearby world of Udus 5.

The order is given, "Destroy the remaining derelicts so no-one knows of this discovery ..."

"... then proceed to Udus 5 and blockade the trade of Loros Fruit.

Meanwhile, back in the Paakri System. Mortalen freighters flock to the volcanic planet to transport Zentabia Fluid to their empire.

But their plans are short-lived. The mighty cruiser, Red Mayhem, leaves hyperspace close to the mining operation ...

... and starts obliterating the freighters with their precious cargo of Zentabia Fluid.

The reptiles send what reinforcements they can. But it is not enough.

Before long, the reptilian mining site is under attack while a Sluken Constructor waits to establish their own presence in the system.

And so, one way or another, the three most important resources in the known galaxy are under Sluken control.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:47:35 AM >

(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 28
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/17/2010 8:43:58 AM   


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Galactic core

After weeks of travel, the various Sluken fleets head toward the Mortalen core worlds - lacking fuel reserves the overriding problem.

The first of the cruisers closely followed by the supply ship pass systems and planets on their trajectory toward Mortalu 7, the gas giant that will become the launch pad for the Sluken invasion.

The cruiser, Judgement, is the first to arrive with barely any fuel reserves.

The resupply ship, Majestic Anarchy moves to deploy and establish the forward base on Mortalu 7.

Still in transit, the 1st Wave fleet of transports is also extremely low on fuel.

With the resupply ship in the final stages of deployment it would appear the initial critical stage is drawing to a close. An attack by the enemy while fuel reserves are so low could have spelt disaster.

As each fleet arrives in the system they are given orders to refuel at Mortalu 7.

And so, as the fleets begin refuelling, the last Sluken fleet approaches the system.

Too late, the reptilians dispatch a lone destroyer to investigate.

The enemy destroyer doesn't survive for long.

More worrying though is a Mortalen troop transport looking to reinforce Mortalu 1.

Now we will need two transports for this phase of the operation instead of the planned one. The Slukens had one of the seven transports held in reserve so it will need to be committed now.

The two Sluken transports follow the same trajectory as the Mortalen transport. Sporadic defensive batteries pepper the invading transports with laser fire.

But what's this? Instead of dropping troops as reinforcements, the Mortalens extract the remaining troops from the surface onto their lone transport.

Mortalu 1 is defenceless and falls before the attack fleet can leave planetary orbit.

The planetary defences are quickly turned on the now full Mortalen transport and blow it and its cargo of troops to dust.

The foothold in the core has been established!

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:48:17 AM >

(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 29
RE: Insecticide: A mid-game AAR - 6/17/2010 9:29:32 AM   


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Reptilian homeworlds

With the beachhead in the core established, all the ships refuelled, and the troops dropped on Mortalu 1 reloaded onto their transports, the invasion of the reptilian world can commence. In the first phase of the attack on the Dila System only the seven transports are dispatched.

They arrive and form ready for their specific missions. One will attack the weak desert world. Two each will attack the two main planets. And the final two transports will form a strategic reserve. (The ships circled in pink are the Sluken transports.)

Dila 3 has no orbital defences and weak ground troops.

The Mortalen capital, Dila 2, doesn't have a spaceport but is surrounded by four defence bases. Unfortunately the two transports have lost cohesion during hyper-travel and the distant transport has some work to do just to line up its attack vector. The closer transport is already committed and will face the full force of the defence bases on its own.

The risk here is that each transport will be destroyed piecemeal before they can reach the planet.

But there is no great concern as the transport drops its cargo of insectoid troops on the Mortalen capital. The surprise is that many troops have also been extracted from this planet leaving only a skeleton force to protect the halls of government. The second transport will no longer be needed so is ordered into reserve out of the range of the reptilian lasers and missiles. The successful empty transport is given orders to escape.

Dila 1, the other important planet in the system, still has four troops on the surface and more being called up. This will require the two transports allocated in the original plan. As it happens, these transports executed their approach perfectly and are in close support of each other so should draw fire away from each other as they approach. This planet has a large spaceport and a single defence base. A destroyer has recently been constructed and is also still in orbit.

Both transports land their troops but the combined defensive fire-power whittles away the shields of both transports.

Neither ship can escape the range of the weaponry and explode trying to make their escape. First the lead transport...

... then the following transport.

Meanwhile, Dila 3, the desert planet falls quickly.

And before long the Mortalen capital, Dila 2, is conquered with not a single Sluken troop destroyed.

The ground battles rage on the surface of Dila 1 and the remaining five transports are extracted to the safe bridgehead in the Mortalu System. They have performed as designed and reached their target planets under extreme fire. The losses of two transports is more than acceptable give the troops were all landed.

The battleships of the 2nd Fleet are now sent in to clean up the various Mortalen mining operations in the Dila System.

Unexpectedly, the four troops defending Dila 1 hold on for weeks. Two of the Sluken troops are destroyed, but so too half the Mortalens. In a battle of attrition the insectoids will be victorious.

The 2nd Fleet arrives and begins by eradicating the mining station on Dila 5. At this stage there is little the Mortalens can hope to accomplish.

Eventually Dila 1 falls ...

... and the Mortalen homeworlds are integrated into the Sluken empire.

< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:37:33 AM >

(in reply to DasTactic)
Post #: 30
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